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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

AL West Preview

AL West Preview

Photo courtesy of Keith Silgrad on

The American League West should be classified as Mike Trout’s kingdom.  He’s going to be the face of this generation (unless Bryce Harper has anything to say about it).  Trout is rare combination of size, power, speed, and defense. He’s the current 5-tool player.  However, his team was not the best last year. The Los Angeles Angels fell short of the playoffs and seem to miss their lofty expectations every year. The road of this division runs through Texas. The Houston Astros busted onto the scene a year or two early, and the Texas Rangers narrowly beat Houston out for the title.  Houston is led by phenom Carlos Correa, and Texas will continue to lean on Prince Fielder and Yu Darvish once he returns from Tommy John surgery. The Seattle Mariners were a trendy upset pick last year, and that pick backfired on people (literally…Seattle fired their manager of two years). The Oakland Athletics and Billy Beane’s “Moneyball” philosophy will be tested yet again this season. But on the bright side for Oakland: Pitcher Sonny Gray is nasty. But overall, teams are going to have to mess with the state of Texas if they want to win the division.


  1. Houston Astros

Houston went out and acquired closer Ken Giles from Philadelphia, now using Giles as a setup man for closer Luke Gregorson (drama brewing). Correa is only 21 and won Al Rookie of the Year honors, and Dallas Keuchel won the CY Young Award.  Houston strikes out a lot, but they homer a lot and have a ton of raw power.  Lance McCullers is another potential young stud who might breakout this year.  2nd overall pick in 2015 draft ,Alex Bregman,might become trade bait soon because Correa isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and both players field at shortstop.


  1. Texas Rangers

Yu Darvish coming back is going to be huge for this ball club. He’s out until mid-May at the earliest.  Ian Desmond won the “Stupid Free Agent” award this off-season by turning down Washington’s $60 million qualifying offer…he signed a 1-year deal for $8 million with Texas.  Delino DeShields is as fast as anyone and Prince Fielder is still kicking it (he had a .305 average last year). Adrian Beltre has to produce if he wants to make the Hall of Fame.  He’s borderline right now, but a few good years wouldn’t hurt his case.


  1. Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout is an animal, and that’s a known fact.  What’s not well known is that one od the best defensive shortstops, Andrelton Simmons, was traded to L.A. in the off-season. Their rotation is pretty good, however there are questions makers aplenty.  Is Albert Pujols healthy?  Who will step up in left field (Because Daniel Nava is NOT an MLB starter)?  Can Garrett Richards carry the workload of a young #1 starter or do they need to change the pitching staff?  By the way, the Angels’ farm system is the worst in baseball by far.  So they really need to find young talent soon if they want to win with Trout in the future…


  1. Seattle Mariners

Seattle’s main issue is that they don’t have a solid pitching staff behind Felix Hernandez.  Robinson Cano had a great 2nd half of last season…after a pathetic first half.  He has to be better than that and live up to his overpaid contract.  Kyle Seager offers protection in the middle of the lineup for Cano and Cruz.  Nelson Cruz (current poster-boy for PED’s) only hit a measly 44 homeruns last season and has pretty much given up playing in the field and is used strictly as a DH.  Steve Cishek was a quality closer in Miami…until he got demoted to Double-A (ouch) last season because he had over a 10.00 ERA.


  1. Oakland A’s

Not going to lie here, has “Moneyball” ever won the American league or World Series?  Answer: no. Billy Beane is a great General manager for what talent he has, but he’s never won. The team revolves around Sonny Gray and not much else.  Luckily, the prospects they got for trading Josh Donaldson (the 2015 MVP) are getting close to be the big league ready.  Josh Reddick needs to hit 50 home runs and drive in 140 RBI’s for this team to make the playoffs. It wouldn’t surprise me if Sonny Gray gets traded at the deadline: he’s going to become expensive to keep and we all know how Oakland likes to not pay a premium for top talent.

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