Central Division Playoff Teams

by on January 31, 2011   No Comments

Last season, Major League Baseball’s Central Divisions came from different directions. In the American League, the Minnesota Twins won the division, just like they have six of the last nine seasons. The Cincinnati Reds, on the other hand, found their way to the top of the division for the first time in 15 years. Both teams were disappointed during the playoffs, losing in the divisional series.

Brown’s Baseball End-Of-The-World Predictions

by on January 26, 2011   5 Comments

It’s no secret now that the world is going to end in 2012.  Both the holy-roller/end-time folks and secular scientists are talking about it, and it’s time that we accept this new reality.  The newest signs that the end is near, is the Giants won the World Series and the Yankees want to move Jeter to the outfield.  The book of Revelation eludes to the Yankees moving Jeter to the outfield in the “end times”, I think it’s in chapter 11.  So, since 2011 could be the last baseball season ever, here are my baseball end-of-the-world predictions for 2011.

New Professional Baseball Tryouts

by on January 25, 2011   No Comments

The Traverse City Beach Bums (www.tcbeachbums.com) of the Frontier League will be hosting a tryout at the Indiana Baseball Academy (www.indyiba.com) on Saturday, March 26th starting at 1 P.M.  For more information on 2011 professional baseball tryouts as they are announced, become a premium member of Five Tool Prospects.

West Division Playoff Teams

by on January 23, 2011   No Comments

Last season, teams from MLB’s two West Divisions won their respective pennants and made it to the World Series. This season, neither the San Francisco Giants nor the Texas Rangers will be flying under the radar. The expectations for both teams will certainly be higher than seasons before. What have these teams done to meet or exceed these expectations?

The Giants won the World Series on the strength of their young pitching staff. They were counted out before each series, including the final series against the Rangers, yet still prevailed. As a result, they will be expected to win.

San Francisco Giants Top Ten Prospects

by on January 22, 2011   3 Comments

In terms of prospect development, the San Francisco Giants are one of the most underrated teams in baseball. After winning the World Series last season with several home grown players, that may begin to change. And it should. Many of the players on their World Series roster were developed by the Giants farm system. Based on their current line-up of prospects, the team looks to get better with time. A new drafting philosophy over the past several seasons has found success and is the reason their system is as deep as it is. After a season which saw Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey graduate to the majors, it is safe to say the Giants farm system is close to as strong as it was before last season.

Foiled By Division

by on January 17, 2011   5 Comments

It is a well-known fact that the American League East is the toughest division in baseball and has been for years. One reason why the AL East is so tough is money. The New York Yankees ($207 million in 2010) and the Boston Red Sox ($160 million) have the highest pay rolls every season. This allows them to add the best players in the game to their respective teams. As a result, since 2003 the division has dominated baseball. Just to put the dominance into perspective, every season except 2006 the AL East’s second-place team has had more wins than the average of the five other division champions.

A few seasons ago, the Tampa Bay Rays made the division even tougher. The Rays built their team solely through the draft instead of the free agent route, and their success has made the other two teams in the division, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Baltimore Orioles, look even worse.

Top American League Off Season Moves By Division

by on January 10, 2011   3 Comments

While the National League added some of the better pitchers in the game, the American League retained some of the top hitters on the market and added to their list of elite hitters at the National League’s expense. This is the second list of teams that have improved themselves within their divisions. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean these teams will do the best when the season begins, just that they have made the best off season moves so far.

Cubs Make Questionable Move

by on January 9, 2011   2 Comments

During the winter meetings I quipped to a couple of friends that the Cubs should find someone willing to take Carlos Zambranos contract and use the return and whatever else needed to trade for either James Shields or Matt Garza. The Yankees apparently had interest in Zambrano but nothing ever materialized and even if it did Carlos has a full no-trade clause in a contract  more bloated than his waistline. However, this didn’t stop the Cubs from pursuing part two of my idea and dealing for Matt Garza. To the casual fan acquiring a pitcher of Garza’s caliber while not giving up any noteworthy big leaguer seems like a win, but a deeper look into the prospects shows the Cubs may have overpaid. While Garza immediately becomes the number one in Chicago he does not bring “ace” stuff to the mound consistently. A career ERA a shade under 4 to go along with good K and walk rates is nice, but the past two seasons Garza has ran into home run problems, allowing 28 and 25.  And on a windy day Wrigley field is well known for making pitchers cry like little girls, though that could be the combination of Old Style and listening to Ronnie Woo Woo.

Top National League Off Season Moves By Division

by on January 1, 2011   3 Comments

There are few big names left on the Free Agent Market. Some teams may have missed out on their top choices and have resorted to their back up plans. The Texas Rangers have done this after falling short in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes by signing Brandon Webb. Webb is a gamble, but has a high reward if he can return to his 2006 Cy Young pitching form.

No team can ever fully expect to fill the holes exactly how they mapped out before the off season started.  This off season is a great example of that. Once your ideal player has been taken as a general manager you must move on to the next best option. The following is the first of two  lists of the teams that made the moves to best improve themselves within their divisions. It doesn’t take into account the long term impact a big contract may have, just how it helps the team this season.