Wednesday, May 30, 2007

NL North (304-344)

Cleveland Cleveland Stormtroopers – 83-79
Best Players – Vic Green, Vladimir Goya, Emil Marichal, Cole Martin

Team Rankings – 17th Pitching, 27th Offense, 18th Fielding

Team Notes – Cleveland captured their second straight division crown and was promptly eliminated in the first round. They have a couple AAA players poised to contribute in Season 5 in SS John Merrick and RF Jamie O’Leary. Cleveland could be looking at a threepeat in Season 5 if the rest of the division does not make some improvements. If Cleveland finds a way to improve the offense then they should be able to repeat.

Toronto Storks – 78-84
Best Players – Dan West, R.J. Sivilla, Carlos Javier

Team Rankings – 13th Pitching, 29th Offense, 2nd Fielding

Team Notes – The team that was once the class of the North finished on hard times in Season 4. If Toronto can find a way to improve their offense they will likely run away with this division in Season 5. There does not appear to be any offense in the pipelines for this team, but Richard Kim appears poised to make himself known at the big-league level despite a lackluster AAA season. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if Toronto can get offensive contribution from someone other than Sierra, Javier, and West, they will definitely compete for and probably run away with this division yet again.

Toledo Mudhens – 74-88
Best Players – Julius Brush, Brian Scott

Team Rankings – 20th Pitching, 30th Offense, 28th Fielding

Team Notes – Once again failing to produce a winning season, owner/GM aaclem made significant improvements nonetheless. A 38 game improvement in the win column is nothing to blush at. Power-hitting RF Mendy Messmer has been in the majors before, but spent Season 4 in AAA and looks to be ready to contribute in season 5 after a dominant season. Power-hitting AA 2B Rickey Burns tore up AA and may warrant a major league look in Season 5. Also appearing ready to contribute in Season 5 are pitchers Allen Starr and Tony Kojima from AAA. A slight improvement in offense may lead to the first winning season in franchise history, and as weak as this division seems to be, a division championship.

Cincinnati Reds – 69-93
Best Players – Jesus Lee, Cesar Sanchez, Miguel Cruz

Team Rankings – 14th Pitching, 28th Offense, 24th Fielding

Team Notes – After 3 straight winning seasons, 3 straight second place finishes and only 1 playoff appearance (a quick exit) to show for it, this owner decided to go about things differently and try to build his team for the future. Looking forward the Reds can expect significant contributions from position players Blade Rothschild, Eli Oliva, Stewart Sobkowiak, and Stan Easley as well as pitchers Rafael Mairena, Raymond Berkman, Garry Jensen, and Thomas Alonso out of their AAA club. This may end up being a tough season yet again for the Reds, but it should set them up for a great run in Seasons 6-9.

Division comments – This may have been the most inept division in the world, with its teams finishing 27-30 in offense. Any team improving their offense should have a headstart on the rest of the team.

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