#12 - Atlanta
Offense: Hard to get excited about anyone here.WsL Rank: 15th
Starting Pitching: Hard to beat Hellickson, Pineda and Ogando as a top 3 to build around.WsL Rank: 6th
Relief Pitching: Frisky, but nobody that will strike fear into teams.WsL Rank: 12th
After bottoming out in 2009, Atlanta took some steps forward in 2010. They began building a young pitching staff headlined by #1 pick Jeremy Hellickson and hidden gem Alexi Ogando. Unfortunately, the lineup was arguably the worst in WSL, so gains were minimal. However, the future finally started to look a little bright after years of hopelessness in the dirty south.
Final Record: 59-103, 4th in NL East
Team AVG: .229, 24th in the WsL
Team OBP: .304, 23rd in the WsL
Team SLG: .371, T-21st in the WsL
Team ERA: 4.19, 15th in the WsL
Opponents AVG: .268, 18th in the WsL
HR Allowed: 147, 7th in the WsL
Best Offseason Move|
Few teams have a farm system with more talent than Atlanta's. After adding a pair of 1B in the draft/through trades in Anthony Rizzo and Yonder Alonso, the Argonauts restocked their pitching coffers with #1 overall pick Michael Pineda and high-upside pen arms in Tim Collins, Brandon Gomes and Eduardo Sanchez.
Worst Offseason Move
Atlanta has nearly $30M locked up in long-term salary and, other than maybe Adam Jones, none of it is being paid to anyone with star potential. While the Argonauts are not necessarily prevented from adding a big ticket item going forward, having money locked up in middling talent certainly limits their upside in future years. Factor in all those no-trade contracts and we could be looking at a team that struggles to get over the hump.
PG's '11 Prediction
The Argonauts will go as far as their pitching takes them. They have many tradable assets, should they decide to make a run in July. It's enough to put them in the Wild Card discussion.85-77 record.