Which teams could blow past their poor preseason projections?

I’m going to talk about three teams I think could be major surprises — in a good way, relative to the projections. Before I get there, I’d like to provide some prior examples. I have a sheet of preseason team projections stretching all the way back to 2005. Over 13 years, several teams, of course, have been projected to be below average or worse. Many of those teams were below average. But some were very successful. Among my favorites:

Mourinho has been accused in the past of playing his men outside of their true position, but the glaring mismanagement of Pogba’s role is unacceptable. In the last two weeks, six points that should have been awarded to United now sit comfortably on their opponent’s tally.

When Mourinho places Pogba in a midfield three role, he is unstoppable. Not only is the Frenchman free to move about the pitch without a sense of urgency both directions, his form is unparalleled. Much of the hesitation from adopting that lineup must derive from the lack of a holding midfielder on the roster, which would completely relieve Pogba the burden of constantly reverting to a defensive post. While the signing of Alexis S├ínchez was world class, as my fellow Busby Babe contributor Garrett Burgon argued, United’s January transfer demands should have really included a midfielder.

Souza came to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday in a three-team trade that sent infielder Brandon Drury from Arizona to the New York Yankees and left-hander Anthony Banda, a top Arizona pitching prospect, to Tampa Bay.

Every player’s goal is to ultimately win a world championship, Hosmer said. To be able do that in Kansas City was amazing. To have that taste and understand what it means to a city and how much joy and excitement it brings to the people out there, it’s an experience I can sit here and talk about all day. It’s something that drives you as a player — to try to bring back as many as you can.

You see how San Diego as a city is begging for a sports team to go in there and bring some excitement and some energy. I saw the direction the organization was going, and I saw the people at the top of the mountain who were leading the organization, and I bought into what they’re trying to do here.

Hosmer wore No. 35 in Kansas City, but the Padres retired that jersey number in 1997 in honor of pitcher Randy Jones. He will wear No. 30 in San Diego as a tribute to his former Royals teammate Yordano Ventura, who died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last year. Third-base coach Glenn Hoffman agreed to relinquish the number so Hosmer could have it.royals_035

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