C- Joe Mauer, MIN
1B- Chris Davis, BAL
2B- Robinson Cano, NYY
3B- Miguel Cabrera, DET
SS- J.J. Hardy, BAL
OF- Nick Markakis, BAL
OF- Adam Jones, BAL
OF- Mike Trout, LAA
SP- Max Scherzer, DET
Indians- Carlos Santana, C
Royals- Alex Gordon, OF
White Sox- Chris Sale, P
Red Sox- Clay Bucholz, P
Rays- Evan Longoria, 3B
Blue Jays- Adam Lind, 1B
Rangers- Yu Darvish, P
Athletics- Josh Donaldson, 3B
Mariners- Hisashi Iwakuma, P
Astros- Jason Castro, C
1B- James Loney
2B- Jason Kipnis, Howie Kendrick
SS- Johnny Peralta, Jed Lowrie
OF- Nelson Cruz, Alex Rios, Torii Hunter
SP- Felix Hernandez, Bartolo Colon, Ervin Santana
RP- Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan, Chris Janssen
Final Vote- David Ortiz
1. The Blue Jays experiment failed- With the aquisition of R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, and Josh Johnson, they can’t win. Currently there sitting 9.5 games out of first place, and have three tough teams to gauge through to make the postseason. It’s early to talk playoffs, but I’m going to say now, they won’t make the cut.
2. Angels, Rays and Dodgers collapse- Collapse is a big word, more like none of these teams have chances at the postseason. The Angels are 7GB of first, in a division that will probably only send one qualifier to the postseason. I can also infer from last seasons fail they won’t make it. As for the Rays- they lost in the James Shields trade. Minus Matt Moore, the starters and the bullpen are blowing way too many games. Blowing games is the first sign of a bad season. Especially in the AL East. The Dodgers, looking to finally get back, won’t, becuase of the turnup of the Rockies. It’s just one more team that will blow their chances.
3. Red Sox contend, Braves roll slow- I think it’s safe to say Boston is back. I’m calling it right now, they win the AL East. With the best record in baseball, they haven’t even had an easy schedule, beating the Yanks, Orioles, and Royals once. When Lester, Buckholz, Dempster all pitch like stars, and Ortiz and Nava are lighting up All Star ballots, you know you’re in for a good year. The Braves however, will definitley cool down. They’re 4-6 in the last 10 games, and the only reason they still are 17-10, is because everyone else in the division is playing horrible right now. I still think they will probably make the postseason, but expect a close race to the finish.
4. Royals, Rox are for real- The Royals have consistently been in first place in the AL Central, at 15-10. Some might say this is a case of the April Fools, but I beg to differ for one reason- the mid-April road trip. KC had to go on the road against the Braves (who were #1 at the time), the Red Sox, (who were then #1 when KC got there), and the Tigers who have dominated the division the past years. Now I said to myself, if the Royals can go .500 on this trip, they’re for real. They went 4-3, a game above .500. They’re for real folks, believe me. As for the Rockies, they just seem to have a knack for winning. I loved that game where they came back against Atlanta and won in extras. The pitching is settling in, and the whole team is just playing well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tulo starts in the ASG. Good luck for both these teams.
5. Upton doesn’t get close to MVP- You can already see where his season is going. Remember last year when Josh Hamilton his 4 HR’s in a game, and 9 HR’s in 6 games last April? Yeah he was a shoe in for MVP back then! Well look at how his season ended. Good, but not close to an MVP. This is much of what I think will happen to Justin Upton. He already is starting to cool off big time. As he will, so will his team. Farewell, Braves.
1. Detroit Tigers 90-72
I’ve seen about 30 predictions for the MLB this year. I swear to you 30/30 of them have Detroit winning this division. It’s not a surprising thing, they only have the best best hitter and pitcher in baseball (Cabrera and Verlander). However I’m still not sold that the Tigers are going to be completely dominant. I’m concerned on the starters age. Torii Hunter, Johnny Peralta, Victor Martinez, Omar Infante- all decent to premier players. But there all old. Someone on this team is going to get hurt. At the very least they’ll all hit the decline stage. If you rememebr last year, Chicago looked to wrap up this division until the Tigers made a late push in the final months. That team, like this one, was supposed to dominate. Nevertheless, Prince Fielder still plays for this team. Expect a 90 win season at the most.
2. Kansas City Royals 84-78
They think the Royals will at best hang around .500, but someone explain why their under-selling this team so much? They’re here- the prosects are here. No more waiting for the best farm system in baseball to save KC. James Shields has pitched outstanding for the Royals, through his first three starts, and it seems as though Ervin Santana is back to his All Star form. Pretty much the only problem last year for the Royals was starting pitching. Well, all 5 of those starters were replaced and upgraded. The hitting is great, Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, Salvy Perez. One imperitave though for the Royals is the prospects. Eric Hosmer cannot have another year like he did where he bats .232. Mike Moustakas also has to start playing his true best. However, it seems as if they’ve got their team figured out, and expect the best year in the past decade, partly because of the easy division.
3. Cleveland Indians 73-89
This isn’t the Indians year. They downgraded in right field (Shin-Soo Choo -> Drew Stubbs) and lost their best player. There starting rotation looks very shaky. As I scan across there field, no one seems like a true star there. This team will be very similar to Kansas City last year, they’ve got good offense across the b0ard, but the starting pitching will hurt them. In a best case scenario, Ubaldo Jimenez returns to All Star form, and Mark Reynold can also hit for average. But. there aren’t many definites for this team. Again, they remind me of last year Royals. I don’t think there’s much promise here.
4. Chicago White Sox 70-92
When you see Chris Sale and Jake Peavy atop the rotation, you think this would be a good team. But then you see Gavin Floyd, an okay pitcher, Jose Quintana- and then who’s Danny Axelrod? Then you look to the infield and see the left side of the baseball field- De Aza, Gillaspie, Ramirez, Viciedo and Flowers. You know when those guys take up 5 of 9 spots, it’s not going to be a good year. Paul Konerko- you gotta think at some point, he’ll start declining. Which Adam Dunn will we see? Way to many question surround Chicago. It’s definitley time for rebuilding here. The only reason they aren’t in last is because no one loses to the Twins.
5. Minnesota Twins 65- 97
What can I say, it’s the worst team in baseball. There are three premier players on the whole roster- Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham. Everyone else, I hate to say it, sucks. That is the worst starting rotation I have seen this year. God forbid if one there 3 stars gets hurt! I like that they’re young, but some of these young guys better start playing, because there present and future look bleak.
1. Tampa Bay Rays 93- 69
This is the complete team this year in Tampa. They’re pretty much solid or more everywhere around the diamond. Jose Molina will do a good job of backing up the plate with his defense. That is something that is undervalued in baseball. Will Longoria finally produce those MVP results? That could be the difference between a long playoff run for them. No James Shields or Davis, but Matt Moore is here to fulfill. At some point I expect to see Wil Myers come and join the crew. Everything is good here. If somehow they aren’t division champs, they’ll be in on a wild card for sure.
2. Toronto Blue Jays 88-74
I think this will be the year that the AL East is so good that spontanieous combustion happens, A.K.A. these five teams are all so talented that not one will truly stand out. So my point for Toronto is this- in any other division, they’d be champs. The lineup is just bolstered everywhere around the field. They basically slaughtered and ate the Marlins taking Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio and others. All of them are premier. Add that with Bautista, Rasmus and Lind. Oh, and don’t forget R.A. Dickey. But why are they second? Because I’ve noticed that the teams who go big all in one year, surprisingly never turn out as good. Still big things expected however.
3. Baltimore Orioles 83- 79
I like what Baltimore gots going on. They look great all around with their bats- Jones, Markakis, Davis, Hardy, Wieters, and young and promising Machado. But there’s one problem- pitching. This may be a bigger deal then you think, becuase this division is stacked with bats this year. Granted, Hammel is a fine pitcher, but the bullpen and starters aren’t catching my eye. Last word- I still expect a winning record.
4. New York Yankees 80-82
They’ve got just enough to pull a .500 record. It’s not that they’re a bad team, but this division is too good. As many analysists have been saying, the team is starting to age. They start Vernon Wells, Youkillis, Overbay and Ichiro. Those guys are ancient. Not too menchon there will be no Jeter, Rodriguez, Granderson or Teixera- there four best players. Nevertheless, the Yanks always find a way to get it done. They’re going to have to rely on their pitching to exceed expectations, and a step-up from Brett Gardener. I expect both to happen.
5. Boston Redsox 76- 86
Well, someones gotta finish last. The pitching is old, but the bats are young. I wouldn’t rely on a single one of those Boston pitchers. Lester, Lackey, Dempster, Bucholz- let’s face it, that’s a shaky bunch. With Boston’s luck the past few years, they won’t succeed. Expect a star from Boston to have a season ending injury, like every year. I mean, let’s face it, this organization isn’ the same without Terry Francona. Expect a big step-up from Will Middlebrooks however. He is a young star in the making. Boston better hope that he doesn’t fall down the path of the injury.
C- A.J. Pierzynski———————————————————-Indians- Chris Perez
1B- Paul Konerko, CWS————————————————-Tigers- Justin Verlander
2B- Robinson Cano——————————————————-Royals- Billy Butler
3B- Mark Trumbo———————————————————-Twins- Josh Willingham
SS- Derek Jeter————————————————————Rays- Fernando Rodney
OF- Josh Hamilton——————————————————–Jays- Brandon Morrow
OF- Adam Jones———————————————————–Mariners- Michael Saunders
OF- Curtis Granderson————————————————–Athletics- Josh Reddick
DH- David Ortiz
OF—–Matt Joyce, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Jake Peavy, Miguel Cabrera, Jared Weaver, Justin Verlander, Chris Perez, Chris Sale, C.J. Wilson, Adam Dunn, Adrian Beltre, Jim Johnson, Tim Collins, Edwin Encarnacion
1. Tampa Bay Rays— 97-65
The Rays are too good not to win the division. They have what every team wants, young talent. That seems to be the way to go these days. Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson will collide with veterans like Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena to have a great season.
2. New York Yankees— 93-69
Due to the lack of injurys, I’m going with the Yankees over Red Sox for second place. It seems at every single position they have atleast a solid if not star player. The pitching is looking good too. This veteran team will once again make the playoff push.
3. Boston Red Sox— 83-79
Well, atleast I put them ahead of the Blue Jays. Just because I have them in 3rd in the AL East, doesnt mean I expect over 90 wins. The Red Sox got a raw deal on Crawford because of his ability to get hurt evey week. However, the big issue I have with the Red Sox is their ability to beat the other powerhouse teams. We saw last year they didn’t make the playoff cut. I didn’t see much improvment in the offseason, and alot more from other competitors. Once again, they’re lucky to beat the Blue Jays.
4. Baltimore Orioles— 79-83- I think this year is going to be a big stip in the right direction for this club. Much like the Royals, they have good prospects waiting to come up. In fact, this year won’t even be that bad for them (I’m thinking breakout year for Wieters). Just wait till Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy get there, then they will really compete.
5. Toronto Blue Jays— 75-87
What else can you say other than same old, same old. The team is good, but won’t make the playoffs with these players.
1. Detroit Tigers— 99-63
Think of the 2012 Tigers as the Brewers of last year, but in the easiest division in baseball. Yep, they are going to explode this year with too much talent. They were already division fasvorites, but with Prince Fielder, the team is going to be extremely good. They better hope him and Cabrera stay healthy.
2. Kansas City Royals— 87- 75
The Royals are finally done of waiting for talent. Eric Hosmer is ready. Mike Moustakas is ready. The team is ready to win. The Royals have an nteresting quality that wouldn’t expect- defense. Alcides Escobar saves about 3 hits a game. Alex Gordon and Jeff Francouer have incredible arms, leading in outfield assists last year. Lorenzo Cain is fantastic center fielder. Add all that up and the Royals save about 1-2 runs a game. While Hosmer, Gordon, and Butler hit, the defense does it’s part. The Royals are going to beat up the lesser teams this year.
3 Chicago White Sox— 77-85
This season depends on the starting pitching. We know Konerko can hit and Rios and Beckham will back him up. However there number 1 starter is John Danks, who was 8-12 with a 4.33 ERA last year. I don’t see hiw they can be a contender with the pitching, but the hitting will keep them relevant.
4. Cleveland Indians— 75- 87
They have a good team this year, but they lack starpower. They have solid players, none are out of the ordinary, this will keep them relevant, but not a contender.
5. MInnesota Twins— 62- 100
I don’t know what happend with this team. Two years ago, they were the team to beat, winning back to back AL Central titles in 2009 and 2010. I suppose with former MVPs Morneau and Mauer contantly injured, that’s what kills the Twins. Other than those two, I have hardly heard of any players ont there tema there so bad.
1. Los Angeles Angels— 96- 66
Basically with Albert Pujols they’re an automatic playoff team. I predict they dominate this division even with the Rangers. They have much better pitching and hitting than Texas. They will win the division by atleast 5 games.
2. Texas Rangers
An off year for the Rangers, lack of youth and injuries will catch up with them. They are stilla good team, but the playoffs will be alot tougher this year.
3. Seattle Mariners—
They won’t contend, wait for Danny Hultzen
4. Oakland Athletics—
They won’t contend.
I mostly follow the American League, so I will show how you determine the AL MVP in 2011.
Have a AVG over .300 or have over 30 HR’s-
Player should be in the Top 10 for one of the Major Catgories-
Eliminated- Robinson Cano, Alex Avila
Must play for a contender and be best on team-
Eliminated- Mark Teixera, Alex Gordon, Victor Martinez, Johnny Peralta, Mark Reynolds,David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury
Must have over 30 HR’s, and over .300 AVG—
Player with better statistics—
2011 American League MVP
I have asked myslef how is it possible that the Royals could be so bad they would never make the playoffs in over 20 years. It’s not becuase of other teams, it’s themselves. Even the Pirates could win games at some point. Nobody has gotten worst luck than the Royals. Even the Rays got it figured out with draft picks. The Royals are just picked to lose every year.
You don’t know what it’s like to know that every year your team is going to suck.
That every year magazines and bloggers will pick your team to be in last place.
Do you want to know what the hardest part is-draft picks don’t help one bit
I don’t care if they say the Royals have the best farm system in baseball, let’s face it, we will suck the next ten years, before we have to rebuild again., and again, and again.
I got so bad that at one point I didn’t think in my lifetime I’d see the Royals reach the playoffs.
Kansas City isn’t supposed to be like this. In the 70′s and 80′s we were the best. Then in the 90′s and 00′s, we were the worst. Most likely for the 10′s too. Want to know how we just got worse? The draft.
Mike Moustakas was the No. 2 overall pick in 2007 by the Royals. We have a problem with hitting homeruns, he led the minor leagues in homeruns last year. Should be great right? Wrong, Moustakas has hit 1 homerun since joining the team in mid-June, while also batting .194.
Last year in 2010 the Royals had No. 4 in the draft. We had a problem with pitching, and could have easily drafted Drew Pomeranz, a top prospect. But no, we went way out of are way to select Christian Colon, a shortstop. So then in the offseason, we trade Greinke for a good shortstop named Alcides Escobar. Now Colon is stuck in Double-A, with no direction to go. In otherwards a wasted pick.
This year there were 4 outstanding pitchers in the draft. Coincidentally, are worst struggle, by far, was pitching. We had No. 5 pick. But just our luck, all 4 pitches went in front of us. We reluctantly selected Bubba Starling. Now, weeks later, Starling is saying he wants to play football at Nebraska instead.
So we finally did have one pitcher who made the Top 15 prospects in our system. His name was Mike Montgomery. He was supposed to be the best lefty starter in the MiLB. Well what do you know, He sitting on an ERA of about 5, and has a losing record.
So don’t go around saying the Royals will ever be good, they never will, wait till the next decade!
I looked at the number one pick in the MLB Draft the past ten years and found some surprising results. It’s very simple- either you found an MVP canidate, or you just got screwed. Since 2000, every No. 1 pick has had this kind of success. Here’s the research I collected:
2000 Draft- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, drafted by Florida (Now with Boston)
Adrian has been consitent with his average and homeruns since his debut in 2004. In fact it seems he is still getting better and better every year. The 29 year also has golden glove caliber abilities at first base. He leads the MLB with a .352 AVG, and in my opinion is likely to win AL MVP in 2011.
2001 Draft- Joe Mauer, C, drafted by Minnesota Twins
Mauer also debuting in 2004 has had so much success some call him the greatest catcher ever. He not only can bat, but has a great defnse behind the plate. This catcher has won 3 batting titiles, 3 gold glove awards, and oh yeah…the 2009 AL MVP. Mauer has a .325 batting average behind his belt, and seems to only lack one thing- homeruns. While still in his twenties there could be much more still to come for Mauer.
2002 Draft- Bryan Bullington, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
I just laugh every time I see this pick. He just collected his first career win last year in 2010. Debuting in 2005, Bullington has harldy been heard of, and has only appeared in 26 MLB games in 5 seasons. A career ERA of 5.62, and is 1-9.
2003 Draft- Delmon Young, LF, Tampa Bay Rays (now with Minnesota)
young mabye wasn’t like Mauer or Gonzalez, but still has had a good career. Young is an excellent defender, and has a nice career AVG at .289. He consistently hits around 25 homeruns a year, keeping pitchers honest. Although, he’s not even close to the worst No.1 picks.
2004 Draft- Matt Bush, SS, San Diego Padres
This was such a bust, he is now trying again as not a shortstop, but a pitcher. The former high school star has no stats in the majors that I can even tell you about. The worst draft pick ever.
2005 Draft- Justin Upton, RF, Arizona Diamondbacks
Upton has played great baseball in the 4 full seasons of his career. Debuting in 2007, at 20 years old, he pretty much been the leader of the team since he started. He continues to put up numbers that are getting better year after year. Here’s the best part, Upton’s only 24 years old, and hasn’t even played his best baseball yet at all.
2006 Draft- Luke Hochevar, RHP, Kansas City Royals
Once again, a draft bust inless he makes major strides next seasn. Time is running out for Hochevar to live up to potential. As a Royals fan myself, I would be happy with Luke getting his ERA under 4.50. Hochevar has way too many issues with losing games. Although Hochevar has shown flashes of brilliance (an 80-pitch, complete game win), he also has lost control a countless amount of times. Like I said, time’s running out on Hochevar.
2007 Draft-David Price, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays
Surprisingly, he didn’t win the Cy Young last year. He pitches great, and has lived up to potential in 3 years as a starter. He hasn’t had a long enough career to say much more about him. It’s most likely he’s off to a career filled with awards.
2008 Draft- Tim Beckham, SS, Tampa Bay Rays
Beckham is still stuck down in Class-AA, and is supposed to be a bust. He was once a player from Georgia who could do it all from hitting to flashy fielding, but now has been given up on. I would say if he does makes it to the majors it will be in 2013. I don’t think he will be good even he does make it.
These are all the draft picks that I can make fair statements on since 2000. As you can see, it’s a good chance you pick a draft bust instead of a MVP. That is all.
The story of Alex Gordon goes back to his college days. Gordon attended the University of Nebraska, and lead the Big 12 Conference in a countless amount of categories. He batted .372, with 19 HR’s, and 66 RBI’s in just 72 games. HIs fielding and arm were also supposed to be spectacular. Gordon led the Huskers to the College World Series, and was named on the All-American list. He was named College Baseball Player of the Year, and a finalist for College Athlete of the Year, awarded by ESPN. At then end of his junior year, Baseball America listed Gordon as the No. 1 Prospect going into the 2005 MLB Draft. Alex easily chose going into the draft over staying his senior season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft. The obvious choice was either the college hero Alex Gordon, or the high school phenom Justin Upton. Arizona chose Upton, leaving the No.2 selection, Kansas City, to choose Alex Gordon. Looking back at that draft, it has some of the most notable names in baseball today. Here are just a few players that were selected with the following picks.
No. 4, Ryan Zimmerman- Top 3rd Basemen coming into 2011
, No. 5 Ryan Braun- Hit over 35 HR’s 3 of past 5 seasons
No. 7 Troy Tulowitzki- Top Shortstop coming into 2011
No. 23 Jacoby Ellsbury- Played big role in 2007 Red Sox World Series
No. 42 Clay Bucholz- Pitched a no-hitter in his first start, Cy Young canidate
Alex Gordon was supposed to be better than all of these players by alot. In fact, at first he showed it. He tore through the Minor Leagues. Amazingly, in about one year Gordon was already through every League of the Minor Leagues. He capped off Triple-A with a 29 HR, 29 SB season sending people in awe. Fans were saying he was to replace George Brett as greatest Royal ever, even some considered a Hall of Fame career for him. The odds going into the 2007 season for Rookie of the Year were 10/1 in Alex Gordon’s favor. He was going to be big time in Kansas City.
The 2007 season started, and Alex Gordon did not. Gordon lost his touch with the bat, and the glove. He constantly was striking out, and making errors at 3rd base. Experts could not figure out what was wrong with him. At the end of the season, he batted .247, with 15 HR’s, and 60 RBI’s. He did not win Rookie of the Year.
The 2008 season was better, Gordon started to somewhat get his bat around batting .260 by the end of the year, and raised his HR total to 16. There were still waves of hope alive for him to be the George Brett. He had to follow up and get better though. The 2009 season took a strong decline for Gordon. He got a terrible injury ending his season with a .232 BA, and 6 HR in only 49 games.
2010 started to become the same story. In Spring Training, Alex busted his thumb, taking him out of April and May. When he finally came back in June, he didn’t help much. He was sent down to Triple-A in July to learn a new position, outfield. Alex just kept dropping too many balls at 3rd Base. He arrived back to the majors in late August as a left fielder. Gordon’s didn’t flash too much, with just .215 and 8 HR’s. Gordon’s career was spiraling down, from stardom to failure.
Spring Training 2011 was when Gordon’s bat started to come alive. He hit in the .360′s and belted 5 HR’s. I had put big expectations for Gordon coming into this year, becuase this was the year he had to break out, both offensively and defensively. It all started to come to reality for Gordon when he started to bat in the 300′s through April and May. It dipped a bit in June he is still currently at .294. Gordon is in the Top 10 in hits, and Top 5 in doubles, and number 1 in the MLB in assists. While Gordon is helping the Royals out hitting currently, he has saved many games by throwing out runners. In a Twins game this year, Gordon threw out a Twins runner in a one run game in the ninth inning. He has made a big turn around.
Alex Gordon may finally make it to his first All Star Game. All he has to do is play 2 more weeks of good baseball, and he should make the team. Hopefully he will bring back the potential he has and finish career off with Royals in a good fashion.
Current Statistics: .310, 14 HR’s, 59 RBI’s