Monday, September 30, 2013


New Britain
New Britain Bruins (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Dodgers Bruins took a step back with only 86 wins ,which was below my lofty 94 win prediction. And they even missed the playoffs. Perhaps it was just an off year or it could have been the poor pitching (4.81 ERA-23rd) . The good hitting (.277 BA-9th) and defense (79 errors, .987 FPct- 6th) kept them in games and it's why they finished above .500. New Britain did add some youngsters to the farm. They picked up Larry McCormick , Howie Sweeney and Vance Murphy in the draft and Kouhei Chang in the IFA market.Hitting and defense is still the mantra of the Bruins. Hamilton and Corbin are decent pitchers but not the upgrade the Bruins needed. New Britain will continue to outscore their opponents and could make the playoffs if the pitching shows up. PREDICTION:88-74

OUT:  Bernie Richard , Bob Hines , Albert Cabeza , Virgil Guerrero , Ed Corbin , Koji Martin , Chad Wood , Danny Chapman , Hipolito Maduro , Adam Hamilton

IN:  Vasco Morales , Freddie Long , Luis Rodriguez , Jumbo Xaio , Tomas Alvarez , Josh Stuart

DODGER'S PREVIEW:  The Bruin offense looks pretty much the same as last year. A full season of Gil Hartzel (.277/.333/.431 in 282 PA) will certainly help. Mark McCartney hopes to improve after a sophomore slump although he still produced 85 runs created and 3.2 War. Ardolis Guerra earned his second MVP award after a 11.0 War/153 runs created campaign. The rest of the gang didn’t take a step back so you can expect the offense to overall produce 870 runs.The Bruin defense was improved by trading for shortstop Josh Stuart. He’s a major upgrade and with McCartney should form an excellent keystone combination for many years to come.This is important because the Bruins missed a lot of opportunities to turn two last year (finishing below average. Overall the defense should be one of the top in AL once again.The pitching staff still features Miguel Blanco, who is upset he didn’t get the Cy Young after going 24-4 with 254 strikeouts in 255 innings. David Cabrera, and Ramiro Pena return for the rotation,but two new veteran faces (lefty Freddie Long, and 35 year old Tomas Alvarez). The bullpen has been almost totally remade with new closer Luis Rodriguez hopeful to keep the job over Vasco Morales and Kouhei Chang.The pitching staff/defense should take another baby step forward with a predicted 720 runs allowed. Overall, that should leave the Bruins with 96 win campaign and another #2 seed in the playoffs. This could be the year they win it all.

PREVIEW: Dodgers Bruins finished exactly as predicted in last years preview. They won the A L North and went into the playoffs as the #2 seed. I know jaw dropped at a team with only 88 wins got a 1st round bye. But thats the way this game is never know. New Britain took their good fortune and ran with it all the way to the N L championship series. There they lost in 7 games to a very good Cobra team. The great playoff run may be due to the good pitching (4.27 ERA, 133WHIP-12th) and defense (80 errors, .987FPct-7th).  The hitting (.264 BA-17th)  was the weak spot in last years team ,but still respectable. In the off-season Dodger let Richard, Hines, Cabeza and Guerrero go to free agency. He released Corbin, Martin and Wood and traded away Chapman, Maduro and Hamilton. With a few roster spots open Dodger signed free agents Morales, Long, Rodriguez, Xaio and Alvarez. He traded for Stuart and still has one spot left to fill. Dodger has 14 million in cap space so he has flexability in rounding out this years roster. He traded away a couple of really good players to land Stuart and he may be worth it. New Britain also strengthened the back end of the Bullpen and that should fix last years 17-21 record in one run games. I had my eye on free agent pitcher Tomas Alvarez as did Dodger. I think he will help out this years rotation. Dodger is the favorite to win the division but Fargo and the improved Misfits will be nipping at their Heels. PREDICTION:92-70

Fargo Prairie Dogs (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Nice job Aaronwayne. The P-Dogs lifted their leg and pissed on my 84 win prediction.The P-Dogs won 95 games last year with good hitting (.274 BA-12th) and great pitching (4.24 ERA- 7th). Imagine how good this team would be with a little better fielding? (103 Errors-18th). Still ,Fargo went into the playoffs as the #2 seed, and after a first round bye. The P-dogs ran into the road and were flattened by the #6 seeded Cobras.Fargo lost some pitching but replaced them with free agents and a trade. He promoted a young infielder who is not ready for SS but can play any other position. This is pretty much the same group of P-Dogs that made a great run last year. Look for them to be the front runner in the A L North but the Bruins are closing the gap. PREDICTION:93-69

OUT:  Patrick Miller , Mike Tewksbury , Victor Medrano , Al Pineda , Fausto Castro , Cedrick Meyers , Ryan Monroe , Zeus Butler

IN:  Harry Suarez , William Wieters , Virgil Ramirez , Ivan Henriquez , Raul Castillo , Harry Ontiveros , Steve Teahen , Edgardo Alvarez

PREVIEW:  The P-dogs were the favorites to win this divsion but were overtaken and trampled by the Bruins. Finishing with only 80 wins last year. It demolished my prediction of a 93 win season and Aarons playoff hopes. Aaronwayne had good hitting (.280 BA-8th) and defense (90 errors,.986 FPct-10th)but it couldn't overcome the average pitching (4.70 ERA, 1.45 WHIP-20th). In the off-season Aaron let Miller, Tewksbury, Medrano, Pineda and Castro go to free agency and released Meyers. Then he traded away Monroe and Butler to Tampa. With a bunch of holes to fill Aaron signed free agents Suarez, Wieters, Ramirez, Henriquez, Castillo, Ontiveros and Teahen. I won't spend much time on the guys that left, most were mid-season fill-ins. But I will point out the trading of a young super-closer and future FOY pitcher Butler, will be missed in the bullpen. Maybe the promotion of Efrain Willits last year made him expendable. Aaron spent about 30 million on free agents and most are solid veterans. Most of the signings were in his biggest need....Pitching. I like the direction the P-Dogs are heading and Fargo has 18 million in cap space for flexability. I think Aarons P-dogs rebound from last years average season and vie for the AL North title. PREDICTION:91-71

Minnesota Misfits (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  Yep....PB's Misfits are in a re-build. So 60 wins was about right and they get the 2nd pick in this years draft. Last year PB picked up Ralph Barrett and Bob Harding in the first round of the draft and signed IFA Eswalin Lee. They should help Minnesota in the future with their Pitching and Defense. Last year the Misfits were expected to have terrible pitching (5.69 ERA-29th) defense (112 errors, .981 FPct-23rd) . But the average hitting was a pleasant suprise (.272 BA-17th). They are who they are......Misfits. These loveable collection of players remind me of the Athletics. Can they play like their real life counterparts? It's possible but unlikly in this number generated world. PREDICTION: 65-97

OUT:  Trent Wise , Barney Livingstone , Hipolito Ordaz , Jacob Clayton , Bump Tyson , J.T. Stevenson

IN: Jesus James , Tommy Peterman , Aaron Wells , William Resop , Olmedo Franco , Randy Rogers

PBSILVERS PREVIEW:  Well, my team's better than expected performance last season impelled me to go out and find some pitching.So I traded for Tommy Peterman, Aaron Wells and Randy Rogers. And signed FA Jesus James. Gave up SS Bump Tyson's bat to use a better defensive SS and traded for Olmedo Franco to get a little more power.If past season are any indication what will probably happen is that my batters won't bat nearly as well as last season and my new pitchers will either have subpar seasons or get injured. But I had to give it a shot!

PREVIEW:  Pbsilvers affable collection of players suprised me and the league with 79 wins. While they didn't make the playoffs,It's safe to say that PB got the most out of this team. The Misfits had the 3rd ranked hitting team (.286 BA) and below average pitching (5.13 ERA-27th) and defense (101 errors, .983FPct-22nd). In the off-season Pbsilver re-signed Chris Everett and let Wise, Livingstone and Ordaz go to free agency. He released Clayton and traded away Tyson and Stevenson. With many holes to plug Pbsilver signed free agent pitcher James to a big contract and traded for Peterman, Wells, Resop, Franco and Rogers. While writing this preview the Misfits had their first major injury Rafael Uribe. That seems to be the Misfits luck! PB went out and spent alot of cash on James and traded for some very good players. It's apparent that he is going for it, in true Chevy Chase fashion. I like the additions to this years Minnesota team and think they have a good shot at winning the division.PREDICTION:89-73

Chicago Black Sox (AL)
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LAST YEARS PREVIEW:  I was very optimistic on my prediction of 81 wins after I said it would be a long year in Chicago. But it was a very long and disappointing year with only 66 wins. And I know disappointment ,my team won only 67. Surprisingly, Last year the Black Sox had very good hitting (.281 BA-6th) . But the hole in the toe of the Sox was the horrible pitching (5.77 ERA-30th) and defense (124 errors, .979-30th). Hacker did pick up 3 first round draft picks ( Addison Moss , Alex Phillips , Philip Darwin) so it wasn't a unproductive season.Here comes the Black Sox...They brought in a solid SP in free agency and promoted some young studs. Three of which will help out the defensive woes . Hackers payroll is 111 million and he still has 14 million in cap space. In a nutshell, Hacker improved his defense and pitching and still has a great offense. This team will win 20 more games than last year and if he picks up a really good pitcher or two during the season..... Who knows how good the Black Sox will be? Right now they are...PREDICTION:86-76

OUT:  Chip Wilson , Cyrus Bottalico , Hiram Sweeney , Chris Montgomery , Justin Wallace , Steve Davis 

IN:  Todd Garcia , Koji Martin , Ryan Olshan

PREVIEW:  The Blacksox were a better team last year but my 20 win improvement prediction was Optimistic. They won 10 more games with the worst defense in Wrigleyville (129 errors,.979 FPct-32nd). The piching was below average (4.98 ERA,1.96 WHIP-25th) and hitting was about average (.263 BA-18th). In the off-season Hacker let Wilson, Bottalico and Sweeney go to free agency. And Montgomery, Wallace and Davis were released. With just a couple gaps in the line-up Hacker signed free agents Garcia, Martin and Olshan . The biggest story in Chicago was the signing of Olshan. He got a 10 million dollar signing bonus with a 3 year 30 million dollar contract. Lots of money for a below average defensive Catcher. But the guy can hit and would make a wonderful DH. Overall Hacker improved the hitting and pitching, but the defense will lead them into darkness. It will be Dark, Dark days for the Blacksox. PREDICTION:78-84  

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