Tuesday, February 7, 2012

NL Central position rankings

Phillips leads the pack as far as
NL second basemen go

David Schoenfield of ESPN.com recently gave his thoughts on National League position rankings. In his post he ranks the team's projected starter at each position compared to other NL Central division clubs. He also gives us a list of the best starters in the division per team according to their spot in the rotation, as well as rankings for the best closer, the best bullpen, and for overall intangibles. At the conclusion of his post he includes a final tally for each team -- and the team who came out on top may surprise you.

You can click here to read the entire piece, or if you're crunched for time here is the breakdown on how the Reds graded out:

Catcher - #2 Devin Mesoraco/Ryan Hanigan
First base - #1 Joey Votto
Second base - #1 Brandon Phillips
Comments: Phillips over Weeks due to durability, consistency and defense.
Shortstop - #4 Zack Cozart
Third base - #3 Scott Rolen
Left field - #5 Chris Heisey/Ryan Ludwick
Comments: Heisey does some things well -- like pop a few home runs -- but is probably exposed as an everyday player. He's actually hit right-handers much better in his career, so maybe Ludwick will play against lefties in an unusual right-right platoon.
Center field - #2 Drew Stubbs
Comments: Stubbs hit .343 when he put the ball in play; unfortunately he struck out 205 times. I guess I'm still in his fan club (pun intended) since I just ranked him second.
Right field - #3 Jay Bruce
No. 1 starter - #4 Mat Latos
No. 2 starter - #2 Johnny Cueto
Comments: Expect some regression from Cueto after a .249 BABIP and low home run rate.
No. 3 starter - #4 Homer Bailey
No. 4 starter - #2 Mike Leake
No. 5 starter - #2 Bronson Arroyo/Aroldis Chapman
Comments: The most important wild card is Arroyo: A year after winning 17 games his longtime infatuation with the home run turned into an obsession as he allowed 46 of them, tied for the third-most ever in one season. The Reds are grooming Chapman as rotation competition, but considering he walked more than seven batters per nine innings in relief, it's a transition that most scouts believe will end with Chapman back in the pen.
Closer - #2 Ryan Madson
Bullpen - #1 Reds
Comments: The Reds have a deep pen that include three quality left-handers in Marshall and Bray plus Chapman, if you include him. LeCure is actually a guy who could factor into the rotation at some point and Jose Arredondo is also hanging around.
Intangibles - #2 Reds
Comments: The Reds have the most depth in the division, but I don't completely trust Baker to use it in the most optimal manner.

To to see how each team graded out overall please follow the link to the article.

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