2017 DRAFT RECAP/PRE-SEASON PREDICTIONS
Friday, 31 March 2017 20:41

2017 DRAFT RECAP/PRE-SEASON PREDICTIONS

By:  Jason Younger, Todd Wallman, Mitch Pollock and Brad Randell

 

1-PIZZA/PASTA FACTORY (FELDMAN)

When Pat and Justin Brock became a combo in this league there was a saying to any captain that drafted them – “DON’T F… UP THE BROCK PICK”.  Shockingly Feldy is one of only two captains that had the Brocks an entire season and didn’t win it all.  Well now that Justin is a captain, the newest deadly duo in the draft is the Bomenblit brothers and yes again Feldy has them.  “Feldy don’t F up the Bomenblit pick” was being muttered by every captain, board member and person watching the draft online.  On paper it seems like Feldy made all the right moves as many are even saying this is the team to beat.  Roland in the 3rd and Rick in the 5th are absolute steals and gives this squad a great top 5.  The issue for this squad is when your pitcher needs to suit up like Henrik Lundqvist to take the mound in fear of clincher you could have pitching problems otherwise this team is solid.  Nobody more than the author of this write up wants to predict single digit wins for this squad but they are solid and should easily cross the Feldy line. 

 

Predicted team Record 13&9

Offense grade- A

Defense grade- A

Pitching grade C

Speed grade- B

 

OPY – Bomenblit

DIF - Bomenblit

ROY – Bomenblit

MOY _ Feldy

 

2-LHRGP LAW (GOLDFARB)

As we know, Guy is playing with “house money” in 2017 after his championship season in 2016.  The defending champ was very sharp early in the draft as his 1-2 combo of DiMarco and Alfieri is as good a start as anyone’s.  Adding Alex at 3 and you have the youngest and maybe quickest OF in the league.  Lipomi-SS at 4 was the ideal pick late in that round.  Picks 5-7 with Turner, EJ and Jeager were also some of the best value picks in the draft and add the veteran leadership that every squad is looking for.  The Judge at 8 a bit of a surprise after a “questionable” BP the day before, but the word is he hit .800 over the winter at the batting cages so no real worries there.  The question at this point in the draft was who was pitching for this squad.  Turner?  Fortunately for guy Marty S didn’t get gobbled up like the other pitching candidates (Leo and Karp) late 8 early 9 and Guy breathed a sigh of relief.  Like any aging veteran there is some concern on the hill, but otherwise this team has decent balance and should be more than competitive every week.

 

Predicted team Record 11-11

Offense grade- B

Defense grade- B

Pitching grade B-

Speed grade- C+

 

OPY-DiMarco

DOF-Alfieri, Alex

ROY-Alfieri

 

3-STOMP THE MONSTER (BEILIS)

It takes a unique individual to think that board would conspire to make some teams better than others by rigging the draft #s and ratings.  Captain Marty is by far the leading Conspiracy Theorist as he will voice his conspiracies to anyone willing to listen.  Ironic that this same guy hit the lottery and pulled the #1 pick in the 2017 draft.  Beilis the Butcher (of the 2016 draft) was in a prime spot to draft a competitive squad and he started by drafting what many are calling Martino on steroids – Specchio.  It’s hard to predict how this squad will do as Marty’s first 3 picks are all new guys.  If they are as good as advertised this team will be solid.  The good news for Captain Conspiracy “CC” is that after a 1 year hiatus he is reunited with his BFF Nikko Taub.  The other positive is that there is no doubt CC will surpass his 5 win total from 2016.  Now that his rating and # were clearly not manipulated we can only wonder what other conspiracies the Butcher will have during 2017. 

Predicted team Record 11&11

Offense grade- B

Defense grade- B

Pitching grade B

Speed grade- B

 

ROY - Specchio

 

4-NY LIFE/Seidel (HARRIS)

Every year there seems to be that one Captain whose picks leave everyone speechless and befuddled.   Usually those picks are made by Feldman and/or Lapine but in 2017 the honor belongs to Captain Harris.  There are several things that could be questioned – How do you draft the top LCF in the league 2nd overall pick with intention of moving him to SS where he will likely be an average SS???  Or you take an outfielder with the 2nd pick of the 3rd round that has never gone that high and likely would have been available 32 picks later(also over 50 and coming off knee surgery).  Or you take a guy that has pitched in this league for years with idea that you will move him to outfield and make a guy that has been retired for 4 years and just received his AARP card your starting pitcher???????  Did Bobby watch the video where his 8 pick and potential starting pitcher threw 150 pitches in a row short of the plate????  Is Captain Harris a mad genius or has he gone mad????  The majority of the league believes the latter but we all know there is always that one team that shocks the league.  Who is going to protect the 2nd pick of the draft in this line up????? Will the #2 pick have over 40 walks???  #2 pick will not need to bring his bat to Union Hill this season because the only way he sees a pitch at that field is his team is either up or down BIGGGGGGG.  The last time everyone questioned the Captain Harris draft was 2014 and his squad went 5&17.  There is no doubt this team has enough good players that they can be competitive so let’s hope for the 2015 MVP that’s the case and that Harris is truly a genius or this will be one long summer.   The only prediction the author of this write up will make is that Uncle Leo will be begging to retire again and could take Schef with him. 

Predicted team Record 7&15

Offense grade- C

Defense grade- C

Pitching grade - C

Speed grade- C

 

5-JIFFY LUBE (RANDELL)

Last year Randell proved many wrong including the author when his squad surpassed all expectations.  What was proven by his 2016 draft was that pitching in this league wins ball games.  It was not a coincidence that the best records in 2016 belonged to the elite pitchers – J Brock, Clamp, Polzer, Marrone, Drapkin and Becker (when he became the starter).  Knowing that, one would think Captain Bradley would go right back to Clamp well in Round 2 when he was sitting there waiting for him but a bunch of missed games for Clamp on his application scared the Captain and instead he opted for his best bud Commissioner JZ infield only 2017????????  So around the 2017 horn for Bradley will be the Skipper, Intoci, JZ, Burns and Kessler.  That doesn’t appear to be the best defense on paper but we all know paper can be deceiving.  What we do know is that Burns is to Randell as peanut butter is to jelly – the 2 just go together.  Offensively this team looks good as you can’t go wrong starting B Jax, JZ, Intoci and Hernandez (another fella looking like he will be serving life with Randell).  If they if they if they can score a lot of runs they will win games because the defense will surrender plenty.   

Predicted team Record 9&13

Offense grade- B

Defense grade- C

Pitching grade - C

Speed grade- B

 

 

6-VM CLEANING (POLLOCK)

There is nothing to not like about this squad bravo Mitch/Matt.  Hitting, power, pitching/backup pitching, versatility.  The only question with this team is who will fill the infield at 2b and 3b.  When you start with arguably the best two way SS in the league and follow him up with Clamp who but for his missed games would have gone as a late 1 you are on your way.  Mean Gene for LCF was the perfect pick at 4, and in true Pollock fashion they grabbed another terrific bat at 6 with Mr Meyer.  We are assuming the versatile  Jordan K will fill one of those IF spots.  Then trader Mitch secured the Rubin pitching/son duo at 8/9 to alleviate all concerns when Clamp is out.  Several veterans round out the roster and we have a team that should mash the ball, pitch as well as any team and play enough D to be one of the teams challenging for a #1 seed.  Maybe having two minds at the draft is an advantage?  Next year the other managers might want Matt back in the draft room…..just sayin.

 

Predicted team Record 14-8

Offense grade- A-

Defense grade- C+

Pitching grade A-

Speed grade- B-

 

End of year Award Candidates

MOY-Matt P

MVP-Infante

CY-Clamp

 

7-ACE HOME (JACOBY)

The panting and moaning the night before the draft was beyond belief after Jacoby received his #16 draft slot.  Rumor has it GG was working the phones all night/into Sunday morning speaking to other captains looking to trade out of the dreddded 16 hole.  Well, GG is a terrific salesman but could not pull off a deal and was forced to “do the best he could” with the picks at 16/17.  Well, anyone that knows Marlboro softball wouldn’t be crying for Captain America after calling out J Goldberg and “welcome home” Polzer with his double pick.  Jared is one of the most dynamic offensive players in the league and can play SS or OF and Dave is a top hurler and one of the 10 best hitters we have….poor GG.  Polz does come in with his bro this year, slotted at 4.  Can’t imagine with those genes that he won’t be a hitter, so no real concern there.  At 3 GG wanted the versatility of playing Jared in the OF, so he grabbed one of the rising stars from last year Broome.  The Broome stock certainly rose after an excellent display in the field on Saturday morning.  At 5 Danser provides some needed OF help and speed, hope he’s ok this season without BFF Thompson in the league.  Jacoby at 6 we all know is the gift of all gifts.  Tommy T monster bat at 7 and GG puts together one of the nicest middle lineups we have in the league with versatility as well.  Welcome back S Gold who is in great shape, and Jacoby regulars Foxy and Jerry T.  Overall, this is not a typical Jacoby squad is many ways but with a top pitcher and a dynamic middle of the lineup there’s no way they are worse than a .500 squad with the ability to be much better.

 

Predicted team Record 12-10

Offense grade- B+

Defense grade- B-

Pitching grade A-

Speed grade- B

 

MOY-Jacoby (isn’t he always)

Cy-Polz

OPY-Jared G

 

8-BURGER BROS (PALADINO)

When the ratings came out Mikey P was pissed about Rich’s rating, his rating.  When the draft slots came out on Friday night, Mikey P was beside himself in panic.  We are assuming that when the grid was revealed Mikey P felt a bit better knowing that it was likely one of the new stud OF’s would/could fall to him which is exactly what happened with Saler at 2.  Then with his 3rd round pick he made the “Mesmer” pick that will help make this squad a winner.  Ari mid 3? Unreal….The next pick is potentially the make or break pick with newby Katz being counted on to lead the pitching staff.  There is no doubt the guy can hit.  Maybe the “no brainer” pick of the draft was Danny D at 5 who can do it all, include backup pitch!  Rich at mid 6 a steal lol.  Donnie baseball at 7 will hit .500 again and some of my favorite guys at 8-9 G Cohen and E Kreppel will round out the OF.  We know Mikey didn’t get the ratings he wanted or the draft slot he wanted, but considering where he was he did a very nice job.  The new guys at 2 and 4 will likely determine this teams fate, which will keep the prediction modest, but if they play at the their # this squad will be very good.

 

Predicted team Record 11-11

Offense grade- B

Defense grade- B

Pitching grade TBD

Speed grade- C

 

ROY-Saler

MVP-M Pal

OPY-Ari

 

 9-SPONIC PAINTING (LAPINE)

Co-sponsor for Team Lapine this year should be Verizon as this squad was drafted via long distance telephone with GM Getz on the bat phone with an out of town owner Lapine for the duration.  The phone lines were burning as the early picks were coming in and at #14 the call was answered with a former mate and one of the best hitters in the league Spoto.  On the quick turnaround pick, there would be no stealing of the Conti combo in the 3rd round this year as Mike and Rob came off the board.  Rounds 3 and 4 would bring another solid combo pick of the Carlin bros + Herman (great value at 13).  With Getz locked in as a 5, the combo picks predictably kept coming with Lapine favorites Laconte and Ferrese.  Newbie Levine would follow with solid 9 and 10 picks Persily and Olivencia rounding out the squad.  This team should definitely hit; the question is where does everyone align defensively? Is Marc a SS or OF?  Is Mike Conti a SS or OF?  Is Ronnie a P or OF?  Same question for Ferrese?  Defensive flexibility is a good problem to have, but the right combination will need to be sorted out for this team to have success.  With Spoto wanting to play IF this year, it would appear that Ronnie and Mike Conti will be needed in the OF but we'll see how it shakes out.  This team could be dangerous if the pieces to the puzzle come together well. . .

 

Team Record:  11-11

Offense:  B+

Defense:  B

Pitching:  B

Speed:  B

 

End of year candidates:

 

Offensive player:  Spoto

MVP:    Conti

 

10-GASTRO OF OCEAN (SARCONA)

In his first stint as Captain, Lenny usually went offense; in his second stint as captain it appears he's now made defense a priority.  Last year it was Martino at SS early; this year its arguably the best defensive LCF/SS pair in the league with Peregine and Gluck as the first 2 picks.  Can never go wrong with defense at those key positions on the field.  In round 3, Lenny needed a bat and came back with an always offensively consistent Brock.  Round 4 would bring a now Sarcona favorite in Melnyk.  With Lenny penciled in as the 5, the 6th round brought what I think will be the key to this team; a decision to make Lambo a starting pitcher.  If this works out, a winning record is in sight; if Lambo struggles and Lenny has to go to the mound it could be a long season.  Veterans Feingold, Veneck and Cotter were solid picks in rounds 7, 9 and 10.  Potential steal in the 8th with newbie Grant who looked like a sleeper pick at the tryout. Newbie Kennan could also be a surprise in the 11th and this team may have the strongest 12 and 13 combo with Sollazzo and Tommy.  This squad has a nice mix of gloves and bats but as I said earlier I believe this team comes down to pitching, pitching and pitching . . .

 

Team Record:  10-12

Offense:  B

Defense:  B+

Pitching:  C+

Speed :  B

 

End of year candidates:

 

Defensive OF:  Peregine

Defensive IF:  Gluck

Most Improved:  Lamberson

 

 

11-SUPERIOR AUTO (WALLMAN)

When you have draft #10 and 7 other captains leave the reigning MVP on the board what do you do?  The correct answer from Wallman was to take 2 seconds and announce the name Mamone which set up a nice draft out of a potentially disadvantageous draft position.  On the way back, Captain Wallman hit the daily double selecting fellow YIT Younger, arguably setting up the best defensive LCF/2B combo in the league.  In round 3, the big sophomore bat of Dipalo was signed hot off a rookie championship campaign as a nice compliment to the 1st 2 picks.  Captain Wallman knows full well that up the middle defense is a key component to a championship contender so he filled the middle of the diamond out in round 5 with the defensive acrobatics of Drapkin on the mound.  With the gloves of Drapkin, Wallman, Younger and Mamone in the middle, holes will be tough to find for opposing offenses which should be a recipe for success.  What goes with pitching and defense?  Speed; hence the selection of another sophomore Span in the 6th.  Brother Mamone a steady force in right center as a 7 followed by Stewart to man the hot corner in the 8th.  Only questionable pick I see here was Rode in the 9th which may have been a little early but we shall see.  Some steady veterans in Toran, Krain, and Kamras along with Solon to fill out the draft.  Defensively, this squad may be one of the best which alone should translate into several marks in the win column.  The question mark on this team is putting runs on the board but they may not have to put up that many.  After the top 4 hitters, I don't see a lot of run production on paper but the game is not played on paper.  If this team scores in double digits consistently they will be tough to beat. Even with the offensive question marks, I see the defense carrying this team as one of the better ones in the league competing for a top seed and a championship contender come playoff time.

 

Team Record:    15-7

Offense:            C+

Defense:            A-

Pitching:            A

Speed:               B+      

 

End of year candidates:

 

MVP:                Mamone

Defensive OF:  Mamone

Cy Young:            Drapkin

 

 

12-NJ SALT (MARRONE)

Captain Marrone came into the draft room riding the coattails of the facebook "Manager of the Year" video award ceremony hosted by the co-Presidents of the Softball Association of America Schefkind and Buckley.  Question now is can he put together back to back #1 seed regular seasons?  Not surprisingly, at #9 BFF Silverberg was selected knowing Doc would not make it back in round 2.  Even as a second baseman, Doc is worthy as a 1st round pick and the ever improving youngster Austin comes along as a value 6.  Round 2 was an unexpected pick of Goddard as an unproven SS with Captain Glen passing on several more proven available SS's.  Round 3 brought the steady Panassidi to lead the OF along with another son Tyler who I believe the Board rated too low as a 12.  I predict this kid will play several rounds better than a 12.  With Marrone penciled in as the 4, round 5 brought a triple pick which will probably define the success of this team.  Rookies Podolla and the Thomas brothers were selected as a 5,8,11 combo.  A triple rookie pick is always risky but there is usually upside potential there as well so if this trio pans out it could have this manager back at the top of the standings.  The versatile veteran Yigdal was a solid pick at 7 followed by another good veteran Messinger in the 9th.  Another seasoned vet Turtz provides some later round potential pop with the bat in the 10th and no Marrone team would be complete without "Mr. 208" rounding out the squad in the 13th round.  Although Marrone has suprised before, I see too many question marks to have this team back at the top of the standings.  Goddard at SS; 3 rookies who on paper will have to play key roles on defense.  Scoring runs may also be an issue here; other than Doc I don't see much offense and Doc will be pitched around in big spots. 

 

Team Record:    10-12

Offense:            B-

Defense:            B

Pitching:            A

Speed:               B-

 

End of year candidates:

 

Offensive POY:    Silverberg

Most improved:    Austin Silverberg

Cy Young:            Marrone

 

 

13-TUSCANY ROSE (BROCK)

How does the league try stopping the Justin Brock Machine that has resulted in back to back championships? The answer is by giving him his own team and hope he messes up the draft. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, Justin did a nice job of mixing in young talent with a lot of upside with dependable veterans who can hold down their positions nicely. Justin had time to settle in and get adjusted to his new role since he and Pat make up a 1-2 with a penalty of skipping the third round. When it finally came time to make a selection, Justin gambled by avoiding a shortstop (might this indicate Justin’s move back to his former position?) and selected slick fielding Billy Torres who is coming off his best offensive year in the league. With all the proven shortstops off the board, Brock went with steady Raucher and then rolled the dice on one of the more promising rookies in the league, Evan Binder. Evan will be tasked with holding down the important shortstop job, and the key to Brock’s year may depend on the younger Binder’s defensive success. If Binder falters, does that force Brock off the mound? Binder’s upside is matched by the Drashinky kids who judging by tryouts, look like they will be versatile additions to a nice looking defense. Because of the many missed games by key players, I see this team having an average regular season at best with the capability of making some noise in the playoffs.

 

Season Prediction: 11-11

Hitting: B+

Defense: A-

Pitching: A

Speed: A

 

Possible Award Winners:

 

MVP- Justin Brock

Defensive Outfielder- Pat Brock

Cy Young- Justin Brock



14-HOT CORNER (JBYKOFSKY)
With Father Bykofsky stepping away from pitching duties(the writer of this enrtry feels much safer at the plate now), the big question surrounding Team Bykofsky was who will fill the perennial Cy Young candidate’s cleats? For years they’ve had a secret weapon in Travis Lamberson, but Justin did not want to wait around that long without that key component. WIth Eric Becker, Team Bykofsky gets not only a top pitcher, but one of the true homerun threats in the league. He and newcomer Michael Kleschinsky give Bykofsky legitimate power threats to go along with the always reliable hitting of the Bykofskys. In order for this team to be successful, spots 6-13 in the lineup will have to hold up their end of the bargain. Joel Podos is coming off a phenomenal season at the plate and Wayne Sherman is usually good for a .450+ year with some extra base pop. They will need both players to continue to thrive in order for this team to consistently score runs. On the defensive end, the usually rock solid Bykofsky defense faces some questions. Rob Bykofsky’s move to third base means Eric Lurie will be playing a position other than third base for the first time since coming in the league in 2011.  And while Justin is one of the best LCFers in the league, he is going to need some help patrolling the outfield grass. Last year, Bykofsky was just one win away from his first championship as captain. This year, the road will be much harder.

 

Season Prediction: 10-12

Hitting: B

Defense: B

Pitching: A-

Speed: B

 

Possible Award Winners

 

Defensive POY: Justin Bykofsky

ROY: Michael Kleschinsky

 

 

15-CK BASEBALL (GRANESE)

After a post-championship hangover, Team Granese is ready to make another run at the championship with perhaps the best looking team on paper. The draft started easy enough as Matt Granese has the longest active streak of being a #1 pick. Although conventional thought might be to pick up a top LCF or pitcher with the second pick, taking everyone’s favorite comeback player, Chris Ryan, makes perfect sense. Ryan will play like a first rounder while having the versatility to play second base or wherever he is needed. With two key infield positions solidified, taking Joe Joroskie in the third round was the perfect selection. After bolstering an already great squad with Joe Tracy and Chris Newman, Granese nabbed the perfect teammates to have, Jim and Paul Lombardi. Jim proved himself to be a good pitcher last year who will only get better in 2017. Knowing Lombardi induces flyballs more than grounders, Granese set out to draft a quick defense to run down all those fly balls. Granese knew who he wanted to help out Joroskie and Tracey in the OF and worked hard to pull off a trade to insure another Granese favorite, Todd ZImmerman, join the squad. Granese executed a perfect game plan by drafting Brandon Clancy to anchor third base, Shyamal Joshi, Doug Cohen, and the Bickoffs to provide late in the lineup hitting. Every captain goes into the draft with a plan, but very few go as smoothly as Granese’s went this year. If there is one weakness, it’s the lack of big time home run threat. It shouldn’t be a major issue as this team will be the team to beat in the American League.

 

Season Prediction: 15-7

Hitting: A-

Defense: A

Pitching: A-

Speed: A-

 

Possible Award Winners:

Manager of the Year- Matt Granese

Cy Young- Jim Lombardi

 

16-FRADKIN LAW (APPLEBAUM)

As captains filled out their mock drafts there were only a few certainties. One of them was that Applebaum would take greatest hitter in Marlboro Softball history, Ed Fradkin, in the first round. Drawing the third overall pick must have presented some temptation to play the field, but Applebaum stayed true to his word. Having the greatest hitter in the league isn’t enough to score a lot of runs, so Applebaum took 2016 breakout star Evan Steinberg to play SS. Steinberg makes a big leap going from 5th to 2nd round and will have to replicate 2016 in order to justify the big jump(Trivia question: Who are the three other players in the last 10 years to go from 5th or later round to a top 2 round pick the next year? The answer comes after this team prediction). Steinberg won’t be the only person who has to protect Fradkin in the lineup as Applebaum and David Schwartz are nice offensive picks who can make teams pay if they decide to walk Big Ed. Later picks like David Unterweisser and Kevin Applebaum(welcome back!) solidify a steady, dangerous lineup. Overall, offense will not be the hurdle for Brian’s team this year. The biggest problem will be keeping the other team down. Mark Karp is a nice veteran pitcher(a steal in the 9th round) and P.J. Wollman will hold his own in LCF, but others will have to step up defensively. I think this will be a fun team to watch and whose Runs Scored+Runs Against will be the highest in the league.

 

Season Prediction: 11-11

Hitting: A

Defense: C+

Pitching: B+

Speed: B

 

Possible Award Winners:

Offensive POY- Ed Fradkin

 

Trivia Question Answers: Ken Panassidi (5th to 2nd Round 2012-2013)

                                        Joe Spoto (6th to 2nd Round 2013-2014)

                                        Joe Joroskie (6th to 2nd Round 2015-2016)

 

 

 

 

TEAM

AVG AGE

EST.G/M

P-OFF G/M

TEAM AVG

SARCONA

42

21

0

.430

LAPINE

43

19

0

.425

POLLOCK

42

29.5

2

.423

MARRONE

42

20

1

.423

PALADINO

48

29.5

0

.422

RANDELL

40

27

2

.416

FELDY

42

23.5

2.5

.414

JACOBY

40

27

0

.414

BYKOF

45

17.5

4

.412

GRANESE

41

28

0

.411

GOLDY

42

29.5

2

.406

BEILIS

45

18

1

.405

APPLE

46

17

1

.401

BROCK

40

43

3

.393

HARRIS

46

31.5

3

.387

WALLMAN

43

21.5

3

.385

 
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