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Division Preview- AL West
14 septembre 2017
Avatar de jackky
Nombre de messages du forum : 15
Membre depuis :
2 août 2017
Hors ligne

Yesterday, we began our look at each division by studying the NL West. Today, well perform the AL version from the land of pitchers parks.

The Projected Standings

TeamWinsLo sesDivisionWild CardWorld SeriesMariners887445%25%9%Angels877536%27%8%Athletics837914%21%3%Astros78845%9%1%Rangers73891%2%0%

There are a couple of pretty strong contenders at the very top, two somewhat interesting teams hanging around the middle, along with a likely also-ran. The top AL West is unlikely to be as strong this year because it would be a last year, but the low-end of the division ought to be somewhat better, and the race is open enough to stay interesting throughout the year. Lets take a look at the teams.

Seattle Mariners

The top-end from the teams roster has been good for a while, using the teams big three of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, and Kyle Seager producing nearly exactly the same combined WAR last year as the Angels top three players; the Mariners finished 11 games back of first-place Anaheim as their supporting cast wasn't nearly as strong. This season, there are reasons to think that the secondary pieces could be better, with the team importing Nelson Cruz to try and fix their long-term DH problem, and expected maturation from small children like Mike Zunino, Brad Miller, James Paxton, and Taijuan Walker. Its a roster with young upside mixed in with some proven performers, which is why they are available out as the slight favorites based on our preseason forecasts.

But while a healthy Mariners team might have a strong chance of making the postseason for the first time since 2001, few contenders are as susceptible to injury as Seattle, especially around the position player Brandon Shell Jersey aspect. Their dual platoons in left and right field which include a guy who has no MLB outfield experience mean the team is carrying no real backup center fielder, also it doesnt take many dominoes to fall before Endy Chavez or James Jones are getting regular playing amount of time in Safeco once more; two major causes the Mariners fell short of the Wild Card last year. Theres no real in-house alternative if Logan Morrison is unproductive or injured, two of the words that most accurately describe his career up to now. Mike Zuninos primary backup has a career .202 wOBA, which comes in a small sample, but he set up a .290 wOBA within the PCL this past year, so

They po se s a little more depth on the pitching side, mainly in the bullpen, but they are counting on both Paxton and Walker to create career highs in innings pitched, and J.A. Happ hasnt exactly been an innings-eater in the career either. The teams relievers were excellent last year, but could somewhat be worked significantly harder this year, and if Fernando Rodney ever decides to exhibit his age, things may not go too protecting leads as they did a year ago.

But if they avoid a couple of major injuries and get even reasonable performances from the young kids, this team should be sufficiently good to create a real run at the division title. And if they get to the postseason, throwing Felix Hernandez every few days puts you inside a pretty decent position.

Anaheim Angels

This isnt quite Mike Trout and the seven dwarves, but as the Angels expensive supporting cast gets older and fewer productive, its beginning to feel like it. Trout projects for the same overall value because the Angels three next best position players combined, and when he mi ses any substantial time, this team instantly becomes mediocre at best. This is the closest thing baseball has to a 1 man band, a minimum of among teams having a real shot in the postseason.

Its a testament to just how Trout is the fact that a roster prominently featuring Johnny Giavotella purposely is projected presents itself a decent division. However, you probably dont need too many more paragraphs extolling Trouts virtues. Hes the best player in baseball and its not close, and being that good means that Mike Trout is able to cover numerous Arte Morenos sins.

The Angels failure or succe s will likely boil down to just how much production they are able to wring out of those past mistakes. Theres still enough contact and power in Albert Pujols game to po se s a strong year. C.J. Wilson can continue to generate groundballs as well as an average number of strikeouts. Jered Lorenzo Mauldin Jersey Weaver is still a pop-up machine. If these guys can push their remaining skills for the top-end of the range, the Angels could be the divisions best team, but theres plenty of room for those three to crater too.

Last years team was succe sful because unheralded youngsters like Kole Calhoun and Matt Shoemaker turned in some big performances. The Angels will require some more of these perhaps from Giavotella or Andrew Heaney if theyre going to win 90 games again, which is probably not something they ought to want to be relying on. But with Trout around, the rest of the roster only needs to be not-terrible to keep this team as a contender.

Oakland Athletics

You be aware of story right now; the As blew up their roster following a second-half collapse, trading away their finest player and finest pitcher to gather one half dozen young players and start another era of the As-style rebuild. Only because the As dont like rebuilding, additionally they made a series of win-now moves, trading for Ben Zobrist, signing Billy Butler, and obtaining Tyler Clippard to strengthen their bullpen. The result was an off-season that began as you thing and finished as the second, leaving the As in place to create a Wild Card run if things go well but a roster that still skews towards the future.

Nothing in baseball is ever as simple as this, however the As season might easily boil right down to three of the off-seasons imports: Brett Lawrie, Marcus Semien, and Je se Hahn. The left side of the infield is basically one big gamble, betting on youth Bryson Keeton Jersey and past minor league performance over recent major league struggles; if Lawrie and Semien live up to the promise theyve shown as prospects, the As two big off-season moves will look much better than many of the critics suggested at that time. Obviously, both Lawrie and Semien were traded by teams seeking to win in 2015 due to the risks they carry, and when either neglect to produce, the As dont have many good alternatives.

Hahn, meanwhile, could be the kind of under-the-radar hurler the As love, but his health track record is a legitimate concern, and while the As po se s a large amount of arms who could fill his spot if he goes down, they arent the kinds of arms that contenders usually give that many innings to. With rehabbing starters A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker potentially offered at some point around, they might have more pitching depth within the second half, but theyll require the back-end of the Craig Watts Jersey rotation to carry up until then.

Theres contender-upside in Oakland, but a lot of high-variance gambles that its also pretty easy to understand all of this going wrong and also the As being sellers in July. If a few of these young guys with good minor league track records play up to those levels, the As could even create a run in the division, but a Wild Card remains much more likely, with enough risk that the disastrous implosion is unquestionably inside the arena of po sibilities.

Houston Astros

After many years of being baseballs worst team, the Astros have finally graduated enough talent to become interesting, though le s than enough to really be great just quite yet. Theyve stockpiled enough useful pieces to avoid the black holes which have dragged them down the recent years, but nonethele s don't have the type of frontline pieces to actually create a serious playoff run. Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Dallas Keuchel are extremely nice pieces to have in position, however, you would like them to be your 5th-7th best players, not your top three.

How quickly the Astros can make the leap from respectable to contender will probably depend on how fast they are able to create a few true star players. Springer perhaps presents the most potential to take that leap, although the Astros will need to help him figure out how to make a little more contact to reach a higher tier of performance. Beyond him, however, this roster is surprisingly low-upside for any rebuilder, with a lot of low-ceiling guys who likely top out as average or slightly much better than average players.

When I look at this roster, I dont really begin to see the type of fruits one would expect from many years of losing on purpose. There are some decent pieces in place, but you need to squint really hard to see the core of a future contender, buying into almost everyones best-case outcome and let's a sume that at least a number of the prospects around the farm will develop into All-Stars earlier than later.

The Astros aren't awful, but Im unsure the pieces which have helped move them from embarra sing to okay are the same pieces which are capable of moving them from okay to get affordable. The Astros will have to locate a few great players. Im not exactly sure where those guys are going to come from.

Texas Rangers

In some ways, baseball just hasnt been fair towards the Rangers the last few years. No one might have survived the onslaught of injuries that attacked Texas last year, now that theyve had a couple of guys on the mend, down goes Yu Darvish. If health had broken differently for this organization, theyd probably still be an outrageous Card contender, or at best hanging on to the hopes of contention before their core aged them into rebuilding mode. Instead, a tidal wave of injuries have pushed them from the contenders circle, leaving a costly and declining core without much of a real opportunity to win in the short-term.

Most teams within this position probably should look to start a rebuild, but its not really clear how you can the Rangers is going about doing that. The Prince Fielder/Shin-Soo Choo contracts arent going anywhere, and theyre probably stuck with a poor cope with Elvis Andrus too. With these of future commitments on the books, its likely to be difficult to afford a fantastic team unle s the organizations farm system starts churning out some excellent players in short order.

So realistically, the Rangers probably should just sit tight for a bit, hoping that Fielder, Choo, and Andrus play well enough to le sen the subsidy the team will have to pay to Juston Burris Jersey move their contracts either this summer or next winter, and determining what their rebuilding horizon appears like after they understand how easily it will likely be to remove those deals using their books. 2015 is probably likely to be another ugly year in Arlington, but theres enough talent within the farm system to think the teams fortunes could change within a few years. Cro sing the bridge to get to that point might be pretty rough, though.

18 septembre 2017
Avatar de wty123
Nombre de messages du forum : 171
Membre depuis :
3 juin 2016
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