Red Sox over CubsEast: Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Orioles
AL: Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Cleveland (wc)
NL: Atlanta, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Phillies (wc)
CYs: Josh Beckett/Carlos Zambrano
MVPs: Magglio Ordonez/Mark Teixeira
RpYs: Evan Longoria/Cameron Maybin
Mgrs: Joe Maddon/Bobby Cox
(This is all from TSN's pre-season magazine, not the website.)
A rival scout on the Red Sox:
What's not to like? They're completely loaded, and even if Lowell and Pedroia regress off their big years, it won't matter, because Manny, Drew and Lugo will have better years. Plus, you add in a full year of Ellsbury, who's the real deal as a hitter -- much better than what Crisp gave them -- and factor in Youkilis and Ortiz, and it's just a monster lineup impossible to pitch to. I love their lineup, and I think Manny's going to have a big year ...A rival scout on the Yankees:
And then you get to the pitching. Beckett's a complete horse, and so is Matsuzaka. I see him this year the way I saw Beckett last year. He took his lumps his first year in the AL East and survived. Now he'll be more comfortable and we'll get to see how great he really is. Schilling will still complete, Wakefield still does whatever he does and you have guys like Lester and Buchholz coming up. Paplebon is a total horse in the bullpen, Delcarmen throws the heck out of the ball ... what do you want me to say. Even if the Yankees did get Santana, I'd pick Boston to win the East. They're stacked. And they know how to win.
For me, they don't look a lot different than last year. They'll score runs like crazy. I mean, they'll just beat the bad pitching staffs to death. They almost scored 1,000 [runs] last year , and they'll be a threat to do it again. My question is the pitching. I mean, I like what they are doing, bringing the young guys along. But can they really expect Hughes, Chamberlain and Kennedy to be good right away? These guys are good, but they're young. It's rare that any young guy gets it right away, let alone three of them ...A rival scout on Jacoby Ellsbury:
And the worst part is the bullpen. I hate their bullpen. Rivera's great, yeah, but how are they going to get to him? The best guy they had in front of him was Chamberlain, and now he's a starter. Farnsworth? LaTroy Hawkins? I'm not seeing how that works. They'll have to mix and match in the pen again, like they did last year, and they'll probably be looking for more help in July. Their offense will keep them in the race, but this year, at least, I don't see how they have enough pitching to be one of the real elite teams in the league.
For me, this kid is a great hitter. Right now, a great hitter. He absolutely smokes line drives into the gap. I mean, he hits hard. He's got a little uppercut kind of swing that, if it develops, could get him into the 10-to-15-home-runs-a-year range, but he's going to be the kind of guy who hits at the top of the order, gets on base and runs.
You can get him out because he's young and he's got some growing to do in terms of controlling the strike zone, but it's [just] a matter of time before he just blossoms into a real All-Star kind of hitter ...
In the field, you're looking at a guy who doesn't throw particularly well, but he's smart enough to know what to do to make up for it. He plays shallow in the outfield, for instance, because he knows he has the speed to get back on the deep ball. And by playing shallow, he can compensate for his weak arm.