Monday, September 23, 2013

The Flirty Forty

So if your 40 and single with a good job the young sexy chicks at the bar might be checking you out. Oh wait, in your dreams.  Umm, yeah this is about the last forty games of the season especially those that have a shot at the playoffs.  For some that is still a dream.

AL North

Salt Lake looks to have a handle on things with a 10 game lead.

AL East

New Britain also has a 10 game lead and looks to go unhindered into the playoffs.

AL South

Is this division as inept as their records indicate?  Looks can be deceiving sometimes but the title is still up for grabs as the Biscuits have faltered and the Braves have picked up ground albeit slowly.

AL West

Salem has a 22 game lead and looks primed to take the #1 seed though they still need to shake loose from New Britain's prying eyes.

The Wild Card race might wind up to be a free-for-all before the season ends. Dover stands atop the fold here with Fargo holding onto the second slot.  Neither one can get too complacent as there are seven other teams that could get hot and make a run at them.

NL North

Stands to reason that Buffalo and Scranton are having their seemingly annual tiff.

NL East

The Bats got pissed at me at the beginning of the season and decided to really prove they are the team to beat.

NL South

Maybe it is pick on the South teams this season. New Orleans is atop but everybody is still in the race for the title

NL West

Vancouver holds the lead and a slim run for the #1 seed at the moment. Those pesky Wranglers are getting ready for another round up so things aren't that definitive. 

Las Vegas and Scranton hold the Wild Card slots at the moment.  Truth be told, unless something drastic happens not much of a race here.

I have seen some odd seasons but this one seems to take the cake.  First the draft may have been deep but in all reality I didn't see any real stars to be all that thrilled about. The International Market has been a crap shoot with too many broken porcelain thrones. Eight teams in the South division and only one with a winning record at the moment. That may not seem odd except last year the worst of these teams had 69 wins and 5 of them were in the playoffs. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Butch News

Mal asked an interesting question about Butch Stewart that I just had to go snooping and finger out the situation. Two of the ten errors were dropped foul balls. Don't ask me how this is possible because it is one of those errors you hardly ever see. Since his glove and range is phenominal it doesn't seem realistic to this game but it might be that he is trying too hard. In a nutshell, he gets to the impossible catch and drops it, more than likely, can't hold on. All the others have been throwing errors. Even with a pretty good arm, shit happens. The shit in this case is a 1B that isn't all that defensive minded and should be left out of the pick off attempt equation. Further enhancing the trouble is a 2B that isn't great at covering the bag on steals, getting there or catching it if he does. The SS can get to the bag on a steal, catching it might be a tricky situation at times. We certainly can't pin the problem on the Fielding Instructor.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Little News

I have to applaud my Low A Diablos, 24 wins in a row is a nice streak you don't see very often. You would think they would be in first place but they barely gained 5 games on the front running Braves. I have seen a 22 win streak by a ML team but I tell you that is very rare.

The International Market has taken a beating this season. Anybody with a decent pulse is getting some money though it isn't the big bills.

Alving Megias got $1.2M from Charleston. Looks decent for a lefty but his pitches ain't all that sophisticated.

Javier Unamuno picked up a $2.2M payday from Oklahoma City. Touted as a 3B but we have a hard time believing he can play above the 1B position.  Seems to strike out a lot but does connect for home runs.

Oklahoma City also signed  Albert Suarez for $1.4M.  Another project player that just doesn't have the splits.

El Paso went hog wild over Yadier Espinoza with a $13M payday.  Diablos think he is better than what the scouts are seeing. I kinda doubt it really but was the best prospect I have seen all season.

Tomas Samuel got $1.2M from Salt Lake.  If his splits get better than what we see then there is a good chance. Still worth the money the way I see it.

Pawtucket made head-lines signing James Gao for $16M.  Many teams got out early as he isn't the greatest hitter with cataracts. Still, how can you pass up on what could turn out to be a GG SS that has decent power, contact and splits?

Saturday, September 14, 2013


The DITR function is totally random as far as I can tell.  I have seen an already elite player get the advantage but it is very rare. Just as rare is the increase actually makes the player viable for the ML. Normally teams that are bad, like the Diablos get four of them in a season like this year. Normal range for that is zero to four btw, don't think I have ever seen anyone get more than four. . Of course it didn't help all that much, just longer careers in the  minors maybe which is a bit helpful. I normally hope my DITR's are catchers as they can turn out to be fringe players if their PC gets up to the upper end. I actually got two short relievers which is normal and two starters which is unusual. Still, none of them I consider even fringe players but can be very helpful in the development process of other players and getting the minor league team to the playoffs. One thing to note, DITR's have a tendency to develop differently, especially if they are young. They tend to develop more after the first three years than normal players to reach their potential.

There is the initial DITR jump I like also but you don't get to see it if it was from a just drafted player. One of mine was an International that was signed at the end of last year.  I must have thought he had enough potential for the low minors then (and spend spare cash on)  but now can possibly make it to AAA. Three were actually minor league vets and that is all they ever will be which happens quite often.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

International News

With all the hype being on the draft I almost over looked something exciting. No! It wasn't the fact the Diablos finally ended their 11 game losing streak which I don't understand as I think we are much better than our record indicates.

Arodys Gonzalez signed a $15.5M deal with the Norfolk Tides. If things go well, even if I don't like them being over the age of 18, he could be ready for ML action in a season and a half easily enough. He has the potential to be a very good long reliever or maybe a solid 5 inning starter.  A decent buy for the money if things work out well.

Grade: A-

Monday, September 2, 2013

Draft Review

With the first pick of the season 24 draft, Fresno selects Javier Posada, catcher, Fairmont High School in MN (didn't like Maple River?). Good defensively but doesn't possess the Pitch Calling skill and his arm could be problematic at times. He has a big bat which lured Fresno into taking him with the number 1 pick. Truthfully I consider him more of a DH than a catcher which makes him a possible future trade bait later with an AL team. 

Grade: A-

2. Andy York, CF, 
Burlington Lake Monsters: I am not that inclined to believe he can play CF but 2B has its rewards. I like his hitting style more than Posada though not as powerful. His speed enhances is ability to be a great ML player.

Grade: A+

3. Joe Stockton, SS, Durham Bulls: His health did not scare Durham away but maybe should have. Quality SS is a maybe but 2B/3B is always a distinct possibility. Might have better power number and thefts than York if he has a long career.

Grade: A-

4. Kip Phelps, 1B, Norfolk Tides: He isn't gonna be great defensively at 1B, just adequate comes to mind. Actually has the ability to be a lead-off hitter or in the the number 2 slot even though he doesn't have the speed most look for. Just saying he doesn't have the quality pop most look for in the 3 thru 6 slot and too good to be the bottom end of the order.

Grade: A-

5. Horace Duran, SP, Charleston RiverDogs: Did anyone expect the best starting pitcher in the draft to fall this far? I was hoping one more to be truthful. He could turn out to be a project in the making but does have the possible skills to be very good. Ground ball flame thrower with good to exceptional control, decent splits and pitches. Gets degraded heavily though with the thought of a longer than usual minor league career and health.

Grade: B+

6. Bernie O'Malley, P, El Paso Diablos: With the best hitters and starting pitcher off the boards we turned our attention to the best reliever. We think he could be a bit of a project also as we are hoping he turns out to be the shutdown closer we want.

Grade: A

7. Delmon Walker, 2B, Albuquerque Isotopes: Doubtful he will ever rise above a strong LF in reality. Could be a good power hitter if his contact rises above mediocrity.

Grade: B

8. Julio Pena, P, Augusta Green Jackets: There could be some contention as to whom got the best shutdown closer. Bernie grades out better in the eyes of the scouts but that doesn't mean Julio is no knockoff.

Grade: A

9. Pat Skipworth, LF, Fargo Moorhead Redhawks: LF looks very doubtful in my books and 1B looks more likely. Has some power to go with the very good eye and contact but might need to get lucky.

Grade: B

10. Douglas Milton, 2B, Little Rock Travelers:  Could be a project to play 2B and to hit well for that matter. Has lots of speed but doesn't have much ability to use it.

Grade: B

11.  Alberto Colome, CF, Syracuse Chiefs: Quality CF is a given, not great mind you. Has plenty of speed for the theft department. A tough out as he hits most anything and has some pop to go with it and is very lucky against righties. Home run balls has a tendency to elude him however. Will the health and durability issues keep him on the bench is the question.

Grade: B

12. Howard Bibby, SS, Iowa City Cubs: I had a hard time placing him in my top 10. He has the future ability to be a GG SS but it is doubtful he will rise to the occasion. Hitting isn't exactly his forte but does have the speed and know how.

Grade: B

13. Randy Frazier, SP, Pawtucket Red Sox: How bad was starting pitching is this draft? Here is the second one take with the 13th pick no less and two closers already taken. He is a tough sell to be a quality ML starter in my books. Can his splits rise enough to be useful, are his first two pitches adequate enough. Too many unknowns. Truth be told my second round pick looks just as good.

Grade: B

14. Don Stetter, RF, Oklahoma City Indians: He won't be great in RF but it could be the best position for him other than 1B. Doesn't have great speed but will steal a base form time to time catching everybody by surprise. Could be a decent hitter in the end with some power.

Grade: B+

15. Christopher Sisler, SS, Omaha Storm Chasers: Chances of playing SS is mighty thin to nonexistent as 3B is probable. Can steal a base from time to time. Hitting is a mixed bag as he has some pop and luck but really looks hesitant about swinging. Maybe it is hand and eye coordination.

Grade: B+

16. Todd Pence, SP, Rochester Red Wings: If he was a lefty I would say he could be great buts as a righty, that is a different story. His splits aren't something to brag about and his control is actually so-so good, will his velo, GB and pitches bail him out is the question.

Grade: B

17. Vince Murphy, 2B, Boise Hawks: I thought about taking Vince with the 6th pick just because I didn't think he would sign. If he does sign, you get a guy that can play RF and is a very good hitter with some power.

Grade: A-

18.  Chip Simmons, LF, Toledo Mud Hens: Chances are he will sign. LF looks kinda promising but maybe 1B might be a better influence. Hitting might not be robust but has some pop.

Grade: B

19. Luis Cantu, 3B, Salt Lake City Bees: This is a player I had all over the board before I decided he wasn't worthy of a high pick. Should be a pretty good 3B is an easy assumption. Me and his anemic contact is a head scratcher but the rest has all-star hitting written all over it. How long will it take before pitchers realize he swings ans misses a lot.

Grade: B+

20. Walt Lara, SP, New Britain Rock Cats: Has some good splits but the middling control and pitches just doesn't look very promising at this point.

Grade: B

21. Del Brinkley, SS, Jacksonville Suns: I couldn't decide if he was to be ranked 3rd or 4th on my board. I think he could play SS, well not great but could be a GG 3B or 2B easily enough. Has some speed and power which is highly sought after in any of those positions. Good contact helps him out tremendously but those anemic splits caused his stock to drop, maybe further than need be.

Grade: A

22. Hector Delgado, P, Dover Senators: Good control and some possibly decent splits doesn't outweigh the fact that he has the velo of a little leaguer and very little pitch integrity to go with it. Health is even more of a strikage.

Grade: B-

23. Tony Vallarta, SP, New Orleans Zephyrs: I thought about taking him as lefty starters are not well liked but his health shot that down. I think he might be the most viable starter at the ML level out of this draft and that really isn't saying much.

Grade: B+

24. Cy Spencer, SS, New Britain Rock Cats: Reality will set in sooner or later that he isn't cut out to be a SS as 2B/3B is a better fit with some CF thrown in for good measure. Has some speed but hitting isn't all that great.

Grade: B

25.  Shep Bittle, RF, Las Vegas Wranglers: RF might be too much to handle for him which leaves 1B. Health is an issue Good eye, power and contact but could be a total waste because a right handed pitcher is an alien power to him.

Grade: B

26. Will Kinney, P, Rochester Red Wings: Signing looks doubtful at $8M.

27. Ron Pritchett, 2B, Jackson Generals: Not to give anything away but, he can't play anywhere close to 2B and LF is about as good as it is gonna get. Has speed but hitting isn't all that great either.

Grade: C+

28. Andrew Pearson, P, Norfolk Tides: Health isn't great but short relievers tend to survive that. Here is the catch 22 portion, can he be a closer with very little stamina and high durability. My thoughts would be to use him as a setup B to get out of an inning which is very useful. I actually like the thought put into this pick.

Grade: B+

29. Lou Pettyjohn, SS, New Orleans Zephyrs: Could be a reach at signing which might be good news, at least I wouldn't put much effort into it.  Little or no health but is a solid 3B prospect.  Does well at the plate and can steal a base.

Grade: B+ if he doesn't sign, B- if he does

30. Pedro Santos, SP, Vancouver Canadians: A good pick this late in the draft normally. We are not convinced a starting pitcher can survive long on one pitch and four junk ones.

Grade: B

31. Lloyd Carter, SP, New Orleans Zephyrs: I have had my fill of below 50 control pitchers, they just don't work for long regardless of good the rest is.   That makes this guy dead in the water with me.

Grade: C

32. Al Mujica, P, Louisville Bats: Unknown

33. Amp Young, P, Salem Keiser Volcanoes: Unknown