Tag Archives: Gil Meche

Season Preview: AL Central


With Spring Training well under way and the first games already in the books, I figured it was a good time to take a look at my own predictions for the league, and the changes the respective teams have made. Today’s group is the American League Central.

Last Year’s Records
Minnesota – 94-68
Chicago – 88-74
Detroit – 81-81
Cleveland – 69-93
Kansas City – 67-95

Notable Additions

Chicago – Adam Dunn, Lastings Milledge

Cleveland – Orlando Cabrera

Detroit – Victor Martinez, Brad Penny, Joaquin Benoit

Kansas City – Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera, Vin Mazzaro

Minnesota – Tsuyoshi Nishioka

Notable Losses

Chicago – Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez, Freddy Garcia, J.J. Putz, Bobby Jenks, Scott Linebrink

Cleveland – NONE

Detroit – Johnny Damon, Jeremy Bonderman, Gerald Laird, Armando Galarraga

Kansas City – Zack Greinke, David DeJesus, Brian Bannister, Gil Meche

Minnesota – J.J. Hardy, Orlando Hudson, Brendan Harris, Jon Rauch, Brian Fuentes

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Original Draft Series: #3 – Seattle Mariners


For those that missed the guidelines I am using for this series of posts, you can find them here.

Team #3: Seattle Mariners

General Managers(since 1994)

Woody Woodward (1994-1999):458-445
Pat Gillick (2000-2003):393-359
Bill Bavasi (2004-2008):359-451
Jack Zduriencik (2009):85-77

Team Performance

Playoffs Division Finish
WC League Playoff App 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Last
0 0 4 3 4 5 4 0

All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Jason Varitek 1994 – 1st Rd (14) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to SEA – 7/31/97
1B Raul Ibanez 1992 – 36th Rd 8+5 986 gm, .284/.346/.464, 127 HR, 547 RBI, 21 SB Left via Free Agency – 12/21/00, 10/30/08
2B Jose Lopez
Int’l FA – 2000 10 1 All Star Appearance
853 gm, .266/.297/.399, 77 HR, 422 RBI
Currently with Org.
3B Alex Rodriguez 1993 – 1st Rd (1) 7 4 All Star Appearances, 4 Silver Sluggers
790 gm, .309/.374/.561, 189 HR, 595 RBI, 133 SB
Left via Free Agency – 10/30/00
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
Int’l FA – 2002 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to CLE – 6/30/06
LF Shin-Soo Choo Int’l FA – 2000 6 14 gm, .069/.182/.103, RBI Traded to CLE – 7/26/06
CF Adam Jones 2003 – 1st Rd (37) 4 73 gm, .230/.267/.353, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 SB Traded to BAL – 2/8/08
RF Ichiro Suzuki
Int’l FA – 2001 10 2001 AL MVP and Rookie of the Year, 10 All Star Appearances, 9 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver Sluggers
1564 gm., .331/.376/.430, 89 HR, 550 RBI, 88 SB
Currently with Org.
DH David Ortiz Int’l FA – 1992 4 No Major League Appearances Traded to MIN – 9/13/96
SP Felix Hernandez Int’l FA – 2002 8 1 All Star Appearance
69-51, 3.23 ERA, 1124.1 IP, 1019 K, 347 BB
Currently with Org.
SP Brandon Morrow
2006 – 1st Rd (5) 3 8-12, 3.96 ERA, 197.2 IP, 204 K, 128 BB Traded to TOR – 12/23/09
SP Joel Pineiro 1997 – 12th Rd 11 58-55, 4.48 ERA, 996 IP, 658 K, 327 BB Left via Free Agency – 12/12/06
SP Derek Lowe
1991 – 8th Rd 6 2-4, 6.96 ERA, 53 IP, 39 K, 20 BB Traded to SEA – 7/31/97
SP Gil Meche
1996 – 1st Rd (22) 10 55-44, 4.65 ERA, 815.1 IP, 575 K, 363 BB Left via Free Agency – 10/31/06
RP Damaso Marte
Int’l FA – 1992 8 0-1, 9.35 ERA, 8.2 IP, 3 K, 6 BB Left via Free Agency – 10/18/00
RP Matt Thornton 1998 – 1st Rd (22) 7 1-6, 4.82 ERA, 89.2 IP, 87 K, 67 BB Traded to SEA – 3/20/06
RP Rafael Soriano Int’l FA – 1996 10 4-8, 2.89 ERA, 4 SV, 171 IP, 177 K, 53 BB Traded to ATL – 12/7/06
RP Ryan Franklin 1992 – 23rd Rd 13 35-50, 4.34 ERA, 811.1 IP, 427 K, 238 BB Left via Free Agency – 12/21/05
RP J.J. Putz 1999 – 6th Rd 9 1 All Star Appearance
22-15, 3.07 ERA, 323 IP, 337 K, 104 BB
Traded to NYM – 12/11/08
CL Brian Fuentes 1995 – 25th Rd 6 1-1, 4.63 ERA, 11.2 IP, 10 K, 8 BB Traded to COL – 12/16/01
BN Omar Vizquel
Int’l FA – 1984 9 1 Gold Glove
660 gm, .252/.309/.303, 6 HR, 131 RBI, 39 SB
Traded to CLE – 12/20/93
BN Greg Dobbs Amat. FA – 2001 5 100 gm, .257/.291/.351, 2 HR, 32 RBI Selected off waivers by PHI – 1/15/07
BN Yuniesky Betancourt Int’l FA – 2005 4 588 gm,. 279/.302/.393, 27 HR, 202 RBI, 24 SB Traded to KC – 7/10/09
BN Jeff Clement 2005 – 1st Rd (3) 4 75 gm, .237/.309/.393, 7 HR, 26 RBI Traded to PIT – 7/29/09
BN Luis Valbuena
Int’l FA – 2002 6 18 gm, .245/.315/.347, RBI Traded to CLE – 12/11/08

June Amateur Draft

The Mariners have actually not been as active in the draft as I thought they had been. Clearly, the retirement of Ken Griffey Jr in the middle of the season removed him from this team, although to be honest he probably would have only been a bench player like he was in real life. The Mariners are unfortunately not seeing nearly as much success as they be expected to considering the quality level of the players listed here. Alex Rodriguez has clearly been the best player to this point overall, at least coming out of the draft. But the story for a lot of these players has been that they achieved their greatest success while with other teams. Morrow is very rapidly turning into a top starting pitcher, Lowe and Varitek were both traded short-sightedly to the Red Sox for a reliever, and of course the group of players who were dealt to acquire Erik Bedard (Jones, George Sherrill, Chris Tillman, among others).

International Free Agency

The Mariners have clearly done their best work in the international market. Ichiro, while not an amateur free agent, has clearly been the cream of the crop and has helped to define the organization ever since he arrived. But there have been so many other excellent players that were brought in by the Mariners as well, with King Felix Hernandez probably providing the most to the team while on the team. They have had some solid players go through the organization via this method as well, but unfortunately the story is very similar to the amateur draftees. The two that stand out to me are Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo, who were traded for a pair of platoon first basemen in Eduardo Perez and Ben Broussard. Both were just prospects when they were traded, but have turned into at worst solid major league regulars.

Overall Grade

A. The Mariners are one of the few teams where I had to ignore quite a few players. There were probably another 10-15 players that could very well have ended up on the rosters of other organizations further down the list. I think that they did receive quite a bit of production from these players, and clearly the one who retired (Griffey) also helped the team stay in Seattle practically. They had an All-Star closer in J.J. Putz, a clear Ace in Felix Hernandez, and a future Hall of Famer in Ichiro Suzuki. Every position has someone who has become a major league regular, as well as players on the bench who have in some capacity as well. The pitching staff has 5 pitchers who have closed for at least some time in their careers, and a solid pitching rotation as well. Overall, they were immediately on my mind as one of my top teams overall.

Team Preview – Kansas City Royals


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Jason Kendall SP 1 Zack Greinke
1B Billy Butler SP 2 Gil Meche
2B Alberto Callaspo SP 3 Brian Bannister
3B Alex Gordon SP 4 Luke Hochevar
SS Yuniesky Betancourt SP 5 Kyle Davies
LF Scott Podsednik Bullpen
CF Rick Ankiel CL Joakim Soria
RF David Dejesus RP Juan Cruz
DH Jose Guillen RP Robinson Tejeda
Bench RP Kyle Farnsworth
IF Chris Getz RP Roman Colon
IF Josh Fields

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
CF Rick Ankiel Free Agency RF Mark Teahen Trade (CHW)
LF Scott Podsednik Free Agency 1B Mike Jacobs Free Agency
2B Chris Getz Trade (CHW) C John Buck Free Agency
3B Josh Fields Trade (CHW) CF Coco Crisp Free Agency
C Jason Kendall Free Agency C Miguel Olivo Free Agency

Top Prospects: Mike Moustakas (3B), Eric Hosmer (1B), Aaron Crow (P), Mike Montgomery (P), Wil Myers (C)

2009 Review

The Royals were not really expected to compete in 2009, and they pretty much performed to those expectations. They finished the season at 65-97, good for a 4th place tie in teh AL Central. But they definitely had some bright spots. C Miguel Olivo posted a career high 23 HR to lead the team. 1B Billy Butler had an excellent season at the plate, posting a .301 average with 21 HR and 93 RBI. Easily the best performance by a Royal came from SP Zack Greinke, the AL Cy Young award winner. Greinke put it all together in 2009, posting a 16-8 record with a 2.16 ERA and 242 strikeouts. Unfortunately, the only other pitcher on the staff that performed remotely well was closer Joakim Soria, who saved 30 games and posted a 2.21 ERA.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Royals came into the offseason with a lot of holes to plug (C, CF, LF), and did well to get some high-upside players for a couple of those positions. I liked the signing of Ankiel and Podsednik, as they are both low-risk, high-upside signings. If they don’t work out, they only spent about $5 M on the two players, and are only committed to them for the 2010 season. The most confusing move that they made was the signing of Jason Kendall. Kendall is a good catcher for a young pitching staff, and that part makes sense to me. It’s a good thing, in fact, because he’s highly unlikely to provide any offense at all. That’s essentially a black hole for offense. And this is on a team that has very little offense to speak of.

The team is hoping that the starting rotation will improve this season, and will also be giving reliever Kyle Farnsworth an opportunity to try to start in spring training. After Greinke, they have a lot of pitchers that should improve, but I’m not sure how much. Meche is probably very similar to what he performed like last year. Hochevar remains a mixed bag, with a lot of potential, but hasn’t really seen it show up yet. Bannister and Davies both seem to be reasonable innings-eaters, but not a whole lot else. Another player that the Royals are hopeful will rebound is 3B Alex Gordon. Gordon has been touted for a long time, and has been inconsistent at the Major League level to this point.

They do have some solid players coming down the line in Crow and Montgomery, but both are pretty far away still. It also remains to be seen how the long term plan works in Kansas City, as their best prospects realistically play the same positions as the young talents they already have. They really don’t have a whole lot of prospects for the outfield, and for a team that has had as many high draft picks as the Royals have, the minor league system seems unusually thin.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

Realistically, the only players on the  Royals I’d want to own are Zack Greinke, Joakim Soria, and Billy Butler. Beyond that, the offense is a pretty big black hole. The pitching staff is not a whole lot better. My only upside players I see are Scott Podsednik, who could provide some steals, and Rick Ankiel, but only if he can return to his power form.

Prediction for 2010

The Royals aren’t going to compete this year. I’m not 100% sure that they’re going to compete in the next 3 years. It seems really likely to me that some point in the next 2 years, general manager Dayton Moore is going to lose his job, because the performance is really not getting it done. I know it takes time to rebuild  a system as bare as the Royals, but at some point they’re going to need to see improvement at the Major League level.

72-90, 4th in the AL Central