Monday, March 29, 2010
It's the NL East, home to hyper thyroids, terrible medical staffs, the World Series Loser and owners of the 1st MLB Draft pick in 09 and 10.
1. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies came up just short of a repeat in 2009 so they decided to go out and get the best pitcher in baseball.
Key Player: Cole Hamels, Halladay is going to be untouchable, I think we all know this, but the key to the 2010 Phillies is Cole Hamels. Cole had a disappointing 2009 but if the Phillies can get him back to his 08 MVP form than they will again be a difficult out in October/November.
Player to Eye: Roy Halladay, Halladay will be interesting to watch strictly due to the AL/NL switch and the result it will have on his already unbelievable stat lines.
Record Prediction: 90-72
2t. Atlanta Braves
The Braves just might end up being the team to beat in the NL. Their rotation is arguably the deepest and best in the NL.
Key Player: Larry Jones, The Braves are a very well rounded team both in lineup depth and in rotation depth. I'm picking Larry as the key player simply because he's so damn injury prone and the dropoff between him and whomever they put at 3rd in his replacement will be huge.
Player to Eye: Jason Heyward, By all accounts Heyward is the #1 prospect in baseball. This reminds me of just two years ago when Justin Upton was a 20 year old and the "best" prospect in baseball.
Record Prediction: 85-77
2t. New York Mets
Oh the Mets. Two years of collapse and one year of misery. Their lineup with everyone healthy this season could be the best in the NL. Their pitching staff on the other hand has 4 straight question marks from 2-5.
Key Player: Jose Reyes, The Mets offense was devastated last year by the combo injuries of Delgado, Reyes and Beltran. Well Delgado is gone, Beltran is already injured, and Reyes is a question mark with his hyper thyroid. The Mets really need Reyes to stay healthy all year and be the lineup catalyst.
Player to Eye: Oliver Perez, The Mets this offseason failed to add any significant piece to their rotation which means they need Ollie P, John Maine, and Mike Licking Hand Pelfrey. Ollie P was god awful last year after the big contract, perhaps he will go back to the pitcher that was given a 10+ million dollar per year contract.
Record Prediction: 85-77
4. Florida Marlins
The Marlins just might have as much talent as any other team in the NL East. The question is will their youthful talents develop into consistent production.
Key Player: Ricky Nolasco, Obviously the Marlins need Hanley Ramirez to continue to be amongst the best players in MLB baseball but they also need a dominant starter and Nolasco has the chance to be just that. If Nolasco can improve upon his production post AAA stint than the combo of him and Josh Johnson at the top of the rotation could jump them to the top of the division.
Player to Eye: Cameron Maybin, He was supposed to be a leadoff hitting speedster in 2009, instead he hit about .180 before getting demoted back to the minors. In 2010 he's getting a second chance. Is he ready this season?
Record Prediction: 83-79
5. Washington Nationals
The Nationals have fully decided that 2016 is more important than 2010 by sending Mr. Strasburg down to the minors. Oh well, makes sense.
Key Player: Ryan Zimmerman, Is there another level for Mr. Zimmerman to hit? He certainly busted out last year and one may think that as he's just enterting his primer perhaps there is a .300 season buried in there as well.
Player to Eye: Stephen Strasburg, He's ready for the big leagues now but he's down in the minors. It will be interesting to see when the Nationals pull the trigger and bring him up. The franchise certainly could use some excitement.
Record Prediction: 75-87