Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Season 26 Kick-Off Party
AL North
The Seattle Grunge have been the team to beat the last 3 seasons as is the case this season.
  • Pitching: They added ace Jarrod Walker  to their rotation giving them a great one-two with Dave Allen. Bud Cassidy, Candy McCarthy, and Fernando Ramirez put up great numbers last season as well. Fergie Hemingway,  Sam Woodson and Mac Lowe give them a a strong bullpen that will hold down leads after the starters are pulled. Safeco Fields did help them with the overall pitching numbers last season but even when they were on the road they put up top five numbers.
  • Hitting: To me, it was strange to see that they hit better at home then on the road. In fact, they were tied for 5th in the AL in OPS last season. The line-up is stocked with young talent led by ROY winning 2nd basemen Piper James. Jake Jennings had a career year last year on his way to winning the Silver Slugger for Right Fielders in a league that is stacked with great hitting Right Fields. All-Stars Marty MillsAlan LandrumDavid Bolivar andTrenidad Andujar make this line-up tough to work through.
  • Defense: Last season this was a top five fielding team and with little turn over in the off season they should still be right around there. They had 86+ plays to just 18- plays.
Wins 98-102
The Might Millers Of Minnesota(Tacoma?) have had a couple of off seasons after a nice run. There is a philosophy change going on here.
  • Pitching: Changing the ballpark is sort of a chicken shit way to improve a pitching staff. I never claimed to be all that brave though. One though Four in the rotation is as good as it gets around here. Former CY winners Bryce McMillon, Lyle Moran, Vladimir Olivares and Dario Lee gives them a chance to win every game. Last season each of them gave over 230 inning. Olivares had a very poor season last season but with the new park things should turn around. Rather then going with a four man rotation this season Pedro Rodriguez will be the fifth starter. With that the starters are going to be given a much larger pitch count so the bullpen doesn't mess up too many games again. The bullpen has been reworked a bit with the additions of Earl Russell, and Endy Simpson. I believe that this bullpen should be good.
  • Hitting:... Crickets. It seems like a long time since this was a good hitting team. Cookie Gandarillas is about the brightest star they have in the line-up. Dennis Yoshii can be helpful but only in a platoon. He did have a very nice HR/AB ratio last season though. Other then that it is a cream puff line-up. We might steal some bases this season though. We also might get caught a bunch too though.
  • Fielding: Last season the team only had 8- plays and 109+ plays. They were already the best fielding team in the world and they added Randy Kane and Kennie Morgan to to the work behind the plate because the CS% was .167! They also added Hong-Jin Feng and Felix Okajima to play some amazing defense.We will either loss 90 or win 90 I just don't know.
Wins 70-75

Pawtucket Juggernauts always seems to have a tough team to beat.
  • Pitching: Geraldo Belliard is one of the best bullpen arms in all of baseball and he is the anchor of strong bullpen. The rotation features Trevor Wilkins and Anthony Rivera at the front. After that it is a few place holder for few prospects to get ML ready.
  • Hitting: The line-up is fairly solid up and down like just about every year. Otis Richard can still hit very well and produce a ton of runs. Willis Richardson has a career OPS above .850 and also makes things happen with his bat. Nicholas Spruill and Yamid Bennett bring in nice depth.
  • Fielding: There is not much of a standout in the field here. Last season they were a bottom five defensive squad and I think that is about where they will be this season.
Wins 69-74
The Detroit Miracles might need just that to compete this season. The budget is a bit of a mess but tons of cash is coming off the books in the couple of season.
  • Pitching: The rotation is stocked up with 3-4 starters. Santiago Tarasco is young and has a good upside to work with. Benjamin Allen is a talented bullpen arm.
  • Hitting: The line-up is below average this season and should find themselves in the bottom five of hitting.
  • Fielding: Last season they were almost even in +/- and below the league average in % which will lead to a bottom five team.
Wins 55-60
AL East

Baltimore Baybirds brings this world together. Love them or hate them they are and have been for a long time the team to beat.
  • Pitching: The best in baseball. One through Five aces starting rotation. Armando Ramirez, Andy Markakis, Jonathan Knott, Ron Garcia, and Timothy Cather are the starting five. Hipolito Iglesias is the bullpen ace. They do have Piper McBride with a 50 overall rating! I don't ever remember them having a guy rated that low.
  • Hitting: No team hits better. Just a stacked line-up with plenty of MVPs and Silver Sluggers.
  • Fielding: One of the best fielding % in baseball last season to go along with nice +/- ratio made them a top three fielding team. Should be around there this season too.
Wins 110-115

Cincinnati Red Legs pushed their way into the post season last year losing to Baltimore in the ALCS. and only will get better this season.
  • Pitching: Graham Romero, Onan Takada, Willie Martin, Vic Colome, and Dave Barnes makes this one of the finest rotation in the league. The bullpen has a few solid arms and should hold the lead most of the time. They have two of the best Bullpen prospect in baseball with Hank Sears and Melvin Hasegawa so if things don't go well they have a couple of internal options to work with.
  • Hitting: Adding Harley Nunnally this off season gives them a mega bat in the middle of the line-up. As a team last season they posted a nice OPS of .760 so they are fairly solid up and down.
  • Fielding: Rigo Soto is one of the best shortstop in the league but has issues hitting right handed pitchers. Overall they are middle of the pack.
Wins 94-99

New York Knights are an upstart team with post season dreams this season.
Wins 88-92

Indianapolis Devils are in face lift mode.
  • Pitching: A very nice bullpen but not much up front. Tanner Meusel has a nice upside though.
  • Hitting: The Line-up a bit below average.
  • Fielding: Middle of the road
Wins 60-65

AL South
(Preview is going to get a little cheaper from here on out)

Little Rock Rollers have a new owner but should still be pushing for bye in the post season. They had some roster turnover but still have a very strong club.
Wins 98-102

Jackson Rollin Rebels had 95 wins last season and even traded away one of the best hitters in the game.
  • Pitching: Nothing stand-out. But finish towards the top last season.
  •  Hitting: Last season they had an OPS of .760 and should hover around there again.
  • Fielding:They are always near the top in fielding.
Wins 90-95
Durham Spitoons have been in hover mode below the .500 mark for many season in a row now.
  • Pitching: Erubiel Colome is the ace of the staff. After that is a few 3-5 guys. The pen is in pretty good shape though.
  • Hitting: Cristobal Mercado and J.B. Justice are pretty nice hitters. Pete Stein also brings a little offense in the line-up.
  • Fielding: Top Three
Wins 75-80
Memphis Packers are almost complete with their rebuild and could make a push this season for a post season spot.
  • Pitching: Right now, Starting pitching is a weak spot. There is some younger arms that will improve though and AAA has a couple of starters that are about ready. The bullpen is well armed and should hold teams from scoring.
  • Hitting: The line-up is well put together with guys that can work the count and get the starters out of the game early.
  • Fielding: Middle of the pack or just below.
Wins 78-82

AL West
Tucson Vendetta Ride are for sure ready to contend this season. The minors are stacked too.
  • Pitching: The rotation in solid and has young guys with a nice upside. They also have some of their best arms still in AAA waiting to get their chance to shine.
  • Hitting: This line-up might be as powerful as Baltimore's by mid-season. Robinson Lanier, Luis Contreras, and Vic Posada are just the tip right now. In AAA Tex House and Rickey Torres are waiting for their call.
  • Fielding: Yuck! But with those hitters I guess you have to get them in there.
Wins 96-100
Scottsdale Slam are in a bit of decline right now.
  • Pitching: They should be in the middle this season.
  • Hitting: Above average
  • Fielding: just above average.
Wins 79-84
Fresno Grizzlies should continue to improve this season but not at a post season level yet.
  • Pitching: They should be about middle of the pack or just below.
  • Hitting: Some real big time bats here and some nice complementary hitters as well.
  • Fielding: About average.
Wins 61-66
Los Angeles Scandals need some fine tuning.
  • Pitching: The rotation has a few 4-5 guys but the bullpen is in ok shape.
  • Hitting: After Rafael Alarcon there is not much here to scare pitchers.
  • Fielding: Terrible!
Wins 55-60
Post Season
  1. Baltimore
  2. Seattle
  3. Little Rock
  4. Tucson
  5. Cincinnati
  6. New York
Cincinnati take the ALCS in 6 over Tucson.