Using this preview: Some players will be spotlighted and there will be some knee-jerk rankings of each teams lineup, rotation and bullpen. Team previews, born from a desire to design a better cheat sheet, will start with the American League East and finish in the National League West. More previews here.
American League Central
Chicago White Sox
- Stud: Carlos Quentin, OF– He broke out in a big way last year, in five different categories. His OPS was over .960.
- Bust: Paul Konerko, 1B — The aging Konerko could help some teams, but he’s not the hitter he was two years ago. He won’t get you a .300 average, or 30 homers. He’ll battle to get you 80 runs and 80 RBIs, just don’t expect them.
- Sleeper: Alexei Ramirez, 2B — A legit 30-30 threat who hit .290 last year.
- Prospect to watch: Aaron Poreda, SP– Poreda’s way down on the rotation depth chart and there are several established major-leaguers ahead of him. However, watch out for an appearance from Poreda by the end of the season.
- Wild Card: Jim Thome, DH — Like Konerko, Thome’s best years are behind him, but if he can continue to hit for power and drive in runs he makes the whole team better. He scored 90 and drove in 90 last year and despite a pathetic .245 batting average had an OPS of .865.
- Starter you may not know but should: Matt Thornton — The Sox have an excellent bullpen and Thornton is in position to be the setup/holds guy.
C — Quentin’s a legit stud, but questions surrounding the aging Konerko and Thome, unproven 3B Josh Fields and light-hitting OF Brian Anderson brings the grade down.
B — Mark Buerhle, John Danks and Gavin Floyd are a solid three. Bartolo Colon was an ace in the past and he’s a No. 4 here.
A — We’ve already talked about Thornton, but Bobby Jenks is a consistently solid closer. Octavio Dotel and Scott Linebrink help put this ‘pen among the best.
To read all of Chinstrap Ninjas team previews, go here.