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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: New Orleans
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My friend sent me this and I thought I would share it with the forum.
1st Place: Boston Red Sox ( The defending World Series Champions will contend for a playoff spot behind a very potent Offensive attack. Edgar Renteria could not beat the Red Sox so he joined them and will play SS. Starter pitching has question marks where the greatest changes have taken place. Beyond that the Red Sox look like the team that won 98 games last year and eventually winning the World Series. Gone are Derek Lowe and Pedro Martinez replaced by Matt Clement, David Wells, and Wade Miller. The bottom of the Division is getting better so once again it won't be easy.
2nd Place: New York Yankees ( I was real tempted to move Baltimore up one and move the Yankees down one. Of course the Yankees are going to score runs with a lineup that includes Derek Jeter, Arod, Gary Sheffield, Matsui, Posada, Bernie Williams, and Tito Martinez. All eyes will be on DH Jason Giambi after all the off-season steroid talk. The bullpen is solid however The Health of the starting rotation should be a concern if your a Yankees Fan. Randy Johnson is 41 years old with a history of back problems. If Rajo is 100% he will win a lot of games. Mike Mussina will be looking to bounce back from an off year. Carl Pavano and Jarrett Wright could be great or Awful. Time will tell.)
3rd Place: Baltimore Orioles ( A motivated Sammy Sosa will return to his normal production of 280. 40. 120 in a Contract Year. BJ Ryan is one of the best setup men in baseball as a southpaw who will eventually be the Closer. Starting pithing is young but talented lead by the 6'7, 230 pounder Daniel Cabrera. If Eric Bedard, Matt Riley, Rodrigo Lopez and Bruce Chen improve off last year the Orioles will be in the mix for a playoff spot.)
4th Place: Toronto Blue Jays ( It's tough to lose the production of Carlos Delgado and contend for a playoff spot. Even when they had Delgado it was a tall task to make the playoffs in this division. A healthy Roy Halladay will help although he has been on the DL every year at least once since his rookie campaign. **Blue Jays released long time closer Billy Koch at press time.)
5th Place: Tampa Bay Devil Rays ( Has the potential to finish ahead of the Blue Jays with good but young talent. Guys like BJ Upton, Toby Hall, Josh Phelps, Rocco Baldeli and last but not least Carl Crawford. Carl Crawford will have a "Breakout" Season and will reach stardom in his Fourth full season. 3B Audurey Huff will open the season on the DL but this team will be fun to watch under Lou Pinella. They will certainly be underdogs in most of their games and I guarantee you the Devil Rays will win at least 60 games. They will also lose at least 60 games. It's what they do with other 62 games that will determine how much money they make you. That logic applies to most of the MLB teams.)
1st Place: Cleveland Indians (The #1 offense in runs scored last year adds Juan Gonzales to an already potent lineup. Catcher, Victor Martinez is a Superstar" in the making. Kevin Millwood was brought in to help a staff that includes some young studs in Cliff Lee and Jake Westbrook. CC Sabithia must keep his weight down this year. The Indians blew more saves than any other team in the Majors last year and that has to improve or the Twins will take over.)
2nd Place: Minnesota Twins (It's hard to count this team out but after Johan Santana (Cy Young Winner) their Starting pithing is shaky. Brad Rake's stats have been going downhill the past two years. Keep an eye on Carlos Silva this year who has added a four seem Sinker to his repertoire. Twins lost the whole left side of their infield in Corie Koskie and Christian Guzman replaced by Michael Cydyer and rookie Jason Barlett. Barlett has impressed everyone this spring batting over .330)
3rd Place: Detroit Tigers ( We can't call Ivan Rodriguez "Puge" anymore because he lost 35 ponds in the off-season. If Magglio Ordonez stays healthy, look out. Tigers are definitely on the rise with an improved bullpen. Ugeth Urbina will set up for Troy Percival this year so the 8th and 9th inning will be tough for opposing hitters. SP Jeremy Bonderman was the youngest Tiger to record DD wins with eleven last year in 25 years. I am predicting a "breakout year" for Mr. Bonderman this season with 15-18 wins and an ERA of around 4.50 which is great for the American League.)
4th Place: Chicago White Sox ( Changes to offense may not be that bad as the White sox are going to play "small ball" this year. Sluggers Carlos Lee and Maglio Ordonez are replaced by Scott Posednik and Jermaine Dye. Sox also brought in A.J. Pierzynski was brought in to handle to pitchers and catch but is more known for his bat. A.J who has a history of fighting with teammates must get along with everyone if the White Sox are going to contend. Mark Buerle and Freddy Garcia are a great one-two punch. Bullpen is very solid lead by second year closer Shingo Takatsu. Takatsu saved 19 games in 20 chances and allowed just 40 hits in 62.1 IP. 40 saves are quite possible this year)
5th Place: Kansas City Royals (The Royals became only the second team in history to lose 100 or more games one year, post a winning record the following season, and slip back to 100 or more losses in the third year. The Royals could be a surprise once again only if their shaky bullpen can get outs. Good Young pithing with Zach Grenkie and Runelvys Hernadez as a nice one two punch. The first six spots will produce runs provided SS Angel Berroa bounces back from a "sophomore slump after winning rookie of the year in 2003. Jose Lima was brought back after his fine season in LA. I am not sold on Jose Lima as an American League Pitcher. I would look to fade him. As you know Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles makes mediocre pitchers look great.)
1st Place: Anaheim Angels (Or, Los Angeles of Anaheim. Whatever you call them we must call them good. This team does not have a weakness unless injuries come in to play. Dallas McPherson will take over at 3B for the departing Troy Glaus. McPherson has nothing more to prove in the Minors hitting .313 with 43 home runs at three levels in 2004. CF Steve Finley looks like 30 years old instead of 40 and should be a nice addition with Garret Anderson and Vladimir Guerrero in the Outfield. They also improved at SS with the signing of Orlando Cabrera taking over for David Eckstein who was released and than signed with St. Louis. Angels have the best Pitching staff in the AL West by far. Angels will be very good!)
2nd Place: Texas Rangers (After a tumultuous off season, Buck Showalter helped instill a sense of confidence in the young club. The Rangers 18-game improvement made him AL Manager of the year. Buck is a players manager that this Texas team really wants to do well for him and history shows the 2nd season under Bucks will be even better. The Rangers will score lots of runs, but how well the starting rotation does will be a key factor if the Rangers want to visit October baseball. Kenny Rogers, Ryan Drese, Chan Ho Park, Chris Young, and Ricardo Rodriguez won't scare many opposing batters. Ricardo has a chance to be very special. The Rangers have the second best bullpen in the American League but it may not be enough. Expect the Rangers to win a lot of games like they did last year.... 10-8, 11-10.)
3rd Place: Oakland A's ( The A's traded Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson in the off-season replace by Dan Haren and Joe Blanton who pitched for the A's last year. That is a question mark. The good news is they still have Barry Zito who will look to bounce back from an off year and the rising star in Rich Harden. Harden is clocked in the 95-97 range with a Slider, Curve and Change-up. The only real "star" is Eric Chavez who has belted 25+ home runs five straight years. The rest of the lineup is solid with the likes of Mark Kotsay, Jason Kendall, Eric Byrnes, Durazo, Hattenberg, and Keith Ginter. Ginter hit 19 home runs for Milwaukee but could struggle to hit that many in Oakland. Kendall switching leagues is a concern as well)
4th Place: Seattle Mariners ( Seattle averaged 98 wins from 2000-2003 before losing 99 games last year. The Mariners lost more games by one and two runs than anybody in baseball last year. The Mariners signed two big names in the off season to help improve their offense and defense. 1B Richie Sexson when healthy will hit you 30+ home runs with the key word being healthy. Adrian Beltre is a gold glove 3B that lead the Major Leagues in Home runs last year with 48 in a contract year. And while Safeco Field usually suppresses right handed power hitters both Beltre and Sexson have power to all fields. The one concern I have is both are playing in the AL for the first time. Another concern is something you have to have to contend, Starting Pithing. Jamie Moyer is now 43 years old and while some Power Pitchers have success after 40 it's very difficult for a finesse pitcher to do the same. Moyer's fastball is clocked at 82 MPH making his 77 MPH change-up ineffective. Joel Pinero was injured most of last year and should rebound nicely. Gil Meche was 6-2 with a 3.95 ERA after the All Star break last year and 2nd year prospect Bobby Madritsch has potential. Mariners will improve but it won't be enough)
Division winners: Red Sox, Indians, Angels
Wild card: Yankees
AL Pennant Winner: Angels
2005 MLB Predictions
1st Place: Florida Marlins ( This team looks very good with tremendous speed at the top of the lineup, proven run producers in the middle, and very solid pitching. As you know I am very big on teams that have great starters and Bullpen. Not one or the other. The biggest acquisition is 1B Carlos Delgado. Delgado is switching leagues but it won' be a problem for him because he is a veteran and a student of the game. By that I mean he studies lots of film of the opposing pitchers and the tendencies in certain situations. Chalk up .275, 35, 110 year's end. OF Miguel Cabrera became just the eight Major Leaguer to record a 30 Homer, 100-RBI, 100-run season at the age of 22 or younger. Paul Lo Duca returns for his first full season after being traded by LA. Lo Duca really has monster first half's than fades after the All Star Break. He will need to do better than that this year. The first four starters are solid with Josh Beckett, Al Leiter, A.J. Burnett, and the D-train, Dontrell Willis. Excellent bullpen with first year closer Guillermo Mota taking over. When Mota was in LA all he wanted was to get a chance to close and now is the time. I say Mota will be great and might be the closer for the next 10 years. He has great stuff with a 95 MPH Heater and two great change-ups who he learned to throw from his Mentor, Eric Gagne.)
2nd Place: Philadelphia Phillies (Addition by subtraction with the Manager change. Gone is Larry Bowa and all of his antics replaced by the exact opposite in Charlie Manuel. Manuel's laid back style is just what these Phillies need. Did you know that SS Jimmy Rollins was the only player to record a quadruple-double in 2004 with 43 doubles, 12 Triples, 14 home runs, and 30 Stolen bases. He batted .289 for just a sick year. The Phillies were ranked third in the NL in runs (840), second in home runs (215), second in OBS (.345) and fourth in slugging (.443). The Phillies will need Pat Burrell to play like he is capable after two disappointing seasons. Solid Rotation with Jon Lieber, Randy Wolf, Vicente Padillia, Brett Myers, and Cory Lidle. Lieber who was 5-0 with a 3.12 for the Yankees in Sept. and held the the Red Sox to 5 runs over 14.1 innings in two ALCS starts. Lieber should thrive pitching at home where the ball carries very well. Lieber was the best in the Majors last year in giving up walks, only .092 per nine innings. That will get it done! Love the bullpen with setups men Tim Worrell and Amaury Telemaco. Closer, Billy Wagner is healthy and in the final year of his contract. Big year on tap for Wagner with 40+ saves.)
3rd Place: Atlanta Braves (The Braves have not won the pennant since 1999. Their post-season meltdowns make them easy to dismiss despite dominating the regular season. Last year the Braves needed a strong second half push to reach the playoffs. The Braves traded for Tim Hudson and his turbo sinker should work well in Atlanta. John Smoltz returns to the starting rotation after his three year run as the closer. The Braves have not reached the Word Series since Smoltz left the rotation. Mike Hampton, Horacio Ramirez, and John Tomson fill out the rotation to form a solid five. I like Horacio Ramirez to have a Breakout season now that he is healthy. The bullpen is not as good as last year with former Brewer closer, Dan Kolb taking over for Smoltz to finish teams in the 9th. Kolb had a great year for the Brewers in 2004 with 39 saves and a 2.98 ERA. The one concern I have is that Kolb does not strike people out which is rare for a closer. In 57.1 innings Kolb only recorded a total of 21 K's. Kolb uses a sinker to get people out. The offense is solid with a healthy Andrew Jones in Center. Jones is poised for a huge year. Former rookie of the year, Raul Mondesi will play right field, and Brian Jordan returns to play Left. Johnny Estrada hit over .300 in every month except September who should be just as good this year. The Braves will contend for a playoff spot but this could be the year they miss the playoffs.)
4th Place: New York Mets (The Mets will be much better than last year's record of 71-91 but I don't think it will be enough to make the playoffs in this division. Lots of new changes stating with a new Manager in Willie Randolph. The same Randolph who was a player/coach for the Yankees. Randolph is going to do a good job for the Mets ans should stick around awhile. Pedro Martinez was signed away from Boston to be the Staff Ace and Carlos Beltran was brought in to handle Center field and bat third. The first three hitters are switch-hitters with Jose Reyes, Kaz Matsui and the aforementioned Beltran. Mike Piazza who returns to catching full time will bat cleanup followed by Cliff Floyd, Mike Cameron, and David Wright. Keep an eye on Wright who has the talent to be a Superstar at 3B. Wright batted .293 in 261 at bats for the Mets last year. The problem i have with the Mets is Mike Piazza as the everyday catcher. Lets just say that Piazza is more known for his bat than his defense. From 1996-2003 Piazza had the worst caught stealing percentage of any starting catcher. The Mets moved him to first base last year because they wanted a better catcher who can throw people out not because they wanted to save his knees. The Mets decided to trade Jason Phillips for Ishii so Piazza will catch about 130 games this year. Watch teams run wild on him! The bullpen is OK with Branden Looper and Mike Dejaun the best of the lot.)
5th Place: Washington Nationals (This team figures to be the best last place team who could easily finish one or two spots higher. In case you didn't know the Nationals are not an expansion team, rather the former Montreal Expos. For the last two years this team had to split it's home schedule between Montreal and Puerto Rico. The Nationals will have a true home field advantage and should be tough to beat at home with an electric atmosphere. Very solid offense with so-so pithing. The lineup of Brad Wilkerson, Cristian Guzman, Jose Vidro, Vinny Castilla, Jose Guillen, Nick Johnson, Endy Chavez, and Brian Schneider is formidable however Castilla must prove be can have a big year outside of Denver. That remains to be seen. The Nationals figure to have one of the worst bullpens in the NL however the starter staff has potential. Opening day starter, Livan Hernandez has an ERA of under 2.00 this spring, Zach Day has one of the best Sinkers I have ever seen, Esteban Loaiza was an All star two years ago, and Tony Armas Jr. is healthy. The Nationals will be very competitive on the road and will have a winning record at home.)
1st Place: St Louis Cardinals (The Cards should win the Central again this year but it won't be as easy as it was in 2004. It's hard to look at a club that lost three of it's eight starting position players and say they will win the Central however the Starting pitching is better than last year and the Bullpen remains intact. David Eckstein will be the shortstop replacing Edgar Renteria and bat lead off. Eckstein was the second hardest batter to strikeout in the AL last season. The rest of the lineup shapes up like this. Larry Walker, Albert Pujols, Edmonds, Rolen, Reggie Sanders, Mark Grudzielanek, and Yadier Molina. Molina takes over for All Star Mike Mathney at catcher and Grudz takes over for Tony Womack at second. Mark Mulder has won 72 games the last four years which is the most by any lefty during that span. Dave Duncan is the best pithing coach in the game and should make Mulder even better. Just look at what Duncan did for Jason Marquis last year. Marquis went 15-7 with a 3.71 ERA in over 200 innings. Jeff Suppan and Chris Carpenter fill out the rotation. Matt Morris will start the season on the DL.)
2nd Place: Chicago Cubs ( When healthy the Cubs have the best starting staff in the Majors. If Kerry Wood, Mark Prior, and Carlos Zambrano make 30 starts each this team could very well win the Central. However Wood and Prior are already complaining about not being 100% so time will tell. Greg Maddux and Glendon Rush are the other two starters. Maddux won 16 games last year despite giving up 35 home runs. Carlos Zambrano will have a monster season as the number three starter. His stuff may be even better than Wood and Prior. Even without Sammy Sosa the offense will be fine. Dusty Baker knows how to manufacture runs and Nomar Garciaparra will return to his big power days this year. The Cubs hope closer Joe Borowski returns from spring training injury sooner rather than later. This team will be right there if healthy.)
3rd place: Houston Astros ( Good team but too many question marks heading into the season. The Astros are going to miss Carlos Beltran offensively and defensively. Losing Jeff Kent's RBI production is a negative as well. The Astros will be able to score runs with Biggio, Adam Everett, Jeff Bagwell, Berkman, Ensberg, Jason Lane, Chris Burke, and Brad Ausmus. Burke has 30-40 stolen base potential if he gets on base. Roger Clemens is a stud, but how much more is left in his tank remains to be seen. Roy Oswalt will win 20 games again. Andy Pettitte needs to stay injury free for the Astros to have any chance at post season play. Brandon Backe got good experience last year and should improve. The bullpen leading up to closer, Brad Lidge will be the key. Dan Wheeler look great last year but was that a one year thing. Turk Wendall comes over from Colorado to another hitter's park, Minute Maid. Phil Garner will have these guys playing hard and a wild card berth is not out of the question.)
4th Place: Cincinnati Reds ( The question is when will Ken Griffey Jr. get hurt this year. It has happened every year since Griffey was traded to the Reds. I hope he stays healthy this year because he is still fun to watch. Griffey managed 300 at bats last year batting .253 with 20 home runs and 60 rib eyes. If Junior can get 500 Ab's this year he should be around .280, 35, 100. The offense is loaded with Kerns, Griffey, Dunn, and Sean Casey. Joe Randa will play 3B and should be a nice addition. The Reds brought in two pitchers to help the staff. Ramon Ortiz who has won 13, 15, and 16 games from 2001-2003. Last year he was very unhappy being stuck in the Angels bullpen. Ortiz is often compared to a young Pedro Martinez with his nickname being "baby Pedro". You wouldn't know it by looking at him but Ramon Ortiz throws 92-95 with a great change-up. Eric Milton was also brought in giving the Reds a legitimate lefty who knows how to pitch. The Bullpen could be the Reds downfall this year.)
5th Place: Milwaukee Brewers ( Last year the Brewers went 45-41 before the All Star Break and 25-53 after the break so you may wonder just witch team will show up. The Brewers are on the rise but the overall lack or quality arms will do this team in. After Ben Sheets do any of these guys put fear in opposing hitters. Doug Davis, Victor Santos, Chris Capuano, and Wes Oberumeller. The Answer is No. The Bullpen has question marks too. No returning Brewer recored a big league save last year. The candidates include Mike Adams who had a 3.40 ERA in 46 games last year and Justin Lehr who throws in the mid 90s with very little Major league experience. Brooks Kieschnick continues to transform himself from a hitter who can pitch into a pitcher that can hit. A very nice story if his success continues. The offense will be the strength of the Brew crew. Carlos Lee was brought in for some much needed pop from the right side. No right handed Brewer hit more than 19 home runs last year. Lee is entering his Prime and should have a Huge year at Miller Park. Geoff Jenkins and Lyle Overbay will benefit the most from Lee's presence. Brady Clark and Junior Spivey will be a nice one-two punch at the top of the order.)
6th Place: Pittsburgh Pirates ( The Pirates could easily finish ahead of the Brewers. The future is bright for the Pirates with tremendous young talent at the AA and AAA levels. That does no good right now of course if you are a Pirates fan. The Pirates first ever rookie of year, Jason Bay will hope to avoid the "sophomore slump" syndrome. The Pirates have a lot of gap hitters with Matt Lawton, Jack Wilson, Craig Wilson, and Ty Wigginton but are lacking that big power guy that will get you 40+ home runs. Jason Kendall is now in Oakland with Humberto Cota taking over at Catcher. Anyone that bet the Pirates last year and the game was close probably went crazy watching Jose Mesa try to get you the cash. Mesa never makes it easy and it would not surprise me if Mike Gonzalez was the Closer by May. Gonzalez had 55 K's in only 43 innings pitched. Mesa had a 4.13 ERA after the break with 12 blown saves. The rotation is one deep with Oliver Perez. Perez went 5-0 (1.59 ERA) against the Reds last year.)
1st Place: Los Angeles Dodgers (It's time people start to realize that Jim Tracy knows how to manage this team. LA has gone 356-292 in his four seasons as the man. During that time the Dodgers have played only 10 games that did not have playoff implications. The Dodgers won the division for the first time since 1995 and still made some major changes. They did not offer Adrian Beltre, Steve Finley, or Alex Cora contracts rather using that money in other areas of need. The Dodgers signed Jeff Kent to play 2B who leads all second baseman in Home Runs. Kent should come close to last years numbers of .289, 27, 107. Kent is not as gifted playing defense as Cora but the Dodgers will love his bat. JD Drew takes over for Shawn Green in right field. If Drew is healthy he is good for .300, 30, 100, and some steals. Last year Drew was finally healthy and had a monster year hitting .305 with 31 home runs and 97 rib eyes in 511 at bats. SS Cesar Izturis hit .288 with 25 steals as the lead off man and also won his first of many Gold Gloves. The Dodgers have the best bullpen in this division and if Brad Penny is healthy the starters look just as tough. Penny will start the season on the DL but is on course to join the rotation by Mid April. Jeff Weaver, Derek Lowe, and Odalis Perez all rely on the ground ball to get outs so the infield defense (expect for Iztuirs) must catch the ball. If not the Dodgers will finish second or even third.)
2nd Place: San Diego Padres ( Very solid team up and down with a great bullpen, solid starters, and an offense that will be better in the second year of the new Petco Park. Last year Petco was the hardest stadium to hit a home run in and also the hardest stadium to score runs. Brian Giles, Phil Neven, and Ryan Kelsko were all outspoken about the way the stadium suppresses right handed hitters. The whole team should have a better understanding of their new digs. The Padres finally have a lead off man in Dave Roberts. Roberts is capable of stealing 60 bases with a very high on base percentage. Roberts returns home after winning a ring in Boston last year. Jake Peavy is the next young stud winning the ERA title last year. Peavy was 15-6 with a 2.27 ERA last year. Peavy tweaked his groin this Spring but should have another good season. Woody Williams, Adam Eaton, and Brian Lawrence are solid but Darrell May is not. May lost 19 games for the Royals last year.)
3rd Place: San Francisco Giants ( Assuming Barry Bonds doesn't miss more than a Month the Giants will be in the hunt for a playoff spot. The Giants won 91 games last year despite many flaws. The Giants are better at shortstop with Omar Vizquel, better defensively at Catcher with Mike Matheny, and much better at Closer with Armando Benitez. Moises Alou was brought in for some much needed protection in back of Bonds however that plan could be strapped. The Giants have a Cy young waiting to happen in Jason Schmidt. Only a groin injury kept him from winning it last year. Schmidt was 18-7, 3.20 ERA, 251 strikeouts in 225 innings. Change up specialist Noah Lowry was the first Giant to go 6-0. He looks like the real deal. Barry Bonds will be the key for the Giants this year. He must comeback by May and stay healthy all year. That's a big question mark for this aging team.)
4th Place: Arizona Diamondbacks ( The D-Backs will be much improved and with some luck may just contend this year. The D-backs had numerous injuries to key personnel last year with more guys on the DL than all but two teams last year. The defense will be much better with SS Royce Clayton and Shawn Green in right. Green should have a huge year playing half of his games in Arizona. Left handed power hitters do well at Bank One Ballpark. Green has a .299 career average at the BOB. The first three starters have a chance to be very good with Javier Vazquez, Russ Ortiz, and Brandon Webb. Webb lead the majors in Walks allowed last year (116) despite having an ERA of 3.57. Brandon Webb has a Turbo Sinker and is poised for a Breakout year. Webb will look to be more aggressive early in the count this year. The Dbax bullpen looks to be solid. Jose Valverde could be a top closer if given the chance. Greg Aquino has a mid 90's fastball and a wicked Slider, Brian Bruney also throws in the 93-96 range. The Dbax could be a Sleeper team this year however stay away from Sean Estes when he starts in Arizona. Estes has never pitched well at the BOB.
5th Place: Colorado Rockies ( The dreaded two words that all fans hate to hear is happening in Colorado----Youth Movement. The Rockies young players are going to be very good, maybe as soon as this year. The new catcher is JD Closser who at 25 years old is the centerpiece of the Rockies movement. The switch-hitter always makes contact so the Power will eventually come especially in the Summer when the ball really flies out of Coors Field. Closser hit .319 with one home run in 113 at bats for the Rockies last year. LF Matt Holliday hit 14 home runs in his rookie year and will get a lot of at bats this year. Another youngster is the new SS Clint Barmes who is a slick fielder while leading the Pacific Coast league in hits last year. The Rockies still have Todd Helton who's .340 career average is the highest among all active players. Of course playing in the thin air of Denver helps. The staff looks pretty good but the pitchers on the Rockies will all have high Era's. Take a long look at Jeff Francis who will start the third game for the Rockies. Francis went 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in his final five starts and just may be a "Sleeper Star" at the window this year. Chin-hui Tsao is another home grown product who will be a nice Closer for many years to come because he throws strikes. The Future looks bright for the Rockies but not this year)
Division winners: Marlins, Cardinals, Dodgers
Wild Card: Cubs
NL Pennant Winner: Marlins
World Series: Angels over Marlins
JH-Sportsline's All Fantasy Sleeper Team for 2005
C- Miguel Olivo (Seattle)
Still learning to hit. Worked privately on his hitting with the coaches in the off season. 28 years old. Could have a huge year as a late round pick.
1B- Lyle Overbay (Milwaukee)
Probably not a true sleeper after last year's .301, 16, 87 RBI season. 29 years old. I look for his Home run total to double.
2B- Kaz Matsui (Mets)
Sophomore season in New York and a move to second base will help. 30 years old. After July 1, 2004 he batted .312 and finished with 14 Stolen bases.
3B- David Wright (Mets)
After this season David Wright will not be a sleeper. 22 years old. Will hit for average and Power for the next decade. Get him!
SS- Cristian Guzman (Nationals)
Batting second for the Nationals. Management wants him to steal 30+ bases this year. 28 years old. Will score a lot of runs too.
OF- Carl Crawford (Drays)
Fastest guy in the AL. The day is coming when he leads the league in Average, Steals, triples, and runs scored. 26 years old. .296, 11 Hrs, 55 rib eyes, 104 runs scored, and 59 stolen bases in 2004. He is getting better so don't be afraid to draft him early.
SP- Jeremy Bonderman (Tigers)
92-95 two seem fastball, excellent slider, Curve, and Change-up. 22 years old. Half his games are played in a huge ball park. 5-2 with a 2.23 ERA last eight starts of 2004. 11-13 overall with a 4.89 ERA which is not bad in the AL. 168 K's in 184 innings.
RP- Francisco Rodriguez (Angels)
First full year closing after dominating the 8th inning for three years. 25 years old. Playing for a team that is going to win a lot of games. He has the stuff and mental approach to handle the job with ease. K-rod fanned 2.4 batters for every one who got a hit off him. That is sick! Expect 40+ saves with a lot of K's.
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