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icehole3
01-31-2007, 04:58 PM
Got no problem basically with their top 8 or 9, but 10-15 left me scratching my head. Maybe Im just to much of a homer and I need to get outside the 275 loop more.


http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=nlfocusrankingtheinfield&prov=tsn&type=lgns


1. Cardinals

1B Albert Pujols, 2B Adam Kennedy, SS David Eckstein, 3B Scott Rolen. Reserves: Aaron Miles, Scott Spiezio.

There's no better pair of corner men than Pujols and Rolen. Kennedy and Eckstein don't have much pop, but they're dependable. Spiezio is dangerous off the bench.


10. Padres

1B Adrian Gonzalez, 2B Marcus Giles, SS Khalil Greene, 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff. Reserves: Geoff Blum, Todd Walker.

Gonzalez is an emerging star. Giles had a disappointing 2006 with Atlanta. Greene's health and Kouzmanoff's defense are question marks. Russell Branyan is an option if Kouzmanoff falters.

11. Dodgers

1B Nomar Garciaparra, 2B Jeff Kent, SS Rafael Furcal, 3B Wilson Betemit. Reserves: James Loney, Ramon Martinez.

Garciaparra and Furcal carried the offense last season. The club is looking for Kent to rebound from injuries and for Betemit to be more consistent.

12. Rockies

1B Todd Helton, 2B Kaz Matsui, SS Troy Tulowitzki, 3B Garrett Atkins. Reserves: Jeff Baker, Jamey Carroll.

Atkins hit for average and power last season. Helton will try to return to form. Tulowitzki vs. Clint Barmes will be one of the hottest camp competitions.

13. Reds

1B Scott Hatteberg, 2B Brandon Phillips, SS Alex Gonzalez, 3B Edwin Encarnacion. Reserves: Jeff Conine, Jeff Keppinger.

Gonzalez and Phillips could be a dynamic double-play duo. Hatteberg is steady. Encarnacion needs to improve his throwing. Conine will replace Hatteberg against tough lefthanders.

forfreelin04
01-31-2007, 06:08 PM
Gonzalez and Phillips could be a dynamic double-play duo. Hatteberg is steady. Encarnacion needs to improve his throwing. Conine will replace Hatteberg against tough lefthanders.

The genius, that is Sporting News. By the way Sporting News, Aaran Harang and Bronson Arroyo are a nice one two combo in the starting rotation but after that things go downhill.

I wonder if someone has ever done a comparison of Pre Sports season predictions then compared the predictions to how it actually panned out?I'd be interested to know what magazine or analyst was spot on the most frequently.

TOBTTReds
01-31-2007, 06:10 PM
13. Reds

1B Scott Hatteberg, 2B Brandon Phillips, SS Alex Gonzalez, 3B Edwin Encarnacion. Reserves: Jeff Conine, Jeff Keppinger.

Gonzalez and Phillips could be a dynamic double-play duo. Hatteberg is steady. Encarnacion needs to improve his throwing. Conine will replace Hatteberg against tough lefthanders.

I would agree that is relatively low. EdE is going to be a premier hitter at 3B this year and if his throwing gets just 50% better, he is gonna be a stud at the corner. Gonzo has to hit with his glove and BP is mediocre at both the plate and field (maybe a little better in the field). Hatte is nothing to write home about in either category and Conine sucks.

If all they can say about EdE is he needs to improve his throwing, then they haven't seen him play. That would be like evaluating the Cards outfield and the only thing you say about Chris Duncan is he needs to work on his fielding, when the guy could hit 35-40 HR's one day.

M2
01-31-2007, 06:12 PM
#13 is probably about right. The Reds have got one of the worst hitting IFs in the NL. Gonzalez is a cipher and Hatteberg/Conine will be one of the most underpowered 1B combos around. Phillips is solid, but probably won't be spectacular. That leaves 24-year-old Edwin Encarnacion to pull the wagon. The Dodgers probably deserved a higher ranking. Houston at #6 was way too high. IMO, the Nats (#14) should be a lot higher. Nick Johnson, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Zimmerman form a pretty solid core. Granted Cristian Guzman is a walking out machine, but he can field as well as Gonzalez when he's healthy. It sounds like Johnson's broken leg is keeping that team's rating down. The Braves (#15) might be shaky on the right side, but Edgar Renteria and Chipper Jones form an established left side.

Johnny Footstool
01-31-2007, 06:12 PM
These Sporting News lists are baffling at best. Ignore them.

M2
01-31-2007, 06:33 PM
Just for fun, we should do our own lists. In fact, I'm going to start a thread to do just that.

RedsManRick
01-31-2007, 07:07 PM
It would seem this is a defense only ranking. That certainly makes their ranking of the Astros catching situation make a lot more sense. Given that, I think it's somewhat fair -- though I'd rank LA, Milwaukee, and SD lower.

mth123
01-31-2007, 09:14 PM
#13 is probably about right. The Reds have got one of the worst hitting IFs in the NL. Gonzalez is a cipher and Hatteberg/Conine will be one of the most underpowered 1B combos around. Phillips is solid, but probably won't be spectacular. That leaves 24-year-old Edwin Encarnacion to pull the wagon. The Dodgers probably deserved a higher ranking. Houston at #6 was way too high. IMO, the Nats (#14) should be a lot higher. Nick Johnson, Felipe Lopez and Ryan Zimmerman form a pretty solid core. Granted Cristian Guzman is a walking out machine, but he can field as well as Gonzalez when he's healthy. It sounds like Johnson's broken leg is keeping that team's rating down. The Braves (#15) might be shaky on the right side, but Edgar Renteria and Chipper Jones form an established left side.

I agree, but I think #13 is optimistic. The Reds are in such a hole vs. the league at 1B, that the rest of the IF has a hard time recovering. Compare the Red's duo to Pujols, Berkman, Howard, Del Gado, Carlos Lee, Nick Johnson, Adam LaRoche, Adrian Gonzalez, Todd Helton, Prince Fielder, Nomar, Thorman/Wilson, Aurelia/Klesko, Jacobs, Connor Jackson. At the position the Reds have the least pop, the least upside and offer 2 players who are 1) most likely to regress (see Hatte's pattern in odd numbered years) or 2) have been in a steady decline since the turn of the millenium (Conine). Add in the likely below .300 OBP from Gonzalez and you have a deservedly low ranking.

I'm actually surprised they are not last. Atlanta is better than the Reds at all but at 2B (and that is no sure thing), I think Nick Johnson's injury and the uncertainty of Lopez at 2nd artificially holds back the Nats. I think the Giants are held back by age, but I'd bet that the Reds will only be better than them at 3B in 2007.

TOBTTReds
02-01-2007, 12:57 AM
It would seem this is a defense only ranking. That certainly makes their ranking of the Astros catching situation make a lot more sense. Given that, I think it's somewhat fair -- though I'd rank LA, Milwaukee, and SD lower.

It's not, read the Cards report. Although they don't mention Poo Holes' bat or Rolens, but they talk about Eckstein's and Kennedy. And I don't think they mean Spezio is dangerous with his glove off the bench.

mth123
02-01-2007, 07:25 AM
To further my point about the hole that the Reds are in at 1B, below is the ZIPS projected OPS for 2007 for the players in the NL who project to get significant time at 1B. Look at who 2 of the bottom 3 are.



Name Team OPS
Pujols St L 1.066
Howard Phi 1.024
Berkman Hou 0.972
D. Lee Chi 0.950
Helton Col 0.949
Johnson Was 0.896
Fielder Mil 0.871
LaRoche Pit 0.871
Del Gado NYM 0.855
Gonzalez SD 0.825
Nomar LA 0.823
Wilson Atl 0.822
Clark AZ 0.809
Jackson AZ 0.801
Loney LA 0.791
Niekro SF 0.791
Jacobs Fla 0.783
Aurilia SF 0.781
T. Lee Was 0.776
Klesko SF 0.775
Hatte Cin 0.758
Thorman Atl 0.738
Conine Cin 0.727

Razor Shines
02-01-2007, 10:19 AM
It's not, read the Cards report. Although they don't mention Poo Holes' bat or Rolens, but they talk about Eckstein's and Kennedy. And I don't think they mean Spezio is dangerous with his glove off the bench.

It isn't defense only, but it is infield only. And as far as infield I don't think I'd place the Reds higher than any of the teams listed. Hatte/Conine has to be the worst 1b in the NL. I think BP will drop off from last years numbers.