Friday, March 5, 2010

Season 8 Preview - American League

American League

Overview: The American League proved to be the home of the world champions once again, as the Houston Space Cowboys dispatched the Dover Diamond Dogs for the second time in two seasons.  The competition to reach the top was stiff last year and should be again this season, as Florida's pitching staff remains the cream of the crop, and the offensive juggernauts of Santa Fe and Tucson should produce runs by the dozens.  There are also many rising teams that could stake a claim to the AL pennant, including the very talented Kansas City Tweakers.  In the AL North, only the SIM knows what will come of that division. 

Projected Cy Young: Chris Pendleton - Florida Hurricanes
--Other Contenders: Harry Mieses (FLA), Carl Sosa (FLA), Matt Lawrence (FLA), Ken Evans (NY), Gordon Oliver (BUR)
Projected MVP: Rafael Benitez - Durham Radicals
--Other Contenders: Al Martinez (NY), Charlie Dickenson (TUC), Johnny Sherman (BOS), Jamie Summers (HOU), Benito Guerrero (KC)
Projected Fireman of the Year: Anthony Gordon - Santa Fe Dope Smugglers
--Other Contenders: Luis Gonzalez (HOU), Adam Winn (FLA), Arthur Camilli (DUR)
Projected Rookie of the Year: Arthur Camilli - Durham Radicals
--Other Contenders: Weldon Black (CHI), Dennis Gulan (KC), Cap Rivera (OK)

Top Five Rotations in the American League
1. Florida Hurricanes
2. Houston Space Cowboys
3. Kansas City Tweakers
4. Santa Fe Dope Smugglers
5. Burlington Huskies

Top Five Lineups in the American League
1. Santa Fe Dope Smugglers
2. Tucson Tornados
3. Houston Space Cowboys
4. Boston Loggers
5. New York Pride of the Yankees

Top Three Offseason Free Agent Signings
1. Walt Lowe - Houston Space Cowboys
2. Sam Cohen - Burlington Huskies
3. Stuart Paulson - Santa Fe Dope Smugglers

  Four Teams on the Rise:
1. Kansas City Tweakers
2. Durham Radicals
3. Tacoma Termites
4. Chicago Puppies

One Team on the Decline
1. Austin Rock Stars

Two Teams From Which 100 or 60 Wins is Possible
1. New York Pride of the Yankees
2. Durham Radicals

Five prospects who could make a difference if called up this season
1. Dennis Gulan - Kansas City Tweakers
2. Donaldo Cordero - Kansas City Tweakers
3. Mac Song - San Francisco Hammer'd Leprechauns
4. Scott Rolle - Tacoma Termites
5. Marvin Collier - Vancouver Canucks

Projected finishes, by division:

AL North
Tacoma Termites - 86-76
New York Pride of the Yankees 85-77
Detroit Dirt Dogs - 81-81
Scranton Meal Ticket - 58-102

AL East
Florida Hurricanes -  99-63
Burlington Huskies - 88-74
Boston Massacre - 85-77
Durham Radicals - 83-79

AL South
Houston Space Cowboys -100-62
Santa Fe Dope Smugglers - 98-64
Oklahoma City Pain - 74-88
Austin Rock Stars - 72-90

AL West
Kansas City Tweakers - 98-64
Tucson Tornados - 93-69
San Francisco Hammer'd Leprechauns - 85-77
Vancouver Canucks - 70-92

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