Entering Season 3, the SuperChargers are getting closer to competing but even with a franchise-record 83 wins last year, are still probably another season away from serious contention in the NL West.
The offense is led by 20/20 man Luis Lee who aptly mans the hot corner, while vets Blaine Harris and Alex Abbey will be counted on to provide some offensive punch from the RF and 1B positions, respectively.
The teams strong defense is anchored by the outstanding Pedro Candelaria at SS and Gold Glove winner Rudy Martin at 2B. New aquisition Delino Diaz will push incumbant Sid Bellhorn in CF, but either one will provide stellar D and a legitimate threat on the basepaths at the top of the order.
The steady Ignacio Servet will be pushed by rookie defensive whiz Aaron Duncan behind the plate. Either will receive from a strong, if inexperienced, staff led by 11-game winner Vince Bell, who coaches are hoping can take the "Ace" mantle from now departed Cy Young candidate Teddy Tomberlin. Last year's Rule 5 surprise Bill Riggan hopes for another strong year, while new acquisition Al Mantalban and rookie Mike Powell are likely to round out the starting staff.
The bullpen will be a bit of a patchwork of Rule 5s and other young arms, but depth should breed success in the cavernous Petco Park.
Another 80+ win season is the hope here in Southern California, but if the season starts off strong, we can surely expect a few of the highly touted youngsters down on the farm to make an appearance to bolster a potential playoff run.
Top 10 Prospects (in alpha order):
2B - Rod Anderson
SP - Julian Cairncross
SS - Rod Darwin
1B - Danny Duran
SS - Matt Henry
SP - Archie Killebrew
SP - Michael McEnroe
SS - Sting Meusal
2B - Victor Park
SP - Lucas Perry