Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NL South Season 14 Previews


Monterrey Jacks
Season 13 record- (99-63, 1st division)
Season 13 team hitting(NL)  Batting Average-6th (.268); OBP-7th (.335);  Home Runs-1st (282);  Runs-1st (881);  Steals-6th (113)   Pitching(AL)  ERA-5th (3.98);   Opp Avg-7th (.260);  Strike Outs-1st (1226);  Saves-4th (51)      Fielding(AL)  Fielding %-14th (.979);  Plus Plays-12th (35);  Minus Plays-12th (65)

Key Acquisitions- 2B Sam Wigginton(tr-Far), CF Jay Knotts(FA), RP Brant Service(FA), RP Clarence Cain(FA), LF Al Keeler(resigned), 1B Craig Adkinson(promoted)
Key Losses- RP Cam Hogan(FA), RP Robin Schalk(FA), LF Kevin Kyung(FA), LF/1B Paul Wang(FA), 2B Douglas Wilson(released)

Monterrey had a pretty successful regular season in season 13. They won the division for the second straight season and fifth time in team history. They produced the third straight 90 win season and matched the franchise high in wins. They had an above average offense, above average pitching, but were not a very good fielding team. The team had the #1 overall seed in the post season, but unfortunately, lost to Charleston in the divisional round 3 games to 1. So last season overall has to be considered a disappointment. The team made plenty of off season moves to try and make up for that. I really like the acquisition of Wigginton. The signing of Knotts will also help this team out. I don't think they did much to help out the fielding problems they had though. This team is clearly built on hitting over fielding from their position players. I could see that team average ranked even higher next season and this team could very well lead the NL in runs again. This team also has a very good pitching staff. Most likely one of the best in the league. My prediction for Monterrey is that they will top the 100 win mark and will be tough to beat for this division title.

Charleston Riverdogs
Season 13 record- (93-69)
Season 13 team hitting(NL)  Batting Average-8th (.266); OBP-3rd (.341);  Home Runs-3rd (243);  Runs-4th (833);  Steals-12th (67)   Pitching(AL)  ERA-2nd (3.78);   Opp Avg-2nd (.246);  Strike Outs-7th (1116);  Saves-7th (48)      Fielding(AL)  Fielding %-3rd (.986);  Plus Plays-4th (64);  Minus Plays-5th (34)

Key Acquisitions- RF Alton Olson(tr-Far), LF Magglio Coronado(tr-Far), 2B Douglas Wilson(FA), SP Steve Brock(FA), SP Joel Norris(FA), LF/1B Frank Martin(resigned)
Key Losses-2B Pepper Sanders(tr-Far), P Rafael Gutierrez(FA), 3B Juan Otanez(FA), SP Travis Bush(FA)

After 6 seasons in a row of winning this division Charleston has slipped a bit the past couple seasons. After a second straight second place finish, they made up for it with a second straight appearance in the World Series though. Slipping isn't how this franchise should look at it. The only thing that could stop them was a punishing Syracuse team that swept them in the World Series. A second straight championship just wasn't meant to be. Overall, this team had really good pitching and fielding last season. While the team had a decent batting average they were above average where it counted on offense and that was scoring runs. They didn't appear to need to do much in the off season at all, but they did. I question the decision to pick up the option on the, way past his prime, Jonathan Grebeck. The moves they made were mostly for older players and I don't really like that, but this team does have some young talent to go with the veterans. Overall, I think they have a really good fielding team, and their pitching staff is really good as well. They don't really have an innings eater starting for them though and that could wear on this staff as the season goes on. Offensively the team has plenty of power and a few players that can get on base as well. I think this team will still be a very good team that will be tough to beat, but I don't think this will be the year they can get back on top of this division. A return to the World Series isn't likely, but with this ownership anything can happen. I think they are a wild card contender.

Jackson Juggernauts
Season 13 record- (69-93)
Season 13 team hitting(NL)  Batting Average-10th (.265); OBP-10th (.331);  Home Runs-7th (229);  Runs-9th (794);  Steals-7th (105)   Pitching(AL)  ERA-7th (4.23);   Opp Avg-3rd (.248);  Strike Outs-5th (1149);  Saves-16th (34)      Fielding(AL)  Fielding %-12th (.980);  Plus Plays-3rd (65);  Minus Plays-2nd (26)

Key Acquisitions-  LF Cal Durham(Rule V), 2B James Glass(promoted)
Key Losses-  3B Benny Carrasco(released), 1B Ricardo Peron(released)

This team stayed fairly quiet in the off season. After 8 straight losing seasons and 7 owners in that time frame, this team may finally be getting some direction as bobbyj7 is in a second season as owner. They've only had one winning season in the teams history and the team deserves a little direction by now. They have a really young team and some of the young players have good talent. They also have a few players in the minors that will be able to help this team out fairly soon. Last season this team ranked toward the bottom of the league in fielding and I don't think that will change much this season. They were barely in the upper half of the league in pitching and I think that will probably remain about the same if not a little better. They were in the bottom half of the league in hitting and I'm pretty sure they will be again. In this division they don't stand a chance, but a better record than last season is attainable. It will probably be another long season for Jackson, but I do believe there is some light at the end of this tunnel.

Texas Beavers
Season 13 record- (67-95)
Season 13 team hitting(NL)  Batting Average-7th (.267); OBP-9th (.332);  Home Runs-13th (191);  Runs-10th (764);  Steals-11th (88)   Pitching(AL)  ERA-16th (5.51);   Opp Avg-15th (.287);  Strike Outs-11th (1071);  Saves-14th (37)      Fielding(AL)  Fielding %-4th (.985);  Plus Plays-6th (60);  Minus Plays-3rd (28)

Key Acquisitions- CF Julio Tavarez(tr-Chi), RP Scott Easterly(tr-Min), SS Jorge Lopez(tr-Tol), C Tom Gonzales(tr-Van), LF/1B Orval Yeats(tr-Syr), RP Bernard Hoffman(tr-Tol), 2B Luke Ryan(FA), SP Patsy Cummings(FA), CF Chul Zhang(promoted), SP Rico Bravo(promoted)
Key Losses- SP Miguel Morlan(tr-Tol), 1B Matty Coco(tr-Van), C Pascual Ortiz(released)

After 5 straight losing seasons this team decided it was time to make some changes. I'm not sure if there was another team in the league that made more changes this off season than Texas. They went all out to make this team competitive this season. Most of the moves made were through trades and they only signed a couple free agents. Luke Ryan, who was one of the free agents signed, will be a huge upgrade for this team. This is a pretty young team and they now have quite a bit of talent on the roster. The only move I don't like for this team was trading Coco. That was a real good bat to lose and I don't feel comfortable with his replacement as a full time player. Last season this team was a decent hitting bunch, and were pretty good in the field as well. They were terrible when it came to pitching. The moves they made are going to add some speed to this teams lineup and that was something they needed. They have players that can get on base but I don't think they are a great hitting team. The fielding should still be pretty good. I really don't see how this team could be even as close to as bad as last season when it comes to pitching. They are improved in that category, but are still not great when it comes to the pitching staff. My prediction is that this team finishes above 500, but I'm not sure by how much. I don't think they make the wild card, but this season should be a huge step forward for this club.

 Monterrey has to be a favorite for winning it all this season. Charleston still has a pretty good team, but I don't think they are close to Monterrey. Texas should make some noise, but I think they fall short of the post season. Jackson is a team that is moving up, but this division is going to be much tougher than last season. I really like the overall talent in this division and other than Monterrey I think anything could happen.


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