2023 DRAFT RECAPS / PREDICTIONS
By Frank LaRocca, Ed Fradkin, Justin Bykofsky, Ben Kessler, Seth Drashinsky, Mitch Pollock and Brian Fazzino

 

EAST

ERIC BRADLEY CONSTRUCTION (Goldfarb)
After going 2-20 with the Tony/Becker combo last year, Guy Goldfarb, with the “lucky 13” pick decides to go back to the well and assemble this combo again.  However, this offseason Guy’s hand was made strong by the hand of the almighty and prior to the draft, did some homework and made some changes to his typical strategy of being Mr. Nice-guy and getting run over in the draft.  So, with his first pick, he selects everyone’s bad guy, Fred Lugos to lead him forward in this season … triumphantly.  With this move, LaRocca and Wallman quickly select top pitchers late in the first round, leaving Mr. Staten Island a little too “close to the vest” and despite his machinations to the contrary, he panics, picks Tony, and quickly sells the farm to Goldfarb, executing a trade that sent his early 2 and 4 to Guy for the Lugos pick.  With Tony in hand, Guy quickly selected top prospect Darron Harper who will lock down LCF and who has a prior relationship with Tony Facebook.  He then grabs the aging veteran Becker to pitch, followed up by slick and quick Joraskie coming off an offensive bounce back season.   With Alex as his five, Guy quickly amassed four of the most flexible players in the draft, each of which can handle any infield or outfield position.   To compliment these picks, he then selected the Shmidt combo: sleek footed Zack; and, Big Bopper Conner, who will likely lock down third base.  Farb then turns to veteran Brock Hor and speedy Singman to balance out the middle of the Order.  The next pick was selected to make sure that all make-up games are scheduled at favorable fields and that the annual Goldfarb Family Vacation games will be “rained out”.  Doug not only provides the schedule flexibility, but actually adds speed to a team that is surprisingly fast for Goldfarb.  The final “pick” was a no-brainer in very versatile Joe O, who can also serve as Doug’s back-up calling games during the season.  It is clear that after a disaster of a year last year, getting the band back together may, in fact, allow Guy to sing these songs of freedom and redemption from last year.

POSSIBLE LINE-UP: Becker P; Hor/Joe O 1B; Z Shmidt 2B; Tony SS; C Shmidt 3B; D Harp LCF; Joraskie RCF; Alex LF; Singman/Doug RF; Guy/Reid C. 

OFFENSIVE GRADES: SPEED A; POWER B-

DFENSIVE GRADE: A-

POST SEASON AWARDS:

Rookie of the Year: D Harper

Comeback Player of the Year: Tony Roegiers

Late Night Lingerers: Becker/Tony/Doug

Cy Young: NOT BECKER

TEAM RECORD:  13-9

 

TEC-TEL (Wallman)

Todd executed the “Clean Slate Protocol” to perfection in this year’s draft by taking none of the players he had from last year’s team, as he told many he would do.  Despite those statements, it was still expected by many that he would take Fred in the first round to pitch.  The entire draft room was thrown into chaos when Guy selected Lugos is the first round two picks in front of Todd.  This meant that his likely draft strategy, as well as that of Frank, had to change if they were both going to get the pitchers they wanted.  With Guy making unreasonable demands in a trade for Fred, as I have heard from multiple sources, after Frank selected the Carlins at 14, Todd then immediately picked the Deluise brothers at 15.  All this occurred because Rosenstock was rumored to be selecting whatever of the two pitchers was available at 17.  This was a sound strategy by Todd, as he was then able to get Dunleavy, who is a first round talent as his second pick.  Todd was also then able to take advantage of Marrone’s senior moment by selecting JZ in the 3rd round after Glenn forgot he was available. 

Overall, Todd had a very solid draft.  While team speed is closer to that of a glacier with Jaeger, Wally, and Tilker, he does have hitting for average and power with Kyle, the Deluise brothers and JZ at the top of the lineup.   The outfield seems set with Todd in LF, Kyle in LCF, JZ in RCF and likely Fishman/Frometa in RF.  Intoci is a capable shortstop, as is Nicky D at 3B.  However, second base and first base are concerns.  Is it Messina at 2B and Jaeger at 1B (if he can stay healthy)?  Where is Wally playing?   The biggest question mark on Todd’s team, though, is will Greg continue to throw “meatballs” or be able to change his ways to lower his ERA to below 15.  If he does that then this team could challenge for the division and more.

 

On a side note, Todd finally removed the anchor around his neck that was Doug Cohen, who every year he was forced for some strange reason to select 1-2 rounds higher in the draft than he should go.  One must wonder, what did Doug have him on Todd for so many years that he was finally freed of this year.

 Predicted record: 13-9

Grades for:

Hitting: B+

Defense: B

Speed: C

Pitching: B

Potential Award Winners:

Batting Average: Dunleavy

Cy Young: Greg Meatballs

Most improved: Nicky Meatballs

Manager of the Year: Todd

Worst friend ever (according to Beja): Todd

 

LHRGC (LaRocca)

After winning back 2 back championships Frank "the judge" LaRocca really could do no wrong in 2023.  The pre-draft thinking throughout the league had everyone with the belief that if Frank had the chance he would draft his beloved Carlin brother combo pick in the 2nd round.  However, once Frank got stuck with draft slot #14 he one-upped everyone and took the Carlin boys round 1!!!!! This helped to prevent anyone from holding them ransom before they got back to him round 2 (see Lugos, Fred). 

Frank then went to work in the trade market (even though he had this trade done before the draft started, this narrative seems better) and robbed Ferrarese blind due to his love of Podolla-Thomas by stealing a better pick than where his 2nd round pick was (5 slots-seems valuable), as well as improving his pick in the 4th round (4 slots) and the 12th round (4 slots) by down-grading 3 slots round 7 (worth zero lol) and then from an 8 to the earliest 10.  (Ciaglia was selected 10 everyone, RELAX).  This was really a no-brainer for Frank, but c'mon cowboy, everyone in the league is disappointed in this!  On the other hand, you have to give Judge some credit, because when you leave the door cracked open, he steps through it!  

With Ferrarese's slot in round 1 Frank selected Goldrosen (expecting a big season, fully healthy!) and followed up with rookie stud Sheridan in round 3.  This was a steal!  The author here thinks Sheridan will be a potential 1st rounder in 2024 and likely ROY candidate.  Beja and Szcemsak in the 4th and 5th rounds are both dangerous hitters at the plate and really help to deepen the lineup as they have the ability to hit to all fields extremely well. So Goldrosen-Sheridan-RCarlin-Beja-Szcemsak-Carlin first 6 looks good if they can stay healthy!  Things then maybe went awry for our good friend Frank as his 7-13 hitters of Danser, Ciaglia, Frank, Niederman, Pugliese, SFrey, and Fox are not known for their offensive prowess lets say. 

On the defensive side of the ball Cy Carlin is pitching, Niederman at 1st, Patty Ciags 2nd (he's basically Roberto Alomar in his prime, ask AD), Sheridan SS, MCarlin 3rd and an Outfield of Goldrosen, Beja, Danser, and Szcemsak  should be the alignment when everyone is there.  This group has a lot of smart ballplayers on it, and a great manager, but after looking at the lineup and the defense neither seems to really blow anyone away.  Ronnie is going to have to be Bob Gibson-esque with the new mat, and he may be, but I think it will be an average year for this group as the offense and defense both seem middle of the pack for MMS and they don't have much team speed.  Their smarts will get them over .500.

Record Prediction: 12-10

Hitting: C+

Defense: C

Pitching: A+

Speed: D-

Best Pick: Sheridan (round 3)

Potential Award Nominees

CY Young: Ron Carlin

Rookie of Year: Mike Sheridan

Most Bagels Consumed: Jeff Beja

Def Infielder: Pat Swaggggggglia

 

Genesis Logistics (Meyer)

Being a rookie manager is not easy, but when stud SS Nick Martino falls into your lap at pick #11 overall (what are we doing?!) things don't seem so bad.  Unfortunately that feeling of euphoria did not last too long for Mr. Meyer as his expected 2nd round pick to pair with Martino as the LCF (Pat Brock) was snagged away 3 slots in front of him by Cowboy.  Meyer tried to wheel and deal with Ferrarese to get his boy but to no avail.  

Meyer then re-grouped and selected rookie Pete Kwiecinski.  This seems like a very risky selection, not based on how good Pete K is (he could be a star), but really just based on who was still available on the draft board that were known quantities at that time.  Pete K will be wait and see before any evaluations can be made, but he does seem to have an electric bat at the very least.  Round 3 Meyer selected slugging OF Corde who should be a great pick with the extra games on fenced fields this season.  Round 4 Dave then gambled again on rookie Whelen to play the outfield and it will be another wait and see type of thing.  I personally think that will be a solid pick.  Lambo being there in the 5th round for him is one of the steals of the draft and gives this team a legit Finals-level pitcher on the mound. The lefty hitting manager is the 6 on the team and he then took the Krauss combo round 7-8-9-11* which made Soskel an 11 even though he was rated a 12 due to Keenan already being on the roster.  That really killed the value of the pick because when you're drafting a 4 player combo (3 of the picks are pre-rated), you're often blocking yourself of potentially better players in those rounds who fall (happens every year!).  Not to mention Soskel as a 12 would've been nice value. Grant and Cotter fill out the rest of the roster and do provide value as a backup pitcher and 3rd baseman as well as being good "culture" guys.

The offensive lineup of Martino-Pete K-Corde-Whelen-Lambo-Meyer has a lot of question marks to start the year with 2 rookies and Dave coming off surgery.  The defensive lineup for this group looks like Lambo on the mound, Meyer 1st, Pete K 2nd, Martino SS, Brent 3rd, and an outfield of Corde Whelen Krauss Krauss.  After evaluating the team on paper the offensive attack seems to be very questionable as rookies are always so volatile; but they do have upside.  The defense is better than it seems as Whelen looked very comfortable in the OF and should be able to lock it up with Corde in the LCF/RCF spots. Nick Martino at SS is as good as it gets too. The corner defense of the Krauss boys and Brent/Meyer will have to step up.  I see Meyer's first year as a manager being a bit of a roller coaster with the team struggling a bit early in the season and then finding their groove in the 2nd half of the year.  The question is will it be too late?

Record Prediction: 10-12

Hitting: C+

Defense: B

Pitching: A

Speed: B-

Best Picks: Lamberson (round 5), Cotter (round 13)

Potential Award Nominees

CY Young: Lambo

Rookie of Year: Pete K

Defensive Infielder: Martino

Mr. Nice Guy: Russ Krauss

Most "Lets Go's!": Ryan Grant

 

GODDARD HOME IMPROVEMENT (Goddard)

In a shock to the Marlboro Softball world Captain Goddard chose rookie slugger Ryan “Rake” Amato over perhaps the best shortstop ever to grace the Marlboro Softball fields, Nick Martino.  It looks like he valued the possible, and likely, 650 average and 12-14 home runs, that Amato will provide over the stellar defense and solid bat that Tino gives every year.  The big question will be whether Amato can capably handle the shortstop duties.   

As to the rest of the squad, Marc chose his good friend Eddie Fausak in the second round to play left centerfield.  While he is a rookie, Fausak is a tournament player who should do well, but again Marc is relying on another rookie to carry his squad to a successful season.  He also bypassed Jordan Rosenthal, who went with the next pick to Seth, after he had a breakout season in 2022.  This is a choice that Marc may regret, as Jordan would have provided great protection for Amato in that lineup.  Fortunately, Marc chose some seasoned veterans to lead this squad, including Rich Spears and Kevin and Mike Kleschinsky.  If brother Jeff Goddard keeps improving on the mound, as he did last season, and yet another rookie, Adelsberg, who was selected in the 7th round contributes, this could be a tough team.

The concern in the lineup is that beyond Amato there is limited power.  The infield defense is also suspect with an unproven, and not too mobile shortstop, an aging second basement in his final season, and either Mike K or Gio at third base.   While I don’t think the play-in game is in their future, a .500 record is probably the best they could hope for.

Predicted record: 10-12

Grades for:

Hitting: B

Defense: C+

Speed: C

Pitching: B-

Potential Award Winners:

Rookie of the Year: Amato

Defensive Outfielder:  Fausak

 

ACE HOME IMPROVEMENTS (FERRARESE)

Another year, another captain trading with the back-to-back champ in the first round. Have we not learned our lesson fellas!! Anyway, after Cowboy gave up a top-19 pick for Podolla and Thomas, he began his draft with Saler & Pat Brock before following it up with Mark Z and Ush in the 3rd and 4th round. So, when reading this if you are thinking “who is going to play SS, the most important position in softball?”, that would be a fair thought!

Gallardo, a solid rookie was the pick in the sixth round, while Cowboy rounded out his team with his usual cast of characters in addition to Salers father in law in the 9th, who’s a pitcher, so will he pitch or Cowboy? 

I am not gonna lie, I can’t come up with many nice things to say about this team assembled, so as my parents taught me, and JY’s didn’t when he used to write these draft recaps, when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! The top four in the lineup is pretty scary, but who knows what this team’s defense is. Will be interesting to see them work it out as the season goes on. 

Predicted record: 8-14

Grades for:

Hitting: C

Defense: D

Speed: B+

Pitching: Best 3-1 pitcher in the league

Potential Award Winners:

Defensive OF: Patrick Brock

CENTRAL

A&H Chiro (Drashinksy)

When you start off the draft with your entire family being underrated as 3-8-9 picks it should be pretty hard to mess up, and boy our friend Seth did not disappoint!  After drawing number 8 overall Seth was elated when M1 star Steve Santigate fell to him in the first round.  After that pick it was pretty much a layup line (give Drashinsky credit, lots of people miss layups!!!) as Seth got to select his buddy Jordan Rosenthal round 2, who was coming off a monster offensive season and really had no business still being on the board at that point, wild!  Seth was his own 3, and as the bottom half of the draft went into pure chaos mode with all the trades, he was all lined up to fit one of the best combo picks in the league on his team by selecting the Silverberg trio 4-5-6.  

So a top 6 of Santigate-Rosenthal-SDrashisnky-Doc-Austin-Holden is pretty damn solid!  Holden hit like .600 last year!  Raucher (get well soon plz) was taken round 7, Dan and Papa Drashinsky 8-9 are steals as mentioned previously, rookie lefty Spitaletto round 10 looks like he can mash, and Persily always rakes as an 11.  Not too shabby here at all.  The defense is Papa Drashinsky on the mound, Doc 1st, Raucher 2nd, Santigate SS, DDrashinsky 3rd base with an outfield of Austin-Seth-JR-Holden (all rocket arms), not much dropping out there if the infield holds up.  I see many more answers than questions with this squad as there does not seem to be any weaknesses on paper except maybe having players who are too nice?! HAH.  They even have 6 really fast baserunners.  This should be the best team in the league, can Seth handle the pressure of great expectations???? Time will tell.

Record Prediction: 17-5

Offense: A

Defense: A

Pitching: B-

Speed: A+

Best Pick: Silverberg trio 4-5-6

Potential Award Nominees:

MVP: Steve Santigate

Mgr of the Year: Seth Drashinsky

Best Defensive IF: Steve Santigate

Mr. Nice Guy: Seth Drashinsky

Most times hacked on Facebook: Doc Silverberg

 

Game Changer Physical Therapy (Kessler)

The writer has had the privilege of knowing Ben for almost 20 years, and in those years of knowing him I have never seen him smile so much as he did last week leading up to the draft. I was concerned that he needed to see his physician because he had a smile lasting more than 24 hours! The rumors turned out to be a reality as Ben had secured himself the number one pick; having the draft at his fingertips. While it was no secret that Ben was going to take the highly touted Blackburn duo at one, the question remained who would be there at the end of the third and the rest of the picks to fill out his team. How would this unfold???

Well before we get into it, let’s talk about how great the Blackburn combo is. Have they changed the Defensive Outfielder Award to the Martin Blackburn Award? If not, they should. This guy is on another level when it comes to playing LCF. He covers so much ground, fields everything with ease, and has a rifle of an arm. Additionally, you get an absolute stud of a shortstop in Steve, who knocks down everything is his path and controls the infield as if it was his profession. Not to mention they are both .600 hitters, cause mayhem on the basepaths and bring the best out of everyone on the team. Ben was able to take a nice long break, anxiously checking off the names to see who he could snag at the end of the third round due to the penalty. How he fell this far, I am not sure, but Ben was able to snag Joey Pargament. In this pick, Ben was able to set up the versatility to take the best available person in the coming rounds as Joey can play every position phenomenally while being as sound of a hitter as they come! And that best available at 4/5 was Slick Steve Weis and Rob Jacobs. Both sluggers add some nice pop to the order as well as being sound defensively at their respective positions. Not to mention they are great dudes as well! Heitzner at 6 locks down LF, adds a nice opposite field swing to this line-up and is an absolute gamer. Ben at 7 rounds out the OF and will have such a good year the board may make him a 5! Ben then took rookie Easton at 8. This guy turned a lot of heads after hitting a one hopper to the fence in the showcase game. This pick also comes with Toran, who at late 10, is tremendous value for his playing ability and bourbon supply. Once Easton finds his groove in the field, he can do some serious damage. Ace Andy Kessler takes the mound for this squad. One of the top defensive pitchers in the league and strike hurler will have a nice defense around him to make the plays. G-Klein and MMS legends Sarcona and Tommy round out the draft for team Kessler.

Another successful draft for team Kessler! I definitely foresee the smile continuing into the regular season as this is a well put together squad with little holes up and down the lineup. Please save some bourbon for this writer post-game!

Predicted record: 14-8

Hitting: A-

Defense: A

Speed: A-

Pitching: A+

Potential Award Winners: Defensive Outfielder – Martin Blackburn; MVP – Steve Blackburn; Charlie Hustle – Mike Heitzner; Cy Young – Andy Kessler; Manager of the Year – Ben Kessler

SHORE SMILE (LOMBARDI)

Let’s set the scene… three days before the draft, around 8:42 p.m. in Marlboro, New Jersey at the Fireside Grill and Bar (a BAR that closes at 10:30, what??). The 7th card is chosen, it reads “Lombardi”. Jim and Paul look at each other with a nervous stare before the commish reads out “#3 overall” where they then look at eachother, fist bump, and hug like they just won the Play-in Game!

The next 48 hours would be spent with Jim juggling every single pros and con of Dimarco and Santigate on his large paper and notepads before ultimately making a decision on Saturday evening, to go with AD, Mr. .707 himself. 

Any draft with Dimarco at 1 is a great one… well… except for last year… but this one turned out a lot better for what should be a really solid Lombardi squad. Hemp at 2 gives AD some much needed protection while Broomey at 3 gives Jim his SS, and a really good one for the third round. Love the Levine pick at 4, that guy is a fantastic hitter and can play RF on this team, which is what made the Ferro and Levine picks even better. 

Jimbo rounded it out at the bottom with absolutely zero speed (Broome, get ready to run) but a lot of competent hitters, 10-13, with no automatic outs, something a lot of teams don’t have. 

I’ll be the first to say that Jim and Paul can make dinner reservations on the first Wednesday of September at their favorite Italian restaurant, there will be no play in game for this Lombardi squad. I expect this team to be very good in what is a stacked central division. The outfield should be very, very good, Jim is one of the most underrated pitchers in the league and if this team can hit past their top 4, they will be a really tough out. 

Predicted record: 13-9

Grades for:

Hitting: B

Defense: B+

Speed: C-

Pitching: A-

Potential Award Winners:

MVP and any other award he can nominate himself for: AD

Cy Young: Jim Lombardi

Gastro of Ocean (Bykofsky)

Heeeeeeeeere’s Justin! After some time off from captainship to get married and keep the board in order, Byko found himself right back at home in the draft room. Just like old times, right? Well, there was some change in this year’s draft as Byko now had the luxury of being slotted as a late two, which means he would have a shot at one of the elites. Additionally, he didn’t have to worry about getting a seat next to Brock, drafting Polguy in the third, or trading for Schiffman. How would he make out after getting back in the saddle???

Byko got off to a rocking start by drafting 2021/2022 champion, 2021 finals MVP and stud shortstop, “Philthy” Phil Saglietto. They call him “Philthy” for a reason fellas…. cause he can absolutely mash! The ball comes off his bat a million MPH and can field his position with the best of them. Byko can leave the infield positioning in the comfortable hands of Phil while he controls the outfield. Picking Phil in the first also locked up the 13 spot with his father, Rob Saglietto. Always nice to welcome another father/son combo in the league! Oh and by the way, he can play too! He’s got a smooth swing and nice target at first base. After getting a second to breathe in the second round, Byko went with his good buddy and commish, JoMo. I reminded Justin that Paco’s Taco’s is out of business, and he unfortunately could not use them as his sponsor. Mediocre Mexican food aside, this is a solid middle OF between two vets who know the league better than anyone. Indiana Robbie Juergens at 4 will create a nice middle IF with Sags and BDR at 5 adds an extremely solid bat an 1st baseman to the mix. What’s your secret to staying so good Rick?? We must know! Justin took a shot at rookies at 6 in Brian Zelickskovics and at 7 with Abramson. Brian showed that he could play a solid third base in the rookie showcase game, and once he develops his softball swing, he’s going to be a deadly player for this Byko team. Watch out folks! Additionally, Abramson strikes me as a softball vet and junkie (perfect for Marlboro Softball). He will be the swiss army knife for this team playing all the open spots. This is a valuable aspect to have during the dog days of summer. Another ageless wonder in Yockel will take the mound for the Byko squad and will of course hit .550 making defenses look absolutely silly. If he can cut down on the walks, this team will be in good shape. And if not, there’s always Mark Karp to come in relief to get the job done (bullpen by committee perhaps?!) Rabinowitz in RF, NYC softball legend Rossy Cohen, and lefty bruiser Wayne Sherman round out this Gastro squad for 2023.

As expected, Justin picked up right where he left off. He drafted yet another solid squad that will win a lot of games and give teams a lot of trouble throughout the season. Hopefully the new matt will cut down on Yockel’s walks. Additionally, it seems like JoMo has been juicing because he hit this writer in the leg on a ball up the middle during batting practice, and it hurt!!! They are out for blood this year, and they have the right person at the helm to steer them to success.

Predicted record: 12-10

Hitting: B+

Defense: B+

Speed: B

Pitching: B-

Potential Award Winners: MVP – Phil Saglietto; ROY – Brian Zelickskovics; Sportsmanship Award – BDR; Charlie Hustle – Ross Cohen

 

Princeton Brain Spine & Sports Medicine – (Rosenstock)

Sophomore captain Eric Rosenstock crossed the Goethals Bridge with one thing on his mind Sunday morning, “Draft a pitcher at one”. Rumor has it he watched videos of Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz for motivation while preparing for the draft. However, the BIG question for Marlboro Softball’s favorite Staten Island resident was which pitcher was going to be there at 17. With the expanded matt and reduced pitchers, they were certainly at a premium this year. Could he have it all???

Well, things got of to quite a scary start for E. Goldfarb shocked the draft room by taking Lugos at 13. Much to Wallman’s surprise, he figured he would go with South Paw Greggy Meatballs to lock up his pitcher. With Fradkin and RC taken by Apples and Frank, all the top round pitchers were off the board. E was in a standstill, but unlike being stuck in traffic on the Korean War Veterans Parkway, he was able to find an alternate route. After some back and forth discussion with Guy, Rosenstock worked out a deal to trade 1-2-4 picks, which locked up Lugos as his pitcher. Marlboro Softball’s “favorite” son showed that he can shove the rock last year. You combine that with locking up a .600 hitter, you have a solid way to start your draft. E then went with two rookies back to back in Yutko and Pacheco. These tournament guys definitely showed they can play softball. Yutko showed extremely good control with the bat, spraying it to all fields while Pacheco showed off his power, which will add a fierce force in this line-up. Steve Catania at 4 will man LCF for this Rosenstock squad. An early exit last year will have this guy hungry for wins and mashing softballs, and if he can be more consistent with his hitting, he will be a forced to be reckoned with! Next was the pick of the draft for E, Edwin Valentin. This man loves softball, is the ultimate teammate and true gamer. Edwin got hot going into the playoffs last year and will look to have a monster year in his second season of Doug Ball. E then went with ANOTHER rookie at 8 with Zach Campbell. A fast pitch fella, who I think will be a nice addition to the league! Cruuuuuuuuuz adds a nice target at 1b and a backup pitcher for Fred. Thompson (who hopefully isn’t to upset he isn’t playing with Danser), sophomore Tepper, rookie Dzioba and veteran Sal Sicurella takes this team down the turnpike into Softball Country!

 Overall, a solid draft for Eric. It will be up to the captain to keep this team motivated and playing like a well-oiled machine! However, they have the right guy to do it, as he is one of the fieriest captains in the league and will do whatever it takes to win. And if he can’t, fuhgeddaboudit! But I know he will because E is the man.

Predicted record: 10-12

Hitting: A-

Defense: B

Speed: B-

Pitching: B

Potential Award Winners: Rookie of the Year – Pacheco or Yutko; Most Improved – Edwin Valentin; Charlie Hustle – Steve Catania

MONMOUTH GYMNASTICS (Marrone)

The author of this followed Glenn Marrone into the parking lot pre-draft, and just based on the former Mr. Salt's driving, a rocky morning was expected to follow.  Before the numbers were drawn everyone knew Glenn was desperate to select the Santiago-Tornetta combo since they're basically his in-laws.  Tough spot for sure, especially after Ramon Santiago hits a NUKE to dead CF in tryouts (impressive!) and you get stuck with draft slot #12.  Apples tried to play "hard-ball" early-on selecting the Santiagos at #10 overall and pretending to keep them for one pick, before then deciding to trade them to Glenn to upgrade from a mid 6th round pick to a mid 5th rounder.  A standing ovation then followed, amazing.  The draft is ruthless folks!  So Santiago-Santiago is a strong 1-2 to start and Glenn then decided to forget JZ was in the  sitting in the room or even in the league at all because he wasn't on his draft sheets! LOL. He then selected Evan Rosenthal 3, had Tornetta 4,  rookie OF Midonek 5 (really a mid 6) and potentially stud rookie hitter Mindas with his actual 6.  The problem with this selection is the ever so lovely board made Johnson, who comes with Mindas an 8, when in reality he's a very similar ball player to Gary Klein who went round 11, just saying. (Love you EJ!)  That hurt the value of the pick a little but if Mindas hits like he showed in the tryouts, that does become a rather intriguing selection.  The board did however gift Glenn a rating of a 7 and he'll be on the mound all 22 weeks for the 25th year in a row.  Rounds 9-10-11-12-13 he went Smalkin-Arnold and the Weitsen-Randell-Randell combo.  Smalkin is good value, and Arnold is a question mark but at least he's lefty and can run!  The Weitsen pick is always a better pick in the 11th than people think.

The top of the lineup of Tornetta-Santiago-Santiago-ERose-Mindas could have some power, but not much consistency.  The defense has a lot of question marks, lets see.  Marrone pitching, Weitsen 1st, Rosenthal 2nd, EJohnson 3rd, Santiago SS is an infield that leaves a lot to be desired.  The Outfield of Santiago, Tornetta, Midonek and Smalkin/Arnold has speed but not much experience at all with how to position players in this league (kind of important).  I expect a long season for our good friend Glenn with a potential play-in game appearance, at least he's probably raking in cash from all these house flips.  Hopefully next year he'll be able to come in with the Santiago-Tornetta combo and actually get some sleep before the draft.

Record Prediction : 8-14

Hitting: C

Defense: C-

Speed: A+

Pitching: B

Best Pick: Weitsen (round 11)

Potential Award Nominees:

Rookie of the Year: Ramon Santiago

Charlie Hustle: Noel Santiago

Lowest ERA: Glenn Marrone

 

WEST

FRAUDKIN LAW (APPLE)

One thing you don’t want to do as a captain is to tip your hand. That’s exactly what Marrone did and Apple, wisely, took advantage. He did so by selecting the Santiago’s/Tornetta trio. Which in turn gave him an extra pick in the 5th round. That gave Apple his pitcher and one of the leagues all time best hitters, Ed Fradkin. Falling to him in the second and solidifying the he left side of the infield is Villani combo.  Nick appears to be a lockdown SS and I’m sure Ed will have him out for BP 8 days a week throughout spring training. Mike has a cannon from third and will be hitting moon shots over the net on UHR (can’t believe they rated this guy a 5). At this point Ed took over the draft completely and had offset his personality by taking hard hitting outfielder Mike Klecko. In round 4 he went with the versatile fielding, consistent hitting former champion captain, Evan Steinberg. As his second 5th pick he went with Mad Max, who also hits the ball hard and can play multiple positions. He went with the nice guy Podos combo and back up pitcher Iorio. Rounding out his draft, he picked up Charlie Hustle himself Mr. Billy “The Clam”. 

 

This team has a lot of experience that should help the 3 rookies make an impact on this league right away. 

 

Hitting: A+       when Billy misses games

Defense: C      won’t be able to go middle or left side on the ground. Without a clear cut LCF, I can’t grade this defense a B

Speed: C     Not a lot of speed and alot of guys that need to be ran for when it gets a bit warmer. 

Pitching: A     Fradkin is as accurate as they come and is a legit Hockey Goalie up the middle. Would give him an A+ but his knuckleball doesn’t knuckle. 

Defensive Infielder of the Year: Nick Villani

Pitcher of the year: Fradkin

PREDICTED RECORD: 14-8

 

TUSCANYROSE (POLZER)

For all of his complaining about ratings, Polzer sure does pick nice numbers in the draft.  Last year, he landed Doug-ball Hero Anthony DiMarco in the 1st round which lead him to a 2 seed even after others felt he had a poor draft by making questionable trades and picks.  This year Polz  seemed to have his head screwed on correctly and after landing Fluta as his one, built a defensive team that can seriously compete.  As to Cole, the kid is a stud defender and even though he only weighs in the double digits, has power that will put him at or near the top of all offensive categories by the end of the year.  He is followed up by Tim George who has luckily, once again, distanced himself from his toxic in-law, and who looks to continue to be a difference make both offensively and defensively.  To help him in the outfield, he secured Shawn Leonardi, Mean Gene Conselyea and Ian “Speedy” Gonzalez.  B Fazz was added in the 5th (he’s a five now?).  The captain went back to Javy this year as a backup shortstop as well as a starting possible fielder at multiple positions.  Rookie Lance Rosenthal in the 9th seems to give value.  The kid hit the ball real hard at try-outs and looked to have a Spencer Cohen type glove (minus the yoga pants).  Baffuto in the 12th and A Fazz in the 11th are 2 guys that do not need to catch to get their innings in, which is a huge plus for this team.  Rookie Bryce Gonzalez … in his words ….. is the “spirit guy” of the team and was a fan favorite during the Rookie Showcase.

POSSIBLE LINEUP: Fluta SS, Polzer P, George LC, Leonardi LF, Conselyea RC, Speedy/Javy RF, B Fazz 3B, Javy/Lance 2B, Baffuto/A Fazz 1B, Bryce C.

OFFENSE: Speed B+, Hitting B+

DEFENSE: A

POST SEASON AWARDS:

MVP: FLUTA

DEFENSIVE INFIELDER: FLUTA

SILVER SLUGGER: FLUTA

MOST LIKELY TO SPEAK LESS THAN POLZER: FLUTA

CAPTAIN OF THE YEAR: POLZER

Team Record: 13-9

 

SPS (CONTI)

Entering this years draft as the 7th pick, Captain Conti knew he wasn’t getting Meatballs and Gnocchi to go with his chicken parm. He went with flexibility (could pitch or play OF) right away with 2nd year fan favorite Will Allen and his brother Richie (2B?)as a 7 (sounds of a tanked tryout could be heard echoing around the unfriendly confines of East Frances). Coming back around in round 3, he gets 3rd baseman/possible LCF Semenick. I had this guy as an early 2, a steal as a mid 3. Not yet having any fellow bowlers on the team, he went with speedy Rob Perrone. He slides right into LCF nicely. He gets OF/1B Wags in the 5th. Filling out the outfield for Conti is another rookie, Robinson Cano’s cousin, Lewey. In a move this author didn’t see coming, he takes legend Darren Drapkin. Guy has trouble staying on his feet after the ball is hit, but he can put the ball anywhere on the mat while pitching. I like the G Katz pick in the 10th, he can smoke the ball. He rounded out the draft with his familiar guys Tyson, Uncle Rob, and my favorite catcher Porzio. 

Conti is one of the headiest players I’ve seen and him commanding the field from SS is invaluable. If the 4/5 picks can return to their 2021 offensive ways, this team will go a long way. 

PREDICTED RECORD: 13-9

Hitting: B+ will become an A if Bo gets on and Wags can get him home. 

Fielding: B-  not bad, not great. Too many catchers

Speed: C- outside of Perrone and Tyson, it’s a bunch of DeVanzo’s 

Pitching: B+ DD pounds the mat at will, but trouble making a play when he leaves his feet 

ROY: Semenick 

Captain of the Year: Conti


CK BASEBALL (Pingaro)

Normally I’d start the recap with the first round, but for Team Pingaro I’m going to start with their 6th round pick, “rookie” Willie Williams. Every year, astute captains can base part of their rookie judgments on how excited Doug gets while filming the videos(I’m using the word “excited” in case there are kids reading these recaps). This year, Doug did his best to sound impartial except when describing the legendary exploits of Willie Williams throwing a softball underhand and hitting a mat that’s approximately two feet bigger in every direction this year. As pitches gracefully touched the back corner rendering the just thrown ball “unhittable”, the question arose: Has the league found its immediate answer to the newly semi-retired Dave Clampffer? If Williams pitches to his reputation, then Pingaro will have a successful year. 

Elsewhere, this should be a defensively sound team. I like the Manochio picks even if they went from rounds 6,7,8 to 4,5,9 this year. Still, Manochio will give this team the extra base threat this team needs after their powerful Carroll/McDermott pick. I won’t quibble with taking Turano perhaps a round too early because as Pingaro proved previously with AJ Ortiz, it’s worth taking a guy early if you think they won’t be there on the wrap around. At least Pingaro was able to stay patient and get Jacoby in the 10th. I think 2011 was the last time he went that late. 

Bottom line: this team has a solid defense, great pitching,some fire(Pezzulo and Pingaro), and enough hitting. 

Prediction: 12-10

Offense: B

Defense: B+

Pitching: A

Speed: B

Potential Award Winners:

Cy Young- Willie Williams 

Manager of the Year: Pat Pingaro

 

RED OAK MORTGAGE (BOMENBLIT)

When you enter the draft room (20 minutes late…) with two of your top three picks and three really solid defensive pieces already on your draft board, there is only so much left to do. So you, grab a big, great bat (Frank) and then you… draft everyone you drafted last year!! The Bomenblit system is a developmental system, so watch out for year two from Colloraco, Mugs, DeRosa and Demaio. 

More than half this team is the same squad from the really low scoring but solid defensive .500 team from a year ago. Now, you add some good bats that last year’s team didn’t have in Frank & the Kane Train, but you lose the most important piece of last year’s team, the pitcher. Wait, wait a second, Clamp is on the team!! But no, he’s not pitching, so instead Mr. Demaio is. Have heard he was solid in the fall and when he pitched in the spring last year, but being the team’s only option on the bump heading into the season is no small task, we will see how it works out.

If it does, this team will be very, very solid. Mostly, because with the Bomenblits, your defense is going to be really good. Eric and Richie are one of the best combos in the year and Joey was underrated as a 7 after he got the signal from Eric to tank the rookie game. 

If it doesn’t, then this team will struggle, because as I’ve learned over the years with my pitcher, there is no defense for walks. 

Curious how Losch does in Year Two, will be another intriguing storyline for this team. If he plays to his MVP level, it adds a whole other element as he is a steal in the fifth

Predicted record: 10-12

Grades for:

Hitting: B-

Defense: B+

Speed: A-

Pitching: D

Potential Award Winners:

MVP: E-Bomb

Rookie of the Year: Bryan Frank

Most improved: So many candidates, but I’ll go Losch

Charlie Hustle: Derosa

Most messages to a team chat sent: Kane

 

ENGAGE PEO (Pollock)

In a rather unusual move, Matt made absolutely no trades in this year’s draft.  He went for hitting by drafting the very dangerous Chase Sandler in the first round, and then took rookie phenom Brayant Aponte to play shortstop in Round 2.  The steal of the draft could be getting Taco (who is by far the best teammate in the league) as a combo pick in Round 9.  Taco keeps getting better and will hit far higher than his rating suggests this year.  Much like Matt did last year, he picked DiNapoli to provide security for him when he is unavailable to pitch, and to play second/third base.  Many expected Nick to go in the late second or early third round, so getting him in the 4th round is an unbelievable value. 

Matt must hope that Aponte who after playing baseball professionally can quickly get the hang of hitting a pitch coming in at 9 mph instead of 95 mph.  If he does then the top of their lineup will be dangerous with Aponte, Sandler, Mitch and DNapoli.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much depth to the lineup and they may struggle to get through the lineup back to the top. 

In the field, Matt has shown to be a top pitcher.   The question everyone wants to know is where Chase will play.  He played SS for Rosenstock this year, but with Aponte on the team that will not be his position for Team Pollock.  Does he play 2B? LF? RCF?  That decision will dictate where others play, including DiNapoli, Rubin, Lapetina and Krant.  While Aponte is an excellent fielder at SS there are questions marks as to the team’s defense at other positions that could hurt them this year.

I see this as a team that struggles on defense in the beginning of the year until they figure out where to best position their players in the field.  There is nothing on this team that stands out or is above average in any area of the game.  Despite that belief, Matt seems to always get the best out of his teams every year, but that may not be enough this season. 

Predicted record: 8-14

Grades for:

Hitting: B

Defense: C

Speed: C+

Pitching: A-

Potential Award Winners:

Offensive MVP: Chase

Rookie of the Year: Aponte

Cy Young: Matt Pollock

Most improved: Taco

Defensive Infielder: Aponte

Sportsmanship:  Taco

 

TEAM ANALYSIS

TEAM

AGE

EST.G/M

P-OFF G/M

AVG

WALLMAN-15

42.77

2.08

0.00

0.462

BYKOFSKY-5

43.69

1.82

0.08

0.444

MARRONE-12

35.46

1.55

0.08

0.442

DRASHINSKY-8

42.00

2.78

0.00

0.441

GODDARD-9

43.25

1.25

0.00

0.439

KESSLER-1

41.31

0.67

0.50

0.439

POLLOCK-16

41.18

1.00

0.10

0.434

GOLDY-13

39.38

2.17

0.00

0.432

LOMBARDI-3

39.67

1.50

0.23

0.428

CONTI-7

39.33

1.55

0.00

0.419

MEYER-11

37.31

2.12

0.00

0.419

ROSENSTOCK-17

39.08

1.54

0.08

0.418

POLZER-6

37.62

1.46

0.00

0.416

APPLE-10

42.15

1.83

0.00

0.415

LAROCCA-14

44.77

1.96

0.00

0.414

PINGARO-4

45.46

0.83

0.15

0.413

FERRARESE-18

43.62

1.67

0.08

0.399

BOMENBLIT-2

34.00

2.00

0.00

0.397