Kirby Puckett

Kirby Puckett

Thursday, March 27, 2014

MLB Preview 2014! NL Edition

Note: In case you haven't seen it. My AL edition of this is right below
Washington Nationals
As I said yesterday, acquiring Doug Fister was an excellent move. I have no idea what to think about Bryce Harper. On one side, he's slightly overrated, his career batting average is only .272, he probably shouldn't have won Rookie of the Year in 2012, he's struggled with injuries. On the other hand, well.... he's Bryce freaking Harper. There's a reason he's even in the bigs at age 21, it's no coincidence that Mike Trout is probably the only player in the league who wouldn't be traded straight up for him if the team had that chance. Everything in consideration, I'll say .310 25 homers.
Atlanta Braves*
These next two seasons are Andrelton Simmons' make or break years. To make a cross sport reference, it's a lot like Ricky Rubio after his rookie year with the Wolves. It was pretty cool, but now we need to see more. In Rubio's case, he was making fancy passes, but he needed to do more his second year for us to be impressed. Same with Simmons, he can field, a lot, but he needs to be at least somewhat of an asset at the plate in the next few years to be a very good player.
New York Mets
(Insert joke about Mets chances of winning ninety games here) Great to get that out of the way. The Metropolitans had one good signing and one bad one, we'll start with the bad. Bartolo Colon. Pitchers over five should have large neon signs around them that say. WARNING: DON'T GIVE LOTS OF MONEY. Does anyone think Colon will duplicate the season he had with the A's? It was one good season and before that he hadn't been productive since 2005. Curtis Granderson was a goo signing, though. His value was hurt a little bit by the injury plagued 2013 campaign so he was available for cheaper that he would be had he played an entire season. Even better, he kept up one of my favorite traditions, a player leaving a team and then immediately criticizing their fans.
Philadelphia Phillies
Congrats Ruben Amaro for cementing his reputation has the least competent GM in the league. He just gave Carlos Ruiz 8 million a year after he hit .268 in 92 games and signing A.J. Burnett for fifteen million dollars per year. Wait, didn't we just talk about giving pitchers over thirty five large contracts especially when you aren't anywhere close to contending? Good grief.
Miami Marlins
Hands down, the most dysfunctional franchise in the league and all time. They could have been good for a long time, but whenever they get to that point, they blow it up again. What is even their sales pitch? "Come out to Miami to see Giancarlo Stanton launch home runs into empty seats. Feel the excitement!"
St. Louis Cardinals
Like many, I was disgusted with the Cards pulling a reverse Richard Sherman and declaring themselves the guardians of baseball integrity, and every sportswriter gushing about how they do everything the right way and that they're the best organization in the league, they have the most knowledgeable fans and Mike Matheney is god, but... crap, they're good. They went out and solved they're only one of their few weaknesses by signing Jhonny Peralta. Yeah, they probably overpaid him, but when you're in win now mode sometimes you have to do those things.
Cincinnati Reds*
Good god, the NL is awful. The Reds took the second wild card last year, didn't do anything in the offseason but lose Shin Soo-Choo and I still have them making the "playoffs." Do you have a better idea? You can read about the Bucs and their misguided offseason in a paragraph, my only other options are the Mets and D-Backs. Who do you take out of those three? That's what I thought.
Pittsburgh Pirates
Like many Twins fans, I began rooting for the Pirates last year after Morneau was traded there, partially because they were such a great story, you have to be some sort of monster or a Cardinals fan not to root for them. I hope they make the playoffs this year but, gah, after that offseason I don't think they want to go back. It's like watching an inexperienced driver skidding down a icy road. You're just waiting for the inevitable crash and burn. They needed a first baseman, James Loney was available for relatively cheap, and they stood pat.
Milwaukee Brewers
Ryan Braun will be one of the most intriguing stories of the season this year. I'm not buying the people who say he won't be anywhere close to the same. He exceled too long to have been juicing the entire time. He would have been caught much earlier. In other notes on the Brew Crew, I want to scream every time I hear the name Carlos Gomez. I like how he was just as good of a fielder when he was with the Twins, but he wasn't a good enough hitter to win the gold glove. Finally it's going to be incredibly fun seeing Gomez get a 10% route efficiently on the MLB's new tracking system.
Chicago Cubs
The Cubs are in a similar position as the Twins, waiting for their prospects to come up so they can contend. I wouldn't be surprised to see Starlin Castro have a better season after that atrocious 2013 campaign. We've seen what he can do at his full potential. Of course, none of that matters because they're the Cubs and will never win a World Series. Moving on.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Don't be fooled by the Yasiel Puig mirage. Here's what he had going for him last year: A hot start, he hit .391 his the first half of his compared to just .273 in the second half and an abysmal .214 in September. He also had an absurdly high BABIP at .383. Combine that wit the dreaded sophomore slump which has a very high rate, (Yoenis Cespedes anybody?) and Puig seems like a natural regressor
Arizona Diamondbacks
Patrick Corbin is out with Tommy John. Since Frank Jobe died. Miguel Sano, Jarrod Parker, and now Corbin have needed His surgery. Curse of Frank Jobe anyone? crickets Ok then. I think the D-Backs could be a sleeper wildcard team, especially if Mark Trumbo does well. Signing Bronson Arroyo made sense for them, they since they needed a number two starter at that point. All things considered, I think losing Corbin will just be a little too much.
San Francisco Giants
I've spent the last half hour staring at the screen trying to figure out something to say about the Giants. I can't. Their only big move was signing Tim Hudson, who won't be particularly good considering he's north of 35 and coming off a year with a big injury.
Colorado Rockies
The Rox should improve due to having either Gonzalez or Tulowitzki for a full year. Signing Morneau was one of the sneaky good moves of the offseason. He'll hit 25 homers in Colorado. Why don't the Rockies do that more? Just sign veteran power hitters cheaply and let Coors field do the rest. However, don't expect Jhoulys Chacin to do as well as he did last year, he was one of the leaders in line drive percentage, which you can't be giving up in Denver.
San Diego Padres
I'm just not seeing the "Padres will be good this year" talk. Chase Headly regressed last year, in which they won seventy six games. Jedd Gyorko is going to be better this year, but they didn't make any big offseason moves and nobody in that lineup scares me.
MVP: Paul Goldschmidt
Goldy has one of the highest ceilings in the league. He's improved every season he's been in the league and the Diamondbacks will be just enough in contention for him to get votes.
Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw
I don't really have to explain this do I? He's Clayton Kershaw.
Manager of the Year: Kirk Gibson
See what I said yesterday, the D-Backs will be slightly better this year than they were last year.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely done on both leagues and I'm glad to see some who I THOUGHT was anti-New Stats using "route efficiency" and "BABIP" (and "regression") so well.

    Happy Opening Day!