Slugger Adam Wainwright provides ‘silver’ lining for Hypno-woes

Wainwright

New New York pitchers racked up 173 at-bats in 2017 as the team absorbed a 103-loss season, 37 more losses than in 2016.

That’s 173 at-bats more than Bushwood, Destin, Margaritaville, Satellite Beach and Springfield pitchers had combined. Those NNY pitchers hit just .133. But there’s reason for optimism in … wherever New New York is located.

Pitcher Adam Wainwright won a Silver Slugger award. Adam Wainwright is 36 years old. He had a 1.50 WHIP in 2017. He is two years past his expiration date. But will his bat (.262 average, .731 OPS) keep him with the Hypnotoads for 2018 as they ponder their retention list??? In a league that uses the DH?

Wainwright could be a valuable bat off the bench in a key at-bat-saving situation. He joins Jose Ramirez to form a pair of Silver Sluggers on the Hypnotoads, making New New York one of seven I-75 League clubs with two such honorees. The others are West Atlanta, Margaritaville, Destin, Bushwood, Savannah and South Grand Prairie.

Landing one Silver Slugger each was Applegate, Tatooine, Superior and Satellite Beach.

Four players — West Atlanta’s Eric Hosmer and Marcell Ozuna, South Grand Prairie’s Paul Goldschmidt and Savannah’s Nolan Arenado — have both Silver and Gold on their mantels, having won Gold Gloves in addition to their Silver Slugger.

Destin can brag that it made a deadline deal to land one of its Silver Sluggers in Justin Upton, stripping him from Boulder, which was blanked in the selections. Bismarck and Springfield also failed to rack up a Silver Slugger winner.

Pos. Player I-75 team Player I-75 team
1B Eric Hosmer WATL Paul Goldschmidt SGP
2B Jose Altuve SATB Daniel Murphy TAT
3B Jose Ramirez NNY Nolan Arenado SAV
SS Francisco Lindor MARG Corey Seager SUP
OF Aaron Judge APPL Marcell Ozuna WATL
OF Justin Upton DES Giancarlo Stanton SGP
OF George Springer BUSH Charlie Blackmon SAV
C Gary Sanchez MARG Buster Posey BUSH
DH, P Nelson Cruz DES Adam Wainwright NNY
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For the Love of Glove: Here’s who owns the finest fielders

The Rawlings Gold Glove awards were announced Nov. 7. Here’s a look at I-75ers who have players who brought home the hardware, making those players likely to earn a 1 rating at their Gold Glove position when ratings come out in December. Once again voters failed to recognize any designated hitter.

Springfield and West Atlanta snagged three Gold Glovers each, while Bismarck, South Grand Prairie and Savannah landed two players each.

One player, catcher Martin Maldonado, is a free agent available to the highest bidder in the 2018 I-75 League draft.

Pos. Player I-75 team Player I-75 team
1B Eric Hosmer WATL Paul Goldschmidt SGP
2B Brian Dozier BOUL D.J. Lemahieu SGP
3B Evan Longoria WATL Nolan Arenado SAV
SS Andrelton Simmons SUP Brandon Crawford SPR
LF Alex Gordon SPR Marcell Ozuna WATL
CF Byron Buxton APPL Ender Inciarte SPR
RF Mookie Betts MARG Jason Heyward BSK
C Martin Maldonado FA Tucker Barnhart DYER
P Marcus Stroman SAV Zack Greinke BSK

Obtuse playoff pairings set

The 2017 six-team playoff field is set after Tatooine defeated Destin 3-2 in 11 innings in a Game 161 tiebreaker tilt.

The oddity of a division champion with a losing record results in a playoff matchup in which the team with the better record does not have the homefield advantage. The matchups:

No. 6 Tatooine (86-75) vs. No. 3 South Grand Prairie (78-82)
Winner takes on No. 2 Boulder (91-69)

No. 5 Superior (88-72) vs. No. 4 Springfield (93-67)
Winner takes on No. 1 Margaritaville (106-54)

The other oddity is fourth-seed Springfield entering the playoffs with a better record than second-seed, bye-earning Boulder. Instead it must duel with Superior, the league’s hottest team and the team it lost to for the World Series last year.

Eight of the 10 teams in the West and North Divisions posted better records than the playoff-bound Warriors, including three who didn’t make the playoffs.

Everyone starts the playoffs with a 0-0 record though, so watch this space for the exciting outcomes!

Not enough at-bats, but plenty of PAs

It’s time for our annual list of players who fall short of the minimum 550 at-bat requirement to be considered unlimited in the I-75 League… but gain unlimited status for 2018 by virtue of the clause in which they earned 600 or more plate appearances. There’s 14 of them — exactly the same number as a year ago.

  1. Josh Bell, 1B, Applegate (549 AB, 620 plate appearances). Clips are hoping the switch-hitter continues to develop and improves enough defensively to play a position other than DH.
  2. Kris Bryant, 3B, Margaritaville (549, 665). Another studly year from one of baseball’s superstars.
  3. George Springer, OF, Bushwood (548, 629). World Series MVP elevates his national visibility.
  4. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Bushwood (544, 636). Lefty swinger offers power vs. righties, on-base against lefties.
  5. Aaron Judge, OF, Applegate (542, 678). 52 homers and a Gold Glove finalist. As if he’ll beat out Mookie Betts.
  6. Corey Seager, SS, Superior (539, 613). Lefty hitter has reverse splits, but still has an .826 OPS vs. RHPs.
  7. Travis Shaw, 3B, free agent (538, 606). Breakout year for 27-year-old makes him attractive first-round pick.
  8. Jake Lamb, 3B, New New York (536, 635). A waste of unlimited status as he’s unplayable vs. LHPs (.144 / .269 / .288).
  9. Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Bismarck (534, 632). Solid performer brings a Fangraphs War of 4.1 to the Bombers for next year.
  10. Domingo Santana, RF, Savannah (525, 607). Breakout 30-homer, 15-steal season at age 25. Hit .278.
  11. Steven Souza Jr., RF, Springfield (523, 617). Breakout 30-homer, 16-steal season at age 28. But hit just .239.
  12. Logan Morrison, 1B, free agent (512, 601). Breakout 38-homer year that he’ll never, ever, ever replicate.
  13. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Satellite Beach (508, 605). Good luck finding another .300 / .400 / .500 guy in the majors. OK, Jose Altuve. Find another. OK, Justin Turner, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout. Still pretty special.
  14. Matt Carpenter, 1B, Boulder (497, 622). Gotta love an unlimited guy who doesn’t even get to 500 ABs. 109 walks will do that for you.

Is this what the card looks like for next year’s No.1 draft pick???

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge set the all-time American League home run record for rookies this year, with 52.

Did you know the National League record was also set this year, by the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger? The 22-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder with the lightning-quick uppercut clubbed 39 (second in the NL behind Giancarlo Stanton), in just 480 at-bats. That’s just one of the many reasons he’s our lead-pipe lock projection as our No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 I-75 League Draft.

Bellinger looks to be a 2e8 first baseman who can also play the outfield and not embarrass you. He can run a little bit (10 steals in 13 attempts) and he hits both lefties and righties (OPS marks of .903 and .948). No available player had more extra-base hits than Bellinger’s 69 (26-4-39). Yes, he whiffed a lot (146 times) but whiffing just doesn’t have the bad smell it used to. Just think how good he’ll be once he learns how to hit breaking balls, as we saw his struggles in the World Series. And did we mention he’s just 22, and won’t turn 23 til next year’s all-star break? Fangraphs War: 4.0. Previous rank: 1.

Here’s the rest of our updated non-mock draft: Continue reading