Posted at 8:38 PM on April 17, 2006
by David Zingler
For most of the 90s, nobody cared. At the beginning of this decade, there was no need to ask. But now, for the first time since President Bush had two middle initials, there is a debate: Who is better – the Brewers or the Twins?
C: Joe Mauer vs. Damian Miller
“Baby Jesus” vs. a journeyman – please…
1B: Justin Morneau vs. Prince Fielder
Both have a lot of potential, but at this point Morneau is more established. This could be fun in a few years.
2B: Luis Castillo vs. Rickie Weeks
Castillo is in his prime, Weeks should have a great one – when he gets there.
3B: Tony Batista vs. Corey Koskie
Ask Terry Ryan who’d he rather have.
SS: Juan Castro vs. J.J. Hardy
A promising young player or a glorified utility man…let’s see…
LF: Shannon Stewart vs. Carlos Lee
Stewart’s solid, but Lee’s a masher.
CF: Torii Hunter vs. Brady Clark
Clark was a pleasant surprise in ’05, while Hunter is overrated, but still…
RF: Cuddyer/Ford vs. Geoff Jenkins
This position is an offensive black hole for the local nine.
Both benches look decent, if unspectacular.
Santana, Radke, Silva, Lohse & Baker vs.
Sheets, Davis, Capuano, Ohka & Bush
Johan has struggled, Radke is mediocre while Sheets can’t stay healthy and Capuano has to prove he’s for real.
Edge: Twins (but not by as much as you think).
Both have All Star closers (Nathan, Turnbow), but the Twins, with the help of Liriano, are deeper.
Conclusion: I have to stick with the Twins because they’ve proven they can be a winning team over the last five years. I do however; think both teams will have similar records when the year ends.
Whoa there. I'd argue that Castillo is past his prime (hit any 30 game hitting streaks lately?) and Weeks is already well ahead. Castro's no glorified utility man, he's one of the better players of a position where defense is more important than offense. Hardy's still better overall, because offense still counts. I'd also argue that hitting 25 homeruns and stealing 23 bases in 3 of the last 4 years means Hunter isn't overrated, even if you don't count his defense. 25/25 is what Carlos Beltran's supposed to be able to do in a decent year, and I've never heard Torii mentioned offensively to Beltran. Just noticed the Santana remark - it's too early to say he's struggled, especially with the mediocre first halves of each of the last 3 seasons he's had, it's just typical early season Santana. One of these year's he's going to have a respectible first half with an ERA around 3.50, and then we'll really see what a good year front to back is like from him.
Other than that, you're right on.
Castillo is 30 years old, hit .301 with a .391 OBP and made the All Star team in 2005.
Torii Hunter has a career OBP of .321.
Sanatana has struggled so far -- face it -- but he'll get it going.
In your comment about third base, you said to ask Terry Ryan who he'd rather have. Well, he signed Batista, and refused to trade for Koskie. I have to assume he'd rather have Batista.
That isn't to say I agree with him.