Sunday, June 28, 2009

Awards Preview: AL

Out of town for the week, so this year’s awards preview is going to be a little shorter than normal. Below is my rationale for voting on all the major awards.


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

Season 12 Draft Review

1 Richmond War Pigs
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.
Upside: unknown

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

ROY-Season 5

Season 5- ROY

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.