Power hitters such as Prince Fielder, Paul Konerko, Albert Pujols and Mike Stanton will continue making the West Division a sluggers paradise in 2012.
Outfielder Ryan Braun was the team's MVP last year and returns to the team this year despite the possibility of a 50-game suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. He'll be joined by 2010 league MVP Albert Pujols and shortstop Jose Reyes.
In a somewhat surprising move, the Lower Haighters allowed All-Star set-up men David Robertson and Eric O'Flaherty to become free-agents and, instead, kept outfielder Mike Stanton. To be worth the investment made by the team in Stanton, the young outfielder must cut down on his strikeouts.
The final keeper for the Lower Haighters was starting pitcher Felix Hernandez. Hernandez struck out 222 batters and earned 22 quality starts in 2011.
Offensively, the Mirrors bring back 2011 team MVP Dustin Pedroia, a division All-Star at second base. Pedroia had 21 home runs and 26 stolen bases and was the league's 15th-ranked player last year. Instead of keeping the team's namesake, third baseman Alex Rodridguez, they instead kept young catcher J.P. Arencibia.
The Mirrors are well positioned for the early rounds of the March draft. They could add another pitcher to bolster the strongest staff in the league or find a power bat.
Gravely focused on the middle infield during the keeper draft. Second baseman Ben Zobrist and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera finished 2011 ranked third and fourth on the team respectively. Zobrist had 20 home runs and 19 stolen bases while Cabrera had 25 home runs and 17 stolen bases. The Menehunes also kept second baseman Kelly Johnson, who had 21 home runs and 16 stolen bases. All three have a good combination of speed and power.
The final two players kept by the Menhunes were starting pitcher Tim Lincecum and first baseman Billy Butler. Lincecum, who had 220 strikeouts and ranked second on the team last year, now becomes the face of the franchise. Butler was second on the team with 94 RBI and third in on base percentage at .361.
First baseman Prince Fielder was the team's MVP last year, leading the team with 38 homers and 120 RBI. Another first baseman, Paul Konerko, was also kept. Konerko was the second-ranked player on the team, hitting 31 home runs and driving in 105 runs. Konerko can play the utility position or be used as a trading chip.
The final offensive player kept by the Fishes was outfielder Nelson Cruz. He was limited to 124 games in 2011 because of injuries but still hit 29 home runs and drove in 87 RBI.
The Fishes bring back two solid starting pitchers in David Price and Tommy Hanson. Hanson's season was cut short by injury but he struck out 142 batters in 130 innings pitched. Price was the team's leading pitcher last year, striking out 218 and earning 21 quality starts.