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Historical Fiction #3: 1871 Preseason

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Posted 12-12-2012 at 12:30 AM by jb28

April 1, 1871

Brooklyn Atlantics Spring Training

Brooklyn Atlantics have finished first in the National League spring training standings with a 16-8 record. That record was helped by our superior pitching depth and a tough spring schedule. It looks our draft strategy which favored pitching and defense has led to wins on the field.

Our spring training starting pitchers have both performed well. John McMullin started in 14 games and had 9 wins, 1 loss, and a 3.48 ERA. That puts him first in the league in win % and third in ERA. John McMullin is rated as the league's #9 prospect. He will get the starting job this season.

1st round inaugural draft pick George Zettlein was seventh amongst starters with a 5.22 ERA. He was also 2nd in the league with 17 strikeouts and gave up just 20 walks to lead the league in Ks per BB. He had 10 starts, 5 wins, 4 losses, and led the league with 5 saves at a 1.000 SV%. George Zettlein will have the opportunity for more saves this season as our relief pitcher.

Our spring training relief pitcher Charlie Pabor was the weak link in our pitching staff but he played an important role in keeping our starters fresh. He pitched for 37.2 innings in 15 games. He had 2 wins, 3 losses, and 2 saves from 3 save opportunities with a 6.21 ERA. With 1 strikeout, 16 walks, and 49 wild pitches Charlie Pabor lacks the control needed to be a regular major league pitcher. He batted at an impressive .385 average and will return to the outfield for the regular season.

On defense the team excelled. We committed more errors than our opponents in just 6 of our 24 games. This is what we drafted for and it's good to see the plan at work.

On offense we performed well although with the tough schedule we did face many tired and inexperienced pitchers. Center fielder Art Allison was the clear standout with a .447 batting average and 15.85 runs created per 27 outs.

Third baseman Cap Anson was also outstanding with a .392 batting average. His 40 hits include 17 that went for extra bases. The 18 year old is rated as the league's third best prospect.

Our top power hitter was clearly right fielder John Bass. He batted at a .337 average and his 32 hits included team highs of 6 home runs and 11 triples.

Preseason predictions

Preseason predictions have Brooklyn winning the National League pennant and the team owner has given me that goal. While our spring performances have been impressive I expect to go up against better pitching in the regular season and this could expose some of our offensive weaknesses. I expect the Cincinnati Reds, led by pitchers Bobby Matthews and Bill Stearns, to put in a strong challenge for the title.

Cleveland Forest Citys, led by shortstop George Wright and pitcher Al Pratt, are favorites to win the American League.

Around the league

In the American League the best pitcher in spring training was Philadelphia's Cherokee Fisher. He had a league high 11 wins with a 3.78 ERA.

The best batter in the American League was Cleveland Forest Citys shortstop George Wright. In 64 at bats George Wright had 29 hits and 16 walks and a .542 OBP. 14 of his 29 hits were triples.

In the National League the best pitcher was our own John McMullin with 9 wins, 1 loss, and a 3.48 ERA.

The best hitter in spring training in the National League was Levi Meyerle of the Chicago White Stockings. Levi Meyerle hit at a league leading average of .538 and was second in home runs with 9.

Spring training is over and major league competition is about to begin in Cleveland as Cleveland Forest Citys host Baltimore Canaries.
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