Greetings... to the class of the NL West...
C - Buster Posey
1B - Aubrey Huff/Brandon Belt
2B - Freddy Sanchez
SS - Brandon Crawford/Ryan Theriot
3B - Pablo Sandoval
LF - Melky Cabrera
CF - Angel Pagan
RF - Nate Schierholtz/Brandon Belt
Not exactly the strength of this roster. Posey is an elite talent, but there are questions surrounding him off of the injury last year. I still believe that he will absolutely hit when healthy, and he's their best player. Pablo Sandoval hit .315 with an OPS over .900 with 23 homers in 117 games, and if he hits like that, he's a top-5 third baseman. Elsewhere, I don't like anything. Brandon Belt is an uber-prospect but they refuse to play him enough to get him the ABs he needs, Melky Cabrera hit a good year in KC last year, but visions of 2010 in Atlanta will never go away when considering him for being even an average player, and the combo of Pagan/Schierholtz/Sanchez/Crawford isn't going to hit.
1 - Tim Lincecum
2 - Matt Cain
3 - Madison Bumgarner
4 - Ryan Vogelsong
5 - Barry Zito
All four of the top 4 starters here had ERA's under 3.25 in 2011. That's utterly ridiculous. Lincecum is the clear #1 and even in a "down" year for him record-wise (13-14), he struck out 220 guys in 217 innings with a 2.74 ERA. Cain is unheralded but posted yet another great year with 221 innings of 2.88 ERA baseball, and Bumgarner is a budding superstar following his breakout year (3.21, 191 Ks and even better than that after April). Vogelsong is a guy that no one "believes" in relatively when you consider that his peripherals showed he was hilariously lucky last year, but even if he regressed to them, he'd be a 3.70-3.90 ERA guy in that ballpark, and that is perfectly fine for the #4 spot. Zito is an overpaid enigma and I'm curious to see what comes of the move to get rid of Jonathan Sanchez and force Zito to make 30 starts. This is an elite rotation, especially 1 through 3, and the reason I can't pick against them in the NL West.
Crazy Brian Wilson returns in the closer role, and if he's healthy, he's a pretty nice option. The set-up tandem of Romo/Casilla/Lopez/Affeldt is still in place, and although you won't be wowed by any of them, they form a pretty solid support crew around Wilson to the point where they won't die if he misses time again. A nice unit.
88-74, 1st in NL West