Tuesday, March 20, 2007

AL Central

Indians -
Twins 1
Tigers 1
White Sox 2
Royals 45

Playoff teams:
top 4

Cleveland Indians: This is going to be a four legged race, so hold on. The AL Central will be the most exciting division in baseball to watch. This team is loaded with talent and a lot of young talent. In the field you have Josh Barfield at 2B, Ryan Garko at 1B, Andy Marte at 3B. You also have young veterans in Hafner, Martinez and Sizemore. This team should either lead the league in HR or K's, I have not figured it out. Pitching looks decent. They have young talent in this category as well in Sowers and Carmona. Carmona had a ROUGH time last year, but hope to improve from his 1-10 record. Also watch for Adam Miller to be called up by June, did not allow a run in his 14 innings of spring training.

Minnesota Twins: AL MVP, batting champ and the AL CY Young winner, what more could you ask for? I guess having Liriano would be about it, but come on, this team is solid. With the emergence of Cuddyer in RF and his 108 RBI's, this team is finding weapons with having players achieving break out years. Pitching wise is solid as well. It will be hard to fill Lirano's shoes for the next 12 to maybe 24 months, but players like Scott Baker could rise to the occasion. Don't forget Joe Nathan coming in to close games. With Rincon and Crain as setup, opponents are going to struggle in innings 7 thru 9.

Detroit Tigers: This team did not change much since its World Series appearance. They added a big bat in DH with Sheffield. Pitching is what carried this team last and should do the same this year. Verlander is emerging as one of the dominating AL pitchers with a fastball breaking 100 MPH. The bullpen is strong with Todd Jones closing. If anything does happen to Jones, Zumaya will fill his shoes nicely with his 103 MPH fastball.

Chicago White Sox: The White Sox will once again compete for the AL Central crown, just not like the other three. They still have some pop at the plate, they added the always scrappy Erstad. Look for Josh Fields to setup perhaps in LF while Podsednik is out. He needs to develop better plate presence but has the power to go yard. Freddy Garcia was traded to the NL Phillies, and in comes Gavin Floyd. He was a young gun in the Phillies org, but did not have a great year in the NL. Also look for the emergence of John Danks.

KC Royals: This is a "rebuilding" year. Watch out at 3B with Alex Gordon, he had great plate discipline with a bit of pop. One other person to consider on the Royals is Ryan Shealy at firstbase. He will see plenty of at bats, and would make for a nice sleeper in deep fantasy leagues. Pitching is another story. I feel they overpaid for Meche, but we will see. On a bright note, and a very bright one at that, they now have Brian Bannister. Brian had a spectacular start last year with the Mets. Not sure how well he will do on the Royals, but keep your eyes peeled. With there closer MacDougal departing for the White Sox, a closer is in question for the Royals.

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