Team Summary: While projected to be a contender, the Voodoo were certainly not pegged as favorites coming into the ’95 season, and they were certainly underdogs entering the playoffs. However, the Voodoo positioned themselves with a strong rotation, which held opponents to 2.8 runs per game throughout the playoffs, while timely hitting contributed to 5.1 runs per game. In a league dominated by great hitting, it was the strong pitching rotation that came out on top. The Voodoo are positioned well for the future, as many familiar faces will be back next year, and management has enough cash to make a splash or two this off-season if deemed necessary.
MVP Bat: Ken Caminiti (.336/.392/.522, 24 HR, 104 RBI, 15 SB, +20.4 ZR, 7.4 WAR). His MVP caliber bat (Aaron Conference runner up) was sorely missed when he started the season hurt, and the Voodoo got off to a shaky 11-14 start in April. His return sparked the offense just enough to bring the team back over 500, and didn’t have a losing month afterward. His presence in the lineup, as well as gold glove caliber fielding at third, helped right the ship. At 32 years old, the Voodoo hope to squeeze a few more years like this out of him.
MVP Arm: John Smoltz (15-8, 2.48 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 254 K, 232 IP, 7.0 WAR). Selected 6th overall in the inaugural draft, Smoltz came in with high expectations. Although he didn’t win as many games as experts had predicted (which some say is the result of the quick hook mentality the Voodoo manager carries), he was nothing less than dominant. Smoltz came in third in the AC Pitcher of the Year award, and the Voodoo locked him up to a deal through 2002 this year. At 28, they hope he can build on this success as he enters the prime of his career.
Rookie of the Year: Cory Bailey (11-2, 2.72 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 70 K, 99.1 IP). Not expected to play a big role in the bullpen, Bailey ended up winning 11 games while carrying his team through the middle to late innings, allowing the Voodoo to make a late game push. Although not pegged to close any time soon, he is certainly a valuable asset to the Voodoo ‘pen.