Wednesday, April 04, 2012

The Websoulsurfer Predictions for the NL West

My Predictions for the NL West  in 2012

Opening Day for the Padres is less than 18 hours away and here is my first post of the new season. Over the next few days I am going to give my predictions for won-loss records, division and wild card winners, award winners and even Padres players production.

Lets start with the won loss records and my pick to win the NL West.

Arizona Diamondbacks -  93-69
Colorado Rockies - 87-75
San Francisco Giants - 87-75
Los Angeles Dodgers - 81-81
San Diego Padres - 76-86

The Reasoning:

The Arizona Diamondbacks combine a good young pitching staff with some great prospects ready at the top levels of their farm system with a good young position players.
  • Kennedy, Hudson, Collmenter, Cahill and Saunders as the starting 5 with Bauer ready 
  • Upton, Young, Kubel, Parra in the OF
  • Goldschmitt, Hill, Drew (eventually), Roberts across the IF with Montero behind the plate
Best in the division top to bottom.

The Colorado Rockies are my surprise pick. For one reason - veteran leadership. This team had the talent to win in 2011, but they fell apart under pressure. Tulo and Gonzales are two of the best young players in the league. Helton was hurt and he is a real quiet guy. Not the leader they needed.

In the offseason they added three guys that can not only get the job done, they are great clubhouse guys. Now they have Jamie Moyer, the ageless wonder, out there in the starting rotation to provide an example of what it takes for the pitching staff. They also added Scutaro & Cuddyer to provide the example for the position players.

I still don't think they have enough to win the division, but they will surprise alot of people. Think Padres of 2010.

The San Francisco Giants do not have enough offense or enough depth to compete for the division title. Yes, they have an outstanding top end to their starting pitching corp with The Freak, Cain and Bumgarner. After that it drops off precipitously to Zito and ???. They dont even know who will step up enough to fill the #5 slot.

Like the starting pitching, the offense is great at the top with The Panda and Posey, but falls off quickly after those two with no one in the wings to fill spots in the batting order when injuries strike.
  • Pagan, Cabrera, Huff, Schierholtz across the OF. 
  • Bolt, Burris, Crawford, Sandoval across the infield with Posey behind the plate part time. Looks like he will get time at 1B this season. 
Just not enough to win in a consistently tough NL West.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are a one trick pony. They have 3 great players and 21 scrubs on their roster. Kemp, Ethier and Kershaw are good enough to keep them out of the cellar, but not much more.

Their new ownership group has deep pockets, but they have invested 2.15 BILLION so far in the team and have another 350-500 million still to invest in the ballpark renovations.This team will get worse before it gets better.

The San Diego Padres are an extremely young team that the front office tried to graft in a couple of veterans that just dont fit.

In Stauffer, Volquez, Luebke, Richard, Moseley. (I know Stauffer is not starting opening day, but he is the Padres number 1) the Padres have a good young pitching staff with a very good young prospect in the pen (Bass) and at least 4 pitchers within a year of making the staff. Kelly, Weiland, Erlin and Sampson will be ready soon and will slot somewhere in the middle of that rotation - #2 to #4.

Their pen was totally made over in the last year with Street, Cashner and Owings taking the place of Bell, Adams and LeBlanc. i believe the pen will be just as strong with more depth since Thatcher is healthy, 2 members of that pen from last season, Spence and Hamren, will be in the minors this season and two others with huge talent, Brach and Boxberger, will start the year in AAA.
  • Guzman, Maybin, Denorfia, Venable across the OF. Quentin and Blanks will also play PT in the OF. Quentin because of current injuries, Blanks because of past injuries.
  • Alonso, Hudson, Bartlett, Headley in the infield with Hundley behind the plate.
The future is bright. The present is glum.

Those are my thoughts, What are yours?


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