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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

ALCS Preview


Louisville: Shane Cashner

Portland: Amos Garcia

Amos has a bit more pop in his bat (24 extra base hits vs. 16), but Shane gets on base a lot more (.307 OBP vs. .266) so you have to give a slight advantage to Shane. Behind the plate Amos is better than decent (84,76,82), but Shane is better (82,88,90). Portland’s backup is more useful than Louisville’s, but you have to say there is a clear advantage for Louisville

First Base

Louisville: Mariano Guerrero

Portland: Dave Bale

Mariano is a stud (.333 21 96 with a 95/77 W/K ratio and a .944 OPS), but Dave Bale is one the 5 best players in all Long Haul. This season he went .299 45 125 39 SB and a 70/44 ratio and an OPS of .975. Mariano isn’t a bad defender (2+/1- with 1 error in 134 starts), but Dave can’t compare to Dave’s (6+/0- with no errors in 104 starts) so the clear advantage goes to Portland

Second Base

Louisville: Shawn Swift

Portland: Wladimir Telemaco

Wladimir has the better bat (.319 and 25 HR’s 19 SB’s and a .934 OPS vs. .292 18, 12, and .897), though Shawn has a better glove. IMO the gap in the bat is bigger and more important so I give advantage to Portland


Louisville: Jolbert Perez

Portland: Trace Kendall

A repeat of the catchers. Trace has a lot more pop (27 extra base hits vs. 2), but Jolbert gets on base more (.366 vs. .288) all giving Trace a tiny OPS advantage. Their fielding stats are nearly identical except for Jolert’s 13 + plays which gives the advantage to Louisville

Third Base

Louisville: Von Hammonds

Portland: Morgan Mitchel

Von has a small advantage at the plate .313 14 HR’s .820 OPS vs. .289 18 HR’s .809 OPS and on the field 10 + vs. 4, though Morgan has a better fielding percentage. Overall the small advantage goes to Louisville

Left Field

Louisville: Walt Coniglaro

Portland: Pedro Perez

Walt is a wonderful players, but like Dave Bale, Pedro is one the best 5 players in the league. Walt went .289 32 HR 106 RBI 45 SB and a .862 OPS. Pedro was .305 42 116 0 with a 1.016 OPS (also a 99/41 w/k ratio). In the field Pedro put up 11 + plays in only 95 games, compared to Walt’s 2/3 ratio in 138 games so the advantage goes to Portland

Center Field

Louisville: Tony Gutierrez

Portland: Lance Wallace

Interestingly, both teams fielded rookies at the position. Lance has a little bitter better bat .284 22 HR’s 29 SB on 35 attempts and a .835 OPS vs. .269 29 HR’s 17 SB on 26 attempts and a .813 OPS. Its probably a wash in the field as Lance had 17 + plays in 113 starts compared to 13 + plays in 134 starts, but Tony fielding percentage was .997 compared to Lance’s .969. Overall the advantage goes to Portland.

Right Field

Louisville: Angel Miranda

Portland: Alex Gomez

Behind the plate Alex is basically Angel with more speed (more extra base hits per PP, 19 SB’s compared to 0. Overall the OPS difference is .841 vs. .803. Angel should be better in the field but the stats were pretty similar (12 + plays in 160 start vs. 6 + plays in 77 starts). Overall the small advantage goes to Portland


Louisville: Eduardo Rincon

Portland: Humberto Flores

Its remarkable how similar the offense are constructed. Once again Humberto is just a slightly better version of Eduardo. (.323 29 HR .986 OPS vs. .327 24 HR .919 OPS) so the advantage goes to Portland.

“10th starter”

Louisville: Sal Gwynn

Portland: Esteban James

Esteban has been the better hitter this season (.303 21 HR 15 SB .906 OPS vs. .232 37 HR 0 SB .730 OPS). Sal was a more useful defensive player playing a capable SS and really nice 2B, while Estaban played some 2B, 3B, LF, CF, and RF playing the corner outfield spots well and was only a disaster in CF. The greater impact at the plate gives a small advantage to Portland.

Starting pitching:

Louisville’s best 3:

Luis Cedeno

Edgardo Montana

Darrin Lennon

496.6 IP 1.18 WHIP 3.04 ERA

Portland’s best 3:

Henry Burns

Chris Stanford

Bobby Buchanan

716.6 IP 1.17 WHIP 3.00 ERA

The WHIP and ERA are about equal, but there is a huge advantage that makes one feel slightly better about Portland’s staff than Louisville, but it is really, really close.


Louisville: Dennis Cho

Portland: Alex Rivera

Again, its really close. Cho has a better save ratio (14/15 compared to 20/25), but Rivera has slightly better numbers otherwise. We’ll call it a tie.


These teams are remarkablely similar Portland has more truly great players, but Louisville won the AL last season. We’ll say Portland in 7.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AL Playoff Preview

AL Playoff Power Ranking

1. Portland Thunder: I’d love to lie and call myself the underdog, but there just isn’t any good way of doing. Whoever knocks me off will have taken down the favorite. A few points to consider. First, both Pedro Perez and Dave Bale had more HR’s than strikeouts. In RL only 6 guys have hit 40 HR’s and accomplished that. They both did. Four of their starters had more walks than strikeouts. Dave Bale was a SB short of 40/40. On the mound Bobby Buchanan broke the wins and innings pitched record, yet Henry Burns might have had the better season. Speaking of which, Buchanan is argument 1 for steroid testing in HBD. Look at his numbers before this season and then look at this season and tell me he wasn’t on something. Their ballpark masks how good their hitters are and makes their pitchers look somewhat better than they really are so lets look at some road only numbers. Chew on this: Their road OPS was 30 points higher than #2 in ML San Antonio. San Antonio was only 20 points higher than #7th in the AL Tacoma.

2. Louisville 65ers : The AL champ last season has to be #2 in power rakings. Though other teams had 99 wins, only Louisville came close challenging Portland’s OPS differentials. On offense Walt Conigliaro hulk smashed on offense with 140 runs, 106 RBI’s and 45 SB’s. On the mound Edgardo Montana put up on the top three seasons in the AL this season with 20 wins. 1.15 WHIP, and a 2.52 ERA.

3. San Antonio Sentinel: Want to know who keeps me up at night? Look no further. San Antonio’s run differential was only slightly worse than Portland’s. Their pitching was secretly the best in the AL. They have the strongest defense in the AL. At times they struggle to score runs, but that tends to matter less in the playoffs as they’re no bad teams to be found. On offense Pascual Santos crushed it with 42 HR’s and a .992 OPS. On the mound they just keep coming. Bordick and his 0.75 ERA. Former Thunder overall #3 Maduro had a 2.99 ERA Antonio Drew’s ROY 2.82 ERA, and former win’s champ Chris Walcutt continues to put up HOF numbers. WOW!

4. Vancouver Elite Monarchs II: I’m going to let you in a little secret. I have Colorado’s and San Antonio’s number just a little. I’m not sure of the exact percentage, but I win more than I should. Want to know who has mine? Vancouver! I’m not sure the last time I won the season series, but it wasn’t in the last three seasons. All the metrics make them the 4th best team, but if Scottsdale wants to keep beating them that is fine by me. On offense AJ Castillo leads them with 30 HR’s and 122 RBI’s. On Don Walls and his 1.18 WHIP and Marty Dyer and his 29 saves lead them from the mound.

5. Scottsdale Shwetty Balls: Love their team, love their owner arj03c, but Scottsdale has a dirty little secret. If you can get past Calderone and Little they can’t pitch. Well that is not fair, Francis has all of the ability in the world, but hasn’t produced. On offense they are epic. 6, yes 6 of their hitters have an OPS greater than .900. Mills is the only reasonable answer to who should finish 3rd in the MVP race. Former overall #1 Bubble Sutton has lived up to ever expectation, and my personal favorite is Calvin Yoshii. While I don’t think they will win this WS, they are in a great cap position and are sure to win a WS.

6. Baltimore Beatdown: Isn’t Madden a great guy? When he joined the league in season 9 we all benefited. He has an overall HBD winning record, which is more than I can say. When he posts on the WC, I know I listen. What a guy!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rookie Review

Rookie Review

Merv McLaughlin Age 22 RF .335 34 91 11

Those are not yearly totals for the former 5th pick., that is just 88 games Proving he was worth every dime of his 10 million dollar signing bonus, he is a serious contender for the MVP.

Pascual Jimenez Dover Age 22 C .347 7 32 0

Jimenez—signed out of the Dominican Republic for 10.5 million dollars—is getting on base almost 43% of the time. A catcher, this is not a fluke as his ML number nearly match in his minor league numbers though he may show more power.

Esteban James Portland 2B/RF/CF Age 24 .308 16 52 10

Acquired at no small price from Santa Cruz (Solid 3rd/4th Starter Torey Soria career 36-26 4.05 ERA 24 years old and solid hitting SS prospect Jemile McNeil (1.064 OPS with 10 SB as a 20 yo at AA though with 33 errors so far his bat is ahead of his glove)), James has really killed it since arriving in Portland. He has hit .329 with 13 HR’s and 8 SB’s in only 65 games. More importantly for what Portland does he has walked (41) almost as many times as he has struck out (43). The Portland, Maine Native is a former 19th pick.

Horacio Guerrero New Orleans age 24 DH .336 14 68 0

DH Guerrero his is crushing it at ML after first arriving at AAA in season 14. A sandwich pick (54), Horacio was acquired for pitcher Banana Ripkin from the franchise that is now Tacoma.

Bono Knight Durham 2b .269 15 44 9

The oldest of the top rookies, this former 2nd round pick is really producing now that he has made the majors. Mr. Knight has taken a long hard road to stardom. Originally drafted by the team that is now Scottsdale, he was first claimed off of waivers by Dover and then again by Durham. That said, he seems to have found a home!

Lance Wallace Portland Age 21 CF .270 15 45 16

Despite an early season injury the former 10th pick in the draft has killed in CF with 10 plus plays in only 59 games. The youngest of the top rookies, Mr. Wallace is a complete package. Interestingly, he only started getting trade requests this season. A hidden gem.

Darrin Lennon Age 27 Louisville P 10-4 3.12 ERA

This former 31st pick finally settled in the majors and now may win 20 games. He’s been successful at AAA for many seasons before finally arriving at the majors.

Antonio Drew age 25 San Antonio P 7-2 3.03 ERA

The former 15th pick in the draft was acquired in a trade 6 seasons ago. Like Lennon, he was successful at AAA for many season for coming to the majors to be a plus starter.

Chris Killian 26 years old Burlington 7-1 2.40 ERA

The former 2nd round pick is now a top set up man. A 6ht year free agent, he was required by Burlington before the season.

Geraldo James Charlotte 6-3 2.84 ERA

The 11 million dollar IFA is the youngest of the top pitching rookies. His 2.84 ERA is a big part of the Wolverines completely out performing expectations

Prediction Review

Prediction review:

NL North: I had the order right, but as I sort of expected, Ottawa is playing better than I predicted. Everyone else is close enough to predictions.

NL East: Terrible. Philly was supposed to be the best team in the division, instead they’d miss the playoffs entirely if they started today. Worse yet, they are taking forever to get back to me on a very minor trade ;). Scranton is play about how I saw them, which with the fall of Philly, is good enough for a tie for first. St. Louis is playing better than expected. Syracuse is playing as expected.

NL South: The entire division has played better than expected. Charlotte has over performed the most, but I was just plain wrong about the relative strength of this division.

NL West: I feel really good about three of my predictions. Then there is Salt Lake City. They have been so much better than expected.

AL North: Tacoma, Iowa City, and Madison have all underperformed according to my predictions. Vancouver has really been much better than my number expected.

AL East: I couldn’t be happier to be wrong about Baltimore. They have exceeded expectations in a massive way. Unfortunately Dover and New York have gone the other way. I was close to being right about Washington.

AL South: I was reasonably close so far about San Antonio, Louisville, and New Orleans. Sadly, Texas has not played as well as I expected.

AL West: Scottsdale and San Francisco’s win totals are close to matching expectations. Colorado has played massively better than expected. Portland has won a few games more than expected too.

Season 18 Draft Review

Just my opinions. Not meant as a personal attack on anyone.

1. Seattle Victor Martinez SS

An excellent pick at #1, Martinez should lock down SS for Seattle for a decade. His bat is near ML ready now and his glove should come. He’s a five tools player and should be able to put up .300 20 20. A fine first pick with no real weakness even if he lacks one huge skills. Think Barry Larkin

2. San Francisco Johnny Benjamin P

Though his work ethic has been questioned and he lacks the elite arm you might hope for at #2, Gosher should have himself a solid #2 starter and should have it soon. Further Benjamin should have be a big time innings eater.

3. Charlotte Alan Williams P

A less ML ready, slightly less talented version of Benjamin, only his work ethic can get in the way of Williams being a good #2 starter.

4. New Orleans Kerry Shaw SS/2B/3B

A high risk, high reward pick for the Nutz, Shaw may be the best player in the draft. Show will may win a batting title, and should be good for a .320 average with plenty of steals. The high risk side of the pick stems from the fact that he was not automatic signee, his durability concerns, the lack of an elite arm, and his suspect batting eye. Think Jose Reyes

5. Washington D.C. Ray Gomes DH/1B

Probably the surest pick in the draft, the Federalists have a winner for themselves at pick 5. Just 18 he has 20 HR power that should develop into 40-50 home run power, add in a plus batting eye, above average contact, a nice approach against right handed pitching and he even steals more bases than you might expect. His only weakness is he can be a little lazy. Think Harmon Killabrew (sp?).

6. Madison Alex Gibbs P

The surprise pick of the 1st round as some did not have ranked in top 10 of the players they scouted. Don’t get me wrong, Gibbs has a plus approach against righties and lefties and enough control, but #6 is really high for a guy who will not give you more than 60 innings, lacks an elite pitch, will give up too many HR’s, and had attitude problems.

7. Jacksonville Gamecocks Eswalin Jose

I LOVE this pick. Not quite, the bat Gomes is, but really close and has defensive flexibility Gomes could only dream of. Some may have taken him as high #2 given the chance. Like many in this draft, he is a little lazy.

8. Burling ton Miguel Sanchez P

Like the pick before, Sanchez is wonderful value here. Some may have rated him as the #2 pitcher in the draft, some may not, but he’s comparable to Benjamin, but 6 picks lower and $400,000 cheaper. His elite control and two plus pitches should ensure that he is a not a bust

9. Dover Richard Bridges P

Dover and their scouts win the draft. This #1 player in the draft goes #9. A #1 starter with no real weakness and long as the ball is not hit right at him. Think Bill Swift with elite control.

10. Salem Rip Powel P

One of the many starters grouped in the contest for the #2 starter, it’s the fourth straight great pick. He gives up a home run or two and that probably makes him the 5th best starter to go, but the gap between Benjamin, Williams, Powell , and Sanchez is razor thin. He is also a tremendous athlete and has one of the best attitudes in the draft. A real effective, low risk pick here.

11. Boise J.J. Rivera P

The gap between Rivera and the pitchers taken before is pretty big. Rivera is not a bad value here, but now we are talking about a #3 starter who has gaps in his game. On the plus side, his attitude is above average.

12. Baltimore Thom Helms P

The highest risk pick of the draft, without signability issues, only Bridges is a better arm, however he has not signed yet and it is likely the 6’5” shoot guard will play for the Romer’s University of Washington basketball team next season.

13. Durham Ivan Benitez SS

Some people love picks like this. I do not. Benitez has elite skills (defense, speed, base running, and bunting). But if I am picking at #13 I want someone who I know will be able to get on base and Ivan will likely struggle to have an OBP of .320.

14. Salt Lake City Terrence Harville SS

Long term a 3B, Harville is an excellent pick here and will likely make multiple all-star games. He’ll strikeout more than you would like, but he should hit for average, hit for power, field, and throw. A four tool player at #14 is pretty good.

15. Texas Armondo Javier C

An interesting pick here. Javier has the 2nd best bat in the draft (behind Gomes), and the best ability to call a game among top catchers. However, his durability and throwing arm gave 14 teams pause. Javier is probably a reach, but will be a valuable player for the right team.

16. Iowa City Pat Donald

This pick made the Thunder sad. Donald had started slip in the draft more than was expected and some had hoped he would keep falling. Donald is not amazing at anything, but he’s everything you hope for in a CF’er, has a great attitude and will sure gather 1500 hits, 200 HR’s and 200 SB in his career which is pretty valuable.

17. Scottsdale Amos Brewer P

Amos is a fine pick here. Not amazing, not terrible. Nice approach against hitters from both sides of the plate, gives up too many homers, enough control, decent pitches. The very essence of a 17th pick.

18. Boise Aroldis Sardinha LF

Boise’s second first round pick is a lot like their first, probably a few picks too high, but a fine ML player. He’ll be healthy and durable, he’ll hit homeruns, he’ll steal a few bases, but he lacks an elite skill to hang his hat on.

19. Sacramento Howard Cooper P

The former owner of Portland gets a small steal here. Cooper is at least as good as Javier and Brewer and gets taken picks later. Probably a top 15 value. Plus he eat a ton of innings. A clear win

20. Tacoma Joshua Montana CF

Just right for pick 20. He has holes in his game and lacks the attitude you are looking for, but he will hit for average, may win a GG, and get on base. In other words a league average starting CF which is a fine value at 20.

21. New York Kane DeLucia 2B

Maybe a few spots too high, but not a mistake if he is a good fit. He has no elite skill, but does everything at the ML level. He’s a league average 2B, but his heath concerns and attitude drag down the overall grade on this pick.

22. Vancouver Hamish Boswell 2B

Once again Vancouver shown why they we will win and win and win. He’s everything DeLucia is without the risk. His power is lacking, but he has elite speed, and is health/durability/work ethic champ.

23. Louisville Galahad Cook 3B

A small steal here, he’s better than the 5 guys taken before him. He’ll hit for average, power, has nice range, and a decent glove. His weakness is on the basepaths where he can be a bit of a nightmare.

24. St. Louis Lloyd Bagley

A have no information on him

25. Portland Benji Castro

After Cook, the 2nd best player taken in the 20’s which is all you can hope for. Plus power and speed, no real weakness other than striking out too much, Enough glove to play 2nd, only his work ethic gives one pause.

26. Scranton Chun-Lim Pan

A decent pick if he signs, no amazing skills, no huge gaps in his game. If he doesn’t sign, than he was probably a not a good pick. You know the deal.

27. Santa Cruz Hoss Verlander 2B

Probably more of sandwich pick, but at 27 he wasn’t going to get a star. No elite skills, but his defense may push him to LF where he will lack the bat you are looking for.

28. Madison Shea Charles P

Madison’s second pick is like their first. 10 picks too high, but a ML player. A decent ML long reliever, but you’d hope to get a 3rd or 4th starter here.

29. Philadelphia Walt Qualls

See Shea Charels

30. San Antonio Bengie Varquez P

The commish does well a solid setup A. Not an all-star or anything, but the best you can hope to do at #30.

31. Louisvile Endy Castillo P

Louisville hits a home here. A potential closer at 31. Nice work. Best player taken in the last 5 and maybe even last 7.

32. Colorado Eduardo Rincon P

If he signs he’s as good as Varquez. If he doesn’t he was probably a good risk.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Puritans strike pure gold with Mateo?

In the largest IFA signing to date the Salt Lake City Puritans signed Dominican sensation Armando Mateo. Projected to be SS of average fielding ability, but with a plus plus arm, what seemed to really attract owner billhowell75 was the bat that is already near ML level. A four and half tool player, Mateo may grow in to a near .300 hitter with 25 HR power and a .375 OBP. With less than a $50 payroll the billhowell75 clearly saw the value of having a SS that you could feel good about hitting 6th despite the $26.5 million dollar price tag. With strong durability and health projections consider SS taken care of in Salt Lake City.

Asaxton065 has also been courting his SS of the future. Kiki Valentin lacks the plus arm and batting eye of Mateo and may not hit for the same average. Then again his rock solid work ethic may lead him to be ever bit the player Mateo is. For $17.5 million, the Louisville 65'ers also seem to have SS taken care of for a decade.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

NL Projection update

NL North
OTT 82 80
BOI 72 90 10
BUR 68 94 14
SEA 55 107 27

NL East
PHI 103 59
SCR 89 73 14
STL 86 76 17
SYR 78 84 25

NL South
Jackson 88 74
DUR 78 84 10
CHR 67 95 21
Jack 65 97 23

NL West

Santa 84 78
SAL 79 83 5
SAC 74 88 10
SLC 52 110 32

The AL post spring training

Updated AL Projections

AL North
Tac 89 73
Van 83 79 6
Iowa 79 83 10
Mad 72 90 17

AL East
Dov 77 85
NY 70 92 7
Bal 69 93 8
Was 63 99 14

AL South
SAS 101 61
LOU 93 69 8
TEX 84 78 17
NO 59 103 42

AL West
SCO 98 64
POR 96 66 2
COL 90 72 8
SF 75 87 23