Seth Stohs writes a blog called Seth Speaks, which is mostly about the Minnesota sports teams. However, today, he has written a list of 20 guys who qualify as ML rookies and he has ranked them in order of the impact he thinks they will actually HAVE this year, not by how much “potential” (oh LORD I hate that word) they have if they had an ideal situation to come into.
Check it out.
#20 – Chase Headly, age 23, 3B, Padres
#19 – Carlos Gonzalez, age 22, OF, A’s
#18 – Brandon Wood, age 22, 3B, Angels
#17 – Brandon Jones, age 24, OF, Braves
#16 – Cameron Maybin, age 20, OF, Marlins
#15 – Ben Francisco, age 26, OF, Indians
#14 – Wladamir Balentien, age 23, Mariners
#13 – Joey Votto, age 24, 1B, Reds
#12 – Andy LaRoche, age 24, 3B, Dodgers
#11 – Ryan Sweeney, age 22, OF, A’s
#10 – Ian Stewart, age 22, 2B/3B, Rockies
# 9 – Steve Pearce, age 24, 1B/OF, Pirates
# 8 – Daric Barton, age 22, 1B, A’s
# 7 – Geovany Soto, age 24, C, Cubs
# 6 – Jay Bruce, age 20, OF, Reds
# 5 – JR Towles, age 23, C, Astros
# 4 – Colby Rasmus, age 21, OF, Cardinals
# 3 – Jacoby Ellsbury, age 24, OF, Red Sox
# 2 – Kosuke Fukudome, age 30, OF, Cubs
# 1 – Evan Longoria, age 22, OF Devil Rays
I think his ranking order is pretty good, except for Cameron Maybin because the Marlins ARE going to play him in center. Period, no ifs, ands or buts – unless he gets hurt before the season starts. The Marlins are all about playing cheapest and Maybin is dirt cheap.
Also, I would bet that Brandon Jones starts in left for the Braves because their other options are, um, not good.
JR Towles: There isn’t any competition there, at least I should say that management has told the media this. However, if Towles completely sucks/tanks, then I would guess that IF he is sent back to AAA, and that is a very big “if”, then Ausmus will be the main catcher and some other guy will be backup – probably Humberto Quintero, who, in my opinion, is not very good. I’m not expecting a lot from Towles’ bat, but I would be satisfied if he had the stats from Biggio’s first full year: .257/.336/.402 – which was, by the way, a 114 OPS+ back then; I wouldn’t be surprised, though, or even disappointed if it was more like Biggio’s rookie year: .211/.254/.350. The guy only had a couple games at AAA and he isn’t Biggio, at least that I know of.
Then again, predicting how things will go with a completely new manager and GM is tough. I know that McLane refuses to rebuild and expects to “compete” every year, but this isn’t so with the Pirates and this is why I am not sure about Pearce. The Pirates organization is the dumbest in the NL, no question. (I mean in terms of creating teams that will win, not in terms of making 20-35 mill a year in profit.) I don’t know why they insist on moving players all over the place and refusing to play the few good ones they have in any sort of consistant manner. Pearce won’t displace either Adam LaRoche or Nady unless either is hurt or doesn’t hit at ALL. They also have Nate McLouth, but the stupid Pirates don’t seem to realize how GOOD he is. What can I say. It amazes me that the Pirates still have any fans at ALL, or that the owners have not yet been lynched.
Therefore, I would guess that IF Pearce makes the majors he’ll be a bench guy, or they’ll put him at third or something else stupid. Same with the Reds and Joey Votto/Jay Bruce – they will not take Hatteberg off first and Ryan Freel out of center unless they get hurt or stop hitting.
It will be VERY interesting to see how the Rockies handle the Atkins/Stewart problem. There is talk about seeing if Stewart can play second, but some guys can’t handle the other side of the diamond. Me, if I was running the Rockies, I would have checked out Stewart at second last year, or seen what I could get in trade for either Stewart or Atkins because a whole LOT of organizations need a decent third baseman. Actually, I would have tried to get Noah Lowry/Matt Cain from the Giants because their only choice is Kevin Frandsen (shudder) but hey, it’s not my team…
for something completely different – Astros news!!! All yall know I was NOT happy about the team acquiring a known and unrepentant steroid user in Miguel Tejada. From Justice’s column this morning:
“…Waxman and ranking member Tom Davis have asked the Attorney General to investigate Tejada because the Mitchell Report implicated Tejada in the use of steroids.
Tejada told the Committee that he never used illegal performance-enhancing drugs and that he had no knowledge of other players using or even talking about steroids, Waxman said. The Mitchell report, however, directly contradicts key elements of Mr. Tejadaís testimony.”
Remember Rafe Palmeiro had stated that Tejada had injected him with B-12 and everyone chose to throw ALL the poopoo at Palmeiro and none at Tejada, who said something like – what is a steroid? What goes around comes around. Tejada, of course, is now in the Dominican Republic playing winter ball, where it is ostensibly a LOT easier to get hold of, um, Vitamin B-12 (ahem) than it is here. Of course, Congress can’t extradite Tejada to speak about something he can’t be arrested for, but it sure will be interesting to see where the “investigation” goes.
Me, I want to see what all the Astros fans, who have been spitting on Clemens, but, um, silent about Tejada, are going to say NOW. After all, Clemens’ “use” is based solely on a he said/he said sort of thing, but there are two checks that Tejada wrote to his dealer for his drugs and as far as I’m concerned, that is actual EVIDENCE instead of unprovable accusations.