John B. Wockenfuss 

Strat-O-Matic Baseball League

MIN Draft Thoughts


I always look forward to Newts' post-draft write-up, and I've been enjoying everyone's writeups, so...

The 2020 Twins are kinda in a no man's land. I don't think I have a championship contender, but in a division where everyone is in varying degrees of rebuild, I still have enough pieces for one last postseason run, before my team completely implodes on itself. Generally speaking, my draft strategy was BPA, then adding useful pieces for this year in the later rounds.

  1. Will Smith-Catching wasn't necessarily a need this season, but I really need someone to become the long term starter in 2021. I didn't think Smith would be there at 17 and was glad to get him there. He'll help this year as well, of course, and I have now successfully cornered the market on Will Smiths.
  2. Brendan McKay-I had reservations due to the lefthandedness, but as a consensus top 20 prospect with a high floor and ceiling, I think he'll be in my rotation (hopefully) as soon as 2021
  3. Jose Urquidy-He was someone I was debating taking with my 2nd round pick. Thrilled to see him drop to the late 3rd. He has a little current value, but I'm hoping he and McKay both become rotation stalwarts down the road.
  4. Shed Long-some question marks, but a lefty starting 2B with speed and some pop is a nice get in the late 4th round
  5. Jimmy Cordero-best reliever available (particularly for my park)
  6. Elvis Luciano-DOB: 2/15/2000. I don't expect this pick to pay dividends for another 3-4 years, but he didn't look completely overmatched in the show as a teen.
  7. Justin Bour-The one hole in my lineup was a DH vs RHP. Getting an 8 diamond lefty with close to 400ob and close to 400ab in my park (Homer 16 to lefties) this late works
  8. Tony Barnette-26 real life innings makes him just eligible for use in our league. He's probably my primary closer
  9. Mike Freeman-a really useful 2 year car. Hits lefty, can back up SS and spot start at 2B against either side if a lefty bat is really called for
  10. Steven Duggar-One of my real bugaboos is playing a 3 in CF. I have to do it vs righties this year, but Duggar gives me a 2 CF to play against lefties
  11. Mark Melancon-seemed to recover his form once in Atlanta, hopefully can generate one more good card. Worth an 11th round flyer
  12. Albert Pujols-Yes, he's the greatest player (5 time MVP) in franchise, and possibly JBW history. He also has zero current/future strat value. I've cut him the last two seasons in the off-chance the additional draft pick yields a legit prospect or needed role player. Since, generally neither is there at this late stage, I re-draft Albert. Yes, the logic is tortured.

In all likelihood, a year from now, my team is going to be a tire fire. The success of my draft is going to be on what extent my top four picks hit.

PHI Draft Thoughts

JBW Phillies Marketing Team put this out this morning. Hot off the presses.

JBW Phillies Draft Picks 2020 - Highlights:

1 - Chris Paddack - age 24 - RH Starting Pitcher - immediate possible contender for Cy Young award (according to the press and not Phillies). Texan right hander with a great fastball. Also, Paddack has more offense behind him this year so that should make him more comfortable. Phillies definitely needed a solid starter and got one with Paddack. Becomes #2 starter behind Sonny Gray for a rotation that has improved since the start of last season.

2 - Oscar Mercado - age 25 - R Centerfielder. Mercado has speed and defense plus decent power and average. He hits both lefties and righties well and stole 15 bases last year. Phillies believe Mercado will improve and help solidify their outfield for years to come.

3 - Christian Walker - age 28 - R 1st Baseman. Walker was selected for his speed and power to help bolster the offense of the Phillies. Justin Smoak is still solid defensively but with Walker the Phillies expect more power from 1st base.

4 - Mauricio Dubon - age 25 - R 2nd Baseman / Shortstop. Dubon is young and shown to hit for a decent average and play good defensively. The Phillies staff hope he can do that for years to come on one side of second base or the other side.

5 - Harold Castro - age 26 - L IF/OF - Super Utility Man - can play every position in infield or outfield if necessary and has a pretty good stick too. Hit .291 for 2019 mostly against righties. Even has some speed on the bases. Seen as an upgrade from other utility player Daniel Descalso who has disappointed lately.

6 - Randy Dobnak - age 25 - RH SP/RP - Randy had a 1.59 ERA for 2019 starting 5 games and finishing 4 in 9 games he appeared in 2019. Only gave up 1 home run in 28 innings. We'll see where Dobnak goes this year. Currently slated as 5th starter for the Twins in MLB.

7 - Austin Allen - age 25 - L Catcher and 1st Baseman - Austin has shown signs of hitting for high average throughout his short career in the minors and the Phillies are hoping he does so in the majors now that he has moved from San Diego to Oakland in the MLB and will get plenty of playing time there along with Sean Murphy.

8 - Jacob Webb - age 26 - RH RP - Jacob was pretty much lights out last year posting a 1.39 ERA in 32 innings. He was sidelined with a sore elbow in Spring Training this year and the Braves were bringing him back slowly and cautiously. Definitely a gamble but possibly well worth it if he rebounds and continues to perform like he did last year.

Those are the Philadelphia Phillies picks for the 2020 JBW Strat-O-Matic Draft.


SDP Draft Thoughts

The Padres went into the draft knowing that it was year 2 of the rebuild. We were looking primarily for young prospects who would develop this year and next while adding a couple of relief pitchers who would be ready to help us next year. Our final goal was to get one starting pitcher who might develop into something.

Rd 1: Fernando Tatis, Jr. - Although his card is exceptional, we would have drafted him even with a bad card since a 20 year old who can hold his own in the majors should hopefully fill that position for your next 12 years.

Rd 2: Austin Riley - And so it begins. With 5 picks left in the first round I targeted 5 guys for my second round pick in this order: Dustin May, Luis Arraez, Jesus Luzardo, Will Smith, Austin Riley. I ended up with my last choice who has a good minor league pedigree but when faced with major league breaking pitches struggled. Hoping he learns from his first season.

Rd 3: Dylan Cease - I had my eyes on Jon Gray the moment he was cut. I thought I could get him with my third pick and up until the last pick of the second round he was mine. Al Agra 2 Eddie Eichholz 0. So with my heart set on a SP and my top targets all gone, I went the developmental route and picked Cease. Really not sure if he will spend his career as a mid rotation guy or achieve SP2 status.

Rd 4: Kyle Lewis - Looking for as much upside as I could, I decided to tab the Mariners' Lewis based upon really high early expectations in the minors. Of course, he struggled with multiple injury issues before having a very nice cup of coffee.

Rd 5: Austin Adams - Here is where I needed to fortify my bullpen with guys who could help me next year. I was primarily looking for guys who offered a lot of swing and miss (Adams 63/49 strikeout rate). Going into the trading period, my bullpen consisted of Sam Gaviglio and Ty Blach so I had to do something in this draft.

Rd 6: Josh Taylor - Same as previous pick, Taylor has a high K rate (44/45). Both he and Adams have jobs this year so hoping for more.

Rd 7: Wander Suero - card to get me through this year and next for my pen.

Rd 8 - 16: Chris Martin (48/31 K rate), Tanner Rainey (31/51 K rate), Brad Wieck (44/50 K rate). Cody Stashak was a guy I read some really good things about.

Took a flyer on three starters: Tyler Beede, a young guy who has always had great stuff but never knew where it was going. Giants are handing him a rotation spot. Yusei Kikuchi , a guy who did terrible but sometimes these Japanese imports just need a year to get acclimated to a new culture and as my last pick, if he misses, so what? Brock Burke, another guy fresh from the minors who Texas plans to give a rotation spot to.

Scott Alexander a loogy for this year's pen and finally Matt Beaty who came out of nowhere for the Dodgers last year. Not expecting a Max Muncy type result but as a 14th rd pick worth the flyer.

All in all, Satisfied with my draft but disappointed that Al did me wrong two important rounds in a row.

ATL Draft Thoughts

Overall I thought it was the best draft I've participated in. Everyone seemed to be on top of it. Of course with unlimited time to make decisions I would expect that to be the case. I thought the quality of this year's draft was not very high. Outfield was particularly light. Pitching was light from a card standpoint but there were a lot of prospects that might pan out.

Picking 16th I had targeted Reynolds, Arraez and Will Smith. I didn't think Reynolds would fall because of the position scarcity and not that many teams had a crying need at 2nd so I wasn't surprised to get Arraez. Hesitated on the pick because Smith was the there and I needed catcher help but his AB's are limited and he's older. Here's hoping Arraez learns how to catch.

At one time I had considered Means for my 1st pick. 140 innings of S&R is very useful. I anticipate using him mainly in relief. Bringing in a lefty killer for the 6th and 7th can cause trouble for many line-ups and this will enable me to carry only 4 relievers and 17 position players. His 4% homers vs righties is a bit worrisome in my park (12 to right) but I like the OB.

Needed a 1st baseman vs lefties and Murphy had the best card vs lefties in the draft. Enables me to use Cassali and Briciano as 1st basemen. Like the -2 arm. If Means wasn't there at 2 I would have taken Murphy so I got all 3 of my targeted players in the 1st 3 rounds.

Reese McGuire was my next target. Limited AB's but very useful and only 25. A lefty catcher who was a 1st round pick out of College. Catchers tend to develop late. Unfortunately he was plucked a couple of picks ahead of me. Switched to the defensive 2nd baseman to platoon with Arraez. A 2e5 for a 4e15 late in the game will pay dividends. This was an interesting point in the draft. The 3 players that went before me were listed 1, 2, 3 in my pick list. Still happy with my pick and the way it went I doubt he would have been there at 5. Shed Long was my back-up plan, great hitter vs left but another defensive liability.

Picks 5 through 9 included 2 useable, not great, relievers. Both get righties out and are at least R2's. I'll need them in support of Means. The other 3 picks were young starters without cards. Very pleased with all 3. Had all of them rated in the top 15.

BOS Draft Thoughts

The Red Sox have an aging and injury-plagued team, so the objective of this year's draft was to stock up on youngsters. We had our eyes on Bichette from the outset, and thankfully he fell to #6 overall. We were hoping Mercado was available in Round #2, but the Phillies grabbed him, so we chose Urshela to shore up 3B for a while (Lowrie was primary 3B for us). We probably chose Hilliard a little early in the draft (Round #3), but I have an affinity for COL hitters! Speaking of which, Hampson was taken in Round #4 - not quite sure of his playing time situation, but he finished the year strong last year, and hopefully will get a decent number of ABs this year. I also wanted to get a couple of SPs, and chose Quantrill in Round #5, and Thornton in Round #8. Took fliers on guys like Rojas (Round #7), Cron (Round #9), and Do. Santana (Round #14). Didn't get anyone else at catcher, which will be a concern in a couple years with the aging trio of Castro, Chirinos and d'Arnaud.


NYY Draft Thoughts

I also enjoy Newts draft reviews because it's an outsider's view. It's interesting to see how someone else evaluates what I've done. This year I did miss the occasional "I couldn't read my writing there" commentary, but all in all enjoyed his review.
Our last 4 seasons are "The Four Falls Of Lindor". Since drafting Lindor in the 16 draft we've been in playoff position each year, falling off down the stretch in three of the four seasons, making the playoffs in 2018. Last year we were 61-59 holding the final spot and went 3-7 in our final 10 games. The AL East is a very interesting division as is the AL overall.
Here is my review:

1. Keston Hiura - I liked Lux, Biggio, Arraez and Hiura. None of them received good defensive ratings, and I liked Hiura the best as going into 2019 he was the 6th best prospect in Baseball while the others although known all took big jumps last year. I also thought there was a shot Biggio might fall into the second round until I remembered that JJ had his Dad so he'd be gone no later than 22. The monkey wench was Vlad Jr falling, and as I agonized back and forth the combination of 38 homers at 2 levels plus 2nd base being a premier position over third AND an awesome card made me take Hiura.

2. Mike Tauchman - I was always hoping Yaz would drop here, which he didn't. I thought the Nats would grab Tauchman in the first round, and I figured I'd grab him here as with the injuries the Yankees seem to have he will get playing time and he's got a nice 2 year card.

3. Nick Solak - I kept wanting to grab Solano to give me more good AB's at 2b, but I had to take Solak here. I had him originally as my 2nd round pick and was happy to see him here. Another guy who has just hit at each level. 

4. Isan Diaz - Was going to take Solano here, but saw both Rengifo and Diaz still there. I took Diaz because I like what I read on him better, liked his pecota projections and he is the projected starter in Miami while Rengifo is slated for the bench after the aborted trade attempt with the Dodgers.

5. Gio Gonzalez - Was surprised to see him on the cut list and immediately put him on my list as a hard lefty. Was going to wait but after initially taking Diekman only to realize his card was off, I didn't want to risk losing Gio by taking Jimmy Cordero (say thank you Dan). Cespedes was on my list as well but I was trying to avoid one year cards given I had just 9 picks.

6. Ehire Adrianza - Surprised he was cut as well given his versatility and his new card being a solid 2 at 3b and being a 3 at both 2b and short. He was my backup plan if I didn't get Solano to give me competent AB's to stretch Hiura.

7. Bryan Holaday - Given how teams look for catchers, I was very surprised that a two year card like this was still available here. 100 plus at-bats gives me a more than competent guy to play vs righties when I rest Ramos.

8. David McKay - By this time names like Yimi Garcia, Javy Guerra and Nick Ramirez were on my list, but I remembered Andrew asking if the scouting report on this guy was right (it wasn't), so I did his numbers vs righties by hand and liked what I saw. He struck out more than a batter an inning last year and his card just sneaks in as usable.

9. Brad Miller - Was set to grab Yimi Garcia, Kikuchi or Harold Ramirez until I remembered Miller was still there. Over 10% homers vs righties and can play a few positions. I thought Newts would grab him. We have a history with Brad - he started the rally in the bottom of the 9th of game 7 of the 2014 ALCS (we led by a run) that gave the Sox the pennant. All will be forgiven if he can blast a few for us.
I got many of the players I wanted going into the draft and made my team immediately better while also getting some young players that I hope will be around for a while.

CIN Draft Thoughts

Thoughts and musings over the just-completed draft...

1. Pete Alonso. Wrestled all winter between Alonso, Bichette, and Paddack. I need SP but Paddack gives up his share of HR (my park is 1-15 to both LH and RH), I have Correa at SS (although short ABs), and the departure of Abreu via trade opened up first base. Now the Reds will field five 30+ HR guys in projected starting eight: Alonso, Mancini, Soto, Devers, and Sanchez. Frankly, Alonso is the only draft pick that will impact my club in 2020.

2. Mitch Keller. Took him early and he's useless in 2020, but in my judgement, he'll be one of the premier SP of the new decade. High hopes he (along with my 2019 #2 pick Josh James) breaks out this season.

3. Brendan Rodgers. As with Keller, useless this season, but much upside if he stays healthy and ever lives up to hype. Projects at 2B (a weakness for me) for the Rockies alongside Story.

4. Myles Straw. I love this kid and was glad he was there at #4. Plays two positions where I need depth (CF and SS), blazing speed. Hope he gets in many more ABs for the Astros.

5 and 6. Austin Voth and Alec Mills. Two RHP with impressive 2019 debuts; hopefully can bolster starting rotation - CIN's biggest weakness.

7. Oliver Drake. RH relief pitcher that destroys hitters (provided they step into the LH batters box). Amazing stuff. USNA graduate.

8. Jacob Waguespack. See 11, below.

9. Yonathan Daza. Slashed .364/.404/.548 as an Isotope (granted, PCL) last season. Plus defense in CF, good speed. I can't keep trotting out Kevin Pillar too much longer. Note: Optioned back to AAA yesterday.

10. Yimi Garcia. Former Dodgers RP with great stuff, gets outs, but I was concerned about the 15 HR allowed over 62+ innings. Now playing in pitcher-friendly Miami, so maybe that helps.

11-13. Robert Dugger, Ryan Weber, Matt Andreise. Along with Waguespack, stocked up on righty SPs that are projected to be in MLB rotations this year (some due to injuries); a couple of these guys had good spring numbers. Maybe one or more succeed?

13 picks, 9 pitchers (7 of them starters, all of them RHP)

Bottom line: Improvement over 2019's 49 wins, but not enough to overtake Nationals or Braves in NL East. If SPs produce, young core talent on this team can contend for the 2021 title.

LAA Draft Thoughts

Round 1: Bryan Reynolds: So, with Vlad on the board, and my stated goal of drafting Will Smith all off season, after looking at my numbers compared to the rest of the division, I took the Pirates outfielder. A great platoon with Hunter Renfroe. This pick kinda impacted the later rounds of my draft somewhat, as I figured I'd need to get some decent relief help later on...Heck, we were a game 130 loss of making the post season last year, and with the addition of fellow Buc Kevin Newman, plus some of the cards we got, a run is in the works.

Round 2: Sean Murphy: With the non selection of Will Smith in round 1, we had our eye on Murphy the whole time. This time we did not veer. The Oakland catcher looks to be over his minor health issue and was clearly the 2nd best catcher available, maybe actually the first best in the long run if Smith was a flash in the pan, like we feared.

Round 3: Trevor Gott: Possibly a reach here. Kinda short on innings but a really nice card. Paired with Victor Arano's limited innings, should make 1 really good reliever

Round 4: Seth Brown: I heard a lot of "who's?" in the draft room...Only a 60ish AB card, but Brown, although a little old for a rookie, has punished the ball everywhere he's been. A 1B/OF, he has some versatility and the A's have shown the willingness to play the hot hand. Looks like an A's and Pirates draft class for the Angels

Round 5: Justus Sheffield: The former 1st rounder, at only 23, has a spot locked up in the Seattle rotation. He could be a super stud if he gets his control issues ironed out. He has huge strikeout numbers in the minors. He struggles in his first run through a league, but when starting a 2nd year, has been dominant and promoted quickly. Very happy to get him.

Round 6: Junior Guerra: A decent 76 inning R(2) middle reliever. IMO best choice out there at this point for a relief card.

Round 7: Cole Tucker: Maybe my favorite pick of the draft, and could turn out to be the best value pick out of this draft class. The 22 year old, switch hitting SS, by all reports, is the heir apparent in Bucco land. There is even talk of moving Newman to 2B if he performs well in the minors this year. He has stellar D, great speed and draws walks. Great skills for a 22/23 year old...

Overall, I like this draft, although I lost focus a bit on this year with Murphy, Sheffield and Tucker, but they all have bright futures ahead of kind of a mixed bag. I got a good OF and a couple good relief cards....It's title time on the other side of LA. 

TBR Draft Thoughts

Press Release from Rays Ownership March 26, 2020 5:45 ET

As the Rays begin non-season tourney play in anticipation for the eventual beginning of the 2020 JBW Baseball League season the team would like to provide a review of their draft picks.

Ownership had one goal for the 2020 draft and for the upcoming season: better quality depth, especially in the bullpen. With that in mind:

Round 1- #7 Yordan Alvarez. Several personal draft scenarios coming in suggested because of his poor defense Yordan would be available at 7. While a DH this year, ownership is ecstatic at the real possibility this will be an offensive corner piece for years to come. Grade A

Round 2- #27 Brendan Workman. Quality bullpen depth has been stressed throughout the offseason, and while he has the highest OBP of the current staff adding a stud of his quality to Bettances/Hand/Baez/Hudson/Harris and Doolittle provides us with arguably the best bullpen in the JBW. Grade A-

Round 3- #47 Hanser Alberto. The hope was Means was going to be here to make the draft complete. McGuire was a consideration here as well but the off field potential issues plus platoon situation for '20 resulted in the Alberto selection. Strictly for minor league depth and a bat vs lefties. Grade C

Round 4- #67 Jacob Stallings. Another depth pick and a good bat vs. left handed pitchers. Can provide offense that Maldonado cannot and a good defensive rating in what appears to be the start of a more difficult era statistically. Grade B

Round 5- #87 Darwinzon Hernandez. A pick for the future. 16.9k/9 at the major league level going into age 23 season shows tremendous promise to the organization. Round 5 target in draft prep and quite happy he was there. Grade A-

Understated for the 2020 season is the new ballpark. Tightening ballpark homerun standards for the pitching staff was also on the organization's wishlist. Given the other ballparks in the AL and the way other teams are being built the goal of having to play the Rays in a unique situation was accomplished. Grade A+ 

All in all the Rays didn't accomplish everything on the wishlist as the defense for the upcoming season will be adventurous but overall a productive offseason. Tourney play for now and looking forward to the start of the season.

DET Draft Thoughts

I was trying to fill some gaps. Only had enough at-bats for 2.5 outfielders, unless I wanted to play JD Martinez's 4. Also, McNeil does not have enough AB to play second base full time, so top priority in this draft was filling these two positions. Really had my eyes set on Arraez, however, the Braves took him. So, Santana was a sort of emergency second best. He fills those two gaps and is a base stealer and my only switch hitter. Not sure I really like Yamamoto; his card is balanced, albeit, not sure I can expect much better from him in the future. If nothing else, his card should be good for about 30 starts over its two years of use.
Lowe was just, in my estimation, the best of what was left at that point in the draft. Same was true of Houser. Both have large upside, so one would expect better cards in the future.
With my 5th and last pick, I wanted to get another relief pitcher. Good thing Vic thought to check his draft pick and found that the scouting report was incorrect. I had eyes on David McKay (a real life Tiger), however his scouting report was also incorrect. Wick was the best available reliever, IMHO.
Really wanted to grab a catcher; there were not many in the draft and none that jumped out and said "pick me" (except for Will Smith, who was already gone by my first pick).
I am happy with my draft. With only 5 picks it would be tough to stock up for the future, so was hoping to flesh out my pennant winning team to repeat or exceed last year's performance.

KCR Draft Thoughts

Here's my take on my draft. Going into it I had my sights on the TOR trio as pick 2, knowing that Tatis was 1st pick.

Had decided on Bichette while hoping to get Biggio at 22. I was studying my choices when Patty asked who I most wanted in draft. She convinced me to draft that player....Biggio. I realized he would not be there at 22. Hated passing on Bichette.

Yaz filled a need, left handed bat, good D and a legacy pick. I owned his grandfather. Too high, I know. But I want to do better this season. HATED losing last year.

I really liked Gonsolin. Good write ups. Next 3 picks were bullpen help. Eddie grabbed Adam's 1 pick ahead of me.

Arteaga a Royal and a good SS D. 3 of next 4 picks were catchers, a big need. Tyler Skaggs was a mistake. I forgot he was dead.

Surprised Jonathan Davis, OF was still there at 173. 

Coleman and Suarez added to a deep pitching staff. We aren't good but there's a lot of us.

As I said when I took him, couldn't pass on a guy needed France.

6 of next 7 picks pitchers. More depth. McBroom gives me 1B AB and a Royal.

Next 2 picks: Alonso & Garcia have history with KC and useable cards.

Lucas Duda was a wasted pick. Lots of younger players left but I was tired and wanted the draft to end. 

CHC Draft Thoughts

The White Sox nabbing Guerrero at #13 is grand larceny of the highest order. The lowest he went in any SOMWorld draft was #5 and in 15 of 20 drafts monitored he went either first or second. Now this may be a bit distorted as other leagues may fully use the DH but still looks like felony theft to me. Not a Trout level crime but I think Steve will be pretty happy with the pick.

I did not think he would go that highly in our draft with NL teams at 1 and 3 but felt pretty certain he would go somewhere in picks 5-9 with 5 AL teams in a row so did not study him that closely. My surface view was the offense will be good but not enough to carry the glove (or lack therof) so let him go by. I may regret it.
Not sure how I feel about my draft. I was pretty sure it would come to a pitcher for me in the first round so spent a lot of time on the Gallen/Luzardo/May troika before the draft. I think Luzardo may carry a higher upside but is also more risky due to injury history, plus the lefty thing. May is really highly touted and the Dodgers are a great org but he didn't have the big strikeout/swinging strike rates I look for in a pitching prospect. Gallen really came into his own last year in a big offensive year so I went with him despite his relative lack of prospect pedigree. Also thought about Arraez here, but there were a lot of young 2B in the draft plus I think B-Lowe is progressing nicely so I felt I could afford the pitcher here.

I thought Senzel would go late first round or early 2nd, so didn't spend a ton of time on him before the draft. I think he will hit, just not sure where he plays. Really solid pedigree, has handled every level offensively without much of a hitch. Good speed, good face. A little older than I like for a prospect but was a high level college player.

Really wanted Sean Murphy in 2nd but Cap got him 2 picks before me, somewhat redeeming his Reynolds overdraft with a nice 2nd round get.
Was happy with Lopez in 3rd round, got the 2 early and has Arraez-like contact rates. Looked a little over matched as a hitter in his rookie year but KC seems to be committed to him. Almost went with Nate Lowe here, really like the power/contact combination he offers. Jumbled situation in Tampa Bay though, always hard to get a read on how they will allocate playing time. Dan F. partially redeemed his Santana overdraft by getting him at #60.

Fourth round I couldn't pass up Canning. I had him at 22 overall in a group of 2nd tier pitchers with Urquidy/McKay 21/23, Cease/Keller just a few later at 29/30. Injury history obviously terrifying, but missed a lot of bats in his debut, has good 4 pitch mix. I thought about Ford here but felt he might drop one more round. Alas the Mets snagged him immediately after.

Abe Toro was intriguing, made the Fangraphs top 100 propects. A toss at the dartboard, not a clear path to playing time at this point.

Last few rounds were bad R2 and R3 relievers in Barlow and Ramirez to soak up innings in what I expect to be a lean season for the Cubbies. But do feel there is some upside with Barlow. Had Suarez and Sandoval as a pair to keep an eye on late, would have taken either here. Gus and I seemed to be in sync again as he took Sandoval immediately before me.

Jo Adell and Wander Franco beckon in 2021 as with powerhouse Cardinal, Giant, Brave, and Nationals squads as well as the rapidly improving Reds, Phillies and Mets we look to jockey for a top draft slot next year.

CHW Draft Thoughts

Yes folks, it time for my annual reflections on the draft. Don't try to run, the doors are locked. 

Padres-Well, getting Tatis sort of ensures a good draft. Riley looks solid, the Cardinals are a pretty good organization. Not high on Cease. Lewis is nice in the 4th. My notes say to check on Adams health. I didn't. Solid, no missteps. 

Royals-Biggio and Yaz were legacy picks. I couldn't make my mind up on Biggio, a little old to be a top prospect. Yaz looks like a card to me. Slight overdrafts for a good cause. Gonsolin looks good, but, the card is a bit short. Clearly trying to fill a bull pen. A couple catchers. Not bad. 

Reds-Alonso is a crusher. Might be better off in the AL. Keller a bit early. Not high on Rodgers. Straw not my kind of player, but, he shows something. I kind of like Mills. Draft depends on Alonso. Most drafts depend on the first pick. 

Phils-I like Paddack, but, it scares me to take a pitcher in the first. He does need pitching, so, quite reasonable. Mercado solid. Walker a nice 1b card, but, is too old for a prospect. Allen a lefty catcher, and, I love lefty catchers. Webb looks good, but, I also have a note to check on his health. (I hate when teams zig zag picks.) Filled some needs. 

Os-Lux, maybe the hidden treasure of the draft. Good pick. Grisham a young of, looks good. Hoerner a young middle infielder. The kind of guys I like to gather. Allard good, but, a lefty. I's a bit gunshy around lefties.(Yes, I know, I took one, too.) Love Viloria. A Young lefty catcher. Depends on Lux, but, I like the chances. Very nice job. 

Bosox-Bichette is, of course, prime. Good card and only 22. I would have like Urshela. Hilliard short, but, I like him. Poche looks like a good shot. Not a bad draft. 

Rays-Alvarez seems to have no idea what that leather thing is on his hand, but, he sure can whack the ball. My kind of player. My system rates Workman highly, despite the relatively high OB. Hanser the right side of a platoon. No idea who is on the other side. Stallings D at catcher and crushes lefties. Solid on the weight of Alvarez' bat. 

Yanks-Again Hiura my kind of player. Screw pitching and defense, beat their brains in. Tauchman would have been perfect for my team. I think that Adrianza was the first cut player taken. Good pick. Miller is certainly useful. I like this draft. 

Angels-Reynolds a nice card, may have been there in the 2nd round. Murphy looks good, but, I had a note to check his health. Gott a good R2. Guerra a fine pick in the 6th. A bit old for my taste. Tucker a switch hitting middle infielder, worth a shot. OK draft. 

Dodgers-jimenez has an OK card but looks to have a future. Gallegos a really nice reliever. Chavis is very useable. Castro a young switch-hitting middle infielder. Good guy to grab. Crichton excellent in the 6th. Filled some holes, picked some future value. You could do worse. 

Mets-I was surprised that Edman went this high, but, he's good. I love Aquino's power. Civale an OK starter. Ford would have helped me. (It seems that 1b was a relatively weak position in this draft.) Estrada young and versatile in the 5th. Well done. Sandoval in the 6th was excellent. A major league starter this late. OK draft. 

Cubs-Gallen nice in the first. Senzel useful. Lopez young and a 2 at 2nd. Worth a look. Canning a reasonable young starter. (For some reason I missed him on the draft list.) Toro about right. Another switch hitter. Ramirez an imminently useful card. (Eminently?) Jim never has a bad draft and this follows up on that . Fine job. 

CHISOX-I didn't really scout Guerrero. He was one of the guys that I would take if he fell to me. Surprisingly he did. Contributed in the majors at age 20. I'll take it. (He probably won't make my opening day roster.) Urias a young middle infielder who filled a hole. (I was weak against lefties. Not anymore.) Turnbull was the guy I had originally wanted to take in the first round. I like him lots. Locastro a nice card who fills a hole. (Laureano is a tad short and has an awkward injury number. I needed coverage in center.) Rengifo a young switch hitting middle infielder. Another type of guy that I like. Sims a starter/reliever with an OK card. Rates well. Rogers was this year's catcher pick.(I get one every year. The 2 lefties that I really wanted went just before me each time.) Smeltzer is a lefty starter and rates pretty well to me. Lefty bothers me. Estevez a nice card. Gutierrez strengthened me against lefties and there was no way there was going to be a Cheslor Cuthbert on my team. Gutierrez is short but hits lefties well and plays a little D. I mostly filled holes, but, got some young guys with upside. I have high hopes for Guerrero. 

Indians-Plesac looks good. Anderson a very nice reliever. Kelly a somewhat scary starter. McGuire a very nice get. (One of those lefty catchers I wanted.) I liked young. Dave always drafts solidly. He continues to do so. 

Giants-What does the team that doesn't need anything draft? Bummer an excellent lefty reliever. Clippard another good reliever. My liking of Anderson has worn off. Solano excellent here. Apparently he needs bullpen help and a utility infielder. (When you are in the race, its OK to take relief pitchers in the first round.) 

Braves-Arraez a steal this late. Means a lefty starter who looks good, even if he is an Oriole. Murphy a catcher who is pretty good v lefties. Vargas a 2 2b with 7 diamonds to lefties. Who needs that/ Everyone. Baez short, but, OK. I like Duplantier, but, the card isn't much. A plethora of relievers. A good draft. 

Twins-Smith a minus arm catcher with 8 diamonds on each side. Urquidy has some pluses. Long obviously useful. Cordero a good reliever. I'm not sure Barnette is useable in our league. He's right on the cusp. A fine card. I was going to take Freeman with my next pick. Melancon good late pick. Good cards. Not sure I see great future value. Dan is a go for it kind of guy. 

Nats-May a good starter/reliever. A bit short. Cooper one of the rare good 1bs this year. Berti a good card and good at a couple of positions. Nola backs up catcher and 1b. Brousseau also versatile. I think that Andrew is going to be mixing and matching this season. Erlin a lefty starter/reliever who looks useful. Guerra a great pick up. I'm running out of gas, so, I'll say that Andrew was looking to fill holes and seems to have done that. Well done. 

Tigers-I often don't understand what Dan is doing. I did understand why he took Santana. Looks good. Yamamoto a fine starter card, if a bit short. Lowe another solid 1b. I guess he had a hole there. House an exciting(not necessarily in a good way) starter. Wick a solid reliever. Looks like he filled some holes. 

Cards-2 lefty relievers in the first round seems excessive, but, Luzardo looks good and Al is in the hunt again this year. Gray a full season of OK starter. Bass a good reliever. Walden also good and an r2. Cespedes has a nice short card. Wingenter another good reliever. I guess he needed bull pen help. Looks like he got what he wanted. 

So, I started this late and am definitely running out of gas. I don't think that I have been as pithy as usual. Ah, well, life goes on. Steve

2019 World Series Round-up:

Game 1: Sean Manaea vs Mike Foltynewicz 

The Tigers score first thanks to a Tyler Flowers blast in the top of the 3rd, but the Cardinals tie it on a Nick Ahmed sacrifice fly in the 4th. Ahmed also drives in the go ahead run with a single in the bottom of the 7th which is followed by a pinch two-run homer by Austin Meadows. The Cards lift Foltynewicz after 7 innings of one run ball and Aaron Altherr greets Diego Castillo with another home run. Chad Green comes in to get the final 5 outs.

Cardinals 4 - Tigers 2

W - Foltynewicz L - Manaea S - Green

Cardinals lead 1-0 

Game 2: Chase Anderson vs Trevor Bauer                                                        Tyler Flowers gives the Tigers a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the 5th and Jeff McNeil's solo shot in the 7th stretches the lead to 2. The Cardinals rally in the bottom of the 7th with an RBI single by Eric Sogard and a pinch 3-run homer by Yairo Munoz. The Tigers rally in the 9th as a leadoff double by Paul Dejong and an RBI single by Jake Cave close the lead to 4-3. With First and Third and two outs Evan Gattis faces Chad Green and bounces out to second base. 

 Cardinals 4 - Tigers 3

W - Bauer L - Wood S - Green

Cardinals lead 2-0 

Game 3: James Paxton vs Trevor Cahill                                                            Yelich scores on a Devin Marrero sacrifice fly to put the Tigers ahead as the action switches to Detroit. Howie Kendrick and Christian Yelich each hit homers in the 2nd to stretch the lead to 3-0. Cahill shuts the Cardinals down for 6.1 innings and Reyes Moronta completes the shutout for the Tigers.

Tigers 3 - Cardinals 0

W - Cahill L - Paxton S - Moronta

Cardinals lead 2-1 

Game 4: Mike Foltynewicz vs Noah Syndergaard 

The Tigers jump into the lead again with a Paul DeJong solo shot in the 2nd and expand the lead with a 2-run homer from Aaron Altherr in the 5th. The Cardinals break a 15 inning scoreless streak in the 6th with a 3-run shot by Freddie Freeman and RBI singles from Chris Taylor and Ender Inciarte. The Tigers get runners on second and third with nobody out to start the 6th, but the Cardinals pen strikes out the side to maintain the 5-3 lead. The Cards expand the lead in the 8th with a Willson Contreras solo shot and an Inciarte single. 

Cardinals 7 - Tigers 3

W - Foltynewicz L - Syndergaard S - None 

Cardinals lead 3-1 

Game 5: Trevor Bauer vs Chase Anderson                                                        Chris Taylor hit a solo shot in the top of the 1st to give the Cardinals an early lead, but Christian Yelich scores on a doubleplay in the bottom half to tie the game. The Tigers move ahead with a Jake Lamb two out 2-run double in the 3rd. Anderson holds the Cardinals in check until a leadoff Jacoby Ellsbury triple in the 8th. Collin McHugh starts the 9th inning on the mound and allows a Freddie Freeman 1-out single. McHugh hangs a breaking ball to Willson Contreras who crushes a deep drive to left (ballpark HR on a 14 - missed with a 17) but Rasmus makes the catch against the wall. McHugh completes the save and the Tigers secure a return trip to St. Louis.

Tigers 3 - Cardinals 2

W - Anderson L - Bauer S - McHugh

Cardinals lead 3-2 Game 6: Sean Manaea vs James Paxton                              Both lefties struggle in this one as the Cards take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st with a 2-run Anthony Rendon homer. After a Chris Taylor error and a 2-out 2-run clutch hit by Evan Gattis the game is tied. The Tigers take the lead on a Paul DeJong solo shot in the 4th, but is once again tied in the bottom half of the inning following a Javy Baez homer. The Tigers retake the lead on an RBI double by Ian Kinsler in the 5th. Both starters exit after 5 innings. The Cardinals tie the game following an Evan Gattis error and RBI single from Chris Taylor in the 6th. Eric Sogard hit a 1-out double in the 8th and scored on a 2-out RBI single by Jason Heyward. The Cardinals send Chad Green out to pitch the 9th. Howie Kendrick misses a HR-Triple split with one out settling for a runner on third base with one out. Christian Yelich hits a liner toward second (ballpark single on a 9 for the tie) but it is speared by Javy Baez. The Cardinals intentionally walk JD Martinez and face pinch hitter Jake Cave. Cave swings and misses striking out to end the series.

Cardinals 5 - Tigers 4

W - Hernandez L - Moronta S - Green

Cardinals win series 4-2 

The Cardinals luck holds for one more series and complete a surprising World Series win. World Series MVP is a tough one. Key contributors on the offense: Freddie Freeman (2 for 18 1HR 1R 3RBI) - the big 3-run homer in game 4

Anthony Rendon (5 for 24 1HR 2R 2RBI) - big homer in game 6

Austin Meadows (2 for 4 1HR 2R 2RBI) - big homer in game 1

Yairo Munoz (2 for 6 1HR 3R 3RBI) - game winning homer in game 2

Jason Heyward (3 for 8 1 RBI) - game winning hit in game 6 

Key pitchers: 

Mike Foltynewicz (2 wins 12 IP 16K 4ER 3.00ERA) - the 2 wins is the main argument

Chad Green (3 saves 4.1 IP 9K 0 runs) - closed out all 4 wins with 3.2 high leverage innings 

I'm inclined to go with Chad Green as no one else really dominated. Congratulations to Dan Farrow on a great season and a tough close World Series.

2019 All-Star Game Write-Up

Walker Buehler and Blake Snell started the (approximately) 39th JBW All-Star game. Buehler set down the NLers 1-2-3 in the top of the first. The AL drew first blood in their half of the frame. Joey Votto drew a one-out walk and Trevor Story then doubled into the gap in left center. Votto held up at third but scored on a sacrifice fly by JD Martinez.
Anthony Rendon answered for the Senior Circuit in the top of the second with a drive into the bullpen in left field. Carlos Correa smoked a double off the wall in left and Joey Gallo drew a walk. The NLers were smelling blood in the water but Gary Sanchez struck out to end the frame. Snell set the AL down in order in the bottom of the 2nd.
Buehler came out for the top of the third and tossed a clean inning to finish his day's work. The AL threatened in the bottom of the inning as Buster Posey led off with a single and Joey Votto doubled. Aaron Nola bore down though, striking out the next two batters, walking the bases full, and then retiring Bryce Harper with the bases jammed. Nola followed with a clean fourth inning.
Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, Mike Foltynewicz, and Sean Doolittle each threw a perfect inning as the bullpens took over in the middle innings. Craig Kimbrel provided a bit of drama in the sixth as he walked Jose Ramirez to lead off the inning, but he promptly induced a double play grounder off the bat of Mike Trout. Aaron Judge then drew another walk but Justin Smoak grounded out to end the threat. Chris Sale fired a perfect inning and we went to the eighth tied at one.
Ramirez drilled a two out double but Collin McHugh struck out Trout to end the top of the eighth. Blake Treinen entered for the NL and promptly gave up consecutive singles to Posey and Jonathon Schoop, then walked Story to load the bases. Eric Hosmer lifted a sacrifice fly to center to give the AL the lead, Paul Goldschmidt struck out but Kris Bryant came through with a two out RBI single to ice it.
Ryan Madson got the save, yielding just a single to rookie sensation Juan Soto before retiring the side.

WP: McHugh, LP Treinen, S Madson

HR: Rendon

GWRBI: Hosmer

Not a real standout for MVP, Posey probably as good a case as anyone with two hits and the gamewinning run.

2018 Word Series Round-Up:

G1 CLA 2, CHN 1

Pitcher's duel in Wrigley. DJ LeMahieu triples home two runs in the fifth and Marco Estrada fires seven innings of one run ball. Zach Britton picks up the four out save.

Sale vs Estrada, W Estrada, L Sale, S Britton

G2 CLA 10, CHN 9

Wild affair in Wrigley. Adrian Gonzalez gets the Cubbies on the board early with a three run blast. Brett Gardner gets two back with a home run in the 3rd and ties it with a 5th inning RBI single. Giancarlo Stanton drills a solo shot to give the Cubs back the lead but back to back RBI singles by Kyle Seager and Wilson Ramos move the Tribe back front. The Cubs looked to have broke it open in the 7th as Stanton and Yasmani Grandal hit matching two run blasts to put them ahead but in a dramatic 9th Jean Seguera launches a two out three run blast for the tie and Eric Hosmer triples home the go ahead run. Jackie Bradley temporarily saves the day for the Cubs with a 9th inning solo shot but Seager wins it in the 10th with his own solo blast.

Hendricks vs Maeda, W Britton, L Swarzak

G3 CHN 6, CLA 4

Cubbies take the early lead on a Gonzalez single and a Grandal groundout. Indians battle back as Hosmer delivers a pair of RBI doubles but Stanton hits another two run blast to put the Cubs up for good.

Porcello vs DeGrom, W Porcello, L DeGrom, S Osuna

G4 CHN 13, CLA 3

Bradley and Stanton each homer twice, Bradley's second is a grand slam that ices the game.

Sale vs Estrada, W Sale, L Estrada

G5 CHN 5, CLA 2

Bradley homers again and drives in three runs to lead the Cubbie attack. Kyle Hendricks pitches a tidy 5 innings and the bullpen holds it together.

Hendricks vs Maeda, W Hendricks, L Maeda, S Osuna

G6 CHN 12, CLA 7

Another slugfest in Wrigley. The Tribe get on the board first with a Kyle Seager two run blast in the 2nd. Bradley's solo shot and Grandal's three run blast in the bottom of the frame gets the Cubs out in front but Hosmer's RBI single and Ian Desmond's RBI groundout tie it up. Jean Segura hammers a three run blast in the 4th to push the Indians into the lead. The Cubs get a Max Kepler pinch solo shot in the 4th and then grind out three runs in the 5th on a bases loaded walk to Stephen Drew, a Grandal sacrifice fly, and a Cameron Maybin pinch RBI single. A two run Gonzalez single and a two run homer from Bradley in the 6th ices it.

Porcello vs DeGrom, W Buchter, L DeGrom

Cubs blast 20 home runs in the Series, Indians hit 10.

Jackie Bradley Jr wins the Series MVP with a 12-25, 2 2B, 6 HR performance, driving in 14 runs while scoring 8. Giancarlo Stanton earns honorable mention with 5 HR and 8 RBI. For the postseason Stanton hit 12 home runs with 24 RBI giving him a total of 65 HR and 135 RBI in 148 games.

Parksie wins his second World Series 34 years after his Dale Murphy/Bob Horner led Atlanta Braves beat Dave Prior's Oakland A's powerhouse in the final year of the first Reagan administration.

It had been 25 years since Parksie's last World Series appearance when his Will Clark/Lou Whitaker/Lenny Dykstra Giants squad lost to John Brown's California Angels.

Great season for the Indians, Nationals, and Cardinals and they all look to be stronger next year. Thanks to all for a great year.

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of our league's co-founder, John Corradin, after a long battle with cancer. In addition to starting the league, John had been its Phillies manager since its inception. John's presence in the league will be greatly missed.

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