Thursday, May 29, 2008

Signing Under the Influence

Carlton Graham Chambers III - Cobbfather Post Gazette

In what might be one of the most shocking news items of the season, star prospect Luis Carrasco turned down a higher value offer from the Florida Shark Waves to sign with the formerly luckless Jacksonville Klines. Reports out of Miami have stated that the Shark Waves offered the Cuban defector Carrasco a deal worth 13.845 million dollars, whilst the contract that was signed with the Klines is reported to be worth 12.7 million dollars. When asked why he took a deal worth roughly 1 million dollars less than another offer on the table from the hometown team, Carrasco said, "I sign contract, very good. Idol Dallas Kline is hitting idol." When asked if the Cuban national spoke any English, he said, "Me like the English! Bud Light!"

Carrasco, who represented himself in the negotiations after defecting from his communist homeland, might have been swimming in his head with the complex contract negotiations, or from the many glasses of wine and beer he was rumored to have consumed before he signed his contract. Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens scout Matty Ortiz, who discovered Carrasco playing stickball in Little Cuba in Miami, said Ortiz had problems with legal language. "I tried to explain to him that a big league deal didn't mean he would be able to actually play on the big league squad, but that concept had trouble getting through his head. I think the Klines might have signed him though subterfuge and alcohol, as my drinking buddy Vic was in a world of his own until I told him about Carrasco over a couple shots. Then he stumbled out of the bar and said that he would 'sign that there player.' At least I think that's what he said, it's a bit cloudy."

Victor Gil, the scout who signed Carrasco, was unavailable for comment, as he was passed out at a Jacksonville bar when our reporters were scheduled to meet with him. However, the Klines did issue an official statement about the signing. "Victor has been scouting for Jacksonville for over 60 years (since Ploppie first became a grandfather). While he has not lived a perfect life, we stand by him in denying these allegations." But there is no denying that the Klines scored big when Carrasco inked his name on their dotted line.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Season 1 Draft Analysis - Picks 17-32

Cesar Liriano
St. Louis
Wiffle Ball Kings
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Mishicot, WI
Position(s): DH
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17. Cesar Liriano, 1B - St. Louis Wiffle Ball Kings
Pros: Very good hitter across the board.
Cons: Health concerns could be a problem.
Grade: A- --Liriano is as good a hitting 1B as can be had, this was a good pick getting a solid bat at #17.

Dean Gagne
Beer Bashers
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: E Grand Forks, MN
Position(s): RF
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18. Dean Gagne, LF - Colorado Beer Bashers
Pros: Good power, splits, and batting eye, very durable.
Cons: Weak glove and contact skills at the plate.
Grade: B+ --Gagne will be a solid player, but his glove will a liability that may force him to a 1B or DH role.

Weldon Black
Beer Bashers
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Linn, MO
Position(s): P (none)
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19. Weldon Black, SP - Colorado Beer Bashers
Pros: Good control, velocity, stamina, and for solid pitches.
Cons: Only slightly above average splits, low velocity.
Grade: B+ --Black has the skills to be a #3 starter, but his movement at the plate isn't deceptive and could hold him back a bit.

Nick Burkett
Flying Pigs
Age: 22B/T: L/R
Born: Blacksburg, SC
Position(s): SS/IF/OF
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20. Nick Burkett, SS - Cincinnati Flying Pigs
Pros: Exceptional glove, range, arm accuracy, and arm strength, great vs. right handed pitching.
Cons: Dreadful vs. lefties.
Grade: B+ --Burkett may not be an offensive dynamo, but his skills with the glove and ability to hit righties will land him an everyday spot.

Art Parris
Old Style
Age: 21B/T: S/R
Born: Helena, OK
Position(s): 2B
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21. Art Parris, 2B - Chicago Old Style
Pros: Highly durable 2B who is above average with the glove and the bat.
Cons: Nothing exceptional in his skill set.
Grade: B/B+ --Parris is a durable and competent player who won't embarrass himself on the field. He probably won't be an all star though.

Erv Jodie
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Shaker Heights, OH
Position(s): P (SP1)
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22. Erv Jodie, SP - Madison Mucho
Pros: Great control, excellent vs. right handed hitting, and good velocity, GB/FB, and pitch selection.
Cons: Health is a concern, stamina is low for a starting pitcher.
Grade: A --Jodie is the best pitcher in the draft vs. right handed hitting, and is very solid otherwise. Getting him at #21 was very good value for the pick.

Wesley Cooke
Shark Waves
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Hudson, MA
Position(s): P (SP2)
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23. Wesley Cooke, SP - Florida Shark Waves
Pros: Workhorse SP with excellent control and GB/FB ratio.
Cons: Average splits and only 3 pitches, one of which is below average.
Grade: B- --Cooke has the control to overcome his weak pitch selection and average splits, but he doesn't project to be more than a #3/4 starter at best.

Skip Jeffcoat
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Metairie, LA
Position(s): 2B
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24. Skip Jeffcoat, 2B - Hartford Highlanders
Pros: Above average glove, good contact hitter, and good baserunner.
Cons: Average splits and batting eye,
Grade: B+ --Jeffcoat falls into the same category as Art Parris, Wendell Weaver, and Moose Fossum.

Kris Matthews
San Diego
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: Painted Post, NY
Position(s): C
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25. Kris Matthews, C - San Diego Spicolis
Pros: Tremendous Power, superb batting eye, great vs. lefties, calls a good game.
Cons: Poor contact hitter, weak vs. righties, poor arm accuracy, average durability.
Grade: B --Matthews is one of the more intriguing players taken in the draft, his hitting skills are great in parts, and his play in the field is great in parts, but he isn't solid across the board in either skill set. It will be interesting to see how he develops.

Dan Forrester
Santa Fe
Heat Wave
Age: 20B/T: R/R
Born: Yanceyville, NC
Position(s): 3B
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26. Dan Forrester, 3B - Santa Fe Heat Wave
Pros: Good power, splits, batting eye, and durability.
Cons: Poor contact hitter, glove is more suited for the outfield than 3B.
Grade: B+ --Forrester is a good hitter outside of his poor contact, but his glove isn't capable of playing 3B, but a move to LF or RF would make him a perfect fit for any lineup.

27. Phillip Hawkins, SP - Mexico City Gringos
--Rating pending as Hawkins is unavailable to Post Gazette Scouts

Chuck Tremie
Fried Pickles
Age: 21B/T: R/R
Born: Akron, IN
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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28. Chuck Tremie, IF - Texas Fried Pickles
Pros: Highly durable, above average glove.
Cons: Average hitter, poor arm strength for an infielder.
Grade: C+ --Tremie seems destined to be a utility player, as he can play most postions, but not exceptionally.

Alex Cela
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Hollywood, FL
Position(s): 1B
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29. Alex Cela, 1B - Durham Radicals
Pros: Good contact hitter who is good vs. righties and has a very good batting eye.
Cons: Not as much power as you would like in a 1B.
Grade: B+ --Cela is a very good hitter, but if he had a bit more power he would be better suited to the positon.

Ben Neugebauer
Rat Bastids
Age: 22B/T: R/R
Born: Danville, IL
Position(s): P (ClA)
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30. Ben Neugebauer, P - Fargo Rat Bastids
Pros: Impeccable control, above average splits, fine pitch selection.
Cons: Low stamina, average GB/FB ratio.
Grade: B+ --Neugebauer doesn't have the stamina necessary to be a starter, but he would make a fine addition to any bullpen.

Orlando Rojas
Los Angeles
Age: 18B/T: L/R
Born: Garden City, NY
Position(s): DH
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31. Orlando Rojas, DH - Los Angeles Roseboros
Pros: Masterful at the plate, can absolutely crush the ball.
Cons: Not real good defensively, very low durability limits him to platoon status.
Grade: B/B+ --Rojas can really hit the ball, but the question is if he will be able to get more than 300 AB's in a season.

William Power
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Cleveland, OH
Position(s): RF
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32. William Power, RF - Monterrey Ducks
Pros: Great contact hitter, good batting eye, above average glove for position.
Cons: Weak vs. righties, poor health a concern.
Grade: B --Good pick for #32, but Power is limited by his ability vs. right handed pitching, and his injury risk.

Season 1 Draft Analysis - Picks 1-16

Gordon Poblanski - Cobbfather Post Gazette

The inaugural amateur draft in Cobbfather World was held last week, and now that most of the picks are signed it is time to see who fared the best in picking their future stars (or bench riders).

Trey Padgett
Rolling Rocks
Age: 19B/T: R/R
Born: Loudonville, OH
Position(s): 2B/CIF/OF/DH
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1. Trey Padgett, 2B - Rochester Rolling Rocks
Pros: Supremely gifted hitter with the health and durability to play everyday. One of the highest ceilings of any player in the draft.
Cons: He can't pitch or play all 9 positions at once.
Grade: A+ --Padgett has all the tools to be a perennial all star, and at his current state of development, he is only a few seasons away from making a real impact.

2. Marvin Mays, SS - Tampa Bay Cyclones
Pros: Projects to be as talented at the plate as Padgett, but also has elite skills with the glove.
Cons: Might not sign
Grade: A+ (if he signs) --If Mays signs this is an excellent pick, but it is a risky gamble by the Cyclones.

Sarma Flores
Age: 18B/T: S/L
Born: Tornillo, TX
Position(s): P (SP1)
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3. Sarma Flores, SP - Hartford Highlanders
Pros: Workhorse pitcher who with excellent control, high velocity, and several very good pitches.
Cons: Third pitch is weak, and he has only slightly above average splits vs. right handed hitting.
Grade: A --Flores should be a capable innings eater once he makes the bigs, and his control should overcome his weakness vs. righties.

Al Martinez
New York
Pride of the Yankees
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Westminster, CO
Position(s): C
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4. Al Martinez, C - New York Pride of the Yankees
Pros: Possibly the best hitter in the draft, also extremely durable for a catcher.
Cons: Not the best defensive catcher in the world, only average pitch calling skills.
Grade: A- --Martinez will work wonders with the bat, but is prone to defensive lapses. Still, his work with the stick should make up for that.

Darrell Wright
Pouncing Penguins
Age: 20B/T: L/L
Born: Naches, WA
Position(s): P (SP1)
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5. Darrell Wright, SP - Pawtucket Pouncing Penguins
Pros: Workhorse pitcher with near impeccable control and serious velocity. Devastating vs. lefties and has a very good pitch selection.
Cons: Only above average vs. righties, fifth pitch isn't the greatest.
Grade: A+ --Anytime you can get an ace quality pitcher who could have been the first draft pick at #5, you have done well. Wright will be very good.

Tom Brumbaugh
Age: 19B/T: L/L
Born: Groesbeck, TX
Position(s): P (SP1)
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6. Tom Brumbaugh, SP - Memphis Goats
Pros: Durable pitcher with great control and four good pitches who is very good vs. lefties.
Cons: Average velocity and GB/FB ratio, and only average vs. righties.
Grade: A --Brumbaugh is only slightly less great than Wright, the two pitchers compare quite favorably.

Benny Christians
Monster Milers
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Coushatta, LA
Position(s): CF/1B/LF/DH
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7. Benny Christians, CF - Dover Monster Milers
Pros: Speedy contact hitter with great batting eye who picks up left handed pitching very well.
Cons: No power to speak of, and only average vs. right handed pitching.
Grade: A- --Prototypical CF with range, speed, and a good glove. Should hit for average and score a lot of runs.

Matthew Newman
Barge Bandits
Age: 18B/T: L/L
Born: Ennis, MT
Position(s): P (SP1)
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8. Matthew Newman, SP - Trenton Barge Bandits
Pros: Durable workhorse pitcher with high control and elite pitch selection.
Cons: Not the best vs. right handed hitting.
Grade: B+ --Everything is great with this pitcher save for his tendency to get knocked around by right handers, which could be an achilles heel.

Davey Rivers
Blue Oxen
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Platteville, WI
Position(s): P (SP1)
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9. Davey Rivers, SP - Minnesota Blue Oxen
Pros: Above average pitcher across the board, no real weak spots.
Cons: Splits are good but not great, makeup could be a problem, just barely durable enough to start every 5th day.
Grade: B+ --Rivers is a solid pitcher who will hold down a spot in the rotation, but probably won't ever be a #1 pitcher.

Johnny Sherman
Fighting Cornish Hens
Age: 18B/T: S/R
Born: Lakeview, MI
Position(s): LF
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10. Johnny Sherman, LF - Sacramento Fighting Cornish Hens
Pros: Can hit as well as anybody in the draft, great temper and makeup, excellent baserunner.
Cons: Health could be a concern.
Grade: A- --Sherman has all the tools to be an elite LF, if he stays healthy enough to play every day.

Ronnie Bannister
Oklahoma City
Fighting Lint
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: St. Clairsville, OH
Position(s): 1B
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11. Ronnie Bannister, 1B - Oklahoma City Fighting Lint
Pros: Devastating hitter with 50+ HR power. Excellent health and durability.
Cons: Glove is a weakness.
Grade: A --The best 1B in the draft, Bannister is an elite hitter who will be an anchor at the corner position.

Moose Fossum
Las Vegas
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Lincolnton, GA
Position(s): 2B
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12. Moose Fossum, 2B - Las Vegas Hardways
Pros: Good hitting infielder with power and solid batting eye and intangibles.
Cons: Average range and glove for the 2B position.
Grade: B+ --Fossum will be a good hitter who should pop 30+ HR's a season with a .300 average, but he won't win any gold gloves.

Wendell Weaver
Age: 19B/T: S/R
Born: Madison, ME
Position(s): 2B
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13. Wendell Weaver, 2B - Tucson Thunder
Pros: Average hitter with great batting eye, above average defensively.
Cons: Weak contact and power at the plate.
Grade: B+ --Very similar to Fossum except he is slightly better with the glove and slightly worse at the plate.

14. Frank Cain, LF - Jacksonville Klines
Pros: The best power hitter in the draft, has an excellent eye and good durability.
Cons: Health concerns could derail his development.
Grade: A- (If he signs) --Cain could account for MVP type hitting numbers if he can stay healthy for a whole season.

Denny Martin
Sioux Falls
Great Danes
Age: 18B/T: R/R
Born: Bangs, TX
Position(s): C
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15. Denny Martin, C - Sioux Falls Great Danes
Pros: Good contact hitter with superior batting eye, above average arm strength and accuracy.
Cons: Average pitch calling skills and makeup might hinder his work behind the plate.
Grade: B+ --Martin can hit the ball quite well, but unless he can fully develop his pitch calling skills he might have to move to 1B or DH.

Jimmie Blanco
Age: 20B/T: S/R
Born: Kettering, OH
Position(s): P (SP3)
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16. Jimmie Blanco - Pittsburgh KAA-POW
Pros: Near perfect control, 5 quality pitches, above average splits.
Cons: Poor GB/FB ratio.
Grade: A- --Blanco is a very good pickup at #16, with the skills to be a #1 starter, if his control can overcome his tendency to give up the longball.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Stache is the Thing

Yavier Gallindo - Cobbfather Post Gazette

Players all over the Cobbfather world are latching on to the latest fashion craze, the handlebar mustache. The American Mustache Institute has recorded a spike in membership as baseball players from Max Montero to Richard Wheeler grow the curly and distinctive mustaches. When asked if this was a trend akin to shaving ones head for team solidarity, Wheeler said, "The handlebar mustache is not a fashion fad, it is a lifestyle, a way of being, a passion." Indeed, fans across the league are also sporting the handlebar mustache, and sales of mustache wax has spiked in cities with Cobbfather baseball teams. Gerry Paul Getty, manager of Getty's House of Beard and Wax, said his stores sales have increased 40% since Max Montero signed with the Minnesota Blue Oxen a few weeks ago. "It's great for business, I hope he keeps his stache, it's paying for my kids college!"

Max Montero
Blue Oxen
Age: 21B/T: S/R
Born: Fundacion, DO
Position(s): SS
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Time will tell if the mustache craze will continue, but one thing is for certain and that it is far more popular than the giant sports goggle trend espoused by players such as