Imagine this.

v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
o\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}
.shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);}

Imagine this.

 

Chris Davis keeps
adjusting in 2009, as he showed in September that he can (.325/.349/.554 after
a .228/.307/.406 August), solidifying his place as a middle-of-the-lineup, .300/.375/.540-type
who belongs in the All-Star discussion every year.  And his development into a team leader takes
firm hold.

 

Josh Hamilton
repeats.  A lot more stamina, a little more
consistency.

 

Rangers catchers hit
.275/.360/.420, suppress the running game reasonably well, and develop the kind
of connection with the pitching staff that you have to have.

 

By the time he
reaches 200 hits, Michael Young is as dependable a defensive third baseman as
there is in the league.

 

Ian Kinsler takes
another step.

 

Nelson Cruz: 90 RBI,
80 walks.

 

Hank Blalock: .290/.347/.524
in 466 at-bats.  In other words, the same
thing in 2009 that he did in 2007 and 2008 combined.

 

And Max Ramirez will
be primed to be that same hitter going forward, maybe better.

 

Elvis Andrus: .230/.290/.325
with 15 errors in the first half; .270/.325/.380 with seven errors in the
second half.

 

Everyone will have
had a year of Mike Maddux to their credit.

 

Matt Harrison and
Brandon McCarthy win 12 each. 

 

Derek Holland 2009 =
Matt Harrison 2008.

 

Michael Main 2009 =
Derek Holland 2008.

 

Joe Wieland 2009 =
Martin Perez 2008.

 

Martin Perez 2010 = Michael Main 2009.

 

Tommy Hunter logs
180 AAA innings and wins 14.

 

Omar Poveda logs 180
AA and AAA innings, and wins 12.

 

Tim Murphy logs 160
Class A innings, and wins 12.

 

Thomas Diamond
finishes the year as an eighth-inning monster. 
In Arlington.

 

Julio Borbon repeats
his 2008 – .322/.363/.427 between High A and AA – but does so primarily in AAA,
and his 53 out of 71 on stolen base attempts becomes 43 out of 51.

 

David Murphy:
.285/.345/.480. 

 

Marlon Byrd: .295/.380/.455
- in Boston.

 

Those things won’t
all happen, but I think it’s fair to say they’re all well within the realm of
reasonability.  So imagine two-thirds of
them happening.

 

And then imagine yesterday’s
John Sickels prediction coming true:

 

Excluding Steven Strasburg, the top five
prospects in baseball 12 months from now:

 

1. Pedro Alvarez

 

2. Lars Anderson

 

3. Neftali Feliz

 

4. Rick Porcello

 

5. Justin Smoak

 

And imagine Ben
Sheets or an equivalent acquired to front the rotation.

 

With the exception of
Blalock (and the departed Byrd), everyone above is under control here through at
least 2012, many considerably longer than that, though if McCarthy spends most
of his time the next three years in the big leagues he’ll be free to hit the
market after the 2011 season.

 

But dial your
imagination back to 12 months from now, at a time when Sickels thinks Feliz
will be the number one pitching prospect in baseball and Smoak will be the
number three hitting prospect in the game.

 

And Main and Perez won’t be terribly far behind.

 

Can you see where
this thing might be headed?

 

 

You can read more from Jamey
Newberg
at www.NewbergReport.com.

1 Comment

If half of that comes true we will be in great shape!

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