2014 NL West Preview And Predictions

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March 5, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) hits an RBI single in the third inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

2) San Francisco Giants: 90-72 (Wild-Card)

I spend a lot of time watching future Giants at the Single-A short season affiliate Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. Having watched many of the players in the current bog league club as they came up through the minors, it’s hard not to see success in this team.

Last year’s Volcanoes had the best record in the Northwest League. And while they lost in the playoffs and didn’t capture the NWL title, there is some promise as these kids head up through the system.

They won’t be here this year, but the future continues to look bright in S.F.

1- Why will this team exceed expectations?

Timmy Kennedy from AroundTheFoghorn: The San Francisco Giants may not have grabbed the headlines this offseason, but they may have grabbed the bargains of the offseason, add that to the already strong team and the Giants could be postseason bound. Hunter Pence was a steal at 5-years-$90-million, Tim Hudson and Ryan Vodelsong could be steals if they recover from injury and Michael Morse, providing he stays healthy could be a steal. With the lineup set to include Pence, Buster Posey, a slimmed down Pablo Sandoval, Brandon Belt and Morse, they look a scary outfit.

2- Why will this team fall short of expectations?

As mentioned the success of the Giants scarily relies on ifs, and maybes, and comebacks. If some players don’t rebound from disappointing seasons and some players can’t recover from injury, the season could quickly turn into a nightmare. Furthermore, the NL west has really strengthened this year, and the Giants will have to be at the top of their game if they want to compete.

3- Look for the team to make (this trade)

Sadly, I can’t see the Giants threatening on any trades. However, having said that, once the season begins, if their bullpen is struggling given the lack of depth in this area, look for them to make a move to bring in a reliever. Before opening day, the only trade I can see happening is maybe something as insignificant as shifting a young arm for a young bat in order to reinforce their minor league teams offensively.

4- Watch out for the emergence of (prospect)

Ehire Adrianza and Juan Perez could become key players off the bench for the Giants in the forthcoming season. Both have sensational gloves and have the potential to create highlight reel play, after highlight reel play, in addition, Adrianza has showed signs of improvement offensively this spring. Derek Law, is another exciting prospect, if he wins a place in the bullpen this spring training, look for him to dominate hitters out of the pen.