2013 Preview- AL Central

Today’s post is about the competitive AL Central Division.  Next up is my preview of the NL West. 

Remember, you can always see my posts on the other Divisions by clicking below:

NL Central 
AL East 
NL East

* * * *

5. Minnesota Twins

The Minneapolis team gets Canadian player Justin Morneau and local Saint Paulian Joe Mauer for the whole year, but even rising stars like Cole de Vries, Drew Butera, and Anthony Swarzak will take time to become star players. To make things worse for the Twins, they lost 2 of their biggest players, Denard Span and Ben Revere.  Only Josh Willingham, Silver Slugger winner who I remember and really like from the time he spent on the Nats, remains in their outfield.  The Twins were once to fear in the AL Central in the 1980s, with Kirby Puckett highlighting Minnesota’s lineup. Those days have ended, and Twins fans need to let it roll for a few years while the team rebuilds.

4. Chicago White Sox

I don’t have high hopes this year for Chicago’s South Siders. Only All Star and Gold Glove winning pitcher Jake Peavy sparks their rotation, and only Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko hit the long bombs.  They play the Nats in interleague play this year at Nationals Park, and maybe President Obama, who is a White Sox fan, will make an appearance.  Maybe if he throws out the first pitch at Nats Park, he will keep the Nats jacket and take off the White Sox hat this time.

3. Cleveland Indians

The Indians made a couple of very big splashes with additions in the offseason, adding big time players Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn.  They also added young fireballer Trevor Bauer and former Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs.  Rounding out the acquisitions were Matt Albers, Nick Hagadone, Juan Diaz, and Yan Gomes.  But the northern Ohio team lost a big name to the southern Ohio team. Three words. Shin-Soo Choo. He was acquired by Cincinnati in the trade I wrote about HERE.  Choo is by far one of the best South Korean players in the league, and I have his Indians t-shirt jersey.  Even after acquiring 2 of the best free agent outfielders this offseason, I don’t think that will be enough for the Tribe this year.

2. Kansas City Royals

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The Royals have one of the best rotations in the MLB with James Shields and Luke Hochevar topping the list. They also have 1B Eric Hosmer, 3B Mike Moustakas (“the Moose is Loose!”), and veteran RF Jeff Francouer.  The rest of their lineup is not as experienced.  After hosting the 2012 All Star Game, I am picking the Royals to finish above the much-improved Indians.  Still, neither team will top the Division, given the talent of the…

1. Detroit Tigers

Who are the Yankees of the AL Central? The Detroit Tigers! They have the best big hitting duo in the majors, Prince Fielder and AL MVP and triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera.  They have incredible pitchers too, with 2011 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander topping their rotation and backed up by people like Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister.  (Good thing Sanchez is out of the NL East, but too bad the Nats play the Tigers in inter-league in April).  When the Nats play the Tigers in inter-league, this may be a preview of the World Series.  Detroit is not a very nice city from what I am told, but the stadium has face painting and a ginormous Ferris Wheel with cars shaped like baseballs at the entrance. Kids paradise alert! The team has a lot to make fans happy about.

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