Trevor Store’s magic debut made the fans believe Colorado in the “Process”. (Getty Images)
In our first part of the preview about the rebuilding teams, we talked, perhaps, about the most depressed groups. This means that now you can go to clubs that do not have everything so bad, and also hook on a few teams whose restructuring is already coming to its final part.
The Chicago White Sox
The last season: 78-84
Forecast of analytical systems for the season: 69-93
Manager: Rick Renteria
Key performers: Jose Abreu, Jose Quintana, Todd Freyger, Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon.
The best prospectuses: Ioann Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopeh, Raynaldo Lopez, Zach Collins.
In the previous season, the team from Chicago tried their best to get into the playoffs, relying on a couple of star pitchers of the Salt Quintana, as well as powerful beats of Jose Abreu and Todd Freighter. Expectedly, the White Sox waited for failure in this undertaking, because their composition was very unbalanced, and next to real stars on the field were sometimes not just weak players, but frankly left-wing characters.
In the course of the whole last season, it was the impression that it was Chicago that was the team without a long-term action plan, and in general one of the most dysfunctional franchises, which from the title of the most badly managed club was saved only by permanent clowning from Arizona and Miami.
But in this offseason the White Sox bosses finally decided on a plan of action and took a decisive step in the right direction – perestroika. Believe in the process they got the generous offer of Boston Red Sox for the Ace of Chris Sale, which included the best prospect in baseball – Joana Moncada. Together with Moncada in Chicago went prospectuses Michael Kopeh and Luis Alexandro Basabe, who are also interesting young players with great potential.
Joan Moncada has the physics of the NFL linebacker, but at the same time has strong baseball skills. (Getty Images)
It is important that Chicago did not stop there, but it was very profitable to exchange the outfielder Adam Eaton who was at the peak of his price. This player last year held a career season, as well as he is gradually approaching the mark of 30 years, and such people with perestroika are clearly not on the way.
The next steps of this team should be no less profitable exchanges of Jose Quintana, Todd Freighter, Jose Abreu, as well as the clowner David Robertson. Many teams are experiencing problems with the position of the first base and absolutely everyone will not be hurt by the Quintana’s EY, so finding buyers for these players should not be a problem, and the whole hitch is just finding the right moment when they can be sold at the highest price.
At the same time, it is worth waiting for the debut of many avenues, because almost all the players received as a result of exchanges this winter are not so far from Major League Baseball. To improve their results should also young shortstop Tim Anderson, who successfully debuted last year, as well as the infielder Tyler Saladino who demonstrates a fantastic game in spring training can surprise.
Tim Anderson did not spend in Major League Baseball and the season as the White Sox had already given him a long-term contract. (Getty Images)
In general, the result of the team this season will largely depend on the moment when it begins to exchange its best players. If the White Sox pulls to deadline exchanges, they are quite capable of reaching a level of 75 wins by the end of the season, which will allow them to compete in their division with the Minnesota Twins, and possibly with the Kansas City Royals.
Forecast: 71-91. Fifth place in the division of AL Center
Last season: 59-103
Forecast of analytical systems for the season: 74-88
Manager: Paul Molitor
Key performers: Miguel Sano, Brian Dougher, Byron Buxton, Erwin Santana.
The best prospectuses: Nick Gordon, Alex Kiriloff, Stephen Goncalves, Fernando Romero.
Minnesota Twins last season literally broke the bottom, managed to be worse Padres, winning just 59 times and finishing last in Major League Baseball. And all this after the successful season of 2015, when they did not have quite a bit before getting into the playoffs.
In fact, it was the season of 2015 that played a very evil joke with this team, as it created the illusion that Twins would be able to compete in 2016 for getting into the playoffs, which in turn created excessive expectations from the young team. Moreover, this prevented Minnesota from choosing among the first in the draft in 2016, where they could take a more talented player than outfielder Alex Kiriloff.
Minnesota is a classic example of not fully reconstructed team that shot too early. Twins do not have an impressive set of prospects with high potential, like many of their competitors in the restructuring, and at the same time their current composition does not allow them to fight for the playoffs, which makes them an ideal candidate for the middle peacetime for years to come.
Disappointed last season, Miguel Sano will return to his native position of the third baseman, which should help improve his level of play. Play Sano in the right field was just a crime on the part of the management team, because this player did not have the strong defense and speed required in the outfielder, and besides he did not have the necessary experience for this. Instead of focusing on improving his bit game, where he needed to reduce the number of strikeouts, he spent a whole year on a completely unnecessary study of the new position.
It was about Miguel Sano in his youth that Scouts were written as a new baseball messiah, and a return to the old position should help him take a step forward in his development and justify the status of the prospectus that appears once for a generation.
Scouts are sure that Miguel Sano is one of the special modern baseball players. (Getty Images)
Also critical will be the game centerfounder Byron Buxton, who twice became the best prospect of the year in baseball, but until September 2016 could not justify the advances he had given to Major League Baseball. Just at the end of last season, he finally began to punish the pitchers, and if he continues in the same spirit and in the season of 2017, he will quickly become one of the best players in his position, as his defense and playing on the bases are already elite.
Minnesota’s main task for this season will be the development of its young stars, which should form the backbone of the team, as well as the selection of the draft of Hunter Green, who at the moment is the main contender for the first draft pick in 2017. If Twins perform these tasks, then they may well become a strong team able to beat anyone, but who does not have the depth and quality of pitching to really qualify for the playoffs.
Forecast: 73-89. The fourth place in the AL Center
The last season: 73-89
The forecast of analytical systems for the season: 70-92
Manager: Craig Counsell
Key performers: Ryan Bron, Jonathan Villar, Junior Garra, Keon Broxton.
The best prospectuses: Lewis Brinson, Isan Diaz, Josh Hader, Cory Ray, Luis Ortiz
Milwaukee Brewers is a team that, under the direction of general manager David Stairns, is simply a textbook reorganization. Stearns took command in a deplorable situation: expensive stars who passed their peak, the lack of both quality role-playing players and prospects, and a limited budget.
But to his credit, Stearns brought with him to Brewers new technologies that allowed Milwaukee to become a truly advanced team in terms of baseball analytics, and he, like a man with a scoutish past, did not forget about the classic techniques for evaluating players. In general, Brewers formed a productive balance of new technologies and many years of experience of classical scouting.
This allowed them to profitably exchange players, hold strong drafts and completely rebuild the pamphlet farm, which at the moment is one of the best in Major League Baseball. In addition, Starnes took a chance with several older but cheaper players, like Jonathan Villar, Junior Garra and Keon Broxton, who more than justify the team’s investment. Smart management is the strongest side of the current Brewers.
Brewers found the age-old Garra in Mexico, which did not stop him from becoming the team’s best starter last season. (Getty Images)
Now the task of the team will gradually get on its feet and gradually add to the existing framework new elements in the form of their young talents. The first such element will be shortstop Orlando Arsia, who is a defender of the caliber of “Golden Gloves”, but so far has problems with the game on the bat. Lewis Brinson, Josh Hader and other young players should join him this year. Especially pay attention to the lefty of Hayder, who is distinguished by a fantastic arsenal, as well as secret technique of throwing, leaving the batterer few chances if he submits his feeds to the strike zone.
It is highly likely the exchange of long-standing team superstar – Ryan Bron. The fact is that Milwaukee has a huge depth of outfielder avenues, and it turns out that Bron is on their way. Exchange in the contender is the best solution to the maturing problem for all parties.
The team’s results this year will largely depend on young players, as well as on last year’s results from Garra, Villar and Broxton, a sample of the second half of the season. If everything goes perfectly, then Brewers will be able to qualify even for the season with a positive balance of victories and defeats, but most likely this team will not reach it much, in many respects due to the strength of the NL Center division.
Forecast: 78-84. The fourth place NL Center.
Last season: 75-87
The forecast of analytical systems for the season: 78-84
Manager: Bad Black
Key performers: Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Storey, John Gray
The best prospectuses: Jeff Hoffman, Brandon Rogers, Riley Paint, Raimel Tapia
Rokis are another team that is gradually emerging from a steep pique. Last season, they tried to catch hold of the playoff zone, but they were prevented by the injuries of some important performers (Trevor Storey) and the insufficient overall strength of the roster.
In the offseason, management tried to improve things by making the strange signing of Ian Desmond, and also adding the former Kansas City-Greg Holland clowner. Signing Desmond is strange, because to play in Colorado, he must be in the position of the first baseman, and before that he played only a shortstop and an outfielder. His bit may not reach the standards of the first base, given that he spent very different past two seasons and it is not clear which of the versions of Desmond will come to the Course Field.
Ian Desmond became the strangest signing of the off-season. (Getty Images)
At the same time it is unclear how he will look in the defense at the first base, as it is not clear why there to put a player who was a plus shortstop and a good outfielder. At the same time, the signing of Greg Holland can really strengthen the team, as he gradually returns his arsenal that he had in Kansas before the operation of Tommy John, and thanks to which he was one of the most effective revelers in Major League Baseball.
The duo Greg Holland-Adam Ottavino in the 8-9 innings could theoretically become one of the best in NL, and if we add to them Carlos Estevez and Jake McGee, then suddenly Rokis has a very solid bullpen.
Spring training has already made some adjustments to the team’s plans, and, unfortunately, not for the better. Ian Desmond and catcher Tom Murphy received injuries, which are likely to miss the entire first month of the championship.
But the main loss will be the absence of the pitcher Chad Bettis, who discovered a cancerous tumor. This pitcher had to cement the starting rotation, and without him, Colorado will be forced to speed up the development of Jeff Hoffman, who will start the season in the rotation of Major League Baseball, and not in the AAA. But the main thing here is the health of Bettis himself, and we wish him successful struggle with a serious illness.
Will strengthen the lineup and newcomers of the team – David Dahl, Tom Murphy, German Markes and Raimel Tapia, who either start the season on the main team, or join it at the beginning of summer. Nowhere is Nolan Arenado, who led the second season in a row in NL for RBI, as well as former first draft pick John Gray, who should continue to progress.
Trevor Storey and Nolan Arenado will form the heart of a very efficient line of Rookis sluggers. (Getty Images)
In general, this team, with a lucky combination of circumstances, had a very real chance of a wildcard, but luck changed Colorado even before the start of the regular season, and the pair of victories that it loses because of the absence of the above-mentioned players could just as well Not enough Rokys. In recent years, the situation in the NL West is developing in such a way that if any team is unlucky, it does not carry exactly. And this season it is Colorado Rokis who can replace Arizona Diamondbacks in this field.
Forecast: 75-87. The fourth place in the NL West.
The New York Yankees
Last season: 84-78
Forecast of analytical systems for the season: 81-81
Manager: Joe Girardi
Key performers: Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Gary Sanchez, Didi Grigorius.
The best prospectuses: Glauber Torres, Clint Freiger, Blake Rutherford, James Caprelian, Miguel Andujar
New York Yankees knowingly found themselves in this part of the preview, which is devoted to the rebuilding teams. Perestroika is different, and the Yankees variant can be called “perestroika-ninja”. The level of the franchise from New York does not allow to drop this team below the floundering in the region of 50% of victories even in the most troubled times. However, the positive balance of victories and defeats in the 2016 season does not mean that the team does not lead the restructuring, albeit not the most outspoken.
The management of the Yankees, led by Brian Cashman, has few equal in Major League Baseball in terms of “buy-sell.” Evaluate the maneuver with Aroldis Chapman: in the past offseason, the team bought a season of Cuban cluser services for the prospectuses Erica Zhagielo and Ruki Davis, who at the moment hardly fall into the list of the top 30 prospectuses of the Reds, and then exchanged the half of the season of his services in the Cubs for The current top 5 prospectus in the entire baseball – Glauber Torres, which could become the next Yankees Derek Jeter, and then signed Chapman in the market of free agents in the current offseason. Brilliant!
“Cuban fraud” allowed the Yankees significantly accelerate its restructuring. (Getty Images)
New York received a very solid compensation for another reveler, Andrew Miller, in the form of outfielder Clint Freyger, who in presinson matches impressed everyone not only with his red hair, but also with lightning speed bits.
The story of the Yankees strategy is impossible without mentioning Bryce Harper, whom New York is waiting for in its composition in 2019. It all boils down to preparing worthy partners for Harper in those two years so that he could immediately fight for the championship and open a new victorious era for the Yankees.
In 2019, superstars such as Manny Machado, AJ Pollock, Andrew McCutchen and Zach Britton will also be available on the market, not to mention the older stars. This makes the Yankees ninjas, who will sneak in the shadows until 2019, and then can immediately shoot the championship.
In addition to signing Chapman, the Yankees had a very quiet offseason adding only veteran Matt Holiday, who will be the new debunketed hitter team. This is a very high-quality replenishment, because Holiday can stay healthy without playing in the field, and also the Yankees Stadium is ideally suited to the strengths of this player, so from Holiday you can expect a career renaissance this year.
Mark Tesheyre should be replaced by the first baseman who recovered from the injury, Greg Byrd, who has already knocked out six home runs this spring, and in the right field, there will be another newcomer, Aaron Judge, who is distinguished by his monstrous power.
The most intriguing person is the young catcher Gary Sanchez, who last year knelt the entire league during his debut. It will be interesting to observe how he will react to the amendments of the pitchers, who will have more information about Sanchez and plan how to neutralize it.
The result of Sanchez’s punches last season usually looked something like this. (Getty Images)
New York Yankees will be a very cheerful team to watch and suffer in the coming years, thanks to the abundance of top young talent, as well as the infusions of elite players who will be able to sign a cleared franchise payment, as well as a sign “Yankees”.
As for the prospects for the upcoming season, the team will most certainly miss the start pitching, which lacks both depth and especially health of the leading players, which is not the best symbiosis. In this connection, New York is linked by rumors about the exchange of Jose Quintana, who over the past few years has been the top 5 pitcher in Major League Baseball on usefulness, and is also an extremely stable performer who rarely finds himself in the infirmary, making him an ideal player for the Yankees.
Progress of youth and patience until 2019 – this is the way of the Yankees to long-term success. Well, in the season of 2017 the team is likely to be content with the next season in the region of 50% of victories.
Forecast: 85-77. Second place in the division AL East.