Tuesday, February 1, 2011

MLB Power Rankings #20

Again there has been a bit of delay in posting. I apologize for making you wait so long for the #20 team but we did get a new podcast up and hopefully will record another one this week. I also plan on doing some sort of fantasy baseball preview that may include podcasts throughout the season. But today we have finally reached the #20 team in my power rankings, and there is a bit of a jump in quality of teams at this point. This is a team that could very well win their division and go to the playoffs but based on my statistical evaluation i think they fall in this spot. This team would be the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have made several moves in this off season that set them up to compete in 2011 but I'm not sure they stand up against the competition ahead of them. Lets take a more in depth look at the Dodgers.

1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Chad Billingsley
3. Ted Lilly
4. Hiroki Kuroda
5. Jon Garland

This is by far the best pitching staff we have looked at thus far. They have a top of the rotation starter in Clayton Kershaw who may become one of the most dominant left handed starters in the game. He may regress some this season because of increased workloads and just being a young pitcher but he should still be a solid top of the rotation arm. Chad Billingsley is a guy who looked like he was becoming the ace of this team after a stellar 08' season. But regressed in 09' and got better in 10' but not to the level he was at before. He is a solid middle of the rotation arm who may have some upside but it looks as if 08' was a fluke. Ted Lilly came over from the Cubs at the deadline last year and was dominant for the Dodgers. He is another solid middle of the rotation arm who doesn't have great velocity and is homer prone but he is a bulldog and can be dominant at times. Hiroki Kurdoa is another solid middle of the rotation arm who will post solid ERA's and strikeout totals and should fit perfectly in the number 4 spot in the rotation. Jon Garland is a solid back of the rotation starter who's success is driven from his ability to induce ground balls. This is a very deep rotation that could easily get a team to the playoffs, it just depends on how the rest of the team performs.

CL- Jonathan Broxton
SU- Hong-Chih Kuo
SU- Matt Gurreir
MR- Kenley Jansen
MR- Ronald Belisario

Jonathan Broxton had his struggles last season but i think he has enough of a solid track record to suggest he could be good again this season. He has some nasty stuff and he is a bulldog on the mound, he should be able to rebound. Hong-Chih Kuo was excellent in a setup role last season posting a 1.20 ERA in 60 IP with solid peripheral stats. Matt Gurreir was the big addition to the pen this year after being one of Minnesota's dominant set up man since 2005. Kenley Jansen was excellent last season as well, posting a .67 ERA in 27 IP. He should prove to be a solid middle relief option for this pen. Ronald Belisario struggled in his second season, posting a 5.04 ERA with a minimal amount of strikeouts. He could be better this season as middle relievers are some of the most unpredictable players in baseball. This bullpen is improved from last and should prove to be one of the better ones in the league.

1. Rafael Furcal-SS
2. Matt Kemp-CF
3. Andre Ethier
4. James Loney-1B
5. Juan Uribe-2B
6. Casey Blake
7. Rod Barajas-C
8. Jay Gibbons-LF

There be some big names on this roster, but overall this is the weakest part of the Dodgers roster. Rafael Furcal is a solid leadoff hitter, he can hit .300 with a solid OBP and good speed. Matt Kemp was being counted on to be one of the young stars of this team, but failed to do so in 2010. He has pop and speed but didnt get on base enough and played horrendous defense last season. Kemp is a guy that the Dodgers need to bounce back if they want to be competitive in 2011. Andre Ethier was outstanding early on in the season in 2010, but an injury knocked him out for a while and he wasn't the same after his return. The dodgers need to do better than Loney at cleanup and at first base. He can drive in runs but as you know RBI's are a worthless statistic in terms of talent evaluation. He is a middle of the pack hitter who is being relied to do more than he can. Juan Uribe is a nice addition to this offense, he doesn't get on base enough or hit for a high average but he has good pop for a middle infielder and has great versatility. His bat should add some punch to a lineup that really lacks it. Casey Blake is on the downside of a solid career and we are really beginning to see his production fall of here as the average went below .250 last season. He still can play defense and has some pop but he is on the decline. Rod Barajas was effective at the end of the season for the Dodgers last season and has replaced the former star catcher Russell Martin, whose production really fell of this past season. Barajas provides solid pop behind the dish but he isn't going to hit for a high average and is on the downside of his career. The true weak link of this team is in Left Field were they are attempting to platoon a washed up Jay Gibbons and Marcus Thames. Thames can provide some pop but Gibbons hasn't played a full major league season since 2005. His minor league numbers last season look good and he played effectively when brought up last season and if he is effective he should provide some nice pop. But more likely than not Left Field is going to be a problem area for the Dodgers. The Dodgers could be a playoff team if their offense plays to its upside and if the pitching stays healthy. But worse case scenario i think they are around a .500 team.


No comments:

Post a Comment