Tuesday, March 20, 2012

NL 1st quarter power rankings

1. Dover Destroyers
Current record 34-15

Life is good in Dover this season. The Destroyers, coming off their first division title in Dover last season, are sitting atop the NL power rankings. Deservedly so.The Dover pitching staff is leading the NL in Wins and Strikeouts. The bullpen has been stellar so far with newly acquired Fernando Mercedes having a dominating season. He is 7-0 with a 2.81 ERA coming out of the pen. His bright light could only be shadowed by super closer and early NL Fireman Award favorite Luther Riggs, who is a perfect 18 for 18 in Save opportunities with a .52 ERA and a "don't mess with me" attitude. The Destroyers have another standout this season in Early ROY frontrunner Jose "taco" Toca who has 22 bombs and 50 RBI while hitting .289. Dover has their hands full with Div. rival and number 2 on our NL power rankings Toronto.

2. Toronto Elite Thunder Bolts
Current record 33-16

Toronto fans have every reason to be happy this season. Though the team had off year last season, the Bolts are proving it was just an anomaly, bringing back the pride the team has seen because of 90+ wins in 7 of the last 9 seasons and three straight Div crowns in seasons 10-12. The fans are loving the fact that their team are among the NL leaders in SB, Doubles, Triples, Walks, ERA, Whip, ER, Wins, and lead the NL in Saves. This formula has made the Bolts " Bad Muddas" not to be taken lightly and have been giving opposing teams headaches because of the many ways they can beat you. This team will not go quietly into the night and has put the NL on notice " We will put you on your ass, so you better bring it". Dover beware.

3. Anaheim Angels
Current record 31-18

The Angels has lived up to the Pre-season hype. Though if you ask anyone walking the streets in Anaheim, they will tell you it's business as usual. This team has won 4 straight Div. crowns and 5 straight 90+ win seasons. The strength of the Angels is their NL leading Fielding % defense and dominating pitching staff, which as a whole are leading the NL in ERA, WHIP, SLG, and OBP. Quite impressive. At the top of this staff is the three-headed monster of Al Terrero, Jimmie Wright, and Andrea James. Opposing teams can never catch a break with this rotation. Terrero is having a Cy Young caliber year. He is a perfect 8-0 and leads the NL with an amazing 1.89 ERA. He is also tops in OBP and shares the NL lead in WHIP with Wright. Wright is second only to Terrero in OBP, and has a perfect 5-0 record. And if that wasnt enough to cause opposing fans to jump off the Vincent Thomas Bridge, The Angels come at you with James who is 5-3 with a 2.25 ERA. Suicide help lines across the National League are experiencing  a higher than normal volume of calls.

4. Pawtucket Paw Sox
Current record 29-20

Pawtucket has it all. Hugh Adams is a stud. The early Cy Young favorite is kicking ass. He is an incredible NL leading 10-1 with a 2.19 ERA. Adams leads the NL with 3 complete games. But it doesnt stop there. Oh no. Weldon Hughes is solid again this year. The two-time CY winnner is 5-3 with a 3.41 ERA. Couple that with an offense that is leading the NL in AVG, OBP, Triples, Doubles, and Hits, and is second in RBI and Runs scored, and what you get is a recipe for disaster for the rest of the National League. Former 2 -time MVP and GG CF Jose Rosado is an early MVP contender again. He is flat-out raking it and leads the NL AVG (.370) amd Hits (70). He is also second in the NL in OPS and is among the NL leaders in SLG, OBP, Walks, RBI, HR, and Doubles. Rosado also has the top current hitting streak, hitting safely in the last 10 games. Despite a semi-slow start and injuries, Pawtucket has everyone's number, and won't be stopped. Look for this team to top the power rankings in the future.

5. Durham Nuke LaLoosh's
Current record 29-20

Durham is not phased at all by Pawtucket. The attitude in the clubhouse all season has been "screw Pawtucket, those bastards can write us off if they want to, but we are not afraid of the dirty Sox". SP Octavio Marin is doing his part and is a CY contender. He is 8-1 with a 2.99 ERA. He is second in the NL in IP, and Strikeouts. Marin also leads the NL with 2 Shutouts. Durhams pitching staff as a whole are with the NL leaders in ERA,WHIP, SO, and Saves. Perhaps more remarkable is the season former MVP 1B Benji Marquez is having. This stud is a MVP favorite and is first in the NL with 27 HR, 60 RBI, 46 Runs scored and is SLG .735. Marquez is 3rd in OPS and among the NL leaders in AVG, OBP,Walks, and Hits. The Nuke LaLoosh's have another weapon in Josh Ryan who has 20 SB, and is leading the NL in Triples. This team has a "die trying" attitude and will not back down from anyone. Least of all the mighty Paw Sox. Watch out.

6. Jackson BigAss Trucks
Current record 27-22

The biggest surprise in the power rankings this season are the Trucks. "We have been on nobody's radar, and we like it that way" says Cf Phillip Morgan. " we embrace the underdog label and take great joy in shoving our success down the throats of the powerhouses. The Trucks are on the map baby, no one should takes us lightly". This feeling abounds in the clubhouse, as the Trucks continue to show the NL that the rebuild is over and that Jackson is for real. The team has no real superstud allstars, but are successful by being a solid all-around team. The fans have responded as well, packing Boon Stadium every night, and causing ownership to commit to a new era of winning baseball from here on out. The Trucks are a big FA or two away from really contending but are on the right course and should be taken seriously. Nice work Sjstapleton.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Horrorshow Announce Call-Up

The Rochester Horrowshow announced today that they have recalled star prospect Juan Jacquez to the majors.  Jacquez, a 26-year-old catching prospect, will assume the Designated Hitter position effectively immediately.  Jacquez hit 10 home runs and 22 RBI with a 1.066 OPS in just 28 games this season in AAA.  
"We wish we could have called Juan up at the beginning of the season, Horrorshow management said today, "but we needed to keep our eye on the economic realities of the arbitration system. We welcome Juan to Frontier Field, and look for good things."
The Horrorshow announced that Jacquez's promotion would cause the move of the legendary Lewis Standridge into a role as pinch-hitter and occasional 1B. Standridge stands just 25 hits shy of the 2,500 hit mark.
"We remain committed to seeing Lewis attain the 2,500 hit mark as a member of the Horrorshow. That momentous mark will stand as one of the highlights of this long season."
The Horrowshow also expressed their thanks to the Little Sisters of the Poor Grammar School for their continued prayers to St. Jude Thaddeus, Patron Saint of lost causes.
"It warms our hearts to hear of their continued devotion in these troubled times. We pray that the Horrorshow is respectable for their children's children."

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Season 14 AL playoff predictions

1. Salt Lake City Sundance Kids
Last season's record- 105-57
Notable transactions
   Resign- P Phil Aoki, SS Carlos Borbon, 1B Tom Nickle
   FA losses- DH Trenidad Castillo, P Rudy Matusz, 2B Cam Gutierrez
   Promoted- Darren Spencer
   Option pick-up- P Richard O'Neill
   Traded for C Mickey Orie and P Pepe Amaral from Chicago.

The Kids had a very busy offseason. Amaral should shore up an already great pitching staff. Retaining O'Neill was huge along with the promotion of Spencer. The offense, though lefty dominated, should be more than enough for this staff to win. Expect this team to be great. The Kids win total will probably drop slightly from last season because of a more competitive AL.

Season 14 prediction- 103-61

2. Huntington yankdawgs
Last season's record- 102-60
Notable transactions
   FA losses- 2B Edgardo Torres
   Promoted- 2B Heinie Ramirez, P Rico Feliz

Huntington had a quiet offseason with most transactions being handled through arbitration. While the loss of Torres is huge, the dawgs couple a young power hitting offense with a good staff. The rivalry this season with Boston will be intense and cost the yankdawgs a chance to compete for the 1 seed. The dawgs will win the div. and the number two seed at the end.

Season 14 prediction- 99-63

3. Texas Coyotes
Last season's record- 91-71
Notable transactions
   Resign-3B Lyle Pearson, P Greg Franco
   Option pick-up- P Albert Castillo

The Coyotes didnt do much this offseason, but they didnt have too. They are solid enough on offense though they lack a real power slugger and have the best pitching staff in their div. Though Jacksonville will be better this season, the Coyotes should easily win their div and the number 3 seed.

Season 14 prediction 89-73

4. Chicago Death Panel
Last season's record- 81-81
Notable transactions
   Resign- LF Tyler Fingers
   FA losses- RF Dizzy Murphy, 3B Victor Candelaria
   Promoted- Francisco Duran
   Traded for SS Kevin Smith from SLC

The loss of Candelaria will certainly hurt the Panel this year, but the trade for Simpson makes up for it. The promotion of Duran shores up the back end of this rotation and gives the Panel one of the better pitching staffs in the AL. The battle for the division and 4 seed will be one to watch this season with Chicago, K.C., and Buffalo battling it out. Though the rivalry will be intense, the Death Panel will pull away and secure the 4 seed.

Season 14 prediction- 87-75

5 wildcard. Boston Patriots
Last season's record- 96-66
Notable transactions
   FA signing- LF Pepper James
   Resign- P Bump Milliard
   Contract extension- David Manuel

The Patriots are a stacked team with good offense and pitching. If not for being in Huntington's division, this team could easily be a number 2 seed. They took care of in-house business this offseason resigning Milliard and locking up ace David Manuel for the next 3 seasons. The Pats will challenge Huntington for the division, but will just fall short at the end and will end up the top Wildcard spot.

Season 14 prediction- 98-64

6 wildcard. Oakland Knightmare
Last season's record- 90-72
Notable transactions
   Fa signing- P Karim Farr, SS Clint Hudek
   FA losses- P Jimmie Wright, 2B Joel Schofield
   Contract Extension- 1B Ramon Shin, LF Jeffrey Fitzgerald.

The Knightmare have a potent offense and good pitching and will suffer from being in SLC's division. They locked up key players Shin and Fitzgerald this offseason and brought in Farr to help stem the loss of Wright. Though they will be challenged by K.C., the Knightmare will win the final WC spot.

Season 14 prediction- 88-74

Wildcard contenders
Kansas City Burnt Ends
   Season 14 prediction- 84-79
Las Vegas Legends
   Season 14 prediction- 83-78
Buffalo Sabres
   Season 14 prediction-81-81

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The International

Brayan Jennings
BigAss Trucks
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Cahirciveen, IE
Position(s): 2B
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

The Jackson BA Trucks made the first International prospect signing of the year when they inked Ireland's Brayan Jennings to a minor league contract, including a $12.9 million signing bonus. The 20 year old second baseman, will report to Jackson's rookie league camp to start season 14.

Jennings has all the tools to become an everyday major leaguer. He shows good patience at the plate and will make good contact. He should have the power to hit 15-20 homeruns in the majors as he fills out in the coming years. The one concern scouts have is with his defense. He's shown good enough range to perhaps stay at second base, but his glove may end up being better suited for the outfield once he hits the majors.

While he has been assigned to rookie camp, he is expected to move through the lower levels of the minors fairly quickly. I would expect to see him make his major league debut by season 17.

Season 14 NL Playoff Predictions

1. Pawtucket Paw Sox
Last seasons record- 105-57
Notable transactions
   FA signings- 2B Edgardo Torres
   Resign (via FA)- P Felipe Domingo, CF Jose Rosado
   Option pick-up- P Jose Gonzalez

The Paw Sox are poised to do it again, and are pre season favorites to win the National League. With the addition of Torres, the Paw Sox's offense should roll. Though the team is getting older, they still have what it takes with enough pitching to see them through.

Season 14 prediction- 101-61

2. Anaheim Angels
Last seasons record- 97-65
Notable transactions
   FA signings- 3B Victor Candelaria, P Jimmie Wright
   FA losses- P Felipe Melo, P Tony Rivera, P Doug Hunt
   Option pick-up- P Andrea James
   Traded for- P Al Terrero from Cheyenne

The Angels had a very busy offseason losing many notable pitchers, but with the additions of Wright and Terrero, have more than made up for it and should compete with the Paw Sox for the number 1 seed. With the addition of Candelaria at the hot corner, the Angels should improve from their 97 wins a season ago.

Season 14 prediction- 100-62

3. Richmond Flying Squirrels
Last seasons record- 87-75
Notable transactions
   FA signings- P Mike Ramsey, P Patrick Leary
   FA losses- P David Frias, 1B Benito Lopez
   Traded for- 2B Bernard Hayes from Oakland

The Flying Squirrels did not have a busy offseason, but made impact moves. Hayes should more than fill the hole at 2B and be a productive contributor. The FA additions of pitchers Ramsey and Leary should shore up the bullpen and give the Squirrels one of the better pitching staffs in the NL. The team should improve from 87 wins and achieve the number 3 seed.

Season 14 prediction- 93-69

4. Dover Destroyers
Last seasons record- 86-76
Notable transactions
   FA signings- P Fernando Mercedes, P Hub Moriarty
   FA losses- P Albert Kingsdale, P Sammy Myette
   Traded for-C Lou Clapp from Fargo, P Cody Parrish from OK City, P Stu Bryant from Rochester

The Destroyers have made many changes to the pitching staff with lots of turnover. All for the good. The addition of lefty slugger Lou Clapp should help the Destoryers improve upon their 86 wins and beat out Fargo for the number 4 seed.

Season 14 prediction- 90-72

5 Wildcard. Boise Half Horse
Last seasons record- 87-75
Notable transactions
   FA signings-P Felipe Melo
   Resign- P Matty Cruz
   FA losses- P Don Martin, LF Diego Sanchez

The Half Horse are a solid team that could be a number 4-3 seed if not for the fact that they are in the same division as Anaheim. Though they could improve their pitching, the Half Horse offense should propel them to the top WC spot.

Season 14 prediction- 90-72

6 Wildcard. Fargo Funky Flamingos
Last seasons record- 84-78
Notable transactions
   FA signings- SS Troy Norton, RF Yamil Henriquez
   Resign- P Miguel Manzanillo, C Chuck Jorgensen
   FA losses- 2B Hawk Lambert, P Patrick Leary
   Waiver claim- P Dorio Hubbard

The Flamingos signaled last season that the rebuild was over winning 84 games and earning WC honors. This season, the competition with Durham fpr the final WC spot should be intense with the Flamingos just beating them out and making the post season.

Season 14 prediction 87-75

Wildcard contenders
Durham Nuke LaLoosh's- Season 14 prediction- 86-76
Toronto Elite Thunder Bolts- Season 14 prediction- 85-77
Cheyenne Primetimers-Season 14 prediction- 85-77