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Thread: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

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    NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Catcher
    1. Yadier Molina
    2. Ronny Paulino
    3. David Ross
    4. (tie) JR Towles
    4. (tie) Geovany Soto
    6. Jason Kendall
    Comment: Molina is solid defensively and hit as well as he ever has in 2007. Perhaps it's a trend; more likely, it's a career season. Regardless, he's tops for his glove, as none of these catchers will remind you of the best in the game. Both Towles and Soto are young and offensive minded, but neither was particularly heralded and neither should be anything special in 08. Paulino is young-ish and can rake. He could take a step forward this season. Ross regressed last season, but his power and arm keep him in the upper half of a weak, weak position.

    First Base
    1. Albert Pujols
    2. Prince Fielder
    3. Derek Lee
    4. Lance Berkman
    5. Joey Votto
    6. Adam LaRoche
    Comment: Arguably the three best first basemen in baseball reside in the NL Central. Pujols is already a first ballot HOF and Fielder played like one last season. In fact, Fielder could stake a claim on the top spot. Lee is still hitting well when healthy. He needs to stay that way for the Cubs to win a second straight Central crown. Berkman has played hurst for almost a decade now, but his talent is unquestionable and he could always turn in a 320/40/125 season. Votto hit 320 in his September call-up and has speed, too. Too bad he's only ahead of LaRoche on this tough, tough list.

    Second Base
    1. Brandon Phillips
    2. Freddy Sanchez
    3. Richie Weeks
    4. Mark DeLaRosa
    5. Adam Kennedy
    6. Kaz Matsui
    Comment: Phillips turned a corner last season and his 30/30 season earns top spot at the keystone position. Sanchez can hit, but his glove isn't in Phillips' league. Weeks has serious talent, but producion hasn't yet lived up to hype. If it does, he may be best of all. DeLaRosa had another solid year in 07 after signing with the Cubs. Kennedy, OTOH, has horrid. Matsui was horrid before last season and, without the rarified air of Colorado, will be again.

    Shortstop
    1. JJ Hardy
    2. Miguel Tejada
    3. Jack Wilson
    4. Ryan Theriot
    5. Alex Gonzalez
    6. Cesar Izturis
    Comment: Hardy was one of the reasons Milwaukee contended last season, hammering 22 dingers and playing 150 games. Tejada, though passt his prime, can still hit. Wilson had a very good year and his glove is as good as anyone's. Theriot came out of nowhere to help Sweet Lou win the Central crown. Gonzalez hit better than advertised, but erred more than usual. Izturis can't hit, but his glove should be solid.

    Third Base
    1. Aramis Ramirez
    2. Edwin Encarnacion
    3. Troy Glaus
    4. Ty Wiggington
    5. Bill Hall
    6. Jose Bautista
    Comment: The easiest call in the division. Ramirez was an MVP candidate last season and could be again this year. Encarnacion struggled Pre-All Star and hit great afterward. Which will show up this season? Glaus has pop, but his knees aren't going to let him do much of anything else. Wiggington is underrated. Hall had a down year and tries a new (old) position in 97. Bautista has talent, but hasn't put it together.

    Left Field
    1 Ryan Braun
    2 Alfonso Soriano
    3 Adam Dunn
    4 Carlos Lee
    5 Jason Bay
    6 Chris Duncan
    Comment: Braun hit like Teddy Ballgame last season at the hot corner. Can he repeat? Soriano was awesome as well, but didn't hit for the same average. Dunn had his best year ever and looked to turn a corner halfway through. Lee hit well, but has no protection in 08. Bay was awful and Duncan, though solid, isn't anywhere near the others.

    Center Field
    1. Jay Bruce
    2. Mike Cameron
    3. Colby Rasmus
    4. Nate McLouth
    5. Felix Pie
    6. Michael Bourn
    Comment: Bruce, if he approaches PECOTA projections, is as far ahead of CF as Ramirez is of 3B. And it's only going to get better (or worse, depending on how you view it and who you're a fan of). He's got all the tools. Can he deliever? Cameron is suspended the first 25 games, but is really going to enjoy his home ballpark. Look for a spike in his offensive numbers. Rasmus may be ready, but, at 21, may not. If he's close, the Cards will give him time to struggle. He may be outstanding, as he has all the tools for a 30/30 season or three. McLouth isn't awe-inspiring, but he's better, at this point, than Pie, who struggled mighyily in his first attempt around the league. Bourn is a wild card. He can fly, but his bat may not be ready for prime time.

    Right Field
    1. Cory Hart
    2. Hunter Pence
    3. Ken Griffey, Jr.
    4. Xavier Nady
    5. Kosuke Fukudome
    6. Rick Ankiel
    Coment: Hart supplants Junior in RF and Pence may be better as well. Hart's D is super solid and his speed makes him a good bet to continue to deliver great numbers. Pence may suffer from little protection and higher expectations. Junior can't be counted on to stay healthy, though he played well early last season and slugged 30/100. Nady kills Cincinnati every year seemingly and is solid. Fukudome is a Japanese Joker-- he could be a cross between Ichiro and Godzilla, but I suspect his tools aren't quite at their level. Ankiel hit like a ton of bricks, but questions about HGH, 'roids, and a lack of protection may hinder him this season.

    Bench
    1. Chicago
    2. Pittsburgh
    3. Milwaukee
    4. Cincinnati
    5. St. Louis
    6. Houston
    Comment: The Cubs have Murton and Ward, two excellent bench bats. The Pirate bench, especially Ryan Doumit, is suprisingly good. Milwaukee's bench should be better than it is. Cincinnati has a ton of options and two excellent PH in Keppinger and Hatteberg. St, Louis has Speizio and LaRue and Houston has nothing.

    Rotation
    1. Chicago
    2. Pittsburgh
    3. Cincinnati
    4. Milwaukee
    5. Houston
    6. St. Louis
    Comment: Starting pitching drives pennants and Chicago should have an advantage this season. Zambrano is the most talented pitcher in the National League. Only his head gets in the way. They also have a ton of depth, a key overlooked ingredient in success. Pittsburgh's young guys look interesting until you see their everyday lineup. Still, if Duke delivers like his first season, they could be special. That the Reds are third says more about potential than anything else, as the guess here is that one of Bailey, Belisle, Volquez, or Maloney step up as a solid #3 behind Harang and Arroyo. Ben Sheets is quite possibly the best pitcher this side of San Diego. That he can't stay healthy is a true shame. Houston has an aging Oswalt and little else. St. Louis has half a season of Carpenter and perhaps that of Mulder. The Cardinals have more questions in their rotation than anyone in baseball. That's never a good thing.

    Bullpen
    1. St. Louis
    2. Cincinnati
    3. Houston
    4. Milwaukee
    5. Chicago
    6. Pittsburgh
    Comment: As bad as their rotation could be, the Cardinal bullpen is solid, thanks to Dave Duncan. He can always be counted on to find at least one effective hurler out of the blue. Isringhausen looks nearly done in every year, but finds a way to be effective. Cincinnati at #2? True, true, this could be a seriously optimistic choice, but, with the always solid Cordero and a very solid Weathers as set-up man, along with emerging talents Burton, Bray, and Coutlangus, the Red pen is solid lefty and rightie. Jeremy Affeldt, if he doesn't make the starting rotation, is a solid lefty as well. Houston has a completely different pen this season. Will no Lidge mean less problems? Perhaps, but Valverde is similar in that when he's good, he's very good, but when he's bad, he's horrid. Milwaukee is counting on the damaged right wing of Eric Gagne. If he's completely back, they may earn the top spot. But Derrick Turnbow is still the set-up man and he's still not learned to pitch. Chicago's pen has good arms, but questions abound. If Kerry Wood can close effectively, bump them up a couple spots. If his arm can't take it-- and why should we believe it could?-- they could really struggle on the back end. The Pirate pen is, as always, more about saving a buck or two than actual performance. Capps and Marte are great, but there is absolutely nothing behind them. Perhaps Bullington could make a good set-up man?

    Total Points
    45 Milwaukee
    45 Cincinnati
    43 Chicago
    35 Pittsburgh
    34 St. Louis
    31 Houston
    Last edited by Scrap Irony; 02-02-2008 at 10:30 PM.

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    I doubt that Rasmus starts in CF for the Cards, as it would mean they would lose one of Barton or Schumaker. More liklely,one of Barton, Schumaker or Ankiel mans CF.

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Don't think I put Braun that high regardless of what type of season he had last year.

    Also, don't think I can jump the Reds up to #2 on bullpen yet. Potential? Maybe. I don't think potential should give them that big of a leap.

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Theriot over Gonzalez? I'm all for scrappiness, but AGon had a 120 point higher OPS. People underrate what Gonzalez did last year.

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    I think Jason Bay is the best of the left fielders and Dunn is probably 2nd but I could see putting Soriano ahead of him.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    I think Jason Bay is the best of the left fielders and Dunn is probably 2nd but I could see putting Soriano ahead of him.
    Bay was pretty bad last year, but I imagine he'll bounce back. Dunn had a better year than Soriano by quite a bit, though.

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    Bay was pretty bad last year, but I imagine he'll bounce back. Dunn had a better year than Soriano by quite a bit, though.
    he'll be back IMO.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    I just look at the stats for last season and I didn't realize that Bay fell off that bad. He had to be injured or something. That's horrendous for him. Dunn may be the best in left right now followed by Soriano & Lee.
    "My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jpup View Post
    I just look at the stats for last season and I didn't realize that Bay fell off that bad. He had to be injured or something. That's horrendous for him. Dunn may be the best in left right now followed by Soriano & Lee.
    Bay may simply be suffering from lack of steroids.

    Is that cuarable?

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    Member red-in-la's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Bay I think suffered from teams refusing to let HIM beat them....being young, he pressed to carry the team even when he was the object of such pressure.
    "Is there a problem officers?"

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Quote Originally Posted by red-in-la View Post
    Bay I think suffered from teams refusing to let HIM beat them....being young, he pressed to carry the team even when he was the object of such pressure.
    Pressure?? In Pittsburgh??

    He's been carrying the team for his entire carrer. Why now did he suddenly decide that he can't hit?

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    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Catcher - Soto, Towles, Paulino, Molina, Kendall, Ross.
    1B - Pujols, Berkman, Fielder, Lee, Votto, Laroche.
    2B - Phillips, Weeks, Sanchez, De La Rosa, Kennedy, Matsui.
    3B - Ramirez, EdE, Hall, Bautista, Wigginton, Glaus.
    SS - Hardy, Tejada, Gonzalez, Wilson, Theriot (4th if Cedeno plays), Izturis.
    LF - Dunn, Soriano, Braun, Lee, Bay, Duncan.
    CF - Bruce, Cameron, Pie, Bourne, Rasmus, McClouth/Morgan.
    RF - Hart. Pence, Fukudome, Griffey, Nady, Ankel
    BE - Cubs, Reds, Pit, Mil, STL, HOU
    SP - Cubs, Reds, MIL, Pit, Hou, STL
    BP - Cubs, Hou, STL, Mil, CIN, PIT (Based on PIT Trading Marte early. If Marte stays all year they go 5th and CIN goes 6th).

    Overall - Cubs, MIL, REDS, Hou, STL, Pit.
    Last edited by mth123; 02-03-2008 at 01:51 AM.
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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Quote Originally Posted by pahster View Post
    Bay was pretty bad last year, but I imagine he'll bounce back. Dunn had a better year than Soriano by quite a bit, though.
    A case could be made that Soriano was at least 1.5 wins better than Dunn last season.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    First I think Bruce will be in AAA, EdE is ranked to high IMO and so is our SPs. Gonzo should get more love as well. I do think we'll finish 1st or second, having Cordero is the plus factor and I think people arent giving this guy enough credit. If used right he can make the difference. What I mean by that is he shouldnt be worn out in the first half of the season, if Im Dusty early on I call Weathers a lot with Cordero so that in August he's peaking when you need him IMO.


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    Re: NL Central-- Rank 'Em (By Position)

    Quote Originally Posted by icehole3 View Post
    First I think Bruce will be in AAA, EdE is ranked to high IMO and so is our SPs. Gonzo should get more love as well. I do think we'll finish 1st or second, having Cordero is the plus factor and I think people arent giving this guy enough credit. If used right he can make the difference. What I mean by that is he shouldnt be worn out in the first half of the season, if Im Dusty early on I call Weathers a lot with Cordero so that in August he's peaking when you need him IMO.

    Calling Weathers a lot may mean there won't be a second half....

    To me the offense is going to be worse than last season, the bullpen might not be any better and the real wild card will be the back end of the rotation which could be a real strength for the '08 Reds.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner


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