Thursday, October 11, 2012
AL SOUTH - Season #23 Preview
The Wranglers are coming off a season where we posted a team record for futility, losing 116 games (46-116). The silver lining would hopefully be that we "can only get better".
The Wranglers offense should be paced this season by our power hitting DH, Guillermo Matos. Matos hit .281 last season, with 37 HR and 104 RBI. Matos will look for help from Catcher Tracy Voigt. Voigt hit .295 last season with 15 HR and 69 RBI. 2B Rafael Blasco should also contribute. Blasco hit .279 last season with 13 HR and 48 RBI.
Three young pitchers will make their ML debut in the rotation this season. The core of starters includes Andres Moreno, who's coming off of a dazzling post-season performance in the AAA playoffs last season. Moreno will be joined by Kevin Aoki and Derek Jones in the rotation. All three pitchers are between the ages of 21-24. Each could use more time to develop in the minors but unfortunately the Wranglers have nobody else to sling it this season.
The Wranglers do have some young talent that we hope to see continue their development this season. The young power hitting catcher Lenny Smart returns. Smart hit .295 in the minors last season, with 46 HR and 110 RBI. Smart would have been joined by SS/IF Leon Bolick in the minors. Bolick hit .310 last season with 28 HR and 119 RBI. Unfortunately, Bolick just suffered a serious injury that will see him miss just about the entire season.
We acquired four young, talented pitchers via the draft last season. This group claims three future starters in Ryouta Jung, Billy Scott and James Valentine. They are joined by reliever Harry Hernandez. All four will start the season in Low A ball, but should continue their steady climb to the majors.
The Wranglers were pretty quiet as far as off season acquisitions. We picked up 31 year old utility player Rico Arias. Arias hit .291 in 140 AAA games last season. We also nabbed DH Arthur Kashmir. Kashmir showed some power last season where in 144 AAA games he hit 36 HR. He should provide some power off the bench for us. The bullpen got some help when the Wranglers picked up 25 year old reliever Phillip Charles. Charles struglled the last few seasons, but showed promise early in his career. We hope to see him rebound while working on his craft in the minors.
Santa Fe Railroads
The Railroads tried a few things this offseason. Coming off of two 75 win seasons in a row, some changes were necessary. We brought in Herb Reed to patrol center for several seasons and Nolan Everett for some starting pitching stability. The cost was 5 decent prospects in Homer VanHekken, Wandy Estrella, Mike Sanders, last seasons #1 pick Doc Regan and Louis Flood, but we hope it was worth it.
Alejandro Mangual was brought in to play right field and Hector Ward was acquired in the Rule 5 draft and immediately slotted into the starting 2B slot. With 3B Lawrence Williams, LF Justin Kubenka, 1B Ralph Sutton and DH Naoki Zhang, along with Reed and Mangual, the offense looks like it should be potent.
With Cameron Price, Felipe Martinez, the old vet Harry Pinzon, and Everett, the staff should hopefully be stable, and with Coco Reagan closing games, perhaps the Railroads wont lose too many close ones.
Little Rock Rockabillies