By Evan Roberts
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Here they are, Evan Roberts’ original 2012 MLB power rankings. Let’s take a look back…
1. Texas Rangers
“They won’t get back to the Classic, but based on the accomplishments of the last two years, and how painfully it ended in 2011, the Rangers at least deserve the No. 1 spot.”
Well, I stand by the “won’t get to the Classic” line, but obviously the way Texas finished is below most fans’ expectations — especially since the team that overtook them WASN’T the Angels! Now their season rests on one game against a major underdog.
2. New York Yankees
“Here is what we definitely know about the Yankees… they will score a ton of runs, CC Sabathia will be in Cy Young consideration and even at age 85, Mariano Rivera will be the best closer in baseball.”
I couldn’t have been more wrong about that! CC had two trips to the disabled list, and Mariano suffered a season-ending injury early on. Yet both issues were overcome.
“I’m not sure if Ivan Nova can reproduce what he did last year, but I firmly believe Phil Hughes will resemble his 2010 year more so than 2011.”
Ding, ding, ding.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
“Can Hunter Pence and Jimmy Rollins carry this lineup ’til the big guys return?”
The answer to that was no. Pence ended up in San Francisco and the pitching that was supposed to be the strength was weakened by Roy Halladay’s down year — not to mention his injuries.
4. Angels of Anaheim
“Expect super prospect Mike Trout in the majors by July.”
Try April 28! And also try a historic season from the rookie. But also try an awful slump to start Albert Pujols’ career with the Angels, a team that ended with a disappointing 89 wins.
5. Detroit Tigers
“Unlike every other team we mentioned, the Tigers appear to be locks to not even be tested in their own division.”
They did win the division, but about that “not even be tested” part … yeah, the White Sox clearly disagreed.
6. Tampa Bay Rays
“I think Tampa Bay is closer to the Yankees than Boston is to Tampa Bay.”
7. Cincinnati Reds
“The closer situation is now murky due to the injury to Ryan Madson, but eventually that will be Aroldis Chapman’s job and I think he will do it well.”
Call me crazy, but “he will do it well” was quite the understatement!
8. Miami Marlins
“I don’t love the Marlins as much as others, and I think they have great potential to be an absolute catastrophe.”
Ding, ding, ding!
9. Boston Red Sox
“I think the Sox miss the playoffs for the third straight year.”
Sure I thought that, but I figured 85 wins — not quite.
10. Atlanta Braves
“I think the Braves will be a fourth-place team in the NL East.”
I expected bad things from Atlanta — and I was dead wrong. Jason Heyward broke through and Kris Medlan turned into an elite starting pitcher. I’m sorry Braves fans, but I’ll make it up to you with my playoff predictions.
Wild Card Play-In Game:
Atlanta Braves DEF St. Louis Cardinals
The magic is over for St Louis. And the man to end it will be the guy pitching better than anyone on the planet– Kris Medlan.
Atlanta Braves DEF Washington Nationals 3-1
This is a Braves core that lost in the first round in ’10 and suffered the collapse of ’11. They’ll use those experiences to knock off the inexperienced and Strasburg-less Nats.
Cincinnati Reds DEF San Francisco Giants 3-2
A solid rotation, a powerful offense and maybe the best bull pen…the Reds won’t be stopped.
Cincinnati Reds DEF Atlanta Braves 4-1
I’ll keep with my spring training pick of the Reds representing the National League in the World Series.
Wild Card Play-In Game:
Texas Rangers DEF Baltimore Orioles
The Rangers are more talented, and they are at home. It’s a crap shoot but I’m putting my money down on the two-time defending AL Champs.
New York Yankees DEF Texas Rangers 3-1
Payback for 2011. The Yankees have a better rotation, which will be rested. Joe Nathan will try to save games… good luck.
Oakland Athletics DEF Detroit Tigers 3-2
From a hotness factor, they have a lot of 2007 Rockies in them.
Oakland Athletics DEF New York Yankees 4-2
The A’s have a very deep rotation and a nothing-to-lose attitude, plus what seems like a lot of magic.
Cincinnati Reds DEF Oakland Athletics 4-1
Much like the Rockies in ’07, the cinderella A’s will run out of gas in the Fall Classic.
Mike Trout had a historic season. His defense and speed should not be discounted. BUT Miguel won the Triple Crown after moving positions AND he’s on a playoff team.
AL Cy Young
Many considered it a “down season”… not really! Second in WHIP, second in ERA, most in innings pitched, No. 1 in Ks.
No explanation needed.
AL Manager of the Year
Bob Melvin and Robin Ventura did a great job… but Buck made the post season with THAT roster. Enough said.
When Melky got suspended, Buster picked up the offense and led the Giants to the NL West as a catcher.
NL Cy Young
Trust me, I want to say Dickey! BUT — ERA, WHIP, Opp BA, Opp OPS, Ks-per-nine all tell a different story.
Always tough to compare pitchers and hitters, but I’ll take the lefty with the 3.13 ERA.
NL Manager of the Year
Bochy held the Giants together after the Melky suspension.
There’s a lot to digest here, but we know you have something to say. Be heard in the comments below!