Dan Marino’s long journey trekking through each division in the major leagues is over. Now, in part six of six, he brings you the National League West’s Players to Watch:
Part 1: AL East Players to Watch.
Part 2: NL East Players to Watch.
Part 3: AL Central Players to Watch.
Part 4: NL Central Players to Watch.
Part 5: AL West Players to Watch.
Breakthrough Player: A.J. Pollock – A superstar? No, but he may become a decent fourth outfielder.
The Party’s Over: Sadly….Mark Grace…
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Garrett Mock – He has a live arm. He could prove to be useful in the bullpen. He turned the corner at AAA last season.
Just Not Seeing It: Five non-roster catchers in camp? They must not be very comfortable with what they have now.
Rookie To Watch: Trevor Story – He’s not ready yet, and he’ll have to switch positions, but he’s a player with great baseball sense. He could get a September call up, though 2014 is more realistic.
Breakthrough Player: Josh Rutledge – I think we’re looking at the next star 2B in the NL. He had a great rookie season, and he had some clutch hits. Pressure does not faze him. He’s a future All Star.
The Party’s Over: Todd Helton – Don’t drink and drive.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Matt McBride – With Helton fading out, McBride could get a chance to strut his stuff. He’s a decent hitter but he must show it quickly at the major league level. He won’t be able to hit .200 in 75AB and expect to stay with the club.
Just Not Seeing It: This pitching staff winning many games. The offense will be let down by this staff often.
Rookie To Watch: Ross Stripling – 2014 is probably the most likely target date for Stripling. He already has maturity and a great feel for pitching. His curveball will make him special.
Breakthrough Player: A.J. Ellis – Look for his numbers to improve across the board. He could be the Dodger catcher for several years. Handling the pitching staff will be the key.
The Party’s Over: Juan Uribe – It’s time to hang up the spikes.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Kevin Gregg – Having a veteran arm in the bullpen will help.
Just Not Seeing It: Dee Gordon – I’m just not seeing him as the shortstop of the future. If it wasn’t for his speed, he’d be in the minors, which may very well happen anyway.
San Diego Padres (You stay classy San Diego)
Rookie To Watch: Brad Boxberger – A closer role is in his future. He has nasty stuff and racks up the strikeouts.
Breakthrough Player: Logan Forsythe – His versatility will earn him a roster spot, but the more he plays the more he will produce, and that may lead to a permanent position. He swings the bat well.
The Party’s Over: Mark Kotsay – He’d be more valuable coming off the bench for a contender. In San Diego, he’ll simply take at-bats away from a young player.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: Freddy Garcia – He can still pitch. How long he can hold up is another matter, but his experience should help a young staff.
San Francisco Giants
Rookie To Watch: Joe Panik – He understands what it takes to win. He’s a smart player and wields a smart bat as well.
The Party’s Over: Andres Torres – His many weaknesses were exposed in New York. He’s an adequate fourth outfielder, but no more than that.
Non- Roster Invitee Most Likely to Stick: None – I guess when you win the World Series, there’s no need to invite scrubs to big league camp.
Just Not Seeing It: There’s no way Tim Lincecum is washed up. I would be shocked if he doesn’t come back and win 15+.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | A.J. Ellis, A.J. Pollock, Andres Torres, Arizona Diamondbacks, Brad Boxberger, Brandon Belt, Brett Pill, Colorado Rockies, Dee Gordon, Freddy Garcia, Garrett Mock, Joe Panik, Josh Rutledge, Juan Uribe, Kevin Gregg, Kyle Blanks, Logan Forsythe, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark Grace, Mark Kotsay, Matt McBride, Ross Stripling, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Tim Lincecum, Todd Helton, Trevor Story, Tyler Skaggs