Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MLB Power Rankings # 22

Again there has been a little bit of a gap in between posts and i apologize for that. I have been sick the past few days and to tell you the truth I've just been extremely lazy. But for some reason i just got really motivated to work on these power rankings. So today we are going to take a look at the #22 team on my power rankings list. This is a team that almost made the playoffs and then lost there superstar player in the off season. By now I'm sure you can guess that I'm talking about the San Diego Padres. With the loss of Adrian Gonzalez they go from being a competitive team to being a mediocre team. They still have some nice pieces and they have constructed a team that should play well at their ballpark but they will not be a "competitive" team in 2011. Lets take a more in depth look at the Padres.

1. Matt Latos
2. Clayton Richard
3. Aaron Harang
4. Wade LeBlanc
5. Dustin Mosley

The Padres have a pretty good pitching staff led by one of the better young pitchers in the game in Matt Latos. He put up excellent numbers in his second season in the big leagues but because of the the increased work load in 2010 we may see some regression. Clayton Richard is another promising young pitcher who the Padres acquired in the Jake Peavy deal from Chicago and looks to be a solid number 2 starter. The major free agent signing for the Padres this off season was acquiring Aaron Harang, who was one of the premier starters in the league in 06' and 07' but has fallen off since. But playing in the spacious confines of PETCO Park he could see his numbers get better. Wade LeBlanc is another young pitcher who may not have pitched as well as some of the Padres other young arms but has potential to be a solid major league starter. Dustin Mosley fits the role of back of the rotation starter but likely wont contribute more than that. This is a solid staff that has an ace in the making in Latos and some other nice young arms but they cant compete with the better teams in the league.

CL- Heath Bell
SU- Tim Stauffer
SU- Mike Adams
MR- Luke Gregerson
MR- Joe Thatcher

This is one of the best pens in the league, with a dominate closer, dominate set up men and really good middle relievers they can play with the best in the league. Even with losing some depth in the Cameron Maybin deal they still have enough depth to rank them in the top 5 bullpens in the league. Bell is a dynamic closer who likely will hit free agency after this season but there are plenty of options to replace him. Stauffer, Adams and Thatcher all had ERA's under 2 and I think Adams could be the future at closer. But all in all this is a top flight bullpen that can keep there team in any game.

1. Jason Bartlett-SS
2. Orlando Hudson-2B
3. Brad Hawpe-1B
4. Ryan Ludwick-RF
5. Chase Headley-3B
6. Will Venable-LF
7. Nick Hundley-C
8. Cameron Maybin-CF

This may be the weakest part of the team with the loss of Adrian Gonzalez as he was the cog of this offense. They will attempt to replace his production with Brad Hawpe and eventually Kyle Blanks when he returns from injury. The additions of Bartlett and Hudson should help as well as they will try to play small ball more often. Both are guys who can get on base and have some speed but neither are elite at either of those things. Ludwick will attempt to be the power guy for this team but he struggled after being traded so we will likely see something similar to what happened to Brian Giles happen to Ludwick. Headley and Venable both need to contribute more at the plate and if they do it could really improve this offense. Hundley will finally be the full time catcher and should provide average offense at the position. The real wildcard is Cameron Maybin who the Padres acquired from the Marlins for a couple of relievers. Maybin has always been extremely talented and has all of the tools to be an elite center fielder/lead off hitter with decent power but has failed to live up to the hype. Maybe a change of scenery will help him get on the right track but no matter what he should be an upgrade over Tony Gwynn jr. This offense has some potential but even at its highest potential it cant compete with the better NL teams. Worst case scenario the Padres finish last in the division, best case they finish second to last.

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