Season Analysis

2002-2003 Off Season Recap

Team Key Departures Key Acquisitions Summary Grade
Holbrook Hawks SP Bret Saberhagen, SP Jimmy Haynes, CF Eric Burnes, CF Jim Edmonds, SP Victor Zambrano, SS Delino DeShields, 2B Jeff Cirillo, LF Jeffrey Hammonds, 1B Talmadge Nunnari, 1B Wes Helms SS Kurt Abbott The Hawks retooled a bit this offseason to keep the minor league system deep (#4 overall). Their rotation is strong but their lineup is a little inexperienced to trust down the stretch. They could surprise, but have stiff competition this year in the East. B
Pittsburgh Champions 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, LF Marty Cordova, RP Mike James, SP Ismael Valdez SP Masato Chikafuji, RP John Wetteland, 3B Mark Grudzielanek The Champions snagged top free agent pitcher Chikafuji, but lack depth in the rotation and in the outfield to be able to put together a winning season in 2003. They are moving in the right direction, though. B
Florida Flamingos LF Roger Cedeno, RF Todd Hollandsworth, 1B Dmitri Young, RP Jeff Zimmerman SP Doug Johnston, RP Matt Hammons Florida made a splash by reeling in coveted Johnston to plug into an already young and electrifying rotation with Wandy Rodriguez and Ted Lilly (last season’s Pitcher of the Year). With the addition of one or two more bats, this team has the makeup to overtake the Hawks. A-
Philadelphia Brotherhood SS Satoshi Maeda, SP Ji-hyun Kyung, RP Jim Mecir, CF Glen Barker, LF Bobby Higginson, SP Steve Avery, SS Rich Aurilia, CF Chris Singleton, RP John Habyan, 3B Matt Franco, C Darrin Fletcher, 3B Edgar Martinez SP Luis Castillo, RP Nat Stoner, SS Kevin Stocker, RF Cristhian Presichi, SS Craig Counsel, 2B Chris O’Riordan, RP Jon Hooker, SP Luke Robertson The Brotherhood signed super utility man Presichi out of Mexico, have an ace in Castillo and a superstar bat in Everett, but don’t look to have the supporting cast this year to support doing much better than .500. B+
New Orleans Voodoo RP Bob Wickman, RP Cory Bailey, SP Kevin Tapani, 2B Tony Graffanino, CF Nook Logan 2B Sergio Gastelum, C/1B Guillermo Batista, RP Mark Wohlers, RP Jamie Brewington, SP Gabe Ribas, SP Steve Cooke, CF Jim Edmonds New Orleans swung and missed on a dozen or so starting pitchers this offseason, so they will definitely give up runs this year, especially with Dickey recovering from last year’s surgery. The lineup has significant pop, including an under the radar signing of C/1B Batista out of Cuba, so they will have to slug it out to remain competitive. Given the status of the AC Central, they still may be able to take the division. B
San Antonio Armadillos CF Dave Roberts, C Jayhawk Owens, SP Ramon Martinez RP Chuck Ricci, RP Dusty Keppen, 3B Kevin Eberwein, SP Reid Cornelius, 3B Olmedo Saenz The Armadillos have a very tough starting rotation, but a lineup that doesn’t scare too many. They could cause trouble this season if they’re able to win low scoring affairs. B
Regina Reapers 2B Craig Biggio, CF Johnny Damon, 1B JT Snow, RP Esteban Loaiza, 1B Bucky Jacobsen, 3B Fernando Tatis None Off the field issues plagued the front office in Regina this offseason, and as a result, no real improvements were made of note. The team is still very strong on both sides of the ball, and will make a serious push for a playoff spot and the division this year. C-
Gobbler’s Knob Turkeys RP Bryce Florie, SP Frank Castillo, SS Kevin Stocker, SP Kirk Rueter, SS Kurt Abbott SP Chien-Ming Wang, LF Jeromy Burnitz, C Ed Taubensee Slowly but surely the Turkeys have been improving over the years, and this could be the year they gobble up a division spot. Creative lineup creation will be key, as three of their best bats are listed at 1B on their depth chart (Hafner, Pujols, and Helton). Snagging Burnitz for cheap was a great play late in the offseason, as well. B+
Portland Beavers SP Dave Burba, RP Chuck Ricci, RF Gary Matthews Jr, CF Nathan Haynes, SP Luis Castillo, C Ben Petrick, 2B Luis Garcia, 3B Mark Grudzielanek SP Julio Villalon, SP Tony Saunders, SP Ryan Bicondoa, RP Mark Dewey, SP Bret Saberhagen, SP Frank Castillo, SP Ismael Valdez Portland has few holes, and many solid players. Still owing Pedro Martinez a hefty sum, big signings were not in the cards for the Beavers this offseason, but their roster is constructed well enough to get them to the post-season. B+
Yellowknife Targaryens LF Shane Spencer, CF Tike Redman, RP Scott Strickland, LF Billy Ashley, 2B Frank Catalanotto, 1B Cecil Fielder, RP Willie Banks, 1B Jeff Kent, RP Melindo Perez, RP Chuck McElroy, 1B Ricky Jordan, SS Gary Disarcina, RF Kenny Lofton, RP Dan Perkins RP Chris George, 1B Larry Walker, RP Bryce Florie, 1B Carlos Delgado, SP Steve Avery, SP Brandon Roberson, 2B Wil Cordero, LF Shannon Stewart, SS Jose Hernandez Yellowknife has some of the biggest young arms in the biz. Time will tell if they have enough pop in the lineup to consistently put W’s on the board, but they have positioned themselves well to make a serious run. A-
Palo Alto Pranksters RP Mark Wohlers, LF Luis Gonzalez, 2B Ramon Martinez, LF Moises Alou, 1B John Olerud RP Nate Bland, RF Kevin Barker, SP CC Sabathia, RP Marlyn Tisdale The Pranksters won the CC sweepstakes this offseason, immediately putting them into discussion for favorites in the AC. Questions have been swirling about whether they can fill the void left by Edgar Martinez in the middle of the order. Captain Jeter has dismissed the notion repeatedly throughout camp. A
Cardiff Bay Barrage RP Robert Person, C Ed Taubensee, 3B Dave Hansen, RF Kevin Young, RP Todd Van Poppel C Gyu-sik Park, SP Luke Steidlmayer, SP Bobby Basham, RP Jason Christiansen There are too many good teams in the West for the Barrage to string together enough wins this year. B-
New York City Baseball Club RP Butch Henry, 2B Ron Gant, RP Ricky Bottalico, LF Jeromy Burnitz SP Keith Ramsey, RP Antonio Diaz, CF Brian Barre, RF Jason Perry, SP Cory Walters, RP Brad Clontz, SP Khalid Ballouli, RP Cory Bailey While no big headlines came out of NYC this offseason, this squad is still very well positioned to put together a third 100 win season in a row, as their rotation is very well proven and their lineup looks strong 1 through 9. Key move was actually extending current star Posada. B+
Old Bridge Titans RP Steve Parris, CF Mark Kotsay, SP Tony Saunders, CF Nook Logan, 2B Luis Garcia, 1B Talmadge Nunnari, SS Khalil Greene, SP Jimmy Haynes, SP Chad Ogea, 2B Ray Durham The Titans shifted a lot of things around this offseason, and have come out of the fray in a very strong position. Front office wasn’t going to let last season’s disappointing 70-92 happen again. Look for Old Bridge to push for the Wild Card spot, at least. A
Coney Island Whitefish SS Tomas Perez, CF Ryan Christenson, RF Ruben Rivera, RP Todd Jones, RP Trevor Hoffman, RP Jamie Brewington, CF Shannon Stewart 1B Wes Helms The Whitefish didn’t make any impressive moves in the offseason, but, like their divisional and cross-town rival, they are already tooled to make a run at three straight 100 win seasons. A scary rotation and a dangerous lineup featuring superstars Ochoa, Jones and Belliard makes this team a shoe-in for a playoff spot. B-
Charleston Rebels LF Hideki Matsui, 2B Edgardo Alfonso, RP Jay Witasick, RF Jody Gerut, RF Fernando Suguignol, C Bob Henley, SP Kelvim Escobar, RP Peter Munro, RP Pat Daneker RP Jason Herz, LF Henri Stanley, 2B Matt Creighton, SP Seung Song, SP Jeff Clark On paper, the Rebels may be as good as they’ve ever been. But, they sit in the wrong division. They may get themselves around .500 this year, or could be sellers at the deadline in order to keep their system strong (#2). B
Bismarck Otto Vons SP Ienobu Asano, RP John Wetteland, SP Jarrod Washburn, SP Chien-Ming Wang, SS Khalil Greene None Bismarck has a very strong lineup, but needed to do more to replace the arms they lost this off-season. Look for this team to take a step back in 2003. C-
Dallas Daredevils 1B Carlos Delgado, SS Wil Cordero, SP Tyler Green, SP Ryan Bowen, 2B Ray Durham, CF Ray Lankford, 3B Olmedo Saenz 3B Ron Gant, SP Geraldo Padua, LF Marty Cordova, RF Eric Byrnes, 1B Tony Clark Dallas is not deep enough at the ML level, and will need to work hard to stay out of the basement in 2003. Future stars Blanton and Aoki should see significant playing time this year. C+
Toledo Troutheads SP Mark Langston, SP Reid Cornelius, RP Brian Bohanon, 1B Mark Grace 1B Dmitri Young, SP Melido Perez, RP Ricky Bottalico, RP Todd Jones, 3B Edgar Martinez Toledo made a few calculated moves this offseason, that might end up netting them the division if they can avoid the injury bug. C-
Eden Prairie Landsharks SP Brian Tolberg, SP Justin Thompson, RP Ramiro Mendoza, C Izzy Molina, RP Dan Wheeler, RP Esteban Yan, RF Brian Jordan, CF Ryan Thompson, RP Mark Dewey, RF David Justice RP Andy Lee, RP Adam Horne, RP Chris Webb, RP Brent Franklin, RP Evan Fahrner, LF Todd Hollandsworth, 1B Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B Bucky Jacobsen This division will be the Landsharks’ to lose this year. Their bullpen received a major facelift, and makes them the most complete pitching staff in all of baseball. A better than average lineup rounds out this year’s favorite for the RC Central. As an additional security blanket, they could dip into their #1 ranked farm system if more firepower is needed throughout the year. A
Hollywood Stars LF Bernard Gilkey, RP Jason Christiansen, RF Larry Walker, C Sandy Alomar Jr. LF Jeffrey Hammonds, RP Adrian Cruz, CF Ray Lankford A lineup full of big bats will have to mash to protect a weak starting rotation long enough to get them to a very solid bullpen. It will be interesting to see if top prospects Matsuzaka and Peavy make their way into this year’s rotation at any point, as they’re both starting the year at AAA St. Petersburg. B
Seattle Steelheads SP Bill Pulsipher RF Dave Roberts Not too much came of the offseason for the Steelheads, but this team has some superstars like Dan Haren, Carlos Valderrama and Glenn Williams would could help propel this team into the playoffs. C+
Phoenix Firebirds 1B Wally Joyner, RP Brad Clontz None An aging Barry Bonds may not be able to carry this team as far anymore. An average rotation and an average lineup looks to land Phoenix around the .500 mark in 2003. C
Oregon Ducks SP Steve Cooke, RP Chris Hammond, RP Jason Isringhausen, RP Paul Quantrill, SP Chad Ogea, 2B Mickey Morandini SS Flavio Romero, SP Ralph McCasland, SP Keith Whatley, C Bob Henley The Ducks seem to be under water thanks to Jason Giambi’s contract, and haven’t had much success moving it or building around it. The Ducks may be sellers at this year’s deadline. B-

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