Friday, June 12, 2015

National League West Preview

National League West
Scottsdale Saguaros
Prediction – 90-72

Offensive Rank – 9th              Defensive Rank – 18th               Pitching Rank – 3rd

Best Position Player –   
Randy Raburn (LF) 6th overall position player – 1st overall Left Fielder
Best Pitcher –       
Anthony Erickson (SP) 17th overall pitcher – 13th overall Starting Pitcher
Added Players -       
Darin Hobbes (P) 1 year 3.1million {298th Ranked Pitcher}
Theo Nelson (3B) – Acquired from Texas {28th Ranked Position Player}
Saul Galvez (C) – Rule-5 Draftee {197th Ranked Position Player}
Departed Players –
Jesus Astacio (P) Traded to the Toast, Odalis Hernandez (C) Traded to the Toast
Armando Rosario (P) Left for  Free Agency, Ismael Chavez (P) Left for Free Agency, Curt Cooper (P) Left for Free Agency

Fresno Grizzlies
Prediction – 87-75

Offensive Rank – 8th               Defensive Rank – 12th              Pitching Rank – 10th    

Best Position Player –   
Nyjer Lowe (LF) 5th overall position player – 3rd overall Left Fielder
Best Pitcher –       
Mo Shelby (SP) 26th overall pitcher – 18th overall Starting Pitcher
Added Players -       
Garry Forbes (SS) 2 years 5.8 million [4.7 million bonus] {195th Ranked Position Player}
Juan Alvarez (P) 1 year 2 million {198th Ranked Pitcher}
Michael Sele (P) – Rule-5 Draftee {314th Ranked Pitcher}
Departed Players –
Santiago Gil (LF) Released, Jade Benjamin (3B) Released, Jesus Beltre (P) Released, Sandy Stockton (P) Released
Maicer Bennett (P) Declined Option, Orber Nieves (C) Declined Option, Ajax Douglas (1B) Declined Option, Andrea Thompson (1B) Declined Option, Deivi Dali (SS) Declined Option
Milt Andrews (P) Left for Free Agency, Alexei Manzanillo (P) Left for Free Agency, Derrin Henry (P) Left for Free Agency, Babe Saberhagen (1B) Left for Free Agency

Portland Castors
Prediction – 86-76

Offensive Rank – 12th               Defensive Rank – 2nd               Pitching Rank – 8th

Best Position Player –   
Derrek Hammonds (1B) 1st overall position player – 1st overall First Basemen
Best Pitcher –       
Frank Yang (SP) 9th overall pitcher – 7th overall Starting Pitcher
Added Players -       

Departed Players –
Yamil Sanchez (P) Released, Ismael Rivera (P) Released, Chris Callaway (P) Released, Patrick Kirby (P) Released, Jair Estalella (P) Released, Rey Jang (SS) Released, Micah Moore (CF) Released
Al Regan (P) Left for Free Agency, Pete Childs (RF) Left for Free Agency   

The Portland Castors made a shocking run to a National League pennant last season but was quickly defeated in the World Series by Pawtucket.  So what does the defending National League Champions due to bolster their club this off-season, well it seems that have done nothing.  GM njm_sons told us that Portland did not just sit idle during this off-season, they had made plenty of moves, and “We went into the off-season seeing that it was a week free-agent market that we were going to offer many of our young player extensions.  We signed Sherm Washington, Maicer Renteria, Will Oliver and Tim Nance to long-term contracts.  It was deemed important that we keep are young players giving up several arbitration years for a couple more years of the players prime years.  Plus we need to anticipate that Derrek Hammonds is going to ask for a big contract extension in a couple of seasons.”
Portland will once again have one of the top pitching staffs this season but the knock on the team has always been lack of power in lineup.  “Sure no power in the lineup can hurt at times but that is not how this team was built.  We are just a bunch of scrappy hitters that don’t strikeout a ton and get deep into counts.  We cause headaches on the bases.  Are pitching will keep us in games and are defense will always make that great play you need every game to win.  Plus this strategy has worked for the last five seasons, why change what is working,” njm_sons said of this complaint.
If you are looking for any impact rookies coming to Portland this season you might be disappointed to find that the impact players in the farm systems will not be in the majors this season.  Njm_sons added, “Ryan Sisco looks to really be the only rookie to make are roster coming out of spring training, as we have plenty of depth in our bullpen and on our bench.  Plus this would allow many of our young players a chance to play every day, which we deem as very important in their growth.”
Expected Lineup
Pascual Baez – Catcher
Derrek Hammonds – First Basemen
Greg Reynolds – Second Basemen
Brian Duvall – Third Basemen
Tim Nance – Shortstop
Max Uribe – Leftfield
Jeffrey Moore – Centerfield
Fausto Alfonseca – Rightfield
Expected Pitchers
Frank Yang
Will Oliver
Maicer Renteria
Sherm Washington
Luis Belisario
Benny Mieses – Closer
And the Nameless Six
Portland is the defending National League Champions but many people feel that was an incredible run by the team in the playoffs, which their magic ran out in the World Series.  This is practically the same team as season, so they will be the same position as last season.  The National League has only got tougher, so a run of five straight playoffs appearances could come to an end this season.  The team is good enough to make the playoffs but it will come down to what the rest of the National League does.

Salem Sativa
Prediction – 73-89

Offensive Rank – 21st             Defensive Rank – 16th              Pitching Rank – 22nd  

Best Position Player –   
Pedro Arredondo (C) 96th overall position player – 3rd overall Catcher
Best Pitcher –       
Louis Obermueller (SP) 74th overall pitcher – 43rd overall Starting Pitcher
Added Players -       
Pedro Arredondo (C) 3 years 11.1 million (mutual option) {96th Ranked Position Player}
Dummy Wells (CF) 3 years 15 million (mutual option) {256th Ranked Position Player}
Alexei Manzanillo (P) 1 year 2.5 million {165th Ranked Pitcher}
Stephen McCormick (RF) 2 years 4.5 million (mutual option) {299th Ranked Position Player}
Tuck Hultzen (P) 1 year 3.1 million {151st Ranked Pitcher}
Dick Daly (P) – Acquired from Rochester {129th Ranked Pitcher}
Rickey Lawton (P) – Acquired from Rochester {146th Ranked Pitcher}
Departed Players –   
Lon Gray (1B) Released
Geronimo Duran (3B) Declined Option, Walker Bulger (C) Declined Option
Kevin Cheung (P) Traded to the Rhinos
Kirt Fogg (P) Left for Free Agency

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