Sunday, March 20, 2011

Season 20 Preview - AL South

FA Signings: Wilfredo James (3B), Justin Miles (3B/SS)
Nothing big here - the Really Big Deal is re-signing the incomparable Damon Prinz to a max contract. He’s won 2 Cy Young’s already and if he stays healthy will surely be in the running for another.

Trade Acquisitions: None

Losses: Yoo-nah Masato (RP), Sammy Mesa (OF), RJ Torres (3B/SS), Pedro Santos (SS)

Last season: 99-63, 1st place AL South; WS champs
Runs: 916 (3rd)
ERA: 3.96 (4th)
Fielding: .986 (T3rd) 65/46 +/-

Conclusion: With the resigning of Prinz, people can safely ignore any ideas of ‘rebuilding’ in Richmond for season 20. Still a very strong team, the immediate question is can James and Miles replace the value of Torres and Santos. It is a young team at the ML level, but not much is available in AAA. Bigtuna has done a fantastic rebuilding job in Richmond worthy of study by all potential rebuilders.

FA Signings: None

Trade Acquisitions: None

Losses: Vincente Ibarra (P), Deion Long (RP)

Last season: 92-70, 2nd Place AL South
Runs: 786 (10th)
ERA: 3.87 (3rd)
Fielding: .988 (T2nd) 83/11 +/-

Conclusion: Pitching and defense have been the hallmark of Swabbie play through the years and season 20 should be no exception. Just one year removed from a world championship, Atlanta remains almost unchanged from last years team. They do have some talent in AAA, but not of the impact variety.

FA Signings: Yorvit Sojo (OF)
A big time, MVP-like bat, Sojo comes to the AL via pitcher friendly Burlington. His numbers will be due to jump up.

Trade Acquisitions: Pedro Santos (SS/3B)
The 2nd big bat to be added to the lineup - look out AL South pitching.

Losses: Wilfredo James (3B), Al Chantres (1B/DH), Edwin Lush (OF)

Last Season: 90-72, 3rd place AL South
Runs: 843 (6th)
ERA: 4.10 (5th)
Fielding: .984 (T8th) 74/30 +/-

Conclusion: Talented newcomers in Sojo and Santos, plus good young players who cut their teeth last season or who start the year in AAA should make a big difference for the Driskills this season. Is it enough to hurdle past both Atlanta and Richmond?

FA Signings: None

Trade Acquisitions: None

Losses: Brian Shinjo (CF), Sidney Tessmer (SP), Enrique Mendez (RP), Tony Yamamoto (SP)

Last Season: 61-101, 4th place AL South
Runs: 776 (11th)
ERA: 6.28 (14th)
Fielding: .978 (T13th) 59/82 +/-

Conclusion: With 14 players on the ML roster having under a years’ worth of ML experience, it is hard to figure Santa Fe out. Eight Rule V selections were made, and many very high draft picks were obtained through trading. This year may not be the year they figure it out in Santa Fe, but look out AL South over the next few seasons.

Hypno’s Projected Order of Finish:
1. Richmond
2. Charlotte
3. Atlanta
4. Santa Fe

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