A strong top half of the order and an exceptional bullpen coupled with a solid rotation has Portland aiming high this season.
C Harry Cabeza - The power hitting backstop will hit 5th this year, his high splits and excellent eye have some experts predicting a .450+ obp
1b Earl Spradlin - "The Looker" as hes become affectionitely known in Portland will hold down the 7 spot in the lineup and should be good for 30+ hrs and despite his tendency to wiff hes likely to post a .400+obp due to his incredible eye.
2b Kent Titan - The 21 year old phenom should contend for ROY honours while posting 35+ hrs and 50+ sbs out of the 2 spot.
SS Duffy Thielman - The lone proven star on this young team will anchor the lineup out of the 3 spot.
3b Still Looking??
LF Brad Hart/Jayson Malloy - Hart and Malloy will battle it out for the starting spot during spring training. Hart brings great basestealing ability and a dominance of lefties although his stamina and health problems make the more consistent Malloy the front runner to take the job.
CF Quinn Spencer - The 24 year old was recently aquired from LA. He will provide the spark at the top of the lineup batting leadoff.
RF Kyle Stynes - The 23 year old rookie could very well be named the top prospect in all of baseball when Prospect Rankings are released. He will challenge for the batting title and the MVP award this year while being the frontrunner for ROY, batting out of the cleanup spot.
DH Domingo Flores - The Rookie catcher will hold down the DH spot and bat 6th.
SP1 Vasco Rodriguez - Aquired along with Quinn Spencer from LA, Vasco should be good for 250+ innings along with all star numbers.
SP2 Bernie Fernandez - The Soft Tossing Fernandez throws 5 above average pitches along with pin point control and a rubber arm.
SP3 Geronimo Reynoso - Geronimo is entering the back end of his career but he continues to have great control of his pitches and a dominance of righties. Should put up well above average numbers for #3.
SP4 Jackie Melton - An innings eater with a love of throwing and a passionate hatred of pitching "Sometimes i just close my eyes and let it fly" he says. "I quite often forget to pick up the signs".
SP5 Shooter Perez - With 4 starters in front of him that are all capable of 35-40 starts, Perez projects to get around 10-15 starts along with long relief work out of the bullpen.
Gregg Truman, Tony Gonzalez, Dale Garcia and JJ Mason all have Closers stuff but in Portland they will take over Setup roles before handing the ball over to 25 year old Closer Frank Lim.
A division title and contention for a title is what this young team is aiming for, a very realistic goal.