Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


SAN ANTONIO STARS – goldie1973

Team records:
ML: 60-57
AAA: 74-43
AA: 74-43
HiA: 72-45
LowA: 72-45
Rookie: 41-11 (top Rookie record)


ML team: C+ San Antonio is having an average season at the ML level. Veteran 2B Chief Martin continues to hit, and is one of the better offensive 2B in the league. Veteran closer Lyle Taft continues to get people out, and at 35, is on pace for a career high in saves this season.
Minors: A+ San Antonio is one of only two teams with a winning record at every level, and their minor league teams are simply dominant at every level. They will make the playoffs and have a chance to go deep with each team.
Trades: B- In their 2 trades, the most significant move for San Antonio was the acquisition of SP Mitch Epstein for C Josh Bunning. Both players look to be solid contributors when they reach the ML teams.
Player acquisitions: B+ Free agent signee Mike Baxter is an incredibly signing for the Stars. Not only is he an incredible value with a one year deal, he will provide draft picks after this season should the Stars choose to not resign him. International signee SP Harry Morales IFA is a very good pick up for San Antonio, and projects as a #2 pitcher in the rotation. Signee Dennys Chang projects as a very good RP.
Player development: A- San Antonio has an incredible supply of young talented pitchers. In his 3rd season, 25 year old SP Brandon Ellis continues to post great numbers. Ellis will be a fixture in the Stars pitching staff for a long time. CF 26 year old RF Brian Turner is having his best season yet for the Stars, and a bright future is ahead for Turner. Future superstar Santiago Alfonzo is making a run at a .400 batting average in AAA. Sean Foster is having a monster season at AA, and fans are excited for the time he makes it to the big leagues. With all of the young talent in the organization, the future is bright in San Antonio.
Record compared to talent: B+ With a $48 million payroll, San Antonio is clearly building for the future, and have a wealth of talent in the minor leagues. They look to be a year away at the big league level. Once their young talent reaches the big leagues, look for San Antonio to be good for a long time.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green


Team records
ML: 67-50
AAA: 69-48
AA: 58-59
HiA: 64-53
LowA: 55-62
Rookie: 18-34


ML team: B+ Jackson is having another successful season at the ML level and hope to win the NL South for the third straight season. 2-time Cy Young winner SP Bey Dillon is having another excellent season. While he probably won’t get to 20 wins again this season, he is the guy you want on the mound in a big game, and is a dangerous component of a playoff team. Veteran closer Kane Hines has some of the nastiest stuff in the game. While he won’t match the 49 saves from a year ago, he continues to be a dominant force in the Blazer bullpen.
Minors: C Jackson has a solid mix of minor league teams, particularly at the higher levels. The AAA team is the best of the bunch, and looks to go deep in the playoffs. AA and HiA teams will battle for playoff berths, while teams at LowA and the Rookie level are struggling this season.
Trades: B- C/DH Kenneth Bryant is the best piece of the Blazers only trade of the season. Bryant will definitely hit once he makes it to the ML.
Player acquisitions: B+ Jackson hasn’t made a lot of moves, but the ones that they have made look good on paper. LowA 1B Derek Hull is a great minor league signing for the Blazers, and projects to be a solid ML player. International signee Mark Chang projects as a possible all-star at 2B, and is a great addition.
Player development: B- In his rookie season, fans have been expecting great things from SP Wilt Frank. Frank hasn’t had a huge season, but has shown the flashes of brilliance that show why management thinks he will become a top pitcher. In his 3rd season, 2B Donatello Carpenter continues to hit well, and will be an integral part of the lineup for many years to come.
Record compared to talent: A- With a $72 million payroll and a solid mix of talent, Jackson is in a great position to make the playoffs. Management has done a great job of balancing veterans with young talent. Fans are hopeful that this year the team will advance deep in the playoffs.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green


Team records
ML: 62-55
AAA: 61-56
AA: 63-54
HiA: 55-62
LowA: 57-60
Rookie: 26-26


ML team: B- The Gators are within striking distance of the playoffs, but still find themselves looking up at Durham and Jackson in the NL South. LF Frank Jacobson has been a fixture in the Gator lineup for years now, and has shown why he is one of the best hitters in the game this season. Jacobson is becoming a Hall of Fame-caliber player. Veteran SS Darby Thomas is having the best season of his career, and is among the team leaders in many offensive categories. SP Albert Jose is also having a career year, and is among the lead leaders in WHIP.
Minors: C Florida’s minor league teams are in the middle of the pack at every level. They have some talented players in the minors, but no dominant teams. Still, management has done a good job at every level to develop a competitive team that has a shot at the playoffs.
Trades: D+ None
Player acquisitions: B- Veteran SP Tony Hernandez was a great free agent signing for Florida this season. Hernandez has been one of the better pitchers in the rotation for Florida. Florida has signed many other free agents and several international free agents this season, but none look to be difference makers.
Player development: C Young pitcher Jason Burns has bounced back and forth between the starting rotation and the bullpen. Burns has disappointed somewhat this season, but fans have high expectations for his future. 2B Roberto Gonzalez hasn’t met expectations this season either. Gonzalez is still young enough to become a star for Florida, but fans are trying to temper their enthusiasm with him. Fans are excited about CF prospect Edgar Tejada, who is having a great season in AAA. He looks poised to make his debut with Florida’s ML team next season.
Record compared to talent: C- With a $102.4 payroll, Florida came into the season hoping to finally get over the hump and make the playoffs. And while they still have a chance to do so, they are a bit of a longshot. If they can’t get over the hump, at some point management will have to decide when to focus on developing younger players.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green

DURHAM BULLS – eric9930

Team records
ML: 65-52
AAA: 60-57
AA: 53-64
HiA: 60-57
LowA: 62-55
Rookie: 23-29


ML team: B Veteran RF Joseph Kim is quietly having an excellent season at the plate for Durham, and is among the team leaders in many offensive categories. Although his power numbers are down a bit this season, 3B PT Martinez continues to be a solid fixture in the middle of the lineup for Durham.
Minors: x The minor league teams for the Bulls are mostly in the middle of the pack. Teams at AAA, HiA, and LowA look to fight for playoff berths. AA and Rookie teams are on the outside looking in.
Trades: D+ None
Player acquisitions: C Free agent signee C Mike Sewell was signed to a reasonable contract this season for Durham, and is having a solid season. Pitcher Phil Milliard was signed this season to a 4 year deal, but is so far having a disappointing campaign. Milliard will have to improve over the next 3 years to make this a good signing. 2B Louis Perez got a 3 year deal, but is currently working through his struggles at AAA.
Player development: B 1B Brian Kim is second cousin to Joseph in RF, but won’t be second in any other category for long. In his second full season, the younger Kim is showing why many consider him one the best young 1B in the game. In his sophomore campaign, SP Buzz Jones is having a solid campaign. Still, with the incredible expectations that Durham fans have for Jones, they were hoping for more. SP Greg Turner is having a solid season in his second ML season, but still hasn’t shown the same incredible success he had in the minor leagues.
Record compared to talent: B+ With a $67.7 payroll, Durham is balancing expectations at the ML level and those with player development. However, with solid pitching and young talent at the ML level, they look to make the playoffs, and may have a chance to make a run if a couple of pitchers get hot.
Coach hot seat ranking: Green