Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Power Rankings #2

1. (1) Cincinatti Reds - Much better than I expected. Impressive 12 game winning streak finally ended by the Tards.
57 - 19

2. (2) Monterrey Corn Dogs - Every bit as good as the Reds. Maybe better. My pick to win it all.
55 - 21

3. (3) Durham Bulls - Tons of offense, no pitching. If they can find some pitching the Bulls would be tough to beat.
50 - 26

4. (8) Santa Fe Tard Parks - Finally turned things around after a mediocre start to the season.
48 - 28

5. (6) Trenton Ball Hogs - The loss of Jeff Wolcott hurts, but they continue to win.
44 - 32

6. (10) Chicago Cubs - Very good team that needs to find a little more offense if they plan on catching the Reds.
44 - 32

7. (4) Pittsburgh Pirates - Great rotation, decent lineup, crappy bullpen.
43 - 33

8. (UR) Atlanta Pork N Beans - Need to find a way to score some runs.
42 - 34

9. (5) Kansas City Royals - Great lineup and decent pitching. I predict they will move on up before the season ends.
43 - 33

10. (UR) St. Louis Barracudas - Decent pitching and hitting. Defense is a little weak, but does it really matter?
42 - 34

Dropped out:
Cleveland Indians
Tampa Bay Rays

Friday, September 25, 2009

Season 13 Draft Review

As I said in the Commentary I am doing the draft review a different way this time around. Instead of doing it by selection, I am going to do it by team in alphabetic order.

1. Anaheim Angels: With no first round picks of any kind, their first pick was at 94. They selected Jim Hinchliffe, a SS that I cannot see and has yet to sign. The remaining picks were of little value at the ML level.

1st Pick: Unknown
Overall: D+

2. Atlanta Pork-N-Beans: Atlanta had 10 picks total in the first 5 rounds. They had no actual first round pick but did have 4 sandwich picks. Their first pick at #41 was Corey Cashner. A CF that can play the position adequately and hit for average but has little power. For the most part they went after pitching and did pick up a ML setup man with pick 46 and several fringe pitchers. Is money still a problem? For what they gave up the supplementals wasn't that good.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B+

3. Austin Fightin' Armadillos: With the 5th overall pick they chose Sammy Hitchcock. A power PC defensive catcher and the best position player in the draft. With only three picks and picking up a couple minor league fillers at best.

1st Pick: A+
Overall: C

4. Chicago Cubs: With the 24th pick the chose Jayson Tewksbury, a pitcher that I can't see. With three sandwich picks, they did pick up a pitcher that could have ML potential if he develops but a risky pick that is probably severely overpriced and a 2B (sic LF) that may have ML potential. The second round saw them take a SS that could become a bench utility player due to his defense. Value gained was almost nil.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: C-

5. Cincinnati Reds: With the 30th pick they chose Diego Ayala. A catcher whose defense won't be great but fits the Reds theme of good power hitting. With two sandwich picks and an extra second round pick, they didn't fair badly but nothing tremendous. Of course they normally workout for the Reds for some reason.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B+

6. Cleveland Indians: With the 23rd pick they chose Dean Boone. A left handed starting pitcher with ML potential, he may have a less than desirable vsR but has the control, FB and pitches to make up for it. Did pick up some probable ML bench players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

1st Pick: B
Overall: B-

7. Detroit Detroit: With the 14th pick they chose Peter Jang. A potential ML shut down closer and should develop nicely. With a sandwich pick and a 4th and 5th round pick they picked up nothing in real value.

1st Pick: A
Overall: C+

8. Dover Dung Beetles: With the 19th pick they chose Chris Fontenot. A 2B that I cannot see. Having 2 sandwich picks and 8 total picks in the first 5 rounds, pickings were slim. Other than a possible ML pitcher in the supplemental and a catcher in the 5th round that I think is a steal was the only real value.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: C

9. Durham Bulls: With their first pick at 61, they chose Tino Rupe. A possible ML closer though I rarely have success with very limited stamina pitchers. Nothing of any real value drafted.

1st Pick: C
Overall: D

10. Florida Marlins: With the 10th pick chose David Satin. A pitcher that I can't see. Rumor has it that he may not sign. With the 17th pick they chose Rick Owens. A 2B/CF that has good range but glove is weak. Has the speed and great hitting ability to be a premier lead off hitter at the ML level. Tried to find some pitching in the supplemental and 2nd round and may have came away with a potential long reliever. Then tried to find a future catcher but found that effort turned fruitless as they came away with a possible DH in two tries.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: B-

11. Helena Hot Pockets: With the 8th pick they selected George Donatello. A right handed pitcher of dubious quality with decent splits and two good pitches, will it be enough to support such a high pick? Going after pitching was their theme and a couple may have ML potential but nothing outstanding.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B-

12. Kansas City Royals: With the 26th pick they chose Andre Sturtze. KC went out on a risky limb knowing he probably wouldn't sign, along with the supplemental. They both want a lot of money even to be considered. The question remains whether KC thinks they are worth it and if the money is available? With the remaining picks, not much value.

1st Pick: UNR
Overall: C-

13. Las Vegas 51s: With the 21st pick they chose Josh White. An outstanding powering hitting 1B. Could easily be hitting homers at the ML level after two or three minor league seasons. Remaining picks could have some impact at the ML level but in limited capacity. The backup catcher in the 5th round could be a nice addition one day.

1st Pick: A
Overall: C+

14. Los Angeles Duffers: With the 7th pick they chose Rob Key. A very good power hitting speedy LF that could probably play RF also as well as 1B, a very good combo. With the 33rd pick they chose Richard Cedeno. A good hitter with very little power but lots of speed. Listed as a RF but I think too weak to play the outfield, to play him at 1B may not be an option and could be a conundrum at some point. The supplemental and remaining picks didn't garner much in value even though they chose from the HS level.

1st Pick: A
Overall: B-

15. Milwaukee Brewers: With their first pick at 28 selected Johnnie Donovan. Doubtful that he will make it as a starter but could at long relief. The next pick was at #31 and took Vic McPherson. He could make it as a closer but his control may cost him that job and end up as a setup. With 9 picks the Brewers did a very nice job, the 2nd round pick is very oddly interesting.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: B+

16. Monterrey Corn Dogs: With their first pick at #45 they chose Harold Dingman. Although a possible defensive standout at 2B/CF, hitting may be another story. Not much else of value was picked up along the way.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C-

17. New York Mets: With the first pick at 6 they selected Dwight Ramirez. Keebo is right, with the money spent I would demand a refund. Ramirez isn't all that bad but nowhere near #6 consideration. The rest of the draft was so-so to ugly.

1st Pick: C+
Overall: D-

18. Oklahoma City Kevin Durants: With the 3rd pick they selected Vance Knowles. Will make it probably as a #2 or #3 starter, could throw hitters for a loop with his awkward pitching style. Went out on the risky limb and may have came up empty handed.

1st Pick: B+
Overall: C

19. Omaha Lancers: With the 9th pick they selected Darren Lowry. Can play 2B or CF and may wind up in CF. His low contact could be problematic along with his health. Picked up a very nice DH in the supplemental and some possible ML pitchers later, last but not least is a Gold Glove SS that may not hit well..think he needs glasses....

1st Pick: B+
Overall: B

20. Philadelphia Athletics: With the 15th pick selected Alfredo Barrios. A very defensive SS and could easily be a Gold Glove winner. At the plate he makes contact with some power but may not be well hit, may wear a "Pitcher Beware" sign. With 8 picks they went way out on the limb and it snapped as some of the picks want more money than they are worth.

1st Pick: B
Overall: UNR

21. Pittsburgh Pirates: With the 21st pick selected Larry Levis. Iffy as a starter but may provide long relief duties. With the 29th pick they selected McKay Malloy. Actually better than the first pick, but the stamina may also relegate him to long relief at the ML level. Having 8 picks and four in the first round, it seemed an effort to try and bolster the pen for the future and may have succeeded early.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: B

22. Salt Lake City Multiple Spouses: With the 2nd overall pick they chose Winston Maxwell. I had a hard time deciding who was the best pitcher in the draft, but Winston was my #1. Doesn't have that real great finishing pitch but will suffice as he throws hard with off speed breakers that will leave hitters whiffing. Cy Young capable if he progresses well and definitely a #1 starter. Snuck in a surprise position player in the supplemental, but where to play him could be tough, maybe weak 3B or RF. With five picks did a good job.

1st Pick: A+
Overall: B+

23. San Antonio Stars: Since the GM is MIA and the picks were all High School, even though I can see the first two (not sure how well), will pass at the moment.

1st Pick: UNR
Overall: UNR

24. Santa Fe Tard Parks: Selected Doug Rath with the 27th pick. Although I don't consider him an outfielder per se as his range is too low, he does have the arm however. Should hit well, especially righties, but not in the long ball category. In the supplemental they picked up another RF that is almost a mirror image of the first. Other than that it looks like decent minor league fillers.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C-

25. St. Louis Barracudas: With the 16th pick selected Dizzy Fitzgerald. A catcher that is better at the plate than behind it for sure. Defense will be so-so at best. At the plate though should bat for average and garner an even number of walks to strike outs with some power. Should make a great #2 slot hitter. With the 18th pick they selected Collin Kirkland. A good defensive 1B that has all the power in the world. Has a good eye, but may not be strong enough against righties to be real dangerous. Picked up a fringe LF in the supplemental.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: B+

26. Syracuse Sycamores: With the 12th pick selected Victor Milliard. Should become a good PC catcher though he might have a little trouble in the theft department to be considered truly outstanding defensively. Doesn't have the big power, but the eye, splits and contact will cause him to walked a lot and a very good #2 slot hitter. As the 4th position player taken and second catcher already displays how weak the draft was in the hitting department. Needing catchers seemed to be a theme in Syracuse as two more defensive PC catchers were selected in later rounds that could become good backups.

1st Pick: A
Overall: B-

27. Tampa Bay Rays: With the unlucky 13th selection, Paul Pecina. A good starting #3 pitcher in my books, his position of his 3rd pitch could be undesirable but his control could mask it well. The second pick may over the cost window as they went for pitching and didn't fare well but I do like the 4th rounders chances as a LR.

1st Pick: A-
Overall: C+

28. Texas Rangers: With the 1st pick overall and needing a franchise pitcher, they selected Paul Berroa. I had Berroa ranked second just because Maxwell had better pitches, but Texas may not have seen both. Berroa will be just as good and could vie for a Cy Young one day with the great splits and outstanding control. With the 32nd pick they bolstered their pen by selecting Adam Anderson who could become a shut down closer if he stays of the DL. With the 34th pick selected Kirt Blasingame who could also help the pen in as a setup man and possible closer if he signs. Taking pure power hitters that may or may not have a chance at the ML level rounded out their draft.

1st Pick: A
Overall: B

29. Toronto Blue Jays: Their first pic was at 39 and selected Walt Washington. He may have a good chance in a LR role in the future. Other than picking up a possible setup man in the third round, the draft had slim pickings from the HS realm in the late stages.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C

30. Trenton Ball Hogs: Taking a chance with the 25th selection was Elvis Wainhouse. He dropped so low due to wanting to play B-Ball but could be a big pick up albeit costly if he signs as he was the 3rd best pitcher in the draft. Their 2nd round pick (90) was also a bit of a shocker as I expected him to go much sooner but he does have some unwanted issues. Three possible solid bench players rounded out their draft.

1st Pick: UNK
Overall: C+

31. Vancouver Canadians: Taking Ross Banks with the 11th pick gives them a very nice closer of the future. With the remaining picks trying to find some pitching help did come up with some possible talent.

1st Pick: A+
Overall: B

32. Washington D.C. Senators: With the 4th pick selected Todd Walker. Not sure he was worth a top 5 pick, as his pitches are a bit lackluster but all the other tools are there to be good. Not fairing well looking for pitching in the later rounds.

1st Pick: B-
Overall: C

Season 13 Draft Commentary

Since most found this draft rather bad, I have decided to do the review a different way. I really didn't find the draft all that bad as I have seen much worse. Was more strange than bad. To start, there were almost as many supplemental picks than actual 1st round picks. There is a lesson to learned from that as many of those sandwich picks were owned by winning GM's. However, was there value in their extra draftees for what they gave up?

Just like the trade I did with Milwaukee, I had to think about that one for a bit, as Huang will be a FA next season and probably a Type A. He didn't want to resign and he never played to his potential in Cleveland either. I got a good player that was actually a big upgrade at another position that I really needed badly and I didn't have to pay any money this season or next.

As the Indians looked over their draft board initially. I was surprised as many others were I imagine that there wasn't many outstanding position players and few good ones either. Since we didn't spend any money on college, that should have meant that High School was loaded. Even odder was the fact that I came up with 13 pitchers, mostly starters, that had first round potential. I was really aiming for a setup type when I ranked them, but actually got a low end starter with the 23rd pick which was a surprise and better than the setup man I figured I was going to get. I really didn't have a position player I would have considered first round material except for a catcher that was drafted 12th. The better part was my next two picks, I actually picked up two position players that was in the top 4 on my board. Either they were not on other teams boards or other teams had different plans I am not sure, but it made me happy. Though I didn't consider either one as first round picks, I did consider them supplemental or early second round picks. To me they were better selections than those drafted before them by a long shot.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The International Market

Miguel Berroa signed by Oklahoma City for $17M seemed like the real deal, however he blew out his elbow and is gone for the season.

David Tanaka signed by Florida for 12.9M could be good if his health holds out.

Victor Seanez signed by Dover for 9.6M may be a cheap pickup, though his makeup was a turn off by competing clubs.

Giomar Johnson signed by Las Vegas for $8M is a decent hitter and best of all can play any position well.

Luis Bennett signed by Omaha for $7.9M is a Giomar Johnson look-a-like. Indians Management sends their best regards to the wino however as they got a nasty message and got no chance to up the ante.

Enrique Saenz signed by New York, Mets that is, for $6.8M could be a setup man one day as closer looks very doubtful.

Juan Montero signed by Las Vegas for $6M and may have scored a closer with their second foray into the market.

Polin Medrano signed by Las Vegas for $6M and might make a funny (good one day awful the next) 5th starter or long reliever.

Kiki Serra signed by Kansas City for $5.7M and could be a good starter but his pitches was a turnoff by most competitors.

Lariel Jacquez signed by Philadelphia for $5.6M should be a shoo-in for a setup job if he develops.

Geraldo Gonzalez signed by Helena for $4.5M and could be a steal at the moment.

Daiki Xaio signed by New York, Mets that is, for $4.3M and found an overrated SS sic 3B.

Junior Blanco signed by Oklahoma City for $4M and has great potential if his health holds out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NL Cy Young

Yamil Pulido - Reds - We all know who this guy is. On pace for #8. The rest of this list is just a formality. Its his to lose.

Johnny Collier - Canadians - Great young pitcher. Statistically a bit behind Yamil in pretty much every category. A 2.30 era, 1.18, and 5 wins in 9 starts is impressive. Should be a candidate in his 1st full season in the majors.

Omar Elcano - Pirates - Everyone knows who this guy is too. One more complete game than Yamil, but a touch behind in most other categories. Definitely should be a candidate.

Harry Owen - Reds - Impressive 7 - 0 in 9 starts. On pace for a great season, but I dont see him keeping it up all season.

Pinky Clayton - Kevin Durants - He will collapse at some point in the season. Great start to the season though. Probably won't be in the running at the end.

Tim Loewer - Pirates - His 4 - 3 record is not great, but the rest of his stats are as good anyone on the list. Well not quite up to Yamil. I predict he will be the dominant pitcher in the NL next season if Yamil ends up in the AL.

Xavier Hart - Cubs - Returning to form after 2 good but not great seasons. He will probably cool off at some point this season. Should be candidate, but a notch below Yamil, Loewer, and Omar.

Alex Ayala - Cubs - Solid young pitcher. He may fall off at some point opening the door for a few other guys to take his spot.

Good pitchers off to a slow start:
Pedro DeSoto
Kent Heredia
Bubba Rose

My take:
1. Yamil

2. Elcano
3. Everyone else

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rookie of the Year update

now that we are close to a third of the way through the season let's see how our rookies are doing.


In the NL we have 8 candidates that stand out right now.

Sam Charles - Cincy - Through 45 games Sam has 11 home runs and 29 rbi's playing short for the Reds this year but his average is only .252 and he's committed 16 errors thus far. If he wants to be there at the end he'll need to raise that batting average some and keep hitting homeruns and driving in runs as well.

Domingo Jose - Cincy - Currently on the 15 day DL before he was hurt Domingo put up a .329 batting average with 9 bombs and 35 ribs thru 35 games. he'll be back soon and if he keeps up his pace hitting in the middle of the Reds order he has a chance to be near the top of the NL ROY list at the end of the year.

Spike Pellow - KC - Spike is hitting well. At a .382 clip in fact. add 5 home runs and 22 rbi and Spike has to get consideration, as of now at least. He's played in 43 games thus far but with a 73 durability he won't be able to keep up that pace. He should definitely be a candidate at the end of the season though.

Greg Woods - OKC - Greg Woods is going to be a monster. He already has the ratings to top this list though with a .272 batting average right now he may need to raise that considering some of the other rookies higher averages. his 18 home runs and 40 rbi top the list though and he's done that through 45 games. If he keeps it up it should put him over 60 hr and 120 rbi for the year.

Curtis Farrell - Trenton - Trenton has 2 candidates also as of now. Curtis is one hitting .316 with 7 dingers and 23 steaks through 43 games. He's been stealing some bags too which helps. Not bad but it doesn't put him on top yet.

Ivan Durazo - Trenton - Ivan is Trenton's other guy. Hitting .318, similar to Curtis, he has more rbi with 31 but only 3 homers though only through 35 games. I'd put them close to even right now which means they are both in the running but not in the lead.

Don Cintron - LA - Like Greg Woods, Don is playing for a team with a losing record which is not usually a factor for voters in a ROY race but who knows with these voters. Also like Spike and Ivan Don is a catcher that hits well. Currently with 10 homers, 24 knocked in and batting .314 through 45 games he's definitely in consideration.

J.C. Welch - Florida - The 2nd shortstop on this list and doing a bit better than Sam, J.C. is batting .315 with 6 home runs and 29 rbi through 38 games. He's also on the DL like Domingo but expected to back soon. His hitting will only get better as he progresses so look for him to climb the board this year.

If i had to rank them right now i think i'd go:

and leave the other 5 about even.


Not as many on the list in the AL.

Helena has 3 rookies in the running...

Vicente Estrada - Helena - Although his average is down at .258 11 homers and 33 rbi's through 45 games put Vincente in the running. He also has 8 steals which will help.

Stephen Henley - Helena - perhaps not one you'd expect to be in the mix Stephen gets consideration due to his 24 ribs, 2 home runs, .284 average, and the kicker.... 39 stolen bases so far through 45 games. We may have a record in the making which may influence some votes come ballot time.

Cookie Olivares - Helena - Considering the scouting report on Cookie noone is sure how he's hitting .380 but he is. add 4 home runs and 19 rbi through 43 games and he gets a look. Can he keep that average up long enough to top the pack though is the question.

Abdul Riggs - Salt Lake - Those ever lovable Multiple Spouses have a couple guys on the list the first being Abdul (i want 100 multiple virgins) Riggs. 45 games played and only 1 home run, 20 rbi and a .277 batting average makes him a contender but not a favorite.

Tom Fordham - Salt Lake - The "veteran"" of the bunch Tom is already 27 years old but is a decent hitting 1b. It can be hard to vote for a first baseman for an award like this but Tom is trying to get some votes with his .368 batting average, 10 home runs and 28 rbi through 40 games played.

Brendan Hartman - Omaha - Brendon is batting .272 with 9 home runs and 18 rbi through 45 games. decent for sure but not stellar. we'll have to see how he fares at the end.

preemptive ranking:

and the rest...

We do have 4 pitchers in the AL and NL combined that are eligible for ROY but so far none have impressed this voter enough to be considered. The lone exception there may be George Obermueller of Tampa Bay who is having a decent year thus far, 3 - 0 3.86 era and 39 K's but i'll wait till the 2/3rds mark to see if he is keeping it up.

Next update the lists will be trimmed and there may be new additions as well as there were several guys getting significant playing time that could make a run.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Power Rankings

1) Cincinnati Reds - They lose Rocky, one of the leagues best hitters, but still keep winning. Will they win their 5th? Probably.
28 - 9

2) Monterrey Corn Dogs - Quite possibly the best team in the league. Should be a great battle between the Bulls and CDs for the AL South title.
27 - 10

3) Durham Bulls - Best lineup in the league. Pitching is good, but not great. Could be tough to pass the CDs without an upgrade to their rotation.
26 - 11

4) Pittsburgh Pirates - Probably the best rotation in the league. Still think they will will take the NL North.
22 - 15

5) Kansas City Royals - Up and down all season. Better than their record suggests.
22 - 15

6) Trenton Ball Hogs - Props to Wholck. The Ball Hogs have improved in each of the last 5 seasons. On track for a franchise best winning percentage.
23 - 14

7) Cleveland Indians - Solid team. A little more offense wouldn't hurt.
22 - 15

8) Santa Fe Tard Park - Got to wonder if the move to a tard park has hurt more than it helped.
22 - 15

9) Tampa Bay Rays - As good as the Rays have been they are still sitting in 3rd in the AL South. They may finish with a .600 or better record and still finish 3rd.
21 - 16

10) Chicago Cubs - Another good team in a strong division. The cubs will probably finish 3rd in their division.
21 - 16

11) Dover Dung Beetles - Honorary member of the power rankings. Find some pitching and this likely a top 5 team.
19 - 18

HOF Votes

Vote Count:
Dallas Payton - 13
Mitchell Ray - 9

Bryan Mcdowell - 5
Randy Lamb - 2
Mel Wagner - 2
Dwight Johnson - 2
Chris Hardy - 2
Javier Santayana - 1
Quinton Schilling - 1

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

HOF Candidates

Chris Hardy

Career Accomplishments:

  • Single season HR record (104 HR)
  • All-star

Quinton Schilling

Career Accomplishments:

  • 431 career HRs
  • 1 all star

Mel Wagner

Career Accomplishments:

  • 187 wins
  • 2nd all time in wins
  • 3 time all star
  • CY Young winner

Bryan McDowell

Career Accomplishments:

  • 352 saves
  • 2nd all time in saves
  • Career leader in save percentage
  • 7 time all star
  • 6 time fireman of the year

Randy Lamb

Career Accomplishments:

  • 504 HRs
  • 3rd all time in HRs
  • 2 time silver slugger

Juan Castro

Career Accomplishments:

  • 499 HRs (323 SBs)
  • 5th all time in HRs
  • 2 time all star
  • 3 time silver slugger

Javier Santayana

Career Accomplishments:

  • 3rd all time SBs
  • 492 SBs
  • .310 career BA
  • 4 time all star
  • 1 gold glove
  • 1 silver slugger

Dallas Payton

Career Accomplishments:

  • 492 HRs
  • All time leader in RBI
  • 1521 RBIs
  • 6 time all star
  • 2 time MVP
  • 5 time silver slugger

Rocky Spencer

Career Accomplishments:

  • 382 HRs
  • .338 career BA
  • 4 time all star
  • 2 time silver slugger
  • 1 gold glove

Mitchell Ray

Career Accomplishments:

  • All time save leader
  • 2nd in career save percentage
  • 401 saves
  • 8 time all star
  • 5 time fireman of the year

Dwight Johnson

Career Accomplishments:

  • 178 wins
  • 3rd all time in wins
  • 1 CY Young
  • 5 time all star

Todays History Lesson

Ever wonder who was the lowest pick to ever grace the ML? Who was the lowest pick that made a big impact on the ML? Well now, I was curious, so here they are.

Lowest pick: Miller Boyd who played 2.103 seasons for the NY Mets and was drafted in round 23 with the 768th overall pick in season 2. He played in seasons 5 thru 8.
Edgard Camacho was a season 2 21st round 702nd pick that played 1 season with the old Syracuse franchise in season 7.
Harold Allen was drafted in season 5 Round 24 pick 763 by Washington and has played off and on for 1.017 seasons and is still on their AAA affiliate.
Rocky Buchanan was drafted by Austin in season 5 round 22 with the 723rd pick and has 1.042 of ML service and is still active on their AA affiliate.

Biggest Impact: Augie Holbert drafted in the 17th round with the 564th pick by Las Vegas in season 5. Entering his 5th season in the Las Vegas pen has become a premier closer.
Harry Butler was drafted in the 18th round with the 576th pick of season 4 by the old Kansas City franchise, now Tampa Bay. He plays DH (if you call that playing) where he has amassed 170 hrs and a .292 average in 5 plus seasons.
Olmedo Moreno and Vinny Thurman were both drafted in the 17th and 18th round of season 4 and play for the Washington.
Oldest Active: Hector Campbell of the Texas Rangers who was drafted in season 2 round 17 with the 560th pick by the old Norfok Mets sic Cleveland Indians.
Butch King was drafted in the 17th round with the 552nd pick in season 2 and is currently with Durham in AAA. He was a DITR in the Cleveland franchise and would have been a super pitcher if he was given a decent durability to go with his outlandish projected pitching abilities.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Another Blue Chip Intl Signs

The Oklahoma City Kevin Durants signed Miguel Berroa for $17M. Miguel comes to the Oklahoma City franchise from San Cristobal, DO. Many teams had an eye on him as the price was driven way up. He is just about everything you want in a prize pitcher. However, he is delegated to the pen, many hoped he would be a shut down closer, though I don't exactly see him as one. His stamina is good but his durability is low for the position. His pitches are also a bit light for the closers job and a bit out of sequence. However, in the a setup role he should be dominating. Grade A+

Friday, September 4, 2009

Intl Signing

Although the reports was a big splash as HBD thinks he is a Blue Chipper, this reporter doesn't exactly see it. At any rate, the Helena Hot Pockets are proud to announce the signing of Geraldo Gonzalez for $4.5M and a MLB contract. My scouts tell me he can't cover CF all that well but can catch it if he gets there. If he wasn't left handed he would be great in the infield but that relegates him to the outfield as he is much too strong for 1B. Hitting is somewhat mediocre having a decent eye and very good contact, but the splits and power are nothing special. His push/pull indicates he will hit some long singles, doubles and an occasional dinger to the corners or a lucky gapper. Grade B to a C+

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Blue Chip IFA Signs

Polin Medrano became the first blue chip IFA to sign in season 13 as the Las Vegas 51s signed him for $6M.

Fielding: Can't cover a bunt, can field if a ball is hit at him, can hold runners at first.
Physical: Very Good.
Pitching: decent control, good vsR, GB neutral, pitches are good but less than appealing for a movement pitcher. Good chance he will give up a lot of gopher balls.
Grade B-.

A little about the grading system for an IFA. The letter grade is a comparison as to where he could have fell in the amateur draft, the marker indicates effectiveness. Still very subjective as to how I interpret what my advance scouting tells me.

A = Top 16 pick
B = Second tier pick
C = Supplemental
D = 2nd Round pick or later

Plus = Very effective
None = effective
Minus = less than effective

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reading Victor Seanez

Okay sports fans, time to tear apart an IFA using my 20/10 rule and Victor Seanez looks like an ideal candidate. He looks like he could be a good left handed ML pitcher one day. My scouting is $10M in the INTL department so the projected can't be trusted all that much.

Remember you have to trust the current ratings.
Durability - the increase is 10 points, so that should be fine and obtainable and hopefully correct.
Patience - an increase over 20 points so I question that, but with the starting point of 57 it doesn't matter that much, 10+ point gain will be good.
Health - is high already with no increase, so that is already okay.
Makeup - is low with not much gain and is a huge turnoff, of course this could be due to scouting. Even with a 10 point increase is far below what I like to see for a pitcher.
Stamina - almost a 30 point increase and 20 points is acceptable.
Control - 20+ points but expect between 10 to 15 max and is acceptable enough.
vsL - is already good enough and any increase will do.
vsR - shows a 20 point increase, a 10 point increase is not enough as you really would like to have 13 to 15 minimum. Not out of the way though but could be tough to get.
GB - could be a little light for my taste but is in the GB range already.
Pitches - Has 4 decent pitches and a rarely used throw away but they really don't get much better.

His potential shows to be an overall 83 by my scouts, but after applying my rule his potential is about a 75 max and a long way from that 83. He is only going to gain about 5 points total from fielding and general and about 10 from a pitching standpoint. The worrisome point is his makeup which will hurt him the most.

If the scouts are wrong about his makeup and pitch potential than what is shown, then he becomes a very good buy. The question is, do I take a chance? Well, with the money I have got to play with, there just isn't much reason to go after him above his opening price as the war could go to $10M+ plus easily. I made an initial offer to mark his appearance then withdrew it. The reason is to see how many cycles he goes through before signing. If he gets a good offer, he may sit there hoping for a bidding war for three days or it could be three days of bidding war. Which will it be?

Ok, now that he has signed I can tell you what my advance scouting sees at 16.

His Overall shows to be a 77, not far from the 75 I predicted.
His Durability turned into a negative misdemeanor and the 10 points is no where to be seen.
His Patience seems to report well, not as high as before but still over 20.
His Makeup showed an increase of an unhelpful 3 points that is not existent, so that is no help.
His Stamina dropped to a 24 point increase and 15+ might be the best he will develop.
His control turned out to be a 15 point increase possible, chances are good he will 10.
His vsL was already good enough and shows a 17 point increase, probably about 10 to 12 will be max.
His vsR was a problem and the projected dropped to 14 points acceptable if he gets there, the drop as I expected.
His GB potential dropped 2 points not much of a big deal really as 5 should be easy to get.
His pitches was a bit of a surprise as pitch 1, 2 and 4 actually increased in potential a little but really needs to max them out and that could be tough for a couple of them.

The Dover Dung Beetles signed him for $9.6M, I actually expected a little more than that but not much. If he develops well, he could be a very good starter for the money as I think it was a good buy. Grade A

For those wondering, he showed up on the PM cycle on 9/1 and signed signed 9-6 on the PM cycle which makes it 29 cycles if I counted correctly. I wonder how many cycles he set there with the high bid?

Durham Bulls Preview

After a disappointing loss in the WS to erff's Reds in S12, the offensively gifted Bulls return to the title hunt with some new arms and a couple long-awaited arrivals.

C- Pedro Martin (vLH) and future HOF'er Billy Ulrich (vRH) will split the catching duties. Defensive wizard Ricardo Gongorra lurks in AAA for the stretch run & playoffs.

1b- Richard Yamada was shopped quite heavily by Bulls management in the off-season, but he returns to play mostly 1b with a bit of LF. Future HoF'er Posiedon Warden will back up Yamada at 1b and provide some PH during interleague play.

2b- Reigning MVP Albert Johnson returns to 2b for another season of superlative offensive production.

3b- Two-time Gold Glover Oswaldo Santos brings the leather & lumber back for another season of .315/.360/.500 production.

SS- Esteban Galarraga supplants S12 GG winner Albert Gonzalez at short. Gonzalez will back up the infield and get some at-bats against LHP. Bulls management is very excited to see how Galaragga develops as a major league SS - his fielding looks above-average and his offense should be just fine at the friendly confines of Bull Parky.

LF- The underrated Teddy Bibby will get most of the time in left, being backed by fellow DUR-challenged super-subs Warden & Ramon Ishida.

CF- Jeff Brooks remains the gold standard of the league in CF, despite his pending FA and decline in DUR. He'll be backed by Ishida and Gonzalez in the late innings of blowouts.

RF- Prized youngster Harold Bonds played most of the 2nd half in Durham last season after playing a key role in the S11 playoffs. Hopes are that he can replace the contributions of the departed Juan Castro.

Starting Rotation:
SP1 - Hub Strange is not the best pitcher on the Bulls staff, but his value lies in his tremendous DUR/STA. He will be skipped around the rotation in an effort to limit everyone else's innings and we'll hope for similar production to the last two seasons.
SP2- Cam Anderson had a great season in S12 and will be counted on to deliver similar results in S13.
SP3- Victor Guzman might have trouble finding the strike zone from time to time, but with the depth of options behind him, Bulls management is hoping to limit his awful outings and coax a league-average line out of him.
SP4/5/6 - Jake Owens, Bobby Ray Fox and Chad Sanders round out the rotation. Owens & Fox will get most of their starts against teams Bulls management feel are advantageous for them. Sanders will be given a chance to show last season in DOV was a fluke but might end up in the bullpen because he's best suited for it among these three options.

LRA- Tony Gong comes to DUR from LA with the hope that he can handle the job of "keep the offense in it" between the 3rd and 6th innings.
LRB- Louis Bunch comes over from TRE and will be given lots of low-leverage innings in blowouts.
SuA- Raymond Marte & Cy Bruske will handle the 6-8th innings. It'll be interesting to see who Sparky uses more, as they will have identical settings.
SuB- Jaime Philips was a key contributor to the S11 Bulls but blew out his TJ ligament for the 2nd time in early S12. He recovered not a single point (despite recent updates by Site Staff) and will be entrusted with the late 4 run leads and back-up closer duties.
ClA- Moises DeJesus just gets the job done at the end of games and will be nailing down things in the 9th again this season.

Bulls management knows Monterrey got better this off-season and despite a historic offensive season in S12, barely held off the Corn Dogs. Austin is much improved and Tampa remains a threat with Ken Shumpert on the hill. There's no way that Durham wins more than we did in S12 - it's just about impossible. So, we hope for 95 wins and another chance at the post-season.

Reds Season Preview

Reds go into Season 13 looking to defend the title again though we did not expect to win it in season 12. That for one leaves us optimistic for this year as the Reds still have some key players that drove us to 4 straight trophy's. However the Reds have lost some very important parts of the puzzle so 4 will likely be the limit.

The biggest losses were obviously Rocky "Rocky the Red" Spencer and ever dependable closer Mitchell Ray (who inside sources have divulged if the knew he's end up a Tard the Reds would have likely retained him.) Also though he was only briefly a Red right fielder Vin Ibanez will be missed in the line-up as well as will Harry Torcato and stud Doug Cambridge, both dependable relievers and a big part of the Reds championship run last year.

Additions to the team which will likely no make up the difference by those departing are 2b, outfielder Edgardo Castillo who was aquired in quite a controversial trade along with SP/RP Harry Owen who returns to the Reds in what is actually the last year of a contract that he originally penned with them. The aformentioned RP Torcato and Cambridge were also involved in said controversial trade. Owen will help the Reds staff for sure as they know from previous experiance and the Reds lack of dependability beyond the top two of Yamil and Ismael make Owen an exciting addition. The staff as a whole however is probably worse for wear without Torcato and Cambridge in the pen as they were last year. The Reds do have a couple rookies coming up to help trim payroll and hopefully solidify the left side of the infield this year in SS Sam Charles and 3b Jose Domingo.

Projected line-up as of Opening day:

C - Chris Duran - Ever dependable and still lethal with the bat as well as above average behind the dish Duran returns in the starters role despite being 34 and his power waning a bit. His back-up Luis Maduro seemingly a Duran clone with less power will likely see plenty of plate time as both catchers durability is not 162 game material to say the least.
1b - should be an interesting experiment this year. Omar Nixon projects as the opening day 1b though he'll likely see a lot of LF this year. Omar is still steady with the bat but doesn't hit the bombs he used to. Winston Ulrich, a threat at the plate himself, is another option. the addition of Castillo thows everything into flux as the Reds would like to find a spot for him which for now has put Omar back at 1b and Winston on the pine.
2b - no question here. monster bomb hitter Miguel Rodrigo is back at 2b and in the cleanup spot
3b - Domingo Jose, a rookie, will finally get his shot. The Reds expect big things from him but if he falters you may see Merrick back at the 3 bag and Castillo manning RF.
SS - another Rookie call-up Sam Charles will be holding down short this year. His glove never quite developed as Reds fans would have liked but the Reds have also never been a huge dependent on good defense so he should fit in fine. Chipper will be the backup SS though he realistically is no defensive wiz either.
OF - the outfield will see the opening day LF as newcomer Edgardo Castillo (although he may roam a bit and fans may see Omar back in LF) CF Lee Coleman who was aquired in a mid-season trade last year and looks to be the Reds center fielder and leadoff hitter for years to come and Roger Merrick moves from 3rd back to RF (although he is hurt for now which puts Castillo in right Omar in left and Winston at 1st for a week or so)
Bench players not mentioned above include Ugueth Cruz who can play all outfield positions and 2b and slugger Bret Perez (a guy who the Reds were trying to move to AL for some time) who will see limited time in the field at 1b and will mainly be used as a PH.

The Starting pitchers run down as:
1. Yamil
2. Ismael
3. Owen (for now)
4. Mariano Borbon and his walks and
5. Bruce Kinney who really ought to be a #5

the relief corp consists of:
LR - Victor Chavez
LR - Yorvit Castillo (brought back for sentamental reasons)
LR - Rich Smith, a rookie
Su - Santiago Mangual who is looking to have a dominant year
Su - Tom Waters, a fan favorite
Su - Yamil Jame ( i like guys players named Yamil)
new closer Midre Davis who should fill Mitchells shoes just nicely.

This will likely be the Reds last big run as Ace Yamil Pulido will be going FA next year as well as the fact that many of the Reds longterm allstar type players are aging quite rapidly and will not produce like Reds fans are used to them doing. Here's looking for one more....

Prediction: 2nd in the NL North, WC, lose in 2nd round of playoffs.

car beer.

Discontinuing Lean Pockets (Hot Pocket Preview)

This year expectations are higher than they have been in a long time for the Hot Pockets. People are abuzz about the potential of this uber young team. Team Management has been targeting Season 14 a little more (and the arrival of Jim Matthews), but we'd love to make some inroads this season too.

The Team:
Catcher - Jeffrey Fleming will be the full time starter with spot starts for DH/C (really only DH) Alex Arrojo

1st - Really anyone can play 1st base, so I moved Doug Wise from LF to start. Rule Ver Edgar James will handle backup duties.

2nd - A real strong point for the Hot Pockets are the tandem 2nd basemen of Orber Quixote and Stephen Henley. I will try and get these two in at the same time whenever possible because of how different, and awesome, they both are.

3rd - Oscar Miller gets the Micheal Young treatment and gets shuffled from SS to 3rd.

SS - Newbie Cookie Olivares will see a bulk of the work with Larry Williams as a pure backup. But, look for Brady Mays to get a call up at some point and start against lefties.

LF - I traded for Theodore Lincoln at the end of last season and he is set for a big season in the middle of my lineup

CF - Raymond Hughes will be the starter with Moises Pascual as his backup. MP is available for a prospect if anyone is looking for a leadoff hitter in CF.

RF - Newbie Vicente Estrada, the best position prospect in my system, finally gets his callup and will start the season in RF. I'd like to make a move for a RF that will let me DH this injury prone potential superstar instead.

SP - The rotation, yet again, is the weakness of this team. Benji Alfonseca, Carlos Espinoza, Charles Chang and Al Blanco will be joined by one of my LRers after the first couple weeks.

LR - Miguel Mercedes, Russ Thomas, Brady Garcia and Rule Ver Jarred Wieland will work out of the pen.

The Pen - A pretty mediocre (but cheap) bullpen will be anchored by newbie Jamie Lui. He will be joined by setup men Jerry Goodwin, Earle Magadan and Jim Smart. This will probably be augmented from AAA as the season progresses.

I have gone 68-94 the past two seasons....I have less than $20mil in salary and will be signing some IFAs to augment the future of my team.

With an infusion of offense, I hope to be close to .500 this season...but we'll see

Crystal Ball Picks

So who does the Crystal Ball pick as the top 6 teams?

Ooooh La La it is gonna be tight in the AL this year

1. St. Louis Barracudas
2. Durham Bulls
3. Syracuse Sycamores
4. Anaheim Angels
5. Monterrey Corn Dogs
6. Detroit Detroit

Teams to fear: Las Vegas, Helena Hot Pockets, Austin Fightin' Armadillos, Dover Dung Beetles

Biggest prediction: The wild cards will have more wins than the #3 and #4 seeds.

The NL will be ugly and nasty

1. Santa Fe Tard Parks
2. Cincinnati Reds or
3. Atlanta Pork-N-Beans or Trenton Ball Hogs
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Chicago Cubs
6. Pittsburgh Pirates

Teams to fear: Oklahoma City Kevin Durants, San Antonio Stars, Cleveland Indians

Biggest prediction: Oklahoma City will win 70 games.