Montreal Menace Preview

BDB 2019 – 97-65 – Second in Division

What a season it was for Montreal. These guys fought to win this past season, and sadly don’t have much to show for it. To begin, they won 97 games … but lost by one game for the Division title. That sent them to the short best of three Wild Card series against Fort Worth Parrots. Tough loss. Who knew, the quiet Parrot guy from Texas could upset the second strongest team of the year in the first round of the playoffs? However, that probably wasn’t the toughest loss for them … it is what they gave up in an attempt to win the division… Alex Bregman — for Mike Soroka — who went down like an hour later with an Achilles injury.

BDB 2020 – 74-88 – Cellar dweller for the season … maybe more.

I DOMINATE opposing teams — claims top ranked BDB pitcher
Top Pitchers
Shane Bieber8.6
Zach Plesac4.1
Brad Keller3.5
Patrick Corbin3.2
Aaron Civale3.2
Jose Berrios2
Top Hitters
Cesar Hernandez5.1
James McCann4.1
Jackie Bradley Jr.4.1
Christian Vazquez3.8
Brian Anderson3.2
David Peralta2.7
Joey Wendle2.7
Andres Gimenez2.2
Randy Arozarena2.2
Matt Olson2.2
Amed Rosario0.3
Nick Madrigal0.3

As everyone knows, the ultimate goal for the Menace is to have on their roster, every single player in BDB.  It’s true.  Montreal is BDB’s version of the Turkish Bazaar in Istanbull.

Apparently, fans are beginning to wonder if the owner is trade addict who spends more time at the Casino de Montréal or the GM Office at HQ.  Regardless, Montreal now finds itself in rebuild or reload mode, so time will tell. This season’s version of the Menace will be considerably less than last season. The pitching still remains strong, and could prove to be better in the future, the real work here will be the hitters. The top 2 hitters say it all… Cesar Hernandez and James McCann … not very — you know, intimidating. Name wise, Matt Olson has the most power potential, actually he is the only one with power potential. Looks like the Menace won’t be the big draw in Montreal this upcoming season …

The truth of the matter is that there is still plenty of talent to be found in Montreal, and you know what that means? More trades! Our money is on Shane Bieber, Brad Keller, Zach Pleasac will be gone via the trade by season’s end.

Gone at end of season:  Andrew Benintendi, Whit Merrifield, Anthony Rendon, Starling Marte, and Trea Turner.

New:  Brian Anderson, Cesar Hernandez, JD Martinez and Josh Bell, Randy Arozarena, Brad Keller, Zach Pleasac and plenty of draft picks.

BDB 2021: 73-89. Bottom of the basement

Plesac stunned he won’t be shinning in Ottawa. Says he always wanted to skate the Canal.
Top Pitchers
Shane Bieber5.4
Patrick Corbin3.5
Jose Berrios3.5
Zach Plesac2.3
Sixto Sanchez2.3
Brad Keller1.9
Top Hitters
Matt Olson3.5
Brian Anderson2.7
Christian Vazquez2.6
Nick Madrigal2.4
Joc Pederson2.2
J.D. Martinez2.2
Randy Arozarena2.1
Cesar Hernandez1.7
Amed Rosario1.7
Jackie Bradley Jr.1.5
James McCann1.3
Bryan Reynolds1.3

BDB 2022: 77-85. Bottom of the basement

Top Pitchers
Shane Bieber5.2
Jose Berrios3.7
Brad Keller2.9
Mike Soroka2.9
Patrick Corbin2.7
Brendan McKay2.4
Top Hitter
Matt Olson3.4
Brian Anderson2.6
Randy Arozarena2.3
Amed Rosario1.8
Christian Vazquez2
Nick Madrigal1.9
Andres Gimenez1.8
Keibert Ruiz1.7
Luis Campusano1.5
Cesar Hernandez1.4
Joc Pederson1.2
Bryan Reynolds1.2

Hope for the future:

Comeback Players:  Jake Odorizzi (4.3), Mike Soroka (4.0), Marcus Stroman (3.9), Bryan Reynolds (3.1). 

2020 Top Rookies:  Randy Arozarena (19), Luis Campusano (32), Nick Madrigal (46), Brady Singer (201).

2021 Top Rookies: Sixto Sanchez (15), Keibert Ruiz (63), Garrett Crochet (67), Carlos Schmidt (74), AJ Puk (100), Andres Giminez (115). 

Is there hope for Montreal?  Yes, of course there is.  On the plus side, they are seeing results from their 2020 Rookies, who will make an immediate impact, and certainly plenty of room for improvement, and Sixto Sanchez is one of the strongest pitching prospects in the 2021 class. 

 What they may be lacking in top prospects for next season, they make up in bulk and future draft picks.  However, let’s be honest, its especially hard to predict what Montreal’s future team’s will look like given their penchant for trades, but its the best we can do at the current time.

Look for the Menace to tread water for the next few years until they get back into playing shape.

Top Rookie Profile: Sixto Sanchez

Future of Montreal found right here … or over there …

Miami had Sixto throw in Extended Spring Training (he threw bullpens until mid-April, then got into games) to control his season-long workload coming off an injury-plagued 2018 (he had visible discomfort in his neck and shoulder early in the year, elbow soreness later on, and skipped Fall League due to collarbone soreness) before sending him to Double-A for the bulk of the summer. There is a gap between how many bats his fastball misses (he has 8% swinging strike rate on the heater, where the big league average on all pitches is 11%) and what you might expect at this velocity (Sixto averages 97, touches 101) because it has sinking/tailing movement rather than ride. Whether Miami player dev can adjust that without compromising Sanchez’s control and health remains to be seen. 

His changeup, which is one of the better ones in the minors, will be his primary out pitch unless or until that happens. The cambio has bat-missing, screwball action, so much that it dips beneath the barrel of right-handed hitters as well as away from lefties. Sanchez can also run it back over the corner of the glove side of the plate, freezing perplexed hitters. Though his slider has plus spin, it’s horizontal wipe means it needs to be located off the plate to work, but Sixto, especially considering how little he’s pitched in his life and how far backwards his build has gone on him to this point, commands it pretty well. The same arm slot/hand position change that might add more ride to the fastball could add more depth to the breaking ball, but you could argue that such a change is an unnecessary risk considering Sixto’s injury history and how well everything already works. 

Knowledge of the fastball efficacy gap combined with the injury history has us down on Sixto a little bit. He still has top-of-the rotation upside, there’s just more developmental work to do to get there than we thought there was a year ago.