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2010 Archives http://www.dbacksvenom.com/table/2010-articles/february/ Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:06:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb 2010 Fantasy Projections - NL Second Basemen http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/2010-fantasy-projections-nl-2nd-base.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/2010-fantasy-projections-nl-2nd-base.html Time for a look at the top second basemen in the National League. All dollar values are based on a 12-Team 5×5 format, $260 budget, and are for this season only. (Here are earlier rankings for 1B and C.)
Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
Utley, C - PHI 577 109 31 99 19 .289 .370 .525 30
Phillips, B - CIN 622 82 22 90 23 .275 .320 .445 27
Two players are at the top of the position rankings at second base - Chase Utley and Brandon Phillips. Utley has had five consecutive seasons around .290-30 HR-100 RBI-100 Runs, and is a safe bet to do it again.  Utley even throws in double figures in Stolen Bases too. Phillips is just a notch below in 4 of the 5 categories, but has averaged 26 SB for the last 4 years. That's good enough to make Phillips a strong number two at the position.
Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
Uggla, D - FLA 553 86 26 84 3 .253 .353 .450 17
Stewart, I - COL 478 81 24 77 5 .257 .331 .469 16
Johnson, K - ARI 511 85 15 66 8 .276 .346 .446 16
Prado, M - ATL 588 77 14 65 4 .301 .353 .435 15
Weeks, R - MIL 451 81 13 52 21 .266 .355 .421 15
Polanco, P - PHI 585 83 10 68 6 .289 .332 .409 14
Lopez, F - STL 541 76 9 55 5 .279 .350 .396 14
Matsui, K - HOU 502 62 7 45 21 .287 .338 .386 14
The next group of players all make contributions in a few categories, but just not in all five. Dan Uggla and Ian Stewart should provide good power numbers, but with a low batting avergage and little speed.  Placido Polanco and Martin Prado will hit for average and should score and drive in some runs, but won't help much in HR or SB.  Two second basemen should exceed 20 SB, Rickie Weeks and Kaz Matsui. Kelly Johnson is one player that could provide decent numbers across the board. He has had seasons with 16 HR, 91 Runs Scored, 11 SB, and a .287 AVG, but just not all in the same season.  After last year's disastrous .224-8 HR-29 RBI, Johnson is looking to bounce back with the Diamondbacks in 2010.  Felipe Lopez has had even more impressive totals in the past - 23 HR, 44 SB, 98 Runs, and a.310 AVG, but the big power and speed totals are four or five seasons in the past. Lopez is also moving into a crowded Cardinals infield with Skip Schumaker, Brendan Ryan, David Freese, and Julio Lugo.
Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
Iwamura, A - PIT 471 71 7 45 11 .285 .351 .395 12
Castillo, L - NYM 488 72 1 38 17 .287 .366 .330 12
McGehee, C - MIL 471 61 14 66 0 .280 .338 .427 11
Kennedy, A - WAS 465 62 8 51 12 .273 .329 .383 11
Belliard, R - LA 339 45 10 46 3 .268 .321 .413 10
Barmes, C - COL 499 61 14 61 8 .253 .288 .411 9
Sanchez, F - SF 477 59 6 46 3 .279 .319 .398 9
Ryan, B - STL 375 52 2 36 13 .285 .340 .395 7
Fontenot, M - CHC 341 41 8 40 3 .273 .333 .422 6
Eckstein, D - SD 478 62 2 46 2 .266 .324 .343 5
This next group of players should at least get regular playing time. Akinori Iwamura and Luis Castillo should provide some runs, steals and batting average help, but with few HR and RBI. Over the last eight seasons, Castillo has hit between .291 and .314 seven times.  He only managed 22 HR in those seasons combined, but did steal 181 bases. He should still be able to get on base and score some runs. Casey McGehee is a bit of a wild card, coming off last year's .301/.360/.499 season. But McGehee had never hit .300 in the minors, and had a career .410 SLG in AAA after 286 games for Iowa. Adam Kennedy is another player who surprised in 2009, stealing 20 bases while hitting 11 HR and batting .289. I expect both McGehee and Kennedy to regress back a little.  Ronnie Belliard was discarded by the Nationals in September, and ended up batting .351 with 5 HR in 24 games with the Dodgers. He should be the starter in 2010, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him revert back to his usual .270/.330/.420 performance. Clint Barmes did hit 23 HR with 76 RBI in 2009, but only had a .245 AVG and a .294 OBP. He was much worse in the second half of the season, batting only .205, and away from Coors Field, his average slipped down to .207 for the year, with 67 K and only 12 BBs. Freddy Sanchez should continue doing what he usually does - solid batting average, but not much else. In 2006 and 2007, Sanchez added 40+ doubles and 80+ RBI, but the last two seasons haven't had enough of that.  Although eligible at 2B, Brendan Ryan will likely be the starting shortstop for the Cardinals, and should contribute in the stolen base category. Mike Fontenot slumped to a .236/.301/.377 season in 2009, and now has to hold off Jeff Baker for playing time.  Fontenot's superior defense should give him the playing time edge, but he needs to get his bat closer to his 2008 (.305/.395/.514) stats.  David Eckstein is expected to start at 2B for the Padres, and will probably bat in the second slot.  He'll score some runs, but don't expect much more.

Player

AB

R

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

$$

Uribe, J - SF

295

35

10

36

2

.261

.308

.424

4

Infante, O - ATL

240

36

3

35

3

.275

.320

.388

3

Schumaker, S - STL

323

44

3

26

3

.279

.332

.344

3

Hairston, J - SD

300

45

4

33

7

.257

.320

.373

3

Baker, J - CHC

243

32

6

31

1

.255

.325

.407

3

Velez, E - CHC

223

28

3

25

12

.256

.305

.377

3

Roberts, R - ARI

185

30

5

23

4

.276

.353

.438

2

Young Jr., E - COL

153

30

2

12

10

.288

.347

.392

2

Carroll, J - LA

195

31

1

22

3

.267

.347

.359

1

DeWitt, B - LA

155

23

3

21

1

.252

.326

.381

1

Counsell, C - MIL

211

26

1

19

2

.270

.353

.355

1

Abreu, T - ARI

112

17

2

18

2

.295

.325

.464

1

Burriss, E - SF

81

12

0

7

4

.259

.318

.383

0

This group includes several players who will probably be utility players, but will be battling for additional playing time. Juan Uribe can provide good power, but doesn't have a place to play with Sandoval, Renteria, Sanchez, and Huff in the Giants infield.  Omar Infante will fill a similar utility role in Atlanta, and the addition of Felipe Lopez may move Skip Schumaker out of the starting lineup in St. Louis.  Jerry Hairston will play all over the infield and outfield for San Diego, and Jeff Baker will try to win the 2nd base start over Mike Fontenot. Eugenio Velez and Eric Young Jr. should provide stolen bases, even if they aren't starters. Both Jamey Carroll and Blake DeWitt are options in LA if Ronnie Belliard falters. In Arizona, both Ryan Roberts and Tony Abreu could make offensive contributions if they get an opportunity. Craig Counsell will be an option in Milwaukee if Alcides Escobar struggles or Rickie Weeks gets injured again.]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Sun, 28 Feb 2010 06:48:59 +0000
2010 Fantasy Projections - NL First Basemen http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/2010-fantasy-projections-nl-first-basemen.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/2010-fantasy-projections-nl-first-basemen.html After last week's look at the top NL Catchers, this week we move on the First Basemen. Again, all dollar values are based on a 12-Team 5x5 format, $260 budget, and are for this season only.
Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $$
Pujols, A - STL 565 123 44 129 12 .331 .441 .644 38
Fielder, P - MIL 577 101 43 122 3 .284 .383 .572 31
Votto, J - CIN 533 95 29 103 5 .313 .400 .559 29
Howard, R - PHI 601 101 40 127 2 .268 .347 .534 27
Gonzalez, A - SD 569 89 38 102 0 .279 .394 .541 26
Lee, D - CHC 551 93 28 101 1 .305 .391 .530 25
Dunn, A - WAS* 546 89 41 104 1 .266 .393 .542 24
Berkman, L - HOU 525 94 29 99 5 .286 .401 .520 22
LaRoche, A - ARI 565 82 27 101 1 .283 .356 .501 21
Sandoval, P - SF* 575 80 23 88 2 .289 .341 .489 20
* Dunn also eligible at OF, Sandoval at 3B. First Base is a premier offensive position in the National League, with at least 10 players likely to earn $20 or more.   Albert Pujols should be the top 1B in 2010 once again. Pujols has been a model of consistency - batting over .300, slugging at least 30 HR, and driving in over 100 runs for each of his nine major league seasons. Last year, he bumped the HR up to 47, and even stole 16 bases. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Pujols lead all NL 1B in every key offensive category. Prince Fielder is coming off his best season, leading the NL in RBI with 141, and putting up a career high 1.014 OPS and 168 OPS+. He should be an outstanding contributor again in 2010, but probably just a notch below Pujols in every category. Joey Votto only played in 131 games last year, but showed that he must now be considered an elite 1B, finishing in the Top 5 in the NL in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Votto hit well against both RHP (1.000 OPS) and LHP (.931 OPS), as well as at Home (.968 OPS) and on the Road (.990 OPS). His power may be a notch below Fielder, Howard, Gonzalez, and Dunn, but he should hit for a much higher batting average than all of them. Ryan Howard has hit over 45 HR and 135 RBI for four straight seasons, leading the league in RBI for three of the last four years. However, Howard continues to struggle against LHP, batting only .207 with 6 HR in 222 AB last season. Adrian Gonzalez mashed the ball outside of Petco (28 HR away, 12 at home), and drew a career high 119 BBs last year as teams continued to pitch around him.  Expect more of the same in 2010.  Derrek Lee had a monster 2nd half in 2009 (.336/.436/.656), and also saw a spike in HR to 35 from 20 and 22 the previous years. A big factor was Lee's fly ball rate, which jumped to 45.7% in 2009 from only 33.7% in 2008.  Adam Dunn has been very consistent for 40 HR, 100 RBI, and over 100 BBs for six consecutive seasons. However, his batting average has fluctuated a lot, from as low as .234 to as high as last year's .267.  Dunn has never put together two decent batting average seasons in a row - I think he'll finally do it in 2010.  Dunn continues to be one of the most extreme fly-ball hitters in the Majors, finishing with a 48.5% Fly Ball rate in 2009. Lance Berkman has a career .299 Batting Average, which leaves him just out of the career .300/.400/.500 group that includes Pujols, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramirez, and Todd Helton. He missed some time in 2009 with injuries, but should be back to his typical 30 HR - 100 RBI levels in 2010. Adam LaRoche has been remarkably consistent in his career, hitting around 25 HR with a .270 AVG every year. Now he is moving to a great hitters park in Chase Field, and I think we'll see a bump up to a .280-27 HR level. Completing the Top 10 is Pablo Sandoval, who is also eligible at 3B. Sandoval had an outstanding rookie campaign, but he does play in a tough park (didn't bother him in 2009 - 1.012 Home OPS) with a poor lineup around him.  There have also been some concerns about his weight, and his plate discipline isn't that great. I have Sandoval taking a small step backwards in 2010.
Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $$
Loney, J - LA 582 71 14 88 7 .294 .371 .424 17
Helton, T - COL 511 73 15 76 0 .305 .404 .470 15
Prado, M - ATL* 588 77 14 65 4 .301 .353 .435 15
Cantu, J - FLA* 541 63 15 71 2 .268 .317 .418 14
Murphy, D - NYM* 451 64 15 68 5 .277 .333 .441 13
Jones, G - PIT* 477 63 18 65 7 .258 .317 .436 12
Huff, A - SF 485 66 14 73 1 .256 .324 .421 10
* Prado also eligible at 2B; Cantu at 3B; DMurphy and GJones at OF. The next group of 1B-eligible players is led by James Loney. Loney doesn't have the power of the Top 10 First Basemen, but he should reach double figures in HR with a decent batting average and RBI total.  Loney only has a career 35% Fly Ball rate, which is the lowest among the quality 1B, so his HR total should not increase significantly. Todd Helton has not had a 30 HR-100 RBI season since 2003, but seems to have settled into a .300-15-80 hitter.  Like Loney, his Fly Ball rate is low among 1B, and has been dropping steadily for several seasons. Martin Prado qualifies at 1B, but will most likely be drafted as a 2B, so will be discussed in greater detail in that article. Although Jorge Cantu has driven in 95 and 100 runs for the last two seasons, his low OBP and fading power make him a risky play.  With Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez ready to step in at 1B for the Marlins, Cantu can't afford to drop any further if he wants to maintain his playing time. With Carlos Delgado out, Daniel Murphy will battle with Fernando Tatis for the first base job with the Mets. Although not a true power hitter, Murphy should get the bulk of playing time against RHP, and can probably contribute a league-average OPS.  Garrett Jones came out of nowhere to hit .293/.372/.567 (21 HR in 82 games) in 2009 as a 28 year old rookie. This came after playing almost 600 games at the AAA level with totals of .265/.321/.463, although he had shown improvement in each of the last three seasons.  What can we expect in 2010? I still put more stock in the 10 years of average minor league play than in the 3 great months with the Pirates, so I'm going with an average back in the 250s, although with decent power.  Jones may end up as a platoon player, as he really struggled against LHP (.208 AVG). Aubrey Huff followed 2008's strong .304-32 HR-108 RBI season with a drop all the way to .241-15-85.  I think Huff's 2010 will be similar as he moves to a tough hitting park in San Francisco.
Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $$
Hernandez, R - CIN* 407 46 11 61 1 .263 .335 .410 8
Clement, J - PIT 211 26 7 31 0 ..256 .326 .427 3
Tatis, F - NYM* 159 29 6 27 1 .277 .335 .459 2
Sanchez, G - FLA 183 24 6 25 1 .251 .328 .415 1
Morrison, L - FLA 161 22 4 23 2 .273 .361 .422 1
Gload, R - PHI 101 18 4 21 0 .267 .327 .446 1
Giambi, J - COL 115 15 5 23 0 .226 .346 .426 1
Tracy, C - CHN 95 11 3 12 0 .253 .311 .411 0
* RHernandez also eligible at C and FTatis at OF. The remaining players listed probably will not get significant playing time at 1B, although Ramon Hernandez will play considerably at Catcher.   Jeff Clement has an opportunity for playing time if Garrett Jones struggles.  Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez will see time if Cantu struggles or is traded, with Sanchez having more power while Morrison should be better at getting on base.  Fernando Tatis may become at least a platoon player for the Mets.  Ross Gload, Jason Giambi, and Chad Tracy will primarily serve as pinch hitters.]]>
amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Tue, 23 Feb 2010 16:51:28 +0000
2010 Fantasy Projections - NL Catchers http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/2010-fantasy-projections-nl-catchers.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/2010-fantasy-projections-nl-catchers.html As we approach the start of the 2010 season, I will begin posting my projections at each position in the National League.  Today, I am starting with the Catchers - all dollar values are based on a 12-Team 5x5 format with a $260 budget.

Brian McCann is the clear-cut leader among National League catchers heading into 2010. McCann has put together four consecutive seasons averaging 22 HR, 92 RBI, and a .295 batting average. He has even thrown in a handful of stolen bases the last two years.

Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
McCann, B - ATL 501 69 23 93 3 .293 .356 .501 20
Doumit, R - PIT 470 61 19 75 4 .274 .332 .475 15
Martin, R - LAN 510 71 11 68 12 .278 .367 .396 14
Iannetta, C - COL 403 58 18 62 0 .256 .363 .493 13
Soto, G - CHN 440 59 16 67 0 .261 .344 .445 12
Montero, M - ARI 441 57 15 59 1 .277 .338 .465 12

After McCann, there is no clear-cut candidate for #2. There are at least five players who have shown flashes of brilliance, but haven't shown the consistency yet. I have Ryan Doumit in the #2 slot. Despite an injury-plagued 2009 season, Doumit had a .274/.341/.472 season in 2007, and had improved to a .318/.357/.501 in 2008. I think Doumit will manage to stay healthy this time, and will end up as the 2nd most productive catcher. Russell Martin probably won't return to his .293, 19 HR, 87 RBI campaign of 2007, but he should still rack up double figures in HR and SB, and will get enough playing time to accumulate good totals in Runs Scored and RBI. Chris Iannetta has hit 18 HR and 16 HR for the last two seasons, and should be able to repeat that level. Geovany Soto collapsed to a .218 batting average in 2009, after winning the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year with a .285, 23 HR, 85 RBI season. I think he'll come closer to his 2008 totals, although there are many questions after Soto reported to camp 40 lbs lighter. Miguel Montero had a fine 2009 campaign, with a .294 AVG and 16 HR. I think that average will come down a little, but the power will stay. One concern with Montero is that his backup, Chris Snyder, will probably steal most of the ABs against LHP, and may play even more if he hits well.

Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
Molina, Y - STL 494 46 7 53 4 .291 .353 .385 9
Hernandez, R-CIN 407 46 11 61 1 .263 .335 .411 8
Molina, B - SFG 463 47 12 65 0 .261 .291 .417 8
Flores, J - WAS 393 44 13 57 0 .267 .323 .427 8
Ruiz, C - PHI 415 48 11 55 2 .255 .351 .421 7

This next group of catchers is a set of players that should have decent playing time, but aren't terribly productive hitters. Yadier Molina has shown the ability to hit for a high average, and has even started drawing more walks, but won't hit for much power. Ramon Hernandez has been fading for four straight years, but is still only 34, and should have one more double-digit HR season left. Bengie Molina still can't draw 20 walks in a season, but he has been good for double-digit HR and has been batting in a good RBI slot. Molina also has to fend off rookie Buster Posey for playing time in 2010. Jesus Flores also should provide some power and few walks, and also has a battle for playing time, in this case with Ivan Rodriguez. If he's healthy, he should get the bulk of the playing time. Carlos Ruiz showed some improvement at the plate in 2009, and should be the full time starter in 2010.

Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
Baker, J - FLA 350 44 7 43 1 .263 .341 .405 6
Towles, J - HOU 261 37 7 38 2 .257 .335 .423 5
Hundley, N - SD 365 39 11 46 2 .244 .303 .404 4
Zaun, G - MIL 361 38 8 37 0 .247 .344 .384 3
Olivo, M - COL 220 24 9 28 0 .241 .284 .460 2
Paulino, R - FLA 257 25 7 28 1 .265 .333 .415 2

For this group of players, full-time playing status is more uncertain. In Florida, John Baker and Ronny Paulino will battle for playing time. J.R. Towles is hoping for another chance in Houston, and I think 2010 will be the year he finally starts to put it together. Nick Hundley has shown some power, but plays in a tough park and now has to battle Yorvit Torrealba. Can Gregg Zaun really be the starter for the Brewers? He hasn't had over 400 ABs in a season since 2005, but his competition is only George Kotteras and Angel Salome. Miguel Olivo should benefit from playing in Coors Field, but may not get as much playing time as last year.

Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG $
Posey, B - SFG 145 19 4 19 1 .276 .353 .430 1
Schneider, B - PHI 231 19 5 31 0 .264 .353 .381 1
Snyder, C - ARI 211 22 6 24 0 .242 .344 .411 1
Santos, O - NYM 278 24 4 30 0 .233 .272 .336 1
Torrealba, Y - SD 223 22 2 27 1 .233 .294 .337 1
Rodriguez, I-WAS 221 23 3 23 1 .244 .283 .362 1
Ross, D - ATL 111 15 5 18 0 .261 .349 .486 1
Hanigan, R - CIN 230 23 3 19 0 .265 .353 .345 0
Blanco, H - NYM 201 21 4 19 0 .244 .315 .373 0
Quintero, H - HOU 240 18 3 19 0 .233 .285 .362 0
Thole, J - NYM 100 12 1 13 0 .270 .330 .350 0

Buster Posey is the best catching prospect around, but may be back in AAA after the Giants re-signed Bengie Molina. Players like Brian Schneider, Chris Snyder, and David Ross have some proven ability, but are blocked from full-time status.  Yorvit Torrealba will also have to battle for playing time, and is moving to a tough hitting park. Josh Thole showed good on-base skills in AA last year, but may not be ready to jump to the Majors yet.

]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Wed, 17 Feb 2010 18:54:33 +0000 Summary of Recent Comments by GM Josh Byrnes http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/recap-of-interview-with-gm-josh-byrnes.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/recap-of-interview-with-gm-josh-byrnes.html AZ Snakepit had an excellent interview with the Diamondbacks' General Manager Josh Byrnes. Some of the highlights from the interview include: 1) Starting Rotation - As expected, the front three of the starting rotation will be Webb, Haren, and EJackson. Byrnes mentioned five pitchers who will be competing for the final two slots - Ian Kennedy, Billy Buckner, Kevin Mulvey, Rodrigo Lopez, and Bryan Augenstein. It looks like Aaron Heilman will be used in the Bullpen and is not expected to compete for a starting spot. 2) NL West - Although the entire NL West is fairly balanced, Byrnes feels that the Rockies are the biggest threat, based on their youth and balance of offense, defense, and pitching. He mentions the Dodgers as the other main threat, but has them slightly below the Rockies due to some attrition in the offseason. 3) Opening Day Roster - Byrnes mentions that most of the 2010 opening day roster is set. He specifically mentioned four players where "we want to see what we've got" - Tony Abreu, Cole Gillespie, Rusty Ryal, and Brandon Allen. So it appears that these four need to have a strong spring training to make the team, while Ryan Roberts, Gerardo Parra, Augie Ojeda, and Chris Snyder seem to have four bench spots locked up. 4) Run Scoring - Byrnes feels that this year's team "should score runs, as opposed to could score runs." He speculates the offense should move up to 770-800 runs scored from last year's 720. 5) Comeback Seasons - Byrnes feels that Chris Snyder and Conor Jackson should both be back at full strength, and that Chris Young's strong 2009 finish was very encouraging for 2010. Byrnes compares Young to Mike Cameron and Franklin Gutierrez at the same ages. 6) The Trade - Byrnes states again that although Max Scherzer is a unique talent with great make-up, there are still questions about his pitching efficiency and durability. The Diamondbacks feel that Edwin Jackson has reached a level that Scherzer may or may not reach, and that Ian Kennedy will give the team six years of solid starting pitching.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Wed, 10 Feb 2010 23:17:49 +0000 Brandon Webb Back on the Mound http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/brandon-webb-back-on-the-mound.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/brandon-webb-back-on-the-mound.html MLB.com. "[The] ball came out well, but I was just thinking about arm slot on every throw. That's to be expected, not having thrown on the mound in so long." Webb still expects to be ready for the start of the season. The Diamondbacks had picked up Webb's 2010 option in November for $8.5M, and are expecting Webb to lead the Diamondbacks' rotation along with Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson.]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Tue, 09 Feb 2010 19:58:57 +0000 Diamondbacks Invite 17 Non-Roster Players to 2010 Spring Training http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/diamondbacks-invite-17-non-roster-players-to-2010-spring-training.html http://www.dbacksvenom.com/2010-articles/february/diamondbacks-invite-17-non-roster-players-to-2010-spring-training.html invited 17 non-roster players to Spring Training. Here is a look at the list and each player's chance of making the roster. Catchers Carlos Corporan (26) - Corporan is tied for the highest career batting average in Major League history (1-1, 1.000), but is not much of an offensive prospect. His career stats in AAA are .211/.248/.327, with 67Ks and only 10 BBs. He was signed as a minor league free agent from the Brewers organization. Sean Coughlin (24) - Coughlin had a fine season between High A and AA last year, batting .287/.396/.468, with 11 HR, 47 BBs, and only 39Ks. The former University of Kentucky All-American's season ended early when he broke his hand in the Southern League All-Star game. Coughlin will likely be the starter in AAA this year. Konrad Schmidt (25) - Schmidt hit well in the California League, going .304/.359/.443 in 106 games. Schmidt will likely be the starter in AA Mobile in 2010. First Basemen Jeff Bailey (31)Bailey was the AAA International League MVP in 2008 after hitting .301/.405/.562 with 25 HR and 75 RBI. The former catcher now plays 1B and OF, and has had brief stints with the Red Sox in 2008 and 2009, with a career line of .228/.340/.434. At age 31, Bailey's best hope for a major league career may be a lefty-basher - he has a lifetime .316/.391/.649 line against LHP in 57 AB. Shortstop Mark Hallberg (24) - Once a considered a top middle infield prospect, Hallberg has seen his OPS fall for three consecutive years as he has moved through the system (LowA - .848, HighA - .725, AA - .648). Outfielders Drew Macias (26)Signed from the Padres system, Macias has struggled to break the Mendoza line as a major leaguer, batting exactly .200 in 2008 (20 ABs) and .197 in 2009 (76 ABs). Although he had an OBP of .393 with 83 BBs to 81Ks in 2008, he slipped to a .232/.329/.343 line in 2009. Macias' first major league hit was a HR off Matt Cain in 2008. Collin Cowgill (23) - Cowgill had a solid season in High A Visalia (.277/..373/.445) before missing the second half with a hamstring injury. Cowgill should start 2010 in AA, and needs to show he can play an injury-free season. Evan Frey (23) - Frey can run and play CF, but his OPS dropped from .800 to .686 with the move from Visalia to Mobile. Pitchers T.J. Beam (29) - Beam has pitched as both a reliever and a starter in the Yankees, Pirates, and Blue Jays organizations. He has a career 3.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and averages 9.0 K/9 with only 2.6 BB/9. He struggled in AAA Las Vegas in 2009, but should be battling for one of the last spots on the major league roster. Josh Ellis (25)- Ellis had nice stats in AA (4-2, 1.94 ERA) but struggled in AAA (3-1, 7.91 ERA). However, his peripherals and Fielding Independent stats were good at both levels. In his minor league career, Ellis has only allowed 6 HR in 163.2 IP, while striking out 177 and only walking 68. Barry Enright (23) - Enright pitched in AA Mobile in 2009, going 10-9 with a 3.98 ERA. The strikeout rate of 5.9K/9 is a little low, but Enright should advance to AAA in 2010. Tommy Layne (25) - Layne, a left-handed reliever, had a 4-2 record for Visalia with a 2.86 ERA in 2009. But the 25 BBs in 66 IP, along with only 43 strikeouts, led to a 3.78 FIP ERA Rodrigo Lopez (34) - Lopez has won at least 14 games three times in the Majors, but the last time was in 2005. Even in his successful years, he gave up a lot of HRs and BBs, and is unlikely to be very useful now. Kyler Newby (24) - Newby had pitched well in Visalia in 2007 and 2008, but struggled in Mobile in 2009, giving up 1.4HR/9 and 3.3BB/9. Wes Roemer (23) - Roemer pitched between Visalia and Mobile last year, but also struggled with the walks, 3.0BB/9. Bryan Shaw (22) - Shaw had a 4.70 ERA for Visalia last year, but did strike out 8.0 per 9 innings. He should pitch for AA Mobile in 2010. Matt Torra (25) - The 2005 1st Round pick went 10-13 with a 3.85 ERA for AA Mobile, but only struck out 5.8 per 9 innings. Torra did show good control with only 28 BB in 180 IP, but also gave up 24 HR. ]]> amitlal@cox.net (Amit Lal) February Tue, 02 Feb 2010 04:44:12 +0000