Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Season 13 Division Predictions: N.L. North

Season 12: 1st Place (95-67)
Season 13 Prediction: 1st Place

The Skinny:
Minnesota won the division by a comfortable margin last season and I expect the pennant to remain here in Minnesota in season 13. Don Yoshii pitched in an incredible 102 games last season and could very well be the team's most valuable player. What a great situation to be able to turn to a relief pitcher who threw 192 innings while winning 10 games and saving 8. Having said that, the offense is awesome and very young. 25-year oldBill Hewson had an RBI for every game in season 12 and I expect guys like 23-year old Roger Heath and 25-year oldMiguel Mateo to bust out in season 13.

Breakout Performer: SS Miguel Mateo

Season 12: 2nd Place (79-83)
Season 13 Prediction: 2nd Place

The Skinny:
Besides Minnesota, the other 3 teams in the NL North all finished within 5 games of each other and I had a hard time deciding where these teams should be placed, but I kept going back to New York due to their pitching. Pedro Cruz is a steady presence at the top of the rotation and has a 3.46 ERA in his 2+ big league seasons. Peter Suzuki continues to work out of the bullpen as the closer, but he'll be in the rotation before all is said and done, much like that other New York pitcher, Joba Chamberlain. Offensively, the team will be led by 24-year old 30/30 candidate, Matt Bryant.

Breakout Performer: OF Jimmy Womack

Season 12: 3rd Place (78-84)
Season 13 Prediction: 3rd Place

The Skinny:
Sherm Roberts has carried this team for a long time and he doesn't appear to be slowing down. The two-time MVP is coming off one of his best seasons batting .359 with 116 RBI and 133 runs scored in season 12. With the help of Cory Kennedy, this team should score a lot of runs which should be enough to keep them out of the basement in the division. The rotation isn't great, but we look forward to seeing 22-year old Jung-Lee Kyung in his first full season in the bigs. Kyung has great control and a nice fastball and should have a long career for the Titans.

Breakout Performer: CF Chet Wheeler

Season 12: 4th Place (74-88)
Season 13 Prediction: 4th Place

The Skinny:
Boise appears to be readying themselves for a run a few years down the line. They've got some great young arms in the rotation already such as 25-year old Chad Stevenson and 23-year old Gabe Roberts. Offensively, Greg Wolf needs to put up better numbers than he has recently for this team have a chance to contend. The Spuds have already suffered a tough break when 24-year old right fielder Allie Perkins tore a hamstring in spring training.

Breakout Performer: OF Bip Helton

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