Monday, November 25, 2013

Top SP

I'm going to refrain from making comments on these pitchers.These are the ratings that I feel most comfortable with and ranks players close to where they belong.

  1. Julian Tejeda (SEA) 82.86
  2. Les Gunderson (CHY) 81.86
  3. Zachrey Hogan (JAC) 81.43
  4. Sogard Hoffman (CHR) 81.43
  5. Damian Woo (FLA) 80.86
  6. Buck Stark (NB) 80.29
  7. Rick Burkhart (TEX) 79.29
  8. Kelvim Justic (PIT) 79.14
  9. Shep Blanks (CHY) 78.14
  10. Art Maddox (CLB) 77.86

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Top RF

  1. Ken Melancon (CHR) 76.86
    Doesn't strike out much. Has a good eye. Dominates LHP while doing well against RHP. Has some power. Can't play defense at all. Has a solid arm though.
  2. Michel Miro (LA) 76.29
    Miro will strike out more than you'd like, but he has a lot of power. Drives the ball well and can work a walk. Good range and strong arm, struggles with the glove.
  3. Al Mondesi (SEA) 76.14
    Won't strike out much at all, but does drive the ball well. Can work a walk and hit for some power. Good defender.
  4. Jim Carroll (LR) 76.00
  5. Seth Myers (TOR) 75.86
  6. Jhonny Manzanillo (NB) 74.86
  7. Denny Spencer (MNT) 72.57
  8. Sean Stearns (CLB) 72.57
  9. Carlos Baez (LV) 72.14
  10. Alex Zhang (RIC) 71.57

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top CF

  1. Steve Piper (FLA) 75.43
    Piper has solid range and a good glove. He makes strong contact with some power. He drives the ball and runs the bases well. He can get on base via the walk.
  2. Carl Ripken (SEA) 73.14
    Ripken doesn't possess the great range and glove of some CF, but he makes up for it with lightning in his bat. He will strike out some, but has lots of power. He can drive the ball. Average eye.
  3. Sven Sherman (PIT) 72.71
    Sherman has tremendous range, but lacks a great glove. He has good power, but will strikeout. He can drive the ball although he struggles against LHP.
  4. Orlando Hernandez (HON) 71.71
  5. Jorge Garces (LA) 71.57
  6. Daniel Urbie (CH2) 71.00
  7. Shawn Shields (ARI) 70.29
  8. Enrique Gonzales (CLB) 69.43
  9. Esteban Perez (PHI) 69.14
  10. Trenidad Cervelli (RIC) 68.86

Top LF

  1. Alex Blanco (OTT) 80.71
    Blanco drives the ball extremely well. Has good range and glove. Good eye. Solid at making contact. Good power.
  2. Hayes Brown (LA) 76.00
    Tremendous defensive LF, Brown drives the ball equally well against LHP and RHP. Solid eye. Doesn't strike out too much. Solid power.
  3. Hideki Koh (FLA) 75.43
    Good power. Drives the ball extremely well. Doesn't have a great eye. Solid range. Solid eye.
  4. Shawn Brooks (CLE) 72.43
  5. David Chavez (NB) 72.00
  6. Phillip Shields (TEX) 71.43
  7. Bob Jones (JAX) 71.00
  8. Geraldo Olivares (CHY) 70.57
  9. Dusty McDonald (ATL) 70.14
  10. Vic Chavez (OTT) 70.00

Monday, November 18, 2013

Top SS

  1. Cesar Cruz (NB) 78.44
    Cruz can hit for solid power. Has a good eye. Hits well against LHP. Does strike out a little more than you'd like. Solid but not spectacular defensively.
  2. Rigo Rosado (SYR) 76.89
    Dominates LHP, doesn't strike out much. Average eye. Lacks idea range or arm accuracy. Good glove, strong arm.
  3. Robert Miller (SEA) 76.22
    Has terrible range, but a solid glove and good arm. Dominant against LHP. Solid eye and solid power. Decent against RHP. Makes decent contact.
  4. Shawn Roth (CSP) 75.67
  5. Jack Jurrjens (FLA) 75.56
  6. Philip Latham (TOR) 73.44
  7. Dante Crummack (PHI) 73.33
  8. Rickie Burgess (ROC) 73.00
  9. Craig Tracy (ATL) 72.67
  10. Gregg Hill (LAA) 71.67

Top 3B

  1. Clay Swisher (OTT) 81.29
    An elite player, Swisher hits for tremendous power, drives the ball well. He won't strike out much at all. He has 2 "weaknesses"...his eye isn't good and he doesn't have top notch range. He has a great glove and a great arm.
  2. Peter Carmona (FLA) 79.29
    Carmona doesn't strike out too much. Has good power. Good eye. Dominant against RHP. Solid against LHP. Solid rang, good glove, strong arm, lacks accuracy.
  3. Rich Eaton (NB) 78.14
    Eaton makes solid contact. He does have decent power. Solid eye. Dominates LHP. Solid against RHP. Good glove, range, strong arm, struggles with accuracy at times.
  4. Kory Sterns (NO) 76.57
  5. Arthur Davenport (OTT) 76.29
  6. Pasqual Blanco (HON) 75.43
  7. Jorge James (ARI) 75.14
  8. Andres Santos (ATL) 74.71
  9. Alan Anderson (LA) 74.29
  10. Carlos Jimenez (NY2) 74.00
  11. B.J. Grabow (CH2) 73.43

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Top 2B

  1. Dante Nakajima (CSP) 81.00
    Although he doesn't have the power of a typical elite player, he doesn't strike out much and he drives the ball well. He knows the strike zone and uses that to his advantage. While his arm accuracy is below average, his range makes up for that.
  2. Bey Perez (MNT) 77.75
    Perez has great power, and doesn't strike out much. He does a solid job of driving the ball, although he is better against LHP. Decent eye. He's fast and can run the bases. Really shines as one of the better defensive 2B in the world.
  3. Jesus Andrus (FLA) 77.13
    Good power. Dominant against LHP. Solid against RHP. Average eye. Great speed. Very good defensively. Doesn't strike out too much.
  4. Bruce Casanova (CHR) 76.13
  5. Louie Diaz (LA) 75.00
  6. Darrin Rossy (HON) 74.63
  7. Buddy Carroll (CH2) 74.50
  8. Jarrett Davis (OTT) 72.13
  9. Alan Lombard (JAX) 71.75
  10. Edgard Barrios (ARI) 71.50
  11. Al Guerrero (CLE) 71.25

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top 1B/DH

  1. Terry West (OTT) 85.60
    Dominant against LHP, while doing well against RHP, West also hits for a good amount of power. He knows how to work the count to get on base, while not striking out too much.
  2. Wiki Franco (CH2) 83.80
    Tremendously powerful, Franco can make pitchers who try to pitch around pay with a great eye. He does drive the ball into the gaps pretty well. Doesn't strike out too much.
  3. Milton Kramer (CHR) 82.80
    Kramer is just solid across the board. He hits for power, average, drives the ball into the gaps and gets on base.
  4. Pete Malone (ATL) 82.80
  5. Ahmad Wagner (MNT) 81.80
  6. Pedro Johnson (CHY) 80.80
  7. Derrick Trammell (TOR) 80.60
  8. Carmine Knott (RIC) 79.20
  9. Jesse Collins (RIC) 79.20
  10. Victor Vargas (NY2) 78.40

Monday, November 11, 2013

S15 Top C

  1. Donaldo Rodrigo (NB) 79.25
    Some may look down upon this choice due to his lack of power, but Rodrigo makes contact and can drive the ball into the gaps well. He works the count really well. He also is the best game caller in the Majors. He's got a solid arm. He's got some durability issues.
  2. Dennis Bohannon (FLA) 77.50
    Won't strike out much at all. Hits for a ton of power and can work the count well. Struggles against RHP in comparison to his ability against LHP. He has a strong arm, while the accuracy is average. He's an average game-caller. Decent durability. Still young, so has the potential to grow.
  3. Walt Burke (CH2) 75.75
    Dominates RHP and is average against LHP. Has a great eye. Doesn't have elite power, but definitely solid power. Makes some good contact and avoids the strike out. Can really work the count so should definitely be on the basepaths a lot. Solid durability. Has a weak arm, but it's accurate Average game-caller. 
  4. Lenny Flores (SEA) 75.00
  5. A.J. Dupler (ARI) 74.88
  6. Enrique Canseco (CHR) 74.50
  7. Cole Robinson (NO) 74.13
  8. Frank Starr (FLA) 73.50
  9. Gookie Hennessey (RIC) 73.13
  10. Don Cintron (OTT) 72.50

Friday, September 27, 2013

S14 Draft Review

1. RF Carl Reitsma (ELP)
Interesting pick here…doesn’t have the glove to be anything but an extremely rangy 1B or a spectacularly frustrating RF with a cannon for an arm. Doesn’t excel at hitting the ball, but does drive it well when it is in his hitting zone. Great eye combines with great speed to make him a dangerous baserunner.
2. 2B Peter Rezepczynski (TOR)
Tremendous range and glove will allow him to be an outstanding 2B or CF. Does a good job of making contact and hits the ball with authority. Average at driving the ball consistently, but has a good eye to go along with solid baserunning skills.
3. RHP Angel Kirk (CHY)
Throws hard with solid control. Great stamina/durability combination. Does a tremendous job of keeping the ball out of the hitting zone. Great pitch combination. Keeps the ball on the ground for the most part.
byers61 says: Cheyenne management is extremely happy with the third selection in this year's draft, Angel Kirk. He was number one on our board. Kirk is an already well-developed 20 year old who projects to a 94 OVR. Every pitching category is good to excellent. His one drawback is a max of 61 in the health rating, so the Gunslingers will be jacking up the medical budget. Expect a rapid ascent through the minors and a fixture in the Gunslinger's rotation for years to come.
4. 2B Buck Broome (PIT)
Great range. Average glove. Solid speed. Above average contact and power. Does a great job of driving the ball through the hitting zone. Great eye.
5. SS Chris Chapman (PHI)
Tremendous defensive SS when combined with his offensive skills. Very good speed with solid baserunning. Above average contact and drives the ball solidly when it’s in the hitting zone too. Tremendous eye.
opie5 says: Philadelphia management was very happy to land HS SS Chris Chapman with pick 5. Chapman projects as a solid 3b with excellent on-base skills and some pop in his bat. Questions about his signability were worrisome, but agreement was reached and he’s playing on the rookie level.
6. SS Neifi Azocar (NY2)
Tremendous power. Drives the ball really well. Good eye. Above average contact. Solid speed. Depending on how important SS defense is to a team, he’ll probably shift to 2B or 3B and be a Gold Glove/Silver Slugger candidate in most seasons.
abesmem says: The Highlanders were very pleased to select and sign Neifi Azocar with the 6th overall pick. The only uncertainty with Neifi is whether he will have the range to paly SS. Otherwise, he should be a great third sacker for NY for many years. He has a great arm, solid glove and good speed. He has great power even for 3B and handles righties and lefties well. His above average batting eye and his ability to make contact should allow him to develop into a very solid offensive threat, regardless of the position he ends up playing.
7. RHP William Choi (ROC)
Struggles to locate his pitches consistently. Tremendous pitch combination. Does a good enough job against LHB and dominates RHB. Solid stamina/durability combination. Doesn’t throw hard and is average at keeping the ball on the ground.
8. SS Peter McGowan (NO)
Doesn’t have the glove to be a SS at the BL level, but doesn’t have the offense to play 3B. Looks like a solid 2B. Average contact and power. Dominates RHP and is average against LHP. Great eye. Good baserunner with average speed.
9. C Logan Coulter (LOU)
Coulter is the best power hitte rin the draft. Not sure what else needs to be said other than he should anchor the Steamboats lineup and hit for a big OPS. The one negative would be he will be pretty deficient at 1B so hopefully his offense will camoflauge that well.
hurricane384 says: Hard not to get excited about Coulter. Should hit for a lot of power with a good average and OBP. Can’t play defense to save his life…he’s not real sure which hand he puts his glove on…but man can he rake…the Steamboats will be petitioning for a move to the AL.
10. RHP Ruben Castilla (LA)
Doesn’t throw hard. Doesn’t locate his pitches. Doesn’t have anything but one outstanding pitch. Great stamina/durability combination, but might not be consistent enough to make full use of that characteristic. Does keep the ball down in the zone.
trentk says: Once again was hoping one of the hitters I liked would fall to me at this pick but it didn't happen. Castilla was #5 on my board, and was the pitcher I liked most from who I could see. Only concern is control projected out a lot lower after signing. Hopefully a guy who can eat innings in the middle of the rotation.
11. 1B Rodney Ford (CHR)
Tremendous power and contact. Dominates LHP. Solid against RHP. Great eye. Should be an absolute beast and could actually hold his own in the bigs right now. Probably the best overall offensive player in the draft.
hopkinsheel says: The River Dogs were ecstatic to see Ford drop to #11. We think he is the top pure hitter in the draft and if he develops could break some records down the line. His swing doesn't have a hole in it.
12. LHP Ken Charleston (LR)
First reliever off the board is a good one. Lacks ideal durability. Good control. Does a good job of getting that strikeout or GB DP when needed. Keeps the ball out of the hitting zone. Could contribute in the bigs right now. Good pitch combination.
13. CF Alex Perez (CLE)
Great range and glove. Good speed. Will make a lot of contact, but won’t take a lot of walks. Very little power. Doesn’t hit consistently against either RHP or LHP. Terrible baserunner. Very durable.
14. LHP Hank Urich (TEX)
Great control. Dominates LHB and does a good job against RHB. Throws hard. Lacks ideal pitch combination. Good stamina and durability. Injury-risk.
15. RHP Boone Phelps (LAA)
Lacks ideal SP stamina, but does possess solid durability. Solid control. Does better against RHB than LHB. Doesn’t throw hard. Has a good combination of pitches. Solid at keeping the ball down in the zone.
allright says: Boone Phelps was taken at 15. Phelps will probably wind up in the bullpen. He does not project to have the stamina to be a starter and could be much better vrh. Positives are control and a couple of dynamite pitches. A decent choice at 15; but, now that we have him, we're not certain we know what to do with him.
16. SS Matt Scott (JAX)
Solid defensively who will make up for his shortcomings on defense by being an outstanding offensive SS. Makes great contact with some pop. Dominates LHP while doing well against RHP. Has the speed to beat out a few infield and bunt hits, while also getting on base at a good clip. Should be a top offensive player for a while.
17. LHP P.J. Jarvis (SEA)
Doesn’t have good splits. Keeps the ball down in the zone while throwing decently hard. Solid control. Solid stamina, great durability. 1 great pitch, but will let you down with the rest of the pitches.
jmleave says: P.J. Jarvis , although there were better players, I ranked PJ number 1 overall because I thought there was a chance he would fall to me at 17. I consider myself lucky to get him. Although his splits keep him from being an ace, he's a solid 1a, or #2. I couldn't ask for more at #17.
18. 2B Art Carew (ELP)
Dominates LHP, but is average against RHP. Average ballplayer. Isn’t going to win any awards. May not have the arm for 2B, but doesn’t possess the offensive skillset to move to a COF slot. Best tool is probably his speed, but he has to be reminded which way to run when he does reach base.
19. CF Edwin Kirby (LAA)
Drives the ball well when it’s in his hitting zone. Doesn’t make a lot of contact or have much pop. Solid knowledge of the strike zone. Solid glove, lacks ideal range for CF. Doesn’t have offensive skillset to play COF. Can’t run the bases to take advantage of above average speed.
allright says: Edwin Kirby was taken at 19. Drafted as a cf, he will have to find a new spot. He has neither the range nor the glove to be a major league cf. He will make it to the bigs because he can hit righthanders and he has enough power and contact talent to be an excellent doubles type hitter. Neither Phelps nor Kirby will be bell cows. They can play significant roles on a major league team.
20. RHP Toby Carroll (CIN)
Might be one of the better value picks of the draft. While he won’t dominate batters, he won’t hurt himself either. He throws hard and keeps the ball down. Has decent pitch combination. Good stamina/durability combination.
21. RHP Cesar Nieves (ARI)
Won’t walk many. Dominates RHB while doing well against LHB. Doesn’t possess ideal pitches or stamina for a SP. Doesn’t throw hard or keep the ball down in the zone.
22. LHP Hunter Raines (CSP)
Doesn’t have good splits. Solid control. Great stamina. Solid durability. Throws hard and keeps the ball down. Solid pitch combination.
23. 1B Chili Lee (RIC)
The unfortunate thing about Chili is he struggles with his conditioning which will limit his impact for the Rebels. When he’s in the lineup, watch out. Hits for tremendous power, dominates RHP, won’t strike out much, and can work the count.
train says: I was surprised to land Chili Lee at 23; his bat is top-5. He's limited to 1B and he has Dur concerns (projects only to 66) so that could explain the drop. A bat of his quality, even with these red flags, is great value in the back third of the first round. Needless to say, I'm excited about this one.
24. RHP Bill Knotts (HON)
Great durability/stamina combination. Good control. Dominates RHB. Does well against LHB. Doesn’t throw hard and gives up his share of flyballs. Doesn’t possess killer stuff.
25. LF Nick Pederson (TEX)
Good power. Won’t strike out excessively. Solid eye. Solid splits. Has a great glove, but lacks ideal range. Solid speed.
26. 3B Alan Gordon (LR)
Will strikeout a lot. Drives the ball well when it’s in the hitting zone and he makes contact. More of a gap hitter than a power hitter. Average strike zone recognition. Average speed. If his glove wasn’t so weak, he’d be a gold glover for sure.
27. LHP Brent Kramer (CH2)
Great stamina. Better against LHB than RHB. Throws hard and does a solid job at keeping the ball down. Good pitch combination. Won’t walk a lot of guys.
28. C Seth O’Brien (MON)
Has a strong arm, but isn’t quite as accurate as you would like. Drives the ball into the gaps pretty well. Doesn’t hit for a lot of power and average at making contact. Average strike zone knowledge. Speedy for a C.
kelly_mccann says: Seth O'Brien should develop into a serviceable major league catcher eventually, but the Hornets drafted him for his bat. Hits very well for both contact and power and can handle both right and left handed pitching. Despite his natural bat skills, he's somewhat reckless at the plate and is prone to swinging at bad pitches.
29. 2B Gus Sutton (NY2)
Tremendous range. Solid glove and arm. Durable. Strikes out a lot. Doesn’t have much pop. Solid eye. Better against LHP than RHP. Pretty fast.
30. RF Yoshinori Wang (ATL)
Should be a solid defender who can hold his own at a couple positions. Solid power. Average contact. Much better against LHP than RHP. Decent eye. Average speed.
31. CF Peter O’Keefe (NB)
Best defensive CF in the draft. He can work the count really well and should be on base enough to take advantage of his elite speed. Not much pop and doesn’t drive the ball well. Average contact.
32. 2B Rymer Sanchez (LV)
Great range. Not much offensively to offer, although he’s above average at hitting the ball in the gaps and working the count. Solid speed.
33. RHP Ivan Hernandez (OTT)
Doesn’t have much stamina, but is durable. Good pitch combination. Prone to a gopher ball here and there. Won’t walk many. Does a great job at getting K’s and keeping the ball out of the hitting zone.
34. RHP Johnny  Borkowski (JAC)
Great control. Solid stamina/durability. Keeps the ball out of RHB hitting zones, while he’s prone to damage from LHB. Throws hard and keeps the ball down. One great pitch, 2 mediocre, and one terrible pitch.
quackup says: Johnny Borkowski : Sinkerballer with potentially excellent control could be a nice asset in the majors someday...
35. LF Ray Hodges (OTT)
Solid pick this late. Definitely can contribute. Makes contact, but average power and hitting the gaps. Solid eye. Great speed/baserunning. Could play CF in a pinch, but has good range and glove for the COF, even though he’s likely to not hit enough to justify a lock on either COF slot.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

S14 Preview

Anaheim Knights
The LAA@A were 8 games underwater last season, and most of that was without an oxygen tank. At first glance, last season's record indicates regression from the prior season's team that advanced to the second round of the playoffs. Closer analyses suggests just the opposite. Last season's team was better than the one before, in spite of the poorer record. " How is that"?, you say. The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind, more precisely in the flame throwing dragons that patrol the National League west. Once know as "The Patsie Division", it is now one the League's strongest and promises to get stronger this season. Keeping up with the Jones' will take more than a leap of faith, it will also take a leap in talent. The Angels have read the tea leaves, or maybe the handwriting is on the wall. Either way, an improved Angels team is ready for the challlenge. The expected improvement comes from within the organization. Bullpen addition A. Perez is the only rookie expected to make the opening day roster; but, continued development of last year's solid rookies, like O. Parris, J. Melendez, A. Bryant, and D. Shields bodes well for the Angels.

The loss (via trades for promising minor league pitching) of P. Bob Tulowitzki, catcher C. Palmer, and the team's OBA leader, H. Brock, will mean the sophomores will have to step up and it is expected that they will, though growing pains are expected.

The team is deep, with talented players plentiful. It will be better this season and will have to be to be above water. The Angels offense is solid; but it is not spectacular. The starting rotation needs improvement. Budget flexibility, outstanding prospects in AAA, and another year of maturity for the current roster means that next season should be the Angels better one. This season, because of division strength, the Angels will have a long row to hoe in order to make the playoffs.

Atlanta Braves
Atlanta is returning a very similar team as last season's WS champs, but made a couple key additions. 1B Pete Malone will add a much needed bat to the middle of Peaches lineup and should greatly improve the offense this year. Trenidad Tejada was also added to round out the starting rotation. We are hoping that these 2 upgrades will help us to defend the title!

Charleston River Dogs
The River Dogs are tired of losing and made some big moves with the target of getting back to the top of the NL South. Last season we planned on continuing the rebuilding process, but the NL South was so weak (again) that we found oursleves in the thick of the playoff race which we eventually lost by a few games.

We had a protected first round pick and after surveying the free agent market we decided to target several top end pitchers and ended up acquiring Carlton Nelson (former first round pick of the River Dogs who was traded away for Bruce Casanova) and Brendan Lobstein (former #1 pick of the first season). Both have had solid careers and were signed at very attractive prices.

Two good rookies will also be joining the team in former first rounder Jason Tracy who should hit a ton and also Charlie Woods who will be the last piece of the Al Castro deal to make his major league debut. Big things are expected of each.

We are definitely shooting for an NL South title, but we're excited about the young core and pieces we added this season.

El Paso Diablos
The El Paso Diablos decided to focus on Starting Pitching this offseason. With a plethora of young players, payroll has not been an issue this season. We signed 3 free agent SPs who we hope will help turn around this franchise. With only 1 winning season in the existence of the franchise we are hopeful that this season we can come in around .500 or slightly over.

Jackson Mallards
Not too many changes; with luck we'll perform a bit better than last season.

Louisville Steamboats
After an absolutely miserable season last season, the Steamboats wanted to make changes…those changes didn’t exactly come to fruition. A decently rebuilt rotation, and some more power for the offense should help. Losing Steamboat home run leader Kevin Zhang has the potential to hurt, but his replace, Bobby Ray Mercedes should perform better overall. Added a good defensive CF in Henry Franklin and will be bringing SS Tom Masterson up to take over after 20 or so games. Hopefully he’ll add some pop to this offense. The pitching staff is mediocre and hopes to take advantage of a good infield defense by inducing a lot of grounders.

Montgomery Hornets
Montgomery shocked some people last season, winning 90 games for the first time in franchise history, and winning the AL South Division Title for the first time since Season 1 with a record of 94-68.
The Hornets were extremely quiet this off season, bringing in veteran relievers Davey Andrews & Nick Offerman to stabilize the bullpen. So Montgomery will go to battle with essentially the same team that won 94 games last season. “We felt like we had the pieces in place to compete on the field”, GM Kelly McCann said, “and we wanted the club to be able to compete in the International market as well, so we were pretty conservative.”
Former #1 overall pick Dennis Bohanon has a full year of big league experience under his belt and the Hornets need him to turn his game up a notch if they want to be in a position to win playoff games. CF Darrin Rossy is in a contract year and has made it clear thru his agents, Big Money Ballers LLC, that he is playing his final year in Montgomery and will sell himself to the highest bidder this off season. 24 year old, former #4 overall pick, Denny Spencer will play his first full season in the bigs after appearing in 108 games last season. 36 year old Hal Thompson, will look to cement a spot in the HOF this season, as his career winds down.
The starting rotation remains the same with Todd Schmidt and Darrell Taylor anchoring the top. Former Rule-5 pick Hub Merritt saved 41 games last season and was even in the running for the Cy Young.
The Hornets expect to win 90 games again this season, and are hopeful that they have the stuff to win their first playoff series in franchise history.

New York Highlanders
The NY Highlanders are looking forward to a much needed bounce-back season. The season 14 roster looks very different than last season due to a glut of FA signings and trades. The middle of the infield has seen a dramatic change with the move of veteran Lou Coleman over to the second base side of the bag to make room for newly acquired slick fielding SS Alex Posada. This trade will allow NY to keep Coleman’s bat in the lineup while making his somewhat diminishing defensive skills a positive attribute at 2B. The addition of FA bat Victor Vargas at 1B, will give the middle of the lineup the “pop” that was missing last season. The much maligned rotation from last year has been significantly boosted by the addition of veterans Ken Saunders and Bob Tulowitzki (thru trade) and FA signing Shou Zhang. Returning veterans Reed Carlson and Sherman Feldman should remain solid contributors. The starting rotation will be rounded out by the continued development of “wild thing” Heath Smith. Finally the bullpen was strengthened immeasurable by the FA signings of set up man Louis Izquierdo and potential closer Justin Ross.

Richmond Rebels
Not sure what to make of this season - previous success for this franchise had been built around pitching, and heading into last season that was still the plan. After sputtering through the first half of the season I dealt my top two SP for a combination of bats and prospects.

Logically, we went on a tear from there, fueled by a lineup of power bats (and not much else). So I figured why not load up on those guys and see what happens this year. Honestly, this team would be perfect for Colorado: my 1-8 hitter have power ratings of 74, 99, 91, 98, 85, 99, 99, 99 (with only a 29-power SS missing the mark). Gotta be the first time i've put together a lineup in which a guy with 98 power has the 5th highest rating in that category.

The other offense skills are averagish, with some obp in there, but mostly we are going to rely on power. The pitching, on the other hand, should also provide power but for the other team. I expect some football scores this year, as we lack anything resembling high-end SP. Hopefully the offense can outscore whatever the pitching allows. Should be fun to read the box scores at least...

I predict something around .500, but if the bats go off (or go cold), it could swing significantly one way or the other.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Top 10 Winningest Franchises - thanks to balance71

  1. Cincinnati - .581
  2. Ottawa - .570
  3. Honolulu - .559
  4. New Britain - .556
  5. Syracuse - .551
  6. Columbus - .544
  7. Richmond - .544
  8. Texas - .533
  9. Las Vegas - .532
  10. Florida - .522

Monday, July 8, 2013

S13 Draft Quotes

Sorry guys, I ran out of time to post anything in-depth, but here are the guys who got me quotes.

Las Vegas Bookies
Not very happy with Mr. Putz, he was our 8th selection and got him with the 12th pick; was really hoping to get someone in our top 5 as after that it dropped off from what we could see. He'll be able to throw in the 9th but that's about it.

Los Angeles Entertainers
Kip Costello Round 1, Pick #2. Projects solid stamina, control and splits and above average velocity. Pitches are not outstanding, but 4 of 5 project over 55. Health is a slight concern. Hopefully a middle of the rotation guy for a long time.
Albie Mujica Round 1, Pick #10. Was hoping one of the hitters taken in the top would fall, but not unhappy with Mujica. Health is a mild concern. Projects to outstanding control, and 3 of 4 above average pitches. Hopefully again a solid middle of the rotation guy for years to come.

New Orleans Zydeco
The New Orleans front office is thrilled with the selection of Shannon Williams. If he lives up to expectations, he will be a workhorse with outstanding control of five pitches. He should be murder on right-handed hitters. Although he has a strong makeup, he can be injury-prone. The main question mark is whether he'll be able to remain healthy. If he can, he could be an all-star level pitcher.

Charleston River Dogs
Pick 11 - This was a loaded draft at the top so we actually had Dickson ranked 6th. Extremely happy he dropped to us and we feel like he is a guy who could have gone top 5 in a weaker draft. We project him as a #2 SP if not possibly an ace specifically because of his strong splits and #1 pitch. The one area of concern will be his health which is a tad lower than someone we'd normally invest so much in, but we couldn't pass up the talent.

Pick 27 - A little background on this pick. It was a comp pick from last season where we ended up not signing the guy we chose so we earned this choice in Season 13's draft. We originally had several players ranked higher than Small that we could have chosen, but they were all signability risks. Since we would have completely lost the choice if that happened, we inched up several players who were not signability concerns and thus we landed Small. We acually really like him as a Catching prospect. Typically our organization targets great hitting, marginal fielding Catchers, but Small is an awesome fielding catcher with a little pop in his bat. Should be interesting to watch him develop.

New York Highlanders
The Highlanders are very happy signing Dwight Overbeck with the 16th overall pick. We’ll probably move Dwight over to second base where throwing arm will not be a detriment. He has a great glove, adequate range and should be durable enough to be an everyday player. The major upside for Dwight is his bat. He makes good contact, has very good power and great splits against both righties and southpaws. At 21, he has very advanced skills and will start out in AA ball. He could be in the majors in 2 years or less.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Season 13 Previews

Anaheim Angels
The Angels surprised everyone last season by advancing to the second round of the playoffs. Don't expect another climb up. In fact, the growing strength of intra-division competition will make a division championship unlikely. The Angels made no meaningful acquisitions and had no meaningful losses. It is expected that some of last year's AAA talent will make it to the bigs; but, probably not until later in the season. It would be fair to say that the Angels farm system ranks in the top five. The star type talent is a season or two away. A .500 season is the most likely bet.

Atlanta Peaches
Goal for the Peaches this season is to again contend for the division title and hopefully beat out Little Rock this time around. Improving the defense at Shortstop and Catcher was a must coming into the off-season and the signing of SS Craig Tracy and acquisition of Ryan Mulholland should fix that problem. The offense should be just fine behind power hitting LF Dusty McDonald and 1B Dario Rath. The pitching staff added SP Al Castro to a solid rotation and the Atlanta front office is hoping for a rebound season from vet Alan Sherman. All in all it is a good, deep team in Atlanta and anything short of the playoffs would be a disappointment.

Charleston River Dogs
Looks like at least one more rebuilding season for the River Dogs. We are excited about how we've restocked the minor league system and have some really talented players working their way up. Bruce Casanova is our highest paid player and one of the top players in the world. He'll be signed to a long term deal next season. Our hope is to find another good to great international this season and have a strong draft while staying decently competitive at the ML level as we did last season.

Cleveland Indians
Snagging Darby Kaufman with the 14th overall pick was pretty lucky for the Cleveland Indians. While finding the right position for Darby might be challenging (2B or LF), he does have the makings of a prototypical #2 hitter. He’s got great health and durability projections . He also has an excellent eye, good bunting and base running skills combined with above average speed. He’ll make good contact against righties and lefties and is starting out (if I can sign him) in Low A.

El Paso Diablos
This is the year that I really concentrate on rebuilding. I was rushed last time and had to get hit the win floor which took away all the seasons of trying to redo the minor leagues. This year, I am trying to get some kind of talent in this system, because it is still really bare from years of neglect and poor drafting. There are only a handful of prospects that are worth anything in the system, and no stars at the ML league level. I'm hoping we can be a 65-70 win team with the group that I have gotten through free agency. I had only 5 players signed for this year before free agency, and had to go out and pretty much get a whole new roster for a year. I didn't have the resources to go all out and get every max player deal out there to maintain my flexibility for the future when some of these guys are actually ready to come up. We will see if I'm able to rebuild this team without sacrificing the integrity of the league. Otherwise, somebody else will enjoy the misery and fruits of my labor that I have tried to work on for the last 4-5 seasons.

Jackson Mallards
Here's hoping Jerome Adams will add a bit more consistency to the Mallards rotation...

Jacksonville Gators
20 free agents signed to one year contracts plus 5 AAAA players promoted from within the organization equals your season 13 Jacksonville Gators. As we head into year 3 of what appears to be just the start of a long, painful rebuilding process. The team bolsters 3 former top 5 draft picks under the age of 28, but they don’t have the talent to back up their hype. Alan Lombard and Albert Romero had their hopes robbed by injury. While Bob Jones didn’t develop at the rate scouts expected. Among the 20 free agents signed, 8 were type B and 2 type A, so there is hope that the team can stay competitive and avoid a 100 loss season.

Las Vegas Bookies
S12: 72-90 (3rd in NL West)

To say last season was a disappointment is like saying that Wolverine fans enjoy Ohio St. fans. We traded for Zach Hogan and Willie Olivia to pair with Sogard Hoffman and Tyler Betancourt, giving us what we thought was the best 4 man rotation in the majors. We also landed Shawn Grieve to help out Houston Reese, Carlos Baez and Jermey May on offense. Management was fully expecting to make a deep playoff run with this team as our pitching staff only had a few seasons left in them. When we couldn't even win the division or compete for a wild card, the locker room was not a fun place to be for the end of the season meeting. We even tried shipping Zach Hogan for Marino Bautista to generate some type of offense (he ended up hitting .204 for us). We tried to sell off the team and began rebuilding but not many teams were biting this offseason so while we think we still have a decent team on paper, we aren't expecting to get our hopes up after seeing what happened last season.

Little Rock Rollers
Don't really know what to expect this year, although a repeat of last seasons 92 wins might seem unlikely due to keeping an eye on rebuilding by letting our free agents test the waters to gain some supplemental B picks for the upcoming draft. Although we feel we have acquired some good free agents to fill in the gaps to hopefully come close to what was accomplished last year.

Louisville Steamboats
After winning their division for the second straight season, the Steamboats did some rebuilding with an eye towards getting out of the first round of the playoffs. The rebuilding was not without some controversy, though.

The offense is largely improved with Sarma Corsi and Ron Milner platooning at 1B. C could be interesting as there is big-time slugger Bosco Mercedes, Dickie Hudson and rule-5 pick Travis Raymond. 2B brings a big-time improvement as FA signing Carlos Jimenez slides into that spot. Another FA signee, Davey Tucker, makes his return to Louisville to serve as the starting 3B and bat 2nd. SS is where the team is really struggling after missing out on prize FA Rickie Burgess. There is a battle between Edgardo Saenz and Cy Reese and a trade was recently made to bring Phillip Weaver over from Ottawa. LF is being held down by Phillip Shields and Kevin Zhang continues to hold down RF. CF Jose Santana replaces Al Baez for both an offensive and defensive improvement.

A brand-new rotation highlights the pitching staff as Felipe Benitez, J.P. Diaz, Shouta Tanaka, Gerald Garcia, and R.J. Manuel combine to form a much deeper staff than was available last season. While the top isn’t as good, the rest of the rotation should pick up the slack. The bullpen is young, but solid. Curtis Roberts anchors it, with Corey Langerhans and Maicer Lopez looking to make their ML debuts. Brooks Bush, Todd Minor, and Jake O’Leary round out this hard-throwing bullpen…does not have a member that has a velocity rating below 80.

This is a season of change in Louisville, hopefully the change is getting out of the first round of the playoffs this time.

New York Highlanders
The NY Highlanders strength last year was pitching and with everyone returning, the staff from top to bottom should be excellent again this year. On offense the team should improve with full years from Kozlowski at 1b and Bryan Glynn leading and playing LF. The addition of FA Angel James at 3B gives us a solid bat and great glove to help anchor the infield. A last minute FA signing of Wilson Durbin gives the team some needed speed off the bench. Returning veterans at all other positions should make the Highlanders a contender in season 13.

Monday, April 29, 2013

AL #2 Florida Tropics (98-64) 1st WS Appearance
NL #1 Ottawa Outlaws (99-63) 3rd WS Apps, 2 WS Championships (S1 & S11)

Florida (AL Ranks)
Avg:    .272 (2nd)
OBP:   .338 (4th)
Slg:      .455 (1st)
RS:      874 (2nd)
HR:     263 (1st)
ERA:   3.74 (3rd)
OAV:  .245 (3rd)
WHIP: 1.25 (T-1st)
SO:      1,087 (5th)
F%:      .987 (T-4th)
Plus:    76 (5th)

How they got here:
DCS: Defeated #3 Colorado Springs, 3-2
LCS: Defeated #1 Syracuse, 4-2

About them:
7 players hit 24 or more home runs as this team powered their way to winning the AL. Led offensively by LF Pedro Espinosa (.270/.352/.516; 39 HR, 109 RBI), 1B/DH Ahmad Wagner (.284/.349/.461, 28 HR, 86 RBI) and 2B Jesus Andrus (.272/.317/.490, 32 HR, 86 RBI), this team is definitely a dangerous offensive team.
Offense isn’t the only thing this team can do well, as their rotation is very good…6 pitchers won 10+ games this season, including 14 or more by regular rotation members. Paul Bang (11-6, 3.57 ERA, 1.07 WHIP) leads the playoff rotation, followed by Trenidad Tejada (14-7, 2.78 ERA, 1.15 WHIP) and Jerome Adams (15-5, 3.51 ERA, 1.21 WHIP). Their bullpen spreads their dominance around as they had 5 members produce WHIPs of 1.26 or less.
3B Peter Carmona (17 plus plays) and CF Travis Blanks (12 plus plays) anchor a strong defense.

Ottawa Outlaws
Avg:    .264 (4th)
OBP:   .333 (3rd)
Slg:      .424 (4th)
RS:      843 (1st)
HR:     219 (3rd)
ERA:   3.52 (1st)
OAV:  .244 (2nd)
WHIP: 1.21 (1st)
SO:      1,154 (5th)
F%:      .989 (T-1st)
Plus:    55 (7th)

How they got here:
DCS: Defeated #4 Anaheim, 3-1
LCS: Defeated #2 Little Rock, 4-0

About them:
Had 4 players with 24 or more homers and another 5 with 13 or more, this team is built for power. This team is led by perennial MVP candidate and 2-time winner Terry West (.299/.377/.519, 36 HR, 136 RBI) and ROY candidate 2B Alex Blanco (.288/.353/.552, 33 HR, 98 RBI).
Pitching is where this team shines, with 2 Cy Young candidates in RH Erick Stone (19-5, 1.65 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) and LH C.C. Kemp (18-5, 3.13 ERA, 1.16). The rest of the rotation are not slouches either, with Victor Santos (10-10, 4.49 ERA, 1.30 WHIP), Livan Javier (14-10, 3.48 ERA, 1.29 WHIP) and Victor Castillo (14-9, 3.91 ERA, 1.18 WHIP). The bullpen is where you could really make some hay, with the team blowing 26 save opportunities throughout the season. They are still a capable bunch with 3 of them having under 1.11 WHIP for the season.
Defensively anchored by SS Sam Calderon (15 plus plays), 3B Arthur Davenport (13 plus plays) and 1B Terry West (12 plus plays) they will make the easy and the hard plays.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

S12 Draft Review

  1. RF Cesar Vazquez (LA) - unsigned
    paladn24 says: Simply put, if Cesar Vasquez gives up on his concussed future as an nfl player he can and will be one of the greatest hitters to play the game. that is a big if though, and LAC has done everything they can to convince this future all star baseball is his sport. With supreme ability to hit LHP and RHP as well as a little pop, he has all the makings of a world class talent at the dish as well as the ability to play the corners in the infield.
  2. SS Yusmeiro Guzman (MNT) - unsigned
    kelly_mccann says: Montgomery and 2nd overall pick Yusmeiro Guzman are locked up in a fierce game of chicken. Guzman, a slick fielding SS/3B with tons of speed on the base paths and decent pop, declined to sign the contract his agents brought to the Hornets and now his camp have raised their demands. The Hornets front office claims that they have made their best offer to Guzman, and will not budge. Guzman's people, on the other hand, say Yusmeiro will accept a scholarship to play at Florida Gulf Coast University if their demands aren't met.
  3. LHP Hulk Davidson (PIT)
    Solid splits. Good control. Good combination of pitches. Doesn't throw hard. Decent at getting GBs. Exceptional STA/DUR.
    hurricane384's take: This guy could start 40+ games while pitching 300 innings. He's not going to be a dominant starter, so the question is going to be whether you want him pitching that much. 
  4. CF Jayson Allen (SEA)
    Great defensive CF. Great power. Great contact. Drives the ball better against LHP than RHP. Great eye. Good speed.
    hurricane384's take: Um...#4 overall?! This guy anchors CF for the next 10 seasons and is an all-star, gold glove, silver slugging, MVP candidate. Makes me wonder if I'm seeing the right information.
    jlmeave says: He was at the top of my board, I feel fortunate to land him at #4. There were other low health players that were enticing, but might've been too risky for me. If he meets projections, he'll be a great hitter with big power and decent speed. His vR is a little worrisome, but I'll live with it if his contact and batting eye get there.
  5. SS Jorge James (ARI)
    Tremendous defensive SS. Great power and contact. Better against LHP than RHP. Good eye. Good speed.
    hurricane384's take: Wow...back-to-back franchise cornerstones. Already well-developed. If he hits his projections, he'll dominate the league...if he misses the projections, he's still a top-notch 3B who will hit a ton.
  6. RHP Bart Wolcott (ROC)
    Iffy stamina and durability. Great job of keeping the ball out of the hitting zone. Throws hard. Lacks ideal pitch combination. Good control. Good GB tendencies.
    hurricane384's take: Won't necessarily dominate since his pitches aren't very good, but he should still be a valuable member of the bullpen for seasons to come.
    z0601 says: The Rochester front office is very happy to have drafted Bart Wolcott with the #6 pick in this years draft. Wolcott should develop to be able to handle hitters on both sides of the plate with good control. While Wolcott won't over power anyone, he should be a nice long reliever and spot starter for us in the seasons to come. Management just hopes to be around long enough to see him hit the bigs.
  7. LF Jason Tracy (CHR)
    Tremendous contact ability. Doesn't have much defensive ability. Good power. Dominant against RHP and good against LHP. Very good eye.
    hurricane384's take: Not often you get 3 franchise cornerstones in the first 7 picks of a draft...and that's without seeing the top 2 picks yet. Tracy will be a dominant offensive player for seasons to come. He could be good right now in the Bigs.
    hopkinsheel says: Hasn't signed yet, but willing to pay if/when he increases his demand. We had him ranked 4th on our big board. We're sweating it out right now because he is thinking about going back to college. If he does sign, he should develop into the best hitter the River Dogs have ever had except for possible future Hall of Famer Stephen Risley. Typically shy away from taking COFers/1B this early in the draft, but Tracy is a special talent.
  8. RHP Vincenzo Quinn (CH2)
    Great control. Solid splits. Good pitch combination. Leans towards GB. Great stamina/durability. Doesn't throw hard.
    hurricane384's take: Not a dominant SP by any stretch, he's still going to be a good one. His GB tendencies will more than offset the lower RHB split.
    mamidu says: I had Quinn at #5 on my board. I have to say, I really wanted one of my top 4, but I'm not complaining. Top notch stamina+dur with elite control and very good splits. His 3 pitches are ML caliber. He is a college SR, so he is well developed already. I hope he reaches his potentials, because he could be an outstanding SP in the bigs. Welcome to the Black Sox Vincenzo!
  9. RHP Luis Cortes (ARI)
    Great STA/DUR. Great control. Does a good job at keeping the ball out of the hitting zone. Great pitch combination. Throws hard. Lacks consistent ability to get GBs.
    hurricane384's take: Could be an ace for years to come. Although we would like to see a better GB rating, that essentially won't matter as much when combined with his other ratings. 
  10. SS Jimmie Barrios (NO) - unsigned
    balance71 says: The Zydeco are happy to welcome Jimmie Barrios to the organization. Although he was listed as a SS, he projects to be an outstanding 3B or corner OF. He should have elite bat skills and will be excellent against lefties and righties. He should also be a top shelf baserunner, with great speed and strong baserunning IQ. His only real deficiency is power. With a excellent durability, health, and makeup, he could spend a decade as an all-star level player. On the other hand, he hasn't signed yet. If he doesn't, the owner of the Zydeco will throw his laptop into the alley and run over it repeatedly with his Subaru.
  11. SS Hawk Black (JAX) - unsigned
  12. P Daniel Herndon (PHI) - unsigned
  13. P Les Thurman (LR)
    Solid pitches. Good stamina. Great durability. Great control. Great splits. Lacks arm strength. Good GB tendencies.
    hurricane384's take: His pitches leave something to the imagination, but the rest of his projections should make for a very good pitcher.
    jvig says: Had Les Thurman ranked 8th overall, taken with my 13th overall pick, my projections showed a completely different pitcher (projections showed L/R splits of 78/86 with stamina at 70 with 2 solid pitches, unfortunately these are not the numbers we have on him AFTER the draft but he seems like he could be a decent pitcher down the road.
  14. 2B Slick Steenstra (CLE)
    Good glove. Solid range. Decent arm. Good speed. Solid power and contact. Better against LHP than RHP. Decent eye.
    hurricane384's take: He'll be a contributor and can definitely help a team out. Won't be a superstar.
  15. 1B Chris Adams (ATL)
    Good defense. Good power. Good contact. Better against LHP. Solid eye. Durable.
    hurricane384's take: This is a solid pick. He's not going to dominate, but definitely can help. His defense at 1B is likely going to be his calling card. 
  16. RHP Harry Broome (LAA)
    Good control. Keeps the ball out of the hitting zone against RHB. Struggles against LHB. Gives up a ton of flyballs. Throws hard. Good stamina and durability. Lacks ideal pitch combination.
    hurricane384's take: Due to his pitch combination and inability to keep the ball on the ground, he's going to struggle some. He'd be better off in a BIIIIIIIIIIIG ballpark.
  17. RHP Victor Polonia (CHY)
    Great pitch combination. Great stamina/durability. Good splits. Solid control. Doesn't throw hard. Great GB pitcher.
    hurricane384's take: I like this pitcher. He's got the pitches to dominate and should develop the splits to not have that ability off-set. He's a GB pitcher which helps a lot too.
  18. LHP Matty Peterman (CSP)
    Good control. Solid stamina/durability. Better against LHB than RHB. Mediocre GB and velocity. Solid pitches.
    hurricane384's take: Hard to get excited about this pick...but that doesn't mean it's disappointing either. Solid middle of the 1st round pick.
    joekendall says: We were happy to pick up a SP with our 18th pick. If he develops well, Matty Peterman will be a #1 or #2. 
  19. 2B Earl Barber (ELP)
    Tremendous range. Great speed. Lacks ideal glove or arm. Solid contact. Struggles against RHP. Solid against LHP. Not much power. Good eye.
    hurricane384's take: We've reached the part of the 1st round where role players rule. This is your quintessential platoon player/utility guy who won't excel, but should still be good enough to warrant a spot on the Big League roster.
  20. 2B Albert Guillen (NB)
    Great range and glove. Makes good contact. Not much power. Average eye. Better against RHP than LHP. Solid speed.
    hurricane384's take: This is a versatile pick as he could play both 2B or CF and not be overwhelmed offensively.
    mikejuggalo says: Albert Guillen will hopefully be a ML bench player someday....not a pick we are particularly proud of.
  21. LHP Bruce Schmidt (JAX)
    Dominant against LHB. Solid against RHB. Great control. Solid durability/stamina. Good pitches. Doesn't throw hard but does get GBs.
    hurricane384's take: First true reliever off the board and he's a good one. Would like to see the vsR and vsL flipped, but still should be solid in the 7th/8th innings. 
  22. RHP Mark Cho (CSP)
    Good control. Solid pitches. Struggles against LHP. Good against RHP. Throws hard. GB pitcher. Great stamina/durability combination.
    hurricane384's take: Could be a liability with his vsL, but his pitches are solid and he isn't going to walk many. Could see a ton of innings.
    joekendall says: With the 22nd pick, we chose a RP in Mark Cho. He will be able to pitch many quality innings for us.
  23. RHP Will Scott (LV)
    Solid stamina/durability. Good splits. Doesn't throw hard. Mediocre at getting GBs. Some solid pitches. Good control.
    hurricane384's take: Surprising to find a pitcher like this so late in the process, but he's got a lot going for him.
    tk21775 says: We ended up with our 5th player on the board at the #23 spot, while he's lower than what our scouts saw now that he signed, our draft budget should be closer to where he'll perform. Great control, good splits with two solid pitches, the Bookies are very happy to get this type of player this deep in the 1st round. Wish his makeup was a little higher but if that's all I can find to complain about with the 23rd pick I'll take it any day.
  24. LHP Lou Lewis (CLB)
    Terrible against RHB. Very good against LHB. Great stamina/durability combo. Great control. 2 dominant pitches and 2 terrible pitches. Doesn't throw hard but is a GB machine.
    hurricane384's take: I am baffled by this guy. He does a lot right, but what he does wrong is a big negative. Nothing wrong with seeing what he can do and how he develops, but I would be surprised if he showed up as a full-time starter in the bigs. Those outstanding pitches and GB rating might be enough to off-set the vsR.
    anml34 says: What more can you ask for with a mid-first round pick. Happy to get a middle of the rotation pitcher with this pick.
  25. P Karl Barfield (NY2) - unsigned
    abesmem says: NY will be very happy with pitcher Karl Barfield, assuming we can sign him. He was our 7th ranked player overall and to get him at 25 is pretty lucky. He brings 5 pitches in his repertoire with very good control and the stamina to be a top of the rotation starter. His make-up and health are both real good, so if signed, he should be a solid starter for many seasons.
  26. P Jerry Simpson (CHR) - unsigned
    hopkinsheel says: We got this pick after Dean Matthews signed elsewhere as a type A FA. Simpons looks to be a solid SP prospect who probably dropped to 26th because he'll be a tough sign. Currently his heart is torn between baseball and hockey. Hopefully he decides to stick with baseball. He's developed enough he should be good to go within two seasons.
  27. 3B Bryan Williams (HON) - unsigned
  28. SS Christopher Slusarki (LR)
    Good defensive ratings. Durable. Makes a ton of contact with good power. Lacks dominant splits. Decent eye. Some speed.
    hurricane384's take: Hell of a nice pick with the 28th overall. Offense will make up any defensive deficiencies at SS or he could be a GG/SS 3B as well.
  29. C Hub Powell (CIN)
    Good splits. Great eye. Great arm. Can call a decent game. Lacks power. Struggles some with contact.
    hurricane384's take: This is a good solid pick this late in the draft. The C position was really lacking this season, so to get the top ranked C is a coup.
  30. RHP Milton Lankford (LOU)
    Dominant against RHB. Solid against LHP. Throws hard and keeps the ball down. Great control. Great durability/stamina combination. Lacks dominant 2nd pitch.
    hopkinsheels take: Always tough pickling at the bottom of the first round, but it appears the Steamboats grabbed a solid, if not spectacular relief prospect with their pick. Should end up as a good setup B and with a decent STA/DUR combo he should be able to throw a good number of innings.
    hurricane384 says: I'm very happy with this pick. He will be a dominant RP. I'm a little worried about the 2nd pitch, but I hope his peripheral ratings will more than off-set that. 
  31. RHP Tim Suppan (JAC)
    Great DUR/STA. Great pitches. Throws hard and keeps the ball down. Average splits. Will walk himself into trouble.
    hurricane384's take: Solid pick here. Will struggle with consistency due to his inability to hit the strike zone, but should still perform admirably.
    quackup says: Some potential as a grounder-inducing setup if he can overcome his control issues.
  32. LHP Daryl Einertson (CIN)
    Throws hard. Lacks ideal control. Solid pitches. Great stamina. Better against LHB than RHB. Doesn't keep the ball down consistently.
    hurricane384's take: A solid pick, would like to see the vsR & vsL flipped.
  33. P Myron Reagan (OTT) - unsigned
    mlhutch says: Picking so low I had to gamble for talent. I took a shot at Myron Reagan who would have a decent #3-4 type SP if he had signed. Sadly, he did not sign.
  34. 2B Paul Kuroda (TOR)
    Solid range. Great glove. Solid arm. Great eye. Great speed. Lacks ideal offensive ratings.
    hurricane384's take: He's not going to be an all-star by any means, but definitely is a very useful player who can start and contribute.
  35. RHP Del Mays (RIC)
    Doesn't throw hard. Doesn't keep the ball down. Interesting pitch mix. Great control. Keeps the ball out of the hitting zone. Great durability. Good stamina.
    hurricane384's take: This is a solid pick. He isn't going to blow anybody away, but definitely can be a workhorse who will recover quickly and throw some quality innings.
    train says:  I was really excited that my first round pick was #35 overall due to all of the type D picks. Really fantastic; I hope nobody signs their picks this year. I did manage to land a guy that I at least kinda like; decent pitcher who will probably end up in the pen due to stamina issues. He does project to good control and splits, and hey, at 35 that ain't bad.
  36. 1B Patrick Helms (OTT)
    Great power. Great eye. Average at making contact. Struggles against RHP, but is good against LHP. Good glove. Durable.
    hurricane384's take: The power and eye should more than off-set his weakness against RHP. He will not make many errors at 1B.
    mlhutch says: My 2nd first round pick Patrick Helms had nice power and eye. He is more of a DH than a 1B so I see him more as a good bench player for the Outlaws. All in all, I gambled for talent and lost in this draft. Oh well, my shiny trophy takes away most of the disappointment :)
  37. CF Vince Tomlinson (ROC) - unsigned
    z0601 says: Vince Tomlinson will be a project in the Rochester organization. If Mr. Tomlinson is willing to put in the work, he could be an above average outfielder for us at some point. If Vince decides to be lazy at any point in his career, he will spend that career in the minors.

Monday, February 18, 2013

S12 Previews

Charleston River Dogs
The River Dogs are officially deep into the rebuilding cycle. This team is going to stink. Some bright spots with be stalwarts Enrique Canseco and Milton Kramer and young gun Bruce Casanova. Thats about it. The rest of the team is filled with cast offs and hangers on. Stephen Risley is going to retire a River Dog. Our lone bright spot will be our bullpen. If we can get a lead to the last three innings, we should be in decent shape.

We picked up an extra first round pick from Florida after they signed Dean Matthews so we'll be hoping for a deep draft and sign one or two really good internationals.

Cheyenne Gunslingers
The Gunslingers stand at a crossroads. Two seasons ago, a world series appearance. Last season, no playoffs. This season will determine which direction the franchise is headed. In salary cutting moves, the Gunslingers let C Peter Chong and closer Clem Cameron become free agents. C Mel Mays was traded for bullpen helper Charles Janish. On the bright side, rule 5 acquisition 2b Paul Sanders will get significant playing time, as will RF/1b Dusty Redmond, the only free agent the club spent any money on. SP Fred Cecil waits in AAA to replace the first starter to falter. If Cheyenne can promote a closer to replace Cameron, then expect Cheyenne to compete for the division title in the always competitive AL West.

Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Key Additions: Felipe Crespo, Shawn Bergesen

Key Loses: None

Prospects to Watch: Rafael Escuela

Outlook: Last year we finished six games above .500, and we expect with the minor improvements to play for a play-off spot. Management feels we are a year or two away from returning back to the WS.

We also have two first round draft picks. We hope to capitalize on them.

Having Escuela man CF for us is exciting. He was acquired in Season 9 via trade with the Rebels. His contact and speed should add up to exciting play especially in our ballpark.

El Paso Diablos
Well last year everyone thought we were a contender, but in fact we were a pretender. This year we broke it down and tried to finish what we started in the rebuilding before. The ML team will be a patchwork of sorts, but we hope the minor league prospects we got in return continue to mature and we land a pretty good draft during the season.

Jackson Mallards
Virtually the same line up as last season, so we should get virtually identical results... :)

Jacksonville Gators
The Jags are in full on rebuilding mode and signed 22 free agents to 1 year deals in an offseason that reminds you of the Cleveland Indians in the movie Major League. The team has the ultimate flexibility in season 13 with $0 payroll. For season 12, surviving will be the name of the game. Most of the players signed have solid skills and should be able to keep the team competitive.

Las Vegas Bookies
Once again the Bookies took the NL South but we failed to make it out of the 1st Round of the playoffs once again. In the offseason we had a lot of cash to play around with and ended up adding both Willie Olivia and Zachery Hogan to our pitching staff. With Sogard Hoffman, Juan Astacio and Tyler Betancourt with feel like we have the best pitching staff in the majors this season. It might be an older pitching staff but these guys give us a chance to win not only the division but playoff series. We also aquired Shawn Grieve in a trade who will upgrade us at 2B. Houston Reese is coming off back to back 40+ HR, 100+ RBI seasons and Carlos Beaz is coming off 25+ HR, 100+ RBI seasons. We're expecting them once again to carry our offense. Instead of continuing with getting younger like we have the last couple seasons, we saw an opportunity to put together an A+ pitching staff although we only have a 3 year window to see if it was worth it.

Little Rock Rollers

Still in the middle of a rebuild.
Since our division was won with a sub .500 record last season we picked up a few veteran free agents to fill some holes as we're shooting to improve by perhaps +5 to 10 games, but not breaking the bank to accomplish those goals, we at least want to put a competitive team on the field.

Los Angeles Capitalists
The Capitalists will look to keep GM paladn24's head out of the guillotine and come up with their first 70 win season under the new management team. Hopes are high in LA though with after a busy offseason which yielded a revamped offense led by two new veteran additions, including the owner of the world's 4th highest hit total for his career in Canseco. The Caps also added two veteran starting pitchers to solidify the rotation in the hopes of shoring up what was a worn down, defeated unit at the end of last season. Whispers of some young talent from the farm system making it to the show by the end of the season may add some extra kick to an already zesty team. Paladn24 and the rest of La La land are hoping all this adds up to a 70 win season, and dare we say a playoff push.

Louisville Steamboats
This season began with a goal of repeating as NL East champions after a long stretch of relative futility. The way to do this, I thought, was to improve my 5th ranked pitching staff…and just ride out my 4th ranked offense while I did this…long story short, plans change. A couple trades made it almost impossible to make any free agent additions.

The pitching staff is virtually unchanged, the only new names being a return of Curtis Roberts to the bullpen, and rule 5 pickup Nick Sveum. Ace #1 Al Castro (19-12, 262.0 IP, 3.81 ERA, 1.11 WHIP) and Ace #2 Hiram Sanders (205.1 IP, 14-6, 3.07 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) anchor a very good staff as J.D. Dixon (184.2 IP, 12-5, 3.75 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) and Willie Carlyle (162.0 IP, 8-12, 4.72 ERA, 1.34 WHIP). Management is unsure whether Jake O’Leary or Alfredo Izquierdo will be the 5th starter, but when that is your only real concern, that’s not much of a concern.

Offensively, this team should be much much improved. 2B Chris Torres (.307/.361/.494; 22HR 78RBI) had one great season, but will give way to Marino Bautista (.265/.345/.450; 26 HR, 93 RBI). Dan Mercedes returns as the starting C, but will split time with Clem Charleston. 1B should be strong as Ron Milner and Bret Maas compete for playing time there. Jorge Marichal and Matt McKnight will compete at 3B. Future HOF Domingo Soto (.307/.364/.550; 39HR, 113RBI) will push to hit his 500th HR in a Steamboat uniform while at the other COF slot, Steamboat for life Kevin Zhang (.285/.356/.551; 32HR, 85RBI) looks to increase his consecutive season streak of 25+ HRs to 6. SS Brian Painter takes over for Alexei Bonifacio who will slide to the backup IF slot. Ismael Lopez looks to spell Zhang and Soto in the OF. The only real question mark offensively is CF where rookie Al Baez makes his debut. He brings outstanding defense and solid contact and eye and should be a good addition to the bottom of the order.

Montgomery Hornets
The message in Montgomery is simple this season. “Win or get out”. The Hornet’s ownership group has made it clear to GM Kelly McCann, that he’s had 3 full seasons to turn things around, and if he doesn’t win at least 70 games this season, he will be replaced. 2-time All Star at 3B Bey Perez was acquired in an off season trade, and McCann is hoping that escaping the pitching friendly Colorado Springs park and coming to the Hornet’s Nest will help Perez reach his potential as a hitter. Veteran Hal Thompson could approach 500 career HRs this season, surprising Hod Morgan is coming off his second straight 40 HR season, and with former #6 overall pick Darrin Rossy coming off his best season as a big leaguer, the outfield appears to be set in Montgomery. Former #1 overall pick Dennis Bohanon appears to be ready for a big league call up at any time. For the 2nd time in 2 straight off seasons, the Hornets spent big on a free agent pitcher, signing veteran knuckle-baller Todd Scmidt to a 5 year, $53 million deal. Montgomery fans can only hope that Scmidt fares better than last year’s big money free agent acquisition, Darrell Taylor, who won only nine games, while getting lit up for a 5.23 ERA in his first season in the Nest. Veteran reliever, Jay Kinney was also brought in to solidify a shaky bullpen. The Hornets have a pretty good offensive team, but the pitching absolutely killed them last year. In order for McCann to keep his job, and perhaps keep the Hornets franchise alive, the pitching staff will have to so marked improvement, and show it quickly.

New Orleans Zydeco
The Zydeco is still suffering the effects of the "win now" strategy of seasons past. After winning five straight division titles and six straight playoff appearances, the Zydeco have been at or near the bottom of the division for three straight seasons. Expect this season to make it four. There is some reason for hope, though. There is some talent in the system, including a bevy of young role players. The Zydeco has too many needs, though, to seriously contend this season. It's still 2-3 seasons away.

New York Highlanders
The Highlanders are hoping to improve off of a very solid season last year. A very solid pitching staff has been strengthened by the addition of FA RP Ethan Rocker and a full year with starter Carlton Nelson. Other retuning veterans such as Carlson Coggin and Feldman should make our staff a team strength. Tommy Or has been promoted from AAA to share the catching duties and we’ve added CF Kent Moseley thru Rule 5 and utility guys Ronnie Jefferson and Brad Fitzgerald to provide depth and flexibility up the middle. Babe Swann, also added thru Rule 5 will get a chance at 1B, probably as part of a platoon with Fausto Guzman. Finally, Matt Reynolds, with one more year of experience in LF, should provide on half of a very solid corner OF duo with Enrigue Ordonez in RF. The Highlanders should compete for the top spot in the NL East.

Ottawa Outlaws
Even after winning the WS last season, we were pretty restless this off-season in trying to maintain a very good ML team while lining up some future pieces to continue the success over the long-term. Our big changes on offense was losing Clarence Canseco, after we declined his $18M option, and trading away Farmer Brand . These two departures could result in our offense taking a slight step back this season. However, we used the money saved on Canseco to lock up studs like Arthur Davenport and flipped Brand along with two prospects for future ace Al Owen so overall we feel good about the moves long-term. Offensively, we hope to make up some of that loss with the call-ups of super-stud prospect Alex Blanco and solid backup catcher Billy Gates. To replace Brand in the OF, we will use a platoon of speedy Vic Chavez and power bats Lenny Elliott and Malik Richard. Of course, the lineup will continue to be anchored by back-to-back MVP Terry West and OBP machine Don Cintron. In terms of pitching, we used the off-season to shore up an already solid bullpen with the additions of stud setup guy Skip Hatteberg and a potential one-inning closer type in Terry McConnell . We will return everyone from one of the finest rotations in the league last season. In terms of our future, we did lose some depth in the off-season trades but will still anxiously await the arrivals of the aforementioned Al Owen as well as future CF Darren Simmons and power bat COF Alex Zhang . Overall, we hope to compete for the title this year and remain a threat to win it all for the foreseeable future. However, given the overall competition in the NL North, I also wouldn't be surprised to win 90 games and finish in 4th place in the division and out of the playoffs.

Philadelphia Freedom
After a horrific owner mistake with the first pick in the draft in Season 10, my first in this world, the rebuilding process is underway, albeit set back by one season. (By the way, that’s the first and only time in my HBD experience I have ever had a draft pick who “probably won’t sign” actually sign the initial offer without raising demands or outright rejecting).With no star talent on the roster or in the minors when I took over, with the possible exception of former top-5 draft pick Sherm Larson, it looks to be a long road to recovery. Kory Matthews, the first pick in Season 11’s draft looks like a future true ace and IFA pickup from Season 11, Del Kondou looks to be a solid SS – probably not quite an all-star caliber player, but certainly will help when his time comes. For Season 12, the Freedom picked up some veterans to keep the ship afloat – no stars, but adequate major league players. I’m expecting anywhere from 75-85 wins. If we top out, there’s a chance we can sneak into the playoffs. Since I’m not a big believer in hoarding top-10 draft picks, the Freedom stand a good chance to spend the next few seasons in that general area while the rebuild continues.

Richmond Rebels

Season 12 should be another competitive one for Richmond, though we are starting to show are age and rebuilding may soon be on the horizon.

Recent history has shown this team to be almost good enough, but not quite. 7 straight playoff appearances, five of those resulting in ALCS bids, and three WS appearances. Yet the title still eludes us. They (and I'm including me in "they") always say the playoffs are a crapshoot and once you get there anyone can win. So far, that hasn't proved true for Richmond; here's hoping that season 12 reverses that trend.

Last year saw my #1, #2, and #4 SP go down with significant injuries; all missed time in the playoffs. Two of them are back, and the third should return after about 40 more games. At that point, I'm hoping to be at full strength and ready to make a run. Most of last year's core returns and we did only a little tweaking to the back end of the roster, so assuming nothing catastrophic occurs, we should be competitive again this year.

Rochester Redbirds
Additions: Josh Singleton, Mark Rando,

Departures: Not enough to improve our win total

Preview: Not a lot of optamism here in Rochester as we start season 12. Valerio Nunez and Jamie Pierre are still sucking us dry for $28 million this season with about $5 million worth of production combined. We resigned Lewis Spence! Some will ask why that is such a bright spot for the organization. Well it isn't. We had no choice once we got beat out in Free Agency for better pitchers because of cap concerns with money being tied up in two players. Speaking of being sucked dry, our farm system is dry as a martini, but we hope to turn that around in the coming drafts. That is if we don't continue to screw those up like last season. One of the few players in the system that was actually worth something is Duke Hernandez who will make his ML debut this season. Maybe he will be the spark to keep us under the 200 loss limit!

Seattle Redhooks
We're hoping for the best, expecting the worst in Seattle this season. Five rookies will make their debut, including top prospects Robert Miller and Carl Ripken. Coupled with free agent signings of SP Jesus Alarcon and RP Bob Howard, we're thinking we can win around 80-85 games and possibly make a run at the division title. But we have a lot riding on rookies, so we'll see what happens.

Syracuse Orange
As usual, MVP candidate Gill Williams Jr. staying healthy is a big key for me offensively. I love my team: extremely deep bullpen with the offseason additions of Javier Herrera, Caleb Duran , and Nick Offerman. Will add rookie Raul Espinosa to the rotation after day 21. Might be a starter short but counting on the bullpen to shorten games for me. Offensively I have a very fast team that plays good defense, might be a quality hitter short but could add that later in season if need be. Looking forward to getting back to the ALCS and beyond.