This years team is looking a little better then last years squad. And yes, our pitchers did need to wear batting helmets.
We here at Robins Roundup looooooove the Florida Prospect League. So much so that we are doing a team preview for this winter ball team in the middle of August. I guess this is the result of covering a team thats season was over before it begun.
While the Apalachicola Baby Robins have never actually won the Elite Cup, they have been one of the most dominating teams in the brief 6 year history of the league. Posting a .637 cumulative winning percentage. All that changed in 2037 as the Adult Robins decided to go all in and totally gut the farm system of anything even romotely close to resembling talent. The 2037 squad was not pretty at all. They ended up with a 10-18 record.
We all know about the fire sale and subsequent events. A recent Fan Graphs article suggests the the Robins farm system has gone from 30th to 3rd in a weighted depth formula. This seems about accurate. Upon first glance of the Brooklyn system, you are not distracted by the one or two "Blue" franchise players type prospects that other teams have. Instead you see this massive wall of orange, yellow and green. A depth which is already nearing a best in the league status.
As the blueprint for this rebuild relies heavily on player development and a sea of average players, the FPL is going to be a huge tool in the coming years. With that, there will be a lot of really hard decisions to be made. Brooklyn probably has enough "future BBA" players already to fill up two teams. So picking who goes and who doesn't will be hard. It probably won't be easier in the coming years as the team is expected to "turn back the clock" on a lot of older players and draft more top end talent.
So let's take a far too early look at who may or may not make the team. Granted things can change. There may be some trades, some may get called up, and others may get injured. We'll break this down first by plaing time, then by extra roster spots.
Brooklyn is admittedly light on catchers who can hit. They are prioritizing defense in an attempt to aid the development of their pitchers. After all, half of your prospects are pitchers. Catcher is just one spot. Kiango and Tupin are both future BBA players. Kiango may be good enough to be a strong side platoon, if not both will be solid backups. This sets up for a nice platoon here. Both should get close to the same FPL at bats.
Under this system these three will rotate to equal playing time. Hadji is a decent outfielder by trade. But to get him fall at bats he'll have to DH. Maes and Mendoza, like most of this team are good but not great. Maybe future second division starters or very good bench bats.
These four will get the bulk of the 2B/3B/SS playing time. Which one plays where depends on cross training needs. Franklin is viewed well below the others in terms of value, but we still feel he can be an Arief Alatas type player and contribute to the big club someday.
A lot of tough cuts here as you will see below. Ramos is obviously the future stud here. I'm hoping his range holds strong at 5. He's also really under developed. I'm pondering if leaving him in reserves is better then playing him against almost ready BBA players. That would also allow me to carry another true CF instead of having to play Lopez there. Just a hard call to leave your #1 prospect out of FPL action.
SP Ultse Roseboom
SP Santiago Carranza
SP Wang-fen Law
CF Enrique Díaz
C Javier Ramírez
So before these extra spots we have 13 pitchers and 14 hitters. That's about as much playing time as we can give without taking it away. So for these three spots Brooklyn will be carrying three team captains. In the past, we have ignored team captains in the FPL and decided it's long overdue to correct that problem.
C/Everywhere Etienne Kop(my quest to cross train him everywhere will need FPL playing time)
C Geomar Conti(best defensive catcher we got)
1B Jay Gamble(trending upward)
INF Jack Douglas(needs just a little bump to contact to be relevant)
INF/OF Ernie Schoonmaker
2B/LF Miguel Suárez(needs small bump to CON or EYE)
CF Bing-zhang Kim(had a breakout season. game says he is 50 Pot)
CF Miguel Cortéz
COF Jesús Hernández
COF Miguel Santana
CF Trevor Tieleman
CF Miguel Gracía(put up 4.7 WAR in 388 AA AB)
COF Joe Willett
COF Ricardo Reyes
SP António González
SP Marsco Hernández
RP José Cardenas
RP Brendan Billings
RP Bob Thompson