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2038 Atlantic City Gamblers ...Continuing to Shuffle the Deck
It's hard to believe that just a little oer a year a go, Atlantic City was a 90 win playoff team. It was kind of a fluke season in the middle of a rebuild that just goes to prove how good of a GM Joshua Biddle is. He doesn't always need the best players at every position and can find things in players that others are blind to. The reason I call it a fluke though, is that the Gamblers are still shuffling the deck, lining up their cards and awaiting the right moment to push all in. That moment was not last season and it probably won't be this year either. Let's take a look at the hand being dealt.
Allan MacHugh (4/4/6/10/3 Talents)
Marc-Andre Pare (5/5/6/5/6 Talents)
Gabriel Flores (5/5/7/5/7 Talents)
MacHugh fits the definition of what a typical Gambler hitter looks like. Great eye and good power. Allan has been a career backup who seems to put up a positive WAR almost every season. Maybe he'll do alright as a starter? I think he could. But the fact is, if you even have to ask this question... he is not ideal for a winning team.
I'm not sure who the backup will be or if it even matters. Flores and Pare are pretty similiar. They will likely both see time with the big club as injuries are a thing. So it's good to have some depth at a position that you can't just stick anyone.
Adrian Salazar (7/7/8/6/6 Talents)
Gustavo Aguilera (7/8/8/5/6 Talents)
Ian Warren (8/10/8/5/6 Talents)
Salazar is one of the games more prominant young sluggers. With 149 HR before his 24th birthday, he could be on track for a 500 HR career. 2037 was a down year for him. His numbers looked off, but it was only due to playing time. I believe he may have been in a platoon for a portion of the season.
Aguilera was a platoon player in the past. 2037 was his coming out party as a full time player. He will look to build off of his .275/.333/.507 line. Neither one of these players will win a Diamond Glove and in an ideal world, both are DH's. But this isn't slow pitch softball or little league. It's the BBA and there is just one DH. So you got to squeeze these two sluggers in somehow.
Warren is a solid prospect who is young, raw, and a ways away. He could surplant one of these two 3-4 seasons down the road.
Keith Dean (8/8/6/5/8 Talents)
Bucky Dornster (6/6/6/8/6 Talents)
Derrek Kennedy (6/7/7/4/6 Talents)
Jeaic Dalyell (6/6/1/3/8 Talents)
Aubrey Montgomery (5/6/6/3/8 Talents)
Imazighen Kibasila (6/7/4/5/7 Talents)
Keith "P" Dean is a rock solid second baseman that just about any team would love to have. He consistantly makes makes hard contact and is goog or 60-70 extra base hits a seaon. Dornster used to be that guy too. While his stats are yet to reflect it, his ratings appear to be heading south. Since this is a 2038 preview. I'm going to say he will still be a solid producer at 3B. But as a player signed to big money through the 2041 season. The future doesn't seem so bright.
Kennedy enters the season as the Gamblers starting SS. Quite frankly that is a situation that may need to be addressed. I love Derrek Kennedy (6/7/7/4/6 Talents) and think he is a great player, but his skills at short are eroding. He really needs to move to 3rd, but Dornster is not likely going anywhere anytime soon. Montgomery and Dalyell are both solid offensive backups. But they lack in defense as well. I really don't even see a capable shortstop on the roster.
Kibasilais still too far off to be relevant in this preview. But I like this kid a lot and think Atlantic City really needs a player like him. He's capable of playing 6-7 positions and can hit well enough to stay in the lineup everyday.
Millard Younger (8/9/6/5/7 Talents)
John Noble (7/9/7/6/5 Talents)
Victor Guerra (6/6/8/6/5 Talents)
Ricardo Hernandez (4/5/7/8/5 Talents)
Stanley R. Perimutter (4/3/6/5/6 Talents)
Younger and Noble should dramatically change this offense. Younger is going to be star in this league and Noble is a solid player. Hernandez will be helped out a lot by the new additions as he will no longer have to handle the everyday CF duties. His defense should see a night and day difference in LF where he will platoon with free agent slugger Guerra.
Meanwhile the additions of Younger and Noble appear to displace Perimutter. Stanley's career numbers have dropped off quite a bit since his career year in 2035. He'll have a tough time cracking the everyday lineup so in turn has been re-learning 3rd base this spring.
Dusty Welch (7/7/7 Talents)
Andre Georges (7/5/8 Talents)
Yu Vgotmael (7/6/4 Talents)
Francisco Barrera (6/4/7 Talents)
David Perea (6/6/6 Talents)
Miguel Pena (7/4/6 Talents)
too much to list
Dusty Welch (7/7/7 Talents) is a very solid pitcher. He may not be a #1 on a playoff team. But he should definitely be at least a number two. At age 22, look for a breakout season from the man the call "Skid Row". After Welch slots Georges. I'm not really a fan. Something about a guy who throws 101 mph and only having an 8 stuff(in true rating) gives me a sour taste. But that is just personal opinion. I get why the Gambles bet on him. His a veteran who can throw a lot of innings on a young staff. That certainly has value.
Ding....Yu Vgotmael (7/6/4 Talents). You know...off topic... but we have some GM's in the league that probably don't even know what that means. Damn I feel old. Anyway. I like Yu. He's a lefty with a lot of decent pitches and is really wild. Those pitchers seem to do moderately well. After Vgotmael comes bunch of young pitchers with borderline abilities.
On the farm is a lot of young pitching on different levels of ability. It appears Josh has been focusing more on drafting pitching then anything else recently and it will be exciting to see how it pans out. 2038 though, not as exciting.
Ignacio Martinez (10/5/5 Talents)
Jose Ordonez (10/6/5 Talents)
Yoshitoshi Ota (8/6/7 Talents)
Clarence McCall (9/6/5 Talents)
Luis Flores (6/6/8 Talents)
Javier Venegas (9/4/5 Talents)
Carlos Rodriguez (7/6/7 Talents)
Atlantic City has a nice selection of young hard throwing bullpen arms. I believe some of them can be starters as well. Ota in particular I feel could be the teams #4 starter. Martinez was a reliable closer last year and looks to continue down that path. One notable omission from this list is the Turtle Bob Sanderson (7/5/5 Talents). He blew out his arm in spring training, likely ending his potential hall of fame career.
In summary, Atlantic City has a potent offense, a generally good defense with a couple of holes, meh starting pitching beyond Welch, and a solid bullpen. The team will no doubt see better days in the future. Despite the fact that they've played it middle of the road rather then tear down and rebuild. The farm system is getting stronger by the day. There are a lot of solid pieces coming up. This team is definitely in the stages of lining things up for a run. They are just biding their time right now. So as far as 2038, it won't be great, it won't be bad. The Johnson Atlantic is a terrible division this year 2-5. I'll guess the middle ground and say 81-81. That might be good enough for 2nd place... more likely 3rd though.
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