31 December 2007

Impact Free Agent Rundown

In browsing through the 120 or so free agents who signed somewhere this offseason, these are the ones I believe will make the biggest difference on their season seven clubs. Each player is listed with his season seven club, position, his contract, and a bit of insight into the move. Due to the volume of players I probably missed yours, so let us know who I forgot by posting a comment.

Anaheim


  • Patrick Richardson, P, Anaheim Anteaters ($1 million/yr, 2 yrs) – didn't pitch much last season but he's effective.

Boise opened up the pursestrings and poured out some serious money for the guys they really wanted. Some signings looked questionable, but Alomar and Martin are very good pickups for any club.


  • Craig Phelps, C, Boise Idaho Tater's ($19.2 million/4 years) – guaranteed money but not guaranteed results for an unproven guy with less than a season of ML experience. He killed the ball in the minors, though.
  • Pete Martin, 2B, Boise Idaho Tater's ($11.8 million/2 years) – consistently produced for Albuquerque but had an off year last season. He did play every game last year, though.
  • Alex Alomar, 3B, Boise Idaho Tater's ($27.4 million/4 years) – your basic 30 HR, 100 RBI everyday slugging third baseman.
  • Abraham Rogers, P, Boise Idaho Tater's ($22.4 million/3 years) – had two good years and two bad years with Florida. Still proving himself at 29 but getting paid for his upside.
  • Vic Mateo, 2B, Boise Idaho Tater's ($7.6 million/2 years) – lots of money for a guy who last was a ML regular in season three. He has great range, though.
  • Tim Spoljaric, SS, Boise Idaho Tater's ($5 million/2 years) – hasn't significantly impacted a big league club since season one, but he's got a cannon and can run.


Boston

  • John Cairncross, P, Boston Brigadiers ($5 million) – crafty vet who can still contribute; stats declined each of last four years.


Cleveland


  • Victor Mairena, C, Cleveland Brewdogs ($2.6 million) – stolen from Boston when he's .310/.410/.520 career and he can DH.


El Paso was also busy with six signees. Methinks the pitching staff will live or die with how these three do.


  • Dan Cedeno, C/DH, El Paso Diablos ($1.2 million) – re-signed for cheap with a club that he has performed with.


  • Ben Clark, P, El Paso Diablos ($4.8 million/2 years) – could be a great re-signing if he can avoid the injury bug.


  • Julio Crespo, SP, El Paso Diablos ($8.4 million over 2 years) – salary is inflated because he bought out a bad contract. Subtract that, and Crespo is a middle- or back-of-the-rotation starter getting paid like one.


  • Luis Sanchez, P, El Paso Diablos ($6.2 million/2 years) – also got bought out by Pawtucket and makes up for Crespo. Looks like a serviceable third starter.


  • Efrain Chang, 3B, El Paso Diablos ($7.6 million/2 years) – underpaid in Atlanta and finally getting his money. Will he perform?


  • Geoffery Barkley, CF, El Paso Diablos ($10.4 million/2 years) – Gold Glove CF who can get on base. Took a pay cut but still may be a bit overcompensated for his services.


Fargo


  • Joey Stevens, P, Fargo Woodchippers ($1.5 million) – averages under 40 IP/year but he's pretty effective.


Honolulu


  • Carlos Lopez, LF, Honolulu Rain ($1.6 million/yr) – looking to bounce back from a letdown last year; has a proven track record.


Iowa City could have two very good or very foolish investments made from these two signings and it should be interesting to see how things shake out.


  • Patrick Erickson, P, Iowa City BEEF ($28.4 million/4 years) – one of Fargo's cogs who cashed in. Obviously, he could he great or bad away from the huge cast of stars they put out all the time.


  • Cecil Killebrew, P, Iowa City BEEF ($24 million/4 years) – great name, pretty good upside, not so great track record.



Jacksonville paid out quite a bit of salary for its three signees, but it looks like they made some sound investments.


  • George Brow, CF, Jacksonville Juggernauts ($14.4 million/2 years) – plays every day in center, probably gets 200 hits, what else do you need?


  • Omar Pizzaro, P, Jacksonville Juggernauts ($17 million/3 years) – jumped from Jackson to Jacksonville after injury ruined his season six.


  • Tino Maxwell, SS, Jacksonville Juggernauts ($13.7 million/2 years) – underperforms at the plate for his numbers, real deal in the field.


Las Vegas made a big splash and then kept swishing around the water in the FA pool. $136 million is sunk into these guys for the next little bit.


  • Geronimo Ordaz, SS, Las Vegas Longballers ($85 million/5 years) – by far the highest-paid player in the league, but he can hit and field. Last season, he had 9 errors and 31 each of doubles and home runs. .300/.370/.500 career line.


  • Scott Ritz, CF, Las Vegas Longballers ($3.6 million) – cashed in on an up year; he could repeat his performance.


  • Carson Houston, 3B, Las Vegas Longballers ($26.4 million/3 years) – plays a lot, good fielder, even steals bases. Makes a lot of money, but Toronto gave him that much last contract, too.


  • Dale Dickey, C, Las Vegas Longballers ($20.8 million/4 years) – consistent catcher who cashed in for his toils.


Montgomery made some moves that look good so far.


  • Ryan Parrish, RF, Montgomery Constitutions ($2 million) – re-upped with the 'Stits when he's a sure bet for 30 HR and 100 RBI.


  • Vasco Carrasco, P, Montgomery Constitutions ($5.2 million) – a good reliever who throws 100-plus innings, he's old but probably not underpaid.


Ottawa's three signings also look smart.


  • Macbeth Hamilton, C, Ottawa Ice ($2 million) – needs head checked for leaving balmy Honolulu for a one-year deal in Ottawa; worth his salary for his last two seasons.


  • Brendan Grissom, P, Ottawa Ice ($12 million/2 years) – staff leader re-signed with Ottawa after his contract was bought out.


  • Sean Montgomery, 3B, Ottawa Ice ($34 million/5 years) – bolted from Boise for his payday. Good for 40 HR, 110 RBI in 150 games, which ain't bad.


Pawtucket didn't spend much but got two important pieces for its club.


  • Brian Gibson, P, Pawtucket Patriots ($1.4 million) – apparently had a good relief career even before Capra started. Pawtucket gets him for the same salary that Cleveland bought him out of, but he can throw about 40 good innings.


  • Victor Myers, C, Pawtucket Patriots ($1.9 million) – good all-around catcher who's probably a steal this year.


Richmond picked up two starting pitchers for $10 million a year.


  • Groucho Robertson, P, Richmond Confederates ($13.8 million/3 years) – was a decent innings-type guy for rls but still has some upside at 26.


  • Kenneth Paulson, P, Richmond Confederates ($17.4 million/3 years) – three of his four years in the majors were good, so he should fill a middle rotation slot nicely for Richmond.


Salem


  • Glen Hillenbrand, P, Salem Silver Shockers ($23.5 million/4 years) – may become an albatross at age 34 and 35, but he can be a second or third starter in this league.


San Juan


  • Matthew Torres, P, San Juan Express ($11.2 million/2 years) – also gets severance from San Juan, seems like a Greg Maddux-type who can give you good starts but not pitch deep into ballgames.

30 December 2007

Montgomery Spring Report

It's been another quiet spring for the Stits.

One of Capra's most steady franchises, the Montgomery Constitutions will soon head north to begin their seventh year, as they try to continue their streak of success capturing their division four times and finishing second twice in the league's six year history.

The biggest question mark coming into spring training was centerfield, and it looks like AAA shortstop Harry Fernandez has won that job. First base is still a bit in flux because Ryan Parrish has been resigned for a bargain $ 2 million and is probably going to take the bulk of rookie slugger Carl Henderson's anticipated playing time.The rest of the lineup will look the same as last year's, though shortstop Chip Turner will look a bit flashier, having signed the biggest contract in Constitution franchise history during the offseason.

The only other new face looks to be Frank Graves who was taken in the Rule 5 draft and will be the team's utility man.

Most disappointed this spring is Adrian Olsen who may not even make the team after starting well at third the last two seasons. He has asked for a trade. Secondbaseman William Alexander looks headed back to the minors despite his .476 spring. It also may be the end of the line for billionaire Trevor Roberts who was invited to camp to try for the firstbase job, but lost his chance with the Pasrrish signing.

The pitching staff looks just as solid with the entire starting five coming back to again fill the rotation. The only suspense left on the roster is who will fill the last two bullpen spots, though even the pen will look much the same as the last few years.

We southerners are conservative folk who go for reliability and consistency, and that's what the Stits have delivered, and it's what we're looking forward to again this season.

Also continuing with Montgomery's tradition, Lynyrd Skynyrd has again signed on to be at the home opener to lead the crowd in the seventh inning singing of "Sweet Home Alabama," and the namesake and great grandson of Colonel Peyton Manning will lead the crowd in the traditional Rebel Yell as the team first takes the field. It looks to be a great season, so come to opening day, and wear your best gray.

25 December 2007

I Got Hosed

Merry Christmas, Capra!

I, of course, am off to a great start to the year. Part of this is all my fault, and part of it is all on the website we love to hate. Somehow, checking the site five times a day is still not enough for me to realize that I needed to protect my minor leaguers before pm today. It's been made known since the schedule came out that today was Rule 5 draft day and that I needed to protect my players. So, of course after a flurry of trades and moving around players to get who I wanted and have space for the guys on the 40-man roster (I had just traded Curtis Wood on the 21st), I went on to finalize things this afternoon about 1 pm. Imagine my surprise when I looked on the roster management page and it told me that I couldn't make any moves. Naturally, on the schedule page it tells us that the roster freeze was this morning and that the draft is tonight. My thinking was the freeze and draft were tomorrow and the best defense I can muster is that I got Christmas Eve and Christmas mixed up. My fault.

So, I did the best I could to try to protect my players. The two that I was going to add to my 38-man roster were pitchers, Jason McNamara and Anthony Canseco, both of whom I have spent the last few years grooming for the big leagues. I had no intention of trading or letting either of them go. For sure, they were going on my 40-man roster this year. I thought, anyway. To make it less likely that they be picked, I changed them to shortstops, hoping the league might miss them there. Naturally, they went in the first 18 picks of the draft, along with two other players from my franchise. Clayton Lloyd was picked late to make it five North Stars that were taken, adding insult to injury. Thank you, league, for raping my franchise and taking two more players from my team than you did from anybody else (oddly enough, two was how many roster spots I had to fill, hmm...).

Of course, I couldn't protect them all on the 40. I only had planned to keep the two of them. But, Clayton Lloyd and Stan Russell had not even played an inning for the North Stars and I gave up players hoping against hope that I would keep them. I also lost my vacuum cleaner of a shortstop at triple A. This, though, is what the Rule 5 draft is designed to do and I don't fault the website for doing that to my team. I had to decide to not keep them.

The part that really gets me is that I lost Canseco and McNamara. McNamara I desperately needed to keep because he was a big piece of The Worst Trade I Ever Made. For those keeping score at home, to recap I traded the Doubles Machine, Ernest Lamb, who has 175 doubles in his first 3 seasons. I also gave up a throw-in pitcher, and in exchange I got a horrible first baseman, Sammy De La Vega; a good prospect pitcher, Davey Rivera; and the aforementioned McNamara. Of course, De La Vega flopped, McNamara has struggled somewhat, and Rivera hasn't been as dominant as his high expectations demand. The sole consolation from that trade, the one I regret every day, is that McNamara and Rivera were going to play pro ball for me at the Metrodome. Now, they won't.

I messed up, and of course the site wouldn't let me get away with it. Capra is too competitive for me to not have to stay on my toes all the time, which is a good thing. I'm willing to try to fix my mistake but now I have to throw myself on the mercy of the league just to get back a player that I already overpaid to get.

I like the fact that the website now uses the Rule 5 draft, although it's going to burn me every time. Hopefully it will make the league more competitive, but as I said it shouldn't be possible for me to lose out on a player like McNamara or Canseco when I obviously meant to keep him. The offseason is too long and I think that's part of why I wasn't on my A-game and lost out. It also is a bit of a drag if people are gone for two days and miss arbitration and coach rehiring. They really should be able to do those kinds of things beforehand and I don't see why we need a day to do them when those could take place at any time during the offseason basically. While we are waiting for the world to roll over, we could pick up options, arbitrate, and rehire coaches during a time when the league currently is in complete hibernation. We also don't need coach hiring to be as complex and convoluted as it is. I'll get off my soapbox now; thanks for listening and I hope your Christmas is better than mine.

23 December 2007

Grading the Coach Hires

Before starting the season, you set the tone with the coaches and personnel that will shape your franchise for the year. Unfortunately for some, coaches seem to stay loyal or bolt at the drop of a hat with little rhyme or reason, and those who stay often sacrifice a bigger paycheck for a bit of consistency in their lives. After the first round of hiring, there are some big winners and losers in the coach sweepstakes.

Hitting Coaches

Big Winners

Red Brock, Anaheim Anteaters
– Brock re-signed with the Anteaters for $3.36 million, making him the highest-paid hitting coach. He has made $21,890,000 in seven contracts with Anaheim, Portland, and Boston.

Montgomery Constitutions – Louis Robinson is the steal of the class, since he makes a bit more than half as much as the salary leaders but many consider him to be one of the best in the business. He's not complaining about the paycheck, though, since it's more than twice what he made as Montgomery's first base coach.

What?

Lariel James, Washington D.C. Capitol Hill G-Men – James must have some inside information he's holding against the D.C. Management, because he has consistently made $3,000,000 a season as a below-average hitting coach for four seasons with the club and two other teams. James continues to improve, but at that price he's not worth it. Tacoma and Las Vegas are both going with rookie hitting coaches, who will be making a fifth of James's salary and probably do just as well.

Pitching Coaches

Big Winners

Tacoma Typhoon – Tacoma convinced Brian Peterson to re-up with the club, and although he got a substantial raise, his $1.7 million salary keeps him in the “bargain” category. At 37, he can still look forward to bigger paydays down the road.

Edgar Solano, Dover Galaxy – Edgar took advantage of a competitive market and pulled out a $4,500,000 offer sheet from the Galaxy. He's been a winner: last year he was on the NL pennant winner and his teams have won 98 or more games four times. Still, would you rather have Solano or a package of any other pitching coach, a million-dollar house, and $500,000 cash?

Even better than eating donuts for a living

Sam Luebbers has the easiest job in baseball as the Fargo Woodchippers' pitching coach. Everything Luebbers touches turns to gold, but it's not because of anything he does; it's the close proximity to Brett Tracy. Luebbers just sits back in the clubhouse and works on his handlebar moustache. In the meantime, he is on board for the sixth go-round with Fargo's Big Wood Machine.

Bench Coaches

A bench coach can help you win or lose a game with the decisions he makes. Unlike the other coaches, he impacts the details of a team rather than broad, long-term development and success. Basically, the winners are the teams that got who they wanted to ride the pine. Nobody really got hosed, either. A lot of these guys seem pretty much the same, so let's do some letter grades for the bench coaches.

A: Fargo, Las Vegas, Jackson, Richmond

B: Albuquerque, San Juan, Dover, Ottawa, Boston, Anaheim, Vancouver, Florida

C: Jacksonville, El Paso, Boise, Honolulu, Minnesota, Salem, Oklahoma City, Scranton

Fielding Instructor

Big Winners

Oklahoma City Drunken Ducks – The Double Ds have retained the services of Felipe Nieves for three consecutive seasons, and he's made the same $750,000 salary each year. That's the same salary that an average coach like Albert Melo of Jacksonville makes, but Nieves has helped guys like SS Hal Knight fill out nicely in the field.

Minnesota North Stars – Minnesota threw a bunch of money at Jonathan Jenkins last year to clean out the budget, but it paid off in not having to find somebody this year to overpay. Jenkins re-upped for Nieves money, not millions like he could have.

The Jury's Still Out

Anaheim and Scranton both went well over a million dollars to sign new fielding instructors. As other teams fill out their staffs we will have to see how well they did compared to the market. $1.6 million is probably not too much to pay for a Lenny Robinson in the open market.

Franchise Spotlight: Honolulu Rain

Top to bottom, it's hard to put together a franchise that wins. The website only gives credits for major league winners, but for those who just can't put it together at the highest echelons, creating a successful farm system can be rewarding in its own right. Nobody can deny that the Honolulu Rain have something special growing down on the farm. Although it has yet to benefit the parent club, Honolulu's talent in the minor leagues has displayed excellence and consistency across all levels.

The Rain that calls Aloha Stadium home has just one playoff appearance to its name, but the feeder clubs have all experienced success. At the Rain's triple-A facility hang two divisional banners and a World Series pennant, and they have won the wild card three times. One of those wild card teams, the season five entry, won 100 games en route to its championship. The Rain have several key players resting in the offseason at triple A, including shortstop Dennys Shinjo. The Tokyo native was the AA Silver Slugger and Gold Glover in season five and carries a big-leaguer presence about him in the field. His countryman, pitcher Paul Nakamura, has shown that Rain consistency at triple A the past two seasons out of the bullpen and got a cup of coffee with the big club in season six.

At double A, Honolulu has essentially figured out how to win. In the last four seasons, the team has four playoff appearances and twice has reached the World Series. Shinjo's AA club in season 5 won, won, and won some more: 116 regular-season wins and 13 playoff wins got them a .800 record and a World Series championship. This year's double A squad camped with the very consistent J.D. Miller leading a pitching staff that could handle a triple A lineup on some days. Miller is 36-5 at double A over parts of three seasons, partially because he can hand the ball to guys like Bobby White with confidence when he gets into trouble. White was the eighth pick in season 4's draft and scouts still rave about his curveball, which is beautifully set up by a sharp cut fastball. A full third of the everyday lineup does sick things with pitching on a regular basis even if they do grotesque things in the field, too. Brian Russell, Jeff Jones, and Donaldo Barajas feast on double A pitching; just don't ask them to play anywhere except catcher, first base, or designated hitter.

Honolulu's high A team has made the playoffs every year and they won 90 games and won the division every campaign after the first season. In seasons 3, 4, and 5, the high A Rain won 314 games and a World Series. Bright spots for season 7 should include shortstop Esteban Abreu, who did nothing but improve after his senior year of high school last year. He's on the fast track to Hawaii. Dick Jenkins is manning the hot corner but his stay at high A could be brief if his past record holds true. Nobody at Rain Central regrets his selection in the supplemental round of season 5's draft. In the rotation, George Beckwith has major-league stuff already at age 20, but his inability to extend his outings has hurt his progress. Japanese high schooler Tito Martin was nothing but effective at rookie ball last season, but he should see a lot better hitters by skipping low A.

The aforementioned low A team had experienced success up until last year, when it abruptly ended a three-year span of 299 wins with a 52-92 stinker. Honolulu can boast that the record last year was a hoax since it is was the first sub-.500 record put up by a Rain minor league team, although the second one also came with the rookie campaign of season 6. Players like Anthony Franco, Bruce Quinn, and Kurt Gilmore pack the stands with their offensive flair for the dramatic, but if the team is not a winner, it hardly stands up to the Rain name.

For certain, the Honolulu franchise has a storied tradition of winning and playing the right way. Every time the press has sent a scout down to the minor leagues to report on these winners, they ranted and raved about the team chemistry and winning atmosphere. Is season 7 the year that the lower-level success rubs off on the Islands of Aloha? Can players like Hector Gomez and Kevin Hernandez, who experienced so much success in the minors, put the parent club over the top? We'll find out in about six months.

21 December 2007

Pitching Guru Lewis Jefferies

Lewis Jefferies has been the highest-rated pitching coach in Capra since the league's inception six seasons ago. And this coming season will be his sixth straight campaign nurturing arms for the Montgomery Constitutions. In a game where we have all been annoyed and frustrated with the flightiness of coaches who have little appreciation for hometown loyalty, Jefferies has been the absolute anomaly. His pitching IQ rating of 93 and his long-term commitment to the young staff of the Constitutions has set the bar for all other coaching relations in the league.

The Futility File

Walter Hubbard, Dover Galaxy

Hubbard has spent the past five seasons throwing BP for the Galaxy's opponents. BP, that is, when he's anywhere near the strike zone. Hubbard is Capra's career leader in Walks per 9 innings at 5.31. When Hubbard is anywhere near the batter's bread box, it's usually in the form of a meatball sandwich. Hubbard is 1st among active pitchers and 3rd overall in career worst slugging percentage allowed at .494. The list goes on: 1st active and 2nd overall in opponents WHIP(1.67), and 1st active and 2nd overall in worst ERA(6.41). Hubbard has a career record of 35-76 in 154 games started.

Career ERA Leaders

After Season 6.

Brett Tracy (Fargo Woodchippers) 2.80
Elvis Rusch (Little Rock Travellers) 3.16
Bennie Andrews (Flroda SunRays) 3.46
Jacob Foster (Anaheim Anteaters) 3.54
Shawn Morton (Pawtucket Patriots) 3.62

Career Batting Average Leaders

After Season 6.

Walt Cashman (Toronto Beavers) .354
T.J. Smart (Albuquerque Roadrunners) .344
Doug Alexander (Fargo Woodchippers) .344
Peter Mitchell (Montgomery Constitutions) .338
Roy Spencer (Little Rock Travellers) .327

16 December 2007

Number of Trades per franchise.

In order. 6 seasons in.

Las Vegas Longballers - 34
Washington D.C. Capital G-Men - 31
Boston Brigadiers - 25
Jacksonville Juggernauts - 25
Minnesota North Stars - 25
Montreal Royales - 24
Boise Idaho Taters - 23
Atlanta Stonewallers - 22
Iowa City Beef - 22
Vancouver Maintaineers - 20
Salem Silver Shockers - 19
Anaheim Anteaters - 18
Scranton Breakers - 16
Albuquerque Roadrunners -15
Jackson Riverdogs - 15
Pawtucket Patriots - 13
Montgomery Constitutions - 11
Cleveland Brewdogs franchise - 10
Honolulu Rain - 7
Oklahoma City Drunken Ducks - 7
San Juan Express - 7
St. Louis Archers - 7
Florida SunRays - 6
El Paso Diablos - 5
Fargo Woodchippers - 5
Little Rock Travellers - 5
Richmond Confederates - 5
Dover Galaxy - 4
Ottawa Ice - 4
Syracuse Salt City Ballers - 4
Toronto Beavers - 4
Tacoma Typhoon franchise - 2

15 December 2007

Top 10 Draft Picks, Season 1 - Where Are They Now

#1 RF Juan Valentin - Scranton Breakers
WATN - Starting RF for Scranton
Huge pick for Scranton that is working out beautifully. 5 minor league seasons: 3 MVP awards, 3 All-Star selections, 2 Silver Slugger Awards, and total hitting numbers of .327/.422/.662, not to mention a BB/K ratio of 355/309. In Season 6 Valentin claimed his rightful place with the big kids by hitting .312/.383/.582, earning him an All-Star nod and Rookie of the Year. The future's bright.

#2 P Dwight Hamilton - Honolulu Rain
Did not sign.

#3 2b Chris Hamilton - Minnesota North Stars
WATN - Starting LF for Minnesota
Hamilton, one of three first-round picks for Minnesota in Season 1, has progressed the furthest compared to his peers, P Russell Fisher and RF Tito Presley. Hamilton rose quickly to AAA, but never achieved as much success at that level. He made the parent club out of Season 5 Spring Training and hit almost 100 points better than his last AAA season. After a great rookie season, Hamilton encountered a second base position battle in Season 6 which he lost and moved to left field. Hamilton prefers his natural position, but playing in left gave the club better defense at two positions and kept Herm Munoz in the lineup while the everyday leftfielder, Fausto Johnson, had an off year. Munoz led the club in homers and hit over .300 while Hamilton cracked almost 40 doubles and played in 160 games, proving that a little teamwork can go a long way. -Hamilton write-up courtesy of mnnorthstars

#4 P Alberto Chantres - Boise Idaho Taters
Did not sign.

#5 SS Bruce File - Jackson Riverdogs
WATN - Starting SS for Jackson
Another pick that is working out as planned. File has hit at every level, including his big league rookie campaign. After 5 minor league seasons with a composite line of .352/.434/.617, File continued to toy with pitchers in the bigs by hitting .302/.375/.493 in his first 700 PA's. Add in solid defense at SS, a 99 health rating, and the fact that he's just 25 and getting better, and we're looking at a Cal Ripken-type with just a little less power. Sweet.

#6 P Joe Suppan - St. Louis Archers
Did not sign.

#7 CF Alex Beck - Anaheim Anteaters
WATN - Starting CF in Anaheim
Beck raked in the lower minors, but levelled off at the higher levels and spent 2+ seasons at AAA. He earned 3 All-Star nods in the minors and hit .313/.409/.595 in 4 1/2 seasons. Beck was overmatched in his first big league season, hitting .239, but last season he knocked 35 bombs and, at 24, is still maturing. He'll probably be in CF for a long time in Anaheim.

#8 P Donzell Greer - Little Rock Travellers
WATN - P for Little Rock
Greer had a very strong and steady rise through the Little Rock farm system. In 5 minor league seasons he amassed a 63-23 record, along with a 3.40era. He experienced virtually no bumps in rising to the bigs. In Season 5 Greer had an unspectacular cup of coffee(28 inninngs and a 7.39era), and Season 6, his first full big league season, saw him as a promising, if inconsistent, swingman(8-7, 6.44era). Greer's ratings look good, but he will need to be careful with the longball after allowing 33 in 130 innings last season.

#9 P Edgar Nunez - Ottawa Ice
Did not sign.

#10 P Kip Herges - Las Vegas Longballers
WATN - P for Las Vegas
Herges was an unsigned draftee in Season 1, but jrnyfan01 worked his owner's magic and signed him as a minor league free agent in Season 2. Herges started his career at AAA, going 9-2 in 135 innings, and then accumulated a 41-30 record with a 4.52era over 4 total minor league seasons. Herge's big league debut in Season 6 was inauspicious(3-9, 7.57era), but his ratings portend that better numbers may be around the corner.

Notes: 5 of the first 10 picks did not sign, with Herges signing a season later. No other draft has seen more than 2 of the top 10 picks not sign. Also, none of the above players have been traded. They all debuted with their original big league squads in Season 5 or 6 and appear to have promising careers ahead of them, though Greer and Herges have yet to prove themselves in the bigs.

85 and Over Club

The following players enter season 7 with overall ratings of 85 or higher. This Club does not account for projections, only current ratings. Let me know if I've missed anyone.

Albuquerque Roadrunners
Hal Randall 88

Anaheim Anteaters
Billy Leary 86
Patrick Spencer 86

Boston Brigadiers
Anthony Gipson 85

El Paso Diablos
Evan Moore 86

Fargo Woodchippers
Ringo Weston 95
Harry Pascual 89
Brett Tracy 92

Florida SunRays
Brett Sims 88
Jose Sardinha 85

Las Vegas Longballers
Dustin Scott 85

Little Rock Travellers
Wilt Beckett 85

Montgomery Constitutions
Chip Turner 92
Al Cedeno 89

Montreal Royales
Gerlad Hernandez 85

San Juan Express
Julio Johnson 85

Scranton Breakers
Mikey Tatum 90

St. Louis Archers
Hong-Go Huyn 88
Melvin Martin 87
Rudy Carver 86

Toronto Beavers
Walt Cashman 92

Washington D.C. Capital G-Men
Rico Sanchez 86

Note: Only 4 of the 22 players at 85 or above are pitchers: Brett Tracy, Patrick Spencer, Wilt Beckett, and Gerlad Hernandez.

Multiple Award Winners

After Season 6.

MVP Awards
Walt Cashman(Toronto Beavers) - Seasons 2, 4, 5, and 6
Julio Johnson(San Juan Express) - Seasons 4 and 5

Cy Young Awards
Brett Tracy(Fargo Woodchippers) - Seasons 1-6
Dennys Yamakazi(Ottawa Ice) - Seasons 4 and 6

Career Wins Leaders

After Season 6.

Brett Tracy (Fargo Woodchippers) 133, avg of 22 per season
Diego Ozuna (Fargo Woodchippers) 118, 19 avg
Matty Ortiz (Toronto Beavers) 97, 16 avg
Ron Quantrill (Iowa City Beef) 94, 15 avg
Brendan Grissom (FA) 91, 15 avg

Career Home Run Leaders

After Season 6.

Henry Menechino (Syracuse Salt City Ballers) 378, avg of 63 per season
Kip White (Anaheim Anteaters) 284, 47 avg
Ryan Parrish (FA) 276, 46 avg
Sean Montgomery (FA) 268, 44 avg
Vladimir Cruz (Fargo Woodchippers) 263, 43 avg

World Series Champions

Season 1 - Ottawa Ice, mfahie
Season 2 - Fargo Woodchippers, castrojr
Season 3 - Fargo Woodchippers, castrojr
Season 4 - Toronto Beavers, erik0097
Season 5 - Fargo Woodchippers, castrojr
Season 6 - Montreal Royales, xpoemtl