Friday, December 18, 2009
Season 2 was a weak FA crop with only 3 FA garnering Type A status and at least 7M per year in salary. As always, current team name is always in brackets i.e. Sante Fe (Little Rock). Sante Fe is now Little Rock.
Kevin Brown 3b
Contract: 2/20M (Team Option)
Signed by: Chicago
Former Team: Pittsburgh
Chicago signed 3b Brown away from Pittsburgh for a 2 year/10M per contract with a team option. Brown only spent 1 season in Chicago posting a batting line of 28HR 123 RBI .305 AVG .926 OPS. Brown was also selected as an All-Star for season 2. Chicago declined the season 3 option and Brown played one season for Sante Fe (Little Rock) before retiring.
As a result of the signing Pittsburgh got the #19 and #44 picks in the draft
Pittsburgh selected Hector Gonzalez with the #19 pick. Gonzalez never made the majors as a Stubba as he left Pittsburgh as a rule 5selection in season 5. Gonzalez ended up pitching 594 ML innings to the tune of a 5.33 ERA and 22-36 record. His last ML season pitched was season 11 with Pawtucket
With the #44 Charlie Ferrea was selected. He never made the majors and was released in season 5. He kicked around the minors before retiring with Chicago in season 11.
Signing Grade (Chicago): B (One all-star appearance and no regrets with the compensation pick)
Compensation Grade (Pittsburgh): D+ (Neither players were superstars but Gonzalez did kick around the MLs for a few seasons.
Dustin Walker SP
Contract: 5/49.6 M + 3M bonus (Team Option)
Signed by: Arizona (Las Vegas)
Former Team: Wichita (Austin)
Walker pitched for Arizona (Las Vegas) for season 2-6. He posted a record of 58-44 with a 5.26 ERA over that span. He left Arizona as a FA after season 7 signing with Atlanta he played in the majors till retiring with Scottsdale (Salem) after season 9
Unfortunately, for Wichita (Austin) the Arizona (LV) franchise signed 2 type A’s in season 3 and Austin (Little Rock) got the better comp pick.
The comp picks received for Walker were #46 and #94.
With the 46th pick SP Joe Young was selected. He never pitched in the big leagues. He left Wichita (Austin) as a FA after season 8 and kicked around the minors until retiring from Burlington after season 13. His minor league stats were 76-79 with a 7.24 ERA
With the 94th pick Wichita (Austin) selected SP Alfonso Romero who retired from after season 6 and never picked in the bigs.
Signing Grade: C+ (above .500 record with a suspect ERA )
Comp Pick Grade: F (Neither player appeared in the ML)
Clay Reed 3b
Contract: 5/37.2 M (Team Option)
Signed by: Arizona (Las Vegas)
Former Team: Austin (Little Rock)
Reed played for Arizona (Las Vegas) for season 2-5 then retired following season 5. Over the four seasons Clay posted stat totals of 63 HR 305 RBI .296 AVG .821 OPS.
The comp picks received by Austin (Little Rock) were #49 and #62
With the #49 pick Austin (LR) selected SP Denny Cardona who had a cup of coffee in the majors after being selected away from Austin (then Sante Fe) in the Rule 5 draft by Cleveland. Playing for Cleveland until season 12 his ML stats were 0-11 with a 7.73 ERA.
The #62 pick was SP Matt Lakasiewiez who was also selected away in the rule 5 draft by Cincy before being offered back. For his ML career Lakasiwiez was 0-1 with a 13.97 ERA
Signing Grade: C+ (Reed wasn’t a different maker but provided decent production)Comp Pick Grade: D- (Both players made the majors but both ended their ML careers with 7+ Era)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
I decided to go back and look at “Big” FA signings starting in Season 1 and see how the signings turned out for the teams. My definition of big was a yearly salary of 7M or more and the player had to be a Type A FA (meaning a lose of draft pick).
In Season 1 there were 4 players who fit the description above
Ivan Miller SP
Contract: 5 year 59 Million dollars (Mutual Option)
Signed by: St. Louis (Now Augusta) Former Team: Baltimore
Miller played in St. Louis for the duration of his contract. At the time the contract was the largest contract ever given to a player or pitcher. Over his 5 years in St. Louis he went 59-25 with approx. 3.3 ERA. He appeared in 3 All-star games, won a Cy young in Season 2 and was a two-time pitcher silver slugger.
The biggest knock on Miller was his poor health for his career he had 7 DL stints (5 of the 60 day variety). During his time in St. Louis his missed almost all of season 3. He left St. Louis following the end of season 5 and finished his career with NY after season 8.
Baltimore as a result of losing Ivan Miller received two comp picks #18 & 61. Baltimore took Pete Whiteside a 3b at 18 and Stevie Flaherty a SS at 61, unfortunately Baltimore was unable to come to terms with either player.
Needless to say the Miller FA signing can be counted as a success for St. Louis as they made the playoffs every season during Miller’s run
Al Castilla 3B
Contract: 5 year 43 Million dollar with a 10 M bonus
Signed by: Honolulu (Now St. Louis) Former Team: Seattle (now Scottsdale EDIT: Honolulu)
The 53M-dollar deal including bonus was the 2nd largest deal ever and was the largest ever given to a position player.
Castilla played 4.5 seasons in Hon/Tuc/Santa Cruz (all the same franchise) before being traded to SF part way through season 5. For the five seasons this deal covered Castilla averaged 29.4 HR 104 RBI and .277 batting average. Clearly respectable numbers however probably less than was originally hoped for.
Castilla was traded to SF for Shawn Pulpisher who played 243 games for Tucson (now St. Louis) before retiring. Over that stretch Pulpisher posted a stat line of 33 HR 154 RBI .345 AVG and .900 OPS. He retired after season 6.
Seattle (now Scottsdale) as compensation received picks 32 and 60 in the draft. With the 32nd pick Seattle (Scottsdale) selected Bernie Marreo who went on to play 1218 games at the ML level with 367 HR 935 RBI .254 AVG .808 OPS. During that time he made 3-Allstar teams and won gold gloves at SS, LF and 3b. He was a member of Scottsdales until season 12 when he signed with SF.
With the 60th pick Seattle (Scotts) selected Max Saenez LF who had a cup of coffee in the majors playing 162 games hitting 13 HR 68 RBI .272 AVG and .705 OPS. He retired following season 8 with LA.
Based on the monster contract and the fact Marrero outperformed Castillo directly this is probably one that the St. Louis franchise would like back.
Mario Giles C
Contract: 5 year 42.5 M with 5M bonus
Signed by: Atlanta Former Team: Mexico (Now Richmond)
Mario played all fives seasons of his deal in Atlanta over that time he averaged 86.2 R 25.4 HR 103 RBI and batted .288. During that stretch he also made one All-star team. He left Atl following season 5 and last appeared in the ML as part of Colorda in season 11 (played 60 games). The last two seasons he’s bounced around the minors of Lou and SF.
As compensation for losing Giles Mexico (Richmond) got the 20th pick and the 45th pick in the draft.
With first pick Mexico (Richmond) selected Jack Wilson who pitched in 180 ML games with a career record of 24-48 5.78 ERA. Wilson last pitched in the majors for Portland in season 10. With the 2nd pick Derrick Hines (2b) was selected he played 1216 games in majors and authored a line of 116HR 624RBI .296 avg and .803 OPS, he also made 1 all-star team. His last ML season was season 12
I think both the Atlanta franchise and Richmond had to be pleased with the outcome of this signed. Atlanta got above-average hitting and fielding C for 5 seasons and Mex (Rich) got a serviceable ML 2b.
Red Powell P
Contract: 3 years 22.5M with 1M bonus
Signed by: Tex Former: Pawtuckt Green Sox (Now KC)
Of the major season 1 FA signings Red Powell received the smallest contract but may have been the biggest disappointment. Red pitched in Tex for 2 seasons posting a record of 27-23 with a 5.6 ERA before being traded to SF at the beginning of season 3.
In addition to Powell, SF received J. Gonzalez who went on to post a career record of 152-120 with a 4.6 ERA and retired with Cleveland following season 13. Powel himself retired after season 3 with San Fran. For Powel and Gonzalez Texas received K. Gomez a low control reliever who gave Texas four seasons and an ERA of 4.6, D. Ortiz a back of the rotation SP who went 9-13 with a 4.4 ERA and B. Vallarta a career minor leaguer.
Needless to say J. Gonzalez successful career always stuck in Wolfhound’s craw.
Finally we look at the compensation Pawtucket (KC) received for Powell. The draft picks were #30 and #46. With the 30th pick in the draft Paw (KC) selected Garret Bouchard, yes that was an audible groan from Wolf that you just heard. Bouchard was a 1-time all-star, 2-time silver slugger and has authored a career line of 314 HR 972 RBI .291 AVG and .895 OPS. Bouchard is still playing in the ML with Atlanta. The 2nd pick was 46th overall and was used to select Pat Martin who had a modest ML career (57 HR 222 RBI .263 AVG and .782 OPS).
In the end Powell was tied to Texas’ loss of a long-term quality SP and 1b all for 2 seasons of average work. Given a time machine this is a signing that Texas would like to undo
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
1.Willie Perez (RP) Drafted by gocubz for the Chicago Fire. Traded in S12 for Alejandro Feliz, Erik Barclay and Manny Cameron. It's pretty unusual for a reliever to go #1 overall. Perez is certainly a special reliever with sky high splits, velocity and pitches. He broke into the majors with CHI in S8 and has been a closer since that day, making 2 All Star appearances. He's racked up 131 saves and a 3.03 ERA in his career. He was used as a setup man with NB after the trade, where he posted a dominating season in 127.2 relief innings.
The Fire got some good players in return for Perez. Cameron is a high quality closer prospect who is currently in AAA. Barclay is a young SP with promising ratings, but poor control. His rookie season in S13 was rough as he posted a 6-17 record with a 6.51 ERA and a WHIP over 1.8. Feliz is a talented young SP who was allowed to walk after only 1.5 seasons as a Free Agent.
Grade: A- for draft pick (I can't give an A to taking a closer #1 overall) and a B- for the trade (it would have been better had he kept Feliz).
2.Trace Manning (2B) Drafted by KSBeachbums for Iowa City (now the Cincinnati Jerry Springers). Manning is a solid player for the Springers. He's a middling defensive 2b (4+, 10-) with a good stick. He has posted a career OBP of .364 and has 164 SB in 4 full seasons. He has a touch of power and had his best season is S13, posting a .308/.386/.468 line making the NL All Star team for the first time.
Grade: B+ He's a fine player, but not quite a superstar.
3. Ted Bolick (1B) Drafted by bearclan1 for the Sante Fe Flyers. Traded in S9 to the St. Louis Mashers for Benji McGee. Now with the Louisville Sluggers. Bolick is your classic mashing 1b/DH type. Bolick broke into the majors with Lousiville in S10 and has posted a .298/.365/.525 line in 3+ seasons. S13 was his best as he hit .308 with 42 HR and 117 RBI and made the All Star Team.
The trade for McGee was inexplicable. He had been horrid for the seasons leading up to the trade. He pitched 11 IP for St. Louis before retiring.
Grade: B+ for draft, F for trade.
4. James Owens (2B) Drafted by jag884. unsigned.
5.Anthony Butler (C) Drafted by shmish0. Butler is a catcher who can rake, and calls a pretty decent game behind the plate as well. His throwing arm is weak, but for Piazza like production, it's worth it. In 5+ seasons, Butler has posted .320/.402/.569 and made 3 All Star teams. He's also won 2 Silver Sluggers. Butler was a key cog in the Mormons first pennant in S13.
6.Joe House (SP) Drafted by dufferman for the Baltimore BayDogs. House was a promising pitching prospect who hasn't quite hit the ceiling, ratings wise, he was thought to have, partly due to injuries. That said, he has produced pretty well for the BayDogs. His first full season was S11, when he went 13-11 with a 3.44 ERA in 211.2 innings. After another solid season in S12, he was felled by elbow surgery in S13. He is back in S14 and it remains to be seen how he will bounce back from surgery.
7.Larry Dixon (2B/LF) Drafted by rockydawg07 for the Cleveland MooseDawg. Traded to Louisville in S8 with Alberto Cordero for Miguel Lugo and Hector Tavarez. Dixon brings a power bat to the table. In his first full seasons (S13), Dixon hit 40 HR on his way to a .287/.346/.587 line for the Sluggers. His glove is light for 2B, so jahu has Dixon play LF a fair bit of the time. He received a Gold Glove for his LF play. Jahu also received Cordero, who was flipped in another trade. Rocky received Lugo, a solid RH SP who has posted consistent seasons of 190-200 IP and ERA's between 3.50 and 4.00. His best season was 17-8 3.59 ERA in S10. Tavarez is a subpar RP who was lost in a Rule V draft.
Grade: A- for selection, a solid A- for the trade. Both parties won in this trade.
8.Al Pulido (SP) Drafted by redsox666666 for the Honolulu Hurricanes. Traded to the Buffalo Nickels in S10 along with Vladimir Martin and Santos Cedeno for Al Wise and Woody Barnes. Currently pitching for New Orleans. Pulido is a hard throwing RHP with awful control. He has stunk up the joint everywhere he's been. In 324.2 innings, he's posted a 6.04 ERA. Of the players traded, only Barnes has made any impact as a modestly talented SP.
Grade: F for selection, the trade was inconsequential.
9.Willie Moses (SP) Drafted by wolfhoundkl for the Texas Beefeaters. Moses is big, strapping 6-7 righthander who throws hard and has a good assortment of pitches. He also gives up a lot of fly balls ,which results in a very large opponents' SLG. After breaking in the majors in S11, Moses has posted a 29-24 mark, mostly as a SP, with a 4.84 career ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Moses has enough stuff to compete in the majors and make most teams as a #4 or #5 starter. He is probably not what was hoped for with the #9 overall selection.
10.Miguel Jacquez (RP) Drafted by Oli35 for the Scottsdale Aces. Currently with the same franchise (now the Salem Witch Hunters). Jacquez is an immensely talented, fireballing LHP with pinpoint control and 2 plus, plus pitches. He has probably underachieved a little bit since his debut in S10, but he posted an All Star S12 when he went 12-5 in 75 games with a 3.16 ERA in 79.2 IP. He has a career ERA of 3.57 in 253 relief outings. In S14, he has started the season 15/15 in saves in 15 games. Perfection.
11.Vin Maduro (SP) Drafted by thunderstrik for the Arizona Thunderstrikers. Traded to the Memphis Redemption (now Austin) in S10 for Zeus Stewart. Maduro is a hard throwing LHP with poor control, but good stuff. He has pitched only one season in the majors, S10, going 7-9 in 26 starts with a 5.60 ERA in 146.1 innings. He has languished in AAA since, providing yet another cautionary tale about starters with poor control. Stewart is a "SS" with poor fielding ability. He played 2 seasons as the starting SS for the then Salem Bald Beavers. he posted anemic OBP's in his 2 seasons in Salem, but showed some pop, averaging about 15 HR and 40 2b a season. He is a speed demon with 499 career SB against just 39 CS. He is currenly an unsigned FA.
Grade: F for the pick, B for the trade. Getting anything useful for Maduro was a good move.
12.Darron Stoddard (CF) Drafted by eclipse33 for the Vancouver Velvet Vultures. Traded to the Washington Generals with Lon Wilkinson and Orlando Vega in S11 in a 6 player deal that netted Carlos James, Willie Gutierrez and Irv Peterson. Wow, where to begin. Stoddard is a slick fielding 2b with big power and speed. His debut was in S12, but his coming out party was an All Star S13 when he hit .274/.324/.587 with 44 HR and 111 RBI. Throw in 11 + plays in CF and you have a high impact player. Washington also got Wilkinson, a patient 2b with a good stick. He debuted in S14 with good results thus far. Vega was a banjo hitting speedster who has retired. In return, the (then) Twilight got James, an immensly talented LH starter who's main weakness is an inability to go much deeper than 5-6 IP per start. He posted a horrible 4.90 ERA in one season before being dealt to the LA Baja Racers. Gutierrez is a talented workhorse LH reliever who was excellent after the trade. Peterson has, thus far, been a journeyman RH reliever. It would seem that Washington definitely got the better end of this mega-deal.
Grade: Draft: A Trade: C-
13.J.R. Cox (CF) Drafted by mase4342 for the Rochester Scorpions. Traded to the Scottsdale Aces for Marquis Fischbach. Cox is a Willie Mays/Andruw Jones type defensive talent in CF. No one can hold his jock when it comes to patrolling the OF. In 2 full big league season, he has 2 Gold Gloves with an astounding 57 + plays in those 2 seasons. That was before the fix!!! He has blazing speed and is a top notch baserunner. His offense isn't as good, but it is certainly respectable. In S13, he posted a .293/.342/.481 line with 23 HR, 107 runs and 68 SB. I think anyone would take this combo of studly defense, speed and solid hitting in a heartbeat. But what did Rochester get in return? Fischbach is a RH hitting RF with a good eye. He has been around since S4, posting a career .294/.379/.449 line with 186 HR. He has posted solid .800-.850 OPS type seasons since coming to Rochester (now Norfolk). He's certainly a nice player, but he's no Cox.
Grade: A+ for draft, C- for trade.
14.John Robinson (UT) Drafted by cliff357 for the El Paso Kamikazees. He was traded in S13 to the Richmond War Pigs for Ricardo Martinez. Robinson is a mediocre RHH with no special talents. His metrics are best suited for RF, his hitting has produced a pedestrian .720 OPS in 450+ AB. He is an unremarkable player who can probably fill bench roles. Martinez is another journeyman RH reliever who has posted a 5.18 ERA in over 700 career innings. He did go 20/20 in saves for Richmond after the trade in S13.
Grade: D- for the pick, C+ for the trade
15.Frank Cunningham (SP) Drafted by pfontaine for the Atlanta Cheese Grits. Traded in S10 to the Memphis Redemption with Craig Byrne and Tim Morton for Ignacio Cruz. Cunningham is a big innings eater with nice control and a decent assortment of pitches, but is not overpowering. In his debut season in S13, he got roughed up to the tune of 8-14 with a 5.64 ERA in 143.2 innings boucing between starting and relieving. He was dealt with Byrne, a talented, but injury prone RHP who had a solid 13-9 season with Louisville in S13 and Morton a 1B who hits LHP well. In return, Atlanta got Cruz, a talented RH starter who helped propel the Grits to 4 straight postseason appearance during his tenure in Atlanta. His best season was S11, when he went 24-4 with a 2.59 ERA and captured the AL Cy Young award. He won 17 games in S13 and is currently off to a good start with Las Vegas.
Grade: C- for the pick, A for the trade
16.Frankie Haas (SS) Drafted by ewchippe for the Wichita Bad Boys (now Austin Coeur D'Alenes). Haas is a switch hitting SS with good range and throwing arm, but a weak glove. He is patient and a good baserunner, but a weak hitter. He's done OK in very limited time in the big leagues, posting a .291/.375/.378 line in 127 big league AB. He is unlikely to maintain that level of performance over the long haul. He will probably stick as a utility man long term.
17. Chief Van Poppel (3B) Drafted by dizzlebob for the Pittsburgh Studdabubbas. Unsigned.
18.Deivi Pelaez (C) Drafted by djbradford for the New Britain Yorkies. Pelaez is a strong throwing catcher with a thunder in his bat. He has patience, power and makes excellent contact. In 3 full seasons plus, he has put up a .318/.421/.582 line. He hit a career high 25 HR in S12. His one flaw is his durability, which limits him to 90-100 games per season.
19.Billy Crabtree (RP) Drafted by 13black for the Tucson Shockers. Traded to Hartford The Whale in S10 with Wilfredo Pena for Sammy Nichting. Crabtree is a hard throwing LHP with excellent stuff. He was ultimately acquired by the Buffalo Nickels in S11. He has racked up 85 SV in 4+ seasons with a 4.20 ERA in 287.1 IP. He is certainly capable of better and should be a strong asset for many seasons. Pena is a LHH LF with some power and good contact. After a lackluster rookie year, he powered 30 HR and 98 RBI in S13 for Syracuse. They were dealt for Nichting, a RH starter who's pitched 10 big league seasons. He's never been a frontline starter, posting a 100-125 record with a 5.37 ERA. He was flipped to LA the following season.
Grade: B+ for the pick, D for the trade.
20.McKay Mitchell (1B) Drafted by baldric for the San Juan Ring to Rule Them All. Mitchell is your prototypical power hitting RH 1B. In his first full season in S13, he smacked 45 HR and drove in 139 runs to go with a .264 AVG. He won't walk a whole lot or hit for high average, but he brings plenty of power production. Should be an excellent power hitter for years.
21. Rigo Gonzalez (P) Drafted by tbook for the Helena Hashies. Unsigned.
22.Chad Blake (RP) Drafted by lets_try for the Minnesota Explorers. Traded to Tucson in S9 for Macbeth Ward. Rule V'd by Washington. Blake is a hard throwing LH reliever with decent stuff.
He's had just a cup of coffee in the bigs, taking a beating with Washington in S11, posting a 6.81 ERA in 38.1 IP. Currently in AAA. He'll never be a great pitcher, but he probably will merit another look in the bigs at some point. Could stick as a SuB somewhere. Ward, now retired, was a RH starter who went 13-12 in 33 starts the season after the trade with a 4.43 ERA in 178 1/3 IP. He walked as a FA after that season.
Grade: D for the pick, C for the trade
23. Gary Lemon (LF) Drafted by the_e_man for the Toledo Mud Hens. Unsigned.
24.Walt Darr (RP) Drafted by bjb2378 for the San Francisco Night Demons. Darr is a crafty LH long reliever with an assortment of quality pitches. He has pitched 3+ big league seasons, posting a 3.97 career ERA in 315 big league innings with a 1.29 WHIP. Darr is a quality arm out of the pen and fills an important role. He has consisitently put up 90+ IP in each full season. Darr was a compensatory pick after the Buffalo Nickels signed Type "A" free agent Chris Rose.
25.Stuart Cloud (SP) Drafted by bkdries for the Burlington Black Sox (now Scranton Scrapples). Currently a Free Agent after being removed from the 40 man roster at the start of S14. Cloud has Nuke LaLoosh type control to go with mediocre stuff. He will never sniff the big leagues.
26.Cesar Acevedo (2B/CF/3B/SS) Drafted by radek for the New York Metropolitans. Traded to the Kansas City Knights in S8 with J.J. Richardson and Torey Barkley for T.J. Croushore and Dean Lukasiewicz. Acevedo has big time power and the flexibility to play 3 different positions fairly well. He was dealt 2 more times, ultimately landing with Washington. He burst onto the scene in S12, posting a .279/.347/.586 line with 42 HR and 110 RBI and winning AL Rookie of the Year. He posted another solid season in S13. He's best suited to man 3B, but can also capably play 2B and RF. With his power and versatility, he is certainly a nice asset to have. He was dealt with offensive C Richardson to KC. Richardson did little in KC before moving on to Pittsburgh. KC also got Barkley, a career minor league LF who is now retired. In return, NY got the famous Croushore, who is known for his prodigious talent that can only be used on a limited basis. Croushore pitched well in NY, when he pitched, and helped NY win the championship in S9. Lukasiewicz is a utility man who has a cup of coffee in the bigs and probably will never hold down a job in the majors.
Grade: A solid A for the pick. The trade was really to KC's benefit, but Croushore helping NY win it all is a strong mitigating factor. A solid B+ for the trade.
27.Sean Wills (SP) Drafted by jahu43 for the Louisville Sluggers. Traded to the New Orleans Zydeco in S11, along with Alberto Delgado and Grover Chase for Yamid Molina. Wills ultimately ended up on the Richmond War Pigs. Wills is your typical journeyman RH starter. In 2+ full big league seasons, Wills has posted a 17-25 record with a 4.71 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 346 IP. Wills should be able to stick as a #4 or #5 type starter for a number of seasons. Delgado is a power hitting RHH LF. His best season was his first in NO, posting a .302/.362/.538 line with 40 HR and 102 RBI. He's probably closer to his career totals as a player, .272/.337/.476. Nice player, but not special. Chase is a LH starter who was subsequently flipped to Washington by NO. Chase is a journeyman, posting a 33-30 4.59 ERA in 106 career starts. Molina is an 3 time all-star power hitting RF. In 9+ seasons he has hit 533 career HR with a .298/.356/.628 line.
Grade: C for the pick, A+ for the trade, which created some controversy on the chat boards at the time, but ultimately went through unchallenged.
28.Iago Andrews (SS) Drafted by mdukes13 for the Washington Generals. Traded to Louisville in S11 along with Pablo Chavez for Cesar Acevedo (him again?) and Omar Tavarez. Andrews has a solid/average glove at SS with an average bat. He has had very little playing time in the majors thus far, posting a .716 OPS in 201 AB. He is more than capable of manning the SS position on a regular basis, but does no one thing really well. Could bounce between starting and utility work in his career. Chavez is a big time power hitting CF now with Colorado. His range is a little light for CF, but his hitting is first class. He mashed 41 HR in 3 stops in S13. In return, the Generals for Acevedo (profiled above) and Tavarez, a talented 1-2 batter reliever.
Grade: Solid C+ for the pick, B for the trade. Both teams got some quality with Acevedo and Chavez.
29.Del Silva Drafted by mdukes13 for the Washington Generals. Silva was a compensatory pick for the Type "A" FA signing of Dan Miller by Charlotte. Silva was traded to Louisville in S12 along with Harry Astacio for Derrick LaRocca. Silva is a RH power hitting 3B with a mediocre glove. He's now with the LA Baja Racers. He's been a part time player in 2 seasons with only 1 season as a full time player, S11. He hit 31 HR, but posted just a .244/.297/.467 line. He doesn't get on base enough to justify playing full time, nor is he a good enough fielder. Can be a useful bench player. Astacio is a nice RH reliever enjoying some success in his first big league season, also in LA. LaRocca is a solid RH starter who pitched very well in Washington before going back to Lousiville in Free Agency. He had some mixed results in Louisville.
Grade: D+ for the pick, B+ for the trade.
30.Steven Sanders (RP) Drafted by leppykahn for the Colorado Blasters. Sanders is a talented RH reliever with good control and a hard fastball. He's capable of closing or can be a prime SuA. He's posted a 4.53 ERA in 232 2/3 relief innings. In Coors Field, that's pretty good. He should be an excellent reliever for years.
Grade: A for this spot in the draft
31.Lyle Kinney (SP) Drafted by jdbkaput for the St. Louis Clydesdales (now Augusta Caesars). Kinney is a mediocre RH starter with 3 middling to weak pitches but solid control. He's a #5 starter at best, posting a 32-53 career record in 126 starts (138 games overall) with a 5.38 ERA.
32.Frank Morris (DH/1B) Drafted by bjb2378 for the San Francisco Night Demons. Traded to the Colorado Blasters in S11 with Felipe Bournigal for Quentin Lary and Carlos Castillo. Morris was later traded to the NO Zydeco. Morris is a wicked RH power hitter. He's a DH masquerading as a 1B since he's playing in the NL. In 2 full big league seasons plus, he's hit .301/.357/.573. He hit 43 HR with 115 RBI in S11. He's best suited to the AL. Bournigal is, of course, Hunter's greatest pitcher. He was on his last legs when leppy took a gamble that he could put the Blasters over the top in S11. Alas, it was not to be as he ended up on the 60 Day DL and the Blasters fell short. The price was steep as the Demons got Lary, a superbly talented LH starter who went 17-6 in S13 with a 3.46 ERA. He should anchor the Demons staff for many seasons to come. Castillo is a minor league utility man.
Grade: B+ for the pick, A+ for the trade.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
S13 WORLD SERIES CHAMPS!!!
Thursday, August 6, 2009
After losing only three owners between seasons 11 and 12, Hunter endured an unusually high turnover prior to S13 with five vacancies. Luckily for the league and its stable of long-time owners, the incoming class of rookie owners is perhaps the strongest in Hunter history.
Huntington Hellions (deaconsoule), formerly Iowa City Hawkeyes (kevbo65)
After a long history of futility that has included ten sub-.500 seasons and six owners in twelve seasons, the Huntington franchise has added a capable and experienced owner in deaconsoule, a veteran of 31 HBD seasons. Though the franchise stands in mild disarray as of the beginning of the season, the Hellions have chosen to retool for the future by slashing payroll and investing heavily in amateur and international scouting. And while the prospects to be gleaned this season will remain several seasons off, the Hellions have added several capable veterans including Bruce Grey, Malcolm Hiljus, and eight-time All-Star SS Eduardo Gonzalez. While it remains to be seen whether Huntington can compete this season with Washington or Rochester in the AL East, the future looks bright for a franchise that finally has a plan of action.
Scranton Scrapples (jying98), formerly Dover Blue Crabs (testudo34)
Taking the reins of the former Burlington and Philadelphia franchise is jying98, another veteran owner who has experienced considerable success with 13 playoff appearances in 42 seasons. While S12 could charitably be described as a lost season, Scranton has a leg up on the competition due to the acquisition of Rule 5 pick Walt Lowery. Beyond Lowery, the most talented R5 draftee in recent years, the Scrapples possess a sound veteran core that could rebound nicely and, given a few breaks, compete in the relatively soft AL East division.
Austin Coeur d’Alenes (madmuldoon), formerly Tampa Bay Tornados (tk21775)
Joining the usual suspects in Hunter is noted blogger and humorist madmuldoon, yet another experienced HBD owner with 63 seasons under his belt. MM is likely to need his sense of humor this year, as his new franchise has not reached the postseason since S2 and boasts only a single winning season out of the past nine. The Coeur d’Alenes have already helped themselves with the acquisitions of Alex Nomo, the AL Silver Slugger at catcher last year, and have dedicated a significant portion of their financial resources toward amateur and international scouting.
New Orleans Creole Crawfish (andersaa), formerly New Orleans Zydeco (krushers)
Longtime Hoops and Gridiron Dynasty owner andersaa makes his Hunter debut with the Crawfish, a franchise that has enjoyed substantially more success in the recent past than most of his relocating brethren. Unfortunately, while the memory of the FatNasty’s 115-win campaign in S7 lingers in fans’ memories, the mediocre results of the Zydeco over the past three seasons leaves a great deal of room for improvement. Andersaa wasted no time in surrounding stars Ben Beamon and Sammy Moraga with supporting players, including promising rookie SS Buzz Abernathy and veteran 1B Horace Carr. While the San Juan juggernaut likely puts the NL South title out of reach, the Crawfish are considered dark horse candidates in the race for one of the two NL Wild Card tickets.
Jacksonville VelociRaptors (timf), formerly Santa Fe Flyers (bearclan1)
Timf once again serves Hunter as a fill-in owner by taking over the VelociRaptors for short-lived owner Spacemonkey7. After capturing a Wild Card spot in Seasons 10 and 11, the former Flyer franchise fell on hard times the past couple of years, finishing each below .500 and well out of postseason contention. Thankfully, timf has several useful players on his ML roster, including slugging SS Miguel Lopez, star 1B David Trenidad, and de facto ace Juan Jacquez. Like most of the other recently relocated teams, the VelociRaptors have budgeted $20 million toward prospects, leading many to believe that a worthwhile rebuilding program is already underway in Jacksonville.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
1. Pete Daly (Lou) 210W*-98L 3.47 ERA 2332 K’s* (* Denotes Hunter Record)
Awards: 5-time All-Star (S6-S10) & Pitcher Gold Glove (S6)
Daly in the number one spot is a bit of a surprise as he spent 10 seasons in the shadow of the best pitcher Hunter has ever seen. That said at 38 Daly is two years younger than his former teammate Feliepe Bournigal and has avoided the injury bug that bite Bournigal to the tune of a stint on the 60 day DL.
The Night Demons acquired Daly in a Season 2 trade with the Colorado Blasters. A deal no doubt that Leppy would like back. In return for a 240 inning a year horse Leppy got a 80 inning per year pony in TJ. Croushore. To be fair these were the early years of HBD so I think it is safe to assume that Leppy at the time didn’t fully understand the effect of the durability rating as Croushore’s other stats matched Daly and he was considerably younger.
Colorado hung on to Croushore for S2-6 during which he never pitched more than 90 innings, before shipping Croushore off to Arizona (now Scottsdale) for Jerry Romano who is still with the Blasters and boosts a career mark fo 27-22 with a 5.89 ERA.
In a late season blockbuster Pete Daly, Ron Rivers and a reliever prospect were sent to Louisville in exchange for Vernon Martin a prospect starter with a ceiling of being a multi-year time All-Star and Ted Tipton a future ML closer. It was a classic win-now for win-later trade. Given what Louisville gave up to rent Daly for 60 games plus playoffs anything short of a World Series appearance would have to be considered a disappointment. (EDIT: Wrote this before the playoffs.)
2. Felipe Bournigal (Col) 201W-70L 2.55* ERA 2254 K’s
Awards: 8-time All-Star & 6-time AL Cy Young
It’s a tad surprising that the most decorated SP in Hunter history is only number 2. As Bournigal holds the record for the most Cy Young (6), best ERA and most All-Star appearances by a SP (trails only Magglio Javier 10 appearances among all players).
Bournigal spent his entire career with the Night Demons until a trade to Colorado before last season. In addition to Bournigal the Blasters got B. Morris a power hitting C with slightly below average defensive stats, however based on the hitting ratings he will be a beast in Coors. Sent back the other way was Quinn Lary who already boosts a 28-21 record with a 3.71 ERA along with a A. Castillo a no power, average D SS that has been subsequently moved to Sante Fe.
At the time of the deal I joked that Leppy was trying to corner the market on Hunter Hall-of-Fame pitchers as he also acquired Kevin Coleman. Unfortunately, for the Blasters Bourignal’s first season was limited to 88 IP and a 4.19 ERA due to injury. Bournigal returned this season and has pitched 81 IP to the tune of a 4.74 ERA and a combined record of 10-6 with the Blasters. Some how I’m guessing those weren’t quite the numbers Leppy was looking for when he dealt a talent like Quinn Lary. In a few seasons the scales of this trade will definitely swing towards SF. I will admit I did like Leppy’s guts to pull the trigger and swing for a championship as most owners in this league are concerned with continuing their very good teams and very few take the chance that will hurt the team long term to win a championship. Leppy really only has till next season to see his risk pay-off as Bournigal is 40 year’s old and is signed through next year with a mutual option.
3. Mark Meng (Sco) 183W-79L 3.37 ERA 1726 K’s
Awards: 6-time All-Star
Meng began his career in St. Louis (now Augusta) and pitched there until the end of season 7 at which time he chose to test FA.
The resulting contract 79.5M over 5 years was the largest pitcher contract in Hunter history until it was surpassed in season 10 by Andrew Allen’s massive deal. Despite the massive contract Scottsdale has to be elated by the returns. Meng lead the Aces to the season 9 title and has lead the Aces to their first AL West title this season. In season 11 Oli flirted with the idea of trading Meng and had multiple suitors. In the end he stayed the course and decided to build around his ace. Meng has been a perennial Cy Young contender who have never been able to take the hardware home. Think of him as the Susan Lucci of Hunter Cy Youngs.
Due to very limited movement there aren’t very many active players intertwined with Mark Meng. The only two that are, would be the comp picks that St. Louis (Augusta) received as a result of Meng leaving as a Type A FA.
The 23rd pick in the draft was James Wang who will be a solid starter and is currently with Richmond as a Rule V pick. Thus far in the season he’s pitched 111 innings with a 3.63 ERA and 7-7 record
The 44th pick in the draft was Vic Neil a SS that still needs to develop but will become a great fielding SS with an above average bat. Unfortunately, for Augusta like Wang, Neil was also selected in the Rule V draft and is currently playing for TB. For the season he’s put together a line of .241 13HR and 37 RBI
Meng like Daly could be a FA at the end of the season, for what is shaping up to be the greatest FA crop of SP in the history of Hunter.
4. Charles Lawton (Lou) 178W-96L 3.86 ERA 1556 K’s
Awards: 3-time All-Star
If their were a nick-name to capture Lawton’s career it might be the “Tortorsie”. As in slow and steady wins the race. Of the five pitchers on this least he is surely the least decorated however year after year of 15-17 W has Lawton in the top 5 All-time.
He spent his first nine seasons with the St. Lou/Aug organization before leaving as a FA after season 9. As a result he signed with the Tucson Shockers. Augusta picked up two comp picks for the loss of Lawton. The 44th pick in the draft J. Gonzalez a completely average LF who looks to be a career minor leaguer and the 73rd pick F.P. Paronto who looks to be a solid 2b prospect likely to have a long ML career.
Tucson moved to Tacoma in season 10 at which point the franchise dealt Lawton to the Sante Fe Flyers for A. Benavente a very talented pitcher who has yet to put it all together consistently (40-48 4.68 ERA).
Lawton stayed with Sante Fe until part way through season 12 when he was dealt to the Louisville Sluggers. Louisville acquired Lawton to fill the SP5 role and gave up young pitchers C. Posada and A. Sosa to get the cagey vet. Unfortunately, for Louisville the returns were mixed, with a .500 record and an ERA north of 5 after the deal.
Sante Fe had better success on their end as Posada went 5-13 but sported a 4.04 ERA, so the losses could be attributed to lack of run support. A. Sosa is currently at AAA and has a minor league record of 25-21 with a 4.17 ERA
5. Elvis Ogea (Boi) 177W-81L 3.19 ERA 1638 K’s
Awards: 6-time All-Star & 2-time AL Cy Young
The final member of the list is Elvis Ogea another Hunter All-Time great. As a side note all five pitchers were members of the Hunter All-Decade team.
Ogea began his career way back in season 1 with the NB Choking Dogs. In season 2 he was traded to Washington, the team’s cap that he is most likely to wear into the Hall of Fame. For a 2-time Cy Young award winner erne6 got T. Grove whose ML career consisted of 157 IP 4-23 record and 11.52 ERA. Needless to say this would have to go down as one of the worst trades in Hunter history and might explain why erne6 only spent one season in Hunter and four in HBD total racking up a .400 win % along the way.
Ogea was a general from Season 2-Season 10 leaving as a FA before Season 11. At which point the emerging LA Baja Racers signed him. His stay in LA was short lived as he was dealt to Boise this season in part of a package for Carlos James. C. James represents an above-average starter who’s posted a career record of 120-74, 4.14 ERA. In addition to Ogea the Posse received S. Nichting a talented but perennial underachiever (88-108 5.45 ERA career) and Blanco a minor league CF who lacks range but does have the potential to be a top of the order bat with an exceptional batting eye.
Ogea is still a member of the Posse although he was waived during the season with no takers.
Typically I only do a top 5, however an interesting thing happened from the time I started to research the column to the time I finished, Lawton climbed into the top 5 knock Ogea down one spot and the next player off the list. Since I went through the trouble of researching his career I figured I might as well include his story. Without further ado.
6. Shawn Owen (AAA SF) 175W-89L 3.60 ERA 1746 K’s
Awards: 6-time All-Star, 2-time NL Cy Young & 2-time NL Silver Slugger P
Interesting to think that three members of this list represented the top of the rotation for the Augusta/St. Louis organization for the first 7 seasons of Hunter (Meng, Owen & Lawton).
Owen pitched for the St. Lou/Aug organization until being traded to Pittsburgh in season 9 for David Cradle. Cradle is a talented pitcher who’s stats should trend in a positive direction from 12-20 5.09 ERA where they currently stand .
Owen left Pittsburgh as a FA after season 10 and was signed by his old manager Jdkaput in Burlington for season 11. It was only fitting that his last season in the majors was for the manager who had him the majority of this career.
After the one-year stint with Burlington, SF signed him to a minor league contract, which is where he continues to play.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
For MVP I typically put stock in the team’s record. In this case all five candidates came from the teams with a top 3 AL record. From a first glance at the stats it’s clear that J. Perez (NB) and Alridge (Atl) while having good seasons were not the best in the league. Which whittles it down to Herdandez and Borchard from Atl and Kaufman from Texas. Of the two Cheesegrits Hernadez clearly had the better season, which brings it down to a head to head with Kaufman from the Beefeaters. Their lines look as follows Hernadez (45HR 145RBI .309 AVG 1.005 OPS 30 SB in 148 GP) and Kaufman (55HR 133 RBI .318AVG 1.077 in 135 GP). Very comparable stats however, in the end I have to give the edge to Kaufman. In the major offensive stats Hernadez only bested him in RBI which considering he had two MVP candidate teammates makes sense. Also Kaufman was able to post his numbers in 13 less games.
Winner: Kaufman (Tex) (Herdandez very close 2nd)
AL Cy Young
Once again the Cy Young is 5 players from the top 3 records in the AL (Sluggers/Beefeaters tied at 97W). The first pitcher that can be eliminated is J. Diaz (Tex) while he lead the AL in K’s, four plus ERA’s don’t win CY Youngs. Along the same lines F. Espinosa ERA was only a hair under four (3.95) and didn’t have a K title as a calling card. This leaves two Sluggers and a Cheesegrit, as the owner of the Sluggers it was clear to me that Bob Creek had a better season than Gene Fitzgerald. Which leaves B. Creek and G. Baker head to head. While Baker had a fantastic year, Creek posted better numbers in IP, ER, WHIP, K, OAV, BB/P. In fact the only category where Baker has an edge is wins (22 to 19) which I don’t think is enough to overcome the only 6 categories.
Winner: Creek (Lou)
ROY is always a difficult to handicap as you have to place pitchers vs. hitters. The first player that can be eliminated is Sammy Moore from (Chi) he posted solid stats but his brethren were clearly better. This is where things get difficult. Had J.R. Alston not been lost for the season his glove alone would have been reason for high consideration on the list but missing the last 30 games and an OPS below .800 doesn’t let me move him further than 4th. As far as hitters go Blake (Sco) and Acevedo (Was) had very similar seasons however the fact that Acevedo played CF, 2b and 3b this season vs. Blake DH gives him the edge. In the end it comes down to G. Ramirez (NB) and Acevedo (Wash). Had Rameriez pitched more than 155 innings he might have stolen the award but a middle INF that can post a 42HR and 110 RBI in less than 500 at bats is too strong to ignore. [As a side note there are at least 3 franchises that wished they still had Acevedo: NY, Lou and KC now Bur]
Winner: Acevedo (Was)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Bryan Parrish, RHP – The number one overall pick, Parrish has stuff rivaled by few other pitchers in Hunter today. Projected as a starter with two excellent pitches, the only blights on his resume are his control, which projects to average, and questions regarding his ability to throw 200 innings year in and year out.
Upside: 200 IP, 3.25 ERA
2 Pawtucket Patriots
Ugueth Pineda, RHP – Former Burlington scout Billy “Buzz” Denkinger was quoted as saying “Pineda? Never heard of ‘im!” just prior to a series of cutbacks in the Federalist front office. Although little is known of Pineda, who remained unsigned at the time of this writing, the Patriots are hopeful of his ability to contribute to the next generation of fine young Pawtucketians.
3 Augusta Caesars
Grant Fetters, RHP – The Caesars dedicated the third pick of the draft to future workhorse Fetters, who projects to a middle-of-the-rotation pitcher capable of throwing upwards of 230 innings a year. Though no particular aspect of Fetters’ game stands out, the total package should be satisfying for the Augusta faithful.
Upside: 240 IP, 4.25 ERA
4 Chicago Fire
Joel Francona, LF – Originally slated to man the keystone position, Francona moved to the outfield shortly after signing with the Fire. Beyond good power and a strong batting eye, Francona rates out as average or better in all facets of the game.
Upside: .275 AVG/.350 OBP/.500 SLG with very good defense in left
5 Las Vegas Hi-Rollers
Vic Nunez, 3B – Ccustead continues the reloading process with Nunez, a prototypical line drive hitter with solid power and defensive skills. Though some scouts have raised concerns about his batting eye and propensity to strike out, the Hi-Rollers look to Nunez as a key player in the future success of the franchise.
Upside: .275/.350/.450 with reasonable defense
6 Tampa Bay Tornados
Charlie Roberts, 3B – Drafted as a shortstop following a strong freshman season at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, Roberts has made a smooth transition to the hot corner in his debut with the Tornados. While no single part of his game stands out, Roberts projects to a solid all-around player with good wheels and Gold Glove defense.
Upside: .275/.325/.425 with excellent D
7 Burlington Federalists
Vin Cueto, SS – Another sound all-around player, Cueto projects to a .300 hitter with 30-HR power and good baserunning skills. Although unnamed sources within the organization have raised doubts about Cueto’s range, the Federalists are pleased with his soft hands and arm strength and appear intent on leaving him at short for the foreseeable future. Vin made an immediate impression on the GM by hitting for the cycle and making a sparkling defensive play in his first game in rookie ball.
Upside: .310/.375/.500 with average defense
8 New Orleans Zydeco
Merv Kinney, RHP – With the eighth overall pick, the Zydeco snagged Kinney, a collegiate star out of Mesa State in Colorado. A noted power pitcher, Kinney features a plus fastball and a nasty slider that right-handed batters flail at. There has been some question regarding his endurance and control, but Zydeco GM Krushers has high hopes that Kinney will one day anchor his staff.
Upside: 180 IP, 4.00 ERA
9 Syracuse Coureurs Des Bois
Juan Belliard, SS – Beesore continues his rehabilitation of the Syracuse brand by stealing Belliard with the ninth pick. Hailing improbably from Orfordville, Wisconsin, the 18-year-old Belliard was widely regarded as one of the best all-around talents in this year’s draft, with sound defensive skills that will enable him to stick at short along with plus offensive skills. Though some scouts have doubted his ability to hit for power at the major league level, there is little doubt about his ability to make solid contact or draw walks.
Upside: .325/.375/.450 with good defense
10 Baltimore BayDogs
Alan Hubbard, LHP – Hubbard is another product of the outstanding baseball program of Boston College. An outstanding college reliever, the rubber-armed Hubbard projects to be the closer-in-waiting for Baltimore within the next few seasons.
Upside: 80 IP, 3.00 ERA
11 Baltimore BayDogs
Wilson Dillon, RHP – Dillon comes to Baltimore as a direct result of S11 first-round pick Quentin Crane’s refusal to come to terms with the franchise. Though Dillon possesses incredible movement on all of his pitches, several anonymous GMs have raised doubts about his ability to throw strikes at the big league level. Barring injury, however, Dillon projects to receive at least a cup of coffee in the majors.
Upside: 180 IP, 4.50 ERA
12 Rochester Scorpions
Steve Murphy, C – One of the finest high-school hitters in the nation, Murphy projects to become a perennial all-star for the Scorpions. Alas, but shortly before the draft, Murphy was diagnosed with a rare mitochondrial disorder that will prevent him from becoming a full-time player. Rumor has it that the Scorpions will play him primarily against left-handed pitching with an occasional spot start against tough righties.
Upside: .340/.425/.650 in 350 Abs
13 Iowa City Hawkeyes
Norberto Gonzales, C – Regarded by most scouts as the finest pure hitter in the S13 draft, Gonzales fell to number 13 due to maturity issues and a temper impressive even by Floridian standards. Beyond his peerless offensive skills, Gonzales has drawn rave reviews for his arm behind the plate as well as his excellent repartee with pitchers. Gonzales is as close to a sure thing as there is in baseball today.
Upside: .310/.400/.650 with Gold Glove defense
14 Salt Lake City Mormons
Giovanni Graham, RHP – The rare polished high-school righty, Graham shows great poise and command on the mound as well as a vicious sidearm delivery that leaves right-handed hitters bailing and flailing. Though some doubt exists regarding his ability to take the mound every fifth day, there is little doubt that Graham will find success in the majors, whether as a reliever or a starter.
Upside: 150 IP, 3.50 ERA
15 Buffalo Nickels
Cedrick Stahl, CF/2B – Perhaps the fastest amateur available in this year’s draft, Stahl possesses outstanding range and a fine batting eye. Nickels fans should be very happy in the years to come, as Stahl projects to become one of the league’s best leadoff hitters as well as an excellent defender up the middle.
Upside: .290/.360/.425, 80 SBs with Gold Glove defense
16 Cincinnati Jerry Springers
Vladimir Camacho, SS – The Ford Focus of future ML shortstops, Camacho will provide predictably solid offense and defense without excelling in any single facet of the game. Despite Camacho’s relative lack of upside, the Springers have to be happy with snagging a cornerstone for the future success of the franchise.
Upside: .280/.325/.400 with solid defense
17 Santa Fe Flyers
Einar Lee, RHP – Following in the footsteps of noted U of Mississippi alumni Jeff Fassero and Chris Snopek, Lee possesses above-average control and movement on his repertoire of pitches. Though his relatively limited endurance will prevent him from going deep into games, Lee should provide a capable arm at the end of the Flyers’ rotation or in a long relief role.
Upside: 150 IP, 4.25 ERA
18 St. Louis Brew Masters
Raymond Burns, RHP – One of the true hidden gems of this year’s draft, Burns fell to the 18th pick due to some scouts’ concerns about his relatively small stature for a pitcher (6’1”, 175 lbs) and concerns over a potentially fragile arm. If he remains healthy, however, Burns stands out as a potential ace, with outstanding potential for control and a changeup that effectively neutralizes the platoon advantage.
Upside: 220 IP, 3.00 ERA
19 Dover Blue Crabs
Don Washington, LHP – Another college power pitcher, Washington projects to possess three above-average pitches at the major league level that scouts anticipate will drive left-handed bats crazy. Like many of his peers in this draft class, however, his control remains a significant question mark, as does his ability to retire righties with regularity.
Upside: 180 IP, 4.75 ERA
20 Boise Barstool Prophets
Carmine Ward, SS – Ward features one of the more unusual skill sets for high S12 draft picks, as he combines borderline defense at short with an outstanding batting eye and a line-drive bat against lefties and right-handed pitchers alike. Though some scouts object to a high strikeout rate in a relatively low-power hitter, if Ward can stick at shortstop, the BS Prophets will likely have an outstanding table setter on their hands.
Upside: .260/.380/.400 with adequate defense
21 Washington D.C. Generals
Christopher Graves, LF – Another unusual prospect, Graves combines a solid major-league bat that projects for above-average power, contact, and batting eye with Erstadt-like range. Though concerns about his glove have led the Generals to keep him in left to this point in his young minor-league career, some scouts have discussed the possibility of moving Graves to right or even to second base further down the road.
Upside: .280/.350/.475 with excellent range and an above-average arm
22 Cleveland MooseDawgs
Gary Garcia, RHP – Sporting facial hair only an teenager could find appealing, this product of Cedarville, MI combines outstanding control with a sharp sinker to retire hitters. At 6’3”, Garcia projects to fill out in the coming years and could become the ace the MooseDawgs have long sought after.
Upside: 220 IP, 3.50 ERA
23 Texas Beefeaters
Jeff Sweeney, SS – Sweeney possesses one of the finest gloves to come to the draft board in several years and will be a perennial Gold Glove contender upon reaching the major leagues. Though the Beefeaters will view any offensive contributions as a bonus, Sweeney could also develop into a 15-20 HR player. Scouts anticipate, however, that he will always be a hacker and is unlikely to draw more than 40 walks a season.
Upside: .260/.320/.400 with numerous Gold Gloves
24 Boise Barstool Prophets
Kelvin Jorgensen, RF – As compensation for losing Eduardo Gonzalez to LA, the Prophets took the lefty-hitting Jorgensen with their second first-round pick. Jorgensen possesses a strong batting eye and above-average power, but it is his arm that has caught the attention of so many scouts. If the Prophets choose to leave him in right, expect Jorgensen to have plenty of kills year-in and year-out.
Upside: .270/.360/.480 with numerous assists
25 Colorado Blasters
Tiny Fox, RHP – The Blasters use their pick to snag future closer Fox, who at 6’2” and 203 at only 18 years of age belies his name. While Fox possesses outstanding stuff and plus control, some question whether his poor groundball rate makes him a good future fit for the Blasters’ home park. Only time will tell whether he remains in a Colorado uniform or winds up in a more hospitable location closer to sea level.
Upside: 70 IP, 2.80 ERA
26 Scottsdale Aces
Robert Hodges, LF – The Aces pull off a coup with their selection of Hodges, a prototypical line drive hitter who has the ability to hit any pitch on any count with solid power. Though nothing special defensively, Hodges will be wrecking pitchers for years to come.
Upside: .330/.390/.550 with adequate defense
27 Louisville Sluggers
Eswalin Lee, LHP – Sluggers owner Jahu43 must count himself fortunate that a pitcher as talented as Lee would drop to number 27 overall. Featuring the rare combination of excellent control, good velocity, and a strong groundball ratio, Lee expects to slot in as a good #2 with the potential to graduate to ace status.
Upside: 190 IP, 3.50 ERA
28 Pittsburgh Studdabubbas
Charlie Bird, CF – While the Studdabubbas selected Bird primarily for his outstanding range in center, the 20-year-old product of Broward Community College has already developed a reputation as a tough out due to his low K rate. Though he will never hit for much power or draw more than 60 walks a year, Bird could eventually develop into a solid .320 hitter with good speed on the bases and in the field.
Upside: .320/.380/.420 with GG defense
29 San Francisco Night Demons
Ozzie Seay, RHP – A similar pitcher to the Blasters’ Tiny Fox, Seay substitutes a crafty selection of pitches to retire batters. As is the case with Fox, scouts have expressed concern about Seay’s high flyball ratio, though San Francisco’s home park should help somewhat.
Upside: 50 IP, 2.90 ERA
30 New York Metropolitans
Glenn Leach, 3B – Though drafted as a high-school shortstop, the Mets quickly moved Leach to the hot corner, where his range and arm strength should be a boon. A prototypical high-strikeout, line-drive hitter with good pop, Leach should be a solid player for years to come.
Upside: .260/.350/.500 with good D
31 Burlington Federalists
Alex Romano, 2B – As compensation for losing 1B Garrett Borchard to Atlanta, the Federalists come away with Romano, a strong all-around switch hitter who projects to possess excellent contact and power at the major-league level. Though some scouts doubt his ability to stick at second due to limited range and what some observers have called an iron glove, Romano will be given every opportunity to anchor the Federalists’ middle infield along with number seven overall pick Cueto.
Upside: .300/.370/.550 with below-average D
32 New Britain Yorkies
Kenny Edwards, RHP – Not to be confused with legendary retired relief pitcher Kenny Powers, Edwards is the latest in a series of Yorkie relievers chosen in the first round. The righty has yet to develop an out pitch against left-handed batters, but NB owner djbradford remains confidence in Edwards’ ability to succeed as a future ML setup man or closer.
Upside: 60 IP, 3.20 ERA
33 San Juan Ring to Rule Them All
Jarrod Castillo, RHP – While lacking outstanding control, Castillo more than makes up for his occasional wild streaks with a biting repertoire of pitches. Though he lacks the high stamina of most major-league starters, Castillo should provide a quality arm for SJ whether he’s bullpen-bound or remains in the rotation.
Upside: 160 IP, 4.00 ERA
34 Burlington Federalists
Al Perez, 1B – Taken as a supplemental pick for the Garrett Borchard signing, Perez has drawn comparisons to Borchard for his bat and fielding. Known for his low K rates and towering homers in high school, Perez may be stretched in left field for a few years to increase his utility for the club.
Upside: .310/.370/.520 with solid defense
35 Boise Barstool Prophets
Juan Martinez, 3B – Continuing the Cassandric rebuilding project in downtown Boise, Prophets owner rounders31 expects Martinez to become a solid everyday player capable of playing either second or third. While no single facet of his game shines, Martinez should provide a sound bat with good power and possesses a strong throwing arm that will make him a useful player at any number of positions.
Upside: .270/.330/.450 with sound D
36 New York Metropolitans
Carl Livingstone, CF – Another outstanding defensive CF, Livingstone (who, contrary to rumor, is not pursuing a doctorate) projects to become an excellent slap hitter in the Placido Polanco mode, albeit with 50 SB potential. New York must be pleased with their return on departed reliever/swing starter TJ Croushore.
Upside: .320/.360/.380 with GG defense
37 San Juan Ring to Rule Them All
Pepper Kingman, 2B – As compensation for departed slugger John Stevens, the RtRTA select the defensive-minded Pepper. With an above-average bat that doesn’t have any particular holes or spectacular features, Pepper will provide a solid player with good D at either CF or 2B while perhaps providing a few 15 HR, 40 double seasons.
Upside: .260/.340/.430 with good defense
38 Burlington Federalists
Rocky Milliard, RHP – Milliard continues the Federalists’ rebuilding plan, arriving in the Burlington farm system as compensation for the loss of OF Bubbles McDonald to Iowa City. Though Bubbles’ “quirky” sense of humor and shower shenanigans will be sorely missed in the suddenly professional Burlington clubhouse, Milliard projects to provide excellent control and a strong assortment of pitches that will neutralize RH bats. Though some contend that he lacks the stamina to stick in the rotation, Burlington projects Milliard as a strong end-of-the-rotation starter.
Upside: 170 IP, 3.80 ERA
39 Washington D.C. Generals
Neil Lee, LHP – The Generals received Lee in return for the loss of C/DH Brad Musial to the Yorkies over the offseason. Though few scouts doubt Lee’s pure stuff or ability to retire major league hitters, his wildness to this point in his young career has raised many eyebrows across the league. The Generals hold out hope that Lee will develop greater command as he matures, but at the moment Lee is questionable for the Generals’ future rotation.
Upside: 200 IP, 5.00 ERA
40 Texas Beefeaters
Ozzie Benjamin, RF—Another high-K, high-power slugger, Benjamin has been called “Kingman-esque” by some old-school scouts, a puzzling assertion given that no slugger in Hunter history has ever been named Kingman. In any case, Benjamin should be good for several 40-HR, 50 walk seasons with a .310 on base percentage.
Upside: .250/.320/.500 with solid D
41 San Francisco Night Demons
Benny Clark, LHP – As the final supplemental pick, Clark stands out for both his astonishing durability as well as his poise on the mound. Though Clark is unlikely to dominate hitters at the major-league level, his ability to limit walks and work deep into the game every fifth day will make him a valuable pitcher one day in the near future.
Upside: 230 IP, 4.00 ERA
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Season 5- AL ROY- Willie Wakeland
ROY Team: Atlanta
Current Team: Altanta
Career Stats: 99-81 4.15 ERA
Awards: All-Star (S11)
Season 5 will be the year of the short review as both players still play for the teams they broke in with. Which does make these synopsis easier to write.
Wakeland took home the rookie of the year with a ridiculous 15-1 record and 2.9 ERA. Those stats represent the best stats for any ROY pitcher through season 5. Willie broke into the bigs at age 23 and is only 30 now. Wakeland was locked up by pfontaine through the end of season 17 at a very reasonable rate of 5.8M per year. So it looks like the next 5 seasons of his career will be very similar to his first 7 seasons: Stable.
His career ERA of 4.15 tells the story with regards to Wakeland’d talent. He is an above average starter but not an ace. On a championship team he’s probably best suited to be the SP3/SP4 which is where Atlanta has him slotted after I. Cruz and G. Baker.
Season 5- NL ROY – Juan Aguliar
ROY Team: Pittsburgh
Current Team: Pittsburgh
Career Stats: 174 HR 653 RBI .299 AVG .856 OPS
Awards: All-Star (S10), currently being voted onto the season 12 team
Like Wakeland in the AL Aguliar has spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh franchise. Dizz signed Aguliar for a bargain basement price of 7.4M for an international FA in season 3. Needless to say seven seasons later if Aguliar were available the bidding would be north of 15M.
He broke into the bigs with a line of 33HR 112RBI .330 AVG .995 OPS. His first season was so good he has never exceeded any of the stats above thus far in his career
Aguliar is currently in the last year of a 29.2M over 4 year deal. It will be interesting to see if Aguliar will re-sign with Pittsburgh or test the FA market. From a skill set standpoint Aguliar is slightly below average with the glove but more than makes up for it with an extremely good SS bat.
Friday, May 29, 2009
ROY Team: Washington
Current Team: Iowa City
Career Stats: 95-67 4.10 ERA
Awards: 2-Time All-Star
JT Cook holds the distinction of being the first pitcher to win ROY and to follow-up the award with an All-Star appearance (2). To win the ROY Cook went 11-4 with a 3.11 ERA.
He spent seasons 4-10 as one of the anchors of Washington’s Staff. Which meant he JT Cook made the post-season every year for that same stretch. During that stretch Cook pitched 82 post-season innings with a 3-5 record and 4.12 ERA
He left Washington as a FA after season 10 to sign with the Iowa City franchise. For his previous success Cook was awarded with a 5 year 42M deal. Thus far into his Iowa City career (1.5 seasons) results have been mixed as his era has been 4.64 over that stretch with a 12-19 record.
At an age of 32, Cook is likely to hit the FA market one more time.
Season 4- NL ROY –Frank Zhang & Scott Polcovich (Tie)
ROY Team: Scranton Scrotums (now Buffalo)
Career Stats: 82HR 410 RBI .286 AVG OPS .754
Awards: All-star & 2-time Gold Glove C
Compared to his ROY colleagues: Cook & Zhang, Polovich definitely had the most “eventful’ career. To tie for NL ROY Polovich’s stat line read 17HR 78 RBI .313 average.
Polovich ended up in Scranton at the beginning of Season 4 as a result of a trade with the St.Louis (now Augusta) franchise. Polovich and Woody Barnes were traded to Scranton. Barnes is the epitome of an average ML pitcher as he has gone 80-80 for his career with a 4.67 ERA. In return St. Louis got Billy O’Neil and Gene Ratcliff. O’Neil was an average C who for his career had 120 HR 354 RBI .303 average, his weakness was low durability. Ratcliff was an average 2b posting 71 HR and 374 RBI with a .308 average thus far in his career. The trade could be summarized as a wash, as all for players involved were solid ML vets but none of them superstars.
Polovich only played his rookie season for Scranton and was traded when the franchise moved to Ottawa. Ottawa (now Buffalo) traded Polovich, Sergio Johnson and Bruce Ryan to Minnesota (now Pawtucket) for Ivan Cannon, Sal Price and Lenny Bailey.
Taking at looking at what Ottawa gave up. Sergio Johnson is a reliever with an up and down career he has made all-star teams but also boosts a career ERA of 4.98. For his careeer he has typically been deployed as a closer and has racked up 181 saves. Bruce Ryan was a power hitting OF who was just leaving his prime, in his career he hit 167 HR 511 RBI .289 AVG with a .908 OPS. He retired after season 8, when he had a cup of coffee with the Louisville Sluggers (19 AB).
In return Minnesota sent back, Ivan Cannon a starting pitching that is currently on the DL for TB and has a career record of 46-58 with a 5.39 career ERA. Sal Price a slightly below average C who now plays for LAA and Lenny Bailey a reasonably good reliever who has pitched 280 ML innings with an ERA of 4.21 and still plays for the Buffalo organization.
Overall Minnesota looks to have won the deal on the difference in talent between Polovich and Price.
Polovich then spent the rest of his career with Minnesota/Pawtucket until he was allowed to leave as a FA after season 11, as of yet he has not caught on with another team. If he decides to retire after the season he will be remembered as an above average C but also as the man that almost stole the ROY from Frank Zhang.
ROY Team: Colorado
Current Team: Colorado
Career Stats: 450 HR 1140 RBI 142 SB .363*AVG 1.245* OPS (*denotes Hunter record)
Awards: Three NL MVPs, 5-Time All-Star & 4 RF Silver Sluggers
Now I know most of you are asking how one of the most prolific hitters in the history of Hunter couldn’t manage to win a ROY outright? Well here’s the story. Zhang’s ROY stats were as follows 20 HR 74 RBI 13 SB .365 AVG w/ 1.193 OPS. When you compared those numbers to Polovich besides the batting average their numbers were eerily similar. Until you dig a little deeper and realize that Polovich took over 500 AB to put his numbers up while Zhang did it in ONLY 208AB and had a stint on the 60 day DL.
I am not sure if voters were impressed or dismissive. I know, I voted for Zhang however I’m sure there were more than a few voters who felt 208 AB wasn’t enough to win ROY.
Zhang has had a stable career playing only in the confines of Coors Field. Which is kind of like a millionaire winning the lottery, did he really need the extra help?
The only thing that seems to be able to slow Zhang down is injury. Thus far in his 7 season ML career he has made four trips to the DL with to of them to the 60 day. At 29 Zhang already holds the NL record for MVP’s at 3. He sits two behind Magglio Javier and Lou Stevenson for the Hunter MVP record (5). At this point given his health concerns I’d put him at 50-50 to break the record but at 90% to tie the record.
Thus far Zhang has been fairly lucky, as none of his ratings have taken a big dip due to his injuries, as he gets older he may not fair so well. All that said Zhang once he retires is likely to hold every major hitting record that Hunter has to offer.