Season 27 record- 87-75(AL North Champs; AL Champs)
Dover has an average looking offense. Phil Shibata and Al Pujols provide the pop. John Pong is the best pure hitter on this team though. He's getting old, but the guy can still hit and get on base. Brent Summers may not be the best hitter on the team, but he's one of the best, if not the best, centerfielders in the game and his bat is good enough for such a great defender.
Dover has an above average defense. Summers really adds a lot to the team. Kennie McCracken is the shortstop and he has the glove to play there, but his arm accuracy is really bad. Benito Sanchez is a great secondbaseman, but the team would likely be better off switching him and McCracken.
The pitching for Dover is also above average. Alex Martis is the best pitcher on the team, but he's been used as a reliever. Willie Cairo is a pretty solid pitcher and Bobby Ray Ingram is as well. Those 2 are the best starters I see on this staff. The bullpen has Martis, and Omar Gabriel holding things down. The rest of the staff is solid, but I see a lot of control problems.
Dover is the reigning AL champ and AL North champ. It's possible they could take the division crown again this season, but a lot would need to go their way and that's assuming that no other team made improvements. My initial reaction to the talent I'm seeing is that this isn't a playoff team.
Player to watch- Brent Summers- Summers is a gold glove centerfielder with great range and glove. Not only that, he is a good offensive player. He is a great base stealer and he's a guy that will get on base enough for that to mean something. I think Summers could one day be a Hall of Famer.
Kansas City Yardbirds
owner- holleybard(1 season)
Season 27 record- 84-78
Offensively Kansas City doesn't look very threatening. The top power threat is David Lind, a player that can hit some homeruns, but won't hit very well. His .364 career obp makes up for the low average, but he can't hit as many homers if he's taking walks. Tony Franco has a pretty solid bat for a guy that can play gold glove defense at second base. Hugh Paterson was rushed to the majors and should hit OK, but he has some pretty high upside after being taken first overall in last seasons draft.
Defensively this team is a bit above average. Del Broome won't make many errors in centerfield. Esmil Estalella has a pretty good glove at shortstop as well, but he'll tend to make some poor throws. Franco has won a gold glove at second base and that really locks up the middle for KC.
The pitching for this team is a bit below average. The rotation isn't very impressive with Butch Simmons and Luis Manuel standing out as the best 2 possible starters, but both lack good stamina. The bullpen is a bit better, but not impressive. Sherman Stevens and Corey Moran are both good.
I don't really see this team challenging for a playoff spot this season. They look better than they have in the past, but it's still a work in progress for the Yardbirds.
Player to watch- Hugh Paterson- Paterson could very well turn out to be one of the best players in the league in the next few seasons, but I doubt he will do much this season. I think he can be a solid player though and it should be interesting to see how well he progresses this season and over the next few.
New York Damage Controllers
owner- skuff730(8 seasons)
Season 27 record- 78-84
Offensively, this team is looking pretty good heading into this season. Gregory Singleton, Salvador Gallardo, and Gus Justice are the top threats on this team, but they aren't the only ones. This team has a stacked lineup, with good power, good hitting, good eyes and even a little speed. They could be one of the top offenses this season.
The team is pretty solid on defense as well. Greg Parrott has been a gold glove left fielder and second baseman. I personally think his defense up the middle would come in more handy than left field. Julian Prieto plays shortstop, but his glove and arm aren't what you'd like there. He's better suited for centerfield or even second base. This team has options and really the only weakness may be at shortstop. I think they could be a top 5 defense in the AL this season.
The pitching isn't near as good as the hitting or defense on this team. I like Gerald Foster, but the rotation could use a few more good arms like his. In the bullpen, Ernesto Ozuna is a good arm and I also like Andrew Hill and Richard Peters. There really isn't much more impressive pitching on this staff though.
New York should make a serious push for the division crown this season. They have the offense and defense to do so. The pitching hurts this team, but I think it's good enough to move them ahead of the other teams here. A better pitching staff could put this team in serious contention for the AL crown though, but right now they'll have to have things go their way in order to capture that.
Player to watch- Gus Justice- This guy is a great hitter with excellent contact, power, eye and speed. He is the complete package as a hitter. This could very well be the season that Justice make a real run at the league MVP award.
Season 27 record- 68-94
Milwaukee doesn't have much on offense. The power will come from Javier Suarez, but his hitting splits leave me curious as to how well he'll do. I think his contact and power can make up for some of it, but I'll be interested to see. Art Nieman and Ivan Uribe also add some decent power to the lineup. Walt Shelby, Benny Garcia and Tomas Osoria add some speed, but I'm not sure they'll get on base enough to make a difference. The Magnitude really do lack some hitters that can get on base regularly.
The defense is slightly below average. I like Randy Pellow as a shortstop, but he could use better range. Ralph Winn should be a good second baseman and Osoria is a solid centerfielder. Those 3 up the middle pretty much explain this defense. The are solid, but not great.
The pitching staff also doesn't look very good this season. They aren't bad, but they are below average. I like Derrick Jacquez and he should be a really good reliever for them. Ben Boyer also provides a good arm out of the pen. Tex Wagner gives them 3 solid bullpen arms. The rotation is what hurts this team. It could use an infusion of good arms. Bucky Simpson and Kirt Walsh are back end of rotation pitchers and they'll be relied upon at the top.
This team is rebuilding and this season will continue that. I don't think the plan for them is to compete this season, so I doubt they'll be disappointed. My guess is that they finish last and likely add a few more young prospects along the way.
Player to watch- Benny Garcia- Garcia will be making his ML debut this season and I'll be paying attention to what he can do. I like his combination of contact and speed. He'll hit left handers for sure, but his batting eye and ability against righties worries me. Being a left hander will help that and I think if he can hit above .260 then he'll really get a chance to use his speed.
Dover is the reigning AL champ and that makes it really hard to pick against them this season. They have an above average team, but I don't think they have a great team. I think they'll come close to last seasons record and finish in the upper 80's in victories. I just don't think that'll be enough to win the division this season. It could still get them into the playoffs though. New York is a team on the rise. The offense and defense put this team at the top of the division on paper. They should be really tough this season despite the lack of quality pitching. The pitching is the only thing that keeps this team from running away with the division. Kansas City is going to find it tough to repeat last season. I think they are a below average team that should win around 75 games this season. They have too many holes and will likely not make the post season. Milwaukee is a team that is rebuilding, but they have some young players moving up to the majors this season. I don't think any of the players are difference makers though. They'll finish at the bottom of the division, but I think they'll improve over last season.
1. New York
3. Kansas City