New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
New York Mets
San Fransisco Giants
San Diego Padres
AL MVP Top 3:
Evan Longoria- Rays
Joe Mauer- Twins
Kendry Morales- Angels
Red Sox MVP:
AL Cy Young Top 3:
Jon Lester- Red Sox
Zack Greinke- Royals
Cliff Lee- Mariners
Red Sox Cy Young:
NL MVP Top 3:
Albert Pujols- Cardinals
Jayson Werth- Phillies
Ryan Braun- Brwers
NL CY Youn Top 3:
Josh Johnson- Marlins
Tim Lincecum- Giants
Carlos Zambrano- Cubs
Desmond Jennings- Rays
Jason Heyward- Braves
The Baltimore Orioles will compete with the Rays for the #3 spot in the AL East
The Royals will have a record around .500
Mike Cameron will hit 25 HRs
The Reds will finish over .500
The Blue Jays will have the second worst record in baseball, ahead of only the Mets
I will be right about at least one thing here(I told you, bold predictions)
This is a full evaluation of the 2010 Red Sox roster as it stands now. I will look at the lineup, defense, pitching, bench, bullpen, and minor leagues, and try to prove to you complainers that this is a good team.
Lineup: I really like the lineup. I’m not trying to be an optimist, I really like the lineup. I love the combination of speed and power. The bottom of the lineup impresses me with Drew-Cameron-Scutaro. I feel speed is going to come from Jacoby Ellsbury (duh) and Scutaro. Cameron can steal a few as can Pedroia. Don’t even say Drew, I believe he was 2-for-8 in the SB catagory.
On the power side, you got Ortiz, Youk, Beltre, Cameron, Drew, and Victor. Each one of them will hit from 15-30 HRs, maybe more for Beltre or Cameron at Fenway. I feel a big year coming from Youk, I really do.He was hurt a lot of last year, and I think it really affected him. The suspension did not help either.
I also liked the way the lineup is built. I thought last year Pedroia struggled leadoff beacuse he missed the presence of Jacoby Ellsbury. Since he is a base stealer, pitchers are going to throw more fastballs to the next batter in an attempt to pick him off. A fastball gets to the plate fatser, and the catcher can gun it down to second faster. I hope Francona keeps Ellsbury in the lead-off spot, that is where he is supposed to be.
More about the lineup, I would like to see JD Drew bat eighth and Cameron bat seventh. Mostly beacuse it strenghens the bottom of the lineup. Here is the lineup I would like to see:
Pitching: No one can deny this staff. Even if I am wrong and the lineup does suck, the pitching will keep you in games. Defense wins(Look how far the Jets got!). Offense is nice, but defense and pitching is more important(Unless you have Teixeira. And A-rod. And Jeter. And Granderson…..). This is no doubt about it the best staff in the game. You can say Seattle with Cliff Lee and King Felix, and I’ll give you that as the top 1-2 punch in baseball. But Lester. Beckett. Lackey. Dice-k. Buchholz. Wake. They have so much depth! I know this happened last year, and everyone got hurt to the point we needed Paul Byrd, and at least two or three of those guys are going to have to stay healthy. Ok, Lackey, out a month. Fine, Lester and Beckett. Lester out a few weeks? That’s ok, Dice-k/Wake/Buchholz might be pitching good, and Lackey might be back soon. Just theories here.
And either way, I expect some sort of reclamation/Theo Epstein projects like an Erik Bedard or Ben Sheets coming.(John Smoltz!)
Every game we are going to get a six-to-seven inning perfomrance or a quality start. Yes, Lackey has had injury problems. So has Beckett, and Dice-k, and every other pitcher in baseball. You learn to deal with it.
Defense: Joe Maddon called Adrain Beltre the best defensive player he has ever seen, and Maddon knows a damn lot about baseball. He took that team to the world series, and I think we all know who that team is. I don’t get to watch Beltre often, as he played for Seattle, but I’ll take Joe’s word for it. So on the right side of your infeild you got “The best defensive player ever” (I thought that was Darrelle Revis?) and Marco Scutaro, who should have gotten the AL gold glove for shortstop. Then on the left side you have two gold glove winners in Pedroia and Youk. In the outfield is Ellsbury, Cameron, and Drew. Pretty sick. Tell me a better defensive outfield? I think the only team that is in the same class is KC(Gasp!) with Ankeil, Posednik, and DeJesus. Fast outfield. Anyways, we have a good defense basicly beacuse Theo could not find another excuse to have a lackluster offense.
Bench: Solid bench. You got Jeremy Hermida, Bill Hall, V-Tek, and either a guy like Josh Reddick, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, or Aaron Bates. That is, unless another Nick Green type magicaly appears again. Hermida is a decent offensive player. He has some wheels and could be a good pinch running guy. He has a little pop. He was a Marlins top prospect for a while but has not really panned ouy yet. Theo was just taking a chance on some player with potential. Hall is what he is. Good defensivly(Shocker) with no bat. You all know about V-Tek. Can’t hit in the second half. look for V-Tek to have a somewhat of a bounce-back year in a limited role. He has hit well in the first half the last two years. And he may have to be Beckett’s personal catcher.
Bullpen: Who is in this bullpen? Papelbon, Bard, Oki, Delcarmen, Rameriz, the other Rameriz, Shouse, Atchison, Dustin Richardson, Fernando Cabrera, Boof. Meh. I like the top three. That’s about it. I wanted to see the Sox go out and sign either Darren Oliver or Mike Gonzalez, but that never happened. I kinda like Richardson. He dominated the AFL this season. Strikeout lefty. Casey Kelly could be up this year, but I doubt he would be ready to contribute. Shouse is no good. I have no clue who Atchison is. Rameriz is what he is. Delcarmen sucks. I never thought Boof was anything. So yeah, maybe improve the pen a bit. And when I say improve I do not mean Mike Timlin, who is looking for a major league job still.
Triple A: The Pawsox may have better players than last year, where they where awful. The Pawsox finished in fourth in their divison and offered no real MLB ready players. That should change this year, as a lot of prospects shoukd be ready for triple A. Here are some: Micheal Bowdon, Angel Sanchez, Gil Velezquez, Josh Reddick, Travis Denker, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson, Aaron Bates, Ramon A. Rameriz, Bubba Bell, Darnelle MacDonald, Jeff Natle, Mark Wagner, Zach Daeges, Randor Beird, TJ Large, Kason Gabbard. Decent triple A roster. Bowdon has seen the big leagues, I honestly don’t think he is anything special. Sanchez is a terrific defensive player. Velezquez is the last minute, desprate, there is absolutly no one else in the world who can help, utility player. I like Reddick, but he’s not major league ready. Denker is a career minor leaguer. Lars is the second most overrated prospect in the system to Bowdon. I have a stupid man-crush on Aaron Bates although he hit around the medoza line in triple A last year. I don’t know anything about the other Rameriz, Bubba Bell did well in triple A last year. MacDonald can run, but that’s it. Natle is a 1B-DH type. Wagner is a catcher who should be on the MLB roster beacuse he can throw out base runners. The only thing I know about Daeges is he killed the ball in Spring Training and I never heard of him again. We got Beird for David Pauly, enough said there. TJ Large had an ERA over 6.00 last year, and Gabbard saved us from trading Lester to Texas for Eric Gagne.
Lower-leval prospects: You probally know most of the names. Jose Iglesias, Casey Kelly, Alex Wilson, Reymond Fuentes, Ryan Westmorland, Ryan Kalish, and Dustin Richardson. Some of these guys may be September callups, the most likley being Kalish. I feel these are the players to watch in the minor leagues next year. Alex Wilson is not really known like Kelly or Kalish, but I feel he has a bright future in the majors. He is a righty, and was the Red sox second round pick last year. He is often compared to AL rookie of the eyar Andrew Bailey. His one down swing, he had tommy John surgery two years ago. Has a hard fastball and his out-pitch is his slider. He spent last year with Lowell and I would be surprised to see him with Salem or Greenville next year.
Look at the lineup in-dapth. It is not that terrible. It does not compare to the Yankees, I understand that. Maybe not even to other teams. But this lineup can win 95 games, I think. Take a look.
CF Jacoby Ellsbury: 70 base stealer, entering the prime of his career. He can hit .300, maybe more. He causes havic on the bases and helps hitters behind him. I don’t think Dustin pedroia would be as good without him, as he sees more fastballs with Ellsbury on base due the threat of a steal.
2B Dustin Pedroia: An MVP and .300 hitter, he will drive in from 70-80 runs and have an OBP around .370.
C Victor Martinez: .300 hitter that will give you 20-30 HRs and drive in 80-100 runs as well as a good OBP.
1B Kevin Youkilis: 20-30 HRs and .280-.320 hitter. Good for 100 RBIs and an OBP aroun .400.
DH David Ortiz: Can hit the ball out of the park at any time.
3B Mike Lowell: 20-25 HRs and will hit aroun .290. Will drive in about 80 runs and get the clutch hits.
RF JD Drew: About 20 HRs and maybe a .280 BAA. Will drive in some runs and will take the walk and get on base often, as well as getting a few clutch hits.
LF Mike Cameron: Line drive hitter that will hit 20-30 HRs and hit around .260. Won’t drive in too many runs but can steal a few bases and score quite a bit.
SS Marco Scutaro: Good OBP guy and can hit it out of the park once and a while. Cna steal bases and score runs.
They have to be, if they are looking to deal Jacoby Ellsbury. This kid is good. Guys who can steal 70 bases don’t just grow on trees. This kid is the real deal. He is learning to hit the inside pitch he struggled with, and power will develop. He is fast, a terrific fielder and can hit the ball. He causes a lot of havic out there for pitchers. I belive Ellsbury can turn into and MVP himself someday. But I agree, we do need offense, and I would love Adrian Gonzalez. Just do not trade Ellsbury. (You can join the do not trade Ellsbury movement at BestBostonSports.com) But, if we just traded for Micheal Young we would have offense, and none of this would be a problem.
What is going on with Jason Bay? Where is the market? Is any team even in on him? But after trading Melky Cabrera, the Yankees need a left fielder. Look out there. But one problem with the Red Sox. If they do somehow retain Bay, where do they put him? What do they do? They’ve commited to Mike Cameron. Again, is Ellsbury the odd man out?
That panic button post? Forget it. Love what the Sox are doing. Anyone who reads this knows my opinion of John Lackey. He is arrogant. But he is a great pitcher, so I like the move. One problem, now I have to pretend to like him, just like Rasheed Wallace. You know what, this team needs some arrogance anyways. They really do. This team has no pulse (Drew, Ellsbury, Lester, Kotchman, etc).
I like the Mike Cameron thing, call me crazy. I think he can be helpful. But Red Sox, I beg you, do not make Casey Kotchman our starting first baseman. Please. He is horrible. He grounds out to second base every single time. It drives me crazy. Please, please, sign Beltre or Nick Johnson instead.
On another note, I am just wondering if any Bruins fans out there know why Dennis Wideman is still on this team. Thank you!
Here is the Red Sox Opening Day lineup:
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH David Ortiz
1B Kevin Youkilis
LF Jason Bay
RF JD Drew
3B Mike Lowell
SS Jed Lowrie
C Jason Varitek
P Josh Beckett
Here is the lineup on the last game of the season, the last game of the ALDS.
C Victor Martinez
SS Alex Gonzalez
P Jon Lester
Slight difference, eh? Teams change over the course of a season, and boy did the Red Sox! I was wondering what you Total Bases readers think the Red Sox roster will look like at the begenning of 2010. Wiil Bay be the starting LF? Who will be SS? Who will be the opening day pitcher, Beckett or Lester? You guys tell me.
Ok, the Red Sox season ended early. But as Dustin Pedroia said, is this season a “failure”? I would not go that far.
I admit I though the Sox would get further into the playoffs. But the Angels are a team with a lot of heart, and I hand my hat to them. They were the better team. As hard as it is to admit that, they were.
They pitched better, hit better, and feilded better. Not to mention some lucky calls from umpires. The Angels are a good team, and are not done yet.
All in all, it was a fun season to follow the Red Sox. They were in a true pennet race, something they had not experinced for some time. Here are some of the top story lines this season.
If in May, you told me that Ortiz would have a 29 HR and 99 RBI season, I’d tell you to shut up.
But he did, he had a very good year. Ortiz hit more HR than anyone in the AL from June on. It should be interesting to see what they do with him this year.
70 SB? Wow. Jacoby Ellsbury shattered the Red Sox SB record of 54 this season, robbing 70 bags. Ellsbury is a player that will be an impact for many years to come, and will only get better. I expect an even better season from him in 2010.
The Red Sox bullpen had it’s moments, and was shaky down the stretch, yet it was one of the best bullpens in baseball. That just shows you the bullpen is a weak link for most teams. It should be interesting to see what happens to Jonathan Papelbon and Billy Wagner this off-season.
It may be premature to make predictions for 2010, but look huge years from Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Jon Lester, and Victor Martinez. Just gut feelings.