Friday, May 27, 2011

S19 Low down

Ok.....let's get serious here for just one second.....the only question that anyone cares about is who's going to win the R.J. Ordonez & Reese Hemphill sweepstakes?  Only four FA cycles to go before a winner is announced!!!!

The blog is on pins and needles......     

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Burlington Booya and tmantom3285 are S18 World Series Champs!!

World Series MVP Reese Hemphill : 2 Complete Game wins

Burlington was amazing in S18 with its near wire-2-wire run atop the NL East, winning 104 games.  The Booya smoked the always dangerous S17 champs St. Louis Red Birds in the DCS; then proceeded to take it to the wiley vets of da Chicago Blagos in the LCS;  and then handled the juggernaut that is Augusta, which is led by the commish dengodd2, in 6 games to claim the 1st World Series title for tmantom3285 and the 6th title for the once dominant franchise ( the first since S6).

Congrats tman!!!  Great season.....


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

S18 Draft Review by holer

Tacoma Downriggers

Needs: CF, SP, RP
At catcher, future star Darren Ferguson continues to learn on the fly, backed up by capable youngster  Miguel Latos, who was a rule 5 pick up. The situation is similar at 1B, where young slugger John Martin will be around for many years. He will be backed up by another capable newcomer,  Marcus Meadows, who will fill in at either 1B or the COF when needed. At 2B, young developing star Larry DeJean has already grown by leaps and bounds. It is certain he will be around for a very long time. At 3B, youngster Ronald Martin is currently learning the ropes, but he will probably be moved back to his natural position at shortstop in the very near future to make room for the explosive arrival of blue chip phenom Art KrauseDennis Embree is also an exceptional defensive 3B, but is somewhat challenged offensively, relegating him to a utility player role. At SS, Martin will be pushed by two other talented youngsters, Ellie Leach, and Carlos Mercedes. In the outfield, LF is manned by one of the few veteran position players on this team, Jared Davis. He does a solid, if unspectacular job, both offensively and defensively. When he reaches the end of the line, young slugger Andy Jacobs will be waiting in the wings. In CF, veteran Stretch Stokes is aging quickly and pre-maturely, precipitating an immediate need to find his replacement. Young J.P. Martin is a good utility OF, but can't be counted upon to carry the full load at CF. The short-term answer here may be to move displaced SS Carlos Mercedes to CF, where he can platoon capably with Martin, until a full-time replacement can be found. In RF, aging veteran Doug Priest will soon be replaced by young stud Roland Soriano, who should be a fixture for many years. The starting rotation, which at first glance has many options, is actually in dire need of a new leader to replace departing long-time ace, and face of the franchise, Stu Magee. The bullpen is also going through a transition period, but does already have some promising arms rising through the system.

Draft Expectations: Low
The standard 5 picks in the first 5 rounds, starting with overall pick number 21. With this, holer should hope to get one solid future MLer, and feel fortunate if he gets anything more.

Draft Preparation:
Tacoma is in the bottom third of the league in player salary, well below the league average. Holer has chosen to sink most of his additional funding into his various scouting departments, and ignore his training and medical budgets. This is a choice he is quickly beginning to regret, and one which will probably be rectified next year.


Round 1 Pick 21 SP Chris Montague
A pretty ordinary late first round pick, Montague will fit into Tacoma's rotation as a steady number 3 or 4 starter. Although not the ace that holer desperately needs, Montague represents a continued deepening of the starting pitcher gene pool holer has to choose from. He has good control/velocity splits, and solid L/R splits. With 3 ML quality pitches, and a strong groundball/flyball ratio, Montague does not really have any glaring weaknesses and should be a reliable member of the rotation for many years.
ML Projection: 200-210 IP/15 W/.240-.260 OAV/3.00-3.50 ERA

Round 2 Pick 77 2B Keith Matthews
Matthews could possibly find work as a utility IF/OF, but it is far more likely he will only see limited action on sparse occasions as an emergency replacement.
ML Projection: Emergency Replacement

Round 3 Pick 109 CF Barry Knight
A brilliant fielder, Knight is also capable of getting on base against right-handed pitching. Once on base, he can cause all kinds of problems for the opposition with his speed and base running. His overall rating is only as low as it is because of his low durability rating. In summary, he would make an excellent candidate as a Utility OF.
ML Projection: Utility Outfielder

Round 4 Pick 141 LF/1B Fausto Marrero
Very similar to Knight, except that his much inferior fielding skills makes it highly unlikely he will ever see the major leagues. Ceiling AA

Round 5 Pick 173 C Matty Leonard
Maybe the best bang for his buck that holer got in this draft. Leonard is an excellent pick at number 173 overall. He is both capable defensively, and is a strong hitter. He would make a poster boy back up catcher. Like Barry Knight, his overall rating is only so low because of his low durability.
ML Projection: Backup Catcher

Hidden Gems: None Foreseeable

Overall Grade: C
Although holer made the attempt to cover his greatest needs of both finding an ace and a centerfielder, he didn't get very far with his results. To be fair, finding an ace when you pick at number 21 overall is a pretty tall order. In the end, he had a pretty ordinary draft, with pretty ordinary results.

Monday, May 2, 2011

S18 Draft Review by holer

Chicago Blagos

Needs: 1B, SS, SP, RP
Behind the plate, Gary Girardi is the best of the best, and he is in his prime. A noted Downrigger killer, we are always happy to feed him tainted meals at the Blagos favorite Tacoma hotel restaurants. At 1B, fixture Lee Fick appears to be reaching the end of the line. Entering into his option year with that hefty contract in tow, my guess is that langer will cut him loose. Les Calloway, who is currently overmatched in LF, will likely migrate back to his natural position at 1B, but I think langer can do better. 2B stalwart Louie Kelly is also coming to the end of his contract, but being at the peak of his career means langer will likely sign him longer (sic) (again). 3B superstar Benito Rijo couldn't be dislodged from his spot on the roster with a stick of dynamite. At SS, the Michael Huang and Dong show just doesn't meet the standard of the rest of this team. This is by far langer's greatest need. The outfield is set for many years to come with Ryan Hughes in LF, perenial all-star Tony Pena in CF, and rookie Henry Janish taking over in RF. They also have a defensive wizard on the way up in Earl Allen. The rotation is steady, if unspectacular, and it is also getting a little long in the tooth. The only current member with any upside is Johnny Robinson. There are a couple of youngsters with some promise deep down on the farm, but more are needed. The bullpen is very much the same, with a little less urgency than the rotation.

Draft Expectations: Moderate
Although he drafts next to last (32nd overall), langer also gets 7 picks in the first 5 rounds, including 2 first rounders. With langer's savvy, he could surprise with some impressive pick-ups.

Draft Preparation:
Chicago has a player payroll in the top third of the league, not unexpected for a team that seems permanently entrenched near the top of the standings. Unfortunately for langer, a very large chunk of that salary is tied up in Bronson Jiang, who is laid up with a long-term debilitating injury. What's worse is that his contract is a long-term, debilitating contract. Langer had to be very miserly with his remaining funds, leaving barely enough to sign his drafted prospects, and virtually nothing for the IFA market. His college and high school scouts were compensated moderately well, allowing him to find sufficient talent to draw from for the draft.


Round 1 Pick 32 SP J.D. Benes
What you would expect from a late first round pick, Benes' solid stamina is somewhat offset by his occasional control problems. This will limit him to around 200 innings per season. He has solid L/R splits, and 4 solid ML pitches which will make him an effective number 3 or 4 starter.
ML Projection: 200+ IP/13-15 W/.240-.260 OAV/3.50-4.00 ERA

Round 1 Supp Pick 42 RP Emilio Rosado
A slam dunk at pick 42, Rosado projects to become a premiere set-up man at the very least. Most likely he will eventually settle in to the closer's role. Great control, solid and balanced L/R splits, and two elite pitches gives him all the tools he needs.
ML Projection: 60-80 IP/25-35 SV/.210-.230 OAV/2.25-2.75 ERA

Round 2 Pick 58 2B/LF Teddy Hubbard
Listed as a 2B, but better suited to a corner OF position, Hubbard brings a pretty solid bat with him. He won't win any batting titles with his batting eye (or lack thereof), but he has the contact rating, and the power, to drive in a few runs, probably from the number 6 or 7 slot in the batting order.
ML Projection: 25 HR/.250-.270 BA/5-10 SB

Round 2 Pick 88 RP Sadie Ford
Great control/velocity splits, and respectable effectiveness ratings, especially against righthanders, makes Ford a safe bet to climb into the big league bullpen. His stamina/durability combination are relatively low, so he won't be able to burn a lot of innings, but he will help.
ML Projection: 40-50 IP/.240-.260 OAV/3.25-3.75 ERA

Round 3 Pick 120 RP Victor Alonso
A world class cutter, plus three other ML quality pitches, makes Alonso effective enough to spend time in the ML bullpen. He will either go to long relief, or a mop-up role.
ML Projection: 80-100 IP/5-10 W/.250-.270 OAV/3.80-4.50 ERA

Round 4 Pick 152 SS Kendry Campos
Unscouted and unsigned.

Round 5 Pick 184 SP Lance DeWitt
Good enough numbers to fill in on an emergency basis, if he had decided to sign. It looks instead like he will be attending college.

Hidden Gems: RP Jorge Encarnacion?

Overall Grade: B+
The fact that langer managed to pick up solid major league prospects with each of his first 5 picks is astounding, especially when you consider that he was picking at the end of each round. None of these players are good enough to be game breakers, but they will make up the meat and potatoes of this team's future.

S18 Draft Review by holer

Philadelphia river rats

Needs: C, COF, RP
Behind the plate, Pablo Marquez is a solid young ML catcher, but he needs a capable backup to step in when he needs a break, and that backup is not yet in the Philadelphia system. The current infield is in disarray, but that will soon change. The arrival of Yadier Santos at SS does give some stability, but he is currently challenged defensively, and has a lot of developing to do before the leaky Philadelphia defense starts to make better plays. The signing of another young stud, Al Pascual, will eventually help stop the leaks on the left side of the infield as one of the two young shortstops will be moved to 3B. Young Earl Dye needs to take over a more permanent role at 2B, and when Kid Flair arrives, ndrules will have the 4th skilled infielder that will allow them some flexibility moving forward. With the group they now have in the system, they should be fighting for a playoff spot within 3 seasons. In the OF, their current LF, Felipe Puente, is far better suited for their future 1B. His defense is not strong enough for LF, but great for a gold glove calibre 1B, and he has the bat to anchor the middle of the batting order. Bruce Blank is solid in CF, and there is a brilliant defensive OF on the bench in Miguel Santana. Right field, much like the left side, does not have a capable player to man that position unless one of the overqualified infielders is moved there. On the rubber, ndrules has a very nice pitching staff forming. Filled with young studs, some already on the big team, and some yet to arrive, this staff will keep Philadelphia in the playoff hunt for many years once they arrive.

Draft Expectation: Low
The regular 5 picks in the top 5 rounds, starting with the 9th overall. ndrules should expect a high quality blue chip prospect with his first pick, and anything else is gravy.

Draft Preparation:
Well into the bottom third of the league in player salary has given ndrules some money to spend. The problem is, he started the season with an amount for salaries that was well above the league average, and then took a large chunk out of player salaries and stuck it into prospect funding. In so doing, he sacrificed 11 million to the league as compensation. His large prospect budget was meant to, and has allowed him to, sign some high profile IFA's. The remainder of his budget was pretty evenly spread out, except for international scouting, which was maxed.


Round 1 Pick 9 SP Placido Balentien
A megafind by ndrules in the first round. With one future ace already in hand, he went for the doubleheader, and landed a beauty. Balentien will at times be unhittable, with 5 major league class pitches to draw from. His control is virtually flawless, and he is equally effective against both right and lefthanded hitters. Unusual for a southpaw.
ML Projection: 200+ IP/18-20+ W/.200-.230 OAV/2.00-2.50 ERA

Round 2 Pick 66 IF Marc Peterson
An outstanding pick in the second round, Peterson's overall rating is only as low as it is because of his low durability rating. He will only be able to put in 110-120 games per year max, but talk about high quality games! Because of this, he may be best suited on this team to be a super utility player, filling in for anyone who is tired or injured. Amazingly, he may even be a step up from the regular player at that position.
ML Projection: Utility Player

Round 3 Pick 98 C Guy Smart
Smart is the backup catcher ndrules needed from this draft. Very smart (sic) pick in the 3rd round. He is solid defensively, and very effective offensively.
ML Projection: Backup Catcher

Round 4 Pick 130 RP Rickey Delahanty
An inning eating long reliever, Delahanty could find a home on most ML squads as either a secondary long relief arm, or a mop up pitcher. He won't do anything spectacular for you, but he will save the arms of your better pitchers when his teammates forget to show up for the game.
ML Projection: Mopup Pitcher
60-100 IP/5 W/.280-.320 OAV/4.50-6.00 ERA

Round 5 Pick 162 RP Dante Wang
Some good numbers, but not good enough for the big leagues. Ceiling AAA

Hidden Gems: C Bonk Burke?

Overall Grade: A+
Starting with his first pick, ace Placido Balentien, ndrules had a great string of very solid picks, all being good enough for the big leagues until pick number 5. He filled a very important need by taking backup catcher Guy Smart, and picked up a superb all-purpose player in Marc Peterson.

S18 Draft Review by holer

Milwaukee Boomers

Needs: 1B, SS, CF, SP, RP
It's time for Alex Colome to develop into the perenial all-star that he should be. At the ripe old age of 25, he should be with this team for a very long time. Paul Corino is a cheap option at 1B, but his lack of offense hurts. At 2B, bigjasiu is well covered with young stud Edge Edwards due to burst onto the scene. He is backed up by another couple of young talented defensive specialists. At 3B, while currently employing an under-talented and overwhelmed Bartolo Guillon, bigjasiu is ready to move young stud Phillip Morgan from 2B to 3B to make room for Edwards, helping to solidify the infield. At SS, steady veteran Pablo Diaz returns, but will soon need replacing. Bigjasiu has a couple of options sitting in AAA, but I think he is looking for someone with slightly better defense. The corner outfield positions are well covered with veteran Nigel Lidge in LF, and blue chip prospect Geraldo Valdes quickly rising through the ranks to take over in RF. In CF however, Benji Martin is struggling defensively, and is better suited as a utility player. The starting rotation is in need of a major overhaul, and is the primary reason this proud franchise is struggling. Bigjasiu has already started the rebuild signing super-stud IFA Juan Bennett to become his new ace. If he can keep building on this, we will see the Boomers once again rise to prominence. Although not quite in the same dire straits as the starting rotation, the bullpen could use some help as well.

Draft Expectation: Low-Moderate
While only having the standard 5 picks at the top end of the draft, bigjasiu does hold the third overall pick, with which he could make a big splash.

Draft Preparation:
With a player salary near the bottom of the league, bigjasiu is situated perfectly to mount a successful rebuild. He already has most pieces in place amongst the position players, and now needs to concentrate on building a solid pitching staff. With all the extra funds he has, he was able to max several departments, including college and international scouting. He sacrificed the high school talent pool, and as such was able to add even more funding to his prospect budget.


Round 1 Pick 3 SP Stu McCurry
What a price to pay for a drafted prospect! However, this kid could be worth every penny. With one future ace already under wraps, bigjasiu has hit the jackpot on a second elite hurler. At this rate, in 5 years, nobody will want to play the Boomers. This kid has it all. Velocity, control, stamina, ball movement, variety of pitches, a good head, health, you name it. The kid is good for 20 wins a season.
ML Projection: 240+ IP/20+ W/200+ K/.180-.230 OAV/1.80-2.50 ERA

Round 2 Pick 60 SP Roy Coombs
A solid choice for bigjasiu's second pick, and another notch in his mission to rebuild his rotation, Coombs will make a very capable number 4 or 5 starter. Similar to McCurry, he has good velocity and control, but the talent curves diverge sharply from there. Coombs still has some other impressive numbers, but not on the scale that McCurry has.
ML Projection: 200 IP/12-15 W/150+ K/.250-.270 OAV/3.50-4.00 ERA

Round 3 Pick 92 SP Jay Graham
Graham walks that fine line between solid ML pitcher, and wild thing project that gives managers fits. His numbers all look good except for those nasty control problems. If he were able to harness that wildness, he would be a shoo-in for the future rotation, otherwise he remains a question mark.
ML Projection: 180 IP/10-12 W/100+ BB/.220-.250 OAV/4.00-4.50 ERA

Round 4 Pick 124 SS Luis Marin
A deceptively talented skill position player, Marin can provide quality backup at just about any position. The only things he can't do for you are hit home runs, and steal bases, but he should be very reliable as a utility player.
ML Projection: Utility Player

Round 5 Pick 156 LF Wilson Simpson
A pretty standard 4A player, Simpson will play out his career in AAA.

Hidden Gems: RP Mike Aldridge?

Overall Grade: A
The only thing keeping this grade from being an A+ was the fact McCurry was taken near the top of the draft, where he was expected to go. The other factors giving bigjasiu such a high grade revolve mainly around his adherence to the plan to rebuild his rotation.

S18 Draft Review by holer

Burlington Booya

Needs: OF, SP, RP
Graham Oliver and Ben Felsen are a solid combination behind the plate, however Dioner Moreno is a miscast nightmare at 1B. I understand the desire to get his bat into the lineup, but he should be sent in a deal to the AL where his talents as a DH can be better utilized. Cam Weston is the natural 1B, but he has been moved to RF to plug a gap there. The rest of the infield is loaded with blue chip talent, and once tmantom settles them into their natural positions, this will become an even more formidable team than they already are. His two greatest challenges will soon become, how to pay all these guys, and secondly, how to get them all sufficient playing time. In the OF, most positions are being staffed by infielders, which will yield good results in the field, but is an awful waste of talent. When these guys go looking for big money contracts, tmantom will be paying skill position salaries to players playing the corner outfield. The starting rotation is solidly made up of players who are mostly in their prime, and is designed to win now, which is what Burlington is doing. They will need replacing however, over the next few years. Burlington's weakness is without a doubt it's bullpen. Much help is needed here to put the opposition away after building up those big leads.

Draft Expectations: Very Low
Five picks in the first 5 rounds, and the first pick is at 27th overall. All tmantom should expect from this draft is a fringe player or two, and anything better would be a bonus.

Draft Preparation:
Burlington's player payroll is currently just below league average, giving them a considerable degree of flexibility, especially taking into account the low amount that will be paid out to draft picks in the prospect budget. They have allocated significant amounts to both training and medical, and they still managed to max the prospect budget. Obviously they will have plenty available for the IFA market. For draft scouting, they concentrated mainly on college scouting.


Round 1 Pick 27 1B/LF Rolando Alarcon
Not a bad pickup for 27th overall, Alarcon will provide plenty of pop to any team he lands on. He has excellent contact/batting eye splits, and very respectable power. His moderate left/right splits will be bolstered by those contact/batting eye splits, and he is an extremely intelligent base-runner.
ML Projection: 25-35 HR/.280-.300 BA/15 SB

Round 2 Pick 83 SP Harvey Trammell
A career minor league starting pitcher, Trammell will not be effective enough to get ML hitters out. Ceiling AAA

Round 3 Pick 115 IF Derrek Schmidt
Schmidt is a typical 4A player whose numbers are slightly enticing, but not quite good enough for a role in the majors. Because he does not stand out in any one area, he will probably play out his career in AAA.

Round 4 Pick 147 SS Cesar Moreno
Moreno holds slightly more promise than Schmidt, with a little bit better defense and a bit more consistent offense. This may be enough to get him a role as a ML utility player.
ML Projection: Utility Infielder

Round 5 Pick 179 RP Jake Washington
Although he has some nice numbers, Washington's left/right splits are way too low to be an effective ML reliever. He will probably top out at AA.

Hidden Gems: None Foreseeable

Overall Grade: B-
This is a team that has been assembled to win now. Because it is still young enough, assuming that tmantom can keep re-signing his free agents, this team should be a contender for many years to come. Adding Alarcon into the mix will simply add another bat into an already potent lineup.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

S18 Draft Review by holer

Scranton Squirrels

Needs: 3B, OF, SP, RP
Scranton's future behind the plate is secure for many years to come with young workhorse Red Westmoreland firmly entrenched as the starting catcher. 1B is also secure with capable youngster Carlos Blanco carrying the load. He does tend to strike out a lot, but can also drive in plenty of runs depending on who he is surrounded with. At 2B, Scranton has another solid player, Earl Butler, who is outstanding defensively, and solid enough offensively to make him a mainstay. At 3B, rcf106 is in greater need of a replacement. His regular 3B, Craig Burkett, is definitely below the league standard, and could use an upgrade. He has two solid options at shortstop with Taylor Stone and Jimmy Darnell, with Darnell being the more promising all-around shortstop. Keeping him there, and moving Stone to 3B may solidify the infield where Stone would become a human vacuum. In summary, one more blue chip prospect for the infield would be a welcome addition. In the outfield, Scranton has a steady and reliable CF in Andre Forbes. In rightfield, young stud Pat Dougherty is just beginning his career, and should anchor the batting order for many years. There is a second potential star, Alfredo Alcantra, on the way up, who can either take over at LF or 1B when he arrives, giving Scranton a second power bat in the order. Rcf106 has a deep rotation, with no real star pitchers, but many of the number 3 and 4 variety. If it is at all possible, rcf106 can solidify his rotation into an elite group if he can find an ace starter. A very difficult thing to do. He can also use a little help in the bullpen, which is much shallower than the starting rotation.

Draft Expectations: Low
The standard 5 picks in the first 5 rounds, starting with number 15 overall, means rcf106 should expect little from this draft. That being said, rcf106 is a wily veteran who is always capable of pulling off a miracle or two.

Draft Preparation:
Scranton is overall a very young team, and as such has a very low player payroll, situating them well for the future. Rcf has maxed his training and medical budgets to help the development of all his youngsters, and he also has a high prospect budget to cover the signing of any blue chip prospects he drafts, or discovers this year. The remainder of his departmental budgets are all around the 12 million mark, which should be more than enough to find a few nice prospects.


Round 1 Pick 15 SP Juan Martin
Wow! Let me say that again. Wow! Rcf hits a home run!
At pick number 15 overall, rcf picked up the ace pitcher he obviously has been covetting. This may be the best pick for draft position of anybody in the first round. Martin is tireless once he gets on the mound, which is amazing considering his velocity. He also has pinpoint accuracy, meaning the bullpen will be getting pretty regular breaks every 5th day or so. He has a wicked slider, as well as a decent sinker and curveball. He will keep the ball on the ground most of the time, and that is when opposing hitters actually make contact. Because of rcf's training budget, Martin stands a very good chance of approaching his projections. Welcome to Scranton Juan. Prepare yourself for a long stay.
ML Projection: 250+ IP/18-20+ W/200+ K/.220-.240 OAV/2.00-2.50 ERA

Round 2 Pick 72 RF Tom Mathews
After the first round pick, does the rest of this really matter? Mathews is a pretty standard pick for number 72 overall. He likely won't ever be a ML starter, but his defensive ability, coupled with his awesome power at the plate, makes him an attractive option as a back-up corner outfielder.
ML Projection: Utility Outfielder

Round 3 Pick 104 LF John Henry
A 4A type of player, Henry will be available on an emergency basis if rcf is ever desperate due to injuries, to fill a roster spot. Otherwise, he will be playing out his career in the minor leagues.

Round 4 Pick 136 C Quilvio Diaz
A steady, if unspectacular, catcher, Diaz could fill in if a replacement is needed short-term behind the plate. He is a capable hitter, and a slightly below average fielder, who can handle a pitching staff.
ML Projection: Emergency Replacement

Round 5 Pick 168 2B Livan Montero
Not enough offense to secure a ML spot of any kind. Ceiling AAA.

Hidden Gems: 2B/CF Garry Wilkerson?, RP Jimmie Page?, 1B/DH Jason Sutton?

Overall Grade: A+
Sly veteran rcf106 is currently on the final leg of a rebuilding program that has been relatively painless, and extremely productive. He has been stockpiling future stars, who are just beginning to emerge into the majors. All that is needed now is a little fine tuning, and some patience, and rcf106 will re-establish himself as a long-time contender. His pick-up this year of Martin to anchor an already deep rotation just confirms his status.