Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Top Paid Bonus Babies of Ott

With most of the top picks from this year’s amateur draft signed and playing in the minors, we thought we would take a look back at those owners that had the misfortune to have the infamous Boros-like agents stretch their budgets to the sky. You would think that most turned out as annual all-stars, but read on……money does not guarantee happiness:

Number 1……….season 4, pick 81 by current Indianapolis franchise

Ray Jensen, C $12,720.0 Million drafted by pirateswin2

Pirateswin2 was a smart, successful owner. We don’t know what he possibly could have been thinking about when he paid Jensen this much money. Other than a Silver Slugger award in Rookie League and an All-Star appearance at L-A the following year, Jensen never sniffed an award again.
Heck, he had trouble holding down a full-time starting gig for any of the teams he played for. Pirates gave up after two short seasons in the majors and traded him to Portland (who now reside in, coincidentally, Pittsburgh) who moved him to St. Louis after only one half a season. He had enough BA’s to qualify for the batting title only three times. He batted .300 once (in 266 AB’s), never hit 30 HR’s (though he topped 20 four times), and had one season of 100 RBI’s. His final tally for an 11 year career was .271 with 160 HR and 582 RBI. You would think he was a defensive wiz, but he allowed 78% of baserunners to steal on him and collected 67 passed balls. Passed. That’s probably something pirateswin2 should have done.

Number 2……….season 9, pick 57 by current Helena franchise

Carmine Terry, P $12,240.0 Million drafted by Playboy33

This was highway robbery! Within two years, playboy33 got rid of this dud.
After six seasons in the minors with only one above average season, he finally made the show as a part time reliever. He started a couple of seasons without much success. He finished his 6-year Major League career appearing in 188 games (62 starts) compiling a not-so impressive 18-35 record and a 5.48 ERA. Yikes!

Number 3……….season 16, pick 2 by current Seattle franchise

Milt Xavier, 2B $10,776.0 Million drafted by dantesothoth

Way too early to figure out how this will work out, but it sure looks more promising than the first two. Xavier is only 20, but he shows fairly good discipline at the plate, has reasonable power that could develop to an annual 40 dinger level, and his batting eye is above some of the more seasoned players in Seattle’s organization. He does have a little work to get his glove to a major league level, particularily his arm accuracy, but he is making good progress. Whether it be at second base or a different position, we project some good hitting numbers. It appears, for the moment, that this was money well-spent.

Number 4……….season 3, pick 5 by current Los Angeles Bluecoat fanchise

Ted Lowe, P $ 9.030 Million drafted by texanboiler

Lowe has never been an All-Star, but he has been a workhorse for most of his seasons in The Show. He has topped the 200 inning mark 7 times in 11 seasons and is on pace to pass 200 again this year. He never appeared for the LA franchise in the bigs…he was traded while in the minors before he reached the Bigs, and then traded twice more after making the Majors. In the off-season, Little Rock signed Lowe to a nice 3 year $39 Million contract, though he’s having a rough go of it this year. Ted sports a 153-120 record as of this writing, with 33 complete games and a career 4.05 ERA in 390 starts and 35 relief appearances.

Number 5……….season 3, pick 9 by current Seattle franchise

Alan Scott, 2B $ 8.792 Million drafted by clevelandguy

Scott currently is employed by Santa Fe, so you know that he is putting up some stats. Alan has been an All-Star twice as well as winning a Golden Glove as an outfielder. He has conistently put up some good numbers….
2025 hits, 404 HR, 1304 RBI, career .302 batting average. You look at his numbers and wonder why he hasn’t been an All Star more often. Scott has never been an outstanding defensive player, but he doesn’t hurt the team in the field either. He has spent most of his time at 2B, but has moved to the OF when it benefited the team.

Number 6……….season 7, pick 51 by current Madison franchise

Jacob Christenson, OF $ 8500.0 Million drafted by armount

What is it with all these guys getting traded so many times? Jacob has had to call the movers several times, including a change of scenery this year. Christensen never developed the power that many thought would come and as a consequence has been in and out of the regular lineup in his 7 year career. Jacob has over 1000 hits, 215 stolen bases (but has been thrown out 79 times), is closing in on 100 HR, and has a career BA of .292. Good, but not great. Jacob did make the All-Star once. He also has proven to be some-what a liability in the field. Worth the bucks? You decide.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


The window is closing for the V’s as their top notch starters begin to age and/or look for greener pastures (read more playoff appearances). Salem has finished in second place in the NL West 6 of the last 7 years, making the playoffs only twice. They averaged 87 wins in those six years. They always seem to fall a couple games short of a playoff team. Unfortunately, they are just good enough to be frozen out of the top draft choices that might make the playoff difference. Things don’t look any different this year….KC is poised to go to the top, so Salem must fight Helena and Arizona to even stay at number two. Salem seems mired in mediocrity. Still, for a small budget team, at least they are competitive on an annual basis. We do not see a playoff spot in this picture, but crazier things have happened.

Al Rivera hit a surprising .271 15-55 when he took over the catching duties last season after departed FA Harry Morena had trouble hitting his weight. Rivera will never be a defensive genius, but his bat will be valuable in a pinch hitting role this year as former number one pick Wendell Welch takes over the everyday duties behind the plate. Welch was hurried to the big leagues and failed miserably two seasons ago. After another year and a half of seasoning at AAA, Salem’s management thinks he is now ready. Welch is an on-base machine a la Deivi Silva and indications are that he will bat in the number two slot in the batting order. He is not a speedster, but he doesn’t clog the bases either. Welch’s power numbers should consistently reach 15 or so HR annually with an on-base percentage around .400.

Former MVP Ron York (.299 50-146) reached the 50 HR mark for the second time last year and was once again amoung the lead leaders in HR’s and RBI’s. York also had his best defensive season ever last year committing only one error. Look for continued production from York’s spot in the batting order.

Sometimes you don’t know how valuable you are to a team until you slump. That is what happened to Paul Coffie last year. While Coffie continued to play defense at a high level last year, his offensive production was about the worst of his 8-year Salem career. Coming off a year where he batted .345/.441/.538 with 62 steals (where he couldn’t even get on the MVP ballot) Coffie struggled to a season of .273/.362/.466 with 44 steals. The result was a drop in offense by the Volcanoes of over ½ run per game. Coffie struggled one other year and then reverted back to his normal .300/.380/.500 season and the V’s are hoping he can get back to normal again.

Salem wanted to cement their defense when they acquired slick fielding JT Smalley from KC in spring training last year. JT paid the club back by sealing the left side of the infield and leading a defense that finished in the top spot of the NL by a wide margin, and also resulted in his first of what should be many Gold-Glove awards for JT. Smalley’s .254 26-93 season hitting out of the number seven hole was exactly what Salem anticipated. Smalley is too free a swinger to ever hit for average, but the ball goes a long way when he connects with it.

Captain Jimmy Posada moved to LF last year to accommodate Smalley’s addition. He now moves to 3B and will play under the cloud of impending free agency. Posada (.303 16-61) is fine with the move to the hot corner (his range has been shrinking the past few years), but he is balking at becoming the “suber-sub” when uber-prospect Mercado arrives on the scene next year. Salem management wants Posada to stay, but Posada still wants to be a starter—if not for Salem, then somewhere else.

Former first round pick Jose Lucano will step into the LF role for Salem this season. In the equivilant of two seasons in the minors, Lucano has averaged 40 HR , 150 RBI , 100 BB, and 34 SB. Salem management is not sure at this point where in the batting order Jose will bat, but they are expecting the same type of numbers Jose has put up in the minors.

Japanese star Hujimoto had even a better sophomore season last year than his rookie campaign as he batted .290 34-91 as the number six hitter in the order. He is a tremendous asset defensively as well, as his 32-0 plus/negative plays mark for his first two years in The Show attest. He also tossed out 10 runners last year showing off a rocket arm.

Rightfield is in the capable hands of Junior Gil. Junior batted .292 46-130 last season…about average for the three time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger award winner. Gil’s accuracy of his throwing arm resulted in 15 toss-outs last year. Gil has it all, and Salem has opened negotiations on a long term deal to keep him in Salem.

The bullpen starts, and ends, with closer David Gonzalez. Salem extended Gonzo’s contract for another three years during the off-season after he set a new Salem record for saves in a season (3-7 3.54 39 saves). Frank Kim and Ozzie Chang were allowed to go to free agency when kids Blade McKain and Hector Castillo proved to be effective last September. Ivan Martin (4-7, 4.29) and Ozzie Riley (5-3, 5.15) are the set up guys, Chris Ramirez (8-3 4.60) is the long reliever and spot starter. Walter Mailman (5-6, 5.66) is also used in long relief and as a spot starter.

With no help is sight in the minors to elevate the starting staff, the V’s went to free agency hoping things will be better this time around when they snared 31 year old Rod Lindsey (7-5 3.94 all in relief) from St. Louis. Before last season, Lindsey had been used as a starter with mild success (57-55, 4.35 ). Salem hopes for a full year, unlike Clarence Allen (9-7 4.50, 21 starts) last season. Allen has had two elbow surguries on his pitching arm and is in danger of never pitching again. $9 million for 9 wins is not what Salem had been hoping for after delving into the FA market last season, which they seldom do. Steve Hoffman (10-12 , 4.46) is the number one starter. When you consider he started 1-9 last year, Hoffman’s season was saved by a second half rush that had the V’s thinking “what if the whole season had been like that”. Confident in Hoffman’s abilities, Salem signed him to a long term deal in the off-season, which they also did with Jim Stone (7-5, 4.92). Magglio Nunez was also given a new contract this off season. Maggs (8-8 4.83) is a solid dependable Number 3. After these four (five if you count Allen) it’s all a crapshoot. Homer Thomas (5-1, 3.43) finished the year in the rotation but does not appear to have the talent to duplicate last year’s effort during the course of a full season.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Tacoma Yankees 1st A.L. West Last Season: 109-53

Tacoma owner Yankeejoe5 has taken the franchise to new heights with its 1st 100 win season and their 2nd straight division title. Disappointed in a 2nd round loss to Portland, the Yankees hope to flex their muscle in the post-season as well as the regular season. SP Alving Perez hopes to pick up where Vin Perez left off last season. V. Perez led the Yankees with 19 Wins and a 2.87 Era, but with an aging V. Perez, Tacoma has decided to bring him out of the pen this season. A. Perez was solid last season and is looking forward to the challenge as he posted 13 Wins and a 3.93 Era for the Yankees last season. Luke Wright led an impressive offense that ranked in the top of league despite playing half their games in the worst hitting ballpark. Tacoma's pitching will lead the way and if the Yankees can continue their offensive ways, they could be looking at another great season and maybe a run to a World Series title.

Prediction: 101-61 1st A.L West

KEY LOSSES: Eli Sosa 1.93 Era, Art Justice, Darrell Knight 4.59 Era, James Ming .279 BA, Joe Patterson 18 HR, 96 Rbi, .299 BA, Herm Cortes 4.19 Era, Julio Bonilla .287 BA, 17 HR

KEY ADDITIONS: Kevin Pierre - FA, Jumbo Chang - FA, Placido Vega - FA, Rafael Trajano - FA , Brady McKay - FA

Honolulu Hammerheads 2nd A.L. West Last Season: 90-72

The Hammerheads finished 2nd earning them a wildcard spot in the playoffs last season. Honolulu is hungry for more as they are hoping to compete for the division this season. Clarence Miller blasted 30 Homeruns and knocked in 110 Runs last season to lead the Hammerheads. Honolulu's pitching staff has some control issues but it doesn't seem to affect Curtis Cronin as he won 14 games last season and posted a 3.77 Era. With no major additions or losses to the lineup or pitching staff, the Hammerheads hopes of a division title could be just that, hopes.

Prediction: 80-82 3rd A.L. West

KEY LOSSES: Al Parrish 2.16 Era, 30 S, Joey Scott .287 BA, 81 Rbi

KEY ADDITIONS: Jeffrey Vaughn - FA, Carlos Castillo - Claimed Off Waivers

Anaheim Bastooglies 3rd A.L. West Last Season: 62-100

Anaheim had their worst season in the franchise history last season. After getting rid of some dead weight, the Bastooglies hope to make some noise this season. SP Khoury Lamb continues to lead the pitching staff with his 12 wins and 3.91 Era. The addition of SP Darrell Knight should help a pitching staff that ranked near the bottom last season. Offensively, the Bastooglies have added a big bat in Brian Price to add to George Pember and Al Guerrero combined 114 Homeruns. Offensively, Anaheim has what it takes to compete for the division, but the pitching staff is still lacking enough talent to contend with the likes of Tacoma.

Prediction: 85-77 2nd A.L. West

KEY LOSSES: Wilton Webster, Bryan Gold, Willie Cerveza, Dingo Larkin, Alex Johnstone 96 R, 68 SB, Raul Romano

KEY ADDITIONS: Jay Langerhans - Promoted, Carlos DeJesus - Promoted, Doyle McNeil - Promoted, Mark Kawakami - Promoted, Sidney Garland - Promoted, Brian Price - FA, Darrell Knight - FA, Anthony Simmons - Rule 5

Salt Lake City Buzz 4th A.L. West Last Season: 61-101

Salt Lake is a team of two tales. Offensively the Buzz are among the top in the league with 10 hitters producing over 20 Homeruns last season. Brandon McIntyre and Jocko Kershner produced over 91 Homeruns and 225 Rbi's. Unfortunately for the Buzz, their pitching finished 2nd to last with a 9.26 Era. Talented Ernie Riley anchors the pitching staff despite his 19.81 Era from last season. The pitching staff was misused last season and if veteran manager hoser1 correctly uses his pitching staff, Salt Lake City fans may have something to buzz about.

Prediction: 71-91 4th A.L. West

KEY LOSSES: Julio Vazquez, Danny Rivers, Brady McKay .286 BA, 32 HR, 98 Rbi, 91 R, Kevin Pierre .301 BA, 20 HR, 86 Rbi, 109 R, Matt Magnante, Felipe James .319 BA, 32 HR, 80 Rbi, 85 R

KEY ADDITIONS: Ivan Nunez - FA, Rafael Marquez - FA, Hong-Chih Ishida - Claimed Off Waivers, Fritz Faulk - Claimed Off Waivers, Sean Peters - Promoted, Bernie Richardson - Rule 5, Alberto Gabriel - Rule 5, Preston O'Malley - Rule 5

Friday, August 20, 2010


Many organizations create a Hall of Fame to honor past members. Usually, the members of the organization take their responsibilities seriously. Sometimes, as with HD for the Ott league, many owners apparently are more concerned with the future and cannot be bothered to look in the past.

The results announced this year were stunning. After “reviewing” a number of candidates, only one was voted in…..deservedly so….Cookie Manto. What of the others deserving honor? Are new owners simply not voting?

Maybe the Commissioner should require voting as a pre-requisite to joining the league?

Maybe there should be a veteran’s committee made up of original owners who realise the contributions from veterans..particularily those that began mid-career. Those veterans dominated the early years but could not run up huge statistics due to their age when Ott commenced. Perhaps the Commish can have a vote of those that were original owners still with the league and REQUIRE all owners to vote for any players deemed worthy by a “founders committee”?

Something needs to be done. Even though Ott had its own “steroid era” that bloated statistics for the offense (especially in Santa Fe’s bandbox), the following should be in the HOF:

Bryan Gold: played mostly for Santa Fe and that has probably hurt his chances because of the super hitter-friendliness of the home park. However, even if you discount the numbers for the Santa Fe factor, a .325 average, the second most hits in league history (2813), and the second most HR (687) in league history should put him in the HOF.

Rudy Ankiel: Number 5 in all time HR with 540, 1945 hits.

Alan Coleman: 1797 hits, 503 HR

Yamid Amazega (479 HR) and Pat Swift (414): Catchers who ruled in the early years that did not have the benefit of long careers to pad their numbers.
Wilton Webster: without the benefit of the SF factor, put up stunning career statistics and acheivements. He was not eligle last year, but if he doesn’t get an unanimous election next year then someone should call the police because Webster will be robbed.

Terry Ellis: The best of the pitchers that had their careers shortened in the steroid era.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Best (and worst) of the Number One Overall Selection in the Draft

The season has officially begun and each team’s scouts have fanned out across the globe to find that “next Zhang”. We looked at the past amateur drafts and we have (un)scientifically rated the number one overall picks through the years. The ratings could change dramatically as the newer picks develop, but as of right now:

1. Ricardo Perez, New Orleans (year 3): 135-56 3.08 9MLB years, 5 time all star

Has been consistently excellent since his so-so rookie year. Signed for the lowest
bonus ($3.91) of any number one pick to date. Ricardo cashed in for a $97 million
5 year contract when KC signed him this off season. He does not have better talent
than some of the other Number One’s, he just uses what he has better than others.

2. Lou Brock, Cincinnati (year 6): 141-66 3.63 7 MLB years, 5 time all-star, 1 SS

Probably has the most talent of any pitcher drafted. It helps to have the dynamic
Cincy lineup on your side. Re-signed by Cincy for the maximum contract this off-season.

3. Brad Mintz, St. Louis (year 4): .288BA, 1563 hits, 288HR, 3 SS (at different positions),
2 Golden Gloves, 4 time All-Star. Best all-around athlete that has excelled at three
different positions.

4. Tyreace Parrott, Syracuse (year 11): .308/.388/.615 98HR 142 SB; 3 MLB seasons,
MVP; 2 All-Star; 2 Silver Slugger awards. Could be the numero uno dude by the time
his career is done.

5. Ernie Riley, Salt Lake City (year 7): 109-61 4.56 7 MLB seasons, 2 CY Young awards,
4 time All-Star, Rookie of the Year. Don’t be fooled by the high ERA…last year’s
debacle added 1.15 ERA to his career stats. Take out the lost season and the ERA is 3.41

6. Glen Cannon, Arizona (year 10) .306/.366/.560 2 All-Star; 1 GG in 3 seasons
7. Kevin Neal, Cincinnati (year 5) 91-62 3.87 ERA
8. Brandon McIntrye, SLC (year 8) .283 289HR 2 AS; 1 SS; 3 GG
9. Benji Perez, Richmond (year 12) .286/.352 100 HR in three seasons
10. Luke Wright, Santa Cruz (year 9) .278 batting average

Too New to rate:

Carlton Rader, Jacksonville (year 13) $7.99 bonus highest ever paid
Jim Stevenson, Chicago2 (year 14)
Joey Matthews, Little Rock (year 15)
JT Tucker, Madison (year 16)

LOSERS (with a capital L):

Jose Valazquez, NY2 (year 2) The 18 yr old turned down his opportunity to play and was last seen at the local dairy queen handing out ice cream cones. He did grow a little…weighs about 400 pounds now.

Olmeda Rijo, Boston (year 1) Boston was not blessed with the initial ownership, whose judgement was suspect from day 1. Rijo did slog through 8 years compiling a marvelous record of 62-118 with an ERA of 6.32. Ouch!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Helena Swingers 1st N.L. South Last Season: 106-56

The Swingers ended the season partying in the streets and drinking champagne as they were able to win the franchise's 1st World Series in convincing fashion by only losing 1 game the whole playoffs. New comer Roger Russell was forced into the rotation last season due to injuries, but he made the biggest impact for the Swingers by tossing his 1st career no hitter at the young age of 22 and going 12-4 with a 2.36 Era. The Swingers were able to bolster their bullpen this season with some key free-agent aquisitions but the loss of power hitter Pascual Nieves to free-agency could keep the Swingers from achieving their 2nd World Series title in as many years. The Swingers are counting on Matt Ramsey getting back to form and picking up the slack of losing Nieves. With Helena returning the bulk of their World Series team with a better bullpen, Helena will look to stay on top in the West Division and hopefully make some noise in the playoffs.

Prediction: 98-64 1st N.L. West

KEY LOSSES: Ricky Woods, Pascual Nieves 33 HR, 103 Rbi, 90 R, Ricardo Mantalban 3.58 Era, Alex Pescado 3.82 Era, 11 W, Tomas Franco, Victor Rodriguez .296 BA,

KEY ADDITIONS: Harry Delgado - FA, Miguel Martin - FA, Grover Wood - FA, D.T. McMurtry - Promoted, Ray Bessire - Promoted, Brian Lim - Rule 5

Salem Volcanoes 2nd N.L. West Last Season: 91-71

Salem ended the season in exciting fashion by barely pulling out a wildcard spot in the playoffs and then knocking off a 100 win team in the 1st round of the playoffs. The fans are still feeding off that excitement and hope to accomplish more this season. Salem lost power hitting Erick Alexander by trading him to division rival K.C., but with Junior Gil and Ron York still in the lineup, the Volcanoes will still have a very potent offense. Pitching wise, Salem experimented with 9 different pitchers in the starting rotation and are hoping they are set by adding free-agent Clarence Allen to start season 17. The offense will lead Salem this season and if the pitching can continue it's success from last season, the Volcanoes could see themselves on top of the division at seasons end.

Prediction: 80-82 3rd N.L. West

KEY LOSSES: Miguel Martin, Erick Alexander 39 HR, 114 Rbi, 96 R

KEY ADDITIONS: Clarence Allen - FA, Al Rivera - Promoted, Pete Forest - Promoted, Scott Leskanic - Promoted, J.T. Smalley - Aquired Via Trade

Kansas City Baseball Furies 3rd N.L. West Last Season: 73-89

Kansas City is hoping to make a move up the division ranks this season. The Furies were in the bottom 4 in scoring runs last season but adding Erick Alexander through trade and promoting SS Hugh Wise, the Furies hope to have remedied their scoring woes. Vic Matthews will make his ML debut for the Furies this season and will be a rookie of the year candidate if he performs up to his abilities. One of the biggest reasons K.C. will be a dangerous team is the free-agent signing of ace Ricardo Perez. Perez has a career 3.07 Era and 135 wins and when it's all said and done could be staring down 200 career wins. Kansas City will be a different team this year and with the upgrades in offense and pitching could easily take the division this year.

Prediction: 92-70 2nd N.L. West

KEY LOSSES: Ed Becker 24 HR, 82 Rbi, Samuel Burks 4.03 Era, Ernest Burks .282 BA, 87 R, 18 HR, J.T. Smalley

KEY ADDITIONS: Hugh Wise - Promoted, Esteban Santos - Promoted, Vic Matthews - Promoted, Ricardo Perez - FA, Frank Ono - FA, Hector Bailey - FA, Erick Alexander - Aquired Via Trade, Nate Pratt - Aquired Via Trade, Hiram Pong - Aquired Via Trade

Arizona Federales 4th N.L. West Last Season: 61-101

Federales aren't as bad as their record indicates from last season and it's a wonder how they lost over 100 games. New owner baggs03 has some talent to work with and should be able to right the ship in a short time. With Jesus Chavez and his 40 HR and 122 Rbi's leading the offense, the Federales are looking to take the Division this season. The additions of Bryan O'Malley and Alex Guerrero should keep Arizona from finishing at the bottom of the league in offense like last season. SP Victor Ugueto is hoping to continue his success and lead the rotation with his 12 Wins and 3.28 Era. Under new management, the Federale fans will have competitive ball club to look forward to this season and could be cheering their team on in the playoffs.

Prediction: 78-84 4th N.L. West

KEY LOSSES:Santos Samuel, Benito Cruz, Brian Ishida .291 BA

KEY ADDITIONS: Nate Brooks - Promoted, Howie James - Promoted, Bryan O'Malley - Promoted, Alex Guerrero - FA, Ariel Macias - FA


Santa Fe Techocrats 1st A.L. South Last Season: 107-55

You can't say the word consistent without thinking about the Technocrats as they are 16 time A.L. South Division winners and hope to continue the tradition again this season. Santa Fe led the league in runs scored and that won't change this year with the additions of Daniel Carroll , Phil Suzuki, Felipe James. Despite the hitter friendly park, Santa Fe's pitching staff combined for a 4.31 Era last season. The loss of Horace Mullaney shouldn't affect the Technocrats as they are still solid with Eugene Plant and Julio Nunez. Santa Fe looks solid in every aspect of the game and are once again favorites to win the A.L. South and represent the AL in the World Series.

Prediction: 103-59 1st A.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Nate Soriano .344 BA, Clay Cone 4.31 Era, Horace Mullaney 14 W, Frank Ono .349 BA, 20 HR, Ryan Cormier

KEY ADDITIONS: Daniel Carroll - Aquired Via Trade, Felipe James - Aquired Via Trade, Phil Suzuki - FA, Cesar Abreu - FA, Rick McCarthy - Rule 5

El Paso Sidewinders 2nd A.L. South Last Season: 103-59

The Sidewinders rode their pitching staff last season finishing 2nd in the majors in Era and it will be no different this season. El Paso lost Garrett Duff and Matthew Strange but upgraded with Horace Mullaney and Ricky Newhouser. Offensively, the Sidewinders are led by Rolando Montanez and Hugh Stein who belted over 30 Homers apiece and combined for 219 runs knocked in. New comer Tony Torres hopes to help El Paso compete for the division and his arm could be what the Sidewinders need to take the top spot. If the offense can muster enough runs, look for El Paso to be a factor again for the division.

Prediction: 93-69 2nd A.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Garrett Duff 3.32 Era, 16 W, Matthew Strange, Bill Hammond 2.39 Era, Joaquin Mesa 21 HR, 95 R, 90 Rbi

KEY ADDITIONS: Bobby Ramirez - Promoted, Tony Torres - Promoted, Horace Mullaney - FA, Joe Patterson - FA, Stevie Fleming - FA, Ricky Newhouser - Aquired Via Trade

Texas Cow Tippers 3rd A.L. South Last Season: 86-76

The Cow Tippers won 86 games last season, but with losing their 2 best hitters Bartolo Sardinha and Benji Rosado and no solid starting pitching, Texas could be looking at a long season. Texas still have some big boppers in Charles Painter and Dallas Hendricksen but with Hendricksen 36 and low durability added with the loss of Sardinha, the offense of the Cow Tippers could see a slump this season. The pitching looks to be in worse shape than last year and with still no true #1 pitcher, the Cow Tippers will be giving up a lot of runs this season. Texas will hope to score a ton of runs to win games this season as the lack of pitching talent will not be keeping too many opponents from scoring and scoring often.

Prediction: 68-94 4th A.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Mike Osting, Bobby White, Livan Mendoza, Bartolo Sardinha 57 HR, 154 Rbi, .320 BA, 143 R, Matthew Holden, Benji Rosado 43 HR, 131 Rbi, .334 BA, 128 R

KEY ADDITIONS:Herm Cortes - Claimed Off Waivers, Don Chang - Claimed Off Waivers, Ignacio Ordonez - Claimed Off Waivers, Adam Linebrink - Promoted, Luis Guerrero - Promoted, Lance Ewing - FA, Alex Johnstone - FA, Malcolm Lee - FA, Tony Tavarez - FA, Jiggs Clontz - FA, Royce Langerhans - FA

Iowa City Tornadoes 4th A.L. South Last Season: 73-89

Iowa is still in rebuild mode and while they won't be a threat for the A.L. South this season, they will when their young stud pitchers Joel Smith and Chuck Simpkins hit the majors. Until then, they are stuck with a below average offense and a decent pitching staff. The Tornadoes didn't have any players knock in 100 runs last season, but they are hoping Joe Brown will accomplish that feat this season. Iowa have just enough offense and pitching to be a nuisance to other teams, but they are still a year or 2 away from really making an impact on the division race and playoff berth.

Prediction: 71-91 3rd A.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Clarence Allen 4.03 Era, 14 W, Jack Eyre 4.87 Era,Miguel Mercado 3.38 Era, Albert Alvarez .297 BA, 32 HR, 91 Rbi, Andres Moya, Alex Guerrero .303 BA, 27 HR, 95 Rbi, 93 R, Arthur Jensen 4.84 Era,

KEY ADDITIONS: Max Elarton - FA, Ronnie Washington - FA, Royce Barrett - FA, Tony Morman - FA, Chad Davis - Rule 5

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Little Rock Travelers 1st N.L. South Last Season: 92-70

With Tom Perkins and the new addition of Stone Gragg, the Travelers have a good shot at being back to back N.L. South Division Champs. Little Rock's pitching staff wasn't the reason they couldn't advance past the 1st round in last seasons playoffs, but more on the Traveler's offense being in the middle of pack among the Major League teams. The offense does have potential to break out with Alton Holt having a full season in the majors and if Brad Mintz can return to his 100 Rbi days. The bullpen was solid last season and should be a major contributor in the Travelers holding leads and winning close games this season. With solid pitching and an improving offense, the Travelers should be able to keep the division crown and possibly a deep run into the playoffs.

Prediction: 98-64 1st N.L. South


KEY ADDITIONS: Stone Gragg - Aquired Via Trade, David Moraga - FA

Memphis Belles 2ne N.L. South Last Season: 74-88

jwperry decided to move the franchise from the hitters park in New Orleans to the pitchers park in Memphis and while some fans think it was to help the franchise, most fans know jwperry couldn't deal with the pressure that the Saints have put on the franchise to win and win big. The Belles will be fighting to stay out of the cellar this season as the offense only produced 2 players that hit over 20 Home Runs and with aging Bryan Lieber moving to the pitchers park and Max Pena being traded to the Yankees last season, the Belles will be hard pressed to score runs this season. While the pitching staff will benefit from the move to Memphis, it won't be enough to challenge for the division with no true ace and some shaky control issues. The Belles will be looking to rebuild and add talent for the future this season and will have to sacrifice wins to do so.

Prediction: 65-97 3rd N.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Billy Ray Flanagan 4.08 Era, Dan Melhuse, Walt Lunsford, Mickey McCarthy, Alfredo Mendoza 3.53 Era, Alan Starr, Richie Thompson, Stan O'Malley .333 BA, Jason Peterman .308 BA, 90 Rbi

KEY ADDITIONS: Juan Osuna - Aquired Via Trade, Peter Riley - Rule 5, Sal Stratton - FA, Clyde Griffin - FA, Mike Osting - FA, Louie Vincente - Promoted, Tony Cora - Promoted, Ruben Jose - Promoted, Quinn Scott - Promoted

Jacksonville Waterfronts 3rd N.L. South Last Season: 64-98

The Waterfronts went the Rule 5 draft to fill their roster by adding 5 players. Jacksonville's pitching staff struggled last season finishing in the bottom 3 in Era and with no upgrades will be looking at another long season. The offense wasn't as bad as the pitching, but finishing in the bottom half of the league in hitting and no player knocking in 100 runs won't help the Waterfronts to many victories this season. Mac Eiland led the Jacksonville offense with 29 Home Runs and 98 Rbi's. Despite another rebuilding season, the Jacksonville fans can rest easy though as there is plenty of talent making its way up the Waterfront's minor league system.

Prediction: 60-102 4th N.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Geronimo Navarro, Archie Norton, Albert Merced, Kevin Servais

KEY ADDITIONS: Sid Sappelt - Rule 5, Pedro Guerrero - Rule 5, Hanley Fullmer - Rule 5, Dan Perkins - Rule 5, Matthew Lane - Rule 5, Jack Alexander - Promoted, Cutter Matthews - Promoted, Joshua Holloway - Promoted, Mike Gomesb - FA

Charlotte Flyers 4th N.L. South Last Season: 63-99

Charlotte could be the team on the move in the N.L. South with some big aquisitions in the offseason. The biggest catch was Yuniesky Ortiz who hopes to lead Charlotte to the playoffs and shot at the division. SP Jorel Olson could be a rookie of the year candidate if he can perform like he has in the minors. Pitching could be suspect for the Flyers with the control issues, but if they can find enough control, the Flyers could find themselves in the playoffs this season.

Prediction: 82-80 2nd N.L. South

KEY LOSSES: Freddie Perkins 4.71 Era, 10 W, Ken Campbell, Alex Serra, Ellis Shaw .323 BA, .391 OBP

KEY ADDITIONS: Hong-Jin Pan - Promoted, Jorel Olson - Promoted, Zip Turner - Promoted, Miguel Castillo - Promoted, Woody Bagley - Promoted, Tony Martin - FA, Joaquin Mesa - FA, Yuniesky Ortiz - FA, Brian Ishida - FA, Eduardo Mendoza - FA, Matty Ugueto - FA


Louisville Lions 1st A.L. East Last Season: 101-61

The Lion's franchise is under new management, fencer024, and they have big shoes to fill as the old management has won the Division title the last 4 seasons. New owner, fencer024, has been busy moving pieces around with 3 trades to date. The Lions have starting pitchers Jeremy Sierra, and Eddie Roosevelt returning to lead the rotation with their 32 Wins last season. The loss of Stone Gragg could prove costly though as he was replaced with aging SP Willis Allen. John Jackson leads a very solid offense for the Lions that scored 952 runs last season and with the addition of Kevin Jordan, they should be solid again this year. Hitting should improve this season for the Lions, since they moved to Louisville and in a hitters friendly park, but the pitching could struggle with the move and could keep the Lions from finishing on top of the Division.

Prediction: 87-75 2nd A.L. East

KEY LOSSES: Merv Hackman .289 ba, 90 R, Stone Gragg 3.55 Era, 1.17 Whip, 13 W, Nate Pratt 18 Home Runs, Alex Lee, Ross LaRocca, Ricky Newhouser

KEY ADDITIONS: Mel Eldred - Promoted, Tommy Halama - Promoted, Kevin Jordan - Trade, Posiedon Dodd - Trade, Willis Allen - FA

New Britain Nitwits 2nd A.L. East Last Season: 81-81

The Nitwits couldn't get over the hump last season playing .500 ball all the way to the end. The Nitwits are hoping to this season as they bolstered their pitching staff in the offseason. Despite losing Jumbo Chang the nitwits pitching staff got better this offseason with the aquisitions of RP Alfredo Mendoza, Kris Rushford, and Jack Eyre. The management also added more offense to an already very solid offensive ball club. The Nitwits wanted to add some guys that could get on base like they hope Julio Bonilla, and Fred Seay will be able to so the big boppers Britt York, Sal Benes, and Ismael Mesa will have someone to knock in as they are blasting their 30 Homers this season. With Ramiro Fernandez and his 2.86 Era on the rubber combined with the Nitwits bats, New Britain will look to fight Louisville for the division all season long.

Prediction: 90-72 1st A.L. East

KEY LOSSES: Luther Coleridge .275 BA, 16 HR, Charles Hart, Malcolm Lee .272 BA, Hector Bailey 4.56 Era, Javier Mairena 12 W, Stephen Connelly, Yuniesky Ortiz .280 BA, 24 HR, 97 R, Jumbo Chang

KEY ADDITIONS: Julio Bonilla - Claimed Off Waivers, Alfredo Mendoza - FA, Archie Norton - FA, Victor Rodriguez - FA, Tomas Franco - FA, Kris Rushford - FA, Fred Seay - FA, Angel Zurbaran - FA, Vance Payton - FA, Jack Eyre - FA

New York Necromancers 3rd A.L. East Last Season: 76-86

New York is looking to turn things around as they are tired of finishing at the bottom of the division but this year the fans could possibly see more of the same. Pitching wise the Necromancers could compete for the division but with no true power hitters, the Necromancers could struggle to outscore their opponents this season with the move to their new ballpark in New York. New York plans to utilize Ted Lowe in the rotation, while last owner potman44 had him coming out of the bullpen. Lowe has proven he is a quality starting pitcher and could lead the Necromancers to a surprise finish this season and a shot at the division. Vic Johnson looks to lead the offense again this season with his 34 Home runs and 135 Rbi's and if Steven Wilkerson stays healthy the Necromancers could be a dangerous team and be fighting it out with Louisville and New Britain for the division.

Prediction: 83-79 3rd A.L. East

KEY LOSSES: David Moraga, Michael Chase, Royce Langerhans .318 BA, Victor Baez, Flash Swindell .283 BA, 20 HR, Max Elarton, Weldon Tomlinson .299 BA, 18 HR, 87 Rbi, 140 R, Tony Morman, Mike Good .281 BA, 33 HR, 134 Rbi, 121 R,

KEY ADDITIONS: Ed Becker - FA, Don Baptist - FA,Collin Pearson - FA, Ellis Shaw - FA, Junior McCartney - FA, Karim Cairo - Promoted, Phillip Hynes - Promoted, Ernest Simmons - Promoted, Russell Wall - Promoted

Baltimore bullies 4th A.L. East Last Season: 38-124

It won't be hard for new owner ndrules to better last seasons record, but it won't be enough to make the Bullies competitive this season. The Bullies will look to build toward the future with the #1 pick in this years amateur draft and with the lack of Major League talent, will probably have a high draft pick next season. The bright spot for Baltimore is 2B Willie Mesa who led the Bullies with 37 Home Runs and 105 Rbi's. With Mesa being 28 years old, the Bullies may be looking to deal him to a contender for some younger talent that the Bullies will be able to benefit from in the future. The Bullies pitching staff or lack there of will struggle to keep runs off the board and keep the Bullies in games this season. Despite the struggles the Bullies ML club will go through this season, the excitement of having the #1 pick will have the fans as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to see who owner ndrules will pick to build the future around and get Baltimore back on top of the division.

Prediction: 50-112 4th A.L East

KEY LOSSES: Willis Allen, Willie Chavez, Buster Holmes, York Simmons, Ed Newson, Felix Lim, Lance Ewing, Wayne Carver, Dean Duffy

KEY ADDITIONS: Mario Wohlers - Claimed Off Waivers,