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

Sunday, June 2, 2013

AL West Questions and Answers

Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .279 3rd Fielding % .976 30th ERA 4.71 24th
Home Runs 195 17th Double Plays 398 6th Strike Outs 1109 10th
Runs 902 2nd + Plays 39 29th OAV .273 25th
Steals 160 8th - Plays 46 25th Saves 33 31st

You've played 29 seasons with no postseason appearance, falling 3 games away last season from the wildcard spot. You've finished 2nd in the divison 4 out of 5 seasons. What will it take this season to get that 1st playoff appearance?

Learning the game has been a struggle for me. My life outside of HBD has gotten in the way more than I can tell you. I think if I added a couple of good SPs and a little bullpen help I may make it over the hump. Losing Stan Pearce hurt me offensively. But he never gave me a chance to re-sign him. Hopefully I can get a good pick for him.
Pedro Trevino, S2 #16th draft pick looks like he could be ready, will you be calling him up to help in the bullpen this season or continue his development in the minors?

Pedro worries me a little. Blew 8 saves last year at AA. Want to bring him up, but not sure he's mentally ready for the bigs. But since I'm hurting in the pen anyway, I'm pretty sure he will make his debut sometime this season.
You just signed SP Sammy Vazquez to a 5 year deal this season, how happy are you to have him locked up in a very nice contract for the next 5 seasons?

Sammy signing was huge!!! It may be for $8.5, but that guy is an innings eater. 251 last year with 8 complete games.

Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .272 11th Fielding % .986 7th ERA 4.60 21st
Home Runs 179 24th Double Plays 389 10th Strike Outs 1075 21st
Runs 767 19th + Plays 54 19th OAV .272 23rd
Steals 62 29th - Plays 21 4th Saves 38 24th

You've won 2 division titles in season 1 and 3, what will it take to get Oakland their 3rd division title?

1. Oakland won it's division in seasons 1 and 2, but has dropped off since then. We were not a particularly young team when the league opened, and I knew that we'd either need to get really lucky in FA or make a major push to rebuild after those two seasons.

Given that starting pitching was SO VERY sparse when the league opened, I made the decision to draft as wisely as possible while lowering scouting budgets, and to trade away older players in the hopes of filling holes and upgrading my minor league ranks -- especially insofar as young starting pitching was concerned, since I strongly believe that pitching is the key. I tried to get a number of good pitchers lined up to take over in the coming seasons. This season will be tough for us as our young pitching staff is still only in it's mid-to-late 20's, overall, but we expect to be very good next season and beyond.

Currently you have 3 active teams, looks like you're the original owner for 2 of them and took over a season or 2 from the beginning in the other. What's the attraction to you on new teams?

2. I am a pretty busy guy in "real life", so 3 active HBD teams seems to be my limit. Of note, I am commissioner (no surprise by the title) in Stickball League, so that league takes even more time than my other two. I am one of those guys who sticks around for the long haul. I'm not interested in hopping around to multiple leagues and I only chose this league because I had so much respect for the ownership group lining up to be in NCAA II. I really appreciate the fantastic job our commissioner is doing here, I know what a commitment it can be.

Last season you had a payroll of $114M and finished 3rd in the division, this season you have a payroll budget of $120M? Do you usually operate with a large payroll for most of your teams and why didn't last see work out better with that type of budget?

3. In regards to the very high Payroll Budget I've been sporting lately, I think this season should mark the beginning of our turnaround. I mentioned above having a couple of good drafts, and now, it seems really important to add some solid mid-career guys to fill holes on the team. Last season marked the signing of some pretty good free agents, including one of the better veteran SP's available on the board, Salvador Freeman, but with such an otherwise young pitching staff, our overall record wasn't very good.

I expect to do some pretty serious damage to the FA market again this preseason as well, and to perhaps make a monster trade early in the season. While our pitching is still somewhat young, I plan to field a mostly veteran offense.

Another reason for the high payroll was that I was afforded the ability to sign Skip Cosart, a young innings-eater, to a long term contract that will only cost me $2.6M per season through Season 10. He isn't a premium talent, but the fact that he's average or slightly above average and should easily chew up a couple of hundred innings per season with such a light salary is huge. I've already got my best pitcher, 26-year-old Domingo Melendez signed to a long term contract, and I will need to come up with a contract similar to Cosart's next season for 27-year-old Hector Cruz as well.

If you look through my Major League team and my AAA team, you'll notice a pattern among my newly acquired SP's. I have a bunch of young, high Stamina guys. This is because my goal with Oakland is to eventually only carry 11 pitchers so I can have a deep bench. A lot depends on the development of those young pitchers, so you'll notice that the one piece of my Budget that I did NOT skimp on is Training.

8 trades last season alone, another 8 trades in S3; it seems like when you trade you're pretty active. What allowed you to make all those trades in seperate seasons?

Also 8 trades but 0 in ADV scouting, how comfortable are you trading without seeing projections and what's the advantages/disadvantages for 0 ADV for you?

4. Regarding the last two questions, having a 0 in Adv Scouting is new to me, although I've seen it used successfully by other owners. As for making trades with funky scouts, I'm trying to make educated guesses on minor leaguers by projecting ratings based largely on Makeup and Health in conjunction with pertinent Current Ratings. It's kind of a crap shoot, but I think if you've been around this game long enough, you more or less know who's going to be good and who isn't.

Also, as I stated above, I mostly drafted pitching and traded for "can't miss" young pitchers, so most of my tinkering (i.e. trading and FA signing) these days is for post 27-year-old position players. Advance Scouting is less of a factor when concentrating of veterans, of course. I could tell you who I intend to sign this season in Free Agency, but then I'd have to kill you (0;

Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .277 6th Fielding % .986 7th ERA 4.07 10th
Home Runs 260 5th Double Plays 360 18th Strike Outs 1049 24th
Runs 927 1st + Plays 75 8th OAV .258 11th
Steals 168 6th - Plays 30 14th Saves 55 3rd

First off, congrats on the world series win last season and also it being your first in your career. How'd that feel to finally capture your first title?

Feels great to have the monkey off my back that’s for sure, nice feeling after all the work in all the leagues finally put together a winning team. Feels even better to do it in a strong league where fair play and lots of movement occur. I went a little bit off my original plan and went all in which typically doesn’t work well for me. This was my first World Series and honestly was just happy to get by Trenton who id put my money on winning it this year with a few upgrades in the field could be an even deadlier team.

What made this team any different from the other teams that you've had in the past?

Honestly, I sure don’t know I’ve had better hitting teams with the same level of pitching and never got out of the first round. I’ve had teams with great pitching and the same results. Not having many injuries helped where some other teams were decimated by them all year. Overall the big factor for winning was the complete lineup form on base guys to power hitting and somehow pitching was steady even though my pitching staff is far from great.

You've had some success in NCAA II, winning 3 out of 5 division titles, what do you contribute that too?
I think that my original plan when the league opened allowed me the success going forward. The first year I traded away the majority of my ML talent for youth. That youth translated in picking up so top prospects which in turn were later moved for some top end players. Having a low salary budget allowed me to attack the IFA market which landed key pieces to future trades such as Ortiz, De Larosa, and Gonzalez. The original plan was to hang onto all these pieces but when you have a chance to get guys like DePaula, Clayton, and Park I was willing to sell the farm to go for it I was just lucky enough to have it mesh well.
Oakland is a scary team and should fight me every step of the way. They are a team that makes lots of moves and once it all falls in order I will have a tough task of stopping them.
Salem has been a young team for the last few years and are about to have the top pitching staff in the division and if they add a hitter or two there’s no reason they wont be in the hunt to win the division this year and many more going forward.
Seattle like Salem has some great youth coming up though the ranks as the Ducks are declining Salem and Seattle could be the two battling for the top two spots and will be interesting to see how both teams youth come along.

This is the 4th straight season the #2 seed from the AL has won the world series, what's the deal with you #2 AL seeds?
I would never want to say that all of us #2 seeds are lucky but I sure know I was. I had Trenton pegged to win it all with that two headed monster at the top of the rotation. Some timely hitting allowed me to advance and thank the sim gods for allowing me to get by. Bobby Clayton be snubbed in the MVP voting put a fire under not only his by his team mates as well.

Last season you finished 7th in batting avg, 5th in Home Runs, and 1st in RBI's. How'd you get all those runs in?
Honestly, didn’t know I was that high in all three of the ranking I knew id be top in RBI but the other two not so much. Interesting that nobody has a super high batting ave as for the season as a whole not one player hit over 300 and nobody had a amazing OBP. But when people do it on base there is a lot of movement out there as 5 people had over 20 steals. Lots of timely hitting allowed for the offense to thieve. Would be interesting to see how many pitches my batters faced because we seem to get the others teams Sp’s to throw a ton of pitching causing teams to go to the pen more often. Having two MVP candidates as well as power hitting 3B Park in the middle of the order makes it a tough task to get though the heart of the order with out being roughed up a little bit.

Last season you made a blockbuster trade with Durham in which you received Hideo Park and Bobby Clayton. How big of a factor were they to winning the WS, what were your thoughts before the trade and now after?

The first thing about this trade that people should know it took like a week to get worked out and finalized. It was honestly, very nerve racking to think to trade so many top end youth players. When we first started discussing I was in fear of losing DePaula out to free agency so I was trying to fill the #3 hole in my lineup that would be left if Sandy move on. Making this move put me into a sell the farm fill the roster and go for it. Going for it never ever worked for me in the past but just had to do it. This trade being mad is what in the end won me the World Series, no way would I have gotten to that spot without Clayton and Park. Not to be lost in this series where two of the other players involved SP Kevin Glauber who was a toss in for me to take the salary off his hands wins 18 games with a .351 ERA. Never in a million years did I think he would play to that level. Tanyon Morgan steps in throws 150 innings and allows a great duo with Deion Burgess who regressed since the year before.
Durham picks up so solid youth prospects to put with the team hes already built and should be very tough to play in a season or two. I just hope that this trade allows him to become a top flight team and is always a pleasure to work with whether its trade talk or just shooting the shiz.

You're pretty active in trading, is that your favorite aspect of the game?

Yes and No LOL. When you’re a league run by Hop its clear on a couple of things all the owners are experienced and competitive. This allows trades to be pretty even where when you look at them you don’t scratch your head and wonder whats going on. In all leagues you have players who always want to trade, one example with us is Oakland who regardless of being in my division we have made many moves together. Difference between our league and others that im in the players who always want to trade never actually work to make a fair deal done. Have a guy who basically will only trade say his ace pitcher for your minor league ace who is basically the same player but younger and cheaper. In these same leagues new owner raping occurs every season to the point of wanting to drop the league. But here in NCAA II there is a lot of wheeling and dealing where the communication on both sides make it a very fun thing to do in this league. Here its also not a difficult thing to trade non superstars like O’Neil and Carter when your team is in need of that position. Its not pulling teeth in this league and even better that most people talk quite often amongst each other. Although, for this season may not have quite the moving as I have in the past as really only looking to upgrade LF, 2B, SP (yes I have no shame in plugging that).
Go Ducks and good luck to everyone this year.

Offense Defense Pitching
Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank Category Stat Rank
Avg. .235 32nd Fielding % .978 28th ERA 4.60 21st
Home Runs 167 29th Double Plays 360 18th Strike Outs 986 30th
Runs 661 30th + Plays 46 27th OAV .270 20th
Steals 242 1st - Plays 40 23rd Saves 39 23rd