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Sherman: Dbacks Loaded for Bear and Set to Dominate the NL

7

FoxSports column, originally printed in the NY Post, about the way Byrnes has built the team into a contender. Focuses especially on the threat to the Mets' attempt to take control of the National League. Even stretching the prospect base to the 25-and-under set to include Jose Reyes and David Wright, the Mets just do not have the breadth of young talent Arizona does. That is an issue moving forward. Because while the Mets' first order of business is taking care of the Phillies, Braves and the NL East, Arizona is beginning to look like the team to beat in the entire National League in 2008 ... and beyond. Arizona has five players 25 or younger in its everyday lineup: first baseman Conor Jackson, shortstop Stephen Drew, third baseman Mark Reynolds, center fielder Chris Young and right fielder Justin Upton. At 20, Upton is the youngest player in the majors and projected as the best of the group. You know your team has arrived when the New York media finally takes notice.

Power Ranking Domination

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Just from cruising the sports sites, it would seem that the Dbacks may have locked down the pennant for Power Rankings through April so far. Case in point: #1 in SI Power Rankings They have Brandon Webb, who does nothing but win with his Sinker from Hell, and could-be ace Dan Haren, and Micah Owings has had three straight good starts, and now Randy Johnson is back and looking pretty good. And, oh yeah, they have the best-scoring team in the game, and the reigning NL Manager of the Year and those cool snakeheads on their unis. The D'backs will cool off. But the heads will always be hot. #1 in ESPN Power Rankings Dan Haren hasn't disappointed his new team so far: He's 2-0 with a 2.54 ERA, 16 K's and three walks in 18 innings. (Obviously that was written prior to last night's game) #1 in CBS Sportsline Power Rankings If this team had a trustworthy bullpen, we would like their chances to take this top billing through a full season. And #2 in Fox Sports Power Rankings Mark Reynolds cooled a little after becoming the story of baseball early in Week 2. Lost in the shuffle has been Justin Upton's power surge. Once those two slow, expect another part of the all-upside offense to pick up the slack. With Brandon Webb and Dan Haren rolling right along, anything good out of Randy Johnson will just be gravy. (We all know that Fox Sports rides the short bus of sports journalism websites)

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