2035 New Orleans Crawdads - Know Thine Enemy Part Deux

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2035 New Orleans Crawdads - Know Thine Enemy Part Deux

Post by agrudez » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:18 am

As is annual tradition in New Orleans, the Crawdads won between 85 and 95 games last year - though missing out on the playoffs with their 86 win showing. In a new division, can the Crawdads continue their incredibly impressive stretch of being "good" and find their way back to the playoffs? Let's find out.

1) Amaral
2) Delgado
3) Martin
4) Yamaguchi
5) Alfonso

One of those things is not like the other. Amaral through Yamaguchi is probably as good as any 1-4 in the league and then... yuck. Alfonso was worth -0.2 WAR last year, surely there was something out there in FA the Crawdads could've upgraded him with? Oh well, I should know by now that isn't Jim's style... and home growing guys has worked out pretty damn well for him so far. That all said, even with Alfonso giving up a game every 5th day, this is still a very good rotation that should easily be in the top half of the league production wise.

1) Ortega
2) Mercier
3) Morales
4) Romano
5) Franco
6) Hisle
7) Girard

Much like the rotation, this bullpen is very good at the top and very bad at the bottom. Franco and Hisle, in particular, are pitchers that I hope my lineup gets to face as often as possible. One saving grace is that New Orleans' big four in the 'pen all have TREMENDOUS stamina for relievers (8, 6, 8, 7). I could easily see a scenario where Ortega through Romano eat up 75-80% of the innings this bullpen gets in the year and that would look very good for the Crawdads.

Infield vs. RHP
C Mei
1B Cravat
2B Hansen
3B Mendez
SS Ruiz

As much as I love Mei, I hate when a team's best offensive player is their catcher because there are so many built in offdays for that position. Even the most strenuously used catcher in a high usage spot in the lineup isn't going to get much more than 500 ABs in a year - leaving another 150+ on the table for their backup even in an ideal scenario. That said, Mei is really, really great - and this will be his first year at full development. I expect big things - .900 OPS, 6+ WAR type big things. After that, Cravat looks nice for Huntsville or Brooklyn, but maybe not as nice in a place like New Orleans. He'll be better than his <.800 OPS last year, though. Hansen, Mendez and Ruiz all look like defense first, lineup black holes... and I'm not even really sure just how great they'll be defensively (7 average range for an infield seems low to me). I'm starting to see a trend, I suppose, because much like their pitching staff it's feast (Mei) or famine (Handez, Mendez and Ruiz) here.

Outfield vs. RHP
LF Mason
CF Costa
RF Norris
DH Pratt

I like Pratt and Norris a lot, and with Mei and Cravat that forms a pretty good 4-man heart of the order. Costa and Mason aren't quite on their level, but they won't embarrass, either. One thing I wonder about is this defense, though. At the moment you're looking at 5/5/7 positional ratings across the outfield and a pretty atrocious 5.66 average range across it. That seems like OF defense will be objectively bad - coupled with a questionable IF defense as documented above and I don't hold a lot of hope for the unit as a whole.

Honestly, I'm not seeing it this year for the Crawdads. They certainly have some enviable pieces and I'd say the roster is pretty terrific for the first 12-14 players, but there just doesn't appear to be any depth to the squad. Offensively, you're looking at 3 sink-holes at the back of the lineup after 4 studs and 2 goods. Pitching-wise, even if the top 4 of the bullpen does the heavy lifting as suggested, you're still looking at ~25-30% of your innings being thrown by questionable major leagues (their #5 rotation arm + the rest of the bullpen). And defensively there isn't a lot to be optimistic about. I don't think they'll be terrible, but I think the playoffs are probably not in the cards for them, either, unless they make some mid-season trades to start plugging some holes. The good news is that shouldn't be too hard if they want to try, but the bad news is that isn't really their GM's MO. Prediction: 80 wins, no playoffs
League Director: Kyle “agrudez” Stever*
*Also serves as chief muckraker
-Ron, 2025 media guide


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Re: 2035 New Orleans Crawdads - Know Thine Enemy Part Deux

Post by JimBob2232 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:10 pm

Good preview. I hear you on Alfonso, but the guy keeps performing. Soon as he stops...he'll be gone.

2B and 3B are weaknesses for sure. Losing Dempsey hurt. I like Ruiz alot more than you do though.

Lastly, looking forward to some new big bats. As you mention, 1st year of full development for Mei. Cravat for a full season. Ludlam and Costa should be good too.
Check out sureveymonkey for my trade block (Last updated 12/7/2018)

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