Monday, April 1, 2013

Season 19 AL Predictions


Key Additions: None
Key Subtractions: Slick Rolls
Summary: Montreal continues to go through a slow rebuild. You have to admire a team that has dominated its division like Montreal has (9 straight division titles) and is still finding ways to re-stock its’ farm system. There is always the potential for some mid-season trades to occur (assuming Griffey spends more than 30 seconds on the site in one sitting) that will further show the fact that Montreal is in rebuild mode. Is there enough in the tank for a 10th straight title?
Prediction: 82-80

Key Additions: Nigel Nicholas, Danny Darwin
Key Subtractions: None
Summary: Detroit did more good than bad in this off-season, but it’s going to take a lot for a team to recover from being near the bottom in the AL in hitting, pitching, and fielding. Nicholas and Darwin should provide some much needed help defensively. The good news is that Montreal is not the team that it once was, and there is some room for a new team at the top. Is Detroit that team… we will see!
Prediction: 74-78

Key Additions: Preston Brantley (minors), Nick Varitek
Key Subtractions: Frank Denham, Lenny Fassero (sentimental reasons only)
Summary: Burlington made a couple of moves including the release of one of the all-time greats Lenny Fassero. His18-year career in Burlington has finally come to an end. Other than that, Burlington made one move for the future acquiring Preston Brantley, a talented young SS, and one move for the now by replacing Fassero with Nick Varitek. Burlington probably didn’t do enough to challenge for the division this year, but the future looks bright with Fernando Polanco and Preston Brantley up the middle.
Prediction: 75-77

Key Additions: Kevin Burns
Key Subtractions: Oswald Ortiz, Matthew Serrano
Summary: Wichita made 2 trades that really didn’t do much for the team. Additionally, there were some small FA signings, including John Whitehead and Trever King, that proved lackluster. While this team isn’t prepared to compete for a division crown this year, Andrew understands that this is a marathon and not a sprint. I think that this Wichita franchise is in much better shape than it has been in the past, and I see a bright future.
Prediction: 64-98


Key Additions: Leon Ramsey
Key Subtractions: None
Summary: Hartford is still the team to beat in the AL East. Like Montreal, Hartford has dominated this division as of late, winning 7 straight titles. Not sure I see much different in Season 19 with Hartford taking control of the AL East for an 8th straight time.
Prediction: 98-64

Key Additions: None
Key Subtractions:  Gerald Grim, Scott Sauer, Christopher Malone
Summary: Augusta released a couple of players in what I guess is an attempt to clear salary. The cupboard is a little bare at the ML level; however, you can never underestimate the power of a rebuild. I’m not sure much changes for Augusta, except for a higher number in the loss column.
Prediction: 67-95

Key Additions: Ralph Wells, Chuck Ankiel
Key Subtractions: Saul Bonilla
Summary: Indianapolis should experience the biggest change in W/L’s from last season to this season. They have legitimized their bullpen by adding the star RP of the FA class in Ralph Wells. They also added depth with Chuck Ankiel. The rest of the roster has remained in tact, except for the young stud Saul Bonilla. His bat will definitely be missed, but Indy did receive some defensive help with Donne Bay and Russell Hamlin. All in all, I expect big things out of Indy this year… enough to overtake Hartford, we’ll see!
Prediction: 84-78

Key Additions: Vic Wallace (promotion)
Key Subtractions: None
Summary: Trenton is still looking to add ML talent to its roster and really did so with the promotion of Vic Wallace. Vic is a serious talent and should boost a lineup that had issues swinging the stick. Hopefully, this will be enough to put fans in the seats because there is not much else to look at in Trenton. Should be another tough season.
Prediction: 64-94


Key Additions: Elmer Barker, Jose Reynoso,
Key Subtractions: Howard Cox
Summary: Jacksonville won the second best division in all of baseball last year but fizzled out in the playoffs. They suffered a key loss in the rotation but subsequently replaced Howard Cox with an upgrade of Elmer Barker. The addition of Jose Reynoso should bolster an already impressive lineup. The Jaguars keep getting older but that doesn’t mean they aren’t getting better.
Prediction: 101-61

Key Additions: Benito Franco, Vic Villafuerte, “Over-the-hill combo” (Len McGowan, Louis Williams, and Lawrence Kydd)
Key Subtractions: Chuck Ankiel, Bob Moreno
Summary: Charleston made a huge trade early on sending Bob Moreno to Seattle for Benito Franco. Charleston was without Moreno all of last year and had the 3rd best ERA in the AL. The addition of Franco to the 4th best lineup in the AL leaves very few holes for opposing pitchers. Charleston also added Vic Villafuerte to provide some stability at 3B and put another bat in the lineup that can hit LHP. Look for Charleston to push last year’s division winner Jacksonville and World Series champion Richmond to the brink.
Prediction: 103-59

Key Additions: Kenneth Whitten, Rex Mintz, Frank Denham, Gabby Sefcik
Key Subtractions: Sam Knotts, Oswaldo Ortiz (minors)
Summary: The first thing that needs to be said is Richmond will be without 3-time Cy Young winner until around the AS Break. That is a huge loss for the defending champs. With that said, Richmond has been busy making moves improving the ML ball club by trading for Whitten, Mintz, Denham, and Sefcik. Veteran Sam Knotts has left but has since been replaced. Richmond should be stronger, but how will they survive the first half of the season without Uribe?
Prediction: 97-65

Key Additions: None
Key Subtractions: None
Summary: Durham is in the final stages of rebuild mode, and we could see a few of those future stars around the AS Break, but this team is still 2-3 years away from their 3-time WS Champion form of a few years back.
Prediction: 58-104


Key Additions: Slick Rolls, Steve Hartman (minors)
Key Subtractions: Elston Park, Elmer Baker, Dante Golub, Benito Gongora
Summary: Salem should take a step back this year after losing Park and Baker. Slick Rolls should ease the loss of Dante Golub, but Salem does have enough in their farm system to make a move for starting pitching during this season. Regardless, Salem is still the cream of the crop in the AL West.
Prediction: 106-54 

Key Additions: Julian Grabowski, Archie Omlansky
Key Subtractions: Ralph Wells
Summary: Portland added some major firepower to their offense with the addition of Grabowski and Omlansky. Losing Wells will hurt but expect Pedro Mateo to step into that role. I think the SP is still a little light, but I expect Portland to push Salem early on.
Prediction: 93-69

Key Additions: Bob Moreno
Key Subtractions: Benito Franco
Summary: Seattle’s big move was to sure up their SP which the definitely did by adding Moreno through a trade with Charleston. The issue is that they traded away their best bat in Benito Franco. Getting out of Tacoma will naturally help all hitters for Seattle, but this team will struggle to score runs without Franco.
Prediction: 74-88

Key Additions: None
Key Subtractions: Archie Omlansky
Summary: Oakland did a great job of locking up a lot of young talent on their current roster in Jimmie Fonville, Enerio Perez, Richard Lawton, and Timothy Brea. However, the biggest issue for this team was not addressed… starting pitching. Oakland should continue to rebuild over this next year, and I look for them to be a force in the AL West as Salem gets a bit older and they start to acquire SP.
Prediction: 61-101

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What was the best Season 19 off-season move in High Fives?