2017 Draft Re-cap/Analysis/Editiorial and Predicitons:

Pre-Draft Mindset: As we are all fully aware, there is no off season anymore, one season runs right into the next and anticipation of a new season has waned as a result. The 2017 season is also one of transition as Chris has opted to use his time more wisely...Hopefully the SL void is too great to fill with Mugsy, Jan, and Craft Beers that he will be announcing his return in 2018 at a 4th-0-July SL marathon in my basement?! For me personally, my time in the winter is filled with Girls Basketball and the SL draft has been surpassed in priority...who thought that was possible? All that being said, it was quickly determined that after the ACE...there was no clear #2 in talent as far as I was concerned. Even though we somehow did not draw the ACE this year (@ halftime of the MHS v.Lakes girls varsity game in Lake Villa), we were “blessed” with the DUECE…Ala, Crash Davis “Well, Serve it up!” We did not care for Kershaw at all in the 2 spot and offensively, nothing was a must have. Luckily, Steve (welcome back to full time status) stepped in and a deal was made to drop from 2 to 8 which then secured the 8-9 swing as well as retaining our 2nd round #15 which we felt was a huge advantage to get 3 of the top 15 players. (talent evaluation is another story?!) Again, at this point, “a plan” fell into place...I felt relief was short in difference makers and a big gap from the top tier of 3 or 4 guys to the rest..I wanted to corner the relief market and go ALL-IN on relief after the newly acquired swing picks. As it turned out, we did not stick to the plan and fully commit by following through...Such is life once the SL draft begins, and that is a great part of the fun…

OFFENSE- With the 8-9 swing, we hoped to go Segura ss/Altuve 2b and have a nice speed duo up the middle and I will be honest that I was quite surprised Ken went Segura over Ortiz with his pick at #7. As we write this now, we probably are much better served to have Ortiz/Altuve than we would have been Segura/Altuve? We shall see how that works out. Offensively, once again I accumulated hitters with platoon ratings, Right handers Posey, Goldschmidt, Springer, and Hanley all have a platoon of 2 or higher from the right side...scary! Left handers, Ortiz, Seager, & Bradley all have big platoon ratings as well, lefties seem to produce regardless, righties however, really seem to be crippled by a platoon higher than 1, this makes me nervous, but still think this offense will score. We absolutely L-O-V-E TRUMBO! To get the MLB home run leader in the 15th round with a zero platoon rating (and nearly zero walks...whatever), we felt his BA was not terrible and despite a low-ish OBP, his job is not to get on, its to hit Salami’s!! We also L-O-V-E the Longoria pick...81! XBH with zero platoon (and nearly zero walks...whatever) also with a nice BA despite a small gap from batting average to on-base average. These 2 guys in the middle of this lineup has me encouraged. We think we will score runs. At the top of the order for 158 games you will see Altuve behind Goldschmidt & an automatic hit and run if and when Goldschmidt reaches first, they should set the table for Ortiz-Trumbo-Longoria batting 3/4/5. The bottom is fair, with only real expectations coming from Seager. Bradley, Posey, and Springer were more defensive picks, but do have some offensive merit. High hopes and raised Eyebrows for the Grand Salami’s on offense.

PITCHING: All Bullpen- All day is the Monkey Mantra. As previously mentioned in the introduction, we were going to emphasize top tier relief early in the draft. Britton 28xyzH+3 was clearly the best relief pitcher and although it appears he went in round 2, he was my 3rd pick and I felt a MUST have this season. From there, in the bullpen, we added Andrew Miller 23xyz+1 because we really liked his strikeout rate and low walk total despite a lack of homer stopping power (he is our only reliever w/out an H or G). The Salami took 7 relievers in anticipation of heavy usage. We believe this pen will be the difference maker? However, bullpen reliability is like Trump’s facts...highly suspect and just plain wildly outrageous. Starting pitching sees some Homer control at the top, two 13 G’s Martinez & Fulmer toe the rubber, but w/out a Z. From there, its all 11’s on the mound, 2 Z’s Maeda & Teheran plus one World Champion Cub with a very respectable w.h.i.p, but No abpa “bling” to support decent tangible numbers in John Lackey. If it weren’t for Gregs assembled rotation, I would have guaranteed to be last in complete games, but that is now a two horse race.

DEFENSE: When you are forced/choose to start an outfielder with a 1/31 rating for 159 games, you might be risking too much? Errors are all a matter of timing?! Hopefully Trumbo’s E’s in LF are made up for with an MVP Home Run effort? This is the risk we have signed up for in Monkey’s Eyebrow. The other 8 defensive positions are all OK...an 8 at SS & 2b, only a 4 at 3b but a 5 at 1b. 3/33’s across the OF once Trumbo is lifted assuming a lead has been obtained mid-late innings. At catcher we could have done worse than 9+3 Posey for 146 games. Not great, not awful?

THE BENCH: Short bench. ONE outfield replacement in Orlando, a nice SB threat and 3/33 replacement for Trumbo. We are stuck with Bradley (156g) and Springer (162g) in right and CF...no discussion there frees up the mind for other concerns?! We drafted 2 infield replacements with speed and steal success to run for and replace defensively Longoria at 3b and Seager at SS. Nunez and Simmons take care of those guys. Lastly, we took Han Ram thinking we needed someone that could run for Ortiz but stay in games at DH to hit. Han Ram is only a 12 speed but Ortiz is a 2...Han Ram also has modest steal success and attempts (29 success w/ 18 attempts). One backup Catcher in Wieters is fine @ 8+2 with a little bit of offensive potential. The bench is short, and based on the starting 9’s games played total, will have very few collective starts..Wieters for 16 and Han Ram for 11 are tops off the bench.

PREDICTIONS: We predict a return to playoffs. We predict Trumbo gets more MVP votes than Trout. We predict Steve loves his return to the managerial hot-seat and signs a binding 10 year renewal contract, and then trades it away for a can of Beer Nuts (against league rules), We predict a return to enjoying the little things...a mid-summer F2F series on the porch with a few Shandy, a re-played series due to an “org issue”...we can only predict and hope for someone...anyone to rip their shirt off after a series win or loss depending on the mood. We predict that no matter my finish, Chris gets more MOY votes than I do. We predict that the many positives of being in this league with you guys, outweighs whatever negatives have materialized over time. We predict a good Summer League for all…