Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rule 5 Draft Review

Just a little review of the Rule 5 Draft!

1. RP Brian Graham - Austin Sixth Streets
Graham looks like a pretty solid player, for a Rule 5 pick. He's got good control, a ton of velocity, one good pitch and another decent pitch. He's got the stamina for long relief, but probably not starting.

2. SS Aramis Maduro - Augusta Hitmen
Aramis was selected by the Hitmen and immediately moved to 2B. He's got a pretty good bat for that position, although he probably has the arm for SS or 3B. He's only 23 years old and figures to be a part of the Augusta infield for years to come.

3. C Roland Miller - Fargo Northmen
Miller's got a strong and accurate arm behind the plate, but he won't be much of an offensive catcher. If Fargo was looking for defense behind the plate, however, they may have found it while still getting some production from the bat.

4. 2B Bobby Ray Curtis - Rochester Grave Robbers
Curtis is almost an exact copy of Maduro, except he hits lefties better, and his arm is a little weaker, which means that he'll most likely stay at 2B. This is a strong pick for Rochester.

5. RP Alexander Barker - Minnesota Mdewakantonwan
He's got very good control, but not the splits you want from a ML pitcher. His stamina is high for a RP, but probably not high enough to log a lot of innings as a starter. Probably better suited for Triple-A.

6. RP Lenny Strittmatter - Oklahoma City Wranglers
This hard-throwing right-hander is going to struggle against left-handed batters at the major league level. He may not be overly effective against righties, either. Maybe his velocity will help make him a passable ML player.

7. SP Paul Hall - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Tampa Bay tried to offer Hall back to Fargo, but Fargo declined. Tampa responded by assigning him to their Triple-A squad. Makes sense - he probably doesn't have the splits to succeed in the majors.

8. SS Pedro Rios - Seattle Argonauts
Although taken as a SS, he probably doesn't have the defense to play there - projects better at 3B. His bat, however, is not what you generally want at 3B.

9. SS Louie Polanco - Cleveland Curse
If he meets his projections, he'll be able to play anywhere on the diamond, and prove to be one of the better selections in this season's Rule 5 Draft. Right now he can play a better-than-average 3B, but he'd be much more valuable at SS or CF.

10. SP Roscoe Osting - Florida Flounders
Despite very good control and two very good pitches, he's likely to struggle mightily against right-handers. He also lacks the stamina to be a real effective starter. Fortunately for Florida, an offer back was declined, so they were able to stash him in Triple-A.

11. 2B Pat Lee - Burlington Carltons
He's likely to struggle if Burlington tries to play him at 2B. He projects much better at LF, but as a LF his offensive capabilities make him only average.

12. RP Julian Rivera - Arizona Sun Spots
Despite looking like a solid RP, the Sun Spots tried to send him back, but to no avail. Seems he's been DFA'd, and doesn't have much of a future with the Arizona franchise.

13. SS Willie Pujols - Cincinnati Bearcats
Pujols is another player who will have some value if he meets his projections. If that happens, he may become a ML player as a defensive replacement. If not, he won't have much use with such weak splits.

14. SP Yorrick Foster - Pittsburgh Pats
Here is another player who has solid control, but probably not the overall ability to succeed in the majors. Those mid-30s splits will make things hard on him.

15. RP Jose Beltre - Charleston Hurricanes
Beltre looks to be one of the better picks in this year's Rule 5, especially at the end of the first round. He's got fair enough splits, good control, and a good pitch, which should allow him to succeed as a set up man/and or long reliever.

16. C David Skinner - San Francisco Seals
David Skinner has the makings of a pretty good ML catcher. He doesn't have the offense to blow you away, but he does have a pretty solid bat for a catcher, and his defense behind the plate isn't going to hurt, either.

17. RP Orlando Cortez - Cheyenne Beagles
The drawback on this player is that he doesn't have great control, but his splits, velocity, and stuff may just be enough for him to succeed.

18. RP Bob Norman - Austin Sixth Streets
Austin goes to the well once again in the Rule 5, and does alright for itself again. Norman seems to have the tools to become a solid all-around relief pitcher, and solid is about as much as you can ask for in the second round of the Rule 5.

19. SP Kiki Johnson - Fargo Northmen
Here is another player who just isn't going to have the control to succeed in the bigs. His splits and velocity will help, but in the end, it may not be enough.

20. 2B Malcolm Garland - Rochester Grave Robbers
Malcolm is another player who would be passable at SS, CF, or maybe even 2B, but he really doesn't have the defensive capabilities to play those positions. He could play 3B, but if he did, his bat would be below average for that position. He may be useful coming off the bench, however.

21. SP Raul Ayala - Tampa Bay Rowdies
Ayala lacks both control and splits. Tampa Bay tried to offer him back, but the move was declined, which allowed them to send him down to Triple-A.

22. RP Delino Guerrero - Seattle Argonauts
Guerrero lacks the control to be an effective ML closer. Seattle offered him back to his original franchise, but they wouldn't take him, so Seattle sent him all the way down to High-A.

23. 3B Roberto Batista - Toronto Titwillows
Batista's defense projects him more as a corner outfielder than at 3B. Even there, his bat is only good enough for a left-handed platoon. He recently cleared waivers and was sent down to Triple-A, after an offer-back attempt failed.

24. SP Domingo Saenz - Burlington Carltons
He really just doesn't have the ability to play in the majors. He has the stamina to eat up some innings, but he's not likely to get many hitters out.

25. 2B Brandon Butler - Arizona Sun Spots
Looks like another player who just doesn't have the defense (or offense) to be an effective 2B. It should be noted, however, that he is off to a fine start this year (1.023 OPS with only one error).

26. SP Ozzie Barkley - Pittsburgh Pats
Barkley looks better suited for the minor leagues. He's got weak splits, not a lot of stuff, but he does have a ton of velocity. It isn't helping him so far this season, however.

27. RP Bobby Franco - Seattle Argonauts
Even if he reaches his projections, which may or may not be likely, Franco will lack the control to close out games at the major league level. Seattle apparently figured this out, as they offered him back. Florida promptly accepted and placed him in Double-A.

28. SS Kevin King - Burlington Carltons
King projects better at 3B, but like so many others discussed earlier, doesn't have the offense to play there. You'd never know it from the way he's playing early on this season, though (.375 OBP, with 0 errors at SS).

29. CF Randy Perez - Pittsburgh Pats
While he doesn't seem to have the defense to play CF, Pittsburgh has the right idea by using him as a utility-player early this season. He's probably good enough against lefties to work in a platoon, too. Not bad for a third round Rule 5 pick.

30. RP Joe Munro - Burlington Carltons
The final player in this year's Rule 5 draft is going to need to rely on velocity and stuff more than anything else, because that's really all he's got. After two appearances this season: so far, so good.

Top Free Agent Signings

Here is a list of the ten most lucrative contracts signed during the free agent period. I have only included players who are moving to a new team - those who are returning to their old team were not included. The values listed include the total money over the entire life of the contract.

10. LF J.D. Jackson ($15 M/3 years) - Honalulu Dancing Halo's
With J.D. Jackson, the Dancing Halo's have signed a player who hits for decent average, but draws a ton of walks and scores a lot of runs. His outfield arm is a bit of a concern, even at LF, and he will be 38 by final year of the contract, so there is a chance that he will show some decline. Overall, a solid signing as long as he doesn't decline too much.

9. SS Endy Flair ($16.8 M/4 years) - Augusta Hitmen
Endy (no relation to pro wrestler Ric) Flair was signed to fill in at SS for the Hitmen. Offensively, nothing stands out about him. Last season, he posted a .320ish on-base percentage for Cleveland. That will be good enough for Augusta as long as he fields a solid SS. The Hitmen hope that he can cut down on the 21 errors from last season.

8. 1B Elmer Maloney ($17 M/5 years) - Oklahoma City Wranglers
While a solid offensive player, Maloney looks like a below-average 1B defensively. He hasn't logged more than 360 ABs at the ML level, and that was in Season 4 with Cincinnati, when he posted an on-base below .320 and drove in fewer than 50 runs. OKC will hope for much better than that this season and beyond.

7. SP Cam Montgomery ($17.7 M/4 years) - Fargo Northmen
This is a big contract for a pitcher who may not have the control to succeed in the big leagues. In season 5, he put up 11 wins with a 3.07 ERA, however last season in Triple-A, his ERA ballooned to over 6. Fargo will hope he performs more like than the guy from Season 5.

6. SP Nigel Woodward ($22.4 M/4 years) - Florida Flounders
Woodward is a pitcher who has great control and performs better against lefties than righties. Throughout his career, he has been solid, but last season he had a career high ERA (5.23) and a career low IP (96.1). Florida hopes he can bounce back, and if he does, this will prove to be a fine signing.

5. C John Hernandez ($23.4 M/3 years) - Rochester Grave Robbers
With Henderson, the Grave Robbers have a great offensive catcher with a good arm behind the plate. Last season he posted a .386 on-base percentage and drove in over 80 runs. At only 28 years of age, it's unlikely that he'll decline much, if it all, during this three-year contract. Looks like a great pick up for Rochester.

4. SP Carlos Maranon ($23.6 M/3 years) - Oklahoma City Wranglers
Maranon has great control, good splits, a good selection of pitches. The only drawback may be that he lacks the stamina to go deep into games. Also, at 35 years of age, one must wonder if he can perform at a strong level through this contract. In Season 2, he won nearly 20 games. The Wranglers will hope for a similar performance this season.

3. SP Glenn Kieschnick ($26 M/4 years) - Minnesota Mdewakantonwan
Kieschnick was one of the better pitchers on the market this off-season, and Minnesota was able to reel him in. To do so, they had to dish out a 4-year contract, which could be troublesome by the end, since he is 33 years old this year. Not withstanding, he looks primed for a solid season. Curiously, however, he has yet to make a start in Season 7.

2. 1B Gregory McNeil ($27 M/4 years) - Minnesota Mdewakantonwan
McNeil was awarded the largest contract to a position player, and why not? Last season he hit over 50 home runs and belted in over 130 RBIs for Chicago. Minnesota can only hope for similar production this season. He is under contract for four seasons - by then he may be one of the all-time leaders in HRs in Mattingly!

1. SP Billy Ray Sewell ($52 M/4 years) - Augusta Hitmen
In an attempt to shore up their pitching staff, Augusta deals out a contract that dwarfs any other signed this season. While some see Sewell as an injury concern, Augusta will look to him to anchor their rotation. He's won 18 or more games three times and hasn't had an ERA above 3.51 since Season 2 and Augusta will hope that he can maintain that level of performance, and his health.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The manager of the Kansas City Force has been named...."Walter".


An old sour looking man approaches the podium. There is applause.

Walter: "Oh, shut the hell up!"

Reporter: "What's wrong? Aren't you glad to be in Kansas City?"

Walter: "Oh sure, until a tornado hits my house while I'm on the toilet."

Rep: "We've all been looking for some kind of information on you but there isn't anything."

Walt: "Good, you should mind your own damned business."

Rep: "You don't seem to have a last name."

Walt: "The IRS is looking for me."

Rep: "Why would the owner of the club hire you. You have no previous baseball experience!"

Walt: "Oh yes I do....I'm made of wood."

Rep: "Who's the guy holding you up to the podium?"

Walt: "Oh, he's just my associate. Let's just call him Jeff."

Rep: "What does Jeff do?"

Walt: "He holds me up to the podium! Dumbass."

Rep: "Do you have a wife?"

Walt: "Yes" (frown)

Rep: "Is she having a good time in the big city?"

Walt: "She always has a good time.....dammit."

Rep: "Was that her on the phone just before this press conference?"

Walt: "Yea, we got into an arguement and I hung up on her."

Rep: "What did she do?"

Walt: "She called me back and asked me if I hung up on her."

Rep: "What did you say?"

Walt: "I said to her I don't know, did it sound something like"

Laughter from the crowd

Walt: "Oh, quiet down. Dumbasses."

Rep: "What are your plans for the team?"

Walt: "This team sucks. I'm going to try and make it suck less."

Rep: "Do you think more fans will come out to watch?"

Walt: "They spend money on high ticket prices, toll costs, parking, food and souveniers to watch a bunch of grown men play a child's game? They're a bunch of dumbasses is what they are!"

Reporter stands up and begins to leave the room

Walt: "Hey you, where the hell do you think you're going?"

Rep: "I've to to go to the bathroom."

Walt: "Just hold it. I do. Actually, I have too!"

Rep: "I'm leaving."

Walt: "Ok, we'll just wait."

Walter sits quietly and....waits.

Walt: "Hey Jeff, do you think he can hear us in there?"

Jeff: "Probably"

Walt: "Hey dumbass! Is it difficult to go when we're all waiting for you?"

Reporter finally comes back.

Walt: "Did you hear me when you were in there?"

Rep: "No."

Walt: "Well, we could hear you....and you didn't wash your hands!"

Reporter looks embarrased.

Walt: "Dumbass."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

All World Teams (Position Players)

I thought it might be interesting to compile some all world teams using players from Mattingly in the spirit of the upcoming World Baseball Classic. I put about about 30 players on each country's roster because that seems to be the average using rosters from the last WBC. So, here are my picks for the position players. I will post the pitchers when i am finished:

Position Players
1B Howie Ross, LA
2B Davey Tejera, CHC
SS Domingo Nunez, CHR
3B Brandon Franco, LA
C Rey Fitzgerald, LA
RF Graeme Hernandez, CHC
CF Kevin Bravo, BUR
LF Chance Goldberg, AUS
DH Mack Hermanson, CHC
bench Gregory McNeil, CHC
bench Jumbo Torres, CHY
bench Erik Miller, TOR
bench Woodie Bailey, TB
bench Don Garcia, AUS
bench Edgard Saez, SCO

Pitching Staff
Blake Jones, SF
Warren Williams, CHY
Geraldo Delgado, CHR
Edwin Patterson, CHC
Art Whitehill, CHC
Gregg Rogers, SF
Nerio Brow, LA
Al Tucker, SF
Marino Terrero, CLE
Johnny Leary, SF
William Schneider, CIN
Dustan Perry, CHC
Tim Thomas, CHY
Todd Cummings, STL
Bryan McMasters, CHY

Position Players
1B Tomas Tavarez, LA
2B Felipe Redondo, LR
SS Benito Estrella, CHY
3B Mariano Martin, MN
C Julio Cedeno, KC
RF Cookie Gonzalez, LA
CF Victor Santana, TB
LF Vladimir Gonzalez, STL
DH Diego Park, CIN
bench Julio Hernandez, SCO
bench Max Cortazar, FL
bench Jesus Mota, CHR
bench Ricardo Delgado, SCO
bench Carlos Canseco, CHC
bench Benji Bautista, TRE

Pitching Staff
Al Gongora, STL
Raul Cedeno, LA
Vicente Estrella, ARI
Alex Padilla, CHC
Julio Martinez, ARI
Enrique Galvez, KC
Virgil Salinas, CIN
Carlos Maranon, CHY
Virgil Beltran, TOR
Santiago Escobar, BUR
Edgar Hernandez, TOR
Harry Sierra, STL
Diego Ramirez, MN
Alberto Cordero, CHA
Willie Telemaco, ARI

Position Players
1B Onan Irabu, SCO
2B Byung-Hyun Kim, TAC
SS Pat Suh, CHY
3B Joseph Sugawara, TRE
C Richard Yoshii, STL
RF Donald Nomo, CHC
CF Ramon Cho, LA
LF Louie Zhou, FL
DH Denny Park, TRE
bench Hideo Mori, DUR
bench Pat Lee, SF
bench Phil Dong, ROC
bench Brian Brea, TAC
bench Don Zhang, AUS
bench Pat Cheng, SD

Position Players
1B Felipe Sardinha, CLE
2B Alejandro Mendoza, SD
SS Angel Serra, SEA
3B Benito Chavez, TOR
C Orber Vazquez, SCO
RF Edgard Cairo, CHY
CF Luis Sojo, TRE
LF Tony Trevino, LA
DH Juan Nieves, SF
bench Felipe Santiago, FAR
bench Alex Navarre, LA
bench Benny Espinosa, TAC
bench Alex Samuel, CHR
bench Al Javier, SF
bench Ramiro Gabriel, ARI

Position Players
1B Diego Gabriel, SYR
2B Ruben Aramboles, CHY
SS Chico Valenzuela, TOR
3B Vic Lopez, SCZ
C Angel Sanchez, SF
RF Sammy Lugo, MN
CF Jumbo Tabaka, ARI
LF Jorge Prieto, CIN
DH Juan Gonzales, SYR
bench Victor Molina, SEA
bench Vic Ramirez, TOL