After months of cold and snow, winter finally seems to have thawed and those magic words have been uttered: “Pitchers and catchers report”. Baseball season is finally upon us as Spring Training kicks into gear. In the next few weeks I will help you get ready for the upcoming season with a series of “Divisional Previews”. This article will serve as an overall guide to what you will read in the Previews.
First off, I will classify each team into one of three categories:
-Contender – team has a legitimate shot at playoffs
-Rebuilding – team has only a very small chance of making playoffs
-Stuck in the Middle – team is stuck somewhere between being a contender and rebuilding
Hint hint: the Phillies are contenders and this guy is a big reason why. And no, I’m not talking about Ruben Amaro, Jr.
For each contender I will tell you:
-Why they could win the division
-Why they might not win the division
For every other team I will tell you:
-What to like
-What not to like (entitled “Not so much”)
For each team I will also designate a player for some of the below. Be aware that each team will not have every one of these, but each will have quite a few:
Mike Moustakas could soon help take the Royals from the outhouse to the penthouse.
-On the way – Impact prospect that will be up sometime this year
-Don’t believe the hype – Young player who will struggle this year
-Game on – Young player who is ready for a breakout
-Quantum Leap – Player who is ready to go from good to great
-Slipping – Established player who is primed for a slip in production
Most of the statistics that will be referenced are taken from the website FanGraphs.com. If you have never been to FanGraphs, I suggest taking a gander. It’s a great resource for any aspiring Sabermetrician. The first division up will be the NL East early next week.