Welcome all to the 1st edition of the ASSN’s 10 part series previewing and analyzing the OOTL 2016 season. In this edition, we will be identifying and ranking the top players left on the table at the recent draft:
#6: Mitch Moreland: A 1B4 with a 7 at 44, 1 at 66 and +1 vs. RHP. Moreland has been a late bloomer who has improved his stats annually. With Texas’s influx of strong prospects coming in the near future, Moreland’s stats should continue to trend up. While 1B is usually an easy position to fill, we believe it is a huge miss that this guy is still out there. One can even cast stones internally at Captain Lou Albano as he kept Ben Paulsen and drafted Mr. Du-dads over Moreland. Outside of the Tsunamis there are also several roster spots weighed down by 1B men with less upside and inferior cards.
#5: Darin Ruf: A cheater card with a huge plus against lefties, but also a player who is slotted to play a much bigger role for the Phillies this season. At worst he’d be a yearly annuity against lefties. The upside is a 1B4 in future years who will nail 25+ HRs if he plays mostly regularly. As has happened every year in recent memory, there will be one or two OOTL teams that did not protect themselves against lefty starters and they will face them in almost every series. When that occurs you’ll be thinking of Ruf!
#4: Andrew Cashner: A long-time Tsunami who was an impromptu final cut due to needing a player offering that protection against lefty starters. In hindsight, Drew Pomeranz was the right cut to make and Cashner should have been given the chance for a comeback season. A huge mistake by Albano, but an even bigger mistake by the nine other owners not to pick him up as a prospect.
#3: Eduardo Rodriquez: This L12 could have been used as an emergency starter for limited games this year, but his bigger value is on the upside. Our service looks at him as the future ace in Boston in the form of Pedro 2. He may be a year away from brilliance, but he is a more developed prospect than numerous other selections made in the draft.
#2: Patrick Corbin: A L12 with a +33 BB. He was a future #1 starter destined for greatness before TJ surgery. The Tsunamis previous GM dumped him last year due injury but he bounced back in MLB with a strong showing and should get favorable matchups as the #3 in AZ. He is the best pitcher in MLB not presently on an OOTL team and we predict he will be a lottery pick in next year’s draft. Remember back on this. You could have had him this year in the 13th round.
#1: A.J. Reed: Our top player available is the highest ranked Top Prospect position player not drafted. He has huge power and average potential, but most importantly, there is an opening in Houston for him to earn the job in spring training. Another certain 2017 lottery pick which could have been landed with a 13th round pick this year. We all missed big by missing this AJ!
In our next edition, we will be analyzing each team’s “Starting Pitching” inventory and strategy. We hope you have enjoyed the first edition and of course comments are welcome though we will avoid debates.
Craig Dolan for the Asian Sports Network (ASSN)