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Showing posts from June, 2008

Cleveland Spiders Top Ten Prospects

1. 3B Michael Dransfeldt. Age 19. HiA. ETA: Late Season 11.Hit a .342/.401/.754 in 62 games in Low A after being the #2 overall pick in Season 8. Drafted as a shortstop, he has been moved to 3B where his range is more than adequate and his glove and arm should be huge assets. Possessing superb pitch recognition, power, and contact, nothing should stop a player with these talents and this makeup from becoming an All-Star fixture, perhaps as early as Season 12.

2. SS Omar Olivares. Age 21. AAA. ETA: Season 10.Viewed as a future star after hitting .330/.417/.626 in AA as an 18 year old, his failure to put together the kind of performance that would mark him as a future superstar has led to him being eclipsed by Dransfeldt as the crown jewel of the Spiders' farm system. He continues to struggle with left-handed pitching and there are concerns that he might not live up to potential as a fielder. The bat doesn't play quite as well at second or third, so staying at shortstop is a key.…

85 and Over Club

I stole this posting's idea from rls, who did the same thing for season 7. The following players enter season 9 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.

National League
Fargo Woodchippers
Harry Pascual 86
Brett Tracy 90
Ringo Weston 94
Toronto Beavers
Walt Cashman 90
Rochester Rough Riders
Gene Blair 86
Buffalo Hunters
Rico Sanchez 88
Florida SunRays
Brett Simms 87
Jose Sardinha 85
Little Rock Travelers
Wilt Beckett 85
El Paso Diablos
Evan Moore 85
St. Louis Archers
Rudy Carver 86
Hong-Gu Hyun 89
Melvin Martin 88
Vancouver Maintaineers
Garrett Stewart 86
Anaheim Anteaters
Billy Leary 85
Patrick Spencer 87
American League
Iowa City BEEF
Ariel Rosario 86
Scranton Breakers
Mikey Tatum 88
San Juan Express
Rogers Glynn 86
Al Ontiveros 85
Jackson Riverdogs
Al Maurer 85
Montgomery Constitutions
Al Cedeno 91
Chip Turner 91
Las Vegas Longballers
Geronimo Ordaz 86
Albuquerque Roadrunners
Ariel Cortez 85
Hal Randall 88

Minnesota's Top Prospects

Everyone surely would like to brag that their farm system has the best fruit ready for picking. In the case of Minnesota, the club might not have the best players, but they certainly have a lot of them. In total, there are 164 North Stars stocked from low A to the majors, just six players short of the maximum allowed by the rules. Naturally, this makes picking a top ten among the prospects difficult as ten players is less than 8% of the farm system. Let's give it a try, though.
Hector Flores AAA Pitcher, 2nd year proFlores may not actually qualify as a prospect since he got a very impressive cup of coffee in Minneapolis to save a starter going into the North Stars' deep playoff run, but Flores was a season 8 international signee who made an immediate impact on the AAA squad. Look for another callup late this summer; he's the first remedy if there's injury or ineffective funk.

Davey Rivera AAA Pitcher, 7th year proRivera was brought along slowly, but he is still jus…

Anaheim Anteaters Future Shock: Top 10 Prospects

1/ SP Hugh Palmer. Age 24. AAA. ETA: S10
Selected 13th in the 1st round of the S6 draft, Palmer dominated the lower minors and has averaged a 16-4/3.35 record in 3 minor league seasons. Palmer's big calling card has been the punchout as he's K'd 502 batters in 51o frames. His heater is in the mid-90s and still developing. Palmer comes with 2 good pitchers, the fastball and slider, but could use a better forkball and curveball to sharpen his repertoire. Palmer's about a season away from the bigs and projects to a solid #2 or #3 starter.

2/ SP Vasco Almonte. Age 22. AAA. ETA: S10
A former 1st round draft pick by Atlanta/Chicago, Almonte was traded to Anaheim for fellow prospect Tony Mendoza. Almonte has been consistent in the minors, if unspectacular, with a 4.15 era and 1.32 whip. However, Almonte is just 22 and has progressed quickly through the minors with a AAA season already in the books. If he continues to develop his fastball and change-up he can become a stalwart in…

Spring Training Leaders at the Halfway

6-time and running AL West champ Albuquerque wields Capra's best ST record thus far at 8-1. Next are Anaheim at 7-2 and the new-management-Redlegs of Huntington, also at 7-2. Four teams are at 2-7, but they include some of the league's consistently best teams(Fargo, St. Louis, Little Rock, and Florida), so let's not put too much stock into this.

Where Are They Now: S6 Rule 5 Draft

#1: RP Sid Watson was the first player taken in Capra's Rule 5 inaugural draft by the Jacksonville Juggernauts after the Albuquerque Roadrunners failed to protect him. Since then, Watson has become the Juggs' closer and has nailed down 77 saves with a 3.77 ERA in 3 seasons, as well as making a trip to the S7 Midsummer Classic.

#2: SP Armando Gonzalez has had a little rougher go of things. Selected by the Trenton Titans, he took the hill 8 times for Trenton to a 6.99 ERA. Since then, he has been placed on waivers twice, traded once, and amassed a 9-10 big league record with a 5.5 ERA. Gonzalez is currently trying to win a roster spot in Spring training with the Oklahoma City Drunken Ducks.

#3: RP Eduardo Ramirez spent most of S6 serving up batting practice for the opponents of the Dover Galaxy before being waived. But his 8.49 ERA did not scare away the Washington G-Men(currently the Buffalo Hunters) where he has been a mediocre reliever for the last two seasons.

#4: RP Alberto Bl…

Rule 5 Draft Runs Through C-Town

The Cleveland Spiders held the #1 pick in this week's Rule 5 draft and may have struck gold with 24 year-old 2B Russ Mercedes. Some scouts believe Mercedes has the whole package: defense, speed, solid contact and great discipline at the plate, not to mention being a great physical specimen who stands up well to the rigors of a long season. The Spiders also did well later in the draft, picking up Catcher/DHs Apollo Payton in Round 2 and Denny Taft in Round 3.

The Oklahoma City Drunken Ducks nabbed hard-throwing reliever Ismael Cruz with the 2nd pick. If Cruz can find the strike zone consistently he'll be very tough to hit. Other significant picks include RP Junior Gutierrez going 5th to the Syracuse Salt City Ballers, defensive whiz Tony Gomez going 9th to Little Rock, and the Otawa Ice taking a chance on 32 year-old reliever Donald Cho at #12.

Lewis Jefferies =

Most HBD coaches seem to retire around the age of 65 or 66 to take full advantage of the WIS fishing and golfing circuit, but Montgomery pitching coach Lewis Jefferies seems to have no interest in calling it quits. He will run the Constitutions pitchers this season, at age 67, for the 8th straight season. And with a Loyalty rating of just 33, one is left to wonder how beernoser how worked out such a sweet, long-term deal with Capra's top pitching IQ.

5 Questions with, er, myself

1) What is the story of your username and how did you get hooked up with Whatifsports?Got hooked up through the MLB website back in 2001. As an old Strat-O-Matic fan, it seemed natural to fool around with historical players, lineups, etc. I probably ran 5-6 teams in open leagues through MLB before I even figured out there was a WIS website(oops). I couldn't figure out where these mysterious forums were that people kept mentioning in the league chats. And I actually won 1 or 2 championships with those teams linked through MLB, and the reward was only 1 free team, not the 2 that WIS was offering. rls = initials. I'm guessing I added the 1 because 3-character usernames weren't allowed.
2) Offer a paragraph bio of yourself, possibly including things like work, family life, geography, other hobbies, quirky traits, bad habits, etc. Thirty-something father of two girls. Moved from SoCal to Indiana 5 years ago for work. Currently teach at Butler University. Been learning to play Gui…

How the (NL) West Was Won

The St. Louis Archers claimed their third division title, led by the power of MVP Hong-Gu Hyun’s 39 home runs. Nine players hit the double-digit number in homers. 24-year old Ted Davis led the staff with 21 wins. David Wanatabe converted 37 of 44 save opportunities. Howard Kapler placed third in Rookie of the Year balloting. They lost the Division Championship Series 4 games to 2 to the World Series-bound Northstars. Sockless joe’s team is poised to repeat with twice as many players under age 25 as over 30.

The Anaheim Anteaters earned a wild card birth with the league’s third best record. However, they fizzled at the end of the regular season going 2-8 and lost the division by 1 game. The team is deep in talent, placing six players on the all-star team. Right fielder Bill Leary placed fifth in the MVP balloting. Nerio Miller was Fireman of the Year and third in the Cy Young race. They lost to Atlanta in a four game series of the division play-in series. Eight players are o…

NL North S8 in Review

The Fargo Woodchippers won their 8th straight division title and have now claimed Capra's best regular season record in 7 of 8 rounds(goybyruss' Richmond Revenoors won 108 games in S4). Brett Tracy won his 8th straight Cy Young(yawn). Bully ace Tyler Henderson had another great campaign saving 49 contests, but will be 36 next season(and joining Alexander Frye, Diego Ozuna, and Jesus Lima in the north of 35 club) in what may be his final tour with the Chippers.
At the dish, Ismael Acosta, Trenidad Prieto, and John Clayton combined for 130 bombs. Aside from turning gray, Fargo did have one weakness this season: they were only 42/79 in stolen base attempts.

The North Stars of Minnesota claimed their 3rd wild card berth, but turned this one into an NL flag and World Series appearance. Their rotation is youthful with Craig Schwartz, Jacob Wallace, Kelly Grace, and Eugene Wilkins all under the age of 30 and turning in double-digit victories. Elsewhere, free-agent signing Thomas Simon(…

Riverdogs Cruise to World Series Title

The Jackson Riverdogs swept the Minnesota North Stars to claim the Season 8 World Series Championship. This is the first title for the Riverdogs, who lost in the opening round of the playoffs each of the last two seasons.
The Riverdogs were led in the postseason by young slugger Darren Owens who hit .500 with 13 homeruns and 26 runs batted in in only 48 at-bats. Owens, who spent the early part of the season at AA, pounded 51 bombs in the regular season after being called up.
From the hill, the 'Dogs were led by rotation anchors Jesus Guerrero and Bryant Stocker, who combined to go 5-0 and allow only 8 earned runs in 43 innings.
Furthermore, the River pups playoff roster hosted something like only 6 guys over the age of 30, as well as a meager payroll of 46M, one of the lowest in the league. Add it all up and you get not only a WS trophy, but a franchise that looks like a dynasty in the making.

International Scouting: What You Get for the Money, Final Tally

Here are the final results of our four-team survey designed to come up with tangible numbers regarding what your Int'l Scouting budget really buys you. Remember, we've been checking in with four teams paying varying amounts to international scouts to determine the number of players each team sees, and what those players are asking for as bonuses. While this isn't the greatest barometer of player quality, it is at least identical across the board unlike player projections.

Minnesota North Stars: 20M budget. Total players scouted: 111. # players asking less than 1M: 73. Players asking from 1M-3M: 26. Players asking more than 3M: 12.

Anaheim Anteaters: 16M budget. Total players scouted: 98. # players asking less than 1M: 66. Players asking from 1M-3M: 24. Players asking more than 3M: 8.

Little Rock Travelers: 11M budget. Total players scouted: 66. # players asking less than 1M: 46. Players asking from 1M-3M: 14. Players asking more than 3M: 6.

Scranton Breakers: 7M budget. Total …