No. 19 Philadelphia Phillies
2000 Record: 65-97 (5th in NL East)
Last season was a disaster for the Philadelphia Phillies. They were expected to finish near .500, but tied for the worst record in baseball. This season will be different if two big guns can stay healthy.
Mike Lieberthal and Scott Rolen missed major time due to injuries last season. Leiberthal is a two-time All-Star and Rolen has 40-homer potential if he can stay healthy -- so these two have to be in the lineup nearly every day. Lieberthal and Rolen, along with Bobby Abreu and second-year slugger Pat Burrell, form a tough middle of the lineup.
Travis Lee could make the difference between a good and great Phillies attack. The 24-year-old first baseman went from hot prospect to near washout last season. Putting Lee In Focus shows that his batting average and home run totals have dropped each season since '98.
If Lee bounces back, he can help provide run support for a starting staff that has some nice young pitchers. New manager Larry Bowa has 24-year-olds Randy Wolf and Bruce Chen, who are both on the verge of being 15-win lefties, and veteran Robert Person who emerged last season as the staff ace.
The bullpen was a problem in 2000, but Jose Mesa and Ricky Bottalico were signed in the offseason to fix that. This team could post just its second winning season in the past 15 years and I rank them as the 19th best in baseball.