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Thread: Rank the NL infields

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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Rank the NL infields

    The Sporting News has been doing various rankings in recent weeks. I don't think I'm going out on a limb in saying the folks around here are at least as smart as the Sporting News. Anyway, here's my cut at it:

    1. Mets

    Carlos Delgado, Jose Valentin, Jose Reyes, David Wright

    There might be three future Hall of Famers in that infield. Reyes is among the most electric players in the game and Wright is one of the best young hitters int he game.

    2. Cardinals

    Albert Pujols, Adam Kennedy, David Eckstein, Scott Rolen

    Two guaranteed Hall of Famers in this IF. Eckstein is a complete pest. Kennedy is functional.

    3. Phillies

    Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Wes Helms

    Hard to believe Helms will produce as a regular for a full season, but Howard's a megastud and Utley is one heck of a nice player. Rollins basically has to play all the defense. He also should be allowed to skip the month of April (career .694 OPS that month).

    4. Padres

    Adrian Gonzalez, Marcus Giles, Khalil Greene, Kevin Kouzmanoff

    Gonzalez arrived last year, Giles will rebound with a vengeance and the team flat out plays better when Greene's in the lineup. Kouzmanoff? Who knows, but he should be at least as good as Wes Helms.

    5. Dodgers

    Nomah, Jeff Kent, Rafael Furcal, Wilson Betemit

    Nomah could spend the year injured and Kent could finally show his age (though he's been worlds better in his 30s than he was in his 20s), but those two guys and Furcal could also carry a team. Betemit's yet another question mark at 3B.

    6. Diamondbacks

    Conor Jackson, Orlando Hudson, Stephen Drew, Chad Tracy

    Potentially the steadiest hitting IF in the league. Defense is shaky (mostly thanks to Jackson being a complete boob in the field), but Hudson can cover a lot of ills on that front.

    7. Brewers

    Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Corey Koskie

    Bill Hall's supposedly heading to the OF, but if these guys can stay healthy there's a lot of danger in there. Fielder and Weeks could be on the verge of major star turns.

    8. Nationals

    Nick Johnson, Felipe Lopez, Cristian Guzman, Ryan Zimmerman

    Guzman hurts, a lot, but the other three guys can wear out a pitching staff. Even if Felipe doesn't take all that well to 2B this should be a pretty solid defensive unit too.

    9. Rockies

    Todd Helton, Kaz Matsui, Troy Tulowitzki, Garrett Atkins

    Matsui seemed to rediscover the guy who set the Japanese leagues on fire once he got out of New York. Atkins had a phenomenal season in 2006. If Helton rebounds and Tulo's the real thing this is a solid, if slightly underpowered, unit.

    10. Marlins

    Mike Jacobs, Dan Uggla, Hanley Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera

    There's some serious potential for the middle IF to regress a bit and it's an open question as to whether Cabrera should play 3B. He's sort of Bobby Bo over there. Still, I can't get enough of saying the word Uggla.

    [b]11. Braves[b]

    Scott Thorman, Kelly Johnson, Edgar Renteria, Chipper Jones

    Obviously a lot hinges on Jones playing a full season. Renteria's still got a shot to collect 3,000 hits in his career. Johnson and Thorman massive question marks, both at the plate and in the field. It's possible Johnson will slide over to 1B and Willy Aybar, who seems to be a baseball player, could win the 2B job.

    12. Reds

    Scott Hatteberg, Brandon Phillips, Alex Gonzalez, Edwin Encarnacion

    If EdE can harness his fielding talents, this could be one of the better fielding IFs around. Yet Gonzalez is an out machine and Hatteberg is almost a lock to drop off from what he did last season. The two young guys will have to hold up the offensive end of the bargain.

    13. Cubs

    Derrek Lee, Mark DeRosa, Cesar Izturis, Aramis Ramirez

    Lee's more likely to play like his career average (.863 OPS) than his 2005 career year (1.060 OPS). DeRosa will lose his starting job by Independence Day. Between Izturis and Ramirez you've got one wonderful player and one guy who can't do anything right.

    14. Pirates

    Adam LaRoche, Jose Castillo, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez

    They'll field well, but Wilson and Castillo could have a .300 OB between them. Sanchez doesn't walk, has no power and he's not hitting .344 again. LaRoche will help, but he's not nearly enough to cover for the offensive holes in the rest of the IF.

    15. Astros

    Lance Berkman, Craig Biggio, Adam Everett, Morgan Ensberg

    Sure Berkman's got MVP ability. Yet Biggio's game is in ruins and Everett is as bad an offensive player as anyone in the majors (and he's not likely to repeat his defensive career year). Ensberg's game looked like it was falling apart last season. Mark Loretta will help a bit, but if Berkman gets injured this IF could turn into a super volcano of suckitude.

    16. Giants

    Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Omar Vizquel, Pedro Feliz

    Word is this group just signed to the Swan Song label.
    Last edited by M2; 02-02-2007 at 09:54 AM.
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    I think you underrated the Giants infield, they should be in front of at least the Pirates, but otherwise, yeah. Bonus points for an appearance of the phrase "super volcano of suckitude."
    I hope it's never sunny in Philly again.

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    I think the worst infield has to be Houston.

    Pirates defensively should be okay outside of Castillo on second. Castillo will bat around 250, Sanchez around 270/280, I doubt any higher. LaRoche is very good but I doubt he provides that "lefty power bat" to go with Bay.

    I don't think Cincinnati is gonna be too good either. Outside of Phillips and Gonzo, I really dont see "gold glove" now anywhere. EdE will get better, but that still leaves a hole at first. Not to mention the LOVELY teddy bear of a catcher we have, does he avoid getting hit this year again?

    On the topic of infields but offtopic with the AL, I think Clevelands infield minus Peralta could be very nice. Garko/Blake, Barfield, Peralta and Marte/Blake with Hector Luna as a reserve? Could be very good.
    Last edited by Dracodave; 01-31-2007 at 07:46 PM.
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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    I took the approach of ranking each position 1 to 16 and summing. Lowest number wins.

    Code:
    Team	1B	2B	3B	SS	Total
    NYM	4	15	1	1	21
    Phi	2	1	16	2	21
    STL	1	11	3	8	23
    FLA	14	7	2	4	27
    LA	10	2	12	3	27
    HOU	3	9	8	9	29
    SD	7	6	15	5	33
    Atl	11	16	4	6	37
    CHI	5	13	5	14	37
    MIL	12	3	13	11	39
    SF	15	4	14	7	40
    WAS	8	10	7	16	41
    COL	6	12	10	13	41
    AZ	13	5	11	12	41
    PIT	9	14	9	10	42
    CIN	16	8	6	15	45
    Last edited by mth123; 01-31-2007 at 08:40 PM.

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    Tired of talk. Win! Joseph's Avatar
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Code:
    Team	1B	2B	3B	SS	Total
    NYM	3	15	1	1	20
    Phi	2	1	16	2	21
    STL	1	11	5	9	26
    FLA	15	7	2	4	28
    SD	7	2	15	5	29
    CIN	13	3	6	8	30
    LA	9	8	12	3	32
    CHI	4	13	3	14	34
    WAS	6	6	7	16	35
    HOU	5	9	8	15	37
    MIL	11	4	13	11	39
    AZ	12	5	11	12	40
    PIT	8	14	9	10	41
    Atl	16	16	4	6	42
    SF	14	10	14	7	45
    COL	10	12	10	13	45
    I struggled mightily with the second basemen especially. I think Kent's going to fall off drastically, as is Biggio [his second half wasn't a fluke and his desire to get 3000 will further the fall] as a result I may have homerized the Reds a little much because I asked in some cases which 2b I'd rather have and the answers were few.

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Thorman better than Fielder?

  8. #7
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollcat View Post
    Thorman better than Fielder?
    Not if he plays everyday. But if Thorman and Wilson platoon with the hot bat always in, the combo will do quite well IMO.

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    I like the Phillies better than the Cardinals. And the Dodgers better than the Padres, in fact I would drop the Padres infield much further down the list maybe down to 11th.

  10. #9
    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Quote Originally Posted by NYDCYankee View Post
    I like the Phillies better than the Cardinals. And the Dodgers better than the Padres, in fact I would drop the Padres infield much further down the list maybe down to 11th.
    So put up your list. That's supposed to be the purpose of the thread. I just threw mine up there as a starter. I'd like to see how others rank them.

    As for the Padres, I've certainly got some projection in there. They're probably the best defensive unit from 1B-SS in the league. The real question is how they'll hit. Gonzalez sure looked like the real thing last season. Giles' 2006 should be an anomaly. Greene's just coming into his prime and he's been a lot better than people realize. Petco's chewed up his numbers, but he's a very good road hitter and, park-adjusted, he's been an above average hitting SS. Kouzmanoff is a wild card. He's raked in the minors. That might be an illusion, but being at least as good as Wes Helms, Wilson Betemit and Pedro Feliz shouldn't be too hard.
    Last edited by M2; 02-02-2007 at 10:34 AM.
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    I'm witchcrafting everybody.

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    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    I'd take the Cubs and Stros over the Reds. We certainly have no Lee/Berkman at first nor a GG shortstop.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Code:
    Team	1B	2B	3B	SS	Total
    PHI	2	1	16	2	21
    NYM	5	12	3	3	23
    FLA     13      4       1       5       23
    STL	1	13	5	6	25
    LA	10	3	11	1	25
    HOU     3	9	9	8	29
    ATL     16      11      2       4       33
    SD	8	5	14	7	34
    ARZ	11	2	10	11      34
    WSH	6	7	6	16	35
    CHI     4       14      4       15      37 
    MIL     7	6	15	10      38
    SF	14	8	13	9	44
    CIN  	15	10	8	14      47
    COL	12	16	7	12	47
    PIT	9	15	12	13	49
    Last edited by flyer85; 02-02-2007 at 10:58 AM.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Utley is one heck of a nice player.
    Led Zeppelin is one heck of a nice band.

    Honestly, if the Phillies had anyone better than replacement level at 3B, their infield would rival the Mets'.
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Quote Originally Posted by mth123 View Post
    I took the approach of ranking each position 1 to 16 and summing. Lowest number wins.

    Code:
    Team	1B	2B	3B	SS	Total
    NYM	4	15	1	1	21
    Phi	2	1	16	2	21
    STL	1	11	3	8	23
    FLA	14	7	2	4	27
    LA	10	2	12	3	27
    HOU	3	9	8	9	29
    SD	7	6	15	5	33
    Atl	11	16	4	6	37
    CHI	5	13	5	14	37
    MIL	12	3	13	11	39
    SF	15	4	14	7	40
    WAS	8	10	7	16	41
    COL	6	12	10	13	41
    AZ	13	5	11	12	41
    PIT	9	14	9	10	42
    CIN	16	8	6	15	45
    You rate Alex Gonzalez under Cesar Izturis and Jack Wilson?

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    OK, here's mine...

    1. Mets

    2. Phils

    3. Cards

    4. Marlins

    5. Cubs

    6. Dbacks

    7. Dodgers

    8. Brewers

    9. Nats

    10. Pads

    11. Rockies

    12. Reds

    13. Pirates

    14. Astros

    15. Braves

    16. Giants
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

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    Re: Rank the NL infields

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    So put up your list. That's supposed to be the purpose of the thread. I just threw mine up there as a starter. I'd like to see how others rank them.

    As for the Padres, I've certainly got some projection in there. They're probably the best defensive unit from 1B-SS in the league. The real question is how they'll hit. Gonzalez sure looked like the real thing last season. Giles' 2006 should be an anomaly. Greene's just coming into his prime and he's been a lot better than people realize. Petco's chewed up his numbers, but he's a very good road hitter and, park-adjusted, he's been an above average hitting SS. Kouzmanoff is a wild card. He's raked in the minors. That might be an illusion, but being at least as good as Wes Helms, Wilson Betemit and Pedro Feliz shouldn't be too hard.
    Ok. Let's see. This is what I would do.

    Mets
    Phillies
    Cards
    Cubs
    Marlins
    Milwaukee
    DBacks
    Dodgers
    Rockies
    Nats
    Padres
    Pirates
    Houston
    Cincy
    SF
    ATL


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