Season 22, round 1…part 2

17 12 2015

Welcome to part 2. Let’s dive in:

At sixth overall, the franchise that is now the Helena Mountain Men selected Charles Gordon. In most organizations, Gordon would probably be in the majors already but Helena has two very good and relatively young catchers already in the bigs, so Gordon waits. When he does arrive, he will be among the most valuable catchers in our world. There are some backstops with better offensive tools and some with better defensive tools, but very few combine them as well as Gordon.

The Scranton Growlers took Vic Dunston at seven. The Growlers are holding out hope that he will develop into a star. But his arm is a liability at short and his bat has underwhelmed in his first season at the major league level. He’s still just 22 and has a good makeup, so there’s reason to believe that he will live up to expectations.

Petey Holmes slid to the Richmond Rancor at eight. Though his ceiling isn’t quite as high as some other players taken in the first third of the draft, Holmes has an elite glove at third and above average offensive tools. His slow offensive start in his first big league season seems to be nothing more than a small blip on what will be a very productive career.

If I had to, I’d guess that the New Britain Commodores might go a different direction with the ninth pick. Mark Carter is a solid player but, without the defensive skill set to play shortstop, his appeal is limited. His glove profiles best at third or right and his bat should be enough to stay in the starting lineup at either position, he just isn’t much more than an average major leaguer. Now, I have to qualify this mild criticism by admitting that I have no idea what NB’s scouting budget was, what other players they saw, and what Carter’s current/projected ratings were at the time of the draft.

Drafted by the Omaha Mahna Mahna at ten and then traded to the Chicago Mafia as part of a blockbuster deal the first week of season 26, Willie Gongora has developed into a solid bat with prototypical RF defensive ratings. He lacks power but the high contact and split ratings should allow him to be very productive.

Part 3 coming soon.

Please excuse this short postscript editorial. When referring to Carter above, I wrote, “he just isn’t much more than an average major leaguer.” Which is a weird thing to say as a criticism. Anyone who knows anything about the real life draft knows that any pick that turns into an average major league player is a successful pick. An organization that could turn two players from each draft into average major leaguers would dominate. Yet, we all know that the HBD draft hasn’t worked like real life. Here’s to hoping that the recent changes to the game move us closer to the real life model.





Looking back…season 22, round 1 – part 1

11 12 2015

Four seasons later, most of the first round picks from season 22 have arrived in the majors. I always enjoy going back and seeing how things came to be, what could have been done better, and who has found a way to kick my ass with their draft strategy.

Because of the update, I can’t do a couple things that would really make this interesting: 1) go back and look at the actual ratings that the players had when they were drafted and 2) look at how each franchise’s scouting budget might have impacted the choice that was made. So, with those limitations, here’s how I see the first round now, with the benefit of hindsight and four seasons of development.

With the first pick in the Season 22 draft, the Milwaukee Mud Dogs selected Daryl Medina. Medina cracked the big leagues just the other day. Solid across the board, this 22 year old looks like he will be a great mid-rotation guy for years to come. Knowing what we know now though, I’m not sure he goes 1(1) in a redraft.

The franchise that is now the Boston Bears took Geoff Knight at number two. When I first pulled up Knight’s profile, I was a little underwhelmed by his ratings. But in 1100+ major league ABs, Knight has hit .293/.370/.519 with 58 home runs while playing above average defense in left field. The 97 vR split and the fact that he bats left handed–giving him sort of a double bonus against a league heavy on right handed pitchers with high vR ratings but lower vL ratings–seems to be more than enough to overcome a mediocre contact rating and an average power rating.

Honolulu Humuhumunukunukuapua’as picked Gabe Haughian at number three. Haughian became the key piece in a season 23 trade with Scranton that landed Honolulu Randall Jackson. A trade that truly worked out for both teams, Haughian debuted in the majors in season 25 and is currently enjoying a breakout year, though he did thoroughly shit the bed in his last start.

The current New Orleans Voodoo (formerly Florida) snatched up Heathcliff Reynolds with the fourth overall pick. Reynolds’ signability and combined stamina/durability look like the culprits in his drop to fourth. Because, otherwise, he has an elite arm. Reynolds broke into the bigs this season and is having a good year. But it does look like getting him a significant amount if innings will always be a challenge.

The first of two Vics selected in the top 7, Vic Valenzuela was snagged by Washington D.C. Wingnuts at five. A guy that I would strongly consider at 1(1) in a redraft, Valenzuela was promoted to the majors as a 20 year old in season 24. While didn’t develop enough defensively to stick at shortstop, his season 26 line of .285/.366/.496 with 21 home runs and 37 doubles will fit nicely at third.

That’s it for today. Check back next week to see parts 2 and, if I have time, 3.

-BL





Big League Shortstops – Tiers

10 11 2015

Welcome to the first post in a series of many. Today we’re looking at shortstops across the majors. I grouped them into tiers because it makes more sense than trying to parse the differences between the 6th/7th/8th best SS, etc.

Please keep in mind that there are 78 players tagged as shortstops on current Major League rosters. I pulled out any that had less than 40 ABs or a sub-70 glove from the ratings without further evaluation. Even after pulling those out, there are still almost 40 guys actually playing shortstop regularly.

Lastly, this is just my opinion based on what I see when I look at the ratings. Please don’t be insulted if I prefer, for example, Brian Skipworth over Vic Rosa.

So, let’s get started:

Tier 1

Oh boy, another disclaimer: Accardo Palacios would top this tier if he actually played shortstop. But he doesn’t.

Moving on:

Jeff Rooney
Steve Reed
Brian Skipworth

Even in the first tier, no one is bullet-proof. Rooney is about average with the glove but gets on base over 36% of the time. Reed’s range and glove are outstanding but his arm isn’t and his offensive stats are a little underwhelming. Skipworth has great power for a middle infielder but his 25 errors last year may hint at a future move to third base. Faults noted, these three are still the best combinations of solid bats and acceptable defense in the majors.

Tier 2

Bernard Parrott
Patrick Holmes
Roberto Gonzalez
Vic Rosa

Parrot and Holmes are better defenders than any of the guys in the first tier, but don’t have the offensive skills to keep up. Gonzalez and Rosa have very good bats, but not good enough to overcome their defensive shortcomings and push them into the top tier.

Tier 3a

Kevin Jang
Vic Dunston

Jang is better defensively but Dunston may end up better offensively. Though Dunston’s Arm Accuracy has his franchise worried. Both are good young players with solid futures ahead.

Tier 3b

Tom Timmons

Timmons was the hardest to place. He’s average-to-elite in most of the major categories. But his splits are essentially zero. He has a career .716 OPS over roughly 700 PA, so maybe the splits are something he can overcome? Or maybe his .205/.301/.260 line over 150 ABs this season is more realistic?

Tier 4

Cameron Kottaras
Hal Aven

At this point, I’m splitting hairs. A lot of people might prefer these two over the three guys in tier 3 or even Holmes from tier 2.

Tier 5

Daryl Miller
Naoto Nakajima
Juan Puente
Mikey Chaffee
Paul Brown
Alvin Mayne

The gloves. These guys are on their rosters because they play defense. Anything they give back with the bat is a bonus. I did have to draw a line when it comes to offensive ratings. While none of the players in this tier are offensive juggernauts, they hold their own. There are a couple of great defensive shortstops who did not make this tier for that reason.

Tier 6

Henderson Munoz
Brooks Walker
Avisail Vazquez
Rafael Osuna
Allan Davis
Kosuke Chen
Alex Strong
Carlos Valdes
Collin Griffin
Geraldo Villanueva
Alex Lind
Wily Santiago
Ken Kent

The rest. This group is a mixed bag. Some are all-glove, no-bat defensive specialists like Lind. Others are defensive liabilities with solid bats like Chen. There are also platoon partners and waiver wire stop-gaps here.

-BL





Pre-Season Power Ranking (S24)

9 03 2015

Rankings are based on last years expected percentage – with adjustments for players lost and added, players declining and improving, and a couple of other tweaks. Apologies if you’re offended with your ranking or comment – you all know your teams better than I do – I could easily have overlooked something.

Always tough to do this – not all ranks are created equal. I found the top 5 clear of the field, then another gap after #15, and then bottom 4 cut adrift.

chicago_21. Chicago Mafia – Neck and neck with Syracuse all last year, but had a slightly better winter, the key move being a trade with New Britain which included last years #4 pick in the draft RF George Overbeck who goes straight from Low A to the big leagues.

syracuse2. Syracuse Orange Raiders – It’s tough to bet against the World Champs – but whilst Jose Lee is good, these days at least – he’s no Allan Bonds. Mariano Trajano could have a big season.

 

toronto3. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford – With possibly the best off-season of any team – T.O. introduce Allan Bonds and Milt Small, whilst retaining their own free agent relievers Ray and Bacsik.

 

honolulu4. Honolulu Humuhumunukunukuapua’as – Not far behind them in pretty much every sense – the Fish. Adding SP Morgan Mock and LF Jose Soria. They’re going Double-Willy though!

 

sandiego5. San Diego Waves – A quiet off-season for the Waves, but they were very good last year (despite being one of the unluckiest teams in Hamilton), and will be again. Lost Lonny Canseco to the Fish, but gained 2B Marcus Becker.

 

Vancouver6. Vancouver Whitecaps – Don’t have the 100 win capability of the top 5, and the knees are starting to creak a little, but LF Kazuya Whang is a good enough acquisition to think they may still be competitive for a wildcard.

 

sanfrancisco7. San Francisco Swag – Whilst cumulatively the Swag probably lost more than they gained in free agency, they gained a solid 3B in Torey Santos, and traded for quality 2B/F Wilfredo Posada. C Fernando Diaz could make the ML squad at some point.

Toledo28. Toledo Dirty Chickens – A full year of the still improving Hades Allen, the debut of RP Victor Hogan, adding veteran OF Cliff Service. Toledo should win more games in S24.

 

Salem9. Salem Witch Hunt – It was a big price to pay, and he may not be worth it at the tail end of that contract, but for now  – Matty Paniagua could be the edge Salem needs for the playoffs. New CF tandem: Harry Lee and James Stephenson are exciting.

saltlakecity10. Salt Lake City Seraphim – If the Seraphim promote their AAA stars – they’re going to be with Salem every step of the way: SP Danys Rodrigues is the star, RF Geraldo Cairo and SP Stretch Wilson are pretty fine too, and if your 4th rated AAA guy is C Howie Waters – then your laughing!

Chicago_111. Chicago Cubs – Lost some good free agents in Whang, Santos & Small. A smart trade for 3B Ronnie Robertson, and the signing of slugger Bob Grimsley offset some of that. They’re not as good as last season – but they’re still going to win the division.

anaheim12. Anaheim Amigos – After missing the playoffs by 1 win – Dale Clark may well push this team on to the next level. Skeeter Hermansen had a great year, but he’s still developing so could improve even on that.

 

Jackson13. Jackson Crusaders – Stand a really good chance of retaining the NL South, but will have to do so without SP Wladimir Duran and RF Candy Qualls. But their core of young talented pitching should see them through.

 

coloradosprings14. Colorado Springs Coors Lights – Like SLC: CSP have pulled the trigger on their prospects: SP Ariel James – he of the vomit-inducing curveball – is the favorite for ROY honors. OFs Tommy Kelly and Henderson Richardson are class acts too, and they’ve still got Rocco Pacheco on the farm!

montreal15. Montreal Mega Leaves – Despite new ownership, moving to a new country, and losing the power of Jose Soria – the Mega Leaves may well be Anaheim’s wildcard competition. This team were a little unlucky last year, and will hope Gerald Dodd has one last season in him.

neworleans16. New Orleans Bounty Hunters – The rigors of age weaken the Bounty Hunters, embodied most telling of all by future hall of famer Don Helton. They might still be the best team in the AL South though! Wladimir Duran is a good signing, and SP Albert Price could join the big club sooner rather than later.

Newbritain17. New Britain Commodores – The Commodores were relatively lucky last year to win 80 games, but they could get to .500 on merit this year with Dale Erickson and Desi Howard. They’re unlucky in that if they were in the East or South they’d be competing for the division.

WashingtonD.C.18. Washington DC Wingnuts – Case in point! A decent young team, a little better for adding SP Tomas Tatis, and narrow favorite for the AL East.

 

Milwaukee19. Milwaukee Mud Dogs – Finished 4th in the division despite a balanced record, they had some luck on their side – but then youngsters like RP Keith Lomasney and SP Eric Spence will contribute more, and RF Carlos Osuna adds experience.

Charlotte20. Charlotte Royal Knights – A team that have perhaps regressed slightly. Larry McMahon and Chad Stahl are ageing, and Randall Barry is gone to Hawaii.

 

rochester21. Rochester Razzlers – A touch improved, but probably still behind the Cubs. Jack Paulson is a nice value addition to pitching staff, and surely 2B Travis Poppell must see Rochester at some point soon.

 

durham22. Durham Democrats – Feels a bit odd ranking Durham this low! For the second season in succession they’ve lost influential free agents such as Paniagua, Clark and Vinny Yang. This could be a first losing season in 11.

 

richmond23. Richmond Rancor – Whilst it’s probably still a rebuilding year for the Rancor, they might not find themselves too far of the division lead. OF Seth Oliver was a good value signing, and there’s some talent in the minors like 2B Max Ciriaco.

kc24. Kansas City Monarchs – Steps in the right direction here: Francisco Hernandez and Vinny Yang add some depth to the rotation, Gil Jones will have a first full season at 1B, and if they manage to get in contention, we might see young SP Ellie Crane.

NewYork_225. New York Giants – There’s a good team developing here, new RF Eduardo Lopez should prove popular, but we’ll likely see the best of the Giants in a season or two once Nicholas McCutchen and Geoff Knight are ready.

 

st.louis26. St.Louis Redbirds – Lost some experienced pitching from Dodd and Harry Sullivan, and not really replaced it. On the credit side, they can expect more from developing pair RF Henry Dykstra and SP CJ Edwards.

 

sanjose27. San Jose Jellyfish – Improved in the outfield by adding Candy Qualls, but it can’t compensate for losing Morgan Mock.

 

TampaBay28. Tampa Bay Devil Rays – Apart from the catchers – this is an exceedingly young team, including S23 IFAs Rico Tavarez and Juan Tarraga.

 

Trenton29.  Trenton Try Hards – Poorer for now for losing Sullivan and trading away Robbie Robertson, but a big league debut for 2B Don Lavarnway and a number of good prospects on the farm promise future riches.

 

newyork_130. New York Yankees – If I was surprised about Durham…  Eduardo Lopez‘s journey to Queens may sound the competitive death knell for the Yankees for a year or two, by which time the likes of Kevin Nelson and Mitchell Hackman might be the stars.

Scranton31. Scranton GrowlersFelipe Cairo will excite the fans in SWB, but the pitching just isn’t there to be a competitive team. That said, they may well be one of the best 31st ranked teams in HBD.

 

sanantonio32. San Antonio Los Diablos Rojos – It’s tough to know what to make of a team that was so haplessly managed in previous seasons, other than to be thankful they;re in safe hands. It’s going to be a long haul, but Rule 5 pick Harry Roosevelt is a decent start.





Regular Season Awards (Pitching) (S22)

14 02 2015

Wins:

AL – Jeff Conger, Syracuse Orange Raiders; Willie Granados, Colorado Springs Coors Lights, 22, equal 3rd most.

Jeff Conger
Syracuse
Orange Raiders
Age: 23 B/T: L/L
Born: Granada Hills, CA
Position(s): P (SP3)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

NL – Lance Ramsay, Chicago Cubbies, 20

ERA (Qual):

AL – Willie Granados, Colorado Springs Coors Lights, 2.47

NL – Wilfredo Rosales, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, 1.85

 WHIP (Qual):

AL – Willie Granados, Colorado Springs Coors Lights, 1.03

Willie Granados
Colorado Springs
Coors Lights
Age: 28 B/T: S/R
Born: San Joaquin, VE
Position(s): P (SP1)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

NL – Wilfredo Rosales, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, 0.87, 2nd best all time (behind Cal Crawford)

Saves:

AL – Clyde Swindell, New Britain Commodores, 42

NL – Everth Mateo, Milwaukee Mud Dogs; Herm Perez, Anaheim Amigos, 40

Strikeouts:

AL – Willie Granados, Colorado Springs Coors Lights, 259

NL – Wilfredo Rosales, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, 260

these are the 2nd and 3rd highest totals ever, Granados also has the 1st and 4th place.

ERA (>40 innings)

AL – Dwight Damon, Washington DC Wingnuts, 1.55

NL – Dioner Vincente, San Diego Waves, 1.43

WHIP (> 40 innings):

AL – Alejandro Pineda, Chicago Mafia, 0.77

NL – Wilfredo Rosales, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, 0.87

Wilfredo Rosales
Toronto
Mayor Rob Ford
Age: 30 B/T: R/R
Born: Caibarien, CU
Position(s): P (SP4)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Complete Games:

AL – Miguel Roque, Charlotte Royal Knights, 6

NL – Eugenio Pena, San Diego Waves, 7

Complete Game Shut Outs:

AL – Damon Cromer, Washington DC Wingnuts, 3

NL – Eugenio Pena, San Diego Waves, 4

Quality Starts:

AL – Willie Granados, Colorado Springs Coors Lights, 29

NL – Norm Mullens, San Diego Waves, 29

Norm Mullens
San Diego
Waves
Age: 25 B/T: R/R
Born: Clarinda, IA
Position(s): P (SP3)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

GIDP:

AL – Damon Cromer, Washington DC Wingnuts, 37

NL – Vasco Lopez (SJ), Bo Wilson (Mem), Eli Matos (Mem), Eugenio Pena (SD), 28

Negative statistics

Losses:

AL – Giomar Armas (TB), Maikel Manuel (SWB), Brent Newman (Bos), 18

NL – Ozzie Takada, Memphis Timelords, 19

Walks:

AL – Edgard Sanchez, Washington DC Wingnuts, 116

NL – Bo Wilson, Memphis Timelords, 90

Home Runs:

AL – Ralph Wise, Colorado Springs Coors Lights, 42

NL – Cory Grey, Chicago Cubbies, 39

Earned Runs:

AL – Giomar Armas, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 132

NL – Ozzie Takada, Memphis Timelords, 151





Regular Season Awards (Hitting) (S23)

14 02 2015

Batting Average:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, .340

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos, .330

Hits:

AL – Christopher Frazier, Salt Lake City Seraphim, 201

NL – Kenny Michaels, Chicago Cubbies, 185

Home Runs:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 72, 3rd best all-time

NL – Charlie Slowey, Jackson Crusaders; Torey Ramirez, Rochester Razzlers, 49

RBI:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 186, 3rd best all-time

NL – Charlie Slowey, Jackson Crusaders, 139

Charlie Slowey
Jackson
Crusaders
Age: 26 B/T: R/R
Born: Brodhead, WI
Position(s): LF/1B/RF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Runs:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 136

NL – William Winston, Jackson Crusaders, 124

Stolen Bases:

AL – Damian Vitiello, Salt Lake City Seraphim; Wilbur Moriarty, Richmond Rancor, 81

Damian Vitiello
Salt Lake City
Seraphim
Age: 25 B/T: R/R
Born: Leamington, ON
Position(s): CF/1B/2B/OF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

NL – William Winston, Jackson Crusaders, 97

Walks:

AL – Miguel Morlan, Vancouver Whitecaps, 97, moves up to 2nd on the all-time career list, behind Don Helton.

NL – Mac Pisciotta, San Diego Waves, 98

Intentional Walks:

AL – Christopher Frazier, Salt Lake City Seraphim, 24

NL – Mandy Peterson, Milwaukee Mud Dogs, 16

Hit by Pitch:

AL – Patrick Holmes, New Britain Commodores, 23

NL – Esmailyn Santos, San Francisco Swag, 21

Doubles:

AL – Ryan Munoz, Boston Buccaneers, 41

NL – Kenny Michaels, Chicago Cubbies; Yasiel Corpas, Toldeo Dirty Chickens, 38

Triples:

AL – Valerio Lopez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 8

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos; Dann Blankenship, Toledo Dirty Chickens, 7

Infield Hits:

AL – Wilfredo Posada, Salem Witch Hunt, 48

NL – William Winston, Jackson Crusaders, 52

Hitting Streak:

AL – Larry McMahon, Charlotte Royal Knights, 21

NL – Vin Cruz, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, 22

Runs Created:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 173.192

Peter Perez
Syracuse
Orange Raiders
Age: 24 B/T: S/R
Born: Petersburg, ND
Position(s): RF/CIF/LF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos, 142.946

 Runs Created per 27 outs:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 11.715

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos, 10.721

OBP:

AL – Herm Mahomes, Salem Witch Hunt, .417

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos, .418

SLG:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, .773

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos, .650

Jimmie Mendoza
Anaheim
Amigos
Age: 24 B/T: L/L
Born: Puerto Plata, DO
Position(s): RF/1B/LF/DH
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

OPS:

AL – Peter Perez, Syracuse Orange Raiders, 1.169

NL – Jimmie Mendoza, Anaheim Amigos, .1.068

Negative statistics

Caught Stealing:

AL – Gorkys Elcano, New Britain Commodores, 21

NL – George Watkins, San Jose Jellyfish, 24, equal 2nd most in a single season

Grounded Into Double Play:

AL – Pedro Tejeda, Vancouver Whitecaps, 40, may well challenge Adam Wirth‘s all-time GIDP record (448)

NL – Dioner Baez, New York Giants, 37

Strikeouts:

AL – Sherman Phillips, Salt Lake City Seraphim, 170

NL – Vin Jennings, Toledo Dirty Chickens, 147





Mid-season Power-Ranking (as at game 71, season 23)

1 01 2015

Preseason rank in parentheses.

syracuse1 (1). Syracuse Orange Raiders – Has the joint most wins, the ML leader in Home runs and RBI (Peter Perez), the joint fewest negative plays. The only negative is the injury to Max Marquez.

 

chicago_22 (2). Chicago Mafia – As solid as ever. The trade for Accardo Palacios is paying off in fine style, he leads the majors in both runs and runs created.

 

Chicago_13 (3). Chicago Cubbies – The other key part of the Palacios deal was Kazuya Whang who would be the star at Wrigley – if only 1B Kenny Michaels weren’t so damn good.

 

sandiego4 (4). San Diego Waves – The best team in the NL. Team ERA of 2.79 is ridiculously good. Catcher Mac Pisciotta leads the majors in walks, and the addition of quality RP Conor Nixon should spur them on.

 

Vancouver5 (8). Vancouver Whitecaps – Veteran DH Miguel Morlan leads the world in OBP, but it’s the performance of the rotation that’s driving success, if only the bullpen (other than the curiously effective Norberto De La Rosa) could match them!

 

toronto6 (11). Toronto Mayor Rob Ford – Not dissimilar to San Diego, they’re doing it with good pitching (best WHIP and OAV), and defence (fewest negative plays). And all that with Mac Lee missing 5 starts!

 

honolulu7 (7). Honolulu Humuhumunukunukuapua’asRuben Bennett leads the majors in both average and OPS…quelle surprise. The callups of Olivo and Carpenter push the Fish onto a new level.

 

sanfrancisco8 (15). San Francisco Swag – The third NL club to feature, and the third to be doing it by pitching and defence. It also helps when someone like Kevin Ni steps up like he has done.

 

Jackson9 (16). Jackson Crusaders – It’s tough to split the Crusaders from the Swag. Jackson are benefiting from a potential rookie of the year winning season from SP Stuart Kline, and ML leading base thief: William Winston.

 

Toledo210 (5). Toledo Dirty Chickens – A relatively disappointing season so far, but then Hades Allen was a late call up – and he already has 15 homers, and SP Russ Peterson could be on his way to a Cy Young award!

 

Salem11 (9). Salem Witch Hunt – Salem demonstrates the benefit of doing the little things well and find themselves leading a suddenly competitive AL West. SS Pat Hasegawa has many more + plays than anyone else, and Wilfredo Posada does likewise for infield hits.

Charlotte12 (10) Charlotte Royal Knights – The best hitting team in Hamilton, topping many of the offensive categories including runs, walks and OPS. In addition: Miguel Roque leads the  majors in wins (jointly).

 

durham13 (13). Durham Democrats – The Democrats are a good pitching side: when your 4th best starter has figures like Wes Mullaney – you know you’re doing well. But there are only 5 teams with fewer runs scored, Al Mendez has done OK, but we were expecting more, perhaps he’ll have strong second half?

st.louis14 (6). St.LouisRedbirds – The reverse of Durham, have scored the 3rd most runs in the NL, but have conceded the 4th most. The number 2 pick from 2 seasons ago – RF Henry Dykstra is having a fine debut season.

 

neworleans15 (12). New Orleans Bounty Hunters – The Bounty Hunters are still very much in contention in the AL South, and old dog Don Helton just doesn’t stop hitting and walking, and C/DH Orber Arrojo does a good job of supporting him.

 

saltlakecity16 (25). Salt Lake City Seraphim – Possibly the biggest surprise team of the season, they don’t score a lot of runs, but they don’t need to as they have some excellent pitching – in particular rookie Reggie Roundtree.

 

WashingtonD.C.17 (18). Washington DC Wingnuts – Probably the best team in a weak AL East, they’re having to deal with an injury to rare ML level diamond in the rough Kyle Sherman, helped by RF Scot Byrnes who has the most doubles in all Hamilton.

 

Milwaukee18 (23). Milwaukee Mud Dogs – With average pitching and below par batting – the Mud Dogs add value with their defence, they have the most positive plays of any team, 1B Ubaldo Diaz has the most with 10, he could find himself in MVP contention.

 

anaheim19 (22). Anaheim Amigos – A solid team, but unable to compete with the Waves and Swag. Rookie 3B Skeeter Hermansen jointly leads the NL in homers, and RF Jimmie Mendoza leads the NL in all the rate statistics.

 

coloradosprings20 (14). Colorado Springs Coors Lights – the AL West has moved on and left the Coors Lights behind. They rely heavily on Willie Granados who has been excellent, leading the majors in wins, strikeouts and quality starts. They have some good prospects in AAA though – so next year may be a different story.

sanjose21 (19). San Jose Jellyfish – the pitching isn’t bad, but they simply don’t score enough runs.  They do however run the bases well, they have 117 SBs, the most in Hamilton

 

boston22 (21). Boston Buccaneers – it’s the other way around in Boston, the hitting is decent – more so when we recall that star bat Ryan Munoz spent some time on the DL, but the pitching just isn’t there. Lloyd Arnold can hold his head up, he leads the majors in saves.

NewYork_223 (20). New York Giants – the hitting is decent, and would be even better had Sammy Escobar not badly injured his neck. The pitching however is light once you get past the top 3 starters (Gomez, Guillon & Dukes).

 

Newbritain24 (29). New Britain Commodores – A similar team to the Jellyfish: they pitch reasonably well, but only 2 teams in the AL have scored fewer runs. RF Paulie Yates could be having a career year.

 

richmond25 (27). Richmond Rancor – A more extreme version of the Commodores, the pitching is in the top half of the AL, but they are the lowest scorers. The Rancor exhibit the best team defence in Hamilton, leading in fielding percentage and have the fewest errors.

boise26 (24). Boise In Blue – Similar story: pitching is adequate (Trevor Keagle and Pedro Piedra are having excellent years), but the hitting isn’t. The building blocks are here to build a decent side in future seasons.

 

rochester27 (17). Rochester Razzlers – A disappointing season, caused at least in part by a probably career ending injury to SP D’Angelo Carrara, and elbow tendinitis for long-reliever Tyler Ramirez.

 

TampaBay28 (31). Tampa Bay Devil Rays – The D-Rays can score runs, they have more triples than anyone else, and rookie 1B Steve Brock is having a fantastic season. the pitching however – just isn’t very good.

 

newyork_129 (30). New York Yankees – leading their division, but ranked 29th? The Yankees concede a lot of runs, and in trading for young talent they have weakened their bullpen further. They do score some runs though, young 2B Branch Denny is on fire!

 

Trenton30 (26). Trenton Try Hards – There’s quite a gap between the Yankees and the bottom three, these are the teams where both the pitching and the hitting are poor. Of course, it doesn’t help when your promising young pitcher like Jose Carrasquel goes down with elbow tendinitis.

Scranton31 (28). Scranton Growlers – The Growlers give up the greatest number of runs in Hamilton, 40 more than the second worst. Lary and Affeldt aside, it isn’t pretty. Young Catcher Adrian Carlson is having a decent year mind.

 

Memphis32 (32). Memphis Timelords – The positives: Veteran Tyler Mora isn’t far off getting his 2,000th career hit, Don Kata plays some pretty good SS, Darin Parkinson is a genuinely capable ML 3B. That’s about it though.








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