As you may know from one of my previous posts 2017 Updated Rosters Project, I decided to shake things up & bring in expansion. I have since stepped down from the Detroit Tigers (73-89 in my alternate 2017) while taking over one of the new expansion teams, in the Charlotte Aviators.
The Charlotte Aviators will be playing in the National League South Division, while their division rivals will be the Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins & Texas Rangers. If you are late to the dance, I would suggest that you read the post highlighted above, if you do know what's going on, here is the latest...
The Aviators might be able to compete sooner than later, as the other three teams had losing seasons in 2017, with the best team being the Marlins at 76-86.
Before I move on to my roster, here is a look at our farm teams' names.
- Montesano Ocelots (International League / AAA, North Division) - Montesano, Washington.
- New Jersey Outlaws (Eastern League / AA, North Division) - Jersey City, New Jersey.
- Fremont Titans (California League / A+, North Division) - Fremont, California.
- Virginia Beach Sharks (New York-Penn League / A-, McNamara Division) - Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- Westchester Bobcats (New York-Penn League / A-, McNamara Division) - Westchester, NY.
- Denmark Nighthawks (Appalachian League / R, East) - Denmark, New Hampshire.
- Woodbourne Warriors (Appalachian League / R, East) - Woodbourne, Pennsylvania.
Our projected lineup is as follows for the Aviators...
- 1. Taylor Motter - 3B
- 2. Ronald Torreyes - 2B
- 3. Oswaldo Arcia - RF
- 4. Rowdy Tellez - 1B
- 5. Pat Valaika - SS
- 6. Tyler Collins - LF
- 7. Jake Smolinski - CF
- 8. Daniel Robertson - DH
- 9. Jett Bandy - C
I had no say in the drafting, because at the time I was still the Detroit Tigers' General Manager, but I watched the draft which was really fascinating.
The leader in home runs from this bunch in alternate 2017 was actually my 9th hitter in Jett Bandy (18 HR); My most seasoned hitter (sad to say) is a familiar face in Tyler Collins (.287, 12 HR & 51 RBI), who played for my Tigers last season. My other best two power options will come from either Oswaldo Arcia & Rowdy Tellez.
The projected rotation at the moment...
- 1. Drew Pomeranz
- 2. Mike Clevenger
- 3. Cody Anderson
- 4. Adam Plutko
- 5. Brady Rodgers
Three of the five starters happened to play for the Cleveland Indians in the previous seasons, while Drew Pomeranz (Boston) finds himself as the ace of the Aviators. Brady Rodgers was a 3rd Round Draft Pick for the Houston Astros in 2012, the one thing that Rodgers has going for him is he has good control, but he doesn't have excellent stuff, while he's average-to-slightly above average with his four pitches, while having a tendency to give up the long ball. It's too bad this game isn't out a year later, Mike Clevenger would maybe get a little more love with his ratings after his real-life second-half emergence for the tribe.
- Closer - Corey Knebel
- Setup - Trevor May
- RP - Yonny Chirinos
- RP - Tim Clooney
- RP - Brad Peacock
I love that Charlotte got Corey Knebel, I am not sure why Milwaukee did not protect him, but their loss. Brad Peacock (like Clevenger above) would have benefited with this game being released a year later. Trevor May and Tim Clooney bring slight depth, while the 23 year-old Yonny Chirinos will make his MLB debut, while his previous highest level was Double-A; Pitched in the 2017 Southern League All-Star Game in the minors.
My bench is interesting, I have Patrick Kivlehan (.343, 3 HR & 10 RBI / .949 OPS in 67 at-bats), he will get some playing time at first base (when Tellez needs a day off), while he can man third with a weak glove, moving Taylor Motter over to short or even the outfield occasionally. Ildemaro Vargas will get some work at short, while backing up second; Vargas is good at not striking out, while very effective stealing a base, despite not having flashy speed... plus great at bunting someone over.
Our biggest prospect is Renato Nunez, who will likely play at third base, bumping Motter to the outfield, we plan to possibly get him just a bit more seasoning at Triple-A, but probably won't stay there for long.
Just found out we signed our Japanese international star in Koson Yamauchi, a left fielder with tons of power; During negotiations I didn't realize I accepted his counter-offer for $81.88 million over 4 seasons, at $20.47 million per season. That will bring some much-needed pop to a lineup without pop.