Thursday, March 25, 2010
The NL West still home of two of the worst offenses in baseball in 2010 and quite possibly ever.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are the big time favorites in the NL West thanks to their advantage in offense over their competition. But with the positives there are possible negatives. The Dodgers do have some question marks in regards with their rotation both at the top (Kershaw & Billingsley) and with its depth.
Key Player: Chad Billingsley, Billingsley was supposed to step up in 2009 and be the Dodgers staff ace, unfortunately for the Dodger Blue he did not. His ERA and Ks dipped dramatically and the Dodgers didn't even start him in the playoffs. In 2010 they will need Billingsley to go back to the guy that had a 3.14 ERA in 08 if they want to get past the Phillies in the postseason.
Player to Eye: Matt Kemp, Why is Matt Kemp an intriguing player to watch? Well take a look at his splits from last year. Kemp was much more effective when batting near the bottom of the lineup last season. This year its expected that he will move up the lineup to a more dependent spot (and why wouldn't he), will his production stay the same when batting 3rd, 4th or 5th?
Record Prediction: 88-74
2. San Francisco Giants
The Giants are a top of the rotation dominated franchise right now. Between Lincecum and Cain the Giants are set at the top of the rotation for th
Key Player: Pablo Sandoval, The Panda is now the Giants #1 offensive weapon (even though it's not really hard to be the Giants #1 offensive weapon because their #2-#8 offensive weapons are mediocre). The free swinging Panda reminds me of Vladimir Guerrero in that he's hitting for a .330 has pop and swings at everything.
Player to Eye: Buster Posey, The Giants are teetering with the idea of keeping Posey in the Big Leagues and giving him time at 1st, Catcher, 3rd, 2nd, Pitcher, and OF (ok maybe just the first two positions). If Posey is in the big leagues than he certainly worth a flier of a late round pick. His track record between NCAA and his year in the minors are impressive and who else you going to take as your 2nd catcher (Jason Kendall!!!)? Assuming he is given catcher eligibility immediately of course.
Record Prediction: 84-78
t3. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks were built last year around the top two in their rotation. Unfortunately, Brandon Webb went down immediately and their season was sunk. This year they will need Mr. Webb to return to his past self which obviously makes him the....
Key Player: Brandon Webb, Dan Haren is consistent. He is the best pitcher in baseball before the all star break and then he sucks. Edwin Jackson went down the Dan Haren path last year as well, great in the first half awful in the 2nd. The Diamondbacks need a pitcher consistent throughout the season and they really need that to be Webb. If he gets injured again the Diamondbacks will once again not have enough pitching to make it through the season.
Player to Eye: Justin Upton, He's young and he's already a stud. I'm just waiting for him to start clubbing 35 home runs. Just look at his line last year and marvel at the fact that he was just 21 when the season began.
Record Prediction: 83-79
t3. Colorado Rockies
A lot of people are picking the Rockies to come out of the NL West, probably due to their surge under Jim Tracy last year. To me I'm a bit skeptical on whether or not they have the pitching depth to get it done.
Key Player: Ubaldo Jimenez, He's the staff ace and his stuff is sick. For whatever reason I'm just not yet on the 26 year olds band wagon despite the fact that every number has improved from 07 to 08 to 09. Jimenez is now officially the Rockies ace and with a few top notch aces in the division the Rockies will need him to match their production.
Player to Eye: Dexter Fowler / Carlos Gonzalez, The Rockies outfield is again overcrowded but it appears as if Fowler and Gonzalez will be given the opportunity to hit 1-2 in the lineup in some order. Gonzalez looks like he could easily go 20/20 this season and Fowler looks like he could potential go 10/40.
Record Prediction: 83-79
5. San Diego Padres
The Padres will once again be Adrian Gonzalez and a pile of poo. The Padres probably hope that Kyle Blanks or Chase Headley do something this year but let's be honest, if Adrian Gonzalez was not on this team the Padres would have the worst offense in the history of baseball.
Key Player: Adrian Gonzalez, The fact he is the key player is quite obvious. His key is the fact that he should bring back a kings ransom when traded mid-season.
Player to Eye: Mat Latos, Seriously nobody excites me on the Padres but if I had to pick one with a gun to my head, I'm at least slightly interested in what Latos does. He's just 22 and has 10 games under his belt from last year so perhaps their is some development in the youngster this year.
Record Prediction: 66-96