Saturday, April 17, 2010

Jesus Montero is Still the Savior

This week's SI has an article about the prodigy for the Braves, Jason Heyward, and to sum it up the kid is the chosen one. As a Yankee fan I tend to read every baseball story and relate it back to my Yankees in some way. My first thought was why didn't we get this kid! My second, how does Jesus Montero compare? I know Jesus is not the athlete that Heyward is but what about as a hitter? Heyward is 2 months older then Jeses and already in the bigs but check out the two as minor leaguers;

Heyward 238 games .318/.391/.508 899 OPS .12 HR Rate .53 RBI Rate
Montero 257 Games .325/.379/.509 888 OPS .14 HR Rate .68 RBI Rate

Not listed is Heyward's superior SB numbers but we all know Jesus is not the athlete that Heyward is but so far in their careers he has been up to par as a hitter. Also, it isn't like Jesus has done his damage at rookie ball with Heyward mashing AAA pitching. Their games played by level is very close - Montero Rookie 33, A 132, A+ 48, AA 44 and Heyward Rk 12, A 120, A+ 56, AA 47 and AAA 3. So Jesus has put up similar numbers, at the same age and at the same levels as Heyward. So Yankee fans can be jealous of Heyward's total package but as far as being the top power prospect in the game goes, don't count out Jesus. in other words, Jesus lives!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

2010 Predictions

With opening day tomorrow it's time to make our predictions for the upcoming year:

AL East
1. Yanks
2. Rays
3. Sox
4. O's
5. Blue Jays

Losing Matsui and Damon would hurt, except that Granderson will more than make up for the loss of Damon, and a full year of Arod + Nick Johnson should help mitigate the loss of HMat. Add Javy Vazquez to an already potent staff that includes my Cy Young winner in AJ Burnett, and the Yanks are the clear favorites.

The Sox have a formidable starting staff, and as has been talked about on the Worldwide Leader ad nauseum their D is improved, but if you can't score runs it just doesn't matter! The Rays have a more balanced attack and will take the wild card.

AL Central

1. White Sox
2. Twins
3. Tigers
4. Royals
5. Indians

The White Sox's starting pitching is deep and very good and their pen is one of the best in the game. Expect a full powerhouse season from Carlos Quentin and a bounce-back from Alex Rios.

AL West

1. Angels
2. Texas
3. M's
4. A's

This is the toughest division to call. The Angels lost some significant pieces, the Ranger pitching is suspect, and the Mariners will have problems scoring runs. Until someone unseats the Angels it's tough to pick against them.

NL East

1. Phillies
2. Braves
3. Marlins
4. Nationals
5. Mets

The Phillies are the clear 2nd best team in all of baseball. The Mets are like an addict that has been able to hold on to their job with a tenuous grasp...this is the year it all falls apart and they hit rock bottom.

NL Central

1. Cardinals
2. Brewers
3. Cubs
4. Pirates
5. Astros

The 1/2 punch of Carpenter and Wainwright plus the best hitter in all of baseball give the Cards the easiest division in baseball.

NL West

1. Rockies
2. Dodgers
3. Giants
4. Diamondbacks
5. Padres

It will be a dogfight in the NL West between the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants. The Giants lose out because of a lack of offense and a drop off by Cy Lincecum. Clayton Kershaw becomes a monster for the Dodgers, but the Rockies will be too tough for them to beat.

AL Wild Card - Tampa Rays
NL Wild Card - Atlanta Braves

AL MVP - Evan Longoria
NL MVP - Troy Tulowitzki
AL Cy Young - AJ Burnett
NL Cy Young - Doc Halliday
AL Breakout player - BJ Upton
NL Breakout player - Chase Headley

Playoffs-

Yanks over Angels
Rays over White Sox
Yanks over Rays

Phils over Cards
Rockies over Braves
Phillies over Rockies

World Series
Yanks over Phillies

Looking Back before we Go Forward

Today is the last day of the offseason and everyone has now published their 2010 predictions. I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the experts 2009 predictions to help put things in perspective.

ESPN
ESPN has the advantage of the sheer volume of analysts so you figure someone would have nailed at least the world series match up. Wrong.
How about AL MVP? Well in the AL not a single expert picked Mauer.
AL Cy Young? 0 for again, 3 ESPN staffers actually chose Liriano and his 5.80 era.
AL Rookie of the year? Thw worldwide leader again strikes out.
Also, 5 of the ESPNers picked the Cubs to make the series...

Sporting News
TSN actually nails all of the AL playoff teams and picks the Yankees to win it all. Not too bad but the also picked the Cubs to make the series.

Sports Illustrated
In the official preview edition SI picked the Cubs to lead the NL in wins and the Yankees to set the pace in the AL. The series match they predicted was Mets versus Angels. SI also listed picks from each of their experts. % out of 13 picked the Cubs to make the series while only 2 picked the Yanks( the same amount who picked the Diamondbacks!). Worst Cy Young award pick goes to Albert Chen who jumped on the ESPN Liriano band wagon.

So what does this all tell us? Don't believe a damn word of these predictions. Also beware Cubs love because for some reason it seems analysts love to pick the Cubs.

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