Welcome to the Season 17 of the USMLB.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Anaheim Beefpound (beefpac)
The Beefpound found them selves in the World Series representing the American League for the first time in franchise history last season. They lost a very tight series but that doesn’t mean that this team will fade away this season. I really don’t see them even coming close to losing the AL West crown for the first time as they are just to powerful right now for any AL West team to catch them. I believe that the Beefpound have to be the favorite team coming out of the American League to go the World Series and hopefully end there losing streak in the series. Almost every major starter will be returning for this team that won 111 games last season. The team lost Patrick Maurer (2B) (.255, 5, 15), Pat Sugawara (2B) (.267, 9, 39), Calvin Hasegawa (SS) (.296, 7, 56) and AllStar Francisco Manto (3B) (.320, 42, 167) to free agency. The team signed Mark Phillips (3B) (.295, 41, 87) to a 1yr/3.2mil. The team didn’t make any trades during the offseason.
Off-Season Grade: C-
I know that the Beefpound is hoping that Mark Phillips will be the same offensive weapon that Francisco Manto was but I think that the team and fans will be very disappointed with the outcome this season from there new third basemen. The only good thing about that deal is that it’s only for a year. From having really busy off-season in the past the Beefpound really has been sitting in the shadows and I think it will be a great move for the team this season.

Projected Lineup
Bum Clarkson CF (.305, 3, 72)
Junior Lui SS (.325, 29, 116) AllStar/ Silver Slugger (SS)
Vin Cordero DH (.296, 40, 143) Silver Slugger (DH)
Mark Phillips 3B (.295, 41, 87)
Zip Wirth C (.311, 23, 81)
Karim Lee 2B (.300, 23, 110)
Bud Jackson 1B (.294, 23, 108)
Juan Amaro RF (.283, 13, 56)
Keith Winston LF (.241, 6, 25)

It’s scary just how good this offensive is, as it doesn’t matter who they face or which ballpark they go to this team will score runs on you. They have some good speed, some good power and able to hit everything, as there is no breaks in this lineup until you get to the end. With the American League changing into more of a neutral league I don’t see this offensive scoring as many as last season but it will still be at the top of the American League this season. The Beefpound have the second best offensive in the American League West.

Miguel Martinez (16-5, 3.48ERA, 189IP)
Herbert Brandt (13-7, 4.08ERA, 172IP)
Daisuke Lui (14-4, 4.55ERA, 152.1IP)
Paulie Yarnall (13-7, 4.37ERA, 173IP)
Delino Maduro (15-7, 4.65ERA, 184IP)
Hank Epstein (3-4, 3.17ERA, 37SV) AllStar

This is a great pitching staff that they have assembled in Anaheim with all the major pieces fitting right back into last year’s slots. The only probably I see with this pitching staff is that the starters don’t go a lot of innings putting a lot of pressure on the bullpen to finish the games for them. That really isn’t a problem for the bullpen as it’s probably one of the best in the league but you can’t always rely on the bullpen winning games for you through out the season. The Beefpound have the best pitching staff in the American League West.

Top Ten Prospects
1. Andrew Stevenson
2. Tito Holt
3. John Wang
4. Darryl Schmidt
5. Gil Ventura
6. Edgardo Nieves
7. Chan Masao
8. Alvin Evert
9. Billy Ray Stewart
10. Matt Logan

Owner Notes:

Projected Record – 93-69

Colorado Springs Armed Forces (parnold1)
The Armed Forces did something last season that they have never done in there history before, they had a winning record and made it to the playoffs as a wild card team. Then they continued there magical ride by winning there first round series against the Talley Whackers who had won 100 games before losing out to there divisional rival the Beefpound. I really believe this team is on the right direction as they let go a lot of the veteran players who weren’t performing at the major league level last season. I think they could once again challenge for a wildcard spot this season as well, but with this team spoiling the fans last season, will the fans be happy with this team if they just miss the playoffs this season. The team lost Ben Ward (2B) (.271, 6, 37), Samuel Clark (SS) (.229, 13, 53), Ben Canseco (P) (7-3, 6.36ERA, 2SV), Jeff Shipley (P) (3-3, 4.61ERA, 1SV), Gold Glove (2B) Ron Frazier (CF) (.291, 5, 59), Anthony Jacobs (3B) (.111, 1, 2) and Chris Juden (SS) (.238, 5, 18). The team signed Gene Guerrero (P) (2-11, 8.74ERA, 8SV) to a 1yr/4.6mil and Dennis Funaki (P) (6-7, 3.98ERA, 2SV) to a 3yrs/10.2mil with a 500k signing bonus. The team sent Bunny Perkins and Davey Pratt to the Honolulu Honus for Eli Guerrero. They also sent Flip Sheldon and Wilfredo Lopez to the Kansas City Bobcats for Pedro Sanchez and Luis Saez.
Off-Season Grade: D
The only reason the Armed Forces didn’t get an F is because of all the older players they didn’t re-sign during the off-season. The signing of Dennis Funaki could become one of the worst signings the league as seen to this point with that many years and that much money for someone is age. (update: to make matters worse he gets hurt during spring training is out for most of the year, if not all)

Projected Lineup
Lewis Shouse (CF) (.288, 21, 82)
Irv Jensen (LF) (.321, 22, 90)
Adrian Duncan (DH) (.292, 39, 123)
Pedro Sanchez (2B) (.277, 27, 67)
Carmen Garcia (RF) (.294, 27, 113)
Santiago Mesa (1B) (.288, 3, 11)
Carlton Boswell (SS) (.251, 16, 61)
Edgar Seguignol (3B) (.317, 19, 69)
Eddie Bass (C) (.254, 3, 18)

There’s nothing really special about the Armed Forces offensive as they have average power, hitting, and speed but when you have a solid lineup with some flaws not nothing that will hurt them every night this offensive is just right for this team. The Armed Forces have third best offensive in the American League West.

Eddie Serrano (16-7, 3.87ERA, 179IP) AL Rookie of the Year
Edgar Perez (8-11, 5.53ERA, 167.2IP)
Joaquin Diaz (14-5, 3.63ERA, 206IP)
Ernie Simmons (Rule 5)
Bernie Castillo (Rule 5)
Gene Guerrero (2-11, 8.74ERA, 8SV)

Just like the offensive the pitching staff for the Armed Forces is just average. They may not shut you down every night but they will keep there team in the game on most nights and that’s all you can really ask from a pitching staff during the long season. The thing that scares me about this pitching staff is that during starters don’t go very deep into the game and they have rookies in the rotation which worked well for Eddie Serrano last season winning the AL Rookie of the Year for this team but can they find another rookie to put up those kind of numbers again? The Armed Forces have the third best pitching staff in the American League West.

Top Ten Prospects
1. Cliff Johnstone
2. Matt Ford
3. Vern Morgan
4. Len O'Donnell
5. Rodrigo Sosa
6. Rafael Arias
7. Luis Sanchez
8. Juan Arias
9. Juan Ontiveros
10. Luis Saez

Owner Notes:
The signing of Dennis Funaki wasn’t a mistake per say but it was a mistake to sign him to such a big contract for just an average 3rd or 4th starter. To have him be out of the year hurts even more but this team is still in contention and the fans should be excited to see us in the playoffs again.

Projected Record – 78-84

Arizona Sting (texanboiler)
This Sting played in San Jose and where called the Sabercats last season but since this team hasn’t had a winning record or a playoff berth in San Jose so the owner thought it would be a good idea for a change of scenery and just maybe this will get this team over the hump. I don’t think this team can challenge the Beefpound for the top spot in the American League West but I believe this team is good enough to fight for a wildcard spot. I don’t think the team will underachieve like last season as I thought this team should have done a whole lot better then what there record was. The team only lost Marvin Stark (CF) (.271, 14, 74), Marquis McCall (P) (4-5, 6.27ERA, 45G) and Michael Watkins (2B) (.201, 7, 33). The team signed Jim McEnroe (CF) (.262, 10, 57) to a 3yrs/18mil. The team made no trades during the off-season.
Off-Season Grade: C
During nothing was probably the best thing this team could do as they had very little free-agents leaving the team and they replaced the lost of Stark with McEnroe which there almost equal as far as there play go.

Projected Lineup
Jim McEnroe (CF) (.262, 10, 57)
Will Randolph (C) (.282, 11, 58)
Malcolm Lanier (RF) (.256, 29, 113) Gold Glove (RF)
Jose Espinoza (2B) (.286, 29, 89)
Wilfredo Aybar (DH) (.299, 35, 105)
Chris Murphy (LF) (.301, 22, 63)
Kenny Logan (1B) (.333, 3, 14)
Diego Campos (3B) (.000, 0, 0)
Jeremi Jones (SS) (.271, 11, 52)

The Sting has a good offensive that hits for good average and has some good power in the middle of the order. I believe that the offensive will be about the same in the new stadium and be one the top offensives in the American League. The Sting has the best offensive in the American League West.

Brendan Wright (9-7, 3.84ERA, 173.1IP)
Carmen McPherson (11-8, 4.53ERA, 169IP)
Chet Kingland (7-9, 4.08ERA, 2SV)
Marino Mendez (10-9, 4.49ERA, 2SV)
Tito Ramirez (7-7, 3.20ERA, 2CG)
Shane Haad (1-1, 2.83ERA, 44SV) AllStar/ AL Fire Men of the Year

The problem the last couple of season for the team has been the pitching staff, mainly the starters has the team has a great closer, who puts up great numbers with is limit amount of action. The big key for the pitching staff is to see there starters go more innings and allowing the bullpen to find a rhythm before Haad comes in the close down the game. The Sting has the second best pitching staff in the American League West.

Top Ten Prospects
1. Max Moreno
2. Max Figureoa
3. Bill Brush
4. Morgan Wright
5. Paul Brooks
6. Kevin Morgan
7. Ricardo Hernandez
8. J.J. Blank
9. Ken Walters
10. John Wang

Owner Notes:
I really do think that the move to Arizona will help out this team this season. There confidence should be high and playing in a packed stadium will also bring up the energy of this team and we should be right there at the end of the season with a playoff spot on the line.

Projected Record – 87-75

Cheyenne Xpress (powercats22)
With the Xpress struggling to find there identity in Tucson for the last four seasons the team decided to move to Cheyenne to give this team a fresh start. The pitching staff should be very happy about the move as there young and good but the hitter friendly park in Tucson really hurt there development but the catch is that the offensive won’t be as powerful as the past so it could just canceling each other out. This team is still looking for there first winning season this year but the team is still young and improving so it may take one more year for them to see a winning season. The team didn’t lose anybody to the free-agent market. The team didn’t sign anybody to a free-agent contract during the off-season. The team sent Christopher Newhan and 5.0mil to the Monterrey Stars for Manny Hasegawa and Shawn Buckley.
Off-Season Grade: D
I really think this team needed to add a couple of pieces for them to become a contender this season and they didn’t do anything expect for trading away there AllStar closer from some good prospects won’t help this team this season if they where looking to get there first winning season.

Projected Lineup
Manny Hasegawa (SS) (Minor Leagues)
Michael Long (CF) (.271, 2, 43) Gold Glove (CF)
Kenneth Bryant (DH) (.293, 53, 119)
Butch Halter (2B) (.282, 27, 92)
Esteban Juarez (LF) (.265, 25, 97)
Erubiel Sanchez (1B) (.276, 22, 98) Gold Glove (1B)
Dave Roberts (3B) (.312, 21, 97)
Donn Bergman (RF) (.291, 13, 68)
Tony Wood (C) (.233, 2, 36)

The offensive in just about the same as it was last season with a few changes. Hasegawa will bring dangerous speed along with Long to make this team probably the fastest team in the league. This will help the offensive if those two can get on base as the power hitters will have an easier time bringing them around. The big question for this offensive is how the move away from Tucson effect there production as we all know it will probably fall but by how much is the question. The Xpress have the worst offensive team in the American League West.

Mateo Romano (4-4, 6.94ERA, 59.2IP)
Esteban Fernandez (9-12, 4.24ERA, 159.1IP)
Jeff Schourek (11-8, 4.13ERA, 172.1IP)
Victor Sojo (2-8, 4.64ERA, 1SV)
Rodrigo Arroyo (12-6, 7.11ERA, 105IP)
Josh Romano (0-3, 3.18ERA, 1SV)

The Xpress have a young pitching staff that has been pounded in Tucson for a while now and so when the news came that they where moving the pitchers had a big party. The pitchers may now see there numbers improve to what there skills which are average not terrible that it was in Tucson. The Xpress pitching staff is the worst in the American League West.

Top Ten Prospects
1. Geraldo Rodriguez
2. Shawn Buckley
3. Steve Payton
4. Manny White
5. Trent Gold
6. Willie Mendez
7. Jose Tarasco
8. Willie Stark
9. Hipolito Izturis
10. Stubby Floyd

Owner Notes:
With the move to Cheyenne I hope that this team will be put on the right track as we where a couple years ago. The pitchers will be more convenient about pitching and that will go a long way in making this team better

Projected Record – 73-89