Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Atlanta Brave Vawts (First Place)(100-105 victories this season)

Alex Sojo LF (Sojo provides a lot of pop at the back of the order for the Brave Vawts)

Luis Carreras CF (A good glove and gap power is how Carreras has survived his major league career so far)

Mac Johnson RF (Johnson hit 22 homeruns with 91 RBI’s last season but he really is man without a position this year)

Don Xaio DH (Xaio will make this offensive very good this season just by being in it)

Frank Surtain 3B (Four straight seasons with 100 or more RBI’s for Surtain during his short career expect another 100 RBI performance out of him this season)

Ellie Bowman 2B (Could be a good lead-off hitter if he got on base at a better pace)

Mitch Durbin SS (Durbin won’t impressive you with his offensive ability but his glove will leave you in amazement)

Luis Nunez 1B (Nunez could find some new life in Atlanta this season)

Cookie Pena C (One of the best hitters in the league also one of the best catchers as well, could be in the running for MVP this season)

Phil Nitkowski (Nitkowski has the be the best pitcher in the league but the only knock against him is that he doesn’t pitched beyond the sixth inning)

Samuel West (After a 20 win season in season 4, West came back with 15 more and has established himself as one of the top pitchers in the league)

Larry Rath (Rath is the workhorse of the staff and with 70 career wins he is also one of the best in the league)

Ray Jackson (Old faithful Jackson may not have the prettist numbers but he always seems to find a way to win)

Gil Lefebvre (Lefebvre is really looking forward to be spending time in the rotation this season)

Chris Unroe (Looking to be the full time closer this season)

Coaches Corner:
The Brave Vawts goal every season will to win the World Series at what ever cost. We really wanted to add power to the lineup and with Don Xaio and now Luis Nunez I believe we accomplished are goals for the off-season. There will be no real surprises from this team this season. We really love being the role of the hunted, if really let’s you know your at the top or for us near the top. We have no secrets about how we win here in Atlanta on base percentage and pitching are kings. I could see this team approaching 100 victories once again this season.

Rankings to start the season:
4th ranked offensive
4th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
William Hanson P (6-3, 4.12ERA, 2SV)(1yr, 2.7mil plus a no-trade clause)
Don Xaio C (.314, 36, 104)(3yrs, 14.4mil plus a 600k signing bonus)
Mel Sweeney P (Rule-5 Draftee)
Tony Santana P (Rule-5 Draftee)
Luis Nunez 1B (Acquired via Trade with the Cincinnati Highlanders)
Nicholas Fox P (4-4, 4.31ERA, 10SVS)(1yr, 1.9mil)

Players Lost:
Nick Collins RF (Left via Free-Agency)
Ricardo Martinez C (Left via Free-Agency)
Mandy Adams CF (Left via Free-Agency)
Morgan Robertson 2B (Left via Free-Agency)
Marshall Jameson P (Left via Free-Agency)
Julian Gabriel P (Released)
Albie Salinas P (Claimed off Waivers by the Minnesota Milfoils)
Todd Kelley P (Rule-5 Drafted)
Mendy Mitchell C (Traded to the Cincinnati Highlanders)

Columbus Pride (Fourth Place)(76-81 victories this season)

Alex Lee RF (Lee is one of the premiere power hitters in the league and once again should be near the top of the homerun leader board again this season)

Corey Skinner CF (Was signed to provide a solid foundation in center field for the team this season)

Milt Kroeger LF (Kroeger really improved his game last season getting his first 100 RBI year for the team)

Chad Nathan DH (Nathan can still hit but the DH is really only his role left he can play)

Tommy Crede 3B (Will need to rock at third base this season)

Heath Fitzgerald 2B (Looking to rebound after a injury filled season last year)

Shawn Durbin SS (Was plucked from the Rule-5 draft to be given the chance to play everyday)

Carlos Reynoso 1B (Was given a chance to play first base last season and still has a lot to prove)

Scott Rapp C (Rapp won’t hit for a lot of power but still finds way to get on base on a daily basis)

Walt Davenport (Davenport needs to prove he can be a top-tier starter in the league but after losing 17 games and an ERA of 5.77 he is a long way from doing that)

William Creek (Creek needs to prove he’s ready to be a major league pitcher)

Del Suh (Suh may have given up a lot of hits and runs last season but he did the most important thing a pitcher can do, keep his team in the game)

Brandon Blanton (After a rough season last year, Blanton is ready to try is chances in the rotation once again)

Jack Andrews (Could find himself in the fifth spot after not thinking he would get out of the minors to start the season)

Derek Ferrell (Ferrell will finally be given a chance to prove he can be a closer this season)

Rankings to start the season:
25th ranked offensive
23rd ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Jack Andrews P (Minor League Deal)
Derek Ferrell P (Claimed off Waivers)
Stuart Davidson P (Claimed off Waivers)
Tommy Crede 3B (.273, 29, 85)(5yrs, 20.0mil plus a no-trade clause)
Tyrone Boyle P (5-2, 5.37ERA, 2SVS)(5yrs, 10mil plus no-trade clause)
Corey Skinner CF (.260, 0, 27)(5yrs, 9.5mil plus a 700k signing bonus and a no-trade clause)
Shawn Durbin SS (Rule-5 Draftee)

Players Lost:
William Adcock P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Brad Campbell P (Left via Fee-Agency)
William Hanson P (Left via Fee-Agency)
Wilfredo Fernandez 3B (Left via Fee-Agency)
Ray Greenwood C (Released)
Jayson Christensen P (Released)
Napoleon Fordham P (Released)
Allie Wall 3B (Released)
Albie Salinas P (Claimed off Waivers by the Minnesota Milfoils)
Olmedo Ayala P (Released)
Kiki Espinoza C (Claimed off Waviers by the Tacoma Pioneers)
Juan Mercedes P (Released)

Boston Braves (Third Place)(76-81 victories this season)

Ben Donahue LF (Donahue saw limit time last season but will be given the starting job this season)

Mandy Adams CF (Adams was signed to provide even more speed for the team)

Mike Baxter RF (Baxter led the team in stolen bases last season and look for him to steal even more this season)

Felix Davenport DH (Davenport may not hit for power out of the DH position but he still gets on base)

Julio Rincon 3B (Rincon his a hitting machine getting over 200 hits last season)

Mo Davis 2B (Davis was plucked from the Rule-5 Draft for the chance)

Louie Terrero SS (Terrero job is to provide great defense support for the pitcher, any kind of offense is a plus)

Jim Watson 1B (Watson will grow into his power numbers and they should improve above his 18 homeruns from last season)

Ray Greenwood C (Greenwood was added to the lineup for his offense and not his catching abilities)

Roy Van Hatten (Pitched better then his 6-12 record would indicate he did)

Alberto Sanchez (The young pitcher will be given a shot in the rotation this season)

Tommy Jenkins (After last season it has a lot of people talking in Boston that Jenkins is done and they should have never brought him in last season)

Eddie Drew (Drew was a nice surprise for the team last season leading the team in victories with 12)

Dean Randall (Randall may not hang onto the fifth spot this season if he pitches like he did last season)

Brad Campbell (Campbell could earn the spot as the closer for this team this season)

Coaches Corner:
Our goal is to continue to acquire talent through the draft and the International market. At this point we have cleared the payroll, and while it may seem like there isn't a plan, there is. So for this season we are looking to acquire a future #1 or #2 starting pitcher. We realize we aren't in a position to challenge Atlanta, so rather than spend money on Free Agents (and the market isn't full of great prospects from what we have seen) we figured we'd buy one or two young guys who represented good value and continue to build a team of young quality players. When we signed Alberto Sanchez we felt he would be a guy who could step up and step up fast. He has a bright future and will help us improve in the next few seasons. As we have kind of indicated the philosophy of the club is to build through the drafts and the international market. We want long term success, and to do that you have to stock the minors with talent and let it develop. We will not have a player budget too much higher than what it is now, and we plan on continuing to have large prospect and scouting expenditures. 5. We realize that this season might be the "depth of our winter” so to speak. We have no illusions that right now our ML squad is not deep at all. If our players rise to the occasion we hope to be somewhere near .500 by the end of this season.

Rankings to start the season:
28th ranked offensive
20th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Mandy Adams CF (.272, 2, 12)(4yrs, 20mil)
Cesar Delgado P (10-8, 3.97ERA, 165.1IP)(2yrs, 6.4mil)
Rigo Lopez P (3-2, 4.14ERA, 1SV)(3yrs, 10.2mil)
Ray Greenwood C (.275, 17, 57)(2yrs, 2.6mil)
Brad Campbell P (6-3, 4.98ERA, 66G)(2yrs, 2.0mil)
Mo Davis 2B (Rule-5 Draftee)
Richard Mueller LF (Rule-5 Draftee)
Yamid Castillo C (Rule-5 Draftee)
Keith Winston LF (Acquired via Trade from the Anaheim Beefpound)

Players Lost:
Jimmie McConnell P (Left Free-Agency)
William Kraemer 1B (Left Free-Agency)
Wayne Root P (Left Free-Agency)
Rich Hale 3B (Left Free-Agency)
Bill Good CF (Released)
Brendan Norton C (Released)
Paul Lee P (Released)
Robin Casian P (Released)
Yamil Gonzalez P (Released)
Lance Morton P (Traded to the Anaheim Beefpound)

Cincinnati Highlanders (Second Place)(81-86 victories this season)


Rob Carlson LF (Carlson will improve after last years disappointing season)

James MartinCF (Martin is a speed demon who just slaps the ball around the infield and got his first gold glove last season)

Matt Reagan RF (Reagan will to expect to produce even more now that Nunez is gone)

Cy Ryan DH (Probably won’t be with the team much longer as the team is looking to shop him around)

Rod Champion 2B (Could be given a chance to start this season)

Francisco Manto 3B (Manto had a wonderful first season with the Highlanders last season)

Kennie Sexson SS (Sexson was added to bring gold glove caliber defense to the team this season)

Mark Masato 1B (Masato could get over 60 homeruns this season)

Donte Cashman C (Cashman was signed to bring solid catching to the team this season)

Mark Kwon (Kwon could be a sleeper pick for a pitcher to look out for this season)

Ralph Middlebrook (Middlebrook came out of no where to win rookie of the year for the American League but I don’t think he will be sneaking up on anybody this season)

Tracy Bowie (Bowie added three starting pitcher with more then 10 victories for the team and he also led the team in innings pitched and strikeouts)

Lewis Robertson (Robertson will improve but he will stay remain in the back of the rotation)

William Adcock (Adcock was signed to bring another solid starter into the rotation)

Donne McClellan (McClellan will break the single season save record for the team this year)

Coaches Corner:
This team will just need to make the playoffs for everyone to consider the season a success. We really needed to get a power catcher and I believe we were able to do that with Cashman joining the team. Developing prospects is a big part of this team with the minors all about teaching OPS to the players so they are ready when they get the majors. I could see are team winning around 85 games this season.

Rankings to start the season:
24th ranked offensive
17th ranked pitching staff

Players Added:
Kennie Sexson SS (.252, 12, 68)(1yr, 4.1mil)
William Adcock P (14-12, 3.76ERA, 215.1IP)(3yrs, 15.4mil)
Todd Kelley P (Rule-5 Draftee)
Donte Cashman C (.279, 15, 52)(2yrs, 2.6mil)
Mendy Mitchell C (Acquired via Trade with the Atlanta Brave Vawts)

Players Lost:
Ron Herrera RF (Left Free-Agency)
Luis Nunez 1B (Traded to the Atlanta Brave Vawts)
Harry Morales C (Released)
Pedro Campos 2B (Released)
Erick Hernandez SS (Released)
Scot Hill P (Traded to the Tucson Chupacabras)
Virgil Julio C (Traded to the Salem Gangstas)