It’s that time of year again. The OCWA Draft is over, and now each player will train* during the winter in preparation for the Sixth Annual Opening Day Tournament in May. And now that the draft is over, we can start our way-too-early projections for what’s going to happen next season! Excite!
1.)Freaky Franchise- What can be said about this team that hasn’t been said already? Named the number one team in the nation, this team lost Brett Bigler but added a better pitcher in BJ Turner. The Franchise also originally lost Justin Tomkins, but traded Dave Erb to get him back. Turner is coming of a lost season after tearing his ACL before the season, and he is looking to come back strong. You can bet on this team again this year.
2.)Team Roeder- This team is scary. Chris Roeder tore up last year in limited action, and now he might be around more. Add big bats Ben Brown and Joe Simmons and you have a three headed monster that just might run this thing. Expect them to be huge competition for the Franchise
3.)Team Sacheli- Another scary team, this is last year’s Take A Wiff Of This with an added side of knuckleballer Dave Erb, who they traded the double-machine Justin Tomkins to get. Four solid pitchers and four solid bats, I struggle to put this team at #3, but the two teams ahead of them are also very, very good. These three teams could end up being 1 a, b, and c.
4.)Team Draveck- Last year James Draveck brought in several guys who made his team infinitely better. Now, out of those three, only Doug Bush remains. With Joe Simmons off to join Roeder, and Rookie of the Year Mitch Rupp joining Kloos, this team lost two huge bats. Draveck brought Tommy Wagner back in, a solid hitter who can throw a little, but this team is thin. However, they are the best of the rest.
5.)Team Kloos- I have trouble putting this team at #5. Kloos is a player who improves every year, and he added big bats Brett Bigler, Mitch Rupp, and Vince Pettrone, along with role player John Crean. The hitting will be phenomenal, but the fact that their best pitcher is John Crean is a little scary. Bigler can turn it on sometimes, but he can also walk a lot of guys. Expect this team’s games to end 21-20, but who knows, they could come out on the good side of those.
6.)Team Frankel- This team is last year’s No Your Other Left, but without statistical leader Ben Brown. That means, they are losing 29% of their hits from last year, 50% of their home runs, and 33% of their RBIs. Not to mention that Brown only accounted for 6% of hits allowed and 12% of runs allowed last season. Who’s going to pick up the slack? Defensively, I think they will survive with Benzing and Knill, but offensively, their options are limited, thus, the #6 ranking.