Thursday, September 27, 2012


Durham BullShippers (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  The Bullshippers won the Division with a winning record so thats an improvment from last season. Last years preview I was concerned about Durhams lack of scoring when they were in hitter friendly Sante Fe.The move to Durham is still a hitter friendly park but not as extreme as Sante Fe. So the fact that Wishlist was able to score 69 more runs probably was a main factor in a winning season.Looks like Wish is making a move by bringing in a ton of talent. Not only will Durham win this division they will be a force in the post season. The N L South just became respectable. PREDICTION:91-71

OUT: Benito Ozuna , Jose Bonilla , Emmanuel Caseres

IN: Chad Catalanotto , Eswalin Ordonez , Juan Durazo

PREVIEW: My prediction of the Bullshippers division title was spot on but they were not a post-season force.Which suprisingly made me happy, seeing how the Bullshippers lost to my Totems. Wishlists defensive team is second only to Salem with only 78 errors and this makes the pitching staff(3.92 ERA-8th) look very nice..indeed! The only chink in the Durham armour is the hitting(.261 BA-19th) but that is easily fixed. In the offseason Wishlist re-signed Clarence Christiansen then let Ozuna,Bonilla and Caseres go to free agency. To plug the holes Wish signed free agents Catalanotto,Ordonez and Durazo. Looks like Ozuna got too old for Wish's liking and he brought in a younger Catalanotto. This may help the Bullshippers score more runs and finally get over the hump. PREDICTION:95-67

Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Stars (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  No suprise here. Nelig is now in his 4th season as the skipper of the Tampa Bay Stars and he continues to add youngsters to the farm system. Like 4 first round draft prospects( Wayne Howard , Denny Satou, Hector Mercado , Brian Jackson) and a IFA (Welington Fernandez).So with only 69 wins last year, Nelig will get the #6 draft choice in this years draft .Tampa Bay is still a work in progress and will be coasting this season. Perhaps the waiver wire pickups will land them some future comp picks and this team will look to add another nice prospect in the draft. Right now they may win 80 games.PREDICTION 77-85

OUT: Brady Sefcik , Joe Cunnane , Charles Ramsey , Miguel Martis , Aurelio Mercado

IN: Odalis Mota , Mark Phillips , Emil Aguilar , Wayne Danks , Ricardo Lima

PREVIEW: Nelig Stars won 82 games last year which surpassed my prediction. Tampa Bay has a bunch of young talent and they played well with the waiver wire pickups. The pitching staff (3.58 ERA-4th) was the of the Stars. Which helped overcome a woeful defense (.981 FPct-30th) and hitting (.250 BA-27th) squads.Imagine how good this pitching staff would be with some defense...its scary. In the offseason Nelig re-signed Tarrik Francis then let Sefick,Cunnane,Ramsey and Martis go to free agency. The last player to go was Mercado, getting released outright. With just a few roster spots to fill, Nelig claimed Mota off the wire and signed free agent Phillips. Then he promoted Aguilar,picked up Danks in the R-5, and traded for Lima. The addition of Lima will help the struggling defense but Phillips defensive range has fallen so much, he should be in LF. The great Tampa pitching will try to keep them in the game and it could be enough for a playoff spot.PREDICTION:84-78

Jackson Black Bears (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Olemiss and his Jackson Black Bears were worse than my prediction of 100 losses. So he is taking full advantage of a no minimum win rule and the Black Bears will have yet another #1 overall pick. Last year Olemiss added #1 overall pick Jerry Myette to the farm system while adding IFA prospects Carlos Wilfredo and Oswaldo Veras.With the promotion of 3 young studs the Black Bears are a better team, but not good enough to reach .500. I don't think they will lose 111 games but 90 losses could be their future. Olemiss will pick up some more tasty prospects and the farm teams will be hard to beat.PREDICTION: 65-97

OUT: Nigel Hasegawa , Hal Middlebrook , Mike Melfi , Dwight Webster , Junior Maeda , Justin Sweeney , Freddy Lawrence , Danys Megias , Ben Borland , Danny Montana

IN: Chris Yacko , Roberto Cedeno , Jim Caufield , Oswaldo Veras , Rick Prince , Mule Crawford , Carson Bellinger , James Mills , Bruce Montgomery , Fritz Reddick , Sal McDonald , Apollo McNamara

PREVIEW: The Black Bears were better than my prediction and this is good for Olemiss and the league.Jackson won 73 games last year with average pitching (4.33 ERA-14th), below average defense(.982 FPct-24th) and the worst hitting club (.246 BA-32nd) in Wrigleyville. In the offseason Olemiss re-signed Carson Bellinger then let Hasegawa,Middlebrook and Webster go to free agency. Then he released Maeda,Sweeny,Lawrence,Megias,Borland,Montana and Melfi. With most of last years team gone, Olemiss signed free agents Yacko,Cedeno and Caufield. He promoted Veras,Prince,Crawford,Bellinger then picked up Mills,Montgomery,Reddick,McDonald and Mcnamara in the R-5 draft. Gentlemen, the Black Bears are on their way back to contention. 3 young prospects got the Callup and the rest of the roster is a mix of R-5 players and low level free agents. While this team is not ready for prime time yet. The next few years will be good for Jackson Fans and trouble for us.PREDICTION:78-84

Austin City Limits (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: Wylies Austin City Limits did have a winning season but just not quite enough to win the division of illrepute. I was wrong about the hiring of a rookie Fielding coach. Austin had one of the best defensive units in all of Wrigleyville(85 Errors,405 Double Plays,.986 Fielding Percentage).Makes me think coaching is not very significant?? Austin also had the 4th best offensive team(.280 team BA) and a average pitching team(4.14 team ERA). So I'm at a loss to why the City Limits only had a .500 record.Maybe it has to do with the fact they were 18-23 in one run games. If that was switched around to 23-18 they would be 87-75 and division champs.With only a couple roster spots open Wylie signed free agent Volquez and picked up Blackburn and Chamberlain in the R-5.This team is good and talented and they should finish with more than 82 wins. Perhaps luck didn't go their way in 1 run games. This year may be the breakout year were waiting for.PREDICTION:90-72

OUT: Clayton Bragg , Chad Wilson , David Pineda , J.P. Mendez

IN: Mike Freeman , Juan Castillo , Jeffrey Moreno , Shaggy Castillo , Slim Coleman , Greg Osterbrock , Olmedo Franco

PREVIEW: It wasn't the breakout year I had hoped for. It was a breakdown year.The City limits finished with 73 wins, far below my prediction. If it wasn't for the 5th ranked defense(.985 FPct-5th) the season could have been worse. The hitting (.272 BA-11th) was decent but the culprit to last seasons decline was the pitching (4.69 ERA-21st). In the offseason Wylie let Bragg,Wilson,Pineda go to free agency, then traded away Mendez. With a couple spots open in the roster, Wylie claimed Freeman and J Castillo off the wire and signed free agents Moreno and S Castillo. Then he picked up Coleman, Osterbrock in the R-5 and traded for Franco. Wylie knows it was "THE Pitching" so he brought in some new arms. Some will be here for awhile, others like the R-5 guys, won't last. Look for Wylie to either promote some pitchers or make some deals early in the season. Right now this team is about 500 with some potential.PREDICTION:81-81

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