A Flock Of Bluebirds 2040.10- Infield/Catcher Recaps

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A Flock Of Bluebirds 2040.10- Infield/Catcher Recaps

Post by recte44 » Mon Dec 09, 2019 5:06 pm

Player Grades and 2041 Projections- Catchers and Infielders
October 11, 2040

Teegan Nyland, Catcher
24 years old
Contract Status: Pre-Arby (Auto)

As much as Nyland was bad in 2039, he was equally pretty decent in 2040 as a backup. HIs catcher defense is damn good, and he has a little pop. As long as he's a min-salary guy he'll be around.

2041 Projection: Backup Catcher

Alberto Rodriguez, Catcher
20 years old
Contract Status: Pre-Arby (Auto)

After trying out Kyle Baker as the primary catcher, the Bluebirds plans pivoted when they were able to get Rodriguez. He's good but not great behind the dish, and as long as he's paired with a RHB platoon partner to avoid facing lefties, he should develop into an asset at the plate as well.

2041 Projection: Starting Catcher

Ernesto Sousa, First Baseman
20 years old
Contract Status: Pre-Arby (Auto)

Sent back to the minor leagues out of Spring Training to get his first taste of Triple-A (and maybe delay his arby a bit), he laid pitchers to waste at that level to earn a promotion to the big leagues. Even though there wasn't really a clear path for playing time, the Bluebirds made room for him. While the overall numbers don't jump out at you, it's important to take it into context. Souza was horrible upon being called up (.506 OPS in May) and improved markedly into the summer before fading a bit at the end, which is to be expected for a 20 year old playing his first long season. He should bloom in 2041 and beyond.

2041 Projection: Starting First Baseman

Mario Deortez, First Baseman
29 years old
Contract Status: $7M in 2041, $7M team option in 2042

Pretty decent bounceback season for "Toxin" who was a -0.8 WAR player last year. He did hit 33 homers and slugged .522, but was extremely streaky. He was far below average in May (.648 OPS), then had two outstanding months (1.078 OPS in June and 1.023 OPS in July) before falling off a cliff again in August (.641 OPS). At this point of the year, with the Bluebirds out of contention and wanting to look at young players, Deortez only got 23 at-bats in September-October. Could he have a spot next year? Sure. Is it probable? No.

2041 Projection: Trade Bait

Jesus Yan, Second Baseman
19 years old
Contract Status: Pre-Arby (Auto)

Las Vegas thought Yan was going to be the next big under the radar spec to make it big for them. It didn't work out. After failing spectacularly for the Hustlers he was sent to Nashville in the Heinrich Peithner deal. Immediately installed as the second baseman vs RHP, he improved monthly from July to the end of the year. He won't ever be a big OBP guy but should be a solid hitter with plus defense at second base moving forward. This kid is just 19 years old. Sensing a trend here?

2041 Projection: Starting Second Baseman

Jerome Delage, Third Baseman
27 years old
Contract Status: Arby (Est: $6,500,000)

Sometimes players develop such a reputation based on nothing but reputation that it clouds judgement based on reality. This is the case with Delage to an extent. He's nowhere near the impact player most thought he would be. At this point he's a pretty good defensive third baseman with some pop, and a better hitter against lefties than righties. Early returns in Nashville weren't great. Do the Bluebirds commit $6,500,000 to him for another year? Given what they gave up, they probably should but will they?

2041 Projection: Starting Third Baseman

Sam Wade, Third Base/Second Base
27 years old
Contract Status: $2.7M in 2041 and 2042

Nashville got excited after his strong May and his willingness to take a pay cut for a guaranteed two year extension. Then they got Yan and later Delage and Wade was pretty awful in June and July. He's best utilized as he was in the other months- as a platoon partner for Yan and a top utility guy. As long as he remains okay with doing that the Bluebirds are ok with keeping him here.

2041 Projection: Platoon Second Baseman (vs LHP) and Top Reserve Infielder

Francisco Otero, Shortstop
20 years old
Contract Status: Pre-Arby (Auto)

Upon first taking over Nashville, GM Matt Rectenwald combed through the organization for sleeper prospects. Otero jumped out like a meteor dashing through the night sky. A left-handed shortstop who can hit a little and play great defense? Yes please. He was handed the starting job out of Spring Training and struggled badly in April at which point the Bluebirds sent him back to AAA for additional seasoning. He was brought back to Nashville in July and what followed was truly remarkable. Otero ultimately locked in as the #2 hitter and finished the year with a .370 OBP. Among players who finished the year with Nashville, his 2.6 WAR was tops among position players (not counting the dual-threat Kidane Ata). Though he won't receive much support in the Gillstrom Award voting, he really should.

2041 Projection: Starting Shortstop

Antonio Cruz, Shortstop/Infield
28 years old
Contract Status: UFA

Cruz's 2040 season can best be summed up by saying April and May were as rock bottom as a player could possibly go, and after that was more like it. After batting .147 in April and .133 in May (NOT TYPOS) Cruz was waived and designated for assignment. Not one team wanted him. Ultimately he was brought back onto the active roster and played as expected the rest of the way, which is to say fairly decent. Cruz is what he is, a utility guy best served in the weakside of a platoon. Problem is, Cruz thinks he's a star with delusions of grandeur and he's not even willing to entertain an extension in Nashville. Ready for a reality check, Antonio?

2041 Projection: Begging for a contract in free agency

Javier Bultron, First Base/Third Base
21 years old
Contract Status: Pre-Arby (Auto)

Along with Otero, Bultron got attention from Rectenwald as an underrated prospect. Despite some spotty minor league numbers, he made the big leagues for a week in July, and then again in the September roster expansion. Let's be real here, Bultron is no cornerstone of anything. He is, however, a valuable righty platoon bat who is much better as a first baseman than at the hot corner.

2041 Projection: Potential platoon first baseman (vs LHP)/bench bat
Matt Rectenwald
Commissioner, GM: Nashville Bluebirds

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