Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pre-Season Baseball Rankings

I know what your thinking but hear me out. There is a reason for this madness and I will explain. Looking at the remainder of this years free agent pool, i dont see one name that could impact a team in any kind of way. Exept maybe Aaron Rowland, but for the sake of this blog, I have him remaining with the Phillies (and why not, he is an amazing talent). Other than a few trades in the works, this is my pre-season rank (more to come).

1. Boston Red Sox- Well, Get used to it. I dont even think a major injury could sway them. If Manny goes down, they have top talent to fill in. This team is BEYOND talented. Kid Genius is that, a genius. He knew not to touch his minor league talent unless necessary (Refer to Josh Beckett). They have the best rotation 1-4 and if they land Santana, make it 1-5. They have loads of talent in their batting order and on the bench. YES, Youk could be a platoon guy. This guy can start on just about any other team.

2. Detroit Tigers- Thanks to Florida for putting the Tigers in the top 2. Prior to the trade, they looked good. Miggy makes them BETTER. They lost 6 of their top 22 prospects but when your in a city that is known for losing, tomorrow matters not. Jim Leyland knows how to manage ego's and did a hell of a job last season. This team has a great lineup top to bottom but they lack in depth. If Sheff goes down who will step in?? I dont see any backups, other than Brandon Inge, and he wants out of Detroit. To the pitching, they are good!! Willis makes them, ehhhh the same but if he gives up 5 runs a game, his offense will put up 6. He is an innings eater and this takes pressure off of Verlander and Bonderman, who usually pitch more innings than they can handle. That and Rogers is back. They are solid in the pen and have a crafty vet in Jones to close out games.

3. New York Yankees- I know, I HATE HATE HATE this but you have to give them some credit. They managed to keep all of their talent and not lose prospects. Sure they failed to pull the trigger during the Winter meetings, but they have Joba, Hughes, and Kennedy to show for it.

4. LA Dodgers- GOD D*MN this pains me but they tapped AndUw Jones. This makes that good outfield that much better. Kemp, Pierre, Either, and Jones rounds up a talented OF corp. Their question mark is can they stay healthy. Their pitching is top 5 in baseball and as long as they stay healthy, they will stay that way. They need to fill that 5 hole though. Wolfe will be missed.

5. LA Angels- I know what your thinking, 5??? Yes, and ill tell you why. I honestly believe that Hunter will have a bad season and Vlad will still be forced to carry the weight of this offense. Pitching is key but can they stay healthy?? That, and can they stay consistent. Krod and Shield were downright crap in September.

6. Chicago Cubs- Laugh all you want but this is a new season. Soriano's injury was more than they could handle in July but they still have the tools to win. They are iffy in the rotation but they managed to win games. The problem is in the pen and the closer role. Wood will help plug that hole if he can stay healthy.

7. Cleveland Indians- The fact they havent made any noise this winter is disturbing. True, they have talent and depth to back that talent up. But they are predictable and play in the Central. They barely contained Detroit last year and its doubtful they can do it again. Pitching is questionable. Carmona and Sabathia is really all they have. Byrd will face suspension for doping, and the pen and closer role is awful. But that offense will win games. Hafner and Sizemore still make one hell of a 1-2 punch.

8. Colorado Rockies- Why do I have them 8? Because like most teams, they havent done anything to improve! They squeaked into the playoffs and yes, dominated. But can they do it again with the same team?? I say unlikely. But they have Coors park and FINALLY a rotation that can pitch like an allstar in Denver. The WS proved they need experience to compliment Matt Holliday.

9. San Diego Padres- I just made some Padre fans happy with this one. They addressed needs early on. Maddox is signed and Peavy has his extension. Bradley is gone as well. They have talent in the lineup and a good pitching staff. Im confident that Youngs injury REALLY hurt this team. But if he can stay healthy, they could give LA problems.

10. Minnesota Twins- With the loss of Hunter and the replacement of Young I think this team will be playoff bound. Again, I never thought much of Hunter BUT Young is the real deal. 162 games played, .290 average and close to 100 runs scored! They also picked up Brandon Harris from TB. This team has talent. But without Santana and Garza things will be tough. But do I have to remind you who is back in 2008?? Mr. Francisco Liriano himself.

11. Philadelphia Philly’s- Why do I have them here you ask? Well, they decided not to show up in the playoffs and have done virtually nothing to improve their team. Sure Lidge is a good add at closer but can he be reliable? Only time will tell.

12. New York Mets- I dont know why I have them THIS high. They have no starting pitching and no bullpen. Pedro is broken down and Glavine is gone. They lost LoDuca and replaced him with a bunch of Nats. Time must be tough when you taking the Nats mediocre players.

13. Arizona Diamondbacks- They are a bit lower than I normally would put them but they traded a productive OF for a 1b man they had then lost then got back and wont even use. Johnson is an old man now. They cannot rely on Webb to win 20 this year. He has talent, but not that much.

14. Milwaukee Brewers- Expect them to move up quickly, and the only reason they are middle of the pack is that they lost 2 key pitchers, Linebrink and Cordero. Gagne seems to have lost his stuff so I dont put much stock into him saving the pen. A pen that looks awful right now. They have decent starters but its that young offense that will carry the load. WOW are they talented, but beatable.

15. Seattle Mariners- I would put them further down the totem pole here but King Felix is finally healthy, Ichiro got paid, and Beltre had a fantastic September. Those three reasons are why they crack the top 15. Other than that, they are mediocre at best.

16. Tampa Bay Rays- Im gonna shock the world with this pick. They traded for a pitcher who will compliment Kazmir and Shields in Matt Garza, but the best of all, they dumped their trouble makers which makes for no distractions. Madden knows how to manage raw talent. They only won 66 games, but that still gave them their best season ever. Look for this team to make some noise.

17. Atlanta Braves- Im wondering why I am doing them this big of a favor. Ok, you drop Jones and replace him with Willie Harris, you drop Pete Orr and replace him with a question mark. They havent really done anything to upgrade, other than Tom Glavine. So why top 20?? They ALWAYS find a way to shock the world. They win, plain and simple.

18. Toronto Bluejays- They dont have much in the tank other than Hollady. Thomas is old, they have no closer, and other than Rios, who can get on base? But, Burnett is healthy and could carry some of the load with Roy. The other starters arent great but they are scrappy. Give them 6-7 innings and pray to the baseball Gods that the pen can keep it close.

19. Oakland A's- Another shocker I know and this MUST make Shane happy. Top 20 isnt a bad place to be. Why 19?? Man-genius Billy Beane, thats why. There is a method for his madness. I dont know what it is but he did in fact write the book on it. Even with the Dan Haren rumors flying, he makes things work.

20. Chicago Whitesox- Please, its bad enough when your team quits on the city of Chicago, its even worse when the manager does the same. I saw more fight into him spatting with Jay Marrioti of the Tribune than opposing pitchers. PS- Dropping Podsednik was a moron move. However, they have a great rotation and pen. The O is aging a tad tho.

21. St Louis Cardinals- Tony is in rehab which doesnt help this teams focus and Walt Jockey isnt there to make offseason noise. What do they have other than Phat Albert? Rolen is unhappy, Carpenter missed a year, they have no bullpen. BUT as liquored up at Tony is, he knows how to win. That and im putting alot of faith into Albert and Duncan. Not a shabby duo

22. Houston Astros- AKA Shanes new team- Come to think of it, I wish i could put them down further into the top 15. But they have no closer and question marks all over the place. Will Kaz fill in for Biggio?? Can Pence repeat his amazing rookie year?? Will Berkman show up?? To soon to tell, but they have Oswalt, not a bad opening day win at least.

23. Washington Nationals- There I did it!! They still have Zim and Kearns, now add LoDuca. A proven Nats killer playing in Nat town. Not to shabby. Church is gone but this only gives Nook Logan a shot for 100SB. Unlikely to happen but without him in the lineup, they suffered. This team still has no pitching, but Acta got the best out of the rooks, such as Chico and Hanrahan. Plus a new stadium you GOTTA be pumped.

24. Cincinnati Reds- They proved that they can pitch, now they need to show the world they can hit. Dunn K's 200 times per year and thats bad. But Brandon Phillips showed Cinci what Joe Morgan must have looked like in the 70's. I dont see much happening here, but they are in the central and anybody’s division to win

25. San Francisco Giants- I know, I betrayed my own team. But even a baseball novice can see we are screwed. We have 1 guy who is a proven hitter, 1 Guy!! We will be starting alot of rookies (shocking they are old grandpa's of the past). Our saving grace is our starting pitching. Cain, Lincecom, Zito, and Lowry make up one HELL of a front 4. Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Correjia (sp) and or Pat Litsch may take the 5 spot. Still impressive. We have major question marks in the pen and the closer role

26. Texas Rangers- I gave them 26 because they have more offense than the remaining 4. They have no starting pitchers worth bragging about but they do have a reliable bullpen and several closers they can count on. There are alot of high hopes riding on Jarod Salt's jersey

27. Baltimore Orioles- Erik Bedard saved you from last place here. And yes, without Bedard the Marlins are a better team. Tejada isnt getting any younger and I hear he will be traded. You dont have anyone worth mentioning in your farm system as well. My stone cold pick- Orioles season is over RIGHT NOW!

28. Kansas City Royals- I will give this team 2-3 more years til they are playoff bound. That nice crop of rookies are getting better. But the iffy mark is pitching. The Royals have NONE. Granted Gil Meche was a Yankee killer. Im still wondering why you signed Jose Guillen though.

29. Pittsburgh Pirates- You have Gorzellany and thats it for pitching. And he is only as good as the offense, which is still putrid. Bay is healthy so many he can do what he does best and hit .300 with 35 homeruns. If he gets back to his allstar form, I will personally apologize to all the Pirate fans I know for placing them here.

30. Florida Marlins- You traded your franchise away, for that you are last place. HOWEVER, your building for the future. But that means nothing when you treat your players like recylcalable cans and completely alienate your fan base.

I know thats alot to write, but I head on vacation soon. Might as well get it all done now. Enjoy and let the debates begin........


Shane Rollins said...

Actually, I'm disappointed they are that LOW. You do realize the talent we have when we're actually healthy? Kotsay and Harden weren't healthy all year and we still competed up until the end...sort of. Chavez and Crosby were beat up and we stole some real talent in rule 5, we're gonna shock the world baby.

PS-The Nats will be better then the Devil Rays

SayHey Kid said...

Oakland is low because they have no hitting. Swischer isnt bad but he K's alot. Harden hasnt had a healthy season since his rookie year. Other than Blanton and Haren, who do you have? This assuming if Harden stays. Chavez hasnt been healthy in years, Johnson proved he cant handle 1b everyday, Scuturo is gone leaving you with no utility guy. Ellis cannot play everyday and its almost certain Bobby will get hurt again. Cust was your saving grace of the season and the odds of him repeating are slim! I can go on here......I thought i was pretty fair =)

The Nats lack pitching. TB has 2 proven star pitchers and a guy on the rise. For DC's sake, I hope the Nats do end up the better team.