Friday, February 28, 2014

Season 9 Team Previews

Charlotte Tar Heels

Its been an exciting off season in Charlotte and big expectations abound for Season 9! The Tar Heels didn't allow a really depressed trade market get them down as they completed several big trades (although many many more conversations were started).

The Tar Heels SP received a decent overhaul. Stern and Breen were locked up long term and will anchor the rotation for many seasons to come. Alston was signed to a long term deal. His future was in doubt, but once we made the decision to trade Zheng, we had to lock him up as a solid middle of the rotation guy. Former IFA bonus baby, Robinzon Bonilla will make a return to the rotation after being a super set up guy the last two seasons. Several deals were discussed to bring in long relievers/spot started, but in the end we are promoting from within.

The lineup should be very similar to the past few seasons. Craig was brought back on a FA deal as he has been an extremely solid 1B for us. We also imported John Uehara and he will be a backup C, RFer, and great pinch hitter. In the same deal where we moved SP Zheng and RP Hines, we also traded longtime 3B Roland Vitiello and were able to get back a big time talented youngster in Ben Collmenter, former #3 pick from last season. This also allows us to move Dion Jones from RF to his original position of 3B.

Our offense looks primed to be extremely strong. It wouldn't be a surprise if our pitching took a step back after losing Ricardo Perez to FA and Oscar Zheng in a trade, but we're exciting about the pieces we got back.

Our goal is to win the division and earn a bye and let the chips fall where they may in the playoffs.

Florida Gators

The Gators finished 7 games out of the lead for the division last season, which surprised us as we didn't figure to be that competitive for another couple seasons. We added Alan Leary to help take over CF and depending on how the season progresses we may see Esmailyn Ortiz and/or Everth Martin called up, although management still seeking to trade a few bats for better pitching

Arizona State Sun Devils

Looking to build off the momentum from last season, we return the same core from last season. In my original plan, this would be season 2 of the Louie Crespo era, however his arm fell off last season and he received zero recovery bonus, so he's basically two seasons behind. He will get the call this year, but I'm far less excited about his long term prospects following injury.

Crespo will join a solid rotation, and despite his ratings hit, should still be the #1 guy. For as long as this franchise has been in existence, the bullpen has been terrible. I attempted to change things with a deal for William Chang, who has sta/dur concerns but should slot in nicely as a closer where high innings aren't needed. I'll address the innings piece by calling up Ezdra Rosado, who should be able to approach 100 innings out of the pen (hopefully 100 good innings). I'm still one arm short but couldn't find the right guy in the trade or FA market, so I'll look for an upgrade midseason. Either way, the pen is in much better shape than previous seasons.

On offense we return all of the same guys from last season and expect a solid performance again. I once again toyed with the idea of dealing Javier Borbon, and once again decided not to. The only changes on offense are to a few bench spots so nothing too impactful. 

Overall, a return to the playoffs is our goal, hopefully with a little more success than last season.

Richmond Cavaliers

The Cavaliers are beginning their rebuild after an early management change last season. More attention has been paid to getting the salary structure under control and to improving the defense this off season. Key acquisition Chick Heilman will sure up the infield D and RP Albert Malone will provide BP stability. The lineup centers around Al Cruz, with several solid contributors, and the pitching staff is solid and centers around Andrew Foster. More acquisitions are set to come and prospect Wascar Ramos may make his debut at some point. The Richmond Cavaliers are in a rebuilding year but feel there is an outside chance of making the playoff tournament.

Baltimore Terrapins

The front office in Baltimore began a rebuild of the organization during the 2nd half of the season.  The Terps treaded into FA but for the most part missed on any big stars. Ron Fitzgerald was signed to play great D in LF and get on base in front of Devin Roth and Apollo McCormick .The bullpen is the strength of the team with Luther Ross and Spud Blank closing out games. Miguel Lira decided he could not go out off his 7-14 5.50 ERA performance and management decided to take the gamble that performance was a fluke. His HOF credentials could use all the stat padding he can still muster. With the #2 pick excitement is about the future here since the ML squad will struggle to compete.

Scranton Nittany Lions

Scranton Nittany Lions hope to win the NL North for the third year in a row and advance further in the playoffs. The Lions signed free agent pitcher Ricardo Perez to help improve a weak starting rotation.Randy Cooper is the top minor league prospect and he is a year or two away from the big club.

Detroit Wolverines

The Wolverines are rebuilding. A lot of young positional players will be relied on, led by Enrique Pineiro and Masao Chang. The front office also took a chance on some overlooked pitchers (probably for good reason) in order to field a competitive team this season. Duane Abbott, Jerrod Mailman, and Sam Hart will all have important roles on the pitching staff this season to support young stud Bruce Ennis. The Wolverines are hoping to be somewhat competitive this season, but the focus will be on current prospects in the farm and capitalizing on the IFA market and draft this season.

Colorado Buffaloes

This will be a transition season for the Colorado Buffaloes. The payroll is still high, but the team is aging and will probably struggle to even contend for a playoff spot. Colorado traded for Yorman Abreu as a defensive specialist and will bring Ernie Weurtz to the bigs to play 2B. The hope for the Buffaloes is the offense can come up huge and overcome a lack of pitching depth and a suspect defense to at least stay in the race until the end.

Montgomery Crimson Tide

The Crimson Tide will be looking to rebound this season based on a revamped pitching staff and new 3rd sacker and the continued development of some of their young stars. Pitching was a major disappointment last season so this off season saw Montgomery pick up SP Oscar Zeng and set up man Ben Hines through trade. The Tide also grabbed FA SP Chris Scelfo. All three should be major contributors this season and for seasons to come. Prince Sheehan should continue to shine as the Tide’s closer while now veterans, Hector Zorrilla, Nicholas Greenwood and Dave Stanley should round out the starting rotation. Veterans Roland Vitiello (by trade) at 3b and Derek Howard (thru FA) in RF should provide clutch hitting and solid defense. Behind the plate Glen Myer will continue to be guide the staff and provide a solid bat. The continued growth of stars Darren Bauer at 2B, Warren Dimaggio at SS, Miguel Trevino in LF and Pedro Bennett in CF should only help the flat out great hitting of veteran 1B Kevin Sample. All in all, Montgomery has all the tools needed to compete for a division title….. we hope.

Little Rock Razorbacks

Key adds: C Julio Zapata, RP Tike Everhart, RP Tony Lopez, RP Doug Booker

Key losses: RP Bubbles O’Neil, RP Tim Weathers, C Dolf Sparks

Outlook: The Razorbacks return most of players that played on last season’s NL South division winning team. None of the players lost in the offseason where key to the division championship run and the players brought in to replace them are not significant upgrades. The Razorbacks should be able to contend for the division again in season 9, but are not a World Series contender. They are the classic case of a team that is caught in the middle. To good to get a high draft pick, but not good enough to win it all. 

Atlanta Yellow Jackets

Atlanta was not very active during the offseason, hoping to build upon last season’s playoff run and the continued development of its younger players. The Yellow Jackets will miss the bat of Gerrit Cornelius, who the picked up during the stretch run last year but were unable to keep in free agency. 

Juan Mercado and Jose Matos should continue to carry a large burden for the pitching staff, while the team hopes to see Scott Burns and Aaron Foster continue their development. Reese Waterson, Santiago Toca and Lance Lewis will form the middle of the lineup. Infielder Kevin Wong and pitcher Alejandro Bennett should see the big leagues not long after the start of the season. 

Los Angeles Bruins

The Bruins had a quite and uneventful offseason. After missing out on some of the big FAs, we decided to go into the season with what we have and bring up young guns #p5822086Geronimo Colome#p & #p5635568Brandon Bryant#p. We're going to be really good against lefties agian this year and hope to improve drastically against righties. Hopefully I am surprised, but we'll be missing the playoffs again this year.

Iowa City Hawkeyes

This team is extremely young, of the 12 position players on the major league roster 6 of them are rookies and 4 others are entering their 2nd year in the bigs. The team shouldbe led by 27 year old 2B Alex Lunar who will hopefully rebound from a subpar season that saw him with only 18 HR's and a .242 AVG. Rookie 1B Peter Shigetoshi should hit for a decent AVG and be a compliment to Lunar.

On the pitching side of things this team will struggle, there is no clear cut #1 starter, but we should have a decent pen, espescially in middle relief. Howecver the loss of blossoming middle reliever Omar Javier for the year will hurt. Pitching will be patch work and spotty all year.

Seattle Huskies

Last season the Seattle Huskies showed to be a few season ahead of schedule. Is a season that was planned as being a building season. The team would not stop winning. And we were forced to make a few moves to have a fighting shot on the playoffs. We were able to bring in 1B Darby Bukvich, 2B Vinny Bonds, RP Lariel Bazardo and SP Vance Taschner without jeopardizing the future. 

And that future for the Seattle Huskies is a bright one. With a bunch of young talent that made there debut last season. The group that fans have taken to calling the “Young Guns” includes C/1B Pedro Chavez (a steady everyday player with a strong bat that will dominate left handed pictures), SS Brett Hewitt (Another work horse that will stay on the field and play above average defense. While being a steady 30/30 guy). And lights out closer Earl O'Brien (If any player is to get credit for turning things around its O’Brien. Closing the door on 44 or 46 games. He did not give up an ER the first 100 games of the season.) 

In the end the Huskies fell short not having the SP needed in the playoffs. Entering the mix this season will be SP Cesar Gonzalez. Gonzalez is a hard throwing left hander with the stamina to complete every game. 

With all these young players and a few vets in place. There were not a lot of open spots in the off season. The one thing that was needed was a front line SP. There were really only two options in the FA market. It was a decision that was passed back and forth right up to the last moment. And in the end it was Domingo Melendez. Melendez is another work horse that will be able to jump up spots in the rotation to get more starts. He is a hard throwing ground ball pitcher that should fit in well in Seattle’s extreme pitchers park. 

With all these players leaving the farm the past few season. There is not a lot of depth left in Seattle. But there is still some star quality with two blue chip players. SS Otis James looks like he is going to be very strong at the plate hitting both left and right hands well. And RF Sherm Webster that has elite power and loves to hit right handed pitching. Webster is working hard with his glove to be able to play in the field every day. We make sure not tell him but with that bat he will never have problem finding playing time. The future is bright for these two Huskie pups. 

Wichita Jayhawks

Didn't make any trades this season. We were able to fill our needs through free agency. Went into this offseason targeting a CF and a SP, we were able to hit on both counts, signing Hulk Barnes and Ruben Perez .

We also added Nicholas Morgan , Chris Chatwood , Felipe Prado , and Benny Cortes . We promoted Gustavo Chacin and Hugh Blalock . Waiting in the wings is Freddy Martin who will be called up at some point in the season. Wichita expects at the very least to grab a wildcard spot this season and with a bit of luck win the division.

Oakland Golden Bears

Goals for the season: 

Seasons 5-8 were rebuilding seasons for this franchise. Key injuries in Seasons 1 through 5 to Ace SP's just gutted this franchise and the rebuilding process was initiated. About mid-way through Season 8, the ML team really gelled and pushed Seattle for the Division Title. In the end, the Golden Bears only made it in as a Wild Card, but that was really saying something considering how far below .500 they were for much of the 4 seasons of rebuilding. The next step is to take the Division or, at least, advance in the playoffs. We aren't quite ready for legitimate consideration for the WS Title, but we think we fit the role of "dark horse" pretty well. 

ML team makeup/strategy:

The Golden Bears feature passable SPs, a pretty decent BP, and an offense featuring 6 players with Power over 83 and all but two of the remaining players with Eye over 80. Defense is average. We are here to win the OPS battle, tire out your SP, and have our bullpen defeat your bullpen.

Trades: 

No trades yet, but we RELEASED former first round draft choice Felix Radke (http://www.whatifsports.com/HBD/Pages/Popups/PlayerProfile.aspx?pid=5056125) . Addition by subtraction, sadly.

Free agents:

The Golden Bears bolstered their bullpen by adding two former Arizona players. First is setup man Alex Seanez, respectable Setup B type of player who fits into the Team Strategy. The other guy from Arizona we added will also fit nicely into the Team Strategy. We helped out our offense by signing a SS with excellent plate patience, Lee Perkins. 

But, of course, the BIG signing was former MVP and HR king, Henry Beech. Getting him for $10M a season seems like a bargain to the Golden Bears' brass. Thank you Cleveland.

Rookies bringing up: 

No rookies are coming up to start this season, but there are a couple of gems in the system that fit the above-mentioned Team Strategy. The blue-chippers need a bit more seasoning down in the minors, though, so we are holding our breath that no major injuries force our hand this season.

Pittsburgh Panthers

The Pittsburgh Panthers are coming off a very disappointing season last year as we had high hopes of being a playoff contender. The offseason was fairly quiet with the biggest move was bidding farewell to DH Yamil Rodriguez. We also pulled the trigger on signing some of our younger pitchers to long term contracts before their arbitration years ended. This included Marc Bell and Welington Monlina who were both signed to 4 year deals. We’re still looking to solidify the roster before the season starts but this is the year that could either shape up for good things to come or be the year that we decide a roster direction change may be in order.

Austin Longhorns

The Austin Longhorns had a very quiet off season. Not much doing outside the normal off season activites. Management is still scratching their heads over last season's "first to worst" debacle.

The offense is evident through out the line-up, it just took a few steps backward. Ted Halman leads the offense from the DH spot with help from Enrique Benitez, Ricardo Ramirez (who enters his final year of contract) and slugging 1B Ryan Perez. David Pettite set a career high in HRs with 27 but dropped in average. Gabby Skinner had an average rookie year even though he hit 23 HRs to go with 80 rbi..his struggle with righties is his only flaw.

As for the pitching..another story. Footsie Maxwell has yet to live up to his potential outside of his sophomore season. Management will be monitoring his starts very closely..hoping to snap him out of his funk. George Strange has been the only consistent starter the past couple of seasons..his veteran leadership is key. Bump Harville anchors the bullpen once again..looking to follow up on his 31 saves from last year.

I am not putting lofty expectations on this team...just to do better than last season!

Boston College Eagles

Sad days in Boston as fans have a reason to be upset. Management made failed attempts to acquire some punch in the off season and were a distant second in the Gerrit Cornelius bidding. To compensate 36 year old former College Eagle, Stan Pearce was re-signed. So no changes have been made to increase the teams offence. Young Boots Karros has been promoted and will help shore up the pen.
There are funds available to transfer but little money in IFA budget. The team may explore taking on a high contract player

With no major additions or deletions the Boston team it is unlikely the team will reach the 90 win plateau this year.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Season 6 Draft Recap

Another season, another influx of youth that enters NCAA II.  While most managers complained that this was a very weak draft, one owner quoted off the record saying "this draft sucked" it did provide some talent.  Big thanks to train for helping out with a big chunck of the writeups!


#1 Pittsburgh - Tony Ordaz (DH/1B) - With the first selection in this year's draft, the Panters decided to go with a power hitter.  Ordaz is going to have a very good bat if he reaches his projections and also bring some speed to the lineup.  His defense is a little low even for 1B but not low enough that it will hurt him at that position.  His health is the only knock on this guy so if he can stay healthy he's going to drive in some runs for the Panthers, if not that power may drop quite a bit.

amerith: "The Pittsburgh Panthers are extremely happy with our selection of Tony Ordaz (1B). He projects out to be a top notch hitter who not only will hit for power but also average.  While not much of a threat on the bases he should develop the glove to play a decent 1B. The only area of concern is his health and for that reason he will likely split time between 1B and DH to minimize the injury risk."

#2 Wichita - Freddy Martin (RF) - The #2 pick also decides to go with a hitter, selecting Freddy Martin.  He's was drafted as a RF but may have to move over to LF depending on how well he develops with his arm strength.  This kid has a solid bat, will be able to hit, walk, and provide some power while also bringing some speed.

chase39: "Only had 15million in HS scouting so your not going to see everybody but all in all, i think i did all right with Freddy Martin. He should be a good steady player. I like my first 7 picks i think they will all contribute at ML level in some role."

#3 Durham - Brandon Spivey (CF) - I think Florida and Durham had the same idea going into this draft after seeing their selection of Mr. Spivey.  He doesn't quite have the range to play CF but being left-handed will not allow him to play 2B.  He's got a nice bat although his eye is quite low but the one thing I noticed about this guy is he was one of the few that had his signability at probably won't sign.  If he does sign he'll still be a decent pick but if he doesn't the Blue Devils will keep the #4 pick next season and hope for a more talented draft class to come along.

ghutton: "I drafted Spivey hoping he wouldn't sign. I'm counting on a better draft next season."

#4 Seattle - Jerome Jackson (RF) -  From a talent standpoint, Jackson is far from a top 5 pick. He projects to be an average-ish COF at best, perhaps just a platoon guy. He's a "probably won't sign" guy asking for $8M, so I think we can assume he was picked in hopes that he doesn't sign.

#5 Oakland - Oswaldo Unamuno (2B) - The 5th position player in a row goes to the Oakland Golder Bears who picked up a pretty nice player.  Mr. Unamuno looks like he'll be able to handle 2B with ease and possibly move out to center field depending on his development.  He can hit for very good power, has good splits and provides some speed.

mr_stickball: "In Berkeley the student body is pretty sure our scouts are high on some pretty good s^#t, so confidence is low that, despite having three picks in the first round, we got the best guys possible. Let's just hope that rangy 2B Oswaldo Unamuno , Starting Pitcher Timothy Morgan , and future full-time Pinch Hitter Doug Allen don't disappoint too terribly.  There were some "not too terrible" later round picks though, so maybe it'll work out for the Golden Bears despite their incompetent and often incoherent Scouting Director and his misadventures."

#6 Scranton - Josh Goodwin (P) - The first pitcher finally comes off the board and he's going to be very good.  He has the durability/stamina that will allow him to pitch a lot of innings depending on how the Lion's chose to use him.  He's going to be dominate against any batter and has outstanding control.  Just like the #1 pick though his health will determine his ability.

llcc: "Josh Goodwin is the first round pick of the Scranton Nittany Lions. He should be a closer when he makes it to the majors. He is projected to have a overall rating of 85."

#7 Arizona - Ezdra Rosado (P) - Manager train continues with the pitchers coming off the board and I absolutely love this pick.  I know most people don't like to draft relief pitchers this early in the draft but this kid is going to be a difference maker.  He's got outstanding stamina/durability that could allow him to pitch 150 - 175 innings a year and be completely dominate.  I drafted a guy similar to this in another world and he ended up winning the Cy Young and is a difference maker in the playoffs.

train: "I rarely target an RP but I'm starting to warm to the idea of a great RP throwing nearly as many innings as a starter, and this guy can do that (30 sta, 90 dur). One of two RPs I would have been happy with at this spot (Goodwin was the other), Rosado won the tiebreaker due to his health rating, and I'm glad to land him. With above avg control and elite splits - according to my well compensated scouts, I'm confident he can provide 100+ innings each year with good-to-great results."

#8 Texas - Pedro Montero (SP) - 8 picks into the draft and we finally have the first starting pitcher taken in the draft.  The Aggies pick up Montero with has great control, nice durability/combo and godo splits.  His first pitch is a little lower although his 2nd pitch is pretty good. 

#9 Little Rock - Dennis Taylor (SP) - The Razorbacks have to be happy that they saw Taylor drop to the 9th pick for them as he looks to be a nice starting pitcher someday.  He's got great control and good splits along with two solid pitches and two above average pitches.  As of right now he's unsigned but looks like it won't be an issue.

drichar138: "Little Rock drafted Dennis Taylor with the 9th overall pick.  Taylor is a rubber arm starting pitcher with good control and velocity. Unfortunately he is a flyball pitcher with below average pitches. Overall we seem him projecting as a SP4 at the major league level."

#10 Iowa City - Glendon Roosevelt (LF) - Not scouted

#12 Atlanta - Pedro Diaz (SP) - Diaz looks like he'll be a work horse on the mound for the Yellow Jackets, with a high durability and stamina combo.  He projects to good control and vL, and above average vR.  One very strong pitch and 2 other decent pitches should help him out.

dgtrache: "Pedro Diaz, pick 12. Diaz projects as a number 3-4 starter on a decent team.  With good make-up, Atlanta is hopeful he will meet his projections. According to Atlanta's scouts, this was a fairly week draft. The team hoped to pick a better prospect with the number 12 pick."

#13 Boston - Robert Jordan (P) - Another very solid setup pitcher chosen in this draft, Jordan has great control and dominant against right handed batter and will perform well against lefties.  Two great pitches and nice durability/stamina combo to help him pitch frequently.

eastonest: "For the second season in a row Boston selects a relief pitcher.  This is not a strategy to build a contender but relief pitching has been a team weakness and Robert Jordan projections were solid albeit once signed his projected numbers were quite a bit less stellar which is a disappointment."

#14 Cincinnati - Sarma Garcia (RF) - The Bearcats find a great bat in the 14th spot, grabbing Garcia.  He projects to have great power, has good contact and eye and vR.  His defense might limit him to LF but the bat will perform well at any position.

#15 Richmond - Aubrey Clinton (SS) - Drafted as a shortstop, his range and accuracy may be a little low for that.  If he can handle SS he's going to be a great player who can provide some offense there, if not he'll slide over to 3B.

mikejuggalo: "We are relatively pleased with both first rounders this season. We hope they both progress as expected and able to contribute at the ML level in a couple seasons."

#16 Salem - Kevin Stock (C) - Has the arm strength and accuracy to handle behind the plate, pitch calling is a tad low but with that offense he'll provide and power that's minor.  Very nice pickup at this point in the draft.

gmurphy10: "At #16 Kevin Stock was a steal. Projecting out at 91con 100 pwr 100L 55R 72eye... I couldn't be happier to have what could be a future MVP that late in the draft."

#17 Austin - Roger Duran (2B) - Everyday player who will be able to handle 2B defensively.  Has great contact and eye but splits are a little low.

Iceman67: "Austin management was pleased with the player they got with the 17th pick in Roger Duran.  "He may not have much power but his potential glove and range skills will more than make up for that. Duran will more than likely play 2B in the big leagues but also could play some center field as well."

#18 Richmond - Cam Wilson (P) - Nice starting pitcher who will be able to throw a lot of innings.  Great control and vR with two solid pitches.  Will be interesting to see how he does with only having three pitches in his bag.

#19 Chicago - Al Gabriel (P) - Good pickup at this point in the draft, won't be able to pitch a lot of innings but if used as a closer he'll have great control and good splits along with two solid pitches.

madden0001: "Chicago is hopeful they are able to get their closer of the future in Al Gabriel."

#20 Oakland - Doug Allen (C) - Had the defense to be behind the plate but will be a backup with his durability.  Has great contact and eye, along with vL.

#21 Little Rock - Joe Post (C) - Unsigned as of now but will be a nice catcher with a solid bat if he does decide to put pen to paper.

#22 Los Angeles - Geronimo Colome (CF) - Defensively he should be able to play center field, will hit right handed pitchers well but health could be a concern here.

mamidu: "a pretty good value pick. if he hits his projections, he should be my starting CF in a few seasons. the lower health leads me to believe he won't though. we'll see"

#23 New York - Chris McPherson (SS) - Already injured and it looks like he might be a right fielder once he returns.  Would have had a decent bat for the short position but below average if in right field.

#24 Jackson - Steve Francis (RF) - Another serious injury that has to hurt given he's currently at 77 in health.  His glove took a big hit so will have to see if he can handle RF when he returns, his bat still looks to have solid contact and eye.

#25 Kansas City - Ray Kickham (P) - Might make it as a long reliever; one good pitch and 4 other decent pitches are what gives him a chance. His control and splits are average or worse, hampering his chances.

#26 Syracuse - Ralph Witt (C) - As opposed to the previous pick, I love this one. Witt projects to have good contact, power, vsR and eye and elite vsL - he should crush lefties. Looks like he has the ability to stay behind the plate, though he'll never be confused for a Molina. Solid value at the end of the 1st round.

#27 Baltimore - Steve Morris (3B) - Also good value at this point in the draft. Decent pop, very good vs L and pretty good vs R. His eye is meh, and his contact a little less so, but overall he should be a decent ML bat. His glove also provides value, as he projects to a solid 3B.

mcgupp: "Steve Morris is going to provide very solid D and a power bat in the meat of the lineup." 

#28 Colorado - Gordon Caufield (P) - If I'm picking 28th, I'm pretty happy that Caufield falls to me. SP with good control and splits, he also has decent enough stuff. The only red flag here is exacerbated by the park he'll call home - a very low G/F rating means he'll give up his share of dingers in Colorado. Still, at 28th this is a great pick.
cctigerfan: "Gordon Caufield , will hopefully develop into the 3rd or 4th starter for the Buffaloes in the future. His 5 pitches with decent control and velocity should help make him effective in Coors."

#29 Kansas City - Wily Esposito (P) - A long reliever/mop up guy if everything goes his way; otherwise he'll be a career AAA guy. Splits might not crack 50, which is his primary problem. Control and stuff projects decently and he has the stamina/dur to eat innings.

#30 Charlotte - John Damon (C) - Not quite Johnny Damon, but this guy is pretty interesting. Average contact with plus power. His defense is also considerably above average. What makes him interesting are his low splits. He could have some big power years with yo-yo-ing averages. But for a C with great defensive ratings, that's pretty solid.
hopkinsheel: "The Tar Heels are absolutely flush with good catching prospects so the last thing we really needed was another one, but we're a firm believer in picking the best possible talent especially when having a pick so late in the first round. Damon looks to be one of the top defensive catchers in the draft this season and also should hit a good number of HR.  With the amount of talent in front of him, he doesn't look like the starting catcher of the future, but will be one heck of a defensive backup."

#31 Baltimore - Ricardo Manzanillo (P) - Elite control from this SP, he also throws real hard and has good stuff. His vsL and ability to keep the ball down are both decent, but his vsR less so. Given his other strengths, he should be a solid SP.

mcgupp: "Ricardo Manzanillo projects to a back of the rotation, power pitcher."

#32 Columbus - Joe Cambridge (P) - A steal at 32, I had Cambridge 20 spots higher in my rankings (I'm no Keith Law but still). Good control and vs R, excellent vs L and impressive stuff. Doesn't throw hard and average at inducing ground balls. The only question mark with him is the stamina; he might not be able to take the ball every 5th day with his sta/dur combo. If not, he'll be lights out in the 'pen.

anml34: "In Columbus we were ecstatic to get our number 3 guy overall and number one pitcher this late in this very week draft. With joe's current ratings we are projecting a top of the rotation pitcher for years to come."

#33 Jackson - Karim Segui (3B) - Fringy with the glove at 3B; his bat is fringy too. I guess you could say this guy is fringy in general. He should hit lefties well, however his contact, power, and plate discipline will all hold him back from a regular gig. Decent bench bat.

#34 Syracuse - Doc Bland (P) - did not have scouting on this guy

#35 Trenton - Bengie Macias (SS) - signability guy, but excellent value if he does sign. Overall he should have an above avg bat when you consider his position; great contact and will handle both righties and lefties well. His D might make it as a SS; if not he plays well anywhere else on the diamond.

#36 Portland - Damon Miner (SS) - plus skills across the board on D, he should hit well enough to justify a job. Below avg power and eye will weigh him down though.
meece: "Damon Miner 2b was one of my positions I was looking to upgrade and some how snagged him at pick 36. HE should be a good pick if he hits his porjectons. If being the operative word as he has a 52 make up. OH well"

#37 Trenton - Derek Lanier (RF) - yet another guy who seems to be a designated lefty killer, though he does nothing else above average. His bat will guarantee him at least a platoon job at the ML level.

#49 Montgomery - Greg Flanagan (2B) - Probably more of a RF or LF, has great speed power and eye.

abesmem: "The Crimson Tide were very happy to acquire a player of Greg Flanagan’s ability with the 49th overall pick. While Greg may not have the range to be a ML middle infielder, he does have better than average power and bat skills with a very good eye.  When you factor in his good speed and superior base running skills, he could become a pretty solid #2 man in any lineup. He is starting in high A where he is already performing quite well."






Monday, June 3, 2013

AL North Questions and Answers



Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .271 12th Fielding % .977 29th ERA 4.70 23rd
Home Runs 273 2nd Double Plays 386 11th Strike Outs 1079 19th
Runs 880 5th + Plays 31 31st OAV .271 22nd
Steals 51 32nd - Plays 57 30th Saves 47 11th


You won the World Series in Season 3 here but then the last two seasons you've gone 80-82. What led to winning it all and then under .500 the next season?

Pitching and injuries. Solid rotation broke down with injuries and bullpen has been brutal. Probably should have held onto the two SP's i dealt a few seasons back but I needed a bat.

You've currently got two world series titles to your name, both team with similiar records (97-65 and 96-66). What was similiar with these teams and what was different? Which world series was more enjoying?

My first WS was far more rewarding. I came back from 3-0 to win games 4-7.

You are one of the more active traders in this world compared to the other teams I've looked at so far. Is trading one of the more enjoyable aspects of the game for you? What allows you to make more trades than usually here in NCAA II?

I enjoy working a good deal but I have found that it is becoming more difficult to trade for prospects. Everyone wants them.





Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .275 8th Fielding % .984 15th ERA 4.39 15th
Home Runs 251 6th Double Plays 411 4th Strike Outs 1007 29th
Runs 851 7th + Plays 69 11th OAV .261 13th
Steals 130 16th - Plays 37 17th Saves 49 8th









Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .278 4th Fielding % .986 7th ERA 3.97 5th
Home Runs 211 11th Double Plays 444 1st Strike Outs 1040 26th
Runs 864 6th + Plays 96 2nd OAV .245 2nd
Steals 129 17th - Plays 20 3rd Saves 55 3rd


Season 4 you finished with 80 wins, last season in Season 5 you managed 106 wins. What led to such a big increase in your win total?
Well a couple of factors played into our much improved season 5. Last year I realized we had become complacent as a front office and thought we could continue to win the division with the talent we had which cost us in season 4. All of the other great GM's in the AL East made changes to their rosters and we didn't change much which was a mistake. So last year we made a decision to sign some Type A ball players and once again become the leaders of the AL East. We greatly improved our offense as well which took some pressure of our pitching staff. I think signing Bryan Buchanan to be our signal caller behind the plate was the biggest Free Agent get in the whole league. He is a great game caller and made our whole pitching staff better as the season went on, not to mention his tremendous skill set at the plate as well. We also called up our first draft pick ever in Jimmie Butler. With the addition of those two in our lineup, opposing pitchers could no longer pitch around a single hitter. Each person can be very dangerous at the plate. We had three players hit over 30 Home Runs and almost had three guys with over 100 RBIs. Anytime you have that much production at the plate, you are bound to win more games.

You've made the playoffs 4 out of the 5 seasons in this world, what do you contribute your success to?
A significant amount of luck! When you start in a new world you have no idea what kind of hand your going to be dealt. I was very lucky to have some decent players in the system like Maroth and Nix which have become huge reasons for our success. We were also lucky to land the #12 spot in the draft which we used to get Butler who I hope will both retire and enter the HOF as a Knight.

Two things that I do think help was thinking about the long term success of the team as well as making sure that I made the moves needed in the first season to win right away as well. I spent alot of money in that first season on coaching because I knew these guys where going to need to grow and develop, even those who were already on the ML roster and older I thought would gain a little bump from good coaching. I also knew that I needed to trade away some of my prospects and quality players to fill holes in the roster that I was given. That is why you saw me trade for the likes Watterson and Fitzgerald. I needed those higher quality bats in the lineup and figured that would be where most of my offense would come from. I also over spent in FA on a top pitcher like Tatis so I had that one work horse for the first couple of seasons until I could bring Nix and others up to help him.

Currently you have 3 active teams, all in hop's worlds. What's the draw for you in playing in these worlds instead of others?

Couple of reason come to mind. First, Hop is first class all the way!! He treats all coaches with respect and holds each one of us to the same standards whether we have been involved in one of his worlds for 2 seasons or 12 seasons. Hop is very organized and runs these worlds like a machine as we start almost immediately every time which is great. He will take time to answer your questions and help you improve as a coach. Because of this, all three of these worlds are very competitive and he makes sure he finds great coaches to talk to on the boards and make deals with instead of just finding a warm body to run a team like some other commishs do in HBD.





Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .279 4th Fielding % .982 23rd ERA 4.48 18th
Home Runs 199 15th Double Plays 302 32nd Strike Outs 1117 8th
Runs 816 13th + Plays 56 17th OAV .267 17th
Steals 131 15th - Plays 48 26th Saves 44 14th