National League MONSTER SQUAD

If I were to make an uber team of NL talent this year (and I’m not saying All-Star team, I’m talking well rounded team with role players not just huge contracts, *cough* Yankees) this is what it would look like. Mind you, I believe this is based on what they will do THIS season, not based on years past.

SS, Leading off-Jose Reyes

Abuhhh? I know what everybody is thinking…in a league with a reigning MVP (J-Roll) how can you possibly go to Reyes? Simple. He’s a better player. Jimmy Rollins simply had a ridiculous year last year which in all likelihood will not be repeated this year. Jose Reyes simply has more tools; more so than that, he’s better suited to be a leadoff hitter. Jimmy Rollins really isn’t a leadoff guy. He scores an assload of runs, yes…but having Chase Utley and Ryan Howard hitting behind you might have something to do with that. Rollins strikes out too much and doesn’t get on base consistently enough, and thats what I want in my leadoff man. Also, I see Tulo/Jimmy taking a step back this year.

2b, batting second-Chase Utley

What more can be said of Utley that hasn’t been said already? He was well on his way to the NL MVP award last year had shitbrick extraordinare not broke his hand with a fastball. Above average D, underrated speed on the basepaths, very good power, and possibly the best hitter in baseball. Leader by example, and respected by all.

3b, batting third-David Wright

It kills me to put Wright here. But you can’t deny he’s good. Great hitter with above average power. When he hits the ball he always seems to get the head of the bat square on the ball. Only 25—probably is going to get better. Maybe a tick faster than Utley, but will take him in the 3rd spot because of Utley’s ability to get on base and Wrights higher ceiling for RBI’s. Can make the highlight play at third, but is prone to botching the simple one too. Needs to work on his reading.

1b, batting fourth-Ryan Howard

The best power hitter in the NL, bar none. Had an “off year” last year and drove in 136 runs–lost RBI crown to Matt Holliday while playing in 18 less games. Howard has rededicated himself in the off-season and looks like a full blown monster in camp. He’s been talking all camp about bringing back his oppo-power which will reinstate him to absolute destruction mode. Manchild is going to have a huge season. Must cut back on K’s, and shore up his D at first a little.

LF, batting fifth-Matt Holliday

Can’t deny the season this guy had. If not for a historic season by Jimmy Rollins this guy would’ve walked away with the MVP. Just stupid stats and can kill you in a variety of ways…a great, great 5 hole hitter. He won’t have the ridiculous season he had last year but I think somewhere in the .325-30HR’s-130RBI sounds just about right. D is average, arm is average, but makes up with everything in bat destruction.

RF, batting sixth-Jeff Francoeur

Interestingly enough, right field is a fairly slow position for the National League. Not to say Francoeur’s a lower-tier player. In fact I think he has a great year this year…only 24 and progressing every year. I see Francoeur swatting over .300 this year with about 20 dingers, 110+ RBI’s…and using that frickin’ howitzer of an arm. Jeff’s D coming out of right field really solidified him for me in this team–right now I don’t need many huge power bats, and would like some defensive prowess. Francoeur provides that.

CF, batting seventh-Hunter Pence

LOVE Hunter Pence. If not for unlucky injury last year easily could’ve swiped the ROY award from Braunyman. Plus arm, plus speed, plus power, very young. I see Pence, if healthy, making the All-star game and having a fantastic season…thinking .315, 25 HR’s, 100RBI, 25 SB’s. Rock solid defense and consummate team player.

C, batting eighth-Russell Martin

Don’t forget about this West Coast stud. Quietly had a sick year last year. Good contact hitter with 25 homer potential, very good D, and can get on base to re-load the lineup. Only 25 years old and getting better–look for Martin to have another great year.

P, batting ninth-Johan Santana

Let it be known how furious Phillies fans were when news of this trade went down. I sat staring at my computer screen for a solid hour not knowing what to say, my buddy in Boston just stared at his desk through class for two hours, hell moonlightgraham actually left work early because he was so pissed off. For as crappy as the Lastings deal was, thats how outstanding this deal was for the Mets, and I hate it. Funny enough, Santana is actually a not bad hitter too.

STARTERS: Brandon Webb, Cole Hamels, Jake Peavy, Roy Oswalt

BULLPEN: Takashi Saito, Rafael Soriano, Heath Bell, JC Romero, Carlos Marmol, Peter Moylan, Aaron Heilman (long man)

BENCH: Endy Chavez, Brad Ausmus, So Taguchi, Eric Bruntlett, Scott Hatteburg

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9 Responses

  1. I don’t know, costes–Reyes over Rollins? Sure Reyes may seem to have more tools, but let’s look at last year’s “tool” numbers.

    You said that Rollins strikes out too much. He had 85 last year; Reyes had 78. You said that Rollins doesn’t get on base enough. His OBP was .344 to Reyes’ .354. Reyes steals more bases–but gets caught more often. Reyes got thrown out 21 times last year with 78 steals. That’s a percentage of .787 to Rollins 41SB/6CS = .872. I would also like to point out that Reyes did not steal a base in the Mets’ last 17 games. No clutch apparently.

    I would pick Rollins purely because he is becoming a solid star–Reyes still has some growing to do to realize his full potential. Obviously, Reyes is amazing, and I would love him on any fantasy team (as ozzie can attest), but I take issue with your reasons for picking him over JRoll.

  2. Mind you…I said it’s what I feel they will be after THIS year.

  3. Haha. No you said “this year,” which I take to be 2008.

  4. Well I mean yes for this year…I feel Reyes will improve and Jimmy will decline

  5. JRoll will be hard pressed to match last season.
    I believe that Reyes is the better leadoff hitter, but that Rollins could fill in quite well at the 2nd or even 3rd spot in a batting order based on his power.
    Oddly enough, the final month of ’07 was Reyes’ worst and Rollins’ best in terms of SB.
    Reyes has steadily improved in all facets of his game each year and is pretty much equal to Rollins in terms of value to his team.

  6. also, check out this article on the difference between Rollins and Utley:

    http://www.dugoutcentral.com/blog/?p=974

  7. Reyes’ .OBP was exactly the same this year as it was last year (his career) year. He had 81 SOs. He had 64 SB and was CS 17 times. Also, your pick of Reyes over Rollins made my dad furious.

    Reyes is not equal in value because he caved under pressure. Phils fans weren’t booing Rollins at all this season…

  8. Good article by the way. I have been suspecting for quite some time that Utley is the reborn son of Christ.

  9. The end of last season was anomalous for Jose.
    He started out slow in ’06 but ended up hitting well for the rest of the season, including the final month. Following ’06, he worked on his ability to work the count and it shows in his numbers for ’07. Despite some decent power, Rollins final month of ’06 was his worst of the season. Neither of them have stellar Playoff numbers.
    Their career numbers may or may not be much more telling. Jose has 80% success in SB and Jimmy has 81%…I am now on a first name basis with the two SS.
    Career splits actually have Jose heating up in July and August…for Sept/Oct it drops to .250BA .305OBP mainly because of…lASSt year. Jimmy has his best month by far at the Sept/Oct finale. Main point: 2007 is over…some stats fit in with career patterns, some didn’t.

    Career Leading Off Inning stats:
    Jose 1109PA 299H 54Do 18Tr 17HR .287BA .330OBP .422SLG
    JRol 1796PA 467H 107D 23Tr 42HR .275BA .315OBP .442SLG

    …it’s pretty close if you consider the PA discrepancy.

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