Friday, December 23, 2011

AL WEST - Season #20 Preview

Anaheim Aardarks

Anaheim has struggled to break through - floating between 70-81 wins for the past 7 seasons. Francisco Melian has taken over leadership on offense and was rewarded with a new 4-year deal in the offseason. We added a few pieces on offense in the offseason, but pitching continues to be the achillies heel. If we get good work from our starters we could contend for a wild-card spot. If not, it could be complete overhaul and rebuild mode by the All-Star break as the team has quite a few veterans. My best guess is around 78-84 wins. Bryant Christiansen  continues to be as stud closer with 253 career saves and an 87.5 save percentage saving 43 games last year.

Top Prospects: Top pitching prospect Ubaldo Chavez will start his first full season in the majors. He went 6-3 in 14 starts at the end of last year. Elmer Reagan, 21, SS, AAA. Silver Slugger SS at AA last year when he hit .312/.386/.509 with 32 2B, 20HR, and 113 RBI. Izzy Fox, 19 RF, Low A. Last year's 13th overall pick was rookie league MVP, Silver Slugger RF, and an All-Star hitting .396/.487/.775 with 42 2B, 19HR and 102 RBI and scoring 91 runs. Juan Duran, 21, P, AAA - saved 28/32 games at AA last year. Likely heir apparent at closer. Sal Stratton, 22, P, AAA - combined 10-1 with sub 1.00 WHIP at AA/AAA last year. Esmailyn Petit, 22, P, AA - saved 24/28 at High A in PY. 1.13 career WHIP in minors.

Key Acquisitions: Lewis Glover, 29, LF - career 800+ OPS in 911 games. signed to 3-year deal. Matty Servet, 31, C - career .823 OPS, hit .344 in limited action with Columbus in PY. Signed to 2-year deal.

Key losses - none really. Released under-achieving former first round pick Edgar Guerrero rather than go to arbitration again. He had hit just .243 in over 2,000 career at-bats.

Key Transaction - missing out on some top pitching FA's that would have helped, thus had to go the offensvie route adding Servet and Glover as we will likely have to out-score people.

Salem Slayers

The team is identical to last year. No moves were made.. just keeping the roster intact for another run at the WS.

Las Vegas Gamblers


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