2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Team, Division, League, Playoff, and all other comprehensive previews go here.
User avatar
jleddy
GB: UMEBA Ambassador
Posts: 2911
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:46 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA
Has thanked: 2989 times
Been thanked: 995 times

2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by jleddy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:40 am

OFFENSE

Image


While Omaha led all of baseball last year in homeruns (and one of only two teams to hit over 300), they were middle of the pack in the Heartland in runs scored. Jim Antolin, Andre Ly and Donald Miller all set career-highs in dingers last year: real growth or just a byproduct of their home stadium? Either way, their bats made the decision to let longtime Hawk/Cyclone Jimmy Starks Jr. walk in free agency easier to stomach. The free agent signings of catcher All-Star Diesel Dave (31 HR with Chicago) and first baseman Masaki Sato (35 HR with Edmonton) add even more pop to an already impressive line-up, and if Mark Simpson can bounce back from a career-worst season and get on base at a healthy clip, this offense has all the makings of being the best in the entire Frick, especially in their bandbox home park. It should be noted that the Cyclones, in addition to their feats of strength, also finished second in the Heartland in steals…Louisville has Semei Kwakou (2039 Silk winner) and Theo Bourges (2042 and 2044 Silk winner), so their offense has to be pretty damn good, right? Mix in a full-season from infielder Luis Mendoza, continued growth from platoon-masher HGH (.871 OPS vs LHP), and Jorge Moran’s return from a broken elbow that cost the former 40 home-run hitter half the season and you have yourself another impressive offense. Don’t sleep on the trade to acquire first baseman Otto Altaner , who isn’t a three-true-outcomes guy like the departing Yunosuke Terada, but has shown to be a consistent bat in the past (three seasons of at least 117 OPS+ prior to last year)…Ranking Yellow Springs third in any category feels like a slight, but the Nine and the aforementioned Cyclones and Sluggers are in a clear top tier of their own in the Heartland when it comes to offense. Not much has changed from last year, a season in which Yellow Springs led the division in runs scored. There isn’t a masher other than outfielder Rex Foster and first baseman Robert Chenoweth, both who should tally 40 dingers apiece this season, but the rest of the lineup are solid hitters who chip in with average, speed and on-base capabilities, including perennial Silk candidate Dong-po Thum. If Bret Powers can put it all together in his third season, look out. A warning to all other Heartland (and Frick) teams: you may want to try and stop the Nine from running amok on the basepaths, as Yellow Springs swiped the most bags in the divison (and second-most in the entire Frick). Of course, they also had the best rate and base running metrics too, so even if you try and slow them down, it may not work…New-look Twin Cities will likely have fans referencing their media guides well into May, but all the arriving River Monsters via free agency and trade will certainly improve on their offense that ranked last in 2044. The heart of the order includes returnees Jose Calderon, Jose Cordero and Francisco Arredondo, and each one swings an impressive bat. Table-setters Jose Figueroa (.857 OPS in Chicago) and Alex Ramirez (.913 OPS in San Fernando) add much needed punch. Don’t sleep on new centerfielder Ronnie Hubbard, who has seen his stock fall the last two years but has the potential (and history) of a 40/40 season along with a .300 average….Scoring the second-most runs in the Heartland last year was Nashville, and the spring training-signing of outfielder Martin Marin from division-foe Louisville will add some additional right-handed power to the lineup. The offense is led by superstar third baseman Tony Frost, Alberto Rodriguez is one of the best hitting catchers in all of the Brewster and Kidane Ata is looking to build off his last two impressive seasons. If rookies Pedro Mendoza (.632 SLG in 50 Triple-A games) and Odemar Lock (.916 OPS in 143 Triple-A games) can adjust to life in the big leagues, Nashville just might be able to repeat, if not improve, their run total from last year and hold-off fellow Heartland teams who have been revamping their offenses this off-season…Chicago has had more success putting out pitching talent then hitters in recent history, as attributed to their second-fewest run total in the Heartland last year. The annual 30+ home runs from Diesel Dave are gone and his replacement behind the dish of Spencer Hillson is a glove-first backstop. The aforementioned Jose Figueroa was traded to Chicago and free agent signee William Wood will be likely asked to fill his void. Wood, on his now fourth team in three seasons, should add some firepower but he’ll need to play in more than 120 games to make any difference whatsoever, something he hasn’t been able to do since 2041. The haul for Figueroa included third baseman Jose Benavidez (.866 OPS vs LHP in 2044), however returner Tomas Duran is already a fine switch-hitting option at third who is looking to bounce back from down year (.793 OPS in 2044, .897 OPS in 2043). Continued improvement from 1B/DH Aarnoud Budding and 2B Rocky Wattson will give the Black Sox pitchers a little more room to breathe game to game. Has anyone seen 2042 Hao Hang? If so, please call the Chicago front office immediately…Des Moines was middle-of-the-pack in nearly all offense categories last year in the Heartland, but the team nearly made no moves during the off-season to improve offensively (or pitching, for that matter). Lucio de la Cruz has arguably the rawest power in the entire league this side of Hugh Mangrouthormone and the Kernels will need another 45 HR/.925 OPS season out of him this year. Norihisa Yokoyama (.297/.387/.531 in 106 games) was looking like an All-Star candidate before suffering a fractured wrist in May and missing over a month of playing time, so a return to 600+ plate appearances will be huge. First baseman Juan Mateo returned to form last season (.903 OPS) and the offense will need second baseman Chua-kah Yang (.616 OPS in 2044, .772 OPS in 2043) to do the same this year if the team wants to improve on their 105-loss campaign. Improving on their base stealing totals (and base running metrics) could go a long way for this station-to-station offense…Madison had a league-average offense last year despite finishing last in the Heartland in home runs, thanks to a Frick League-best .265 team batting average. The Wolves failed to address their lack of power during the winter and will once again lean on the elite contact skills of 2044 batting champ Chris Mann (.365), Manobu Shimizu (.313) and Salvador Allende (.290). Jose Hernandez (career .794 OPS) is a solid but unremarkable option at second base and outfielder Andrew Torres (.862 OPS), who had his best offensive season in four years, will need to repeat his numbers, if not improve on them again, in order for Madison to even flirt with a .500 record at season’s end.





PITCHING/DEFENSE

Image

The pitching factory that is Yellow Springs returns with another loaded rotation and bullpen, with just about all the same faces as last year’s top-rated arms. One loss that will be tough to overcome, even for the Nine, was that of former Nebraska winner Tiernan O’Macken, who was shipped to Phoenix in a deal to add some minor league depth and give the front office some financial breathing room. With the standout lefty gone, fellow relievers Al Colbert (2.05 ERA/0.85 WHIP in 2044), Angel Hernandez (1.37/0.72), Roberto Ramirez (2.14/0.63), Sergio Perez (3.14/0.82) and Josh Henson (3.82/1.09) will shoulder the load, a task they should be up for. Three-time and reigning Nebraska winner Carlos Valle is the staff ace, however it’s not an even year, so maybe he’ll just be extremely good and not the very best. Ernesto Ramos, whose season was cut short in September and whose presence was greatly missed in the postseason, is slated to return to the rotation by May. The biggest question mark is that of the left shoulder of starter Carlos Pineda, who has only pitched 60 innings the last two years after multiple injuries. Valle, Ramos and Pineda are possibly the best trio in the league, but when it comes to pitchers and their health, anything can happen. As good as they are offensively, catcher Jesus Rodriguez and 2B Dong-po Thum are game changers up the middle, arguably the best at their positions in the entire Brewster. The Nines’ strong overall defense helps take some burden off their pitching staff every game…Chicago butters their bread with pitching and if Yellow Springs has competition for the best bullpen in the Brewster, it may come from the Black Sox. Gilberto Sosa and mid-season acquisition Mitchell Purssell make it nearly every Chicago game a race to the eighth inning. Francisco Salgado provides lights-out stuff from the lefthand side and two-way player Paul Kemp is starting to make a case to become an excellent everyday reliever. Amayas Moelling, fresh off of signing a six-year extension, has Nebraska dreams of his own and David Bates continues to improve every year in the rotation. Long-time starter Juan Nicto left via free agency, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Expected to replace him full-time will be John McClain, who struggled in his rookie season last year but has the skills to be a solid #3 man on a championship-caliber rotation…Nashville pitchers ranked middle of the pack in the Heartland last year in ERA and strikeouts, but the upside for this staff is huge and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they finish near the top in 2045. Starters Chin Kim and Hao Kun are never going to win Nebraskas, but you can’t discount how hard it is to replace 400 innings every year of solid, reliable pitching. Just as reliable are returners Chris Moran and Alvin Chartrand, however all eyes will be on two young arms: southpaw Scott Bugbie (3.51 ERA, 1.07 WHIP in 51 innings) and rookie Robinson Valdez (3.93 ERA, 1.21 WHIP in 132 innings in Triple-A). Both pitchers debuted last year in swingman roles, however with the losses of Kim and Kun, expect one, if not both, to become full-time starters this season. Free agent signing Miguel Angel Garza has dominant stuff (when he can find the plate) and will be at a minimum fun to watch, while Martin Roman (198 ERA+ in 51 appearances) has the looks of becoming one of the Brewster’s next great relief aces…Possibly the most volatile staff in the Heartland is that of Louisville, who has just as many question marks as they do studs. Stan Palacios is as reliable as they come, but it gets shaky from there. Ace James Browning was in the midst of a Nebraska-caliber season until a season-ending elbow injury in early August shelved him for six-plus months. Barring setbacks, Browning is set to return by April or May, but what will his form be and what kind of load can he handle is anyone’s guess. To make things even more worrisome is the ticking timebomb that is Armando Feliciano. “Commie Child” has been very, very good at times and scouts think he still has room to improve at age 25, but a spotty injury track record going back to his years in the minors as a prospect has Sluggers fans and coaches on pins and needles. Feliciano will need to defy the odds and put together a fourth-straight healthy season if Louisville wants to get back to the playoffs. Injury-prone overachiever Knud Zeitler and his 21 starts of 2.76 ERA was shipped to Sacramento and Oginga Coujoe was run out of town after 39 miserable appearances last year, leaving this staff even thinner. Keep an eye on Emanuele Mercati, who quietly put together a stellar season last year out of the bullpen and could contend for an Egan in the very near future…As quickly as Omaha tried to establish their pitching with the blockbuster free agent signing of Aki Kondo last year, they team traded him away a year later, leaving a massive hole to fill. Timo Dooley has improved every year in the big leagues, capped off by a Geoghegan Round MVP award this past postseason. He’s now the de facto ace with Kondo gone. Norio Hayashi and Jorge Hernandez are solid middle-of-the-rotation options, but past that, who knows. Juan Ruiz has yet to put it together in 180 innings in the Brewster and Jose Lima looks to be washed up at age 27. Jake Garcia looks destined for a career in the bullpen and The Great Leonardo Ramos Experiment appears to have knuckled under. Prospect Grux Parks could be the answer to replace Aki Kondo, at least in terms of innings, but the lack of an invite to spring training this pre-season leaves his role for 2045 up in the air. Keep in mind that last year’s rotation threw 20 complete games, nine more than Frick runner-up Seattle. One thing Omaha can hang its hat on is their strong overall defense, highlighted by 2045 Zimmer wins by 3B Emilio Morales, CF Orlando Ordonez and RF Andre Ly. The team should be strong once again with the glove and their pitching staff needs all the help they can get…With much publicity and fanfare, the Twin Cities rebuild affected their pitching more than anything. Tadamichi Ando, Josh Brown and Chris Kelly were all allowed to leave via free agency, leaving 74 starts from 2045 to be filled this season. Free agent signees Carlos Rodriguez and Hao Kun should comprise north of 60 total starts and with much better results. Hector Amaral was a casualty of the new front office as well, being swapped for Kevin Morales in Portland, a deal that is likely a wash on the field but allowed for additional off-season spending by the River Monsters. The big prize was the acquisition of future Hall of Fame closer Shawn Huber, who leaves the desert air of Las Vegas after 14 seasons for the cooler climate of Minneapolis. Huber’s veteran leadership and still-elite skills should pay dividends in both the win column and ticket sales. It’s certainly a new-look staff and one that should improve on its dismal 2044 results, but is the ceiling high enough to reach the post-season?…Once home to one of the brightest young arms in the game in Don Smith, the pitching staff in Des Moines has been looking for an identity for the last several seasons. After numerous trades and high draft picks, the team may finally have a few arms worth showing up to the ballpark for. Timmy Karnes is only 23 but already has 87 big league starts under his belt and made improvements last year that bodes well for 2045. Juan Garcia -- the left-handed version – pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in 2042 and 2043, but made 20 starts last year and 38 total appearances with promising results. The big name to watch this season is 20-year-old Anthony DeYoung, the #2 prospect in the Brewster. He’s yet to pitch above Double-A but don’t be surprised if he makes his major league debut when rosters expand in late 2045. The bullpen has intriguing arms in Juan Garcia – the right-handed version – and Bill Keil. This staff is probably a year away from being noticed, but there is finally some light at the end of the Kernels’ tunnel. The future of Des Moines’ pitching is a lot closer to being ranked #6 than it is #8…Fit for a Ripley’s Believe It or Not pamphlet, the Madison offense rated dead last in the Heartland in home runs hit, however their pitching staff gave up the fourth-most gopher balls in the entire Frick. Maybe they should be trying to trade away some of their pitchers to division rivals? Eru Likiliki’s first season in Madison resulted in a league-leading 54 home runs allowed. Veteran starter Yorikane Miyamoto led the league with 37 starts, which is great until you look at his ERA (5.55) and WHIP (1.43). Alexandre Doyle and Sean Spits combined for 140 innings of over 8.00 ERA results, so they will hardly be missed. Sure, relievers Sergio Costello and Raphael Castagna are nice, but what’s the point when your rotation (or lack of one) can pencil you in for 90+ losses? First baseman Chris Mann flashed not only an incredible bat in 2045, but elite-elite leather to win a Zimmer in his rookie season. Unfortunately, even the most impressive defensive first baseman can only prevent so many runs. Maybe he can give a try at pitching this year too?
"My $#!? doesn't work in the playoffs." - Billy Beane Joe Lederer

User avatar
usnspecialist
GB: League Advisor
Posts: 5351
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2017 9:39 am
Location: Manama, Bahrain
Has thanked: 168 times
Been thanked: 524 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by usnspecialist » Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:53 am

so you are saying madison will finish last huh?
Randy Weigand
Havana Sugar Kings/San Fernando Bears: 2032-
1052-893

Landis Champion- 34
Johnson Champion- 34
Frick Champion- 36, 37
Johnson League Southern- 34
Frick League Pacific- 37, 39
,Wild Card- 33, 35, 36, 40, 43

Image

User avatar
jleddy
GB: UMEBA Ambassador
Posts: 2911
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:46 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA
Has thanked: 2989 times
Been thanked: 995 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by jleddy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:00 am

usnspecialist wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 4:53 am
so you are saying madison will finish last huh?
Yes, but at least they have a good farm system to turn it around in a few seasons.
"My $#!? doesn't work in the playoffs." - Billy Beane Joe Lederer

User avatar
Ted
BBA GM
Posts: 5609
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:50 pm
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 369 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by Ted » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:21 am

I'm hoping the fact that there are only 3 teams ahead of me here in both pitching and defense means that I can finish 4th in the Heartland, which will hopefully get me into the playoffs. My pitching is very very thin, and yeah, I lack top starters. I think I have 8th overall pick. Someone save me an ace.
Ted Schmidt
Twin Cities Typing Nightmares(2044-present)
California Crusaders (2021-2038)
Image

User avatar
HoosierVic
BBA GM
Posts: 3053
Joined: Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:16 pm
Has thanked: 460 times
Been thanked: 989 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by HoosierVic » Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:33 am

It’s true that Tomas Duran is a fine hitting switch-hitter, but his zone rating at 3B last season was -9. As in negative nine. That took our infield from one of the better defensive units in the Frick to one of the worst - which is why we got Benevidez. Not as good a hitter, but also not someone who stands on the bag and wonders what that little round white thing is rolling by him into left field ... not that we’re bitter, of course.

User avatar
JimBob2232
BBA GM
Posts: 3209
Joined: Sun May 16, 2010 12:54 pm
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 110 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by JimBob2232 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:11 am

well done!
Check out sureveymonkey for my trade block (Last updated 12/7/2018)

User avatar
niles08
BBA GM
Posts: 2008
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:15 pm
Has thanked: 95 times
Been thanked: 223 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by niles08 » Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:10 am

Nice write up Joe! I am pretty excited about Dave & Sato. Unfortunately, I have to find a spot for Sato to play as our lineup against RHP is pretty well set with Miller as the DH and Estrada at 1B. I am hoping that our pitching staff just holds steady with that Dooley, Hayashi, Hernandez order but I know I am going to likely have to find another arm eventually if I want to compete this season.
Image

User avatar
Dington
BBA GM
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:06 am
Has thanked: 344 times
Been thanked: 187 times
Contact:

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by Dington » Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:26 am

Heartland is stupid. Praying for a wildcard spot this season.
Nashville Bluebirds GM
2044 Spring Training Champs (25-5)
Kuwait City GM 2042-43
2043 UMEBA United Cup Champion*

User avatar
jleddy
GB: UMEBA Ambassador
Posts: 2911
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:46 pm
Location: Long Beach, CA
Has thanked: 2989 times
Been thanked: 995 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by jleddy » Wed Nov 25, 2020 3:05 pm

Dington wrote:
Wed Nov 25, 2020 11:26 am
Heartland is stupid. Praying for a wildcard spot this season.
The GMs are meh, but the talent on the field is undeniable.
"My $#!? doesn't work in the playoffs." - Billy Beane Joe Lederer

User avatar
sjshaw
BBA GM
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:09 pm
Has thanked: 217 times
Been thanked: 87 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by sjshaw » Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:42 pm

This was great. Thanks!
GM, Louisville Sluggers, end of 2038 - current

Image

User avatar
lordtoffee
BBA GM
Posts: 228
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2019 8:23 am
Has thanked: 12 times
Been thanked: 100 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by lordtoffee » Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:48 pm

I think Ted will take TC places. He seems to have a plan, and I think there is going to be enough talent in the draft.
President of Baseball Operations and GM, Brooklyn Robins: 2043-

Former GM,Hebrew Hammers: 2041-2042
2042 Bancroft Champs

User avatar
Ted
BBA GM
Posts: 5609
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:50 pm
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 369 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by Ted » Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:52 pm

lordtoffee wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:48 pm
I think Ted will take TC places. He seems to have a plan, and I think there is going to be enough talent in the draft.
Don't be deceived. This is a "I don't care if it works plan." I'm not really trying to win. I'm trying to be the worst team in online OOTP league history within 3 years. This is simply the most enjoyable route to get there.
Ted Schmidt
Twin Cities Typing Nightmares(2044-present)
California Crusaders (2021-2038)
Image

User avatar
Ted
BBA GM
Posts: 5609
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:50 pm
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 369 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by Ted » Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:54 pm

Ted wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:52 pm
lordtoffee wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:48 pm
I think Ted will take TC places. He seems to have a plan, and I think there is going to be enough talent in the draft.
Don't be deceived. This is a "I don't care if it works plan." I'm not really trying to win. I'm trying to be the worst team in online OOTP league history within 3 years. This is simply the most enjoyable route to get there.
And now I see you said "places". Not necessarily good places. The place I'm looking for is the dumpster behind the Golden Corral in hell.
Ted Schmidt
Twin Cities Typing Nightmares(2044-present)
California Crusaders (2021-2038)
Image

User avatar
shoeless.db
BBA GM
Posts: 1606
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 10:25 pm
Has thanked: 1194 times
Been thanked: 726 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by shoeless.db » Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:46 pm

Ted wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:54 pm
Ted wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:52 pm
lordtoffee wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:48 pm
I think Ted will take TC places. He seems to have a plan, and I think there is going to be enough talent in the draft.
Don't be deceived. This is a "I don't care if it works plan." I'm not really trying to win. I'm trying to be the worst team in online OOTP league history within 3 years. This is simply the most enjoyable route to get there.
And now I see you said "places". Not necessarily good places. The place I'm looking for is the dumpster behind the Golden Corral in hell.
So, Denny’s at 2am on Saturday night?
Sacramento Mad Popes
-- Pacific Champs 2040, 2042, 2043
Life is a bit more beautiful when time is measured by the half inning rather than the half hour.

User avatar
Ted
BBA GM
Posts: 5609
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:50 pm
Has thanked: 366 times
Been thanked: 369 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by Ted » Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:04 pm

shoeless.db wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:46 pm
Ted wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:54 pm
Ted wrote:
Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:52 pm


Don't be deceived. This is a "I don't care if it works plan." I'm not really trying to win. I'm trying to be the worst team in online OOTP league history within 3 years. This is simply the most enjoyable route to get there.
And now I see you said "places". Not necessarily good places. The place I'm looking for is the dumpster behind the Golden Corral in hell.
So, Denny’s at 2am on Saturday night?
That's another good choice. I also considered Panda Express and Boston Market.
Ted Schmidt
Twin Cities Typing Nightmares(2044-present)
California Crusaders (2021-2038)
Image

User avatar
CTBrewCrew
BBA GM
Posts: 1571
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:20 am
Location: Milford, CT
Has thanked: 529 times
Been thanked: 448 times

Re: 2045 Heartland Division Heat Check

Post by CTBrewCrew » Thu Nov 26, 2020 7:39 pm

Jeeze guy cant even get a current logo posted
Image

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Previews”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest