My trip through the divisions continue with the AL Central. Long seen as the weak sister division sandwiched between the powerful AL East and AL West, the Central rose up last season and made itself known with the Kansas City Royals shaking off a long-lasting playoff drought to storm through the American League side of the playoff bracket, only to come up short in the World Series.
The Detroit Tigers have ruled supreme in the Central for the past four years, but in 2015 there is a serious chance that another team will sit atop the standings at the end of the year. How will the Tigers respond to hotter competition? The young talent that had been rising through the farm system has finally arrived in the Majors in a big way for Kansas City. Were they a flash in the pan, or can they continue their ascension? Cleveland will be tough competition under the steady hand of Terry Francona. Cleveland and Kansas City largely stood pat over the offseason, but with a strong core of talent, that is not necessarily a bad thing. A team that was not quiet over the offseason was the Chicago White Sox. The South Siders were by far the most active team in the division, making them a contender in the eyes of many analysts. Minnesota is breaking in a new manager in Twins legend Paul Molitor. Can he continue the trend of former players stepping into Major League managing jobs with little past experience? Minnesota seems like to odd man out in the AL Central race, but the 2015 season will be a much more interesting one for the AL Central. The past decade has not felt very competitive in this division, but that will change this year. There are now four legitimate contenders for the division title. Baseball fans, give the Central some love this year!