Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017 Panthers Report

I could not have been any happier with the outcome of the 2017 BoS Annual Draft for our Boys of Summer APBA Baseball League. Every team had a chance to draft a stud with what was our deepest draft yet.

My Traverse City Panthers were very happy with their results. A few days prior to the draft, we happened to have 2 1st Round draft picks (#6 & #16) and two 2nd Round picks (#22 & #26). Then just before the draft, the Portland Microbrewers and Traverse City produced a huge deal, in which Panthers traded their #6 & #16 overall for Portland's 1st Round (#2 overall, that they acquired from Seattle) & #28 (2nd Round pick).

This trade now gave Panthers, a higher 1st Rd pick & a bundle of 2nd Round picks at #22, #26 & #28. I drafted Red Sox' future star & Baseball's consensus top prospect Andrew Benintendi (more on him, later in post). I knew to make the gamble of moving up from #6 to #2, while trading down #16 to #28, I really had to make it all worth it. I hoped for some solid stuff to fall down in that bundle of 2nd Round picks...

The results could not have been any better. I was shocked to get the Pirates' Tyler Glasnow at #22 overall, Carson Fulmer (White Sox SP) at #26 & when it Hunter Renfroe fell to me at #28 overall -- despite the fact, that I have enough outfielders, I really could not pass him up.

Carson Fulmer (right) plans to make his paw print for the Panthers.

I landed a deal with the Seattle Rainiers, in which I finally acquired an everyday starting catcher in Jonathan Lucroy -- I'm very excited about full seasons to come of Lucroy playing in a offensive launching pad in Arlington. The trade cost me Masahiro Tanaka, but I am not completely sold on Tanaka's arm being alright... the guy I will miss most from the deal, was trading reliever Kelvin Herrera. The good news is a league of just 16 teams, relievers practically grow on trees. In the deal, I also landed Yasmany Tomas & Brad Miller, with a upgrade to a second pick that led to the drafting of Carson Fulmer.

I made little trades prior to the draft, in trading away guys that I was going to release during our roster cuts deadline anyways; I traded 2B/OF-Josh Harrison for the Swatara Eliminators' 7th Round Draft Selection, which would end up being the Pirates' young starter in Chad Kuhl -- while I also made a deal with Portland in trading rehab project Alex Cobb (SP) & outfielder Jarrett Parker, in which I acquired a 9th Round Draft Pick, which I used on a southpaw reliever in Ian Krol.

Scouting on Kuhl reminds me of when I noticed Corey Kluber, under the radar, a gold nugget found in a barrel of gravel. I didn't get Kluber in the inaugural 2013 BoS Draft, but I would acquire him early in that inaugural season, in a deal that still haunts the Portland Microbrewers, my team was going nowhere out of the gates, so I traded both Matt Harrison & Brandon Morrow (who were both Grade B starting pitchers at the time), along with OF-Austin Jackson & a 3rd Round Draft Pick to the Brewers in exchange for Kluber, SP-Nathan Eovaldi & OF/DH-Ryan Raburn... in all fairness, for that time, I thought Portland owner Brad Stark was getting the better deal, I believed in Kluber, but did not expect Harrison & Morrow to never rebound... plus I was taking a more calculated risk with a question mark in Eovaldi (and he has been a huge question mark since) & platoon-beast/full-time starter dud Raburn. In the long run... yes, I won that deal.

During this draft, I knew at the end of the draft I would have to make four additional roster cuts. I had 6 picks left, and I knew I would also have to depart the ending of the draft to make it work in time. So I decided I would just PASS on my last 4 rounds... I kept seeing a few guys that I wanted for my roster, so I would traded a player on my roster for an upcoming pick....

I traded Jorge Polanco away to the Fairgrove Tigers, so I could acquire a 7th Round Pick in Jorge Alfaro, I acquired Alfaro as a defensive upgrade on Tom Murphy. Murphy, recently injured for Colorado & known more for his offense, was now expendable... which led to Murphy being traded the next round to division rival Holland Hitchhikers, in which I acquired their 8th Rd Draft Pick, which I chose Washington reliever Koda Glover... then with my last pick, I needed some future depth at third behind Nick Castellanos, and drafted Atlanta's Rio Ruiz. Polanco will probably come back to haunt me, but I had so much depth at the shortstop & middle infield positions.

Here is the result of my draft in overall order....

  • 1st Round (#2 Overall) - OF - Andrew Benintendi (Boston)
  • 2nd Round (#22 Overall) - SP - Tyler Glasnow (Pittsburgh)
  • 2nd Round (#26 Overall) - P - Carson Fulmer (Chicago-A)
  • 2nd Round (#28 Overall) - OF - Hunter Renfroe (San Diego)
  • 3rd Round (#38 Overall) - SP - Reynaldo Lopez (Chicago-A)
  • 4th Round (#54 Overall) - OF - Albert Almora, Jr. (Chicago-N)
  • 5th Round (#76 Overall) - RP - Michael Lorenzen (Cincinnati)
  • 6th Round (#86 Overall) - RP - Michael Feliz (Houston)
  • 7th Round (#100 Overall) - SP - Chad Kuhl (Pittsburgh)
  • 7th Round (#112 Overall) - C - Jorge Alfaro (Philadelphia)
  • 8th Round (#118 Overall) - 1B - C.J. Cron (Los Angeles-A)
  • 8th Round (#127 Overall) - RP - Koda Glover (Washington)
  • 9th Round (#134 Overall) - 3B - Rio Ruiz (Atlanta)
  • 9th Round (#140 Overall) - RP - Ian Krol (Atlanta)
  • Passed on last 3 Round Picks.
I could not have been more thrilled in my draft results, plus with the amount of players that I acquired in deals, my depth went from nil to excellent... with good players searching for playing time. I feel great about getting C.J. Cron in the 8th Round, he could be a great shipping piece for me, if people notice their current BoS first basemen struggling during their 2017 MLB Season. I am a team that is still trying to build, I really love the direction of our ball club... there was definitely some strategy by drafting Cron -- I could not go wrong with that pick.

Extra depth & possible trade chip, not bad for 8th Rd pick.

To give you an example of how far my depth has come along since the beginning of last season, I will break down each position by showing you my opening day situations in 2016 & 2017... The stats to the right are the MLB numbers, so for the 2016 guys, it would be actual 2015 stats... while for 2017, it would be naturally be the 2016 MLB stats. (italics - not a member of 2017 team)


  • Jason Castro     (.211, 11 HR, 31 RBI & .648 OPS)
  • Travis d'Arnaud     (.268, 12 HR, 41 RBI & .826 OPS)
  • Robinson Chirinos     (.232, 10 HR, 34 RBI & .762 OPS)
  • Tom Murphy     (.257, 3 HR, 9 RBI & .876 OPS)     
  • Jonathan Lucroy     (.292, 24 HR, 81 RBI & .855 OPS)
  • Travis d' Arnaud     (.247, 4 HR, 15 RBI & .629 OPS)


  • Miguel Cabrera     (.338, 18 HR. 76 RBI & .974 OPS)
  • Marwin Gonzalez     (.279, 12 HR, 34 RBI & .759 OPS)
  • Miguel Cabrera     (.316, 38 HR, 108 RBI & .956 OPS)
  • Brad Miller     (.243, 30 HR, 81 RBI & .786 OPS)
  • C.J. Cron     (.278, 16 HR, 69 RBI & .792 OPS)
Brad Miller will be playing everywhere for my Panthers, I have Jean Segura at shortstop already, with Jose Peraza waiting in the wings -- so with Miller capable of playing 1B & OF, we plan to play him there, plus at DH. Cron will also get some time at DH as well.

Bull-Dozier: Dozier hit a career-high 42 HR for the Minnesota Twins in 2016.


  • Brian Dozier     (.236, 28 HR, 77 RBI & .751 OPS)
  • Josh Harrison     (.287, 4 HR, 28 RBI & .717 OPS)
  • Jose Peraza     (.182, 0 HR, 1 RBI & .568 OPS)
  • Brian Dozier     (.268, 42 HR, 99 RBI & .886 OPS)
  • Jose Peraza     (.324, 3 HR, 25 RBI & .762 OPS)


  • Jean Segura     (.257, 6 HR, 50 RBI & .616 OPS)
  • Wilmer Flores     (.263, 16 HR, 59 RBI & .703 OPS)
  • Jorge Polanco     (.300, 0 HR, 1 RBI & .717 OPS)
  • Jean Segura     (.319, 20 HR, 64 RBI & .925 OPS)
There is plenty of players that would fill in for Segura on one of his few days off, being Brad Miller, Jose Peraza or Wilmer Flores; Segura played in 153 games for the Diamondbacks last season.

Panther Shortstop Segura has been a Panther from the beginning.


  • Josh Donaldson     (.297, 41 HR, 123 RBI & .939 OPS)
  • Josh Harrison     (.287, 4 HR, 28 RBI & .717 OPS)
  • Nick Castellanos     (.285, 18 HR, 58 RBI & .827 OPS)
  • Wilmer Flores     (.267, 16 HR, 49 RBI & .788 OPS)
Nick Castellanos came to Traverse City in a trade with the eventual World Champion Fairgrove Tigers, in a deal involving Josh Donaldson. Donaldson was traded along with OF-Nori Aoki & a 6th Round Draft Pick in exchange for Castellanos, SP-Yordana Ventura & a 3rd Rd Draft Pick. Ventura (after his unfortunate death, prior to this season) was traded back to Fairgrove in exchange for that same 6th Rd Draft selection (which Panthers selected RP-Micheal Feliz); The 3rd Round DP that the Panthers acquired would be packaged in the deal that would get the Panthers the #2 overall pick to acquire Benintendi.


  • Matt Carpenter     (.272, 28 HR, 84 RBI & .871 OPS)
  • Derek Dietrich     (.256, 10 HR, 24 RBI & .802 OPS)
  • Brad Miller     (.243, 30 HR, 81 RBI & .786 OPS)
  • Brandon Drury     (.282, 16 HR, 53 RBI & .786 OPS)  
  • C.J. Cron     (.278, 16 HR, 69 RBI & .792 OPS)
Matt Carpenter, the last few years played DH for me, due to better fielders on the hot corner in Donaldson, and at second in Dozier & Harrison. Carpenter was traded to San Diego in exchange for Brandon Drury, SP-Daniel Norris, OF-Yasiel Puig & 3rd Rd Draft Pick.

Puig returns to Traverse City, in which the Panthers drafted him 1st Overall in the 2014 BoS Annual Draft; The 3rd Round pick acquired from San Diego was packaged in the Seattle-Traverse City deal involving Lucroy, Miller & Yasmany Tomas coming to T.C., with Tanaka, Herrera going to Seattle -- Seattle drafted RP-Matt Bush with that 3rd Round Pick.

Derek Dietrich was traded to Portland, in which the Panthers picked up a 5th Round Draft Pick -- eventually drafting RP-Michael Lorenzen


  • Giancarlo Stanton     (.265, 27 HR, 67 RBI & .952 OPS)
  • Hunter Pence     (.275, 9 HR, 40 RBI & .806 OPS)
  • Eddie Rosario     (.267, 13 HR, 50 RBI & .748 OPS)
  • Nori Aoki     (.287, 5 HR, 26 RBI & .733 OPS)
  • Juan Lagares     (.259, 6 HR, 41 RBI & .647 OPS)
  • Rusney Castillo     (.253, 5 HR, 29 RBI & .647 OPS)
  • Jarrett Parker     (.347, 6 HR, 14 RBI & 1.163 OPS in 49 at-bats)
  • Giancarlo Stanton     (.240, 27 HR, 74 RBI & .815 OPS)
  • Yasmany Tomas     (.272, 31 HR, 83 RBI & .820 OPS)
  • Hunter Pence     (.289, 13 HR, 57 RBI & .808 OPS)
  • Yasiel Puig     (.263, 11 HR, 45 RBI & .740 OPS)
  • Brad Miller     (.243, 30 HR, 81 RBI & .786 OPS)
  • Brandon Drury     (.282, 16 HR, 53 RBI & .786 OPS)
  • Andrew Benintendi     (.295, 2 HR, 14 RBI & .835 OPS)
  • Albert Almora Jr.     (.277, 3 HR, 14 RBI & .763 OPS)
  • Hunter Renfroe     (.371, 4 HR, 14 RBI & 1.189 OPS in 35 at-bats)
The outfield has been a complete makeover since opening day 2016, with Giancarlo Stanton & Hunter Pence being the only stayovers. Puig returns to T.C., while the Panthers added some young talent in Benintendi, Renfroe, Albert Almora Jr. & Brandon Drury (acquired mid-season, last year).

Panthers' OF trio of the future: Benintendi, Renfroe & Almora Jr.



  • Corey Kluber     (Grade 9-XYZ / 1002 MBF & 3.49 ERA)
  • Julio Teheran     (Grade 8-Y / 960 MBF & 4.04 ERA)
  • Masahiro Tanaka     (Grade 10-XZ / 678 MBF & 3.51 ERA)
  • Garrett Richards     (Grade 12-Y / 972 MBF & 3.65 ERA)
  • Yordana Ventura     (Grade 8-X / 782 MBF & 4.08 ERA)
  • Corey Kluber     (Grade 14-X / 967 MBF & 3.14 ERA)
  • Julio Teheran     (Grade 11-YZ / 848 MBF & 3.21 ERA)
  • Brandon Finnegan     (Grade 7-YW / 829 MBF & 3.98 ERA)
  • Drew Smyly     (Grade 3-Y / 826 MBF & 4.88 ERA)
  • Aaron Nola (Grade 4-XZ) / Garrett Richards (Grade 12-X) & Daniel Norris (Grade 10-X) are all splitting 5th slot, with guest appearances by Reynaldo Lopez, Tyler Glasnow & Chad Kuhl.
When the draft was finished the Panthers had to make an additional roster cut, which ended up being OF-Eddie Rosario (due to a crowded Panthers outfield), in favor of pitcher Drew Smyly... A few days later, Smyly went on the DL for the Mariners with a flexor strain in his pitching elbow, and is out until late June (at the earliest).

Yes, the Panthers could have been more competitive this season, by keeping Masahiro Tanaka, but the team is building for a brighter future & could not ignore the package of players it received in that deal.

Behind Corey Kluber & Julio Teheran, there is a lot of young talent coming up, compared to 2016 where there was only Aaron Nola & Brandon Finnegan.

Corey Kluber & Cody Allen warming up during Spring Training.


Cody Allen returns as the closer, along with relievers Luke Gregerson, Tyler Clippard & Mychal Givens. The Panthers made a tough decision & traded away long-time setup man, fan favorite Kelvin Herrera to the Seattle Rainiers, along with starting pitcher Tanaka in the deal, that the Panthers acquired Tomas, Brad Miller & Lucroy. 

In leagues that there are only 16 teams (like this one), relievers are for the most part, easy to replace, there is plenty in every annual league draft. 

The Panthers are hoping relievers like Dan Altavilla, Micheal Lorenzen, Koda Glover & Micheal Feliz can hit their potential in time for the 2018 BoS Season. 

* * * * *          * * * * *           * * * * *

This completes the 2017 Panthers Report, I will do a post in the future of how this roster will be shaping up (due to the 2017 MLB Season) and see if the Panthers are heading in the right direction.

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