Friday, June 27, 2008

Power Rankings

1. Monterrey Corn Dogs - The Corn Dogs have had a virtual lock on the power rankings through the first half of the season. They currently have the best record in the AL and a 10 game lead over the Deuce Droppers in the AL South.

Hitting - The Corn Dogs lead the league in several offensive categories including RBI, HR, BA, and Runs. They have 8 players on pace for 30+ HRs, 100+ RBIs, and 100+ Runs. This may be the best hitting team in the history of the league.

Pitching - Their pitching has been stellar. Currently they have two pitchers on pace for over 20 wins. Aramis Navarro and Marty Howell should both be favorites for a CY Young if they can keep up this pace.

Prediction - AL South champs. The Corn Dogs pitching will likely cool down a bit, but their offense should carry them 110+ wins this season.

2. Cincinnati Reds - What is probably the most complete team in the league finds themselves in the number 2 spot. An argument could be made for the Reds at the number 1 spot, but due to the Corn Dogs better record the Reds fall to the 2 spot. The Reds currently have the best record in the NL and a slim 2 game lead over the Cubs in the NL North. The real question is can they find a way win a World Series.

Hitting - The Reds are towards the top in several offensive categories. The only real offensive statistical category they struggle in is steals. They currently have a whopping 1 steal on the season. 3 time MVP Omar Nixon is having another MVP like season.

Pitching - Season after season the Reds have the best pitching staff in the league. This season is no different. They currently lead the league in several statistical categories including ERA, WHIP, SO and CG. It comes as no surprise to find out that they have already engraved Yamil Pulido on the CY Young plaque. He is without a doubt the greatest pitcher in league history.

Prediction - NL North champs. They should win 110+ games this season. Yamil should take home another CY Young award.

3. Chicago Cubs - Last season World Series champs find themselves in the number 3 spot after a slow start to the season. They have begun heating up recently and find themselves only 2 games out in the NL North. I dont think it would surprise anyone if the Cubs didnt win back to back championships.

Hitting - The Cubs have one of the top hitting teams. Their towards the top of most hitting statistical categories. Joey Tracy, Juan Castro, and Tony Suarez are all on pace to hit over 40 HRs, and 140 RBIs.

Pitching - The Cubs starters and bullpen is exceptionally good. Second in most statistical categories only to the Reds. Their bullpen has only blown 3 saves on the season. Young left hander Xavier Hart is having an exceptional season. If Yamil didnt exist Xavier would have to be a favorite for the CY Young. He will probably have to settle for a 20 win season.

Prediction - 2nd in the NL North, top wild card team. The Cubs should win no less than 100 games this season.

4. Austin Deuce Droppers - 4 time World Series champs the Deuce Droppers move up to the number 4 spot. Unfortunately they play in the same division as the Corn Dogs and find themselves 10 games out in the AL South. Come playoff time this may be the team to beat though.

Hitting - The loss of 4 time all star Jim Edmonds has definitely hurt this team. On the plus side Blake Mathews already has 34 HRs and 107 RBIs (how is this guy NOT an all star).

Pitching - The Deuce Droppers are towards the top in most pitching categories. Russell Spence, Britt Swindell, and Chad Sanders are all on pace for a 20 win season. Unfortunately their other starters haven't been nearly as good.

Prediction - 2nd in the AL South, top wild card team. The Deuce Droppers should be good for another 100+ win season.

5. Louisville Swingers - The Swingers have been in a tight battle with the Astros and Marlins in the NL South. They currently hold a slim 2 game lead over the Astros in the division. If they can find some consistency they may be able to finish the season with the best record in the NL.

Hitting - The Swingers are one of the top hitting teams in the league. Albert Johnson is flirting with a .400 avg so far this season. His name should pop up as a top contender for an MVP this season. Most players would be happy to finish the season with these kind of stats (and were just over halfway to the end) - .397 avg, 20 HRs, 96 RBIs, 90 Runs, 28 SBs......Wow.

Pitching: The Swingers pitching doesn't quite equal their offense. It is good, actually very good though. Paulie Sanders is on pace to win 20 games this season. Jose Benitez has been the bright spot out of their bullpen with 7 wins and a sub 4 era. Young closer Santiago Mangual has been shaky at times, but has converted 4 of his last 5 saves.

Prediction - NL South champs. The Swingers should be good for another 100+ win season. Albert should be the favorite to win his first (of what will surely be many) MVP this season.

6. Las Vegas Slobs - The season 6 World Series champs have quietly moved up the rankings after a slow start to the season. They have a relatively comfortable 11 games lead in the AL West. It seems every season the Slobs start off slow to come storming back towards the halfway point. The really surprising part about the Slobs season is that only a season or 2 ago the Slobs stated they were needing to rebuild due to age. This has been possibly the fastest rebuild in league history.

Hitting - The Slobs find themselves towards the top of most offensive statistical categories. They are currently second in the league in HRs with 165. The Tigers Gary Sheffields younger brother Gary Sheffield is having a stellar season with 37 HRs, 67 RBIs and 62 Runs.

Pitching - Possibly the best staff in the AL. Mike Leius should be a favorite to win his 2nd CY Young award. 4 time fireman of the year award winner Bryan McDowell is having another great season with 32 saves in 35 opportunities.

Prediction - AL West champs. The Slobs should win around 95 games this season.

7. Houston Astros - The most vocal owner in the league fell to the number 7 spot. The Astros started off the season hot, but have cooled down as of late. They are currently 2 games out in the NL South. They should be able to battle the Swingers for a division title. If the Astros can improve their fielding they could move up. They have given up a whopping 60 unearned runs on the season, and are dead last in fielding percentage. Regardless, they have enough offense and pitching to win the division and possibly the NL.

Hitting - The Astros have a lot of big bats in their line up and it shows with 149 HRs on the season. The early season loss of all star 1B Rocky Spencer definitely hurt this team. Rocky is back so that should be a big boost to the Astros. Young 1B Heinie Watkins is having a great season at the plate, and should be a candidate for the MVP in only his 2nd season.

Pitching - The Astros have some of the top young pitchers in the league. Dan Hitchcock is on pace for 20+ wins and should be a CY Young award finalist. Clay Griffith has a 6.03 era, but oddly enough is on pace for 20 wins this season.

Prediction - 2nd in the NL South, 2nd in the Wild Card standings. The Astros should win 95+ games this season.

8. Nashville Marlins - The 3 time NL champ Marlins have been hanging in there with the Swingers and Astros in the NL South. They are currently 3rd in the division only 4 games back of the Swingers.

Hitting - The Marlins are having a solid season at the plate. They are currently 5th in the league in HRs with 153. Their 0 steals on the season are probably hurting the team a bit. Aging all star Andrew Spencer is having a very good season with 27 HRs, 77 RBIs, 62 Runs and a .306 avg.

Pitching - The Marlins pitching has always been strong. This season is no different. Omar Elcano is having a stellar season with 11 wins and a 2.93 era. Its only a matter of time before he wins his first CY Young award (he is only 23 and already has a 23 win season). Louie Moraga is also on pace for a 20 win season. Johnnie Moeller is a perfect 20 for 20 in save opportunities.

Prediction - 3rd in the NL South. They should win 90 - 95 games this season. The NL South should be a very close battle between the Astros, Swingers and Marlins. Any one of those 3 teams has the talent to win the division.

9. Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses - This season the Multiple Spouses have solidified themselves as one of the top teams in the league. They currently have a comfortable 7 games lead over the Detroit in the AL North. The AL North has traditionally been one of the most competitive divisions in the league, but the Multiple Spouses are the favorites to win it this season.

Hitting - The Multiple Spouses are solid at the plate. Not a ton of power in their line up compared to some of the other top teams, but they do have 95 steals on the season. Jeff Brooks has been exceptional this season with 36 HR, 93 RBI, 78 Runs, and 15 Steals.

Pitching - The Multiple Spouses pitching has been very good this year. Their starting pitcher has been solid, and their bullpen has been very good. Their team era is 3rd best in the AL.

Prediction - AL North champs. They should win around 90 games this season.

10. Salem Mayhem - The Mayhem are on pace to winning their 4th consecutive NL West title. They currently have a 9 game lead over the Giants in their division. This also marks the Mayhems first appearance in the power rankings this season.

Hitting - The Mayhems hitting has been solid. Alex Gil, and Harry Brown are both having very good seasons.

Pitching - The Mayhems pitching has also been solid. Victor Bonilla is having a great year as their closer. He has converted 24 of 25 save opportunities. Veteran Esteban Caballero is on pace to win over 20 games this season.

Prediction - AL West champs. They should be good for 85 wins this season.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anatomy of a Failure: The Milwaukee Brewers First Half

The unexpectedly abrupt and significant demise of the Brewers has been discussed, but we thought we'd peel the onion a little to examine how the Brewers have fallen so far, so fast.

At this pace, the Brewers will fall from 92 wins all the way to 61.

Ramon Dong hit .364 last season with 23 HR and 35 SB. This year, he's on pace for 4 HR and his OPS is down a whopping .264, including .081 off of his average.

Each year, the Brewers think, "this is the season," for Pascual Berroa. His OPS is down .070 to an anemic .674. He hit 23 HRs two seasons ago, and is on pace for 3 this season. All at age 25.

Zachrey Jerzembeck has seen his walks cut by 1/3, his SBs cut in half and his OPS is down .090. At 24, the Brewers had been expecting nothing but steady improvement.

Last year, Pedro James hit .317-40-135-32SB. This year, at age 24, he's on pace for 21 HR and 13 SB. OPS is down .249. Strikeouts up, walks down.

In Season Seven, Gregg Presley had a breakout season, going .301-25-101 with 25SB. This season, the 24-year old is on pace for .276-4-64 with 14 SB. His OPS is down .223.

For a team with a young pitching staff, the Brewers needed their offensive pillars to stand tall. Instead, the team's OPS has dropped .074 since last season.

Which brings us to the pitching, which has been worse - a lot worse - than expected.

Overall, the Brewers are giving up .70 runs more this season than last. Which is not unexpected when the average age of the rotation is just under 24.

But it is hard to project when a player foolishly inked to a megadeal, like Jumbo Benitez, sees his ERA balloon by two runs.

Young Richard Park has also suffered the same two-run ERA inflation.

Curtis Redding has actually been worse - his ERA is up more than three runs from last season.

Rocky Wilkins - a full two runs worse this season.

So above all, the failure of the Brewers was a failure of the imagination in putting together a team that could be reasonably competitive.

At this point, the Brewers are committed to a youth movement and have indicated they will discuss any player on the roster.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

AL vs. NL

To answer the question of which league is better, the NL or AL, the number of wins for each league was calculated. The NL barely edged out the AL 94 - 98 in inter-league play.

When the teams with the 5 best records from each league played one another the AL edged the NL 13 - 11. This included from the NL the Marlins, Cubs, Astros, Reds, and Swingers. The AL was represented by the Corn Dogs (CD), Deuce Droppers (DD), Multiple Spouses (MS), Royals and Slobs. The Royals and Slobs didn't face any team from the NL with a top 5 record. The MS faced the Cubs and Reds. The DD and CD faced the Marlins, Astros, and Swingers. The Cubs and Swingers from the NL ended up with a winning record when facing top 5 AL teams. The Astros, Reds and Marlins all ended up with losing records when facing top 5 AL teams. The CD and DD ended up with winning records against top 5 teams from the NL. The MS ended up at .500 against top 5 teams from the NL.

Unfortunately this is inconclusive. Looks like we'll have to wait till the World Series to figure out who is better the NL or AL.

Pilots Orbit La Manche

Seattle - The home town Pilots brought in Orber Quixote as the newest captain of 2B/CF. This rookie from Cariaco was assigned to Low A and already rumors are spreading about him being a ladies man. But with lance in hand, will find him running with the windmills in the lead-off spot of the batting order. With a little pop in his bat, pitchers will be frustrated trying to keep him off the base pads and catchers trying to stop him from stealing them as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Power Rankings - Part 4

1. Monterrey Corn Dogs - The Corn Dogs remain number 1. They are on pace to have one of the greatest seasons in league history. This week they struggled early on in inter-league play going 2 - 4 against the Swingers and Astros but finished up with a 3 game sweep of the Marlins.

2. Cincinnati Reds - No surprise to see the Reds on top of the NL again this season. They currently have a slim 2 game lead over the Cubs in the NL North. The young up and coming Giants managed to take 2 of 3 against the Reds. Two of the best pitchers in the league battled in the the series, Pedro DeSoto and Yamil Pulido, both earning a no decision but the Giants did get he W.

3. Chicago Cubs - Last seasons WS champs refuse to let the Reds runaway with the NL North. They have a tough schedule going into the all star game with series against the Pirates, Pork N Beans, and Marlins.

4. Las Vegas Slobs - The Slobs have been stellar over the lats two weeks. They do have extremely tough schedule going into the all star game. They play series against the Corn Dogs, Deuce Droppers, Barracudas, and Multiple Spouses.

5. Austin Deuce Droppers - The good news for the Deuce Droppers is there back to playing well. The bad news is their 10 games back of the Corn Dogs in the AL South. This week they managed to sweep the Astros after going 2 - 4 against the Marlins and Swingers.

6. Louisville Swingers - The Swingers have moved into a tie with the Astros in the NL South. The Swingers have capitalized on the Astros struggles by going 7 - 3 over their last 10 games.

7.. Houston Astros - The Astros drop in the rankings after losing 6 straight. The Astros can't afford to struggle in the NL South. The Swingers pulled even with the Astros and the Marlins are only 2 games back.

8. Nashville Marlins - The third NL South team in the rankings. The Marlins started off inter-league play strong, taking 2 of 3 against the Deuce Droppers, but finished weak by getting swept by the number 1 ranked Corn Dogs. Their up coming looks pretty tough with series against the Pirates and Cubs.

9. Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses - The Multiple Spouses now have a relatively slim 4 game lead over the Blue Jays in the AL North. The MS's pitching has been solid all season. They currently have the 3rd best era in the AL. They have some tough series coming up against the Splashdogs, Royals and Slobs.

10. Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pirates have been struggling over their past 10 games, going 4 - 6. They currently have a 5 games lead over the Pork N Beans in the NL East. They have an absolutely killer schedule going into the all star game that includes some the best in the NL - Swingers, Mayhem, Marlins and Astros.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Power Rankings Part 3

1. Monterrey Corn Dogs - The Corn Dogs retain their #1 spot. They have struggled a bit in interleague play, going 2 - 4 against the Astros and Swingers. The CDs still have the best record in the league at 48 - 17, and one of the most dominating offenses in the league.

2. Las Vegas Slobs - The Slobs have been crushing the league over the past few week. They are on a 13 game winning streak, and now have a 6 game lead over the Royals in the AL West.

3. Cincinnati Reds - The Reds have been running over the competition over the past week. They are beginning to look like the Reds from last season. They managed to sweep the Swingers and Pork N Beans, and take 2 of 3 against the Pirates this past week.

4. Houston Astros - The Astros continue to impress. They took 2 of 3 against the number 1 ranked Corn Dogs. The Astros are only going to get better once slugger Rocky Spencer returns to the line up in 8 days.

5. Chicago Cubs - After struggling early in the season last seasons WS champs are returning to their winning ways. They have managed to pull within 3 games of the NL North leading Reds.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pirates have quietly put together one of the best records in the NL. Their offense has been spectacular this season. They currently have a comfortable 8 game lead over last seasons NL East champs the Pork N Beans.

7. Nashville Marlins - The Marlins are currently in a tie with the Swingers, 3 games back of the Astros in the NL South. They are playing pretty well right. They managed to take 2 of 3 against the Deuce Droppers.

8. Louisville Swingers - The Swingers seem to be dealing with consistency issues. They are no doubt one the top teams in the league, possibly the best team in the NL. If they can end the consistency issues they have a great shot at the best record in the NL.

9. Austin Deuce Droppers - The Deuce Droppers have been struggling since losing all star 2B Jim Edmonds. Their interleague schedule is challenging. It includes series against some the best in the NL - Astros, Swingers and Marlins.

10. Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses - The MSs have the unfortunate challenge in playing in the ultra-competitive AL North. They managed to take a 3 game lead in the division over the Blue Jays. The Barracudas and Detroit are only 4 and 5 games back respectively.

Slobs Spend Millions

Las Vegas - Our hometown Slobs spent $16M on a hopeful Dominican pitching prodigy. General Manager Slobs said he was going to the ends of the Earth to find a future pitcher and that he may have done. Cesar Hernandez, A lefty that sports great control of fastballs, curveballs, changeups, sliders and a nasty cut fastball. It is rumored that only one left handed batter has ever got a hit off him, and the next day he was in the hospital with a broken arm(heresay). Right handed batters also have trouble getting hits off him also, wonder if that is the fear factor. His last stint was in the Dominican Little League where he was 36 - 1 in 37 starts.

Monday, June 16, 2008

MLB Season 8 Draft

Something a little different this year in the draft spotlight. Other than just highlighting the 1st round pick, will also grade the organization with the 1st 5 picks. So without further ado...

1. Phil Lee was made the first pick of the MLB Season 8 draft by the Santa Fe Heat. Drafted as a 3B, but very versatile as he can play any position.

Hitting : B as his contact is a bit low
Defense : A very versatile though a little weak for SS
Intangibles : C+ as his makeup and speed are low

Santa Fe: C As 2 iffy picks may not sign and the 2nd round pick of a low eye questionable SS

2. Jesse Brennaman, 2B San Francisco Giants Can we say future Gold Glover and MVP! This kid has it all. His power and speed will cause enough headaches for the opposition. Now to get him signed. Not as versatile as Phil Lee, but can play anywhere except SS and 3B well.

Hitting: A+
Defense: A+
Intangibles: A

San Francisco: B Would have been higher, but the 3rd round pick of Sid McDonald is a drag

Cam Hughes, 1B Philadelphia Athletics Another monster power hitter and defensive minded kid. Cam and Jesse will be duking it out for honors no matter where they play.

Hitting: A+
Defense: A+
Intangibles: A- As his speed drags a little

Philadelphia Athletics: Not enough known

Alex Richardson, 2B Dover Stangs Not as strong as the previous two, but just as good and will be competing for the same honors also.

Hitting: A+
Defense: A-
Intangibles: A+

Dover Stangs: A+ I like all 5 draft picks and all should be at the ML level one day.

Tony Austin, P Iowa City Hawkeyes As for starting pitchers in the draft, this is one of the best. Great control, fantastic pitches, good against the right, low against the left. Good velocity and worm burner to go with his own PC capabilities will make him hard to beat. He will win quite a few games in his long career.

Pitching: B the vsL drags the grade down
Defense: C
Intangibles: A

Iowa City Hawkeyes: C+ Did well with the first 3 picks but the next 3 are questionable

6. Zeus Singleton The Trenton Ball Hogs chose a shut down closer with their first pick. The only drawback is his stamina which with the rest of his stats should not matter in the least as he does have quick recovery time. I also foresee a lot of 9 pitch innings or less from this kid.

Pitching: A+
Defense: A
Intangibles: A

Trenton Ball Hogs: C+ as it goes down hill from here

7. Nicky Sierra The Kansas City Royals see a good staring pitcher in the making with Nick. Displaying great control over two pitches and two out pitches will make all hitters think twice before swinging late.

Pitching: A- lower than average velocity
Defense: A
Intangibles: A+

Kansas City Royals: B- the other 4 picks are only decent at best

8. Sam Charles
The Seattle Pilots drafted a good defensive minded SS with power to spare at the plate. Lacking a little in the contact department to be an elite, but with his splits and eye should be keeping the pitchers on their toes.

Hitting: B+
Defense: A-
Intangibles: A-

Seattle Pilots: B+ 4 real good picks out 5 is a good job.

9. Richard Yamada
The Texas Rangers chose a very good power hitting 1B with their pick. Maybe not the best defensively, but adequate.

Hitting: A+
Defense: B- actually a little weak for 1B
Intangibles: B

Texas Rangers: B+ 3 more above average and 1 average position players

10. Daniel Blackwell The Pittsburgh Pirates made a future shut down closer their first pick, maybe not quite as good as Zeus, but pretty close and better stamina.

Pitching: A+
Defense: A+
Intangibles: A

Pittsburgh Pirates: C+ a questionable SS (actually a 3B) and a mediocre RF didn't help their cause

11. Alex Rowan The Boston Red Sox chose another of the 1B power hitters available. Right handed pitchers will learn to fear Alex and will get a lot of walks in his career.

Hitting: A+
Defense: B+ good for 1B, range a tiny weak
Intangibles: B+

Boston Red Sox: drafting three 1B's makes me wonder, though 1 plays a weak LF

Carlos Guerrero, SS Tampa Bay Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies


Tampa Bay Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies: C+ as the 5th pick is asking for way to much and is probably unsignable.

13. Olmedo Franco The
New York Mets felt the need for pitching and drafted a starting pitcher with their 1st pick. With the draft being SP poor, the Mets got one of the best available. He is considered a back of the rotation starter with good control, two good pitches with two out pitches with above average splits. His GB/FB is gonna make outfielders play deep.

Pitching: B+
Defense: B- does he know what a glove is? No not a fly swatter...
Intangibles: B-

New York Mets: C drafting 5 SP with questionable abilities

14. Al Mack The
Detroit Detroit took a speedy power LF with a defensive mind and could be slotted to play 1B. The bad news (hopefully not) is his low health rating and makeup that could cut his playing career short due to serious injury.

Hitting: A-
Defense: A+
Intangibles: C weak health and makeup could spell trouble

Detroit Detroit: B- the third and 4th picks look good

Steve Clifton, LF The San Diego Dirt Bags drafted a slightly "iffy" power hitting iffy LF (1B definitely). My crystal ball says to let him go to school, bartend or something and let him play softball where he may safe from harm.

Hitting: A
Defense: C weak for LF, strong for 1B
Intangibles: D hopefully no one sets fire to his shoelaces as that could put him on the DL fast

San Diego Dirt Bags: C- could be lower, hopefully the second pick looks better

Dean Romano, SS The Washington D.C. Senators got good value with this pick, although I would imagine he will be finding himself shagging fly balls in CF. A good power hitter at the plate and some speed to burn will help the Senators down the road once they get him signed.

Hitting: A-
Defense: C weak for a SS, but strong everywhere else
Intangibles: A

Washington D.C. Senators: B- could go up or down depending on 2nd pick

17. Lou Helling The
Arizona Splashlogs were probably a little surprised that this closer/setup pitcher fell into their laps this late. Control, splits and pitches, this kid has them all, not as good as the previous two, but just as good.

Pitching: A
Defense: B+ requires special rules for bunting practice
Intangibles: A

Arizona Splashlogs: C+ Having 8 picks and looking for closers and not getting good value until picking Allen Wight (1B) in the 3rd round which was a coup that late.

Theodore Lincoln, LF Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses


Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses: D unsure really with three that may not sign?

19. Vic Galvez The
Salem Mayhem may have been a little unhappy with this pick after all was said and done. Has some pop in the bat, but will strike out a lot looking and swinging. Defensively may lack a little for 3B, my crystal ball thinks COF is better suited.

Hitting: B-
Defense: B- weak for 3B but as OF pretty good
Intangibles: A+

Salem Mayhem: C- Crystal ball thinks this is a wait and see bunch.

20. Gerald Gibbs The St. Louis Barracudas got a great hitting defensive speedy CF with a drug problem. Guess ya can't have everything. Just kidding, I have this thing against player with low health.

Hitting: A
Defense: A+
Intangibles: B- little weak in the health department

St. Louis Barracudas: A+ Those were some fantastic picks

21. Ruben Lopez The
New York Yankees tripped over the steps getting to the podium to select this kid causing several injuries pushing people out of the way. Power, speed, defense and multi-positional (1B,COF) what more can you ask for? Future star in the making.

Hitting: A
Defense: A+
Intangibles: A

New York Yankees: C- other than a power DH that thinks he is a catcher, not much else is known.

22. Bump Lazzeri The
Toronto Blue Jays drafted an all around good player with their first pick. Although he was drafted as a LF, he will be good in RF and even better at 1B.

Hitting: B +
Defense: A
Intangibles: A

Toronto Blue Jays: B+ 4 good picks out of 5

23. Emil Sosa The
Las Vegas Slobs drafted a very good long reliever. With control, splits and 4 outstanding pitches, you wonder why he dropped so low. It could be because of his low velocity verses high velocity pitch capacity.

Pitching: B low velocity with power pitches
Defense: A
Intangibles: A

Las Vegas Slobs: B+ like the second pick much better

24. Wesley Ray The
Atlanta Pork-N-Beans drafted a starting pitcher with their first pick and that was what most of us were looking for and the pickings were slim. Wesley will more than likely make it to The Show as a starter, however it will be as a #4 or #5 starter. He has two fantastic pitches, control and above average splits.

Pitching: B low velocity also, but can mask the only power pitch, needs better out pitches
Defense: A
Intangibles: B-

Atlanta Pork-N-Beans: C+ as that 2nd pick could be the steal of the draft, but the drag is those so called 1B for a NL team.

25. James Trachsel The
Milwaukee Brewers selected probably the best SS in the draft at #25. Sound a bit odd? Most draft gurus put him to be drafted between 15 and 20, that is where I thought he would go. Why did he drop so far? He didn't warrant a top 10 pick because of his low vsR ability called a very rare and mysterious lazy eye syndrome. But not to worry, that is his only drawback.

Hitting: A-
Defense: A ++
Intangibles: A+

Milwaukee Brewers: C+ the rest are average at best

Pascual Dotel The Houston Astros selected a great hitting 2B that can also play CF which makes this a good value pick.

Hitting: A+
Defense: A+
Intangibles: B

Houston Astros: B- good value with the 4th pick also

27. Jerome Webb The
Monterrey Corn Dogs felt the need for a PC catcher in their organization. Not over powering at the plate, but left handed pitchers will have an awful time with him in hit and run situations and coaches will have to make sure that players are in position with right handed pitchers for he will slap the ball somewhere. The big drawback could be his range behind the plate catching foul balls.

Hitting: B
Defense: B+ range factor
Intangibles: B not the fastest kid on the block but then not the slowest either

Monterrey Corn Dogs: B- looks like the Corn Dogs have a plan smothered in mustard

Alex O'Neil, C Austin Deuce Droppers


Austin Deuce Droppers: C- Just not as thrilled as the Deuce Droppers

29. Robin Mitchell The
Louisville Swingers may have been bamboozled with this pick of a 2B, not sure why he is rated so high for so little. A defensively talented 2B that can in fact play CF, but I draw the line there.

Hitting: C+
Defense: A
Intangibles: C- health and makeup problem

Louisville Swingers: C+ Defense may have been on the Swingers mind

30. Ross Perry The
Nashville Marlins took a 2B that like the Swingers doesn't really measure up. Better suited to play 3B or COF and has a firey tendency to hit the ball. Interesting thing though, will need to see if he makes it as a lead off hitter though.

Hitting: C+ contact and eye is all he shows and you hear a loud swish a lot
Defense: C+
Intangibles: A+

Nashville Marlins: B+ I really like the other picks

Carson Matthews, P The Chicago Cubs gambled, hoping this kid will sign. Although having only 3 pitches, was probably the only pitcher that could have been a #3 starter at least. With his asking price, the agent knows it also.

Pitching: A-
Defense: C- keeps getting cleats stuck in the rubber
Intangibles: A

Chicago Cubs: C with the 3rd pick being the best and the 2nd as trade bait, maybe deserves higher

32. George Peterson The
Cincinnati Reds drafted a RF that suffers from corporal wrist syndrome in his right hand. It doesn't affect his hitting, but when a glove is but on, it has a tendency to flop around some. Where he will play will be an interesting debate among coaches.

Hitting: B+ by no means a power hitter, not everyone can be
Defense: C- ugly glove
Intangibles: B-

Cincinnati Reds: C- tried to fill holes, but drafting last took its toll.

Pirates and the draft

Lo and Behold it is Christmas day for us, as Keebo so aptly put it. Seems amazing that as long as I have been doing drafts that I would have had so much trouble with this one that I did it three times, but I did. The last one was yesterday afternoon, took about an hour. The reason was the lack of what the organization needed or wanted. With the tenth pick (with luck, might be the highest pick I get for a while), we needed #1 starting pitching, and there was none on my board at all. Think I am joking, Keebo got the best starter on my board with the thirteenth pick. Not a bad pick, just not a #1 starter. So I went with my old standby, SS, not really a 1st round SS on my board either. I tried setting the board every which way. Nothing was to my liking, I was about to say the heck with it and set it up taking the highest pick available when a thought occurred to me. How about taking what it gives the most of, never done it that way before. Close examination revealed that the best picks at pitcher were all relievers and second was 2B, third was SS and some real good defensive catchers. Now I had to decide whether it was best to go after a 2B or pitcher. Well, as fate would have it, or to make it simple, the best 2B's were iffy picks. Made the deliberation easy after that. I chose the best reliever I thought would fit my team and hoped he would be there, was pretty confident he would be, Daniel Blackwell. And trust me on this, my third and fourth picks were no where near the stats they now display and I don't know why, but I am happy with them. Also happy with sixth and seventh pick, those two defensive catchers will be great behind the dish one day. I now have three, one will move up to Low A shortly, I only have one catcher there and will be tired soon. I just love my last three picks, they come off the myth board, one I have no way of signing, the other two will be sacking groceries after the All Star break and the DITR's are released.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Biggest IFA signing yet.....

Cesar Rincon The Pork n' Beans went all out, spending 17.5M for this hopefully fantastic prize. Several teams bid and bid and bid some more for his services, but SJR had the baseballs to go after him with tenacity. Possessing 4 great pitches (can't ask for much better), great splits and pin point control, will this kid rival Yamil and DJ one day? That part remains unknown , his biggest faults are defensive skills (like who really cares) and a lower velocity than some would want (which could hurt a bit). He will be good, how good will be determined in a few year. But maybe his starts in Low A will give us a glimpse of his ability.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Power Rankings - Part 2

1. Monterrey Corn Dogs - No surprise to see the Corn Dogs on top. This may be the first time an AL team has lead the power rankings during the regular season. The Corn Dogs are on pace to win 130 games this season. They have without a doubt the most powerful offense in the league, and solid pitching.

2. New York Yankees - It may come as a shock to see the Yankees at number 2 considering several teams have a better record. The Yankees started off slow, but they deserve this spot because they are on an absolute tear right now. They are currently on a 10 game winning streak.

3. Toronto Blue Jays - Another shocker in the rankings. Not only are there 3 AL teams on top, but Blue Jays make their first appearance. They may not have the best record in the league, but they are 13 - 3 over their last 16 games. They definitely earned this spot in the top 3.

4. Cincinnati Reds - The Reds are currently tied with the Astros for the best record in the NL. The Reds pitching is very good, but not quite as dominating as in seasons past. Their offense seems to be improved over last season.

5. Houston Astros - It looks like the injury to Rocky Spencer may have finally caught up to the Astros. They still have the best record in the NL, but they have fallen off a bit as of late. Once Rocky comes back the Astros may have the best combination of pitching and hitting in the league.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates - The Pirates have been winning with great offense. They are second in the league in HRs with 69 on the season, and are leading the league in RBIs with 265. The only area of concern for the Pirates is their pitching. Their team era is 5.42. If their pitching improves they have the potential to be one of the best teams in the NL.

7. Kansas City Royals - I believe this is Knuckles first appearance on the power rankings. This is well deserved as the Royals are playing exceptionally well right now. They have won 8 of their last 10, including 3 of 4 against the Deuce Droppers earlier this week.

8. Austin Deuce Droppers - The Deuce Droppers continue to play well. They struggled earlier this week against the Blue Jays and Royals, but seem to be back on track with a 4 game winning streak.

9. Louisville Swingers - The Swingers dropped off due to a 5 games losing streak. Regardless of their recent struggles the Swingers offense and pitching has been very good this season.

10. Chicago Cubs - Last seasons WS title champion reappears from their mediocre start. The Cubs had some tough opponents this week, the Pirates, Marlins ans Swingers. They managed to go 7 -6 in 13 games against those teams.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

IFA Signings, 33 games in

Owners have been signing IFA's at a slow rate this year so far. Although alot of big ones have come and been fought over so far and there is more on the way, rumor has it. But for now we will focus on these ones and see how they progress through the season.

Rico Polonia 16.5 M

Retail: 83 Has most of the tools to be a Cy Young candidate in the future. His lower velocity and somewhat weak splits may hinder him from taking the award however. But still worth the price of a kid who will probably win 15+ games a season. Has seen 15.1 innings of action so far at the ML level already as a mop up pitcher, not bad training.

Joseph Wang 15.4 M

Retail: 77 At the young age of 21 is more advanced than Rico and has better stuff. If his defensive skills were better, the retail would go through the roof. Cy Young future, very possible, but that remains to be seen. It is doubtful that he can go deep into the game, maybe the 8th inning max, so a good bull pen needs to be in place to keep the winning numbers. Currently pitching in High A, has a win and 2 losses in 5 games, one being a complete game. Not exactly shutting the opponents down, but is showing some good numbers.

Fausto Almanza 12M

Retail: 75 Recently signed to Low A, Yoker hasn't even finished drinking the toast yet. Another capable starter with a 3 pitch capacity with a sharpshooter attitude. Will the low velocity bother this kid also?

Al Blanco 10.5M

Retail: 81 Now we know why there the toast wasn't complete. Yoker did ya rob a bank? Can't afford champagne now. Another lefty pitcher that is weak against the right guys. Supporting 4 very nice pitches with control, look out West, here come the Lous!!

Alex Gil 9.6M

Retail: 67 This is one where the scouts devised their stats through a minor workout and used his box scores from a little league game. All bad joking aside, this can be a product of low scouting budget causing over valuation and pricing. He is not a bad pitcher and will post winning seasons albeit they may be 12 - 10. Currently pitching in High A and is currently 0-2 and putting up some decent numbers.

Santos Alvarez 6.5M

Retail: 64 Need a left handed closer or setup man? This one is pretty good at either. Possessing a hard slider and a fastball, followed by a curve ball that goes everywhere that will leave hitters guessing and jumping. Currently in AAA where he has worked 3 innings and has been unhitable.

Alex Johnson 4.5M

Retail: 75 Not real sure what to think about this kid. I guess it has to do with the somewhat weak splits and the KnuckleCurve and PalmBall as his primary pitches, but he throws them well.
Currently in the starting rotation at Low A and has a 4-1 record in 6 starts and putting up impressive numbers.

Erubiel Sanchez 3.5M

Retail: 65 Not the healthiest kid on the block and not much of a catcher either. But he sure should be able to hit the ball. My crystal ball tells me he will one day be an elite DH and emergency catcher on the side (probably the ball girls, if he can catch one). Currently in AA with 4 homers and 7 2-baggers already in 12 games.

Oswaldo Rios 2.7M

Retail: 64 Maybe not an elite catcher behind the dish, but can get the job done. Should be an above average hitter with a few dingers thrown in. Currently at High A with 1 game behind the mask with a double to his credit.

Jimmie Ordaz 2M

Retail: 60 If it wasn't for those anemic splits, would be a great pitcher. But alas, the crystal ball predicts a career minor leaguer here. Currently unassigned... Mr Wilson must be out getting his monthly massages.

Al Espinoza 1.4M

Retail: 62 Speaking of bang for the buck, this kid has it. It is unclear to what crystal ball thinks, he could be a back of the rotation starter or a long reliever. His control is not the greatest, but above average and will have trouble with right handed hitters, but with 2 outstanding pitches and 2 more good ones, should have a great career. Currently 0-2 at High A in 2 starts, think those righties are hitting him something fierce.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Owner Express

Every season it seems new owners join the league and then struggle for a few seasons. This season seems to be significantly different. This season there are 3 division leading teams being managed by new owners. Regardless of how these teams finish credit must be given to all of these new guys, they all have their teams on the right track.

Detroit Detroit - John Plotts took over what was a solid franchise and has them on track to make the playoffs for what would be the third time in franchise hostory. Currently Detroit has very respectable .615 winning percentage, and a 2 game lead over Multiple Spouses and Blue Jays in the very competitive AL North.

Boston Red Sox - Speedo33 (a fellow Nascar fan) is another of new owners leading a division. A division that contains the Yankees, one of the most dominant teams in league history. They are currently on pace to win 100 games. If the Red Sox make the playoffs this would be the first time in league history this franchise has made the playoffs.

Tampa Bay Fire Breathing Rubber Duckies - Cbreseman took over what was a relatively mediocre team in previous seasons that resides in a very tough division. Tampa Bay struggled early, but they seem to be playing better as of late. They may not being having the same early season success as some of the other new owners, but the team has some very solid ML talent to build upon.

San Diego Dirt Bags - Thomas took over the former Queerbaits, a relatively mediocre team in previous seasons. Currently the Dirt Bags are sitting in first with a .615 winning percentage. They are currently leading the division by 3 games over the Royals. If the teams pitching holds up the franchise may make the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons.

Trenton Ball Hogs - Wholck took over a team that has changed hands every season since the leagues inception. Currently they Ball Hogs are sitting in third in the rejuvenated NL East, only 2 games under .500. They are currently on pace for a 10 win improvement over last season.

Nashville Marlins - Hartjh14, a veteran owner with one WS to his credit, took over one of the best teams league, and has them playing like one the best teams in the league. They are currently only two games out of the NL East, which is probably the toughest division in the league.

Iowa City Hawkeyes - Bcbifflefan's team has been struggling this season. The team has some very good young talent to build upon. Guys like Rico Polonia, Desi Santana, Raymond Strong, and Harry Lowry will be solid for a long time.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Early Season Disappointments

Brewers - Easily the biggest disappointment of the season. Currently their dead last in BA and toward the bottom in ERA. This is a much better team than their record shows. The Brewers have some serious offensive talent, so the likelihood of them turning things around is pretty good. One look at some of these guys stats will tell you why their playing so poorly: Ramon Dong, Hector Ramirez, Matthew Hollins, Gregg Presley, Jumbo Benitez.

Cubs - Last seasons WS champs are again off to slow start. This is exactly how they started off last season. Jose shouldn't be too concerned, last season they were dominant after the all-star game and throughout the playoffs.

Yankees - 7 time AL East champs are 4 games back of their rivals the Red Sox. Last season at this point in the season they were hottest team in the league. The Yankees hitting looks solid, but their pitching has been disappointing. Some of their young pitchers like Aramis Oliva and Benito Lima will need to improve if they want to division win title #8.

Toronto Blue Jays - The Blue Jays are currently 5 games back of Detroit in the AL North. The Jays hitting and pitching has been been ok, but their struggling to consistently produce runs. Willis Ulrich struggles have really hurt the Jays this season.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Power Rankings - Part 1

1. Houston Astros - The Astros have been playing extremely well. Last week they managed to sweep the season 7 champion Cubs and the Reds. The team continues to be plagued by injuries to their top players. Last season the Astros were knocked out of playoff contention after several injuries. Already they have lost 1B Rocky Spencer.

2. Monterrey Corn Dogs - The Corn Dogs continue to grow stronger every season, so its not surprise to see them in the number 2 spot. The CDs pitching and hitting has been solid this season. They have the lowest team era in the AL, and the highest team BA in the AL.

3. Pittsburgh Pirates - Big surprise to see the Pirates in the top 3. They have been outstanding over the first week of the season. They swept last seasons NL East champs in a four game series to open up the season.

4. Louisville Swingers - The Swingers offense looks to be as good if not better than last season. Pitching was inconsistent last season, but this season its looks they have turned it around. If there pitching continues to be this good, look for them to be at the top very soon.

5. Detroit Detroit - Another big surprise at the number 5 spot. New owner John Plotts looks like he has turned around the former Twins/Gingers. Detroit has tough schedule coming up this week that should really test this team. They have series against the Corn Dogs, Yankees, and Deuce Droppers to look forward to.

6. Cincinnati Reds - The Reds at number 6? Is the world coming to an end? 20 games in and the Reds look relatively mortal this season. There dominant pitching of past seasons has been relatively average this season. Its only a matter of time though before the Reds begin to dominate the NL again as in seasons past. Reds ace Yamil Pulido is on track for a fourth CY Young.

7. Nashville Marlins - The Marlins changed hands this off-season. Hartjh has the team playing well. The recently took 2 of 3 against the Swingers and Astros, but lost 2 of 3 against the Pork N Beans.

8. Boston Red Sox - Another early season surprise. Speedo33 has done an excellent job of turning around this franchise. There upcoming schedule is going to be rough with series against the Multiple Spouses, Detroit, Slobs, Dirt Bags, and Blue Jays.

9. Austin Deuce Droppers - Last seasons AL champs are off to a decent start. They have been plagued with inconsistent starting pitching this season. Their offense has been solid though. If the pitching improves expect them to move up in the rankings.

10. San Diego Dirt Bags - Another team that has shocked a lot of people in the league. Looks like Thomas has turned this team around. They currently have a slim 1 game lead in what looks like a rejuvenated AL West. If their pitching holds up they may be a team heading to the playoffs.