Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Saturday, May 24, 2008



Team records
ML: 52-65
AAA: 41-76
AA: 45-72
HiA: 58-59
LowA: 66-51
Rookie: 22-30


ML team: D+ With a young team, most expected Scranton to struggle at the ML level and they have. One of the bright spots is that veteran 3B Angel James continues to hit, and is one of the top offensive 3B in the game.
Minors: D+ Outside of a strong showing at LowA, Scranton has struggled throughout the minors. The HiA club is in the running for a playoff berth. The LowA club will make the playoffs with ease, and will have a chance to advance.
Trades: B+ Scranton has completed two trades and picked up some good talent. Pitcher Ernie Garcia has the best pure stuff, and projects as a starter or long reliever. RP Sammy Beltran is another solid player involved and has had an incredible season out of the big league bullpen with a microscopic 0.68 E.R.A.
Player acquisitions: A The Beet Farmer’s had a very good signing with closer Gene Guerrero. Guerrero is having a great year in the Scranton bullpen. SS acquisition Eddie Erstad has had a good year with a BA over .300. International scouts have earned their money this season, as Scranton has signed two outstanding international free agents. SP Andres Crespo is one of the very best signees this season, and projects as an all-star pitcher. Slugger RF Dante Saitou is also a great addition, and projects as a very good addition in the outfield.
Player development: B SP’s Dario Wallace and Steve McIntyre are a big part of the future in Scranton. Both have had their ups and downs with the big league club this season, but fans continue to have high expectations for their futures. In his rookie season, 1B Phil Shigetoshi is having an outstanding campaign. If he continues to improve, he will be an all-star player in a few seasons. LF prospect Ryne Myers has put up incredible numbers at every level, and Scranton fans anxiously await the day that he will put on a ML uniform.
Record compared to talent: C+ With a $55.4 million payroll and new management this season, Scranton fans expected to struggle at the ML level. However, they are pleased at the signs of progress with new management. Scranton may be a year or two away from competing at the highest level, but they are making decisions to move in that direction.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green


Team records
ML: 60-57
AAA: 75-42
AA: 67-50
HiA: 70-47
LowA: 50-67
Rookie: 33-19


ML team: C+ Ottawa is in the middle of the pack in the AL. However, in the underachieving North Division, they find themselves within striking distance of the division crown. Even if they don’t win the division, they have a shot at a wildcard berth with a strong finish.
Minors: B+ The minor league teams for Ottawa are doing very well. Only a poor performance at LowA keeps this grade from being higher. Ottawa should make the playoffs at every other level.
Trades: C- Ottawa has made several trades acquiring veterans for prospects to try to help their big league club. They added SP Benito Garces. Garces is a serviceable starter, but with almost $28 million owed over 4 years, fans wonder if he’ll provide value in the later years of his contract. In a curious move, Max Wood was claimed off waivers and then traded back to the team that released him. Ottawa got a free player out of the deal. They also picked up solid veterans SS Andrew Hampton, RP Jeff Shipley, and RP Alan Hunter. Ottawa will miss SP’s Al Jordan, Gil Ventura, and Ernie Garcia. Hopefully these trades help the Crawdaddies into the playoffs.
Player acquisitions: D Ottawa shelled out some money this season with a lot of free agent signings. Their biggest signing was SP Dick McClain. Thus far McClain has struggled with an E.R.A. approaching 7. RP Nick Bowie and LF Pasqual James were signed to 4 year deals, but both currently sit in AAA. LF Fausto Tavarez also got a 4 year deal, but has spent half the season in AAA. C/DH free agent signee Weldon Erving is having a great year at the plate. Rule 5 selection Dennis Thompson is having a great season on the mound with 9 wins. Another rule 5 selection, Evan Carson, was a solid pick and was eventually traded.
Player development: B Despite being moved from one position to the next, 26 year old utility player Al Vazquez is having a monster season at the plate and looks to be a fixture in the Crawdaddies lineup for a long time. Abraham Millwood has made it to the ML, and has seen immediate success as the Ottawa closer. AAA pitcher Mark Brantley is having a huge season, and Ottawa fans are excited about his future.
Record compared to talent: C Ottawa went wild with free agency this year and currently holds a $94.3 million payroll. Most free agents, however, have yet to play their best baseball. Still, the Crawdaddies have a chance to make the playoffs with a good finish.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green

MADISON LASERS – quantum76

Team records
ML: 62-55
AAA: 54-63
AA: 43-74
HiA: 27-90 (worst record in HiA)
LowA: 46-71
Rookie: 28-24


ML team: B- Madison is having a solid season at the ML level. While they would be behind in every other division, they find themselves leading the AL North. Veteran 2B Freddy Adcock continues to be one of the best offensive players in the game.
Minors: D- Madison won’t make the playoffs at any level. The HiA club is exceptionally bad with 90 losses.
Trades: D+ Madison’s biggest move was to trade for CF Heath Fitzgerald. So far Fitzgerald has disappointed this season, but he is talented enough to get back on track. 3B Willie Blaylock and SP Dickie Wells left in deals and will be missed.
Player acquisitions: C+ Free agent RP Ellie Ashley is the most significant acquisition and has been a very good setup man this season for Madison.
Player development: B Even with his numbers down this season, 25 year old 1B/DH Darren Higginson continues to show why he is one of the best hitters in the game. He is the odds-on favorite to retire with the highest career batting average of all time. Young 2B Dave James has played all over the field in his rookie season, but is having a very good year. After 34 wins in his first two seasons, SP Chad Armstrong is having a disappointing year. Still when he’s on top of his game, Armstrong is virtually unhittable. Lasers fans expect Armstrong to be one of the better SP’s in the league for a long time.
Record compared to talent: C With the highest payroll in baseball at $136.4 million, Madison is under the weight of some huge contracts from seasons past to aging veterans. After two excellent years to this point, the Lasers are still having a solid season this time around, but definitely to a smaller extent. They will have to really come alive to advance in the playoffs against the top teams in the AL.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green


Team records
ML: 42-75
AAA: 72-45
AA: 63-54
HiA: 57-70
LowA: 55-62
Rookie: 27-25


ML team: D- The Legionaires have struggled mightily this season, and have the one of the worst records in the AL. The future is a bit brighter, however, as several good players are closing in on the big leagues. A top draft pick next season will help as well.
Minors: B- The minor league clubs are within shouting distance of the playoffs at every level, except perhaps HiA. Lots of talent should give the AAA and AA clubs a chance to advance in the playoffs.
Trades: B+ Chicago made a great trade to bring in SP prospect Eduardo Rivera. Rivera projects as a middle of the rotation starter. C/DH Peter Holmes will definitely hit at the ML level. 3B Felix Davenport and RP Domingo Estrella will be missed.
Player acquisitions: D+ Chicago signed 3 non-descript International free agents this season and a host of free agents as depth guys. Their biggest free agent acquisitions, 2B Germany Hitchcock and LF Tony Rodriguez, are having decent years. Both will be around for several seasons, and must continue producing into their later years to bring value to Chicago.
Player development: C+ In his second full season, 23 year old 1B Tim Perry is having an excellent campaign and will be in the middle of the Chicago lineup for a long time. SS Ken Lincoln is reaching his prime, and is having another solid season. AAA 2B Sammy Aguilar and SP Bartolo Rosado both made appearances in the big leagues this season. They will both return at some point and project to be solid pieces for the Legionaires.
Record compared to talent: D With new management and a payroll of $83.5 million, Chicago finds themselves rebuilding this season. Still, they have the talent to be much better than what they’ve shown. Some good subtle moves have begun the rebuilding process for the Legionaire team.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green