Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Haymakers Hope to Right the Ship of failed picks

Draft War Room, Classified Location: The annual spring draft has not fared well for the Haymakers front office since relocating the team back in 2007, and the team has worked hard this spring to correct the error of their ways with this years' draft. The failed history has left the team with the number 2 pick overall in last years draft and the 4th pick this year. Here's a look back at the history of the first two rounds for the Troy faithful:

2007 Round 1: Scott Olsen...the 22 year old lefty showed much promise back then but has never shined at Haymakers Grounds. The game start leader never had an ERA under 5.00 and his win loss percentage was even worse. Anger issues and falling velocity finally landed him on the DL, and now back in the FA pool.

2007 Round 2: Clay Hensley...posted a 11-8 record in his only season on the Haymakers. Injuries and poor pitching led him to be released the following year.

2008 Round 1: Hunter Pence...drafted with the 7th pick overall, he has shown flashes of promise, but has been streaky throughout his career for Troy but has slowly been getting better. Pence will likely finally see a full time role in RF in 2010.

2008 Round 1: John Maine...the Haymakers traded up to get Maine 14th overall in the draft. Posted a solid 4.15 ERA in his one season on the team, and was traded in the offseason for Adrian Beltre. Beltre, still on the team, has likely lost his job to the 2010 first round pick.

2009 Round 1: Geovanny Soto...the second pick overall in the draft came highly touted but posted sub-par stats in spacious Haymaker Grounds in his first season and injuries will keep his stats down in 2010. Has come to camp this season trimmed down and healthy while Troy's camp is expecting a big comeback.

2009 Round 2: Rick Ankiel...the former pitching prospect and star had a high profile fall from grace and an even amazing return as a power bat. Ankiel posted solid stats in his first season as a Haymaker, but shoulder injury keep him off the field and now is back in the FA pool hoping for another return, with a different team.

2010 Round 1: Pablo "Kung-Fu Panda" Sandoval...this young bat has been compared to Vlad Guerrero, but plays 3B and can catch in a pinch. An exciting player with great team presence, the Haymakers faithful are hoping he can man the hot corner for years to come.

2010 Round 2: Max Scherzer... the 6 foot 3 power arm has a career 9.5 strikeout/9IP in his short stint for the minor league Diamondbacks and has great poise on the mound. Has the tendency to give up the gopher ball, but the spacious Haymaker Gounds should help with that. Should fill in nicely as the 2 starter behind ace Jered Weaver.

The excitement of these two young start should surely fill the grandstands in Troy and hopefully bring a championship to the team soon enough.

IronPigs Welcome "The Other Guy in the Deal"

Infielder Robinson "Crusoe" Cano was added to the team in the recent trade for defensive specialist Albert Pujols. He was added in the hopes of improving the offensive production from the 2b spot.

His predecessor, Chase "Manhattan" Utley never really found his groove in the spacious Pig Pen.
Chase hit for moderate power, but could not manage better than a .317 on base percentage last season. We expect that he will do well in Vermont and wish him the best, but it was time to try something else.

Cano did even worse than Utley last year in all offensive categories, however, we believe that last season was the exception and not the rule. We believe that he will be near the top of the leaderboard in a couple statistical categories for the coming season. We expect him to have a high batting average and quite possibly lead the league in the all important "grounded into double play" statistic. We believe that he is supremely qualified in this endeavor.

Twitter: Rotation "Set", Knights Now Looking for Offense?

(New York Daily Mirror Online - February 25, 2010)

The Mirror Online is following the Twitter account of an unnamed front office executive of the Knights who is present in the Knights draft "war room" at Knights Field in Flushing, NY.)

NEW YORK - As we have always known, Knights GM Mitch Pak can be unpredictable when it comes to the draft, especially in the early rounds. This year has been no different, as the Knights selected young fireballer Josh Johnson with their first pick of the draft (#5 overall), adding to what is already regarded as one of the deeper rotations in the LF.

Where to from here? The Knights are still without a catcher and as Casey Stengel used to say, "ya gotta have a catcher; otherwise you'll have a lot of passed balls".

Our anonymous source in the Knights draft "war room" provided the following on his (her?) Twitter account this morning at 4 a.m.

"Mitch was nervous that Matt Cain was going to underperform again this year, so he was thrilled that a young talent like Josh Johnson was available at #5. Mitch feels that Johnson can be the righty complement to Jon Lester and that Cain will be the #3. My guess is that he's now going to be looking to add a bat. I haven't heard him talk about catchers yet, but I did hear him mention Jason Kendall while he was on his cellphone last night about midnight. He was laughing at the time and I have no idea who he was talking to, so who knows?"

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Twitter: Knights Not Fazed by Georgia's Selection of Wieters

(New York Daily Mirror Online - February 24, 2010)

(The Mirror Online is following the Twitter account of an unnamed front office executive of the Knights who is present in the Knights draft "war room" at Knights Field in Flushing, NY.)

NEW YORK - In a Tweet sent to the press by an unnamed source in the Knights' front office, Knights GM Mitch Pak is said to be "unconcerned" by the Georgia Roadkill's selection of highly-touted catching prospect Matt Wieters #1 overall in the NASBL 2010 draft, which is currently underway. The Knights select fifth.

"Mitch was most likely not going to take Wieters with the fifth pick anyway, because he feels that rookie C's don't do well in their first seasons and Wieters wasn't good enough to take in the first round. After the Salty debacle of 2008 and seeing how Soto underperformed last year, Mitch is probably going to wait until the later rounds to address the catching situation."

Jarrod Saltalamacchia was a highly valued catching prospect who was on several teams' draft lists in 2008. The Knights took him in the second round, but he failed badly, hitting just .194 with 2 homers and 11 RBI. He was traded to the Cannibals before the '09 season for a draft pick. Salty did very well for Lake Champlain in 2009, batting .375, but was cut down and is now available on the free agent market. Last offseason, Pak went against conventional wisdom and selected lefty Jon Lester with the overall #1 pick, bypassing Geovany Soto, another highly-touted catching prospect. Lester went 12-10, 3.86 and was second in the LF Rookie of the Year voting while Soto had a mediocre season.

IronPigs Improve Infield Defense Via Trade

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs have completed a minor draft-day deal to shore up their infield defense by acquiring defensive guru Albert Pujols. Pujols is expected to significantly improve the infield defense and allow the young pitching staff to develop some much needed confidence as they continue to mature. The deal was consummated when Matt Wieters was selected with the #1 pick. It is hoped that he will also be able to refine his swing and provide some much needed offense to bolster a team that was, pathetic at best, during the 2009 season.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roadkill Brass To Boros: "Let's Do The Deal"

*Lake Buena Vista, FL*
With pitchers and catchers reporting this week at the Roadkill's ST complex reporters questioned why Jason Varitek was not in camp. GM Miller decided to call an impromptu press conference as there has been speculation who The 'Kill may select with the overall #1 pick in the upcoming NASBL draft. Sandavol, Carpenter, Beckham & Hanson were just a few names offered. Miller decided to use the ST media event to name Matt Wieters as Varitek's replacement.

A.J. Pierzynski has agreed to a one year contract with a club option for one additional year. Wieters is expected to see platoon duty at C and possibly DH. He will also use his rookie year to become familiar with the Roadkill staff which has seen major improvement from the '09 opening day rotation. Carlos Zambrano was added in the off-season to join Wainwright, Lackey, Gallardo & Nolasco.

Roadkill Nation is thrilled to add a player of Weiters potential and in a position of need with Varitek's impending retirement. The club will now concentrate on the balance of the draft to rebuild the offense after the loss of key veterans Vlad & Mags during the '09 season.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Springfield Times Releases Annual Mock First Round

Springfield (AP) - It was another interesting trade season in NASBL, with 7 first round picks being dealt. Lehigh Valley and Illinois each have three first round picks this year, and Outlaw and Honolulu each have two first-rounders. It appears that the Tastes Great League values its 1st round picks a little more than the Less Filling League considering that 12 of the 16 first round selections will be made by teams hailing from the TGL. Without further adieu, the following is the Springfield Times’ Annual First Round Projections.

#1) Georgia – Pablo Sandoval (3B,C,1B)
The Roadkill do not have a 3B to speak of, not considering Chase Headley (who is primarily a left fielder in MLB) – Enter KUNG FU PANDA. Nobody in this draft hits the ball like Kung Fu Panda, he is a switch hitter, and the guy plays three positions (two premium positions in catcher and third base). He’s a young Kirby Puckett, bad body and all. However if they decide to go another direction, considering the talent in this draft, Georgia can literally do no wrong with this pick.

#2) Lehigh Valley – Josh Johnson (SP)
The Iron Pigs need a front-line starter to go along with its front-line offense. Johnson has the innings that give him a slight edge over Tommy Hanson. Johnson is no stranger to being a high level draft pick, being picked #18 overall by the Chows in the 2007 NASBL Draft. The Vermont front office may face a few difficult questions from the local Vermont media on draft day. Vermont traded a first rounder during the 2007 NASBL season as part of a larger deal that netted Johnson for the Sioux, only to subsequently release him a little more than a year later.

#3) Outlaw (via trade with PCM) – Elvis Andrus (SS)
As soon as Mark made this deal, the Springfield Times had the feeling that he was looking for the heir apparent to Omar Vizquel. A “1” at SS at 21 years old is unheard of and Andrus can be plugged in to the Outlaw lineup for the next 12-15 years. That sound you hear is the weeping of ground ball hitters on the Trash Heap, Iron Pigs, and Roadkill who have to deal with this guy manning shortstop for a division rival the rest of their careers.

#4) Troy – Tommy Hanson (SP)
Would have been the #1 pick in many years, but this draft is loaded. Hard to pass up on Matt Weiters, but Troy is unable to label last year’s first rounder, Geovanny Soto, a bust at this point so it goes with the young fireballer.

#5) New York – Matt Weiters (C)
It’s possible in a few years from now that we will be asking how Weiters fell to #5, just like we are currently asking how in the world Joe Mauer fell to the #6 pick of the 2007 draft (which was predicted by the Springfield Times and the answer to the trivia question is: the players drafted ahead of Mauer in 2007 were Grady Sizemore, Jhonny Peralta, Ryan Howard, Scott Kazmir, and Huston Street).

#6) Illinois – Chris Carpenter (SP)
Carpenter has a top five starting pitching card. This pick is a no-brainer if the Chows are looking to make a run at it this year. Trivia note: this will be the THIRD time that Carpenter has been drafted in the 1st round of the NASBL draft (having previously been drafted in the 1st round by Outlaw in 1999 and again by the Cannons in 2005). Let’s see if this pattern continues: draft Carpenter, get a few good years from him, put Carpenter on IR for a season when he has his inevitable arm surgery, and release Carpenter when he doesn’t return the next season. After he returns from missing two full NASBL seasons, Carpenter gets drafted in the 1st round. Rinse…Repeat

#7) Illinois (via trade with DFW) – Gordon Beckham (3B)
Beckham is the perfect platoon mate for Chone Figgins at 3B and will be the second baseman of the future for the Chows, no offense meant to Martin Prado.

#8) Illinois (via trade with LCC) – Rick Porcello (SP)
Had a really, really solid MLB season at 20 years old. Not many pitchers have been able to do what he did at that age. Porcello could be very special.

#9) Grundy County – Andrew McCutchen (CF)
Grundy County is thrilled that a talent like this is available and are in need of an outfield bat. McCutchen has greater than 400 MLB at bats showing that his immense talent will translate to production in NASBL. Also is rated a “2” at a premium defensive position, with a cannon for an arm.

#10) Honolulu – Kendry Morales (1B)
After utilizing various glove-first first baseman (Kotchman, Loney, Overbay, etc.) over the years, Stan finally gets a guy who can take advantage of his park’s cozy dimensions and helps offset the lefty killers like Werth, Rolen, and Victorino in his lineup.

#11) Lehigh Valley (via trade with MSU) – David Price (SP)
If Price was available last year, he probably would have been a top 5 pick. While his first year in MLB was not quite in line with expectations, he finally found his control, posting a 1.19 WHIP the 2nd half of the season and could be a top of the rotation guy for years to come.

#12) Lehigh Valley (via trade with SPR) – Nyjer Morgan (CF)
If I told you that you could have get a “1” in CF with over 40 on base chances versus righties and 40+ stolen bases with the 12th pick in the draft who is still on the right side of 30, wouldn’t you say “Sign me up”. Having no viable centerfielder on its roster, the Iron Pigs get strong up the middle defensively with a guy who really came into his own since his trade to Washington in MLB (.351/.396/.435 in 212 plate appearances in Washington).

#13) Vermont – Randy Wells (SP)
Rumor has it that Vermont is shopping this pick. If they keep it, it is clear that Vermont needs to fill out its rotation in this draft. Wells is the best combination of youth/results/innings available here. J.A. Happ, Joel Piniero, or Brett Anderson could also be considered for this pick.

#14) Honolulu (via trade with NJT) – Nelson Cruz (RF)
Cruz rates as a 2 in RF with a cannon arm and tons of ballparks against both sides. Also steals bases. This year’s version of Shin-Soo Choo goes to the Hawaiians (older than normal prospect that always had minor league success and never really got a chance at the MLB level for some reason).

#15) Springfield (via trade with SPL) – J.A. Happ (SP/RP)
Doug Sherlag loves his lefty pitchers. Happ gives the Topes the flexibility it needs since he is rated as both a starter and reliever giving him the edge over Brett Anderson.

#16) Outlaw – Dexter Fowler (CF)
Although Outlaw needs a 3B, with Sandoval and Beckham off the board, anyone they would take here would probably be a reach. Therefore, Outlaw goes with the best young player available in Dexter Fowler. Switch hitting centerfielder with a “2” in CF and a cannon arm that hits both sides. This pick allows Outlaw to put Manny Ramirez in the DH slot where he belongs and provides Outlaw with an extra outfielder, which will be beneficial considering two Outlaw outfielder keepers (Ramirez and Rajah Davis) have less than 400 at bats each. Rockies outfielders have had good success over the years (Hawpe, Pierre, Walker, Holliday, Bichette, etc.) in NASBL and Fowler should be no exception. Outlaw could also go with Colby Rasmus here.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Maybe Wieters is Not the 1st Pick

It has been a forgone conclusion that Johnny will take Matt Wieters with the 1st overall pick of the Draft. I would, You would. We all would. Or would we?

What If I told you you could choose a CY Young Winner who had a banner year last year.

No Tommy Hanson did not win the Cy Young, yet.

There are a lot of quality players and pitchers available in the draft. You know it. I know it, We all know it.

Hey what do you think about Pabls Sandavol - Catcher CA-4(+1)e6t6p0 and he can be a #3 hitter - hits, gets on base, has power, speed (oh well 12 speed, but he can steal a base off someone's poor battery).

Andrew McCutcheon - CF - could be everything I hoped BJ Upton was.

Closer - Andrew Bailey - will this reliever get taken in the 1st round? Probably.

SP - well Hanson is the probable 2nd pick, make that the 3rd pick because I haven't told you who the ringer is.
Brett Anderson LHSP OAK - good season - great prospect
Trevor Cahill RHSP OAK - OK season - great prospect
Rick Porcello RHSP DET - better than OK season - probably a good season - isn't he a teenager still? great prospect
That is just the first 3 SP after Hanson that come to mind.
Joel Pineiro - great card/career year/ not a prospect - but has a future.

Johnny still is thinking Wieters - he has seen the light yet.

Well - I do not know if he is really available, but how could you resist Chris Carpenter. He is on the available list, so that means someone cut him in the last couple years when he was injured and only pitched 6 innings in 2007 and 15 innings in 2008. While I would have given something for this guy just to carry him on the roster. Fantastic card - arm is currently (note currently) in good shape - he can make a team an instant contender. I do not care if he will be 35 this season. Ryan pitched until he 86 and Clemens kept his arm going in his 70s (just a slight exaggeration). I would take Carpenter in a heartbeat, or sooner. Thing is I do not expect him to last until the 9th pick.

Johnny will probably take Wieters, and then the reigning NASBL Champions can pick whoever they want. I think if they would like to have Carpenter.

I will be fishing until 2/24 so that I do not have to worry about the draft. Actually - I will be at work or shoveling snow.

Is Chris Carpenter really available?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NASBL Round 3 / 4 Draft Order Announced

The 2010 Free Agent Money calculations are done, and the resulting round 3 and 4 draft order is now set:

1) LVI
2) OJW
3) DFW
4) VFS
5) LCC
6) SPL
7) ILL
8) PCM
9) MSU
10) TRY
11) GRK
12) HHA
13) SPR
14) GCG
15) NJT
16) NYK

Highlights of the Fun Money and performance award bonuses:

-HHA earned $3,000 for the highest winning percentage without making the playoffs
-DFW earned $2,000 for the 2nd highest winning percentage without making the playoffs
-GCG, GRK, LVI, and PCM earned $500 each for having more road wins than home wins
-HHA earned $100 for Mariano Rivera's Fireman of the Year award, and another $50 for Mariano leading the league in saves (45)
-MSU earned $100 each for Derek Lowe's Cy Young and Brian Fuentes Fireman of the Year, another $50 for D-Lowe's league-leading 1.81 ERA, and yet another $50 for D-Lowe's ERA being a new all-time single-season NASBL record
-NJT earned $100 each for Tim Lincecum's Cy Young and Joey Votto's Rookie of the Year, and another $50 for Lincecum's league-leading 307 k's
-OJW earned $100 for Manny being MVP, and another $50 for Ryan Dempster's league-leading 21 wins
-VFS earned $100 each for Albert Pujols MVP and Ubaldo Jimenez Rookie of the Year, and another $50 for Pujols batting title (.372)
-Outlaw and New Jersey tied for the most All-Stars. Each team earned $100
-SPL earned $50 each for Mark Teixeira's HR (39) and RBI (118) crowns
-SPR earned $50 for Brian Roberts league-leading 114 runs scored
-LVI earned $50 for Jose Reyes league-leading 205 hits

Booby prizes:
-PCM earned $50 for Bobby Jenks' league-leading 11 blown saves
-GCG earned $50 for Ryan Howard's league-leading 171 k's
-MSU earned $50 for David Wright's league-leading 29 GDPs
-LVI earned $100 for most runs allowed (Jon Garland, 156) and most losses (Johnny Cueto, 19)

The NASBL News featured 103 articles. Brad Sherlag (ILL) and Kevin Burns (LVI) led all contributors with 14 articles each. Also in double-digits were Mitch Pak (NYK - 12), Justin Rabidoux (VFS - 11), and Mark Hildebrandt (OJW - 10). Thank you very much to everyone who contributed. Your efforts do not go unnoticed, and you are a big part of making the NASBL a tremendously entertaining league.

In terms of raw Early Bird bonuses, shout out to Kevin Burns (LVI) for narrowly edging out legendary quick-draw artist Frank Pennylegion (SPL). I honestly didn't think it could be done.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The only hot topic in Outlaw Pond talk radio since the town's first World Series victory has been "Will Omar Stay?" With a roster chock full of World Series champions and impending roster cuts looming, hacks want to know if fan favorite and thirteen-year team veteran Omar Vizquel will wear an Outlaw uniform in 2010.

League rules make Omar ineligible for the 2010 draft so the only way that he can play in Wreckin' So Field this year is for management to name Vizquel to their hotly-anticipated seventeen man keeper list. Given the crowded roster of champions, Outlaw management faces a tough choice between fan loyalty and cold hard logic.

Omar Vizquel, aka The Glove, was acquired in 1996 in a reluctant straight-up deal for the team's first pitching ace, Mark Langston. Since then Omar has batted 6788 times (2nd in team history), smacked 1768 hits (2nd), scored 926 times (4th), batted in 600 runs (3rd), stolen 378 bases (2nd), ended world hunger, cured cancer, and been involved in a few high profile incidents. But the unrecorded statistic is how many out-3's (fielding chart double plays for you non-dice rolling newbies) have been turned during Omar's storied career. Just how many wins do aces Tim Hudson and Jake Peavy and the Outlaw fans owe to Omar's still-reliable glove?

Decision time looms. Outlaw management sweats out a decision. Stay tuned for next week's edition of "As the Omar Turns . . ."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chows Keep 17 - Sit out of Supplemental

Illinois Times -- Sources within the Chows organization revealed that Illinois GM Brad Sherlag submitted his list of keepers to the NASBL commissioners office this morning. Although we have not yet obtained the list, it appears that Illinois kept the maximum 17 players this season. Two players warranted serious consideration, but in the end the Chows chose to keep both Fukudome and Cordero.

Playing the math game, it seems likely the Chows also kept both of their injured pitchers. Although Maine and Volquez will not be able to pitch a full-season, they should be able to take the hill enough times to get about 20 or so starts between them.

Word is the Chows still haven't given up on the franchise's first ever pick - Chris Capuano. Chris will spend his second straight season on IR. Capuano, a sentimental favorite of the team, was once cut and re-drafted in the same season. While the money spent on surgeries and rehab may be better spent on developing young talent, the Chows seem to think Capuano could someday emerge as a capable LH reliever if not the innings eater he once was.