Tuesday, April 26, 2011

ALL "Unknown" MLB Team for April

I know we're not officially into May quite yet, but in the last week of April, I figured we'd try something new here at The Bay Area Sports Journal. We'll go position-by-position and take a look at just who has stuck out at you in April and looks prime for a breakout season. To qualify, you've had to have had below average seasons in years prior and and little to no expectation of success coming into '11. You also qualify if your a rookie who wasn't highly touted! Basically, it's the return (or arrival) of the greats!

----April's All-Surprise Team Batting----

C) Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers: Posey, Santana and Mauer get most of the pub, but Avila is right on their heelsteps. He's got a line of: .321, 3 HR, 14 RBI and at 24 years-old and loads of upside, he could be the next great young backstiop!
1B) Brett Wallace, Houston Astros
: If you follow minor league baseball, you've probably heard this kids named mentioned a time or two. The Marin County native idled McGuire coming up, and may end up like the A's slugger, without all the baggage. Hitting .324 with 1 HR and 14 R.
2B) Darwin Barney, Chicago Cubs
: Don't know a whole lot about him. He's quick and plays well, good defensively. He's hitting .329 with 11 R amd 11 RBI for the Cubbies! Fan's hope he's finally the heir apparant to Ryno at 2nd whom they've missed since the 90's.
3B) David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals: Still not sold on him myself, but then I watch him hit and he hits a double into the corner, and then goes out and snags a liner in the air in defense that most people don't make. He's another guy getting better with time (

SS) Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians: He's come alive with the long-ball (4 HR, 10 RBI). Problem there, is that he now tries to drop his shoulder and leave earth every at bat, and his avearge is starting to suffer. Still thin he has a nice year in '11.
OF) Lance Berkman, St. Louis Cardinals: Wow, is all I can say after watching him play, or try to, the last 3 years. Plenty of speculation arised, but he's on his way out of April as the top dog on the Fantasy OF world with his .377-6-16-19-1.173 line (projected out to nearly 40 HR and 90 RBI with over 100 runs scored.
OF) Alex Gordon, Kansas City: Talk about surprise! This guy looked like he was was falling off the face of the earth 2 years ago, now he looks like the All-Star he should be. Gone are the sub .220 averages and skyrocketing strikeout numbers, he's finally found his talent, hitting . 356 with a homer and 18 RBI. Talk about a breakout year and solid baseball story!
OF) Ryan Roberts, Arizona Diamondbacks: Roberts spent his entire career with Toronto, then came to AZ in 2006 where he started picking u his game. Got an opening when Mark Reynold went to Baltimore and hasn'y looked back (.321, 4 HR, 13 RBI).

----Pitching Section----

SP1- RHP Michael Pineda, Mariners
:I don't like using clone-type comparisons, but if there were ever one for Pineda, look at C.C. Sabathia. Towering at 6'7" and 260 pounds, he's a tough guy for opposing hitters to get going against.

SP2- RHP Alexi Ogando, Rangers: The converted reliever is makng easy work out of opposing hitters ever since he started pitching just 1 per week (3-0, 2.13, and and amazingly low, league leading 0.67 WHP). The 27 year-old has lights out stuff and should be kept in the rotation, or swapped with Neftai Feliz at closer... He's that good!

SP3) LHP Zach Britton, Orioles: Now Britton is a little different from the other two in that he had some expectation coming in, but that's always said of Orioles prospects and rarely seems to be the case, With Britton though, it is.

CL) RHP Craig Kimbrel, Braves: There are still probably a lot of good baseball fans who don't know who this kid is. The right-handed Billy Wagner-clone is a model of consistency and averages 98 mph with his heater.

BASJ NOTE: So, again sorry for the short injury-hastened post, but got to do something a little different rather than who the A's are playing and how many points Steph Curry had... That said, that's exactly what we'll be back to once my hand allows it, hopefully by the upcoming NFL draft!

No comments: