Season Analysis

1998-1999 Off-Season Recap

Team Key Departures Key Acquisitions Summary Grade
Holbrook Hawks SP David Wells, LF Glenallen Hill, LF Al Martin, C Brad Ausmus, RP Greg Gohr LF Jose Canseco, RP Rheal Cormier, RP Mike Myers, RP Toby Borland, SP Pete Harnisch, SP Roger Pavlik, SP Phil Leftwich, SP Chad Ogea This might be the year the rebuild begins to take shape at the ML level. Veteran leaders like Smiley and Canseco will lead the youthful group of Suzuki, Lidge, Nunnari and Hillenbrand to a much better W-L record than Holbrook has seen these last few years. B-
Pittsburgh Champions CF Andruw Jones, 1B Mo Vaughn, RF Steve Finley CF Torii Hunter, CF Matt Lawton, C Kanzaburo Nakayama, SP Chuck Finley Moving Andruw Jones was a puzzling move, but Pittsburgh is still absolutely stacked at all 8 positions. A pitching staff without much fire power may allow others in the division a chance to creep into contention. C+
Florida Flamingos CF Chad Curtis, RP Dwayne Henry, C Joe Girardi, C Tony Eusebio, SP Pedro Martinez None Pedro Martinez will be hard to replace – Florida ownership would contend he was equally hard to negotiate with. Many years of drafting well has put a good product on the field in Florida, but they needed to be more active this offseason if they wanted to really compete for the division. C-
Philadelphia Brotherhood RP John Ericks, RP Ryan Bowen, SP Todd Stottlemyre, RP Rudy Seanez, RP Bruce Ruffin, SS Tony Fernandez, 2B Terry Shumpert, RP Jeff Nelson SP Steve Trachsel, RP Kevin Wickander, RP Pedro Borbon, RP Jim Abbott The Brotherhood made smaller moves to fill roster voids this offseason. Their roster, led by Johnson, Asano, Griffey, Ichiro, and Everett is still too top heavy. They will win some games but probably don’t have the chops to contend this season. B
New Orleans Voodoo RP Pedro Borbon, RP Marcus Moore, CF Stan Javier RP Todd Van Poppel, RP Mariano Rivera The Voodoo made no noise this offseason. Their lineup is still strong from top to bottom, but their pitching staff isn’t what it used to be. A lot will rest on the success of Dickey’s knuckleball, and that’s never a safe bet to make. C
San Antonio Armadillos RP Rick White, 2B FP Santangelo, CF Dwayne Hosey, SP Chad Ogea, RF Felix Jose, 1B Carlos Delgado LF Brian McRae, 2B Tim Naehring, CF Kevin Koslofski Analysts aren’t sure if the Armadillos got enough in return in the Delgado trade, but their lineup is still better than average and their bullpen is top notch. Look for the Armadillos to contend for the division this season. C+
Houston 36ers SP Phil Leftwich, LF Gregg Jefferies, SP Juan Guzman None Last season’s acquisition of Caminiti burnt a hole in their pocket, which left the 36ers with little wiggle room this offseason. But, no big names exited, and this was a very good team last year that will have top prospect Roy Oswalt waiting in the wings. B-
Gobbler’s Knob Turkeys 1B Todd Zeile, C Todd Pratt, SP Cal Eldred, SP Pedro Astacio None The Turkeys have a few very good players, but lack the organizational depth to make a serious run in 1999. C-
Portland Beavers 1B Mark Grace, RP Paul Quantrill, RP Hipolito Pichardo, 2B Brett Boone, RF Jay Buhner, RP Paul Assenmacher, RP Bob Patterson SP Pedro Martinez The Beavers won the Pedro sweepstakes and have the most fearsome rotation in baseball, with a very impressive lineup to go with it. Top prospect Garcia could also get the call up this year. Portland looks like the early pick to come out on top this post season. A-
Yellowknife Targaryens RP Kevin Wickander, SS Jeff Reboulet, SP Bob Tewksbury, C Ron Karkovice, RP Jose Mesa, RP Gene Harris, LF John Vander Wal, RP Ken Ryan, RP Joe Grahe SP Francisco Cordova, SS Royce Clayton, RP Jeff Nelson, SP Cal Eldred, SS Tony Fernandez The Targaryens have made calculated improvements and will definitely win more games this season, but will still end the season in 3rd behind Portland and Palo Alto. B
Palo Alto Pranksters SP Chuck Finley, C Don Slaught, LF Phil Plantier, RP Michael Jackson, SS Fernando Vina, LF Jose Canseco 1B Wally Joyner, CF Chad Curtis, 3B Todd Zeile No big moves needed for the Pranksters this offseason, their roster is still well positioned for success. An aging infield will need organizational depth, but Joyner and Martinez are still playing at a high level, making their age a non-factor for the 1999 season. B+
Sturgis Grizzlies RP Rich Rodriguez, SP Francisco Cordova, C Eddie Perez, RF Mark Whiten, 3B Terry Pendleton, 1B Eric Karros, RP Jeff Russell, RP Bryan Harvey, RP Chuck McElroy RP Norm Charlton, RP David West, LF Jim Eisenreich, SP Todd Stottlemyre, RF Mike Cameron, RP Jeff Pierce, SP Pedro Astacio, SP John Farrell, RP Darryl Kyle Very active this offseason, but not enough moves in the right direction. Their mediocre lineup will get swallowed whole by the top pitching staffs of divisional rivals. C+
New York City Baseball Club CF Torii Hunter, CF Matt Lawton, 1B Kevin Seitzer, RP Jim Abbott, 2B Bill Spiers, CF Lenny Dykstra SP Mike Sirotka, LF Troy O’Leary, CF Andruw Jones, 1B Mo Vaughn, 2B Scott Rolen, SP Bob Tewksbury, RP Paul Quantrill The additions of Andruw Jones and Mo Vaughn makes a scary lineup even harder to get through. If their 5 solid starting pitchers remain healthy, NYCBC will be back contending for another title this post season. A
Old Bridge Titans LF Troy O’Leary, 1B Wally Joyner, SP Tom Browning, SP Roger Pavlik C Mike Piazza, LF John Vander Wal Old Bridge will be the surprise team out of the Ruth Conference this season. Signing Piazza, plus the emergence of solid young starting pitchers Anderson, Kuroda, Saunders and Mulder will give the Baseball Club a difficult time and probably end them a wild card spot. A-
Coney Island Whitefish SP Brian Bohanon, SP Pete Harnisch, SP Dwight Gooden, RP Mike Myers CF Stan Javier, RF Steve Finley, CF Dwayne Hosey, C Scott Servais, SP Tom Browning The Whitefish didn’t make any impressive moves in the offseason, but will have a winning record this year if their strong lineup can put up enough runs to support rookie pitchers Wood, Vazquez and Duckworth. C
Charleston Rebels SS Royce Clayton, RP Tom Gordon, LF Brian McRae C Brad Ausmus, RP Greg Gohr The Rebels aren’t ready to compete this year, but they have some talented players that can either be built around or dealt for future investments. C
Bismarck Otto Vons LF Bernard Gilkey, SP Steve Trachsel, RP Rich Robertson, RF Todd Steverson, SP Darryl Kyle, SS Gary Disarcina RP John Ericks, SP Allen Watson, CF Alex Sanchez, RF Jin-Oh Kim, C George Williams Time will tell if Bismarck paid too high a price for Sanchez, but he’s an electric player that can spark an offense every night. Bismarck is strong now, but has more strength waiting in the wings. It will be fun to watch how they piece together their roster as the season develops, and they’re likely in the hunt. A-
Dallas Daredevils SP Allen Watson, RP Mariano Rivera, 1B Andres Gallaraga, SP Kevin Tapani, SP Sid Fernandez, SP John Farrell, RP Todd Van Poppel, SP Doug Drabek, C Mike Macfarlane, 1B Rico Brogna, CF Alex Sanchez, CF Kevin Koslofski SP Brian Bohanon, SP Paul Wagner, SP Bobby Jones, RP Tom Gordon, 1B Carlos Delgado Dallas was able to shed some dead weight this offseason, and also bolstered their starting rotation and lineup with key acquisitions. The Daredevils are well positioned to make a deep run this year. A-
Toledo Troutheads C Dave Valle, 3B Sean Berry None The Troutheads have some talented players, but their pitching staff doesn’t look strong enough to contend this season. C-
Eden Prairie Landsharks RP Jeff Pierce, C Mike Stanley, 3B Leo Gomez 3B Sean Berry This looks like the year Eden Prairie gives up the Central Division. The Landsharks haven’t done enough to keep themselves competitive in a division with the surging Otto Vons and Daredevils. C
Hollywood Stars SP Danny Jackson, SP Jamie Moyer, LF Rickey Henderson, SP Bill Swift, RP Kevin Campbell, 1B Don Mattingly, RP Jeff Montgomery, 2B Luis Alicea, RP Toby Borland, 2B Tim Naehring SP Juan Guzman, LF Bernard Gilkey, LF Al Martin Young arms Chen and Hernandez will have to develop quickly if Hollywood is going to win many games this year. Rumor has it superstar short stop Barry Larkin is unhappy under the bright lights and is looking for a change of scenery. C+
Seattle Steelheads C George Williams, 1B John Jaha, C Mike Piazza, 2B Jeff Kent, 2B Scott Rolen None Seattle was only able to snag one compensatory pick out of letting Piazza, Kent and Jaha go. They don’t have a bad team, but will need to continue to build their farm system in order to compete with the Firebirds in the coming seasons. C+
Phoenix Firebirds LF Tom Marsh, C BJ Surhoff, SP Paul Wagner, 3B Tony Phillips C Don Slaught The Firebirds will, once again, field potential all stars at every position. Their starting pitching looks to be good enough to match win totals of last year – fans are hoping their superstars stay healthy this year, which would make Phoenix a favorite to emerge from the Ruth Conference. C+
Oregon Ducks SP Bobby Jones, SP Mike Sirotka, 1B Eduardo Perez SP Kenny Rogers, SP James Baldwin This offseason’s most interesting move was the franchise’s second relocation, this time back into the States in Oregon. The newly branded Ducks are a top heavy squad, with two time Pitcher of the Year winner Pettitte and slugger Jason Giambi leading the way, but probably aren’t deep enough to seriously contend this season. C+

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