Saturday, February 21, 2009
First Round: Karl Morandini, SS: The 12th overall selection of the Cooperstown season 9 draft, Karl was ranked #2 on the Mystery?'s draft board. Drafted as a shortstop, his glove and arm accuracy don't quite project to major standards for the position. A fair though not outstanding hitter, Karl is probably best suited to be a solid bench player for the Mystery? in seasons to come as a reserve at second base, or at the corner infield and outfield positions. Most likely, he may realize his truest value to the franchise as trade bait.
Supplemental Round: Felipe Lopez, 2B: Ranked #6 on the Mystery? board, Felipe was the 50th overall selection in the draft. Much like Morandini, Felipe just doesn't project the defensive ratings to be a productive major league infielder and his most likely role will be as a reserve corner outfielder. Also like Morandini, Lopez's value may be more as a tradeable asset in some future season.
Second Round: Bernie Carrasquel, CF: Ranked at number 18 on the Mystery's draft board, Bernie was the 68th pick of this season's draft. Drafted as a center fielder, he sadly does not appear to have the tools to actually play the position at a high level. A mediocre hitter, his only real asset is decent power. At best, he's destined to be a reserve outfielder at the major league level. Could be a fair throw-in in some future trade.
Third Round: Walt Bryant, RH RP: The 100th overall pick of the draft, Walt was ranked 20th overall on the Mystery's draft board, and was 7th among pitchers on the board. Good splits, but with poor control and fairly mediocre overall, he probably didn't have much to chance to really catch on as anything more than a bullpen inning eater. The Mystery? did offer Walt a contract, but he declined as he decided that he would prefer to pursue a pro baseketball career.
Fourth Round: Danny Witt, RH RP: Ranked at #27, Danny was the 132th player selected in the draft. Very similar to Bryant, he is blessed with great splits but poor control and below average velocity. He does have two decent pitches, but is still a dark horse for attaining anything more than a cup of coffee at the major league level.
Fifth Round: Jason Vogelsong, RH RP: Ranked at #43, Jason was the 164th player selected in the draft. Completing the hat trick of unimpressive right handed relievers in the first five rounds, Vogelsong has average control, slightly above average splits, but only a set of mediocre pitches in his arsenal. hope he has a backup plan for when his baseball career tops out at AAA.
Friday, February 13, 2009
Rickey say "Everybody love records. And everybody love Rickey, because Rickey break a lot of records. Ain't nobody break records like Rickey break records". Which is all true. But the Fresno Filth also broke some records in season 10. Let's take a look at the season 10 record breakers for the Filth.
- Caught Stealing - 15
- Ground Ball to Fly Ratio - 2.81
- Inherited Runners Scored - .138 (tie)
- Number of Pitches Thrown Per Game - 105
- Assists (3B) - 222
- Good Plays (3B) - 9 (MG record - tie)
- Assists (LF) - 11
- Bad Plays (LF) - 2 (tie)
- Errors (LF) - 7
- Putouts (LF) - 232
- Bad Plays (CF) - 4 (tie)
- Double Plays (P) - 3 (tie)
- Double Plays (P) - 3 (tie)
- Fielding Pct (RF) - 1.000 (tie)
- Range Factor (RF) - 1.674
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Only six games remain in the season, and the Scranton Apollos have been slumping with a 10-11 record over their past 21 games. In the meantime, the wretched Wichita Wranglers have played at a 15-6 clip down the stretch and have not only caught the Apollos but have taken a one game lead for the final wildcard spot in the AL.
The Apollos play their last six games at home, with the first three being a crucial showdown with the Wranglers, followed by a season-ending series against the Detroit Bad Seeds. Detroit will most likely have clinched the AL North by the time of that series, so the Apollos may not be seeing the Bad Seeds "A Team" in those final three games.
Wichita's last six games are against Scranton on the road, and a three game series against the Chicago Black Sox at home. The Black Sox will only be playing for pride, so Wichita should have the edge in that series.
And hanging right in there just waiting for Wichita and Scranton to both stumble are the Richmond Generals, who are also right in the hunt for the AL South title. They take on the first place Jacksonville Seminoles in a three game set at home, followed by a season ending three game series against the Jackson Bootleggers. Richmond trails in the south by only two games, so Jacksonville should be playing them tough in that first series. Jackson will just be playing out the string, but Richmond's fate may already be decided by then.
Tiebreaker scenarios: Scranton already has the tiebreaker in hand against Wichita, while Richmond holds the tiebreaker against both Scranton and Wichita. In a three-way tie scenario, assuming that Scranton wins at least two of their three games against Wichita, the Apollos would win a three-way tiebreaker. If Wichita wins two out of three from Scranton, the Richmond would win a three-way tiebreaker. However, in that situation, the three way tiebreaker would most likely be a moot point as Wichita would almost be assured of winning the WC at that point.
The next 24 hours will very possibly decide the fate of all three teams. Stay tuned.
Friday, February 6, 2009
It's the 54 game mark in world Cooperstown, and look who's in first place in the AL South! The Mexico City Mystery? have been playing great baseball of late with an 18-9 record over their past 27 games, and have moved into first place in the division, one game ahead of the perennial division leader Charleston Charge.
The Mystery?'s offense has continued to be outstanding, having scored 153 runs (5.7 per game) over the most recent segment of the season, and have now scored 316 runs in total which moves them up from fifth to third in that category in all of Coop. First baseman Nicholas Kirk is having a career year and has seen his total season output rise to (.326 AVG, 23 HR, 62 RBI, 48 runs scored, .712 SLG, 1.081 OPS). DH Todd Swann recently made a visit to the 15-day DL due to a strained hamstring, but has been solid since his return with (.317, 8, 26, .405 OBP, .927 OPS). While Swann was out, catcher Kyle Stevens (.295, 8, 20, .814 OPS) took over the DH duties, giving Harry Figueroa (.288, 6, 15, .627 SLG, .950 OPS) a chance to get some regular playing time behind the plate. Rookie right fielder Roger Montgomery (.286, 15, 43, .372 OBP, .587 SLG, .959 OPS) has been outstanding. And left fielder Lou Vosberg (.268, 7, 27, 40 runs scored), shortstop Virgil Martinez (.267, 11, 29) and third baseman Alfredo Sanchez (.263, 14, 34, team leading 12 stolen bases) have been steady with the bat all season. The only disappointment in the starting lineup has been center fielder Victor Rosado, who has struggled greatly (.194 AVG, .616 OPS) despite 11 home runs and 27 RBI's.
The pitching staff has held steady in the middle of the pack, allowing 123 runs (4.6 per game) over the past 27 games, giving them a season total of 254 runs allowed for the season, 18th in all of Coop. Kevin James (4-7, 6.32 ERA, .317 OAV, 1.64 WHIP) has continued to struggle and has shown no signs of snapping out of the deep funk he's mired in. Rookie Al Martin has stepped up after the season ending injury to Earl Wheeler and has been one of the two most consistent starters with a mark of (4-1, 3.34 ERA, .238 OAV, 1.33 WHIP). Slim Goldberg (6-3, 4.03 ERA, .246 OAV, 1.11 WHIP) has been the other. Jerry LaRue leads the team in wins with a 7-2 record, but has been otherwise unspectacular with (4.72 ERA, .266 OAV, 1.48 WHIP).
The bullpen has been very solid. Closer Jack Bonds has been perfect in 15 save opportunities, and has posted a mark of (4.22 ERA, .259 OAV, 1.36 WHIP in 21.1 IP over 24 appearances). Jose Aybar has contributed a 1.50 ERA despite a poor performance of (.327 OAV, 1.67 WHIP in 12 IP over 21 appearances). Julian Mullens (2.03 ERA, .264 OAV, 1.20 WHIP in 13.1 IP over 19 appearances) and Tony Diaz (2.61 ERA, .215 OAV, 1.40 WHIP in 20.2 IP over 27 appearances) have been steady, as has long reliever Alex Martinez (3.12 ERA, .229 OAV, 1.15 WHIP in 26 IP over 21 appearances).
Overall, the season has been going as well as can be expected. With the team playing near .600 ball, and hovering near the top of the division (and the top of the league), this roster continues to be fulfilling the promise that it was built for.
Our next update should be an amateur draft recap, with our next season update at the halfway mark, 81 games.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
The Scranton Apollos have reached the penultimate checkpoint of their season 11 playoff quest, the 135 game mark, and they are still firmly in control of their post-season hopes. Over the past 27 games, they've fallen a bit flat as they've only posted a 14-13 mark, while AL North division leader Detroit has established complete control of the division. The Apollos now find themselves seven games out of first place, but still hold a four game lead for the final wildcard berth, so it's up to them to continue to play solid and earn their first post-seaosn appearance since way back in season 4.
The offense has been steady, scoring 148 runs over the past 27 games (5.5 per game), which gives them a season total of 783, moving them up to 6th in all of Mantle in that category. Dan King has been on fire over the past 27 games, raising his season totals to (.312 AVG, 44 HR, 112 RBI, 102 runs scored, .995 OPS), as has left fielder Pat Masao (.355, 27, 107). Rob Diaz has continued to hold steady at (.296, 19, 71, 95 runs scored, 22 stolen bases), as has backup 2B/CF Graham Bennett (.318, 11, 42, .894 OPS). Reserve outfielder Bob Isringhausen has contributed (.301, 3, 22, .837 OPS) in limited work, and right fielder Stuart Valentin has been consistent to the tune of (.286, 18, 70). The shortstop tandem of Alex Gomez (.339, 6, 37) and Chief Lowery (.222, 1, 17, 44 stolen bases) have also contributed to the offense, albeit in vastly different ways.
The pitching staff has held together, despite allowing 135 runs (5.0 per game) over the past 27 games. This brings their season total to 684 runs allowed, which places them squarely in the middle of the pack in Mantle at 16th. Danys Bravo has taken over the team lead in wins with a record of (13-10, 4.97 ERA, .274 OAV, 1.51 WHIP), but it has been rookie Marshall Whitney who has really stepped forward down the stretch. Whitney has improved his season totals to (11-6, 4.00 ERA, .259 OAV, 1.26 WHIP) and has been the most consistent starter of late. John Collier has tailed off a bit, but still has somewhat impressive numbers of (12-4, 4.53 ERA, .268 OAV, 1.36 WHIP).
In the bullpen, Elston Price has held on to his closers rule with 26 saves in 29 opportunities despite mediocre stats of (3.40 ERA, .312 OAV, 1.60 WHIP in 45.0 IP over 55 appearances). Righty Emmanuel Fox (6-0, 3.50 ERA, .225 OAV, 1.13 WHIP in 54.0 IP over 57 appearances) and rookie southpaw Lawrence Allen (3.78 ERA, .251 OAV, 1.22 WHIP in 47.2 IP over 51 appearances) have been the most reliable relievers out of the pen.
With 27 games remaining in their regular season, it's now crunch time, and the Apollos need to show that they have the guts and composure to hold on to the playoff berth that they have controlled since day one of the current season. With longtime nemesis Wichita Wranglers showing signs of making a late push, the Apollos will definitely make a statement (hopefully a positive one) in the closing days of the season.
We will probably have at least one more brief update down the stretch when the Apollos playoff fate becomes a little clearer.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
It was difficult to single out either of these two players for their contributions in season 10 as they both played key roles in leading the Fresno Filth to a surprising NL West title, so they will share this season's award.
Jayson Mills lived up to all expectations in his first season as the starting first baseman, playing all 162 games (for the second consecutive season) and contributing a .300 average to go along with 51 home runs and 130 RBI's. He also posted a .373 OBP and .598 SLG, which combined to make a .971 OPS for the season. Jayson also led the team with 183 hits, 70 walks, and 103 runs scored. In short, he was the heart of the Fresno offense in season 10. Though he was snubbed by not being selected for the NL All-Star team, he was named the week 3 "Player of the Week". He also contributed 4 home runs, 7 RBI's and a .935 OPS in the Filth's nine post-season games.
Peter Ross, already established as the ace of the Filth's pitching staff, lived up to his role as he enjoyed the finest season of his career. He posted a career best W/L record of 19-7 to go along with a career best 2.77 ERA. Other stats of note: .238 OAV, 1.17 WHIP, and a .342 SLG. He was steady throughout the season from start to finish, and in particular really stepped up in the post-season. In three post-season starts, he was 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Those were three of Fresno's four wins in the season 10 playoffs. Unfortunately, because the Filth were in such a tight race to clinch a post-season berth, there was no opportunity to set up the post-season rotation to maximize Peter's availability. They might have been able to make a deeper run had he been able to get two starts in the second round instead of one.
Congratulations to both Jayson and Peter for their outstanding contributions to the Filth's success in season 10.
Let's take a few moments to note all our other award winners for the Filth in season 10.
Major League All Stars: Peter Ross (SP) and Ramiro Mercado (RP)
Player of the Week: Jayson Mills (1B) - Week 3
Pitcher of the Week: Howard Bennett (SP) - Week 7
World Futures Team: Felipe Guillen (RP)
Major League Gold Gloves: Bill Romero (C) and Juan Pascual (3B)
AAA All Stars: Philip Hartman (RF) and Marcus Hogan (DH)
HiA All Stars: Patsy Locke (SP), Marc Cannon (SP) and Jason Kinney (SP)
HiA Gold Glove: Joe Norton (CF)
LoA All Stars: Felipe Guillen (RP) and Emmanuel Easley (SP)
Rookie All Stars: Adam Harris (SP)
One final footnote: congratulations also go out to both the Fresno HiA and LoA teams for winning their respective minor league World Series. Well done, boys.
Congratulations to all the Filth season 10 All-Stars and award winners.
Friday, January 30, 2009
The Mexico City Mystery? have reached the first checkpoint of season 9, the 27 game mark. Unfortunately, I forgot to capture a "snapshot" of that standings, so I had to recreate them for posting (above). After a quick start in which the Mystery? won eight of their first nine games, they ran into a bit of a team-wide slump in which they flattened out to fall to 14-13, three games behind the always tough Charleston Charge. Neither Little Rock nor Nashville appear to be a factor this season, so the AL South should be a two-team race providing that the Mystery? can quickly get their train back on the rails and headed in the right direction.
We will start our team update with the offense, who came out of the gate firing on all cylinders. The Mystery? have scored 163 runs (6.0 per game)in this first portion of the season, ranking fifth in all of Cooperstown in terms of runs scored. Center fielder Victor Rosado homered in his first three games of the season, and had 5 HR and 13 RBI in his first seven games before cooling off. He currently stands with season totals of (.229 AVG, 7 HR, 20 RBI). First baseman Nicholas Kirk is atoning for a poor season 8 by posting a (.282, 8, 23) record to date, and has also stolen 4 bases. Left fielder Lou Vosberg (.296, 4, 16) is leading the team with 24 runs scored, 34 base hits and 9 doubles. Catcher Kyle Stevens (.348, 4, 10) has been superb with a team leading .423 OBP and .934 OPS. And rookie right fielder Roger Montgomery (.245, 7, 21) has been solid, leading the team in walks, and has scored 21 runs and stolen five bases in six attempts.
The pitching staff, one of the strengths of the team in a disappointing season 8, has been a bit unsteady thus far in season 9. They've surrendered a total of 131 runs to date (4.85 per game), which ranks them 19th in all of Cooperstown in that category. Season 8 nineteen game winner Kevin James in particular has struggled greatly, with a record of (3-4, 6.75 ERA, .333 OAV, 1.71 WHIP) in his first seven starts. Southpaw Jerry LaRue has also struggled with a mark of (2-2, 5.05 ERA, .274 OAV, 1.63 WHIP). Earl Wheeler started strong with a record of (3-0, 2.48 ERA, .268 OAV, 1.31 WHIP) in five starts before being lost for the remainder of the season with an elbow injury. It will be interesting to see if he'll be able to regain his previous ratings when he returns next season at the age of 30. Slim Goldberg has shined in his first five starts with a record of (4-1, 2.65 ERA, .219 OAV, 0.97 WHIP). And rookie southpaw Al Martin has had both good and bad results in his three starts, posting a mark of (1-1, 4.50 ERA, .296 OAV, 1.83 WHIP). He looks to get a lot more work now with Wheeler gone for the season.
The bullpen has been very good through this first portion of the season. Closer Jack Bonds has been perfect in save opportunities (7 for 7) despite numbers of (5.06 ERA, .289 OAV, 1.59 WHIP in 10.2 IP over 12 appearances). Setup relievers Jose Aybar (0.00 ERA, .333 OAV, 1.50 WHIP in 6.0 IP, 11 appearances), Julian Mullens (1.42 ERA, .280 OAV, 1.42 WHIP in 6.1 IP, 10 appearances) and Tony Diaz (1.74 ERA, .167 OAV, 1.26 WHIP in 10.1 IP, 12 appearances) have been superb. Even long reliever Alex Martinez has been solid, posting a record of (3.07 ERA, .226 OAV, 1.30 WHIP in 14.2 IP, 10 appearances).
As was stated in the season 9 preview, there are high expectations for this team this season, so the quick start out of the gate was a promising sign. The recent slump is something that hopefully they can shake off pretty quickly. So far, there are no real reasons for concern as this still looks to be a season with many good things to come. It should be a fun ride.
Our next update will be at the 54 game mark.