Daily Archives: January 11, 2017
Pushing forward, we move out to the outfield where I believe there will be some challenging calls at each position. To recap however, we had an easy decision at shortstop, an ugly decision at third, and some very intriguing calls at second, first, and catcher.
If you’re reading one of these entries for the first time, the only stipulation that I look at is that the player be in a Tiger uniform for a minimum of 5 years and play a majority of his games at that position during that timeframe. I will make a slight change however and evaluate all of a players outfield stats, as they are a little more likely to move to another position to cover an injury, etc. Qualifying for consideration in left is Willie Horton, Bobby Veach, Matty McIntyre, Charlie Maxwell, Larry Herndon, Bobby Higginson, Steve Kemp, and Dick Wakefield. To keep this readable, I am going to cut Dick Wakefield, Steve Kemp, Larry Herndon, and Matty McIntyre.
The major league’s biggest strength changed and so did the farm system after the Alex Anthopoulos era concluded. Before Alex left, he jettisoned many key pieces of the farm system in the David Price, Troy Tulowitzki trades. Many of these were pitchers like Daniel Norris. Now the position player crop leads the new emergence of the system. In 2016, a few minor leaguers took a step forward. Because of the significant leap in progress, the Blue Jays will be evaluating these players to see if they can help supplement the likely loss of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion at the major league level. Expect names like Anthony Alford, Harold Ramirez, Rowdy Tellez, and Conner Greene to mean something as a Blue Jays fan next year. As for some under-the-radar prospects, you may see in 2017, Dwight Smith Jr., Carlos Ramirez, and Tim Lopes could play some role.
As usual with my mid-winter grades, I won’t offer any score for first time managers, but if a guy has managed elsewhere in the majors he’s fair game, even if this will be the first season with his current team.
Let’s get to it!
American League East
John Farrell, Boston Red Sox: First to worst and back again. And again. And again. Farrell’s Boston teams seem to be either really good or really bad, and that doesn’t reflect too well on the manger. Seems to me, a well run team filled with talented veterans should be able to do a better job of consistently competing. 2017 will be a big challenge for Farrell for many reasons. First, he’ll be trying to string together back to back good seasons, but beyond that, the Red Sox are now so loaded with talent that expectations are going to be sky high. As we’ve seen in baseball many times before (e.g. 2012 Miami Marlins) super teams on paper don’t always pan out. Let’s see if Farrell can get all the parts to mesh. Grade: B
To continue reading the definitive rankings of 2017 American League Managers, click on over to our mostly baseball blog at Off The Bench.