Since it is only January, I thought I'd settle down a little and address some less intense, more optimistic issues.
Who could turn out to be a pleasant surprise this year?
Jeremy Guthrie - the former 1st round pick and top-notch prospect showed us a few years ago why he was so highly regarded. The past couple of seasons have been rough, to say the least, but moving down in the rotation could help him approach his "golden years."
Koji Uehara - I've already mentioned that Uehara has excellent control (12 walks in 66 IP) and in his first 30 pitches of each game walked only 1 batter last season and held hitters under a .200 average. If he can carry that success to the bullpen, he could be a top-notch setup man
Michael Aubrey - another former top prospect who mainly fell off the radar because he never developed the power expected from a 1st basemen. His defense is apparently excellent, he has proven he can hit for average, and last year he showed that some of that power might arrive. We'll have to see if the Orioles give him a chance.
Felix Pie - the player we all despised last April and May finally showed why he was one of the game's top prospects only a few years ago. His speed and power became evident, and if he can learn to cut his strikeouts, take some walks, and steal some bases, the Orioles might have 4 super solid outfielders.
My bet - Uehara
Who will hit the most home runs this year?
Luke Scott - we know he has power, but it depends on how long his streaks are and how many at bats he gets. It could be anywhere from 15 to 35. Probably somewhere in between.
Nolan Reimold - showed he is a potential slugger, but faced injuries and will have to compete with Pie for time. Still I think 20 is a safe minimum, with the possibility of 25.
Adam Jones - he had a monster first half, but slowed dramatically after the All Star break. I think he's in the same category as Reimold
Nick Markakis - pretty consistent bet to hit 18-23 HRs. I'm thinking he breaks the 25 mark for the first time.
My bet - Reimold, 26
Let's hear your votes