Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Season 13 Division Predictions: A.L. North
Season 12: 3rd Place (84-78)
Season 13 Prediction: 1st Place
Detroit finished just 6 games above .500 last season which was the fewest wins the Bad Seeds have ever had in a season in their history which is pretty impressive. With the acquisition of Rex Frederick, I like Detroit as the favorite in the A.L. North. The pitching staff is aging, but I think it's the best in the division. The offense will once again be led by Sammy Shumpert, but he'll get a bigger hand this season from 24-year old Goose Sveum.
Breakout Performer: C/DH Goose Sveum
Season 12: 4th Place (83-79)
Season 13 Prediction: 2nd Place
There wasn't a lot of activity in Wichita in the offseason outside of a couple veteran free agent signings in Steve Burks and Cam DeRosa, but I like this squad with or without the added veterans. Look for Tony Galvez to be the offensive leader for the Wranglers. On the mound, Brent Meche is 24 wins shy of 200, but it'll be interesting to see if the 38-year old gets there as that will require he play at least one more season.
Breakout Performer: RP Lenny Wheeler
Season 12: 1st Place (102-60)
Season 13 Prediction: 3rd Place
After a surprising and impressive run in season 12, tecwrg is loving that I have his Scranton Apollos finishing in 3rd place in season 13. The Apollos love playing under the radar, but it'll be hard to sneak up on anyone after winning 102 games last season. Regardless, I think the Apollos overachieved in season 12. Jesus Abreu and Danys Bravo combined for 30 wins last season and I don't think they'll duplicate that feat. The offense, led by Pat Masao and Dan King is still very good and will allow the pitching staff some room to make mistakes.
Breakout Performer: 1B/DH Leo Strong
Season 12: 2nd Place (92-70)
Season 13 Prediction: 4th Place
The Black Sox will have their work cut out for them this season after finishing 2nd the previous season. The best hitters for Chicago, Derek Taylor and Pedro Gonzales, don't have a lot of pop which may lead to a lack of run production for the Sox. The team ERA was in the top half of the league last year, but there isn't a lot of starting pitching depth behind newly-acquired ace, Alan Hitchcock. However, the bullpen has some very good arms which should provide some wins if the starters can leave them with the lead.
Breakout Performer: RP Jack Abercrombie