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Old 02-12-2015, 08:59 PM   #1
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MLBPro - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by the MLB Pro's team representative.

MLB Pro is a realistic Out of the Park Baseball (OOTP) league. The league is formed solely for the enjoyment of its members (also referred to as General Managers or ‘GMs’). MLB Pro takes baseball one day at a time, and runs each sim to match the real life schedule.

League Website: MLB Pro | Taking OOTP 15 Baseball One Day at a Time

You can check out the MLB Pro team by visiting: Home Page

Opening Statement: Building the MLB Pro offense was a multi-step process of identifying players whom fit our particular mold, and then assembling the lineup from there. The pitching staff was selecting the best available arms for their price, with a preference towards ground-balling strike-throwers kept in mind at all times.

The lineup was build on the foundation of a number of high risk, high reward players who didn't cost much towards the cap. Jeremy Bennett, Jon Ricks, and Manuel García all have very high ceilings and cost a bit more than half a million. Chan-u Lee and Alberto Martínezn are known commodities that will solidify the middle of the order. We are very proud of our bench as well. They are great defenders whom will help keep our late leads safe by catching the ball.

Projected Starters:
vs RHP
1 L Manuel García 3B
2 L Chan-u Lee DH
3 L Jon Ricks 2B
4 R Alberto Martínez RF
5 L Cristo Flores LF
6 R Jeremy Bennett 1B
7 L Sergio Castro CF
8 R Jason Bennett SS
9 L Paulino Hechelbacher C

vs LHP
1 R Jeremy Bennett CF
2 L Chan-u Lee 1B
3 L Jon Ricks 2B
4 R Alberto Martínez RF
5 R Larry Vélez DH
6 L Cristo Flores LF
7 L Manuel García 3B
8 R Orlando Trejo SS
9 R Kevin Tipton C

Lineup order will be determined early in the tournament based on production, but these are the projected starters at each position vs LHP and RHP.

The DH position gives us the flexibility to put Larry Vélez in the lineup against lefties, where Sergio Castro struggles. The Hechelbacher /Tipton tandem is not quite set in stone; we will feel out early in the season the state of Tipton's defense behind the plate.

Projected Pitching Staff:

Evan Collins
Mark Anderson
Aguinaldo Milheiros
Ken Mitchell
Terry Roberson

Todd Lee
Hee-seop Hong
John Zimmerman
Alfredo Crespo

Collins is our stud at the top who we will hand the ball to day one of the season. Milheiros is another important piece in the middle. He's been a rock for every team he's played on and will give us consistent production every fifth day.

Just like the lineup, the configuration of the bullpen is something still to be finalized. These players were drafted not with typical rigid, restrictive bullpen "jobs" in mind. Rather, they were drafted because they were the best players available for the money we were willing to allocate. If the team decides to go with a closer, Todd Lee is the obvious favorite.

Five Keys to Victory
1. Chan-u Lee & Alberto Martínez continue to produce at their usual levels. This duo is going to be one of the best in the league, and has consistently posted 5 or 6 win seasons for the past few years. Lee over his career has been superb with a .442 (!!) wOBA. If these two falter, there is little hope for MLB Pro. But there is no reason to think they will.

2. Sergio Castro gets on base. The team put a lot of faith into Castro, 26, whom has not even hit arbitration yet. He walks at a 14.7% clip, greater than Lee himself, and the team must be assured his selection was not a mistake. At worst, MLB Pro can roll with their LHP lineup and get Larry Vélez more at-bats, but they'd like to see Jackson produce.

3. Ken Mitchell remains healthy. Mitchell had a great debut in 2013 (123 ERA+, 5.8 WAR, 230 innings) but couldn't quite stay on the field in 2014 due to a partially torn labrum. His final numbers (4.58 ERA, 89 ERA+, 4.5 BB/9) were less than stellar. The MLB Pro believes Ken can be a force in the middle of the rotation when healthy. Some positive medical reports will be a key to their success.

4. The bullpen gets outs, regardless of situation. The braintrust at MLB Pro believes 6 out of their 7 bullpen guys could handle the ninth inning without issue. Is having that many "closers" a positive or a negative? Players like defined roles, but there's no guarantee that's how it will play out during the season. Will mixing and matching these quality arms lead to effective outs, or disgruntled guys? We hope for the former.

5. Jason Bennett needs to grab the SS job and run with it. Members of the MLB Pro front office won't say it on the record, but there are murmurs that MLB Pro isn't quite confident with the shortstop position. Why else would they bring a guy like Orlando Trejo into the fold? Bennett needs to perform, otherwise the team will opt for a defense-first player like Sam Wagner to take care of MLB Pro's groundball pitchers.
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:39 PM   #2
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