Monday, October 8, 2012

Season 21 AL West Preview

Anaheim Annihilation
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .259 14 Fielding % .981 14 ERA 14.62 7
Home Runs 190 12 Double Plays 393 11 Opp. Avg. .258 3
Ops. .724 14 + Plays 65 4 Strike Outs 1018 11
Runs 720 15 - Plays 53 13 Saves 45 7
Steals 120 10 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .401 13 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 80-82(AL West Champ)
Last 5 seasons- 401-409

Anaheim may have won the division last season, but it was no season to be proud of. The franchise has been hovering around the .500 mark for the past 7 seasons. Last season looked like the season they would win 90 games, but the team shockingly started trading away players that helped them get a big division lead. By the end of the season that division lead was shrunk to only 3 games and they barely made the playoffs. I can understand rebuilding, but not in the middle of a pennant run. Offensively this team wasn't very good last season. Jim Christman, rule v pick Andrew Adams, and Stretch Wilkinson are solid hitters, but the team doesn't have any real threats in the lineup. They do have some speed if those players can get on base enough to use it. The fielding wasn't very good last season either. Pedro Berroa is a good shortstop, but they lack a good centerfielder. They do have solid gloves at other positions though. The defense shouldn't be that bad and look closer to average than where they finished last season. The pitching was average last season. Diego Benitez could be a really good pitcher if he had better durability, but his 120 innings a season just don't cut it.
Lazy Sweeney has been a pretty good pitcher for this team. They could use some pitching help though. The pitching staff looks below average to me. This team is average at best and will struggle to make an impact in the AL this season. They could win the division again, but I don't think the record will improve by much, if at all.

St Louis Arch Angels
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .246 16 Fielding % .987 1 ERA 4.01 2
Home Runs 209 10 Double Plays 373 14 Opp. Avg. .249 2
Ops. .728 12 + Plays 79 2 Strike Outs 1055 8
Runs 746 13 - Plays 13 1 Saves 45 6
Steals 178 3 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .409 12 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 77-85
Last 5 seasons- 401-409

What a disappointing season it was for this franchise. After 3 straight division titles, they fell off to 77 wins and missed out on post season play. They made some good off season moves, but I really like the promotion of Miller Hunter to help out the offense. I still think they lost more than they gained though. Offensively this team struggled last season, and I don't see much hope of changing that. Lou Jefferies is the best hitter on this team and while he is good, he's not the guy most teams would like to count on to drive the offense. The rest of the lineup is average or below and that means it will be a tough season for this lineup. The defense was number 1 last season. They had range and gloves. Well, sort of. Most of the plus plays came from 1B Neil Roberts who would have been better served using his range at another position. Other than that they were average to below at the key positions. The gloves were still pretty good regadless though and they should be just fine this season. I just think that they are closer to average than they are as the top team. The pitching for this team is great though. The rotation is led by Rock Randall, Jim Kelly, and season 20 rookie of the year Sean Shipley. The bullpen is pretty solid too and the free agent signing of Chico Guerrero bolsters that. The rotation alone should make this team an above 80 win team, but that offense really needs some help. If they even had an above average offense this team would be challenging for the AL title each season.

Vancouver Canucks
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .265 11 Fielding % .982 11 ERA 6.25 16
Home Runs 232 7 Double Plays 376 13 Opp. Avg. .290 16
Ops. .763 11 + Plays 18 16 Strike Outs 958 15
Runs 782 10 - Plays 76 15 Saves 31 15
Steals 112 11 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .436 10 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 59-103
Last 5 seasons- 303-507

Now here's a team that has been in full rebuild mode for a while now. Last season was the franchise's fourth straight 100 loss season. They are now starting to get some of the good young players up to the majors and should start making some strides forward. Offensively this team was just below average last season. The promotion of Jo-jo Frandsen should help and he should make a rookie of the year push. Veteran Charles Torres adds good power to the lineup. The have a solid lineup throughout, but they aren't quite above average yet. Defensively the team was bad last season. The free agent addition of Oswaldo Estrada to play shortstop will help a lot. Daryl McEnerney won't cover a lot of ground, but he rarely makes errors in centerfield. The defense looks above average to me, but not great. The pitching for Vancouver was really bad last season. Edgar Santana is a step up for this team at the top of the rotation. Brad Porter is a solid mid rotation pitcher. Season 19, number 2 overall pick Phil Linton makes his major league debut this season and should be a solid reliever with room to grow. The pitching staff looks improved, but they are still a bit below average. The team is more well rounded than the previous 2 teams in this division preview, but they don't have an area of the team that is dominant. This team will likely improve to around 70 wins this season.

Los Angeles Regulators
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .262 12 Fielding % .983 9 ERA 5.48 15
Home Runs 166 14 Double Plays 368 15 Opp. Avg. .278 12
Ops. .719 15 + Plays 50 9 Strike Outs 930 16
Runs 748 12 - Plays 50 11 Saves 24 16
Steals 221 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .390 15 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 58-104
Last 5 seasons- 348-462

Here's a team that has been rebuilding for the past 4 seasons now. At least that's how many seasons in a row they've missed the post season. They have seen their record decline in all but one season in the past 5 seasons and that one season was an exact same record in seasons 18 and 19 of 65 wins. With the third pick in the draft this season they should be able to add another quality young piece for the future. They must be getting close to finishing though as they promoted some young players this season and have a fairly young team mixed with some low priced over the hill veterans. Offensively the team wasn't very good last season, ranking in the bottom of the league in all but steals. Andrew Overbay can still hit and should add a good average to this lineup. Youngster Edwin Reese has real good speed, but lacks the on base ability of a leadoff guy. Yusmeiro Veras, was acquired in a trade last season and should hit better than he has up to this point in his career. Bret Richardson should end up as the best overall hitter on this team. His .430 on base and .309 average last season were great for a rookie as he brought home the silver slugger award for catcher. Bip Rodgers is a rookie that should help the offense and he also has the most power on the team, which isn't saying much. Defensively this team was pretty average last season. They lack a real shortstop and centerfielder, but are solid at other positions. This team looks a bit below average on defense. The pitching was really bad last season. The rotation isn't very good at all. Steven Hernandez is solid, but they don't have much else. The bullpen is good though. Courtney Cashman, and Bernard Hoffman are pretty good. I don't think the bullpen is deep enough to bail out the starting pitching for a full season so this pitching staff is below average. It will likely be another long season for LA, but they aren't too far off from challenging in this division again.

Anaheim is solid and they are the defending division champs. The division just isn't very good as a whole and Anaheim looks like the team that has the least amount of holes. I'm going to stick with them to take the division this season. St Louis has the pitching and defense, but that offense is just not good. They should challenge for the division title and could even pull it out. Right now I pick them number 2 though. Vancouver is making steps forward, but they just aren't there yet. This season should see an improvement for them, but not enough to win this division or get a wild card spot. LA is still rebuilding, but they aren't too far off as they've brought up some prospects and should soon start making a push in the division.

1. Anaheim
2. St Louis
3. Vancouver
4. Los Angeles

No comments:

Post a Comment