Tag Archives: Mark Kotsay

Season Preview – NL Central


Time to look at the 6 team NL Central division. You can also take a look at my previews of the AL East, AL Central, AL West, and NL East.

Last Year’s Records
Cincinnati – 91-71
St. Louis – 86-76
Milwaukee – 77-85
Houston – 76-86
Chicago – 75-87
Pittsburgh – 57-105

Notable Additions

Chicago – Carlos Pena, Matt Garza, Kerry Wood

Cincinnati – Edgar Renteria

Houston – Clint Barmes

Milwaukee – Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Yuniesky Betancourt, Takashi Saito, Mark Kotsay

Pittsburgh – Lyle Overbay, Garrett Atkins, Kevin Correia, Scott Olsen, Joe Beimel

St. Louis – Ryan Theriot, Lance Berkman

Notable Losses

Chicago – Sam Fuld, Tom Gorzelanny

Cincinnati – Arthur Rhodes, Orlando Cabrera, Aaron Harang

Houston – Matt Lindstrom, Felipe Paulino

Milwaukee – Brett Lawrie, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Gregg Zaun

Pittsburgh –  Zack Duke, Andy LaRoche, Lastings Milledge

St. Louis – Brendan Ryan, Pedro Feliz, Brad Penny, Jeff Suppan

My Thoughts

Chicago – The Cubs had a very disappointing season last year, and went out and tried to plug some of those holes this offseason. Bringing in Carlos Pena on a 1 year contract, despite its cost, looks like a very nice signing for a power bat. The acquisition of Matt Garza brings a young, cost-controlled high-end starting pitcher to their rotation, but at the cost of top prospects Hak-Ju Lee, Chris Archer, and others.  I am not sold that this team will compete this year, as they will need bounceback performances from Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, and Carlos Zambrano to really end up in the thick of the race.

Cincinnati – The defending NL Central champions, the team has lost Aaron Harang and will hope that the combination of Mike Leake, Travis Wood, and others will be able to pitch complete seasons this year. The team returns nearly every player from last season’s title, but I don’t think that it is a slam-dunk that they will just run away with the division again this year.

Houston – Talk about a rebuilding effort. Here’s a team which has very few high-end prospects in the system right now, who also does not have a lot of higher-quality players at the Major League level either. There are some quality players in Hunter Pence and Brett Myers, but there’s not a lot of hope for the 2011 season. They will look to get a solid rookie season out of last year’s acquisition, Brett Wallace, but you have essentially gathered a group of mid-level players who can fill out a roster, but are unlikely to compete as a group for a division title, let alone a league championship

Milwaukee – And within the same division, you have a team who has gone all-in for 2011. The Brewers have traded nearly all of their top prospects in order to improve their pitching staff, and did so with the acquisitions of Marcum and Greinke. It’s not a great sign that Greinke is hurt already, but he should return in mid April and only miss a few starts. The bigger story throughout the season will be whether or not they fall out of contention and attempt to trade Prince Fielder before the deadline. They definitely remain a team to be reckoned with in the NL Central.

Pittsburgh – For a team that lost 105 games last year, they actually have a lot to look forward to. Center fielder Andrew McCutchen is poised to become one of the best young players in the Majors, and 2nd year players Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez both will look to build on their solid rookie years. They aren’t likely to compete this season, but there’s hope for Pirates fans that is starting to show itself at the Major League level.

St. Louis – The biggest story out of St. Louis up until the start of Spring Training was whether or not Albert Pujols would sign a contract extension prior to the start of the season, and unfortunately it’s no longer the current top story out of their camp. With Cy Young runner up Adam Wainwright out for the season with Tommy John surgery, they will now look to replace at least some part of his production in the starting rotation. I’m not sold that this team, as constructed, can compete for the division title. They will need everything else to fall just right for them to win this division.

Overall Thoughts

The NL Central really has the look of a wide open division. If things fall just right, 4 of the teams could conceivably win the division this season. That said, I’m not sold that things will fall right for all of them, but it should be intersting to watch regardless.  Here’s my predicted order of finish:

1. Milwaukee
2. Cincinnati
3. St. Louis
4. Chicago
5. Pittsburgh
6. Houston

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.