2008 Projections – The Preliminary Version

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      Jeff Winick

      The official Shandler-Winick post draft assessment:

      First, an observation. This should be the most wide open race in a long while. I don’t see anyone with a overwhelming advantage and no-one who’s out of it.

      Second, these are preliminary observations. The final projections will come shortly after the start of the season.

      11. GOP – Lots of speed, great average, but not nearly enough runs, rbis or home runs. Pitching is squarely in the middle of the pack, but unless he gets lucky with Percival and Betancourt, he’s also very light on saves. Probably doesn’t have the goods to trade his way out of it.

      10. Klein Nine – The problem wasn’t the draft, which actually wasn’t half bad. The problem was coming into the draft with almost no undervalue. The offense is not good:a ridiculous amount of power, but only a middling amount of rbi’s; no speed, a corresponding lack of runs and an average that is a complete disaster.Lots of wins, lots of strikeouts but at what cost Lousy ERA, Lousy Ratio and only one closer means middle of the pack, at best, in saves. Not enough in the bank to turn this around this year, but plenty of tools to come back strong in 2009.

      9. Lake Michigan Calamari – Other than an absence of speed and lots of saves, middle of the pack in nearly every category. If Bonderman and Escobar stay healthy, the pitching might be fairly good, but with only 5drafted starters, they had better be healthy. Might catch a break with Adenhart, who stands a shot atfilling in for Lackey. The offense is O L D. 9 players older than 30, so the future is now.

      8. Nukes – Light on power, lousy average, butmiddle of the pack or better everywhere else. The season probably turns on where Roberts lands. If he stays in the AL, this is a team that could challenge. If not, this team is going to be one to watch over the next few years.

      7. Block’s Bombers – The problem is the pitching. Its Bedard and then hold your breath. Even after plugging in Joba, there are alot ofholes. Hoey, Niemann, Morrowand Perkins are all just as likely to be relievers as starters.That leaves the Bombers starved for wins. Surprisingly, despite the heavy balance of relievers,the Bombers also have lousy ERA and Ratio. That’s what Todd Jones, Joe Borowski and a bunch of rookies will do. Other than being light on speed, the offense looks good. A nice core of prospects and keepers means this team can contend.

      6. Brats – No wins and no runs. But lots of everything else. The team is fairly young with lots of upside. Thames and Shannon Stewart at two of the outfield slots is a bit disconcerting, but there’s a lot to like here. Not sure there’s enough to win, but with a little bit of luck, this team could contend.

      5. Angry Young Men – The first of the teams that should be serious contenders for the title. The AYM had the best retention roster until they spent $35 on extended salaries. That should mean this team contends for the next few years, but it does push it back in the pack as far as contending this year. The offense is excellent, but the pitching is a bit scary. Verlander and Halliday is a greatstart, but it then gets scary. Colon, Mussina, Floyd and Silva means that there are going to be some frightening boxscores for this team. And it shows in the projections. The best projected offense and the worst projected pitching. The pieces are here to win, but it will take a willingness to sacrifice the future a bit.

      4. Berliners – Its hard to overcome an $18 handicap, so sacrifices were necessary. Drafted lots of players with potential, but not much in the way ofsolid track records.It will take lots of good fortune to turn that potential into performance. It starts with thepitching, for sure. Lackey’s recovery is a must. If he doesn’t get healthy quickly, this team will be looking at 2009 quickly. But there are lots of young pitchers with a shot to put up decent seasons. The offense is also young with the potential to surprise. No speed, but otherwise a well balanced team. Best guess is that this team shoots for 2009, but it has a shot to make things interesting this year.

      3. Riptorns -Came into the draft as the team to beat, but didn’t get enough offense at the draft. Great pitching. Okay, really, really great pitching. This team ought to run away with wins, K’s, ERA and ratio. No saves, but my guess is that Brad Lee will find a way to trade out of that problem. Too many holes in the offense means he’ll have to trade out of that as well. More than enough pieces to make that happen and heaven knows Brad Lee will give it the old college try.

      2. Red Hots – Top notch offense and decent pitching. Consider this: Hinske, German and Murphy occupy three of the offensive slots and this is still one of the best two offenses in the league. King Felix heads a potentially strong staff, but there are as many questions as answers. Is Lester healthy again and will he find the plate often enough Is Garza for real or did Minnesota let him go for good reason Is Paul Byrd still using the PED’s and, if not, will his numbers suffer Is Fernando Rodney’s health going to be a problem Well….you see what I mean. The pitching will be the challenge here. Plenty of top prospects and keepers to use as bait to fill any holes. The question, as always, is whether Rich can part with any of his prized players to make a run for the roses. History suggests he can’t and he won’t. If Rich bucks his instincts, this team can, and maybe, shouldwin.

      1. Hoosier Daddies – Maybe, just maybe, Rick gets the last “laffey”. The eptiome of a well balanced team. Rick came to the table with a nice keeper list and then did exactly what he needed to do to fill in the gaps. A quietly terrific draft, Rick looks strong everywhere except power and strikeouts.Rick projects to the third best offense and the second best pitching. Its hard to takeissue with this team, the frontrunner for the 2009 Damon.More than enough beans to fill in the gaps and deal with unexpected trouble.

      Let the games begin!!!!

      The King

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