Others to watch: Left fielder Moises Alou signed a
three-year deal with the Cubs at the end of 2001, thanks to the
insistence of new teammate Sammy Sosa. With Alou's .331 average, 27
homers, and 108 RBIs as an Astro last year, it's easy to see why
Sosa and the Cubs wanted him on their deck. Cincinnati Reds'
outfielder Adam Dunn is one youngster to watch this year.
The 6-foot- 6-inch 22-year-old that ESPN The Magazine pundits
picked in their "Next Ones" roundup is looking to improve on the 19
homers he hit last season - a short season at that, having just
been called up to the Majors in July. The Houston Astros return
with a lineup that includes 100-plus RBIers Jeff Bagwell
(130) and Lance Berkman (126). St. Louis may have lost
McGwire, but they acquired first baseman Tino Martinez, who
hit .280 with 34 home runs for the Yankees last year. The Redbirds
also keep last year's National League Rookie of the Year, Albert
Pujols, who hit an impressive .329 average and racked up 37
homers and 130 RBIs in his first year in the big leagues. The
Philadelphia Phillies come into this season behind the bats of
right fielder Bobby Abreu, left fielder Pat Burrell, and
third baseman Scott Rolen. If the trio can repeat their home
run performances of last year - 31, 27, and 25, respectively - the
Phillies should have another comfortable spot in the National
League East. And you can never rule out Atlanta's Larry Wayne
Jones as one slugger to watch this year. Last season, "Chipper"
batted .330, hit 38 homers, and drove in 102 RBIs in his eighth
season in a Braves uniform. More to come for sure.