2016 JEFFERSON LEAGUE BASEBALL MID-SEASON REPORT
Well, well, well. Who would have thought that the scrappy boys from Manassas would ever be writing a JLB report? Certainly not us, holy SHIT are we unprepared and it will be reflected over the rest of this report!
Below are the All-Star starters, as selected by the handful of you who took the time to vote, followed by the remainder of the All-Star team selected by a series of algorithms Jay and I put together for this specific purpose.
Lastly, you will find a breakdown of what has gone right and wrong for each team at the All-Star break. Since I’m such an optimist and Jay just likes to be a dick almost all of the time, we split up the breakdowns, with me taking the “Right” portion and Jay taking the “Wrong”. Enjoy!
2016 FIRST-HALF JLB ALL-STARS
2016 JLB ALL-STAR STARTERS
Pos Player Team 2016 Salary R HR RBI SB AVG
CA Jonathan Lucroy RES $2,700,000 39 11 40 4 .304
Enjoying an excellent comeback season
1B Mark Trumbo HER $2,400,000 52 27 67 1 .278
Drop will go down as the move of the off-season for all the wrong reasons
2B Jose Altuve MAN $3,600,000 67 14 51 23 .342
The best 3 x $3.6
Manassas has ever spent, will be THE premier free agent this off-season
3B Daniel Murphy STR $1,300,000 45 15 55 1 .333
fantastic production across the board
SS Ian Desmond FFX $5,700,000 55 12 48 15 .333
Bad 2015 + surprisingly high FA contract + new position = easy All-Star starter, nice job Keenan
OF Mike Trout MAN $1,700,000 67 18 58 15 .322
Altuve might be the only player you’d rather have. What does undisputed mean? Wow,
we have both!
OF Wil Myers SPR $600,000 50 15 52 11 .268
Some ill-timed off-days have suppressed his numbers a bit from what experts think they could be
OF Mookie Betts HER $1,700,000 75 18 59 15 .305
He got really good
at everything, really quickly. League’s leading vote getter without hometown
club even voting!
UT David Ortiz SPR $5,600,000 42 22 70 2 .333
2 steals?! Please just retire already
TOTALS - - $25,300,000 492 152 500 87 2.818
Holy smokes, that’s gotta be a 12-point regular season team average!
2016 JLB ALL-STAR ACE
Pos Player Team 2016 Salary W SV K ERA WHIP
SP1 Clayton Kershaw CLI $26,000,000 11 0 145 1.79 0.73
A lone rep for his JLB organization, well worth the money but toiling away for a non-competitor
2016 JLB ALL-STAR OFFENSIVE RESERVES
Pos Player Team 2016 Salary R HR RBI SB AVG
CA/1B Buster Posey SPR $3,000,000 49 10 38 5 .297
The standard bearer behind the plate up to his old tricks
2B Robinson Cano ARL $13,500,000 61 21 58 0 .310
Position eligibility makes him a hard call over the also deserving Manny Machado and Nolan Arenado
3B Josh Donaldson FFX $4,900,000 79 23 63 3 .306
Somehow this guy keeps getting better. If only he was still CA eligible from his prospect days…
3B/OF Kris Bryant GFG $1,700,000 73 25 65 3 .286
A no-brainer choice for Great Falls’ lone rep
SS Xander Bogaerts FCF $1,700,000 65 10 56 11 .329
The very best of an absolutely loaded 2016 SS class
OF Carlos Gonzalez FCF $6,000,000 55 19 51 2 .332
Having another monster season for a potent Foxes’ offense
2016 JLB ALL-STAR ROTATION
Pos Player Team 2016 Salary W SV K ERA WHIP
SP2 Madison Bumgarner STR $3,000,000 10 0 140 1.96 0.95
Perhaps his finest season to date at the All-Star break
SP3 Johnny Cueto FFX $8,500,000 13 0 115 2.47 1.00
The backbone of the Firemen staff in the face of injury and ineffectiveness by rotation-mates
SP4 Jose Fernandez CEN $1,700,000 11 0 154 2.52 1.02
Back with a vengeance, too bad his hitting stats don’t also count for the 6ers
SP5 Stephen Strasburg RES $1,700,000 12 0 132 2.62 1.01
Coming into his own and dominating like everyone thought he could
SP6 Chris Sale ALX $3,000,000 14 0 123 3.38 1.04
This is for Drake LaRoche!
2016 JLB ALL-STAR BULLPEN
Pos Player Team 2016 Salary W SV K ERA WHIP
RP1 Kenley Jansen ARL $8,000,000 3 27 51 1.16 0.65
Well worth his free agent contract, rounding out a very top-heavy Arsenal payroll
RP2 Zach Britton MAN $3,000,000 2 27 43 0.72 0.82
Man was he a good waiver signing a few years ago
RP3 Andrew Miller MAN $3,700,000 5 7 69 1.37 0.71
The best 2 x $3.7
Manassas has ever spent, could be THE premier free agent this off-season
RP4 Jeurys Familia ALX $600,000 2 31 41 2.55 1.20
Has been a flat out stud for the second straight year
2016 FIRST HALF TEAM CAPSULES
-1- MANASSAS MANATEES, 95 (46 Hitting, 49 Pitching)
What Went Right: Altuve and Trout are the top two hitters in JLB and also spent the first half becoming best friends. Big off-season acquisition Giancarlo Stanton had an awful April and May but has begun to right the ship and recent addition Melvin Upton, Jr. has been terrific since coming to Manassas. On the pitching side, Corey Kluber (despite a rough start) and Jake Arrieta (despite a rough past few outings) have led the rotation. The bullpen has been incredible, with Zach Britton, Andrew Miller, Wade Davis, Alex Colome and Will Harris (whose acquisition for just $100K was perhaps the move of the off-season) locking down the late innings. Jurickson Profar has hit well over .300 to cement his status as a future Manatees star, Evan Longoria had a stretch where he went all Barry Bonds on everyone, Braun and Hosmer have done Braun and Hosmer things, Pedroia and Santana have performed when called on. I got married and haven’t gotten divorced yet and Jay had a (consenting) girl sleep in his bed last night. A LOT went right so far this year, guys.
What Went Wrong: July 3.We woke up and Keenan was in first place. Good news, we fixed it the next day and it didn’t ruin the holiday!
-T2- FAIRFAX FIREMEN, 87.5 (55 Hitting, 32.5 Pitching)
What Went Right: The Ian Desmond signing was the move of the off-season and he has joined Donaldson, Encarshin (phonetic Gary Thorne spelling), Kinsler, Segura and Cespedes to form the most dominant offense in JLB history*. Mid-season signing Carlos Beltran has also provided good numbers since coming to Fairfax, and while calling up Nomar Mazara may have been premature, he certainly looks like a long-term piece that will help the Firemen for years to come. For how good this offense is, and knowing Keenan’s off the field business interests, are we sure these guys aren’t juicing? As for the pitching, Johnny Cueto has been great, Keenan has used Aaron Nola wisely and Chris Archer strikes out a lot of guys in between giving up lots of runs.
*- I have no idea. Pretty good offense, though!
What Went Wrong: Until Sunday’s tank job to close out the first half, I would have said not enough for my comfort, thanks for asking. One bad day and all the sudden the gap between 1 and 2 looks significant (although it’s clearly not). Archer, Keuchel and Harvey - holy hell, is pitching hard to figure year over year. Danny Hultzen and Jason Motte are on this roster? Is this a championship contender or the 2011 Manatees? The Adam LaRoche signing didn’t pay off on the field, of course, but given how many 16 year olds Keenan signs from foreign countries, La Roche has been invaluable in making sure none of them are sold into sex slavery.
-T2- SPRINGFIELD SPACEMEN, 87.5 (42 Hitting, 45.5 Pitching)
What Went Right: Wil Myers and Marcell Ozuna turned into superstars, just like the Spacemen expected. This foresight allowed them to not waste over $9 million on Ben Revere and Michael Brantley and use that money to outbid Lasken for Clayton Kershaw. (What’s that? They actually signed those guys, let Kershaw go to Clifton, and then watched those two combine to hit .070 over just 71 at-bats? Oh. That makes less sense.) The Spacemen also have easily the most saves in the league, another fact that looked obvious in January, which allowed them to not waste $9 million on two relief pitchers (Drew Storen and Carter Capps) who have combined to pitch ZERO innings for them this year. (What? Also not true? Good lord guys! This was on a silver platter for you!) Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery hasn’t been officially scheduled yet, but no matter when he gets it over the next few months, he should be ready to go in 2018.
What Went Wong: Great trade for Kolten, good player! Everything Mick said above, except less passive-aggressive and more direct about it. Also, Abreu, Correa and Sano have been way worse than expected, which has definitely hurt the space dudes. At least they have two excellent catchers, which is hugely valuable in a 10-team / 1-catcher league. Why do you guys have so many fucking outfielders? Also no more updates on Brandon Webb’s scouting missions in outer space. Was he on that thing that just got to Jupiter? Anyways, any talent he finds we expect will be called up to the 40-man one year late.
-4- STERLING STARFISH, 82 (40 Hitting, 42 Pitching)
What Went Right: The Daniel Murphy signing was the undisputed move of the off-season, Starling Marte and George Springer continue to contribute across the board and Bryce Harper has made it easy for Starfish fans to no longer worry about the Trout-Harper debate. Madison Bumgarner has been his normal studly self, and the Melancon-Chapman-Rondon back end of the bullpen has been great. Dellin Betances has made it easy for Starfish fans to no longer worry about the Betances-Andrew Miller debate. Gerrit Cole seems less hurt than Noah Syndergaard.
What Went Wrong: Your back-to-back
-to-back AAU National Champion
JLB Champ hasn’t had the best first half in a quest for a three-peat (™ Pat
Riley). The starting pitching has been bad or hurt besides ol’ red-ass
Bumgarner. Bryce Harper has cooled off a bit coming off of last year’s
absurdity. Tulo is a star in name only at this point and he is taking up a large
percentage of the payroll. But he’s done after this year, which is good! Mac
traded for the bad CarGo despite already having three great outfielders and
gave up Steven Matz, who would have fit in perfectly as part of Sterling’s
all-injured starting rotation.
-5- ARLINGTON ARSENAL, 76 (29 Hitting, 47 Pitching)
What Went Right: The “Mariners Offense” strategy has paid off! Cano, Cruz and Seager have all been terrific, and Miguel Cabrera has been his normal excellent self. Jay Bruce has also been solid since Arlington picked him up earlier in the year to help fill in for AJ Pollock. They have had unreal luck in streaming pitchers, which has given them a big lead in the important category of “Innings Pitched.” Aaron Sanchez looks like a future Arsenal star, and has had the most athletic success of anyone sharing the name of a frequent judge on “Chopped” since Italian skier Alex Guarnaschelli won the Cross Country Gold Medal at the Torino Winter Olympics. Locking up Kenley Jansen, who has been awesome, was clearly the move of the off-season. Only two and a half more years of Prince Fielder!
What Went Wrong: Not enough Mariners! Two and a half more years of Prince Fielder! THIS was the year you finally non-tender Mark Trumbo?!? Despite BG’s email in June of last year and his 24-point bolded reminder in December, the Trumbo move really has Justin written all over it. Plus BG and Ned’s civil union got annulled after 11 years and a bold new chapter has begun. Unfortunately, the basement home theater isn’t done yet. Come on B.G., you’ve lived in the new place for more than a week, how long does this shit take? Royal Rumble is going to be AMAZING though.
-T6- HERNDON HEROES, 71.5 (49.5 Hitting, 22 Pitching)
What Went Right: Clearly the surprise of the first half, Danny traded Stanton, Posey and Carrasco as part of a mini-rebuild and finds himself (relatively) in the hunt for the money at the break. How’d he get here? Mookie Betts and Nolan Arenado are superstars, Mark Trumbo, who signed for just $2.4 million in easily the move of the off-season, has been incredible, and Danny has also gotten nice contributions from an expensive soon-to-be free agent (V-Mart) and an out of nowhere early-season signing (Aledmys Diaz). Danny Salazar has turned into a cost-controlled stud at the top of Herndon’s rotation until 2020, and signing Drew Pomeranz for $540K has been widely viewed as the move of the off-season. He also has this guy Seager in his minor leagues who will be up September 1, although we are disappointed Danny hasn’t come up with a clever way to refer to it like THE TROUT-DOWN (EAGER FOR SEAGER!).
What Went Wrong: Selling off good pieces in the off-season! This team would be in 1st place* if he had held Carrasco, Posey and Stanton while making the same shrewd moves in the off-season. Paying $2.3 million TOTAL for Betts and Bradley is GREAT! Paying almost $12 million annually for Hanley through next year is the opposite of GREAT (TAERG?). There’s surprisingly a lot of things to like about this team, although at least 3 out of your 10 outfielders were made up by the create-a-character mode in MLB 2005.
-T6- RESTON ROUNDABOUTS, 71.5 (36 Hitting, 35.5 Pitching)
What Went Right: Dan is hanging around on the fringe of the money, even when many didn’t expect him to be in the mix, which should just be called “Pulling a Hausman” at this point. Does anyone want to bet against him getting in the Top 4? As for what’s gone right, Goldschmidt has been his normal self, Blackmon/Story (both acquired in the last 12 months for bad or injured pitchers) have been solid and the under-the-rader, late-spring signing of Adam Duvall HAS to be the move of the off-season. Rescuing Rajai Davis from Clifton was also a solid move during the season. Stephen Strasburg and John Lackey have carried the rotation, while David Price at least has a lot of strikeouts. The best news for Dan is that fans in Reston will probably be fine with a middle of the pack finish this year after back to back seasons in the money following the 2013 title.
What Went Wrong: Who cares, I always assume anything that looks like a weakness is a long con by Haus to lull everyone into a false sense of security before kicking into phase 3 in the season’s second half. I do think that it’s time we all finally agree that Jason Heyward can be Keith Law’s wet dream and a WAR All-Star, but he is as offensive as a knock-knock joke. Ross, Corbin and Buchholz all suck.
-8- ALEXANDRIA ALLEYCATS/ALBINOS, 52 (16 Hitting, 36 Pitching)
What Went Right: Jake Lamb has taken the leap and looks like he will be a nice piece for the Alleycats/Albinos moving forward. They have Khris Davis (Oops, wrong one), an Angels outfielder (Oops, wrong one) and Albert Pujols (Oops, wrong decade). The top of the rotation with Sale/Lester/DeGrom was as terrific as you’d expect, plus in the Lester trade they got back a guy who played basketball at St. John’s, which is very important to half of Alexandria’s ownership group. They aggressively locked up Sean Doolittle to a $5M per year contract through 2018 that the Doolittle family has called the move of the offseason. The name change on the JLB website.
What Went Wrong: Dee Gordon getting popped really set the Alleycats/Albinos season into a tailspin from which they’ve yet to recover. He might slug .380 and weigh 150 pounds if those PED’s had any impact on his body, so maybe the 2nd half will be an improvement. There’s over $12 million wrapped up in Gonzalez and Pujols at 1B, a number which also represents their combined service time (THEY ARE OLD AND SHITTY NOW). You guys have 7 OF that rank anywhere from good to great, PLUS Delino DeShields’s’s’s’s kid! They had a Step 1 shortstop who plays his home games at Coors Field and was homering every other at-bat for the first week of the season, so they immediately traded him for a midget pitcher with a 5 ERA who makes up for it by not striking anyone out. It would seem hard to be paying $9 million to two left-handed relievers that don’t close, but here we are with Cecil and Doolittle, who has lived up to his billing by doing very little (Editor’s Note: Fuck you Jay that “joke” sucked). The non-name change on the JLB Yahoo page.
CLIFTON CLAMS, 44 (13 Hitting, 31 Pitching)
What Went Right: In shocking news, Clayton Kershaw has been good. Lasken signing him was the move of the off-season for any contending team not bidding for his services, since his signing in Clifton rendered him completely irrelevant. Having Scherzer also not matter is just gravy. Matz and Bauer have also been solid, giving the Clams a respectable pitching staff. On offense? Well, Gregory Polanco looks like he might be a contributor and….well….I’m sorry, but there is nothing nice to say about this offense. It is easily the worst offense in JLB history*, but the good news for Lasken is he has a ton of exciting prospects on the way! (Checks minor league roster.) Oh. Well, that’s what I get for assuming things.
*- Again, no idea. But this is a BAD offense, huh?!
What Went Wrong: Clams’ ownership was the ONLY one who thought that the team could compete this year. Clifton approached the off-season like one of the big boys, eager to land a big prize and take the leap. However, they are – unsurprisingly – bad. The Clams shocked the market by giving out the biggest contract to a free agent pitcher of all-time, yet it’s made zero competitive difference. Not sure where this has happened elsewhere in baseball this year, but great work anyway, Dave Stewart/Lasken.
-10- CENTREVILLE 66ERS, 43.5 (22 Hitting, 21.5 Pitching)
What Went Right: People named Jonathan! Villar has been their best position player and his signing, according to people around the industry, is widely-regarded as the move off the off-season. Schoop has turned into a monster and appears to be a big piece to their future. And Fernandez (Jose is Spanish for Jonathan) has been as amazing and incredible as always. Sometimes when he pitches I just stare at the screen and think about the good times… Anyways, in non-Jonathan news, Todd Frazier hits a lot of homers and their two other former-Manatee starting pitchers (Tanaka and Quintana) have both been solid. The Aaron Sanchez for Domingo Santana trade doesn’t look great, yes, but Sanchez was going to be a free agent at the end of the season so at least they got something for him. (What’s that? He’s a Step One? Oh. This part should probably be in Jay’s section.)
What Went Wrong: MLB sending around the memo last summer about front office personnel not being allowed to play fantasy. [Redacted name of former day-to-day lineup manager] WROTE THE MIDSEASON REPORT LAST YEAR! In fact, that report even included this now hysterical nugget: “Centreville is considered the light favorite over Fairfax this year, and the only starter the team loses after this year is Jose Reyes ($10m). This team should be the 2016 favorite as well.”
WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS TEAM SINCE THEN?! Oh, it’s my job to explain that, here’s a 3-page list (upon review, there are SO MANY middling moves that really didn’t have much consequence and some larger trades like Sonny Gray that haven’t gone as expected for the receiving team, so here’s a very short list instead):
*Dec. 5, 2015 – Acquired SS Jung-Ho Kang ($1.7, 2017(a), 2015 debut), 1B Justin Bour ($600K, 2016(a), 2015 debut), SP Mat Latos ($2 million, 2016, 2010s debut) & 2016 3rd Round AM for OF Andrew McCutchen ($1.7 million, 2016, 2010s debut) & RP Koji Uehara ($5.2 million, 2016, 2009 debut). You know what, I’ll give them a pass on this, Justin Bour is easily the best player in this deal.
*Apr. 29, 2016 – Gave up Aaron Sanchez and the expiring and surprisingly terrible Joe Smith (his wife is a LOVELY woman) to get back Domingo Santana. Because if you have a young cost-controlled potential ace, trade him for Danny Santana’s brother!
Didn’t anyone tell you to stay away from Ho’s when you were growing up? Byung-Ho was so bad that THE FUCKING TWINS had to send him to the minors. The Twins are AWFUL! As for Jung-Ho, some horrible allegations surfaced last week (no, I don’t mean that he needed Bumble to meet women on the road).
This team is just not good. With almost $26 million wrapped up in the OF, 44-year old Matt Holliday is EASILY their best player in that stable. Can’t believe we traded Prince Jose Fernandez to hang out with that group of loser starting pitchers; Jordan Zimmermann (shockingly his 0.00 April ERA was smoke and mirrors and he’s bad/injured), Tanaka (annual elbow flare up due to happen any day), Smyly (bad and awaiting his shoulder to blow out again), Latos (actually the worst person and pitcher in baseball, released by 9 teams in the last 15 months), Joey Q (literally unable to purchase a victory with a lump sum of cash).
-11- FALLS CHURCH FOXES, 37 (24.5 Hitting, 12.5 Pitching)
What Went Right: Machado, Bogaerts and CarGo have all been awesome for the Foxes offense, and while McCutchen has sucked, at least he hasn’t sexually assaulted anyone*. Lasken thought the Yu Darvish signing was the move of the off-season. While Shelby Miller has been a disaster, at least Carlton still has Dansby Swanson, which is more than Dave Stewart and Tony LaRussa can say for themselves. As the old saying goes “There is nothing more important to a bad team than a closer locked up until 2019.” So it was good that Carlton held on to Rosenthal until he lost his job and became an overpaid middle reliever.
* - That we know of, at least
What Went Wrong: Most things! Schwarber looked like a tackle eligible receiver when he blew out his leg in the outfield back in April. Buxton sux-a-ton (that means he’s very bad). The young core of the rotation – Severino, Miller, Gausman, Walker, Heaney – have ALL been ineffective, injured OR both. Trevor Rosenthal, yikes! McCutchen has been just as disappointing as fellow pending OF free agent Giancarlo Stanton in the first half, is the JLB contract pressure affecting them?
Also, here’s a partial list of trade offers TURNED DOWN by the Foxes in the past year, from the Manatees alone:
5/07/15 - a 2016 1st, 2017 2nd, Austin Jackson's shit contract for Smyly & $3 million. Smyly went on the DL the next day.
7/26/15 - a 2016 1st, Blake Snell and Brett Phillips for Votto and Carson Smith
7/28/15 - a 1st and 3rd rd AM for Carson, a 5th rd AM and $2 million
7/29/15 - THREE 1st round picks for Votto
Goodness, why won’t you let us be bad at this?!
-12- GREAT FALLS GRENADES, 32.5 (17 Hitting, 15.5 Pitching)
What Went Wright: Stephen’s knuckleball! Kris Bryant is a monster and Frank the Tank Lindor is coming soon (Seriously. Guys. Where is the fun, countdown-related pun? If we had ANY good prospects left we would do it again!) Anyway, Odor, Herrera, Belt and Yelich all seem like pieces that can be part of a winning team. J.D. (shockingly, I know) has more money than God to drive up the price on (but not sign any of) the big name free agents this winter. The market will be crazy, you guys. Oh was not only a great signing who many are calling the clear-cut, slam dunk move of the off-season, but his nickname THE FINAL BOSS is legendary. If the Grenades had a marketing department, they could have some real fun with it; unsurprisingly it was cut to save costs.
What Went Wrong: Grichuk and Conforto backed up terribly in the first half and went from potential cornerstones to question marks. Great job holding on to Ken Giles through the off-season when interest was at a fever pitch. The way the DeSclafani family (last name) and Mr. and Mrs. Eickhoff (son’s first name) spell. Paying ALMOST $30 million for this team; being so close to filling out an entire 40-man roster for the absolute minimum of $17.4 million really had to hurt JD (I assume this is absolutely something he’s fantasized about at some point). There’s a certain Odor to this team and they stink.