Saturday, June 04, 2016

2016 Draft

Commissioner Manfred takes the podium...

With the first pick in the 2016 Out of the Park draft, Denver Rabbits select Michael Stewart from Manhattan college.

Stewart is a speedy switch hitting center fielder with top of the line power.  He reminds some of a young Mickey Mantle.  Despite his speed, he is not a polished defender and may move to a corner.

Second pick: STL selects Alex Jones from Minnesota.  This college shortstop is an excellent defender with potential to hit 20 or more homeruns and is an above average runner.

Third pick: Louisville selects Jimmy "Dyn-O-Mite" Walker from Pasadena.  A catcher with strong receiving skills, Jimmy should be an average hitter with above average power from both sides of the plate.

Fourth pick: Toledo makes it four collegiate bats in a row with Cary Lee from Illinois State.  Cary is a lefty hitting outfielder with a sweet swing and strong power.  Despite below average speed he gets good jumps and plays strong defense, and might even stick in center.  Lee also pitched in college, throws in the mid 90's, and went 10-2 with a 2.00 ERA and 160 strikeouts this season.

Fifth pick: Charlotte selects Luis Harris from Oklahoma State.  Another college bat, Harris plays center field and is one of the top defenders in the draft class.  He's a bit raw at the plate, but has the ability to be an average hitter with good power, and has shown patience at the plate.  With his top of the line speed, Harris stole 32 bases in 36 attempts.

Sixth pick: Orlando takes lefthander Clay Seymour out of Alabama as the first pitcher off the draft board.  Seymour is a durable 6'7, 230 pound specimen. His fastball sits in the mid 90's, and he already has an above average curve and change. 

Seventh pick: Cleveland selects Malcolm Thomas, center fielder for the Florida Gators.  Thomas is a potential 5 tool player whose only weakness is a lack of patience at the plate.

Hawaii is on the clock.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hal Glover is the New Hit King

April 20, 2016

Hal Glover passed Pete Rose on the all time hit list with number 4257 in New York's 9-2 win over the Denver Rabbits.

In the third inning Glover's check swing off Darin Sanchez bounced down the third base line.  Glover's 43 year old legs were able to beat the throw to first, and move him ahead on the all time list.

The previous record holder, Pete Rose, watched helplessly from behind the Denver dugout, in seats provided by his good friend, Rabbits manager Bewis "Big Cheese" Skywalker.  Rose flew into a rage after the hit and berated the umpire for making a close call that replays would show to be correct.

After the game, Rose was asked about his reaction.  "First of all, I want to congratulate Hal Glover.  I alone can appreciate just how much work and determination it takes to break a record like that.  Hal is a fierce competitor and deserves, like myself, to be enshrined in baseball's hall of fame.  To be clear, my reaction after the play was not in any way a reflection of my feelings for Hal. I fully appreciate that records are meant to be broken.  If anyone is worthy to break my record, it's him.  I was just upset because I had bet that the record would fall in the fifth."

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Fourth Generation Jawa Player?

He's only 5 years old, but Brett Solo's son Theodore has made the OOTP news.

"Today was a big day for Theodore Solo, son of the Hawaii Hounddogs' Brett Solo.  It was his first day of kindergarten at the touted Hawaii private academy, Winthrop Acres.  Theodore passed multiple aptitude exams in order to be accepted into the school, which has only 400 children over all 13 grades."

"Today is such a special moment for Theo and I am just so proud" said Solo.  "When I became a parent I never imagined the love and joy that he could bring me and I'm just so delighted to see Theo go to a school that can cultivate his academic desires"  This experience, coupled with the Solo family's recent purchase of a luxury penthouse, show just how committed a shortstop the Hounddogs have in Brett Solo.

Get to know Roberto Ruiz

Roberto Ruiz is currently a 27 year old free agent who has not played any OOTP professional baseball. A star in Cuba, Ruiz tried to defect by stealing a spaceship belonging to the Castro brothers.  Unfortunately his escape didn't go as smoothly as planned, as he was intercepted by a First Order cruiser, taken prisoner, and transported to Starkiller base.

There he made his own escape, finding a stash of baseballs and using his 80 grade arm (clocked over 100 MPH on throws from the outfield) to take out the first order troopers.  Ruiz managed to escape from the detention level and hitch a ride on the Millenium Falcon just before the base was destroyed.  Chewbacca was kind enough to drop him off in the Domincan Republic, so he was able to establish residency and prepare to enter OOTP as a free agent.

In addition to the cannon arm, Ruiz is a physical specimen with well above average speed and tremendous power.  The only questions on him are whether he will make enough contact.  Ruiz is currently fielding offers, and it is believed that he can land a 3 year contract for about 21 million dollars.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crawford to Seagulls

Center fielder Kermit Crawford has agreed to a 2 year contract with Toronto for 16.9 million.  Last year Kermit hit .254 with 7 homers and stole 19 bases.  He was also 25 runs above average defensively.  Crawford will turn 33 in spring training.

Contracts signed 12-2-2015

Miami signs catcher Cal Mathis to a 2 year deal for 3 million.  Mathis hit .234 for Phoenix last year, with OBP and SLG each under .300.  He threw out 40% of opposing runners.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

League Calibrations

In the first year using OOTP baseball to replace the APBA software, The Major and Superior Leagues overall had a successful season.  Attendance and revenue records were shattered, and the wealth is obviously flowing to the players after the recent contracts given to Hamburg, Lewis, and Salbacca.  We had another exciting playoff rounds that culminated with the Bay Area Bandits winning their first ever championship.  The addition of extended minor leagues ensures the talent pipeline will continue to flow, while providing real statistics for minor league players and entertainment for the imaginary fans in smaller cities.

But not all is perfect.  Among the chief complaints for the season was a rash of injuries and an extremely low success rate on stolen base attempts.  Commissioner Manfred undertook an investigation as his first order of business since beginning his term in office.

Manfred set out to measure the distance between first and second base, and found that in each of the 30 OOTP stadiums, it was incorrectly set to 91 feet.  For 2016, Manfred will return the basepaths to their historical distance of 90 feet each.

As for the injuries, all teams are urged to look into their medical teams and adopt best practices from each other.  In addition, a switch was found in the league settings page, where injuries had been set to standard (3rd option out of 5).  For 2016, injuries will be set to option 2, reduced injuries.  However this change may only be effective for one year.  A study will be done to determine whether the 2015 injury experience or the 2016 is more realistic, and consistent with the injury frequency in another baseball league, MLB.

After a season where only 33 homeruns lead both leagues, the league's Ewok slaves on the manufacturing planet of Endor will be whipped and beaten until they learn to wind the balls a bit more tightly.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Draft Pick Compensation

The following teams will gain extra draft picks between the first and second round:

Green Day

And these teams will lose picks for signing the top free agents.  Picks in the top 10 are protected:

Hawaii (2nd rounder)
Louisville (second rounder)
New York Cobra (1st)
Boston (1st)

Top Free Agents Sign

Once again, the New York Cobra brought in the biggest free agent and set a new contract record in the process.  Stephen Hamburg will join the fearsome NY staff after agreeing to a 10 year contract for 400 million dollars.  This breaks the record for largest contract by 100 million over the amount Denver paid to Mark Crawford 4 years ago.

Hamburg will make 30 million in each of the first two years, then 35 million in 2018.  He will make 43 million in the next 3 years, and 44 million in the final 4 seasons.  He also receives a no trade clause, although it is likely a moot point as no other team could afford such a deal.  The Toronto Seagulls will receive a compensation draft pick.

The Hawaii Hounddogs signed Clayton Lewis to a 7 year, 215 million dollar deal.  With the price of ace pitching quickly escalating, Boston gave CC Salbacca a 7 year deal for 224 million.

Jaret Benser, 37 years old, resigned with the Utes for 2 years and 19 million.  He received a few other offers, but did not seriously consider leaving Utah.

Kal Chillingworth will head to Louisville Sluggers on a 7 year deal for 154 million deal.  The Portland Decepticons did not make him an offer.

Miami resigns closer Dwight Schrute for 5 years, 75 million.  This contract sets a new record for relief pitchers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fernandez forced to retire

Joey Fernandez of the New York Knights retired at age 30 after he was unable to recover from a torn rotator cuff.  Last season Fernandez pitched in an extreme lefty specialist role, appearing in 30 games but only recording 9 1/3 innings, facing 38 batters.  For his career Fernandez pitched 335 innings for the Knights over 8 seasons.

Managers of the Year

Miami's RJ Duke was named manager of the year, and Florida's Wally Calhoun took the award in the Major League, edging out Skip Yoder of the World Champion Bandits.

Conan Award

The Conan award for most valuable player went to the first basemen on the World Series teams.  Miguel Cruz hit .325 with a league best 33 homers and 104 RBI.  He also scored 112 runs and hit 42 doubles.  Cruz played 162 games at first base, where he made 14 errors but graded out as average in zone rating.  Cruz also won the award in 2014.

Joe Young won the Superior League award for the 7th time in his career.  The 39 year old hit .352 with 31 homers, 105 RBI, and scored 128 times.  He led the league with a .447 OBP and .599 slugging percentage.  Young played only one game at first during the season, spending another 146 as Miami's DH.  Young is happy to play only half the game as it helps his old body survive the rigors of the season.

Young now has 640 career homeruns and 2896 hits.  He is under contract for one more season in Miami.

Roger Chillingworth Award

The Roger Chillingworth award for best pitcher went to Miami's Jered DeMario and Toronto's Stephen Hamburg.

DeMario won 21 games against 7 losses, pitching 258 innings with a 2.68 ERA.  He walked 57 while striking out 188, and was 5.4 wins above replacement level.  

Hamburg, in his free agent walk season, won 17 games with a 2.69 ERA.  He struck out 269 against only 29 walks, and was 9.7 wins above replacement.

Jaret Benser finished second in the Superior League, and George White finished second in the major league.  The major league finish may be a bit controversial, as White had one more win (18) and a lower ERA (2.38).  Hamburg's advantage was in the strikeout to walk ratio, White's was an excellent 209-54, but not as otherworldly as Hamburg's.

Canzler signs

The Hawaii Hounddogs have reached an agreement with outfielder Shane Canzler on a 3 year, 24 million dollar contract.  Canzler hit .311 last year in 88 games.  He appeared to lose a step in center field, finishing with a -8.7 zone rating.  He would be a well above average defender in the corners however.  Canzler also provides a threat on the bases, stealing 9 bags in 10 attempts.

Reynolds to Manage Sox

The Alaska Snow Sox, who recently fired Ryne "El Jawa" Solo Jr., signed Todd Reynolds to a 3 year deal.  Reynolds most recently served as RJ Duke's bench coach for the Superior League champion Miami Stars.

Jeffrey Lamar Lewis Rookie of the Year

Utah's Erick Reinfelder won the Superior League rookie of the year award, edging out Miami's Devan Arceneaux.  Reinfelder hit .293 with a .396 OBP, hit 22 homers and stole 16 bases.  He became a fan favorite in Utah for his defensive efforts in left field, saving 13.5 runs by the league's new zone rating metric, and throwing out 13 runners on the bases.

In the Major league Detroit's Larry Brooks won the award by hitting .330 with 12 homers and 34 doubles.  Brooks is the rare slugger who can make contact in today's game, striking out only 51 times.  Portland's Ethan Howell finished second after a season of watching the ball go by for 113 walks and a .416 OBP.