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Ranking The AL By Position

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  • Ranking The AL By Position

    I started this thread in the Yankees forum, but after some interest in this forum under the How Will the Sox Do in '06 Thread, I thought I'd open up this discussion here as well. Before reading further, I just want to note that I tried to be object

    As of (1/4/06), ESPN.com has projected the starting lineups, rotations, and closers throughout MLB. Out of boredom, I decided to rank the AL East by position, according to the ESPN.com projections, and award points to see how the teams stack up overall. ESPN.com did not include bullpens (other than closer) or bench players, so neither did I, and thus some players like Arroyo, Papelon, Foulke, Wright, and others, are noticeably absent.

    When making these rankings I considered things such as last year's performance, career performance/consistency, durability, and potential. The system is far from perfect, as some players are virtually identical, but I had to make the tough decisions and separate them causing one player to be awarded less points. Conversely, some players are so much better than the rest of the field, that separating them by only a few points doesn't do justice to the advantage. Hopefully these discrepansies somewhat balance out in the overall scheme.

    I also want to add one sidenote: I had a particularly tough time ranking some of the young Devil Ray's players, namely Jorge Cantu, Carl Crawford, Jonny Gomes, and Scott Kazmir. All of these players, based on potential and what they've done so far, could easily be ranked higher than I put them. Ultimately, however, potential in most cases was trumped by career consistency and that's why I have these players lower than their potential and last year's performance might suggest.

    Also, please note, that I tried to be as objective as possible. This is not meant to be a Yankees/Red Sox thing, but an objective look at the entire division.

    Catcher
    1) Jason Varitek - Red Sox - 10 Points
    2) Jorge Posada - Yankees - 8 Points
    3) Ramon Hernandez - Orioles - 6 Points
    4) Gregg Zaun - Blue Jays - 4 Points
    5) Toby Hall - Devil Rays - 2 Points

    First Base
    1) Jason Giambi - Yankees - 10 Points
    2) Lyle Overbay - Blue Jays - 8 Points
    3) Travis Lee - Devil Rays - 6 Points
    4) Kevin Youkilis - Red Sox - 4 Points
    5) Walter Young - Orioles - 2 Points

    Second Base
    1) Brian Roberts - Orioles - 10 Points
    2) Jorge Cantu - Devil Rays - 8 Points
    3) Robinson Cano - Yankees - 6 Points
    4) Mark Loretta - Red Sox - 4 Points
    5) Aaron Hill - Blue Jays - 2 Points

    Shortstop
    1) Miguel Tejada - Orioles - 10 Points
    2) Derek Jeter - Yankees - 8 Points
    3) Julio Lugo - Devil Rays - 6 Points
    4) Russ Adam - Blue Jays - 4 Points
    5) Alex Cora - Red Sox - 2 Points

    Third Base
    1) Alex Rodriguez - Yankees - 10 Points
    2) Troy Glaus - Blue Jays - 8 Points
    3) Melvin Mora - Orioles - 6 Points
    4) Mike Lowell - Red Sox - 4 Points
    5) Sean Burroughs - Devil Rays - 2 Points

    Left Field
    1) Manny Ramirez - Red Sox - 10 Points
    2) Hideki Matsui - Yankees - 8 Points
    3) Carl Crawford - Devil Rays - 6 Points
    4) Jeff Conine - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Reed Johnson - Blue Jays - 2 Points

    Center Field
    1) Vernon Wells - Blue Jays - 10 Points
    2) Johnny Damon - Yankees - 8 Points
    3) Rocco Baldelli - Devil Rays - 6 Points
    4) Luis Matos - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Adam Stern - Red Sox - 2 Points

    Right Field
    1) Gary Sheffield - Yankees - 10 Points
    2) Trot Nixon - Red Sox - 8 Points
    3) Jonny Gomes - Devil Rays - 6 Points
    4) Jay Gibbon - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Alex Rios - Blue Jays - 2 Points

    Designated Hitter
    1) David Ortiz - Red Sox - 10 Points
    2) Aubrey Huff - Devil Rays - 8 Points
    3) Shea Hillenbrand - Blue Jays - 6 Points
    4) Javy Lopez - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Bernie Williams - Yankees - 2 Points

    Starting Pitcher 1
    1) Roy Halladay - Blue Jays - 10 Points
    2) Randy Johnson - Yankees - 8 Points
    3) Josh Beckett - Red Sox - 6 Points
    4) Scott Kazmir - Devil Rays - 4 Points
    5) Erik Bedard - Orioles - 2 Points

    Starting Pitcher 2
    1) Curt Schilling - Red Sox - 10 Points
    2) A.J. Burnett - Blue Jays - 8 Points
    3) Mike Mussina - Yankees - 6 Points
    4) Daniel Cabrera - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Casey Fossum - Devil Rays - 2 Points

    Starting Pitcher 3
    1) Shawn Chacon - Yankees - 10 Points
    2) Gustavo Chacin - Blue Jays - 8 Points
    3) David Wells - Red Sox - 6 Points
    4) Rodrigo Lopez - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) MarkHendrickson - Devil Rays - 2 Points

    Starting Pitcher 4
    1) Ted Lilly - Blue Jays - 10 Points
    2) Chien-Ming Wang - Yankees - 8 Points
    3) Tim Wakefield - Red Sox - 6 Points
    4) Bruce Chen - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Doug Waechter - Devil Rays - 2 Points

    Starting Pitcher 5
    1) Matt Clement - Red Sox - 10 Points
    2) Josh Towers - Blue Jays - 8 Points
    3) Carl Pavano - Yankees - 6 Points
    4) Hayden Penn - Orioles - 4 Points
    5) Seth McClung - Devil Rays - 2 Points

    Closer
    1) Mariano Rivera - Yankees - 10 Points
    2) B.J. Ryan - Blue Jays - 8 Points
    3) Danys Baez - Devil Rays - 6 Points
    4) Mike Timlin - Red Sox - 4 Points
    5) Jorge Julio - Orioles - 2 Points


    Overall
    1) Yankees: 118
    2) Blue Jays: 98
    3) Red Sox: 96
    4) Orioles: 70
    5) Devil Rays: 68

    Overall Position Players
    1) Yankees: 70
    2) Red Sox: 54
    t3) Orioles: 50
    t3) Devil Rays: 50
    5) Blue Jays: 46

    Overall Rotation
    1) Blue Jays: 46
    t2) Yankees: 38
    t2) Red Sox: 38
    4) Orioles: 18
    5) Devil Rays: 12

    No. Of Times With Best Player At Position
    Yankees: 5 (1B, 3B, RF, SP3, CL)
    Red Sox: 5 (C, LF, DH, SP2, SP5)
    Blue Jays: 3 (CF, SP1, SP4)
    Orioles: 2 (2B, SS)
    Devil Rays: 0

    No. Of Times With Worst Player At Position
    Devil Rays: 6 (C, 3B, SP2, SP3, SP4, SP5)
    Orioles: 3 (1B, SP1, CL)
    Blue Jays: 3 (2B, LF, RF)
    Red Sox: 2 (SS, CF)
    Yankees: 1 (DH)
    Last edited by DoubleX; 01-07-2006, 02:33 PM.

  • #2
    DoubleX: Let's hope this changes by Opening Day.

    One thing interesting is assuming the five teams as a group are average compared to the rest of ML clubs. That means they should average a 81-81 record, or 405 wins combined.

    Your rankings total 450 points or 10% above the 405 wins they might end up. So if you subtract 10% from your total points for each team you end up with:

    NY 106 wins
    TOR 88 wins
    BOS 86 wins
    BALT 63 wins
    TB 61 wins
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    • #3
      Originally posted by TonyK
      DoubleX: Let's hope this changes by Opening Day.

      One thing interesting is assuming the five teams as a group are average compared to the rest of ML clubs. That means they should average a 81-81 record, or 405 wins combined.

      Your rankings total 450 points or 10% above the 405 wins they might end up. So if you subtract 10% from your total points for each team you end up with:

      NY 106 wins
      TOR 88 wins
      BOS 86 wins
      BALT 63 wins
      TB 61 wins
      That's very interesting Tony, and I think those projections are probably just about right for the top three teams (though I don't think the Yankees will win that many).

      I think Baltimore will win in the 70-75 range again, and I think Tampa Bay has a real chance to improve this year and also get into that 70-75 range. One major flaw of my system is that I really think it underestimates the Tampa Bay's potential among their positional players (their rotation, however, still leaves a lot to be desired after Kazmir). I think Tampa has built a tremendous and very young core with Crawford, Cantu, Gomes, Baldelli, and also Delmon Young and BJ Upton who were not even part of this project. All of these players are under 25.

      As for the Red Sox - I'm pretty certain that they'll make some changes by opening day to improve their standing. The Sox should be right up there, but it's just a couple of glaring holes that are really holding them back.

      I'm particularly curious to see how Toronto does this season. They've made some interesting acquisitions (Burnett, Ryan, Glaus), they have some young talent ready to step in, so I think they'll make plenty of noise and could get to 90 wins this year.

      So if I had to guess win totals based on these lineups I'd say:

      Yankees: 97-102
      Blue Jays: 87-92
      Red Sox: 82-87
      Devil Rays: 72-77
      Orioles: 67-72
      Last edited by DoubleX; 01-07-2006, 03:39 PM.

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      • #4
        I want to know why they have Timlin as the closer, when the Sox have said that Foulke will be the closer going into camp.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by DoubleX
          So if I had to guess win totals based on these lineups I'd say:

          Yankees: 97-102
          Blue Jays: 87-92
          Red Sox: 82-87
          Devil Rays: 72-77
          Orioles: 67-72
          The Jays have to prove to me that they can take 2nd place. I wouldn't give that to them just yet. I'd put them still 3+ games behind Boston. Heck, I'd still put Boston at 90 games, since I'm not sure they will crumble. I still give the advantage to a team that's made the playoffs for several years straight, unless proven otherwise.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mattingly
            The Jays have to prove to me that they can take 2nd place. I wouldn't give that to them just yet. I'd put them still 3+ games behind Boston. Heck, I'd still put Boston at 90 games, since I'm not sure they will crumble. I still give the advantage to a team that's made the playoffs for several years straight, unless proven otherwise.
            On that theory, standings would never change. Outside of the AL East, which has had the same order of finishing since 1998, most divisions change from year to year, with some teams experiencing sudden dramatic improvements from one year to the next, and I think Toronto has positioned itself well for such a leap.

            I think Toronto is primed to make a good run at 90 wins and the Wild Card this year. They won 80 games last year and have only added to that team with Glaus, Overbay, Burnett, and Ryan. They'll also get Halladay back, who missed half of last season. Plus, the team has a number of talented young position players and pitchers that should contribute some this year and mature.

            Boston on the other hand, is not the same team that has been so successful over the past three years. There are a lot of new and questionable parts there, and it remains to be seen how those parts will fit in. Boston will enter 2006 as one of the most drastically different teams from its 2005 incarnation. As is, the Red Sox will have 5 new starters in the field, an unclear bullpen, strangers on the bench, and some question marks in the rotation - The Sox of 2006 are a far different team than the Sox of 2003-2005, and I think they, more than the Jays, are a question mark out there.
            Last edited by DoubleX; 01-07-2006, 09:36 PM.

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