Using this preview: Some players will be spotlighted and I’ll make some knee-jerk rankings of each teams lineup, rotation and bullpen. A better lineup will offer protection for hitters and improve pitchers’ win-loss records. A better rotation will also make things easier on a bullpen. I’m starting with the American League East and I’ll work my way to the National League West. More previews here.
American League East
Toronto Blue Jays
- Stud: Roy Halladay, SP — one of a few pitchers you should reach for early.
- Bust: Vernon Wells, OF — More overrated than bust. Wells is 30 and already his hamstring is aching. Count on less extra base hits and he definitely won’t get double-digit steals again. As long as he stays off the Disabled List he’ll get 25 homers and bat .300. I’m not sure he’ll stay off the DL.
- Sleeper: Travis Snider, OF — He only had 73 at-bats in his debut season, but hit .301 with an OPS over .800. It’s an inexact science, but if you multiply his stats by 8 (giving him around 560 at-bats) he could have had almost 50 doubles, 20 homers, 80 RBIs and 75 runs. Worth a late pick.
- Prospect to watch: Brett Cecil, SP — Beyond Halladay the Jays’ rotation is shaky. Cecil will take one of those slots by the end of the season.
- Wild Card: Adam Lind, DH/OF — The Jays have a couple wild cards, but I picked Lind for this one because the other two guys are mentioned above. Lind could score 100 runs, hit 20 homers and drive in 80 all while batting .282. If he and Snider both hit their stride this season, it could help them overcome their less-than-potent infield.
- Starter you may not know but should: Lind — he’s starting at DH and could spell Snider in left.
D — Other than Wells and Alex Rios, there’s not a lot here to instill fear in opposing pitchers, yet.
D — Other than Halladay, there’s not a lot here to instill fear in opposing hitters, ever.
B — B.J. Ryan is a solid closer and he’s got two solid setup men in front of him in Scott Downs and Jesse Carlson. Both could crank some holds this season, as long as the starters can get to the later rounds.
To read all of Chinstrap Ninjas team previews, go here.