Friday, January 22, 2010

Taking a chill pill

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


Mark said...

Glad to see you are drinking from the half full glass ....

My guess for the pleasant surprise is Michael Aubrey. Obviously this will only happen in the unlikely event of the Adrian Gonzalez deal falling apart. If it does and Aubrey gets a chance, I see a 320 BA with 16 hrs. My second choice is Felix. Given the opportunity with Adrien on board, he and Nolan will share time between LF and DH. The regular playing time will suit Felix well, providing the opportunity for a strong 292 BA with 18 Hrs and 30 stolen bases.

Who will hit the most HRs? You guessed it; Adrian Gonzalez 43 dingers followed by Nick's 26. Quite the one, two punch.

Ok, my glass is overflowing.

Tim said...

haha Mark what's all this talk about Adrian Gonzalez? I think the glass is overflowing. I want Aubrey to get a chance but I think the O's don't share our optimism. Pie needs to learn to steal bases - 30 might be a reach. Good to hear from you by the way.

Mark said...

Tim - with regard to "what's all this talk about Adrian Gonzalez", I must state what your journalism colleagues at Asbury already know; never reveal your source. Lets just say, "its an inside source".

Matt said...

New sources indicate that Tejada will lead the team in Homeruns - 31 from the 4th and 5th spot. If not him, my bet is on Pacman. I think Pacman is as legit as his stats.

Pie, on the otherhand, has a lot of work to do before I'm convinced. He still strikes me as a .220 and 25 steals kinda player...if he even plays that much. He just doesn't have the hitting to match the speed, and I don't know if he has the talent to improve that significantly. Maybe, if we're lucky, we'll see a Correy Patterson type one day...