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Old 02-14-2015, 11:23 AM   #1
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Paramount Baseball League - Grand Championship Preview

The following preview was written by the Paramount team representative.

League Website: Home | Paramount Baseball Message Board

You can check out the Paramount Baseball League team by visiting: Home Page

In the Paramount Baseball League (PBL), pitching reigns supreme. The drafts are virtually void of any hitting talent, and many teams struggle to find enough quality players to fill out their batting lineups. However, despite the high demand for batters, the teams that seem to have the most success are those that can put together a pitching staff with 3-4 lights out starters, a solid defense, and a bullpen that is formidable to any lineup.

In fact, the latest World Series in the PBL was between the two teams with the best two pitching staffs in the league.

So with the thought that even in a league where hitting is so sought after, pitching still manages to be the most important factor in winning when it counts, we decided to build our team around pitching and defense.

The first order of business was finding our starting rotation. We simply looked for the best 2-3 pitchers, without worrying too much about salary. We then aimed at finding two back of the rotation guys that were cheap, but could still be dominant forces on the mound. The guys we found have great groundball rates, and enough stamina that they could go the distance if need be.

The bullpen followed the rotation, and no expense was spared in choosing the bullpen. Games can be lost in the blink of an eye without a shutdown bullpen, and we opted to get the best closer we could find, along with 3 shutdown relievers that could take on a setup role. Most importantly however, we got 3 lefty relievers in the pen, to ensure that our team will matchup well against any lineup thrown at us.

The building of the lineup was the trickiest part of the ordeal. The main thing we were looking for in selecting the lineup was making sure that our team could get on base. Power and speed were secondary aspects. The thinking was that if we couldn’t get our guys on base consistently, scoring runs would be very difficult to come by. Along with selecting guys with good OBP’s, we looked for guys with elite gloves, especially in the outfield and middle infield. Having an outfield with good range can save a team countless runs over the year, as extra base hits can be turned into outs.

While we wanted to get a big name player on the offensive side of the ball, we figured that due to the salary cap constraints, it would be better suited for our style of play to get lots of above-average guys, rather than a couple superstars along with a mediocre rest of the lineup. The emphasis in our lineup is on playing team baseball—every player chipping in here and there to help score our runs.

The last thing we did was choose our ballpark. We have mostly all righties on the mound, an outfield with superb range, and a team that isn’t too reliant on power to score its runs. For these reasons, we chose AT&T park as our home. It favors our right-handed batters and pitchers, but it also has lots of room in the outfield for our fielders to show off their range.

Projected Starting Lineups

1 L Bobby Anderson 3B
2 L Tomás García LF
3 L Bobby Fullerton C
4 R Bob Tanner CF
5 R Sterling Winter RF
6 R Alonso Ciriaco 1B
7 L Ron Holmes 2B
8 R Paco Baca DH
9 R Víctor Ortíz SS

Projected Rotation & Bullpen

R Augusto Carbajal
R Steve Mays
R Clint Wallace
R Donald Ritter
L José Méndez

Middle Relief:
L Alfonso Oliva
L Vernon Mullins
R Joe McCabe

Long Relief/Emergency Starter:
R Joe McCabe

Set Up
R Chris Moreno
L Ed Crawford
L Jack Davis

R Mike Bishop

Commissioners Note:

This is the first time the PBL had a representative in the GCL and we are taking it very seriously as the reward is great but the exciting part for us it to show the strength of our league and the competitiveness we have. We feel that we did our part in putting together the best team possible with $90 million dollar to spend and are hoping the efforts pay off but in order to be successful in this tournament we are going to need to focus on these 5 keys to winning….

5 Keys to Winning:

1. The strategy was to build around pitching so that means the pressure will be on them the most to perform to their ability. The key for the starting rotation as a group will be to keep the ball on the ground and let the defense do the work. Augusto Carbajal, Steve Mays, and Clint Wallace have the ability to be an elite 1-2-3 punch but the key will be Donald Ritter who has averaged 227 innings the past two years with a sub-4 ERA. If he can continue to be the workhorse then we will have four plus pitchers and really allow us flexibility for the tournament.

2. Bullpen. We built around a couple power arms and expect our guys to come in and throw the heat past you and strike you out. Closer, Bishop (13.9 k/9) and set up men Crawford (14.2 k/9) and Oliva (13.8 k/9) anchor the back end of the pen while Davis (16.1 k/9) and McCabe (10.6) will be in the mix s well. The question won’t be their skill set but whether each guy accepts their role on the team. We can’t have a bullpen with 5 closers and they know that but we feel each spot in the pen is just as critical to winning ballgames and we need them to buy into that.

3. Bobby Anderson is the x-factor in the lineup. Based on our studies, despite having zero speed at all, we feel that the best lineup combination for us to score the most runs starts with Anderson leading off. Our projections have us averaging about 5.811 runs per game this way and with our pitching and defense we think this would spell great things. This is considering Anderson gets on base the way he has the past 3 seasons with On-base percentages of .398, .376 and .431.

4. Playing to our park factors. We built a strong defense up the middle and as well as gold glove caliber outfielders to help our pitchers out but also to benefit from the spacious AT&T ballpark. Hoping they will be able to turn a lot of gap shots that should be extra bases into outs. We are also hoping our offense will be able to capitalize on other teams by scoring runs that they may not be able to get to.

5. Offsetting our overall lack of speed on our roster. We don’t have the type of player who is going to stretch a double into a triple or steal to get into scoring position so collectively as a group we need to find ways to move the runners and score runs. Situational baseball has to be a team effort to be successful. Our ability to score runs will be a direct result of that.
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