Browsing the archives for the Henry Nghe tag.

The Season 2006 Preview – Aftermath of the Hitter Exodus


The morning shines again on the Daly City Empire.  Of course, these days the sun never really sets.  On yet another sunny April in the Gateway to the Peninsula, spring training abounds yet again with the same enthusiasm, determination, and fresh faces.

Coming off yet another World Championship, last year’s team nonetheless fell short with their first sub-.800 season in history, finishing at 125-37, .772.  The falloff was somewhat expected, given the mass departures of team stalwarts such as 3-4 hitters Ho and Tienturier, a .951 OBP SS Mok, and a full ½ of the pitching staff.  If 2005 was any indicator of how Daly City could carry on without many of its star players, 2006 might see even further decline.  The 2005-2006 offseason saw the departures of all-star catcher Sam Lau, Batter of the Year Joey Wong, speedy CF Aubrey Cubilo, and reliever Katie Clayton.  The trio of batters accounted for 337.4 out of the team’s 1083.7 runs created, or 31.1%, and so far none of their replacements seem completely capable of approaching their production levels.

There are new faces, and new roles, however.  Last season’s crop of promising rookies return, and this year sees two new rookies in starting pitcher Whitney Esguerra, who looks to take role of #2 starting pitcher, and catcher Marco Paz, who will likely fill into the backup catcher position.  In the wake of the latest round of retirements, longtime backup catcher/utility outfielder Tina Quach finally gets her chance at the starting catcher position, while longtime benchwarmer Joanna Maung steps into the big shoes left by Joey Wong at third base.  The centerfield position is the biggest question – Tina Quach, having the best CF defensive ability, used to fill in here (21 games in CF in 2005), but with her new role as catcher, Tiffany Ho seems the best candidate (67 out of 100 defensive rating), although her hitting skills are still a bit underdeveloped and her defense is better at the corner outfield positions.  Jason Liu, with a 55 out of 100 CF rating, also seems capable, although again his defensive skills seem much better suited for the corner positions.  On the pitching side, the departure of Clayton has opened up a spot in the bullpen, which no other than 2005’s closer, Zubeda Khan, steps in to fill.  After a tumultuous season filled with blown saves, the closer position for 2006 goes back to a known commodity in Josiah Leong, who despite shaky stats managed a bottom line of 40 saves and only 3 blown saves in 2004.

More than ever, the team seems to rest on the strength of the pitching staff – though still quite formidable, the lineup has taken yet another strong punch this year, and would be hard-pressed to repeat last year’s league high 1085 runs.

Without further ado, the hardened sophomores, old stalwarts, and new faces of Daly City’s 2006 team.

Tina “Experimental Error” Quach, Catcher: After two years as an understudy to retired all-star catcher Sam Lau, Quach finally moves up to take the reins of the catcher position.  Playing in two partial seasons, Quach has shown signs that she can be a capable on-base hitter, with her .381 career OBP, but this season will be a test of how well she can sustain that level of production over the course of an entire season, in addition to handling her defensive responsibilities as catcher and her management of the pitching staff.

Marco Paz, Backup Catcher: Straight from AA ball, Paz is a new recruit who spent part of 2005 in the minor leagues, beginning in AAA where he struggled and then moving onto AA, where he batted .250-.317-.515 in 20 games. While still a bit underdeveloped, the retirement of Lau and the lack of any other viable catcher meant that Paz was needed up with the major league club to serve as a backup.  The 17 year old is projected as a below-average defender, although he has a cannon arm.  His hitting skills are in the below-average range, but as indicated by his short time in AA last year, he projects out to be an average hitter with decent slugging skills.  He’ll be watched closely as the season winds along, making sure he isn’t impossibly challenged at the major league level, in which case someone else, such as emergency catcher Jonathan Chee, would have to fill in.

Derek Lew, First Baseman: After a vigorous offseason of training, Lew bursted into spring training like a vicious Vladimir Guerrero-type swinger.  So far he looks like he’s been more aggressive free-swinging with the bat, meaning even less walks and a bit more strikeouts, but he’s also been doing it with much greater contact and power than last season.  With last year’s disastrous campaign, Lew is looking to come back, and in a big way.  With Joey Wong gone, Lew remains the last of the “Big Four” of hitters of the inaugural 2003 team, and more than ever, the offensive production will rest squarely on his shoulders.

Rudy Puzon, Designated Hitter: Puzon looks to follow up his explosive rookie season with further development, although it might even be fair to say that he had already began hitting like what many hitters projected he would do after he reached his prime. After a solid all-around performance, with no clear weaknesses in his game, nobody knows what to really expect in terms of development for Puzon.

Cristian Ortiz, Second Baseman: The defensive wizard surprised everyone last year as he turned in a strong statistical season, most especially on the basepaths.  Despite being deemed Daly City’s “breakout” player of the year, many of the league’s scouts still rate Ortiz as simply average in almost all categories, and put strong doubt on whether Ortiz can replicate his 2005 numbers.  2006 will be the year Ortiz proves that his ‘breakout’ performance was no fluke.

Joanna Maung, Saung-gah Basewoman: After three years coming in from the bench, Daly City’s most prolific pinch hitter steps into her first starting role.  With only limited playing time over three seasons, Maung has shown decent OBP ability and virtually no power skills, although it’s anyone’s guess what kind of hitter Maung will actually be in her 4th year and 1st full season.  On the defensive side, Maung has been training hard, and has built herself up to a very respectable 61 defensive rating at 3B. She certainly won’t be an MVP Joey Wong (or will she?) but in terms of sheer love for the game and enthusiasm at finally getting the coveted starting third basewoman role, she may yet turn out to be the Wiggin to the now-retired Wong’s Bean.

Henry “Mr.” Nghe, Shortstop: Reigning Rookie of the Year and oldest player at the same time, Henry Nghe returns for his sophomore campaign hoping to continue on his first-year success.  Surprisingly, like Ortiz many scouts still have doubts over Nghe’s ability, believing he far exceeded performance expectations last year.  Without a dedicated middle infield backup in Kelvin Chang (since retired back to AAA), both Nghe and Ortiz will test their endurance and look to gut out all 162 games on their own out in the middle this year.

Jonathan “The Cheet” Chee, Leftfielder: Daly City’s “comeback” player of the year, Chee looks to continue his tremendous success into 2006, this time going the distance to play in a whole season (last year, he played in only 119 games and had 446 at bats).  Chee’s slated to be in either of the 1-2 leadoff positions, where he’ll set the table for the more powerful hitters with his team-high career .392 OBP.  Having come ever so close to the 50 hit by pitch mark (he had 49 HBP last year), Chee looks to make another run, this time possibly getting there with a full season.

Tiffany Ho, Centerfielder: Taking over the reins from longtime incumbent Aubrey Cubilo, the rookie Tiffany Ho, who had an unremarkable rookie year (.279-.305-.361), is one of the biggest question marks.  While she’s still one of the more promising hitters in terms of skill, she hasn’t demonstrated the ability to hit well yet.  Although originally a corner outfielder, with Quach at catcher, Ho is the best fielder left at the center position, although her 67 CF rating lags behind her 77 rating at the LF and RF positions.  Nonetheless, she’ll be thrown out of the frying pan and into the fryer, starting centerfield on opening day in baseball’s biggest small-town stage.

Francis Chen, Rightfielder: The enigma Francis Chen returneth once again.  Afer enduring a horrendous 2005, Francis was dropped from a starting role, replaced by slugger Jason Liu, and at times, utility player Tina Quach.  After toiling away all during the regular season, however, Chen seemed to catch on fire in the postseason, batting .244-.404-.805 in 41 at bats.  Despite all this, he was about to be dumped back to the bench, or even back to the minors for more conditioning, before the Daly City fans emerged.  All winter long they picketed and protested the stadium and front office with a grass-roots “Bring Francis Back” campaign, ultimately succeeding when management gave in to demand.  So by popular demand, the oft-inconsistent and fleetingly brilliant Chen is back to his role in RF, ready to take a backseat manage whenever Yan is on the mound, albeit with a tighter hook than ever.  He’ll have to jump out of the April gates full blast if he hopes to establish any security at the RF position.

Jason Liu, Backup outfielder: For the third straight year, Jason Liu finds himself starting the season on the bench, despite consistently demonstrating his skills at the plate, and in the field.  After a breakout rookie campaign in 2004 and a strong 2005 followup, Liu was all set to become the starting rightfielder, before the “Bring Francis Back” campaign derailed the club’s plans.  For now, Liu remains on the bench, his pure strength and raw power ready to pounce the second Chen begins inevitably slipping at rightfield.

The Pitching Staff

Nathan Yan, #1 Starter: After a record-shattering 2005 campaign, in which he went 30-2 yet again, with a 0.98 ERA and 0.48 WHIP, the staff ace and three-time reigning Pitcher of the Year returns with his overpowering arsenal of stuff.  Virtually unrivaled anywhere in the league, at this point it’s pretty much just a guess of what record highs he’ll accomplish next.  Zero-loss season?  A 500-K campaign?  30 complete games?  In any case, Yan is on track to surpass 1000 career innings, 1500 K’s, and 100 wins, and 100 complete games and 50 shutouts is not out of the question either.

Whitney Esguerra, #2 Starter: After a year of demonstrating her skills in the minors, rookie Whitney Esguerra makes her way to the big leagues in a surprise move, taking over Josiah Leong’s spot in the rotation.  The young right-hander comes in fully polished already, with a 93-96mph fastball, good control and movement pitches, and dominating stuff.  Her Stuff-Control-Movement rating is 101-77-70, with a talent potential of 124-78-96.  Spending nearly a full season in the minors in 2005, Esguerra pitched 29 games, dominating with a 27-0 record, 2.01 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 341 K’s in 246 innings (that’s 12.48 K’s per 9, and 8.48 innings per start!

Terrence Zhao, #3 Starter: Daly City’s unexpected staff ace continues to flourish.  A year after a breakout 2004 campaign, Zhao found himself with yet another breakout beyond all expectations.  There doesn’t seem any stopping Zhao, who worked hard to improve his control, his one point of slight weakness, this offseason.  Zhao looks to continue his winning ways and dominating stuff, although he once again finds himself sitting pat behind the #2 spot for the second straight year.

Sean Wade, #4 Starter: Daly City’s other star rookie is back for a sophomore season.  Wade was a breakout success in his rookie year, and despite not having spectacular stuff, cruised by on sheer consistency to earn himself a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.  All signs point to Wade repeating his rookie success, although his second-half dropoff in performance could be some cause for reservation.

Samantha Chin, #5 Starter: Chin finds herself in the not-so-enviable role of being the best #5 pitcher in the league, by a far margin.  With at times dominating stuff, Chin floundered with a bit of inconsistency in 2005, with a 4.06 ERA.  Her 3.23 CERA, however, indicates that she can do a lot better, and much like Zhao breaking out in 2004, after a shaky 2003 that was brimming with potential, many scouts believe Chin will break out into one of the league’s most dominating pitchers this seasons.

Miguel Pardo, #6 Starter: Daly City’s #6 returns to round out the DC6, the only rotation in the majors consisting of 6-man rotation.  Pardo has improved in some aspects – his 2005 season certainly saw significant improvement over his past seasons, although the second-half Pardo looked much more like Miguel at his worst.  It’s perhaps time to see if Pardo can work his fleeting magic once again, and it might be his last chance to do so, with new rookie Alfred Vong breathing down his neck for the #6 slot.

Alfred Vong, long reliever: The oft-forgotten rookie pitcher, Vong spent much of 2005 as the long reliever, a role in which he was, in a word, inconsistent.  While clearly displaying good all-around talent, consistency has been a bit of a problem, which is why Vong once again finds himself back in the bullpen.  With a little more time to develop, however, Vong looks to become a solid pitcher, and could look to dislodge Pardo from his coveted #6 starting spot soon.

Helen Yamamoto, mopup reliever: After the worst season in recorded history, Yamamoto returns in 2006 with her 2005 numbers not leaving much to hope for: 9.35 ERA and 2.54 WHIP, and an opponent’s line of .379-.475-.672.  The upcoming season will probably be make-or-break for Yamamoto, as the reliever, especially the mopup kind, seems to be a dying breed in the Daly City system.

Angel Poon, middle reliever: Once again, Poon finds herself in the middle relief role, although the increasingly better pitching staff and increasingly closer games may mean even fewer innings than ever.  While her ERA has been erratic – 4.15, 2.88 3.75, Poon has shown consistency in her WHIP (1.14, 1.14, 1.19), and she looks to fill in a few, although likely not many innings, in middle relief.

Zubeda Khan, middle reliever: Once the team’s great hope at closer, a season marred by blown saves and stretches of downright atrocity have left her out of the running, despite averaging out to a decent 3.47 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 2005.  She joins the regular bullpen, although like Poon she doesn’t expect to see many innings this year, especially with the development of Vong at long relief, the introduction of Esguerra, and the movement of starter Leon to the closer role.

Alvina Chu, setup reliever: Perhaps the most maddening member of the bullpen in 2005, Chu put it down with one of the league’s best 1.70 ERA and 0.91 WHIP, yet at the same time blew wins and saves like no other.  Still, over the past two years (102 innings, 2.03 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 95 K’s), she’s been Daly City’s most dominant reliever by far, and she once again earns her spot as the team’s setup woman.  Forever the bridesmaid, never the bride, I guess….

Josiah Leong, closer: After an unsuccessful try at turning rookie Zubeda Khan into closer material, it was an offseason back to the drawing board, and at this point, the best Daly City has turns out to be none other than their 2004 closer, Josiah Leong. Partly driven by his prior experience, and partly by his abysmal track record as a starter, 2006 will bring Leong back to the bullpen, where he pitched 58 1/3 innings with a 3.70 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 40 saves in 2004.  All signs point to things being more of the same for Leong, who still hasn’t quite gotten a handle on his control issues, but many still hold out hope for a Gagne-like conversion (without the Gagne-like injury flameout)

On a closing note, everyone’s contract ends after the 2006 season, so it’s time to rework those $1/year salaries.  That’s right: Contract year for everyone.

No Comments

The 2005 Season Review


2005 started off as a year of uncertainty for the Daly City Motnis. The team lost their two best hitters, Norman Ho and Desireé Tienturier, who in 2004 combined for 328 RBIs and 325 Runs, as well as starting shortstop Sean Mok. On the pitching staff, they also lost half of thei pitching staff with Willis Fong, Michelle Lin, Sarah Jimenez, and Erica Lum all retiring down into the AAA affiliate. A big chunk of the bullpen, including Tirta and Absalon, were gone too.

With all of the huge losses, the team entered into the 2005 season, a fresh start in a new league of players, with big question marks. Big hitters Derek Lew and Joey Wong remained on the team, but there hardly seemed anyone on the team, the entire league even, who could duplicate the 3-4 slot numbers of Ho and Tienturier. Daly City needed to field three new starting positions players: The starting LF position went to the feeble Jonathan Chee, who the previous yea had barely even reached 200 plate appearances and provided a weak .219-.344-.303 line. Cristian Ortiz, while a slick defender, hardly seemed a proficient hitter, putting up a .230-.296-.392 line over only 81 plate appearances in 2004. At shortstop, the rookie Henry “Mr.” Nghe, who had all of 12 plate appearances in the previous year, would be taking over the reins. Meanwhile, the pitching staff saw two fresh pitchers straight out of high school – Sean Wade and Samantha Chin, who had not even gotten the benefit of being eased in through the farm system. Josiah Leong also had to be pulled back from the bullpen to fill in a rotation spot, leaving another rookie, Zubeda Khan, in the closer role straight out of high school.

Despite all of these uncertainties, and the stigma of being the youngest, most inexperienced, and lowest-salaried team in the majors, Daly City exploded out the gate, putting up a 24-4 record in their first month (a .857 winning percentage!) and outscoring their opponents 198 to 92. By midseason almost all of the early season doubts had been erased – after a torrid first month, Jonathan Chee as the leftfielder had began picking up steam, and would end up leading the league in OBP and scoring 93 runs on only 550 plate appearances. SS Mr. Nghe was already having a fine rookie season, although he wouldn’t turn on the afterburners until the 2nd half. Cristian Ortiz, meanwhile, was proving a stellar defender as well as a high-contact hitter and a demon on the basepaths. On the pitching staff, rookie Sean Wade had turned projections of cool consistency and control into flat out domination – his ERA was in the low 2’s, and his 11 wins were 2nd on the team.

The team would end atop the leaderboard, placing a 125-37, .772 record, 29 games in 1st, while placing 1st with runs scored (1085) and 1st in team ERA (2.94 in the league). Coordinated team effort, rather than flash-bang power numbers, were the name of the game for the 2005 squad – there were no 40 HR hitters or 160 RBI/Run players to be found on this year’s squad – instead the team had 6 of its 9 starters with an OBP over .380, and four players with an OPS over .900, though none over 1.000. Despite losing lights-out players in Fong, Lin, and Jimenez on the pitching staff, the pitching staff found new life with a consistent shutdown starter in rookie Sean Wade, a 2nd breakout season for 3rd-year starter Terrence Zhao, and some first-half razzle dazzle from longtime player Miguel Pardo. Many players showed huge promise and growth, and the year 2006 looks to be an even better one for the Daly City Montis, now the reigning three-peat champions of the baseball world.

Recap of stats:
Games: How many games the player played (there are 162 games in a season)
At bats: How many times a player went up to bat – roughly a measure of how many chances a player got to hit
Hits: The total number of hits (runs are the “points” of the game, and hits generally are needed to achieve runs)
2B: A type of hit where the batter gets 2 bases instead of the usual 1.
3B: An even better type of hit where the batter gets 3 bases instead of the usual 1.
HR: The best type of hit, where the batter gets 4 bases (and thus scores 1 run).
RBI: A measure of how many runs by other player the player has driven in
Runs: A measure of how many runs the player himself has scored
K: A strikeout, where the batter fails to hit the ball at all
Walk: An alternative to a hit, where the pitcher throws badly and the batter gets to advance a base for free
Hit-by-pitch: Similar to a walk, except instead of the pitcher throwing multiple bad balls, the batter just gets hit by the ball once
Steals: When a player runs to get an extra base – this is usually an indicator of good speed
CS: Caught stealing, when a player tries to get an extra base but gets out instead
AVG: The percentage of at bats that the player gets a hit – this indicates good contact ability and is a more traditional, although outdated method of measuring a player’s value.
OBP: The percentage of times a player gets on base, or rather, not out. This is a more modern metric that is a good indicator of a player’s run-scoring ability.
SLG: The average number of bases per at bat – this is an indicator of a player’s power and ability to drive in other players’ runs.
OPS: This is a combination of OBP and SLG, yielding an overall performance metric.
RC: Runs Created, this is a cumulative statistic of how many runs (points) the player was worth – this is a standard metric for total, cumulative achievement.
RC/27: Runs Created per 27 outs, this is the cumulative achievement represented by RC divided by the number of chances, yielding a very advanced overall value metric for the batter.

Sam Lau, Catcher: The team’s longtime catcher returned to full-time duty in 2005, after a 2004 season split with then-rookie Tina Quach, and Lau came back with fury, posting career highs in almost every category – his .304-.397-.498 line completely obliterated his career averages, as Lau also put up 161 hits, 26 doubles, and 25 homeruns in 530 at bats. Lau also hit 113 RBI and scored 105 runs, one of four 100-100 players on the team, and made it to the all-star game for the first time in his career. On top of consistently hitting well, Lau also came through in the clutch when it counted – his line bumped up to a .352-.430-.582 with runners in scoring position, and an even greater .356-.456-.733 in close/late situations. Unfortunately, 2005 will go down as the final year for Sam Lau, who moves on to Daly City’s AAA affiliate, but not before posting his .278-.381-.463 line and going down in history as high OBP, power- hitting first catcher of the Daly City Montis.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 155 548 146 19 3 24 104 97 62 98 10 5 0 .266 .395 .443 .838 102.5 6.57
2004 110 387 101 17 0 18 74 63 38 63 2 5 0 .261 .374 .444 .818 67.8 6.16
2005 140 530 161 26 1 25 113 105 46 75 11 5 0 .304 .397 .498 .895 109.1 7.54

Tina “Experimental Error” Quach, Utility Catcher/Outfielder: Backup catcher Tina Quach found herself in much the same role she had last season, seeing significant playing time both at catcher and in the outfield. Quach started out the season abysmally, posting a .167-.286-.333 line in April, and following it up with a .172-.351-.207 May. She began to come to life after that, however, and exploded through June-July-August, eventually ending up with a .303-.386-.433 season in 290 plate appearances, similar to the .299-.386-.409 line she posted in 2004. With a second solid, albeit once again part time season, the Experimental Error seems to have established herself as a passable hitter – good average with a high OBP, although not quite much in the power department. Her abilities will be tested, especially on defense, when she moves in to become the team’s starting catcher in 2006.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2004 78 281 84 18 2 3 33 42 19 33 2 0 0 .299 .377 .409 .782 44.4 5.90
2005 72 254 77 14 2 5 40 40 25 34 1 1 0 .303 .386 .433 .819 45.2 6.74

Derek Lew, 1st Baseman: Expected to be a cornerstone of the young, new squad, unlike the previous two seasons Lew was anything but a measure of consistency in 2005. He started out the season with a huge April – .361-.370-.648, with 30 RBIs and 30 Runs, along with 17 doubles. At that point Lew had seemed all but set to go onto a career year. Instead, Lew plummeted, going .226-.247-.417 in May (yet somehow still driving in 16 RBI) before getting injured for 7 weeks with a fractured knee, a devastating loss that sidelined him until mid-July. Lew returned, but didn’t seem to be the same – he posted an impressive .282-.301-.615 July, but dipped down to .254-.269-.509 in August, and bottomed out at .176-.211-.308 in September. The postseason, however, seemed to hint at a resurgence for the powerhouse hitter – in 80 at bats (and 84 plate appearances), Lew went .325-.357-.637, driving in 17 RBIs and scoring 14 runs. He ended the season at .266-.285-.507, a mark which seems to indicate that his power-hitting prowess is all there, but he’s not making consistently good contact, despite posting a career-low 6 strikeouts. Overall, an extremely disappointing season for Lew, with an offseason spent hoping he can recover from his fractured knee and return to the form that helped him hit a league-leading 74 doubles and last 764 at bats in 2004.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 162 729 219 67 6 37 160 141 35 32 11 6 2 .300 .348 .561 .909 132.2 6.54
2004 162 754 241 74 1 28 133 138 24 19 7 7 0 .320 .344 .532 .876 127 6.33
2005 116 489 130 40 6 22 103 87 6 14 2 1 0 .266 .285 .507 .792 66.4 4.70

Rudy Puzon, Designated Hitter/Backup 1st Baseman: The rookie Puzon entered into the season as a player straight out of high school. Projected initially as a decent hitter with both low ceiling and high floor, Puzon shocked many when he posted a .325-.391-.588 line in his first month, while leading the team with 8 HR. Thereafter, Puzon settled into a consistent groove, and went on to post 116.8 Runs Created, 3rd on the team behind Batter of the Year Joey Wong and Rookie of the Year Henry Nghe, and hit .301-.383-.522, an extremely impressive performance that bodes well for the rookie. With Lew going down in late May, Puzon stepped up and filled in most of the games at designated hitter, and was one of the biggest additions in terms of replacing the output void left by the departures of sluggers Ho and Tienturier.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2005 139 554 167 16 5 32 115 109 94 76 2 5 4 .301 .383 .522 .904 116.8 7.65

Cristian Ortiz, 2nd Baseman: Signed on back in 2003 as a defensive wizard, Ortiz had big shoes to fill as he moved into the starting 2nd base job. No one expected him to hit for power, get on base consistently, or score runs – Ortiz’s role was purely as a defensive specialist who could hopefully pass as a decent hitter in the lineup. Ortiz started the season at the #8 slot, usually reserved for the worst hitter in the lineup. Having gone .257-.324-.421 in 2003 when he played half a season, and a .230-.296-.392 in only 25 games, the expectations weren’t very high. Ortiz, however, surprised all of his critics when he went .289-.315-.488 in his first month, a line he would more or less stick to. Throughout the rest of the season, Ortiz would draw comparisons to a “Jeter with speed”, as he hit a .284-.342-.460 line while knocking in a surprising 23 homeruns and stealing 58 bases. Like the real-life Jeter, however, Ortiz would really come to life once in the postseason, where he hit .422-.458-.688 in 64 at bats and hit 16 RBI and scored 12 runs, something which seemed to directly contradict his .173-.205-.212 line in close/late situations during the regular season. We’ll have to see next season if his newfound hitting abilities are the real deal or some one-season fluke.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 73 261 67 7 3 10 38 33 39 26 6 2 0 .257 .340 .421 .761 38.2 5.16
2004 25 74 17 0 0 4 17 6 13 7 0 1 0 .230 .313 .392 .705 8.7 3.85
2005 143 563 160 28 1 23 88 105 80 46 6 58 8 .284 .342 .460 .803 93.7 5.91

Kelvin Huang, Backup 2nd Baseman: Without a backup middle infielder for much of the first half of the season, newcomers Ortiz and Nghe manned the middle infielder positions for most all of the first half. Meanwhile, Kelvin Huang, a 60-rated second baseman and 40-rated shortstop, bashed away in the minor leagues, where he had gone 340 at bats with a .353-.437-.588 line. By July the club decided he was major-league ready, and was brought up to the bigs, where he served as a spot starter to give the starting middle infielders some much needed rest. Rather than being a simple fill-in starter, however, Chang exploded in his first two starts, going a combined 4-9 with 4 runs and 4 RBI. He went on to a .333-.359-.617 line in 60 at bats and 16 games, although he sank somewhat with a .217-.217-.261 August and saw a resurgence in limited duty with a .600-.588-.667 line in 4 September games. Overall, the rookie backup showed some strong flair, going .347-.365-.541 in 26 games, although the limited playing time and more standard scouting reports cast some doubt as to whether those numbers are truly representative of his ability. In any case, Daly City has seemed to have found a solid middle infielder from the bench, putting some confidence behind SS and 2B should Nghe or Ortiz ever go down with an injury.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
AAA 80 340 120 23 3 17 58 90 84 51   6 4 .353 .437 .588 1.025    
2005 26 98 34 8 1 3 21 17 18 4 0 0 0 .347 .365 .541 .906 19.4 7.72

Joey Wong, Third Baseman: With the big losses of Ho and Tienturier, much of the burden fell on Wong as the primary run producer, especially after Lew’s injury and subsequent troubles. Wong didn’t disappoint, and in this, his final year, finally captured the batter of the year award in which he had long been overshadowed by five tool players Ho and Tienturier. Wong finished .001 behind batting champion Nghe, and was #3 in OPS in the league, #8 overall in the entire Monti league, and finished 2nd with 148.5 runs created. The overall season was fairly on par with Wong’s career numbers he finished with a .361-.421-.567 line, and 130 RBIs and 124 Runs, to lead the team. For his career, he finished with 1924 at bats in 474 games, accumulating 707 hits, 115 doubles, 10 triples, and 92 HR, along with 421 RBI, 396 Runs, 220 K’s to 203 walks, and 31 stolen bases, for a .367-.427-.581 line, making him the team’s all-time leader in HR, RBI, Runs, Hits, and Batting Average.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 161 642 236 49 5 28 157 131 73 68 1 20 0 .368 .441 .590 1.018 161.8 10.07
2004 162 665 248 40 1 33 134 141 67 68 4 3 0 .373 .436 .585 1.016 165.5 10.13
2005 151 617 223 26 4 31 130 124 80 67 1 8 0 .361 .421 .567 .988 148.5 9.69

Joanna Maung, Backup saung-gah-basewoman: It was another year of slight improvement for the young third basewoman. Playing sparingly again (56 games, 186 AB), Maung put up some fairly good numbers – a .306-.378-.435 line, marking a good increase in her contact abilities, although this was somewhat negated by a decreased ability to garner walks – 21 in 207 plate appearances, compared to 26 in 186 the year. Nevertheless, she saw a second consecutive increase in her OPS. Whether she likes it or not, however, Maung seems set to be cast into the frying pan come next season – with the imminent departure of Joey Wong, Maung is left as the only player with significant experience fielding 3rd base, where she carries a 61-rating defense. Maung will have to demonstrate her ability to both field 3rd and improve her performance against lefties, against whom she batted .206-.325-.441 this season.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 39 135 37 9 0 0 20 25 23 20 1 0 0 .274 .373 .341 .714 18 4.66
2004 50 160 44 6 0 3 31 30 25 26 1 0 0 .275 .386 .369 .755 23 4.96
2005 56 186 57 6 0 6 32 32 26 21 1 1 0 .306 .378 .435 .813 31.9 6.48

Henry “Mr.” Nghe, Shortstop: The “rookie”, if a 28-year old can be called that, was a huge question mark entering the season. He seemed to have mediocre skills, and few believed he could jump in and begin replicating the OBP ability of the prior year’s Sean Mok to set the table. Instead, Nghe surprised many with his first .324-.389-.520 month, where he began a precipitous rise until the climactic month of August, where he posted a gaudy .414-.439-.638 line that solidified him as one of the premiere players of the game. Instead of being a bottom-of-the-order player, or even a top of the order table setter, by mid-season Nghe had found himself hitting in the #5 spot behind Joey Wong, with his league-leading .362 AVG and propensity for hitting big (49 doubles, 13 triples, and 74 extra base hits to lead the team) that would eventually lead to his winning the Rookie of the Year award. Barring a sophomore slump, Nghe looks poised to become one of the best shortstops in the league, and take on a role as one of the primary run producers of the team, especially with star 3B Joey Wong retiring.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
AAA 148 587 182 21 3 27 97 100 97 86   29 9 .310 .398 .494 .892    
2004 3 11 3 0 0 0 1 2 4 1 0 0 0 .273 .333 .273 .606 0.8 2.44
2005 148 607 220 49 13 12 100 118 89 46 3 19 9 .362 .408 .545 .953 139.3 9.13

Jonathan “The Cheet” Chee, leftfielder: After a dreadful 2004 spent in and out of a starting role, Chee returned to the Leftfield position he held in 2003, and in the two years since, has shown some dramatic development as a hitter. Chee started out slowly, with a .226-.314-.387 line, causing him to only play 8 games all of April (and allowing players like Tiffany Ho and Jason Liu a chance in the outfield). Chee bounced back in May, however, with a .324-.472-.471 line, buoyed by a monthly high 12 hit-by-pitches, despite only 88 plate appearances overall. Fully up to speed now, Chee found himself firmly in a starting role, and put up a solid and surprisingly consistent performance throughout the rest of the season, coming on fire in September when he belted out a .383-.495-.580 month, combined with a 12 hit-by-pitch surge that brought his total to a league-leading 49. For the season, Chee went .312-.436-.424, 3rd, 1st, and 8th on the team, respectively. Chee also piggy-backed a league-high 20 steals on double steals with Cubilo and Ortiz, a dramatic feat considering his 10 (out of 100) running speed and 5 stealing ability.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 144 525 146 18 2 8 68 68 112 70 4 3 0 .278 .363 .366 .729 75.3 5.23
2004 54 178 39 3 0 4 17 40 40 34 0 1 0 .219 .344 .303 .647 20.5 3.88
2005 119 446 139 23 0 9 73 93 65 52 49 20 0 .312 .436 .424 .860 92.2 7.78

Jason Liu, Leftfielder: Liu exploded onto the scene out of nowhere in 2004, getting a callup two months into the season and shocking all with a 39-39 double/HR performance in 433 AB, for a .323-.409-.702 season. Though projected in scouting reports as a raw power hitter, Liu’s overall line seemed to indicate a complete player, who had good contact and basewalking ability in addition to his propensity for extra base hits. Liu was up for a second season, and despite shocking numbers in 2004, once again started the season from the bench, with Jonathan Chee and Francis Chen seated at the corner outfield positions. With early struggles by both Chee and Chen, however, Liu came onto a starting role quickly, and mashed his way as a starter to succesively more impressive months in the first half. Liu hit some struggles in the second half, however, and with Jonathan Chee catching a groove, Liu found himself in a part time position as he continued some second-half struggles. Liu ended the season with a still impressive .298-.348-.579 line, cashing in on 28 homeruns, 3rd behind Puzon and Wong, despite having only 399 at bats.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
AAA 22 90 28 7 2 9 22 23 18 17   1 1 .311 .421 .733 1.154    
2004 118 433 140 39 4 39 126 104 109 63 14 2 0 .323 .430 .702 1.132 129.7 11.26
2005 100 399 119 18 5 28 89 83 106 30 3 9 0 .298 .348 .579 .927 79.7 7.32

Aubrey Cubilo, Centerfielder: Another of the soon-to-be-departed, Daly City’s longtime leadoff hitter would go off with a humble last season. After hitting at a torrid .319-.333-.459 pace, and stealing 26 bases in 46 games, before going down with a season-ending injury in 2003, Cubilo came back in 2004, asserting her proficiency at the leadoff position with 58 doubles and 15 triples, along with 123 runs and a team-leading 67 steals. This year, Cubilo provided more of the same, though sacrificing some power for improved on-base ability, and blazing the basepaths for a new league-record 77 steals to 9 caught stealing, for a 89.5% SB%. Aubrey retires with a .296-.322-.409 line, and 170 steals, far and away the all-time team leader.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2003 46 229 73 20 6 0 20 42 30 5 0 26 2 .319 .333 .459 .792 35.9 6.07
2004 153 698 204 58 15 0 83 123 78 23 6 67 13 .292 .323 .418 .741 98.2 5.05
2005 138 600 175 38 7 0 71 99 59 25 7 77 9 .292 .325 .378 .704 79.8 4.79

Francis Chen, Rightfielder: It was a maddening year for Francis Chen. After breaking onto the scene with a .241-.268-.537 season that showed as many gaping flaws as huge promises, Chen’s sophomore season proved to be all disappointment. Out of the gate, Chen stumbled with a .210-.333-.419 line, although his OBP and relative SLG showed some glimmer of hope if Chen could find the ability to make consistent contact. However, Chen only plunged to further depths of atrocity, going .125-.263-.250 in May and never getting better, eventually ending his season with a quite pitiful .179-.307-.417 line. While analysts and scouts everywhere knew Chen would be an inconsistent enigma, even his most pessimistic critics didn’t expect him to flame out this early. The future holds great uncertainty for the once promising Chen, although his ending line for the 2005 postseason run to the world series may yet leave a lingering bit of hope: .244-.400-.805 in 12 games, with a team-leading 7 homeruns.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
AAA 15 70 15 4 1 6 15 18 13 5   0 0 .214 .267 .557 .824    
2004 42 162 39 7 1 13 41 29 41 6 2 0 0 .241 .285 .537 .822 22.8 4.77
2005 79 252 45 9 3 15 44 39 69 46 2 10 2 .179 .307 .417 .724 36.1 4.49

Tiffany Ho, Backup SS, Outfielder: The spirited Ho, like fellow rookie Alfred Vong a fresh player out of high school (and the two youngest players on the team), turned out a decent performance in her rookie season, in which she went .279-.305-.361 with 10 steals in 64 games. Ho started off slowly, with a .243-.263-.297 April, but began to become progressively better, with strong contact numbers in the second half. She also seemed to be a much more confident player at home, where she hit .333-.365-.433. Given the ever-tumultuous outfield situation, especially with Chen’s flame-out and the retirement of Cubilo, Daly City fans chance to see a lot more of the spunky rookie outfielder in 2006.

Year Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
2004 64 233 65 12 2 1 23 34 35 8 1 10 1 .279 .305 .361 .665 25.6 3.95

The 2005 Batter Composite (sorted by Runs Created per 27 outs):

Name Games At bats Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K Walks Hit-by-pitch Steals CS AVG OBP SLG OPS RC RC/27
Joey Wong 151 617 223 26 4 31 130 124 80 67 1 8 0 .361 .421 .567 .988 148.5 9.69
Henry Nghe 148 607 220 49 13 12 100 118 89 46 3 19 9 .362 .408 .545 .953 139.3 9.13
Jonathan Chee 119 446 139 23 0 9 73 93 65 52 49 20 0 .312 .436 .424 .860 92.2 7.78
Kelvin Huang 26 98 34 8 1 3 21 17 18 4 0 0 0 .347 .365 .541 .906 19.4 7.72
Rudy Puzon 139 554 167 16 5 32 115 109 94 76 2 5 4 .301 .383 .522 .904 116.8 7.65
Sam Lau 140 530 161 26 1 25 113 105 46 75 11 5 0 .304 .397 .397 .498 109.1 7.54
Jason Liu 100 399 119 18 5 28 89 83 106 30 3 9 0 .298 .348 .579 .927 79.7 7.32
Tina Quach 72 254 77 14 2 5 40 40 25 34 1 1 0 .303 .386 .433 .819 45.2 6.74
Joanna Maung 56 186 57 6 0 6 32 32 26 21 1 1 0 .306 .378 .435 .813 31.9 6.48
Cristian Ortiz 143 563 160 28 1 23 88 105 80 46 6 58 8 .284 .342 .460 .803 93.7 5.91
Aubrey Cubilo 138 600 175 38 7 0 71 99 59 25 7 77 9 .292 .325 .378 .704 79.8 4.79
Derek Lew 116 489 130 40 6 22 103 87 6 14 2 1 0 .266 .285 .507 .792 66.4 4.70
Francis Chen 79 252 45 9 3 15 44 39 69 46 2 10 2 .179 .307 .417 .724 36.1 4.49
Tiffany Ho 64 233 65 12 2 1 23 34 35 8 1 10 1 .279 .305 .361 .665 25.6 3.95

Recap of stats:
Games: The number of games a pitcher has played – although this is out of 162 games, pitchers are not expected to play all games
Starts: This is the number of times a starter has started the game. A full-time starter in a 5-man rotation can be expected to throw 32 starts. In a 6-man rotation, which the Daly City Montis use, a full-time starter can be expected to throw 27 starts.
Record: The win-loss record of the pitcher. Wins are how many times a pitcher has won a game, and a loss is the number of times the pitcher has lost, both calculated using complicated methods. These stats are largely irrelevant.
Saves: The number of times a pitcher has finished out a game and protected the team’s narrow lead. This stat is largely irrelevant.
Holds: The number of times a pitcher preserved a lead. This stat is largely irrelevant.
Blown saves: The number of times a pitcher has given up a narrow lead – low numbers are irrelevant, but high numbers indicate a bad reliever.
QS/CG/SHO: Quality Starts are how many times a starter has thrown 6 innings while giving up less than 3 runs, which is a standard of consistency. Complete games are how many times a starter has thrown the entire game, which is a standard of endurance. Shutouts are how many times a starter has thrown an entire game without giving up a run, which is a standard of dominance.
Innings: How many innings (baseball’s time unit) a player has thrown
K’s: Strikeouts (the batter fails to hit the ball at all) – strikeouts indicate a dominating pitcher
Walks: The number of times a pitcher allows a batter a free advance because the pitches are not thrown accurately – this is a rough indicator of a pitcher’s control and throwing accuracy.
HBP: Hit-batter-with-pitch, the number of times a batter has been hit with a pitch.
WP: Wild Pitch, in which the ball is thrown so far off target that not even the catcher can catch it.
RS/G: Runs Scored per Game, counting how many runs the offense scores per start by the pitcher.
AVG: The opposing batters’ AVG, indicating how often batters achieve hits
OBP: The opposing batters’ OBP, indicating how much the pitcher allows batters to reach base
SLG: The opposing batters’ SLG, indicating how much the pitcher allows batters to hit for power
K/9: The rate at which the pitcher throws strikeouts – roughly a metric of dominance
ERA: The number of runs a pitcher allowed on average – this is a measurement of the pitcher’s real performance.
CERA: A metric on the same scale as ERA, but which is an overall performance metric.
WHIP: Another overall performance metric, more crude than CERA.

Nathan Yan, #1 Starting Pitcher: The starting ace was dominant yet again this year, as Yan brought his lights-out pitching to an entirely new level. Once again finished 30-2 (he’s been 30-2 in 32 starts in all three seasons), Yan finished with an astounding 0.98 ERA and 0.48 WHIP, not to mention a godly 0.19 Component ERA. Padding his power numbers, Yan also struck out 469 batters in 276 innings this year, obliterating his previous career record of 444 K’s in 276 2/3 innings in 2003 and setting a 15.3 K’s per 9 innings mark. Yan also set career highs with 31 quality starts, 25 complete games, and 14 shutouts, and highlighted the season with astounding performances, including his 10-inning 1 hit shutout on opening day, FOUR 1-hitters and a no-hitter (1 on-base-by-ERROR short of a perfect game). Yan also pitched five consecutive shutouts in September, and currently holds a 28-game winning streak.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2003 32 32 30-2 0 0 0 28/21/10 276 2/3 444 18 9 13 6.3 .186 .206 .248 14.4 1.46 1.11 0.73
2004 32 32 30-2 0 0 0 31/22/11 277 1/3 366 30 10 9 7.3 .170 .201 .230 11.9 1.20 0.88 0.70
2005 32 32 30-2 0 0 0 31/25/14 276 469 20 6 3 6.9 .120 .144 .209 15.3 0.98 0.19 0.48

Josiah Leong, #2 Starting Pitcher: The ever on-the-cusp Leong threw in yet another almost there season. Making 30 starts, Leong switched back and forth between brilliance and abysmality – he made nine starts with 1 run or less, third most behind Yan and Zhao, yet ended up with the highest ERA of the five main starters and the highest WHIP of anyone on the entire team. Despite this, Leong continued to flash great potential – he struck out 227 batters, good for #12 in the league and #6 in the UL. In addition, his 11.1 K’s per 9 innings was second most in the league, only behind Yan. Leong’s Achilles Heel still seems to be his control – while his opponent’s AVG and SLG numbers seem to be a good .217 AVG and .392 SLG, his OBP was a high .324, especially considering his low initial AVG. He gave up 87 walks in only 183 2/3 innings, in addition to hitting 23 batters to lead the Universal League, although his 4.26 walks per 9 innings mark is dramatically improved from his 6.69 mark when he was a starter two years ago. With the starter’s pool getting crowded, with Zhao emerging as a dominant ace and rookies Wade and Chin proving their worth, and possibly a young Vong waiting in the wings, Leong’s hold on the #2 starter position, and even a guaranteed spot in the rotation, seems uncertain, as he’s currently the worst starter on the team.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2003 18 17 7-6 0 0 0 12/0/0 109 90 81 15 9 4.7 .201 .357 .388 7.4 4.21 4.41 1.45
2004 47 0 1-2 40 0 3 0/0/0 58 1/3 58 31 5 0   .189 .306 .354 8.9 3.70 3.02 1.20
2005 30 30 13-9 0 0 0 16/1/0 183 2/3 227 87 23 7 6.8 .217 .324 .392 11.1 4.07 3.84 1.27

Terrence Zhao, #3 Starting Pitcher: Zhao had a break-out year in 2004, where he was a surprise sleeper as the #3 starter, with a 2.94 ERA and 0.99 WHIP, a dramatic improvement over his 4.14 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in the inaugural 2003 seasons. With a dominating 3-hit shutout in his 1st start of the season, Zhao set the tone early, going 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA in the first month. From there, Zhao continued to dominate, and really began to shine when he hit August, where he pitched five consecutive shutouts. For the first time, Zhao also threw more K’s than innings, for a 9.3 K’s per 9 innings mark, and he asserted his dominance with a 2nd-place 27 quality starts, 2nd-place 9 shutouts, and 11th-place 11 complete games. Zhao also finished 2nd place in opponent’s AVG, OBP, and SLG. All in all, the past three seasons have seen tremendous growth for Zhao from a middling #5 starter to solid ace, and now to a lights-out legend, the undisputed second best pitcher in the league.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2003 28 24 14 7 0 0 14/2/1 163 120 91 5 0 7.5 .221 .324 .436 6.6 4.14 3.99 1.37
2004 28 28 15 4 p 0 20/7/4 186 2/3 143 68 5 0 6.7 .176 .257 .375 6.9 2.94 2.52 0.99
2005 31 31 23 4 0 0 27/11/9 237 1/3 245 75 4 0 6.9 .192 .258 .278 9.3 1.74 1.74 1.01

Sean Wade, #4 Starting Pitcher: One of three rookie starters on the team, Sean Wade came in projected as the #5 starter – a kid with good control and a decent floor who projected to be consistent, though not spectacular. Compared to fellow rookie Samantha Chin, Wade was to be the thunder to Chin’s lightning. Instead, Wade took off in the first half of the season, going 5-0 in five starts in the first month with a 2.04 ERA and an amazing 0.63 WHIP, bested only by Nathan Yan. Wade continued to dominate into May and June, and for a time even led the team in wins. By his fourth game, Wade would already have his first complete game shutout. He began to cool off once he hit the second half, however, with a bad 5.60 ERA July (although he still managed a decent 1.24 WHIP), and at the end of September finished the season at 20-8 in 29 starts, with a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP in 201 innings. To top it all off, Wade would go 4-0 in the postseason with a 1.72 ERA as the team’s second-best postseason starter. All in all, a huge rookie season for Wade, who also finished #2 in Rookie of the Year balloting behind teammate Henry Nghe, and a promising sign of huge things to come for the slow-throwing Wade.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2005 29 29 20-8 0 0 0 23/3/2 201 163 38 5 0 6.9 .217 .258 .345 7.3 3.00 2.33 1.00

Samantha Chin, #5 Starting Pitcher: The other half of the team’s rookie starter duo, Chin flashed on and off all season like a strobe-light – she was slammed with a horrific 7.33 ERA, 1.37 WHIP month in April, then proceeded with a promising 2.57 ERA, 1.09 May (where she went 3-1 with her only loss, a 9-inning 2-run outing). The following month would see her fall back to a more average 4.44 ERA, but the next July Chin jumped back with a 2.21 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. She would fail to keep her success going on, however, and met with a 5.76 ERA, 1.44 August, before showing her explosive side yet again with a 2.70 ERA, 0.98 WHIP September. The most amazing aspect of this is that through it all, Samantha finished with a 13-1 record, the second W-L ratio on the team, luckily aided by her league-best 7.7 run support per game. Overall, an extremely promising rookie year for Chin, who showed flashes of being one of the league’s best starters every other month. Whether she can harness that into season-long consistency remains to be seen.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2005 26 26 13-1 0 0 0 14/2/1 168 1/3 163 37 16 13 7.7 .234 .290 .402 8.7 4.06 3.23 1.11

Miguel Pardo, #6 Starting Pitcher: The old stalwart, with magic soaking his spine – no one could read Pardo’s mind in April, when he went a phenomenal 3-0 in 3 starts, throwing 25 innings with 2 complete games and 1 shutout, posting a 1.08 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. Pardo, who had been with the team as a starter since way back in the 2003 season, had always showed flashes of brilliance that were often drowned out by his other starts that were often so bad that sports writers didn’t know whether they could still call him a ‘starting pitcher’ or if the simple ‘thrower’ was a more appropriate term. Pardo’s start, however, amazed all, and many wondered if Pardo had finally gotten it all together. After all, Pardo’s 1.08 ERA was even lower than the great Nathan Yan’s! The doubts were all back with his 4.43 ERA follow up month, but a 2.93 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in June once again sparked intense interest in the #6 starter. The magic would run out eventually for Pardo, however, as he settled into his old-self numbers – a 6.38 second-half ERA. Pardo would end the year with a 9-2 record and 4.19 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, showing significant improvement over his previous two years, although his second-half numbers cast serious doubt over exactly how much Pardo developed. Like Leong, Pardo, who’s on the borderline as one of the worse pitchers on the team, faces stiff competition in the rotation, where several new pitchers have emerged to crowd the rotation

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2003 21 19 10-3 0 1 0 9/1/0 126 79 90 2 1 8.2 .241 .362 .395 5.6 4.79 4.52 1.61
2004 9 9 3-4 0 0 0 4/1/1 46 25 34 0 0 5.7 .302 .401 .556 4.9 6.65 7.62 1.98
2005 20 13 9-2 1 0 0 8/2/1 103 77 35 3 0 7.8 .247 .311 .399 6.7 4.19 3.57 1.27

Alfred Vong, Long Reliever: Another newcomer this year, Alfred, who projected as a starter, figured to spend most of his time in the bullpen, especially with the packed rotation. There Vong pitched as the team’s long reliever all season, accumulating 63 2/3 innings in 24 games, including 1 start late in the season. Overall, Vong’s 4.24 ERA was slightly under the league’s average, but this statistic partly masks Vong’s fine season-long performance that was peppered with huge meltdowns. Vong started out very well, maintaining a sub-3.00 ERA at the half-season point, but saw his July ERA balloon up to 8.18, and got hit hard again in September with an ERA of 21.60. Discounting the months of July and September, Vong’s ERA would be a scant 2.01. The prospects look good for the young rookie, although it may yet be a while longer until Vong finally gets a shot at a full rotation spot.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2005 24 1 4-2 2 3 0 1/0/0 63 2/3 53 15 1 1 12.4 .245 .289 .469 7.5 4.24 3.83 1.18

Angel Poon, Middle Reliever: As the team’s middle reliever, a supersized rotation meant that the bullpen saw little work this year, and having been displaced as the team’s top reliever by now-setup reliever Alvina Chu, Poon worked only 50 innings, compared to 65 the past two seasons. Poon’s ERA also saw a bump from a 2.88 ERA 2004, although this was somewhat expected given the rather high 1.14 WHIP last year. Overall, Poon was very effective during the three-month middle summer stretch from May-July, but she got slammed in the other months, resulting in a fairly average overall season.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2003 41 0 3-2 1 13 3 0/0/0 65 51 11 4 3   .252 .289 .388 7.1 4.15 3.42 1.14
2004 28 0 4-1 4 2 0 0/0/0 65 2/3 46 13 0 1   .249 .286 .414 6.3 2.88 3.20 1.14
2005 27 0 2-2 2 4 2 0/0/0 50 1/3 45 11 3 3   .262 .310 .449 8.0 3.75 3.96 1.19

Katie Clayton, Mopup Reliever: The often down Katie Clayton finally came around to putting up a decent season this year – after hitting the 9.00 ERA mark each of the past two seasons (on 43 and 12 innings), with WHIPs well into the 1.90’s, Clayton turned in a 4.50 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, and a 3.70 Components ERA. With the rotation getting ever more crowded, however, and showing no signs of letting up their dominant, complete-game throwing performances, Katie Clayton, the league-average bullpen pitcher, may be a part of a dying breed that won’t remain very much longer with the team.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2003 30 0 0-0 0 4 0 0/0/0 43 26 31 1 0   .316 .411 .526 5.4 9.00 7.63 1.98
2004 10 0 0-0 0 0 0 0/0/0 12 8 13 1 0   .238 .429 .405 6.0 9.00 5.95 1.92
2005 21 0 0-0 2 1 1 0/0/0 34 34 12 4 0   .240 .324 .438 4.0 4.50 3.70 1.21

Helen Yamamoto, Mopup Reliever: Taking over the title from Katie Clayton as worst pitcher ever, Yamamoto set record-worsts in pitching for the Daly City team – she packed a 9.35 ERA and 2.54 WHIP, and even worse, had a components ERA of 12.05. Despite this, she still pitched a substantial 26 innings of work, raising the team’s ERA from 2.83 to 2.94 all on her own.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s Walks HBP WP RS/G AVG OBP SLG K/9 ERA CERA WHIP
2005 19 0 0-0 2 0 0 0/0/0 26 12 22 0 0   .379 .475 .672 4.2 9.35 12.05 2.54

Alvina Chu, Setup Reliever: After breaking onto the scene with a stunning 2.58 ERA, 1.04 WHIP part season in 2004, Chu impressed even further in 2005, although not without controversy. Chu became the team’s primary reliever, appearing in 35 games and 63 2/3 innings with a 1.70 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Chu, however, was not the most consistent of relievers, especially early on. While she pitched astoundingly well on her own, she made life a nightmare for many of the starters, inheriting 28 runners and allowing a team-high 11 (39.3%) to score, making her the 7th worst pitcher in the league. Chu also finished 3rd with 7 blown saves in 19 opportunities, robbing many a starter of a hard earned win while padding her league-leading 9 wins as a reliever.

Year Games Starts Record Saves Holds Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
AAA 12 0 1-1 8     0/0/0 14 11 3             7.1 1.29   1.14
2004 20 0 5-0 2 0 0 0/0/0 38 1/3 41 13 1 1   .196 .270 .283 9.6 2.58 2.10 1.04
2005 35 0 9-3 1 12 7 0/0/0 63 2/3 54 16 0 1   .191 .239 .309 7.6 1.70 1.72 0.91

Zubeda Khan: The rookie reliever came in at the beginning of the year hoping to be the team’s next new savior at the closer role, which has now seen a tumultuous 3 closers in 3 years. Would she be the one to finally establish security at the position? Khan seemed to have the right make for a closer – unlike last year’s flamethrower Josiah Leong, Khan was projected as a crafty, control-driven pitcher who’d be able to finish out games with consistency. Khan astounded in April when she jumped out to an 0.87 ERA and 0.68 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings of work, working 9 games, saving 5 games, and winning one in the process, quickly drawing comparisons to 2003’s closer Michelle Absalon (she had finished that year with an 0.83 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, and 46 saves in 64 2/3 innings). The magic wouldn’t last very long, however, as Khan got hit badly in May and June, before throwing 7 shutout innings in July and also having a good September. Overall, the rookie managed to save 29 games in 34 opportunities, marking a second straight year of decline after Josiah’s 40 edge-of-your-seat saves in 2004 and Absalon’s 46 saves in 2003. Perhaps Khan’s consistency will begin to develop later on in her career, but for now, it’s back to the drawing board to find a consistent closer for Daly City.

Year Games Starts Record Saves
Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
2005 42 0 2-3 29 0 5 0/0/0 46 2/3 38 11 0 1   .241 .283 .408 7.3 3.47 3.28 1.14

2005 Pitcher Composite (sorted by Components ERA)

Name Games Starts Record Saves
Bl.Sv. QS/CG/SHO Innings K’s
Nathan Yan 32 32 30-2 0 0 0 31/25/14 276 469 20 6 3 6.9 .120 .144 .209 15.3 0.98 0.19 0.48
Alvina Chu 35 0 9-3 1 12 7 0/0/0 63 2/3 54 16 0 1   .191 .239 .309 7.6 1.70 1.72 0.91
Terrence Zhao 31 31 23 4 0 0 27/11/9 237 1/3 245 75 4 0 6.9 .192 .258 .278 9.3 1.74 1.74 1.01
Sean Wade 29 29 20-8 0 0 0 23/3/2 201 163 38 5 0 6.9 .217 .258 .345 7.3 3.00 2.33 1.00
Samantha Chin 26 26 13-1 0 0 0 14/2/1 168 1/3 163 37 16 13 7.7 .234 .290 .402 8.7 4.06 3.23 1.11
Zubeda Khan 42 0 2-3 29 0 5 0/0/0 46 2/3 38 11 0 1   .241 .283 .408 7.3 3.47 3.28 1.14
Miguel Pardo 20 13 9-2 1 0 0 8/2/1 103 77 35 3 0 7.8 .247 .311 .399 6.7 4.19 3.57 1.27
Katie Clayton 21 0 0-0 2 1 1 0/0/0 34 34 12 4 0   .240 .324 .438 4.0 4.50 3.70 1.21
Alfred Vong 24 1 4-2 2 3 0 1/0/0 63 2/3 53 15 1 1 12.4 .245 .289 .469 7.5 4.24 3.83 1.18
Josiah Leong 30 30 13-9 0 0 0 16/1/0 183 2/3 227 87 23 7 6.8 .217 .324 .392 11.1 4.07 3.84 1.27
Angel Poon 27 0 2-2 2 4 2 0/0/0 50 1/3 45 11 3 3   .262 .310 .449 8.0 3.75 3.96 1.19
Helen Yamamoto 19 0 0-0 2 0 0 0/0/0 26 12 22 0 0   .379 .475 .672 4.2 9.35 12.05 2.54

A look at the team awards for the 2005 season:

Team Defensive Player of the Year: Sam Lau
Despite starting only 139 games, the stout catcher actually led the league in starts, defensive innings, and total chances. Most importantly, however, Lau also led the league by a huge margin with 48.3% of would-be basestealers thrown out, which was probably the biggest factor in earning him the league’s Golden Glove award at catcher, as well as the team’s defensive player of the year.

Rookie of the Year: Henry “Mr.” Nghe
It’s rare for a player to perform so well in his first year, but the 28-year old “rookie” performed better than any rookie in recent memory since Ichiro Suzuki made his first appearance in the Major League Baseball league and won both Rookie of the Year and MVP. Nghe didn’t do quite so well, but did win the league’s Rookie of the Year award and made a strong showing in the Batter of the Year awards. The shortstop exceeded all expectations and developed into a polished, middle-of-the-lineup hitter. Nghe emerged as the best among a strong class of rookies – Rudy Puzon himself developed into another strong, middle-of-the-lineup hitter, and also led the league in homeruns. Sean Wade also developed into one of the best and most consistent pitchers in the league, and Samantha Chin showed strong promise as she put together a very decent rookie season. The younger rookies, Alfred Vong and Tiffany Ho, also performed decently in limited time, and should see even bigger roles next season.

Comeback Player of the Year: Jonathan “The Cheet” Chee
There weren’t many candidates to choose from this year – for such a young team, not many players have really had time enough to be great, fall from glory, and become great once again. While not the epitomic Comeback Kid, “The Cheet”, the RF starter way back in the 2003 season, had put up a decent .278-.363-.366 line in 525 at bats in 2003 – average in the average department, decent in the OBP department, and downright atrocious in the SLG department. With the sudden surge of RF power potential in newcomers Francis Chen and Jason Liu in the 2004 season, Chee took a backseat, playing only 54 games (178 at bats) and putting up a .219-.344-.303 line. With Norman Ho gone this year, however, Chee found a berth at LF, and after a slow start, became the starting LF and put up his best season yet – .312-.436-.424 in 446 at bats, with career highs in virtually every hitting category, including a dramatic cutting down of K’s from 112 in 525 at bats to a 65 in 446.

Breakout Player of the Year: Cristian Ortiz
Although this award could have also gone to Chee, who developed from league-average obscurity + OBP ability to become an AVG and OBP machine, Ortiz, the team’s second base defensive wizard, who had been a below-average Pokey Reese type hitter each of his past two seasons, displayed solid hitting and tremendous speed for the first time ever – Ortiz far more than doubled his numbers from his 2003 half-season, hitting 28 doubles to his previous 7, 88 to 38 RBI, 105 to 33 Runs, and most importantly 58 to only 2 steals.

Performance of the Year: 5-peat shutouts by Zhao and Yan
This year’s Performance of the Year award goes to Zhao and Yan, who in consecutive months accomplished a streak of 5 consecutive shutouts – from July 30 through August 22, Zhao made 5 complete game shutouts in 5 games, including a one-hitter in which he also struck out a career-high 17 batters. During this time, Zhao gave up 23 hits, 16 walks, and got 44 strikeouts, for a WHIP of 0.87 and an 8.8 K/9. Picking up right where Zhao left off, the following month Yan embarked on his own 5 shutout streak, although one of these games was marred by an unearned run on an error. Nonetheless, Yan threw 5 complete games without an earned run, including two 2-hitters and another near-perfect game (imperfect because of an error) and 18- and 19-K games. Overall, Yan gave up 13 hits, 2 walks, and got 81 K’s, for a WHIP of 0.33 and a 16.2 K/9.

No Comments

The 2005 Season Awards


Headlining the Monti Bizarro League news, Daly City capped off an amazing postseason run with successively more dominating wins – a creaky 4-3 series win over playoff-worst United States, a decent 4-2 win over also-sub .500 Europe, and finally a dominating 4-1 victory over the Canon Image Stabilizers in the championship series.

To top it all off, Daly City then went on to SWEEP the postseason awards: As expected, Nathan Yan dominated as a unanimous Pitcher of the Year, leading in every major pitching category. Even more of a surprise, however, was the Rookie of the Year award, who went to shortstop Henry “Mr.” Nghe. The biggest surprise of all, and perhaps most fitting, is the batter of the year award, which went to Joey Wong, a perfect end to his 3-year career. Quite coincidentally, the Canon Image Stabilizers, who were Daly City’s championship series opponent and the Shinto-Wold League’s best team, also won the SWL pitcher and batters of the year, and should have won the rookie of the yea award as well.

The Pitcher of the Year, UL: Nathan Yan, Daly City SP
There were no surprises here, as Nathan Yan clearly dominated the league from the start. He threw a 10-inning, 16-K, 1-hit shutout in his first start of the season, and then never looked back. He finished the season with a record-breaking 0.98 ERA and 0.48 WHIP, unmatched in league history. His 469 K’s, and 15.3 K’s per 9 innings, are also league records, as well as personal career highs, both topping his 444 K, 14.4 K’s per 9 innings mark in 2003. Yan also pitched to a 30-2 record in 32 starts, which included 31 quality starts, 25 complete games, and 14 shutouts. Perhaps even more amazingly, Yan posted a Component ERA of 0.19.

The other runner-ups:

Name Team Record Starts QS/CG/SHO Innings K ERA CERA WHIP K/9
Nathan Yan Daly City 30-2 32 31/25/14 276 469 0.98 0.19 0.48 15.3
Terrence Zhao Daly City 23-4 31 27/11/9 237 1/3 245 1.74 1.74 1.01 9.3
Kyle Katarn Apple 22-8 34 27/17/4 283 1/3 278 2.45 2.08 1.01 8.8
Kernel Tyranus Microsoft 21-7 34 22/13/4 265 1/3 208 3.29 2.15 1.02 7.1
Robert Kroger Mozilla 12-12 26 18/8/2 199 2/3 233 3.11 2.59 1.07 10.5


The Batter of the Year, UL: Joey Wong, Daly City 3B
Quite a big surprise here – despite a somewhat subpar year, especially without hitting behind stellar OBP hitters like Desireé Tienturier and Norman Ho, Wong somehow still pulled off a narrow win in this year’s batter of the year voting. Wong would end up with a .361-.421-.567, which were in fact all career-lows. However, his combined OPS of .988 was still good for 3rd in the league, while he was 2nd in AVG and 3rd in OBP. Perhaps his biggest contribution, however, was his stellar run production – Wong hit 130 RBI (2nd) and scored 124 Runs (2nd), which put him firmly in 1st with 254 Runs+RBI. His total runs created was 148.5, good for 2nd in the league, and his Runs Created per 27 outs was 9.7, also good for 2nd in the league. He narrowly beat out a slew of other worthy competitors, including Asia’s power slugger Alex Quiros and the European catcher Rolland Hochstetler, both of whom missed significant time this season.

Name Team AB 2B HR RBI Runs Walks SB AVG OBP SLG RC RC/27
Joey Wong Daly City 617 26 31 130 124 67 8 .361 .421 .567 148.5 9.69
Alex Quiros Asia 527 41 43 117 92 55 0 .315 .390 .653 131.6 9.42
Rolland Hochstetler Europe 490 33 25 88 82 88 1 .327 .430 .559 125.3 9.98
Jango Fett Microsoft 598 50 18 92 131 78 38 .346 .419 .554 151.5 9.56
Henry Nghe Daly City 607 49 12 100 118 46 19 .362 .408 .545 139.3 9.13

The Rookie of the Year, UL: Henry Nghe,
Daly City SS
In quite a surprising debut, Daly City’s starting shortstop Henry Nghe turned in a Batter of the Year top-5 performance, which garnered him the rookie of the year award, atop a strong class of Daly City and Septic Tank candidates. Sean Wade, who was 6thin the Pitcher of the Year voting, also garnered some strong attention, but at the end of the day it was Henry Nghe, who dazzled all season long en-route to leading the league in AVG, who won the prize.

Name Team AB 2B HR RBI Runs Walks SB AVG OBP SLG RC RC/27
Henry Nghe Daly City 607 49 12 100 118 46 19 .362 .408 .545 139.3 9.13
Rudy Puzon Daly City 554 16 32 115 109 76 5 .301 .383 .522 116.8 7.65
Hans Blik Apple 576 42 27 104 96 44 36 .290 .345 .528 111.1 6.99
Lando Calrissian Apple 609 29 25 86 94 24 8 .296 .324 .473 92.6 5.52
Name Team Record Starts QS/CG/SHO Innings K ERA CERA WHIP K/9
Sean Wade Daly City 20-8 29 23/3/2 201 163 3.00 2.33 1.00 7.3


The Pitcher of the Year, SWL: Justin Ramage, Canon SP
Like the UL awad, in the SWL the race for pitcher of the year was really a one-man contest all year long. Canon’s ace Justin Ramage, led the league in almost every category, and was far and away the best pitcher – his ERA of 2.48 was unmatched in a league where no one else had an ERA under 2, and he also narrowly missed winning the triple crown by 3 strikeouts, and was #2 with a 9.0 K/9 rate.

Name Team Record Starts QS/CG/SHO Innings K ERA CERA WHIP K/9
Justin Ramage Canon 24-3 36 27/11/5 272 2/3 273 2.48 2.19 1.02 9.0
Willard Weiler Tokyo 16-14 35 26/14/1 268 1/3 243 3.29 2.84 1.08 8.2
Augusto Figueroa Pentax 18-12 35 24/14/1 272 2/3 240 3.07 3.02 1.15 7.9
Gerald Freeman Venice 18-15 35 20/13/2 278 276 3.76 2.88 1.15 8.9
Trent Barnes Nikon 20-13 36 22/12/2 271 228 3.59 2.93 1.14 7.6


The Batter of the Year, SWL: Gates Skywalker, Canon LF
There wasn’t so much a tight contest in the Shinto-World League as there was a clear #1 and a clear #2, at least this season. Gates Skywalker, the Canon leftfielder, dominated in every single category, but at every turn, his archrival Richard Eager of Nikon trailed him by only a few percentage points in every single category. Nonetheless, Gates Skywalker put up some unheard-of numbers in 2005, first-year numbers that haven’t been reached since Kenton McClinton hit the scene – he posted a remarkable .328-.452-.737 line, which combined for a 1.188 OPS. He led the league in both doubles and HR with 54 in each category, led the league in OPS and SLG and dominated with 178.3 Runs Created and a staggering 12.88 Runs created per 27 outs. A quick look at the following table, however, and one will note that rival Richard Eager wasn’t very far vary behind.

Name Team AB 2B HR RBI Runs Walks SB AVG OBP SLG RC RC/27
Gates Skywalker Canon 528 54 54 132 130 121 0 .328 .452 .737 178.3 12.88
Richard Eager Nikon 516 27 46 112 111 74 21 .355 .437 .705 169.5 12.31
Lamont Sanchez Paris 538 36 29 123 114 124 25 .322 .450 .565 145.5 9.72
Hector Valdivieso Las Vegas 572 42 29 109 99 99 10 .323 .424 .570 145.4 9.71
Ronald Peterson Tokyo 574 22 51 112 101 83 2 .307 .393 .615 139 8.96


The Rookie of the Year, UL: Brandon Wroten, Nikon 1B
The only robbery of the four major awards, Nikon’s Brandon Wroten stole the carpet from underneath Canon’s rookie catcher, Francis Cote. In addition to the strenuous duties of a catcher, Francis Cote beat Wroten in every number on the line (.316-.393-.516 to Wroten’s .260-.340-498), and also topped Wroten in Runs Created AND Runs Created per 27 outs. Wroten, however, had the flashier HR and 2B numbers and won the overall award. Pentax also showed some of the fruits of its #3 ranked farm system, with Reinaldo Valdejuli, one of the best pitchers in the league, and the lesser-known Mark Troxel, who quietly put up a strong rookie season.

Name Team AB 2B HR RBI Runs Walks SB AVG OBP SLG RC RC/27
Brandon Wroten Nikon 596 41 33 96 93 69 3 .260 .340 .498 101.1 5.94
Francis Cote Canon 529 35 23 95 102 60 1 .316 .393 .516 108.6 7.62
Name Team Record Starts QS/CG/SHO Innings K ERA CERA WHIP K/9
Reinaldo Valdejuli Pentax 19-10 35 18/11/2 255 217 3.88 3.24 1.20 7.7
Mark Troxel Pentax 12-12 28 18/0/0 180 111 3.60 3.57 1.28 5.6
Rex White Paris 14-7 36 21/2/0 229 2/3 182 4.15 3.65 1.24 7.1
No Comments

The 2005 Playoffs Preview


With the end of September comes an end to the hopes and dreams of many a team.  16 teams in the league, but the playoffs hold only room for an elite eight.

There weren’t many huge surprises in the last month of the season.  The Daly City Montis, who dominated the league, emerged with a 125-37 (.772) record and 29 games ahead of runner-up Apple Septic Tanks, who finished with a 96-66 (.593) record.  The Microsoft Longhorns, who went 19-7 (.731) in the last month, came up just a bit short, two games behind Apple, although a whopping 17 games of the Terran Division winner, the Europe Cricketeers, and 24 games over the Terran wildcard, the United States Patriots.

Over in the Shinto-World League, Canon ran away with the Photomaker Division crowd and finished with a 96-66 record, 14 games over wildcard and archrival Nikon.  In the World Cities Division, Tokyo emerged victorious from the season-long Tokyo-Paris struggle – the two teams were tied for much of the season, all the way until the final two games – Tokyo won both games and Paris lost its two games, making Tokyo the division winner by two games, although both teams will be in the playoffs.

A season recap will come later, but it’s time for the postseason – an exciting postseason preview comes your way!

Here’s how the things look on the Universe League side:

Daly City Montis, 125-27, .772, Team ERA: 2.94, Team OPS: .853
United States Patriots, 70-92, .432, Team ERA: 4.85, Team OPS: .708

This matchup looks a bit lopsided – Daly City possesses a 55-game lead over the United States in regular season play.  In the regular season, Daly City faced the United States 23 times, winning 18 of the contests.  Looks to be a cakewalk for Daly City, but let’s look at the projected lineups and staff:

US Hitting: The United States is led by sluggers Juan Truex (.297-.361-.574) and Andrew Amey (.280-.391-.537), but aside from those two solid hitters lack much of any supporting cast – the only other decently high OBP on the team is .354, and no one else slugs over .500.  It’s part of the reason why no player on the Patriots has amassed more than 85 RBIs or Runs this season.

DC Pitching: Daly City looks to go to a four-man rotation, or possibly even three – the masterful Nathan Yan, followed up by the mercurial Josiah Leong and the dominating Terrence Zhao, and finally the consistent rookie, Sean Wade.  With luck, it could be a 1-2-3-4 shutout series, with strong starting performances.  If not, Alvina Chu is well-rested and ready to pitch from the bullpen, although the shakiness of Zubeda Khan (5 blown saves out of 34 opportunities) means that a few of the close, late games might slip away.

US Pitching: The US pitching staff doesn’t look much better, either – no one on the pitching staff is under a 4.00 ERA, or even remotely close.  Closer John Galey has a 5.57 ERA and setup man Isaias Rodrigues has a 6.90 ERA, and based on those gaps in the bullpen alone, the US doesn’t seem like they’ll ever be able to close out a win over Daly City.

DC Hitting: The Daly City lineup ended the season on a declining note – after an explosive start to September, many of the veterans slowed down, in particular stalwarts Joey Wong and especially Derek Lew, who tanked with a .176-.211-.308 September, easily one of his worst.  Several other players have stepped up, however – Rudy Puzon, Henry Nghe, and Jonathan Chee all had solid performances in September.  Overall, the team looks to be in good shape, with explosiveness coming from one player or another, and the is after all still the #1 offense in the league, by a wide margin.  It should have no problem handling the weak US Pitching staff.

Apple Septic Tanks, 96-66, .593, Team ERA: 4.00, Team OPS: .747
Europe Cricketeers, 77-85, .475, Team ERA: 4.33, Team OPS: .724

EUR Hitting: Europe, unsurprisingly, lacks much punch in the offensive department.  They have one true star, catcher Rolland Hochstetler, who was one of the top hitters at .327-.430-.559 this season, and another decent slugger in Renato Trujillo (.281-.312-.534).  The #.276-.367-.456 Frank Cristobal is also a decent on-baseman.  All-in-all, the batting isn’t horrible – certainly not as bad as many other Terran Division teams, but their ability to score runs consistently will be severely tested when they face Apple’s strong pitching staff.

MAC Pitching: The Septic Tanks had one of the strongest pitching staffs in the league this year.  They were led strongly by Kyle Katarn, who at 22-8, 2.45 ERA (1.01 WHIP), would have been Cy Young any other year.  He’s followed by two fairly capable starters in #2 Wedge Antilles, and #3 Jeffrey Reese.  The bullpen is also one of the stronger ones in the league, with long reliever Ambrose Ackbar, as well as Mohammad King and quite possibly the best closer in the league, the 2.26 ERA Padme Amidala.

EUR Pitching: The Cricketeers are led by staff-ace Wilfredo Raposa, who ranked among the top pitchers this year with a 3.49 ERA and 8.7 K’s per 9 innings.  After him are mediocre pitchers Justin Pucci and Joshua Hack, who have on occasion pitched extremely well.  Europe has also got one of the better bullpens in the league, with Napoleon Chien (3.67 ERA) and Dwight Fenton (2.84 ERA), and 3.40 ERA, 28 save David Avila as the closer.

MAC Hitting: Unlike many other teams, the Septic Tanks have composed an extremely well-rounded hitting lineup.  They have a few star players, notably RF Chewie Gonzales (.327-.362-.547), 3B Hans Blik (.290-.345-.528).  Raposa aside, the Europe pitching staff might have a tough time taming the Septic Beast.

Overall, the series seems heavily slanted in Apple’s favor – even Europe’s star Raposa seems as if he’ll be neutralized by starting against Apple’s Kyle Katarn, who pitched at a full one run lower per game than Raposa.  Over the course of the season, Apple leads the series 13-10.

Canon Image Stabilizers, 96-66, .593, Team ERA: 4.04, Team OPS: .798
Nikon Vibration Reducers, 82-80, .506, Team ERA: 4.32, Team OPS: .768

As the 1st and 4th seeds in the Shinto-World league, the two archrivals waste no time in duking it out in the divisional playoff round.  The two have butted heads all season, and while Canon seems to have a dominating regular season lead, Nikon actually leads the regular season series between the teams 13-12.

NIK Hitting: The Vibration Reducers are led by Nikonian CF Richard Eager, who was a dominant force in the league with a .355-.437-.705 line, not to mention 21 steals and a low 44 K’s.  He’s backed up by fellow superstar and youngster Brandon Wroten, who started the year off slowly but caught fire at the end of the season.  The two players more or less carry the team, however – three other players set the table with OBP’s in the .340 range, but no other players has a higher OBP than .350 or a SLG higher than .500.  The Vibration Reducers will rely heavily on the back of Richard Eager to provide the offensive production needed to overcome Canon’s heavy-hitting lineup.

CAN Pitching: Canon is led by star pitcher Justin Ramage, who posted a 2.48 ERA and 273 K’s in 272 2/3 innings this season.  Beyond him, however, Canon is sorely lacking – the rest of the rotation seems extremely awful, save perhaps for Max Allen, who seems to have enormous potential with a 1.95 September ERA.  Canon also has the best closer bar-none in Lee Thornton, who saved 27 games with a 1.62 ERA.  Justin Ramage certainly has the right stuff, but it’s an open question as to whether any of the pitchers will be able to contain Nikon’s Richard Eager.

NIK Pitching: The pitching staff is about average – they’re led by Tim Barnes, who put up a good 20-win season and 3.59 ERA, but most of his success came early on – he’s posted consecutive 4+ ERA months in August and September, and at this point looks like a very vulnerable starter.  The rest of the staff doesn’t exactly bleed confidence – they have a strong closer in William Brunetti, who saved 30 games with a 2.81 ERA, but there doesn’t seem to be any other dominant force on the staff, which looks like it’ll bode well for the Image Stabilizers.

CAN Hitting: The Canon lineup is led by none other than the infamous Gates Skywalker, who dominated the league with a .328-.452-.737 line this season.  Skywalker alone would be enough of a force to level many other teams in a 7-game series, but in this he’s matched up against no other than Richard Eager, who more or less equalizes Skywalker’s production.  Skywalker, however, is surrounded by a couple of star hitters in catcher Francis Cote (.316-.393-.516) and RF Wilfredo Martinez (.314-.358-.550) – Nikon has a tough task if it hopes to limit Canon’s core lineup enough so that their one-man offense Eager can score enough to win the game.

Tokyo Samurai, 90-72, .556, Team ERA: 3.98, Team OPS: .743
Paris Forfeiters, 88-74, .543, Team ERA: 4.41 ERA, Team OPS .751

PAR Hitting: Paris is led by SS Lamont Sanchez (.322-.450.-.565) and is a high-OBP offense – their .331 OBP was 2nd in the SW league behind Canon, and third overall behind Canon and Daly City.  The Forfeiters also have 2B Cristian Lee, and two >.360 OBP men, although they’re missing a big table setter in their CF James Talmage, who went out in early September with a broken wrist, and will be out of the playoffs.

TOK Pitching: Tokyo has a strong pitching staff, that’s led by Willard Weiler (3.29 ERA, 1.08 WHIP), but also includes a #2 in Michael Contreras that’s as good as many others #1.  It’s anybody’s guess who will win out in a battle between consistent OBP hitting and lights-out pitching domination.

PAR Pitching: Paris has a decent pitching staff, filled with starters who middle around the 4.00 ERA mark.  However, their #1 starter Rex White, a 21-year old rookie, has been steadily improving all season, and closed off with a 2.98 ERA in September.  Paris also has a dominant closer in the 39 save, 1.96 ERA Garfield Yocom.

TOK Hitting: Despite Ronald Peterson’s 51 HR season highlight, the Tokyo offense is about a lot more.  Kevin Harwell (.297-.397-.470) is a strong force alongside Peterson (.307-.393-.615).  Tokyo also boasts a rash of inexperienced half-season players, who have put up good numbers so far, although it’s anybody’s guess how well they’ll stick.

It’s an all-out battle between two very good teams that have duked it out all season.  For what it’s worth, Tokyo leads the season series 15-8, although Paris, relying on consistent OBP production rather than Tokyo’s individual flair and flash, could pull off a series win, especially if Tokyo’s season-long reliance on unproven half-season players backfires.

Update in about two weeks (game time!) with round two of the playoffs.

No Comments

League-in-Review: September 1st, 2005


It’s September 1st, 2005, and down to the home stretch towards the playoffs.  With five months down and just one left to go, things have taken a firm shape in three of the four divisions in the league, where the Daly City Montis (Galactica Division), the Europe Cricketeers (Terran Division), and the Canon Image Stabilizers (Photomaker Division) all lead by 11 games or more.  The game is much tighter in the World Cities Division, where the Tokyo Samurai, the division leader for much of the season, holds on to a slim but narrow lead over second place Paris Forfeiters.

The wildcard race is also structured fairly well.  The 2nd-place finishers from each division make it into the playoffs – currently in the Galactica Division, the Apple Septic Tanks at 80-55, .593 are in the lead, although the Microsoft Longhorns, starting off slowly, have put together a decent season and are 6 games behind.  In the Terran Division, where all of the teams save Europe have been thoroughly dominated, it appears that either the United States Patriots (58-77, .430) or the Caribbean Pirates (56-79, .415) will be making what could only be a surefire loss to the league-dominating Daly City Montis.

Over in the Shinto-World league, things are much spicier.  Paris and Tokyo are in a dead heat for first place, and with current third place Venice Carnivale 11 games behind Paris, it looks like both will enter into the playoffs, either as division winner or wildcard runner-up.  In the Photomaker division, however, Nikon and Paris are both within a game of each other.  Nikon, so close to the division lead earlier on in the season, had  been hurt by an injury to star centerfielder Richard Eager, who is currently third place in OBP, second place in slugging, and first in batting average (he adds a healthy 21 steals and a low 36 K’s to boot). Pentax, meanwhile, has been humming along steadily.

With the playoff picture looking about set, barring any surprises in the last month:

Universe League Projections:
Galactica Division
Division Winner – Daly City Montis (dominating at first, 23 games in the lead at 103-32, .763)
Wildcard – Apple Septic Tanks (Microsoft Longhorns a moderate longshot, at 6 games back)
3rd place – Microsoft Longhorns (possibly the Apple Septic Tanks)
4th place – Mozilla Firefoxes (last place pretty much all season)

Terran Division
Division Winner – Europe Cricketeers (At 69-66, .511, a feeble playoff team).
Wildcard – Caribbean Pirates (An abysmal .415 team, but likely to make it)
3rd place – United States Patriots (they lead the 
Caribbean by 2 games, but have been falling hard ever since star slugger Juan Truex went out for the rest of the season)
4th place – Asia Giants (far and away the worst team in the league)

Shinto-World League Projections:
Photomaker Division
Division Winner – Canon Image Stabilizers (far and away in the lead)
Wildcard – Nikon Vibration Reducers/Pentax Shake Reducers (pretty much a dead heat)
3rd place – Nikon Vibration Reducers/Pentax Shake Reducers (pretty much a dead heat)
4th place – Sony Super SteadyShots (last place all season)

World Cities Division
Division Winner – Tokyo Samurai/Paris Forfeiters (toss-up between the star power of Tokyo and the steady consistency of Paris)
Wildcard – Tokyo Samurai/Paris Forfeiters (toss-up between the star power of 
Tokyo and the steady consistency of Paris)
3rd place – The Venice Carnivale (
Las Vegas looms only 4 games back)
4th place – 
Las Vegas Valleys (could jump back to third if HR-hitter Luciano Ferrant, who missed most all of August, comes back into form)

With the standings aside, the more interesting stories are likely the stories of the individual players, and the league leaderboards.

Batting Title (Highest batting average – best contact hitter)
Universe League: Daly City 3B Joey Wong, a .369 career hitter, has led the league all along, and stands at a comfortable position with a .365 AVG.  The complete surprise candidate, however, has emerged as teammate SS Henry “Mr.” Nghe, who has been humming along steadily all season and hit .414 during August to bring his average up to .360.  Either Joey or Nghe will end up taking the title, and may even be within distance of breaking the Daly City team record, Norman Ho’s .375 mark in 2003.  Current third-place is RF Chewie Gonzales of the Apple Septic Tanks, at .335, so it looks like someone from Daly City will emerge with the batting crown.
Shinto-World League: Nikonian CF Richard Eager has dominated this category all year – his current mark stands at .359, far far ahead of his Canonite arch-rival LF Gates Skywalker (.328), and current third-place C Francis Cote (.327)

Universe League: As the league-leader in hitting, Joey Wong is in the lead with 189 hits, although Henry Nghe isn’t too far behind with 181 hits.  Both seem to be sure locks to reach 200 hits, although Wong doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the 248 hits he set as a record in 2004.  Boba and Jango Fett of the Microsoft Longhorns, at 171 and 167 hits respectively, are #3 and #4, and if they continue their season pace could just reach 200 hits as well.
Shinto-World League: With only Richard Eager anywhere near the league leaders in the Universe League, Las Vegas’ Hector Valdivieso (batting .322) has only 155 hits (9th most overall) to lead the Shinto-World League.  Richard Eager, after missing two full weeks has only 154 hits, but now that he’s back healthy should be able to easily surpass Valdivieso, although 200 hits seems a very long shot.  A scattering of players are all in the 150-140 hit range, and could all conceivable wind up in 2nd or 3rd place

On-base Percentage
Universe League: Despite having some of the best hitters in batting average, the Universe League is not high on walks.  Catcher Richard Hochstetler, really the only decent hitter on the Europe Cricketeers, has a firm hold on the lead at .437, while Daly City players Joey Wong and Jonathan Chee are tied for 2nd at .424 each.
Shinto-World League: The Image Stabilizers’ all-world leftfielder, Gates Skywalker, has dominated in this category all season, racking up a .457 OBP (with a .518 OBP in August).  Lamont Sanchez of 
Paris is second at .442, with Richard Eager not far behind at .438. 

Slugging Percentage (most power)
Universe League: One category that has been dominated by all the hitters from the worst teams, last-place Asia’s Alex Quiros has absolutely dominated in the UL, slugging at a .668 clip (including a month slugging .932!), and looks to walk away with the slugging crown.  USA’s Juan Truex, out for a month, hangs in at .586, while Matthew Glenn of Mozilla (.570) and Maul Foundation of Microsoft (.569) are closely in third place.
Shinto-World League: Locked in a season-long battle, Canon’s Gates Skywalker currently leads Nikon’s Richard Eager by a score of .717 to .688.  Homerun leader and 
Tokyo’s sole offense,Richard Peterson, is 3rd at .643.

Universe League: The Universe League’s bash brigade is led by Asia’s Alex Quiros, who has mashed 42 homers this year, and has a shot at making the 50 HR mark.  Mozilla slugger Matthew Glenn is second at 40 homeruns, with Microsoft’s catcher Jabba Desilijic Ture and USA’s Juan Truex, both of whom have been sidelined by injuries, tied for 3rd place with 36 HR each.
Shinto-World League: 
Tokyo rightfielder Ronald Peterson has been mashing his team to the playoffs, and they’ll need all the help they can get.  The .313-.403-.643 slugger has hit 46 homers so far, and based on his monthly totals, seems sure to make a 50 HR season and lead the league.  Canon’s Gates Skywalker is close behind with 42 HR’s, and Richard Eager, although tied withLuciano Ferrant at 35 HR’s, is probable to get third-place after missing so much time from injury.

Runs Batted In
Universe League: Microsoft’s SS Maul Foundation has been pounding in the runs, with 118 RBIs, no doubt due to the fantastic lineup of hitters batting ahead of him in the Microsoft batting order. Alex Quiros, by far leading the league in HR and slugging, is 2nd with 112 RBI’s, and would no doubt have a lot more if he had a halfway decent lineup in Asia.  Mozilla’s Matthew Glenn is 3rd with 103 RBI.
Shinto-World League: The top 3 in the SW league is a crowded field consisting of Paris’ Lamont Sanchez, Canon’s Gates Skywalker, and Tokyo’s Ronald Peterson, who have 102, 102, and 100 RBI’s respectively.

Universe League: Microsoft’s #3 hitter (in front of Maul Foundation), Jango Fett leads the league with 108 runs, while Daly City’s Joey Wong is in 2nd place with 101, with teammate Henry Nghe3rd at 96.
Shinto-World League: Gates Skywalker leads here with 106 runs, followed by Lamont Sanchez of Paris at 98.  Richard Eager is at 90 runs.

Stolen Bases
Universe League: Though she’s been out for two weeks with a hamstring injury, Daly City CF Aubrey Cubilo still leads the league over Apple’s Ben Kenobi, with 60 steals to his 56.  Daly City 2B Cristian Ortiz has been a distant but steadily gaining basepath threat all season, and is solid at 51 steals.
Shinto-World League: 
Venice’s Alberto Munoz has been speeding along to a dominant 50 steal season, far ahead of 2nd place Gabriel Cardillo (34) and 3rd place Joseph Harmon (32).  The most amazing thing is that all three players have extremely sup-bar OBP, with Munoz at .277, Cardillo at .264, and Harmon at .307.

Universe League: This category has been so dominated by 
Daly City LF Jonathan Chee that it almost isn’t even worth discussing – he leads the league with almost double the HBP’s, a league-leading 37 HBP (which has been a large contributor to his OBP).
Shinto-World League: 
Paris’ Anthony Reyes leads the league with a measly 13 HBP’s, although Francisco AmaralFrancis Cote, and Joseph Burkett aren’t far behind at 12-11 HBP’s each.

Earned Run Average (overall pitcher effectiveness)
Universe League: It should be no surprise that Daly City ace Nathan Yan once again dominates the league, with a 1.14 ERA – a continued development from his 1.46 ERA 2003 and his 1.20 ERA 2004, and setting the ERA record for the third consecutive year.  Teammate Terrence Zhao, however, is no slouch either – after a substandard May (3.97 ERA), Zhao has turned up the heat, throwing 5 shutouts in the last two months (including 4 in August alone) to bring his ERA down to a miniscule 1.69 – the best mark outside of Yan that Daly City has ever seen.  Kyle Katarn of the Apple Septic Tanks is far behind at 2.31.
Shinto-World League: The dominating starter of the SWL, Canon’s Justin Ramage has dominated his league with a 2.27 ERA, far ahead of #2 Augusto Figueroa (2.96 ERA) and #3 Michael Contreras (3.28 ERA).

Walks and Hits Per Inning Pitched (WHIP)
Universe League: It shouldn’t be any surprise that Nathan Yan once again dominates this category with an other-worldly 0.51 WHIP.  What may surprise everyone else, however, is rookie pitcher and teammate Sean Wade at #2 on the list, with an impressive 0.95 WHIP.  Terrence Zhao finishes out the all-Daly City sweep with a 0.97 WHIP, although Microsoft’s Kernel Tyranus at 0.99 and Apple’s Kyle Katarn at 0.99 are within biting distance.
Shinto-World League: Canon’s Justin Ramage holds a commanding lead in this category, with a 0.98 WHIP, perhaps the only dominating number in the SWL, where Tokyo’s duo #2 Michael Contreras has a 1.10 WHIP and #3 Willard Weiler has a 1.13 WHIP.

Universe League: Despite all the ERA and WHIP numbers, perhaps nothing defines the league’s best pitcher as much as wins.  That said, Nathan Yan currently dominates with a league-high 24 wins, while the aces of the Galactica Division – Apple’s Kyle Katarn, Microsoft’s Kernel Tyranus, and Daly City’s Terrence Zhao – are all tied with 18 wins apiece, although it should be noted that with DC’s 6-man rotation, both Zhao and Yan have starts less than the other starters.  Europe ace Wilfredo Raposa and Daly City rookie Sean Wade, at 16 wins each, shouldn’t be discounted either.
Shinto-World League: Like Yan in the UL, Justin Ramage of Canon dominates with 22 wins, leaving 2nd place Trent Barnes of Nikon 2nd place at 18 wins.  Tokyo’s Michael Contreras and Pentax’s Augusto Figueroa are tied for 3rd with 17 wins apiece.

Universe League: It should be no surprise that Nathan Yan absolutely dominates here – with 368 K’s he’s more than 100 strikeouts ahead of 2nd place Robert Kroger, Mozilla’s ace pitcher, who has 231.  Yan also looks to break the strikeout record – he’s on pace for 458, which would break his old record of 444, set in 2003.  Apple’s Kyle Katarn and Europe’s Wilfredo Raposa have 222 and 221 K’s, respectively.
Shinto-World League: Justin Ramage once again dominates here, with 234 K’s, well ahead of 
Venice starter Gerald Freeman at 221.  Las Vegas’ Joseph Moser, who also leads the league in walks, is tied with Augusto Figueroa in 3rd place with 198 K’s each.

Strikeouts per 9 Innings
Universe League: Nathan Yan dominates with a career high 14.9 K’s per 9, well ahead of teammate Josiah Leong at 11.5 K’s per 9 and Robert Kroger at 10.6.
Shinto-World League: Las Vegas’ Joseph Moser barely edges out Justin Rammage, with 9.3 K’s per 9 to Ramage’s 8.9.  Gerald Freeman is at #3 with 8.7.

Quality Starts
Universe League: Perhaps the model stat for consistency, Nathan Yan leads this category with 25 out of 26 starts being quality starts.  Terrence Zhao is not far behind, with 23 of 25 starts behind quality starts.  Kyle Katarn is 3rd with 22 of 28 quality starts, although percentage-wise it’s rookie Sean Wade, with 20 quality starts out of 24 starts.
Shinto-World League: In the SWL, Justin Ramage leads with 24 of 30 quality starts.  Augusto Figueroa, Michael Conteras, and Willard Weiler are all in a pack behid him, with 21-20 quality starts and 69-72% quality start percentage.

Complete Games
Universe League: Moving into the measures of pitcher domination, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Nathan Yan currently leads with 19 complete games.  Europe ace Wilfredo Raposa and Microsoft’s Kernel Tyranus are 2nd at 12 complete games each.
Shinto-World League: Surprisingly, this is one category where Canon’s Justin Ramage and Nikon’s Trent Barnes are neck-and-neck, with 11 complete games each.  Pentax’s Augusto Figueroa, as well as teammate Reinaldo Valdejuli and 
Tokyo starter Willard Weiler are tied for 3rd with 10 complete games each.

Universe League: Separating dominance even further, we enter into the realm of shutouts, where it’s no surprise that Nathan Yan leads with 10 of them.  Terrence Zhao, hot off of his 5 consecutive shutout stretch, a streak of unimaginable dominance, is in 2nd with 7 shutouts.  The who’s who of UL pitching follows next with Kernel Tyranus, Kyle Katarn, and Wilfredo Raposa, who each have 4 shutouts.
Shinto-World League: One tier below Zhao and another tier below Yan, Justin Ramage is in his own category at 5 shutouts, just ahead of teammate Robert Bone who has 4, although Bone has put himself out with an injury for the next 5 weeks (essentially until the playoffs).  
Tokyo’s Pete Fajardo and Nikon’s Josue Huerta have 3 each.

Universe League: Apple’s Padme Amidala and Microsoft’s Richard Pendergast are neck-and-neck at the top of the league, with 35 and 34 saves each, although Amidala has been a far far better pitcher (2.08 ERA vs. 3.20 for Pendergast).  The two of them appear to be the only starters close to the 40-save mark.  A slew of closers, including United States’ John GaleyEurope’s Davor Avila, and Daly City’s Zubeda Khan have between 26-27 saves.
Shinto-World League: 
Paris’ Garfield Yocum leads with 31 saves, followed by Pentax’s Gonzalo Bolanos with 28, and Nikon’s William Brunetti with 27.

That’s it for the league summary.  Stay tuned for the Daly City team log next, chronicling the headlines of the past two months, including:

Rookie Wade’s second-half meltdown!
Zhao’s 5-shutout domination!
Pardo’s magic finally runs out!
Yamamoto’s July – worst month ever?!
Injury plague – Lew, Liu, Cubilo, and now Leong?!
Cubilo’s (possibly Ortiz’s?) march to the steals record
Yan setting the strikeout record – again!?
Wong, Puzon, Liu, Lew, Lau? – who will win the HR crown?

No Comments

The 2005 Mid-season Review


We’ve reached the all-star break at the end of June, and with that the mid-point of the season.  81 of 162 games have been played, and if anything the league is packed even closer together.  At the end of May, three teams were playing in the .200s, far away from contention.  Now, all teams are at least above .300, and only two teams, the .765 Daly City Montis and the .630 Canon Image-Stabilizers have commanding, >.600 records. 

After an incredible 24-4, .857 start, the still-dominant Daly City Montis have cooled down a bit, with a current record of 62-19, .765 that still leads the division by 15 games.  They had a nearly disastrous May however, losing a series of games and going 19-8, .700, with 6 of those losses being crushing 1-run defeats.   The rest of the division is falling further and further behind – all seems hopeless for the slugging Microsoft Longhorns and the small-market Mozilla Firefoxes.  The Apple Septic Tanks are hanging on to what looks like a sure wildcard slot – at 47-34, .580, they’re the second-best team in the Universe League and 6 games in the wildcard lead, despite being pummeled by Daly City (2-9) and arch-rival Microsoft (4-8). 

Elsewhere in the Universe League, the Terran Division has become a two-team race between the Caribbean Pirates and the surprisingly competitive Europe Cricketeers.  The Cricketeers, not expected to be competitive this year in baseball-starved Europe, have played at a fairly ordinary level, going 42-39, .519, which is good enough for a division that’s otherwise entirely below average.  The Caribbean Pirates, barely functioning as a team, have willed their way to a game behind Europe with their few superstars, 1B Luis Devitt (.282-.341-.541, with 61 RBIs and 47 Runs) and 2B Mike Friedel (.281-.409-.577 with 54 RBIs and 55 Runs) and David Barnett, who at 11-3 is tied for 2nd in the league for Wins. 

The biggest waste of talent might just go to Asia’s duo of hitters, Alex Quiros (.306-.380-.625, including a league-leading 24 HR and 67 RBI) and Tony Clark (.307-.391-.588), arguably the two best hitters in the Universe League.  Despite this huge production, the rest of the team has been abysmal, 13th (of 16) in runs scored, and 15th in the number of runs allowed, resulting in a .333 record, the worst of any team in the majors.  Both players are just entering their primes, Quiros at 27 and Clark at 28, and with the 3rd ranked minor-league system in the baseball world, Asia could be coming on strong in future years.

In the other league, the Shinto-World league, Canon and Tokyo have begun to pull away as powerhouses in their respective divisions.  In the World Cities division, the Tokyo Samurai have a commanding 8-game lead with a 48-33, .593 record.  Despite leading the league in homeruns, they’ve got one of the worst offenses in the league, but they’ve been put ahead by a dominating pitching staff that is second only to Canon in the Shinto-World league.  In terms of hitting, star hitter (and homerun leader) Richard Peterson has provided all of it, going .332-.417-.671 which puts him at #2 in terms of OPS.  Tokyo’s dominant pitching has been their trump card, however.  They’ve got four starters with sub-4.00 ERAs, and solid although not dominant aces in Willard Weiler (3.31 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 8.15 K/9), and Michael Contreras (3.32 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 5.27 K/9). 

Good as Tokyo has been, they haven’t been nearly as dominating as the Canon Image Stabilizers, who are tops in both hitting and pitching.  They’ve got two 50-run men in catcher Francis Cote and 3B Celes Lazar, and they’ve got superstar Gates Skywalker (.332-.453-.714) to drive them in, with 64 RBI and 61 Runs of his own.  Their pitching is perhaps even more dominant than Tokyo’s, with leading Triple Crown candidate Justin Ramage (13-1, tops in the league, with a 2.15 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 9.11 K/9) and sub-4.00 ERA on their entire rotation. 

Outside of the two dominating division leaders, the rest of the field has been average, with only the Sony SuperSteady Shots, at 28-53, .346 qualifying as clear losers.  The strong Nikon Vibration Reducers, who were neck-and-neck with Canon at the start of the season, have fallen dramatically to a 41-40 record, due mostly to an utter June collapse, where they went 6-19.  Up to that point, they had been at 35-21, .625, right up with Canon.  What happened to Nikon?  The team’s superstar hitter, CF Richard Eager, played as well as ever, going .400-.495-.656.  Other key hitters completely collapsed however.  Fellow RBI-man catcher Magglio Colunga went from being a .335-.368-.528 type of hitter to hitting .196-.250-.250, driving in a measly 3 runs.  Similarly 2B oseph Harmon plummeted from an OBP of .396 in May to .283 in June, more than having his Runs from 26 to 10.  The pitching staff also imploded – ace Trent Barnes, 9-3 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, went 0-5 with a horrendous 5.89 ERA and 1.49 WHIP.  A 6-game winner in May, Josue Huerta went 1-4 in June with an 8.49 ERA and 2.01 WHIP. 

As an individual team, Daly City has been up-and-down, and has suffered some devastating losses.  The key culprits have been a suspect bullpen, where closer Zubeda Khan and setup woman Alvina Chu lead the league with 5 blown saves each (Alvina somehow managing a 2.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP out of all of this, while sniping 7 wins).  It’s been a cause of ire for Josiah Leong, Terrence Zhao, and Miguel Pardo, all of whom have had multiple wins lost because of the bullpen.  The biggest loss of all has been star first baseman Derek Lew however.  On May 22nd Derek was injured with a fractured knee while running the basepaths, putting him out of commission for 7 weeks – he missed the rest of May and all of June, and still has a week on the disabled list to go before making his return.  At the time he was leading the league in RBIs, and Daly City was thought to be at a severe disadvantage without their top slugger.  Surprisingly however, key hitters have stepped in to buoy the team in his absence, including a continued strong season by rookie Rudy Puzon and second-year rightfielder Jason Liu, who has now taken a firm hold on the leftfield position (with Jonathan Chee moving to DH, and Puzon moving to 1st base for the injured Lew). 

Sam Lau, catcher: After starting off decently, but without much power or the high OBP we’ve come to expect, Lau has continually bettered himself each month.  He’s now hitting at a .277-.382-.438 level, well in line with his career numbers, and good enough to get him onto the Universe League all-star team as the backup catcher. 

Tina Quach, backup catcher: After a horrible start in April, Quach didn’t fare any better in May – she managed a feeble .172-.351-.207 line for the month.  She started to come around in June, playing 11 games and achieving a .311-.319-.356 record, good enough to make for a decent singles hitter, but not much else.  She’s been quite a disappointment thus far this season, not achieving any of the good OBP numbers her first part-time season promised, and her defense at catcher has been suspect at well. 

Derek Lew, 1st baseman: After winning player of the month in April, Lew bottomed out before eventually getting injured in late May – over the 20 games he played, he went .226-.247-.417, although still somehow managed to drive in 16 RBIs.  The injury also snapped Derek’s continuous streak of 372 consecutive starts.  With a return next week, Lew hopes to jump back into form. 

Rudy Puzon, 1st baseman: Taking over the reins of 1st base and power slugger in the wake of Derek’s injury, the rookie sensation hasn’t failed to disappoint – he hammered in 24 RBI in May, and hasn’t let up with his numbers.  He went .244-.361-.500 in May and then .318-.414-.576 in June, and right now he’s leading the team in both RBI (61) and Runs (58), as well as homeruns (with 20).  He’ll likely go back to being the team’s regular DH once Lew comes back. 

Cristian Ortiz, 2nd baseman: Ortiz started to fall in May, going .237-.330-.392, and continually thwarting the team’s rallies from the bottom of the order.  He picked up the pace in June though, where he went .309-.330-.489.  He’s also been piling up the steals, and is currently #3 in the league with 24. 

Joey Wong, 3rd baseman: Wong seemed to lose his way a little bit in May, when he went “only” .310-.383-.487.  He jumped right back into form, however, in June, going .360-.417-.570, and climbing right back to the top of the leaderboard for AVG.  Despite being the team’s top hitter he still lags behind in run production, with only 53 RBIs to his credit. 

Joanna Maung, backup 3rd basewoman: After a relatively small role in April, Maung picked up the at bats in May and June, after injuries and a minor slump by 3rd baseman Joey Wong.  At the moment she’s batting a solid .318-.393-.430, and for a slow, part-time hitter has picked up a good 19 RBI and 23 Runs in only 107 At Bats.  Maung has also made big strides defensively – she’s now a very competent 61 (of 100) at 3B, and has improved to 46 in rightfield. 

Henry Nghe, Shortstop: Despite his average ratings, the shortstop has continued to impress, and only gets better every month.  Nghe went .340-.387-.505 in May, and turned in an even more impressive .376-.427-.554 June – he’s clipping Joey Wong’s heels in both AVG and OBP, and his slugging numbers are good too.  He leads the team (and league) with 27 doubles, and his 57 RBIs and 55 runs are great as well. 

Jonathan Chee, Designated Hitter: After a horrible April start, Jonathan Chee is really coming along as a hitter.  He batted .324 and .297 in May and June, respectively, but even more impressively has brought his OBP up to .430, the best on the team.  Hitting in the #2 spot, he’s scored his share of runs, and has found his niche on the team by getting on base and keeping rallies going, even if by getting hit by pitches (with 24 hit-by-pitches, he far and away leads the league).  Chee has also piggy-backed 11 steals off of Aubrey Cubilo double-steals, good for 3rd on the team, despite having a 10 running speed and 5 stealing ability rating (out of 100). 

Jason Liu, Leftfielder: After an ambiguous April start, Jason Liu has blossomed as a hitter – he’s continued to hammer in the hits and get on base, bringing him up to .309-.353-.566.  Perhaps most important, he’s been consistently good, without any significant lulls in any aspect of his game.  For April, May, and June respectively, Liu has gone .286-.319-.583, .314-.372-.510, -326-.363-.616. 

Aubrey Cubilo, Centerfielder: Cubilo has continued her strong play throughout the season – she’s currently at .302-.332-.399 as the team’s leadoff hitter.  While her OBP isn’t the strongest on the team, nor her slugging percentage the best, she’s made up by stealing 48 bases, putting her on pace for a record 96 on the season.  Adding in steals to her total bases would give Cubilo 201, which would be tops in the league. 

Francis Chen, Rightfielder: Francis has continued to fail throughout the season.  Despite having numerous chances, he’s failed completely to show any glimmers of his OBP and SLG powers.  His current line is .176-.301-.399, and he’s continued to play abysmally.  It’s a troubling sign, as Chen seems to have stagnated in his development at the young age of 16 – perhaps he’s in need of a trip down to AAA. 

Tiffany Ho, backup Outfielder: Playing in a limited role, Ho hasn’t had much of a notable season – her current line is .248-.280-.327, without any notable improvement.  She had a somewhat promising .290-.324-.387 May, but dipped right back down to a .212-.257-.303 June right after that.  She seems to have road troubles, as her home/road splits are impressive: .304-.339-.411 at home, and .178-.208-.222 on the road. 

Nathan Yan, #1 Starting Pitcher: After a stellar 5-0 April, Yan had somewhat of a shaky and very mortal May.  He went 3-2 over 5 starts, and despite a 0.63 WHIP had a 2.41 ERA and failed to ever shut out a team.  He rebounded right back with an amazing June however – over 5 starts he went 5-0, completing all 5 games and shutting out 3 of them, all while striking out 79 batters (15.8 K/9) and achieving a 0.36 WHIP and a 0.40 ERA.  He’s far-and-away the league’s triple crown leader, with a 1.34 ERA, 13 wins, and 214 strikeouts, while also leading with 15.0 K/9 and a 0.50 WHIP. 

Josiah Leong, #2 Starting Pitcher: It’s been a rough stretch for #2 pitcher Josiah Leong.  After a shaky April, Leong appeared to be dominating May.  Even with a few managerial slip-ups, he went 3-1 in 5 starts, putting up a 2.52 ERA and impressive 0.86 WHIP, the kind of lights-out Josiah Leong pitching that the team’s been waiting for.  Hit by a whole bunch of blown relief appearances by the bullpen, however, and a strained back injury, Josiah’s June numbers suffered, as he went 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.58 WHIP.  He starts out July injury-free however, and can hopefully regaini his dominating May form.  For the season Josiah is at a 3.86 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, and is also dominating the league with 11.1 K/9, good for 2nd in the league. 

Terrence Zhao, #3 Starting Pitcher: Terrence Zhao has perhaps been the most hard-lucked of the Daly City pitchers.  Throughout May he had a number of botched wins, with his 7 Runners Left that Scored attest to (that’s 7 runners that subsequent relievers allowed to score).  He also lost a complete game 0-1 to start out June.  Somehow, Zhao has still survived with a 10-2 record and a 2.19 ERA and 1.07 WHIP, and is on the cusp of breaking into the leaderboard with his 125 K’s in 111 innings (that’s 10.1 K/9). 

Samantha Chin, #4 Starting Pitcher: After a shaky shaky 7.33 ERA start to her career, Chin has settled down effectively.  She was dominant in May with a 3-1 record and a 2.57 ERA, and despite an unlucky June with a 4.44 ERA, she managed only a 0.90 WHIP, a sign of good things to come.  For the season she’s 5-1, with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, not bad at all for a rookie. 

Sean Wade, #5 Starting Pitcher: His dominant 5-0 April was a good indicator of just how good the rookie could be.  Although he doesn’t have the lights-out power dominance of his fellow starters, Wade has quietly worked himself up to a 11-3 record, tied for 2nd in the league, and an 0.81 WHIP and 2.12 ERA which are unmatched outside of Daly City. 

Miguel Pardo, #6 Starting Pitcher: Critics thought the magic had to run out sooner or later for the dominating Pardo.  After an outstanding 1.08 ERA start, Pardo has cooled a bit.  His 4.43 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in May were along the lines of his career numbers, but he still could have won all 3 of his starts if it wasn’t for the bullpen.  He surprised everyone however by coming right back with a 2.93 ERA, 1.04 WHIP June, and for the season his line stands at an impressive 5-0, 2.67 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. 

Alfred Vong, Long Reliever: The talented rookie has continued to perform well.  Over 31 1/3 innings he’s pitched with a 2.30 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, including substituting in and pitching for 7 1/3 innings (giving up only 1 run) in a long appearance that he won.  He’s done outstanding as a reliever, although with the strong play of everyone else it doesn’t look like he’ll have a chance to move into the rotation anytime soon.  Nevertheless, he’ll continue to be a strong presence that’s somewhat sorely needed in the shaky bullpen, having never blown a save and not allowing any of his 8 inherited runners to score (quite a feat). 

Helen Yamamoto, Mopup Reliever: The rookie mopup reliever has had a tumultuous rookie season.  After an abysmal start, where she had a 12.27 ERA and 2.45 WHIP in April, she went on to an even more horrendous 18.00 ERA and 4.00 WHIP in May.  After a stint on the DL though, she came back and has pitched 6 1/3 solid shutout innings so far, with a 0.95 WHIP. 

Katie Clayton, Mopup Reliever: Katie Clayton has been average, without any exceptional moments of brilliance.  She racked up a 6.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP in 5 2/3 innings in May, and then put up a 4.77 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in June. 

Angel Poon, Middle Reliever: A prime culprit in Daly City’s shady bullpen, Angel Poon has so far allowed 3 of her 9 inherited runners to score and blown 2 saves.  Her ERAs of 3.24 and 1.29 in May and June have been fine, as has her 1.00 WHIP in June.  Her shaky 1.56 WHIP played a big role in several relief meltdowns, something which doesn’t show on her ERA but has hurt the confidence in her as a surefire go-to reliever. 

Alvina Chu, Setup Reliever: Alvina, Alvina.  Despite a glamorous 2.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, and an impressive 7-1 record, Chu’s success has come at the cost of 3 of 7 inherited runners scoring, and a league-leading 5 blown saves.  Despite her good numbers, the rotation has been clamoring for a more effective bullpen solution, something which only rookie long reliever Alfred Vong has satisfied. 

Zubeda Khan, Closer: So dominant in April, the once-promising Zubeda Khan has fallen far and hard since then.  Her 6.52 ERA and 1.86 WHIP in May only continued into June, where she had a 7.72 ERA and 1.71 WHIP, and along the way allowed 3 of 9 inherited runners to score and tied the league lead with 5 blown saves.  She’ll finish out the rest of the season as closer, but it appears as if once again Daly City will be in search of a new solution in the off season. 

In minor league news, the AAA Brisbane Warriors are dominating the league with a 75-6, .926 record.  It’s led by dominating sluggers Norman Ho, Desiree Tienturier, and Jean Paredes, all with slugging percentages over 1.000.  Lester Tam is trying to play the AA Panorama Pirates all by himself, hitting .341-.388-.451 and driving the one-man team to a .383 record, tied for last in the league with Mozilla’s AA.  The only likely callups this season seem to be forgotten backup 2B Kelvin Chang and Lester Tam, but promising starting pitcher W. Esguerra, ranked as the #1 prospect in baseball, looks to be only a year away from joining the major league team in 2006…

No Comments

Season-so-far: May 1st, 2005


It’s May the 1st, 2005, and the end of the first month of the season.  The league is off to an exhilarating start in its inaugural season.  Only a month in, it’s anybody’s game, but the significant players and trends have begun to establish themselves.

In the Shinto-World League, the race is hot in both of its four-team divisions, the Photomaker and World Cities divisions.  The Canon Image Stabilizers, led by both batter of the month Gates Skywalker and pitcher of the month Justin Ramage, have a tenacious 1-game hold on the division lead with a 16 wins and 12 losses, and a .571 record.  They’ve dropped 7 of their last 11, however, which has allowed the surging Nikon Vibration Reducers, who have won 8 of their last 11, to close in.  The Pentax Shake Reducers, meanwhile, have played steadily and are tied with Nikon for second place.  The biggest loser has been the Sony SuperSteady Shots, who despite a massive budget are at 8-20, .286 have by far the worst record of any team in the league (the next are the Paris Forfeiters at 13-15, .464.

The World Cities division is a tight race, with Tokyo leading by only a game, and Las Vegas, Venice, and Paris all within 3 games of the lead.

Meanwhile in the Universe League, the winners and losers so far have been more easily defined.

The Terran Division, consisting of the Caribbean Pirates, Europe Cricketeers, United States Patriots, and Asia Giants, has settled into place with the Caribbean and Europe at the top, the Pirates at 16-12 leading by 1 game.  As expected, Asia sits at the bottom of the league (along with the Mozilla Firefoxes) at 7-21, 2.50.  A disappointing surprise, however, has been the United States, who despite having some huge playmakers (catcher Andrew Amey and third baseman Juan Truex both being five-star hitters) have not delivered on the pitching end, with a 6.04 team ERA that is last in the league.

Things are most interesting on the Galactica Division.  Daly City has once again dominated, with a 24-4, .857 record.  The deep-pocketed Microsoft Longhorns are at 14-14, an even .500, while the Mozilla Firefoxes have plunged to 7-21.  The real story so far has been the Apple Septic Tanks, a team expected to be at the bottom of the standings, but which has somehow managed to achieve an 18-10, .643 record, putting them second-place in the division, and the second-best team in the entire league, all this while in the same division as the Daly City Montis and having lost all four games against them.  They’ve been buoyed by a consistent pitching staff, with a rotation led by Kyle Katarn (4-1, 3.04 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) and Wedge Antilles (5-0, 3.53 ERA, 1.22 WHIP), two solid, though not dominating, aces.

The Daly City team has been cruising along, despite some agonizingly close losses.  Of its four losses on the year, three were by a single run, and the other was by two runs.  In addition, three of those losses were starts by Josiah Leong, in which he left the game in the lead, only to have it blown and then lost by the reliever.

Despite the somewhat shaky bullpen, the team has otherwise been solid, leading the league in both pitching and hitting, and had both pitcher and hitter of the month, Nathan Yan and Derek Lew, respectively.

Sam Lau, Catcher: Lau has been steady at the catcher position, playing 26 of the team’s 28 games so far.  He leads the league in runners thrown out percentage, throwing out 7 of 13 runners, and has been solid on defense.  Where he’s lacking, though, has been of defense – with a .287-.339-.386 line, he’s far below his career numbers for on-base percentage and slugging.  Part of this may have to do with his staggering home and road game splits: At home, he’s hitting .348-.412-.543, while away he’s been an extremely disappointing .236-.274-.255.  Still, he’s doing well, and with backup Tina Quach floundering, looks to be secure at his position.

Tina Quach, Backup Catcher: Despite showing a lot of promise the year before, Quach has been disappointing so far, going .167-.286-.333 in only 5 games, although she’s been coming around recently (all her 3 hits in the past two games).  The rest of the backups have been slightly disappointing however, especially in the outfield, so she’ll find continue to find playing time.

Derek Lew, First Baseman: Derek had an astounding April, and in the wake of the team’s 2004 offseason turnover, has emerged as a dominant power hitter to fill in the voids left by the departures of Ho and Tienturier.  Lew batted .361-.370-.648 in April, setting himself up for a career year.  Most notably, however, Lew has scored 30 runs and driven in 30 RBIs batting in the #5 slot, leading the league in both categories, which was perhaps the largest contributing factor in winning the Batter of the Month award.

Rudy Puzon, Designated Hitter: An extremely pleasant surprise from the rookie designated hitter.  Puzon has played in 27 of the team’s 28 games, and in that span has managed to rack up a .325-.391-.588 line, leading the team with 8 HRs while usually batting in the #3 slot.  He is also second on the team in both runs and RBIs, and has been exceptional in pressure situations – in close/late situations, Puzon has batted .462-.529-1.154, and in scoring situations he’s hit .400-.406-..800.  With an extremely impressive April, Puzon seems to have cemented a hold as the team’s regular designated hitter.

Cristian Ortiz, Second Baseman: Cristian Ortiz, brought in as a Cesar Izturis-type defensive middle infielder, Ortiz has surprised with decent offensive.  His line of .289-.315-.488 is decent, and he is surprisingly tied for second on the team with 7 HRs.  Defensively, Ortiz has been stellar, converting all 111 of his total chances, and might very well win the defensive second baseman of the year.  Ortiz has also been fairly speedy on the basepaths, stealing 10 bases (caught once), which places him at #3 in the league.

Henry Nghe, Shortstop: Although he’s been fading for the past several weeks, Henry Nghe has been one of the better hitters on the team, with a .324-.389-.520 April line, and at one time hitting well over .500 AVG.  Lately however, Nghe hasn’t been doing so well – over the past two weeks he’s been hitting at an anemic .226-.324-.387, but without any other player who as a backup shortstop, Nghe has to weather through his slump and hope he returns to form.  On defense, which was his primary intent, Nghe has been iffy, committing 4 errors.

Joey Wong, Third Baseman: The other remaining member of Daly City’s previous big four hitters, Wong has been hitting at a good clip so far, hitting .382-.440-.600, continuing a steady improvement from year to year.  Along with Lew, he anchors the team at the core of the Daly City lineup.  Where Wong has been disappointing, however, is in his largest role as run producer and scorer.  His overall numbers are nice, but for the entire month Wong has a pedestrian 21 runs and 15 RBIs to show for it.  Hitting behind the unexpected power hitter Rudy Puzon, and surprise RBI numbers from leadoff hitters like Ortiz, Cubilo, and Lau (all of whom have hit more RBIs than Wong), Wong has had his RBI numbers sniped, although the case isn’t so different from when he was hitting in the #5 slot behind huge run-drivers Aubrey Cubilo, Derek Lew, Desireé Tienturier, and Norman Ho in 2003 and 2004, seasons in which he still scored a gaudy 157 and 134 RBIs, respectively.  The problem has been in the clutch, where Wong has slugged only .438 with runners in scoring position, and has hit an atrocious .143-.333-.214 in close/late situations.  While surprise performances from other hitters have maintained the Daly City machine so far, the offense will ultimately come to rely on him as one of its centerpieces, and Wong must pick up the pace in run scoring positions.

Joanna Maung, Backup Saung-gah-baseman: The career pinch hit extraordinaire has stepped up into a part-time starting role, starting 6 games (she’s yet to pinch hit), taking on starts at third base, right field, and designated hitter.  So far she’s hit .364-.400-.364, and most notably has hit .571-.556-.571 in scoring positions, driving in 5 runs in only 7 at bats.  Defensively, she’s been a liability, so a full-time starting gig at any other position but designated hitter is unlikely barring an injury, but filling in so far she’s been fairly good at getting on base – perhaps with a little more work on defense she could grow into a starting position somewhere.

Jonathan Chee, Leftfielder: Many anxiously awaited to see what form The Cheet of 2005 would take – the starting leftfielder of 2003 with a .278-.363-.366 line, or the part time hitter who only managed .219-.344-.303 in 2004.  The answer so far has been the latter – Chee has managed only 8 games, and in that span has hit .226-.314-.387 (although amusingly his OBP numbers come from not his 1 walk but his 3 hit-by-pitches).  He’s been in-and-out of the starting leftfield position, swapping places with Joanna Maung, Tiffany Ho, Jason Liu, and Francis Chen between left and right field.  Chee looked as if he had really turned a corner in spring training, showing glimpses of the capabilities of a .300+ contact hitter and on-base machine, but at the moment he stands at significant risk of losing the starting job entirely if the other players continue stronger play.

Aubrey Cubilo, Centerfielder: Cubilo has picked up right where she left off in 2004 – she’s hitting for a high average (.311, with a minimal OBP (.336) and SLG (.429), but stealing bases (14 steals and 0 caught stealing) and inexplicably driving in runs (19 runs, many of them from the #9 slot) like crazy.  Defensively she’s been a constant highlight reel, and her 3 assists are second in the league.  She’s been trading places with Ortiz between the #1 and #9 slots, but with more consistency in her hitting, she might more or less solidify herself at #1.

Francis Chen, Rightfielder: An enigma of wanton flailing, unfulfilled on-base potential, and raw power, Francis Chen has somewhat failed expectations.  At .210-.333-.419, he hasn’t been hitting well at all and has failed to even produce the gaudy power numbers that made him so enticing.  His problems mostly seem to be at home – in away games, he’s hit .227-.346-.523, which are exactly the kind of numbers expected.  Chee may be the first outfielder to go, but Chen needs stronger play and consistency, especially on the power end, to achieve his full potential.

Jason Liu, Leftfielder: The power hitter with the enormous potential has found a vacancy in leftfield left by Jonathan Chee’s weak play, and has seized upon it.  Though he’s played in only 20 games this season, Liu has amassed a .286-.319-.583 line, hitting 6 HR and 18 RBIs with 20 Runs in only 84 at bats.  While he hasn’t sealed himself as a starter yet, Liu is increasingly lookingly like the most consistent of all the potential corner outfielders, and may play out the entire or majority of the season as a starting player, as he did in 2004 when he went .323-.409-.702 and hit 39 HR in only 433 at bats.

Tiffany Ho, Backup Rightfielder: The rookie Tiffany, playing sparingly (9 games and 38 plate appearances) over the month, has amassed a meek .243-.263-.297 line, although one not too far away from where the Daly City outfielders have been playing.  She’s been doing well on the road, going .300-.333-.400 – with the continued weak play of Chee and Chen, and spot starts at 2B and SS where she’s the only other available fielder, she could still see significant playing time and get the experience she needs.

Nathan Yan, #1 Starting Pitcher: The dominating ace Yan has still been dominating in this first month, although he’s seemed a bit more mortal as of late.  He started out the season with an other-worldly 10-inning, 1-hit shutout, going the distance for a 2-0 extra inning complete game.  He’s also had two other shutouts, a complete game 1-hitter and another 2-hiiter.  In between however, Yan has been hit for 3 runs in 7 innings twice, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks in the first and giving up a huge 8 hits and 1 walk in the second.  He’s still 5-0 in 5 starts, and with a league-leading 1.29 ERA, 0.52 WHIP, and 14.4 K’s per 9 Innings won the pitcher of the year award, but with two multi-run games against him, he’s looking a bit more shaky than usual.

Josiah Leong, #2 Starting Pitcher: The forever inconsistent Josiah Leong suffered an agonizing April.  With a 1.26 WHIP, and a 5.12 ERA, Leong managed to escape with a 1-1 record, but has played brilliantly in several games only to lose the lead late with blown leads by relief pitchers, something which happened in all four of his non-wins.  With a little bit more luck, Leong could easily be 5-0 with a 3ish ERA, and as the bullpen settles down he may just achieve that in the following months.

Terrence Zhao, #3 Starting Pitcher: Zhao continues his rapid improvement – he’s been a deceivingly dominant 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA in April, good for 2nd in the league.  His WHIP, however, is a shaky 1.20, and looking at his game logs show cause for concern – low runs, but with a lot of luck given the large number of hits and walks given up.

Samantha Chin, #4 Starting Pitcher: The rookie starter has disappointed immensely in her first month – she’s somehow escaped with a 1-0 record, but her 1.37 WHIP is scary, and her 7.33 ERA is downright frightening.  The number of K’s per inning – a good 29 K’s in only 27 innings show some promise – she might fall back to #6 for now, but has the potential to become very good.

Sean Wade, #5 Starting Pitcher: The other 5-0 pitcher on the team surprisingly doesn’t come from the lights-out stuff of Josiah Leong, Terrence Zhao, or even the promising rookie Chin, but from her fellow rookie starter Wade, he’s been nothing but consistent.  He’s racked up a 2.04 ERA, and an even more surprising 0.63 WHIP, by far the second-best in the league.  With his pinpoint accuracy, Wade as the reserved and deceptively subdued starter could become the second-most dominant pitcher in the league, in exactly the opposite fashion as #1 pitcher Nathan Yan.

Miguel Pardo, #6 Starting Pitcher: With only 3 starts on the season, Miguel Pardo has been surprisingly lights-out – he has the lowest ERA and nearly the lowest WHIP of any pitcher in the league, if only he had enough innings – an ERA of 1.08 and a WHIP of 0.76.  The #6 spot starter has found himself to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, something that none of his pitching ratings indicate.  Whether his dominance, or even competent pitching, continues will be seen, but for right now Pardo is showing huge promise to break out and achieve the consistency that his fleetingly brilliant career has lacked so far.

Alving Vong, Long Reliever: Vong has pitched three games and 8 1/3 innings so far, amassing a decent 3.24 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.  He’s showing good promise, and with a 70 endurance rating is the team’s best solution at long relief.  With Pardo’s surprising performances, Vong looks to stay in the bullpen, at least for this season.

Katie Clayton, Mopup Reliever: Used sparingly, Clayton has done decently in her 5 2/3 innings, pitching with a better-than-average 4.77 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, and as always managing to not lose a game.

Helen Yamamoto, Mopup Reliever: The rookie Yamamoto has been horrible so far, pitching only 3 2/3 innings with a 12.27 ERA and 2.45 WHIP.  In her 4th appearance she went out with an injury, a strained rotator cuff muscle that will sideline her for 2-3 weeks.

Angel Poon, Middle Reliever: In 4 games so far, Poon has pitched 9 1/3 innings with a 4.82 ERA and an impressive 0.86 WHIP.  She’s still one of the more reliable relievers in the bullpen, and is splitting the time fairly evenly with setup reliever Alvina Chu.

Alvina Chu, Setup Reliever: The workhorse of the Daly City bullpen, Chu has pitched 13 innings in 6 appearances.  She’s also been at the center of the biggest Daly City drama – she’s blown two saves and has been behind a large number of the starters’, particularly Josiah Leong’s, no-decisions.  While her ERA, at 2.77, is decent, her 1.38 WHIP and general inconsistency, has been cause for worry.

Zubeda Khan, Closer: The rookie closer has been consistently good in her first month – through 9 appearances she’s recorded 5 saves and 1 win, blowing a save.  Her numbers have been stellar however – 0.87 ERA and a 0.68 WHIP, with her only blown save going to the only run she’s given up, in a game in which she went on to later win.  She’s the most consistent closer Daly City has had in awhile, and might finally be the regular closer that the team’s been looking for.

No Comments

The 2005 Season Preview


The great return of Monti Bizzaro Baseball.

It’s April 1st, 2005, the start of a brand new season, the third in proffesional baseball by the home-grown team of the Daly City Montis. A sense of deja vu pervades the warming spring air.

No it’s not really deja vu – I inadvertently corrupted the original league file, but thankfully had a backup in hand from the start of the season. Unfortunately, all the stats and games were lost, but starting from scratch gives us a whole new ballgame with regards to the players involved.

As my apathy and lack of time has caused this league to now fall 2 years behind, the 2005 season will be sped through, followed by a slightly accelerated 2006 season. By 2007, we should be back on track, and running games in real-time.

So what’s in store this season for the venerable Daly City Montis?

Gone are some of the older stalwarts – aces like Fong and the heavy hitters like Tienturier and Ho have been retired to AAA, making room for a whole slew of new rookies.

Catcher: Sam Lau The old stalwart at the catcher position, Sam Lau will be the primary catcher coming into this season. He played almost full-time in the inaugural 2003 season, starting 155 of 162 games at catcher, while he was spelled by backup catcher Tina Quach for a significant amount of time last season, playing in only 110 games. He’s put up fairly typical batting averages (.264 career average) and slugging percentages (.444 career), but provides a very decent on-base percentage (.372), especially at his position. His real assett, however, has always been his defense – he’s the top-rated catcher in both fielding and throwing arm, and is significantly more capable defensively than any other player on the team.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 155 548 146 19 3 24 104 97 62 98 5 .266 .378 .443
2004 110 387 191 17 0 18 74 63 38 63 5 .261 .364 .444

Backup Catcher: Tina Quach Serving as the primary backup catcher, Quach joined the team in 2004, filling in a utility role at catcher and various other positions, mostly in the outfield. Although lacking in power (just 3 homeruns in 281 at bats), she hit for a .299-.373-.409 AVG-OBP-SLG in 78 games last year. Playing a wide range of positions at catcher, 1st base, and all three outfield positions, she looks to get even more playing time this year.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2004 78 281 84 18 2 3 33 42 19 33 0 .299 .373 .409

1st Baseman: Derek Lew After the departures of Ho and Tienturier, 2005 may be Lew’s chance to shine as the #1 power hitter on the Daly City team. His 204 combined Gap+Power rating is far and away the highest on the team (Jason Liu, a backup outfielder, is second at 159), and with Ho and Tienturier retired, he is the career leader in homeruns with 65 over the last two seasons. Lew has become the epitomy of a pure Vladimir Guerrero-type hitter, although he doesn’t exactly have the same build – his walks are absolutely minimal – a total of 19 bases on balls in 2004 on 754! at-bats. At the same time, he whiffed in only 24 trips to the plate, by far the lowest in the league. His gargantuan RBI (160 and 133 in 2003 and 2004, respectively) and run (141 and 138) totals look to decline a bit with a weaker supporting cast, and while no one doubts his amazing gap power, the ability to maintain his .310 average and 33 HR’s per 162 games might not continue with his middle-of-the-road contact (63 overall on a 100-point scale) and pure power (70) ratings.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 162 729 219 67 6 37 160 141 35 32 6 .300 .330 .561
2004 162 754 241 74 1 28 133 138 24 19 7 .320 .336 .532

Backup 1st Baseman/Designated Hitter: Rudy Puzon A rookie to the team, Puzon is a bit underdeveloped overall as a hitter, but has the potential to become a solid all around hitter. He’s defensively below average, and given primary 1B Derek Lew’s amazing durability (playing all 162 games each of the past two seasons), Puzon may find himself in the role of the primary designated hitter, a position which he may contest with several of the other backup players until a consistent hitter emerges.

2nd Baseman: Cristian Ortiz A defense-minded second-baseman, Ortiz was a part of the original team in 2003, splitting time between the 2B and shortstop positions. Never a fantastic hitter, Ortiz’s .251-.318-.415 AVG-OBP-SLG rate near the lowest for anyone to play significant time. With Tienturier retired to AAA however, Ortiz finally gets his chance to start full-time at second base, and will likely serve a role as a second leadoff hitter in the #9 slot to utilize his speed.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 73 261 67 7 3 19 38 33 39 26 2 .257 .324 .421
2004 25 74 17 0 0 4 17 6 13 7 1 .230 .296 .392

Shorstop: Henry Nghe At 27 years old, a past-his-prime grandfather in the organization, Nghe is primed to begin his season as the starting shorstop. He played in only three games during the 2004 season, amassing 3 hits out of 11 at bats. Nghe has, or had, good potential with regards to contact and gap power (75 and 80 potential talent ratings, respectively) – time will tell whether he’s too old to develop anymore as a hitter.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2004 38 11 3 0 0 0 1 2 4 1 0 .273 .333 .273

3rd Baseman: Joey Wong Another member of the original cast, Wong has been one of the premeire hitters of the game, with good power numbers and some of the best contact ability anywhere. His career line of .370-.430-.588 shouldn’t need anymore explanation, and with a 129 contact rating (with 145 as a potential talent), Wong looks to be the main run-driver in the cleanup position at #4, as well as a threat to hit .400 on the season.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 161 642 236 49 5 28 157 131 73 68 20 .368 .428 .590
2004 162 665 248 40 1 33 134 141 67 68 3 .373 .431 .585

Backup 3rd Baseman: Joanna Maung Playing backup to possibly the best third baseman in the game doesn’t afford many opportunities – Maung has played in 89 games over the past two seasons, in a variety of odd-job positions, mostly at designated hitter becuase of her defensive liabilities but occasionally in the outfield or even catcher when there has been a very desperate need. More often that not, though, she’s called in as a pinch-hit specialist, and she’s exceedingly excelled in that role. Despite ratings that would indicate an abysmal hitter (Contact: 57, Gap Power: 37, Pure Power: 31, Batting Eye: 70, Avoiding K’s: 60), her career line is a very respectable .275-.372-.356, with top numbers where it counts the most for a PH: OBP. Until her batting abilities develop, she’ll likely take a backup/utility role for most of this season and serve mostly as a pinch hit specialist when the most dire games are on the line.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 39 135 37 9 0 0 20 25 23 20 0 .274 .368 .341
2004 50 160 44 6 0 3 31 30 25 26 0 .275 .376 .369

Leftfielder: Jonathan Chee An all-around utility player, Jonathan “The Cheet” Chee looks to settle this year in his position in leftfield, possibly with the occasional stint as emergency backup catcher. Chee’s numbers haven’t been spectacular – for the msot part he’s a decent hitter with a knack for getting on base, a fact helped by the fact that Chee has led the league in hit-by-pitch ratio for both of the past two seasons. Almost single-handedly, The Cheet has turned this obscure phenomenon into something worthy of stat-tracking, and 2005 will be the first year that hit-by-pitches are actually counted.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 144 525 146 18 2 8 68 68 112 70 3 .278 .363 .366
2004 54 178 39 3 0 4 17 28 40 34 1 .219 .344 .303

Centerfielder: Aubrey Cubilo The all-star centerfielder, Cubilo can do it all, from being one of the best defensive centerfielders in the game, to swiping bases at an amazing rate as the speediest woman on the basepaths. Her rookie year was cut short by a season-ending injury, but she came back with a vengeance in 2004, racking up 123 runs (and 83 RBIs on her own) at the top of a powerful lineup, while leading the league with 67 steals. Although she hits for average extremely well, her .299 career average is followed by a disappointing .319 OBP for a leadoff hitter. Nevertheless, her speed alone makes her the ideal candidate, and her defense makes her indispensable in centerfield, so she’ll start the season as the leadoff hitter for Daly City.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2003 46 229 73 20 6 0 20 42 30 5 26 .319 .333 .459
2004 153 698 204 58 15 0 83 123 78 23 67 .292 .315 .418

Rightfielder: Francis Chen Coming in strong at the end of the 2004 season, Francis Chen put out tantalizing totals for the third of a season: 42 games, 162 at-bats, with 13 HR’s – a .241-.268-.537 final line. With the potential to become perhaps the best power hitter on the team, Chen has to overcome his struggles with making contact with the ball. Chen is perhaps the starter with the most precarius hold on his job – although tougher than left field, several backup outfielders are on the roster and waiting in his wings to take the job, and Chen will need to make a strong, or even explosive start, if he’s to avoid getting benched early on.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2004 42 162 39 7 1 13 41 29 41 6 0 .241 .268 .537

Backup Outfielder: Tiffany Ho Little is known about the young 15-year-old rookie, except that she has no relation to the massive power slugger Norman. Early reports have evaluated a good conact potential, but with no experience at any level (not even in the minor leagues), it looks as if her role will be limited until she establishes herself on the field.

Backup Outfielder: Jason Liu Liu played a strong season in 2004, playing 118 games and putting up very good numbers, especially in the power categories – 39 doubles and 39 homeruns in 433 at bats, for a .323-.409-.702 final line. Despite his performance, he’s been relegated back to a backup role, with Francis Chen getting the nod in rightfield in hopes that he’s able to achieve his enormous power potential and develop his other abilities.

Year Games AB Hits 2B 3B HR RBI Runs K’s Walks Steals AVG OBP SLG
2004 118 433 140 39 4 39 126 104 109 63 2 .323 .409 .702

While not nearly as strong as the old Lew-Tienturier-Ho-Wong combo that dominated the league over the past two years, the new lineup looks extremely competitive, with power hitters Derek Lew and Joey Wong anchoring the lineup, and front end support coming from a very speedy Aubrey Cubilo, and potentially very good on-base numbers coming from Sam Lau, Tina Quach, and Jonathan Chee. Rather than being able to hammer away at opponents though, this season Daly City looks to manufacture what runs it can, and rely on perhaps the strongest pitching staff ever assembled to keep the scores low.

#1 Starting Pitcher: Nathan Yan The ace that’s anchored the team, Yan looks to improve even further on his gaudy pitching numbers. He’s led the league in nearly every meaningful category each of the past two seasons, with astounding numbers like a career 1.33 ERA and 0.72 WHIP, and an out-of-this-era 43 complete games (and 21 shutouts) in 54 starts. He’s won 30 games each of the past two seasons, and has amassed huge strikeout numbers – the 2005 season against a fresh league of hitters looks to be a record-setting year.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2003 32 32 30-2 0 276 2/3 18 444 21 10 1.46 0.73
2004 32 32 30-2 0 277 1/3 30 366 22 11 1.20 0.70

#2 Starting Pitcher: Josiah Leong Having pulled an Eric Gagne starter-to-closer transitioin the past two years, the inconsistent Josiah Leong returns to the rotation and pulls a return-to-starter John Smoltz. Josiah has been plagued by a lack of control the past two seasons – he has 112 walks in 167 1/3 innings, and because of that he’s been a bit of a loose cannon – in 2003 he had a 4.21 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP and pitched only 109 innings, getting the quick hook in a lot of games. He did slightly better in his second year as the team’s closer, racking up a precarious 40 saves, but actually underutilized at the end of the season as he was moved to a setup role, with the more dependable and former closer Absalon filling in at season’s end. His return to the rotation should be one to watch – Leong certainly has the stuff to become an ace, if his control problems ever get solved.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2003 18 17 7-6 0 109 81 90 0 0 4.21 1.45
2004 47 0 1-2 40 58 1/3 31 58 0 0 3.70 1.20

#3 Starting Pitcher: Terrence Zhao After a decent campaign in the first 2003 season – 4.14 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, but with a consistency that won 14 games (losing 7) in only 24 starts, Zhao had a breakout year in 2004, attaining a 2.94 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP in becoming one of the top starters in the game. A solid starter at the #3 position, his continued development would give Daly City two bona-fide aces, and potentially a third if Leong gets a handle on his control problems.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2003 28 24 14-7 0 163 91 120 2 1 4.14 1.37
2004 28 28 15-4 0 186 2/3 68 143 7 4 2.94 0.99

#4 Starting Pitcher: Samantha Chin The first of the rookie starter duo in the rotation, Chin is a decently-developed starter with quite a high ceiling – she can throw high 99mph heat, and with time could potentially become an ace pitcher.

#5 Starting Pitcher: Sean Wade The second of the rookie starters, Wade is a bit more of a conservative pitcher – he throws in the low 90’s, doesn’t have too much dazzle, but prides himself in control and consistency. WIth a 79 control rating (and 100 potential talent), he’s already got the second-best control on the team behind ace Nathan Yan, and should provide quality starts at the back end of the rotation.

#6 Starting Pitcher: Miguel Pardo Pardo the enigma has been up and down over the last two seasons. In his first season, over 19 starts he amassed a horrendous 4.79 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP, yet somehow eeked out a 10-3 win-loss record. His 2004 season, with 9 starts, took a nosedive, further deepening to a horrendous 6.65 ERA and 1.98 WHIP, although he somehow managed to survive with a 3-4 record. While consistently horrible, Pardo seems to magically pull out blazing performances out of nowhere, only to revert back to his softball-tossing form the very next start. He’s on the very back end of the rotation, and might end up sharing the spot with long reliever Alfred Vong.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2003 21 19 10-3 0 126 90 79 1 0 4.79 1.61
2004 9 9 3-4 0 46 34 25 1 1 6.65 1.98

Mopup Reliever: Helen Yamamoto A rookie to the team, Yamamoto comes in with barely above minor league statistics. She takes on the role of mopup, a safety role for large leads or heavy deficits, which might give her time to gain experience and develop.

Middle Reliever: Angel Poon The biggest workhorse of the bullpen, Poon has racked up 130 2/3 innings over the past two years, which shows approxamitely the maximum extent of use of the bullpen with a rotation as strong as Daly City’s. Poon had a decent year in her rookie 2003 season, with a 4.15 ERA, but played very well in the setup role the next year, achieving a 2.88 ERA in 2004 and notching 4 long saves of her own. The numbers might be a bit deceiving however – in the 2004 season her WHIP remained at the same relatively high 1.14 level as her 2003 season, indicating there may have been more than a little bit of luck involved. She finds herself as the primary middle reliever this season, although with a possibly even more talented rotation and more crowded bullpen, appearances may be hard to come by.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2003 41 0 3-2 1 65 11 51 0 0 4.15 1.14
2004 28 0 4-1 4 65 2/3 13 46 0 0 2.88 1.14

Middle Reliever: Katie Clayton One of the most underdeveloped pitchers, and possibly the worst pitcher in Daly City’s short history, Clayton is still with the club in hopes of her enormous (although unfulfilled) potential. She’s amassed ERA’s of 9.00 both of the past two seasons (pitching 43 and 12 innings), with a career ERA of 1.96, although has amazing not recorded a loss in her 40 appearances. She plays a secondary middle relief role, but may come in for mopup more often.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2003 30 0 0-0 0 43 31 26 0 0 9.00 1.98
2004 10 0 0-0 0 12 13 8 0 0 9.00 1.92

Long Reliever: Alred Vong A newcomer to the team, Alfred Vong has the makings of a very solid starter, but with the 6th rotation spot filled by Miguel Pardo, will likely take his appearances in long relief of an ailing starting pitcher to establish himself.

Setup reliever: Alvina Chu Coming in late in the 2004 season, Alvina Chu dazzled with a 2.58 ERA and 1.04 WHIP, along with 41 K’s in her 38 1/3 innings. She ascends to the setup role this year, possibly rated as the best reliever that Daly City has.

Year Games Starts Win-Loss Saves Innings Walks K CG SHO ERA WHIP
2004 20 0 5-0 2 38 1/3 13 41 0 0 2.58 1.04

Closer: Zubeda Khan The Young Khan, a rookie, takes on the tumultuous Daly City closer role, which has shifted hands constantly over the past two seasons – she’ll be the team’s 3rd closer in as many years. The knuckleball-throwing rookie brings with her good control and decent stuff, but time will tell if she has the poise to become a true closer.

No Comments
Newer Posts »