Spring Chickens: National League

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kid.jpgWelcome to part two of my look at guys that are younger than me but still have accomplished as much if not more than I have. This week I'm tackling the National League. You can read part one about the American League, here.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks: The Snakes have had more than their share of young talent emerge over the past few seasons. Conor Jackson, Justin Upton, Chris Young and Steven Drew have all become important pieces of the team. This year, there are no real young guns on the horizon prepared to make in impact, it's up to the new regulars to fulfill this team's big potential. Although there is this guy they got from the Royals, Billy Buckner. His name seems so familiar but I can't remember why...

  • Atlanta Braves: Jair Jurrjens, acquired from the Tigers in the Edgar Renteria deal has had a couple of solid spring starts and looks poised to join the Braves rotation. That has to be a great experience for a young pitcher. Talking to Smoltz and Glavine about versatility, poise and what it was like to pitch to Rogers Hornsby.

  • Chicago Cubs: Prospect Sean Gallagher has pitched well this Spring but apparently the Cubs have too many quality veterans in the rotation to make room. Hey Sweet Lou, three of those starters are named Lieber, Dempster, and Marquis. The Cubbies are also hoping catcher Geovany Soto's impressive cameo last season was for real.

  • Cincinnati Reds: Johnny Cueto is bowling people over down in Florida this spring. The Reds still like last year's big callup, Homer Bailey, but it looks like he may start the year at AAA, giving Cueto a shorter path to the rotation. OF Jay Bruce was thought by some to be a ROY candidate, but the signing of Corey Patterson may have pushed him out of the the starting lineup for now. Of course the only thing better than having all of this young talent, is having just the right guy to harness it.

  • Colorado Rockies: Last year's first pick Casey Weathers missed first cuts and will start the year in the minors. Franklin Morales, who impressed late last season is getting the piss knocked out of him this Spring. While I don't usually put stock in Spring numbers, scouts are also saying his velocity is down. Uh oh.

  • Florida Marlins: Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller both came over in the Cabrera/Willis trade and will see significant time this season. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing Miller's debut with the Red Sox in 3 years
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  • Houston Astros: J.R. Towles is the Astros catcher of the future. He can rake and his name sounds like something my old roommate would name a bong. Woo! Hard throwing Felipe Paulino was competing for a spot in the rotation but he has a pinched nerve and will be out at least a month.

  • LA Dodgers: Andy LaRoche was one of the most highly touted rookies coming into the season but he took a fastball right to Thumbkin and is out for 4-6. With Nomar also hurt... hold on this record is skipping... ok... Blake DeWitt, who won the Mulvey Award for top rookie in camp, could see some early time at 3rd base.

  • Milwaukee Brewers: The pitching staff in Milwaukee is as crowded as any in baseball. With very few open spots, lefty Manny Parra has been lights out. In limited big league action last season he averaged almost a strikeout per inning and is ahead of that pace this Spring. Slugging OF Matt LaPorta has been assigned to AAA which makes me happy because he's a Florida Gator so he can kiss my ass.

  • New York Mets: No immediate rookie impact expected, but the Mets appear very glad to have kept Fernando Martinez. He's hitting well so far in camp.

  • Philadelphia Phillies: Jason Jaramillo looks to be the catcher of the future, but isn't ready yet. THE CONTRACTORS SAID HE WOULD BE READY. Stupid baseball robot construction delays.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates' top two prospects, Steve Pearce and Neil Walker were both assigned to AAA. Makes sense when you have that much veteran talent already at the major league level.

  • San Diego Padres: Chase Headley has an awesome porn name and a chance to make the team as an outfielder since Jim Edmonds is already hurt.

  • San Francisco Giants: The illustrious Brian Bocock already has a tag on this website and is filling in nicely with the glove for Omar Visquel.

  • St. Louis Cardinals: OF Colby Rasmus is the pride of the farm system and will probably see some time as a call up this year. He's got lots of tools... but can he drink?

  • Washington Nationals: John Lannan was impressive in his short major league debut last season and has been the same thus far in camp.

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Jim Edmonds went headfirst into the Great Wall chasing a fly ball.

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