Saturday, August 16, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Others recieving votes: NY 1 MEM 1
Others receiving votes: STL 3 PIT 1
Here is how their team is going to look:
C- Luke McCartney - McCartney, a rookie, is really in there for his PC and defense. He has an 82 rating for power so he is going to hit some dingers, but the Blue Waves are sacrificing offense for defense with Luke, as they have enough offensive firepower to do so.
1b- Mac Booker - Booker, another rookie, is looking to vie for a shot at the Rookie of the Year award. He has excellent contact, power, and eye to go along with above average speed. He is more suited for left field but that position is going to be occupied so Booker may become a gold glover 1b.
2b- Yank McConnell - Much has been said about McConnell, and the Blue Waves hope he can live up to the great expectations this kid has. While his defense is less than desirable at 2b, the Blue Waves are hoping he can make up for it with his offense ala Jeff Kent. McConnell also has incredible speed (99 rating), which will help him turn those singles into possible doubles. If he can stay healthy, he should be expected to win the Rookie of the Year Award
SS- Evan Hollins - Evan was aquired in a trade last season and had a great Season 2 where he batted .314 with 24 HR's, 124 RBI's, and 35 SB's. His range is weak for a SS but his glove is great. The Blue Waves are expecting the same kind of production out of him as he is only 31 years old.
3b- Thom Reagan - Aquired in the Vince Morgan deal, Reagan is another Blue Wave who could win the Rookie of the Year award. He has above average power and splits, and will play average defense and 3b. His average batting eye may hurt him.
LF- Mike Peterson - Having played last season in CF, Mike is a bit disappointed he has to move to LF, his range is too weak to play CF but he should be a gold glover out in LF. Mike is a speedster who hit .288 with 95 SB's last season.
CF- Donald Lee - Lee is he 4th rookie on this team to make his debut, and he should be impressive. He has great power and batting eye,along with great speed. His only flaw, which is a big one, is his rating vs righties (35). The Blue Waves are hoping he can overcome this flaw with his power and speed. His glove is weak for a CF (70), but his range is great (93). If he doesnt work out defensively in CF you may see a switch between him and Peterson.
RF- Timothy Franco - Franco is the rock in this lineup, he has great contact, splits, and batting eye, and above average power. He hit .316 with a .394 OBP, 20 HR, and 111 RBI's last season and the Blue Waves are hoping he can improve on those numbers this year.
DH- Sal Ligtenberg - Sal is an above average player, in 600 AB's last season he hit .317, with a .390 OBP, and 28 HRs. He was the 1b last year but will be moved to DH as Booker is a better defender. The Blue Waves are execting the same production out of him.
Bench- Tony Randall (OF) - Great speed, and above average offensive numbers make him a great guy to fill in and start the occasional game without losing much. He was a starter on this team last year.Alan Baker (2b, OF) - Another guy who started last year that can rest the guys this year. He has struggled at the plate the previous 2 seasons despite having decent offensive ratingsCesar Martinez (3b, OF) - A great power guy who posts great OPSBen Jacobson (C) - A great defensive PC catcher.
Pitching Rotation:1. Jeff Rhodes - Can pitch a CG every now and then, not a true ace but will give you solid numbers over a year.2. Heath Carter - Similar to Rhodes in that he is not a great pitcher, but a solid one.3. Albert Castro - Aquired in the offseason, the Blue Waves are hoping he can develop into a future #2 pitcher and can have a solid first season in Anaheim.4. Nigel Sugawara - Making his ML debut this season, only has 3 pitches but his first pitch is rated 91, so the Blue Waves are hoping he can use that pitch alot to strikeout opposing batters.5. Jared Porter - Struggled last season in his rookie year but made decent improvements in the offseason. The Blue Waves are hoping he is one of the better #5 pitchers in the league.
Bullpen:Still being constructed. Clifton, Montero, and Worrell are the current Setup A's, while Beckett (a fireman of the year nominee the past 2 seasons), and Castillo will form the Setup B squad.
Closer:Chief Cunningham - While not having great ratings, he has above average ratings in almost every category. The Waves are expecting him to be a decent shutdown closer with the occasional hiccup.
Its pretty clear that the Waves are a young team. With 5 positional rookies and 1 rookie in the starting rotation the future looks bright. Pitching is going to be the weak point of this team so the Waves are hoping to outscore opponents and if they can get average pitching, they should be fine.
All that being said, they are expected to make the playoffs by their owner, and anything less will be considered a failure for a season.
Brewtopians GM nzballa believes that Molina will be a future all star.
The Brewtopian’s today signed top shortstop prospect Felipe Molina to a 5 year ML deal with a franchise record $22 million bonus. The Dominican teenager projects as an above average defender at shortstop with 40 homer, 40 stolen base potential and the ability to hit for a very high average. The Molina signing almost certainly signals the end of Ramon Martin’s short stint in the Brewtopian’s farm system. Martin, the Brewtopian’s #3 prospect, currently in AA, will most certainly be dealt in the near future for an ML starting pitcher.
The starting lineup:
C – Ivan Sierra – Sierra hit .282 with 21 dingers last season, his first in the bigs. While his defense can use some work, Sierra figures to be in the middle of the Amoebas lineup for years to come. He’s backed up by vet Phil Thebeau, who hits lefties well and provides a veteran presence behind the plate.
Corner Infielders – Anchored by vets Ron Williams and Francisco Blanco, the Amoebas expect league average production out of both spots. Both are steady, unspectacular players who can be counted on to put in their 550 Abs and not hurt the team. Both are backed up by Jack Watson, a slugger with the potential to hit 30+ HRs if given regular playing time. Watson will be working on other facets of his game this season in serving a back up role. Also avaiable to back up is Donnie Herzog, a Rule V draftee in season 2 who stillhas some learning to do.
Middle Infielders – Free Agent pickup Bob Buckley takes over at SS. While challenged with the bat, Buckley has a steady glove and rifle arm, and should provide a steady hand up the middle. 2nd base will be handled again by Marcus Jeffries. Jeffries was a disappointment in his first full big league season last year, and could be playing for his job this year. They will be backed by super utility player Sam Brown and Herzog.
OF – Two new players are the key: rookie Vern Romero could be a contender for Rookie of th eYear, while free agent signee Javier Javier (yes, you read that right – it was part of the reason I signed him!) should steady the defense in CF. They’ll be joined by Alex Hasegawa, whose production slid last season and could be part of a mid-season package if the Amoebas are out of contention for a playoff berth. Speedster Mo Quinn will back them up.
Pitchers: Always a strength of the Amoebas, it should be a similar story this season. A veteran A veteran rotation is lead by Dick Linden,late season arm injury the year before. A Cy Young candidate in season 1, but a bit of a disappointment last year as he was recovering from a late season arm injury the year before. The rest of the rotation is short of stamina, but had all the other attributes of a league leading staff. The bullpen is also strng, with rookie Nicky Bell being the primary long man, and Ken Collier providing reasonable 9th inning relief.
The prospects: With some younger players acquired in previous deals coming to the big league club soon, the future looks bright in SF.
Top prospects include 2B Dan Messmer, a 1st round pick last year and someone who could be with the big club in 2 years. The OF of the future is set to start the season in AAA, with Earnest Nye in LF, Edgar Oliva in CF and Alex Javier in RF. All have the promise to be solid ML players. And waiting in the wings should any fail is 19 year old International signing Orber Contreras. The pitching in the minors is headed up by Denny Olson, a 22 year old who is nearly ready for the majors. Turner Miller, acquired in a season 1 trade, also should be ready by next season. Other prospects include IF Doyle Perttyjohn, OF Gil Stephenson, and P Louie Rivera.
Outlook: .500 is a realistic goal, and with some luck, this team could go further than expected. And with a minor league system that is starting to fill with solid prospects, the outlook is is good in San Francisco.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Pitching will be Woods a waiver wire transaction, former 20 game winner coming off a injury, Ramirez, and the Cairo brothers rounding out the rotation. A mixed bag of journeyman types will fill the bullpen.
It is very sad that nearly all of the top prospects were aquired in trades made by mid year replacement Axtell. Axtell was quoted as saying that this is the most misguided franchise in HBD history and I will have to start at the bottom and rebuild this team into a dynasty.
Top prospects by Rank:
1 - HiA SP - Emmanual Ferrer
2 - AA LF - Lou Holtz
3 - AA SS - Lou Holtz
4 - AA RF - Daniel Dobson
5 - AAA 2B - Alexander Henley
6 - AAA SP - Elston Curtis
7 - AAA 3B - Brooks Franco
8- AA C - Bingo McCall
9 - AA SP - Nigel Case
10 - LoA RP - Reagen Devereaux
The offense is led by 20/20 man Luis Lee who aptly mans the hot corner, while vets Blaine Harris and Alex Abbey will be counted on to provide some offensive punch from the RF and 1B positions, respectively.
The teams strong defense is anchored by the outstanding Pedro Candelaria at SS and Gold Glove winner Rudy Martin at 2B. New aquisition Delino Diaz will push incumbant Sid Bellhorn in CF, but either one will provide stellar D and a legitimate threat on the basepaths at the top of the order.
The steady Ignacio Servet will be pushed by rookie defensive whiz Aaron Duncan behind the plate. Either will receive from a strong, if inexperienced, staff led by 11-game winner Vince Bell, who coaches are hoping can take the "Ace" mantle from now departed Cy Young candidate Teddy Tomberlin. Last year's Rule 5 surprise Bill Riggan hopes for another strong year, while new acquisition Al Mantalban and rookie Mike Powell are likely to round out the starting staff.
The bullpen will be a bit of a patchwork of Rule 5s and other young arms, but depth should breed success in the cavernous Petco Park.
Another 80+ win season is the hope here in Southern California, but if the season starts off strong, we can surely expect a few of the highly touted youngsters down on the farm to make an appearance to bolster a potential playoff run.
Top 10 Prospects (in alpha order):
2B - Rod Anderson
SP - Julian Cairncross
SS - Rod Darwin
1B - Danny Duran
SS - Matt Henry
SP - Archie Killebrew
SP - Michael McEnroe
SS - Sting Meusal
2B - Victor Park
SP - Lucas Perry
LF John Lush appeared overmatched during most of his rookie campaign, notching a paltry .230/.308/.354 line, but management continues to view him as a potentially elite table-setter and future contender for a batting crown.
Underrated 2B Steve Kirwan led the Cherubs in OBP for the second straight season, at .356, and he'll be counted on to provide Gold Glove-caliber defense and step in as the leadoff man should Lush falter again. The steady Kirwan could be the team's lone All Star representative if the Cherubs start slow.
The Cherubs signed veteran Jorge Lee to pair with 1B Felix Hoffman, who has been unable to correct the hole in his swing versus right-handers. "It's a bit unorthodox and risky to expect two guys to contribute in the most important lineup spot, but we felt it was a low-cost, high-upside way to improve a glaring weakness," said GM travisg. "If it works, I'll look like a genius, and if it doesn't, my successor won't be on the hook for much money next season."
3B Craig Blake was somewhat miscast last season as a No. 3 hitter, but he still managed to hit .258/.322/.529 with 38 HR and 80 RBI. The team feels he can be even more productive from the cleanup spot, particularly if he gets more chances to face pitchers throwing from the stretch.
Rookies Dave Blackwell and Billy Jacome form the RF platoon that's expected to protect Blake in the lineup and improve RBI production from the No. 5 spot, which has seen a revolving door of declining veterans try their luck in each of the past two seasons. "Their development might be the key to our success, even more than the Hoffman-Lee battery," travisg said. "I'm excited to see what they can do there."
C Courtney Fox will bat sixth and provide steady stewardship for the pitching staff, but some scouts doubt his arm strength and ability to hit righties. If he falters, the Aussie journeyman Lloyd Thompson will be given a chance to claim the job.
The Mexican SS Carlos Palacios stepped in as the team's starter last season, after only 37 games at AA. He posted a respectable .273/.325/.403 line over 107 games, but durability issues forced him to bench for much of season's last two months. He'll be backed up by a pair of very raw Rule 5 pickups, Trevor Reed and Andres Tejada.
CF Jack Callaway didn't sign until the end of spring training last season, but he paced the Cherubs' fast start from the SS position and played a capable CF even as his bat cooled off at midseason. The decision to pick up his option was an easy one, and he could be signed to an extension if rookie backup Albert Torres struggles or is traded.
A question mark looms over the Los Angeles pitching staff, which is headed by steady veteran Les Mills and a pair of wild fireballers, Jose Martin and D'Angelo Marin. Journeyman Gabe Douglas was signed to provide more consistency than fan favorite Slick Friend, who was not resigned, and the club hopes Davey Ramos can repeat last season's 1.40 WHIP performance as the fifth starter. If anyone falters, ace-in-waiting Norm Ducey could get the call.
The bullpen is a mixed bag, with the unflappable Gary DiFelice closing out games and ably set up by Pedro Mantos, but the talented lefty Matty Lorenzo struggled mightily as a rookie and his relief mates lack his talent, if not his bloated ERA.
Top Prospects: (1) 3B Juan Gonzalez, 20, AA (2) RHP Norman Ducey, 23, AAA (3) OF Earle Wallace, 19, High A (4) LHP Matt Turner, 20, AA (5) LHP Dan Linak, 19, Low A (6) LF Charlie Kelly, 22, AAA (7) LF Pete Wise, 24, AAA (8) RHP Derrick Christensen, 23, AA (9) 3B Davy Beckett, 19, Low A (10) 2B Abdullah Sherman, 21, Low A
1. LF Stump WasdinThe 25 year old rookie was acquired from Memphis for SP prospect Edgard Romo. Stump was one of, if not the best hitters during his last two years in AAA posting a combined .374avg and 100+ sbs. It remains a mystery to many that hes only now being brought up.
Projection .330avg .410obp 10hrs 40sbs
2. 2B Kent TitanTitan finished 5th in the MVP voting last year and still didn’t play to his full capability. Kent carried a .340+ batting average into the All-Star break before tapering off and finishing just under .300. The acquisition of Stump Wasdin will allow Titan to move down in the order and put his power to better use. He will also be moving back to 2B where he started his ML career.
Projection .315avg .375obp 35hrs 110rbi 65sbs
3. C Harry CabezaCabeza will be back behind the plate for another year and the Brewtopians leading OBP man can be counted on for another Silver Slugger season.
Projection .300avg .420obp 30hrs 120rbi
4. RF Kyle StynesMr Stynes speaks for himself : 2 ML years, 2 ML MVPs. Hell be back in RF fully recovered from nerve damage in his forearm.
Projection .330avg .400obp 55hrs 160rbis 25sbs
5. 1B/DH Noberto MartinNoberto is coming off another fine season and will be relied upon to protect Kyle Stynes.
Projection: .270avg .340obp 50hr 135rbi
6. DH Hulk Brow/ 1B Trent HernandezBrow was in the running for the batting title at the All-Star break before his well documented fatigue problems kicked in. This year it should be no bother for the Brewtopians as Hernandez, who will start the year in AAA, will be called up to take over as Brows fatigue dictates.Brow Projection: 350abs .280avg .350obp 24hrs 60rbis
Hernandez Projection: 300abs .290avg .350obp 30hrs 65rbis
7. 3B Vic SosaVic has earned the starting job through potential only. If he struggles as he did in his rookie year expect the hot corner to be taken over by Keith Sutton.
Projection: .290avg .340obp 15hr 70rbi
8. SS Daniel GoodwinDaniel struggled mightily with the bat last season but remained one of the leagues best defensive SS as he posted a .984 FPC in 144 games. When he posts offensive numbers like the ones he did in S1, hes one of the better all round SS in the game.
Projection: .260avg .310obp 20hr 75rbi
9. CF Noberto SanchezNoberto made more + plays on his own last season then the majority of the teams in the league. The gold glove winning CF is progressing with the bat and any production from him on the offensive side is a plus.
Projection: .270avg .320obp 10hr 50rbi
Vic Rodriguez:For the second straight year Vic put up Cy Young calibre numbers and dominated during the post season. With the Brewtopians added offense a breakout season is in order.
Projection: 24-10 300 innings 220k 3.10era
Bernie Fernandez:Bernie has evolved into one of the best #2s in the game and will be expected to continue his All-Star form.
Projection: 20-9 260 innings 185k 3.50era
Jackie Melton:Despite Jackie’s “Throw don’t pitch” policy he has enjoyed great success at the ML level as an effective innings eater. An excellent #3 starter by any standards.
Projection: 18-12 285 innings 200k 4.15era
Bronson Wang:Bronson has trouble lasting a full game but his consistent 5-6 innings of quality pitching will be very valuable to the Brewtopians.
Projection: 12-11 180 innings 120k 3.85era
JJ Mason and Dale Garcia:The Brewtopians have the luxury of using two guys with closers stuff to hold down the 7th and 8th innings.
Mason Projection: 100 innings 3.20era
Garcia Projection: 65 innings 3.50era
Frank Lim:2-Time All-Star Frank Lim finished 3rd last year in the Reliever of the Year voting. With Portlands offense this year he will likely be given more save opportunities.
Projection: 40/45 Saves 3.00era
The Portland team is championship calibre as is and they have the prospects and drive to go out and add a top flight starter before the trade deadline arrives. Nothing less than a World Series ring will be accepted in Portland.
1. Ron Hackman
2. Trent Hernandez
3. Ramon Martin
4. Vern York
5. Slick Eyre
6. Les Truman
7. Herb Rice
8. Sarma Little
9. Neifi Renteria
10. Kane Rollins
C: E. Roberts-This rookie was a AAA all-star and will be taking over the starting job. He is above average defensively and should hit for a high average and ops.Season 2 AAA stats: .369 avg, .442 obp, .647 slg.
1B: D. Hunter-Another rookie called up from AAA (AA All star, season 1), a great hitter for both avg and power.Season 2 AAA stats: .297 avg, .333 obp, .558 slg.
2B: I. Guillen-Season 2 MVP and only 25. Enough said.Season 2 ML stats: .313 avg, .383 obp, .713 slg.
SS: D. Song-All star and Silver Slugger 2 years in a row.Season 2 ML stats: .312 avg, .370 obp, .616 slg.
3B: A. Snavely-Season 2 Silver Slugger. At '31' one of the veterans and clubhouse leaders.Season 2 ML stats: .305 avg, .367 obp, .528 slg.
OF: C. Ozuna-Splits time in LF and also backup 1B. Had a subpar season, but looking to bounce back.Season 2 ML stats: .254 avg, .339 ops, .463 slg.
OF: D. Schultz-Starting CF. 2 time All Star, 1x Gold Glove. This 33yo veteran is showing no signs of slowing down.Season 2 ML stats: .303 avg, .347 obp, .517 slg.
OF: J. Bennett-Full time starter in RF and LF. He is a consistent, steady performer.Season 2 ML stats: .291 avg, .365 obp, .435 obp.
OF: R. Cook-Part time LF/RF. He only sees action against RH or as a pinch runner. Is the best/fastest baserunner on the team.Season 2 ML stats: .305 avg, .386 obp, .335 slg.
C: C. Stockton-Defensive catcher
2B: G. Myers-New F/A backup 2B.
3B: T. Finley-Rookie
3B/SS: P. Calderon-Veteran that can play any position
#1 D. Borland-Ace. 2 time all star that won 20 games last season.Season 2 ML stats: 20-10, 3.59 era, 1.13 whip.
#2 G. Salinas-Season 2 midseason pickup. Strong #2 pitcher. Only played 1/2 season with Chicago.Season 2 ML stats: 13-5, 3.26 era, 1.15 whip. (with Chicago)
#3 R. Medrano-Trade pickup. A former top pitcher that now can only go 6 innings. Hopefuly will offer some quality innings.Season 2 ML stats: 9-14, 5.41 era, 1.40 whip. (with Montreal)
#4 V. Figureoa-The new Rich Harden. Great when he pitches but has had 2 elbow surgeries. Dominate when healthy.Lifetime ML stats: 16-3, 3.22 era, 1.10 whip. (2 seasons)
#5 B. Sheffield-Dependable back of the rotation pitcher. Won 18 games in season 1. Missed half of season 2 with injury.Season 2 ML stats: 6-5, 4.76 era, 1.39 whip.
S. Perez-Mopup/6th Starter
N. Trammel-Long Relief A
C. Durbin-Long Relief B
E.Waters-Setup A. Closer if Shaw falters or gets injured.
L. Gurrero-Setup A.
S. Cunningham-Setup B.
S.Shaw-Closer. 2x All Star.
Baseball America Top 10 Organizational Prospects.
1. B. Monroe (AAA) has seen time in majors; #3 starter.
2. E. Guzman (AAA) future CF.
3. D. Knotts (Hi A) #3 starter, 1st Round pick.
4. M. Minor (Hi A) Big bat C, 1st Round pick.
5. B. Jennings (AAA) #3/4 Starter.
6. A. Tatis (AAA) Future Closer??
7. D. Caruso (AAA) LF that is great against RHP.
8. B. Heving (AAA) #5 pitcher that can eat up innings.
9. E. Lockwood (AAA) backup SS.
10. F. Silva (AA) #5/LR/MOP high control pitcher.
The system has alot of average to above average prospects; but no future superstars.
1B Danys Galarraga remains at first for the Patriots. Danys had an of year in season 2 hitting .240 with 31 home runs. His home run out put was down considerbly from his season 1 total of 47. Patriot fans can live with his carear average of .240 but are expecting him to regain his season 1 power numbers.
2B Clint Governale was the Patriots 2B last season hitting .262 with 12 home runs. Duffy Thielman takes over at 2B thisseason. Despite only hitting .269 last season with 17 round trippers Patriot fans consider this an improvement and arehoping for improved production this year.
3B Max Maxwell takes over the hot corner duties from fan favorite William Maurer. This will enable Maurer to utilize hisrange in CF. Despite only hitting .260 with 17 homers Patriot fans are expecting this to be a big season for Max.
SS Ed Helton was a disapointment with both the glove and bat last season. He will be replaced by Glen Lowe. Patriot fanshope the brass new what they were doing when they brought in Glen. An obvious improvement with the glove fans arehoping Glen bounces back to season 1 form with the bat.
LF King Browning got most of the playing time in LF last year but this year he will be platooning with Nick Morgan. Neither has showed the ability to win the positionas of yet. It will remain a L/R platoon unless one of these guysgets hot.
CF William Maurer takes over the CF duties from now Philadelphia Citi Quaker Scooter Eldred. Patriot fans are excitedabout watching the graceful Maurer patrol the outfield. Maurer will probably be one of the slower CF's in the leaguebut not many will cover as much ground.
RF Jason Bullinger entertained the fans with the long ball the last 2 seasons but the fans were not amused with his highstrikeout ratio and his fielding antics. Jason was let go in the off season and the Patriots are giving Clint Governalea chance to win the position. Patriot brass are hoping to see Clint continue to get stronger with the stick.
C Another platoon will see Louie Cruz utilized for his bat and Damian Gentry utilized for his handling of the young arms.
SP1 Jerry Franco at 24 years old is coming off of a disapointing 5 - 18 rookie season. Patriot brass think good thingsare right around the corner.
SP2 Dennis Wanatabe will be starting his 3rd season in the bigs. Dennis showed considerable improvement in his secondseason and the Patriots think the 25 year old is ready to have a break out season.
SP3 Patriot fans are hoping Andrea Merrick bounces back from a devastating injury to his forearm in season 2. The clubshigh hopes for Andrea have been replaced with the optimism that he can regain his pre injury form.
SP4 Willard Yeager will start the season as the Patriots 4th starter. His results will determine if and when Barry Meadows& or Rudy O'Neil get the call up from AAA.
Pen Bull pen by commitee. Steve Elarton, Ronald Gold, George Mlicki, Emil Ugueto, Mark Wagner & Scott Wright will share thepen duties. If anyone gets hot than that will be the go to guy.
As spring always brings hope to baseball fans for their club, this year is no different for Patriot fans. Now the fans can onlysit and wait to see if their hopes for some post season baseball come to pass.
After 2 consecutive of losing in the World Series, these Badgers have blue balls. It's essentially the same starting team as last year, with a slightly different bench. The middle of the order is once again very strong with Cliff Bonilla, Heatchcliff Cameron, Fernando Blanco, Placido Gonzalez, and Alan Connelly. The team expects a little more out of catcher Livan Feliz this year and feels if they do, they won't be beat. Gary Waters should again be a 20/20 guy at leadoff and could push 30/30 with some luck. Heath Baez remains as the 8th hitter, but don't sleep on him as he hit .270 last year.
The pitching staff traded for Daisuke Aoki, hoping he can improve a middle relief that was stastically solid, but came up short in some key situations. He will set up Fireman Chip Wingo, who did not allow an earned run through the all-star break and challenged Bob Thigpen's real life record of 58 saves. Twice defending Cy Young winner Santiago Navarro still plans on kicking ass, but can the team find a dominant 2. Various players have temporarily stepped into that role, then stepped out. Though only 23, Marvin Blank appears ready to fill that role allowing Pedro Zapata to slide back into a more natural third starter role. Hopefully Anthony Byrne can recapture some season 1 magic and Paul Stahoviak will live up to his new contract. If one falters, expect them to be replaced by the surprisingly effective Jimmie Sheets. Sheets has shined out of the back of the rotation and long reliever spots.
The team may make a trade mid-season if it feels it's still a bit short, but the hopes are very high in Washington once again.
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Catching – As a catcher, Lenny Pickering makes a good DH. Light-hitting Gerald Lynch is the starter for now based on his strong defense. “We don’t have the catcher of the future in the organization yet,” said Davis as he opened up a cold Sam Adams Boston Ale. “Our minor leagues are strong on catchers who can call a game and throw runners out, and that’s good, but none of ‘em can hit a lick.”
First base – 23-year-old Gabe McEnerney is poised for a breakout year. “Our scouts say his bat has dramatically improved since last season,” claimed the new owner. “He should put up great numbers in Fenway this year.” Boston also has former first round pick Milton Killebrew tearing the cover off the ball in the minors. “We love Killebrew’s bat,” Davis mentioned, “But with McEnerney on the roster, Killebrew could be had in the right trade.” The Baysox also have veteran Pete Barr on the major league roster, another player who might be on the trade block this season.
Middle infield – “We’re really thin at the major league level,” complained Davis while popping open another Boston Ale. Elroy Daniels is the second baseman of the future, but the team doesn’t want to rush him to the majors too soon. Scott Fisher is probably the starter for now. More of a third baseman than a second sacker, the team hopes Fisher will make up in power what he lacks in range. Shortstop is more of a problem. “I wish we could keep Hersh Harris in the minors for a couple more seasons,” burped Davis. “He’s only 21, ferpetesakes. But he’s all we’ve got right now.” Aging SS Darin Barclay has lost too much range in the field to make up for his weak hitting, added Davis.
Third base – Javier Pujols, Bill Walker, and Brent Wood have a close, three-way Spring Training competition going for the starting third base job. “But heck, Walker and Wood are Rule 5 guys, so that kinda tells ya where we’re at with that position!” exclaimed Davis. Veteran Maximo Hitchcock is also on the roster, but is strictly a reserve at this point in his career.
Outfield – “Rocky Curtis would be our second sacker if we had a real CF guy,” quipped Davis while knocking down yet another Sam Adams. “But we don’t, so he’ll be out there in CF everyday this season.” After that, the organization is woefully thin when it comes to flychasers. Rookie Chris Maddux will likely start the year in left, though he has a reputation for being injury prone. “Whichever guy finishes second in the 3B derby will start the year in right,” sighed Davis. “We don’t have anyone else.” The future doesn’t look much brighter as the organization has no top OF prospects in the minors either.
Pitching – Craig Walsh, Al Delgado, Clyde Prokopec, Junior Perez, Milton Hernandez, Tony Sanchez, and Scooter Coco give the Baysox a solid, if unspectacular, rotation. “Hey, we’d even trade one of those guys for a good outfielder,” Davis blurted while reaching for the mini-fridge. “They’re all solid guys.” The bullpen is thin, featuring no stars, and Davis says that is one of his biggest worries for season three and beyond. “We don’t have many arms in the minors either,” Davis muttered while chugging the last bottle of ale. “Another area we’ll have to work on over the next season or two.”
G.M. – So what about Davis, the new owner/G.M.? “Usually I’m Trader Brad, but couldn’t do much of that here yet,” confessed Davis, lurching slightly as he rose from his desk. “I believe the best trades are made from surplus, otherwise you’re just opening up one hole while you fill another. Didn’t have much surplus here yet, so I decided to be quiet and build for a couple of seasons.” With that, he stumbled slightly and headed for the door. “Which way you headed?” he asked, flipping off the lights.
In the off-season leading into S3, bajoraa again pursued starting pitching by signing veteran Orber Sosa. In addition, Nashville also sought to address team needs including question marks surrounding the catcher and shortstop positions. The newly re-named Fruit Jar Drinkers dealt 3 veterans to Montreal for catching prospect Aaron Brooks and acquired slick-fielding SS Gary Martin from the Cherubs. Whether these moves will help build upon Nashville’s late-season success remains to be seen in Season 3.
Top Prospects – Nashville
1. Lyle Kipling
2. Ivan Leon
3. Julio Bonilla
4. Aaron Crane
5. Ronn Morgan
6. John Cameron
7. Barry Carpenter
8. Larry Stovall
9. Branch Kerr
10. Trevor Rigby
Season 3 Pittsburgh Pagan Preview
After a surprising season where the upstart Pagans drove the eventual World Champion Cleveland Rockers into the 11th inning of Game 162 to decide the division winner, the Pagans look to build on last year's success. The major offseason move was the dealing of uberprospect Devon Andrews for a package of players from the Minnesota Screaming Beavers. In a division with the World Champs and the young powerhouse Empires, the Pagans will need to mature quickly to contend. the future is bright for the Pirates, as every position player and starting pitcher is 27 or younger.
C J.J. Jefferies did not disappoint in his first full season as the Pagan' backstop. Jeffries posted a .780 OPS will providing top-notch defense from the catcher's position. The young Pagan's staff developed well under his tutelage. More will be expected of JAred with the fleet of young pitchers expected to make their ML debut this season.
1B Reid Washington Washington provided a solid bat hitting .275 with 100 RBIs last season. An off-season weight program should yield dividends in the dinger department this season.
2B Fernando Sosa Sosa starts the season at 2B after being shopped in the off-season. Don't expect Sosa to stay in the starting lineup long, as stud prospect Max Seanez should be up after the first 20 games or so. Mad Max provides a shortstops glove with a DH bat and should remain in the lineup for as long as his health allows.
SS Sam Goldman Sam Goldman was one-third of the haul from the sale of Andrews. Sam plays solid SS defense and contributed a .282 average and 26 HRs last season for Minnesota. Goldman won a Gold Glove last season for Minnesota and his defensive prowess should rub off on these young Pagans. Sam takes over for fan favorite Max Maxwell, who was not resigned in the off-season.
3B Lee Clifton Another piece of the Andrews trade, Clifton was an enigma in his tenure as a Screaming Beaver. Blessed with extraordinary talent, Clifton rarely managed to put it all together at the plate, hitting .283 with 19HRs and 70 Rbis last season. A talent such as Lee will be expected to contribute much more on the Pagans. Lee did display fine glovework last season. Last year's starter Max Silva backs him up.
LF Chul Maeda Chul had a rough Season 2, spending three different stints on the DL. Though not considered a fragile player, Maeda was not much o a factor last year. Expect more from him this season as the leadoff role falls to him.
CF Bill Hendrickson Last season's big in-season acquisition (along with pitcher Howard Rigney) assumes the role of team leader in Season 3. Bill played a fine CF and hit 32HRs and drove in 100 runs last season. Expect Hendrickson to man this spot well for the next 5 years.
RF Vitas Clayton Vitas fell a little short of his lofty goal of a .300/30HR/100 rbi season, posting a .298/19/93 year. Still only 25 years of age with more opportunity for improvement ahead of him as well as better hitters around him, Clayton should improve on those numbers this year.
DH Virgil King/Big Butter Jesus Park King and Park shared DH duties last year with a modicum of success. King was acquired mid-season when a critically slow start by Park resulted in a sub-Mendoza average at the All-Star break. Park recovered nicely, and the Pagans are please to ahve added another strong hitter to their stable.
The Pitching Staff
SP1 Emmanuel Bottenfield
SP2 Willie Colon
SP3 Howard Rigney
SP4 Angel Mendez
SP5 Matt Lee
Bottenfield was forced to learn on the job with the woeful staff of the Pagans. He responded well in his first complete year as a starter posting 12 wins. His continued development is one of the keys to this staff.
Colon possesses excellent control and is very effective against both lefties and righties. A 13-6 record last year as a 23 year old foreshadows great things for Willie. Pagan management expect 15 wins this season.
Howard Rigney was acquired in the same trade that netted CF Hendrickson. I protracted stint on the DL with elbow surgery cut short a fine season where he won seven games a Pagan. All of us in Pittsburgh are hoping for a healthy return to that form.
Angel Mendez was one of the prize pitchers of the Pagan prospects. He posted 16 wins last year in AA. A wicked 4 seamer has propelled him to success at every level. Though he will start the season at AAA, expect an early season call-up.
The 5th starter is expected to be Pagan farmhand Matt Lee. Matt won the AA Cy Young and Rookie of the year last season, posting a 20-6 record. Lee is also expected to be part of the early season callups from AAA.
Closer Cristian Davis made the All-Star team Season 2 posting 41 saves.
The rest of the bullpen should consist of last years starters Trevor Evans and Mike Vitello. Also making the squad are two rule 5 pickups from last season Tommie Leonard and Tsuyoshi Kim. All are young and possessing potenital.
The Pagans expect to contend for a Division title here in Season 3. The keys will be their ability to stay healthy and the development of their young roster.
Friday, August 1, 2008
So here I introduce you to the season 3 Montreal Maple Leaves,featuring groundball pitching and 22 new faces.
C vsR Danny Haynes(Aquired via FA)
Haynes bringing great defense behind the plate while bringing a solid bat verse right handed pitching. He is someone I was tracking the entire FA period, and was able to bring in at a nice price. He should make all of my pitchers better and will have no problem throing guys out when stealing.
C vs L David Fernandez(Aquired via FA)
Similar to Haynes defensively, Fernandez is a better hitter vs lefties, so he will start whenever a southpaw is on the mound. He will help keep Haynes at 100% all season.
1B Bernie Cruz
Cruz was one of two guys that was untouchable. He will bat 3rd and create a strong prescence every time he steps in the batter's box. Cruz hit an impressive .341/.405/.575 last season for Montreal. He should continue to produce runs for the Maple Leaves.
2B Walt Hinske(Aquired via trade)
Hinske should bring GG defense behind a pitching staff that should put a lot of balls on the ground. Hisnke is also a legitimate leadoff bat, who will put strong speed and plate discipline in front of a solid middle of the order.
SS Adam LaRue(Aquired via FA)
Playing with his 3rd team in 3 years, LaRue ended up with the Maple Leaves due to lack of a better option. He will play good D at short, but should not do much with his bat.
3B Ivan Cornejo(Aquired via trade)
Aquired in the Rivera trade, Cornejo will be the starting third basemen and bat 6th. He brings the bat that hit 60 HRs over the past 2 seasons in AA. Some believe he should get time at AAA, but the front office thinks he is the best 3B option for now and the future.
LF Charlie Wallace(Aquired via trade)
Coming from a pitchers park, Wallace should see a nice boost in numbers this season. He is a nice pure hitter for has a chance to score a lot of runs in front of Cruz and Borges. We have high expectations for Charlie this season
CF Clay Canseco(Aquired via FA)
Canseco was non-tendered by HOU after playing great D for the Fantasticos last season. He is expected to provide similar stellar D for MON while bringing solid speed and baserunning skills to the basepaths.
RF Luis Borges
The 2nd stud that was not going to be moved this off season. Borges is one of the best young bats in the game. He knocked 53 bombs as a 23 year old last season. He is the face of the franchise and will be counted on to lead the Maple Leaves to a divisional title
DH Ray Winn(Aquired via trade)
Winn will also be the team's third catcher, but will likely not see time at the position this year. Winn has a solid eye, with an OBP over .400 in the last 2 seasons for Chicago. He should provide a lot of offense in what is a contract year for the solid hitter.
UTIl RJ Guerrero(Aquired via FA)
If Guerrero proves that his arm will hold up at SS, he may end up getting more starts than LaRue as his bat against righties is far superior
LF/1B Andre Erstad(Aquired via trade)
A solid hitter the team aquired for a cheap price. He will try to bounce back after an off year and will see starts at 1B/LF/DH against righties.
OF Aaron Goldstein(Aquired via trade)
A favorite of GM thaceo, "jewish lightning" was brought to MON. he should see occasional starts at all 3 OF positions, mostly in right and center
RF Danny Branson(Aquired via FA)
After having an OPS over .900 for BUF last season, Branson was a value pickup that could not be passed up. He is nothing more than insurance.
1. Walt Hinske 2B
2. Charlie Wallace LF
3. Bernie Cruz 1B
4. Luis Borges RF
5. Randy Winn DH
6. Ivan Cornejo 3B
7. Danny Haynes C
8. Adam LaRue SS
9. Clay Canseco CF
SP1 Terrance Moore(Aquired via FA)
Probobly the most talked about FA pickup of the off season, Moore will head the Maple Leaves rotation. His style is one the Maple Leaves hope will be emulated by other pitchers in the rotation. He should be watched closely all season
SP2 Willis Kirk(Aquired via FA)
"Captain" Kirk was hurt last season, but when he played he was electric going 10-5 with a 3.22 ERA. Kirk signed with MON after they were willing to give him a 5 yr deal. Some call him a bargain, others call him a risk. We will see how he pitches coming back from a shoulder injury.
SP3 Phillip Campbell
Maybe the only MON pitcher to have a solid season last year, Campbell has apparently improved over the off season, and now has 2 solid pitchers in front of him. With better run support, defense, and being a year older, Campbell is primed for a breakout season.
SP4 Nelson Fasano(Aquired via FA)
Fasano was one of the most questionable pickups of the off season, but brings some of the world's best stuff and MON believes he will have a breakout season. Whether he is a great pickup or a waste will be seen this season.
SP5 Deivi Moraga(Aquired via trade)
Another pitcher coming off injury, Moraga was a bargain pickup for the Maple Leaves(salary drop included he is about 4.4 mil per year for the next 2 seasons). It will be seen if Moraga will be able to return to his old dominance after being hurt half of last season
Mop/LHS Joaquin Felix(Rule V Draft)
Felix was maybe the wierdest pick of the rule V. He has a great GB/FB ratio and nice pitches and the team needed another lefty in the bullpen. He could end up being a steal, but if he ends up busting, its just 50,000 lost
LRP Nicholas Huff(Aquired via Trade)
Huff has great control and was electric when he pitched for KC last season. His great GB/FB will be very useful in MON. Could enter the rotation with an injury/if someone is pitching poorly.
LRP/RHS Ray Malloy(Aquired via FA)
MON is hoping Malloy can finally have his break out year with a stronger defense behind him and a great catcher calling the game. He will probobly exclusively pitch against righties out of the pen until an opportunity becomes available in the rotation. He is signed cheap through his 3 arb years
SU Felipe Navarre(Aquired via FA)
High potential pitcher the Maple Leaves signed for 4 yrs with the hope that he will be better out of the pen than he was in the rotation for SEA. Hopefully they will be proved right during the season
SU/CL Alfredo Rosa(Aquired via Trade)
The first of two pitchers competing for the closer role, thaceo signed Rosa to be a closer in NAS last season. Rosa got 10 saves in all 10 of his opportunities last season and could be put back in the role this year.
SU/CL Nick Helton(Rule V)
Rosa was the sure closer until Helton was aquired in the rule V. Despite not having an impressive ERA Helton saved 24 games in 28 opportunities for AAA WAS last season. He will be given every chance to keep the job with a GB/FB and high velocity ideal for the role
Top 10 Prospects
1. SP Seth Randall Low A
2. SP Phil Thomas Low A
3. C Phillip Henry AAA
4. 2B/OF Bill Brower AA
5. LF Wally Christenson AAA
6. 3B Ivan Cornejo ML
7. SP/RP Clarence Daal AAA
8. SP BC Samuel AAA
9. SP Luis Romero AAA
10. CF Lewis Freeman AAA
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thielman batted .269/.348/.425 in 150 games between Nashville and San Diego last season. He signed a 5 yr/55 million dollar contract with the Patriots
Lowe hit .279/.342/.372 for the Switchmen in 234 games over the past 2 seasons. He signed for 4 years and 25 million
Patriots GM pollet070 was available for comment
"New York Patriot fans will be watching a whole new ballgame this season. While maintaining the 6th lowest payroll in all of baseball Patriots owner "The Chief" made a big splash in the FA pool this off season. The Patriots earmarked 24 million for free agents. Coming off a season were the club had a dismal team batting average of .242, "The Chief" set about getting 3 quality position players. First to sign was former Switchman SS Glen Lowe. Glen will take over the SS duties that were shared last year between Ed Helton & Adam Larue.Second to put his John Hancock on a Patriot contract was former Pagan SS Max Maxwell. Max will be handling the hot corner for the Patriots this season. This means fan favorite William Maurer will be moving to CF.The third and last FA signing for the Patriots was Duffy Thielman. This will be Duffy's 4th club in 3 seasons. Most of Duffy's playing time was at SS but he will be sliding over to 2B when he puts on a Patriot uniform. This means last years regular 2B Clint Governale will be moving to RF.Diehard Patriot fans will definately need a scorecard when they enter the ballpark this season as they will be watching a whole new ballgame."
We will see if New York's aggressive approach improves the team's record in season 3
When asked if any big moves would be coming brad said
"well maybe not - i'm conservative by nature so i'd rather build a solid team w/out free agency - never have signed a free agent in any world - and haven't seen any really good trade ops so far - this org is really thin & winning trades are usually made from surplus, which i don't have - so might just stand pat in s3, get a feel for the league & my team, then be a lot more active in s4!"
He went on to say
"put a lot into the coaching derby tho - would rather maximize what i have now while waiting for the right moves to make themselves known"
We should get to know brad better in his first season as GM of the Baysox after having a very successful run with the Kansas City Monarchs in Wailing Onions World. Boston ownership recruited him to bring victories, but they will be patient, as they have plenty of confidence in teh rookie GM.
Brunette was the Sprawl's biggest pickup this off season
The Sprawl aquired Patrick Brunette and stud leadoff hitter Rick Wight in exchange for 2B Alexander Henley(AAA), RP Juan Tavarez(AAA),SP/RP Ross Ramirez(ML),SP Davey Diaz(High A), and RP Reagan Devereaux(Low A) who was probobly the centerpiece of the deal. Toronto did not want to pay Brunette's future salary and felt they added a lot of depth to their minor league system. While the trade may be a benefit to them, it just means 2 more threats added to the world juggernaut, the Atlanta Sprawl.
GM jakaitis had time to comment on the Sprawl offseason earlier today. He said the following
mortgaged the farm to get him[Brunette], but the team is built for now. in for a penny, in for a pound... Right Wight was the guy I pursued first and I think he could score 150 runs as a vR platoon man... The guy I'll really miss going back to Toronto was Henley; he picked 2B Alexander Henley over the better looking 1B Danny Duran and I can't blame him... Brunnette came within a hairsbreadth if being dealt for New Orleans LF Jackie Wagner,
jakaitis but he wouldn't include an SP in the deal so it fell apart... There are grumblings within the syetm that Brunnette doesn't have the stuff of a top tier starter despite the fact he'll be one of the top 3-4 paid SPs in two years.... Sprawl got a Type A and a Type B in this draft to restock the farm. (already traded four players from the S1 draft)"
We should be hearing more buzz about the Sprawl soon, as they look to add a 2nd WS title to their trophy case