Thursday, November 29, 2007

Class of 2008: Failing to Flourishing

Earlier this week, Tom Verducci of had an article about lasts years losers, who could turn their fortunes around. So, I've decided to list the top teams in each league with the ability to flourish in '08 after failing in '07.

American League: Kansas City Royals: Personally, I believe that the Royals will win the AL Central in '08. Now, before you start thinking I'm crazy, here are my reasons.

  • Alex Gordon and Billy Butler: I believe Gordon will be the star of that division in two years (exceeding Sizemore, Hafner, Mauer, Liriano, Morneau, etc.). This year I honestly see him hitting 25-30HRs, driving in 100, and batting .330. Butler will also emerge as an offensive star, blasting 20-30HRs and winning a batting title.
  • Trey Hillman and Yasuhiko Yabuta: Japanese relievers have shown dominance after coming to the U.S. (Okajima, Otsuka, etc.). Combine that with a manager who worked in Japan for several years and you get the best set-up man in the majors. KC had the best pen in that division last year already, imagine if they sign a Dotel or Riske, along with Yabuta. Now that's formidable!

National League: Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers just outright collapsed last year. I've never seen a collapse that bad in ... oops um, never mind (Let's Go Mets!). Anyways, here are the reasons the LA Dodgers of LA will bounce back.

  • San Diego Silence: The Padres I thought would decimate that division last year; however, even after falling short (Matt Holliday STILL hasn't touched home plate), they've made no significant strides to improve their team. Meanwhile the Dodgers are at least looking at Santana and Bedard.
  • Joe Torre: Aside from the fact Joe will use Johnathan Broxton and Scott Procter over and over until their arms need to be sewn to their shoulder, Joe brings a winning attitude to a laid-back franchise. His leadership and want to win will be enough to get the Dodgers a wild card birth (but not much else).

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