Saturday, June 2, 2007

AL West Team Notes

Sacramento Air Force 113-49

Best Players – Rafael Cedeno, Cristobal Alvarez, Mike Andrews, Clay Reese

Rankings 2nd Offense, 2nd Pitching, 14th Fielding

Team Notes - When the longtime owner of this proud franchise left there after missing the playoffs there was fear this team would lose its prominent stature. Instead they enjoyed their best season yet. Through a series of trades that focused on pitching this team was able to post the 2nd best record in the entire league. Cedeno is the famous season 2 IFA that was signed straight to the majors, and has lived up to his billing. Its very hard to find a flaw on this team, one issue might be outside of Eric Borders there is not a lot of star potential in their minor system (probably due to all the winning and picking so late in the first round.) Will they be able to catch the defending champs next year is the question on their minds.

Salem Mad Monks 85-77

Best Players – Aaron Cooke, Jose Lee, JC Russell

Rankings 5th Offense, 26th Pitching, 26th Fielding

Team Notes – This team played in Colorado in season 4, but made the move to Salem for season 5. This was a Jekyll and Hyde team with the 4th best road ERA in the league for season 4, but the next to last home ERA in the league. The move was taken with a sigh of relief by the two high priced (and best) FA SP pickups they had in Lee and Russell, and guys like Cooke can hit anywhere. Felipe Espinosa could provide some help to the ML squad this season, and they also are not scared to pull off a big trade if needed.

Salt Lake City Bonnevilles 69-93

Best Players – Dustin Sutton, Raul Gonzalez, Alfredo Campbell, Darwin Stewart

Rankings – 15th Offense, 29th Pitching, 20th Fielding

Team Notes – The Bonnie’s have had problems with stability, but their win totals are heading in the right direction for the first time since season 1. On the offensive side they have good young players and should improve on their 15th league ranking as those guys mature. Plus if Don Melhouse is brought up that will certainly be a surge to the team. Pitching is their area of greatest need. Sutton is a solid SP, but he’s 36 and past him they don’t have a lot of depth in that area.

Scottsdale Mad Jesters 121-41

Best Players – Rusty Jones, Tim Smith, Eric Thomas, Earl Wilkerson

Rankings – 1st Offense, 5th Pitching, 5th Fielding

Team notes - The Mad Jesters used the long ball to win their second WS in a row. 9 Players had at least 25 HR on their way to hitting a league leading 418 HR. They have an acceptable group of SP’s, but will miss Cy Young winner Joel Coleman who declined his option. Harry Roque will make the jump from AAA this year and should balance the RH heavy lineup. They still will need to find a replacement lead off hitter since Sikorski also declined his mutual option. While this team should still be good, age and free agency is starting to take its toll. A team not bothered to trade anyone, they are looking to keep their window open one more year.

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