Sunday, June 21, 2009

Season 13 Division Predictions: A.L. West

Portland Poltergeists (AL)
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Season 12: 1st Place (98-64)
Season 13 Prediction: 1st Place

The Skinny:
The A.L. West is looking like a 2-horse race between Portland and Colorado Springs and I'm giving the advantage to the Poltergeists. The offense is so powerful, Portland has the #2 and #3 all-time home run hitters in Kevin Mullins who currently stands at 566 and Charles Costello who has 544 career bombs. Not to mention, Felix Ellis will probably break 400 home runs this season and will easily surpass the 500 home run mark when all is said and done. Domingo Pizzaro and Paul Ishii lead this pitching staff, but it's Anthony Martin who's off to the best start (3-0).

Breakout Performer: RP Mac Sakamoto

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Mile High Marines (AL)
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Season 12: 2nd Place (90-72)
Season 13 Prediction: 2nd Place

The Skinny:
Much like Portland, Colorado Springs has no shortage of offensive power and it starts with the reigning A.L. MVP Alfredo Valentin. Valentin went off last season for 72 HRs and 197 RBIs. At just 25-years old, Valentin has already spent 7 seasons in the big leagues and he's approaching 300 career home runs. The Mile High Marines aren't all about offense though and they went out and traded for Harry Holzemer to shore up the pitching staff. With Holzemer and the steady Paulie Kolb, the Marines will definitely give Portland a run for the division title.

Breakout Performer: CF Eddie Price

Season 12: 3rd Place (77-85)
Season 13 Prediction: 3rd Place

The Skinny:
The Oles have a healthy offense as well, led by 24-year old Mitch Ledee and perennial all-star Harry Martinez, but what seems to be holding them back is the pitching depth. 150-game winner Malcolm Reese and Jack Fleming have struggled out of the gates, but both are quality starters. From there though, the staff tails off a bit although Ted Chiasson and company are still serviceable. Shane Matthews is proving to be the real deal at closer

Breakout Performer: RP Shane Matthews

Season 12: 4th Place (53-109)
Season 13 Prediction: 4th Place

The Skinny:
After winning just 53 games last season, it's no surprise that San Diego is rebuilding. 37-year old Harry Mateo may be a good trading piece for contenders as the trade deadline rolls around. The 3-time Cy Young winner still has a good arm and would like to get to 200 wins (currently at 174), but that's not likely to happen in San Diego. Offensively, Don Jerzembeck has driven in and scored at least 100 runs in each of his last 2 seasons, but he's off to a horrendous start (.195 ba) which is not good for a team that needs all the production they can get.

Breakout Performer: RP Travis Zentmeyer

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