Monday, September 29, 2008

Powerloons Prospectus : A view from the Nest;

The Minnesota Powerloons are in the midst of their 6th season of current management. What follows is a “state of the union” view.

The team has been arranged in the mindset that there should be a decent mix of youth and experience. No player has the “skill ratings” that blow you off your seat, but all have been installed with the expectations that they will create a tough lineup from 1-8.

Through 72 games Billy Rivers and Patrick Stockton have handled catching duties well (.302-7-39) and they are holding their own at the plate. Losing Geronimo Mercedes to the rival Montreal squad was frustrating. Shows I didn’t do my homework. Robert McGee (.272-16-45) has done well at 1st, but has never gotten back to his pre-injury form. There are players waiting in the wings putting pressure on him. The combo of Flash Lane and Tony Soto (.284-16-49) have done well at 2B, but someone needs to step up and take charge. Management would like a fixture in this spot, but each time either one is given the chance, they fold like a cheap deck of cards. Clayton Koehlert (.303-7-38) has done what was expected and looks to be here a while. His combination of good defense and offense will be rewarded come contract time. Rounding out the infield is Vernon Hunter at SS. Vernon (.298-13-53) has a strangle hold on the position. The only thing that could shorten his future is his age. At 33, he is the oldest position player on the team and by the time his contract expires, Soto could be his replacement.

In the Loons’ inaugural season, the outfield was the strength of this team. It has slid a little since then, but LF Wesley Cook (.284-17-57) was brought in to solidify the line-up and add power. He has done both and currently leads the team in HR’s and RBI’s. CF Vic Cummings (.240-12-37) has had a disappointing season. A .300 hitter his 1st 3 ML seasons, Vic had promise. As much as the management would like to see him turn it around, this could be his last season as a Loon. In RF, Pablo Guzman (.279-14-48) is being pressed for playing time by Lance Hancock. Pablo had a big year in season 3 hitting .320-28-110 but has struggled to get back to that form since.

Pitching has been a problems for the loons from the start. Having an ERA between 4.75-5.13 in each of the first 5 years has left this team struggling to win games. This season, the staff has compiled an ERA of 4.30 and is holding the opponents batting average to .264. Trading away pitching prospects like Josias Guerrero, Clarence Jacquez and Alex Cambell have not done this franchise many favors. But young talent like William Cho, Angel Acosta and Russ Adkinson have proven worthy so far this season. At 45-34, we are pleased to be only 3 games out of the division lead.

No comments: