Smelly McUgly wrote:We do have a couple of guys that are decent. Seager, Franklin looks good, and Kendrys Morales is a guy who can hit.
I think that next year is the key year. Felix + Iwakuma + probably two of the three-headed monster in the roster on the mound. Then a core of Seager, Franklin, Zunino, and hopefully a re-signed Morales. They need to get guys signed around these four, but they would have a fighting chance at a wild card spot.
Or I'm probably just deluding myself.
I think you're deluding yourself, but just a little bit. Franklin looks good, but no better or worse than Ackley looked his first year. Even Smoak started off fantastic. We can't really take for granted with young players that they're either going to continue being awesome or continue being bad. Michael Saunders took YEARS to become a productive player, and despite his current slump, he has legitimately looked like a starting caliber OF. Not the star we hoped he'd become, but like someone who could anchor CF and maybe make one All-Star game in his career. Hopefully he keeps that up.
Montero, Smoak, and Ackley could all rebound. None of them could. We won't know for a while. Smoak has been mediocre this year, but mediocre is a fair step up from atrocious, which hew as the last two. Maybe he'll keep improving.
Maybe Nick Franklin will continue to hit. Maybe he won't.
Maybe none of our pitching prospects will work out (I'm reminded of 2004ish when we had a similar crop of young pitching, all of which flopped), and then what? Even if they come up next year, is anyone expecting them tod ominate? Even King Felix was average as a rookie (though to be fair, average as a 19-year-old was an incredible feat).
No one year is the 'key' year anymore. The M's should have been good by now, but prospects didn't pan out the way we hoped. However, the talent is still there, and whether it's this year, next year, or the year after, if it ever does, the M's could genuinely become good.
One thing that's fascinating to me about this year's team is how bad their pitching has been, but how decent their offense has been. It has translated to a nearly identical record compared to last year at this time. Last year, a lot of people felt like they wouldn't care how bad the record, as long as they could see some home runs - personally, I feel about the same about this team as I did last year, and I haven't heard many people (on here or otherwise) say 'well, they suck, but it's better than last year because their hitting is better.'
Just random thoughts. At any rate, go M's.