Friday, June 3, 2016

S35 Mid-Season Blog

Midseason Classic
Season 35 All-Star Game: National League 6, American League 2
HR Derby Winner: Willie Tarasco (Strikers)
All-Star Game MVP: Neifi Gil (Jibaros)
Winning Pitcher: Jesus Dali (Apaches)
Homeruns: Gil, Doug Mitchell (Juice), Dion Pagnozzi (Thunder)

Teams with the most All-Star selections:
Atlanta Apaches (Rattlers) - 8
Kansas City Yardbirds (holleybard) - 5
Salem Volanoes (jkenned) - 5
Boise Coursers (godao) - 5
Jacksonville Juice (greygoose123) - 3
Cincinnati Firestorm (jbburner) - 3
Albuquerque Komodo Dragons (csudak) - 3
Syracuse Orange (joekendall) - 3
New York Sultans of Swat (bluenoser44) - 3

Teams with zero All-Star selections:
Chicago Black Sox
Boston Screaming Babies
El Paso Walkers
New Orleans Jazz
Colorado Springs Iron Horseman
Iowa City Hawkeyes
Texas Galveston Wave
Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's
Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs

All-Stars by Division
NL East - 15
AL West - 11
AL North - 8
AL East - 7
NL West - 7
NL North - 5
AL South - 4
NL South - 3

*Links are posted - click on an individual player's name to open their HBD profile
First Time All-Stars – American League

First Time All-Stars – National League

All-Stars Making Their 5th Appearance or Greater
C - Bengie Trajano (Doormats) - 9th Appearance
P - Juan Sierra (Apaches) - 9th
P - Geronimo Estrada (Apaches) - 8th
RF - Roger Byrne (Sultans of Swat) - 7th
2B - Eugenio Canseco (Monkeybutlers) - 7th
P - Lonny Gonzalez (Volcanoes) - 6th
P - Yoshinori Zhou (Magnitude) - 6th
SS - Wendell Werth (Merchants) - 6th
P - Hades Phillips (Firestorm) - 6th
SS - Bartolo Ortiz (Apaches) - 6th
LF - Vicente Palmeiro (Komodo Dragons) - 6th
P - Aurelio Ozuna (Volcanoes) - 5th
SS - Lefty Twitchell (Volcanoes) - 5th
LF - Michel Pena (Volcanoes) - 5th
P - Moises Olmedo (Apaches) - 5th
3B - Neal Hartzell (Komodo Dragons) - 5th

Record Breakers
Listed below are the Pine Tar Season 35 league leaders in various statistical catagories, their projected total after the remaining 61 games, and the Pine Tar all-time record holders for those categories.  Players who have an opportunity to tie or break a record have been noted with bold font.
*Links are posted - click on an individual player's name to open their HBD profile

Category - Player League Leader - S35 Total Projected Total Pine Tar Record Holder - Total
Batting Average Valerio Martinez (BOI) - .352 .352 Randy Podsednik - .398
Homeruns Michael Chong (MIL) - 42 67 Jim Blair - 69
Runs Batted In Michael Chong (MIL) - 97 156 Bob Wood - 203
Stolen Bases Fernando Espinosa (SYR) - 56 90 Brandon Kline - 166
Runs Scored Wesley McDonald (DUR) - 86 138 Ronald Clyburn - 169
OPS % Valerio Martinez (BOI) - 1.093 1.093 Frank Martin - 1.240
Pitching Wins Aurelio Ozuna (SAL) - 14 22 Rich Meyers, Rock Randall - 25
Earned Run Avr Ben Boyer (WIC) - 1.94 1.94 John Rucker - 1.79
WHIP Lonny Gonzalez (SAL) - 0.88 0.88 Tim Daubach - 0.87
OAV Lonny Gonzalez (SAL) - .176 .176 Tim Daubach - .177
Saves Richard Huang (NY1) - 33 53 3 Tied - 54
Pitching Strikeouts Yoshinori Zhou (MIL) - 137 220 Warren Hargrave - 273
Complete Games David Chantres (SYR) - 5 8 D.Shipley, W.Sizemore - 15
IF Plus Plays Lefty Twitchell (SAL) - 20 32 Travis Fiore - 40
OF Plus Plays Vitas Witt (DOV) - 16 26 Hank Truman - 37
OF Assists 3 Tied - 9 14 Ariel Villano - 27
Caught Stealing % Cesar Durazo (OK) - .44 .44 Justin Carson - .612
Catcher ERA Tomas Urena (CIN) - 3.12 3.12 Nolan McClellan - 2.34

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

S34 Mid-Season Blog

Midseason Classic

Season 34 Pine Tar All-Star Game: American League defeats the National League 7-2
HR Derby Winner: Neifi Gil (Roughnecks)
All-Star Game MVP: Phillip Bruske (Yardbirds)
Winning Pitcher: Lonny Gonzalez (Volcanoes)
Homeruns: Bruske, Santo Herrera (Black Sox), Neal Hartzell (Komodo Dragons)

Teams with the most All-Star selections:
Houston Roughnecks (bagwellbuff) - 6
Salem Volcanoes (jkenned) - 5
Nashville Merchants (blapo21) - 5
Kansas City Yardbirds (holleybard) - 4
Scranton Red Barons (reggie988) - 4
Jacksonville Juice (greygoose123) - 4
Syracuse Orange (joekendall) - 3
San Juan Marichals (sermonauthor) - 3

Teams with zero All-Star selections:
Boise Coursers
Colorado Springs Iron Horseman
Philadelphia Moneymakers

All-Stars by Division
**This is much closer than the past few years
AL North - 9
NL South - 9
AL South - 8
NL North - 8
NL East - 8
AL East - 7
AL West - 6
NL West - 5

*Links are posted - click on an individual player's name to open their HBD profile
First Time All-Stars – American League

First Time All-Stars – National League

All-Stars Making Their 5th Appearance or Greater
P - Sticky Farquhar (Juice): 11th Appearance
P - Geronimo Estrada (Marichals): 7th Appearance
LF - Gus Justice (Juice): 7th Appearance
P - Alex James (Merchants): 6th Appearance
RF - Roger Byrne (Sultans of Swat): 6th Appearance
P - Wilt Sizemore (Roughnecks): 6th Appearance
2B - Eugenio Canseco (Red Barons): 6th Appearance
3B - Jim Hawpe (Wildcats): 6th Appearance
P - Yoshinori Zhou (Volcanoes): 5th Appearance
P - Lonny Gonzalez (Volcanoes): 5th Appearance
SS - Wendell Werth (Merchants): 5th Appearance
SS - Bartolo Ortiz (Marichals): 5th Appearance

Playoff Tidbits

-Nine Pine Tar clubs are looking to end playoff droughts as they are within striking distance of a postseason berth at the midway point:
Chicago: 16 seasons
Kansas City: 11 seasons
Jackson: 10 seasons
St. Louis: 8 seasons
Tampa Bay: 6 seasons
Wichita: 6 seasons
Dover: 5 seasons
Iowa City: 4 seasons
Cincinnati: 3 seasons

-Five division leaders are looking to extend their current streak of consecutive division titles:
Salem: 6 consecutive AL West titles
Scranton: 6 consecutive NL North titles
Nashville: 5 consecutive AL South titles
Milwaukee: 5 consecutive AL North titles
San Juan: 3 consecutive NL East titles

-Seattle has a 6-game lead in the NL West with a surprisingly low payroll of $48 million.  Of the remaining seven division leaders, Scranton's payroll is $71 million, while everybody else is greater than $90 million.  On the other side, Boston is 6 games below .500 with a payroll of $116 million and Texas is 8 games below on a $101 million player budget.

-The AL North is looking for their first playoff wildcard berth since Season 22.  You heard that correctly...11 seasons of only sending 1 team to the postseason.  Kansas City is currently in the second wildcard position, while Chicago is 3 games behind.

-Some of the American League teams feel comfortable in seeing that league powerhouse Salem is ONLY on pace to win 106 games this season, while Nashville is on pace to win less than 100.  These two teams have put up win totals of 110 or greater SIX times in recent Pine Tar seasons.  Although nobody really knows what to expect come playoff-time after an 83-win Boise team advanced to the World Series last season.

Early Trade-Deadline Moves
-Seattle added power to its lineup by trading for 1B Willie Tarasco, who has already hit 12 homeruns in 39 games with the Strikers.  Seattle leads the NL West by 6 games.
-Cincinnati, who are currently sitting 1 game out of the NL East lead, strengthened its bullpen by acquiring Hades Phillips (5 time all-star, 414 career saves).
-Wichita ranks 15th in the NL in runs scored, but made a move to improve its offense by adding all-star 3B Jim Hawpe, who has a .383 on-base percentage and 55 RBIs this season.  The Tornadoes are below .500, but only 6 games behind division-leading Scranton.
-St. Louis looks to be dealing as the trade deadline draws closer.  They have sent SS Jhonny Castro to Nashville and RP Andy Ganzel to New York in the hopes of building for the future.  St. Louis is 5 games out of first place in the NL North.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Chicago Scandal 3rd Edition.

The Chicago Scandal 3rd Edition.

Author’s Notes
Welcome owners, to another edition of the Chicago Scandal. I got a lot to cover, so let’s get to it. We have seen a lot transpire as the season nears the mid-way point. First off, I want to point out that a major player could be the New York Sultan of Swat. They currently sit atop the AL East with a 43-29 record. Owner bluenoser44 took over the team this year and is not only thinking divisional title, but also to challenge the AL favorite Salem Volcanoes. This team is about middle of the road statistically, but they have the right combination of offense and defense that give teams the fits. 2-time MVP and multi-time all-star Roger Byrne-RF leads the offense with 28 HRs, 62 RBIs and 16:1 SB to CS ratio.  Alex Toregas - P is the Ace of the pitching rotation. He has racked up a 9-3 record in 100.2 innings, striking out 71 for an ERA of 3.67. New York is by no means a lock for the division, with Syracuse hot on their tails 4 games out. But, I think with the balance this team has, the AL should definitely take notice.
The state of the AL West
Every division seems to have some sort of competitive race for the divisional title, either by illusion or genuine competition, with the exception of the AL West. Currently, Salem is 10-0 in the division and a whopping 17 games ahead. Now, this could be taken for a grain of salt, considering Season 33 saw Salem win the division by 36 games. However, last season gave us the incredible run of godao’s Boise Coursers all the way to the World Series. As one of two wild card teams to play in the title game, their run last year was nothing short of miraculous.  Yet this year, they sit in last place. I don’t expect much from the west’s bottom feeders, but the season is long and there is still plenty of time to contend for a wildcard spot.
Houston regains control
Earlier in the year I made a strong case for Jackson Juggernauts (38-35) to take the NL South. As we close in on the midway point, they intend to prove me wrong. Houston (46-27) has regained control of the division going 7-3 in the last ten.  They sit 8 games ahead of division rival Jackson, but only 1-2 against them head-to-head this year. Houston looks like the stronger team and their play is backing that up. They are poised to send 5 to the all-star game and have the best record in the NL. I am still sticking with my Jackson pick, but I am going to up the ante and say the NL representative is coming out of the South. Although, I do suspect that Scranton may have something to say about that.

Inter-league Play
The AL goes 100-90 vs the NL.

Season 34 Draft top 5 picks

1.      Dean Gillheeney P Chicago
2.      Ralph Wood P  Philadelphia             
3.      Antone Shipley SS Louisville
4.      Kory Washington P New Orleans
5.      Darrin Atkins 2B Colrado

Owner Draft Grades
Too early to tell yet for me...depends if I can sign my 1R pick Glover or not, and how his ratings turn out if I sign him. If I can't sign him, then my draft is a D. German's power is too low for a DH and PC too low for a C. Franco's stamina and control were much lower than projected. Jacobson looks decent, but he's already 21 and probably won't hit projections.

Like any other team drafting in the top 10, I would have been thrilled with any player who fell to me. This was such a deep draft with stud pitching and hitting prospects that, I imagine, not many people are disappointed with the results. My number one target was Antone Shipley, who went to Louisville. I think he's the perfect player, and I realized that he was a dream target who would have no business falling to 10. He went 3rd and easily could have been the top choice. Next on my list was Rafael Valdes, who went 7th to Tampa. I was also crazy about Bartolo James (great name) who went to Boston in the 6th slot. That left me with the mythology-sounding pitcher, Hades Zambrano. Predraft, his ratings made him seem like a devastating setup A who could log 140 IP per season. Now that he's signed, I'm pleasantly surprised to see that he's a starter (his stamina jumped from 54 to 63). Not a 240 IP horse by any stretch, but certainly 180 to 200. He's got great control, velocity, and splits. He's durable. His first two pitches are plus-plus. I'm glad we got him. He's the only pick of mine worth talking about, but that's all right with me. Grade: A.

greygoose123: Jacksonville Juice
I pretty much abandoned the draft this year by design. I signed a Type A FA that gave away my number one pick and I lowered my scouting budgets way down. However, my first pick (92nd overall) was a pitcher that has an outside chance of making the majors. So I'd call that a win under the circumstances.

We didn't pick until 38th in the draft so really didn't have any expectations or solid picks this year.

Not my best draft but I am going to be very happy with the pitcher I drafted first if he ends up signing. Keeping my fingers crossed. Otherwise, my draft was very mediocre. I did end up with quite a few pitchers which should keep my minors stocked. No position players I drafted will make it to the majors.

sudbury1111: El Paso Walkers
Given how little money I spent on college players and how many I ended up drafting, I'm amazed I got anyone who should play at MLB level. Given myself a C for luck. Top guy I drafted showed a 100 overall rating. How could I not put him highly even though I knew it was inaccurate. Dropped to 80 ovr but still will hit well.

Jkenned: Salem Volcanoes
Salem the grade would be N/A. We consciously punted the draft and all scouting to allow for the payroll to keep this squad together. In terms of a draft grade I would give it an A in that we are serious world series contenders again, in terms of player's acquired in the draft it is a solid F for future talent.

The Thunder were very surprised to see Rafael Valdes slide to them at #7. He projects to be an incredible leadoff hitter. He was rated an 88 at Draft Time but no idea what the drop off will be since he still has not signed. #2 Pick Tony Hissey looks to be a defensive wiz at SS but also has not signed.

If Valdes does signs, pairing him with International Signing Naoki Martin (CF), makes Season 34 an "A" for prospects acquisition.

Hot or Not
Team Hotness:
Milwaukee Magnitude is new to the list with a 5 game divisional lead in the Al North. They have quietly gone 8-2 in the last 10.
Houston Roughnecks 7-3 in their last 10 started slow but have bounced back to the NL South lead with an 8 game lead.
Salem Volcanoes remain on the list. Still the top team in baseball.

Team Notness:
Wichita Tornadoes make the list this week after going 2-8 in their last 10. They have been abysmal on the road this season (15-26). Despite their poor play, they are only 6 games from 1st and can still make a run at a potential Wildcard spot, if not the division.
Philadelphia Moneymakers are no stranger to the list. They went mostly with pitching in this season’s draft, taking pitchers in the first five rounds. Now we wait and watch. Will this be the team of the future?
Colorado Wildcats round out the team posting a 2-8 record in their last 10. They had 8 1st round picks this year. Clearly, they are building for the future. I don’t expect much from them this year being 17 games back. It looks like a 3 team race for the number 1 pick next year with New Orleans and Philly.
Rumor Mill
According to sources, Jesus Dali (P) was promoted back to the SJ ML club after a shocking and ignominious ST demotion to preserve his arb status in future seasons. This shameful and blatant exploitation of a player contract not only reinforces owner sermonauthor's reputation for his robber Barron-like executive actions, but also seems to confirm sermonauthor is in it for the long haul, having sacrificed the first 50 days of his ace to AAA. When reached for comment on how he could treat a pitcher of this magnitude so shabbily, owner sermonauthor told this reporter, "Like this other guy I golf with once said, "I have a pen and a phone and I'm prepared to use them both to do the things I must to improve this once-great franchise. Good. Maybe add a player given this type treatment might normally be angry but given he was named for both Jesus and the Dali Lama he wishes only peace and prosperity for the man who sent him to the hellhole for 50 days.
Since his call up, Jesus Dali has started 5 games with a 1-1 record and 4.45 ERA.

Special thanks to the owners who assisted with the article.
The players club will be in the 4th edition. I have been a little under the weather lately.  
Disclaimer: Hot or Not and the Players Club are entirely opinion based. Even though stats are considered, future players and teams will be selected based on what the blogger/writer decides. As always inputs are always appreciated.