Bristol Wicketmen Preview

BDB 2019 – 98-64. Robinson Division Champion. Bridesmaid to the Hamilton Redbirds in BDB Finals

Looking back, I think we can say that Bristol will find 2019 to be somewhat disappointing.   The team finished first in the toughest division of BDB.  How tough was the Robinson Division?  Every single team in the division had a record above .500 when facing not divisional opponents.  That is how good they were.  And how good was Bristol?  They were a 98-win team, who held off a 97- win team to take the pennant.  You’d think that would be enough to take your team to the Trophy Room at BDB HQ.

Xander Bogearts happy about plucking the Parrots

Sadly, after one of the toughest division battles in recent memory, the Wicketmen weren’t able to pull it all together in the playoffs.  Their first opponent was the Fort Worth Parrots, yup the Parrots.  Not the Fighting Parrots, not the Savage Parrots,, not the Cricket Hating Parrots, just the Parrots.  The Parrots proved their might, won the right to be the Wild Card victor defeating the Mudhens of Madawaska.  They then took on the 97-win Montreal Menace and dispatched them too.    Then they took the mighty Wickets to seven games, before being put down like a rabid dog.  By the time Bristol got to Hamilton in the finals, the tank was empty, and the Splitters, or Red Birds rolled them four games to one. Being so close, might mean that this next season they will be back. The short answer is no, but the longer answer is … the Future is bright in Bristol.

BDB 2020: 77-85. Bottom feeder along with Montreal against two Titans in their Division.

Starting StaffZack Wheeler5.4
Tony Gonsolin4.9
Pablo Lopez4.3
Kevin Gausman4.3
Tyler Glasnow3.2
Joe Musgrove2.7
Top HittersMichael Conforto5.4
Xander Bogaerts5.1
Bryce Harper4.3
Willy Adames4.1
Clint Frazier3.5
Byron Buxton3.2
Anthony Rizzo3
Jean Segura2.7
Christian Yelich1.9
Franmil Reyes1.6
Edwin Rios1.6
Rafael Devers1.4

Is it time to panic for the Wickets?  Have they lost their “mojo”?  Never.  There is no need rebuild, retool or reload, just a year of sitting out of the main action and waiting to see who they will draft — and then calmly walk into the next few seasons as the Division favorites.  This coming season, the team just has too many injuries and too many top talent players to compete, so they will rest for a bit. Maybe a chance to lick some wounds …

Hope for the Future:

Jul 30, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

2021 – 84-78 — One of the Top Dogs of the Division

Jack Flaherty3.9
Stephen Strasburg3.6
Tyler Glasnow3.6
Kevin Gausman3
Joe Musgrove3
Zack Wheeler2.9
Gleyber Torres4.4
Rafael Devers4.3
Xander Bogaerts4.2
Christian Yelich4.2
Bryce Harper3.8
Byron Buxton3.6
Yordan Alvarez3.6
Michael Conforto3.3
Anthony Rizzo3.2
Willy Adames2.3
Danny Jansen2.2
Franmil Reyes2

2022 – 84-78 — One of the Top Dogs of the Division

Jack Flaherty4.6
Tyler Glasnow2.9
Kevin Gausman2.3
Zack Wheeler2.2
Joe Musgrove2.3
Stephen Strasburg2.5
Gleyber Torres4.3
Xander Bogaerts3.9
Christian Yelich3.8
Bryce Harper3.8
Rafael Devers3.4
Michael Conforto3.3
Yordan Alvarez2.9
Willy Adames2.2
Byron Buxton2.2
Danny Jansen2.1
Anthony Rizzo2
Keston Hiura1.7

Expected Comeback Players: What their players have done in the recent past who are missing this season … Christian Yelich (7.8), Rafeal Devers (5.9), Jack Flaherty (4.8), Michael Conforto (4.4), Noah Syndergaard (4.4), Austin Meadows (4.1), Anthony Rizzo (4.1), Jameson Taillon (3.9),  Yordan Alvarez (3.8), and Gleyber Torres (3.6) 

Yeah, that’s a LOT of talent

2020 Top Rookies: Jo Adell (3), Daulton Varsho (89).

2021 Top Rookies: Triston McKenzie (40), Willam Contreras (133).

To Rated Rookie: Joe Adell —

The baseball-loving world held its collective breath last year when Adell went down with two freak leg injuries on the same spring training play (while going from first to third, he strained his left hamstring, then sprained his right ankle trying to stop himself when he felt the pull) and was shelved for a couple of months. While his gait appeared compromised during Extended spring rehab outings, Adell was asymptomatic throughout the summer and during the Arizona Fall League. After a brief jaunt in the Cal League, the Angels sent him to Double-A Mobile, where he’d had a strikeout-laden cup of coffee the year before. He adjusted, cut the strikeout rate down to a very livable 22%, and hit .308/.390/.553 over two months before he was sent to Triple-A in August. Again, Adell struck out a lot when he was challenged, and there are people in baseball who worry about how often he K’s, but he was just 20 years old and has had success amid many swing changes since he signed, a common theme among Angels prospects. 

Adell’s leg kick has been altered; he now raises it even with his waist at apex, and the height at which his hands load (as well as the angle of his bat when they do) was quite nomadic throughout last year. By the time Adell was done with Fall League and had joined Team USA’s Premier12 Olympic qualifying efforts, he had a Gary Sheffield-style bat wrap. Adell is one of the best athletes in the minors (there’s video of him box jumping 66 inches online) and the fact that’s he’s been able to manifest these adjustments on the field at will is incredible. Even if something mechanical isn’t working in the future, chances are he’ll be able to fix it. I’ve settled on projecting Adell in left field. The arm strength he showed as an amateur, when he was into the mid-90s as a pitcher, never totally returned after it mysteriously evaporated during his senior year of high school. He has a 40 arm and is such a hulking dude that he’s just going to be a corner defender at maturity. Strikeouts may limit Adell’s productivity when he’s initially brought up, but I think eventually he’ll be a middle-of-the-order force who hits 35-plus homers.

The Commish