These positions will have competition, platoons, new eligibility for players and a chance for someone to shine. From these positions we might find the next Drew Stubbs (not a starter on Opening Day 2010) or Ryan Rayburn who started at 5 different positions last year. These will not be players I am endorsing or expecting you to draft but ones who should be on your radar or watch list. We all know that once someone is given that chance at starting they may never look back. We will revisit this post through spring training and keep a dynamic perspective about each position. Today the American League.
Toronto-3B: Currently the Jays have John McDonald listed on their depth chart as the starter at the hot corner. McDonald is a 12 year veteran with virtually no power but has SS & 2B eligibility. The Jays also have of course Edwin Encarnación and José Bautista to man the position.
Tampa Bay-1B: Currently the Rays have Dan Johnson penciled in on the depth chart. He has both 1B and 3B eligibility and hits from the left side. Super utility man Ben Zobrist could see time at first as well.
Chicago-3B: Four players could be vying for time at this one position. The two with the most upside are Dayan Viciedo & Brent Morel. The ageless Omar Vizquel & steady Mark Teahen will both be on this team out of spring training.
Cleveland-LF: Should be a platoon situation by Shelley Duncan, who has power and hits from the right side. Then there is Michael Brantley who hits from the left and has speed.
Detroit-LF: Has two super utility guys, Don Kelly has 1B, 3B and OF eligibility while hitting from the left side and Ryan Raburn with 2B and OF eligibility hitting from the right.
Detroit-2B: Has the often injured Carlos Guillén, his listed back up, Will Rhymes and the previously mentioned Ryan Raburn.
Kansas City-All 3 OF: The Royals could keep any/all of these 6 OF. Melky Cabrera, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Gregor Blanco, Mitch Maier, and Jeff Francoeur. These six are a nice mix of young and veteran players.
Minnesota-SS: With the departure of J.J. Hardy to Baltimore the door is open between switch hitting Alexi Casilla and former 1st round pick Trevor Plouffe. Both could be out if Minnesota moves Japanese hitting champ Tsuyoshi Nishioka back to his SS position that he played in Japan.
Angels-3B: Does Brandon Wood ever meet his potential or do they revert back to the ex-Royal Alberto Callaspo?
Oakland-2B: They have Mark Ellis who has only twice played in more than 120 games in his career or lefty hitting Eric Sogard.
Seattle-2B: A good battle brewing for the opening day start here. There is super prospect Dustin Ackley and the newly acquired Brendan Ryan.
Tomorrow we will take a look at the Senior Circuit and their teams with a little completion for a starting spot.