Thursday, January 28, 2016

Season 21 Preseason Power Rankings

A new season will begin soon in Kenny Powers, as spring training rolls along, so it's time to kickoff Season 21 blog coverage with the Preseason Power Rankings!  For some, the rankings will establish high expectations to live up to, for others it will provide bulletin board material to prove their ranking wrong (it has happened before, believe it or not!)

At the top of the rankings is your defending champion Richmond.  No, they don't get it automatically for winning last season's World Series, our rating system likes their roster the best.  The next 3 teams are all from the NL, Chicago, Buffalo and Oklahoma City.  It looks like the NL is going to be quite tough this season, if our rating system is on point (highly debatable).  Rounding out the top 5 is New Britain, relinquishing the #1 spot after seven straight times holding the top spot.  If it's any consolation, they're still the top team in the AL.

Good luck to everyone this season, whether it be in living up to your high ranking, our proving you were ranked far too low!  Here are the complete rankings!

Starting Relief
Season 20 Pitching Pitching Hitting Fielding 
Team  W L Rank Rank Rank Rank
1 Richmond 88 74 6 6 1 3
2 Chicago 87 75 1 9 7 27
3 Buffalo  89 73 17 2 2 14
4 Oklahoma City 98 64 15 8 4 14
5 New Britain  101 61 5 17 6 20
6 Wichita 79 83 2 16 15 20
7 Detroit 90 72 4 5 13 29
8 Syracuse 85 77 19 3 8 14
9 Louisville 74 88 8 23 10 3
10 Las Vegas 92 70 20 1 12 3
11 Boise 80 82 12 27 5 24
12 Huntington 88 74 14 4 16 1
13 Tampa Bay 83 79 21 26 2 9
14 Jacksonville 82 80 7 11 18 6
15 Atlanta 94 68 3 13 19 27
16 Seattle 90 72 11 14 17 9
17 Tucson 83 79 9 7 22 9
18 Pittsburgh 80 82 23 24 9 29
19 New York 81 81 13 15 22 9
20 Honolulu 89 73 18 19 21 6
21 Helena 86 76 23 21 20 9
22 St. Louis 79 83 25 28 14 20
23 Rochester 69 93 22 20 25 2
24 Durham 80 82 31 12 24 6
25 Cleveland 67 95 32 29 11 14
26 New Orleans 64 98 26 22 28 25
27 Iowa City 51 111 27 25 26 29
28 Burlington 61 101 29 10 30 29
29 Charlotte 50 112 30 30 27 14
30 Oakland 91 71 16 18 31 25
31 Nashville  74 88 28 32 29 20
32 Boston 87 75 10 31 32 14

Friday, January 22, 2016

Season 21 Free Agency Preview

Season 21 has begun in Kenny Powers, and it's time to kick off this season's blog coverage with the Free Agency Preview!  Overall, it's not the greatest free agency class by any means, probably what we'll be looking at in MLB the next couple of off-seasons.  Still, there's some nice players to be had, so let's see who made this season's Top Free Agents!

1. Carlos Guzman, 28, 1B
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: .857 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $48 million

Possible Destinations: Rochester, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Chicago

Signed with New York - 4 years, $19.8 million

Guzman doesn't have the flash that a #1 Free Agent usually has, but he has a lot going for him.  He has outstanding splits, and very good contact, power and batting eye.  The former Futures Game MVP hit .340 last season with an OPS of .925 showing he has more upside than his overall career numbers.  At just age 28, he has several more quality seasons ahead, and he won't cost a draft pick with his Type B designation.

2. Darron Lamb, 30, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.50 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $55 million

Possible Destinations: Boston, Tampa Bay, Tucson, Burlington

Signed with Boston - 5 years, $45.5 million

Lamb isn't going to be the staff ace on a top contender, but he still has solid qualities that can help most rotations, and his attributes appear to indicate he's better than his 4.50 career ERA.  He has outstanding control, great velocity, and is strong vs. RH batters.  His pitch quality is a bit of a concern, and perhaps what keeps him from being elite, but he should still provide a lot of quality innings, and at age 30, shouldn't enter his decline phase any time soon.

3. Vasco Correa, 29, LF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 294 career HR
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $46 million

Possible Destinations: Boston, Rochester, Tampa Bay, Boise

Signed with Chicago - 5 years, $36.5 million ($31 million guaranteed)

The Season 15 AL MVP put up 50+ HR and 130+ RBI in his first three full seasons, and then regressed slightly his last three seasons.  Still, there's little question that he still has an extremely powerful bat and will continue to launch bombs in Kenny Powers for seasons to come.  His splits and batting eye are pretty solid, but his contact is average,  so he will strike out a lot, but will be a nice asset for a team looking for a power bat.

4. Jesus Torcato, 31, LF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .852 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $39 million

Possible Destinations: Rochester, Boston, Oklahoma City, Tampa Bay

Signed with Louisville - 4 years, $29.5 million

Torcato's combination of great batting eye, tremendous speed and baserunning ability and good contact make him a beast near the top of the lineup, even at age 31.  He has some nice power in his bat too.  Effectiveness vs. LHP is a bit of a weakness of his, but is otherwise strong.  Age and draft pick compensation land him at #4, but you could make an argument for him being higher and he will be a prize for whatever team lands him for sure.

5. Vladimir Pimentel, 30, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.23 career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $44 million

Possible Destinations: Rochester, Oklahoma City, Louisville, Boise

Signed with Iowa City - 3 years, $17.4 million

Pimentel is a workhorse righty with top tier control and elite velocity.  His split against RH'ers is good but not great, and is just average against lefties.  He has three very good pitches, yet none of them are really outstanding.  Despite some holes in his arsenal, Pimentel is still a quality SP who won't be an ace, but will be a very good add if you're looking for a middle to back end of the rotation type of SP.

6. Bo Edmonds, 32, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.70 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $27 million

Possible Destinations: Syracuse, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Tucson

Signed with Chicago - 5 years, $26 million ($22.1 million guaranteed)

There's little doubt that Bo knows Pitching.  He has elite control and two outstanding pitches, to go with excellent velocity and an ability to keep the ball down.  His splits are also very good.  He could be a great closer candidate for most teams, even though he wasn't used in that capacity his last three seasons in Tucson.  However he is used, he will certainly be an upgrade for some team's bullpen.

7. Omar Valentin, 30, DH
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .796 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $26 million

Possible Destinations: Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Detroit

Signed with Chicago - 5 years, $11.4 million ($9.7 million guaranteed)

There's no denying that Valentin is an outstanding hitter, however his limited fielding abilities probably suit him to be a DH in the AL, as he may be a liability at 1B or C.  Still, there are a lot of things to like about him.  He has elite contact skills, an excellent batting eye and very good splits, to go with about 20 HR power.  He'll be a good fit for some lineup and will certainly be a tough out at the plate.

8. Jimmy Fox, 33, RF
No Designation
Key Stat: .892 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $23 million

Possible Destinations: Seattle, Buffalo, Oklahoma City, Detroit

Signed with Syracuse - 4 years, $48 million ($37.2 million guaranteed)

Even though Fox is 33 this season, he can definitely still rake.  He has a top tier batting eye, excellent splits, very good contact and nice power.  He probably is the best grab on offense in free agency looking at this season alone, but age related regression seems to be right around the corner for him. He can play a serviceable RF still, but is probably a reach at 3B.  Still, he has a couple of a very good seasons left at the plate, so he could have great value for teams in win-now mode.

9. Yorman Vincente, 36, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.45 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $21 million

Possible Destinations: Boston, Buffalo, Atlanta, Detroit

Signed with Wichita - 2 years, $6 million

This stud lefty reliever has 2 elite pitches, outstanding control, and good splits.  He can be a workhorse in the bullpen still, even at age 36, capable of providing 100+ quality innings.   Age is a bit of a concern with him, but he should have 2-3 more very good seasons left in him.  There's little doubt that he will be a big boost to the bullpen for some team this season.

10. Wilkin Ozuna, 33, SP
No Designation
Key Stat: 4.09 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $16 million

Possible Destinations: Syracuse, Jacksonville, Chicago, Louisville

Signed with Durham - 2 years, $4 million

Although he mostly pitched out of the pen for Honolulu the last 3 seasons, Ozuna looks to have the ability to be a decent middle to back-end of the rotation type SP.  He has outstanding control, a very good pitch arsenal, and can keep the ball down.  His splits are fairly mediocre, particular vs. LH batters, but should be able to eat up a lot of innings with pretty good numbers.  He's likely worth a look for teams with an SP need.

11. Ubaldo Jose, 34, RP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.18 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $10 million

Possible Destinations: Seattle, Toronto, New Britain, Jacksonville

Signed with Jacksonville - 1 year, $4.8 million

Jose is a solid RP with similar attributes to others in the market, outstanding control and pitches, and keeps the ball down.  His RH split is good, but vs. LH batters he is less effective.  Still, the pros outweigh the cons and he'd be a nice addition to a lot of bullpens.  Using him as a closer wouldn't be a reach at all.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Season 20 Wrap Up - Richmond takes the Crown!

Richmond Manamfasha (NL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
Richmond is your Season 20 Champion!

In a most interesting World Series matchup, the #4 seed in the NL, Richmond, defeated the #6 seed out of the AL, Detroit in 5 games to take home the Season 20 Championship in Kenny Powers.  Richmond breezed through the first two rounds, sweeping Honolulu and Oklahoma City to make the NLCS, in which they took down Las Vegas in a hard fought six game battle.   The momentum from the big NLCS win led to 5 game win to take the Kenny Powers crown.  The key to Richmond's championship run was pitching, posting an incredible 2.40 team ERA in the playoffs.  Cy Young winner Norberto Morales continued his epic season going 5-0 in 6 starts with a microscopic 0.84 ERA.  Glen Stokes was a solid #2 throughout the playoffs, with 5-1 record in six starts with a 2.50 ERA.  With those two leading the way, and a rock solid bullpen behind them, it was very tough to score on Richmond.

Detroit had an excellent season as well, making it out of the AL as the #6 seed by defeating Oakland and Atlanta in 4 games, and then upstart Boston in six in the ALCS.  They had outstanding pitching throughout the playoffs as well, with a 3.03 team ERA, but in the end Richmond was too hot to handle in the World Series.  Congrats to Detroit on the AL pennant, and a very nice playoff run.

It was an interesting Season 20 in Kenny Powers, with the only 100 win team bounced in their first playoff matchup, so the parity in the world may be as strong as in recent memory.  Look forward to a great Season 21, after we fill these openings!   Thanks to all for playing this past season and making it another great one in Kenny Powers.

Season 20 Award Winners

Here's a summary of the Season 20 Major Award Winners!

American League - Ken Ingram, New Britain - .292 AVG 62 HR 155 RBI
Ingram was a run-away winner of the AL MVP award, dethroning Sherman Dunston, who had won the last 4 AL MVP awards and finished 2nd in Season 20.  The 25 year-old had another breakout season, surpassing his Season 19 breakout in which he won a Silver Slugger, Gold Glove and made the All-Star team.  He made the All-Star team and won a Silver Slugger in Season 20 as well and also hit for the cycle in his MVP season, an honor that was very well deserved.  

National League - Alex Sanchez, Tucson -  .302 AVG 68 HR 159 RBI
Tucson's top slugger picked up a 2nd straight NL MVP award after another stellar season, topping his previous MVP campaign's HR and RBI totals.   This marks his 4th season with at least 60 HR and 3rd with at least 150 RBI.  He is on the path to become one of the elite sluggers in Kenny Powers history, and at just age 28 next season, he seems primed for several more outstanding seasons.  He also won a Silver Slugger this past season, and was All-Star Game MVP.

American League - Ubaldo Merced, Atlanta - 20-7 2.30 ERA 189 K
At age 34, Merced took home his first Cy Young award in Season 20 as part of the heralded Atlanta pitching staff.  Things really seem to have clicked for him since joining Atlanta, as he has won 20 games twice and made 2 All-Star teams in addition to his Cy Young win.  Prior to his Atlanta stint, he had only made one All-Star team and never won more than 15 games.  Coming into to his age 35 season, he looks like he's still going strong and ready for another great season.

National League - Norberto Morales, Richmond - 23-4 2.54 ERA 197 K
The 24 year-old lefty had a break out Season 20, in which he anchored the eventual World Champion Richmond squad, and took home his first Cy Young award.  The Season 18 Rookie of the Year bounced back from a mediocre Season 19 to dominate the NL and win an impressive 23 games.  His Season 20 highlights included throwing a no-hitter, and making the All-Star team.  Coming into his age 25 season, it looks like he will be a force in the Richmond rotation for seasons to come.

American League - Co-Winners
Shawn Olson, Helena - 10-3 1.99 ERA 105 K
Albert Mendoza, New York - .288 AVG 29 HR 93 RBI 37 SB
Voters couldn't decide on a clear cut AL Rookie of the Year, so we ended up with Co-Winners.  Olson started 22 games in his Rookie campaign, and posted dominant numbers, including a microscopic 1.99 ERA.  Some might question his durability, but he looks like a solid hurler going forward for sure.  Mendoza showed he is a great all-around player in his rookie season, with good power and speed numbers, and should be a solid asset going forward.

National League - Vic Hall, Louisville - .267 AVG 39 HR 90 RBI 21 SB
Hall showed great power potential in his rookie season, as well as solid baserunning ability in taking home the NL Rookie of the Year crown.  Only 22 going into Season 21, it will be interesting to see how his elite power and solid speed will translate in terms of the numbers he puts up.  It could amount to multiple All-Star games and a few MVP's, although he does have a few holes in his swing, so it's not a given.  When he does make contact, look out, as he ranks amongst the best in Kenny Powers in pure power.

American League - Zachrey Coleman, Toronto - 3.88 ERA, 41 SV - 4th win
National League - David Silva, Buffalo - 0.95 ERA, 38 SV - 3rd win