Atlanta Braves Projected Roster
Atlanta Braves Projected Roster
Welcome to my new scouting report series. Before spring training ends, I hope to cover every team. We start with one of the most active teams of the off season, the Arizona Diamondbacks. They went in to free agency as a mediocre team that lacked a rotation and veterans in the lineup. But the D-Backs have some of the best sleepers in the league, an some young stars to happen. What are the D-Backs looking like?
The Diamondbacks started the off season very quiet. It looked like their only targets were veteran infielders like Howie Kendrick, and some insurance in the rotation. Besides trading away Jeremy Hellickson to the Phillies for prospects, their November was very quiet.
But as December began, teams really started to negotiate for the top players in free agency, starting with some major aces. The Red Sox made the first major move, they signed David Price to a seven year, 217 million dollar deal. But surprisingly, not the Dodgers, Giants, Cardinals or Nats but the D-Backs were first to follow, signing Dodgers ace Zack Greinke to a six year, 206 million dollar contract. Greinke had a breakout in 2015 after eleven subpar seasons between Kansas City, Milwaukee and Los Angeles. He lost in the Cy Young race, but hopes to continue his dominance in 2016.
They shortly after traded Dansby Swanson, Aaron Blair and Ender Inciarte for Shelby Miller and Gabe Speier.
Their rotation was now among the best to match their sleep lineup that boosted them in 2015.
Until February, they were very quiet. More Kendrick rumors were in the air, but they ended up trading Aaron Hill, Chase Anderson, Isan Diaz and cash for shortstop Jean Segura and Tyler Wagner.
So that problem was solved, but A.J. Schugel was claimed off waivers by the Pirates, so they signed closer Tyler Clippard, so current closer Brad Ziegler could take his place in a set up role.
The D-Backs close the off season looking better than ever on paper, but their lineup has development questions. Spring training will show a lot about this team’s faith.
Hot Stove/Free Agency Grade: B+
Spring Training Questions
Will the lineup live up to its name?
This is a tough one to answer. Besides Goldy, Yasmany Tomas and A.J. Pollock. David Peralta also is alright, and Chris Owings, Jean Segura and Jake Lamb are still developing. Owings needs to be a better general hitter, Segura didn’t develop very well when he had the chance, and Lamb is good in the field, but needs to improve his bat. It could go either way.
Who are some key non-roster players?
There are a ton of pitchers that could crash the roster like former Reds reliever Sam LeCure, Wesley Wright, Braden Shipley, Matt Stites, Will Locante and Adam Loewen. Former Giants infielder Joaquin Arias and outfielder Jason Bourgeois could make some bench spots.
Is the rotation fulfilled enough?
I think the rotation is just fine. Greinke and Shelby Miller had amazing 2015 seasons and hope to continue, Patrick Corbin has looked fine in his TJ recovery, and the rest of the rotation is filled with young stars Rubby De La Rosa and Robbie Ray. Archie Bradley or Josh Collmenter, maybe even Zack Godley and Daniel Hudson could be spot starters. So it looks like the D-Backs are looking good and their moves paid off, even with the loss of Jeremy Hellickson and Chase Anderson.
Who is the biggest sleeper in the lineup?
I don’t think that the biggest D-Backs sleeper is any of the young infielders. Outfielder David Peralta is among the best, and the veteran hasn’t gotten much attention in the MLB. On the D-Backs staff, he is well known in the lineup, but only Diamondbacks diehards or MLB analysts would call him an MVP contender in the NL. Although this is only his third year, he has really gotten his name out recently.
D-Backs Projected Roster
Zack Greinke. Archie Bradley
Shelby Miller. Enrique Burgos
Patrick Corbin. Josh Collmenter
Rubby De La Rosa Tyler Clippard
Robbie Ray Evan Marshall
C: Welington Castillo Phil Gosselin
1B: Paul Goldschmidt Nick Ahmed
2B: Chris Owings Oscar Hernandez
SS: Jean Segura Tuffy Gosewisch
3B: Jake Lamb Joaquin Arias
LF: Yasmany Tomas
CF: A.J. Pollock.
RF: David Peralta
Projected Record: 88-74
That’s all for today everyone. See the Braves new look in the next post in this series.
Alright, welcome to Part 3 of my preseason power rankings. Most of the bad teams have been mentioned, but there are 18 teams left. The rest of these teams are playoff contenders, but what teams have unclear weaknesses that will cause them to just miss the playoffs?
So, the Giants did all this stuff in the off season to improve their team and attempt to win their fourth straight even year world series, but what happened? They have holes. The rotation has really improved between Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija.
However, the bullpen is short on people and the lineup has some missing aspects. They have a solid closer and set-up crew but beyond that, what is there? Especially after losing Yusmeiro Petit the Giants are short on extra bullpen insurance.
The lineup also has some issues. The lineup has some really bold players, like Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Denard Span, but the rest of the lineup lacks power. Sure, Matt Duffy, Joe Panik and Brandon Crawford are all right, and they make up for it on defense, but in the lineup, they aren’t major contributors. They needed to sign some powerful hitters if they wanted to win another World Series. So, the Giants may look good on paper, but when it comes to game-time scenarios, they are somewhat deprived.
I know what you’re thinking. “The Astros?” “They’re stacked, and they’re going to be a contender”. Yes, the rebuild helped this team escape insanely bad times but sometimes there’s such thing as too young. They don’t have enough veterans. I think that the young, short duo of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are overrated. Some aspects of the lineup are short on power. Sure, they have a very strong outfield, but the infield players are overrated hitters and don’t contribute as much of the lineup.
The rotation is mixed between very good veteran pitchers and young new guys to the rotation, The rotation is really good but they do have their weaknesses. The bullpen needs depth and the lineup is lacking power. This team looks similar to the Giants, but younger, and some of these once prospects aren’t paying off. causing them to be worse.
The Yankees had a decent 2015, but besides a few trades, they haven’t changed or improved much. The pitching staff is stacked. After adding closer Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances will serve as strong set-up men. The rotation is also really good but it lacks an ace. Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, maybe even CC Sabathia may have to share the role.
The lineup is a bit of an issue. First things first, it again lacks power, they don’t have any all star players to lead the lineup. Also, the lineup has no youth to it. It is made of a bunch of washed-up older players. This whole team is a very old team, the players, even the franchise itself. Unless they rebuild, working with their strong farm system, it looks like the Yanks will be stuck in this position for a while.
The D-Backs were very bold in the off season. They went from one of the most horrible teams just after a rebuild to a middle ground team that could potentially be a playoff contender. They now have some foundation to their pitching staff, a good front three starters, and a good closer and set-up man. New additions to the Diamondbacks pitching staff include Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller and Tyler Clippard. They already had a strong closer in Brad Ziegler who will now take the spot of A.J. Schugel, helping Evan Marshall in the 8th inning. The rotation is looking a lot better, with Greinke, Miller and Patrick Corbin taking the top, and young pitchers with lots of potential, Robbie Ray and Rubby De La Rosa, in the back end. However the lineup still lacks power.
They might have Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock, with David Peralta and Yasmany Tomas making some contributions but there are no solid hitters besides that. Neither Jean Segura nor Chris Owings have learned to hit much.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, I’ve never been fond of young D-Backs stars Jake Lamb and Chris Owings, and I might be underrating them. I might be underrating this team. If you D-Backs fans and players think I am, show me what your team can do and I’ll give them more credit mid-season. Could the D-Backs be world series champs of the future, and playoff, even division contenders now?
The Seattle Mariners were a very sucky, disappointing 2015 team. But, they made a bunch of off season moves that made them look a whole lot better. The lineup still doesn’t have enough strength in it between Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, newcomer Norichika Aoki and others, but they really improved their pitching.
Their bullpen looks a lot better, now led by Steve Cishek and Joaquin Benoit. Justin De Fratus is another contributing factor along with Charlie Furbush. The rotation looks better too. The Mariners re-signed Hisashi Iwakuma and acquired Wade Miley and Nathan Karns to help. Taijuan Walker also has a lot of room to grow and develop into a high level pitcher.
Between a mediocre lineup with a new look and a completely revamped pitching staff it looks like the Mariners could be contenders. Their not necessarily going to dominate the postseason, but they could snag a wild card for their first playoff appearance in ages.
The Blue Jays had the best lineup in baseball going into 2015 but didn’t really have much pitching until the trade deadline. They lost their ace David Price but have a strong back end to the rotation and an acceptable bullpen. But the Blue Jays lost more than just their ace this off season. They lost outfielder Ben Revere, and some reserves in their lineup.
Their bullpen still lacks back of the bullpen pitchers and is mostly filled with middle relievers and long relievers who missed the rotation. Their lineup is a little too old despite a decent farm system ready to take over some of the team and their rotation has no clear SP1 or ace that can be a leader in the pitching staff. This team has some good players, but what they have doesn’t quite fit their specific needs. It’s a great team if they have other players to fill the holes and all a stars have a position to play.
So, that’s all for this portion of my preseason power rankings. Who will be in Part 4?