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Old 02-13-2015, 02:49 PM   #1
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NPBL - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by the NPBL team representative.

League Website: www.npblbaseball.com

You can check out the NPBL team by visiting: Home Page

Opening Statement:

My general thought when building this team was complete world domination, then when I realized our bats and balls would struggle against precise drone strikes, so I decided to settle on just winning the league. I tend to favor overall team depth, with an offense built around doubles and getting on base. I tend to not run much, but in spite of this I still found it a good idea to pick up that Christian Moss fella - I hear he's pretty good.

I usually don't focus at all on defense, so expect us to be near the bottom there. That's because on the mound I love me some strikeouts. I know, I'm quite the visionary. I also love a stacked bullpen, it's the Giants fan in me. My teams tend to do really well or flail about the field rather miserably. Let's hope for Option 1!

We're going to play our home games in Busch II primarily because A) My favorite team is the Giants but I'll pass on the dearth of actual runs so I didn't want to go that route, 2) I prefer a pretty neutral stadium and III) My in-laws dig the Cards so it's surely fate. Plus I always hear they have the BEST fans *rolls eyes*.

Projected Starting Lineup

3B Arturo Escalante - .402 career OBP and .431 in 2014 - sign me up!

SS Willie Vogel - 40+ Doubles and .330 hitter? Man, he's like my prototypical player

CF Christian Moss - I suppose he'll do

RF Mike Lehman - Yes, I sold my soul for the good of my team. I know injuries aren't possible, but if they were I'd probably root for him to get hurt. If he literally cost $1 more I probably would've found an alternative. But at $550K for Lehman, well even a Giants fan can find a place for stinkin' Dodger. Ptooey! (Note: Lehman was modeled after Puig)

LF Randall Miles - His 2014 was amazing. .340 with 45 2B, 19 HR and above-average D - me like!

2B Nathan Woods - Hopefully his 2014 (.299/.377/.520) wasn't some mirage. He's got the tools so here's to hopin'

1B José González - Averaging just under 40 HR a year in 3 years, he's going to strikeout like a madman but if he can hit a couple of them 3-run HR's we're in good shape

C José Flores - .290ish with 30 HR behind the plate? Hitting 8th? Gee, sounds horrible.

DH Ron Hall - Not going to lie - I didn't realize there was the DH when I picked my team. He gets the nod because I have a slugging 1B on my NPBL team of the same name so surely it's a sign from above that he is the Chosen One.

The bench is solid. Cody Dudley should do ok playing once in a while for Flores behind the dish. Manuel Cabral and Willie Williams should be good sparkplug middle infielders to cover the big guys on occasion. Backing up in the OF are Julián Garza (yay singles!) and Marcos Robles (yay walks!).

Projected Rotation & Bullpen

Juan López - 2-time 20-game winner and strikeout artist. "Outstanding" Pitcher winner, but back in 2010.

John Schoop - "Outstanding" Pitcher winner in 2013, when he topped 300 K's. If he keeps the ball in the park, he'll be tough

John Hathaway - A bit wild for my liking, but 17-9 with a K per inning and an ERA under 3 last year

Steve Cunningham - Also wilder than I'd like but again, the K's. Killer changeup and his stats are trending upward. I'm expecting 25-1, 1.89 ERA. Piece of cake.

Román Nava - I definitely got name-baited a bit here, but I needed a cheap 5th SP and he's got a live arm and 4 plus pitches

A further sad point for the sake of honesty is that I actually DIDN'T realize Injuries were off when selecting my team.

So yeah, I'm realizing this now and the fact that I did select 4 real life Starting Pitchers who have had real-life season ending injuries recently is not lost on me. I know, it's amazing my team doesn't have more fans with such a steady hand at the helm!

Middle Relief:
Ramón González - Lots of 's K's!
Millard Cooper - Throws 101. 'Nuff Said
José García - He's just a great guy I'm sure.

Set Up
Raymond Pace - I hope your runner on 3rd with one out wasn't planning on scoring. Because here comes the K. He may close if I opt so have a LH & RH setup and then a LH closer rather than 2 LH Setups and a RH closer.

Devin Goodwin - The 3rd Head of the 3-headed closer. Former "Yankee" (he played for the NYA franchise in the pre-simmed seasons) so we'll have to wash that off of him, but other than that good to go!

Claudio Hernández - Video game numbers. Wait - we're playing a video game? Uh - crazy good numbers then!

5 Keys to Winning:
1. Timing. In baseball timing is everything. Hits at clutch times. Catching good teams when they're running cold. Catching fire at the end of the year. If we lose the timing battle, it'll be tough to overcome.

2. The rotation needs to be more about the K's and run prevention, and less about the walking guys everywhere - especially the bottom half of it. I think if at the end of the year all 5 look to have near the same stats, I'll likely have a pretty good seed

3. I'm a tad worried about the 3 lefties in the pen - I typically only like 2. If we run into a tough lefty-mashing squad down the line, it could spell troubles. Alternatively, I don't love the all righthanded rotation. I've had it before and won an NPBL title with an all-righty pitching staff, but it's probably not the smartest of plans. If you've read this far you're likely getting the general concept that I don't make a ton of smart plans.

4. Offensively we have to get on base. Walk-double-single is my 2-run plan in my offense. We need those career OBPs to play out a bit. We've got some clean up the bases power throughout, especially down in the order, but keeping the line moving is essential.

5. If another team opted for that world-domination plan I was thinking about, we're in trouble. I had about $2 million left in my budget at the end but the cost of military arsenal these days is just so dang high.
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