Tag Archives: Jake Peavy

Season Previews in Review: American League Central


Back during Spring Training, I took a look at each team and made predictions about how each team would do and how I thought their season would go. This was the first year doing this, and I figured now was a good time to take a look back and see how it went. I reviewed the AL East previously, and now it’s on to the AL Central.

Chicago White Sox

Predicted Record: 84-78            Actual Record: 88-74

This team’s record ended up slightly better than I thought it would, but actually finished in the same spot in the standings I believed that they would. They got solid pitching as usual, but not as much from Jake Peavy once he suffered a season ending injury. The move to second base for Gordon Beckham seemed to cause him some serious struggles throughout most of the season, and he didn’t seem to get his bat back until after the All-Star break.

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Fun with Old Copies of BA’s Almanac (2003 edition) – Part 3


Part 3 of the 2003 BA Almanac Series takes a look at the Top 20 Prospect Lists created by BA for each of the minor leagues.

Players on More than One List

Brandon Phillips – Eastern League (AA) and International League (AAA)
Aaron Heilman – Eastern League (AA) and International League (AAA)
Mark Teixeira – Texas League (AA) and Florida State League (High-A)
Jose Reyes – Eastern League (AA) and Florida State League (High-A)
Hanley Ramirez – NY Penn League (SS-A) and Gulf Coast League (Rookie)

#1 Overall in Each League

International League – Carl Crawford (TAM)
Pacific Coast League – Jesse Foppert (SF)
Eastern League – Jose Reyes (NYM)
Southern League – Jake Peavy (SD)
Texas League – Mark Teixeira (TEX)
California League – Rocco Baldelli (TAM)
Carolina League – Sean Burnett (PIT)
Florida State League – Mark Teixeira (TEX)
Midwest League – Joe Mauer (MIN)
Sally League – Gavin Floyd (CHW)
NY-Penn League – Hanley Ramirez (BOS)
Northwest League – Andy Sisco (CHC)
Appalachian League – Jeff Francoeur (ATL)
Pioneer League – James Loney (LAD)
Arizona Rookie League – Felix Pie (CHC)
Gulf Coast Rookie League – Hanley Ramirez (BOS)

My Thoughts from the Lists

When you look at the two AAA lists, I find it interesting to see how their careers have gone:

  • All-Stars: 12 out of 40
  • Solid Major League Regulars: 14 out of 40
  • Cup of Coffees: 14 out of 40
  • Never Made It: 0 out of 40

I believe that Major League teams view players who make it to AAA as at least a reasonable chance to play in the Majors, so this doesn’t really surprise me that none of BA’s top 40 failed to play in the Majors for at least 1 game.

Of course, there are definitely some players who had less than stellar careers that come from this list, including:

Overall though, this class of 40 prospects is pretty solid, with perennial All Stars Carl Crawford and Chase Utley probably considered to be the best of the group.

Some other notes:

  • The Eastern League had 9 future MLB All-Stars out of their top 10 in 2002. The lone player who has not made an All-Star team: Aaron Heilman
  • The Pioneer League (Adv. Rookie) had a surprising amount of MLB regulars with 11 of their 20 listed playing big roles with teams now, including Prince Fielder, James Loney, and Ubaldo Jimenez.
  • The Northwest League (Short-Season A) only had 2 players with a measurable impact this season: Ricky Nolasco and Fred Lewis.
  • The California League had 13 players who have had a solid impact in the Majors, including Josh Hamilton, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart, and Bobby Jenks.

Overall, it’s really interesting to me to see what hindsight can tell us now that it has been nearly 8 years since this was published. Looking at the performance that the players on the list provided, it is pretty clear to me that the prospect lists were very accurate at the time, and clearly reflected a lot of research on the whole by the staff over at BA. But them, just like the rest of us, are pretty much guessing sometimes when it comes to prospects and how they will turn out once they get to the Majors, if they get there at all.

Original Draft Series #24 – San Diego Padres


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

Team #24: San Diego Padres

General Managers(since 1994)

Randy Smith (1994-1995): 117-144
Kevin Towers (1996-2009): 1108-1161
Jed Hoyer (Current)

Team Performance

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

The Padres have had some success, including winning the 1998 National League pennant. 5 playoff appearances in 16 seasons isn’t terrible, but there have been some poor seasons as well. Despite 13 seasons with the team, this ended up costing general manager Kevin Towers his job after the 2009 season. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Nick Hundley 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 181 gm, .250/.314/.405, 18 HR, 78 RBI, 5 SB, 66 R Currently with Org.
1B Derrek Lee 1993 – 1st Rd (14) 4 22 gm, .2569/.365/.370, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R Traded to FLA – 12/15/97
2B Matt Antonelli 2006 – 1st Rd (17) 4 21 gm, .193/.292/.281, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 R Currently with Org.
3B David Freese 2006 – 9th Rd 4 81 gm, .308/.368/.432, 5 HR, 40 RBI, SB, 30 R Traded to STL – 12/14/07
SS Jason Bartlett 2001 – 13th Rd 1 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MIN – 7/12/02
LF Gary Matthews Jr. 1993 – 13th Rd 7 23 gm, .222/.378/.222, 7 RBI, 2 SB, 4 R Traded to CHC – 3/23/00
CF Will Venable 2005 – 7th Rd 5 184 gm, .250/.321/.415, 19 HR, 72 RBI, 20 SB, 85 R Currently with Org.
RF Xavier Nady 2000 – 2nd Rd 5 269 gm, .263/.320/.414, 25 HR, 91 RBI, 8 SB, 98 R Traded to NYM – 12/18/05
SP Jake Peavy 1999 – 15th Rd 10 2 All-Star Appearances, 2007 NL Cy Young Award Winner
92-68, 3.29 ERA, 1348 K, 435 BB, 1342.2 IP, 1.186 WHIP
Traded to CHW – 7/31/09
SP Oliver Perez Int’l FA – 1999 4 8-12, 4.51 ERA, 211 K, 113 BB, 193.2 IP, 1.482 WHIP Traded to PIT – 8/26/03
SP Rodrigo Lopez Purchased from Mexican League – 1995 6 0-3, 8.76 ERA, 17 K, 13 BB, 24.2 IP, 2.149 WHIP Free Agency – 10/15/01
SP Mat Latos 2006 – 11th Rd 4 11-9, 3.75 ERA, 110 K, 44 BB, 129.2 IP, 1.111 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Wade LeBlanc 2006 – 2nd Rd 4 8-8, 3.96 ERA, 88 K, 60 BB, 136.1 IP, 1.445 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Eddie Bonine 2003 – 23rd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Selected by DET – 12/8/05
RP Shaun Camp 1997 – 16th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to PIT – 7/10/01
RP Leo Rosales 2003 – 20th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to ARI – 7/27/07
RP Tim Stauffer 2003 – 1st Rd (4) 7 10-15, 4.57 ERA, 129 K, 74 BB, 191 IP, 1.429 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Cesar Ramos 2005 – 1st Rd (35) 5 0-2, 7.45 ERA, 14 K, 6 BB, 19.1 IP, 1.966 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Ernesto Frieri Int’l FA – 2003 6 2 gm, 2 K, 1 BB, 2 IP, 0.500 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Chase Headley (3B) 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 323 gm, .262/.332/.388, 25 HR, 124 RBI, 23 SB, 135 R Currently with Org.
BN Kyle Blanks (OF) 2004 – 42nd Rd 6 87 gm, .212/.325/.436, 13 HR, 37 RBI, 2 SB, 38 R Currently with Org.
BN Luis Durango (OF) Int’l FA – 2003 7 15 gm, .458/.519/.458, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 6 R Currently with Org.
BN George Kottaras (C) 2002 – 20th Rd 4 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to BOS – 9/5/06
BN Lance Zawadzki (3B) 2007 – 4th Rd 3 20 gm, .200/.300/.257, 1 RBI, 1SB, 4 R Currently with Org.

June Amateur Draft

The Padres have had 29 picks in the first round in the last 15 drafts (not including the 2010 draft), including an eye popping 6 in the 2007 draft. They have gotten some solid players out of the first round, with Derrek Lee being probably the best overall player from that round. Unfortunately, a lot of the players in the first round have been misses, with the most glaring being overall #1 pick in 2004, Matt Bush. Bush was drafted as a signability pick, and among the players that the Padres passed on to draft Bush included Justin Verlander and Jered Weaver. They have gotten some solid values out of later rounds of the draft, including Jake Peavy (15th), Mat Latos (11th), and Kyle Blanks (42nd). Overall, I think that they’ve done reasonably well in the draft, but there are still a lot of players here who are essentially sporting an incomplete for the Padres (Antonelli, Ramos, Frieri, Durango).

International Free Agency

I found essentially 4 international free agents for the team, of which only Oliver Perez really made a particular contribution to the Padres as a whole. While Perez didn’t pitch particularly amazing while he was in San Diego, he was traded by the Padres to the Pirates for OF Brian Giles, a stalwart in the outfield for the Padres for a few seasons. Durango to me seems like he has potential, but unless he can find a way to break into the lineup over the current group of outfielders, I don’t think we’ll see it anytime soon. I am looking forward to seeing what the new general manager

Overall Grade

C-. The Padres have developed a fair amount of pitching, with Jake Peavy clearly leading the way. They have some players who have become regulars for the Padres, with Chase Headley and Kyle Blanks both looking like they could be very solid players.  Overall though, I am not particularly impressed with the performance of this group of players to this point, but I think that there’s a lot more upside than there has been with some of the previous teams.

The Week in Review – May 3rd to May 9th


If the Playoffs Started Today

Texas (18-14) vs. Tampa (22-9)
New York (21-9) vs. Minnesota (21-11)

San Francisco (18-12) vs. St. Louis (20-12)
San Diego (19-12) vs. Philadelphia (19-12)

Last Week’s Top Performers

J.D. Drew (BOS) – .500/.552/.625, 5 RBI, 9 R
Alex Rios (CHW) – .464/.467/1.000, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 7 R
Kevin Youkilis (BOS) – .450/.645/.800, HR, 2 RBI, 7 R
Vladimir Guerrero (LAA) – .360/.345/.840, 4 HR, 13 RBI, SB, 5 R
Jayson Werth (PHI) – .360/.407/1.000, 4 HR, 9 RBI, SB, 6 R
Joey Votto (CIN) – .417/.481/.833, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R
Aaron Rowand (SF) – .357/.400/.786, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 6 R

Ubaldo Jimenez (COL)  – 1-1, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 18 K, 14 IP
Jake Peavy (CHW) – 2-0, 1.20 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, 17 K, 15 IP
Scott Baker (MIN) – 2-0, 2.40 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 14 K, 15 IP
Adam Wainwright (STL) – 1-0, 1.93 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 13 K, 14 IP
Jamie Garcia (STL) – 1-1, 1.50 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 13 K, 12 IP
Neftali Feliz (TEX) – 4 SV, 4 IP, 4 K

Roster Movement and Job Changes

Disabled List:

  • Rafael Furcal, Rick Ankiel, Yunel Escobar, LaTroy Hawkins and Nick Johnson were all placed on the disabled list.
  • Esmailin Caridad and Conor Jackson were both activated from the disabled list.

Call Ups and Roster Changes:

  • Starlin Castro was called up from AA.

Top Stories and This Week’s Links

  • On Monday, the big news out of Philadelphia was when a 17-year old fan was tasered for running onto the field. Realistically, the response really doesn’t seem like as big a deal as it was made out to be. There’s a reason that the players were pretty happy with the response that was taken. That and probably images of Monica Seles being stabbed and that poor 1B coach being attacked in Chicago those years ago I am sure help them to think this.
  • On Tuesday, baseball lost an icon of broadcasting, as Ernie Harwell unfortunately lost his battle with cancer. The man was the only broadcaster ever involved in a trade, back in 1948.
  • On Thursday, baseball lost another Hall of Famer, with Robin Roberts passing away. Roberts was a 5-time 20 game winner for the Phillies back in the 50’s.
  • Friday was the call up of Starlin Castro by the Cubs, and he came through in a big way. He had a triple, a home run, and 6 RBI in his debut. Clearly he is not going to be this good every game, but it was a definite good start to the career. It was a bit scary to see that he is the first player born in the 1990’s to make his MLB debut.
  • My A’s are having a hard time drawing fans, which is nothing new. Even with the perfect game thrown by Dallas Braden on Mother’s Day, there were only 12,000 paid attendance, which even to me seems almost high. It’s really hard to get excited about going to the stadium, so realistically that’s a really big portion of a potential audience that they simply can’t draw. Until they get their stadium situation resolved, it’s not going to get better.

Team Preview – San Diego Padres


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C Nick Hundley SP 1 Chris Young
1B Adrian Gonzalez SP 2 Jon Garland
2B David Eckstein SP 3 Kevin Correia
3B Chase Hundley SP 4 Mat Latos
SS Everth Cabrera SP 5 Clayton Richard
LF Kyle Blanks Bullpen
CF Tony Gwynn Jr. CL Heath Bell
RF Will Venable RP Mike Adams
Bench RP Luke Gregerson
OF Scott Hairston RP Edward Mujica
C Yorvit Torrealba RP Joe Thatcher

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
SP Jon Garland Free Agency 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff Trade (OAK)
OF Scott Hairston Trade (OAK)
C Yorvit Torrealba Free Agency

Top Prospects: Donavan Tate (OF), Jaff Decker (OF), James Darnell (3B), Simon Castro (P)

2009 Review

The Padres came into 2009 without a lot of expectations. The team was in the process of being sold to new ownership, and they had not spent hardly any money in the offseason. The majority of the offseason was spent listening to rumors about if and when SP Jake Peavy would be traded away from sunny San Diego. The team actually got off to a reasonable start, finishing the month of May at 25-25. Peavy made the Opening Day start, but was nearly traded in May when the Padres and White Sox had agreed to a trade to send him to the South Side. Peavy had a full no-trade clause, and vetoed the trade at this time. Shortly thereafter, he was injured running the bases during a game, and placed on the disabled list in early June. Despite being on the disabled list at the time, the Padres came to an agreement with the White Sox to trade Peavy again at the trade deadline, but this time Peavy accepted the trade to Chicago.

Although the team finished 75-87, good for 4th place in their division, the team outperformed their expected win total by almost 10 wins. There were some bright spots though. 1B Adrian Gonzalez had probably his best season yet, posting a .277 batting average with 40 homeruns and 99 rbi. Free agent signee Kevin Correia pitched well for the Padres, giving them almost 200 innings pitched with a 12-11 record and a 3.91 ERA. The team also received some solid performance from rookie SS Everth Cabrera, who stole 25 bases and scored 59 runs in 103 games. Unfortunately, these performances were not enough, and the ownership decided to fire long time general manager Kevin Towers.

Team Outlook for 2010

The Padres brought in new general manager Jed Hoyer, who had been with the Red Sox for the past few seasons, and are hard at work in their rebuilding process. The biggest story of the offseason remained whether or not the Padres would trade franchise player 1B Adrian Gonzalez and closer Heath Bell. As the season nears its start, it appears to become WHEN they will trade their stars, not if. Both players have very friendly contracts and high levels of production. The team itself seems unlikely to compete for the divsion title this season, as I don’t believe that their pitching staff is good enough to make up for the shortcomings of the rest of their offense. Their power production will be led by OF Kyle Blanks and 3B Chase Headley (in addition to Gonzalez),  but I don’t see them providing enough power for the rest of the lineup, which is unlikely to produce very much power at all. For them to have a chance, their pitching staff will have to carry them a long way.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

The best players for fantasy on the Padres have to include closer Heath Bell and 1B Adrian Gonzalez. Both are top-10 players at their position, and Gonzalez is really a top-25 player overall. For deeper leagues, SS Everth Cabrera should provide some nice steal totals for his owners, and SP Mat Latos could provide some nice upside as well. Be wary with Latos, as it has already been announced that he will be shut down at 150 innings pitched this season. But those could be some very productive innings even still.

Prediction for 2010

The Padres are realistically only 1 year into their rebuilding efforts, and they should receive some excellent prospects back in return when they do trade Adrian Gonzalez and Heath Bell. Wild guess prediction is that Gonzalez ends up in Chicago with the White Sox, and Bell with the Twins.

65-97, 5th in the NL West

Fantasy Preview – Starting Pitchers Part 1


A note about my rankings: I am assuming a standard scoring league (5×5) with the following categories:

R, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, W, SV, ERA, K, WHIP

Also, I have done a lot of statistical analysis in the past, but I’m not ready to start calculating my own projections statistically. So for me, a lot of this is based entirely on gut feel (which of these 2 players would I want), and looking at previous performance. All statistics are from the 2009 season.

My top 25 Starting Pitchers

1. Tim Lincecum – SF
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 2.48 225.1 261 1.047
Lincecum is coming off back-to-back Cy Young Awards, and is still extremely young. The unorthodox delivery will always be of some concern, but he has had success with it to this point, and in staying healthy while using it. He really should have won more than 15 games last season, but you’re not really looking for wins specifically at this point. To me, Lincecum is far and away the best starting pitcher at the start of the season, and could very well end up with a repeat of his 2009 season again in 2010.


2. Roy Halladay – PHI
W ERA IP K WHIP
17 2.79 239 208 1.126
After all the speculation that Halladay would be moved during the 2009 season, it was a small surprise to see him actually moved during the offseason. But I really like what this does for his value for 2010. His lineup is going to provide him with a ton of runs, and Halladay also gets the bonus of getting to face the Nationals and the rest of the National League as opposed to having to face the juggernauts in New York and Boston a half-dozen times. I think he could actually improve on these numbers, and I think he’s going to give Lincecum a run for the money for the Cy Young Award this season.


3. Felix Hernandez – SEA
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 2.49 238.2 217 1.135
Hernandez really put it all together last season, finishing 2nd in the AL Cy Young voting to Greinke. The Mariners have made a concerted effort to improve the defense behind their pitching staff for 2010, adding Casey Kotchman at 1B and Chone Figgins at 3B. I think that Hernandez can actually see slight improvements in his numbers this season. My only concern for King Felix would be that he may not necessarily get as many wins, but you really shouldn’t be chasing wins to begin with.


4. C.C. Sabathia – NYY
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 3.37 230 197 1.148
Sabathia is simply a true pitcher. He’s going to be out there for as long as they will allow him, throwing as many pitches as he needs to get through a start. I actually think that the win total could also have the potential to be even higher this season, and the strikeouts higher as well. He’s always going to have a pretty good amount of run support, and his ERA and WHIP should stay in a similar range to last year.


5. Zack Greinke – KC
W ERA IP K WHIP
16 2.16 229.1 242 1.073
Greinke won the AL Cy Young Award last season, edging out Hernandez and Sabathia both. I think he’s going to see a slight regression, as the ERA and WHIP were amazingly low. But we’re still talking about a pitcher who will end up with a sub-3 ERA and a WHIP around 1.15 or less. Oh, and the strikeout per inning is always a good thing too. Greinke really appears to have conquered his demons regarding the spotlight, and seems like a pretty safe bet to have another great season.


6. Dan Haren – ARI
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 3.14 229.1 223 1.003
Haren really seems to be a tale of two pitchers: He always has a very good first half, and a not-as-great second half. Just keep that thought in the back of your mind when drafting him. The fact that despite poorer performance in the second half, these were the numbers he posted, tells you how good the numbers were in the first half. Haren is also about as steady as it comes also, having posted excellent performances overall for each of the last 4 seasons.


7. Adam Wainwright – STL
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 2.63 233 212 1.210
Wainwright posted an excellent season last year, narrowly losing out on the NL Cy Young award last season. His peripheral numbers (.309 BABIP, 0.66 HR/9) indicate to me that there’s a very good chance he’ll repeat these numbers again in 2010.


8. Justin Verlander – DET
W ERA IP K WHIP
19 3.45 240 269 1.175
Verlander definitely announced his presence again in 2009, and my only question about him is this: Will he be able to repeat what he did in 2009, or will he regress back to the 2008 version? I think he’s a lot more likely to stay at the 2009 level, and could end up as a top-5 pitcher potentially.


9. Jon Lester – BOS
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 3.41 203.1 225 1.230
Lester’s personal story is a very good one, but the fantasy implications of his 2009 season are much more interesting for my purposes. I think that there is a reasonable chance he will actually improve on his numbers, both the ERA and WHIP. The Red Sox have done a very good job of improving their defense, and have managed to keep their offense in solid shape as well. Even his health concerns from the beginning of the 2009 season have been put to rest, and he should help lead the Red Sox for many years to come.


10. Chris Carpenter – STL
W ERA IP K WHIP
17 2.24 192.2 144 1.007
The only concern I have with Carpenter is the same one that he has nearly every season: health. Carpenter only pitched 192 innings last season, and I think it is unlikely he will get much past 200 IP this season as well. The strikeout rate seems to have dropped some, but his ERA and WHIP have been low enough that the fact that he’s “only” struck out around 7 per 9 innings is not really that relevant to me. But do remember that Carpenter is not without risk.


11. Josh Johnson – FLA
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 3.23 209 191 1.158
With a freshly signed contract extension, Johnson knows he’s going to be pitching in Florida’s spacious stadium until they move to the new one. 2009 was the first season really able to stay healthy for the full season. The value is definitely there with Johnson, as even when he was not healthy, his numbers were in line with what he accomplished last season. But he’s another pitcher that I would say has a slightly more than average risk for injury.


12. Matt Cain – SF
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 2.89 217.2 171 1.181
Cain, very quietly, had a very good season last year. And even though he didn’t show it in the win totals for a second straight season, his components indicate that he’s definitely for real. He may see some regression with regard to his ERA, but he should still be around 3.50 or so.


13. Johan Santana – NYM
W ERA IP K WHIP
13 3.13 166.2 146 1.212
Santana was one of the few bright spots on an otherwise very poor Mets team in 2009. I think that there is a very distinct possibility that Santana pitches a full season this year, and vaults back into the top-10 of starting pitchers. The only number I don’t think improves is his win total, but that is more to do with what I think of the Mets than anything.


14. Javier Vazquez – NYY
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 2.87 219.1 238 1.026
So Vazquez is back in New York, and I think that this is going to adversely affect the numbers he will provide for fantasy owners. He’s still likely to strikeout around a batter per inning, but it concerns me that he’s not going to be able to face the Nats and the other National League lineups. I think he still posts an ERA around 3.50 and a WHIP around 1.2, which will both be excellent. But don’t let yourself get caught bidding on Vazquez on the assumption that he’s going to duplicated 2009, because I just don’t see that happening.


15. Josh Beckett – BOS
W ERA IP K WHIP
17 3.86 212.1 199 1.192
Beckett seems poised to repeat the success he had in 2009, and should provide you with some solid value in all categories. I don’t think there is a lot of upside from the numbers he posted last year though, and even a chance of some regression in WHIP as well.


16. Wandy Rodriguez – HOU
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 3.02 205.2 193 1.240
The numbers appear to be, for the most part, real. The ERA could possibly go up from last year, but the WHIP and strikeouts appear legit. The other thing that I was thinking with Wandy was the fact that it seems unlikely he will win more than the 14 games he did last season. The Astros don’t look particularly good, and that will affect his final numbers slightly.


17. Ubaldo Jimenez – COL
W ERA IP K WHIP
15 3.47 218 198 1.229
Jimenez’s 2009 season was an improvement on 2008, mostly due to him cutting down his walk rate from 4.67 per 9 to 3.51 per 9 innings in 2009. If he can continue that lower walk rate, I don’t see any reason why he can’t perform to the same level in 2010.


18. Cliff Lee – SEA
W ERA IP K WHIP
14 3.22 231.2 181 1.243
Lee has had a whirlwind couple of seasons, having now been traded twice in the span of 5 months. His numbers could see some improvement by moving from Philadelphia to Seattle (mostly due to improved defense and ballpark), but the fact that he will be facing AL lineups again drops him from being a top-10 pitcher in my opinion. He’s still going to be an excellent pitcher, and he’s still going to provide solid numbers across the board. But I think I would rather have some other pitchers first.


19. Jake Peavy – CHW
W ERA IP K WHIP
9 3.45 101.2 110 1.121
Peavy came back late in the season from his injuries and pitched extremely well. He is another pitcher who could very well end up as a top-10 pitcher if he pitches a full season in 2010. But the fact that it took a majority of 2009 to recover from these injuries concerns me, as well as his adaption to pitching outside of Petco. I believe that he’s going to be solid as long as he’s healthy, and potentially elite also. He is not a product of Petco Park, but the place certainly didn’t hurt him as a pitcher.


20. Clayton Kershaw – LAD
W ERA IP K WHIP
8 2.79 171 185 1.228
Kershaw put it all together last season, and still has a lot of room for growth. He’s only going to be 22 years old this season, and should hopefully see him top 200 innings this year. The win total should improve as well, as he pitched a lot better than only getting 8 wins. My only real concern with Kershaw is how he will adjust to trying to throw that many innings. The potential dropoff is still well worth the risk in my opinion, as the upside for Kershaw remains huge.


21. Yovani Gallardo – MIL
W ERA IP K WHIP
13 3.73 185.2 204 1.314
Gallardo pitched the majority of the season last year for the first time, and posted some excellent numbers as a result. I think that he can approach 200 innings this season, but could potentially see a slight regression in ERA and WHIP due to a slightly lower BABIP (.288). The strikeouts are legit, and I could see the wins potentially improving as well. Gallardo is the unquestioned ace of the Brewers staff at this point.


22. Ricky Nolasco – FLA
W ERA IP K WHIP
13 5.06 185 195 1.254
Nolasco’s ERA really appears to be an outlier. Both his BABIP (.336) and FIP (3.35) indicate that the ERA was extremely unlucky. You’re looking at a pitcher who will approach 200 innings, and post excellent numbers in strikeouts, WHIP, and ERA this time around.


23. Matt Garza – TAM
W ERA IP K WHIP
8 3.95 203 189 1.261
Garza appears extremely unlucky in terms of wins. He did post a career high in strikeouts, which was more in-line with his minor league stats. His ERA may be a bit higher this year, but I think he still is right around 4.00.


24. Tommy Hanson – ATL
W ERA IP K WHIP
11 2.89 127.2 116 1.185
The only thing that is keeping me from ranking Hanson higher is the fact that he has not yet done it over a full season. But he’s going to be really good, and will probably post an ERA closer to 3.75 than the 2.89 he posted last season. A lot of upside here though to be sure.


25. Brandon Webb – ARI
W ERA IP K WHIP
0 13.5 4 2 2.00
Talk about a lost season. Webb pitched 4 innings in his first start, and never made it back to the team during the season. But the upside of Webb is a definite top 10 pitcher who could post 200 IP with a sub 3.50 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 175 strikeouts. The risk of injury is the only thing keeping him from being higher up.

Tomorrow I will continue on with my team previews, as I review the American League West this week, starting with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Team Preview – Chicago White Sox


Roster Makeup
Lineup Pitching Staff
Pos Name Role Name
C A.J. Pierzynski SP 1 Mark Buehrle
1B Paul Konerko SP 2 Jake Peavy
2B Gordon Beckham SP 3 Gavin Floyd
3B Mark Teahen SP 4 John Danks
SS Alexei Ramirez SP 5 Freddy Garcia
LF Carlos Quentin Bullpen
CF Juan Pierre CL Bobby Jenks
RF Alex Rios RP J.J. Putz
DH Andruw Jones RP Scott Linebrink
Bench RP Matt Thornton
IF Omar Vizquel RP Tony Pena
OF Mark Kotsay RP Dan Hudson

Additional roster information can be found at MLB Depth Charts.

Off-Season Transactions
Key Additions Key Losses
Pos Name How Pos Name How
3B Mark Teahen Trade (KC) IF Josh Fields Trade (KC)
CF Juan Pierre Trade (LAD) IF Chris Getz Trade (KC)
RP J.J Putz Free Agency RF Jermaine Dye Free Agency

Top Prospects: Tyler Flowers (C), Dan Hudson (P), Dayan Viciedo (IF)

2009 Review

The White Sox seemed prime to repeat as division champs after their victory in 2008. However, they saw a regression in some key players, most notably RF Jermaine Dye and LF Carlos Quentin. The offense was led by 1B Paul Konerko (.277, 28 HR), OF Scott Podsednik (.304, 30 SB), and rookie 3B Gordon Beckham (.270, 14 HR). Beckham, fresh out of the 2008 draft class, skyrocketed through the White Sox system in less than a full year, and was considered to be a strong candidate for the AL Rookie of the Year as well. The pitching staff was anchored as usual by SP Mark Buehrle (13-10, 3.84), SP John Danks (13-11, 3.77) and SP Gavin Floyd (11-11, 4.06).

Perhaps the most notable events of the White Sox season involved transactions made by the front office. The Sox thought that they had acquired SP Jake Peavy in May for a package of prospects led by P Aaron Poreda, but Peavy invoked his no-trade clause, and remained in San Diego for the time being. Strangely, it was announced on July 31st that the White Sox had acquired Peavy, again for a package of prospects led by Poreda. The part that made this really strange was the fact that Peavy was still on the disabled list recovering from an ankle injury at the time. Peavy’s acquisition kept the White Sox hopeful that if they were close, they could make a late season run at the division crown. This was furthered by the White Sox making a claim on Blue Jays’ outfielder Alex Rios. The Sox knew that they could potentially be on the hook for the entirety of Rios’ contract (some 6 seasons and over $60 M), but felt that the risk for a player of Rios’ quality was worth it.

By the end of August, the White Sox had fallen to 4 games under .500, and 6 games back in the division. At this point, they moved DH Jim Thome in an effort to allow him a chance at a championship run. They failed in their efforts to move RF Jermaine Dye however, mostly due to his struggles at the plate (.189, 2 HR in August). The White Sox finished the season with a 79-83 record, and 7.5 games out of first place.

Team Outlook for 2010

The White Sox went out and made some roster moves that have the potential to improve the team quite a bit from last year. They will look to get full, healthy seasons out of LF Carlos Quentin and SP Jake Peavy. They are hoping for improvements at 2B and CF with Gordon Beckham and Juan Pierre now manning those positions full time. And they are hopeful that the bullpen will be even more improved with the addition of J.J. Putz.

I am not sold that the 2010 version of the White Sox is drastically improved over the 2009 version. Having Peavy for a full season will definitely be an improvement, but I’m not sold that the additions of Mark Teahen, Juan Pierre, and Andruw Jones are substantial improvements over Chris Getz, Scott Podsednik, or Jim Thome. I think that in comparison to the other contenders in their division (Detroit, Minnesota), they simply haven’t improved enough to make a great run for the postseason. I think they’ll do better than the Tigers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it ended in the opposite order. And it would take quite a bit of luck for them to catch Minnesota.

Fantasy Outlook for 2010

3B/2B Gordon Beckham, SS Alexei Ramirez, and 1B Paul Konerko are probably the best players on offense for the White Sox in terms of fantasy production. RP Bobby Jenks is always going to have value as long as he holds the closer’s role, but watch for either J.J. Putz or Matt Thornton to get a shot if Jenks struggles early on. Jake Peavy is the class of the starting rotation, but he comes with that wonderful risk of injury as well. Buehrle, Floyd, and Danks all can be useful starting pitchers, but I wouldn’t want to have to rely too heavily on them to be near the top of your fantasy rotation.

Prediction for 2010

The White Sox appear to be trying to make another run this season, before some of their better players (Konerko, Pierzynski, Buehrle) get too old to be useful. However, I don’t believe that the moves that they have made will put them over the top in the AL Central.

84-78, 2nd in the AL Central