Thursday, April 02, 2009
It's the NL East, home to massive collapses and world champions.
1. New York Mets
Can the Mets avoid a 3rd straight collapse? SI thinks so. They picked the Metropolitans to win the World Series. That seems remarkably dumb, who the hell would do that? Oh me last year, that's right. Oh well, I only proclaim myself as being intelligent some of the time.
Key Player: Carlos Delgado, Carlos Delgado was by far the Mets most pivotal player last season. You expect Beltran, Wright and Reyes to produce but Delgado pre-Willy being fired looked like his career was toast. He was a power hitter that couldn't make much contact anymore. Before the all star break in 90+ games he hit 17 homers and hit below .250. Then all of a sudden Delgado became a beast again. In July he hit .357 and overal post all star break he hit 21 homers in 60+ games. So which Delgado are the Mets getting this season?
Player to Eye: Daniel Murphy, He's the young kid that's going to bat 2nd for the Mets and start daily in left field. He's supposed to be a mild speed, mild power guy with a great eye at the dish. At the very least he'll be better than Luis Castillo, but him getting on base consistently in front of Wright, Beltran and Delgado would result in a ton of runs scored.
Record Prediction: 89-73
2. Philadelphia Phillies
Yay World Series Champions and benefitters of back to back Mets collapses. The Phillies are a team you have to love if you aren't a Mets fan. Between Utley, Rollins and Victorino they have three players you would want on any team. Absolute grinders. Their pitching staff on the other hand leaves much to be desired.
Key Player: Cole Hamels, The Phillies arguably had the worst rotation for a World Series winner ever. They have Cole Hamels and Brett Myers who is inconsistent at best and then it gets sloppy. Moyer is 97. Blanton is a run producer for the other team. And the fifth starter Chan F'n Ho F'n Park. Chan Ho Park! The Phillies have zero shot of winning if Hamels can't stay healthy this year.
Player to Eye: Jayson Werth, Werth was once a first round draft pick by the Oreo's. Since that point he's bounced around to three additional franchises and before last season never really amounted to much. Than last year in just 134 games Werth put up 24 homers and 20 steals. Is he a late bloomer or was last year a fluke?
Record Prediction: 89-73
3. Atlanta Braves
You want brand spanking new rotations, look at the Atlanta Braves. They
massively overpay bring in Derek Lowe. They trade for Javy Vazquez. They bring in Kenshin Kawakami and they resign 95 year old Tom Glavine. Three of their 5 starters are brand new, but still I don't think they'll have enough to push for the division crown.
Key Player: Larry Jones, Will Larry ever stay healthy for a full season again? Last season it wasn't even a major injury, it was just a week here and a week there but in the end it accumulate to just 118 starts. The Braves really need their best hitter to stay on the field.
Player to Eye: Jeff Francoeur, Remember when Frenchy was the greatest thing since a warm fresh loaf of delicious French bread? Last year he played more like a steaming turd. .239 with a below .300 on base percentage and only 11 home runs? Those are worse the Melky Cabrera #s. Will he return or will he find his ass on the bench?
Record Prediction: 84-78
4. Florida Marlins
The Marlins are a very very young team with potential everywhere. Their staff includes Ricky Nolasco and Josh Johnson two pitchers that while healthy in 08 had great years. It also includes the potential of Chris Volstad and Andrew Miller two topflight prospects and the return of Annibal Sanchez who had a great 2006 season and then loads of arm issues. Their lineup however is Hanley and then a massive dropoff to the Dan Uggla's and Jorge Cantu's of the world.
Key Player: Jeremy Hermida, Hanley Ramirez will be a monster barring injury, this is unquestioned. The Marlins however desperately need for a Ramirez sidekick. After a very solid surge at the end of 2007 hermida looked prime for a breakout in 2008, than kaboom mediocre numbers. If anyone is going to emerge as Robin, than it'll probably be Hermida.
Player to Eye: Cameron Maybin, Wheels. Delicious Wheels. That's what Maybin has. He's gonna be a speedster, he's gonna steal lots of bases. He's gonna hit double digit homers. He's also likely to strikeout more than Dan Uggla, which is a lot. The kid turns 22 over the weekend and the job is his and only his, he's a player to track this year.
Record Prediction: 78-84
5. Washington Nationals
Want a ass ugly rotation? Look at the Nationals. Ya John Lannan 9-15 last year being the opening day starter. Then you got Daniel Cabrera and his 200 walks in the 2nd spot. All in all it's kind of sad cause their lineup really does have potential.
Key Player: Ryan Zimmerman, Zimmerman feels like he's been due for a breakout for years now. He still hasn't hit more than 25 homers. He still hasn't approached .300. We're waiting on you to morph into a psuedo David Wright, but me thinks our expectations are too lofty.
Player to Eye: Jordan Zimmerman, Not actually Ryan's brother, but actually their #1 prospect. Mr. Zimmerman 2 is in the Nats rotation. Last year in 20 starts in Double A the 22 year old had a 3.21 ERA and averaged nearly a K per inning in 20 starts. He may or may not be ready for the bigs this season but the Nats really don't have better options.
Record Prediction: 76-86
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