Saturday, March 30, 2013


Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Stars (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Stars finished below my prediction and maybe I was a little optimistic that the pitching could overcome the hitting and defense. Last year the pitching fell off to a team ERA of 4.27,which was ranked 14th overall. And the hitting (.246 team BA-30th) was again near the bottom, but the defense did improve to 16th overall with a FPct of .984 with 96 errors.It's a step in the right direction and this team should improve. This team could win this division now that Durham has sold off some talent. PREDICTION: 84-78

OUT: Rafael Pimentel , Gail Phillips , Jae Yamaguchi , Carson Tobin

IN: Harry Suarez , Juan Pena , Matty Guerrero , Javier Veras

PREVIEW: Neligs Stars are the division champs, and it took 6 seasons to get this team back atop the division. I know this is a weak division but this team is improving every season. They won 83 games with great pitching (3.70 team ERA-4th) and average defense (88 errors, .986 FPct-14th). The hitting wasn't very good (.257 team BA-27th) and may need some help next year. In the post-season Tampa Bay upset last years Champs in the first round, but fell to this years Champs in the DCS. In the off-season, Nelig let Pimentel, Phillips and Yamaguchi go to free agency and released Tobin. He signed free agents Suarez, Pena, Guerrero and Veras to fill the holes. Nelig lost some pitching to free agency but went out and signed some good replacements like Suarez. Nothing was done about the lack of offense but the pitching may overcome that deficiency.PREDICTION:85-77

Jackson Black Bears (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Blackbears finished pretty close to last years prediction with 77 wins. Jackson is excited about the direction the team took last year and so is Olemiss. Last year the Blackbears improved their hitting (.256 team BA-24th), while the pitching (4.42 team ERA-19th) and defense (.981 FPct-25th) remained the same.This is a tough preview because of the unknowns. Olemiss signed a bunch of low level ML guys in free agency. And he has a ton of talent in AAA ready for the callup. I think the free agents are just a temporary fix until after the 20 games have been played. Then Olemiss can call up the prospects and save a year on thier Major League clock. Thats just my guess?? PREDICTION: 85-77 if he calls up prospects.

OUT: Lucas Myers , Edgar Guzman , Ricardo Jacquez , Kelvin George , Victor Guerrero

IN: Jacob Takahashi , Hayes Reimold , Cristian Satou , Carlos Castilla , Ricky Sonnanstine

PREVIEW: Haven't looked yet wheather Olemiss called up his prospects. Regardless, the Blackbears never made it to my 85 win prediction. Jackson won 71 games with Cub like hitting (..249 team BA-30th) and defense (113 errors, .981 FPct-25th). The pitching was about average (4.46 team ERA-17th),so all isn't lost. In the off-season Da Black Bears lost Myers to free agency and released Guzman, Jaquez, George and Guerrero. And now here comes the youngsters. Olemiss promoted Takahashi, Reimold, Satou, Castilla and Sonnanstine. Ahhh the Black Bears have awoken from a long hibernation. With the call-up of some very good prospects this team will improve . The future looks bright for Olemiss and the Black Bears. They are my Darkhorse pick this year. They may win this division.PREDICTION:90-72

Austin City Limits (NL)
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It looked bleak last season so Wylie raised the white flag and pulled the plug on his faltering team mid-season. While it wasn't a fire sale he did ship off several players for prospects. This means that last years stats are pretty much useless in gauging this team. But Wylie will get this team right soon with some luck.Looks like Wylie will try and get the City Limits going again with free agents, a prospect and 2 R-5 guys. Can he win this division?? It's possible in the weaker N L South . But the odds are long and Wylie may get another anvil on the head.I hope I'm wrong.PREDICTION:75-87

OUT: Shaggy Castillo , Koyie Schoeneweis , Omar Hartman , Hector Ruth , Rod Riggs

IN: Stan Knight , Al Zerbe , Luis Gil , Jair Arias , Dante Swindell , Ahmad Mills , Kenny Byrne

PREVIEW: INCOMING!! another Anvil just hit Wylie on the skull. Like I said last year ,I hope this team plays well. But the City Limits could only win 61 games. Last season Austin had below average hitting (.258 team BA-25th) , terrible pitching (5.16 team ERA-28th) and terrible defense (129 errors, .979 FPct). In the off-season Wylie let Castillo go to free agency, then he released Schoeneweis and Hartman. He traded Ruth to Washington and lost Riggs on the Waiver Wire. With several gaps in the roster ,Wylie signed free agent Knight, Zerbe, Gil and Arias and promoted Swindell. He grabbed Mills in the R-5 and added Byrne in the Washington trade. Wylie improved his middle defense with Knight and Mills will be good in LF, but Arias's weak glove in CF will be a problem.The bat of Byrne will help score more runs but he's a DH playing on a NL team. On the upside , the pitching will be better. PREDICTION:68-94

Durham BullShippers (NL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW: The Bullshippers finished below my prediction but still won the division with 88 wins. Durham took the tough Coat Factories to a 5th game in the first round of the playoffs, but lost. Wishlist's guys had a good year with good pitching (4.05 team ERA-8th) and average defense (94 team errors-14th). The hitting was average also with a team BA of .267 ranking 16th in Wrigleyville.The trades brought in Nathan, Stults, Lima, Reyes, Sanchez, Tapies and West. This was a major overhaul thru trades and Durham got younger and lowered their overall salaries by 40+ million. It will be nice if it works. Right now I think some more prospects need to cook to make the playoffs.PREDICTION:81-81

OUT: Bobby Garland , Shane Ryal , Jose Bonilla , Herm Harris , Rico Mateo , Eswalin Ordonez , James Lee

IN: Wiki Ordonez , Rick Reagan , Terrence Munoz , Gary Stern

PREVIEW: The Bullshippers lost the race for the worst record and the first pick in the draft. But picking 3rd is pretty good. Last year Wishlists guys had below average pitching (4.91 team ERA-23rd) . Durham also had terrible hitting (.249 team BA-29th) and defense (118 errors, .980 FPct). In the off-season, Wishlist let Garland, Ryal, Bonilla, Harris, Mateo and E Ordonez go to free agency and released Lee. Wishlist claimed  W Ordonez off the wire and signed free agents Reagan and Munoz. He traded for Stern to round out the roster.Durham has alot of talent at the ML level. They will not be in the basement if they play up to there ability. Look for this team to make a great turn around this year.PREDICTION:75-87

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