Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The AL Central is officially the most boring division in Major League Baseball. I seriously don't find any team exciting in the slightest. I hope to have zero AL Central players on my fantasy roster (well maybe Gordon Beckham).
1. Minnesota Twins
Yay the Twins signed Joe Mauer for a boat load of cash for the next decade. Yay, they won't be able to afford any other player for the next decade. The Twins will win this division based on the fact that the division isn't good. They then will be crushed in the first round of the playoffs like always.
Key Player: Joe Mauer, Well he's making about 1/3 of the Twins entire payroll so I think it's pretty safe to say that if anything happens to him then the Twins are shit out of luck.
Player to Eye: Francisco Liriano, Last year we kind of thought Liriano was going to be back and emerge as a beast once again. Well, we were wrong. Very wrong. Now he's the Twins 5th starter, yet a strong Winter and spring training is giving off some hope. What will it amount to?
Record Prediction: 84-78
2. Detroit Tigers
The Tiggers of 2009 pulled a Mets at the end of the season. They at least made the play in game instead of being completely out, but they choked regardless. This year they let a few pieces go both in the bullpen and in the OF/IF. They likely will be worse this season than last but perhaps this year will come with less gagging.
Key Player: Miguel Cabrera, Mr. Miguel should lead this offense in every statistic outside of stolen bases. Hopefully in 2010 he he won't also lead the team in nights out boozing with opposing players before the most important game of the year.
Player to Eye: Rick Porcello, Mr. Porcello had a pretty damn good year for a 20 year old. He even pitched his ass off in the play in game. I'm not sure if the Ks will grow at any rapid rate this season but if he simply duplicates his rookie season it will be a great success.
Record Prediction: 80-82
3. Chicago White Sox
The White Sox to me are one of the most boring teams in baseball. I'm not a fan of any of their pitchers, especially Danks and Floyd, and the rest of their team is just blah. And Juan Pierre is going to be a key player this season, how lame is that?
Key Player: Jake Peavy, Mr. Peavy was traded for by the White Sox last year not for 2009 but for 2010. He's always been a superior pitcher but part of that has been bolstered by friendly PETCO. It will be interesting to see how he handles a full season in the AL. If he goes back to the 2.80 ERAs of the past then I vastly underrated the White Sox this season.
Player to Eye: Gordon Beckham, I'm praying that he's available in my keeper league draft this coming week but I think that prayer will go unanswered. Beckham is going to be a beast for the next decade.
Record Prediction: 77-85
4. Kansas City Royals
Last year I picked the Royals to finish .500. That was dumb. I will not make that mistake again.
Key Player: Zack Greinke, It's pretty easy to understand that if Greinke takes a dramatic step back from his Cy Young campaign that the Royals will not only not have a chance in the division, they will be straight lucky to not finish in the division basement.
Player to Eye: Billy Butler, Mr. Butler is still a youngster and has the potential to morph into a .320 30 HR hitter this season. He'll still be completely under the radar playing in KC but he's an exceptional young talent.
Record Prediction: 76-86
5. Cleveland Indians
I don't know if this is a overreaction from picking them to win the division last season just to watch them finish in dead last or if I truly think they will once again finish dead last. At least I can predict that they won't trade away the current AL Cy Young Award winner mid-season.
Key Player: Grady Sizemore, Mr. Sizemore was injured and poor last year. This year he will take on even more of the load and thus the Indians won't have any chance to succeed if Sizemore plays anything like he did in 2009.
Player to Eye: Fausto Carmona,Just a few years ago Carmona was battling CC Sabathia for whom was the best pitcher on the Indians and then the wheels fell off. Carmona couldn't get out period. This spring Carmona appears to have turned a corner and if the Indians are going to do any kind of contending they will need him to re-emerge as the ace.
Record Prediction: 72-90
Mauer and Peavy Images Courtesy of The Painted Baseball, definitely a cool site.