Season Analysis

2015-2016 Off Season Recap

TeamKey DeparturesKey AdditionsBreakdownGrade
Aaron Conference East Division
Florida FlamingosSS Bill HallNoneThe Pink Nightmares appeared in the playoffs for only the second time in their history last season, as a 101 win wild card no less, surprising many and making it all the way to the WCS, where they lost in 6 games. The 2016 Flamingos will look quite similar to last year's successful squad, with reigning MVP Rizzo anchoring a strong lineup and 2015 strikeout king Archer leading a deep pitching rotation. Resting on their laurels may prove to not be enough to overcome the improved Hawks in 2016, but look for this team to be making noise deep into September.C-
Holbrook HawksSS Jerrel Ten Wolde, LF Ernesto Mejia, 2B Pancho Avila, C Geovany Soto, RP Gustavo Chacin, RP Tyler Herron, 2B Taylor Green, SP Salvador Martinez, RF Miguel Garcia, SP Jeremy Hefner, CF Cameron Maybin, C Tyler Flowers, SP Kyle Ginley, RF Sergio Torres, 2B Clement MariottoSS Ian Desmond, C Buster Posey, CF Adam Eaton, RP Josh JohnsonThe 2016 Hawks had a busy offseason, headlined by reeling in free agent superstar Buster Posey. The Hawks rotation is likely the strongest 1 through 5 in baseball, led by Kershaw and up and comer Archie Bradley. With Posey slotting in with Davis, Valadez and Lamb, look for the Hawks to overpower most of the AC in 2016 and repeat on their 105 wins. B+
Philadelphia BrotherhoodRP Jose Valverde, RF Lucas Duda, C Kurt Suzuki, SP Brandon Webb, 3B Adrian Beltre, SP Rey Gonzalez, SS Jean Segura, RP Tyler Oakes, 1B Kyle Blanks, SP Odrisamer DespaigneSP Ian Snell, 3B Jamie Romak, SP Juan MateoThe Brotherhood will have some exciting young talent developing on the field for them this year, with youngsters Bart, Marte and Beer all under 23 and in the heart of the lineup, and 24 year old SP Serrano looking to step into the role of a true #1. The team as a whole is not very deep and will likely pull up the rear in the AC East in 2016.B
Pittsburgh Champions1B Heriburto Guzman, SP Octavio Lopez, RP David Robertson, RP Josh JohnsonSP Octavio Lopez, C Tyler Flowers, SP Kyle Ginley, RF Sergio Torres, 2B Clement Mariotto, SP Stephen StrasburgThe 2015 Pittsburgh squad was dealt an unlucky hand, winning 94 games but finishing in third place. The ageless ARod, coming off a 7.9 WAR season as a 39 year old, hopes to have one more shot at a title, but coming out of this division will likely prove too tough a task. Late spring acquisitions of Strasburg, Torres and Flowers will keep this team competitive and above 500, but a playoff spot looks like a long shot.A-
Aaron Conference Central Division
New Orleans Voodoo2B Brian Dozier, RP Cory Wade, RP Hong-Chih Kuo, LF Jayson Werth, SS Ryan TheriotNoneThe Voodoo had some sort of dark magic on their side in 2015 as they won the division with a record of just 77-85, and almost won their series in the Elite Eight. Although no moves were made this offseason, New Orleans enters the year with a balanced attack that is poised to outplay their divisional opponents once again, this time finishing above 500.D+
Omaha MammothsLF Matt Kemp, SP Tyson Ross, SP Carlos Pimentel, 3B Luis Rodriguez, SP Sean Thompson, RP Jorge Campillo, RP Tim HamulackSP Ivan NunezAfter a surprising 99 loss season, Omaha continues down the path of full rebuild despite playing in a very winnable division. With the 23rd ranked farm system, we may not see the Mammoths in the playoffs for quite a few seasons. Look for a handful of helpful pieces to be on the move to contenders towards the deadline, namely Wright, Panik, Andrus, and/or Alburquerque. Most projection models put Omaha in the +100 losses category, fighting for the 2017 #1 overall draft slot.D+
Orlando SunRaysLF Hartmann Schiemann, RP Dani Luna, C Matt McBride, SP Dan Haren, RP Phillippe Aumont, RP Derek Holland, CF Geraldo Parra, 1B Yonder Alonso, 3B Bladimir Franco, RP Carlos Lopez, RP Eric Surkamp, SP Colin McHugh, SP Jon GraySP Cole Hamels, RP Christian Friedrich, LF Ernesto MejiaIf anyone can stand up to the Voodoo in this division, it's likely the SunRays, who made a few key moves this offseason to give them a fantastic outfield of Stanton/Clark/Mejia, plus an Ace in Hamels, who bet on himself and opted out of his long-term deal in San Francisco, to rightfully earn a larger deal with Orlando. Look for a significantly better season than last year's 93 losses, and a dark horse to make some noise in the playoffs this year.A
San Antonio Armadillos3B Mike Morse, 3B James Darnell, C Jordan Newton3B Edwin EncarnacionOutside of Ace Chris Sale, the Armadillos roster is remarkably average. Keep an eye on this squad in the near future as there's a strong youth movement coming, featuring Correa, Hiura, Pederson, Adames, Yusniel Diaz and Edwin Diaz.C-
Aaron Conference West Division
Cardiff Bay BarrageSP Rick Porcello, 3B Edwin Encarnacion, SP Juan Mateo, SP Corey KluberLF Yoenis Cespedes, C Matt McBride, RF Daniel Docurro, RF J.D. Martinez, RF Zoilo Almonte, 1B Larry BroadwayThe Barrage franchise has not seen a winning season since 1995, and unfortunately 2016 doesn't seem like their year, either. Young talent is being rushed into the bigs in an attempt to compete (22 yr old Seager, 20 yr old Meadows, 19 yr old Abreu), but even if they play up to their potential, the Barrage will likely still be a couple steps behind Palo Alto this year.B-
Palo Alto Pranksters1B Tony Garcia, SP Ivan Nova, LF Nick Gorneault, LF Alejandro Hernandez, SP Dontrelle Willis, C Daniel Underwood, RP Seth Maness, 1B Chris V Carter, RP Matt SmithLF Yancarlos Sabino, SP Dillon Gee, SP Ethan HollingsworthThe powerhouse Pranksters were in a situation this offseason where they couldn't resign everyone, so some names had to hit free agency. But the team they have entering the 2016 season is still well positioned to put up 90-100 wins and take the division for the third year in a row. Ibarra, Fyfe and Murphy are an impossible heart of the order to get through, and Martinez and Wheeler are both outstanding arms at the front of their rotation. As a team who's made the playoffs every year since 2009, the more important question remains can this team go all the way? Odds-makers project a strong regular season but a post season loss in the later rounds.C+
Portland Sea DogsSP Kenny Durost, RF Juan Palmiero, 1B Wilson Betemit, C Russell Martin, RP Jesse Carlson, 1B Juan Torrez, RF Barend de Goedere, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, SP Manny RosarioSP Mario Gonzales, SP Jose Alvarez, RF Brennan Bosch, 1B Lucas Duda, RP Boone Logan, LF Matt KempKey moves this offseason saw ace Roark and closer Ramos extended, slugging outfielder Matt Kemp brought in, and a reach on aging starter Gonzales in an attempt to provide more length in the rotation. History says you can never count out Portland until game 162 is finished, but 2016 may be the first time this franchise has missed the post season in back to back years ever. They will still play good baseball and finish well above 500.B
Yellowknife ThievesLF Adam Jones, RF Rafael Carvajal, RF Jorge Maldonado, SS Eduardo Nunez, SP Lucio Lopez, SP Jesus GuerreroSP Alex Cobb, SP Rick Porcello, SP Jon GrayThe Yellowknife run ended abruptly in 2011, and the squad has been in rebuild mode ever since. They have some interesting names like Rito at the top of their rotation and the best young SS in the game with Diaz, but there is still work to do to fill out the ML roster. The Thieves have the third ranked farm system and the second overall pick in this year's draft, so their future is bright.B+
Ruth Conference East Division
Atlanta BanditsSP Mario Gonzales, RP Addison Reed, RF Ariel Nunez, 1B Gustavo Carrasco, CF Javier Rodriguez, SP Aaron Blair, SP Jason Mitchell, SS Ian Desmond, SP Stephen StrasburgSS Jean Segura, C Ryan Lavarnway, 2B Sean Rodriguez, 1B Gustavo Carrasco, RF Ben FranciscoSignaling a deep rebuild, the Bandits shipped away Strasburg and Desmond this offseason, and will lean into improving their 9th ranked farm system with additional trades and improved drafting through adding an advanced analytics department.B
Charleston Rebels3B Sean Rodriguez, 1B Larry Broadway, RP Leo Nunez, RP Ryan Doolittle, LF Yancarlos Sabino, SS Stephen Cardullo, RF Alan Sanchez, SP Alex CobbRP Chris Manno, LF Adam Jones, 2B Taylor Green, 3B Antonio VasquezThe 2014 champs followed up that performance by winning 95 games and losing in the Final Four last year, and early projections put them back on top of the RC East in 2016. Their rotation's 1-4 is arguably the strongest in baseball with Teheran, Anderson, Wacha and Mikolas, and their lineup has enough in it to get that pitching staff the lead early in games. The Rebels didn't do much to add, so the division won't be a runaway, but they enter 2016 as strong as they left 2015.C
New York City Baseball Club3B Jamie Romak, RF Ben Francisco, RP Manuel Guevara, C Carlos Rodriguez, 3B Antonio Vasquez, SP Christian FriedrichLF Geraldo Parra, RF Tyler Naquin, SP Rey GonzalezThe NYC stranglehold on the East division is officially over, as they finished 2014 and 15 with 89 and 93 wins, short of Charleston in each case and the wild card spot. Reports out of the Big Apple this spring indicate superstar Andres Rodriguez was frustrated with management and may want out, claiming he has "no interest in carrying this team on his shoulders anymore". A few additions to the pitching staff could be just the thing to keep the Baseball Club in contention through September.C+
Washington GeneralsRP Boone Logan, SP Jon Lester, LF Yoenis Cespedes, SP Pepe HernandezSP Tyson Ross, RP Seth Maness, RP Chris KissockThe Generals are a team on the upswing, featuring some of the game's brightest young stars in Trout, Albies and Ramirez (and Alonso and Lindor waiting in the wings). The team will need to slug their way to victory with a mediocre staff, but should improve on their 80 wins from 2015.C
Ruth Conference Central Division
Eden Prairie LandsharksRP AJ Achter, 2B Luis Rubio, RP Justin Verlander, RP Chris Kissock, SP Marcos SanchezRP Francisco Rodriguez, RP Addison Reed, SP Juan Cruz, 3B Mike MorseThe Landsharks are a model of consistency, having only one losing season in UBA history, and only missing the playoffs 4 times ever. The competition is well documented to be harshest in the RC Central, but between locking up generational hitting talent Morillo to a long term deal and bringing in pitching reinforcements, Eden Prairie looks well positioned to win 100+ games, even in the division with last year's champs. Can this team make it over the hump and win it all is the only question left to answer, to which this writer says: YES, this is the year.B+
Fargo RageRP Kelvin Pichardo, SP Raul Morales, CF Quintin Berry, RP Omar PovedaRF Otojiro Endo, RP Jesse Carlson, RP David Robertson, 2B Pancho Avila, LF Nick GorneaultFargo was outRAGEously bad in 2015, losing an astounding 111 games. In a division loaded with win-now squads, the Rage are content with rebuilding for the future, but they face an uphill battle with only the 10th strongest farm system, without much to write home about after stud pitchers Gonzales and Pearson. Most sources agree: the Rage will take Acuna Jr. with the first pick in this upcoming draft, who is a player that can be a cornerstone of the franchise once developed.B-
Phoenix Firebirds3B Billy Butler, LF Tyler Colvin, 2B Luis Valbuena, SP Dillon Gee, RP Chris MannoRF Alan SanchezThe 2015 Firebirds were hot at the right time, winning the WCS last year out of the wild card spot. Losing Butler without bringing in a strong replacement may take a few wins off of their total this season, but extending Torres to keep their strong rotation in tact was a big move, and if the team has a lead by the 6th inning, there's no turning back against Smith, Hicks and Brothers to finish the game. Phoenix will likely take the wild card once again with the second best record in the RC.C-
Salt Lake BeesRP Alex Colome, 2B Alberto Carreon, SP Ian Snell, SP Ethan Hollingsworth, RF Tyler NaquinNoneThe Bees have called up #1 ranked prospect Shane Bieber, who will immediately be a favorite for rookie of the year. The Bees are young and are well balanced but don't have enough punch to come out of this division alive. In a weaker division, they might have been able to sneak in with 85 wins, but not here.C-
Toledo TroutheadsRF Javier Ramos, RF Zoilo Almonte, 1B Ike DavisNoneThe Troutheads complete the three headed monster in the RC Central, but are lopsided in their hitting to pitching talent ratio. Altuve, Rendon, Larish and Kipnis will put up a ton of runs, but that will be needed to support a staff that needed some TLC this offseason and didn't get it. Toledo will likely win 85-90 but miss the playoffs in 2016.D+
Ruth Conference West Division
Hollywood StarsRP Ty Taubenheim, 1B Michael Aubrey, RF Justin Maxwell, SP Ivan Nunez, RP Don Czyz, RP Sang-mok Lee, RP Boomer Potts, LF Alejandro de Aza, SP Ismael Hernandez, C Dustin Garneau, RP Marcos Diaz, SP Vanny ValenzuelaSP Ivan Nova, LF Hartmann Schiemann, SP Jose Rivera, RP Hong-Chih Kuo, SP Colin McHugh, LF Alejandro Hernandez, 3B Billy ButlerAfter losing 99 and 103 games in the last two seasons, Hollywood fans didn't have much to be excited about. Although 2016 likely isn't a year they make the playoffs, the Stars have made huge strides to put talented players on the field, with key signing Butler to inject into the youthful group of Gleyber Torres, Starlin Castro and Michael Conforto. The rotation isn't as strong as most playoff contenders', but look to see a large jump in wins out of Hollywood this year.B
Oregon Ducks2B Hae-young Cho, SP Kevin Slowey, C Buster Posey, 2B Brian Bixler, SP Mike Kickham, LF Ruben Argamon, RP Will Inman, C Tony GarciaC Miguel Montero, C Russell Martin, RP Kelvin Pichardo, SP Jason MitchellThe Ducks are coming - just not in 2016. Bryce Harper is a bonafide superstar, but the rest of their clout is still in their top ranked minor league system with 3 top 10 prospects in baseball with Buehler, Perez and Devers ready to go in the next 1-2 years. For now, the Ducks will give some teams a good fight but will end with about 75 wins.B-
San Francisco SpartansSP Cole Hamels, RP Philip Humber, CF Adam Eaton, SP Juan Cruz, RF Daniel Docurro, LF Carlos Gonzalez, C Ryan Lavarnway, 1B Yasutoki Aoki, SS Piet Valkenburg3B Adrian Beltre, SP Eric Surkamp, RP Jose Valverde, RP Will Inman, RP Trystan MagnusonThe Spartans lost a good deal of talent to free agency this year with Hamels opting out and Eaton moving on. Their rotation does not have a suitable replacement for Hamels, so their pitching will likely take a step backwards this year, but, this may be the best young lineup this franchise has had with Gregorius flanked by rookies Rivera and Verdugo. If the pitching stays healthy, the Spartans will be neck and neck with the Pippins into September.C
Seattle SteelheadsSP Jose Rivera, LF Greg Halman, RP Yohan Pino, C J C BoscanNoneSeattle finished 2015 at 500, but used none of their $100M available funds to buy free agents, instead, will keep a $24M payroll, and will likely look over-matched even in a weaker division. The 4th ranked farm system featuring Bregman and Robles both in AAA could help them in years to come, but 2016 will be rough in Seattle.D
Yakima Valley Pippins3B Geraldo DeLaurentiis, SP Chien-Ming Wang, RP Cesar Herrera, RP Jose Alvarez, RP Maximo Rodriguez, RF David Santos3B Geraldo DeLaurentiis, 2B Brian DozierThe Pippins earned a playoff spot at 87-75 last year, and saw ace King Felix win the Pitcher of the Year award. With not much coming in and out of Yakima Valley this offseason, the Pippins have left themselves susceptible to being overtaken by the Spartans if they're not careful. C

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