Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Season 21 NL South Preview

Jackson Juggernauts
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .277 1 Fielding % .983 10 ERA 3.15 2
Home Runs 235 2 Double Plays 439 1 Opp. Avg. .237 3
Ops. .778 1 + Plays 72 4 Strike Outs 1228 1
Runs 901 1 - Plays 16 2 Saves 45 6
Steals 213 2 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .444 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 104-58(AL South Champs; NLCS runner up)
Last 5 seasons- 501-309

Jackson put up another impressive regular season wrapping up the #1 overall seed in season 20. Unfortunately for them, a three peat wasn't meant to happen as they lost in the NLCS. They stayed fairly quiet in the off season and chose to stick with what they have to try to make another deep run this season. That's not a bad idea since they had the best offense in the NL last season. This lineup features, Alex Velez,
season 20 MVP Scott Harvey, 6 time all star Jeff Moore, 4 time all star Jared Glynn, and Max Morales. It's a well blended lineup of speed, hitting and power. This offense will likely lead the NL again this season. The defense had a down year, but they are still pretty good. Rule V draftee, Adam McCorley has the tools to be a great shortstop. Not only is Scott Harvey a great hitter, but he's a phenomenal centerfielder as well. The even have good depth on the bench with gloves. Even though the fielding percentage didn't show it last season, this team has one of the best defenses in the league. It just keeps getting better for this team. The pitching staff is pretty well stocked as well. Raymond DeWitt, was signed to a contract extension and for good reason, he's a great starter. The rotation is rounded out by Rube Clark, Dusty Lindsey, and Bobby Ray Ingram who are all top of the line starters. The bullpen also has some pretty solid arms to add to the depth of this staff. The pitching should rank up near the top of the league again. This team is set to make a World Series run again this season. They are the favorite to take this division again and will be tough to knock off.

Texas Outlaws
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .270 6 Fielding % .983 10 ERA 4.46 11
Home Runs 183 12 Double Plays 384 11 Opp. Avg. .266 10
Ops. .751 8 + Plays 130 1 Strike Outs 1058 12
Runs 794 5 - Plays 7 1 Saves 56 3
Steals 91 8 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .413 8 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 91-71(Wild Card)
Last 5 seasons- 430-380

Texas was a huge surprise to me last season. I didn't see them coming. They improved by 21 games from the previous season and took a wild card spot. They made a few nice off season signings to bolster the team even more. The additions of Cam Stubbs, Carlos Nieto and Aramis Aybar will be good for them. The offense was above average last season, but they didn't hit for much power. 4 time all star and a HR Derby Champ Carl Esposito should be expected to provide more power than he did last season. Hipolito Matos hit a career high 38 homers last season and should hit close to that again. Rex Billingsly doesn't hit for a high average, but he regularly hits 30+ homers a season. Vic Diaz is a great hitter that will get on base for those guys to knock home. Jimmy Booker hit a career high .304 last season, but I doubt he can repeat that. The offense is pretty solid and the addition of Stubbs adds to that. I put them in the above average crowd. The defense was pretty strong when it came to range last season, but the fielding percentage was down. Aybar is the best glove on the team and he won't play much due to his bat. They do have some range, but this team is below average defensively when Aybar is not in the lineup. The pitching was below average last season. The addition of Nieto gives them a real good ace. The depth of the rotation isn't very good though. The bullpen is about the same. Jimmy Griffiths became a top closer in his rookie season and won fireman of the year. He had an amazing season, and should continue to do the same. Besides him the depth just isn't there for them. I really like this teams offense, but the defense and pitching still need some help. They made the post season last season with less though and I obviously am not qualified to predict this teams abilities. I just don't think they can make the post season again.

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .262 8 Fielding % .987 4 ERA 3.65 5
Home Runs 178 13 Double Plays 418 3 Opp. Avg. .241 4
Ops. .718 12 + Plays 77 2 Strike Outs 1163 3
Runs 718 12 - Plays 19 3 Saves 51 4
Steals 112 6 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .399 13 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20- 89-73
Last 5 seasons- 376-434

This team just missed out on making it back to back post season appearances last season. They made a strong push, but fell just short. Over the past couple seasons, this franchise has made steps forward like they never have before. Always a mediocre team for 18 seasons the franchise is coming off the best back to back seasons in their history. They stayed clear of any big free agent signings this season, but did lose a big reliever in Benji Contreras. Resigning Yorvit Diaz was a pretty good move though. They also made a trade to bring in a very good centerfield glove in Horacio Blanco. The offense last season was below average and that's surprising for playing in Louisville. The top hitter Zeke Decker(.306 average) had a solid season. Al Gomez had a good season hitting .295, but even more for his stealing 75 bases and only being caught 3 times. Charley Roosevelt led the team in RBI with 90 and hit a .284. I feel like Andres Andujar didn't perform up to his potential and should have a better season. I like the pop of Ernest Miller, but his durability doesn't allow him to play enough to take full advantage of his bat. The offense is not as bad as they looked last season. At worst they look average to me, but that's only because they lack power. The average should rise this season. They finished near the top of the league defensively last season. I think the best option at shortstop is Victor Ramsay, but he won't start much due to his bat. I'm not a big fan of Polanco at short, but he has a great arm. Blanco is a really good centerfielder and Daryl Bonham can play a great third. With Ramsay in this defense is among the best in the league, but without him I only think they are above average. The pitching was also among the best in the league last season. The addition of youngster Clay Vernon for a full season should add to the rotation. Ariel Mateo is a true ace of this staff. Bret O'Leary is a pretty good starter as well. Al Manto is another really good starter on this staff that could be an ace on other staffs. Roland Sweeney is the highest paid starter on this team and he is the fifth best they have. None of the five starters may be the best in the league, but all five rank among the best in the league. The bullpen is pretty solid as well. This could be the best staff top to bottom in the NL. This team has everything needed to be a top team. This pitching staff is great and the lineup isn't great, but good enough to make them a legitimate threat in the division. If they miss the playoffs this season I'll be shocked.

Charlotte Bad News
Offense 1 Defense 1 Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Average .263 7 Fielding % .985 5 ERA 3.90 6
Home Runs 221 4 Double Plays 406 4 Opp. Avg. .250 6
Ops. .758 6 + Plays 67 6 Strike Outs 1112 7
Runs 809 3 - Plays 31 9 Saves 40 12
Steals 187 3 1 1 1 1 1 1
Slugging .439 4 1 1 1 1 1 1

Season 20 record- 86-76
Last 5 seasons- 450-360

In a very tough division Charlotte ended up in last place in season 20. 86 wins rarely will get a team last place in the division, but it happened. To make matters worse, they lost a couple key players this off season in Valerio Duran, and Storm Mahoney. The signing of Henry Siddall will help the offense, and Lonny Sojo is still a quality bullpen arm. Max Mateo will help ease the loss of Duran, but won't quite make up for it. Last season this team put up some good offensive numbers. The lineup is pretty stacked with season 20 rookie of the year Elijah Martin as the biggest overall threat. Omar Cornejo puts up power numbers, on base skills and will steal some bases. Yovani Guerrero is a good hitting catcher. Alan Wilson can smash the ball. When you add Siddall to this group then you have a pretty good lineup that ranks up there with the best in the league. The defense was also among the best in the NL. The shortstop situation is very good, but PT Rosa is a very good thirdbaseman. The centerfield position is also a bit of a weakness. This team put up good defensive numbers last season, but I think they rank below average. The pitching staff was above average last season. Oscar Osterbrock is a real good starter and Lee Coveleski give them a nice top 2. Orber Torres is a very good middle of the rotation pitcher. The bullpen is pretty good and the addition of Sojo should give them the ability to lock down close games. This team overall is pretty good and the record last season wasn't bad. They are just in a real tough division. Regardless of that though, I could see them ending up in the post season and even challenging for the division title.

This is a real tough division. Really, the NL is really tough. Jackson is that good though that they should win the division and possibly take the #1 seed again as they challenge for another shot at the World Series. Texas over achieved last season in a really tough division, which tells me that I'm missing something. This team is better than I realize. Louisville looks really tough this season and if they had a better offense then I would say they would be challenging for a World Series shot along with Jackson. Right now though, I think they end up just short of the division title, but take a wild card spot. Charlotte is a really good team and possibly as well rounded as Jackson. They should challenge all season long, but I think they end up challenging and possibly taking another wild card spot.

1. Jackson
2. Louisville
3. Charlotte
4. Texas

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