2015 MLB Breakdown- AL West Divison – Analyzed SportsAnalyzed Sports – Analyzed Sports

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February 23, 2015Baseball

2015 MLB Breakdown: AL West Division: Preview #3 out of 3

By: Trent A. Brinkley      February 23, 2015. Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)

   In this final edition of the preseason 2015 MLB Breakdown, I dive into a look into previewing the AL West Division. I recently broke down the AL East and AL Central Divisions earlier this month, and the links to those stories are on the website’s home page, be sure to check those out as well! In this preview I list who I think will win the division, followed by a statistical breakdown of each team in the division, key players to watch for, a look at the depth chart, and a look at a rookie or prospect to watch on each team. Be sure to follow me on my various forms of social media, and be sure to look at the upcoming articles I have coming out, especially my Fast Fifteen interview with current NBA D-League Forward Maurice Kemp next week! Hope you as the readers have enjoyed my MLB breakdowns, as me and fellow writer Zack Warren, who broke down the National League, will keep you covered for the whole 2015 MLB Season with tons more articles, breakdowns, trade talk, and more! Enjoy reading this piece, and Play Ball!

AL West Division Standings Prediction:

1. LA Angels

2. Seattle Mariners

3. Oakland Athletics

4. Texas Rangers

5. Houston Astros

Angels

Los Angeles Angels 

Total Wins Prediction: 97 Wins 

Projected Depth Chart: C Chris Iannetta, 1B Albert Pujols, 2B Josh Rutledge, SS Erick Aybar, 3B David Freese, LF Josh Hamilton, CF Mike Trout, RF Kole Calhoun, DH C.J. Cron

Pitching Rotation: Jered Weaver, Garrett Richards, C.J. Wilson, Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Heaney

Projected Starting Lineup: 1) Kole Calhoun, 2) Mike Trout, 3) Albert Pujols, 4) Josh Rutledge, 5) David Freese, 6) Erick Aybar, 7) Josh Hamilton, 8) C.J. Cron,  9) Chris Ianneta

(AP Photos)

(AP Photos)

Biggest Offensive Threat:     CF Mike Trout

2014:  .287 BA  36 HR  111 RBIs  .561 Slugging%   .377 On-Base%Career: .309 BA  98 HR  307 RBIs  .549 Slugging% .395 On-Base%Awards: AL MVP (2014), 3x All-Star (2012-2014), AL Rookie of the Year (2012), AL Hank Aaron Award (2014), AL RBI Champion (2014)Has stolen 98 bases from 2012-2014 at a 88% Success Rate(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

(AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Best Starting Pitcher:     RHP Jered Weaver

2014: (18-9)  3.59 ERA  1.21 WHIP  169 K’s  .239 opposing BAWeaver’s Arsenal: 4-Seam Fastball, 2-Seam Fastball, Slider, Curveball, Changeup, Curveball 2 Strike Pitches vs LHB: Slider, 4-Seam, Changeup2 Strike Pitches vs RHB: Slider, 4-Seam Fastball(Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

(Ken Inness/MiLB.com)

Rookie to Watch:     3B Kyle Kubitza

Minors: .271 BA  30 HR  205 RBIs  .437 Slugging%  .381 On-Base%Previous Team: AA, Mississippi Braves, 2014Acquired in a trade with Atlanta on 1/8/2015

 

Athletics

Oakland Athletics

Total Wins Prediction:  89 Wins

Projected Depth Chart:  C Stephen Vogt, 1B Ike Davis, 2B Ben Zobrist, SS Marcus Semien, 3B Brett Lawrie, LF Craig Gentry, CF Coco Crisp, RF Josh Reddick, DH Billy Butler

Projected Pitching Rotation: 1. Sonny Gray, 2. Scott Kazmir, 3. Jesse Hahn, 4. Drew Pomeranz,  5. Kendall Graveman.

Bullpen: Tyler Clippard, Eric O’Flaherty, Ryan Cook, Dan Otero, Fernando Abad,                         Closer: Sean Doolittle

Projected Starting Lineup: Coco Crisp, Ben Zobrist, Josh Reddick, Billy Butler, Ike Davis, Brett Lawrie, Stephen Vogt, Craig Gentry, Marcus Semien

Photo by ESPN

Photo by ESPN

Biggest Offensive Threat:             2B Ben Zobrist 

2014 Stats:   .272 BA  34 Doubles  10 HR  52 RBIs  .395 Slugging%  .354 On-Base%Career:   .264 BA  114 HR  511 RBIs  .429 Slugging%  .354 On-Base%Awards: 2 Time All-Star (2009, 2013)Other Positions: CF (7 Games), DH (8 Games), RF (19 Games), SS (31 Games), LF (38 Games), 2B (79 Games). This comes from 2014 season with the Tampa Bay Rays.All rights to Milb.com

All rights to Milb.com

Prospect to Watch:                   1B Matthew Olson (6-5 230lbs)

Minors Statistics:  .262 BA  37 HR  97 RBIs  31 Doubles   .543 Slugging%  .404 On-Base%He has great power, good defensive skills, a strong arm, and a gifted playerDraws comparison to the great to the great Jason Giambi

 

Mariners

Seattle Mariners

Total Wins Prediction:   92 Wins

Projected Depth Chart:  C Mike Zunino, 1B Logan Morrison, 2B Robinson Cano, SS Brad Miller, 3B Kyle Seager, LF Dustin Ackley, CF Austin Jackson, RF Seth Smith, DH Nelson Cruz.

Projected Starting Lineup: Austin Jackson, Seth Smith, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager,Logan Morrison, Mike Zunino, Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller

Projected Pitching Rotation: 1. Felix Hernandez, 2. Hisashi Iwakuma, 3. James Paxton, 4. Taijuan Walker, 5. J.A. Happ

Bullpen: Danny Farquhar, Yoervis Medina, Charlie Furbush, Tom Wilhelmsen, Carson Smith. Closer: Fernando Rodney

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Best Pitcher:                Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Felix Hernandez 

2014 Statistics:  (15-6)  2.14 ERA  0.92 WHIP  248 K’s   .200 Opposing BAFelix’s Pitches: 4-Seam FB, Sinker, Slider, Changeup, CutterWHIFF Rate: Changeup is his most common 2-strike pitch thrown, 42% WHIFF(Ted S. Warren, AP)

(Ted S. Warren, AP)

Best Offensive Player:     3B Kyle Seager 

2014 Statistics:    .268 BA   25 HR  96 RBIs  .454 Slugging%  .334 On-Base%Home Hitter:       .300 BA  16 HR  53 RBIs  .523 Slugging%  .370 On-Base%Success After 1-0 Count:   .283 BA  14 HR  52 RBIs  .502 Slugging%  .396 On-Base%(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Rookie to Watch:            OF/C Alex Jackson 

2014 Statistics: .280 BA  2 HR  16 RBIs  6 Doubles  2 Triples   .476 Slugging%   .344 On-Base%He was drafted as an outfielder meaning his catching days are behind him but he is a gifted RF who should be able to move through the minors quickly.#34 Top Prospect in the Minors 

 

Astros

Houston Astros

Team Wins Prediction:  68 Wins

Projected Depth Chart: C Jason Castro, 1B Chris Carter, 2B Jose Altuve, SS Jed Lowrie, 3B Luis Valbuena, LF Jake Marisnick, CF Colby Rasmus, RF George Springer, DH Evan Gattis

Projected Pitching Rotation: 1. Scott Feldman, 2. Dallas Keuchel, 3. Collin McHugh, 4. Brett Oberholtzer, 5. Dan Straily

Bullpen: Luke Gregerson, Pat Neshek, Josh Fields, Brad Peacock, Tony Sipp. Closer: Chad Qualls

Photo by ESPN

Photo by ESPN

Best Pitcher:     Starting Pitcher Dallas Keuchel 

2014 Statistics: (12-9)  2.93 ERA  1.18 WHIP  146 K’s  11 HRs Given Up  .252 Opposing BAKeuchel’s Pitches: 4-Seam Fastball, Sinker, Slider, Changeup, Cutter(Photo: Scott Iskowitz Getty Images)

(Photo: Scott Iskowitz Getty Images)

Best Offensive Player:    2B Jose Altuve 

2014 Statistics:         .341 BA  7 HR  59 RBIs  47 Doubles   .453 Slugging%  .377 On-Base%Loves Night Games:  .342 BA  3 HR  40 RBIs  33 Doubles   .442 Slugging%   .374 On-Base%Loves (0-0) Count:    .430 BA  3 HR  20 RBIs  18 Doubles   .609 Slugging%   .439 On-Base%(Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

(Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Rookie to Watch:  RF Brett Phillips 

Minor-League Statistics: .287 BA 45 Doubles 21 Triples 17 HR  93 RBIs  .461 Slugging%Draft: 6th Round (189th Overall) in 2012 MLB Draft out of Seminole HS

 

RangersLogo

Texas Rangers

Team Wins Prediction:  74 Wins

Projected Depth Chart: C Robinson Chirinos, 1B Prince Fielder, 2B Rougned Odor, SS Elvis Andrus, 3B Adrian Beltre, LF Jake Smolinski, CF Leonys Martin, RF Shin-Soo Choo, DH Mitch Moreland

Projected Rotation: Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Yovani Gallardo, Colby Lewis, Ross Detwiler

Bullpen: Tanner Scheppers, Kyuji Fujikawa, Shawn Tolleson, Spencer Patton, Roman Mendez. Closer: Neftali Feliz

(Photo by USATSI)

(Photo by USATSI)

Best Pitcher:                        Right-Handed Starting Pitcher Yu Darvish 

2014 Statistics:  (10-7)  3.06 ERA  1.26 WHIP  182 K’s  .241 Opposing BA  13 HR Given-UpDarvish’s Pitches: 4-Seam FB, Slurve, 2-Seam FB, Cutter, Curveballs, Splitter, ChangeupLoves Day Games:  (5-0)   1.25 ERA  .202 Opposing BA  51 K’s  6 ER  2 HR Given-UpPhoto by ESPN

Photo by ESPN

Best Offensive Player:          3B Adrian Beltre 

2014 Statistics:  .324 BA  33 Doubles  19 HR  77 RBIs  .492 Slugging%  .388 On-Base%Home Hitter:  .355 BA   13 Doubles   11 HR  41 RBIs  .543 Slugging%  .415 On-Base%Loves the After 1-0 Count:  .302 BA  13 Doubles  9 HR  33 RBIs .500 Slugging%  .423 On-Base%AP Photo/Brian Westerholt

AP Photo/Brian Westerholt

Prospect to Watch:              3B Joey Gallo 

Minors Statistics: .271 BA  42 HR  106 RBIs  19 Doubles   .615 Slugging%   .394 On-Base%Has a strong bat for power and has a good arm, but lacks defensive skills at 3B, he will need to work his running ability and speed at 3B if he wants to make it to the MLB.

 

Upcoming Work

HS Hoops: Colonial Forge HS F Bri Sullivan (2/25/15)

– A preview at the NCAA March Madness Challenge (2/27/15)

– Kickin’ IT: Former ECU D Danielle Romano (03/01/15)

 

Social Media Headquarters:

– Twitter: @TrentA_Brinkley

– Instagram: @Trent_Brinkley17

– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trent-A-Brinkley/1599465636939385

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