>Norfolk N’Way Preview

>Norfolk N’Way

Offense: C
Defense: C-
Pitching: C
Best Player:
Stuart Black (C)
Prediction: First Place
Biggest Question: Can this team repeat with a more completive division this season?

The Norfolk N’Way have won the National League East Division crown for the last two season but also the team had there worst record as well. Last season the team went 86-76 and was quickly disposed of in the playoffs.

The Norfolk offense struggled to support the pitching staff only scoring 650 runs on the season. Norfolk really needs the offense to provide something this or they could there bid for three straight divisional crowns quickly disappear.

On the defensive side, Norfolk only had 69 errors last season and I do not think the team will have that good of defensive showing this season; they still should be one of the best in the National League.

CATCHER

Roy Tracy
(.349Ave, 5HR, 32RBI, 281AB)

Tracy is a good hitter, with a great eye and can hit the ball against anyone. Tracy was mostly used as a pinch hitter last season and the team will be trying to get his bat into the lineup even more this season. Hitting Grade: B-
Tracy is a poor fielding catcher at this point of his career. Tracy would be a perfect DH in the American League. Fielding Grade: D-
Overall Grade: C+

Stuart Black
(.278Ave, 14HR, 43RBI, 76R)

Black is a good hitter with a decent eye but always seems to make contact. Black led the team in hits with 164. Hitting Grade: B-
Black is an average defensive catcher that struggles at times with his accuracy. Fielding Grade: C
Overall Grade: B-

Trenidad Espada
(.275Ave, 2HR, 12RBI, 51AB)

Espada is a good hitter with some good power in his bat. Espada came into the season late but hit very well during his limited time. Hitting Grade: B-
Espada is a horrible defensive catcher at this point of his career. The coaching does like the pitch calling selection thought. Fielding Grade: F
Overall Grade: C+

FIRSTBASE

Bud Borders
(.285Ave, 21HR, 64RBI, 65R)

Borders is an above-average hitter with a decent amount of power and a good eye. Borders had a nice 20 homerun, 20 double type season. Hitting Grade: C+
Borders is a poor defensive first baseman but can dig out a ball or two when needed. Fielding Grade: D+
Overall Grade: C+

David Ueno
Minor Leagues Last Season

Ueno is an above-average hitter with a decent amount of power. Will probably be used as a backup this season and a great pinch hitter off the bench. Hitting Grade: C+
Ueno is a below-average defensive first baseman but could be used a defensive replacement if the team need him to. Fielding Grade: C-
Overall Grade: C+

SECONDBASE

Gerald Miller
Minor Leagues Last Season

Miller is an average hitter with some good power for second basemen. Miller could see a good amount of time on the field during his first season. Hitting Grade: C
Miller is a good defensive second basemen. Miller will probably save his team several runs this season if he places in the late innings. Fielding Grade: B-
Overall Grade: C

Jason Feller
Rule 5 Draft Pick

Feller is a poor hitter with some decent speed. Feller will probably come off the bench most of the season. Hitting Grade: D+
Feller is a poor defensive second basemen at this point of his career. Feller really needs to work on his glove but at 24 years old he does have time to improve. Fielding Grade: D
Overall Grade: D+

Juan Sardinha
(.259Ave, 14HR, 54RBI, 16SB)

Sardinha is an average hitter that can make good contact. Sardinha played in 128 games last season but will probably come of the bench with Miller looking to be the starter. Hitting Grade: C
Sardinha is a poor defensive second basemen. Sardinha will probably see time in the outfield due to his lack of range at second. Fielding Grade: D
Overall Grade: C-

THIRDBASE

Blake Spence
(.202Ave, 1HR, 8RBI, 124AB)

Spence is a poor hitter with very little power in his bat. Spence played sparring last season and has very low power for a third basemen. Hitting Grade: D+
Spence is a great defensive third basemen. He has great range and glove but it is his powerful, accurate arm that really helps the team. Fielding Grade: A
Overall Grade: D+

SHORTSTOP

Damaso Valenzuela
(.252Ave, 14HR, 56RBI, 120H)

Valenzuela is a below-average hitter that can hit a homerun on occasion. This could be a mark or break year for Valenzuela, as he really needs to improve his offensive output. Hitting Grade: C-
Valenzuela is a good defensive shortstop. Valenzuela will probably save several runs this season for the team. Fielding Grade: B-
Overall Grade: C-

OUTFIELD

Rocky Waters
(.298Ave, 18HR, 95RBI, .360OBP)

Waters is a below-average hitter that always seems to knock in any runners that are on base. Waters almost had 100 RBI’s, with only hitting 18 homeruns. Hitting Grade: C-
Waters is a poor defensive right fielder. Waters glove is MIA on most days. Fielding Grade: D-
Overall Grade: D+

Tito Reynolds
(.265Ave, 17HR, 59RBI, 122H)

Reynolds is an average hitter with average power in his bat. Reynolds fits in nicely in the bottom half of the order in this lineup. Hitting Grade: C
Reynolds is a above-average defensive left fielder with a spaghetti arm. Fielding Grade: C+
Overall Grade: C

Domingo Mendoza
(.259Ave, 2HR, 27RBI, 106H) Vancouver Giants

Mendoza is a below-average hitter with little power in his bat. He plays very well against right-handed pitchers but does struggle against the lefties. Hitting Grade: C-
Mendoza is an average defensive centerfielder. Fielding Grade: C
Overall Grade: C-

Norfolk’s pitching staff was one of the best staffs in the league last season. A team ERA under 4 is something to be very proud of. Every starter last season for the team started at least 30 games, which helped keep the bullpen nice a fresh. With the starters never changing and pitching most of the time past the 6th inning, the bullpen was able to focus on getting 3 outs. When a bullpen knows its role, great things happen. Unless a injury happens to a starter this season, expect the same results as last season.

STARTING PITCHING

Michael Klaus
(13-14, 3.22ERA, 245.2IP, 1.14WHIP)

Klaus is a good starting pitcher and I would say the staff ace. Klaus had some of the worst luck of any starting pitcher last season. Klaus had over 200 strikeouts and led the team with 36 games started. The offense really let Klaus down in most of his starts. With the offense improved this season, I expect Klaus to improve his numbers, especially the win total.
Overall Grade: B-

Jim Buckner
(12-15, 2.71ERA, 255.2IP, 9CG)

Buckner is a above-average starting pitcher with a rubber arm. Buckner had even worst luck the Klaus and showed the league the problems that Norfolk had in scoring runs. Buckner led the team in ERA (2.71), complete games (9), shutouts (3); innings pitched (255.2IP), strikeouts (235), opponent’s batting average (.221), WHIP (1.10) and losses (15). It would have been scary to see the win total of Buckner if the team had any offense last season.
Overall Grade: C+

Cristian Eckstein
(12-14, 4.51ERA, 205.1IP, 2CG)

Eckstein is an average starting pitcher with a great first pitch. Eckstein was another bad luck pitcher but it was mostly caused by his lack of striking out hitters. Only 137 strikeouts for over 200 innings pitched means a good amount of the he pitched balls where hit into the field.
Overall Grade: C

Randall Sellers
(11-9, 4.04ERA, 187.0IP, 136SO)

Sellers is a below-average starting pitcher that gives up the long ball to often. Sellers did not seem to have any bad luck last season and mostly pitched to his abilities. He really needs to cut down on his 35 homeruns given up if he wants to move beyond the back end of the rotation.
Overall Grade: C-

Dustin Thomas
(13-6, 3.39ERA, 172.1IP, 139SO)

Thomas is a below-average starting pitcher that gave the team 5 to 6 good innings last season. If you can get 13 wins and a ERA below 4 from your fifth starter, then you team is doing something right. I do not expect Thomas to repeat the numbers he had last season.
Overall Grade: C-

BULLPEN

Emilio Almonte
(5-8, 3.03ERA, 37-39 Saves, 44SO)

Almonte is an average reliever that always seems to end the game, no matter how exciting he makes the ninth inning be. Almonte may not be a looked at has one of the best close in the game but he does his job, which is to finish the game and really is that the only thing a closer should do?
Overall Grade: C

Ralph Simontacchi
(4-0, 2.68ERA, 40.1IP, .218OBA)

Simontacchi is a average reliever that finds a way to get an out. Simontacchi was one of the best 8th inning relievers in the game last season. Can the 36 Simontacchi do it once again?
Overall Grade: C

Matthew Hutton
(8-3, 3.05ERA, 88.2IP, 74SO)

Hutton is an average reliever with some great movement on his pitches. When the game was close last season, Hutton would always make an appearance, which would explain his win total. Expect Hutton to be in the same role this season.
Overall Grade: C

Tony LaPorta
(0-0, 2.41ERA, 18.2IP, 16SO)

LaPorta is an average reliever that is a ground ball machine. LaPorta is the young gun of the bullpen but if the teams needs a double play, look for LaPorta to make an appearance.
Overall Grade: C

Paul Rader
(5-2, 2.93ERA, 30.2IP, 25G)

Rader is a below-average reliever that plays the role of a long reliever perfectly. Rader did a nice job of keeping the team in the game when a starting pitcher had a off night.
Overall Grade: C-

Jose Belliard
(0-0, 5.66ERA, 62.0IP, 2SV)

Belliard is a below-average reliever and a mop-up at this point of his career.
Overall Grade: C-

Nipsey Phillips
(0-2, 4.95ERA, 20IP, 10G)

Phillips is a poor reliever that at the age of 30 could be his last chance of making a big league team.
Overall Grade: D

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Alternative News, History, Music, & Interviews on podcast. Every now and then I blog too. Conspiracy and Theories. Interviews about the topics with those that have material concerning it. Independent Artists and Politics.
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