Wednesday, November 23, 2016

American League All-Youth Team - Season 37

Below is my top team of 30 American League players currently on MLB rosters who are 25 years-old or younger.  These are based on my opinion.  Some positions were more competitive than others.  I tried to put players in the position where they played the most games last season, but did move a few players around.  Although statistics are listed, ratings were a major factor in determining the team.  If you think somebody got snubbed, feel free to discuss on the message board.

It's always fun to look back...below are links to previous All-Youth teams:

Season 37 American League All-Youth Team

William Nakano (3B): This 25 year-old Chicago third baseman has a unique combination of speed and power, as he hit 34 homeruns and swiped 50 bases last season.  His outstanding performance during the past seasons earned him two All-Star selections and three Silver Slugger awards.  In the field, Nakano’s 91 glove rating makes it extremely difficult for groundballs to get past him.  He was acquired as an international free agent for the bargain price of $13 million by owner skuff730 during season 31.

Cookie Tapia (LF/1B): At 25 years-old, Tapia has become the top offensive weapon in the Milwaukee lineup.  His exceptional blend of hitting and power have allowed him to bat .300 with at-least 40 homeruns and 110 RBIs in each of the past two seasons.  Tapia’s performance helped lead Milwaukee to an AL North division title and first-round bye last season.  He was originally signed as an IFA by Wichita for $14.7 million in season 33 and dealt to Milwaukee for Ben Boyer and a prospect during the following season.

Richard Huang (Closer): This 24 year-old New York closer has already established himself as one of the best in the league.  His 138 saves over three seasons have earned him three All-Star appearances, two Fireman of the Year awards, and a share of the Pine Tar single season saves record (54).  Huang’s velocity, control, and great splits helped him dominate opposing hitters last season, as he allowed them to bat only .169 while he registered a 0.84 WHIP.  He has helped lead New York and owner bluenoser44 to three consecutive AL East division titles.  Huang was also acquired as a season 31 IFA for the price of $21.1 million.

The Team: 
(Click on a player’s name to view their HBD profile)
Yunel Brito (Omaha): .333 OBP, 14 HR, 45 RBI, 39% CS%
Diego Tocci (Colorado Springs): .286 OBP, 17 HR, 57 RBI, 80+ Arm & PC
C/DH- Akinori Kawakami (New York): .376 OBP, 17 HR, 62 RBI, 4.27 cERA

Alen Moore (Colorado Springs): .326 OBP, 35 HR, 117 RBI
Juan Caminero (Salem): .378 OBP, 15 HR, 58 RBI

Victor Lee (Omaha): .374 OBP, 13 HR, 88 RBI, 28 SB, .982 FP
Tyler Hood (Charlotte): .331 OBP, 24 HR, 73 RBI, .977 FP

Dustan Fletcher (El Paso): .296 OBP, 20 HR, 73 RBI, 21 Plus Plays, .976 FP
Karim Quintana (Milwaukee): .340 OBP, 12 HR, 73 RBI, .972 FP

*William Nakano (Chicago): .347 OBP, 34 HR, 96 RBI, 50 SB, 91 Glove
Ralph Rekar (Boston): .373 OBP, 11 HR, 54 RBI, 9 Plus Plays

Naoki Martin (Tampa Bay): Rookie - 95 Range, 90 Speed, 79 Contact, 71 Eye
Norman Sanford (Boston): .320 OBP, 22 HR, 70 RBI

*Cookie Tapia (Milwaukee): .380 OBP, 44 HR, 120 RBI
John Rivera (Syracuse): .337 OBP, 7 HR, 15 RBI, 18 SB (in 40 Games)
Rafael Valdes (Tampa Bay): Rookie – 79 Contact, 88 vR, 79 Eye, 92 Speed

Nolan Thompson (El Paso): .362 OBP, 20 HR, 82 RBI, 13 Plus Plays
Benny Reyes (Boise): .348 OBP, 38 HR, 103 RBI

Miguel Uribe (Chicago): .354 OBP, 45 HR, 116 RBI
Michael Seung (Tampa Bay): .407 OBP, 17 HR, 54 RBI, S36 ROY

Starting Pitchers:
Dale Gaudin (Dover): 13-13, 3.48 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, .312 oOBP, 3 CG
Hub Winkler (Boston): 12-8, 3.51 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, .324 oOBP, 99 GB/FB
Esmerling Crespo (El Paso): 10-15, 3.27 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .296 oOBP, 3 CG
Barry Rivers (Omaha): 7-8, 3.52 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .299 oOBP
B.C. Nunez (Charlotte): Rookie – 87 Stamina, 84 vR, 75 GB/FB, 77 P1/P2
Omar Franco (Kansas City): 10-7, 4.25 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, .340 oOBP, S35 ROY
Jerry Corino (New York): 7-10, 4.42 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, .314 oOBP

Relief Pitchers:
*Richard Huang (New York): 44 Saves, 2.75 ERA, .234 oOBP, 0.84 WHIP
Tomas Cora (Omaha): 73 Appearances, 6-3, 2.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .274 oOBP
John Carter (Milwaukee): 43 Appearances, 3.96 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, .326 oOBP

* = captain

Honorable Mention:
C Adrian Grace (Salem), C Deven Beltre (Syracuse), 1B Ramon Inouoe (New York), 2B Wilking Peralta (Colorado Springs), 3B Daniel Mulholland (Milwaukee), 3B Leury Amador (Tampa Bay), SS Daniel Ratliff (Chicago), DH Rob Thomas (Durham), P Chone Waltman (Colorado Springs)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The rich history of Pinetar - Season 37

One of the best parts of Pinetar has been it's long time owners.  Entering season 37, we still have 4 owners that have been around since season 1.   And three of those owners are all in the same division-The NL EAST.  So let's look at the history of the NL EAST and how many DIV titles and WS titles each team has:

Team                                                                      DIV             WS
Jacksonville Juice(Greygoose123)                            18                 1
Cincinnati Firestorm(jbburner)                                    5                 0
Philadelphia Moneymakers(phillies26)                        5                  0
Other franchise(currently Atlanta/6 coaches)              8                  1

Coaches with most tenure
greygoose123       36
jbburner              36
Phillies26              36
rxw1                     36
ghutton9                30
alogman1               27
bobbyj7                 24
brentcnb                 24
tk21775                21
Arfy                       21
tmfran                     19
skplayer07              18
csudak                    17
skuff730                 17
jkenned                  14
erichanville             12
horvie78                11
Pinetaar                10
holleybard             10

Over 36 seasons, Pinetar has had 25 different coaches win World Series titles.   Only 2 coaches, Jkenned and prezuiwf have won 3 titles.  9 coaches have won 2 titles.    Only one team in the history of Pinetar has ever won back to back WS titles.  You have to go way back to season 16 and 17 when the Syracuse Snow Pirates(prezuiwf) accomplished that feat.  In fact, that is the last time the AL has won back to back titles as well.  The National League leads in World Series titles 19-17, against AL teams.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Season 36 All-Star Blog

Midseason Classic
The Pine-Tar Season 36 All-Star Game took place last week, where the American League edged out a 5-4 victory over the National League.  Boise LF Willie Tarasco was awarded the Most Valuable Player after his 2-run double in the 8th inning put the AL ahead for good, giving 23 year-old P Richard Huang (Sultans of Swat) the win.  Durham closer Juan Guerrero struck-out two in the 9th inning to earn the save.  Jacksonville 3B Julian Santana (2-run double) and Cincinnati 2B Greg Borland (homerun) put forth a strong effort for the NL in their first career all-star appearance.  In other All-Star weekend festivities, Seattle's Keith Williamson defeated Wichita's Zach Wathan in the finals of the Home Run Derby, and Season 33's #2 draft pick Jamey Mullaney (Tampa Bay) was MVP of the Futures Game.

The All-Star pitching staffs for both leagues were filled with plenty of new faces, as 74% of all pitchers were making their 1st or 2nd career appearance.  Also, the number of All-Star selections per team and per division were not as spread out as in years past.  The NL East division generated the most All-Star selections with 11 (they had 15 last season).  Oklahoma City and Omaha were atop the list of individual teams with the most All-Star selections, even though neither has been to the playoffs in the past 4 seasons.  More information on this season's All-Star rosters is below:

Teams with the most All-Star selections:
Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs - 5
Omaha Oracles - 4
Atlanta Apaches - 4
Jacksonville Juice - 4
Kansas City Yardbirds - 3
New York Sultans of Swat - 3
Syracuse Orange - 3
Nashville Merchants - 3
Salem Volcanoes - 3

Teams with zero All-Star selections:
Dover Dinklebergs
New Orleans Jazz
Colorado Springs Iron Horses
Texas Galveston Wave
San Francisco Journey

All-Stars by Division
NL East - 11
AL East - 9
AL West - 9
NL North - 8
NL West - 8
AL North - 7
AL South - 5
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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chicago Scandal Season 36 1st Edition

The Chicago Scandal Season 36 1st Edition.

Author’s Notes

Welcome back Pine Tar owners. Season 35 wrapped up with Salem Volcanoes defeating Atlanta Rattlers 4-3 to capture the World Series. Michael Chong from Milwaukee took home the AL MVP award with 63 HRs (4th best in a single season) and 148 RBIs. Willie Tarasco brought in 51 HRs and 126 RBIs to take home the NL MVP award. CY Young winners were Yoshinori Zhou (21-8) representing the AL and Ben Boyer (17-4) representing the NL. Congratulations to our Season 36 Hall of Fame inductees, Fred Inge, Alex Martis, Dusty Lindsey, and Sam Slotnick.      

Salem Volcanoes. Pine Tar’s Dynasty?

How do you define a dynasty? Would winning three World Series titles in five appearances during the last seven seasons make Salem a dynasty? How about we add seven 100 win seasons and eight divisional titles. Now, would you say that the Salem Volcanoes are a dynasty. I caught up Salem owner jkenned and we ask his opinion on his team’s status among the greats.

Do you consider Salem a dynasty?
Jkenned: Last season's championship solidified my dynasty status in my mind. This is a really competitive league and I have been fortunate to maintain a solid level of success but without that third championship the claim to a dynasty is tenuous kind of like the SF Giants claiming they are dynasty when they miss the playoffs in odd years.

How have you managed to stay on top this long?
Jkenned: This is the tougher question to answer but the best one I can give is that my core of drafted and international prospects all came up together and much like the Yankee's core four have stayed together for the past eight seasons. I have added some good value signings and swung some trades from my prospect depth (unfortunately virtually nonexistent at the moment) for top notch talent when {they} came available. The key to my success has been to scout well and keep the core together.

What team is your biggest threat in the Al or NL?
Jkenned: There has been some stiff competition here in the AL during my run of success. For the first couple seasons I was trying to catch kjmulli in Boston and horvie in Milwaukee has consistently been a tough matchup for me but the guy I loved to play the most was blapo21 in Nashville. He had the better offensive team for the majority of my run and was unlucky in a lot of ways to have me at my height because I think he would have won another a title or two and you would be interviewing him if I had not been in my prime. Right now holleybard in Kansas City is the biggest threat to my continued success in the AL.

Who is your best player?
Jkenned: If we are talking real life I could give a list of about five: Mickey Mantle, Yadier Molina, Stan Musial, Willie McGee and Bob Gibson. But if we are in the realm of the Salem Volcanoes it is harder. My favorite signing was Rubby Prieto (2B) but he has been somewhat of an underperformer at the ML level relative to his skills but Michel Pena (LF) has been my favorite player as he is an ideal #2 hitter and been the most consistent player over my run of success.

The Story so far

The first 20+ games are in and so is the cliché, it’s going to be a long season. In the AL North, Kansas City has a 2-game lead over Dover and Milwaukee. This division is tight at this stage of the season so we'll watch and see how this one plays out. Over in the AL East, Durham Doormats lead the division with Syracuse and New York not that far behind. Boston would do best if they avoided the 1-run games as they are 0-8 in such contests. The AL South is top heavy with Tampa Bay (19-7) and Nashville (18-8), who hold the two best records in the AL respectively. It’s going to be exciting to see who takes control of this division or if we have a nail biter all the way to the end. Lastly, the AL West is led by the defending champions Salem Volcanoes.

Over in the NL North, new owner HCall11, has his Pawtucket Patriots (15-11) leading the division. The defending NL champion Atlanta Rattlers lead the NL East by 2 games and the OKC Prairie Dogs have a 1-game lead over the Seattle Strikers. The division to watch in the NL right now is the NL South. The Houston Heaters and the Texas Galveston Wave are currently tied at 15-11 for 1st place. Texas shootout anyone...

Hot Bat
Phillip Bruske - 2B (KC) has 16 HRs

Hot Pitching
Benito Velez - P (WIC) 5-0 with a 1.45 ERA

That's all for now...more updates to come.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AL North Season 36 Preview

AL North
Kansas City Yardbirds(Owner holleybard-10th season)
Season 35/ 99-63(Division Champ, ALCS runner up)

Owners thoughts-My prediction is that I'll be fighting once again with Milwaukee for the AL North title. I think my team is better than last season's, although that doesn't necessarily mean 99 wins again. It's at least a 90 win squad though. We'll hit well. I traded for Boyer because I didn't have a dominant number one. I added 2 bullpen arms that should help too. My hope is that I can win the division again. After that, wow, it's going to take something special to stop jkenned. I ran the numbers and he's averaging 109 wins per in the last 8 seasons. He's won 4 of the last 6 pennants. So my goal is the same as any contender in the AL, try to wrestle the pennant away from him.

ghutton9's take-The Yardbirds feature an above average offense. They have some good hitters with good batting eyes and have some power. Eric Miller is a great 3 or 4 hitter to build a lineup around. They also have some speed, but I don't expect a lot of stealing to be going on with them. The defense is average and that's only because they lack a real shortstop. Louie Nieto can play the position but his lack of range will allow too many balls to get through that would otherwise be outs. Besides that, the defense is pretty solid at most positions on the field. The rotation is about average. Boyer is an ace type pitcher but his stamina isn't very good. The rest of the staff is made up of mid rotation type starters with a couple of guys pitching at the back end of the rotation that fit perfectly. Sean Shipley and Ricardo Johnson are the best pitchers in an otherwise below average bullpen. They'll bring this teams pen closer to average than they would be. I think this team is a contender for the division title, but I think the bullpen and lack of a shortstop with range will hurt them. I could see them around 90 wins and maybe upper 80's.

Milwaukee Magnitude(Owner horvie78-11th season)
Season 35/ 90-72(Wild Card)

Owners thoughts-We are going for it all this season. Yoshinori Zhou on a playoff rotation is enough to give us a decent chance. Also have some cap room to make a move mid season. I think we will win around 95 games. We improved the bullpen by adding Coleman and Blair. I'm hoping that our starting pitching stays strong. Three of them are above 35 years old, which worries me. Was hoping to add a stud bat in free agency, but was excited to settle for Gus Justice, who will be added to a lineup with Michael Chong, Vince Tollberg and Cookie Tapia. Our defense could struggle as SS Quintana is average at best and the corner outfielders lack range.

ghutton9's take-The Milwaukee offense is looking pretty strong this season. They have some really good hitters that can hit for average and draw some walks. They have some good power as well as some good speed. This is looking like a top 5 offense in the AL. The defense looks good to me. I think the shortstop position is average, but they have great to solid gloves at other positions. They definitely rank in the upper half of the league. The rotation looks pretty good as well. They have a couple pitchers that could be an ace on most teams. Then they have mid rotation guys filling out the other spots. The bullpen is looking above average. If anything the team might have some control issues, but the pitching staff is pretty good overall. I think Milwaukee looks like the favorite in this division and should win 95 to 100 games. I think they could challenge for the AL title this season.

Dover Dinklebergs(Owner tmfran-19th season)
Season 35/ 74-88

ghutton9's take-The Dover offense isn't looking very good this season. They won't hit for a good average and their batting eyes aren't very good either. The team has some power, but without guys on base it won't help much. They could rank near the bottom of the AL. The defense though is really good. They have multiple options at shortstop and they have good gloves to fill almost every position. This could be one of the best defenses in the AL this season. The rotation looks like they are going to struggle. They have serious control issues and the rotation is made up of back end type starters. The bullpen has the same issues. The defense could help out the pitching, but not enough to keep them from ranking near the bottom of the AL. I think Dover will drop down below 70 wins this season.

Chicago Black Sox(Owner skuff730-17th season)
Season 35/ 64-98

ghutton9's take-The offense in Chicago is looking about average. They have decent hitting and some solid contact and power. The batting eyes are a little low though and that could hurt. They have some really good gloves on defense though and even have a few options at shortstop. This could be one of the better defensive teams in the AL this season. The rotation is below average. They lack a top end starter. The staff is made up of middle tier starters and a couple back end guys. The bullpen is below average as well. The team will likely end up closer to average than it looks thanks to the defense. I think Chicago will move up in win total this season and I'd be surprised if they finished below 70 wins again.

Kansas City

Monday, August 15, 2016

AL South Season 36 Preview

AL South
Nashville Merchants(Owner editor21-2nd season)
Season 35/ 99-63(Division Champ)

Owners thoughts-The Merchants have been the league's top offense for the past 4 years. During that span the Merchants have averaged 108 wins per season. That offense has generated an average of more than 6 runs a game which covers the 4 runs a game the pitching staff allows. They had 11 players put up double digit homeruns last season led by Wendell Worths 41. All of those players return so the lineup should continue to lead the way. This team went with a 6 man rotation in season 35. That took pressure off the aces and reduced the innings needed from the bullpen. The key to success this season could well be the performance of the bullpen. AAA stars Danny Smolinski and Kraig Webster could fill two of the vacancies in the pen. The team likely needs to add another reliever or two to hope to equal last seasons 99 wins. Prediction:If the offense doesn't sputter the Merchants should be able to churn out 90 plus wins and be in contention for their 8th straight AL South division title. The questionable status of the bullpen could be the dampener that keeps the team from winning over 100 games.

ghutton9's take-I can't say this is the best offense I've ever seen, but it surely is a good offense. The have some good hitters and guys that have good batting eyes. They also have a little speed. This team may hit a lot of homers, but they don't have that one guy that can hit enough to be a true threat. Werth is pretty close though and he's a guy that really makes this offense great. The defense is below average. Mainly because they lack a true shortstop or centerfielder. They do have solid gloves at other positions and that's what keeps them from being at the bottom of the league. The rotation is decent. They don't really have a true ace on the staff, but they have plenty of mid rotation type starters. The bullpen looks solid with Alex James as the best arm. He's one of the better relievers in the league. This team is looking like a contender again this season. They should be tough to knock out of the top spot of the division, but even then they should still get a wild card spot. This is a 90+ win team

Tampa Bay Thunder(Owner rxw1-36th season)
Season 35/ 84-78

Owners thoughts-The young Thunder team continues to grow. Despite missing the playoffs, they still won 84 games behind a starting rotation that includes #1 pick Bert Jordan. Ownership will view anything short of 90+ wins and a playoff berth as a disappointment. The off season was fairly quiet as this roster only has 6 players over 30. The key will be whether the bullpen can hold the lead. The talent is there- the lack of execution was the main reason they missed the playoffs.

ghutton9's take-The Thunder offense is looking pretty good this season. The have a lineup that should hit for a good average and get on base a lot. They have decent power up and down the lineup. I think they could be a top 5 offense this season. The defense is average. Jesus Esposito is a solid shortstop, but they don't have anyone else that can play it decently enough. Max Liriano is a great centerfielder. The problem they have is depth and good gloves at other positions. I think they are average but they could be above average depending on the rest of the AL. This team has a really good rotation. It ranks among the best in the league as there is no real weak spot. The bullpen might be even better. I think this may be the best pitching staff in the AL. I'm really thinking Tampa Bay might be ready to take back the top spot in this division for the first time in nine seasons. They may even challenge for the AL title.

El Paso Walkers(Owner sudburry1111-3rd season)
Season 35/ 74-88

Owners thoughts-As the Walkers continue to turn over their pitching staff there are no indications that there will be a significant change from last year's above average hitting team with below average pitching and fielding. Hopefully the addition of Vasquez to Rios and Fletcher in the infield combined with the promotion of a couple of pitching upgrades to the big league squad will net a few more wins. My prediction is 78 wins.

ghutton9's take-This team has an average offense and maybe a little below average. They have some solid hitters, but they lack good power and guys that can get on base through walks. They do have some solid speed. On defense I like shortstop Dustan Fletchers range and arm, but his glove is a bit below average. The team has quite a few solid gloves at other spots, but they lack a true centerfielder. I think they are average. The rotation is not looking very good. They have filled it with mid to back end type starters. The bullpen looks better as it is built around Mitch Mota, a great reliever, and Louis Post who is pretty good as well. I think the pitching staff is just below average. This team is very average at best. I think they will end up close to last seasons win total.

New Orleans Jazz(Owner adlpest-3rd season)
Season 35/ 47-115

ghutton9's take-This has by far been the worst team in the league the past 2 seasons. That needs to change this season. The offense still doesn't look very good. They have a couple decent bats but for the most part the aren't close to average. The defense looks good though. Sam Bryant is a really good shortstop with a great glove and arm, but his range isn't the best. They also have some solid gloves at other positions. I think they are above average. The rotation is made up of minor league talent. This is by far the worst staff in the league. I can find better pitchers in free agency right now. A team that is on probation due to not reach the league win minimum should've been spending in free agency for some better pitching. I understand a rebuild, but I've put together 70 win teams with cheap free agents. Please try to fix this team so I don't have to kick you out after this season.

1. Tampa Bay
2. Nashville
3. El Paso

4. New Orleans

NL West Season 36 Previews

Seattle Strikers(Owner ghutton9-30th season)
Season 35/ 83-79(Division Champ)

ghutton9's take-The offense in Seattle is below average as usual. They have some good contact hitters and decent batting eyes, but not much power outside of Keith Williamson. The team will hit for a low average which is usually the case in Seattle, but this season will be worse. The defense is the strength of the team. Buckley is a more than serviceable shortstop and Henley will be a great 2b. Glen Witt has amazing range in center but a below average glove. This is a top 5 defense and maybe top 2. The rotation is below average. They lack an ace and it is made up of mid to bottom rotation starters. The bullpen is about average. This team is not looking like a contender and isn't planning on it either. Last season was a bit of luck and I don't see them competing again for a few seasons. 70 wins is the likely total for the Strikers.

Albuquerque Komodo Dragons(Owner csudak-17th season)
Season 35/ 76-86

Owners thoughts-Predicting 83 wins. I think the hitting will be slightly above average. Losing Hartzell hurts, but I think I'll still score a good amount of runs. Pitching will be average to slightly below average. I have a few good arms but not enough depth. I'm stuck in between right now, but hoping to get lucky.

ghutton9's take-I disagree with Casey's take on the hitting. I see a well below average offense. They won't hit very well and the batting eyes aren't good enough for a solid obp. Pizzaro is a good hitter with power but they don't have much else and they really lack power. They do have good speed though. The thing is that this team plays in a very hitter friendly park and will likely end up closer to league average than what they appear. They do have a great fielding team though. Albert Rodriguez and Andres Oliva are really good options at shortstop. They have a gold glove caliber centerfielder with Scooter Dickerson. I think they could be a top 5 defense. The rotation looks solid. Sizemore is the ace and he works well in that role. Ernesto Ozuna is another top starter for them, but he lacks good stamina. The have good mid to back rotation starters as well. The bullpen hurts them though. They lack good late inning guys to close the door. I think it's a below average pitching staff altogether. This team should challenge for the division title this season. It's not a strong division and they could win it with 85 wins.

Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs(Owner brentcnb-24th season)
Season 35/ 74-88

ghutton9's take-In what seems to be the calling card of the division, OKC also has a below average offense. They lack guys that can get on base enough and they don't have much power. Jin-Chi Yamamoto is their top offensive player and he'll hit for power and a decent obp, but he's all they have. The defense is below average. Pete O'Brien is a below average shortstop but he won't hurt them too bad. The thing is that they lack a real centerfielder and other positions are missing good gloves as well. The rotation is weak and it amazes me that their best starter is used as a setup man. Erik Zaun has much more value as a starter getting 160 innings a season than a reliever getting 130. I guess with the rotation made up of mid to back end starters they prefer to have someone pitching every other game to bail them out. Geraldo Molina is another reliver that fits that role. Those 2 turn the below average bullpen into an above average group. The pitching staff together is below average though. I don't really see this team contending this season. I think they'll end up closer to 65 wins.

San Francisco Journey(Owner downboy-1st season)
Season 35/ 69-93

ghutton9's take-The Journey also have a below average offense. The lineup is built around Blaine Moore, who is a good hitter, but they don't have much else. The could join the other 3 NL West teams near the bottom of the league rankings in offense. The defense doesn't look very good either. They don't have a good glove at shortstop or centerfield. The rotation is made up of back end starters. The are likely to struggle this season. The bullpen isn't much better but they do have a couple good arms there. It's a bottom of the league pitching staff when you figure the defense into the equation. This team is rebuilding and likely expect to finish at the bottom of the division.

1. Albuquerque
2. Seattle
3. Oklahoma City
4. San Francisco

Friday, August 12, 2016

NL South Season 36 Previews

Houston Heaters(Owner az99-1st season)
Season 35/ 89-73(Division Champ)

ghutton9's take-Offensively this team won't hit for a high average and won't get on base a lot. They do have some good power in the lineup though and a couple speedsters. I'm not sure enough guys will be on in front of the power hitters to make much difference. I think this is an average offense. The defense is a different story though. With shortstop Brooks Larish the team has gold glove potential. They do lack a centerfielder with good range though. The gloves look good on this team and I'd say they are in the upper half of the NL. The rotation is good. Rodrigo Andujar and Albert Olivo could be an ace on almost any team in the league. The also have some solid mid rotation guys to fill out the starting staff. The bullpen is fairly strong as well. I really like this pitching staff and think they'll be in the top 3 or 4 of the NL. Houston's season will depend on how well they can score runs. They might not even have to do much of that with the defense and pitching they have. This looks like a 90+ win team that will challenge for the division title again.

Jackson Juggernauts(Owner bobbyj7-24th season)
Season 35/ 83-79

ghutton9's take-This team has a pretty average offense and maybe a bit above that. They have real good speed, some good power hitters and a few guys that can get on base. The weakness is going to be batting average. They don't have a lot of guys that can hit for a higher average. The defense doesn't look very good to me. They have some solid gloves at a few positions but they lack a true shortstop and centerfielder. I think this is a bottom half of the league defense. The rotation isn't very strong. They lack pitchers that can get deep into games and the staff is made up of mid to bottom rotation starters at best. The bullpen is pretty solid though. DT Cromer is a good reliever to build a bullpen around. There are some good options in the pen for this team. Overall, I'm thinking this team will finish close to the win total they had last season.

Texas Galveston Wave(Owner erichanville-12th season)
Season 35/ 73-89

ghutton9's take-I'm not liking the look of this offense. They lack contact hitters and good batting eyes. While they have good power, I'm just not sure they'll hit enough to make a difference. This looks like an offense that'll be near the bottom of the league. The defense is quite a bit better than the offense. Quinton Rooney has great range and arm for shortstop but only an average glove. The team has options though and have a few strong gloves at key positions and average gloves elsewhere. This could be an average to slightly above average defense. The rotation is a mess. The best starter they have is FP Huff but he's been in the bullpen for them. All of the starters are back end types. The bullpen is good main thanks to Huff, but Derrick Jacquez is pretty good too. They have solid depth in the pen also. This is a below average staff only due to the starters. This team appears to be in a rebuild phase that will continue this season. 70 wins is likely but I could see them winning less than that.

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's(Owner Arfy-21st season)
Season 35/ 66-96

Owners thoughts-Louisville is still going to suck this season. Although we are hoping to not suck as much. Realistic goal would be to win 72-75 games. We have promoted stud prospect 3B Jairo Cedeno this season. He should give the offense a good spark. We also added 32 yr old Dante Pong. Not expecting much from him as players like him don't typically play well in Louisville. I'd project him to hit .240 and close to 20 homers. Our rotation still sucks. We got a nice surprise last season from 30 yr old rookie Stephen Webster. He led the team with 12 wins. I doubt he'll repeat that performance. We added 36 yr old reliever Juan Sierra. We gave him a nice bonus($3 mil) up front so he'll make near league minimum for the next 2 seasons. Quite a bargain from what he has made previous seasons. We only had to give up a second round pick to get him. He should be a nice addition for this season and with our top notch class 1 training facility in Louisville he should be a great valued contributor for next season as well.

ghutton9's take-The offense in Louisville is shaping up to be pretty solid this season. They should hit for a decent enough average and guys like Jair Cedeno and Louie Seanez are going to be really good in this lineup. They have a little bit of speed, but what I like is the team has players that can get on base. I think this is an average lineup and maybe above average. On defense the team has a couple good options at shortstop, but Jhonny Rijo is a gold glover. They also have a good centerfielder in Jack Westbrook. This is an upper half of the league defense. The rotation does suck. Led by Domingo Aguilar, who is a mid rotation type starter and it's filled out with guys that are #5 starters at best. The bullpen is solid though. They have decent depth and a couple top end relievers that can close out a game. I think Louisville takes a step forward this season and shouldn't be far off from competing again. If the rotation was a bit better then I could see them over 80 wins, but as is I'll put them around 70 and maybe with things going right they could get 75.


Thursday, August 11, 2016

NL East Season 36 preview

Atlanta Atlanta Apaches(Owner Rattlers-2nd season)
Season 35/ 97-65(Division Champ, NL Champ)

ghutton9's take-With 5 straight division titles and back to back World Series appearances this team will find it tough to remain as the best team in the NL. Offensively this team is going to hit and hit for power. They have some great power hitters. If they have any weakness it'll be that they aren't a team with players that will draw a lot of walks. I'm not sure that matters though. They'll be a top 3 offense for sure. On defense Sam Halter is their only true shortstop and they have nobody else that can play the position that won't hurt them. They also lack a true centerfielder. I'm not really feeling this defense and think they could rank in the bottom half of the league. The rotation is looking pretty solid. They have an ace that could shut down opponents on any night in Jesus Dali. They have options on who to start, but the rest are mid rotation types. The bullpen has the potential to be great this season. They are deep and even have a few pitchers that could start in the pen for extra depth. I think this is a top 5 pitching staff. Atlanta is going to be tough this season. The offense and the pitching more than make up for the defense. I think they could challenge for another NL title.

Jacksonville Juice(Owner greygoose123-36 seasons)
Season 35/ 95-67(Wild Card)

ghutton9's take-This team was so close last season to taking the top spot. Over the past few seasons the rebuild has started to pay off. The have an offense that is a little on the below average side of things though. Julio Melendez and Doug Mitchell are going to crush the ball, but the team is lacking much around them. They don't appear to be a team that can hit for a high average and the batting eyes for them aren't enough to offset that. The power is above average but the team just seems to be a bat or two short of ranking near the top of the league. Vic Bennett is a solid shortstop but they have no depth at the position. They also lack a true centerfielder. This defense looks like they'll finish near the bottom this season as they lack good gloves at most spots. The rotation is a bit above average but not by much. Hipolito Owen is a real good starter but he lacks stamina to be truly dominant. The rest of the staff are solid mid rotation types. The bullpen should be good. They have 3 guys that can shut the door late in games. Depth may be their only issue. To be hones, I think this team may take a step back this season. I think they are an average team, but this team is always a team that surprises me so we will see.

Cincinnati Firestorm(Owner jbburner-36 seasons)
Season 35/ 92-70(Wild Card)

Owners thoughts-It's pretty much the same team as last season. I think that the Firestorm should be able to win 85-90 games. It seems the team is always in between rebuilding and going for it all. Both the hitting and the pitching will be average this season. I believe it will take a trade or two to make this team good enough to make a run in the playoffs if they were to make it there.

ghutton9's take-Looking at the Cincy offense, I'm just not sure I see much I like. They'll likely hit for a lower team average and they lack much power. I don't really see players that can work the count and draw walks either. The look like a bottom half of the league offense, but the park can move them closer to average. They have solid gloves at most spots on defense, but they lack a shortstop. Nolan Bourn has regressed quite a bit and isn't much of an option at the most important position in the field. I think they can be an average defense, but they'd be a good defense if they had a real shortstop. The rotation is below average. The lack an ace and none of their starters are top 2 material. They are made up of mid to bottom rotation starters. The bullpen has 2 dominant relievers and a few other solid arms. This may be the strength of this team. I think Cincinnati will have close to average team this season. I think 90 games would be a stretch but I could see them winning 85 games with some things going right.

Philadelphia Moneymakers(Owner Phillies26-36 seasons)
Season 35/ 74-88

Owners thoughts-My team can go in many different directions. I believe I have a good defensive team. However, I'm concerned about the pitching. This has been a challenge for me. Trying to develop a pitching staff that can match the offensive team we've put together. So, what I'm trying to say is if the pitching can hold up, we can compete. However, I don't see that happening. I would say that we're still within our rebuild, but excited about the future.

ghutton9's take-After 8 seasons without the post season things should be looking up for this squad. While the offense isn't going to be great, I do see some solid potential for them. It's still slightly below average due to lack of power, but it's not a team that finish near the bottom of the NL. The do have solid gloves for most positions in the field. The shortstop position has a couple of options but neither are great, just better than average. I could see this team as an defense in the upper half of the league. The rotation is below average. A lack of control seems to be their biggest issue. I might actually rank them near the bottom of the league. The bullpen is better with a couple really nice options, but depth is their issue. I think this staff will rank near the bottom of the league this season. Things are surely looking better in Philadelphia these days, but it doesn't look like this is the year they'll turn the corner.


NL North Season 36 Previews

Last season the NL was won by the Atlanta franchise for the second straight season. That set up a first in Pine Tar history with a World Series rematch against Salem. The results were flipped this time though and Atlanta ended up on the losing end. Another rare thing also happened last season. For just the second time in Pine Tar history, there was not a 100 game winner. The last time that happened was way back in season 3. With the league trending towards more parity you would think it was even less likely to have a repeat World Series. 3 of the 4 division champs in the NL repeated last season. The only change at the top was in the West with Seattle taking the top spot from previous champion Albuquerque. The worst team in the NL was Louisville, taking that spot from the Philadelphia who was the season 34 basement dweller. Now onto the previews.

Pawtucket Patriots(Owner HCal11-1st season)
Season 35/ 93-69(Division Champ, NLCS runner up)

ghutton 9's take-This team has won 8 straight division titles and are hoping to make it 9. The offense looks really good. They have some great hitters and should have great obp's. The power on the team comes from 2 players and that may be the only weakness they have on offense, if you can even call it that. This team should have one of the best offenses in the league this season. The team isn't among the best defensively, but they aren't bad. The shortstop situation isn't great but they'll get by. I think they'll be a bottom half of the league defense, but barely. The rotation isn't strong, but it's above average. They don't have a shutdown ace, but they do have about 4 starters that are good. The bullpen is real good though and has some depth. The pitching staff as a whole is good. I think Pawtucket will once again battle for the top spot in this division. If they don't get it then they should take one of the wild cards. This is a pretty good team.

Iowa City Hawkeyes(Owner tk21775-21st season)
Season 35/ 87-75

ghutton 9's take-The offense is looking pretty good for this team. They have good power, good hitting and guys that can get on base. I think they could finish in the top 5 of the NL. The defense is also looking pretty good. They have a really good shortstop and solid gloves all around. The rotation is led by Omar Mercedes and should be among the best in the league. They have 3 top end starters and even a few mid rotation starters that could be aces on a weaker team. The bullpen looks pretty good as well. This might be the best pitching staff in the NL. I think Iowa City could make a real push for the NL title this season. It is a well rounded group that should be tough to beat and has a chance to bring home a World Championship.

St Louis Miracles(Owner ranscott64-7th season)
Season 35/ 78-84

Owner outlook- I took this franchise over in season 31(despite what the history says). When I took over, the minors were the absolute worst I've ever seen and the ML roster was aging and not good. I set out to retool the minors(which I've done, every minor league team in the system made the playoffs last season). Unfortunately, I can't seem to get the ML club over the hump. I've looked at team like Pawtucket. How do you get 3 players on your team rated 90+? Maybe a part of my problem is my team never really bottomed out. Had a few 78 win seasons but maybe that's not good enough to truly embark on a rebuilding program. In any case, I anticipate an 81-81 season and third place. If I luck out, I may win 85 or 86 and sneak in as a wild card.

ghutton9's take-To start, I must say that I've proved that a team dosen't have to bottom out to win a championship. It's hard to do, but surely possible. Timing is everything. When to sell, when to buy and when to overpay for players. When you are a piece or two short then it might cost you to make that jump for those final pieces, but the payoff is worth it. Onto the preview. The offense looks solid. They have some really good contact type players and a few guys with above average power. They also have some players with good batting eyes. They also have some really good speed. The one thing I see that they are missing is a 3 or 4 hitter that can get on base and hit for power. Besides that this is a fairly average offense. I could see them making a move that could change that though and put them in the upper half of the league. The defense is solid, but they have one player that can handle shortstop and it looks like he's not really a full time player for them. They could also use a true centerfielder that has a better glove than what they have currently. They have good gloves in other spots, but due to the weakness up the middle I see them as just about average. The rotation is solid. They lack a top end starter, but they have at least 4 middle rotation type guys. The bullpen is anchored by Kelvim Redmond and not much else. I'd rate this as a below average pitching staff that could move into the upper half of the league due to the park. I wouldn't be surprised to see this team win 85 games. Then again I also wouldn't be surprised to see them win 75 games. A move or two could really change the look of this team as I think they are only a few pieces away from being a division title contender.

Wichita Tornadoes(Owner pinetaar-10th season)
Season 35/ 72-90

Owner outlook- This will be another rebuilding season. Didn't sign any big free agents, and got a little luck in the rule 5 draft with a couple players that will make the roster. There has been some bad luck and poor choices with draft picks and IFA's after the changes in scouting were made to the game. The prediction is a 70 win season and near the bottom of the division. The offense will be near the bottom in homers and slugging, but has some good speed. The pitching will be worse after the departure of last seasons Cy Young Ben Boyer. The ballpark will help the pitching out.

ghutton9's take-Outside of Zack Wathan this offense has little to offer. He's a good piece to build around, but the team needs more guys that can get on base if they are going to use speed as a ways to win. Dee Dee Kelly is coming off of an awful season and should get on a lot more than last season, but there really isn't much offense on the team. The make up for it a little with defense. They have good gloves at most positions but they lack a true shortstop with good range, glove and arm. That makes this a middle of the league defense. The starting rotation is on the weaker side, but I really like the bullpen. I see 4 to 5 pitchers in the pen that will give them good depth later in games. I think the pitching will be closer to the middle of the league due to that and the ballpark. Overall this is a below average team that has a few nice pieces to build around. I could see them winning 70 games this season but with some luck they could push that number up into the higher 70's.

Iowa City
St Louis

Atlanta Atlanta Apaches(Owner Rattlers-2nd season)
Season 35/ 97-65(Division Champ, NL Champ)

Jacksonville Juice(Owner greygoose123-36 seasons)
Season 35/ 95-67(Wild Card)

Cincinnati Firestorm(Owner jbburner-36 seasons)
Season 35/ 92-70(Wild Card)

Philadelphia Moneymakers(Owner Phillies26-36 seasons)
Season 35/ 74-88

Houston Heaters(Owner az99-1st season)
Season 35/ 89-73(Division Champ)

Jackson Juggernauts(Owner bobbyj7-24th season)
Season 35/ 83-79

Texas Galveston Wave(Owner erichanville-12th season)
Season 35/ 73-89

Louisville ARF ARF ARF ARF's(Owner Arfy-21st season)
Season 35/ 66-96

Seattle Strikers(Owner ghutton9-30th season)
Season 35/ 83-79(Division Champ)

Albuquerque Komodo Dragons(Owner csudak-17th season)
Season 35/ 76-86

Oklahoma City Prairie Dogs(Owner brentcnb-24th season)
Season 35/ 74-88

San Francisco Journey(Owner downboy-1st season)
Season 35/ 69-93

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