It is now June 7th, and the NL East is proving to be built for not just the moment, but the long haul. Atlanta, Philadelphia, Florida, New York, and yes even Washington are making the case for Major League Baseballs most competitive division.
Think about it, Atlanta has resurrected with the emergence of rookie sensation Jason Heyward, and possible comeback player of the year in Tim Hudson. Heyward is the most hyped up position player since Alex Rodriguez, and has lived up to every breath of it. Jason is hitting .272, 10 jacks, and 39 RBI’s. The most impressive statistic however is this kids on base percentage of .400. The patience, and maturity this rookie brings to the game of baseball is unmatched around the bigs. If it wasn’t for the out of this world performances by Ubaldo Jimenez, and Roy Halladay then Tim Hudson would be in everyone’s Cy Young talks. Hudson is currently sitting at 6-1 with a 2.44 era, after coming back from the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
Philadelphia has proved to be the recent class of the NL with multiple World Series appearances. The recent addition of future 1st ballot hall of famer Roy Halladay assures an already dominant Phillies team an automatic win every 5th game. Offensive fire works from 1st baseman Ryan Howard strikes fear in the eyes of every major league pitcher. On paper Philly is the cream of the crop in the National League. Luckily for the rest of the teams in the division, baseball comes down to execution, and not reputation alone.
I think that Florida, and not Philadelphia is the biggest dark horse in the NL-East. Marlins short stop Hanely Ramirez is the best all around player in baseball. The Marlins are totally built for the future with all of the young talent surrounding the organization. Florida’s pitching staff as a whole is loaded with more talent than the rest of the division. Is it Florida’s time? I’m going to say no, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were in the wild card running until the very end of the season.
I don’t know really what to think about the New York Mets. The inconsistency they show on a day to day basis completely baffles me. One week they look like the best team in baseball, and the next they are all injured, and losing game after game. The Met’s get the least out of the most all around talent in the league. What scares me about the Met’s is them getting healthy, and living up to their expectations. Staying healthy is a big if.
The Nationals are not contenders right now, but you better believe that when rookie sensation Stephen Strasburgh gets to town tomorrow that the atmosphere is going to change. This kid is the best pitcher to enter the league maybe ever. That is a bold statement, but I am going to stick by it until proven otherwise. With the #1 pick in the 2010 MLB draft the Washington is also expected to take Bryce Harper. Like Jason Heyward, Bryce Harper is expected to make his impact known sooner rather than later.
Okay so I made my case for the NL Beast, and showed a little biased towards Atlanta of course. The Braves are built to win this year, and have proved it thus far by leading the division by 2 games. Atlanta’s lineup 1-9, starting pitching, and bullpen may be the perfect remedy for a World Series appearance in 2010.
About the Author
Written by Bill Furey
My name is Bill Furey, and I am from Chelmsford, Massachusetts. I am 25 years old, and a complete baseball guru. This will be my first year blogging for major league baseball, and I am really looking forward to both voicing my opinion as well as covering games. As a former 3rd basemen for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell I got the amazing opportunity to compete, admire, and most importantly learn from some of the most talented players, and coaches this great game has to offer. Growing up in New England I have always been a die hard fan of the Sox, Pats, Celts, and Bruins. My love, understanding, and respect for the game of baseball takes major precedent in my life. I currently coach one of Massachusetts best 13 year old baseball teams. Teaching the game of baseball to young talented players is something I truly look forward to every time I take the field. The relationships I built from this wonderful game are better than any home run, stolen base, or any winning season. Baseball has given me life lessons I couldn't have learned anywhere else in the world. A baseball quote that best describes my passion for the game is this: "You see, you spend a good piece of your life gripping a baseball, and in the end it turns out that it was the other way around all the time." Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970. I look forward to covering the Atlanta Braves this season, and getting some great feedback from my followers. Play ball.