Young Eyes: Playoff specs on AL Central

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Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox

* 1B Jose Abreu, the 2014 American League Rookie of the Year, is a reason that the Chicago White Sox could win the AL Central Division this year … so says our set of Young Eyes. ….

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Young Eyes: Playoff Speculation: AL Central Edition

By Zach Swanson
As the dust almost all but clears, the question shifts from who goes where to how will the teams turn out in the regular season.

Let’s look at the possible playoff teams, surprises and busts in this new six-part series.

AL CENTRAL:
The Detroit Tigers sure look so far like the favorites to win the division, but don’t count anyone out, even the Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox or Cleveland Indians.

The boys from Detroit will be looking for their fifth divisional title in a row, and additions of Cuban powerhouse Yoenis Cespedes as well as depth arm Alfredo Simon and former Blue Jays centre fielder Anthony Gose. The one problem that the Tigers are running into is the recurring injuries of Miguel Cabrera, which could possibly make or break the playoffs.

The Royals will be looked to after coming oh so close to a World Series victory, but after departures from Billy Butler and James Shields will put them against the wall, and I truly don’t believe in Kendrys Morales to replace Butler.

The White Sox are an interesting case, as they could conjure something special up thanks to the additions of Jeff Samardzija, Adam Laroche, David Robertson and Melky Cabrera. They also already have 2014 American League Rookie of the Year Jose Abreu, Chris Sale. who finished third in Cy Young voting, and Alexei Ramirez. who was an All-Star shortstop last year.

The Twins and Indians will struggle, but key second basemen for both teams in Brian Dozier and Jason Kipnis could spark a playoff run.

Absolute: Is anyone a lock here? Don’t think so.

Surprise: White Sox, but to surprise they would probably have to win the division because the wildcard is going to be an AL West-fest.

Bust: Royals. They lost some key pieces, and I don’t believe that they will bounce back.

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