Out of Left Field 2013 predictions — NL East
2. Braves — There is not a more exciting outfield in baseball, after Atlanta signed B.J. Upton from Tampa Bay, then added his brother, Justin, in a trade with Arizona, putting them next to young star Jason Heyward. The rotation has a good mix of young star power and veteran presence, and the Braves might have the best closer in baseball in Craig Kimbrel.
3. Phillies — Philadelphia is still home to some of the biggest names in baseball — Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon — but that may not be enough in a stacked division. It appears Philly’s window is closing rapidly, but the offseason did nothing to inspire confidence in the franchise’s ability to carry out a “win now” philosophy.
4. Mets — Everything written about Atlanta’s star-studded outfield will NOT be written about New York’s. The Mets may end up with one of the most nondescript lineups around him, but they still have to feel the offseason was a success after locking up “Captain America” David Wright long-term. Add in a few prospects from the R.A. Dickey trade, and there’s at least a future to look forward to for Mets fans.
5. Marlins — The Marlins won the 2012 offseason, then promptly flopped, and divested themselves of nearly everything of value aside from Giancarlo Stanton and the fountain in left-center field at Marlins Park. Put it this way: The top three spots in the Marlins order could come down to either 35-year-old Juan Pierre or former Tigers prospect Gorkys Hernandez leading off, ahead of 37-year-old Placido Polanco. Good luck with that new managerial gig, Mike Redmond.
LAST YEAR'S 'OUT OF LEFT FIELD' PREDICTIONS
LAST YEAR'S 'OUT OF LEFT FIELD' PREDICTION SCORE CARD