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Friday, January 14, 2011

Pre-season Predictions/ Power Rankings

The first in the weekly rankings. This one is different in that it includes 12 teams and is a prediction of the fianal standings and playoff results.

1. Montreal
Last Season - 120-42, NL North Champion, Lost in DCS
Arrivals - Glenn Franklin, Felix Kondou, Cyrus Holdridge,
Departures - Jiggs Hodges, Troy Whitehill, Ahmad Bell, Mendy Mulder

Analysis - They did lose an MVP candidate in Bell, but they still have more firepower than any team in the league. They are coming down closer to earth, but still are heads above the competition.

Prediction - NL North Champion, #1 Seed, World Series Champion

2. Cincinnati Redlegs
Last Season - 106-56, Wild Card #1, World Series Champion
Arrivals - Benny Tatis
Departures - Philip Colin, Wascar Espinoza

Analysis - I had a difficult time putting a team that has won back-to-back WS titles as #2, but the loss of their #1 SP and Cy Young winner, as well as the fact that they finished 14 games behing Montreal, puts them one spot behind the most dominant team in the league.

Prediction - NL North Runner-up, #5 seed, Wild Card #1, lose in DCS

3. Buffalo

Last Season - 100-62, NL East Champion, Lost in DCS
Arrivals - Tomas Gabriel, Alex Encarnacion, Brent Sabel, Jae-Kuk Hasegawa, Tony Garland, Ahmad Bell
Departures - Pepper Griffin, Max Marin, Junior Montero, Quinn Christopher

Analysis - The NL's best team in season 18 loses one of its top starters in Montero, but adds MVP candidate Bell and aging star Sabel. This is an improved team and it wouldn't be a surprise if they win the NL Pennant.

Prediction - NL East Champion, #1 Seed, World Series Runner-up

4. Houston

Last Season - 100-62, NL South Champion, Lost in DCS
Arrivals - Al Segui, Timothy Edwards
Departures - Mark Barkley, Alex Ainsworth

Analysis - This team is largely unchanged and their biggest offseason move was extending HOF SP Darr. Always a contender, Houston will again be there at the end but fall to an improved Buffalo.

Prediction - NL South Champion, #2 Seed, Lose in LCS

5. Los Angeles

Last Season -98-64, NL West Champion, World Series Runner-Up
Arrivals - LaTroy Black, Alex Javier,Magglio Armas
Departures - Sammy Duran, Benny Tatis, Brent Sabel, Wally McNamara

Analysis - Sabel and Duran will be replaced in part by the promotion of Armas. This team will also be there at the end and their WS run was no fluke.

Prediction - NL West Champion, #3 Seed, Lose in DCS

6. Boston

Last Season - 100-62, AL East Champion, Lost in LCS
Arrivals - Max Marin, Wascar Espinoza, Ramiro Colon, Brandon Wheat, Ross Chapman, Albert Burnett, Yusmeiro Durazo
Departures - Victor Concepcion, Cy Douglas, Angel Bonilla, Nicholas Mathews

Analysis - The big news here is the arrival of top prospect Durazo. They did lose Bonilla and Mathews to division rival Durham, but they always make good moves to complete their roster.

Prediction - AL East Champion, #2 Seed, Lose in LCS

7. Cleveland

Lat Season - 97-65, NL North Champion, Lost in LCS
Arrivals - Sammy Duran, Howard Diaz,
Departures - Derrek Peters

Analysis - Losing Peters is a big deal, but replacing him with Duran lessens the impact. They have won three consecutive division titles, but the margin for error has shrunk with mtorabdaddy joining the division.

Prediction - NL North Champion, #4 Seed, Lose in the DCS

8. Hartford

Last Season - 92-72, NL East Runner-up, Lost in DPiS
Arrivals - Victor Concepcion, Javy Tejada, Ramon Chen, Enrique Balboa, Mark Barkley,
Departures - Don Guerrero, Chad Saturria, Josh Floyd, Eric Ross, Felix Kondou, Jay Burnitz

Analysis - They were very active in the off-season, and Chen was one of the top SP's on the market. I don't expect them to catch Buffalo, however.

Prediction - NL East Runner-up, Wild Card #1, Lose in DPis

9. Santa Cruz Border Patrol

Last Season -86-76, AL West Runner-up
Arrivals - Derrek Peters, Eric Ross
Departures - Brendan Truby, Billy Barry

Analysis - This team should have made the playoffs last year and now has added two top of the rotation guys in Peters and Ross. It will be a very good race with St. Louis, but I predict that SC will prevail by a slim margin

Prediction - NL West Champion, #3 Seed, Lose in DCS

10. Rochester Red Wings (Chicago Panthers)

Last Season - 70-92, 3rd in the NL North
Arrivals -Mark Acosta, Benny Ryan, Troy Whitehill, Mikey Kelly, Ed Jones, Jack Chapman, Josh Floyd, Junior Montero, Omar Flores,
Departures - John Irabu,

Analysis - This is a very talented team that now has an owner to guide them. They were very active in the off-season, surrounding their core of elite players with an entire new pitching staff. If the pitching comes through, this team has a shot.

Prediction - NL North Runner-up, Wild Card #2, Lose in DPiS

11. Philadelphia

Last Season - 90-72, 2nd in the AL East, Wild Card #2, Lost in DPiS
Arrivals - Brendan Truby
Departures - Joaquin Santos

Analysis - Not much happened in Philly in the off season, and tehre are plenty of challengers for this spot. However, this is a very good team with plenty of talent. If they don't make it, they will be close until the very end.

Prediction - AL East Runner-up, Wild Card #2, #6 Seed, Lose in DPiS

12. Jacksonville

Last Season - 91-71, AL South Winner, Lost in DPiS
Arrivals - Juan Johnson, Connie Stark, Jay Burnitz,
Departures - Ramon Chen, Bill Reed

Analysis - They lost 2 top of the rotation SP's and will not be as good as last year, but they are the best of a very competitive division where anything can happen.

Prediction - AL South Winner, #4 Seed, Lose in DPiS

Contenders -

AL - Durham, Baltimore, St. Louis, Scottsdale, the entire AL South
NL - Mexico City, Pittsburgh, Honolulu

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Blog's HOF Cheat Sheet

As requested. I have only included those that have recieved 5 or more votes in the past, and those first-timers that are likely to receive at least 5 votes this year. Position listed is where the spent the greatest amount of innings.

LF Charles Lawrence

Breakdown - Lawrence is, without any doubt, the best player that has ever been eligible for the HOF. He is a career .326 hitter, with 719 HR's, 2077 runs, and 2037 RBI's. He is a 12-time all-star and 8-time MVP. he is the Career leader in both runs and RBI's.

Best Vote Count - N/A

DH Juan Beltre

Breakdown - A controversial topic on the board, but there is little doubt in my mind that he is HOF worthy. He has the two best single season batting averages, including an amazing .450 average in Season 7, and is the career leader over HOF member Rollie Walker by 17 points. He is second in career OBP. He is a DH, and played most of his career in a hitter's park, so his election in far from guaranteed.

Best Vote Count - 5, Season 16

SS Hal Weiss

Breakdown - This 6-time all-star ended up with a career average of .300 and over 1300 runs and RBI's. He did play a skill position at SS, but really should have been a 3B.He was a good player, but his poor eye kept him from being elite.

Best Vote Count - 5, Season 17

LF Jorge Ortiz

Breakdown - Ortiz won the very first MVP in Season 1, and also appeared in 6 all-star games. He only produced in 6 seasons in the Majors, and most of his production occured in the first two seasons, when the league was in the steroid era. All that being said, he was a machine for 6 seasons, but I'm not sure that it will be enough.

Best Vote Count - 5, Season 17

SS Donne Vina

Breakdown - This 3-time all-star has a gold glove, 2 rings, and 2 silver sluggers. He compares favoritively to Weiss at the plate, but was really ill-suited at SS. He did have power, though, and finished with 531 homers and 1444 RBI's. Poor health and 5 trips to the DL might prevent him from making it. His best chance at election may have passed him by.

Best Vote Count - 9, Season 15

SP Karl Greenberg

Breakdown - KG was a 3 time Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, 4 time all-star, and 2-time WS winner. In my opinion, he is the second best pitcher from the live-ball era next to HOF member Rob Branson. However, he only had 175 wins and his ERA and WHIP are not special. His candidacy does have strong support, but his best vote count was two seasons ago so his support could be waning.

best Vote Count - 10, Season 16

C Del Hamelin

Breakdown - It's hard to envision 2 DH's in the HOF this season, so Hamelin's candidacy must be compared to Beltre's (Hamelin was ill-suited at C). He was an 8-time all-star and 5-time SS, but he should not have been a Catcher and would have won far fewer awards if at his natural position of DH. Beltre has superior avg, obp, slg, and ops nubers and is only 120 rbi's short despite 1600 fewer ab's. Hard to imagine Hamelin making it in.

Best Vote Count - 6, Season 16

3B Thom Martin

Breakdown - Martin must be compared to Vina in order to determine his worth. Both have 2 WS rings,about 5900 AB's, and Martin had 2 more SS's and one more all-star appearance. Martin has more hits, homers, rbi's, and better avg, obp, slg, and ops. Martin's first 4 years were amazing, but it was in a time of inflated numbers. If you vote for one, vote Martin, but it is my opinion that Martin is a fringe candidate.

Best Vote Count - 8, Season 15

1B Sidney Allen

Breakdown - Allen appeared in 1 all-star game, won 2 WS, and was a 3-time SS DH. He had over 50 HR's an amazing 9 times. He is 3rd on the all-time homer list behind two future HOFrs. Working against him is a career .276 average, .353 OBP, and .934 OPS.

Best Vote Count - 7, Season 15

RF Glenallen Roosevelt

Breakdown - Roosevelt was a 5-time all-star with 2 WS rings, and 3 SS's. He is a career .305 hitter with 363 HR's and over 1300 rbi's and runs. He compares favorably to Hal Weiss, although he played less of a skill position, but might not have the numbers to make it in.

Best Vote Count - N/A

CF Sparky McNamara

Breakdown - Sparky was a WS MVP with 4 all-star appearances and 2 rings. Again, different positions, but he does not compare favoritively to Donne Vina, another skill position player. But an average over .300 and an OPS at .928 is worthy of consideration for skill position.

Best Vote Count - N/A

Monday, January 10, 2011

Best FA Signing

Here are the top 5 vote getters -

Junior Montero - SP - Rochester, 3 years, $18.9 million.

Analysis - I really like this deal. Montero is a top of the rotation guy that will produce in each of his three years. A very good signing.

Ahmad Bell - SS - Buffalo, 5 years, $50 million.

Analysis - Another good signing. $10 million per year is tremendous value for a guy that will hit 40 homers at a skill position. He should hold his ratings, but will need to move to another position as early as this year.

Derrek Peters - SP - Santa Cruz, 5 yrs, $50 million with a mutual option.
Analysis - Peters is a better buy for me than Reed. He has better career stats and superior ratings. This is a 4 year deal as it is highly unlikely that the team will excercise the option, and I would rather have 4 years of Peters than 5 years of Reed.

Philip Colin - SP - Durham Tar Heels, 5 yrs, $62.5 million with a team option on the last year
Analysis - This is basically a 4 year deal for an aging elite SP coming off of winning the AL Cy Young. Colin should be a #1 SP for 2 of the 4 years, and contribute for another year, maybe two. I am biased, but this guy is coming off of a Cy Young, has three WS Rings, and is a six-time all-star. I'll take my chances with some dead money four seasons from now.

Alex Encarnacion - RP - Buffalo, 2 years, $10 million
Analysis - Signings like this one make Buffalo one of the elite teams in the league. Encarnacion is very good. His durability is a little low, but every other rating screams top notch reliever. The career numbers are distorted a bit by his one year in Colorado, but he should thrive in Dunn Tire Park. A very good signing.