Author Topic: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook  (Read 58 times)

NoT

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Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« on: March 03, 2002, 08:05:33 AM »
Okay, let me begin by saying that I decided to start this topic after making my comments in the "Lakers RD 2" topic. Here are the reasons why the Jays will be better this year:

STRENGTHS
1. An Improved Lineup
1) 2B Orlando Hudson (rookie)/2B Homer Bush
Both of these players are young, exciting defenders with the potential to have 40-60SB any year now. Hudson is a rookie who had a great year in the minors last season batting .318 with great speed and a little pop too. Homer Bush batter .306 last year for the Jays but for the second year in a row he missed much of the season due to injuries.
2) LF/DH Shannon Stewart
Stewart is the Jays best contact hitter and is a virtual lock for a .315 batting average and 25-45SB. His defense is good because he has great range (due to his speed) but he doesn't have very good instincts and has a very poor throwing arm.
3) CF Jose Cruz Jr.
One of these years Cruz is going to win a gold glove for his defense (and this might be that year). He broke out offensively last season by batting .280 with 34HR, 88RBI, and 32SB. Batting in an improved lineup will no doubt push his offense to even greater levels.
4) 1B Carlos Delgado
Last season was a dissapointing one for Delgado at the plate... and he still hit 39HR, had 102RBI, and an on base percentage of .402. A great eye and some of the best power in all of baseball could lead Delgado to a home run crown one of these years. He is also capable of batting .300-.320 if he sees more good pitches (Delgado finished second in the AL in walks last year). His defense is merely average but the team will allow for that given Delgado's dynamite bat. In fact, the biggest knock on Delgado might be that since he was forced to swing at so many bad pitches to get his hits he struck out too much... that won't be the case this year in a much improved lineup.
5) RF Raul Mondesi
There is no doubt about it... nothing scares a catcher more than having Raul Mondesi roaring towards home on a close play. Why? Mondesi is one of the league's fastest baserunners and weighs in at a muscular 230lbs! He is a perennial threat to have 30HR and 30SB and although he has never had a 100RBI season this might be the year batting in an improved lineup behind Stewart, Cruz, and Delgado. Also, Mondesi has one of the best outfield arms in all of baseball and his speed allows him great range.
6) 3B Eric Hinske (rookie)
This is the kid I've been talking to everyone about. Not only does this kid have a diverse and explosive group of tools at his fingertips but he has proved it twice already in the minor leagues. Hell, Oakland didn't want to give him up to acquire Jays closer Billy Koch! The ceiling for his potential is virtually limitless. His defense is unproven but one thing is for sure, he has a rocket of an arm. He is one of the forerunners for rookie of the year this season.
7) SS Felipe Lopez (basically a rookie)
In 40 games with the Jays last season (playing mostly out-of-position at 3B) Lopez showed-off some tremendous defense and some pop in his bat. This kid could have a line that reads .300AVG-25HR-70RBI-15SB this year (not bad for a number seven hitter, eh. :)).
8) DH/LF Vernon Wells (basically a rookie)
There's no question that Wells is a superior defensive player to Shannon Stewart (hell, he could be a great CF too), it's just that manager Buck Martinez has already named him the team's designated hitter. Wells has a great group of tools, the only reason he wasn't starting two years ago is because the Jays have had the most talented group of OFs in baseball the last couple of years and sure-thing DH Brad Fullmer. Now Fullmer is gone and Wells gets to hit for the pitcher.
9) C Josh Phelps (rookie)/C Darrin Fletcher
One is the team's 23-year-old catcher of the future, one is 35-years-old. One banged 31HR in under 500 at bats in AA last season, one experienced a nearly .100 drop in batting average last year. One displays a great arm but calls and iffy game, one is a veteran presence behind the plate but couldn't throw out his grandmother with her walker. One is riding the pine next season, one is starting in what could be the final season of a solid MLB career. Guess which is which?

2. An Improved Starting Rotation
1) RHP Roy Halladay
Three years ago at the age of 22, while pitching in his second MLB game ever, Halladay was one out away from a perfect game before the Tigers' Bobby Higginson hit a solo homerun. Two years ago at the age of 23, "The Doc" set an MLB record for the highest single-season ERA by a pitcher throwing at least 150 innings. Last season at age 24, Halladay was sent down to the minors to work on his game and returned at the end of the season to be the Jays' most consistent starting pitcher down the stretch. This season, now a 25 year old veteran, Halladay will develop into an ace. The scouts have been praising his talent for five years now, everyone knows he has the potential, and he delivered for half a season last year. Now he will deliver for a whole season. Simple, isn't it.
2) LHP Mike Sirotka
Two seasons ago Sirotka was the Chicago White Sox ace and let all AL left-handed starters with an ERA of 3.70. Just before last season the Jays traded veteran staff ace David Wells for him and he was injured for the whole season. He won't be back until late-May/early-June this year either but when he comes back he will be fully-recovered and ready to be a solid number two starter for the Jays.
3) RHP Chris Carpenter
He has been a bit of a disappointment since his major league call up in 1998, and will likely never be the ace the Jays' invisioned when they drafted him, but for a number three (or even a number two) starter Chris Carpenter is excellent. He made major strides last season, lowering his ERA to 0.70 below te MLB average and will likely see it dip below 4.00 this season to go along with 12-15 wins. He is 28-years-old and still has some potential left in him.
4) RHP Luke Propocek
The Aussie sensation (no offense, maxi-padz) had a great start to last year before his shoulder started getting sore. He is only 23-years-old and still has a lot of potential. When he reaches his potential he could easily be a number two/number three starter on most teams.
5) RHP Brandon Lyon
This guy is like a lot of other number five starters in that he earned a spot by having a great finish to last season as a rookie. He has the potential (at age 22) to be an ace-calibur pitc her. He's been a highly-touted prospect for two years now.

3. A Very Deep Bullpen
Even after trading the league's best setup man (Paul Quantrill) and one of it's best young closers (Billy Koch) the Jays 'pen is still one of the deepest in the league. It features eight legitimate relief pitchers (all with ERAs under 4.00 last season) and a solid replacements for "the lost" in prospective closer Kelvim Escobar and setup man Bob File.

WEAKNESSES
1. Lack of Leadership
Carlos Delgado must assert himself as the Club's leader or all hell will break loose.

2. Strikeouts
The veterans must be more patient at the plate then they were last season or else the young players will get bad examples set for them.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
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Youngster323

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Re: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2002, 08:11:22 AM »
this team looks very good. and people should not be suprised if they win their division. And The Dodgers will win theirs


L.A , L.A!!! DODGERS!!!!!!

Dodgers arguably has the best picthin staff in the Majors
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

NoT

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Re: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2002, 08:28:33 AM »
Quote
this team looks very good. and people should not be suprised if they win their division.


It would surprise me if they won the AL East only because they have to play the Yankees 18 times and Boston 17 times during the season. Many of these games happen in the first half too so I wouldn't be surprised if the Jays have a much better second half then first half. They still could beat Boston though for second place and will challenge for a wild card spot. This is by no means going to be their peak year with this group of players either. They'll be even better two or three years down the road.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
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techniec

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Re: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2002, 03:58:07 AM »
i bleed blue jay blue, but im still very skeptical about this season, as anybody would be putting thier teams fate in the hands of youngins....

what if carpenter and halloway slip and fall?
what if delgado continues to slide?

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

NoT

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Re: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2002, 06:55:44 AM »
Quote
i bleed blue jay blue, but im still very skeptical about this season, as anybody would be putting thier teams fate in the hands of youngins....


Of course... but it needed to be done... the team needed a change-in-direction and if it doesn't happen this year then they've got a lot of youth and will get even better in the years to come.

Quote
what if carpenter and halloway slip and fall?


That is very improbable. Stars usually don't come out of nowhere and these two both have ridiculous amounts of talent.

Quote
what if delgado continues to slide?


Unless he gets injured I don't see this happening. He came to camp this year in the best shape (strength and conditioning-wise) of his career. Mondesi came to camp in good shape too(which is odd for him).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
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Murrow

Re: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2002, 11:04:20 AM »
HELLA YEAH NOT!  I think I found a Baseball addict like me.  I love it too.

I'm an Orioles fan, but they are rebuilding, it will be especially tought with Rip gone or the first time in 20 years. Peace, can't wait til April 1rst.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
 

NoT

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Re: Toronto Blue Jays - 2002 Outlook
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2002, 11:46:36 AM »
Quote
HELLA YEAH NOT!  I think I found a Baseball addict like me.  I love it too.


HELL YEAH! I'm in the BA (Baseball Annonymous) and shit! Holla at me on AIM (MCNOT14) anytime you wanna talk hardball.

Quote

I'm an Orioles fan, but they are rebuilding, it will be especially tought with Rip gone or the first time in 20 years. Peace, can't wait til April 1rst.


I've always had a great respect for the Orioles. Hell, for a couple of years they had one of my favourite baseball players of all time (Roberto Alomar)...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 05:00:00 PM by 1034398800 »
Nick of Time
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