AL East: Offensive Importation

There is not a doubt in my mind that the AL East and its’ recent acquisitions will put up quality power numbers for fantasy owners  universally in the  2011 season. Coming off a 2010 season that produced the top 3 teams in homerun hitting (almost a thousand homeruns total: 962,) RBI’s, BB’s, and OPS the AL East and her teams have only added more firepower, and in the most unlikely places.

Coming off a 66-96 regular season, tied for 21st in the league with 133 homeruns and 27th with only 577 total RBI’s, the O’s decided enough was enough. With Buck Showalter riding cockpit, Baltimore went out in the offseason and added the pieces to build an all-star lineup with immense fantasy implications. By adding JJ Hardy, Derek Lee, Mark Reynolds, and Vlad to their field brings the offensive spark needed to get them out of that last place hole. The O’s new big four will solidify the middle of the O’s lineup already filled with Markakis, Scott, Roberts and A. Jones. (and a young Matt Wieters) The O’s organization has done a total 360 in the last year so I’ll be gracious and give them a 3rd place finish. Offseason grade: A-

The Jays baffle me. After a productive? 85-77 year, finishing fourth in the division, they sign a possibly detrimental deal with Jose Bautista (5 yr 64 mill) and settle with Rajai Davis (acquired from A’s), Travis Snider, and Juan Rivera (acquired from Angels) as their outfield. These four,  along with Hill and Lind, make up the core of the Jays lineup that Jose will produce numbers, but once again will come up short in this tough division. Adam Lind will be the only one worthy of smelling my lineup. Grade: C-

The friggin Sox, much to my chagrin, went out this offseason and did exactly what they needed to. Clearing out the aging, the Sox got rid of Lowell, Beltre, Bill Hall, and Victor Martinez. They came, went, and will be forgotten with the addition of Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez to that already stacked lineup. Despite my hate for the BoSox, I will be stalking both of them in my upcoming drafts. Im looking at possibly the fastest man in baseball and one of the best power hitters in the last few years. (30 hr 100+ RBI last four years)…enough said. Sox take the division. Grade: B+

The upstart Rays have been the talk of the baseball world after their World Series run and last years first place finish, but this year….they’ll have no such luck. I don’t care what you say about Damon and Manny, but that combo just doesn’t cut it for me. (I bit on Manny last year in two leagues so I may be biased) They lost CC and Pena and I dont see a free swinging team getting any better with ManRam and a washed up Damon. The Rays in my eyes failed in this offseason market and it will show with their 4th place finish. Grade: D

The last team in the East, and usual king of division New York Yankees apparently didnt have too many holes to fill after signing Granderson last year. (he’s going to be HUGE this year) I understand the Russell Martin  signing, but he wont be hitting fourth in the lineup or anything and shouldnt be too much of a threat. The production from last years Yanks should be similar this one and I see the Yanks grabbing the Wild Card, falling second to the Red Sox. Grade: B? (they got what they needed)

As the season draws nearer (March 31 is opening day!) and draft day closes in, keep in mind that AL East teams/hitters remain dominant in the offensive categories and PLEASE don’t write the O’s, or their players,off this year.

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10 Responses to “AL East: Offensive Importation”

  1. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    First off, I would like to welcome Taylor to fantasysportsgab.

    I’ll bet a pizza on the Rays finishing higher then the O’s and the Yanks. Can you tell I hate the Yanks?!?

    The Rays still got the pitching and I think Psycho Manny might surprise ya. Damon also still put up solid numbers w. Detroit. The Rays still have the pitching.

    The Yanks dont got the horses on the mound and that is gonna hurt them alll year long.

    Mark my words the Rays land in 2nd and snag the wild card.

  2. nick says:

    Give me your Granderson predicted numbers…. I’m curious what you mean by huge?

    • Taylor DeChant says:

      My prediction for Granderson : .280 avg 30 hrs 80 rbi 80+ runs 20 SB. Hes looked strong in spring training so far. Top of that order will definitely produce numbers.

    • Taylor DeChant says:

      I agree that the Rays staff is still good without Garza, but I feel like there are too many holes in the lineup. (jaso, brignac, s. rodriguez, Dan Johnson) They need to get Casey Kotchman on the field to add some more power. 2nd place? Thats a push for me even if Manny has a career year. (apparently hes in the best shape hes ever been)

  3. John H says:

    Granderson will get hurt. The redsox will top the division and have revampt their bullpin. Yankees can suck it. Thanks.

  4. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    @ JOhn H – Yankees suck donkey…glad to see I’m not alone!

    @Taylor- you may be right and I may be crazy….not gonna lie my strong suit is football….baseball is a big second… Though it would be fly for the Phils and Rays to rematch in the World Series….with the Phils winning of course 🙂

    @Taylor- you worried bout Utley getting a shot in his knee already. Would you look elsewhere for a 2b?

  5. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    fyi boys….my spam filter is acting up, so if your comment dont post right away i apologize… I’m working on the fix now.

  6. The Fantasy Flukie says:

    good stuff….boys we can go back to real time debate..looking forward to Taylor’s thoughts on Utley

    • Taylor DeChant says:

      With Utley facing the DL with knee tendinitis, I move Martin Prado (one of the best utility players in fantasy) up to fourth on my 2B power rankings. I have Cano, Dusty P, and Uggla as my top 3 for 2011. The Phillies will have problems if Utley stays out. Wilson Valdez will never be able to fill the hole he would create.

      On another note, Rickie Weeks is my sleeper 2B this year. I expect him to pick up where he left off before he got hurt last year.

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