Daily Archives: February 21, 2017
This farm system has been built on the backs of Elite position players and the ability of the minor league staff to help them reach their potential. The Major League lineup is one of the most potent in baseball, and there are still prospects who could add more firepower to the order. The up and coming prospects cover a wide range of ages so that the team can be primed to defend their championship this season while also having insurance policies as arbitration years approach shortly.
The top of the list is again loaded with positional talent as Chicago looks to have options in the infield (Happ, Jeimer Candelario) and the outfield (Jimenez, Mark Zagunis, Eddy Martinez). Though there is limited star power, the Cubs starting lineup has enough to hold over the city. More important for the short-term, players such as Victor Caratini and Wladimir Galindo should see extended time on the 25-man roster.
With all other positions pretty stable, there really are only a handful of battles for the Detroit Tigers heading in to spring training. The 5th rotation spot will be interesting, there will be bullpen spots up for grabs, but I believe the main focus will be Centerfield after the trade of Cameron Maybin to clear some salary from the books.
The centerfield job is pretty much up for grabs as spring games commence later in the week with JaCoby Jones, Tyler Collins, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Gose, David Lough, and Alex Presely all via for the position to name a few. Mahtook in my opinion has a slight edge; however a lot can change over the next month. Let’s take a look at some of the options…
The Cubs won it all last year. Perhaps you heard. But let’s savor how infrequently a team wins in the year they are SUPPOSED to win!
Perfectly timing titles on this episode of Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.
Matt Kemp isn’t the MVP-caliber ballplayer he used to be with the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier in his career. Despite that, the Atlanta Braves have high expectations for the right-handed hitting outfielder in 2017.
Those expectations aren’t coming without them getting a glimpse of what he could do for the offense, though.
After the San Diego Padres shipped him to Atlanta at last summer’s non-waiver trade deadline, Kemp was one of the reasons behind the Braves offense going from being historically awful to finishing as a top-performing unit.
His arrival also spurred a personal boost in production — he hit 23 homers in 431 plate appearances with San Diego, but produced just a 102 wRC+. Once the trade took place, that number jumped to 120 in 241 plate appearances (while hitting 12 more homers).
Yes, the Braves are technically still rebuilding, but with a new ballpark opening and their flurry offseason moves, they’re aiming to at least be competitive this year, and Kemp’s performance will play a significant role.
The big question with Spring Training now underway is whether or not his two-month stretch of above-average offensive production is sustainable for an entire season. If it’s going to be, he may need to make a few changes.