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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Disclaimer: I like writing articles to get my head straight, so this might not be the most engaging read.

With the Phantoms simply "playing out the string" for the rest of the 2034 season after their hectic trade deadline, management can't help but turn an eye towards the offseason. And, the buzz of the latter is, of course, the expansion draft. In theory, a weaker roster like Huntsville shouldn't be terribly concerned about a draft such as this; however, you never really know until you dive in - so let's do that.

To start off, as a rebuilding team is wont to do, let's first take a gander at the prospect pool. Immediately (as should be no surprise), we see that no one in SA and down requires protecting from the draft - small victories. Next we head to A-ball where we find the following interesting prospects that will be eligible for the draft:

RP Alfonzo
2B Fernandez
OF Herrera

Right off the bat, we see a player that we recently rated as our #5 prospect in Alfonzo, so there is pretty good odds that he is a virtual lock to be protected. The other two; however, were not featured in that piece despite their weight star ratings - and for good reason. Of the pair, Fernandez is my favorite due to being left-handed, but his defense is suspect and the bat likely won't be good enough to make up for it (whereas Herrera's bat assuredly won't be good enough... for anything). Still, if we end up having some leftover protection slots, it wouldn't *pain* me to protect Herrera - he just isn't going to be pushing anyone off the list on his own merits. Moving on to AA, we find these prospects eligible for the draft:

RP Chavez
RP Graete
CF Gasco
LF Castillo
2B Honma

Referencing the prospect article once more, Gasco and Chavez came in at #4 and #3 respectively, so it is safe to chalk them up as locks to be protected. The rest, though, are far from it. Of the trio, Honma is definitely my least favorite, so we can just toss him into the draft already for brevity's sake. Castillo and Graete; however, don't project to be world beaters, but could be nice role players (though both have flaws they would need to overcome - Castillo projecting for a CF bat, but a LF glove and Greate having a -split vs. LHBs and poor control) - so let's toss them into the 'still considering' pile. Then, in AAA, we don't really have much that deserves protecting. Schuck is the closest, but a -split vs. LHB and failure of his changeup to develop (7 months out from turning 25, we can probably safely assume he isn't gaining 6 points in that pitch before the clock strikes 12 on his development) make him look a lot like a AAAA arm - and fodder for the expansion draft. So, let's jump, now, into the majors and review what I like in our rotation.

SP Peithner
SP Nicto
SP Tong
SP/RP Baghina
SP Soto

Obviously, the trio of Peithner, Nicto and Tong are absolute locks to be protected as cornerstones of our franchise moving forward. Baghina is an interesting case as he is probably someone we should hope to retain as a young back of the rotation arm making league minimum; however, I want to wait and see how the rest of the protection slots shake out before committing. Soto is also an interesting case as an expiring contract; however, one that we hope to attempt to retain (once we swap to '19 and I get game access to offer him a contract, that is). Even if we manage it, though, I think it's a safe card to play that a pitcher turning 37 in the first month of next season won't be selected in the draft. Next up, the bullpen.

RP Contreras
RP Soranzo
RP Cano

Of this group, only Cano is a lock. In the other two, we have near mirror images. Soranzo is older (soon to be 33), but steadily solid. Contreras is younger (soon to be 27), but more erratic. My gut honestly tells me neither will get picked, but for now we'll toss both into the still considering group - before moving on to the infield.

C Guerrero
1B Gaona
DH Klein
2B/3B Wilfer
1B/2B Templeman
SS Kim
SS/2B Guzman

Guzman (in the midst of a MVP-esque season), Wilfer (relatively solid production vs. salary on a short length contract) and Gaono+Klein (young power hitters recently acquired) are the mortal locks here. Of those remaining, I actually like Guerrero and Templeman quite a bit - though ideally both in bench/backup roles. Kim also seems well fit for such a role with his great glove, but I suspect replacing him (and his AAA-maybe quality bat) wouldn't be too hard should he get taken. And now, last (and very much least), the outfield.

CF Kyapanaksian
RF Perkins
LF Hall

Of this collection of mediocrity, only Hall deserves the lock for protection. Kyapanaksian is much like Kim in that it'd be nice to have him (as a great defensive sub off the bench), but wouldn't hurt much to lose him. Perkins is the interesting one from the bunch as a young, decent LH'd bat, but his defense is rough and bat isn't good enough to make up for it. Still, it probably earns him a spot in the 'still considering' pile, at least.


So, in summary, here how the above word salad shakes out...

Locks to be protected:
A RP Alfonzo
AA CF Gasco
AA RP Chavez
SP Peithner
SP Nicto
SP Tong
SS/2B Guzman
1B Gaona
DH Klein
2B/3B Wilfer
LF Hall

Still considering:
A OF Herrera
AA LF Castillo
AA RP Graete
SP/RP Baghina
RP Soranzo
RP Cano
1B/2B Templeman
C Guerrero
RF Perkins

So, in the end, that is 11 "locks" and 9 "still considering" - meaning only 1 of the people listed here will actually get exposed as of this writing. Gun to my head, I'll play the age game and assume Soranzo won't get plucked from the draft as a 33 year old mediocre reliever. That basically leaves Huntsville with the ability to protect everyone in the org that they remotely cared about. Hurray for mediocre rosters?

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 2:26 pm 
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Don't let Ted see this, he'll blow a gasket.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 2:40 pm 
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Good stuff here, Kyle. I need to spend some time this weekend hashing out a list of who I need to guard. My guess is that at couple of decent young arms might be leaving my system in the expansion draft...

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:18 pm 
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Stu & I have been talking and we've hashed out a strategy. We probably have 75% of a list nailed down, just need the fringe of the fringe to sort themselves out.

Injuries permitting of course

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 6:46 pm 
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ae37jr wrote:
Don't let Ted see this, he'll blow a gasket.


I have been extra gasket-splodey lately. I try to keep the irrational outbursts to one per calendar year. I'm way behind this year.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:10 pm 
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On a more serious note, I really have no problems with the franchises that are in worse shape not losing much of anything. I stated my case very poorly due to rampant inappropriate anger. It was more the disparity between the two that I thought was the issue. I was also wrong about the disparity most likely.

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California Crusaders (2021-present)
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 5:13 am 
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I, for one, am used to your rampant ‘wrongness’

Let it not trouble you


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