Texas enters Season-1 as a bad team posed to get worse before they get better. The major league roster is not without talent, but, substantial flaws in the roster have prevented management from adopting a win now mentality. And with virtually all the club’s talent in the big leagues, Texas is hardly in a rebuild mode.
The Leaguers look to have an average line-up, above average defense, a decent bullpen and a staff comprised of an ace, a projected #4 and a bunch of journeymen.
1.Ernie Cooke (24) CF- projects to be an above average CF and lead off hitter with a plus batting eye. He is one of the building blocks for the future.
2.Gus Meyers (28) 2nd- a veteran second baseman who will likely help the team remain competitive during the transition.
3.Evan Hollins (29) is an All-Star caliber SS with a decent bat.
4.Jason McDonald (23) RF- may be the 3rd baseman of the future. Projects to be a 5th through 7th hitter on a strong offensive club.
5.Placido Duran (28) 3rd baseman is the clubs former CF. Not a high average hitter, he rates to hit 20+ homers though.
6.Jay Heath (32)- a vet 1st baseman signed to an inexpensive FA deal. He is a high power batting-eye player who looks to hit for a nice OPS, but with a lot of K’s, a low average, and no defensive skills
7.Banana Gibson (23) LF- Gibson’s big league future is uncertain. He has a good batting eye, base running and speed, and lefty split. But he also has average contact, power and righty split. He could be a nice #2 hitter or a lefty platoon/ pinch runner type.
8.Willie Lampert (31)- is a poor mans version of Jay Heath being forced to Catch for the first time since grade school. If the Texas Leaguers flirt with disaster, this will be the most scrutinized decision. Note, minor league options are available should this experiment go awry.
1.Harold Waters (30) is a legit ace or #2 with strong control, splits and decent pitches.
2.Davey Sosa (23) projects to be a number four or five on a good team. He features good control and five strong pitches with average splits. He is likely to be in this rotation a long time.
3.Alfredo Hall (32) a vet, claimed off the WW, with three strong pitches, mid sixties control and average splits. Hopefully, he will provide steady, if unspectacular, starts.
4.JJ Barber (23)- with below average control, Barber is not a big league SP. He does however have nice splits and five above average pitches. Texas hopes to find a better long-term solution, and soon.
5.Anthony Baker is a 34-year-old Long Reliever who will be making spot starts as needed.
CL- Larry Black (35) a vet with decent stuff. Hopefully he can provide some stability in the closer role during the team’s transition to younger options.
Setup A- Chris Hamilton (28) one of the teams strength is its set up pitchers. Hamilton features great control, good split and two plus pitches.
Setup A- Andres Manuel (30)- great control, mid seventies splits and three pitches between 77-66 make Manuel a nice option out of the pen.
Long A- Tomas Mercedes (21)- the best pitching prospect in the organization, he features decent control, better splits and five pitches. That said, he will never have the stamina to start and his limited durability means he wont be an every day BP guy.
Texas GM, New, recently answered some questions about the club he inherited. When asked about the teams out look he said, “we are cautiously optimistic.” He continued, “We believe we can build for the future while still providing a decent product for our fan base. Unfortunately, the club has flaws, but with the economics of the market place our options for addressing those flaws were limited. However, better times are ahead. We now have a winning organizational philosophy which has successfully been implemented elsewhere. Given time, that philosophy will translate into players and more importantly wins and loses.”
A local radio personality said the other day, “he better know what he’s doing, this is one of the worst organizations, top-to-bottom, in the whole league!”