Friday, December 28, 2012

Its About That Time

Hey all you Camp fans! We here at the Camp Post know you have been waiting for he mid-season report and we are bringing it to you now! Just so happens that it is the most magical week of the year, and many teams could use some second-half magic. All your favorite players want to be home with their families, however, are out there working hard on getting to the playoffs. So here we bring you the mid-season update.

We will start off in the AL. So far the powerhouse team has been the Syracuse Orange Iguanas with a 72-33 record. When we talked to owner kthomson on his teams recent success he had this to say, "Yes, we are very good this season. I been feeling it for a while and we really just put all aspects of our game together. I feel we will win it all." Wow, those are some cocky but very interesting words by the owner and we will see how things fall into play the second half of the season.

As for the rest of the AL, heres how we see the playoff picture coming to be. There will be one team making it from the AL North, the Minnesota Skeeters. Out of the AL East there could be two teams, but I believe that only the Syracuse Orange Iguanas will clinch a playoff berth. Now here's where things become interesting, in the AL South the top 3 teams are all within 6 games of each other. I believe two teams will emerge into the playoffs from this division and those are the El Paso Grievous Angels and the Huntington Heroes. Huntington is my one sleeper pick and I may recieve some death threats for it, but they really have a solid squad and I believe they can pull it off this season. Finally in the AL West, I see two lock-ins to the playoffs, the defending champions, San Francisco Fish Tacos and then my pre-season prediction, the Colorado Springs Glitter Ponies. We will see how all this madness pans out in the AL, now on to the NL.

The best team in all of Camp baseball reigns as the NL powerhouse, the New Orleans Calypsos. As stated by markbl, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics, "Granted I haven't been around as long as some of you...but I have never seen a team dominate a fairly competitive league like these Calypsos. Hitting, pitching, individual performers...very impressive!" And yes, we here at the Camp Post believe this is the best team out there and the clear favorite to win the World Series. When we interviewed owner erikf291, he was very humble, "We haven't won anything yet." We see that their team has a clear goal of winning that last game of the season and we believe they will accomplish that. 

The NL has one of the blurriest playoff pictures at first glance, but I will break it down for you. Starting off in the NL North, I really like the New York Tough Guys as a possible contender. I can also see the Chicago Cubs clinching a Wild Card spot. In the NL East, I again believe that two teams will reach the playoffs. The San Juan Senadores will win the division here and the Philadelphia Athletics will also get in. Now the NL South also has two very strong teams. Of course the New Orleans Calypsos are the clear winner here. And then the Charlotte Tobacco Growers are a very strong team, but I believe they will be jipped of a playoff spot. Now the weakest division in the NL, the NL West, I believe the Arizona Diamondbacks will make a comeback and win the division. The Cheyenne Cherokees seem to be in a slump as of late. 

Well folks, that's all we got for you now! There is plenty more madness to come as the final stretch of the season comes underway. We will get more articles out soon so stay tuned all you Camp Fans! 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Low A Prospect Rankings

The Camp post opens it's prospect rankings with the top 5 position player and pitching prospects across Low A.  The Low A prospects were dominated by season 24 first round draft picks, however, the position player top prospects were slightly diminished due to aggressive promotions with some season 24 first round picks.  On to the picks....

Low A Position Prospects:

# 5 Tony Nunez (LF), Portland – Nunez, an international prospect, signed for a $11.7M bonus last season.  Nunez is a power switch hitting left fielder who is willing to take a walk and hits right handed pitching well.  He is above average at taking a walk, but can be susceptible to left handed pitching limiting his value.  Defensively he is a plus left fielder with tremendous range.  Nunez only has an average arm, but that shouldn’t have much impact on his value, being that he plays LF.

Positional Value (0-3) – 1
Offense (1-5) – 3
Defense (1-3) – 3
Makeup/Durability (1-2) – 1.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 8.5

# 4 Zip Beltre (SS), Memphis - Another SS drafted in the first round of the season 24 amateur draft, Beltre is a wiz with the glove.  Defensively, Beltre combines excellent range with a great glove and plus arm.  He has all the makings of a gold glove caliber SS.  Offensively, Beltre doesn’t swing a toothpick but also doesn’t have the hitting potential that our #1 low A prospects has.  He has average power mixed with a below average ability to make contact and average, at best, batting eye.  Much of Beltre’s value comes from is excellent defensive ability, however, it’s rare to find a SS with this type of defensive potential who is a completely useless offensively.  Beltre should provide gold glove caliber defense with a .250 average and 15 hrs annually.

Positional Value (0-3) – 3
Offense (1-5) – 2
Defense (1-3) – 3
Makeup/Durability (1-2) – 0.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 8.5

# 3 Gerald Kim (1B), Chicago Cubs – A first round draft pick, Kim projects to be a solid all around 1b.  Offensively, Kim combines a contact approach with excellent patience.  A right handed batter, Kim hammers left handed pitching and handles right handed pitching as well.  Kim lacks the big time power that is typically expected from a first baseman, with that said; Kim should be able to contribute 20 homeruns annually.  Defensively, Kim is the very definition of average.  He has good range but his hands are below average.  Kim may not project to be your typical power focused 1b, but his ability to get on base and hit for high average while playing average defense makes him an everyday regular on a championship caliber club.

Positional Value (0-3) – 1
Offense (1-5) – 4
Defense (1-3) – 2
Makeup/Durability (1-2) – 1.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 8.5

# 2 Bryan Walker ( C ), Arizona  – Drafted 16th overall in seasons 24 draft, Walker is an offensive minded catcher with plus rankings across the board, with the exception of his batting eye that ranks as above average.  Walker’s ranking here hinges on the expectation that he can at least hold down the catching position, a move DH would move him well down the list.  His defense at best would be considered average.  Also, there are questions around Walkers durability, and his ability to handle being a big league catcher for 120 + games a season.  Regardless, an average defensive catcher with this kind of offensive ability is extremely valuable.

Positional Value (0-3) – 3
Offense (1-5) – 4.5
Defense (1-3) – 1
Makeup/Durability (1-2) – 0.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 9

# 1 Tris Grudzilanek (SS), Cleveland – Another season 24 first round pick, Tris was drafted in the supplemental round at 36th overall.  Tris, an all around SS, projects to be an average defensive SS with above average offense.  Tris biggest defensive question mark is his range, while it will always be below average for a SS if he can meet his potential he can hold down SS providing plus offense for the position.  His offense his built on having plus power with above average ability to hit for average and above average batting eye.  Tris will strike out as he is only average at making contact.  Tris’ offense is enough to warrant a move to 3b if his range doesn’t pan out, however, at this stage I project him as a SS.

Positional Value (0-3) – 2.5 (Risk of moving off of SS)
Offense (1-5) – 3.5
Defense (1-3) – 1.5 (this rating would improve if he moved to 3B)
Makeup/Durability (1-2) – 1.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 9

Low A Pitching Prospects

# 5 Greg Stephens (SP), Florida – A junior drafted out of Augusta State University as the 21st pick last year, Stephens projects to be a middle rotation starter.  Stephens combines plus control with 4 average to plus pitches to overcome average velocity and ability to generate ground balls.  Stephens doesn’t dominate lefties or righties but is consistent at getting hitters from both sides of the plate out.  While Stephens won’t dominate, he should be a consistent middle of the order SP who can provide 180 quality innings a year.

Positional Value (0-3) – 2
Control (1-5) – 4.5
Vs. L & R (1-5) – 3
Pitches (1-3) – 2.5
Stamina/Durability (1-3) – 1
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 13

# 4 Steve Clayton (SP), Cheyenne – Drafted out of the Community College power house South Mountain in Phoenix, AZ, Clayton is a left-handed middle of the rotation starter.  Clayton has a 5 pitch mix, sporting a plus curveball with two more above average pitches.  Clayton sports plus control and can dominate left handed hitters.  Two things keep Clayton from being a potential Ace, he is susceptible to right handed hitting and is unlikely to be able to pitch 200 innings consistently.  Clayton should, in a worst case scenario, be a # 3 with #2 starter upside.

Positional Value (0-3) – 2
Control (1-5) – 4.5
Vs. L & R (1-5) – 3.5
Pitches (1-3) – 2.5
Stamina/Durability (1-3) – 1.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 14

# 3 Archie Robbins (SP), Fresno – Another Supplemental round selection to make a top prospect list, Robbins was selected with the 37th overall selection in season 24.  Robbins profiles as a true middle rotation starter who relies on his plus control and a plus sinker/curve combo.  Archie, doesn’t dominate either lefties or righties, rather he has the ability to induce a lot of groundballs.  Archie should be able to consistently throw 200 innings, which provide Fresno with a team controlled innings eater.

Positional Value (0-3) – 2
Control (1-5) – 5
Vs. L & R (1-5) – 3
Pitches (1-3) – 2.5
Stamina/Durability (1-3) – 2.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 15

# 2 Monte Choo (SP), El Paso – Choo was the 6th SP selected in the first 10 picks in season 24, and El Paso did well to get this potential ace at the 10 spot.  Choo, a lefty, has plus control and big time velocity.  Choo can dominate both lefties and righties with his 4 pitches, which all grade out as average or better, his fastball and changeup show above average potential.  Assuming he stays healthy Choo should consistently throw 200 innings at the front of El Paso’s rotation within a few seasons.

Positional Value (0-3) – 2
Control (1-5) – 4.5
Vs. L & R (1-5) – 5
Pitches (1-3) – 2
Stamina/Durability (1-3) – 2
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 15.5

# 1 Andy Cousins (SP), Salem – Selected third overall, Cousins ranks as the top Pitching prospect in low A.  Cousins is a flame throwing lefty with above average control to go with 5 pitches, 4 or which grade out as average to above average.  He has the ability to induce groundballs and dominate both lefties and righties.  He is also relatively advanced for 19 and could move quick if he stays healthy.  His combination of power and control should make him a legitimate Ace within a few seasons.

Positional Value (0-3) – 2
Control (1-5) – 4
Vs. L & R (1-5) – 5
Pitches (1-3) – 2.5
Stamina/Durability (1-3) – 2.5
Total Prospect rating (Max 13) – 16

Next up High A rankings......

Friday, November 23, 2012


Now it's time for our predictions for each division!  Our original plan was to get this out before the start of the season, but our stupid editor took a family vacation and never told anyone. So, we are just getting this out now. We send our apologies to all the upset fans out there. Anyhow, here it is.

AL North:
My pick here is the Minnesota Skeeters. With a new owner and some big off-season acquisitions they seem to be the favorite right now. They have added players such as Butch Relaford and Orval Cedeno to their already stud lineup. They seemed to have the clear advantage in this division and have showed that early on this season.

AL East: 
Had to go with the Syracuse Orange Iguanas here. To this point they are leading the division and there's no doubt in my mind this will continue for the rest of the season. They have dominated and been on top of the division the past six seasons and you should all expect this to continue. Especially after their addition of Jacob Holt from earlier this off-season.

AL South:
This was one of the tougher ones, but I went with the Tampa Bay Porkslaps by a slim margin over the El Paso Grievous Angels just because Tampa Bay has that one true ace in Donne Payton. A true #1 pitcher can do wonders for a team, and this is why I feel they are the best team in the division. Early results have not shown this, but I believe that soon those results will change.

AL West: 
The defending World Series Champs, San Francisco Fish Tacos, seem to be the home favorite here. However, I'm going to go with the underdog, Colorado Springs Glitter Ponies, here. The reason behind this is that I'm still skeptical of early trades of the Fish Tacos, and the Glitter Ponies have a very strong pitching corps. They need to improve their position players, but their pitching is top notch which is why I believe they will capture the division title this season.

NL North:
No doubt in my mind here, the New York Tough Guys are bound to win this division. Again, I think that after an early round exit last year in the playoffs, they are on a mission this year, and will go to all ends of the earth to make finish their mission. It starts with winning their division, and aren't doing that right now, but I believe that will change very soon.

NL East: 
Another pretty close division, but the San Juan Senadores seem the strongest here. They have one of the best position players in the World in Louie Vizquel and one of the best pitchers in Odalis Brogna. This team is one of the strongest, younger teams in the World and look to win their division this season.

NL South:
The New Orleans Calypsos are already off to a fast star towards another division title this season, which would make it their third in a row. The Memphis Blues are not too far behind, a consistent playoff team year in and out, but with probably THE strongest pitching staffs in the World, the Calypsos appear to be on track again this year for another title.

NL West: 
This is probably the closest-knit divisions in the league. Each team has their strong suits, but no team has a great pitching staff. The Salem Volcanoes have probably the best staff in this division which is why they are my choice here. Their addition of of pitchers such as Willie Lima and Diego Amezaga have really helped them. They also added Walker Fossum, a future first-ballot Hall of Famer. These players look to help bring Salem their first division title ever.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Prospect Ranking Primer

This marks the first annual Camp Post prospect ranking list, compiled of the best pitching and position player prospects in world Camp at the start of the season.  Below is a primer for the post and the rationale in selecting which prospects made the list:
  1. The Top 5 position player and pitching prospect at each level of the minor leagues was selected based on a rating scale described below
  2. Initially the top prospects were selected based on a brief assessment of their ratings, then they were rated by categories and given a score to identify the top 5
  3. Projected and current ratings were taken into consideration depending on where the player was in his development
  4. Projected player position was based on my assessment of their defensive skills and where they best fit, not the position the current owner/HBD has designated
  5. All projected ratings are based solely on my projected rating budget
  6. Overall budget received virtually no consideration, it is my belief overall rating has little to no value in assessing a player true on the field value

Position Player Categories/Explanation:

Positional Value (0-3) – This rating was used to provide a weighting method so positions that have more defensive value and harder to fill with quality players get an extra boost (i.e. an average to above average hitting SS with above average to plus defensive skills is more valuable than an above average hitting/plus defensive 1b).  The positions were broken out like this:

  • ·         SS, CF, C – 3 Rating

  • ·         2b, 3b – 2 Rating

  • ·         1b, LF, RF – 1 Rating

  • ·         DH – 0 Rating

Offense (1-5) – 5 primary player ratings were considered: Contact, Power, Vs L, Vs R, Batting eye.  Speed and base running were considered but more as a tie breaker than anything else.  An example of 5 rated offensive players is someone with roughly an average of 85 across those 5 ratings and no rating that is average to below average.
Defense (1-3) – Defense is weighted slightly less than offense, which is a personal preference.  The rating is relative to position, so both a SS and 1b can receive a 3.  A 3 is a gold glove or projected gold glove caliber, 2 above average, 1.5 is average, 1 below average, etc..
Makeup/Durability/Health (1-2) – This rating is based on the players ability to play regularly, stay healthy and their makeup.  I used this as an added boost to those players who have a higher likelihood of reaching their ability.

Pitching Categories/Explanation:

Positional Value (0 or 2) – This is used to separate out SP and RP.  In my opinion SP is more valuable than RP and this helps separate the two.  That doesn’t rule out RP from making the list, but a RP would have to project to be 130 innings dominate force to make the list.  SP = 2, RP = 0

Control (1-5) – Based on the pitchers projected ability to throw strikes

Vs L, Vs R (1-5) – Based on the pitchers projected ability to get lefties or righties out.  Note slightly more weight was given to vs. R as more players are right handed

Pitches (1-3) – Based on the pitchers quality of pitches.

Stamina/Durability (1-3) – This is relative to whether the pitcher is a SP or RP, so again, both can receive a grade of 3.  This is based on how many innings and how quickly a pitcher can recover relative to SP or RP.
Now on to the Rankings:

Top 5 Low prospect list to follow shortly.....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Free Agency Recap

Sorry for the delay in getting this out all you Camp Fans! Due to Hurricane Sandy, our power got knocked out over here at the Camp Post. Well, we're finally back up and running and here comes your recap of the Free Agency madness from this off-season! By far the biggest pick up of the free agency was 8X All Star and 3X Cy Young award winner Ramon Wan. The Baltimore Bossmen were relentless in pursuing this star free agent. Baltimore finished last season just two games under .500 and came in last in their division. The front office knew they needed a star to get the team on track for a playoff run so they locked up Wan to a maximum deal, 20 million for five years. We will see if this costly investment in the 31 year old star works out as the season wears on.

The biggest winner in the free agency however was the Cleveland Criminals. The front office knew they needed some major pieces on their team and did just that. After signing Danny Andrews, Dizzy Ojala, and Pedro Johnson. They are finally starting to look like they can compete for a World Series. The signing of the 40 year old Johnson, however, was a bit questionable. They are paying him just over 5 million for two years. He may be productive this year, but next year is still a big question of how strong he will still be. They should definitely be in a good spot to compete this year though.

After compiling up some of the results of free agency, our staff has determined the biggest question marks of the past signings. First comes Ramiro Johnson. The Memphis Blues are paying him nearly 14 million for four years! This player is good, but really no better than a good long-reliever. The stamina is just not there and his splits are not strong enough to shut down all batters. He is definitely being overpaid. The next guy is Joseph Martin signed by the New York Tough Guys for 9 million for four years. We all know how badly New York wants revenge this year after their early exit last year in the playoffs, but really? Joseph Martin for that kind of money? The guy cannot pitch against lefties if his life depended on it! He also does not have the stamina to be a starting pitcher, therefore he is only a long-reliever. There are a lot cheaper long-relievers out there who are just as good, but New York had money and blew it away with this signing. These were the only two eye-popping busts our staff could find and hopefully no death threats come our way after making these allegations. Hence, a lot of teams made some big signings this off-season and we will see how this all pans out pretty soon!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Interview with jketchum

After each season, we here at the Camp Post will attempt to get an interview with the owner of the reigning World Series Champs. As you all know, the San Francisco Fish Tacos won it this past season. Their owner, jketchum, was kind enough to talk to the media when we requested an interview. Here it is:
Q: Congrats on your WS Series championship, how do feel about your team this year and about a possible repeat?
A: Alike our chances, pitching is still in intact, all the major pieces offensively are still around. Plus it never hurts to have a 3 time MVP playing the outfield.

Q: You've made some questionable trades this off-season with trading some of your star players such as, Quinton Hamilton and Butch Relaford, why is that?

A: Cant keep everybody and Relaford and Hamilton had underperformed the last few years. It gave us a chance to sign some players to longterm deals we couldnt have otherwise plus we added some new blood in the minors.

Q: Are you aiming for any big time free agents this off-season?

A: Hootie Bailey is the lone "big" free agent signing. Probably wont sign any more high end guys.

Q: What players have you lost this off-season and how do you plan to replace them?

A: Quinton Hamilton- Shane Rose , Butch Relaford- Hootie Bailey, Corey Garcia- TBD

Q: What is your goal for this season? Are you still trying to compete for another title or are you trying to get younger and rebuild for long-term?

A: We will be putting all of our efforts into repeating.

Q: Do you have a special method of coaching that may have helped you in winning this past season?

A: My secret, which isnt much of a secret, is plan on rebuilding 4 - 5 years with any bad team before your going to compete. Roster depth to me is a huge factor in winning.

Q: Do you have any advice for the younger coaches of this league?

A: Get yourself a mentor and ask a lot of questions.

We thank jketchum for finding time to allow an interview with him. It appears as if the Fish Tacos are gunning for the World Series once again this year. They lost some players but jketchum does not seemed to be phased by any of this. We will see how this all pans out for the Fish Tacos as the season goes on. They're definitely the team to watch this season. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Here We Go

Welcome all you Camp fans! The long, anticipated 25th season is finally approaching us! How will this season commence? Will the defending champs, the San Francisco Fish Tacos, come back this year on a mission for another title? Or will another team emerge and stop them in their tracks. However, after some early off-season trades of star players such as Butch Relaford and Quinton Hamilton it seems as if they are taking a new approach this season. I will attempt to get an interview with the owner, jketchum, after free agency comes to a close for some insight on these questionable moves so early on.

The big surprise of last season in the playoffs was the stretch made by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs knocked off the top seed, New York Tough Guys, in the Divisional Championship series last season. Owner, wolves16, seemed to be really impressed with his team. A member of our staff got into the Arizona locker room after Game 5 of the World Series. The team was very emotional, yet when the owner walked into the room, he received a big round of applause and the team was very happy about how far they got. They are coming back this season with more experience and look to make another run at it.

On the other side, the Tough Guys were very pissed after their early exit in the divisional round last season. After the loss in Game 5, one of our staff members tried to get a word out of the owner, vjm269, but he refused to talk and fled the scene on the team bus. None of the players would talk to any of the press and we haven't heard much since this surprising exit in the playoffs. The owner must still have not gotten over their loss last season as they have already made a trade this off season. They traded one of their most consistent long reliever, Terry Cora, and 2 former first round picks for a younger, more promising Starting Pitcher, Murray Rolle. All the New York fans are just dying for the season to start and to see whether this early off-season move was the right choice. Once the seasons starts up, we will be able to really see who got the better end of this deal.

Well folks, thats all we got for now, but stay tuned for more Camp news as the season goes on! Free Agency comes to a close on Sunday and we will get out a recap for all you fans to read as soon as possible. Im sure all of you can't wait for the season to start and neither can we here at the Camp Post. Will the Fish Tacos repeat their Championship? Or will the D-Backs come back stronger this season and win it this time around? Or will the anger-driven Tough Guys show what they can really do this season? Only time will tell, so let the madness begin.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Welcome to The Camp Post!

Welcome to the Official Blog of the Hardball Dynasty World Camp! Our staff here at The Camp Post will keep all you fans updated with the latest Camp news and more! Throughout the season we will cover free agency, trades, the Rule 5 Draft, the Amateur Draft, International free agent signings, power rankings, playoff races, and more! This is the place to come to in order to keep up with the excitement of Camp this season! At the top of the Column to the right there is a link to the Hall Of Fame blog which will show you all the past season Inductees and player records tracing all the way back to Season 1 of Camp! We can't wait to get started and hope all you fans enjoy the blog this season and seasons to come!