Sunday, February 28, 2010

Free Agent Signings, Season 11

Another year of big contracts. Let's get right to it.

10. RP Jed Holmes - Anaheim Dodgers ($25M/4 years).

Big time relief player without much closing experience, but that's what Anaheim will try to do with him. He's a great player, but will he be enough to get Anaheim back to the World Series? Could be a pretty good bargain player, assuming he doesn't decline too much.

9. SP Lenny Davis - San Diego Conquistadors ($28M/4 years).

Davis has pitched for Cleveland the past four years, where he has been good but not excellent. San Diego is coming off of their 4th straight 2nd place finish, and hope Davis helps them win their first division title. Could be a good signing for San Diego.

8. RF Geraldo Valdes - Seattle Argonauts ($35.8M/4 years).

Seattle was looking for offense this year and they've spent some money to try and get it. Valles come over from Charleston where he never posted great numbers (OPS south of .800 in each of the past three seasons). Will he be able to improve in Seattle? They'll need him to if they want to compete with Toronto and Syracuse.

7. SS Erik Miller - Pittsburgh Pirates ($36M/4 years).

This was a rather quiet signing, and it looks like a good one for Pittsburgh. Miller played well for Toronto over the past four seasons. If he can keep that up in Pittsburgh, they should compete for the playoffs for seasons to come. Might be a concern that his power is already beginning to decline, though.

6. 2B Dale Kennedy - Anaheim Dodgers ($37M/5 years).

And Anaheim appears on the list again. Kennedy should fill a role for Anaheim on offense, but will these two signings (Kennedy and Holmes) be enough to fend off San Francisco and other NL powerhouses? This particular contract may not look so good at the back end.

5. RP Henry Hitchcock - Syracuse WHITETAILS ($37.5M/5 years).

Syracuse made the playoffs for the first time ever last season, finishing just a shade under .500 (80-82). They made this signing in hopes of making it back this year, but I'm not sure Hitchcock s going to help. For the most part he looks good, but he's going to have some control issues, and he struggled a bit in San Francisco last season (4.58 ERA). He's converted about 2/3 of his save changes over the course of his career. However, the price is not outrageous.

4. SP Richard Takada - Augusta Hitmen ($42.2/4 years).

After dropping out of races for the top tier offensive players this season, Augusta re-signed Takada, who had been a good pitcher for them over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, he suffered a major injury during Spring Training and will likely miss the entire season. If Augusta somehow squeaks into the playoffs, he could return. Otherwise, he will hope to contribute next season. The injury makes this look like an awful signing for the Hitmen, but hindsight is 20/20.

3. SP Oswaldo Vincente - Syracuse WHITETAILS ($44M/5 years).

Syracuse shows up on the list again, this time signing on this season's highest paid pitcher. While he will probably not win the Cy Young Award, he does look like a nice pitcher. He pitched great in limited time for Monterrey last season and Syracuse hopes that will carry over to this season. If it does, Syracuse will have the makings of a nice staff, and Toronto may have a challenge on their hands.

2. CF Kevin Bravo - Seattle Argonauts ($86.5M/5 years).

This is where Seattle is really hoping to get some run production. And for this kind of money, they better get it! I've learned from experience that dishing out this kind of money for position players can be risky business. He should be effective in the first couple years of the contract, but will Bravo be worth $17.3M/season in the final years of this deal?

1. C Edgard Saez - Monterrey Banditos ($86.8M/ 5 years).

The biggest signing this season goes to Monterrey, edging out Bravo's contract by roughly $300k. He is going to be an excellent hitter and help Monterrey score a ton of runs, but what is he going to look like in Seasons 14-16 when the contract really gets expensive? In the meantime, the Banditos will hope this is enough to get them into the playoffs.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Season 10 First-Year Player Draft Review

In this post, I will review the first round selections (1-32) from this year's draft. While I believe the overall quality of this year's draft was low, most owners did well for themselves. Keep in mind that I am working with a 14M advance scouting budget, so my projections may differ from yours.

1. Jeff Earley - Kansas City FORCE
The first selection in this year's draft went to Kansas City and they went with a big bat. He's got great ratings across the board, although, if there is a weakness, it's his split against lefties, although even that is good. He's listed as a shortstop, and his projections are just below league average for the position. He could easily move to 3B as an all-star, or stay at SS. That will be a decision for ZEKE to make.
Grade: A-

2. Earl Morton - Colorado Springs Abominable Snowmen
Colorado Springs took another IF with the 2nd overall pick. While not as powerful as Earley, Morton has better splits and a great eye. He'll also be a great player down the road.
Grade: A-

3. Nicholas Hall - Little Rock Nine
Overall, he projects as a good pitcher that will pitch deep into games, however, his split versus lefties is a concern. Control, velocity, and pitches all look good, though. You just usually want a more complete pitcher for the first to come off the board.
Grade: B

4. Mo Davis - Salem Stripsearch
Another good pitcher, but again, one usually expects a better player in the top five. He projects to have great control and a very strong split against lefties, but his split against righties is just average. He won't be able to pitch as deep into games on a regular basis as you would like, either. Still, though, a fine player.
Grade: B+

5. Roy Lewis - Monterrey Banditos
This makes the third IF selected in the first five picks. He projects to have great contact and eye, which will make him an on-base machine. Power and splits, though, are just average.
Grade: B+

6. Neifi Gutierrez - Austin Sixth Streets
In my opinion, Gutierrez represents great value at #6. He's got stamina, splits, control, and a couple of great pitches. Only concerns are low velocity and he looks like more of a fly than groundball pitcher.
Grade: A

7. Edgar Borbon - Fargo Northmen
Borbon looks like a very nice hitting shortstop, although those defensive projections (range and glove) are just a hair below league averages, and you have to expect that he'll fall a little short of those. Even at 3B he'd be solid, though.
Grade: B+

8. Omar Martin - Arizona Sun Spots
As of this writing, Martin is not signed. Even if he were, he is not what you want at this part of the draft. Both splits are pretty weak, although he does have strong control, velocity and a couple nice pitches.
Grade: C+

9. Oscar Lo - Charlotte Trollups
Looks like a pretty good pitcher, but his split against lefties is not what you want. Other than that he looks pretty good. He projects to have plus velocity.
Grade: B-

10. Tony Reynoso - New York Metropolitans
A decent bat, but it's the defensive projections that make this player valuable. The question is whether he'll hit those projections, especially with the glove, which would need to improve nearly 30 points. If he does hit them, he'll be a nice all-around SS.
Grade: B+

11. Joe Plunk - Toronto Titwillows
This was a draft where it made sense to go after relief pitching in the first round, and this was the first to come off the board. He projects to 80+ in every category and should be a great closer in the future. His stamina may prevent him from pitching more than an inning in a game, though.
Grade: A

12. Johan Newfield - Pittsburgh Pirates
And the next reliever comes off the board right after Plunk. He's almost as good as Plunk, but more of a flyball pitcher and may be vulnerable to the homerun ball. His stamina is a bit better, though, and should have no problem pitching multiple innings.
Grade: A-

13. Robert Sparks - Mexico City Tormenta
The bat is alright, but his glove projections are not what you want at SS. He'd still be decent at 3B, though.
Grade: B-

14. John Boyle - Washington D.C. Senators
Boyle is the third reliever to come off the board. He also looks good across the board, although his secondary pitcher is weaker than the others. He still projects as a very nice bullpen pitcher.
Grade: A-

15. Dan Taylor - Seattle Argonauts
While he projects to have nice splits and pitches, his control is a major concern, and could be even worse if he doesn't hit the projection. Those splits might be enough to overcome the control, but then again, they might not.
Grade: C+

16. Joe Clark - Arizona Sun Spots
Clark is the second Arizona draft pick and the second one who is not signed. He projects to have average control, and a weak vL and velocity. He might get the job done in the right ballpark, as he is an extreme groundball pitcher.
Grade: C-

17. J.R. Hardy - Syracuse WHITETAILS
Hardy has pretty average splits, but projects to have great control, which is likely to make up for it. Syracuse may have a pretty decent pitcher on their hands.
Grade: B

18. Albie Liriano - Buffalo beef eaters
Great pitches, great velocity, and very good control. However, even that may not be enough to overcome his split projections, especially if they don't hit. He might have enough going for him to do it, though.
Grade: B-

19. Randy Howard - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Howard looks like he's going to be a pretty good ML player. He's got good splits with no glaring weaknesses to bring him down. If he hits his defensive projections, he should be right at league average for a 2B.
Grade: B+

20. Trevor Salazar - Augusta Hitmen
Salazar has ton of power, but his projections at batting eye and splits are cause for concern. We'll hope he can make the big leagues as a low on-base, high power player, but his deficiencies may be hard to overcome.
Grade: C-

21. Gary Hines - Cleveland Curse
Yet another IF prospect. He's pretty good across the board, and should be a decent player. Good value pick here.
Grade: B

22. Al Bennett - Trenton Generals
Average splits, as long as he hits them, but contact and eye leave something to be desired. His projections are a little short of what you want at SS.
Grade: C

23. Glen Lary - San Jose Aces
Lary is a corner outfielder with no power, poor splits, and average batting eye. His greatest strength is his ability to make contact, and that is usually not enough to save a player. He'll be looking to break into the majors at all.
Grade: D+

24. Jacob Kim - Colorado Springs Abominable Snowmen
Kim projects as a great hitter, although the only place he can really play is as a DH. As such, he doesn't have much power. He should still be a pretty decent player, at least on an American League team.
Grade: B+

25. Robin Butcher - Buffalo beef eaters
My scouts couldn't bring me back any information on this player and he isn't signed yet. If he doesn't get signed, he won't be worth much either way.
Grade: Incomplete

26. Emmanuel Alomar - San Diego Conquistadors
Another player with poor splits, poor contact, and some power, however, Alomar projects much better at batter's eye. He may actually be a decent ML player at some point, but not a star.
Grade: C-

27. Reginald Jepsen - Cheyenne Beagles
Projects as another good relief pitcher, however, his stamina is a bit low. On some nights, he may not even make it through a full inning. When he is on the mound, though, the results should be favorable.
Grade: B+

28. Peter Mahoney - Cincinnati Bearcats
Nothing really jumps out about this player, and he is a bit power-deficient. His glove doesn't project to one most managers would feel comfortable having at 2B, either.
Grade: C+

29. Donn Stewart - Tacoma Winter Stix
Could possibly platoon against left-handers at some point, but even in that role, he'd be just average. Contact and eye project to be pretty nice. Everything else is average or worse.
Grade: C-

30. Charles Morgan - Seattle Argonauts
It's hard to imagine this guy breaking into the majors. He's got decent contact and eye, but Triple-A splits. No power whatsoever, either.
Grade: C-

31. Esteban Moraga - San Francisco Seals
Good defense, but nothing else says major league other than eye. May be good for a September callup at some point, but little else.
Grade: C-

32. Stuffy Allen - Tacoma Winter Stix
Weak split against righties (the one you don't want to be weak) but everything else looks solid. Might be good for the back end of a rotation or long relief, however, he isn't signed yet.
Grade: C+

Good luck with all of your draft picks!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Here's a look at my team halfway through the season. Obviously the team is developing young players while it struggles at the major league level(OBVIOUSLY!).

I'm going to start with the controversial Julio Cedeno trade. It's been said he's the "greatest player this league has ever seen." This is true! I will miss him greatly.

Here's what I got for him:
Stretch Burks
Who is hitting .333 avg/.440 on base/.643 slugging (21 homers,16 doubles,62 Rbi)
I'd say a got a pretty good power hitting catcher in return.

Hal Walsh
Hitting .366/.428/.529 (30 doubles, 66 runs)
Another good hitting middle infielder

Khoury Simpson
High-A: 31 innings, 21 hits, ZERO homers, 7 walks, 30K's.
AA: 5 innings, 5 hits, zero homers, zero walks, 7K's.
Dominating closer

Jose Moreno
Season 9 AAA: 94 inn, 104 hits, 9 homers (1.32 whip, 2.87 era)
Season10 AAA: 114 inn, 136 hits, 7 homers (1.54 whip, 3.87 era)
This is the weakest link. He pitched well in '09 but has taken a step
back this season. However, the stats are off a bit due to a couple of
bad outings (I'm talking some REALLY BAD outings!)

All in all it's turned out well. Could have done better but I certainly didn't
get taken.

WHAT'S DOWN IN AA? (Note: I've moved all my developing players up a level)

Gorkys Lee
20 homers, 75 Rbi in High A
Struggling in first 10 games in AA

Freddie Clayton
High-A:.376/.465/.579 (18 doubles)
AA: 10 games, .317/.378/.512


Brian Taylor
LOW A: .333/.411/.591 (24 doubles, 14 homers, 67 rbi, 53 runs)
HIGHA: 10 games. .278/.325/.444

Patrick Flaherty
LOW A: .283/.378/.565 (27 doubles, 46 rbi, 43 runs)
HIGHA: Just called up.

L.J. Golub
LOW A: .308/.362/.581 (14 doubles, 16 homers, 48 rbi, 45 runs)
HIGHA: 10 games struggling


Wilson Tapani
LOW A: 96 inn, 87 hits, 3 homers, 82K
HIGHA: Dominating

Takahiro Meng
LOW A: 54 inn, 58 hits, 4 homers, 57 K's)
HIGHA: Dominating

D'Angelo Serra
LOW A: 89 inn, 85 hits, 4 homers, 79 K's
HIGHA: Dominating

Antonio Ono
LOW A: 93 innings, 90 hits, 3 homers, 70 K's
HIGHA: Struggling after 2 starts

Juan Molina
LOW A: 78 inn, 65 hits, 3 homers, 75 K's
HIGHA: Dominating


#1 draft pick overall
Jeff Earley
.414/.514/.862 (2 doubles, 3 homers, 8 rbi, 10 runs)
Took a while to sign so this is only in 11 games.

OF (Off waivers)
Scott Harding
'09: Full season .281/.350 (70 sb's, 99 runs)
'10: basically the same so far but playing less in a platoon
He's not even fully developed yet so I'm looking forward to his future.

1B/DH (Minor leauge FA signing)
Dean Gonzales
AAA: .358/.426/.702 (23 homers, 22 doubles, 60 rbi, 51 runs)

I'm VERY happy watching my players develop and hope to be competitive
in a couple of seasons.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hartjh14's Season 10 team review

These are all just for fun. I did basic comments on each player and a slightly more detailed summary of the offenses and pitchers as a whole. No offense intended…this is all just my opinion and not scientific at all.


C - Julio Flores Good all around C, should have a better year this season
1B - Geronimo Camacho Youngster being brought up, power low for 1B
2B - Quinton Murphy Poor range, decent glove, average bat
SS - Al Calles Young talented bat – not a defensive SS
3B - Brook Shelley Good all around player
LF - Eduardo Manuel Average bat, D should be fine in LF
CF - Pablo Sanchez Good bat that should never set foot in CF
RF - Sal Pritchett Good all around bat

Defense is going to hurt this team. This team should hit ok (though Seattle will keep the numbers down). I’m going to be interested to see how bad the defense hurts the team. If it isn’t bad, I may have to look at how much I value defense.

Anthony D'Amico Up and coming star…going to be good for a long time
Harvey Michaels vR is a little low, but Seattle helps him - decent pitcher
Ryan Beamon Career is winding down...should put up ok numbers in Seattle
Andrew Hale Good control, poor vL, ok vR…below average SP, ok numbers in Seattle
Thumper Spence Ratings look ok, but poor performance the last 2 years

Ralph Roosevelt Closer in decline, but should be ok for 1 more year

Pitching in Seattle helps a lot. The pitching is ok after D’Amico, but the numbers are better than they would appear from a ratings perspective. If the defense doesn’t hurt this staff, I can see this team competing for the division title again.

Prediction: This division looks like the race to .500 – whoever gets there wins the division. This team has a good chance.



Eric Miller 3B Good power for a leadoff hitter, gold glove level 3B
Ivan Blanco LF Good all around hitter, good D for LF
Benito Chavez 2B Another very good all around bat – range is low for 2B, but solid
Doug Valdes C Good bat – probably should switch places with Miller in the lineup
Orlando Molina RF Up and coming hitter…won’t be a superstar, but looks good
Damaso Torres 1B Decent bat – power is a little low for 1B
Carlos Roque CF Blow average bat, but solid CFer
Aramis Maduro SS Decent defensive SS, bat is weak but ok

Offense is ok – would be better with Valdes and Miller switching spots in the order. Top of the order should score some runs, bottom of the order is okay and helps defensively.

SP Virgil Beltran Will eat innings, should be better than last year
SP Artie Silva Control and vR isn’t great, but has a great #1 pitch. Should be ok
SP Ernest Mercedes ratings look better than production…could see some improvement
SP John Tanaka Average SP – could do well, could blow up…hard to say
SP BC Cortes Control will keep him from ever being a quality SP

CL Sidney DeJean Ratings look good, production has been up and down

Pitching isn’t very strong, but isn’t horrible either. This team could compete for the division again or it could completely fall apart. If the guys with upside produce, this team could be tough to play on the days Cortes isn’t pitching.

Prediction: Could win the division if it gets to .500, could finish last. I’m rooting for the tits, so I’ll say it’s close to .500


C - Carson Oliver Not very good defensively, okay offensively (especially vL)
1B - Wendall Giambi Looks like a promising young hitter – upside here
2B - Edgar Vega Horrible defensively, pretty good bat. Needs to play LF
3B - Chris Burks BE is low which hurts OBP, but solid slugging 3B
SS - Neal Cromer Really, really bad at SS. Bad D negates the little offensive value
LF - Stump Brooks Decent productive LFer. Could have upside if BA improves
CF - Nipsey Wengert Subpar defense, ok offense. Won’t hurt, won’t help
RF - Darrell Sweeney Monster hitter. One of the elite bats in the league

Sweeney makes the whole offense better. Some decent power throughout the lineup, but BA and OBP have been lower than I’d expect for the past couple years. Will they be better or will it be more of the same? The answer to that question will help determine the type of season this team will have. The defense is terrible.

SP1 - Rudy Glanville League average SP at best, splits are very low
SP2 - Kiki Tatis Has gotten worse each of the last 4 years. Upside here to bounce back
SP3 - Sherman McGuire Bad, and the weak defense is going to kill him
SP4 - Santiago Escobar Best SP when healthy. Quality SP here…could win 15 - 18
SP5 - Davey Montanaz League average SP.

CL - Carson Stull ERA is high, but has done a decent job closing in Fargo

Defense really hurts this pitching staff. There are a couple guys here that could win 15+ games with good defense and average run support. I think this group is going to struggle, but it won’t be completely their fault.

Prediction: A tough year in Fargo. 70 wins would be an accomplishment, but could happen with improved defense.



Eli Limon (RF) Good leadoff hitter vR – I assume he’s platooning
Wilfredo Sojo (2B) Looks like a decent hitter that’s struggled the past 2 seasons
Ichiro Zhang (CF) Very good bat…only an idiot would trade him
Nick Ludwick (1B) Good run producer…still has at least 1 very good year in him
Denny Park (C) Good platoon C – PC is low
Benji Bautista (LF) Good all around hitter on a slow decline
Carlos Rodriguez (3B) Could be good, could be a bust…on a short leash I imagine
Bey Black (SS) Defensive SS that won’t kill the team with the bat

Offense is pretty good. I think this team will score some runs. Defense is about average. The addition of Zhang takes this offense to a new level.

Joel Daniels (LHP) Consistent quality SP – not elite, but very good
Bucky Kaufman (RHP) Control is a little low, but he has produced at the ML level before
Felipe Moya (RHP) Another low control SP – will be up and down
Max Duncan (LHP) Decent SP coming off a rough season…expect more
Evan Paronto (LHP) Rookie is still developing, but looks solid – upside here

Pitching is a nice mixture of quality pitchers, a couple guys that will be up and down, and a rookie with some upside. If two of Duncan, Kaufman, Moya, and Paronto come through, this team will be in very good shape. If not, there could be a lot of slugfests.

Prediction: Competes for a playoff spot – either division or WC.


1 LF Pete Benes Decent leadoff hitter…gets on base and has some upside
2 CF Kevin Aldred Had a rough year last season. Should be better this season
3 1B Cap Glass Power is starting to decline, but BA and OBP will keep him good
4 RF Lyle Lindsey Rough season in Augusta…better days ahead
5 3B Mark Baines 21 y.o. future impact bat…maybe not yet though
6 C Branden Hansell Solid all around catcher. Good player
7 SS Skeeter Wilkinson Horrible defensive SS. Bat isn’t good enough to justify playing
8 2B Midre Cela Should be playing SS (though he’s not good either).

Defense is brutal. Offense should score some runs and they are going to have to given the defensive weakness. Top of the order looks good and the rest looks decent. If Baines comes through, this will be a very good offense.

SP1 Billy Ray Sewell Starting to age, but still a #1 guy.
SP2 Richard Takada A quality #2 guy. Should be solid.
SP3 David Matos Another very good SP…could be #1 or 2 on a lot of teams.
SP4 Troy Stargell Average SP – lack of quality pitches hurts him
SP5 Angel Kelly Hasn’t done well in the upper minors…what will he do at the ML level?

CL D'Angelo Rivera Outperformed his ratings last year…can he repeat?

Pitching is very good. A couple key defensive upgrades could make this one of the best pitching staffs in the NL.

Predication: 3rd competitive team in the division. One of them (at least) is going to miss out on the playoffs. Wouldn’t want to face this pitching in the playoffs if they make it.

Kansas City

LF Scott Harding Outperformed his rating last season…can he repeat?
2b Joel Price Decent bat vR, but horrible 2B D.
RF Louie Guerrero Very good bat – could play for any team in the league
1B Ray Lee Curious to see how he’s effected by the new power limits – decent bat
3B Vin Slusarski Poor BE, but good splits play well in KC
CF Al Valdes Good for D, little else
C Quentin Grace Good for D, little else
SS Alberto Cordero Good for D, nothing else

Well, the defense should be good, but the hitting is going to be bad with 4 easy outs including the pitcher. This team will struggle to score runs.

Walter Dean Poor vL limits production, but he’s an average pitcher in production
Jim Burke Looks like a quality SP on paper…should be solid
Sammy Francona Poor splits, no great pitches…not good
Kurt Laxton Poor control, no great pitches…not good
Andre Brumfield ERA under 5 would be a great season

Pitching staff is bad. I’m as big of a believer in defense as there is, but I don’t think that good defense can overcome this staff’s weaknesses. It’s going to be a long year for this team. There’s no chance that this team wins 60.

Prediction: It better be the worst team in the league.

St Louis

EVAN YOUNG very good leadoff hitter – great OBP
ROBINSON PETERS Good eye, poor vR split – I wouldn’t bat him 2nd
KEVIN BRAVO Declining power, but still a solid #3 for a year or 2
RICHARD YOSHII A bit of an underachiever…solid hitter might have a great year left
LOUIE ZHOU Decent all around hitter – past his prime
JEROME MENECHINO Decent all around hitter
RAY RAMIREZ yet another decent all around guy
SOLLY INCAVIGLIA range is low, but good SS otherwise. Decent bat

Offense is good. No real weak spots, but not very many elite bats either. Should score enough runs to be a top 5 offense in the NL.

BRIAN MEDINA Still a top 5 SP – getting older, but still a stud
AL GONGORIA Good SP, not great. Will be solid.
BYRON BRANDT Great control, has consistently out performed his ratings. Great #3
MEL CURTIS Solid #4, nothing special, won’t hurt the team
BOBBY BECKWORTH Rookie may be a year away from being pretty good.

TODD CUMMINGS Consistently very good closer

Medina is great, 3 other SP are good. Beckworth is the wild card. Offense isn’t special, pitching is good to very good. Should be good enough to make the playoffs.

Prediction: Favorite to win the division and a playoff shoo-in barring injury. If another SP steps up, this team can compete for a spot in the WS.

Tampa Bay

C - Al Perez Very good all around C, low durability hurts
1B - Phil Webb Outstanding run producer for another year or 2
2B - Dion King Decent bat now…could probably use another season in the minors
3B - Bert Lary Decent bat, solid defense
SS - James Roth Good bat, not a defensive SS
LF - Woody Bailey Power bat at the peak of his career
CF - Victor Santana Ratings look good, but production has been spotty
RF - Bo Finley Veteran hitter clearly in decline…does he have one year left?

Don’t know the lineup order, but there are a few very productive bats here. Defense is going to be sub par, which will hurt the pitchers. Offense should put some runs on the board, and they’ll have to because of this:

Lyle Giles Bad control pretty much negates positive points
Pablo Ortega Splits indicate a pitcher not ready for the majors, but he’ll get his shot
Nick Tracy Bad vR = bad pitcher. Below average pitcher
Jobert Infante A quality ML pitcher! Should be #1 by a long shot.
Cam Dunston Weak splits…another bad pitcher.

Francis Kent Very good closer…did well in his first year in the role

Lets face it: the pitching is terrible on paper. If this team wins 70 games with this pitching, it will be quite the accomplishment – having said that, they won 79 last year. TB’s management must be doing something right!




Roger Cooper CF Quality defense, weaker bat
Felipe Morales RF good all around hitter
Elmer Maloney 1B Decent hitter, defense is weak for a 1B, but that’s ok
Wayne Prior LF Solid all around hitter
Doug Yeats 3B Weak BE tends to lead to inconsistency...will this be a good or bad year?
Scott Jones 2B No power, but should be ok vR
Bing Strickland C Very good defensive C…should help pitchers
Lew Petkovsek SS Very good defensive SS – bat is weak, but good enough given D

No studs, but several good all around hitters. Defense should be pretty good with quality defenders up the middle. This team won’t score a lot of runs, but the defense should help the pitchers produce better stats than they normally would.

Steve Worrell Decent pitcher that should benefit from the defense
Sean Hutch Another decent pitcher that will benefit from the defense.
Clay Weaver Has been very bad at the ML level…may be better, but not great
Leonardo Butler My pick to have a good year given the defense behind him…sleeper
Erik Acosta Did better last year than I’d expect…don’t think repeat

Antonio Lin Looks like a decent closer.

Bullpen looks like a real strength of the team. Rotation is a little shaky, but if Worrell and Hutch are solid and Butler steps up, this team could compete for a WC spot. I think .500 is a very realistic goal for this team with potential to exceed that.

Prediction: .500 record and a big improvement from last season.

Los Angeles Angels

Cookie Gonzalez (S) Great leadoff hitter
Darryl Dixon (S) Low OBP for #2 hitter, ok defense
Angel Sanchez (L) Rapidly declining power - maybe 1 more year as a #3 hitter.
Tomas Tavarez (R) Probably should be hitting #3, better vL, still impressive vR
Tony Trevino (S) Should be hitting clean-up – weak contact will make him inconsistent
Dan Davis (S) Type of hitter likely hurt by the new power capping – poor splits
Alex Samuel (S) Defensive player with average bat at best
Gus Borders (S) another weak spot in the lineup – poor splits + decent power = mediocre

Offense will rely heavily on the 1, 3, 4, and 5 hitters. Little production elsewhere. An injury to one of those guys will not keep the team from making the playoffs, but it will keep them from winning once there.

Raul Cedeno (L) Top 5 – top 10 pitcher in the league - will not go undefeated again
Blake Jones (R) Best pitcher in the league - enough said
Trenidad Santiago (L) Inning eater - will save bullpen with a lot of good innings.
Armando Torres (L) Won’t kill the team
Sammy Mercado (L) Rookie will likely be inconsistent

Nerio Brow (R) Weak spot is the bullpen – average closer at best

Hard to find a lot of major issues with the team. A lot of questions one you get past Jones and Cedeno I guess. Bullpen is below average. Ballpark will protect this team a little bit, but they will be very beatable in an offensive park where they won’t have the firepower to make up for their lack of offensive or pitching depth. Cedeno will not have as good of a season as he did last year.

Will win the division if: If the team stays healthy and Davis isn’t hurt by the new power adjustment.

Will miss the playoffs if: Jones or Cedeno goes down for a long time. The rest of the team could die and this team would still make the playoffs.

Prediction: First place with a similar win total to last season. Preseason favorite for a WS berth.

San Francisco

Al Javier Not a great SS, OBP is a little low for a leadoff hitter
Brandon Franco Top notch 3Bman both offensively and defensively
Julio Cedeno All-World offensive catcher. Stud #3 hitter
Allan Holden Good bat – very productive for SF
Roosevelt Henderson Another quality productive bat
Juan Nieves didn’t have a good season last year…some upside here
Cristian Kingsale Good bat, defense is suspect
Scott Nielsen Decent bat, defense is below average.

Offense looks very good – a lot of power and good all around hitters. This team should score some runs…even in San Francisco. Defense isn’t very good, but that may not be as big of an issue in San Fran as it might be in other parks.

Derek Mattingly Quality SP, not your typical #1 guy
Johnny Leary Another average SP…nothing great, certainly not bad
Al Tucker Once great SP clearly in decline. Still can hang with the big boys
Sean Gentry Promising young SP – could be #1 by the end of the year if not sooner
Keith Rose Good ratings coming off a rough season…should be better.

Keith Drew Good young closer should keep getting better

Some guys with upside here…if they develop the way it looks like they might, this team could give LAA a run for the division title. The rotation can be a top 3 staff, especially considering the home park.

Prediction: Anything less than a playoff berth would be a shock and a huge disappointment.

Salt Lake City


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Free Agent Signings, Season 10

Another big year for FA pickups, although probably not as big as last. It actually cost more to break into the top 10, but the contracts at the top were not as high (only one max contract this time around, compared to three last time). Enough of that - let's get to the list!

10. 3B Brandon Franco ($31.5M/3 years) - San Francisco Seals
Franco stays within the same division, but moves from hopeful World Champions to actual World Champions. The Seals will hope that his .530 slugging over the past two years will carry over, and help them to a repeat. The best part about this contract is that it's only for three years - he isn't likely to decline too much by the end of it.

9. RP Fausto James ($33.5M/5 years) - New York Metropolitans
James is another player leaving Anaheim. He should be an important piece of the bullpen, although the price may be a little steep. Looks like he'll be moving into the closer's role for New York, which will represent new territory for him. Biggest issue seems to be his stamina. Not a bad pickup at all, though.

8. SP Enrique Tavarez ($34.6M/5 years) - Charleston Hurricanes
Tavarez comes over from Buffalo, and he just looks like a solid pitcher all the way around. He's kept his ERA under 4.00 since Season 7, and if that can continue. Charleston will compete for a playoff spot once again.

7. C J.C. Matthews ($35.1M/4 years) - Cleveland Curse
The Curse needed to do something to stay afloat in the ultra-competitive AL North and for them it meant paying big bucks to bring back one of their own players. And he's a great one! With at least 30 home runs in each of the past four seasons, Matthews will do everything he can to get Cleveland back to the post-season.

6. SP Chad Peters ($36.5M/5 years) - Chicago White Sox
The already stacked White Sox add more pitching depth in Peters. He comes over from Charleston (and posting very solid numbers for them) and will look to push Chicago to a World Series win. They were the odds-on-favorite to win it last season before being dumped from their first post-season series by the Winter Stix. This could be the year, though. It happened for the Yankees - maybe these White Sox are next!

5. 1B Howie Ross ($44.6/5 years) - Pittsburgh Pirates
Ross comes over from the White Sox and is going to look to insert a ton of power into the middle of that lineup. He belted 66 home runs for the Sox last year... 66! Pittsburgh would love to see that kind of production, and it could push them from worst to first if they can get it.

4. RF Sammy Lugo ($50M/5 years) - Minnesota Minutemen
Like Cleveland, Minnesota had to pay to bring their own guy back. Unlike Matthews, however, Lugo is going to see a pretty nice raise (at least in Seasons 11-13). And why not? He's been over 50 home runs in each of the past three seasons. These are the kinds of moves that you need to make to stay competitive in that division.

3. SP William Schneider ($64M/5 years) - Syracuse Whitetails
Boy, are we glad to see this guy leave the NL East! He moves from Cincinnati to Syracuse, where the division is wide open (only took 78 wins to take it last season). Syracuse finished tied for that last season, maybe Schneider can help them get over the hump?

2. LF Louie Zhou ($65M/5 years) - St. Louis Gateway City Slickers
Zhou moves over from the World Champions to St. Louis. He carries with him an impressive bat and is going to join an already talented squad. Will he be enough to push St. Louis over the top and get them back to the World Series? St. Louis will hope his numbers resemble what he was putting up at Florida rather than San Francisco, though, where both his SLG and OBP dropped substantially.

1. SP Blake Jones ($110M/5 years) - Anaheim Dodgers
For all of the players that they lost, they sure did gain a great one. Jones comes over from Tacoma, where he lead the Winter Stix all the way to the World Series. The Dodgers will hope for more of the same. Even with Jones, can they overcome San Francisco and St. Louis?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Free Agent Signings, Season 9

This was a big year for free agent signings - probably the biggest I've ever seen. All sorts of big names changed addresses, so let's get right to it.

10. SP Troy Stargell (25.3 M/4 years) - Augusta Hitmen
In most seasons, this kind of contract is good enough for at least 5th. This season, however, it barely makes the list. Stargell brings his career 4.07 ERA to Noes Field and its pitcher-friendly dimensions, where he hopes to be even better. He should improve the Hitmen's rotation.

9. SP Edwin Patterson (27.0 M/3 years) - Tacoma Winter Stix
The former max contract staff ace lands at the most extreme of pitcher's parks. He'll join Alex Phelps and Blake Jones in a stellar rotation that hopes to contend for an AL North Title, or at least a wildcard spot. As for Patterson, you have to wonder what he's going to look like in a couple seasons at age 40, drawing $9 Million, but the Winter Stix sure are set up to win now.

8. SS Benito Chavez ($35.2 M/4 years) - Toronto Titwillows
Toronto replaces one great SS, Erik Miller (who at the time of this writing is still available), and sign another in Chavez. This is Chavez' second tour of duty with the Titwillows, and they hope he'll bring the big bat he had once before, and get them back into contention in the NL North.

7. SP Juan Santayana ($39 M/5 years) - Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates have made it very well known that they are looking to re-tool their pitching staff, and they've tried to do just that. Santayana is coming off of two strong seasons of Tacoma, but how much of that success can be attributed to the generous park effects in Tacoma? Pittsburgh will hope very little.

6. SP Jerrod Dougherty ($46 M/5 years) - Pittsburgh Pirates
This guy is the real deal. With two straight sub-3.00 ERA campaigns and an All-Star appearance under his belt, Dougherty will look to anchor the Pirates' rotation and turn them into a playoff contender. If Santayana and others hold up their end of the bargain, he can do it.

5. SS Benito Estrella ($76 M/5 years) - Tacoma Winter Stix
You didn't think the Winter Stix were finished, did you? Along with all of that pitching, they add an excellent hitting SS. He should get on base a ton, and hopefully produce the runs to help the Winter Stix win more often than not.

4. RF Lyle Lindsey (85.0 M/5 years) - August Hitmen
It's a rare season where a contract like this one isn't the largest, but there are still three to go! The Hitmen have been searching for a huge bat for the middle of their lineup, and they've finally found it. Lindsey is coming off of seven straight seasons with at least 40 HRs and 120 RBIs, and the Hitmen will hope that he will help pull them out of the cellar of both the NL East and the runs-scored category. You have to think that St. Louis was hoping for better than a third round pick from his compensation, though.

3. SP Art Whitehill ($100 M/5 years) - Chicago White Sox
Whitehill receives the first of three max contracts this season. The White Sox have won over 110 games in each of the last three seasons, but they have yet to even make it to the world series. To do this, they knew that they needed to retain Whitehill, and that's just what they did. He's won at least 20 games in four straight seasons, he's a seven-time all-star, and a former Cy Young winner. Can't ask for much more than that.

2. SP Warren Williams ($110 M/5 years) - Cheyenne Beagles
Another big name stays put, but it cost the franchise an awful lot to get him to do so. At only 29 years of age, the two-time Cy Young award winner should still be effective at the end of this contract, and maybe the Beagles will have a couple more World Series Championships to show for it.

1. SP Pasqual Romero ($110 M/5 years) - Chicago White Sox
In what they hope is the final piece of the puzzle, the White Sox add a big time starting pitcher and hope it's enough to get them to a championship. You have to wonder, though, what will this franchise look like a few seasons from now, with $40 Million tied up in two players, and Richard Christensen coming up for arbitration before long?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Top Free Agent Signings Season 8

Here are the ten most lucrative free agent contracts from Season 8! Feel free to comment, discuss, or whatever else!

10. 3B Skeeter Wilkinson ($17.7 M/3 years) - Augusta Hitmen
The Hitmen will attempt to address their offensive woes by bringing Wilkinson into the fold. Last season, he put up respectable numbers in Tacoma's extreme pitchers' park (.303/.362/.491) and Augusta hopes that he will improve on those this season. If he can, this may turn out to be a bit of a bargain.

9. SP Jay Myers ($18.9 M/3 years) - Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh is under new ownership and they go to the well early, addressing a need at starting pitcher. The three-time former all-star posted a 3.50ish ERA last season for Florida, and Pittsburgh will hope for more of the same. A good start in terms of addressing that pitching staff.

8. 3B Brooks Gruber ($21 M/5 years) - Boston Ball Busters
This is a lot of money to dish out to a player who has never appeared in the Majors. While his numbers last year in Triple-A were respectable (.820 OPS), it is hard to say whether he'll be able to translate that to the major league level. Boston hopes he works out, because they will be paying him for a long time.

7. SP Geraldo Delgado ($22 M/4 years) - San Francisco Seals
Delgado has been spectacular over his career (sub-3.00 career ERA with 130 wins), but he appears to be on the decline. At this stage, he is still one of the top pitchers in the game, but how will he look by the end of this contract? He will help San Francisco this year, but based on declining stamina, his days as a starter may be numbered.

6. SP Davey Montanez ($23.2 M/4 years) - Fargo Norsemen
Overall a pretty good signing for the Norsemen, although his lack of a strong 2nd pitch is of some concern. Still, he should bolster that rotation and make Fargo more competitive.

5. RP Julio Rivas ($23.3 M/4 years) - Charleston Hurricanes
It is not clear what role Charleston will use him in, but whatever they decide on, you can bet that he'll be successful at it. He has the stamina for long relief, but he's also got 161 career saves at the Major League Level. A solid signing for the Hurricanes.

4. RF Alex Jang ($30 M/5 years) - Tacoma Winter Stix
Last season Tacoma made huge improvements, nearly securing a wild card berth. This season they'll look to not only reach the playoffs, but contend for a division title, and Jang is looking to help them do it. He's untested in the major leagues, but looks like he has the tools to succeed. He's a bit misplaced in RF, though - perhaps a better fit in the opposite outfield position.

3. SP Ryan Palmer ($32.5 M/5 years) - San Antonio Rough Riders
Palmer is on the receiving end of a huge contract, and may not have the skills to back it up. His lack of control is a major problem as is his career 6.25 ERA - and that was at Tacoma's pitchers' paradise. San Antonio will hope he clicks and in a hurry.

2. 3B Brook Shelley ($33 M/4 years) - Seattle Argonauts
In a year where several 3Bs cashed in, Shelley does the best of all. And rightfully so. He's a great all around hitter, and a good enough defender to get the job done. He strikes out a lot, but Seattle won't care as long as he keeps hitting those bombs.

1. C Angel Sanchez ($70 M/5 years) - Anaheim Dodgers of Los Angeles/Sarasota
Sanchez receives a contract twice as big as the next highest deal. This is the kind of money that a franchise catcher can demand. His defense is good, but its his offense that earned him this contract. He'll start the season at just a shade under 300 home runs, and hit many, many more in his career with the Dodgers. They hope he will be the piece that takes them back to the World Series.