Roster: Jon Anderson (GM), DeeJay B-Lo, Matt Mullen, Brenden Bob Leahy
Pitching : Jon Anderson is a proven ace plain and simple. When the stakes are high, although small in stature, Anderson is a giant. His performance in the championship this past season was the stuff of legends. Matt Mullen had a solid season this summer as the Bay State Butter Tongues number two pitcher. These two should be a solid rotation in this division.
Hitting: This lineup on paper is one of the best in the league. DeeJay B-Lo had a monster season at the plate, hitting 19 dingers. His only problem is he is a bit one dimensional but with the winter rule of not running the bases and his ability to hit the ball very hard, he might get a few more singles indoors. Matt Mullen and Jon Anderson are very solid all around hitters but where B-Lo lacked the speed on the base paths, these two were the opposite. Will they be able to keep the high OBP without the benefit of beating out ground balls? Maybe…well probably, they are good.
Fielding: This is the biggest weakness for them. Although, Anderson is a solid fielder, Mullen is elite. The problem is they both won’t be fielding at the same time. Ground ers to the other side of the infield could be an issue.
Overall: Solid pitching, great hitting, fielding could be an issue on one side of the infield.
Roster: Mike Taft (GM), Nick O’Keefe, Dave O’Grady, Kyle DeFranceso
Pitching: Nick O’ Keefe and Kyle DeFranceso will head up t his rotation. Former KAAPE winner Nick O’Keefe had a bit of an up and down season this summer and some say his focus was elsewhere or he lacked the ability to adjust to 55mph. Whatever the reason, he still has the stuff to dominate and GM Mike Taft has a lot of confidence in him. Kyle is a bit of a question mark having taken over a year off from NEAWL. The hitters are better and the pitching speed is lower, what will that mean for DeFranceso? We shall see.
Hitting: These guys are great all around hitters. If this team were the Red Sox, Taft would be Kevin Youkils, O’Keefe would be Yaz, O’ Grady would be Jim Rice and Kyle would be Ortiz. The biggest question mark is going to be Dave O’ Grady. His stats have not been good indoors so we shall see if he can finally translate his outdoor success in the dome.
Fielding: Taft and O’Keefe are definitely the two best fielders on the team. If Kyle has some growing pains adjusting to the new speed and better hitters, they should be able to bail him out with their cat like reflexes and Taft ’s legendary one handed grabs.
Overall: Lack the huge home run hitter but solid all around hitting from top to bottom. Kyle’s pitching and DOG’s hitting performance are the biggest question marks for DA BLAZE.
Mill City Chiefs of Lowell
Roster: Jon Gryckwiez (GM), Kirk Monbleau, Justin Martin, Jeremey Ellis
Pitching: Walks. That will be the biggest hurdle for the tandem of Justin Martin and Kirk MonBleau. Like the Blaze’s Kyle DeFranceso, Monbleau has been sitting on the shelf for a whil e and has never been restricted to 55mph. He has incredible talent and could stumble at the start of the season but should be able to figure it quickly. Both Martin and Monbleau struggle in the walks given department, however they are solid pitchers when throwing strikes. The lack of a true ace here is of concern.
Hitting: Monbleau and Martin should be more solid at the plate than on the mound. Monbleau will destroy the ball at 55mph and should scare some people. Martin although is talented, he beat out a lot of ground balls with his legs in the summer. With no base running, Martin should be held in check both in hitting and bat flipping. Gryckwiez and Ellis can be tough outs for Number 2 pitchers but the aces should be able to gobble them up.
Fielding: Like the Sasquatch, the Chiefs of Lowell have two elite fielders but they are also both their pitchers and likely will not be fielding at the same time without one of them on the mound. Ellis is a decent reserve but has never returned from his rookie season glory of a Golden Handy nomination.
Overall: Pitching is a question mark but has a lot of potential. Solid hitting and decent defense are on their side in case the pitching doesn’t work out right away.
Flushing Pong Bassholes
Roster: Tim McGeown (GM), Greig Guluzian, David Fisher, Jerry LaBarre
Pitching: David Fisher is filthy, we all know this. His lefty arm will be atop the rotation for the Bassholes once again and McGeown is a great number two. I have to give them the nod as the best pitching rotation in the Grenade division. No real question marks at all.
Hitting: Fish and McGeown will not only carry the rotation duties but the run scoring duties as well. Guluzian is also a solid hitter and can be a pain for any pitcher looking for that “easy out” at the bottom of the lineup. Jerry LaBarre is an unknown at this point so we’ll have to see how he handles his rookie season.
Fielding: This may be the weak point for the Bassholes. Although no one is bad, they don’t have the elite talent as some of the other teams in this division. That being said, if their pitching is as good as it should be, they won’t need much fielding.
Overall: Age. The elder statesmen of wiffleball occupy this roster and it’s a long season. Pitching should be great and good hitting but fielding could be an issue.