February 26, 2007

SportingNews Review

As they do every year, SportingNews has put out their 2007 Spring Training Preview. This year, the issue includes Power Rankings, Top 100 Fantasy players, and team comments. Below you will find the listings for each of these sections along with my take on the sections.

Power Rankings:
Twins: #1
Tigers: #2
White Sox: #8
Indians: #9
Royals: #23

(AL Central is awesome if you go by these.)

These really don't mean that much, and for that matter, they don't mean anything at all. But you have to agree that it's cool to see your team at the top of the poll in a national sports magazine. And then again, the only magazine that has a curse is Sports Illustrated right? Also, even though they are ranked number one, SportingNews doesn't really say anything "good" about them and for that matter the only time they talk about them is in the AL Central section and all they do it mention their weaknesses.

This year, they also included the "Top 100 Fantasy Players" in their preview. In this years list, the Twins have a total of six players included. Below are the players along with their rank on the list.

Johan Santana: #6
Justin Morneau: #16
Joe Nathan: #29
Joe Mauer: #31
Torii Hunter: #80
Michael Cuddyer: #96

Team Preview:
In the team preview, they answer three questions for each team. Below are the questions and answers along with the comment they had on the Twins offseason.

Who will be in the rotation:
Six pitchers will compete for three spots behind LHP Johan Santana and RHP Carlos Silva. Whoever wins those jobs just needs to be good enough to hand the bullpen a lead.

My Reaction:
I agree with them in the sense that whoever wins the jobs will just need to hand the bullpen the lead. However, to me there is only one job available not three as they mention.

Who will be the DH:
Rondell White is the left fielder now, so the club will turn to Jason Kubel, who could break out if his knees hold up.

My Reaction:
I agree 100%, Kubel could either have a great season if he stays healthy, or he could return to his previous years and have a disappointing season if he gets injured.

Can the Big Three get batter:
It's difficult to imagine how, C Joe Mauer, 1B Justin Morneau, and RF Michael Cuddyer all have room to grow as hitters.

My Reaction:
I'm not exactly sure what they are trying to say here, but I think if they have stats similar to last years, that would be good enough. However, I do think Mauer will have a lower batting average and higher homerun and RBI numbers.

Ranking the Offseason:
Ramon Ortiz? Sidney Ponson? Seems as though the organization doesn't trust the kids who would otherwise fill the rotation.

My Reaction:
I disagree, I think the Twins trust their young guys, but they also want to explore other options and bring in some veteran leadership to get the youngsters more experience in the minor leagues.

Other Notes:
Here are a couple of other notes from the SportingNews preview:

- Rondell White was listed as the fifth "Overlooked offseason move".
- Two Twins were listed on the "Prospect Watch" list, Matt Garza and Glen Perkins.

If you have not yet read the first edition of "Making the Team", which was posted on Saturday, you can do so by going to the link below. I'll try to update this list one time per week or whenever a player is released or I feel some changes really need to be made.

Making the Team (First Edition)

Your Reaction:
I'd like to hear your reactions to anything mentioned in this post. It could be a reaction to the questions, a reaction to the Power Rankings, a reaction to the fantasy players list, or if you've read the magazine, it could be your reaction to anything else included. Just leave you comments in the comments section below.