Here’s the first installment of my 30 words for 30 teams blog. Today, I’m going to take a look at the American League West. Here’s my projected finish for the 2010 season.
Texas Rangers 91 -71
Anaheim Angels 87-75
Seattle Mariners 86-76
Oakland A’s 77-85
Texas Rangers – (POISED) Player to watch – Neftali Feliz
Now with the new ownership group headed up by Nolan Ryan, the Rangers seem poised to take the next step. Scott Feldmanwill lead the rotation. Michael Young will lead the offense. With the addition of Vlad Guerrero, this team will continue to score runs. Josh Hamilton should be healthy, and Frank Fransisco will close. Look for the Rangers to heat up as the weather warms and overtake the Angels.
Anaheim Angels – (FALLING) Player to watch – Brandon Wood
This is a club that plays the game right. Mike Scoscia demands that. They have professionals in Tori Hunter, Bobby Abreu, and newcomer Hidecki Matsui. But the loss of John Lackey and his bulldog mentality will have a negative effect on this club. Kendry Morales probably won’t be able to repeat his 09′ season. Fernando Rodney will eventually take over the closer’s role, and Joel Pinero will struggle in his return to the American League West.
Seattle Mariners – (OVERRATIED) Player to watch – Ryan Rowland-Smith
Personally, I fell for they hype 2 years ago, when they were one of the worst teams in the American League. Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez and their offense was to be the tremendous. They fired the manager, and the gm after the season. Going into 2010, I admit they have made some nice additions. Acquiring a CY Young award winner in Cliff Lee, an athletic player in Chone Figgins, and guys like Casey Kotchman and Milton Bradley have made this team legitimate. However, let me know when they have a bat to replace the power of Russell Branyan (30+/90+) and someone to pitch every 3rd, 4th, and 5th day. Lee and King Felix are legit, but after that? David Aardsma was very good last year, doing something he had never done before. Don’t count on it again. Oh and Milton Bradley? Glad he’s not on my team.
Oakland A’s – (DEVELOPING) Player to watch - Kevin Kouzmanoff
Billy Beane always seems to have something up his sleeve. He’s the master of flipping players. He’s done it with Tim Hudson, Dan Haren, Rich Harden and Matt Holliday. This year will be no different. If he’s healthy, Ben Sheets will not, I repeat will not be on this team August 1st. The young guys in the rotation are developing and will potentially be very good. Brett Anderson and Gio Gonzalez have plus stuff. Rookie of the Year Andrew Bailey has great stuff. However, this team will struggle to score runs. A lot of young players in everyday positions will grow as the season evolves. Watch out for former Phillies prospect Michael Taylor. He may make an impact in 10′.
Next up, the National League West.