Hugo: Moved from diaries:
This group of left fielders have a bit of everything, some power, some speed, some former, current and future all-stars, past top prospects still trying to make good on their projections and a current top prospect trying to show he belongs in the bigs. I found this to be a tough rank again but here it is, please discuss.
1. Jason Bay (BOS)
Team Canada leader and all-around good guy Jason Bay finally was dealt from the cellar dweller Pirates to the perennial contender Boston Red Sox in 2008 and he flourished. Now he will have a full season hitting at Fenway and have great protection around him in the lineup. There is no reason Bay will not at least duplicate his 31HR, 101RBI, .286 effort of 2008 if not surpass those numbers.
2. Carl Crawford (TB)
Injuries derailed him in 2008 as his team leapt from the AL East basement to the penthouse. Before 2008 Crawford could be relied upon for .300 average, 50 SB and 15 or so HR. He is still young enough to rebound back to those numbers and potentially, being that he’s 27 and primed for a breakout offensively he will still have the 20+ HR power that people thought he would. But because of the injuries and below norm stats when healthy I’ve bumped Crawford to #2.
3. Travis Snider (TOR)
Or Moonraker as he is called around these parts has all the potential in the world, the question here is when will he fulfill it. If Snider fulfills it in 2009 he would be #1 on the list, but it is more likely he will have good stretches and will struggle to stay consistent. He has some flaws still, those being his strikeouts and his defence however he has also shown that he can handle ML pitching at a young age and there is no reason why he shouldn’t continue to develop. He could be the #1 LF as early as 2010.
4. Johnny Damon (NYY)
Former all-star and hero to the city of Boston, Johnny Damon has seen his shine wear off since heading over to the Yankees. He did have a bit of a renaissance year in 2008 though hitting .303, 17 HR and 29 SB in a healthy season with New York. Heading into 2009 he will be 35 years old and there is an OF log jam in NY with Matsui, Swisher, Gardner, Cabrera, Nady and Damon battling for playing time in the OF and at DH. As it stands now Damon is pencilled in to lead off and play LF in 2009 and he could still put up some solid numbers.
5. Felix Pie (BAL)
The CF of the future for the Chicago Cubs was dealt to Baltimore in the off-season because he was out of options and didn’t fit into Chicago’s plans. Pie was never really given an opportunity to succeed with the Cubs and now that he is in Baltimore they will give him every chance to claim the starting LF job, Pie could surprise being that he is still just 24 years old. He still has a chance to develop his power/speed combination that he has shown in the minors but will have to work on strikeouts and consistency.
The tally so far:
New York: 24
Tampa Bay: 19