NL West final report card grades
By ANDREW MORRIS
College Contributor Network
Having dished out marks for the AL East, AL Central, AL West, NL East and NL Central, we've finally arrived at the end of the road -- the NL West. The division was home to some of MLB's worst teams, but also its eventual champions in what was a wild year on the left coast.
Grade: F- -
This team only won 64 games. Need I write more?
Yes, the NL West was one of, if the not the toughest division in baseball with the Giants and Dodgers. The pieces Arizona had coming into the year -– Mark Trumbo, Bronson Arroyo, Gerardo Parra -- made anyone believe that they would at least give a rattle in the division (sorry for the terrible joke). But they had the worst record in baseball with a run differential of -127. Yikes.
Hopefully they can make the correct offensive moves this offseason to surround a still very productive Paul Goldschmidt and try it again.
While the Giants and Dodgers feasted, the Rockies were starving. However, the team was near the top in the majors in almost every offensive category (yeah, Coors Field, we get it).
But of course, injuries once again shot the Rockies in the foot and the team fell off the map after Michael Cuddyer and Troy Tulowitzki went down while still white hot with the bat. Colorado has promising young talent with Corey Dickerson and pitcher Tyler Matzek coming in. But for the most part, the Rockies will keep the same dice, and shake 'em again.
Los Angeles Dodgers
I gave both LA teams the same grade here because both teams found themselves sitting in prime view of the championship, but simply fell flat in their respective divisional series.
The Dodgers had the resources with a high-octane offense, and the eighth wonder of the world -- named Clayton Kershaw. Word of advice for the 2015 season: don't draw the St. Louis Cardinals in your NLDS.
San Diego Padres
It's not hard to see where San Diego went wrong. Last in the entire league in batting average, runs scored, on base percentage and slugging won't get you a playoff spot. For awhile towards the end of the year, the Pads were approaching a franchise low in batting average.
Surprisingly, the Padres finished in the middle of their NL West division riding on the back of their above-average pitching. The front office will have to make better moves than they did in 2013 when their biggest offseason signing was Seth Smith, but if they can get some bats, an NL Wild Card spot is reasonable. If not, we'll see the Padres have their fifth-straight losing season.
San Francisco Giants
Obvious grade, they won it all, yadda yadda yadda. But let's look a little deeper.
Early on the bats were firing on all cylinders and everything was good in the Bay, good enough for an MLB-leading record for a period. But the Giants were absolutely wiped with injuries and lost almost everyone from their opening day roster at some point.
They emerged, squeaked into the playoffs and caught fire (per usual). If not for Madison Bumgarner, then San Fran doesn't win the title, but that's just how the Giants like to win rings.
Only Mad Bum and aging veteran Tim Hudson will be set to roll for 2015, so Brian Sabean will be hitting the phone lines to secure a possible repeat.
Andrew Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse University. People refer to him in the third person and he has an everlasting love for Orange, Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter: @Andrewmo123