|Beltran will try to lead Imps to a repeat.|
Anyways, sorry for being out of action for a little bit, I hope I didn't lose any readers along the way. I have been busy with my Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League. We just finished the 2014 Draft (2013 MLB Players) and are about to start our second season. We had a short off-season, and will have one more short off-season after this upcoming season, and then we'll be caught up.
We have three new owners joining us this season, and 16 teams (one owner per team). Out is the Washington Filibusters, Carolina Panthers & Sacramento 66'ers (I still plan to get you a 66'ers hat -- Doug Schuyler!); In, we have the Swatara Eliminators, Brooklyn Mets, and San Diego Heroes.
The defending champion South Shore Fighting Imps have already made a trade, acquiring Carlos Beltran and Sean Burnett in their quest for a repeat -- while the Eliminators get a nice piece in return with Lorenzo Cain (who the nation got to see more of in the 2014 World Series, with the Royals). Reliever Caleb Thielbar also was part of the deal.
The funny thing is that we (the league) only had 4 transactions made during the first season, entering draft day. During draft day we had three deals alone, plus two more deals a few days later -- now there a grand total of 9 deals.
My Panthers during the draft traded one of my extra arms in Matt Garza to the Boston Bravos for a 6th Rd Draft Pick that actually used to be mine from a prior trade, and with that pick I drafted Oakland's Dan Otero (really looking forward to his 2014 card, nice amount of innings from the pen).
I thought I was loading up on arms, but the Chicago Nine may have the best batch of young arms in the league. They acquired pitchers Chris Archer and Guillermo Moscoso from Boston, in exchange for pitchers Kris Medlen and Bruce Chen. Archer and Moscoso join Tyler Chatwood, Tony Cingrani, Danny Duffy, Jenrry Mejia, Shelby Miller, Garrett Richards, Danny Salazar, Jacob Turner, Carlos Martinez, and Danny Salazar. The ace is "King Felix" Hernandez with a reliable vet in Jeremy Guthrie.
Chicago traded two veteran arms in Ubaldo Jimenez and Jeff Samardzija to the Urbana Locomotives; the deal helps both, as Urbana's starting rotation takes a dip compared to last season and Chicago got two draft picks in which one of the picks, picked up RP-Yoervis Medina. Chicago has been wheelin' & dealin', and should be a much-improved ball club, Chicago has now been involved in 5 of the league's 9 trades. The draft got kicked off with a one-for-one trade with DH-David Ortiz going to Chicago in exchange for OF-Carlos Gonzalez -- a deal that should work out for both teams.
My team (the Traverse City Panthers) had no power last season, and was built more for this season. My guys Josh Donaldson, Matt Carpenter, Brian Dozier, and Brandon Belt started to bloom in 2013 (MLB); Giancarlo Stanton will take a step back (particularly his batting average), while Jean Segura will be my everyday shortstop this upcoming season, hoping he can rebound for the Brewers though in 2015.
My outfield became a bit of a mess when I involved Austin Jackson in a trade that helped acquire starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Nate Eovaldi, and for a time I was considering drafting Jose Fernandez (if I ended up with the worst record) -- but I have enough pitching, and adding more would have been a bit too much. At the end of a nine-game losing streak, I traded Matt Harrison and Brandon Morrow to a contender in the Portland Microbrewers, along with Jackson. To get a little back in the OF department for the next season, I would trade for Boston's Hunter Pence. So now I have Stanton & Pence, the next closest guys on the depth chart after that was Alejandro DeAza and Jarrod Dyson.
|Puig points the way for the Panthers.|
Like I said, I had the pitching in place with Yu Darvish (my franchise's first player chosen in the inaugural draft), Matt Harvey, Alex Cobb, Corey Kluber, Julio Teheran, Henderson Alvarez, Nate Eovaldi & Tyler Skaggs -- so drafting Fernandez would be silly with the lack of power on my team, so I drafted the other star Cuban of the draft in Yasiel Puig. Puig didn't scare me with his August fade-out in 2014 for the Dodgers, Now I have a pretty good group of outfielders with strong arms in Stanton, Puig & Pence -- I have DeAza, Dyson, Juan Lagares (who I drafted in the 2014 draft) with Ryan Raburn (great 2013 card with punch on limited play). I also like my draft choices of Kevin Kiermaier (a pleasant surprise for the Rays in 2014) and Scott Van Slyke (yes, Andy's son) -- who is rumored to be in trade rumors for the Dodgers.
My bullpen will be pretty good in 2014 season (2013 stats) and will be better in 2015 (2014) with my 2nd round pickup of free agent Wade Davis to go along with my pen of (Royal teammate) Kelvin Herrera, Luke Gregerson, Otero, Cody Allen, Tanner Scheppers and Anthony Varvaro. Bullpens are as huge in APBA as in MLB Baseball, during my years in the IGAL, that is where my team started becoming a force, once I had a top-notch bullpen. It helped my Braves win titles in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 & 2008 -- yeah, I was that league's version of the San Francisco Giants with the whole other-year thing. At one point, I had Brad Lidge, Joe Nathan & John Smoltz in the pen -- now that's an opposing manager's worst nightmare.
My team has now conducted 3 deals, I believe. I believe it's better to be aggressive when it comes to trades than be too relaxed & sit still. I unfortunately sat a little too much in my 1989 MWWL Season for the Traverse City Tigers, hopefully we can get it together a bit before the end of the season -- but no return to the playoffs for us, and we can count on no winning record either -- but I think we can play better, so hopefully we can annoy some teams before 89' comes to a close.
Anyways, that's what I have been up to as of late -- also in the works of a new schedule being made for the upcoming season.
Other news on this league & my other APBA projects, coming soon...