Starting 9: Colorado is a pure hitter park, and this team has a player or two that will put up eye popping numbers thanks to playing 81 games at home. Hughie Patterson has a good eye and big pop, but is a huge health risk. Hugh Faulk is a DH on an NL roster, but if he finds a way into the lineup he should be a solid hitter. Moises Vincente is going to be a phenomenal leadoff man, and will be pretty good in center as well. Health may be an issue with this club.
Pitching: The reason why the league is buzzing about the Rockies is their arms, and they are going to need them. Colorado has 4 potential #1 starters in: Alfredo Vazquez, Trevor Seneca, Tony Solano, and Clem Ennis. Playing where they play will inflate their numbers, but they should have the best rotation for a long time. A downside to their pitching is a relatively weak pen.
The Future: Colorado has a decent system, led by future shortstop Babe Farrell. Babe should be a good all-around player in a couple of seasons. David Albaladejo is difficult to say, but the Dominican has a big bat. He probably won’t have the range to play short, but is no slouch on one of the corners. The Rockies pitching prospects look good as well. Shigetoshi Chang is a hard thrower and will be able to go back to back nights. Nick Ryan has all world stuff, but with limited durability will probably be a save situation only closer.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
Starting 9: The Dodgers are going to be begging for runs in Season 1. There is not much offensive talent on this squad but Wes Clayton should be an OK table setter and Ryan Butler has upper deck power at 1st Base. Dennis Osborne is listed at AAA right now, but has a big league contract and should be a good do it all player for LA.
Pitching: The Dodgers staff is weak. They are going to be scrambling for starters to get innings completed. Landon Perkins and Gustavo Gongora will make a good right left combo out of the pen.
The Future: Jamie Jang is an ML ready 1B/LF who will be a solid line drive hitter. Jang is lacking the home run power, however. Elvis Gaetti is a switch hitting platoon player that has decent wheels and can play ok defense. The Dodgers do have a handful of future ML pitchers. Most notable is Miguel Mota. At 25, he is probably going to be on the starting rotation to start the season. Keith Walters has some room to grow and will be a solid #2.
San Diego Padres:
Starting 9: Continuing the theme found out west, the Padres have some limp bats. Pascual Canseco will get on base but will struggle scoring with the hitters he has behind him.
Pitching: The Fathers don’t have much in terms of pitching, but a spacious park will help them out a little. Danys Cervantes has impeccable control and will lead the Padres pitching staff. The aging Hersh Cooper will be a solid #2 on this staff.
The Future: Tim Murray stands 6’6 and might be the tallest outfielder in the near future. He has some room to grow, but is already a solid do it all hitter. Chipper Marion may not be the best behind the plate, but he will be a great hitter when he reaches the bigs. Gus McGriff is a young arm that will find his way to San Diego. If his stamina develops he will be a Cy Young contender pretty much every year. Gustavo Encarnacion is another young pitcher that needs to develop his stamina, but he will be a very good starter if he reaches his potential.
San Francisco Giants:
The Starting 9: The Giants might have the biggest bats in their division. Jacob Duensing will swing at anything, but when he makes contact it will be solid. Vincenzo Weathers has gargantuan power and will be good at 1st or in Left.
Pitching: The Giants have good pitching as well, but their best player is waiting to be resigned. Joseph Park is an ageing ace, but if the Giants retain his rights it solidifies their rotation. Roger Kane will be a dominating arm out of the pen.
The Future: Yorvit James is a left handed slugger, but is probably best suited as a DH or a pinch hitter. James might be ready for the majors now. The future pen looks good for San Fran, Alan Rice and Brutus Miller will be two solid relievers.
How They Will Finish:
Colorado has the best overall roster, right now, but they are going to be rolling the dice as some of their best players have major health issues. It will be tough for the 4 Aces to last a 162 game season with a weak pen. If San Francisco decides to spend some money and resign Park, they will become the odds on favorite to win the division. I am going to guess that they do.