Yellow Springs Nine - 2038 Preview

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Spiccoli
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Yellow Springs Nine - 2038 Preview

Post by Spiccoli » Mon Mar 18, 2019 3:18 pm

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YELLOW SPRINGS NINE
INTRODUCTION

All things come to an end and such as it was for Yellow Springs in 2037, putting up the Franchise’s first losing season since 2027, while also ending their Play-Off appearance streak of 10 consecutive seasons.

However… Was it a planned drop off? Yellow Springs lost several key players to Free Agency during the previous offseason. Players good enough to award Yellow Springs with 3 Comp Draft picks in the following seasons, two – 1st Rounders and one – 2nd Rounder.

Sometimes playing the Contract Extension game is best handled by knowing when to let someone go, even though they’ve been so good for so long… that it hurts. And it appears GM Ron Collins’ crystal ball corrected forecasted that it was time to let go of his longtime Ace and leader to so many play-off appearances, Lawernce Columbus LaLoosh.

And so, the wheel keeps turning and Yellow Springs looks to the future with young players coming up, ready to reignite the fires of the Nine dominance in the Heartland Division. Or will the team need another season to regroup before making a playoff run?

IMPACT PLAYERS

Young Guns – The Nine appear ready to unleash it’s future Starting 1-2 Punch of Ernesto Ramos (11/6/7) and Carlos Valle (9/6/8). Ramos is still rather raw, but brings an devastating three pitch arsenal. However, it looks like his highly anticipated Circle Change is finally starting to come in and with it should bring his beginnings of BBA success. While Valle lacks the dominance in his pitches, he makes up for it in variety, throwing 5 solid pitches to keep hitters guessing.

CA Aaron Stone (8/8/8/8/5) – While several key players left prior to 2037, GM Ron Collins went all in with offensive cornerstone, Catcher Aaron Stone. While the 2036 & 2037 seasons didn’t live up to Stone’s stellar 2035 campaign, they were solid efforts from catcher position. However, they have to be considered disappointments from a player whose abilities with the bat warrant domination at the plate. Aaron is going to be the keystone that holds the offense together or let’s it crumple to the ground.

DH/1B/?? Lucas McNeil (8/8/7/6/6) - Let’s assume that one of most decorated hitters in the history of the BBA isn’t going to have a repeat of the disaster that was his 2037. Lucas was the other player that GM Ron Collins gambled on keeping while letting other veterans walks for Comp Picks… and his must have about cracked his crystal on this one. After awarding Lucas with one of the highest salaries in the BBA at $30 Million/Year, Lucas went out in 2037 and put up a WAR 7.3 points LOWER than 2036. I don’t know who keeps tracks of such stats, but that has to be one of the highest Year to Year drops offs of a player’s WAR in consecutive seasons. It’ll be shocking if McNeil puts up another negative WAR season back to back, since he’s never had a Season WAR lower 4.2 in any of his previous 9 career full seasons before 2037. He’s too good a hitter and should easily rebound in 2038. If it’s really the beginning of the end for McNeil and not just a road bump, it’s going to be a painful three guaranteed seasons for Ron Collins and the Nine.

CL Curt Phillips (12/6/6) – Phillips is cut from the recent BBA Draft trend of producing three pitch relievers with mediocre change ups. As dominant as his first pitches are, does trying to throw a terrible third pitch hold back what should be a dominant force out of the bullpen. The Scouts continue to rave about Phillips, yet he’s struggle badly in his 1st two seasons as the Nine’s Closer with ERA’s of 4.48 (2036) and 5.53 (2037). More importantly, Phillips has 17 blown saves in those two seasons. GM’s around the league have to pulling their hair, practically screaming at their pitching coaches to get these relievers to dump those ineffective 3rd Pitch Change Ups…

Alfredo Salazar, 36 (6/6/8/9/6) – Alfredo needs a room at home just to house his EBA/BBA Awards… All Star Appearances, Platinum Bats, a couple of Silver Slugger Trophies here a couple BBA Championships there… Oh, here’s a Rookie of the Year Award too. But, is he worth $16 Million for what’s basically one year. He signed a three year contract, but it’s like a pre-nup with options all over the place, for both sides. However, with Yellow Springs projected 2039 Payroll already over the Salary Cap, this looks like a one year deal. Salazar hasn’t had an All Star type of season since 2034, either due to injury or just slowing down, but he has the tools to be in the middle of the order and be a solid producer. He’s also no slouch in either corner outfield spot either.

ROLE PLAYERS

RP Momcilo Djuretic – The Bulgarian reliever has to one of the most consistently solid relievers for the Nine in the last 4 seasons. Since 2034, his highest ERA has been 3.06 (2037) and his lowest was 2.87 (2035), with the other two season wedged in between somehow. He’s not flashy, not the hardest throwing, he just gets guys out… (WHIP 1.01 2037). Yellow Springs leaned on him harder in 2037, boosting his innings to 80+, from the 55 inning average for the last three seasons.

LF George Robertson – Robertson is entering his 3rd big league season after posting 2.0 and 2.7 WAR in his first two seasons. George is sneaky good with his only weakness being a lack of range roaming the outfield. He has the tools to post a consistent 3.0-4.0 WAR year to year and still remain mostly unnoticed by the rest of the league.

Back of the Rotation – Things look a little rougher in the projected 3-5 starting spots of the rotation. Luis Colon might be the best of what's left. He made his BBA debut late last season and performed well enough. Han-Lee Kim and Callum Maybury also saw limited action with mixed (or little) success. The Front Office may have trouble finding a couple of bodies to eat innings while still giving the team a good chance to win games. If Yellow Springs looks to be in contention, you have to think the Front Office may try to find other options to fill out the starting rotation. However, if the team stumbles again, maybe they’ll ride it out with what they’ve got. There's a ton of talent in the minors.. but are they ready?

UF Bob Frazier – Every manager loves having a guy like this on the roster. Has the fielding tools to play the whole infield and won’t embarrass himself with the bat. Will likely play 2nd Base if Yellow Spring finally gives up on McNeil at the position. He’s too good to be a sub player, so look for Frasier to be in the everyday line up, the question will be where.
3B Rob Thomas / Alejandro Rodriquez – A projected platoon at Third Base, Thomas had a fantastic 2037 mashing Righties, but Rodriguez didn’t quite hold up his end of the partnership versus Lefties. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Frazier moving on Rodriguez’s turf versus LH Starters, allowing McNeil to play 2nd in limited duty and giving Yellow Springs more options at 1B or DH. Rodriquez has a nice glove may play a more active utility fielder role instead of just being the 2nd half of a 3B Platoon.

SS/3B Dong-Po Thum - Seeing action this Spring Training is spark plug, Dong-Po Thum. While fans may not know who he is yet, they soon will. With his running speed, gap power and just enough raw power, Thum is going to be hitting tons of extra base hits. He's solid enough with the glove to play short-stop, but it otherwise an annual Gold Glove winner. Thum may not start the season at the BBA level, but he may get the chance to see action if the team is in the hunt and needs to some extra offense from the middle infielder spot.

SUMMARY & OUTLOOK
Yellow Springs has the offensive talent to create some damage and maybe make a playoff run. However, there’s serious questions in the Pitching Staff Ernestos Ramos and Carlos Valle have the talent, but aren’t quite done improving yet. Closer Curt Phillips has yet to prove he’s worthy of all the high praise scouts have been showering on him. With the team hovering close to salary cap and projected to go over it next season, the timing may not quite be there for Yellow Springs to reenter the hunt for a Landis. There’s an insane amount of talent floating around the lower Minor Leagues, with 4 guys rated 70 or higher and 8 total rated 55 or higher. However, none of the them have played higher the Single A ball and 6 of them are 19 or younger.
Patience may be a virtue for Nine Fans and just hope for the best with what’s on the roster. There’s still plenty of guys there that are fun to rout for. If anything, Lucas McNeil fans have to pulling for him to come out his miserable 2037 season and show that he’s far from washed up at only age 31.

It’s also possible for Ramos and Valle to both have breakout seasons and carry the staff on their backs. Throw in Luis Colon as a nice 3rd starter, then all of sudden the landscape changes for the better.

Preseason Prediction - 82-86 Wins (2040 Prediction? Painfully Good)

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RonCo
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Re: Yellow Springs Nine - 2038 Preview

Post by RonCo » Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:44 pm

Good points overall, though we're obviously hoping for a little more.
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Re: Yellow Springs Nine - 2038 Preview

Post by Spiccoli » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:11 am

RonCo wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:44 pm
Good points overall, though we're obviously hoping for a little more.
Well... Pitching is so fickle sometimes. If the pieces fall right, Yellow Springs can definitely make a run.

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