Jackson Jayhawks -
Another season and another chance to show the wonderful fans in Jackson that the Jayhawks are for real. Heard it before? Sure, but the owner is still right behind his club and will put in the cash where it is needed.
Season 32 may not look good in terms of a 64-98 won/loss ratio but that was a plus twenty on the previous year. Eagle-eyed people of HBD will note that it was still worse than the 76-86 achievement in S30. The minors produced some good races in their divisions but, sadly, none came home with a WS crown.
Loyalty to the coaching staff sees renewed contracts for J P Howard (rookie in S32) at bench, Dann Rapp at pitching and Magglio Bonilla at hitting.
The team is lead by veteran outfielder Yannick Williams (age 36) who will, again, have to lead-off and get on base if runs are to be scored. Long-ball will be with Charlie Little (RF) who put 22 over the wall last season as well as knocking-in 93.
Speed on the bases will be Caleb Jerchower (2B) who was 35/42 on the stolen base board; getting on base will be important at the number two slot behind Williams.
Brad Janssen (OF) at 25-years-of-age needs to show that his skills match his projections now that he has a big league season behind him. And stepping up to the top level is R J Taveras (OF) after five seasons in the franchise farm system.
Looking to get his call-up at some point in the campaign is the best Jayhawk prospect seen in a decade: Harry Nieves (IF). This 23-year-old could be the tonic to kick-start something great for the people of Jackson.
Pre-season FA saw two excellent pitchers signed and they head the rotation. Tim Leiter comes from a career in Baltimore and immediately gets the #1 spot whilst Tom Parker from Las Vegas starts in the number two slot. The bullpen will be a bit of a committee-at-work on a day-to-day basis.
A good start to the campaign is vital. Injuries should not be a real worry as most of the roster have high ratings and the medical team are well funded.
Roger Brown (loosecc)
Mexico City Hombres Azul -
This is probably the low point for Mexico City, almost all the stars are gone, and the majority of the prospects are not quite ready.
The only quality on the 25 man roster are 2 or 3 of the starters: Kosuke Suzuki quietly went about pitching 200 innings in the last campaign with an ERA of 2.97 and a WHIP of 1.09, Allie Mlicki and Eury de la Vega will contribute as well.
On the farm: 1B Kevin Knight, and SPs Frankie Redman and Paul Lewis are close to ready, with OF Norberto Sosa and SP Trever Bagley a couple of years off.
Monterrey Border Jumpers -
Texas Rangers -