Houston Vultures owner: rebelt
3B Joakim Pescado (FA Signing)
OF Kevin Randolph (Trade)
SS Dan Morgan C Brett Flair
RP Tony Hudson
Season outlook: Looking to contend, should be one of the better defenses in the league, pitching staff is a little weak at the bottom, not a ton of pop in the bats but hopefully enough!
Jacksonville Sharks owner: kp55
The Jacksonville Sharks team is what would of been the result if Rachel Phelps would have been successful in the movie Major League. She wanted to field a team so bad that it could move to Florida.
Well this is where we begin in Jacksonville. The baseball gods have dealt us a bad hand at the ML level. There is help coming, but the poor coaching staff will need to reach the 55 win mark to stay afloat until said help arrives.
Ace Royce Tannehill tested the free agent market forcing the Sharks to hand out the largest contract in the league. Hopefully he can anchor the pitching staff and team until the minor league help is ready for the show.
On second thought there isn't much help in the minors. This franchise we need to be built through the draft and free agency.
There were some head scratching trades early on, but team brass was shedding the larger contracts to be able to sign Royce Tannehill and to have a little flexibility in future years to add more free agent talent.
Kansas City Bolts owner: aaronwayne
Like everyone else, the KC Bolts really don't know what to expect in this first season of the ULB. They have some pieces that, at least on paper, appear to be very good ones, but also what they believe will be weaknesses.
Starting pitching depth at the ML and upper minors seems to be a key positive. Most of the ML rotation was arb. eligible types. Some were re-signed, others dealt to satisfy team needs. Most likely, 3 SP's that began the season in the minors, will join the rotation.
That rotation will be led by a very talented, but also a rookie, Jose Vazquez. Vazquez appears to have the potential that could anchor the rotation for the next 10 years. Alas, that's all it is at this point.
Wiley vet Quinton Leonard will be the #2 starter. While not doing any one thing great, Leonard does many things very well and should compliment the others starters. He is the elder statesmen of the rotation.
The others who will start, how many times depends on their effectiveness, are Markus Webb , Orber Aguilera , and Felipe Osoria or rookie Ron Mateo , who may start the year in AAA. Alex Masao is probably the top young arm in the minors, but he's a most likely a year or two away from joining the ML rotation.
While the rotation is young, most of the bullpen will be made up of veterans. Management isn't really high on most of these pitchers, but hope they hold together. Marvin Griffin is the best of the young arms in the minors and could find himself pitching in KC at some point during the season.
The lineup contains some really nice players that should be able to hit a bit, and play solid defense. Emilio Lee appears like a solid all around RF, and he'll be joined by Tommie Walker, picked up in a deal involving one of the young pitchers, and probably Scott Vaughn in CF. Vaughn's got the range, but his glove could prove to be an adventure in KC's spacious outfield. All 3 primary OF's have good range and can run a bit, so that should help.
The IF will be led by SS Virgil Guerrero. His defense won't be very good at SS, but hopefully his bat will pick up the slack. If he's really brutal at SS, a move to 2B or 3B could be in order. At 3B, vet Ernie Munson will provide very good defense w/ok hitting. He may end up at SS, despite the arm, but we'll see.
Japan's own all-star CF Dante Sasaki will bring his talents to the ULB and try to play 2B. His defense should be really good, but he'll have to hit in order to stay in the lineup...that could prove problematic. Rob Patrick gets to play first, but will be on a fairly short leash.
The Bolt's are going with a 22 year old rookie at C. Luis Siqueiros will be the primary C and he'll get rest by taking days off against lefties. So Taguchi's brother Eric: Eric Taguchi will be the DH.
The bench has a mix of speed and defense. Some interesting bat's in the minors that we'll see down the road are Hamish Simpson and Billy McNamara .
Bolt's fans think this team will be capable of putting together a good season, especially for KC standard's, but no one really knows. Management is cautiously optimistic, but is afraid the bullpen and lack of a really big power bat might sink the ship into the Missouri River.
The goal as we stand right now is about 85 wins...
Louisville Thoroughbreds owner: purplehaze54
Top ML players: Oswaldo Osoria - only 24yo, I think he's gonna be one of the premier pitchers for several years. Brian Rhodes - probably the mvp of this team; excellent fielder......not much of a hitter but with this team, he will be invaluable. Top prospects: Maverick Dunston - this guy is gonna score a lot of runs and steal a lot of bases. He may up in the bigs sooner than I want. Bobby Bechler - my team has no power, I think this guy will deliver along with my next pick. Lloyd Wells - another needed power hitter. These last 3 are probably my key additions and my losses are the prospects I had to trade to get some power and speed. All in all, I don't think I have a very good team, however; it's hard to tell with a new league start up. My initial plan was to trade for the future but when I was unable to "dump" some of my existing MLer's, I may use my prospects this year. I don't expect much - I just hope to be competitive - I think I'm looking at below .500 ball.