2019 DRAFT RECAP/PRE-SEASON PREDICTIONS
Friday, 29 March 2019 15:21

EAST  (by Justin Bykofsky and Bobby Harris)

 

RCF (Brock)

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS/THOUGHTS-With a lot of hype surrounding many of the new players entering the league, the question many had was "Would the Brock penalty be less harsh this year?" The simple answer, NO.  It makes sense when you consider the Brock bros. went 14-8 last year while Justin hit .700 (amazing).  So really all Justin and Pat needed to worry about was who would be there in the 4th round when they made their first draft pick?  Well Justin ended up being much more fortunate than he ever could have imagined and he took advantage big time...

 

ANALYSIS-Go home folks, it's over. Can we just re-draft and start over? This team will be the best team in the league by a LANDSLIDE!  The author of this write up had the unprotected Turano brother rated as a 2nd round pick and they got him as a 5th rounder!!!!!!!!!  INSANE!  So they have Justin, Pat, and 2 brothers that will go 2-3 next year at worst.  Good luck everyone!  To add to that amazing start, the Priess combo fell to them (author had ranked them as a 4-7 combo) in the 7th and 8th round!  Lucas went 4th round last year and did nothing on the field that should've made him fall this low in the draft.  So how did this happen?  What drugs were some of the captains in the room taking?  THIS MAKES NO SENSE!  Watch "ANTHONY TURANO HITTING" on YouTube all the way to the end, we're all F*CKED!  My theory is that due to the enormous amount of trades, protected picks, and overall obliviousness, the combo picks became very hard to lock down mid-draft, and Brock just got to sit there like a kid on Christmas morning.  They have it all.  STUD OFers (Brock, Turanos, Dynov), VerySolid IF (Priess combo, Rauch, Censoplano, JBrock up the middle), deep hitting lineup, and they have JOSHI!  What more could you want from a team? He even traded Doug during the draft for fun.   If this team isn't the best in the league something went very very wrong.

 

POST-DRAFT BACKLASH-Why didn't Justin bring champagne to the draft?  Seriously what could you complain about?  They even have Boot Beilis ready to miss a game at a moment's notice! 

 

PLAYOFF PREDICTION-It's championship or bust for this squad.  The only games they may lose in the regular season will be the ones JBrock is away for (but maybe not, because JOSHI is a great backup pitcher).  Good luck beating this team in the Finals, not a weakness in sight.

 

Record 19-3

 

BEST PICKS-The Turano Bros and Priess combo I believe are the best 2 value picks in the draft and it's not close

 

GRADES:

Hitting: A

Defense: A

Speed: A

Pitching: A+

 

Potential Award Winners:

MVP-Pat Brock

CY Young-Justin Brock

DEF OF: Pat Brock

ROY-Turano Brothers

Most Improved: Lucas Priess

Manager of the Year: Justin Brock

 

 

 

LHRGP (LaRocca)

PRE-DRAFT QUESTIONS/THOUGHTS-Pulling off a wining season in your first season as a manager is no easy task, believe me.  And with Frank going 13-9 by taking the Kleschinksy brothers 1-3 last year, the question prior to draft day was just how high would LaRocca be willing to draft them this year? Well that was answered pretty quickly once the draft #s were released.  Then after witnessing the lesson JY gave Frank during the captains meeting about how to trade combo picks (using a paper plate!), we all knew the Rock would be busy wheeling and dealing on draft day (assuming he didn't get arrested for aggravated assault against Randell prior to), and boy did he not disappoint...

 

ANALYSIS-The Kleschinsky brothers and Broome brothers are a start to a team that many managers in the league would've be willing to sign up for pre-draft without question.  Then when you add the Carlin bros into the mix, we are talking about one of the most solid cores any team in the league could have.  So what did Frank have to give up to get all these guys?!  Well trading a 6th round pick for an 8th round pick is how, my friends, also maybe giving Lenny a handy under the table helped???  The real question is how much will this trade hurt the team's overall depth?  If Miranda steps up (I liked his tryout), and Andrew Broome improves, they could be just fine.  An IF of Carlin, Broome, Miranda and JUICE should be solid if the K boys can cover some ground in the OF.  RC on the mound is excellent, especially when you look at how many panic picks were made to acquire pitching this year.  While I do like this team on paper, I believe a tough division is what will hold this team back from a winning record (Wallman, Brock, Pollock all look good post-draft).

 

POST-DRAFT BACKLASH-Is the batting lineup deep enough to support a defense that may give up some runs due to lack of OF depth (Kleschinksys, ABroome only true OFers on roster)? That will certainly be tough to predict, but sometimes OF defense can be overrated.  Also, Mark Carlin can always move out there if need be with Malagold and Arolick as capable IFs on the squad as well.

 

PLAYOFF PREDICTION-Being in a division with Brock, Wallman, and Pollock could be a bit problematic, but in the playoffs they may have an easier matchup.  I see this team winning a first round series and after that who knows how far momentum can take you?  Look at last year's playoffs!

 

Record 11-11

 

BEST PICKS-Well it technically wasn't a pick, he traded for them, but the Carlin combo makes this team whole.

 

GRADES:

Hitting: B

Defense: C+

Speed: B-

Pitching: B+

 

Potential Award Winners:

MVP-Kevin Kleschinsky

CY Young-Ronnie Carlin

DEF OF-Kevin Kleschinsky

Most Improved: Andrew Broome

Manager of the Year: Frank LaRocca (hoping he sends me a hoody!)

 

 

TEAM SCHEF AKA TEAM FREDDY KRUEGER - CBP

If you were going to draft a bowling team, Schef drafted a championship team- however we play Sunday mornings at Union Hill, East Frances, and Mar El, not Knob Hill Country Lanes.  That said, I think Schef acquitted himself very nicely on the softball side as well.  After weeks, of posturing, tainted tryouts, lots of conferring with consiglieri Friedlich, and then last minute wheeling and dealing on draft day- the smoke cleared and Schef got the team he wanted. And it might just be one of the top teams in the league. 

Three HUGE question marks for Team “Nightmare on Elm Street”- and that is whether Freddy “Krueger” Lugos can translate his Manalapan Triple AAA stats to the Big Leagues.  The Marlboro Softball League does not play with juiced balls.  If Freddy can come close to Schef’s perennial 550-600 Batting average, then they have a chance to be good.  If on the other hand, as so many before, Freddy has trouble with a Clincher in his first time in “The Big Leagues”- then things could fall apart quickly.  Word has it – there have been bets placed between team members on who finishes with the higher batting average. Steve or Freddy.  Monmouth Park already has it on their a la carte betting sheets (Steve is -130 on the money line).  Should be fun watching this team all year.  Question Mark #2 will be the health of their 10th round pick, or was it their 9th round pick? Or was it their 8th round pick?   Was it Jeff Yigdal or Uncle Leo? As Dirty Harry once said…”to tell you the truth I forgotten in all this excitement”.   After double checking with Wallman- he has confirmed it was Uncle Leo.  Without a real back up pitcher, Steve better hope Uncle stays healthy.  If he does- I can easily see this team going back to the finals.  Aside from the steady pitching Uncle will provide- they have solid defense.  We think.  And that depends on Question Mark #3- whether newbie Matt Mannochio can handle SS.  I say he will and can. In which case a championship is a real possibility. Getting Chris Holmes in the 4th round is an absolute steal.  Ask Apple, how valuable Chris was in his championship run last year.  And should Schef walk off with the championship, Chris will have been a big part of consecutive championships. I guess the 4th question mark is whether Chris Holmes brings that championship magic to Team Schef in 2019.

No question marks with the rest of the team-you know what you are going to get from Jr and Sr- lots of hustle and grit from Jr and a steady, solid bat from Sr.  Johnny T – one of Schef’s secret weapons- great glove at first- great clubhouse guy- and when he connects the ball can go a long way - a steal in the 8th round (Ed. Note: a Bobito fave).  Speaking of faves- Joey O quickly becoming a Schef fave. That spot used to be reserved for Buck.  Word has it newbie Fazzino is a stud at 3b- with a cannon for an arm.  Johnny T and Les G better hold onto those rocket throws, or Freddy WILL BE a “Nightmare on Union Hill Rd”.  Speaking of Les G- another solid pick at 10- he can still hit.  Ask Uncle Leo about whether Les can hit- as he broke Leo’s  finger in a BP accident last year. I understand Les hand delivered a box of chocolates to Lehman’s office for Uncle- ensuring there are no hard feelings.  Which is good news for Team Schef- let’s get all the undercard stuff out of the way- because the main event will be Freddy vs the rest of Team Schef.  Good luck fellas

 

 

Projected Record- 19-3

Team Grade

Offense- A-

Defense- A

Pitching- B

Speed- B

Projected Post Season Awards

Rookie of the Year- Matt Mannochio

Offensive Player of the Year- Steve Shefkind (ensuring he stays a 2 next year)

MVP- Steve Shefkind (possibly vaulting him into the first round next year)

Def OF- Chris Holmes

CY Young- Leo Friedlich or his replacement

Mr Nice Guy/Sportsmanship- Fred Lugos

MGR of The Year- Freddy Krueger

 

 

TEAM JACOBY – ACTION AUTO
It was a comforting sight to see the thrice retired /unretired Papi Geeg sitting with fellow YITS TW and MG at the draft table and once retired Gabagol sitting with the rest of the hands crossed/heads buried in their arms board members.  All was right on draft day now!   And the solid draft legacy of Papi Geeg would be tested in all the madness swirling around him.  In fact, he was but a handful of managers that did NOT make a trade before or during the draft (though he did make a team salvaging deal post draft- more on that later).  First major test of the draft for JJ was whether to take third son/ambulette driver/commissioner JOMO or BFF Justin Callow AKA TDOW.  Knowing the Harris/Pollack trade relied on Callow being there for BH - and Callow might find a soft landing spot- he went with his third son JOMO.  And there is nothing wrong with that -reliable ambulette drivers are hard to find.  Plus, after last year’s rash of injuries- and disastrous regular season and then a trip to the semis, there was unfinished business to take care of in 2019 for father and son.  At the back of the second round JJ plucked new Bobito fave Calamia – a great team guy and versatility - as he can play SS and 3B- and an absolute electric BP bat.  No doubt has the talent to have a break out year.  A steal- this author predicts. Then comes the controversial pick- Lambo in the 3rd.   Pitchers were at a premium and the wily JJ knew coming back in the fourth, his semifinals pitcher may not be there.  An early and understandable reach.  Then post softball games, BBQ BFF Perloff was taken – a solid and steady OF- but JJ will have to keep an eye on the Excel attendance chart with Mikey P , as the depth on this team is a little thin.  A Perloff absence will significantly test (and likely hamper) the Team Geeg depth.   Then the pick that haunted Geeg until the draft concluded- The Murphys.  Let’s be clear – from a softball perspective a steal in the 5th  round- BUT regular season games missed AND a possible playoff round missed made this a problematic pick for a team already looking at way too many absences.  Geeg had stomach cramps for the duration of this marathon draft.  But as the draft concluded guess who made a B Line right to Eddie F?   Not wasting a moment, in case Big Ed made a stealth exit from the draft.  JJ was right on top of Big Ed, who quickly embraced a Murphy reunion.  There are some players and managers that are just meant to play with each other every year- and Big Ed and Murph belong in that category.  And Geeg got Intoci out of the deal- and while there is a slight offensive drop off - Intoci provides the same solid  D, and was a big part of Shef’s run to the finals last year.  So, you know he is battle tested. And oh, by the way, gets to be reunited with Difedele.  Another Regency eligible softballer who must be drinking a Ponce De Leon punch. How the F does this guy play as he does with all that grey hair?  DF is a MSL wonder.  But prone to injuries and missed games.  Then you have the coming off the 60 day DL duo of JJ and POMO.  They both looked good and healthy when spotted at the tryouts- but those were serious injuries they had last year.  Wish both lots of luck in their comeback. Team Geeg could use it as well.  There is a theme with Team Geeg here – and attendance, injuries, and gamers is her Name-O.  Any absences because of injuries – again will test their depth. Newbie Levine looks like he can hit, but JJ will have to work some of his managerial magic to rotate him into comfortable defensive spot. Dille and Foxy are solid vets- and solid picks where JJ got them in the draft.  Versatile and useful players.  AND- given all those absences and potential injuries they will play a significant role on this team. Keenan and Herman, I predict will be much better players than years past- making this a very tough line up to face top to bottom.  A little thin defensively as discussed before – so absences or injuries could be a problem- but lots of youth, veteran presence and UPSIDE. It’s clear to me now that the family separation policy enacted by the board was the perfect excuse for JJ to come back into the lion’s den and do what he likes best- mock drafts.  Only second to the real thing.  It also keeps alive JJ’s chances for consideration for MGR of the DECADE . 

Projected Record- 10-12

Team Grade

Offense- C

Defense- B-

Pitching- B-

Speed- C

Projected Post Season Awards

Offensive Player of the Year- Frank Calamia

DEF OF- JOMO

MGR of The Year- JJ

 

TEAM WALLMAN - PRINCETON
When the numbers dropped Friday Morning so did Todd’s jaw.  Number 18??? Last pick in the draft for the wily veteran manager, though with a very nice “benefit of the doubt rating” as well.  Let’s be clear, for most managers this would be a problem- but in this deep draft and for this manager – bring it on!  Ordinarily, you can pencil in JY in the second round for Toddly- even JY knew when the numbers were drawn, he would have to sweat it out through the second and third round to land back on Team TW.  And both JY and TW were handsomely rewarded with that patience as TW got JY as the last pick in the 3rd- AND, oh by the way, arguably the best all around pitcher in the league in Dave Polzer, with the “JY second round slot”.  And let’s not forget TW’s first round pick- up and coming MSL star Saler with the last pick in the first round.  What a start!  Then TW calmly and with purpose walked over to yours truly (suffering from “what do I do about the lack of pitching syndrome”), who to this point did not have a pitcher and when newbie manager Lombardi through a monkey wrench into Bobito’s plan to get The Drashinskys with the 4,8,11 and DD as his pitcher- Todd was right there to “assist” his old former co playoff MVP of 2004, Bobito.  So, in moving up in the 4th- Bobito was able to salvage his pitching issue and get the wily veteran (who must continue to be drinking that Ponce De Leon punch)- Steve Yockel.   But TW, showing no mercy, got a haul in draft slots in return.  And boy was he able to take advantage- Mean Gene Conseylea in the 4th- who was ticketed as his TW’s 4th anyway.  And then with his favorable positioning in each round going forward- bada bing bada boom- rookie Ziolkowski in the 6th round, who everyone loved at the tryouts and think he can be this year’s Ballo.  Lurie and Lehman, back to back filling in holes at 3B and OF. Doc Balar’s addition not only serves as a great bat and glove at first but ensures there is medical care for the inevitable MSL injury that will occur. That Todd thinks of it all! Then TW, shying away from the Levis and Israelites opts for the Cohens- Douglas and Gary.  Again, thinking of every angle -gets a second board member as a bonus. Ya never know!  And in between all of this madness- had time to scold Schef for nearly abandoning his consiglieri Uncle Leo.  Amazing draft room composure.  And still had the wherewithal with all this madness going on- to take advantage of that wonderful 12th/13th turn pick and get to say, “you can never go wrong with Bickoff and Bickoff in this spot”.  Getting the Bickoffs there is yet another draft day steal.  TW got to sit back and enjoy watching as others grapple with who will be left in the 13th round.  When the dust settled, I think it is fair to say TW and J Brock won the day in this draft.  For TW, a solid infield defense with the kitchen closed up the middle with Big Dave. The aforementioned MSL star Saler manning LCF – Mean Gene in LF, Lehman in RCF, and likely G Cohen in RF.  There are no weaknesses in the field- except when TW somehow must rotate in “the other Cohen” into RF.   Offensively, just straight forward solid up and down the lineup.  Again, other than “the other Cohen” no visible outs in the lineup.  The good news for this team- I predict a division title, and a trip to the finals. And a solid chance for TW to get his first title as a manager, closing out the decade with consideration for Pollacks MGR of the decade with a title, and the second YIT title.  The bad news is that TW will need to come up with a new oral argument before the court (AKA The MSL board) regarding his rating in 2020.

Projected Record- 16-6

Team Grade

Offense- A

Defense- A

Pitching- A

Speed- B

Projected Post Season Awards

Rookie of the Year- Ziolkowski

Offensive Player of the Year- Saler

MVP- Polzer

Def OF- Saler

Def IF – Wallman (ensuring a drop to at least a 4 in 2020)

CY Young- Polzer

Mr Nice Guy/Sportsmanship- G Cohen

Most Improved- Balar

MGR of The year- Wallman

 

VM Cleaning (Pollock)     

PRE DRAFT QUESTION/THOUGHTS-The running joke amongst the captains pre-draft this year seemed to be: "What will Pollock be giving up to take Infante #1 overall again?"   With Saturday ending (Draft day eve) without the Marlboro insiders setting off any "Woj Bombs" regarding Pollock trading up, and with options like Carroll or Callow likely to be available with their 1st round pick, general consensus was that they didn't need to.  However, one cannot believe the amount of action that occurs pre-draft morning and this year that happened to an EXTREME.  Before the captains in the room could take a bite of the free bagels, the first and second overall picks were traded, and the captains had to be ready to draft with the start in less than 5 minutes...  

 

ANALYSIS-Pollock surrendered much less than last year to make the blockbuster trade and got their guy (THE BACK 2 BACK MVP!) without breaking a sweat, #1 overall.  Then Clampffer fell to them as the last number 2 and the dynamic duo was back.  Jordan Rosenthal at the 4 pick is a steal and gives them a potent offensive attack that includes the Pollock bros, DMeyer and SCHWAG, not to mention Big F'N Pers. This is a very "typical Pollock" team (aka nothing matters but slugging % and friendship), and they even got their guy Mark Goldberg to rejoin the league so he can give his patented pre-game speeches. You will certainly need to score 10+ runs to beat them most weeks, and with Clampf on the mound, good luck.  

 

POST-DRAFT BACKLASH-The team's weakness would be OF defense (compared to league Avg.) as their depth chart of OFs is currently: Pollock, Pollock, Feingold, SCHWAG, and Klein.  Also the lack of speed on the team is a bit alarming.

 

PLAYOFF PREDICTION-With the combo of being in a very tough division, mixed with Clampffer missing some games and a dicey OF, this team may lose a bit more than expected in the regular season.  However, this team is one of my favorites once playoff time comes around and would not be surprised if they make a late post-season run.  I remember thinking their OF was not that good 2 years ago and we all know what happened then...

 

Record: 12-10

  

BEST PICKS: Infante, Rosenthal, Persily (11th round!)

 

GRADES:

Hitting: A

Defense: C

Speed: D

Pitching: A+

 

Potential Award Winners:

MVP-Infante

CY Young-Clampf

DEF INF: Infante

Most Improved: T Klein

Mr. Nice Guy: Persily

 

CENTRAL (by Jason Younger and Frank LaRocca)

 

LJ KUSHNER (HARRIS) - BOBITO GETS HIS MAN

Draft weekend could not have started out any better for Bobby Harris who learned early Friday morning that he was holding the golden ticket, the coveted number one pick overall in the Infante sweepstakes.  Problem for Harris, though, was that this draft was considered much deeper than last year and no one knew for sure if Team Pollock would offer anything close to what they did last year.  Heading into the draft, no official trade was known and the room was tense over the possible fallout of a Pollock move to number 1.  8:01 Harris strolls in more relaxed than I have ever seen him.  8:02 Pollock strolls in with a shit eating grin.  The deal was done.  Applebaum turned white and ran over to Cowboy Mike, who himself got an instant erection. Byko and LaRocca panicked – Jacoby smiled (to be continued in Byko review).   When all was said and done, Harris traded down to 11 in the first in exchange for the 8th overall pick in the second round.  Doesn’t sound like much compared to last year’s ransom, but the deal was actually very good for Bobby.  He got his guy JC as the one, and Corde, who many thought of as a one himself, in the second round.  With the first pick of round 3 he picked the Sandler combo, who many thought would last longer, but this writer believes will have a breakout year at virtually any position.  Grabbing Scotty-doo as a 12 is also a bargain.  In fact, unlike many teams, Harris also built his team from the bottom up, grabbing Turtzy in the 11th and Welcome Back Cotter (not my joke, this was actually said by Harris) in the 10th.  In fact, 1 through 12 on this roster can play a position.  His smart picks will hopefully make up for his below average 13 – LOL.  So, you can see I like the top and bottom of this draft – how about the middle?  I like it too.  Poppa in the fourth gives you a good fielding, very good hitting, strike throwing lefty, and in this pitcher poor draft, seems like a great fit for Harris.  Veterans Hor and Long add excellent hitting and flexible fielding, with rook Nick Lombardi and vet B Thompson giving Bobby many options defensively.  The key to this defense, for me, is if Chase can kill it at SS.  If he does, and I expect he will, it is gonna be hard to score runs on LJ Kush this year.  As an offensive lineup, this team has six guys that have the potential of hitting over .500, with 3 guys that can clear the fences at Union Hill.  WAIT, lest I forget the return of Barbesh, who is expected to weigh in somewhere under his career batting average by opening day!!!  If he does, he is a solid outfielder who will move runners over when at the plate. 

 

 

Predicted record: 13-9

 

Grades for:

Hitting: A-

Defense: B+

Speed: B-

Pitching: B+

 

Potential Award Winners:

Rookie of the Year : Corde

Best Beard/MVP: Callow

 

GASTRO OF OCEAN (BYKOFSKY) – MY GUY POLGUY

One thing for certain about draft weekend is that trade rumors, draft selections, and general stories of bullshit run rampant.  For the captain, you have to make a decision to “get your guys” and since the “numbers” were announced, Byko was on a mission to do just that.  Having worked the phones until the wee hours pre-draft, the mega deal to get Polguy in the 3rd dissolved when Harris traded the 1 and Apple traded the 2 allowing Cowboy Mike to get his boys.  Knowing he was taking Amadeo as an early 2, Byko went to work with Sarcona and made a deal to grab Polguy as his 3 leaving JJ rattled as most mocks had Polguy going to Jacoby in the 3rd. Now, with the average team height hovering around 5”5”, he went with Joel “1BONLY” Zaretsky and 2nd year stud McElrath, a solid defender (infield or outfield) with pop.  Seeing as though there was a shortage of pitchers, JB decided on a strategy to go with Polguy if he had to, rather than over-drafting a pitcher (see Jacoby infra.) Strategies like this have proven to be risky in the past, but Justin went on to pass Katz in the sixth, securing a previous “pitcher” in Cruz the 7th. (note: average height after Cruz now at about 5’7”)  Versatile infielders in Yiggy and returning player Scher (formerly a shortstop in this league), followed by upside rookie Sanvenero were all smart picks to conclude Gastro’s B selections in this draft.  As for the bottom, not many people in this draft did better.  Snagging Billy-boy in a guilt trade with LaRocca and Nate the Great at 12 give this captain 12 players that can play a position and run.  (average height back down to 5’6”)  However, perhaps the greatest score for this captain fell right in his lap as standout pitcher Marty Safchick fell all the way to him as the last pick in the draft.  A devastating pitcher with a decently powerful left-handed bat only landed here because he is missing week one of the playoffs.  To me, this is not a problem at all.  Let Marty pitch, but give Cruz innings.  If Byko does this his pitching core is solid and deep, which is going to be needed if it doesn’t rain opening round of the playoffs.  If he falls in love with Marty’s pitching, which will not be hard to do, he could be in trouble for the opening round if Cruz doesn’t have any meaningful innings.  One final problem I see with this team may be chemistry as at least two guys here were hoping to follow Juice and be members of Team Shwagg (and that’s not even including Polguy and JZ).  Maybe next year boys.

 

Predicted record: 14-8

 

Grades for:

Hitting: A-

Defense: A-

Speed: A

Pitching: B

 

Potential Award Winners:

Defensive Outfielder: Byko

Comeback Player of the Year: Safchick

 

 

OVOX GYM (GOLDFARB) FIVE GOLDEN TOOLS

When it seemed as though everyone else was scrambling about their first pick, the winningest manager of the decade sat tight and grabbed “The Patrolman”…. “Mr. 5 Tools”…… Marlboro’s own….Officer Anthony DiMarco.  Not only did DiMarco instantly improve Goldy’s team GQ appeal, but it provided him with a lights-out LCF and a very dangerous bat - - - just ask him while he is signing softballs for his fans!!!  Seriously, sitting at 3 there is always that long wait back for your second pick.  When I saw Goldy shifting in his chair a few times, I expected a move for him to try and secure the Broomes and/or Alfieri (Alex BFFs).  Turns out Guy was just experiencing gas from the bagels and shmear that Joey bought for the captains.  His failure to trade seemed disastrous as Fradkin snagged Alfieri to play LCF and LaRocca took the formerly coveted Broomes to sure up his middle defense.  After that pick I honestly expected Guy’s head to turn red.  But nothing.  No reaction. Maybe it wasn’t gas after all.  Maybe, just maybe, Guy was bursting with excitement at the thought of snagging Mike Paladino (a perennial 1st rounder) to cover short stop for him late in the second round.  (It is believed that Guy was heard after the draft saying “I have an upgrade at both positions and those kids have messed up my house and drank all my liquor for far too long!!!)  Guy then snagged Evan “Ovox” Rosenthal in the 4th.  This kid is a stud, he can play infield when R Paladino misses games and start easily in the outfield on any team.   Big Banger Ballo was picked in the 5th, followed by the Rubin combo (outfield and pitcher) at 6/9 – - - very good value here as some had the Rubin combo going as early as the 4th round.  After the 6th, Guy only had two picks to fill, familiar Salerno at 7 and Beef Iorio at 10. Both guys can connect at any given time and are versatile in the field with Beef being a backup pitcher.  Offensively, the top half of this lineup can mash and has some speed (very fast outfield with DiMarco, Alex, Rubin and Eddie).  That speed diminishes somewhat in the middle and bottom half of the lineup (sans Eddie).  Look for Reese Goldfarb and Eddie P to build on their improved hitting and turn in solid seasons offensively.  This will be a different Goldy team than last year, but one that the captain prefers with a mixture of young and veteran players, with speed and power.  Defensively, this team is also solid.  If R Paladino can play like he did in his team’s playoff run last year, this team will be difficult to score on. 

 

 

Predicted record: 12-10

Grades for:

Hitting: B

Defense: A

Speed: B+

Pitching: B

 

Potential Award Winners:

Defensive Outfielder: DiMarco

MVP: DiMarco

Most Tools: DiMarco

GQ Cover: DiMarco

Charlie Hustle: Beef/Eddie P

MARRONE - NJ Salt

NJ Salt spent the winter promoting their brand in preparation for the 2019 Marlboro Softball season.   Captain Marrone surprised nobody with his first 2 picks in Conti and BFF Doc.  2 picks and Marrone secured 3 monster bats but what nobody saw coming was his draft would essentially end at 9:01am when 3 open picks locked up 10 rounds of the draft for NJ Salt.  Marrone used 5 picks when he took Z Kruass and his entire extended family.  The board may have to limit family protections in 2020 as we continue to look to RIP FAMILIES APART.  All that was left was to fill in the 8th, 11th and 13th which meant sitting and watching the draft for the next 3 plus hours like all the rest of us mental patients. Back from a season off Tommy T gives this team even more pop and at the end of the day, NJ Salt is very balanced with good defense, hitting, power, pitching and speed.  Also the author of this review would never say anything bad about a Doc squad in fear of receiving a defensive text 3 minutes after predictions are released.  Could the Conti duo make it back to back championships???  This team could have all the tools to make a deep post season run.

 

14&8

Offense: B

Defense: A

Pitching: B+

Speed: B

 

GRANESE - Sentinel
When Jim Lombardi was named 2019’s newest manager, the question everyone asked was “Who would MG draft to pitch with Lombardi now unavailable?”  Captain MG rallied hard in the off season to have Lombardi take over the captainship that was vacated by Pat Pingaro after an illustrious 18 minute managing career.  Everyone knew MG would work a trade and go chalk grabbing his beloved outfield combo of Spann and Joraskie which he did.  Steinberg in the 4th was a steal by MG and getting the self-proclaimed greatest arc hitter Richie Spear in the 5th had this team looking good.  Adding Katz to pitch in the 6th was a no brainer and MG was feeling no pain but on the way back in the 7th the guy MG rallied for 2 years to have his own team was punched in the gut by that same guy Captain Lombardi when he stole MG’s very own Zim (literally one pick before).  More disconcerting was the remorseless smirk Lombardi flashed at MG when he yelled out “ZIM ZIM ZIM”.   The leagues newest captain proved that there are few friends in the Marlboro softball draft room and worst of all Lombardi left his mentor MG dazed and confused.   That blow may have proved to be fatal to Sentinel’s season as MG in need of outfielders selected 3 first basemen, another starting pitcher and 3 catchers with his final 7picks.  So many defensive questions for this squad – who is starting on the mound, who is starting in Left and who is starting in right??? Can one of MG’s 2 new rookies step up and man the corner outfield?  The only way Lombardi can salvage his relationship with MG at this point is find a way to get Sentinel Pat Brock, otherwise we have to assume MG’s Italian blood will boil for years to come.

 

7&15

Offense: C

Defense: B

Pitching: C

Speed: A

 

APPLE - Jiffy Lube

Coming off a championship, Captain Apple sat in the coveted 2 hole for the 2019 Marlboro Softball draft.  Apple had his pick of studs but moments before the draft began he announced he was trading his lottery pick back for an early 2 and 4 pick.  The trade worked out great for Apple as he landed 2018’s rookie stud hitter Dinapoli in the 11th open spot.  Apple added first ballot hall of famer SS Gluck in round 2 and best pal Melnyck a round later.  Speedy Tracy was a nice addition to the outfield and team was looking good.  Captain Apple went all veterans the rest of the way and the biggest surprise of all was a post draft trade that brought recently retired from managing Pat Pingaro home to Apple.   After a 2018 championship it’s hard to question the man and his picks but I will.   Will Burnsy (finally paroled from Maximum Security Randell) prove to be a formidable starting pitcher in this league???  If he struggles will Jaeger be willing to take the mound full time??? Who is going to be providing the extra base hits for this team???   If the pitching works out this team should be ok defensively but struggle to score runs. 

 

8&14

Offense: C

Defense: B

Pitching: C

Speed: B

WEST (by Mitch Pollock and Matt Granese)

 

Team Fradkin – FRADKIN LAW

Absolutely no one was surprised last year when a loaded Team Fradkin tied for the league in runs scored. Like most of the teams who performed phenomenally in the regular season, the playoffs turned sour. Will this year’s group match last year’s offensive juggernaut and maybe advance further in the playoffs? There are more unanswered questions with Team Fradkin than most any other team in the league. Can Fradkin hold up as a pitcher? The intimidating factor alone should give him advantage. No one is going to want to hit up the middle against him.  And then of course is the unknown factor of four rookies. Pretty ironic considering Ed was a no-show for the Saturday tryout. While Joe Pargament has the pedigree to be a future star in the league, it might take time for him to reach his full potential. Not many 18-year-olds come in and dominate the league. Still as an athletic sixth rounder, a strong rookie showing can help propel the team to a good season. Meanwhile picking up the Rosenstock combo(Mike plays RCF, Eric plays 3B. Figure it out, people!) was a savvy pick. With Murphy and Alfieri joining Mike in the OF, Ed has a solid group ready to track down the long fly balls that might come from a first-time   full time pitcher. I don’t expect this year’s team to score as many runs as the 2017 club, so Fradkin is going to have to have to establish himself as a top tier pitcher if they’re going to approach the 16-6 record from last year. I’m still expecting a solid season even if it doesn’t reach last year’s record.

 

Record: 12-10

 

Offense: B

Defense: B+

Pitching: B

Speed: C+

 

Potential Award Winners:

Offensive POY: Ed Fradkin

Most Intimidating Mound Presence: Ed Fradkin

Most “Nobody can tell us apart even though we’ve been in this league for several years and don’t even look alike”- Mike and Eric Rosenstock

Team Randell – HOT CORNER

Let’s start with the obvious. This team’s success largely depends on how good the three rookies (Goldrosen, Lysczak, and Ciaglia) perform. All three are solid picks on paper, but history has shown that drafting rookies with high draft picks do not lead to championship glory. Only one rookie this decade was drafted in the first three rounds and won a championship that year(Polzer in 2010). That being said, this is a very solid Randell offense. Eric Becker is one of the best sluggers in the game and offers nice versatility as an outfielder/pitcher. Evan Binder had a huge sophomore season and will outproduce the round he was taken. The same goes for Rick Schindelheim, who is perennially the most underrated slugger in our league. What remains to be seen is how Randell’s defense will play out. Is it going to be Binder, Goldrosen, or Lysczak taking over shortstop duties? Is it going to be Kessler or Becker on the mound? As mentioned, Becker can certainly pitch, but where does that leave the outfield? I’ve been part of teams where positions are uncertain until it plays itself out. Sometimes it leads to a championship(2011) and sometimes it leads to a 5-17 record(2013). Right now I’ll split the difference.

 

Projected Record: 10-12

Offense: B

Defense: C+

Pitching: B

Speed: B+


Potential Award Winners:

 

ROY: Jeffrey Goldrosen and Mike Lysczak

Name Most Likely To Be Misspelled In All Recaps, So He Needs a Cool Nickname Right Away: Mike Lysczak

Charlie Hustle: Rich Wolle

Team Lapine – (VACTIONS BY ELISSA)
This year Lapine went with the young and the new. 6 guys on this team have been in the league fewer than 6 years while the other 7 have been around forever. Let’s start with the new. Carroll proved last year that he belongs on the shortlist for most feared sluggers in the league. His second year should only see him become more consistent, a true MVP candidate. It was nice to see Specchio come back as a replacement player last year and show why he was a top rated rookie in 2017. Like Carroll, Specchio is only going to keep better. WIth his top two picks, Lapine has two players who can easily perform as high 1s. In my review of Team Randell, I’ve already given my personal taste for drafting rookies early in the draft. My notes on Bomba and Catania are very high, but there is always going to be a risk factor. Bomba in particular is going to be trusted with perhaps the most important position on the field. I believe he will be perfectly fine on the mound, but there might be trouble if there is an adjustment period. Catania looked super smooth defensively in his tryouts, but there should be an expected growing pains period offensively that comes from joining the league. There’s a reason why Lapine took Trojani and Frey for a second time, and they should also be expected to improve on promising rookie seasons. As for the veterans, Team Lapine broke the Pollocks’ hearts by taking fan favorite Jordan Krant. Krant is the perfect versatile player who can hold down second base or play an excellent right center if he’s needed there. Dave Senss was the perfect pick(and a steal) at round 6. He’ll provide this team a much needed boost offensively in case the rookies need time to get acclimated. Taub, Bobby Frey, and Eisenbergs are perfect veteran picks who will contribute both on the field and to the team chemistry. I’m a believer in this team both on offense and in the field. When push comes to serve I think Bomba will step in and do a good job on the mound. He is going to be the most important piece of the puzzle. Assuming he pitches well, Lapine is my pick to win the division.

 

Projected Record: 13-9

 

Offense: A-

Defense: B+

Pitching: B+

Speed: B

 

Potential Award Winners:

MVP: Tom Carroll

ROY: Kevin Bomba

Most Determined To Make The Pollocks Even More Upset That We Could Not Trade For Him: Jordan Krant

 

Sarcona (PARABOLIC): 

Sitting quietly in the back of the draft room, Lenny had to be filling pretty confident with the 5th overall pick in the draft.  Everyone knew that Dimarco and Lugos would be off the board, so Lenny could narrow his selections down to 3.   First up, was last year’s rookie offensive star Jeremy Pastor, a SS who can also move to the OF if needed so a great start.   With his next pick he did the right thing and gobbled up the league’s favorite orange jew fro in Jared Goldberg- seems like this kid has been in the league since he was 7.  But Lenny quickly tired of the safe chalky picks and instead engaged in a softball menage a trois with Byko and Larocca that left the three of them standing up near the front of the room explaining who’s pick was whose, who was up next, mayhem.  In the end, Lenny grabbed the veterans Roland and MG cuz Drapkin and added a couple very solid looking rookies in Ferro and Perrone.   Yet another trade with Randell brought home some Lenny core guys include the Grant brothers and the always enjoyable “Welcome home Skippy” announcement.    Solid pitching will keep this team on course  for most of the year but will the new players help push this squad north of .500?  Will Brian Walker have anything left in the tank? 

 

11-11

Grades:

Hitting- B

Defense: B+

Speed:  C-

Pitching: A

Awards:  Pastor for offensive player, Ferro ROY candidate

 

Ferresse (ACE)

Big Mike started his roster construction on the Saturday night before the draft and found it necessary to announce via his Cowboy Mike twitter feed that he’d be taking the Podolla/Thomas pick in the 7th.   That big reveal probably didn’t move the needle on too many captain’s radars but at least Mike could sleep easy knowing he’d have his main BFF squeezes in tow despite the Bomenblitts moving on to play for the defending champ Apples.  Fast forward to 8:25am and Apples and Cowboy Mike had swapped three early round picks.  Welcome home Eric and Richie!!   Mike was so distracted by his trading abilities that he proceeded to forget about his speed plan and left Joe Tracy on the table for former Marlboro High slinger (so I’ve been told) Kyle Dunleavy who should be an excellent add for this league.  Add in Scotty Seidenberg and Jeff Turner and Mr. Ferresse quickly transformed this team from speedy to base to base plodding fun.   Mike and Jeff Turner are not exactly the pitching options that build championships and one would think that the stud veteran lefty that was still lurking late in the draft might have been a solid add?   In the end, last year’s rookie captain who started slow but finished strong will have his hands full getting this team headed in the right direction.  Prediction another 2-6 start, but a solid finish to respectability.     

 

9-13

Grades:

Hitting- B-

Defense: C

Speed:  C

Pitching: D+

Awards:  None

 

Lombardi (CK’S)

Question:  How long does it take for a new captain to become the face of evil?  Answer: 7 rounds.   When the new guy drafts his former “four time” captain’s softball BFF in the 7th round of his first draft without remorse and with a nice handful of OF options still available, clearly this guy is a rookie!  Or lives under a rock.   Recommendation to all future newbies.  When it gets to round 7 and beyond, the communication in the room should go like this:  “Hey, its late as hell here, I see you are UP in two picks, are you taking Zim/Leo/Podolla/Schwag/Schiffman/the Grants/Mark Goldberg/fill in blank with your next pick because I want to take them but I know you always take the guy here.     

Back to the action.  2019 being an odd numbered year is a perfect time for rookie captain Jim Lombardi to make his debut with the clipboard.  Jim and his brother Paul have been to the finals in four consecutive “odd” years winning championships in 2011 and 2015.  Will he continue that trend as a freshly minted Marlboro softball captain???   After spending the last four seasons with MG, which included a championship and another trip to the finals, Jim had his chance to lead his own squad and MG himself pushed hard for the guy to get his own team.    Jim was a presence at Wed night games and all the tryouts, but the fella just refused to show his cards so nobody knew who “Jim’s guys” would be in his first draft.   Jim’s response to who he was targeting:  “some pretty good infielders and outfielders out there I’ll be looking at.”  This guy won’t be replacing Cowboy Mike at the dinner anytime and with that being said, he snuck into the draft room Sunday morning and went about his business without anybody noticing.  No bathroom breaks, no questions, no arguments, no trades (clearly).   At the 12th spot in the draft knowing he would be the man on the mound, Jim could build his team however he chose, and he shocked the room leaving .700 hitting Nick Dinapoli on the board for Apples and instead grabbed speedy veteran Joe Peregine who is a solid pick that will man LCF.   Another surprise pick next in second year player Kyle Raventos who was drafted very high last year too, started slow, but had a very good 2nd half to help team LaRocca rebound to a high finish in 2018.   Next up a solid pick in Mark Goddard (will he finally get that chance to play SS this year?), and then WOW elevating the Drashinsky pick to a 4th rounder!! Oh my.  Harris and Brock panic??  Nah.  Looks like Dave will wait another year to be a full time pitcher.   After that, so solid veterans in Javy and Veneck and newbie Pat Harris.  But the key question here is will karma hold a dark cloud over this team all season?  Can Jim take his game to a new level and become the Cy Young candidate he probably would like to be without MG holding him back?  With Zim taking his talents to Lombardiland, anything is possible!


9-13

Grades:

Hitting- C-

Defense: B

Speed:  B+

Pitching: A-

Awards:  Zimm-MVP, Offensive player

 

 

TEAM

AVG AGE

EST.  G/M

FORECASTED AVG

POLLOCK

42.77

34.5

0.435

SARCONA

40.00

29

0.433

HARRIS

45.38

23

0.432

RANDELL

39.23

17.5

0.431

BYKOFSKY

42.00

34.2

0.430

APPLE

40.92

23.5

0.426

WALLMAN

45.08

25

0.424

BROCK

40.54

30

0.422

LAROCCA

39.92

21

0.419

LAPINE

48.23

24.5

0.416

FRADKIN

40.46

22

0.411

JACOBY

39.15

25

0.409

LOMBARDI

43.31

28.5

0.409

GRANESE

43.15

20

0.408

SCHEF

49.92

21

0.407

MARRONE

38.15

26.5

0.398

GOLDFARB

34.77

33

0.393

 

 
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