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Friday, October 14, 2011

Preseason Top 10

1. Cincinnati Redlegs

Season 21 - 102-60, AL North Champ,#1 Final Ranking, Lost in DCS to Montreal
Additions - None
Subtractions - None
Potential AAA Call-ups - None
Summary - So basically the Season 22 Redlegs are the exact same team as the Season 21 Redlegs, which is a good thing. griffey491 returs his entire #1 ranked offense, as well as his entire pitching staff. There is no reason to believe that this team won't make the playoffs, and no reason to believe that it doesn't have the best chance to win it all.
Prediction - AL North Champ, AL Pennant, World Series Champ

2. Houston Hangovers

Season 21 - 100-62, NL South Champ, #3 Final Ranking, Lost in LCS to Helena
Additions - Sherman Wooten,
Subtractions - Dutch Velarde, J.B. Ryan, Jiggs Hodges, Clay Norman
Potential AAA Call-ups - none
Summary - The #1 team in the NL last season has lost some parts, but not enough to knock them down. They still have the most dominant 1,2,3 SP's in the game, and possess just enough pop to give their 3 aces just enough support. I see a bit of a decline in terms of overall record, but they are still the #1 team in the NL.
Prediction - NL South Champ, NL Pennant, WS Runner-up

3. Philadelphia Bacharach Giants
Season 21 - 98-64, Wild Card #1, #4 Final Ranking, AL Pennant, WS Runner-up
Additions - Darryl Dessens, Warren Hogan, Willie Nunez
Subtractions - Benji Rosa, Eric Ross,
Potential AAA Call-ups - none
Summary - The loss of two veteran SP's is somewhat mitigated by the addition of 3 solid free agents. There is still plenty of talent here, and with the losses at both Durham and Boston, the opportunity is there to win the division.
Prediction - AL East Champ, lose in LCS

4. Helena Hustle
Season 21 - NL West Champ, #5 Final Ranking, NL Pennant, WS Champ
Additions - Clinton Cole
Subtractions - Vic Martin, Harry Guillon
Potential AAA Call-ups - Stan Walker
Summary - The Champ re-signed most of their players from Season 21. Walker could provide some power at a skill position if promoted. I expect another good season, but the division is loaded. Another run is possible, but unlikely
Prediction - NL Wild Card #1

5. Jacksonville TIMUCUAN'S
Season 21 - 101-61, AL South Champ, Lost in DPiS to Montreal
Additions - Enrique Vincente
Subtractions - Brian Williams, Don Iwamura,
Potential AAA Call-ups - Louis Jones
Summary - Jacksonville is always in the mix. They have won the south 3 out of the last 4 seasons and there is little reason to beleieve that that will change. The losses of young SP's Iwamura and Williams will hurt, but Vincente is a difference maker on offense.
Prediction - AL South Champ

6. Durham Tar Heels
Season 21 - 103-59, AL East Champ, #2 Final Ranking, Lost in DCS to Philadelphia
Additions - Orlando Calderone, Matty Jennings
Subtractions - Benji Neill, Gustavo Melo, Darryl Dessens
Potential AAA Call-ups - Max Winn
Summary - The AL East Champ was active in the off-season. Neill will be missed and is irreplacable, Melo never lived up to his promise and call-up Winn is an upgrade. Calderone and Jennings are starters vs. lefties and add depth. Still a very good team, although aging.
Prediction - Wild Card #1

7. Dover Red Stockings
Season 21 - 92-70, NL North runner-up
Additions - Tyrone Moyer, Carmine Ross, Jose Cordero
Subtractions - Roger Ashby
Potential AAA Call-ups - none
Summary - Dover was on the brink of making the playoffs last season, and the blog believes that this is the year that they break through. They are stacked on offense, and should have just enough pitching to make a run at a division title.
Prediction - NL East Champ

8. Los Angeles Hiollywoods
Season 21 - 94-68, Wild Card #2
Additions - Kenji Abe, Pat Day
Subtractions - Steven Starr, Reese Mays
Potential AAA Call-ups - George Hogan
Summary - LA is always competetive and this season should be no different. Day should add some pop to the lineup, and the rotation remains one of the best in the game.
Prediction - NL West Champ

9. Detroit Tigers
Season 21 - 58-104 in NL North
Additions - Benji Pulido, Cristobal Mantalban, Gustavo Melo, Benji Neill, Rob Park, Oswaldo Pizzaro
Subtractions - Juan Alvarez
Potential AAA Call-ups - Glen Stone
Summary - Extreme Makeover: Whatifsports Edition! So how do you from a 50 win season to the Top 10? You have a new starter a virtually very position and a new #1 SP. Neill is arguably the best player in the game, and Mantalban and Park bring much needed power to the lineup. The pitching is still a question mark, but the a playoff appearance is not out of the question for the most improved team in the NL.
Prediction - NL North Champ

10. Kansas City Crusaders
Season 21 - 61-101, 2nd in NL North
Additions - Jiggs Hodges, Kevin Yamaguchi, Mateo Martinez, Erv Johnstone, Sandy Ramsey, Brian Williams
Subtractions - Glenn Franklin, Juan Parra
Potential AAA Call-ups - Alberto Morlan, Al Iglesias, Dioner Soriano, Timothy Bryant, Hee Wan, Midre Valentin, Eduardo Cortez
Summary - KC's time is now, and I expect their patience to start paying off this season. They have a AAA roster that would beat most ML teams, and enough talent at the ML level to challenge for the division title and maybe more. The big question is will they promote their AAA guys this year or next? Either way, the blog is going to have to get used to including them in the rankings for a long time.
Prediction - NL Wild-Card #2

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

HOF Cheat Sheet - Positional players

Until Rogers Torrealba (WinShare of 2.26) crashed the party, the HOF was exclusively for players with a win share over 4 (Adam Lansing was lowest at 4.34).

Here are the top candidates and their win share:

Jorge Ortiz - 5.02
Gary Thornton - 4.71
Alex Johnson - 4.64
George Bowie - 4.32
Thom Martin - 3.11
Juan Beltre- 2.96
Sparky McNamara - 2.93
Donne Vina - 2.52
Sidney Allen - 2.05

Monday, October 10, 2011

HOF Cheat Sheet - SP's

I like OPS allowed as a stat to compare pitchers. It is the stat that they have the most control over. I took the candidates, compared them to the average pitcher that played in their league in their year for every year that they pitched, and came up with an "OPS Allowed Under Avereage Pitcher OPS Allowed". Here are the results:

SP's in the HOF
Rob Branson

OPS Allowed Under Average - .154
Wins - 202
Win Percentage - .743
Strikeouts - 2366
ERA - 3.09
WHIP - 1.18

Candidates (rank amongst other candidates in parenthesis)

John Fikac

OPS Allowed Under Average - .095 (1)
Wins - 239 (1)
Win Percentage - .664 (2)
Strikeouts - 2530 (2)
ERA - 3.64 (1)
WHIP - 1.23 (T-1)

Tim Mench

OPS Allowed Under Average - .091 (2)
Wins - 164 (4)
Win Percentage - .631 (3)
Strikeouts - 1661 (4)
ERA - 3.73 (3)
WHIP - 1.28 (3)

Karl Greenberg

OPS Allowed Under Average - .090 (3)
Wins - 175 (3)
Win Percentage - .706 (1)
Strikeouts - 1728 (3)
ERA - 3.65 (2)
WHIP - 1.29 (4)

Stephen Schourek

OPS Allowed Under Average - .082 (4)
Wins - 221 (2)
Win Percentage - .577 (4)
Strikeouts - 3062 (1)
ERA - 3.78 (4)
WHIP - 1.23 (T-1)

Free Agency Day 3

1. Dutch Velarde, CF, Salem, 4 years $25.8 million

Analysis - Dutch has been a regular for Houston for the previous 6 ML seasons. He has an excellent glove, very good power, and can hit righties, but his eye is suspect. His career OPS of .828 is very good for a skill position - a good signing.

2. Brian Williams, SP/RP, Kansas City, 5 years $63 million

Analysis - The biggest contract given in the off-season goes to Williams, and he is clearly being paid starter money. He's a very good pitcher that is somewhat limited by his so-so stamina (for a starter, anyways). He has a career ERA of 3.92 and WHIP of 1.29. His OPS allowed is .703. All good numbers for an SP, and at 30 years old, he is likely to see out his contract as long as his stamina holds out.

3. Benji Rosa - SP, Salem, 3 years $18 million

Analysis - A top 5 available SP, Rosa is still going strong at 36 years old. Hopefully, he will have more success in Salem this time around as he was 11-40 in his last two years as an Aggie. Career numbers are skewed by those years, but he is an effective SP that will produce for at least two years.

4. Jose Cordero, SS, Dover, 2 years $7.8 million

Analysis - Dover picks up the top true (glove, range, arm ac, arm str all over 80) SS on the market. Cordero is a career .970 fielder at SS wih 0 negative plays. At the dish, he is a career .253 hitter with an OPS of .668 - acceptable numbers for a plus defender at the most important defensive position.

5. Francis Herzog, CF, Helena 3 years $19 million

Analysis - A shrewd signing for what is proving to be one of the top teams in the game. Signed to a contract front-loaded in the first two years, Herzog will be a nice addition to the WS champ. He is a career .284 batter with a .974 OPS. While not an ideal CF, his range and glove will allow him to play multiple positions. A very good signing.