Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Games 8-9 / Detroit at Toronto (April 18-19)

Detroit Native - John Mayberry.
The Tigers feeling pretty good at 5-2, and winning the first two games of the series, went into the 3rd game of their series feeling really confident against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Tigers were sending out their ace, Jack Morris (Grade B) against a Grade D starter in Jim Clancy... The Tigers loved their odds.

Game #8 / April 18th (at Exhibition Stadium)

The Detroit Tigers came out flat, recording only a single hit during the first 6 innings of the contest against Clancy; Clancy would go on to allow only 1 ER through 7 innings, while allowing only 3 hits (3 walks) with 2 K's. The Tigers would only collect 4 hits total by the end of the game.

The damage came during the bottom of the third, as Detroit-native John Mayberry slugged a two-out, two-run homer off of Morris. The Blue Jays would maintain the lead, to win the game 2-1, with Clancy getting the win, while Roy Lee Jackson logged the save.

Tigers' only run came on a Richie Hebner sac fly, he went 2-for-2 for the day, with 2 singles; Lance Parrish was the only other Tiger to collects hits (2) as well.

Game #008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
DETROIT 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
TORONTO 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 0
WP: Jim Clancy / LP: Jack Morris (1-1) / SV: Roy Lee Jackson

Real 1981 Game Result: Tigers won 4-3
My 1981 Tigers: 5-3
Real 1981 Tigers: 7-1
Replay Scoring Differential: +11
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: -2


Game #9 / April 19th (at Exhibition Stadium)

The Tigers send Milt Wilcox (Grade B-Z) to the mound to face off against the Jays' Jackson Todd (Grade D-Z).

The Blue Jays struck early with a two-out, two runs batted in single by Al Woods.

The Tigers appeared quiet the first two innings, then broke through loudly with a 6-run 3rd Inning, highlighted by a Steve Kemp, three-run homer & 2-run single by Tom Brookens; The game would see no more scoring the rest of the way.

It was easily Wilcox's best outing of the season, pitching the complete game victory, while allowing only 5 hits & 2 runs... He did allow 4 walks though, while striking out 4 Jays.

Kemp falls a triple short of the cycle, having a bid day, going 3-for-5, HR, 2B & 3 RBI.

Game #009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
DETROIT 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 9 2
TORONTO 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 2
WP: Milt Wilcox (1-2) / LP: Jackson Todd

Real 1981 Game Result: Tigers lost 9-1
My 1981 Tigers: 6-3
Real 1981 Tigers: 7-2
Replay Scoring Differential: +17
Real 1981 Game Record Differential: -1

Next Series: The Tigers travel to Yankees Stadium for 3 games.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

1981 Reds-Tigers: The Differences

I had to momentarily slow down the Tigers' 1981 season, to catch up the Reds' side of the season. I have finished 19 games (Entire month of April) for the Tigers, while I am almost done with the Reds' month of April, with 15 games done through April 27th.

I am doing the exact 1981 MLB schedule with Strike included, whatever differences take place with the opponents that the Tigers & Reds face, can shakeup the 1st & 2nd Half Division races in each division of each league... got all that?!

  • The effects of match-ups can be explained in this >>> article "1981 Revisited"

It's going to be interesting to see how it all finishes, it's already been a bit interesting for me....

For example, the Reds just finished a four-game series in Houston... In real-life, the Astros were slow out of the gate (3-12), but then would win 9 of their next 11 games (Houston would go on to win the 2nd Half N.L. West Division title).

I was amazed that Houston slumped out of the gate like that with an excellent APBA Baseball rotation of Nolan Ryan (A&C-X), Bob Knepper (A-Z), Don Sutton (B-YZ) & Joe Niekro (B-Z). Their lineup has pesky hitters in the top half, especially with Terry Puhl, Cesar CedenoJose Cruz & Art Howe, who all gave the Reds' pitchers fits; The bottom part of the lineup definitely had its holes.

In real-life, the Reds took that series, 3-1 (pretty easily), while my APBA Reds, had to scratch back to win the Game 3 of that series, and walked out of the series with a 2-2 split.

I found the differences between the 1981 Tigers & 1981 Reds, to be night & day. The Tigers have multiple pieces in which the lineup usually alternates with a total of 12 players getting significant playing time -- while the Reds' lineup is pretty straight forward, it uses strictly 9 position players for its 8 player spots of the lineup.

Dave Collins, Ken Griffey, Dave Conception, George Foster, Ron Oester & Ray Knight play everyday, while the other two spots are either of these combinations...

  • Johnny Bench ( C ) & Dan Driessen (1B)
  • Joe Nolan (C) & Dan Driessen (1B)
  • Joe Nolan (C) & Johnny Bench (1B)
There is not much strategy playing the Reds, just an occasional pinch-hitter late in games if I decide to yank the starter, I should not have to worry about bringing in the bullpen much, with Mario Soto (B-XZ) & Tom Seaver (A).

The Detroit Tigers have been much more fun to play with, plenty more to do with the lineup & with strategy, Lance Parrish has been a blast with 5 home runs in the month of April, well ahead of his actual HR pace of 1981 (finished with 10 total)... while getting acquainted with Steve Kemp's APBA card has been a lot of fun as well. Kemp is currently batting .319 with 2 HR & 10 RBI (.437 OBP) with .937 OPS for the season.

Richie Hebner has been over-producing for a season that only watched him hit .226 with a .656 OPS; His 1981 APBA numbers are currently reflecting .317 batting average, 7 RBI & a .751 OPS -- He has cooled off of late, 2-for-15 as of late.

This project has been a lot of fun so far & I certainly can't wait to see how this season plays out.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Alternate 1993 Regular Season Ends (A.L. East Season Report)

The Alternate 1993 Season has ended, before I go over the season highlights, let me remind all of you that this is a league if the Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins never join... plus no Arizona or Tampa Bay franchises will come; It's a league without expansion.

This also means that the two division format that we were accustomed to in the 1980's is back.

First we'll start with the A.L. East Division Champion Cleveland Indians....

CLEVELAND INDIANS (104-58)

No Purple Hayes: Hayes with Indians.
The Cleveland Indians were supposed to still be a year or two away, they thought they would be competitive enough with the addition of Charlie Hayes (prior to the season) and they were right, as they heated up in June they decided that they were buyers & acquired starting pitchers Cal Eldred and Armando Reynoso, plus reliever Gene Nelson & Brian Bohanan added some much-needed pitching depth; The moves did cost them Paul Sorrento, who now plays for Texas.

Jose Mesa (A Grade 4-Z, the equivalent to a D-Z) won a surprising 20 games (8 losses) with a fine 3.55 ERA in 243.1 innings of work (134 K's); Eldred would go 19-13 with a 3.84 ERA & 192 K's, while Reynoso would go 18-11 with a 3.92 ERA. Jerry DiPoto was 5th in the American League with 27 Saves.

Albert Belle had an even bigger 'alternate' season than in real life; Belle hit 42 bombs with 136 RBI, while stealing 32 bases (making him part of the 30/30 club -- something he never accomplished in the Majors) instead of real-life career-high 23 stolen bases... his batting average was down from .290 to .272 though. Charlie Hayes batted .333 with 27 HR & 130 RBI, while Carlos Baerga was a stud with a .342 BA (3rd in the A.L.), 26 HR & 131 RBI; Kenny Lofton stole 85 bases, while collecting 212 hits & his speedy teammate Wayne Kirby nearly doubled real-life season with 11 HR & had 92 RBI (compared to 60 RBI in 1993) -- Kirby had 18 steals.

I believe offense was up all across the board (in the league) with second-half simulation and players only dealing with fatigue -- I did try to respectfully play part-time players as part-time players though... but as you noticed we will have some bloated numbers like three Indians having 130+ RBI each.

TORONTO BLUE JAYS (101-61, 3 GB / 2nd Place)

Only division winners move on, there is no wild card, and the Blue Jays will be one of two teams in the 'Alternate 1993' season not to move onto the post-season despite gathering 100+ wins (Atlanta Braves had 107 wins, but lost division to San Francisco).

The team started off so-so in the first-half of the season, looking nothing close to the actual dominance of the real-life 1993 team -- the pitching came around to catch up with the offense, and the team finished with an impressive +299 scoring differential.


The team's offense was led by Roberto Alomar in which all his numbers were up comparably to real-life, batting .320, 25 HR, 108 RBI, 206 hits with 138 runs, while stealing 75 bases! John Olerud and Paul Molitor's numbers slightly down; Olerud won the real-life batting title in 1993 with a .363 average... he would finish the season with a .336 AVG (6th) with 21 HR & 99 RBI, while Molitor batted .301 with 20 HR & 103 RBI. Rickey Henderson was right on cue, Devon White's power numbers were up (.307, 22 HR, 94 RBI with a .854 OPS) while Joe Carter (.221, 19 HR with .626 OPS compared to real-life .802 OPS) was considerably low, although he still knocked in 117 runs.

Tom Candiotti would be acquired from the Dodgers in exchange for Mike Timlin and Woody Williams; Candiotti would finish with 23 wins & help the Jays pitching staff settle down from its rough start -- team would finish with 2nd-best ERA in A.L. (3.67) to the White Sox. Pat Hentgen was great all-year around with 22-7, 2.64 ERA in 242 innings, while Juan Guzman would settle down, lowering his ERA to 3.55 while striking out 212; Todd Stottlemyre managed to collect 16 wins with 4.98 ERA. Their bullpen was strong all around, led by Duane Ward (25 SV, 1.46 ERA), Mark Eichhorn (1.90 ERA) & Danny Cox (5 W, 2.69 ERA).

The Blue Jays challenged the Indians in the end and past both Baltimore and Detroit in the standings, while being as low as 5th place at one point... but their late charge was not enough.

BALTIMORE ORIOLES (98-63, 6 GB / 3rd Place)

In a division that would end up featuring four teams with 90+ victories, the Baltimore Orioles were probably the favorite to challenge the Toronto Blue Jays for the division... Neither would end up winning the division though.

Baltimore got great production with the bats (Sporting a +211 scoring differential), Harold Baines finished 2nd in the A.L. Batting Title race, finishing with a .346 average, while being on par with his real-life HR & RBI numbers at 22 HR & 82 RBI -- his OPS was much higher (.968 OPS) which is impressive at age 34. Other vets stepped up in Harold Reynolds (.315 BA, 12 HR & 75 RBI -- compared to real-life 4 HR & .252 AVG) and Mike Pagliarulo (.313, 13, 74 RBI -- compared to 44 RBI in actual 1993). Add in strong seasons from Chris Hoiles (.291, 36 HR, 100 RBI) and Cal Ripken (.279, 30 HR, 120 RBI) and you would think the O's would win the division, but their pitching was another story....

Although they finished 5th in the A.L. in ERA (4.05), it was areas like Ryan Bowen in the rotation that hurt the ballclub; Bowen was drafted in the dispersal draft (he played for Florida in actual 1993), and should have been an improvement for Baltimore in the rotation, instead he finished with a horrible 6.18 ERA, while allowing 204 hits & 112 walks in only 163 innings (1.939 WHIP -- Ouch!).
Ben McDonald's ERA (4.34) was a run higher than actual life, while Jamie Moyer and Mike Mussina had strong seasons. The team's bullpen was strong as expected with Gregg Olson leading the A.L. with 36 Saves (1.48 ERA). 

DETROIT TIGERS (93-69, 11 GB / 4th Place)

The Detroit Tigers were a scoring machine in alternate 1993, and were a strong power lineup in actual 1993 as well; The team was better in the alternate version due to the addition of Jeff Conine and with Phillips and Trammell tearing it up. They were the only team to record over 1,000+ runs (1,069).

Tony Phillips would finish 4th in the batting race with a .340 batting average, while hitting 19 HR & 86 RBI with 222 hits (led league) & 151 runs scored! In real-life 1993, he only managed 7 HR, so the HR numbers were a bit surprising, while his OPS was also up from .841 to .926. Alan Trammell played the majority of the season, but not enough to qualify for the batting race -- he would bat .371 in the 7th slot through 113 games... Many forget that "Tram" actually had a .885 OPS that season while batting .328 as well -- his 'alternate' OPS was at .952 (with a .438 On-Base Percentage). Kirk Gibson (.284, 14 HR, 75 RBI & 23 steals) and Danny Gladden's (.286, 17 HR, 66 RBI) were slightly up from normal, to go along with Lou Whitaker (on par with .869 OPS).

Then add a huge season by Travis Fryman (.309, 30 HR & 140 RBI) to go along with Cecil Fielder, Mickey Tettleton, Jeff Conine & Eric Davis -- then you see why they have no problem scoring, the real problem was their pitching.

They added Jack Armstrong as an innings eater for the season (and he served simply as that), while they would land veteran star Frank Viola from Boston at mid-season. Most of the pitchers were all on par for what they actually did, but there was a considerable drop in David Wells' season (14-12, 6.26 ERA -- nearly two points higher than real-life); The only plus that comes from Wells is the fact that he led the A.L. with 8.8 K's per 9 innings. The Tigers' pitching highlight would be Mike Henneman, one of the best closers in baseball with his 34 Saves (3rd in A.L.) while sporting an impressive 1.76 ERA. 

Overall though the offense was not enough, while the team's pitching (5.11 ERA) ranked as the 4th worst in the American League -- ranking dead-last in the tough A.L. East. 

NEW YORK YANKEES (88-74, 16 GB / 5th Place)

The world always seems to be a better place when the Yankees come nowhere close to competing -- or at least to the rest of the baseball world that is. Despite their finish, they barely missed 90 wins in a tough division; They managed to go on the plus side for scoring (+50) and suffered losses due to lack of a bullpen while scoring most of their runs early -- Luis Aquino (18 SV) would only have a Save Opportunity percentage of 78.3 among relievers -- Poor Aquino's ERA was bloated at 6.31 & makes the choice of selecting him before the season, a poor choice by the Yankees. Lee Smith only managed 3 Saves (compared to 48 Saves) in the 'Alternate' Season.

Only two teams were worse than the Yankees in the A.L. in pitching, and that was the Detroit Tigers and the last-place Milwaukee Brewers.

Lonely Ace: Key won 27.3% of the Yankees victories with 24 wins. 
Jimmy Key would collect an impressive 24 wins to lead the American League in that category, meaning he won 27.3% of the Yankees' wins this season -- he also sported a sturdy 2.74 ERA (4th) with 211 strikeouts (6th). Scott Kamienecki would prove to be a plus, with 15 wins & 3.74 ERA, but Jim Abbott (like Wells for Detroit) was nowhere to be found -- with a lousy 8-14 record & 6.84 ERA!

The offense played really strong like the actual team did, Mike Stanley (.339, 20 HR & 75 RBI) and Paul O'Neill (.281, 30 HR & 110 RBI) led the way for the Bombers.

The Clemens saga finished earlier in the Alternative realm, Duquette sends the 'Rocket' packing.

BOSTON RED SOX (84-78, 20 GB / 6th Place)

If anything can be taken from this 6th place finish, it can be said that the Boston Red Sox made it as interesting as it could get for the little production to show for it. The team would enter the season with one roster & exit the season with a completely new roster; As the season moved on, Boston said goodbye to ace Roger Clemens, Frank Viola, Jeff Russell, and Mo Vaughn -- while saying hello to Chuck Finley, Mark Langston, J.T. Snow, Mike Stanton, Xavier Hernandez & Danny Bautista.

Eric Young and Daryl Boston joined the Red Sox prior to the season via free agency; Young's numbers were on par with his actual 1993 numbers (.262, 8 HR & .718 OPS) while his RBI numbers as a lead-off man was down to 26 from 42, while his steal numbers were up with 55 steals & a 75.3% steal success rate. For Boston (the player), his batting average was down from .261 to .217, while his HR (16) and RBI (55) were up. The Red Sox are not known historically for their speed, so they were thrilled to have landed Young prior to the season.

Andre Dawson's age is starting to show early, as his OPS (.677 in alternative) was down from its actual .738 mark, which had a lot to do with his low .243 Batting Average & .285 On-Base Percentage -- while the rest of the numbers match his 93' totals pretty closely.

The promise of John Valentin has shown early with 16 HR & 78 RBI & a solid .846 OPS.

Danny Darwin was the only starter to pitch from the beginning of the season on to the end, as he put up great numbers at Age 37 -- His numbers: 18-10, 3.42 ERA with 154 K's & 80 walks through 226.1 innings. Darwin's WHIP (1.189) was up from his A.L. best 1.068 WHIP in 1993 (Darwin also led the N.L. in WHIP in 1990 with 1.027).

MILWAUKEE BREWERS (54-107, 49.5 GB / 7th Place)

The Milwaukee Brewers signed Benito Santiago to a two-year deal, to help give the pitching staff more stability, in hopes to take the Brewers to the next level, they finished a surprise second last season with a 92-70 record. The deal would be a first-year bust, as Santiago's numbers were down all across the board from his real-life 1993 numbers -- batting only .200 with 6 HR & 31 RBI (his HR & RBI numbers were basically cut in half), while his .570 OPS was down .101 from real-life as well. 

If you want disappointment, you can find around every corner on this ballclub... Kevin Seitzer, after giving the 1992 team, a strong veteran leader with good supportive stats (.270 AVG, 142 hits & .704 OPS) would fall on his face, batting .219 (50 points lower from real-life), while he had a difficult time getting on base (.271 OBP compared to 93's actual .338 line). Kevin Reimer's batting average was down from .249 to .216.

There was some plus sides in the hitting area, with B.J. Surhoff showing some power (that we would see in his upcoming Baltimore days), doubling his real-life mark with 14 HR, but his batting average & OPS was down. Greg Vaughn hits the 100 RBI marker, with 31 HRs. John Jaha's batting average was up from .264 to .284, while hitting 22 HR & 66 RBI, while Robin Yount displayed more power than his actual 1993 season, hitting 16 long balls, while his OPS was up slightly to .719 for his final season; He ended his career with 259 home runs & 3,142 hits, and well on his way to Cooperstown.

The pitching was horrible, with two starting pitchers producing 17 losses each in Ricky Bones (6.22 ERA & 1.757 WHIP) and Jaime Navarro (6.36 ERA & 1.718 WHIP); Bones was so bad, that he gave up 300 hits & 40 HR in a single-season... 

I had to look up the real-life record, because I wasn't sure if I ever heard of a case of a pitcher allowing 300+ hits, the number sounds ridiculous, but I got my answers, it's not a record. The dead-ball record was John Coleman allowing 772 hits in a single-season (1883), he also has the earned runs allowed record with 291; The modern era record is owned by George Uhle, with 378 hits allowed in 1923. 

The team would trade their two best pitchers in pennant-race deals, with Cal Eldred going to Cleveland, and Jesse Orosco going to the Cardinals.

*** This wraps up the A.L. East ***

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2017 MLB Draft Review


I usually enjoy the MLB Draft live, every single year, but this year I DVR'd the 2017 MLB Draft, while recording the MLB Network's Top 50 Draft Prospects & the Pre-Draft Show as well... but I had to honor my buddy by going out to his bachelor party. The cool thing about having it recorded, I can sit & analyse the picks while skipping through the commercials.

Through the years, I have witnessed many of today's superstars getting drafted live on the MLB Network, the most notable picks being Mike Trout (who was there in person in 2009) getting drafted among his family members, I remember when Madison Bumgarner got drafted (#10 overall / 2007), and I remember watching Rick Porcello falling to the Detroit Tigers for a steal at pick #27 of the 1st Round (2007).

This year, the 1st place Minnesota Twins had the 1st Overall pick in the draft, in which they drafted Royce Lewis, an OF/SS, which they drafted as an outfielder. Lewis is among the top players in the draft with the most offensive tools, he has strong extra-base ability in which he may develop pop later; Plenty of speed (projecting 70) & has great base-running capability.

Although this is a great pick & he was projected to be drafted in the top 5 (projected 5th by MLB.com), I was surprised to hear MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announce his name, I was expecting to hear Hunter Greene or Brendan McKay or even Kyle Wright's name. They do have certain allotments that can be spent on the first couple rounds combined, so when the Twins stole 3rd Round pick - Blaine Enlow (RHP) at #76 overall, they may have been playing to a strategy in that way. 

The Cincinnati Reds made the biggest splash at #2 overall, which they drafted two-way star Hunter Greene out of Notre Dame High School -- which has produced two other 1st Rounders in SS-Tim Foli (#1 Overall / 1968) & Jack McDowell (#5 Overall / 1987): The high school has also produced OF-Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins) and two-time World Champion GM Pat Gillick.

Hunter Greene on the cover of SI 

The Reds are taking Greene as a starting pitcher, he's got a plus fastball that consistently hits triple digits, topping out at 102. It's easy to say that he would have also been taken as a 1st-Round position player (Shortstop) as well, but he belongs on the mound. He has excellent control, rarely walks, while he will be learning to add a second pitch with a slider, already knows how to mix in a good changeup from time to time in games. He has amazing athleticism & is as good as it gets for top draft stars.

Greene: All smiles, placing his name on the board.
I really like this kid, he's also got a great head on his shoulders, and is very humble; His family already had to deal with adversity with his sister's battle with Leukemia (which she is now in remission). I also agree with the MLB analysts on draft day, that the Cincinnati Reds suddenly had the #1 Overall pick. 

I really love the next three picks (#3 through #5) as they fit the organizations that drafted them perfectly...

The San Diego Padres made their fans proud, by selecting LHP-MacKenzie Gore... Fans will love his athleticism & competitiveness, his delivery has a deceptive approach that appears to be a pitching hybrid (according to John Smoltz) of Tom Glavine meets Mark Langston, while similar to Arizona's Robbie Ray. MacKenzie put up Playstation-like numbers at Whiteville High School (N.C.), going 12-1 with a 0.08 ERA with 174 strikeouts in 83.1 innings.

MacKenzie Gore - 3rd Overall pick for the Padres.

The legit two-way phenom Brendan McKay, who is so good at both sides of the Baseball spectrum, was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays at 4th overall as a 1st Baseman. He was happy with whatever decision any franchises chooses for him, but plans to hopefully do both. McKay won the John Olerud Award in college baseball as best two-way star, his 1st two seasons at the University of Louisville. Considered the best college bat in the draft, while leading the U.S. National Team in hitting (.326) & On-Base Percentage (.424).

The Wright Stuff: Kyle Wright finds himself with his favorite team (Braves).

I love the 5th Overall pick in Kyle Wright for the Atlanta Braves, he's a Tennessee native that grew up loving the Braves, while he played for Vanderbilt & will be united with Vanderbilt alum Dansby Swanson (Braves' starting shortstop). Wright joins a long & impressive list of Vanderbilt pitching stars drafted in the Majors, in David Price (2007), Sonny Gray (2011), Mike Minor (2009), Carson Fulmer (2015) & Walker Buehler (2015)... while joining Price, Minor, Fulmer & Casey Weathers (2007) as the only Vanderbilt guys drafted as a Top-10 overall pick draft selection.
















As you can see, above, the top 5 projected players (rank) were all drafted, just all scrambled -- those were givens for the very top. The rest of the 1st round was least predictable, and always has a surprise, steal or head-scratcher among those picks...

Head-Scratchers

The Milwaukee Brewers' pick of 2B-Keston Hiura had me scratching my head, he was limited to DH duties in college due to a hurt throwing arm, he'll likely get Tommy John Surgery quickly after he signs with the Brewers. He has quick bat speed, and has hit everywhere he goes, while being one of the highlights of Team USA during the summer of 2016... His bat is not the question, it's where he fits defensively, he will likely play OF, personally I think he's a bit stocky for a second baseman, and it may not be a bad idea to see him at first (his defense needs work). I don't think he would have been a bad pick, late 1st Round, but the Brewers taking him at 9th Overall (while projected 22nd) is a tad early.

Everyone knows my 'love' for the Chicago White Sox, that's sarcasm my friends, I despise them... but anyways, but I question what they were thinking with taking 3B-Jake Burger, watching him play third on defense, made me question quickly, why is he playing third? Appears a bit pudgy, and I was relieved to hear one of the MLB analysts say he would be better fitted at first... Thank you! That's what I was thinking! On film, while fielding at third, I saw a young Bob Horner, which can be a good thing... Burger, by the way, is a strong college bat with power, in a draft that lacks college bats, that should be mentioned, but taking him 11th overall (while projected to be 16th) could have been better spent on a player like 1B-Nick Prattas (who was selected by the Royals at 14th overall). 

High Risk or High Rewards?: Nationals' Seth Romero will answer that soon.
The Washington Nationals took hot-head Seth Romero, in hopes to possibly rushing the talented pitcher through the minors, due to a solid strikeout plus arm that's already being dubbed MLB-ready, he could be pitching in this upcoming post-season as bullpen help for the Nats in the same way, as Brandon Finnegan helped the Royals a few years back. His draft stock plummeted prior to the draft due to off-field issues that netted him a suspension which he missed four starts, and then another altercation that kicked him off the team (University of Houston) permanently. He has a plus-fastball, with bite to his slider & improved change-up. Entering the draft he went from a sure-thing top 10 pick to possible non-1st Round pick, the Nats made a splash regardless at 25th overall -- where Romero goes from here, is up to him.

Surprises

With the New York Yankees taking RHP-Clarke Schmidt, you could almost hear the disbelief in the studio audience; The MLB analysts also mentioned their surprise as well, Schmidt was projected to be taken 49th overall (according to MLB.com), due to blowing out his elbow this past April, which will require Tommy John Surgery. 

Giants draft some raw upside power in Heliot Ramos.
A surprise, yet not a surprise, if you follow the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have been known to grab guys regardless where they are projected, and have done a great job regardless... as they draft an outfielder with solid raw power with offensive upside in Heliot Ramos, a Puerto Rico native; There seemed to be a debate in where he falls in the draft, the Giants made their thoughts known as they took Ramos at 19th overall (projected at #40 by MLB.com). Honestly, from what I have seen, I have a good feeling about this one.

J.B. Bukauskas falling to 15th overall, was not really a surprise, considering that many of the experts had him falling on their charts as well, at one time he was projected 7th overall on many lists. I will put him under the 'Surprise' column for 'Don't Be Surprised' to see him possibly making it up to the big leagues, pitching for the Houston Astros in the playoffs, he will be rushed, as he will be told to concentrate simply on his fastball & slider. Likely a reliever for his MLB career.

Steals

Al Faedo - 18th selection by the Detroit Tigers.
The Detroit Tigers drafting RHP-Alex Faedo (University of Florida) at #18 overall; He was projected at #4 according to the Sporting News' 2017 Baseball Yearbook, while being projected as high as #8 by Baseball America & #11 by MLB.com. Faedo is no stranger to the Tigers, who selected Faedo in the 40th Round of the 2014 MLB Draft, but didn't sign as he decided to go pitch for the Gators. 

Faedo entered the spring as a potential #1 overall pick, but minor arthroscopic knee surgery & an uneven Junior season knocked his stock down a bit; His delivery is very similar to that of former big-leaguer Kevin Appier, with his deception. As a Tiger fan, I am thrilled with this pick, and as a Tiger fan was not surprised that we took (yet) another pitcher for our 1st pick.

Adam Haseley, drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies at 8th Overall, was an excellent pick for the Phillies, as they took a Jacoby Ellsbury-type of outfielder for the 2nd consecutive year (last year they took similar Mickey Moniak). 

At one time, Haseley was projected as a possible starting pitcher, projected as a smaller left-handed Scott Kazmir... while his hitting style reminds some of Red Sox' rookie Andrew Benintendi, another left-handed hitter who may develop power as time goes on. Another comparison is Mark Kotsay & I believe I read Aaron Rowand

Sure, you can't label a projected 10th pick, to be a steal at 8th, but.... I personally feel that Oakland should have taken Haseley at 6th overall, and from what I have gathered online it appears the Athletics' bloggers felt he would be taken by Oakland as well, compared to their choice of Austin Peck, who was projected to be 9th. 

DL Hall has all of the ability, just needs to add strength.

The Orioles selection of LHP-DL Hall taken at 21st overall, may be the biggest steal of the draft, a projected 14th overall pick, he fell to the Orioles. His command is excellent, as he compares to Scott Kazmir, some scouts project that he could add more strength to make him more physical down the road. I love the movement on his pitches, and feel that if he gets stronger, more K's will make their way onto the stat sheet.

My last one for the most notable draft steals, goes to the Minnesota Twins selecting RHP-Blayne Enlow, he has such a smooth delivery that I was hoping my Tigers would get him; The Twins selected him at #76th overall to kick off the 3rd Round. He was projected at 29th overall, and has the upside of being a front-line starter, I believe the reason he was taken so late, was due to the history of the 4 previous big leaguers (Kim Batiste, Reid Brignac, Andy Sheets & Ben Sheets) to come out of his high school, St. Amant High School (La.) all went straight to college. He may have the best breaking ball out of the high schoolers from this draft class, while he will probably be developing a change-up to add to his repertoire. 

This concludes my 1st ever MLB Draft Review for Boys of Summer, I hope you all enjoyed. I really enjoy watching the draft year after year, and watching the players' developments to the big leagues... remembering moments like this....



Friday, June 9, 2017

Cubs: 20 Straight Out of the Gate (2017 Transaction League)


In this year's 2017 Transaction League, the Chicago Cubs started off 20-0 out of the gate, until they lost 4-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers. The transaction league is a solitaire computer league, in which the players are updated to the real-life trades in the 2017 MLB Season, while playing the 2016 season cards... A season replay with a twist!

During my 2014 Transaction League (2013 APBA Cards), the Boston Red Sox won the entire thing over the St. Louis Cardinals, duplicating the Red Sox' 2013 MLB success.


As you can see there are some similarities to the actual MLB Season through May 28th, with the 2017 Transaction League. The Twins, Royals & White Sox' records are close, but the difference is that in real-life the Twins were in 1st with a 26-20 record, Detroit who has cooled off in the Transaction league, is still quite better than their real-life versions. Boston is a tad better in the Transaction file, while the Yankees & Rays have played better in real-life 2017. Cleveland & Seattle are much worse in real-life compared to the Transaction file, while the Astros are 35-16 on May 28th, while they are stinking it up in the Transaction League.


The N.L. East is almost spot-on with the real deal, while the Transaction Brewers basically need to flip their 23-26 record for their surprising 27-23 1st place lead. The Cubs & Cardinals are playing much better in this APBA world, while the computer must have known something about the Pirates' 2017 fortunes... I unfortunately picked them to be a N.L. darkhorse this season. The Rockies & Diamondbacks continue to surprise, while my APBA league says 'nay' to those successes, the Giants are playing like a playoff contender, while the Majors version appears lost. 

I will try to do a future post on the stat leaders, when the time comes.
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