Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My AL Central predictions

1. Detroit - I see the Tigers winning 90 games, and it being enough to win the division. Back end of the bullpen is key. Best in the division. Victor Martinez will play a key role.

2. Chicago - The White Sox have solid team and strong rotation, but I'm not sure about Matt Thornton as a closer. Command issues there; and not good closing games. And bullpen has played a prominent role when the White Sox have had success.

3. Minnesota - The Twins have an underrated starting rotation - and overrated bullpen. This is the year the wheels come off. Need a bounce back season from Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.

4. Cleveland - A bad team waiting for prospects to develop. There is a difference between spring training and regular season. Many of the Indians' prospects overrated. This will be proven in 2011.

5. Kansas City - I have never heard of a farm system getting this much hype. It's dangerous for Royals' fans because they are constantly banking on the future. It won't come this year, that's for sure.



Anonymous woody said...

this team has experience where it really counts...steady vets in the middle of lineup and end of bullpen. youthful rotation with upside, young everyday players trying to find consistency. hunch that raburn will have breakout season, avila will have diminishing role as season progresses, guillen will contribute in a significant way later, jackson's numbers will regress enough that leyland will tinker with rhymes at leadoff, coke will be the #3 starter eventually surpassing penny and porcello.

11:21 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I like your optimism Book. Unfortunately I do quite well picking against you on Canada's Pro-Line lottery - I mean that with all the respect I can muster.

So I kind of wish you picked the Tiger's coming in 3rd. You can still change your pick you know.

I think this is going to be a crazy rollercoaster ride right up to the All Star break - and like your column today in the paper suggests (it was a great column by the way) - I do see Leyland and Dombrowski gone after this season - if not by the end of August.

But then I predicted this last year to. Yet they got re-signed (not resigned) before the season ended?

I do predict the Tigers are going to fold in the last third of the season - but damned if I know why they do. Emotionally drained? Content to simply have had a good first half of the season? Damned if I can figure it out.

I can't wait to see how this season plays out.

12:33 PM 
Blogger Core Contrarian said...

With their certain second half fade, how many games do the Tigers have to win by the All Star break to get to 90 wins.


2:42 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Number 5 may very well be because it's the best class of prospects ever. It's easily the best rated in Baseball America's 22 years of ranking prospects, as discussed here -

For comparison, the Royals have 5 guys in the top 19. Jacob Turner is 22. They also have 4 more guys in the top 100, while only Nick Castellanos and Oliver make the cut for us.

6:07 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Interesting predictions. Agree that Tigers have elements that really count. See Jackson as a much better player than Rhymes, who I doubt will be the Tigers' second baseman next season.

8:51 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I have to admit history is definitely on your side. It could very well play out that way. The Tigers are far from a perfect club. They certainly have their flaws. What I think sometimes is forgotten is what they do have, and that the Twins and White Sox also have flaws.

8:54 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Core Contrarian,
Hey, the Tigers' second-half fades the last two years have been the stuff of legends. Can't blame you for your cynicism.

8:56 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
I was being sarcastic. I worked for Baseball America for 20 years and did the Tigers list for at least 10. Respect what they do very much. But know how it works out often in the end. Many times the most-hyped organization fizzles out. And some of these great prospects didn't turn out to be such great players. Royals are doing well - it appears. But nothing counts until it transfers into wins in the major leagues.

9:00 AM 

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