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Sunday, July 20, 2008

NL North

Milwaukee Princes:

Hitting: They are right in the middle of the pack when it comes to batting average hitting at a .268 clip. They are below league average though when it comes to runs scored but are in first place in their division as the season draws to a close. They are led by young stud John Rose. At 28 the future is now for this kid. However, the ML ready position players are few and far between so free agency will be the key and resigning current talent. However, they are loaded with SS prospects and can probably send some away and trade for other weaker positions

Pitching: Their team ERA is just under 4, which is one of the top rankings in the league. Milwaukee has some incredible talent and possibly the best young pitcher in the majors with Ramon Jiang. Geraldo Ortiz is almost back and was incredible before getting hurt. Eddie Webster might be the leagues top closer and is only 26. The future bullpen looks incredible as well. A true force to be reckoned with.

Draft Class: The draft was horrid for them. The first pick wants 8.5 million and likely won’t sign. 2nd round pick Adrian Nelson projects ok overall, but likely won’t ever be a major league talent, plus he cost 3+ million to sign. Jayson Terry there 3rd round pick also projects well overall but won’t crack the majors & cost nearly 3 million to sign. The 4th round pick at cost and projecting well overall may be the only guy to crack the majors. Overall a disaster. Future drafts need to be better. DRAFT GRADE: D+

My Prediction: First in the division, maybe 1 round win.

Overall Grade: B+

Future Team Grade: B

Ottawa Sundragons:

Hitting: They are near the bottom of the league when it comes to batting average hitting at a .260 clip. They are near the middle of the league though when it comes to runs scored. They are led offensively by young slugger Doug Williamson who has slugged 50 homers this season and Midre Maradona who is a running fool and a potential multi-year all-star. They have also recently called up some young guns who will be in the majors for quite a while. Jin Woodard should be a stud, Junior Lee is a defensive future wizard, and they are full of others.

Pitching: Their team ERA is just under 5, which is right in the middle of the league rankings. Ottawa has a stud closer in Hades Riley but he is getting older and may be gone in a few years. Damion Towers is the stud of the Pitching Staff. Charlie Norton will be awesome as well. However, overall they have some severe deficiencies and will need to stock up for the future.

Draft Class: They made a great selection with their first round pick as Darrell Caufield will be a stud. 2nd Round Pick Lyle Kramer will also make the majors one day. 3rd round pick was a dog and won’t make it past AA, 4th Round pick won’t sign, but 5th round selection T.J. Koplove could make an impact eventually. All in all getting 3 potential difference makers, all at slot money constitutes a damn good draft in my opinion DRAFT GRADE: A-

My Prediction: 2nd in the Division.

Overall Grade: C+

Future Team Grade: B+

Boise Barnstormers:

Hitting: They are in the bottom ¼ of the league in terms of Batting Average and runs scored. Their lone All-Star is 27 year old Lonnie Morton he will be a difference maker for a long time, plus he also won the Home Run Derby. Benjamin Robinson is an overpaid, underperforming talent, but a talent at 29 nonetheless. Billy Winn is one of the top prospects offensively but there isn’t too to talk about behind him.

Pitching: They are in the top ¼ of the league in terms of ERA. Jarrod Mercedes is a great talent but is aging and injury prone. Ruben Trevino will be a stud for a long time and at 26 is also making an impact. They are stock full of major league young pitchers, but some of the depths they have lacks control and may not be true major league caliber. They have incredible depth at the minor league level, their AAA is LOADED. Pedro Gomez may win a few Cy Young Awards before all is said and done. Efrain O’Keefe may join him in that race too. Aaron Pierzynski will be their closer of the future and a stud at that.

Draft Class: Elmer Evans is an ok first round pick, but I am not sure he will ever be a meaningful Major League producer. Anthony Pagnozzi will be good as well, but again not a big time producer. Noone after that point will make any impact. DRAFT GRADE: C

My Prediction: 3rd in the Division.

Overall Grade: C

Future Team Grade: A (Pitching would be an A+++, Hitting drags it down)

Detroit Tigers:

Hitting: They are in the middle of the pack offensively with a batting average of .267. However, they haven’t been able to turn that into runs as they are 5th last in the league. They lack any semblance of power with only 84 home runs this season. Del Johnson has wasted away in AAA and is the best offense talent they currently have. Not sure why a 32 year old player making 5.4 million spent 110+ games in AAA. The minors lacks any meaningful offensive threats as well.

Pitching: Their team ERA is just under 5.50 which ranks them 5th last in the league. They have also managed to blow 19 saves thus far. Scooter Bacsik will be a stud if he can stay healthy. Omar Gonzalez is also a great young talent who is already making a Major League impact. They have some meaningful talent through the minors as well.

Draft Class: With the 15th overall pick they made a great selection in Aramis Durazo. If given time to develop he will be a great asset. Hugh McDonald in the supplemental round is also a great pick, but he has been rushed and is already in AAA which will likely keep him from ever reaching his true potential. 2nd round pick Jeromy Ramirez was a hold out and wanted nearly 5 million to sign, well he signed and may crack the minors someday but won’t be a huge impact. 3rd round pick Willie Melo may also be an impact player some day. A few others will make an impact at the minor league levels DRAFT GRADE: B+ (This would be an A or even an A+ if Hugh wasn’t already in AAA)

My Prediction: Last in the Division.

Overall Grade: C-

Future Team Grade: B+

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