Sunday, May 26, 2013

Season 12 Pre-Season Power Rankings

Spring training is under way in Season 12 and the off-season player acquisition period has ended.  With the regular season just around the corner, now is good time to take our best shot at ranking the teams going into the season.  Some big trades were made, and a few nice free agents were signed.  Nonetheless, the # 1 team still remains Oklahoma City, who looks poised for another strong season, continuing their streak of being # 1 in every edition of the rankings produced.  Let's see how the rest of the rankings fall.  Good luck to everyone in moving up once the season starts!

Season 11

Team  W L Comments
1 Oklahoma City 120 42 No reason to think they won't be stellar again
2 Louisville 105 57 Will they challenge OKC for the division title?
3 Buffalo  88 74 Defending champs will be on everyone's radar
4 New Britain  98 64 Well balanced team should be a contender again
5 Little Rock  99 63 Another strong team all around, looking good
6 Vancouver  90 72 Always looking good with Hurst leading the way
7 Augusta  93 69 Added SP Singleton, will offense improve?
8 Pawtucket  96 66 Offense is amazing, pitching is a question mark
9 Cincinnati 94 68 Added RP Coleman, should be improved
10 Rochester 83 79 Signed #1 FA Lampkin,will bats come through?
11 Boston  83 79 Pretty solid overall, should be a contender
12 Dover  91 71 Good offense, pitching is just ok
13 Philadelphia 82 80 Injuries a factor last season, should be solid
14 Seattle 86 76 Great pitching, but offense sputtered last year
15 Tacoma  84 78 Will they get enough offense in pitcher's park?
16 Monterrey 85 77 Stellar offense, we'll see about the pitching
17 Tampa Bay 84 78 In very tough division and offense looks suspect
18 Memphis  81 81 Amongst the best in pitching, but needs offense
19 Salem 82 80 Offense holds them back from being higher
20 Helena 76 86 Pretty balanced team, yet not spectacular
21 Chicago (NL) 82 80 Another team where the bats were lacking
22 Chicago (AL) 71 91 Adding Huang should help a staff that struggled
23 Burlington 68 94 Move to pitcher friendly park should help
24 Indianapolis 73 89 Moving from Durham, hard to read this team
25 New York  72 90 Pitching was rough last year, so we'll see
26 Colorado 64 98 Offense should be very good, pitching, not sure
27 Las Vegas 56 106 Organization is moving in the right direction
28 Nashville  58 104 Horrible pitching last year, should improve
29 Detroit 59 103 Added some pitching, which was much needed
30 Texas  78 84 Great offense, has anyone seen the owner?
31 Boise 50 112 New ownership should be a big plus in this rebuild
32 Portland  61 101 Still in rebuild mode, but improving

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Season 12 Free Agency Preview

Season 12 is thankfully under way, and it's time to start this season's blog coverage with a preview of Free Agency.  Overall, this class is not elite, the big franchise changing players just aren't available this season.  We'd grade the class overall at about a C-.  Nonetheless, there are still some players out there who can help teams, so it's not a complete loss.  Here are our picks for the top 10 free agents for Season 12.

1. Steve Lampkin, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.73 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  5 years, $75 million

Possible Destinations:  Colorado, Cincinnati, Chicago (NL), Nashville

Signed with Rochester - 5 years, $80.5 million

In a relatively weak Free Agent class, Lampkin stands out as one of the few impact players available.  The three-time all-star is good for 200+ innings per year, with plus ratings across the board.  He has the potential to improve on his career ERA, and we consider him a low-end #1 starter or a strong #2.  He will greatly help the rotation of whomever he lands with.  

2. Zachrey Coleman, 30, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat:  3.57 career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $36 million

Possible Destinations:  Oklahoma City, Louisville, Nashville, Helena

Signed with Cincinnati - 4 years, $24 million

When an RP comes in at #2 on the list of best free agents, it’s not a great class, but Coleman is still a quality RP who has shown he can go 100+ quality innings of relief.  Again, plus ratings across the board, except effectiveness vs. LH and a weak 2nd pitch, but we don’t see that holding him back from being a huge addition to some team’s bullpen. 

3. Jay Borbon, 31, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 2.97 career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $36 million

Possible Destinations:  Vancouver, Oklahoma City, Rochester, New Britain

Signed with Nashville - 4 years, $39.6 million

Another RP!  Borbon has better ratings than Coleman, pretty much no weaknesses, but can’t throw nearly as many innings, which drops him below.  Still, the 6 time all-star and 2 time fireman of the year will continue to be a lights-out closer, wherever he lands.  

4. Jody Moore, 28, C
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat:  .857 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $20 million

Possible Destinations:  Colorado, Chicago (AL), Chicago (NL), New Britain

Signed with Colorado - 5 years, $52.5 million

The top rated offensive player of this free agent class, Moore is a solid bat, that will improve a lineup with his solid across the board hitting ratings, and on top of that, he’s not a bad defensive catcher, although hardly elite.  He’s also only 28, so he’s got a lot of good years ahead.  He’ll be a nice piece for whoever signs him, albeit he won’t be one to single handedly turn around a franchise.   

5. Brandon Cuyler, 31, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: Great overall player
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $60 million

Possible Destinations:  Tampa Bay, Memphis, Philadelphia, Chicago (NL)

Signed with Seattle - 4 years, $53 million

In such a weak free agent market, Cuyler may be able to cash in big time thanks to his defensive skill set, combined with good hitting.  In no way, shape or form should he be playing shortstop, but is a plus third baseman with good speed.  His hitting ratings look good on the surface, but a poor batting eye may be holding him back, his last two seasons have been a struggle, but still he’ll be a nice add for the team that lands him. 

6. Michael Huang, 33, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.57 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $56 million

Possible Destinations:  Augusta, Texas, Monterrey , Chicago (AL)

Signed with Chicago (AL) - 3 years, $16.8 million

Huang is solid, dependable arm that would make a nice #3 or #4 starter on a good team.  His ratings don’t overwhelm you, but his last three seasons look solid, so it seems he still has some value, especially in this free agent class.  He’ll be a nice consolation prize for a team that can’t land Lampkin, and he won’t cost you a first round pick. 

7. Khoury Henderson, 32, 1B
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: .874 career OPS
Salary Over/Under:  3 years, $15 million

Possible Destinations:  Tampa Bay, Seattle, Colorado, Memphis

Signed with Oklahoma City - 5 years, $44.3 million

Henderson is possibly the best pure hitter in this free agent class.   He didn’t suffer a dramatic decrease during the offseason, but age is still a concern, as well as durability.  Still, with high plus ratings across the board hitting wise, he’ll be a good asset at 1B or DH for the next 2-3 seasons, and the type B designation is a small price to pay. 

8. Elvis Singleton, 34, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.13 career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  3 years, $40 million

Possible Destinations:  Colorado, Texas, Helena, Pawtucket

Signed with Augusta - 3 years,  $21.4 million

Singleton is a durable hurler, who can get you 200+ innings easily.  His splits aren’t great and he doesn’t throw hard.  His pitch arsenal doesn’t jump out.  Basically he is a #3 or #4 type that may go for more than he’s worth, given the lack of quality arms available this season, but still will be a nice add that should improve a rotation. 

9. Wil Skinner, 32, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 100+ IP potential
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $10 million

Possible Destinations:  Louisville, Monterrey, Texas, Indianapolis

Signed with Detroit - 2 years, $10.4 million

Skinner is an extremely durable reliever with decent splits, and good pitches and control.  He could easily toss 100 IP for you as a setup A guy.  He doesn’t throw hard and is average at keeping the ball down, which is a slight concern, and has had some pretty shaky seasons, but all-in-all is a solid reliever that could improve most bullpens. 

10. Nicholas Johnstone, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.95 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $44 million

Possible Destinations:  Colorado, Augusta, Nashville, Philadelphia

Signed with Detroit - 4 years, $30 million

Johnstone wouldn’t make the top 10 list in most seasons, but just squeezes into this one.  He has great control, is extremely durable, is good against lefties, and keeps the ball down fairly well.  His pitch arsenal is good, but not outstanding.  He is mediocre against righties which is a big concern, but given his past history should do well in a pitcher’s park and could be a serviceable #4 or high-end #5 otherwise, but he will cost you a draft pick.