by user Timothy Moreland(Bball3345)
Here is a link to the NL version of this team NL Team of the Future
- I will assemble a team of players to build the best team for the next five years.
- Salaries are not a factor
- Whether or not the player will play for a major league team all five years or start for them is not a factor; therefore, i can select minor leaguers who may not be in the majors for two more years if I feel they are the best player to have. They will be starters on my team.
- The players do not have to be a certain age. Although, selecting Clemens may be a bad move because he would more than likely retire or fade very quickly.
Joe Mauer...This was an extremely easy pick. He is 23 this season and has a career OBP of .371 from the catcher spot. The power is not yet reached its potential, as power develops later in a player's career, especially for catchers. He will definitely reach double digit HRs this year (9 last year) and should peak in the twenties over the next five years as he hits his prime. Defensively, he is well above the average catcher and adds three wins a year just from defense. Combine that with the fact he could be a .400 OBP/.500 SLG in his prime from a weak position and there is no doubt he should be starting for this team.
Honorable Mention: Victor Martinez(He is far behind Mauer but no one else is even close to Martinez after that.)
Mark Teixeira...Another easy pick. Last year he reached the 40 homer plateau; although everyone has him reaching 50 HRs every year, I think he will probably peak at 45 and stay consistent for the next five years. The next five years will have him from the age of 26 to 30, in which he is good for a .375 OBP/.550 SLG. Throw on the fact he is a very valuable fielder, with a Rate of 108 last year(The amazing Derrek Lee is a 109), and Teixeira is easily the man I want over at first base for the next five years.
Howie Kendrick...This was a tough choice. I really did not want to pick a minor leaguer, but there is no American League 2B who is a superstar and in the majors. The best 2B I could find in the majors was Brian Roberts, but he is 28 and last year could have very easily have been a fluke. So, I looked to Cantu. His defense is a liability and he has gradually gotten better over the last three years(including a year in AAA). However, Kendrick adds SBs and his minor league numbers translate to a possible .350 OBP/ .500 SLG type guy. Cantu had a .311 OBP last year with 1 SB. Kendrick is a positive at 2B defensively. I had no choice but to risk it with Baseball America's number 12 prospect, only 22 years old and hit .384 in high-A and .342 in AA last year.
Alex Rodriguez...DUH!!! He is the best player in the AL and a top 3 player in the majors. We all know what he is capable of and there is not a whole lot to add. What is more interesting is what I would have done if ARod died before this season. If ARod were non-existent, then choosing a 3Bmen would have been near impossible. First, there is Hank Blalock. He is 25 years old and should hit around .275/.350/.500 in a hitter's park. Unfortunately, he had a noticeable droppoff in power and average last year after two solid years. Defensively, he is nothing to drool over. Second, we have Eric Chavez. He is something to drool over defensively. Like Blalock, he dropped off last year; although, he dropped from higher heights. Chavez is 28, so he is going to be leaving his prime while Blalock enters it. Over the next two or three, I would take Chavez but Blalock may be the more valuable bat of the two. Third, let's throw in Troy Glaus. He is definitely the worst of them defensively but this man hits. He is good for 35+ HRs and a .360 OBP/.520+ SLG, if he plays the full season. Playing the full season is the problem. In two of the last three years he has missed substanital portions of the season. This is why he would have to rank below the other two but he is better offensively than them if he were assured to stay healthy over the next five years. If it weren't hard enough, you could toss in Andy Marte, a 22 year old with tremendous offensive upside. Luckily, we have ARod to make the decision easy.
Jhonny Peralta...This was a three way decision between Tejada, Upton, and him. In Upton, I see the highest offensive potential. As well, he is the only one who can add 35-40 SBs. On the other hand, his defense is terrible. I think he can and will be a superstar but I would like to see him improve upon his defense first. Tejada, at 30, is six years older than Peralta and nine older than Upton. He is not really a huge positive at SS defensively but he doesn't hurt. His last two years in Baltimore have been the best offensive years of his career but he is probably too old to keep getting any better. So I decided to go with the player who has proven himself on the big league level and is still young enough to have a large upside. Peralta has gold-glove caliber defense, unlike the other two. His offense, at the age of 23, was as good as or better than any of Tejada's seasons. The year before in AAA he showed his offensive ability so there is precedent for success. I think this year he will take a small step down offensively but I would rather have Peralta from ages 24-28 than Tejada from 30-34.
Manny Ramirez...There are no other AL LF that can touch Manny from an offensive standpoint. Defensively, yes, he stinks. He has not had a less than amazing season with the bat since his first year when he was 21. He slugged .521 in 91 G as a 22 year old. Ever since, he has gotten better, slugging over .600 five times and over .590 two other times. He has had 45 and 43 HRs in his last two seasons. This team would cover his 34-38 year old seasons but I don't see age taking too big a toll on him. Sheffield is 37 and still putting up great seasons. Throughout history, the very best players continue producing until the end. Ramirez is one of the very best.
Grady Sizemore...I also like Vernon Wells, especially when comparing defense. However, Sizemore had a better offensive season last year at the age of 23 than all but one of Wells' seasons (2003) and Wells is 27. I think Wells will step up his game this year but it will not go any higher than what Sizemore has already reached. Over the next five years, odds are that these two will provide similar value; however, the upside investment has got to go in Sizemore.
Vladimir Guerrero...This wasn't too tough. When was the last time since Vlad became a regular that he had an offensive season less than spectacular. If you guessed never, you're right. His lowest BA as a regular is .302, his lowest OBP is .371, and his lowest SLG is .565. Here is the real clincher. Vladimir Guerrero is only 30 years old. It seems as though he has been around forever and technically he is still in his prime. Vlad was as good as ever last year and I'm not seeing any huge dropoffs in the near future. His range on defense is average at best but everyone knows he has a cannon for an arm.
Mon 03/06/06, 3:31 pm EST