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Showing posts from 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) – cons…

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 disappo…

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…

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…

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 …

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

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

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 seco…

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.

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