2022 DRAFT RECAPS/PRE-SEASON PREDICTIONS
Friday, 01 April 2022 13:40

2022 DRAFT RECAPS / PREDICTIONS
By Jason Younger, Frank LaRocca, Ed Fradkin, Mike Ferrarese, Ben Kessler and Seth Drashinsky

 

1- GOLDFARB (EB Contruction)

In a draft deep with number one picks, it is always an advantage to be sitting at number 18 and waiting to see which 2 studs fall to you.  With this draft spot and the new “reverse penalty” (Alex as a 5) in their pocket, Team Farb sat tight and shunned all calls regarding possible trades.  In the 2022 draft, Guy felt that those two studs were Tony and Eric {awkward pause}.  While some may question the dynamic duos sobriety and nutrition plans, both of these guys are gamers that will [likely] show up ready to play.  They may want to play beer pong or cornhole, but play they will!

Guy then reunites with former Farbian Sal Alfieri in the 3rd, a no brainer pick to play LCF or SS and a great compliment to Tony who is also as flexible.  Top of the 4th he selects Weiss who can also man multiple infield and outfield spots and has a solid bat that can spray the ball all over.  If not for his potential missed games, I would have extoled this pick....but with the aforementioned flexibility, perhaps I am over thinking this one. 

The rest of Guy’s draft was a snooze fest with perennial picks of KP, Grant Gang G-unit Gs, Salerno and Joe O (love Joe-O).   Possible opening day lineup: Becker P; Weiss SS; Sal LC; Tony RC; KP LF; Alex 2B; Salerno 3B; Becker RF; Grant/Joe O 1B; and a rotation of catchers.  Board Member RG is valuable to this team with his improved bat and ability to be the backup (or relief) pitcher, 3rd baseman and all around team guy.

BEST PICK: KP (5); Alfieri (3)
WORST PICK: E. BECKER (DND)
RECORD: 12-10
OFFENSE: B+. The lineup is actually pretty long here.  Solid hitters 1-8 who each have the potential to bat over .500.  ROC GRANT at 8 is an absolute steal.   Improved J Becker and RG at 9, 10 and best hitting 11 Joe-O with his 1987 bat are a great hitting lower middle combo.

DEFENSE B+. FLEXIBILITY and depth rule.  Becker can actually close his eyes and field the ball on the mound, which is actually the only way he can catch it. 

SPEED: C. Besides Sal, KP can still hustle and Weiss is quick.  The rest, not so much.

PITCHING: The sooner they switch to RG, the better they are.  Becker is a very good pitcher for 5 innings until his twisted lemonade tea beer IPA malt white claws kick in.

POST SEASON AWARDS:

Most Improved: Ryan Grant
Cy Young: Ryan Grant
Charlie Hustle: Ryan Grant

 

2-BOMENBLIT (Green Cut Asset Mgt)

First off, congrats to my younger brother Eric on getting the helm. For me, I no longer have to spread rumors that Richie has AIDS in hopes that they’ll drop to me in the draft. First question for this team is “who will bring all the equipment since E and R only show up 5 minutes into the 1st inning?” Going into the draft, EB had a clear game plan for this draft that seemed to go as planned early on. With his first official pick as captain, he selected an elite pitcher in Clamp as part of his plan but also brings up question #2 in “how epically bad will the relationship be between Richie and Clamp?” Must-see TV… sign me up. In the 4th, EB was hoping to snap longtime teammate Joe Joraskie but settled for Perrone, who is younger and most likely better. Coming into the 5th was Eric’s best move of the day in grabbing the Perry/Schef/Tritto combo which I think ties the whole room together. First, for those who may have forgotten, Perry P was a huge bat and solid 3B when we last saw him and Schef is a professional player and offers a wealth of captainly advice. After this move, Eric went to the Lapine playbook and picked 4 rookies with his final 5 available picks… so yeah… who knows. Tons of upside, tons of downside. Overall, he has the infield defense and pitching to be competitive. Power hitting might be a concerns but there are enough hitters to take them from station to station to compliment the low ERA of any Clamp team.

Record: 11-11

ROY: half the team

OPY: Eric Bomenblit

BDSS: Eric Bomenblit

Offense: B

Defense: A-

Speed: B+

Pitching: A

 

MOY: Eric Bomenblit

Most Likely to Make a Rookie Quit Mid-Year: Richie

 

3-LOMBARDI (Shore Smile)

Jim Lombardi came out of nowhere right at the start of the draft to trade up with Saint Patrick Pingaro to snag the 2nd overall pick.  Then in a bold move he selected the brothers Corde, which I think shocked many more than the actual trade itself.  However, Jim had a plan, and maybe a little inside information that Phil Corde really wanted to play outfield and not shortstop.  As a result, Jim then selected the rookie Bullen, who surprisingly lasted to the end of Round 3, to play shortstop.  Then at the top of Round 4, Jim added another excellent player in Jacobs to likely make one of the best outfields in the league with Corde, Corde and Jacobs.  In this writer’s mind, Jim had one of the top 3 drafts 1 through 4 in the entire league.  It was clear Jim had a plan and was able to accomplish what he wanted.

Overall, I think Jim had a very good draft, if not one of the best.  If he wins the championship, he should give Marrone a championship jacket for saving him from being forced to take on the Weisten/Randell/Randell pick at 11/12/13, as he was the last possible captain who had room for that combo.   He may have reached at 5 for the rookie Niederman to play third base, but that is always the issue when drafting a new player.  It could be a steal or a bust; only time will tell.  At 7 the same applies to Zach Schmidt, who some captains believe will prove to be better than where he was drafted.  Smalkin and Balar are gritty players who if they equal or exceed what they did in prior seasons will make Jim’s team extremely tough to beat. 

Jim has a solid team on paper, and if the three rookies, Bullen, Niederman and Schmidt come through for him, and Jim continues to pitch at the high level he has been at, this will be a team that will compete for a championship.   

 

Predicted record: 14-8

Grades for:
Hitting: B+
Defense: B
Speed: B
Pitching: B+
Power: B

Potential Award Winners:

Jim Lombardi: Cy Young

Offensive Player of the Year: Rob Corde

Rookie of the Year: Bullen or Phil Corde

Manager of the Year: Jim Lombardi

Most improved: Smalkin

 

4-LAPINE (Gastro)

There are a lot of people who poke fun at being drafted by Lapine, and in a league where social media and busting balls has taken on more of a role, one would hope that Denny the Legend understands that poking at him just means we still love him.  I had the honor of being with Denny my second year, and playing for him was one of my most memorable experiences in the league.   If there was ever a question as to who the face of Marlboro Softball was, let me answer it right now...it’s Dennis Lapine.  He has been an integral part of this league since before most of the current players were born.  He has played in over 20 All Star Games; multiple Mayor’s Trophy Games; and, many Championship Games, winning six (6) titles in his 45 year MMS career.   When he announced that this year would be his last as a captain and a player, many wondered if he would just “pick friends” or if he would try to end this amazing run, at 80 years old, as a champion.  Well for those of you who were foolish enough to wonder about Denny’s competitive spirit, the answer came with his first pick in the draft selecting Santigate as his top dog, followed up by George and absolute steal in the third round Patrick Brock.  Three picks made and he has a top SS, a top LF and a top LCF in place.  He follows this up with slugger Wags and a solid, but now skinny, Dave Meyer in the 5th.   Under rated Phil Getz is penciled in at 6 and then …. The Manochio combo (sans Mat) before getting his pitcher (Lambo + Keenan) in the 9th!  He did go with long time favorite Turtz in the 10th and DiMarco favorite O’connor at 11.    Possible opening day lineup has Santigate, SS; George, LF; Brock, LCF; Getz, RCF; Wags, 1B; Senior RF; Junior, 2B; Meyer, 3B; and Lambo pitching.  Keenan, Lapine and O’connor will rotate at C and fill in where needed.  This is a sound team with strong speed, power, defense and coaching that I expect to win a lot of games.

BEST PICK: LAMBO (9TH ridiculous steal)

WORST PICK: Nothing really here.  This was an excellent draft by Mr. Lay-Pine

RECORD: 13-9

OFFENSE: B+. Very strong 1-6 and better than average bottom will cause some teams fits.  If Lambo can bounce back from his recent off year, watch out.

DEFENSE: A-. Solid OF and strong infield lead by GHI Santigate

PITCHING: B. Getting Lambo in round 9 is insane.  While most would agree that he was in the “next tear” of pitchers, having the luxury of selecting an experienced veteran at 9 is a big advantage for this team.

SPEED: B-. Santigate and Brock can fly – so can Keenan (although not as fast as them).  The rest of the guys are quick for their age except for Paul – who does his best!

POST SEASON AWARDS:

CAPTAIN OF THE YEAR: LAPINE (While Denny did not draft an all friends team, he notably did not draft a

single rookie, which has not occurred since the strike shortened 1982 season)

MVP: GHI SANTIGATE

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: LAMBO

 

5-APPLE (IMN)

After an extended off-season and early elimination from the play-in game, Apple was ready get back to the madness. Entering the draft room with his quintessential ripped jeans and 2019 championship sweatshirt, the only thing on his mind was drafting a solid squad to bring himself back to the upper echelons of Marlboro Softball greatness. The rumors traveling down route 9 were deemed to be true. Apple and Frank worked out a pre-draft trade to swap picks 1-2-3-4-6 so that Frank can get his adopted son/world class shortstop Phil Saglietto and Apple can get central Jersey’s favorite divorce lawyer/pitching extraordinaire Ed Fradkin. Everyone goes home happy right?...WRONG. What nobody accounted for was rookie captain Rosenstock dropping a big ole deuce on the draft room, selecting the Fradkin man one pick before Apple. A stunned Apple had to think on his feet and reorganize his entire draft strategy. (Not an easy thing to do when you got JY saying “1 minute” every 5 seconds to make your pick)

Nevertheless, Apple went with stud outfielder Nick Turano at one. A very solid pick but will be guaranteed to miss 2 playoff games due to tying the knot (congrats on that by the way!). Knowing this, Apple would need to make sure he drafts a solid bat at two as they will be hitting twice during the playoff games Turano will be missing. Apple went with rookie shortstop Cole Fluta, who turned a lot of heads during the fall season and the tryouts. There is no doubt that Fluta will play a lockdown shortstop, though I am curious to see how his hitting will progress. I would have thought he might have gone with more of a bonafide proven bruiser (i.e., Sandler) at 2 since he will have to bat twice in the playoffs but hey, Apple has a few championships under his belt, the guy knows what he’s doing! Plus, how could you deny a shortstop with the fielding caliber of Fluta, almost too good to pass up. Then came a Marlboro Softball first, as Apple finally caved in and drafted his beloved brother-in-law and MMS vet, JZ! Coming off a championship nod, JZ will look to help keep the championship trophy in the family this spring. Joraskie at 4 will lockdown RCF and will fill-in nicely in LCF for Turano during the missed playoff games. The ageless wonder Steve Yockel will take the mound for the Apple squad (over/under on his average for this year folks is .650, a true gamer and masher). Rookie Sauce adds a nice lefty bat to lineup, and I think will be a great addition to this league. Look forward to seeing how he performs. The pick of the Fishman/Jaeger combo was as predictable as Rosenswaig to the Pollocks. Maybe Jaeger will get his opportunity to pitch? (jk, don’t ask him to do that, just ask Lapine). Miranda and championship third baseman Nick Lombardi were some nice late additions with Don’t Bring Me Down Bruce Cotter and professional hitter Scott Adler to close off the draft.

While it might not have gone as planned, I think Apple drafted a solid team and will have a good regular season. Will be interesting to see how this team holds up during the playoffs, but if they make it through the Turano-less games on-top, they could do some serious damage.

Predicted Record: 10-12

Hitting: B+

Fielding: B

Speed: B-

Pitching: B

Potential Award Winners: ROY: Fluta

 

6-POLLOCK (Genesis)

Want to start this recap by saying that whenever you get Mitch Pollock as a 3, even if an early 3, your team is going to be good. Add in the fact that Pollock was in a spot to draft one of the top SS (for the 500th straight year), and the Pollock Dynasty was just reloading on Sunday morning.

Everyone that knows me knows that I think Caputo is probably the best player in the league, and with every year he plays he’s only going to get better. Dinapoli might put the captains phone bill through the roof with texts and calls until the wee hours of the morning, but he continues to be a great hitter in this league and will be good protection with Mitch for Caputo. Roland enters his second year of a four year, 11 million dollar deal in right center and was recently seen buying a house on Matt Pollock’s block. 

The Turner pick at 6-8 will be an interesting one as the Pollocks decided to part ways from Schwag for the first time in a long time. Gio’s ceiling as a hitter is very high and should help give this team even some more pop and the Frey pick at 10-12 is one that everyone expected, just like they expect Steve to be there on Wednesday nights with a cooler. 

 

I don’t think this is the best team Matt and Mitch have ever put together, but still one that will be near the top of the league all year and not lose a game in June as always.

 

Predicted record: 13-9

Grades for:
Hitting: B+
Defense: B+
Speed: C+
Pitching: A

Potential Award Winners:
Caputo - MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Infielder of the Year
Matt Pollock-  CY Young
Gio - Most Improved

 

7- LAROCCA (LHRGC)

Coming off a 2021 championship, Captain Frank is playing with house money in 2022 .  A pre-draft trade with Apple moved Frank from 16 to 8 where everyone knew he was taking Sags.  The trade made sense for both parties as Apple wanted Big Ed and nobody expected ruthless rookie captain Stock to pick him off 1 pick prior.  In the 2nd, Frank asked for a 2nd round courtesy to play with his neighbor and swapped Bykp for JP. (very nice of Polzer grant a 2nd round courtesy)  In the 3rd, Frank went back to his MVP Pitcher Ronnie Carlin who comes with very generously rated MC6.  Woody in the 4th and Fazz in the 5th??? gives this team nice defense to start but not sure who is protecting Sags in this lineup.  The artist formerly know as Schwag in the 7th is a steal while Kane provides a nice bat in the 10th.  Frank secured Big Ralph 2 rounds earlier than he went last season.  We can assume that Ralph’s 2021 finals offensive explosion is what triggered that pick in the 11th.  Frank is another captain that guys love playing for so you can assume he will get max effort from this squad.  Unfortunately for Captain Frank this is not a lineup of Sags, Santa, Rosenthal, JZ and the Carlins so odds are against a repeat.  Ronnie on the mound keeps his team in every game and their defense is solid.  Sags is another fella that should prepare to not see a pitch at a fenced field after his first at bat. Scoring runs could be an issue for this squad. 

 

9 & 13    

 

8-DRASHINSKY (Tec-Tel)

It was a long offseason for Seth after a tough 2021 season as he wasn’t seen or heard of from September 8 to Hannukah figuring out how to rebound in 2022. I am quite confident this year will be much better, as the third year captain put together a really good squad. This team probably has the best outfield in the league, with three LCF caliber guys in the outfield when Jeff gets healthy and a solid infield with Intoci, Dan, Raucher, Valentin and Cruz. Valentin is a guy that’s going to be Mr. do it all for this team and will prove himself as a great piece to a winning team in this league. Back to Santa at 1, who like Dunleavy to Glen, was the worst kept secret in the league that Seth was taking his fellow Hooligan there. Unfortunately for me, I lost a bet to Santa’s now teammate Pezz that he would go top-10 overall (hows that for no faith?), but getting a guy who helped lead his team to a championship last year with a phenomenal rookie season is a great pick at 13. When Jeff is healthy come the summer (and do games even count before then anyway?), this team’s got two first round players on it and a load of good pieces behind them. Papa D will be throwing that knuckleball all the way to a very solid year for Team Drashinsky, who will have Starsky and Hutch (Raucher and Schiff) there at 7:30 every week blasting Led Zepplin. 

Predicted record: 13-9

Grades for:
Hitting: B+
Defense: A-
Speed: A-
Pitching: B

 

Potential Award Winners:
Santaromita - Defensive Outfielder of the Year
Jeff - Comeback Player of the Year
Dan - Most Improved (only because he was rated a 9 and will play like a 6)
Valentin - Rookie of the Year
Papa D - Sportsmanship & Charlie Hustle

 

9-KESSLER (Game Changer)

It is only appropriate that my first post-draft recap be for none other than my best friend, Benny Biceps. I can tell you that after numerous mocks and countless hours of talking to himself on car rides from Baltimore leading up to this draft, this was not the team he predicted; however, he drafted a solid squad top to bottom that will do some serious damage this season.

The slew of shortstops and combo picks at the top frame allowed none other than Jeremy Paster to fall into the lap of Team Kessler. This was almost too good to be true that arguably best player in this league fell to him at 9…...NINE! Half of their games will be at Union Hill this season, so JP will be mashing HR’s left and right while locking down LCF. Tremendous value in this pick as it comes with highly touted rookie third baseman Max Allegretti. Max has shown tremendous upside from the fall and look forward to seeing what he can produce this season. Ben then followed up with slick fielding shortstop and MMS mainstay Mark Broome. Coming off of a career year, Mark will lock down the left side of the infield with Allegretti and look to pick up right where he left off at the plate. Looking for some protection for Paster, Ben drafted no other than our good buddy, Jordan Rosenthal. JR is top 5 in the league in opposite field power and words spoken per softball game. He will be given a lot of opportunities to produce runs for the Game Changer squad, and I know he will deliver! The Preiss pick at 5 is a steal. You’re getting a shortstop caliber second baseman in Lucas and a third baseman caliber first baseman in Scott (welcome back good sir!). There was a harmonious “Good Pick” from the captains after Ben selected the Preiss combo as their infield was solidified in one fell swoop. Gary the Cop, Ben and Shawn “Hold me Closer Tiny” Danser rounds out the OF with, Papa K on the mound. I’m going to brag about Andy K (because I know Ben won’t). He pounds the strike zone and fields balls up the middle with ease…what more can you ask for!? Also, let’s not forget that Ben is coming off of a career offensive year himself. I know he will improve on that even more this year! Rookie Katz, veteran lefty masher Wayne Sherman and the Krieslernator wraps up the Game Changer Squad for 2022.

Ben did a great job putting this team together, not many holes in any spot in the lineup nor in the field. Mocks and prep aside, he was able to take the cards he was dealt and come up with the winning combination and draft a great team. If that’s not skill or finesse…I don’t know what is!

Predicted Record: 15-7

Hitting: A-

Fielding: A

Speed: B+

Pitching: B+

Potential Award Winners:  MVP: Paster; CY Young: Andy K; Charlie Hustle: Mark Broome

 

10-WALLMAN (SPS)

It’s déjà vu all over again for Team Wallman.  Todd clearly went the “friends” route in this draft, which does not mean he drafted a bad team at all.  He knows the league and the players probably better than any other manager and always has a competitive team even while making sure to draft his closest comrades.  In addition, he has enough sense not to draft Jacoby in the 6th, or at all for that matter.   With that said, many were left wondering what Todd’s team might have looked like had he made the Carroll/Burke/McDermott pick that was available to him at the 11th pick in the first round.  He then could have picked the Silverberg trio at 3/4/7 and after only two actual picks had a monster team that would have looked like this:

              SS: Tom Carroll

              P: Doc

              LF: Todd

              LC: Burke

              RC: Austin

              2B: McDermott

              RF or 3B: Holden

He would have had combination of power, speed, youth and veteran leadership, and filled in the most important positions.  I know this is the playing the “what if” game, but it is an interesting exercise at minimum. Now back to Todd’s actual draft.  You can’t go wrong with Fred in LCF hitting over 600 and playing stellar defense.  However, one has to wonder if he picks on Collis like he did Tony, will Fred end up in the ER before week 2 of the regular season.  The Juska pick is a great one especially if he is the pitcher—great value for a guy who should hit over 600 and has shown he is a very good pitcher.  Him and Fred at the top of the lineup will provide RBI opportunities galore for others.  The problem is, which is not unusual for Todd’s teams, is that there is no much power in his lineup.  They will rely on small ball to score runs, but that was his team’s dynamic last year when they made the finals, so perhaps Todd is on to something. Beja and JY form the middle infield, which if the medical staff can keep them both in one piece and standing the entire season, should be solid, but not spectacular.  Collis at 4 was a shocker with Lapetina still available at that spot.  Sorry Polzer!  He does provide Todd with amazing speed on the basepaths and in the outfield, as well as another pitcher in case Todd decides to move Juska to third base.  Collis keeps getting better every year and this could be his huge breakout season.  The JY and Cohen picks were almost as expected as the Podolla/Thomas combo for Ferrarese.  The Krauss pick gives Todd a steady outfielder in Russ, and one of the league’s fastest players, along with Collis and Martin Blackburn, in Justin.  The biggest question for Todd is how he arranges all of these pieces on the chessboard to get maximum results for his team.  Who pitches?  Who plays what outfield position?  Who plays third? I know Todd has a plan, and we will see if he can get it to work for him as he has done in years past. 

 

Predicted record: 13-9

Grades for:

Hitting: A-

Defense: B

Speed: B

Pitching: B

Power: C-

Potential Award Winners:

Cy Young: Juska

 

11-STEINBERG (Max Challenge)

Evan entered the draft cool, calm and collected, reminiscing to Bomenblit about his first draft as a captain (which we all know how well that turned out for him). This draft was a little different for the third-year captain. He knew he would have no chance to draft the Bomenblit combo of yester year but would still have a shot at a top-flight shortstop. Who would he draft to fill in the rest of the spots?

Evan came off to a rocking start by drafting the infamous, smooth hands Nick Martino. Watching this guy play shortstop is a thing of beauty. He moves before the pitch is thrown to the correct spot, is on field leader and all-around great guy. Pitching has been a conflict of interest for the Steinberg squad these past few years (though it clearly didn’t matter in year one), so he nipped that in the butt right away with Greggy Meatballs. This southpaw has become one of the more dominant players in Marlboro Softball. A consistent strike thrower with a dominant bat will fit nicely to the team. In need of an outfielder, Evan went with MVP Softball Stud Billy Losch. Despite his performance in the rookie showcase, I really think this gentleman is going to be a bonafide stud in this league. Once he figures out the arc, he will be in good shape (as Conti would say…it’s undahand!). Next comes the motivation and fire this team needs in the Spear pick. (You should have seen the smile that came across Evan’s face as he said “Spear” in the draft room). Coming off a great offensive year, Richie the GOAT will continue to mash while lighting it up at second base (I can already hear “C’mon Ladies” and “OK Terrific”!). Nick Deluise showed some tremendous promise during the tryouts and I think it is great value at 6. J Young for some speed and Ballo for a big target at first base add some great firepower to the squad.

I worry about the outfield defense on this team, and wonder if the captain himself will be playing there. But the infield is as solid as they come, and they have a great manager to lead them to the promise land. I give Billy Losch 3 weeks to get in the “swing” of things when it comes to hitting arc and expect Ballo to have a MONSTER year at the plate. Good things to come for the Steinberg squad.

Predicted Record: 11-11

Hitting: B+

Fielding: B+

Speed: B

Pitching: A

Potential Award Winners: Offensive Player of the Year and Cy Young: Greggy Meatballs;  Defensive Infielder: Nick Martino;  Most Improved: Mike Ballo; Manager of the Year: Evan Steinberg

 

12-ROSENSTOCK (Fradkin Law)

TEAM R(OPS)ENSTOCK

Like it or not, there is a lot of lure to this league and the most recent iteration of that is the ability to play for Coach Pings aka St. Patpingaro aka Gabbagool.  Few people expressed this more vociferously than Captain Rosenstock, seeming to understand the values Pingaro would preach on a weekly basis.  It is for this reason that Stock was given the chance to captain in the fall, which lead to his ultimate selection as a captain in the big show.  This honor is not given out easily.  It has previously required a minimum of five years in the league, with a stint on the board also being preferred.  Stock seemed honored and grateful to be selected, and we all had high hopes for his addition to the captain ranks.  Fast forward to “selection Thursday” at the fireside where it was revealed that Pings and Stock were perfectly positioned to make a fair trade so each of them could get their coveted player (AJ for Pings and Santigate for Stock).  Strangely, the conversation about this no brainer of a trade became more odd than Seth’s refusal to trade my cousin Pezz to me in the 7th for a better player………back to the recap.  Later in the evening I tried to explain to Stock that while the draft is competitive, there is certain decorum that should be followed.  I guess calling out Fradkin…one pick before my traded pick for Fradkin…was the takeaway from such conversation.  Noted. 

Ok, ok, ok, really back to the recap.  Taking Ed Fradkin late one is always a strong pick, especially if you can pair him up with a strong key position player at 2.  Here. Captain OPS took offensive stud Chase Sandler and, while offensively, it is hard to argue with that combo, it is not necessarily the best draft strategy to ignore both the LCF and SS position to start things off in this league (See Cowboy Mike 2021).  The next pick would surely be such a position player with Doc (solid 3rd round guy, great bat, great team mate unless your name is Marrone) who plays ……first base.  Did Captain OPS even know that Doc was coming in as a possible pitcher, having worked for 3 years in SST with some of the best pros in the game?  Austin at 4 gives you a top …… right center fielder (do we see the pattern here) with slugger Holden (the smartest Silverberg) as the round 7 combo (corner OF, corner IF).  This combo was laced with the Stock/Stock combo who, while versatile and having a high baseball IQ, play neither SS nor LCF.  Sweet swinging lefty Jeremy Levine is one of my favorite players and hitters in the league.  An excellent lead off guy who has a great….. you guessed it….OPS …. and is as dangerous to hit an inside the park home run as Fradkin is to hit one out (Chase is the scariest hitter on this team, if not in the league).  But Freddy Mercury Levine also cannot play SS or LCF.   Nine picks in and Stock selects rookie Tepper (SS/LCF?) then Suds (Ray) who people will see has developed into a very good hitter.  Wally (who is also versatile and I believe can get back to 2020 form), followed by Sandler (Scotty-doo) and Sal Sic round out the team.  This bottom three will be able to turn over a VERY DEEP OFFENSIVE lineup.   I do not know what this teams record will be so I will set it at 11-11.  I would not be surprised if it were 14-8, nor would I be surprised if it were 8-14.  This team will clearly score the most runs in the league, if not in league history, but the defense needs to figure some things out to be competitive defensively. 

BEST PICK: SILVERBERG COMBO (such a steal as a late 3, despite Doc’s annoying texts about pants and underwear colors)

WORST PICK: SILVERBERG COMBO (defensively for this team the pick should have been Bullen, followed by the Kleschinsky combo – with Chase and Ed at the top, this would have been a scary good team from all aspects)

OFFENSE: A++. (any team with Ed and Doc is scary.  Backing that up with Chase and the crew make this team offensively elite.)

DEFENSE: C-. (this is not to say that any of the players are bad defenders.  To the contrary, many of the players are TOP defenders AT THEIR POSITION.  The big question mark is if they can maintain that level at a new position).

PITCHING: A.  Eddie is not only a top pick for his bat.  He has worked hard and become a very crafty pitcher and one of the top in the league.  His walks are way down and improving and he throws at least 3 different pitches from different angles.  He is very good defensively up the middle, especially when he spreads his silverback gorilla arms and shrinks the field.  This can help Chase lock down SS since he does have a very good glove and a very good arm.

SPEED: B. Austin is fast.  Levine is lightning.  Chase and Holden are also fast.  They will pinch run in every single game.  Hopefully rookie Tepper can assist in this category as well.

POST SEASON AWARDS:

Offensive Player of the Year: Sandler

Cy Young: Fradkin

Most likely to take a boat ride like Fredo: Rosenstock (you broke my heart Stock, you broke my heart)

 

13-FERRARESE (Ace)

It is very difficult to write a recap/prediction for Team Ferrarese, as Mike is such a nice guy with a great education, and a respected career.  Unfortunately, he just seems to have a blind spot as to the purpose and goals of the draft in this league, which is to try to draft a good team. 

 

He basically stepped in shit by getting the number 1 pick so there was little chance (although still some chance) that he could screw that up and not draft the Blackburns.  He starts out with the best defensive outfielder in the league and a top shortstop, so what should be next on his radar to have the best team possible---say it together—DRAFT A PITCHER.  I know Mike has tried for a number of years to solidify his role as a quality starting pitcher, but it hasn’t worked.  While he wasn’t in a position to get the upper echelon of pitchers with his 3 or 4/5 wraparound picks, he could have gone with Yokel, Spann or Frometta; all of whom would be an upgrade.  In addition, he insists on drafting the trio of Podolla/Thomas/Toran each and every year when other better options are available at those spots in the draft.  Despite all of his education Mike still hasn’t learned about the definition of insanity and doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.   

 

With all of that said, there is no doubt all will have a great time playing for Mike, and he did have a few bright spots in his draft beyond the Blackburns.  Evan Rosenthal was a great pick at the middle of the 3rd round (because of the penalty).  There is no better teammate than Rick Schindelheim who is an excellent hitter and first baseman.  This writer liked Ushkowitz’s potential as a player, but it was a reach to pick him at 4 when most captains had him as a 6 or even a 7.    

 

I just don’t see a coherent plan in Mike’s drafts other than getting 3 of his friends to go along with him, Loconte and Smith.  This means he starts off with almost half of his team already set in his mind before he even starts to prep for the draft.  As a result, he gets boxed into not being able to pick the best players for his team.  This author would like to see one draft where Cowboy Mike puts aside “friend” picks and decides to pick the best team, because I think he has the softball acumen to select a very good squad. 

 

 

Predicted record: 8-14

 

Grades for:

Hitting: C+

Defense: B+

Speed: A-

Pitching: C-

Power: C

 

Potential Award Winners:

Martin Blackburn: Defensive Outfielder

Rick Schindelheim: Sportsmanship

 

14-POLZER (Tuscanyrose)

 If you are fortunate to be at the draft, by far the best seat in the house is next to Justin Bykofosky!  He makes Will Smith look calm and composed every time his captain was about to call out their next pick.  While Polzer did not draw a top pick he was lucky enough to have both Carroll and Dimarco fall to him. Ultimately, he chose self-proclaimed MVP LCF patrolman Dimarco with the 8th open pick.  In round 2, one would have figured Polzer would go with a SS to compliment his stud LCF but he surprised many by picking LCF Peragine aka Franks neighbor who was traded one minute later for LCF Justin Byko.  (who knew there were neighbor courtesies in round 2 – Polzer much nicer guy than Seth Drashinsky who took Frank’s real cousin Pezz in the 7th and refused to trade him. I’m positive Seth will not have Frank’s vote for Mr. Nice guy nor should he).  Anyway, at that point Byko was fully erect starting with Polzer, Dimarco and himself.  Byko figured just put the draft on auto pick and we will be in the finals.  Byko’s mood turned like a Texas Tornado when his captain called out their 4th round pick.  The Commissioner even administered a breathalyzer test to Polzer to make sure he was of sound mind.  While it’s too early to tell whether that was a good or bad pick, the consensus in the room was that this player was going several rounds later in the draft.  All I know, the Byko mood got dark quickly, and the ranting began and never stopped.  Javy in 5th has great glove and B Hor while aged could be a super dangerous bat in the 6th.  Thompson in the 10th is s a steal and everyone loves Joshi.  A few defensive questions for this squad like who is playing SS???  Dimarco should also mentally prepare to never a see a pitch after the 1st inning at a fenced field.  Byko better up his meds because this could be a long season for him.  Dimarco no stranger to the play in game so he may want to let his Sergeant know now he needs that Wednesday night off. 

8&14

 

15-GODDARD (Goddard Home)

Leading up to the draft, there was a lot of talk about this Carroll combo. I personally assumed they would go within the first three picks but others were uncertain about the cousin combo and if the upside outweighed the risks. I feel like Burke will play like AT LEAST a high 2 and if the McDermott kid doesn’t play like a 5… who gives a fuck… how can I even talk when I took Podolla as my five? Anyway, in the end, Goddard sat tight and watched this gift land to him in the 12th. The 12!!! How could this go wrong? I mean, look at Goddard’s success with rookies last year… Moving on, Goldberg is a solid 3rd round pick in the mid-3 as he can fill in at any infield position and even backup SS if Carroll is out or starts to fill out more. Add the captain into the mix and Mark didn’t have to do all that much for the first hour of the draft. Assuming Jeff Goddard pitches, MG has a capable backup in Iorio waiting in the wings while also picking up two nice utility Billys in Billy Ferro who can play anywhere (Billy: before you get all excited that you’re mentioned in this, remember… you can’t fucking hit) and Billy Chiusano who brings versatility and a good demeanor that will fit in with this crew. In all, I like this team a lot.

 

Record: 13-9

ROY: Burke

OPY: Carroll

ABCG (Average Beers consumed per game): 27

Offense: A-

Defense: B

Speed: B-

Pitching: C+

 

16-MARRONE (Monmouth Gym)
As the other 17 captains (well, maybe 16) were bunkered down preparing for what was to come the next morning, going through every scenario in their head, and trying to get a good night sleep, Glen Marrone was spotted in Atlantic City on Saturday night putting $100 on red and saying “if it’s red I’m drafting Dunleavy in the first and if it’s black I’m drafting…. Dunleavy”. Ever since the 200th pizza review we all watched, KD to Marrone was one of the worst kept secrets out there, even though he tried to convince people he’d go Tony in round one. And a vaillant first round pick as Kyle is one of the best hitters in the league that is coming off a .652 campaign (a LEGIT .652) and is in my opinion, the most underrated outfielder in the league. 

 

The next two rounds saw Marrone, who entered the draft room looking like he just spent a night at the Bada Bing, draft two rookies in Santiago & Catania, both of whom seem like the real deal. The Klechinsky pick is a good one at 4-5 as both of them will have a rebound year and Glen himself at six is a great steal. From here, we’ll skip to the pick that everyone exhaled when he made it: Weitsen, Randell, Randell, which is on the field a solid 10-12-13. 

I worry greatly about the defensive infield on this team, but it should be a solid offensive team that leans a lot on two rookies that should do big things up top. I think this team floats around .500 for most of the year and will be a tough out come September. But no matter how they finish, pizza on Glen. 

Predicted record: 11-11

Grades for:
Hitting: A-
Defense: B-
Speed: B-
Pitching: B+

Potential Award Winners: 
Catania & Santiago, Rookie of the Year
Dunleavy, Defensive Outfielder of the Year

 

17-PINGARO (CK Baseball)
The most miserable yet most beloved captain, Pat Pingaro drew the 2nd overall pick in the 2022 draft.  The Marlboro softball world was his oyster and Vegas odds had him taking Pastor.  An unexpected last-minute trade with Lombardi moved Pat to the 17th pick where it was assumed he would pick the son he never had Tony and come back with 3rd base stud converted to pitcher Juska.  That plan quickly went out the window when Rookie Captain Rosenstock rocked the room and Apple’s world when he selected Ed leaving stud AJ on the board for Pat.  AJ is a game changer and cannot be passed up, so Pat grabbed him hoping Tony would make it back to him in 3 picks.  (note to Tony, don’t text every captain the Saturday before the draft 1,000 times and put yourself on every radar when u want to play with one captain in particular) That didn’t happen so Captain Cranky picked bomb hitting Saler and followed with A Turano.  Next 2 picks were rookies that both look like the real deals and if they are, this top 5 is excellent.  In the 6th round Pat proved that he is also the most loyal captain/friend when he took a .200 hitter 3 rounds earlier than he was projected to go.  We know GG has a gorgeous pool and is a great summer host, but really?????????  (Pingaro doesn’t hold grudges that’s for sure because a few years ago when GG was a captain, he had told Pingaro via email he was taking him in the 7th by stating and the author quotes “If you are there in 7th the pick is locked and loaded.”  Pings was there and GG selected Meyer) Back to the action, the rest of his draft went as I’m sure he scripted and with AJ on the mound you can bet they will be in every game.  Still think his entire season is based on his 2 rookies who will make or break this team.  Hard to predict until we see what they do on the field but one thing about Pingaro, he gets the most out of his players (except his 6) and they always play hard for him.

10 & 12

 

18-CONTI (Diamond Vision)

Captain Conti returned to the draft after a strong opening campaign and high on his laurels. While hoping to repeat his success from last year and bring the band back together he ran into a common captain problem…if you have a player that has a strong year, they’re always going to go higher the next year (hence, I never have issues getting Podolla). Eying the Dago combo of Mamone and DeLuise, he picked the better looking one in the 2nd and hoped the other mamaluks would last to him around the bend. But it was not to be as Steinberg would poach them a few picks later. When the 3rd came around to Capt Conti he picked someone that has the look of this team and snagged big hitting rookie Noel Gerena who looks to be a big impact player. Now that Mike had a bat and a marquis infielder and outfielder in place, the remainder of the time was spent filling positions. Mike appeared to round out the infield with Laks and Manocchio while bringing back Nichols and adding newcomer Allen to play outfield. A nice bargain pick in the 10th with Schmidt who also drives that #metoo looking van adds a nice bat to an already potent offense. Looking for a pitcher, initially Mike wanted to trade 9’s with me. Realizing I was the 9 made it a no go but probably sounded appealing to the rest of my team. In the end, Conti brought in a legend in Drapkin and boom, a most likely winner.

 

Record: 12-10

ROY: Gerena

OPY: Conti

Offense: B

Defense: B+

Speed: B

Pitching: A-

 

 

  AGE EST.G/M P-OFF G/M lifetime AVG 5 YEAR AVG
LAPINE 44.08 20 0 .455 0.456
POLLOCK 44.85 21 3.5 .442 0.443
ROSENSTOCK 41.00 14 0 .438 0.439
MARRONE 38.23 9 0 .445 0.438
POLZER 39.92 16 0 .434 0.436
LOMBARDI 42.31 12 0 .429 0.430
WALLMAN 44.23 30 0 .442 0.429
KESSLER 38.31 26 1 .426 0.425
FERRARESE 41.77 21 1 .423 0.422
STEINBERG 40.92 14.5 0 .411 0.417
GODDARD 35.62 17 0 .426 0.416
APPLE 40.54 12 2 .418 0.414
CONTI 40.77 9 0 .413 0.414
BOMENBLIT 38.31 9 0 .416 0.411
GOLDFARB 39.77 26 0 .412 0.407
LAROCCA 40.46 17 0 .400 0.403
PINGARO 43.92 14 0 .412 0.402
DRASHINSKY 42.15 19 0 .393 0.393

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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