Saturday, February 12, 2011

Season 20 Preview: NL West

Colorado Fighting Bell Peppers
Season 19 Record: 73-89
Budget for players: $93
Pitching Staff:  4 of 10
Offense:  5 of 10
Bench:  of 10
Defense:  of 10
Minor League Grade: C+
Divisional Finish: 3
Notes:  14 offensive players may lead to a taxed pitching staff in Coors.  There are 3 1b and a 2b who is a liability with his bat and glove.  The SS is a strength. P.T. Belliard could be interesting to watch.  The pitching staff is all starters, not a single natural reliever.  Three of them strike me as slightly above average or better past them I see some ugly flaws.  The interesting part of the season will be when the Bell Peppers fall out of contention and people start making offers for Pascual Duran who is an FA after the season and finishing out his $100 contract.  Piper Fischbach is the only offensive prospect worth looking to closely at but his projected overall, according to my projections, are skewed by a crazy range.  There are lots of major league caliber pitchers in the minors.  This team's salary projected for next year is $65m less than this year.  This does not account for the minimum wage guys or the arbitration guys but there are some substation contracts coming off the books.

Las Vegas Rat Pack
Season 19 Record:63-99
Budget for players: $33m
Pitching Staff:  4 of 10
Offense:  2 of 10
Bench:  2 of 10
Defense:  4 of 10
Minor League Grade: B-
Divisional Finish: 4
Notes: This team is going to struggle to score runs. Jose Toca is going to be the leading run producer.  The three ss are all really strong defensively and there are worse offensive ss then these guys.  After them however the defense is suspect.  There are 14 pitchers on the staff and there are going to be some long nights.  The staff as a whole is average but the back end is weak, see Josh Dixon as an example.  In the minors I see two pitching prospects who may stick for an extended time in the majors with one being an all star more than once in his career. On the offensive side a see a few prospects who will make it,  in fact I would say there are 4 guys now who offer improvements over the major league roster.

Fresno Grizzlies
Season 19 Record: 83-79
Budget for players: $82m
Pitching Staff:  6 of 10
Offense: 6 of 10
Bench: 4 of 10
Defense: 6 of 10
Minor League Grade: B
Divisional Finish: 1
Notes:  The postional players are pretty average across the board, no all stars but no schlups either with the exception being the CF.  If he starts in CF that is,Floyd Dixon is the alternative and would actually offer a defensive upgrade.  My Cy Young pick, Kevin Shigetoshi, is the highlight of the pitching staff.  Past him it is a roller coaster ride.  Pitching is a strength of the minor leagues as there are a ton of major league caliber arms.  On offense there are some decent guys who will help at the major league level.

Anaheim Ninja Turtles
Season 19 Record: 81-81
Budget for players: $88m
Pitching Staff:  4 of 10
Offense:  6 of 10
Bench: 7 of 10
Defense: 6 of 10
Minor League Grade: C
Divisional Finish: 2
Notes: The lineup is a bunch of platoons to maximize match-ups.  Julio Iglesias is my candidate for MVP this season.  The defense is pretty solid.  The SS is slightly below average defensively.  The staff has 2 solid starters and then some question marks.  A few solid pitching prospects then a few pitching prospects with one flaw or another.  Offensive prospects are about the same as pitching, there are few of them and they are not all star types but they can contribute at the ML level.

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