To be quite honest, creating a “Preseason All AL West Team” is a futile exercise. If you are looking for an MLB season preview, full of sound analysis and predictions, this isn’t it. But I’m a visual learner, and there is some value in seeing where the power is in the division, position by position. Of course this isn’t an exact science, no predictions are, and only 2 players are selected per position, so you have a guy like Kyle Seager, the M’s second best position player, not making this list thanks to Beltre and Donaldson. So ya, take this for what it is. A quick snapshot of the division headed into 2014. Although I should point out, by forecasting who has the most 1st and 2nd teamers, I correctly guessed the order of finish in the division last year!
My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as projections for the upcoming season, and anticipated playing time. Some of the picks are obvious and others are less obvious, so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
Taking the visualization one step further, here’s a super scientific bar graph intended to show the separation between teams, by awarding 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection.
Unlike some college sports, pro sports don’t come out with pre-season 1st and 2nd teams, but if the AL West had its pre-season team, this is how I think it would shake out. Clearly this is not a perfect method to predicting the AL West in 2013, and by season’s end the 1st and 2nd team selections will look different. But, it does provide a snapshot of how the division stacks up. My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as potential this upcoming year, and projected impact/playing time. Some of the picks are obvious and others are less obvious, so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
A couple bullets:
- It is hard to find much separation at the top between Oakland, Texas, and LAA. All 3 have playoff potential, but from this breakdown I would also suggest the Mariners are closer to the good teams in the division, rather than the bad (Houston).
- Say what you want about Oakland’s 2012 season being an anomolye, but it’s hard to criticize the roster Billy Beane has been assembled this year. The A’s don’t have a lot of star power but they are solid at every position, and have a ton of depth, which will surely be an asset at some point.
- The positions that were hardest to find a clear cut 1st and 2nd team selection were Catcher, DH, and the 2nd team OFs and Starting Ps. At catcher, Montero projects to have the most playing time and potential, so I gave him the honors. You could make a case for Jaso and Pierzynski too. The same is true between Kendrys Morales, Berkman, and Trumbo, but the numbers suggest Morales (when healthy) is the best option in the group. David Murphy is a nice player, as is Coco Crisp, Franklin Gutierrez, and Chris Young. Take your pick, I went with Murhpy. Starting pitching was a bit of a toss up to when you start picking the 8th-10th best in the AL West. I tried hard to justify an Astro but simply could not. Iwakuma was my 10th selection, but it could have easily gone to Derek Holland, Jason Vargas, or really any Oakland starter.
- In order to visually quantify the separation between teams based on these picks, I’ve awarded 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection. Here’s how it shakes out on a fancy bar graph.
Filed under Mariners, Predictions, Uncategorized
Tagged as Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols, Alexi Ogando, Brandon Moss, Brett Anderson, CJ Wilson, David Murphy, Dustin Ackley, Elvis Andrus, Erick Aybar, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Houston Astros, Ian Kinsler, Jared WEaver, Jarrod Parker, Jesus Montero, John Jaso, Josh Hamilton, Josh Reddick, Kendrys Morales, Kyle Seager, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mark Trumbo, Matt Harrison, Mike Trout, Oakland Athletics, Peter Bourjos, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Tommy Milone, Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish
Unlike NCAA sports, pro sports don’t come out with pre-season 1st and 2nd teams, but if the AL West had its pre-season team, this is how I think it would shake out. My selection process looks at last year’s performance as well as potential this upcoming year, and often I use the sabermetric WAR to break ties. Some of the picks are obvious (Pujols), and others are less obvious (DH), so of course I’d love to hear your thoughts too.
A quick analysis shows that Texas is the class of the division, with more 1st team selections than the rest of the west combined. Anaheim has good 2nd tier depth, solid pitching, and balance. Texas and Anaheim each have 8 1st or 2nd team selections of the possible 10 positional categories, and of the 14 pitching spots, a whopping 11 are Rangers (6) and Angels (5). The M’s are a distant 3rd, but a ways ahead of the re-building A’s, who are loaded with average players but no star power whatsoever.
I wanted to take this chart one step further, and visually quantify the separation between teams based on these picks. To do so, I’ve simply awarded 2 points for a 1st team selection, and 1 point for a 2nd team selection. Here’s how it shakes out on a bar graph.
Lastly, here are team by team offseason wrap ups, after the jump… Continue reading →
Filed under Mariners
Tagged as Adam Kennedy, Adrian Beltre, AL West, Albert Pujols, Alberto Callaspo, Andrew Bailey, Bartolo Colon, Brad Hawpe, Brad Peacock, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon Webb, Carlos Guillen, Chris Gimenez, Chris Iannetta, CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, Conor Jackson, Dan Haren, Daniel Cortes, Darren Oliver, David Aardsma, David DeJesus, Derek Holland, Dustin Ackley, Elvis Andrus, Erick Aybar, Ervin Santana, Felix Hernandez, Fernando Rodney, Franklin Gutierrez, George Sherrill, Gio Gonzalez, Hector Noesi, Hideki Matsui, Hisashi Iwakuma, Hong-Chih Kuo, Ian Kinsler, Ichiro, Jack Zduriencik, Jamey Wright, Jared WEaver, Jeff Gray, Jeff Mathis, Jesus Montero, Joe Nathan, Joel Pineiro, John Jaso, Jonny Gomes, Jorge Cantu, Josh Bard, Josh Hamilton, Josh Reddick, Josh Willingham, Justin Smoak, Kevin Millwood, LaTroy Hawkins, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Mark Trumbo, Matt Treanor, Michael Pineda, Michael Young, Mike Napoli, Mike Trout, Neftali Feliz, Nelson Cruz, Oakland Athletics, Peter Bourjos, Rich Harden, Russell Branyan, Ryan Sweeney, Seattle Mariners, Seth Smith, Shawn Camp, Texas Rangers, Torii Hunter, Trevor Cahill, Tyler Chatwood, Willy Mo Pena, Yoenis Cespedes, Yu Darvish