Thursday, February 24, 2011

GM of the Season

Chase39 - Pittsburgh Pirates
NL North Champs
106 wins

Dilo - Milwaukee Brewers
Wild Card
10 win improvement
88 wins

Wholck - Philadelphia Phillies
NL East Champs
15 win improvement
102 wins

Sdhizzle - Florida Marlins
NL South Champs
110 wins

Jsholmes - Salem Super Sequoias
NL West Champs
105 wins

Dylandash - Wichita Weasels
Wild Card
2 win improvement
89 wins

Dakar - Seattle Mariners
AL North Champs
17 win improvement
96 wins

John Plotts - Detroit Tigers
Wild Card
6 win improvement
90 wins

Pfontaine - Boston Red Sox
AL East Champs
95 wins

Edham55 - St. Louis Cardinals
AL South Champs
83 wins

Mal247 - Anaheim Angels
AL West Champs
5 win improvement
88 wins

Northergaul - Toronto Blue Jays
Wild Card
10 win improvement
85 wins

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Race Is On


With 12 games to go things are kind of wild in the NL. The number 1 seed has yet to be decided and 4 teams are still contenders. All 4 division winners can have the uncommon distinction of reaching 100 wins or more. That is something that has occurred only once, season 1. As it breaks down at the moment:

1. Florida Marlins (99-51): South Champ. Seemingly had the number 1 seed wrapped up, but the loss of Cora has pushed them into a bit of a tailspin. Schedule isn't tough but not easy either and needs only 1 win to reach 100.

2. Pittsburgh Pirates (97-53): North Champ. Currently holds the number 2 seed by 1 game. 3 wins should be rather easy as the schedule isn't overly demanding.

3. Salem Super Sequoias (96-54): West Champ. Currently holds the number 3 seed. 4 wins to reach 100, schedule says it should be easy.

4. Philadelphia Phillies (94-56): East Champ. Currently holds the 4 seed. 6 wins to reach 100. With two 3 games series against Cleveland and Baltimore on the horizon, you would think 100 wins is a foregone conclusion. But the naysayers have a warning, preplayoff series against Florida first! Bookie line is 8-5 against 100 wins BTW!

Wild Card

5. Wichita Weasels (85-65): Currently hold the 5th spot by 3 games and 4 games. Did the 14 inning loss against the Indians leave them doubting?

6. Milwaukee Brewers (82-68): Currently holds the 6th spot by 1 game. Talk about a tough schedule! 9 games left against division champs, just plainly brutal.

7. Houston Astros (81-69): Definitely in the mix as they have the easiest schedule, 9 games with cellar dwellers. Bookies are giving good odds in taking the 5 seed BTW.

New Orleans, Chicago and Cincy are not mathematically out of the picture but entertaining the notion of overtaking the other three is a bit preposterous at this time.


The AL is a hotbed of contention with only two divisions with a clear winner at the moment. Believe this, a 100 win team is not in the cards for the AL, that has only happened two times, way back in seasons 6 and 7.

1. Seattle Mariners (88-62): Currently hold the number 1 seed. The Detroit Tigers are only 3 back.

2. Boston Red Sox (86-64): East Champs. Ok, maybe a little early to declare them officially but 12 games to go with a 10 game lead makes it pretty obvious.

3. Anaheim Angels: (83-67): 3-7 in the last 10, Helena Hot Pockets had a chance to close the gap but their own 4-6 record did little to help their situation.

4. St. Louis Cardinals: (78-72): South Champs. Improving the seeding doesn't look like an option and resting players may be a top priority.

Wild Card

5. Detroit Tigers (85-65): Still in the hunt for the North crown and the number 1 seed. Could be a wild finish.

6. Helena Hot Pockets (80-70): West crown is still in sight, just need to win Baby!

6. Toronto Blue Jays (80-70): A 3 game win streak has them grinning and a worried look in Helena.

Atlanta Braves (76-74), San Diego Padres (76-74), and Colorado Rockies (75-75): All three are within striking distance of the 6th seed.

What could happen in the AL is anybodies guess. Will a team suddenly get hot or will it be a moribund finish?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top IFA's

Javier Jimenez, P, Texas Rangers. $22.1M: Oh WoW! Worth that much, me thinks not. Yes he will be a starter. Will have control in the 80's, nice splits, heavy ground ball, and a very nice pitch 1 and 3. Pitch 2 will cause some problems. Scouting sees him at a 79 overall if everything goes well, others probably see him in the 80's. I would say he will tap out at about 74 or 75.

Manuel Camacho, SS, Baltimore Orioles. $17.3M. A good buy for sure! A SS? not in my books, a sure GG 3B though. Hitting wise, he should be tremendous. Scouting sees his potential overall at an 86, I am thinking he will tap dance at 80.

Felipe Peralta, SS, Wichita Weasels. $14.1M. Bats left, throws right...hmmm... I don't see him as a SS, doesn't look like the glove will get much better if at all. Arm might be a little faulty also. Has lots of power with a bat in hand, but the less than average contact and barely above average eye won't scare the good pitches much. If it was me he would play 3B and maybe CF. Since he does have the range and hard to find hitting abilities at SS , he wouldn't be totally awful at playing SS so I wouldn't rule it out. Scouting shows his overall at 80, since he is already a 73 I don't see much improvement at all, so I would say 75 is about it.

Bernie Sosa, P, Kansas City Royals. $12.4M. Over spent if you ask me. He will have good control, good splits, ground ball, heavy velocity but only 1 pitch. May work in KC though. Scouts tell me he projects to a 78 overall, but what I see, if he makes it to a 70 I would be impressed.

Byung-Hyun Chong, P, Colorado Rockies. $11.3M. Outstanding pickup I think except for the fact it is Coors Field. Has all the tools to be a shutdown Closer for most teams. That Fly Ball rating is tempting fate in the Rockies, but a batter must first hit the ball and that could be a problem. Scouts see him as an 81. If he gets close to the projections 81 is about right.

Andres Carrasquel, SS, Houston Astros. $11.1M. KJD must be listening to ABBA. Should be good enough to play SS even with a weak glove because of his hitting. The low durability hurts even at the bottom of the lineup the trainers might be helping him on and off the field around game 100. The below average contact doesn't help. Even with that my scouts see him at 85 overall, but if he makes it to 75 he should be checked for beefeater pills.

Trenidad Nieves, C, San Diego Padres. $10M. Padres are gonna try to develop a power DH for the catcher role. At home might be worth a shot, not sure about on the road. The pitch calling and makeup just plainly turns me off. Scouts see him at a 75, may tap the plate at 68.

David Castro, C, Dover Dung Beetles. $9.6M. Ok, he isn't a catcher, just an expensive DH. If he stays healthy the AL has another power hitter to worry about. Scouts see him at 78, I would be surprised if he gets past 70.

David Tamura, P, Toronto Blue Jays. $9.1M. Control is gonna be a little weak, but splits and pitches aren't all that bad for a 3 pitch guy. Going on the DL for a year is gonna hurt a lot. Will he pull out of it and make it to the ML level is the question now.

Robinzon Aguilera, 1B, San Diego Padres. $8M. Defensively challenged a bit for 1B but I have seen worse. His hitting style should save the day however. Not a bad pickup for the money.

Monday, February 7, 2011


All players current ratings are seen by every owner the same. However projected ratings have a bit of fuzziness built in. In other words, two owners with a scouting of 20 may not see the same projections for the same player. It won't be dramatic, maybe a point here or there. However there is a lot of difference between an owner with a 20 in scouting as opposed to one with 12, could be up to 10 points in one or more categories, some over, some under.

All players ratings increases 4 to 5 times a year and at rollover. Playing time increases these ratings and unknown factors determines how much an increase (or decrease if injured or in decline) is made at each interval. Players under the age of 27 can still see significant ratings increase while those 27 and older is can have increases but is rare. Players 32 and older have a tendency to decline. Players improve the most during their first 3 years.

Most players do not increase to their full projected potential in all categories. Players whose difference is 20 or more points in a category are least likely to achieve their full potential in that category. Many players do not achieve projections when the difference is 10 even. Some players can even exceed potential.

As a rule of thumb that I use.

Difference of 10: Normally reaches projection or one point short.
Difference of 15: 1 to 3 points short.
Difference of 20: 1 to 5 points short.
More than 20: 5 to 10+ points short.
30 or more: 20 to 25 point gain is common but usually well short.

Some categories are only updated at Rollover like Durability, Range and Power.

Defensive categories wind up short. General categories normally meet projections. Hitting Abilities get close. Pitching Abilities is a whole story by itself but tend to wind up short.

Season 18 Draft Part 2

17. Vince Leonard, P, Minnesota Twins, Upside: Durability, Splits and Pitches. Downside: Stamina. Has a ML future as a setup man. Stamina will probably negate a closer role possibility. The big question is whether or not his control progresses enough.

Grade: B-

18. Mac Hunter, SS, Baltimore Orioles. Upside: Eye, Splits, Power and Arm. Downside: Range and Contact. SS is out of the question in my books, 3B is a possibility. Could be a good power hitter if his contact improves more than shows. Has a long way to progress in a lot of areas, will he is the question.

Grade: C+

19. Gene Henderson, 3B, Little Rock Heads. Upside: Hitting Abilities. Downside: Health. Hitting looks good and just what Little Rock needs even though contact could be a little better. 3B depends if he attains the projections which should be very close. For Little Rock on drafted players and IFA's, 20 points in a ratings category is relatively easy to obtain but when the difference is more than 20 gets tougher and above 25 is next to impossible.

Grade: B

20. T.J. Lewis, DH, Colorado Rockies. Upside: Hitting Abilities Downside: Health. Very well could be a big hitting force at the ML level. That is if he stays off the DL long enough to play.

Grade: C-

21. Dustan Bullinger, LF, Atlanta Braves. Upside: Hitting Abilities. Downside: Fielding and Health. Another one of those big power hitters and the best potential I have seen thus far. He is playing 3B at the moment and it is unlikely he will play there at the ML level. Chances are he will wind up at 1B.

Grade: C+

22. Wandy Cabrera, P, Chicago Cubs.
Upside: Control, Splits and Pitch 1. Downside: Fly Ball and Pitch 2. A dominate closer is a maybe but a good setup man is probable. Power hitters love power pitchers and a weak power curve ball may finds its way bounding down the cause way in Wrigley.

Grade: B-

23. Jerome Carver, P, St. Louis Cardinals. Upside: Control, Durability, Ground Ball and Pitch 1. Downside: Pitch 3 maybe. Splits are only decent but should be good enough not to rule him out of a closers job in St. Louis. He is the reason why pitch types are only cosmetic.

Grade: B

24. Arthur Butler, 2B, Chicago Cubs.
Upside: Speed and decent hitting abilities. Downside: Fielding. 2B is out of the question, RF is a maybe. Should be a lead off hitter against lefties but where to put him against righties is questionable. Cubs had 6 total first round picks but did they find a player to keep remains to be seen.

Grade: B-

25. Jim Waters, 3B, Tampa Bay Rays. Upside: Splits, Arm and Power. Downside: None detected. I am seeing a player whose projections look easy to reach and maybe easily exceeded. Will have to reserve judgement.

Grade: B

26. Harry Richardson, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates. Upside: Defense and Hitting. Downside: Health, Durability and Makeup. For some reason they don't like anyone to have a superstar SS. This kid has the potential if he can survive the DL. If he does, will his potential be realized? Then maybe only get to play in 120 games a season? Oh, Bad Form, Baseball Gods.

Grade: B

27. Dennys Bush, CF, Texas Rangers.
Upside: Defense and Speed. Downside: Hitting Abilities. And then they make a good defensive CF with lots of speed and questionable hitting abilities.

Grade: C

28. Gregory Philips, RF, Helena Hot Pockets. Upside: Power. Downside: Contact and Glove. He will play in the Bigs with that power but don't expect anyone would seriously give him too big a contract.

Grade: C-

29. Fausto Park, 3B, Boston Red Sox.
Upside: Eye, Splits and Power. Downside: Contact. Red Sox list him as a SS, they wishing in one hand and hoping with the other me thinks. 3B is probable though. Has the ability to pound the Green Monster WHEN he makes contact.

Grade: C+

30. Bert Lamb, P, Colorado Rockies.
Upside: Splits and Ground Ball. Downside: Durability. Not so sure he has what it takes to pitch at Coors field but could in a few other places.

Grade: C

31. Chad Haad, P, Salem Super Sequoias. Salem took a chance on a good player but it doesn't look promising.

32. Daniel Baez, P, Florida Marlins. Upside: Ground Ball and Pitches. Downside: Control and Splits. To tell the truth, this late in the first round this is an exceptional choice. Being a closer is borderline with such mediocre control and splits , setup is very possible though.

Grade: B

33. Heath Gonzales, C, Pittsburgh Pirates. Upside: Adequate everywhere. Downside: Glove. Wish this kid was on my Draft Board as I would have taken him with the 12th pick as this type of player was on my wish list. Good hitting abilities. Defense isn't spectacular but good enough to get the job done.

Grade: B+

Note: And yes P-nut, Faulk was #1 on my draft board, my scouts saw him a bit better than I do now, but they saw it still a bit awkward.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Season 18 Draft Part 1

1. Erubiel Villafuerte, P - Washington D.C. Senators, Upside: control and splits, Downside: lack of pitches. Unfortunately, the DL has already reared its ugly head and claimed a good rookie start.

Grade: A-

2. R.J. Bellhorn, P - New York Mets, Upside: Cold be the complete package. Downside: He is a lefty.

Grade: A+

3. Russell Lewis, 2B, Houston Astros, Upside: glove, eye, contact and speed. Downside: range and splits. Good 2B although he might watch a couple bound to the outfield that he should have. Hitting could be interesting, lead off or 2nd slot maybe but might fall to 6th or so.

Grade: A-

4. T.J. Cota, SS, Tampa Bay Rays, Upside: Glove and Arm. Downside: Range and Contact. Overall a good player defensively. Offensively the contact could hold him back from being a superstar.

Grade: B+

5. Juan Espinoza, P, New Orleans Jubilee, Upside: Control and splits. Downside: Pitches and Fly Ball. Downsides really hurt IMO.

Grade: B+

6. Don Evert, P, San Diego Padres, Upsides: Just about everything. Downsides: Stamina. May not make the starting rotation but should make a shut down middle reliever.

Grade: A

7. Rich Faulk, P, Cincinnati Reds, Upsides: Control and Splits Downsides: Awkward pitches. May not go deep into games with the durability but could turn into a quality starting pitcher.

Grade: A-

8. Buster Kaufman, P, Arizona Diamondbacks, Upsides: Control and Splits. Downsides: Pitches. As a reliever could have iffy quality with those pitches.

Grade: B

9. Vicente Guerrero, P, Toronto Blue Jays, Upsides: Velocity, Pitches and Ground Ball. Downsides: Control. A bunch of red flags jump out at me with this kid. Will he develop is an interesting question and if he does will he be enough for ML quality. I am betting he doesn't.

Grade: C

10. Joakim Gandarilla, 2B, Texas Rangers, Upsides: Contact and Speed Downsides: Just about everything else. Playing 2B is iffy. Hitting consistently is iffy. Stealing bases will be easy at the ML level, getting him on base could be a problem.

Grade: C+

11. Corban Christman, LF, Dover Dung Beetles, Upsides: Range Downsides: Contact. Should be a good fielding LF. Has some power but not overwhelming, splits are good but the Eye and Contact may make him just mediocre at the plate.

Grade: B-

12. Mark McMichael, SS, Cleveland Indians. Upsides: Speed and Arm Downsides: Health and Makeup. SS was never the idea, 3B was but chances of that are slim and could end up in RF. Was looking for a lead off hitter but it doesn't look like he is going to be a candidate for that even.

Grade: C

13. Ralph Jackson, P, Chicago Cubs, Upsides: Many Downsides: Health. For a closer or short setup pitcher, he will fill the bill.

Grade: A-

14. Lou Garvin, P, Milwaukee Brewers, Upsides: Control, Ground Ball and Splits. Downsides: Stamina and Pitches. His control and splits should help his good pitches. May not go deep into games as a starter.

Grade: B+

15. Stewart Jones, P, Kansas City Royals - Unsigned

16. Jamie Milton, SS, Seattle Mariners, Upsides: Power Downsides: Range and Glove. SS is out of the question I believe, 3B is even iffy as RF is probable. To tell the truth, he is a little better version of my pick.

Grade: B-

Little Rock

Little Rock is actually one of the toughest places to play and the easiest at the same time. It can take a while to develop a team to play there however. I have a team in another World that plays there and they are a very good team but suffer the same problems as my Indians this year, Horrendous at 1-run losses (13-26).

Little Rock is a homer and hitting paradise, so it takes a good hitter with power to play there. A very good Eye and Contact is a must with above 50 splits and better. Switch hitters don't seem to do all that well either.

Defense can be rough, so outfield needs to be strong along with corner infield.

Pitching has to be somewhat top notch. High control, decent splits and at least two good pitches in the 1 and 2 slots. Control below 50 will not work at all. Control 50 to 60 will work if they have 70 splits with three good pitches. I suggest control in the 80's and above. Above all else with pitchers in Little Rock, Ground Ball/ Fly Ball needs to be high, anything below 65 is not good. Believe it or not, I have success with pitchers in Little Rock with 80+ control, 80 Fly Ball, first two pitches in the 70's with low 40 splits. Regardless of how good a staff you put together, they will give up a lot of long balls here.