Overview: Last year’s squad went a surprising 95-67 in what was considered to be a rebuiling year. The post-season was short with EP being booted by the Patriots from the AL East in the first round.
Outlook: Bouyed by last season’s momentum The Ultraviolence look to contend for the AL South title once again. Will the grooming of three key rookies be enough to allow The Ultraviolence to contend.
Key additions: El Paso was thwarted from adding a top of the line starting pitcher by the wild bidding on the few available stars. The team had to settle for SP Albert Castilla in the free agent market. The offseason also saw EP acquire RF Pedro Merced who should add some power to the lineup and brings the speed that El Paso covets.
Key losses: El Paso fan favorite Bob Fleming and season 2 draftee was not re-signed. Fleming averaged over 70 SB and 100 runs a season during his time in the red and burnt orange uniform.
2B Al Mendez, NABCL record 197 SB last season – think Vince
LF Keith Sellers, the rookie will replace the aforementioned Fleming and add power to the speed
DH Andrew Lankford, 16th overall pick from season 8 makes his ML debut this year
1B Bump Boucher, his 131 RBI last year were below his first 3 ML seasons
3B Armando Garrido, has hit exactly .263 in each of his first 3 ML seasons, added 36 SB
RF Pedro Merced, expected to add some pop to the lineup, strong arm
C Mandy Michaels, hit .284 as a September callup last season
CF Carlos Rios, 5 straight Gold Gloves to go with 14 HR and 60 RBI
SS Tony Belliard, 3-time Gold Glover looks to rebound from off year
SP Diego Lee, season 4 IFA has accumlated 96 ML wins and a 3.97 ERA
SP Edgar Matos, season 12 Rookie of the year piled up 19 wins
SP Ricardo Santos, went 15-8 with a 4.33 ERA
SP Larry Browne, after opening his career with 3 winning seasons he fell to 7-14
SP Albert Castilla, went 7-10 with a 4.17 ERA for Las Vegas last season
RP Luis Moya, 3.75 ERA to go with his 120 innings
RP Juan Benitez, 38 saves and a 3.41 ERA
RP Trenidad Perez, the lefty was solid in his rookie campaign with a 2.96 ERA
RP David Guerrero, rookie lefty adds some bullpen depth
Prediction: 99-63, El Paso is a young team ready to push Jose’s Jacksonville team for the belt in the AL South. El Paso by submission in September.