Tag Archives: Josh Willingham

Season Preview: NL East


Onto the National League, starting with the East division. You can also take a look at my previews of the AL East, AL Central and AL West.

Last Year’s Records
Philadelphia – 97-65
Atlanta – 91-71
Florida – 80-82
New York – 79-83
Washington – 69-93

Notable Additions

Atlanta – Dan Uggla

Florida – Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Javier Vazquez, John Buck

New York – Brad Emaus, Ronny Paulino

Philadelphia – Cliff Lee

Washington – Jayson Werth, Adam LaRoche, Tom Gorzelanny

Notable Losses

Atlanta – Omar Infante, Mike Dunn, Derrek Lee, Melky Cabrera, Takashi Saito

Florida – Dan Uggla, Cameron Maybin, Ronny Paulino

New York – John Maine, Hisanori Takahashi, Pedro Feliciano

Philadelphia – Jayson Werth

Washington – Josh Willingham, Adam Dunn

My Thoughts

Atlanta – This is a playoff team from last year that has upgraded itself at 2B (Uggla), and will look for growth from Jason Heyward in his second season. The team will plug in Freddie Freeman to start at 1B, and hope that he can have even a partially similar season to Heyward’s rookie year. The pitching remains solid, behind Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson, and Jair Jurrjens. The biggest role that seems to be up in the air coming into Spring Training is the closer, with Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters competing for the job.

Florida – As they prepare to move into their new stadium in 2012, this is a young team who should continue to be exciting for the next few seasons. It appears that 3B Matt Dominguez is likely to be the starter this year, despite not playing a single day in the Majors yet. However, the loss of Dan Uggla‘s bat in their lineup could cause a major hole in terms of power and run production. They’re also hoping that Javier Vazquez will rebound with a return to the NL East, and also provide some more veteran leadership with Josh Johnson in the starting rotation. I’m not sold that they stand a great chance of winning the division, but they could surprise some people in a tough division.

New York – With new GM Sandy Alderson on board, 2011 is going to be a partial rebuilding season. They did not make any substantial changes to their roster, and will look to get bounceback seasons from players like Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes instead. Ace Johan Santana is expected to be out until midseason, and the team is going to be looking for nice performances from Chris Young and Chris Capuano.

Philadelphia – The Phillies went out and made what was probably the biggest surprise move of the offseason, inking Cliff Lee to a 5 year, $120 million contract. With their four aces in the starting rotation, they definitely look like the team to beat in the NL East. However, the injuries are already starting to pile up, as Chase Utley has yet to play in Spring Training, and potential right fielder Domonic Brown will miss 3-6 weeks after having hand surgery. If this team can stay healthy, I don’t think there’s a team in the NL that can compete with them. But that is a gigantic if.

Washington – The Nationals made one of the biggest splashes in the free agent market, and it was completely unexpected. Jayson Werth signed a 7 year contract with the team, and will play right field for the first few years of the contract. The team is still not ready to compete, but they will look for continued growth from Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa. Jordan Zimmermann will also look to have an injury free campaign, and while they will miss Stephen Strasburg this season, he should be back in 2012 from his injuries.

Overall Thoughts

The NL East really comes down to the two teams at the top of the pile. The Braves and Phillies really seem like they will be the only teams that are likely to win the division or the Wild Card. The Mets and Nationals just simply aren’t ready, and I don’t believe that the Marlins are ready to compete quite yet either.  Here’s my predicted order of finish:

1. Philadelphia
2. Atlanta
3. Florida
4. Washington
5. New York

Season Preview: AL West


Time to move to my own team’s division, as I take a look at the AL West. You can also take a look at my previews of the AL East and AL Central.

Last Year’s Records
Texas – 90-72
Oakland – 81-81
Los Angeles – 80-82
Seattle – 61-101

Notable Additions

Los Angeles – Vernon Wells, Hisanori Takahashi

Oakland – Hideki Matsui, David DeJesus, Brian Fuentes, Grant Balfour, Josh Willingham, Rich Harden, Brandon McCarthy

Seattle – Miguel Olivo, Jack Cust

Texas – Adrian Beltre, Arthur Rhodes, Mike Napoli, Brandon Webb

Notable Losses

Los Angeles – Mike Napoli, Juan Rivera, Hideki Matsui, Scot Shields

Oakland – Rajai Davis, Vin Mazzaro

Seattle – Russell Branyan, Jose Lopez

Texas – Cliff Lee, Vladimir Guerrero, Frank Francisco

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Original Draft Series – Team # 21 – Florida Marlins


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

Team #21: Florida Marlins

General Managers(since 1994)

Dave Dombrowski (1994-2001): 563-666
Larry Beinfest (2002-2007): 406-325
Mike Hill (2008-Current): 171-162

Team Performance

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

The Marlins are an interesting example for this project. They only started their franchise in 1993 really, but have already had 2 World Championships, only to dismantle the team in its entirety after the first one. Realistically, they dismantled a fair amount of the team after the 2003 championship as well, but appear to have gotten a better set of returns that time around. All information is drawn from Baseball Reference.

Position Name Acquired Years with Org.
Stats with Organization
Left?
C Brett Hayes 2005 – 2nd Rd 5 21 gm, .226/.314/.387, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R Currently with Org.
1B Adrian Gonzalez 2000 – 1st Rd (1) 3 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to TEX – 7/11/03
2B Luis Castillo Int’l FA – 1992 13 3 All Star Appearances, 3 Gold Gloves
1128 gm, .293/.370/.356, 20 HR, 271 RBI, 281 SB, 675 R
Free Agency – 11/6/03
3B Miguel Cabrera Int’l FA – 1999 8 4 All Star Appearances, 2 Silver Sluggers
720 gm, .313/.388/.542, 138 HR, 523 RBI, 17 SB, 449 R
Traded to DET – 12/4/07
SS Edgar Renteria Int’l FA – 1992 6 1 All Star Appearance
393 gm, .288/.342,/.357, 12 HR, 114 RBi, 89 SB, 237 R
Traded to STL – 12/14/98
LF Chris Coghlan 2006 – 1st Rd (36) 4 2009 NL Rookie of the Year
194 gm, .305/.372/.439, 13 HR, 71 RBI, 15 SB, 127 R
Currently with Org.
CF Mark Kotsay 1996 – 1st Rd (9) 5 468 gm, .280/.322/.411, 31 HR, 179 RBI, 39 SB, 221 R Traded to SD – 3/28/01
RF Jeremy Hermida 2002 – 1st Rd (11) 7 516 gm, .265/.344/.425, 62 HR, 237 RBI, 21 SB, 235 R Traded to BOS – 11/5/09
SP Josh Beckett 1999 – 1st Rd (2) 6 2003 World Series MVP
66-35, 4.22 ERA, 763 K, 222 BB, 837.2 IP, 1.230 WHIP
Traded to BOS – 11/24/05
SP Josh Johnson 2002 – 4th Rd 8 1 All Star Appearance
42-18, 3.13 ERA, 523 K, 201 BB, 581.1 IP, 1.240 WHIP
Currently with Org.
SP Chris Volstad 2005 – 1st Rd (16) 5 19-23, 4.40 ERA, 212 K, 129 BB, 327.1 IP, 1.390 WHIP Currently with Org.
SP Nate Robertson 1999 – 5th Rd 3+1 5-6, 5.18 ERA, 52 K, 35 BB, 83.1 IP, 1.524 WHIP Traded to DET – 1/11/03
SP Livan Hernandez Int’l FA – 1996 3 24-24, 4.39 ERA, 333 K, 199 BB, 469.2 IP, 1.510 WHIP Traded to SF – 7/25/99
RP Chris Leroux 2005 – 7th Rd 5 0-0, 19 gm, 7.89 ERA, 19 K, 13 BB, 21.2 IP, 1.985 WHIP Currently with Org.
RP Jeff Fulchino 2001 – 8th Rd 6 1 gm, 0.1 IP, 1 BB, 3.000 WHIP Free Agency – 10/29/07
RP Claudio Vargas Int’l FA – 1995 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Traded to MON – 7/11/02
RP Ronald Belisario Int’l FA – 1999 7 No Major League Appearances with Org. Free Agency – 10/15/06
RP Rick Vandenhurk Int’l FA – 2002 8 8-9, 5.96 ERA, 152 K, 80 BB, 155.2 IP, 1.632 WHIP Currently with Org.
CL Taylor Tankersley 2004 – 1st (27) 6 8-3, 4 SV, 4.19 ERA, 113 K, 67 BB, 111.2 IP, 1.513 WHIP Currently with Org.
BN Randy Winn (OF) 1995 – 3rd Rd 2 No Major League Appearances with Org. Expansion Draft – TB – 11/18/97
BN Gaby Sanchez (1B) 2005 – 4th Rd 5 93 gm, .291/.359/.469, 9 HR, 35 RBI, 3 SB, 37 R Currently with Org.
BN Alex Gonzalez (SS) Int’l FA – 1994 11 1 All-Star Appearance
896 gm, .245/.291/.391, 81 HR, 375 RBI, 23 SB, 363 R
Free Agency – 10/27/05
BN Mike Stanton (OF) 2007 – 2nd Rd 3 12 gm, .250/.308/375, HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB, 8 R Currently with Org.
BN Brett Carroll (OF) 2004 – 10th Rd 6 173 gm, .205/.284/.325, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 2 SB, 46 R Currently with Org.
BN Josh Willingham (C/OF) 2000 – 17th Rd 8 416 gm, .266/.361/.472, 63 HR, 219 RBI, 13 SB, 196 R Traded to WAS – 11/10/08

June Amateur Draft

The Marlins have actually done reasonably well in the draft, with Josh Beckett and Josh Johnson being two of the best examples of their development system. Unfortunately, some of the best players that have gone through the system, like Adrian Gonzalez, never made a single appearance with the organization. They have really only missed on 5 of their first round picks to this point, but have only had 21 picks in that time frame. There have also been 4 players who have made a negligible impact in the Majors that were drafted in the first round. Overall, their success in the draft has been reasonable, with quite a few players still incomplete due to a lack of time at the Major League level.

International Free Agency

The Marlins are probably the first team I have reviewed that has been reasonably active in the international markets. Clearly, Miguel Cabrera, Luis Castillo, and Edgar Renteria were all victories for the development system. Unfortunately, the return on these players when they left wasn’t quite the most amazing group of players we have ever seen. But with Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller both still in the system, and 2 World Championships, they’ve done reasonably well with the few players that they have had.

Overall Grade

C. There are some elite players here, one of the first teams with multiple of them. Developing players like Josh Beckett, Josh Johnson, and Miguel Cabrera is good for the overall system ranking, but the bullpen is pretty weak overall, and there are a few players who turned out to play very well, just not for the Marlins themselves.