Welcome to my little experiment that I call the Civil War Baseball League, where I have created a custom 50-team league—one team for each of the 50 U.S. states—and filled them exclusively with real-life active MLB and MiLB players from those states. (This is gonna be a long read but hopefully some of you enjoy it!)
I will be simming one season and playoffs under the following rules. This post is merely the introduction to the league, rules and teams makeups. I will make a separate post with the results and link that write-up here.
General Setup Rules
- Playing OOTP 21 in the in-game year 2020
- All ratings mentioned going forward are on the 20-80 scale relative to MLB (100% scouting accuracy)
- All park factors neutralized
- Player development off
- Chemistry, personalities and morale off
- Injuries off
- Suspensions off
- Transactions off
- Rainouts off
- All-Star game off
- Draft off
- 26-man rosters (usually 14 batters/12 pitchers but will allow wiggle room if teams can’t fill that)
- Two-way players allowed
- No roster expansion in September
- DH enabled (even though that’s not pure baseball)
- All-Star Game on (35 players per roster, each team does NOT automatically get an All-Star)
- 155-ish game schedule (I guess the game can’t handle 50-team leagues and I don’t know anything about custom schedules but who cares)
- Team split into two leagues alphabetically: the first 25 in the Alabama-Missouri League and the last 25 in the Montana-Wyoming League
- 12 team qualify for playoffs
- 4 rounds of playoffs:
o First round (best of 5, 2-2-1 format, top 2 teams from each league get a bye)
o Second round (best of 7 format, 2-3-2 format, 8 teams participate)
o Third round (best of 7 format, 2-3-2 format, 4 teams participate)
o Final Round (best of 7 format, 2-3-2 format, 2 teams participate)
- Rosters for each team are comprised with active MLB and MiLB players born in that team’s state.
- Washington DC-born players are on Virginia’s team. (Sorry Maryland!)
- For this experiment, foreign-born players are not involved. (Sorry Dominican Republic, you would’ve crushed this league!)
- Rosters are initially auto-sorted by AI and rarely adjusted by me when necessary
- Teams that do not have enough home state players to fill a 26-man roster will be filled by cloning the players they do have (ex. If a team has one hitter, he will be cloned so there are 14 of him; if a team has two pitchers, each will be cloned so that there are six of each).
- All lineups and depth charts sorted by AI (though I reserve the right to adjust anything I find egregious)
Quickstart here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tN486yOQwZAvE_FyWpBeONXb3bxUktKN/view?usp=sharing
Now let’s meet the teams… Alabama Alabamians
The pitcher staff is headlined by ace Corey Kluber (66) and rounded out by Casey Mize (50), Kyle Wright (48), Spencer Turnbull (47), and Kendall Graveman (47). Some good strength at the end of the bullpen with Craig Kimbrel (78) and David Robertson (61).
Offensively, they are led by OF David Dahl (52), who is joined by SS Tim Anderson (50), 1B Garrett Cooper (45), 3B Shed Long Jr. (45), and OF Phillip Ervin (44). No other hitters rate over 40. Alaska Alaskans
It could be a tough year for the Alaskans, whose pitching staff is made up of six Tony Barnettes (35) and six Daniel Schlereths (20). Five of the Barnettes make up the starting rotation and the other is the closer.
It’s even worse offensively, as Padres prospect C Jonny Homza (20) had to be cloned 13 more times to fill out the roster. Heeeere’s Jonny! Arizona Arizonans
Zach Davies (53) and Merrill Kelly (47) headline the rotation, while Aaron Bummer (49) serves as closer.
CF Cody Bellinger (77) is the obvious star of the Arizonans, though among those joining him are OF Alex Verdugo (52), OF Kole Calhoun (48), 1B Kevin Cron (47), 2B Scott Kingery (47), and Eric Sogard (45). Arkansas Arkansans NOTE: I initially left Arkansas off this write-up (though they were always in my save). Apologies, Arkansans and Arkansas enthusiasts!
Drew Smyly (46) and Jalen Beeks (41) lead the rotation as the only starters rated above 28. Closer Tyler Zuber (48), along with Ty Tice (45) and Hunter Wood (44) are the top relievers.
RF Craig Gentry (43) is easily the Arkansans’ best hitter, followed by LF Jonathan Davis (39). 24-year-old CF Torii Hunter Jr. (22) will try to make dad proud. Every other hitter is 20 overall. California Californians
Easily the best team in either league, California has 15 players on its roster rated 68 or higher. The team is so good that players like Justin Turner, Mike Moustakas, Kyle Hendricks and Eric Thames will be wasted in AAA this season.
Their rotation is made up of all 68 or better players—Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito and Shane Bieber. Tyler Glasnow (80) and Max Fried (69) will fill the back of the bullpen, along with the likes of Trevor Bauer (60), Corbin Burnes (61), and Ian Kennedy (57).
It’s just as good on the offensive side, as 7 of their 9 starters rate 68 or higher. (C Austin Barnes at 50 and CF Joc Pederson at 57 are the only exceptions.) Leading the show are two 80-overall players (LF Christian Yelich and 1B Freddie Freeman), followed by 3B Nolan Arenado (77), RF Aaron Judge (74), 2B DJ LeMahieu (73), 3B Matt Chapman (69) and SS Marcus Semien (68). This team even has studs on the bench, including 2B Jeff McNeil (74), RF Giancarlo Stanton (66) and 1B Rhys Hoskins (62). (Alaska would like to know if they could borrow some guys!) Colorado Coloradans
The Colorado rotation is headlined by Kevin Gausman (60), Marco Gonzales (56), and Kyle Freeland (47). They have a few strong relievers in closer Taylor Rogers (69) and Mark Melancon (56).
However, they may struggle offensively with their highest-rated player being 2B David Bote (46). 1B Greg Bird (42) and 3B Chase Headley (42) will try to help the cause. Connecticut Connecticuters
Pitching-wise, Aaron Civale (47) is the only starter of note. Closer Matt Barnes (67) is easily the best of the bunch and Scott Barlow (49) will chip in as well. Matt Harvey (29) would have been useful some years ago but is a shell of his former self.
For run support, Connecticut will rely on former World Series MVP George Springer (66) and fellow outfielder AJ Pollock (49), because there isn’t much else around them (no one rated above 37). Delaware Delawareans
This is another team that required a lot of cloning to fill the 26-man roster. Almost every pitcher had to be clones, giving them two Chad Kuhls (48) in the bullpen, but unfortunately every other pitcher—including the entire starting rotation—is rated 20 overall.
The good news about cloning is this team now has TWO Paul Goldschmidts (60 overall). But Joey Wendel (44 at 2B, 40 at SS) are the only other hitters of note. I don’t know if this team is gonna make Joe Biden proud. Florida Floridians
Florida has some strong pitching, with a rotation of Jacob deGrom (80), Chris Sale (73), Mike Clevinger (66), Zack Greinke (66) and Lance McCullers Jr. (65). Austin Adams (73), Nate Pearson (69), Luke Weaver (61), Luke Jackson (59), and Andrew Miller (52) highlight the bullpen.
The offense is stacked as well, led by 1B Anthony Rizzo (73) who is actually forcing Pete Alonso (69) into a platoon role at DH. We’ve also got Manny Machado (63), OF/DH JD Martinez (61), Josh Donaldson (60), Andrew McCutchen (57), and many others. Georgia Georgians
A solid but not spectacular team, Georgia’s rotation is led by Zack Wheeler (58), Adam Wainwright (50), and Brad Keller (49). Closer Will Smith (62) joins Richard Lovelady (53) and Drew Steckenrider (52) in leading the bullpen.
1B Matt Olson (67) is Georgia’s best offensive player, followed by LF Austin Meadows (59), RF Charlie Blackmon (56), CF Byron Buxton (56), and C Buster Posey (56). The team is actually so deep in the outfielder that Dexter Fowler and Josh Reddick couldn’t earn a spot on the roster. Hawaii Hawaiians
Hawaii isn’t a deep team but they actually had more high-rated players than I expected. The rotation is rough, led by Jordan Yamamoto (42) and Rico Garcia (34), but they do have Kirby Yates (74) in the bullpen to close.
2B Kolten Wong (65) and C Kurt Suzuki (58) are easily the top two offensive players, with no one else cracking 43 overall. Kolten’s younger brother, Kean, starts at third base and has a 41 rating. Idaho Idahoans
Idaho’s pitching staff required 4 clone players, giving them two each of CL James Hoyt (47), SP Damon Jones (42), SP Cy Sneed (41) and RP Josh Osich (33). Then you’ve got RP Stephen Fife (28) and a bunch of 20-overall players.
Idaho only had two offensive players—C Alex Guerrero (20) and 2B Jackson Cluff (20)—so 7 of each will be filling out the lineups. Their starting lineups will contain two Alex Guerreros (at catcher and RF) and seven Jackson Cluffs. That’s…not ideal. Illinois Illinoisans
Illinois has a solid rotation of Jake Odorizzi (58), Collin McHugh (56), Mike Foltynewicz (50), JA Happ (49), and Trevor Richards (47). They’ve also got a strong closer in Nick Burdi (72).
C Carson Kelly (56) headlines the offensive along with RF Mike Tauchman (50) and 2B Nicky Lopez (43). Former Indians All-Star 2B Jason Kipnis (43) is notably relegated to the bench. Indiana Indianans
Indiana has a solid but unspectacular rotation of Lance Lynn (59), Sean Manaea (52), Kyle Gibson (47), Jeff Samardzija (47), and Clayton Richard (41). Closer Zach Plesac (47) is one of three relievers rated 45 or higher.
C Tucker Barnhart (54) is the highest-rated offensive player, followed by CF Kevin Kiermaier (51), C Kevin Plawecki (46) and 2B Michael Brosseau (45). Veteran Adam Lind (31) provides a left-handed bat off the bench. Iowa Iowans
It won’t exactly be a field of dreams for the Iowans, with only three pitchers—SP Mitch Keller (53), CL Tony Watson (52), and SP AJ Puk (47)—rated above 32 overall.
Likewise, RF Scott Schebler (43) is the only hitter above 35 overall, and I’d tell you more about the other guys but I’ve literally never heard of any of them. Like none of them. Kansas Kansans
Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore, but if we were, we’d see that CL Ryne Stanek (49) is their best pitcher, followed by SP John Means (43) and Blake Treinen (43), who is somehow in the starting rotation because of lack of options I guess.
C Jacob Stallings (47) is the highest-rated hitter, followed by CF Nick Heath (39) and RF Bubba Starling (35). Not exactly a tornado of offense. Kentucky Kentuckians
SP Walker Buehler (62) is ready to lead Kentucky, and he will have to as no other starter is rated higher than 37 overall. Trevor Gott (51), Nate Jones (45), and Tyler Clippard (44) will likely be relieved upon heavily from the bullpen.
Another young Dodger—C Will Smith—is easily the top offensive player at 67 overall. CF Jo Adell (49), SS JT Riddle (45), and 1B Adam Duvall (41) are the other hitters of note. Louisiana Louisianans
The appropriately named Aaron Nola (64) leads the Louisianans’ starting rotation, joined by the likes of Wade Miley (50) and Cole “Have You Seen My” Stapler (42). Seth Lugo (59) and Taylor Guilbeau (56) lead the bullpen.
Aaron’s brother, Austin Nola, will be his battery mate at 45 overall. LF Mikie Mahtook (44), 3B Ryan Schmipf (43), CF Andrew Stevenson (42), SS Jordy Mercer (41), and RF Justin Williams (39) are the other main contributors on offense. Maine Mainers
In a scarier situation than anything Maine native Stephen King has ever written, the Mainers’ entire pitching rotation will be made up of 12 clones of Cody Laweryson—a 14th-round pick by the Twins last year. He’s a 20-overall player (reminder: that’s the lowest possible rating).
It gets a little better on offense (but not much) with seven Ryan McKennas (who peaks at 39 overall as a center fielder) and seven Treyjn Fletchers (20). The game refuses to even put a catcher and shortstop into the lineup, but I guess they’ll start somebody once the sim happens. Maryland Marylanders
Despite having 30 stamina, All-Star closer Josh Hader gets the call as one of Maryland’s starting pitchers and still grades out as a 56 overall. No other starter grades out above 35, but Bruce Zimmerman (34) is the closest. Adam Kolarek (53) and Brady Feigl (41) run the bullpen.
Outfielders Jake Fraley (41), LaMonte Wade Jr. (41), and Buddy Reed (35) are the highest-rated offensive players for Maryland—no one else cracks 31 overall. Massachusetts Massachusettsans
Sean Newcomb (46) headlines the Massachusetts rotation, followed by Alex Cobb (44), who is as excited as anyone that injuries are turned off in this sim. Curiously, the game wanted to use Rich Hill (61) as a reliever, but I thought he’d be better served in the rotation, even with a drop to 45 overall. They’ve still got a strong pair in the bullpen with setup man Oliver Drake (53) and closer Scott Oberg (56). Steve Cishek is also in the mix but he’s no longer what he once was, sitting just 43 overall.
SS Nick Ahmed (57) is easily their best hitter, followed by LF Mike Yastrzemski (48) and 2B Isan Diaz (45). No other player is rated above 36. Michigan Michiganders
Michigan only has one starting pitcher of note—Matt Shoemaker (48)—while no other starter is rates above 34 overall. The bullpen is also questionable with only one player above 42—James Bourque at 44.
It’s just as bad on the offensive side with 3B Jon Berti (46) grading out at the top. CF Ryan LaMarre (41) and SS Richie Martin (38) are the next-best hopes for run production. Minnesota Minnesotans
Closer Nick Anderson (78) and reliever Brad Hand (63) are far and away the two best pitchers on the team. The rotation is rough, with Michael Baumann leading the way at just 38 overall.
Judging by the ratings, the Minnesotans’ offense will be colder than a local winter. Only one player rates above 35 overall—CF Michael Reed (41). Mississippi Mississippians
Brandon Woodruff (62) should be a strong starter for Mississippi, with Chris Stratton (44), Justin Steele (35), Jacob Turner (35), and Michael Rucker (32) joining him in the rotation. Jonathan Holder (44) ranks as the best reliever and will serve as closer, helped by DeMarcus Evans (42) and Tony Sipp (31).
Offensively, Mississippi is OK but not great. RF Hunter Renfroe (51) leads the way, followed by LF Corey Dickerson (49), 2B Brian Dozier (49) and 1B Mitch Moreland (43). They’ve also got plenty of speed on the roster with Billy Hamilton and Jarrod Dyson. Missouri Missourians
Missouri’s got a couple of Cy Young winners leading the way with Max Scherzer (80) and Jake Arrieta (47). Peter Fairbanks (52) and Trevor Rosenthal (50) headline the bullpen.
Offensively, Luke Voit (59) will DH while Logan Morrison (51) plays first base. C Austin Allen (48) and CF Monte Harrison (43) are the next-best offensive players. Montana Montanans
Here’s the bad news: the pitching staff is made up of 3 clones each of Andrew Sopko, Gage Hinsz, Caleb Frare, and Brac Warren. Sopko is the highest rated at 33 overall. I think I’ve heard of Frare before.
Here’s the worse news: they don’t have any position players, so I had to bring real-life catcher Rob Johnson out of retirement at age 37 to serve as the entire offense. Johnson last played in 2013, has a career .200 average and a 20-overall rating in OOTP. He’s also listed as a two-way player so what the hell, we’ll let him pitch too. Nebraska Nebraskans
Closer Jake Diekman is the highest-rated pitcher at 50, followed by real-life-but-not-in-OOTP switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (42). Kyle Kubat (37) is the only starting pitcher that isn’t a 20 overall.
We only had 9 hitters to work with, which mean we had to clone 5 of them to get us a full roster. I tried my best by cloning their five highest-rated players—Alec Bohm (45), Alex Gordon (39), Grant Kay (35), Jackson Reetz (35) and Darin Ruf (33). Bohm and Gordon are each starting at two positions. Nevada Nevadans
There isn’t a lot of pitching to be had in Nevada, but CL Brandon Kintzler (52), SP Tyler Anderson (51), and RP Paul Sewald (41) lead the way. Chasen Shreve used to be good, but he’s a 28 overall so that doesn’t help much.
Offensively you’ve got some serious big boppers with RF Bryce Harper (71), CF Joey Gallo (66) and 3B Kris Bryant (65)—though I’m not sure about Gallo playing center field. LF Tommy Pham (59) is also no slouch, nor is 2B Garrett Hampson (45). Too bad they didn’t need anyone cloned! New Hampshire New Hampshirites
The pitching staff is made up of six Kevin McGowans (29), who comprise the starting rotation and the closer spot, with all other relief duties going to six Will Gaddises (20). To quote Mad Men, “Not great, Bob!”
I had to clone a few guys to fill the 14-batter need, but it doesn’t matter who they are because they’re all 20 overall prospects. The one with the most potential is Grant Lavigne (who now exists 3 times) and sometimes becomes a decent power first baseman in my saves…but this league has no progression and only goes for 2020, so that doesn’t matter. New Jersey New Jeseyans
Starters Charlie Morton (67), Zac Gallen (57), Anthony DeSclafini (52), and Rick Porcello (50) lead the rotation, while Alex Reyes (52) is the highest-rated reliever. However, the closer is actually Cody Stashak (48).
Best-player-in-baseball Mike Trout (80) is the obvious headliner here and will attempt to carry New Jersey along with guys like OF Jason Heyward (49), 2B Tommy La Stella (46), OF Matt Szczur (40) and Mark Zagunis (38). (What’s New Jersey’s obsession with current and former Cubs?) 3B Todd Frazier (47) is the second-best hitter behind Trout (But slightly less good). New Mexico New Mexicans
New Mexico only had 9 pitchers so I had to clone 3 guys—lucky for them, one of the clones was 80-overall Ken Giles who is now setup man AND closer. Trevor Rogers (42) fills two rotation spots and is the only other pitcher above 25.
They also benefit from cloning on the offensive side, as they now have TWO Alex Bregmans playing shortstop (76) and third base (74), as well as two Mitch Garvers playing catcher (65) and first base (45). Everyone else is a 20 overall, so hopefully the Bregman clones can boost his teammates’ performances with some stolen signs. New York New Yorkers
The big three in the rotation are Patrick Corbin (61), Marcus Stroman (58), and Steven Matz (50). Dellin Betances also stays in New York to represent the home state as the 65-overall closer. Adam Ottavino (54) and Tommy Kahnle (53) are strong setup men.
Defensive specialist OF Harrison Bader leads the hitters with a 57 rating, although the best actual batter is probably LF Jesse Winker (54). Nick Markakis (46) rounds out the outfield and is joined by C Tom Murphy (50), RF Tim Locastro (44), and Danny Mendick (44) as other notable hitters on the squad. North Carolina North Carolinians
The Tarheel State has a deep rotation with Chris Archer (58), Madison Bumgarner (55), Alex Wood (54), Carlos Rodon (49) and Mackenzie Gore (48). Bryse Wilson (57) is the highest-rated reliever but will serve as setup man to Kodi Whitley (50). Veteran Greg Holland (43) is also present.
The Seager brothers, SS Corey (63) and 3B Kyle (53), lead the offense, joined by OF Brian Goodwin (47), 1B Wil Myers (47), 1B Ryan Zimmerman (56) and OF Cameron Maybin (46). 2B Brandon Phillips is also here but Is a 32 overall by now. (He’s like the Greg Holland of the offense.) North Dakota North Dakotans
Clones of Matt Strahm and Ben Strahm (probably related?) comprise the entire rotation. Matt (43) is the only pitcher on the team rated above 20 overall. Clones of some dudes named Alex DuBord and Jay Flaa are the other relievers.
The offense is made up of 14 Andy Youngs, who peaks at 36 overall as a third baseman and can’t catch. This might not go well. Ohio Ohioans
The pitching staff is deep and solid but without stars, as all players rate between 43 and 55 overall. Brent Suter (51), Chris Bassitt (47), and Caleb Ferguson (46) lead the rotation, while closer Andrew Chafin (55), Chaz Roe (51), Craig Stammen (49), and Joe Smith (46) represent the ‘pen.
Ohio’s got a handful of decent outfielders leading their offense, including Kyle Schwarber (56), Adam Eaton (52), Andrew Benintendi (50), and Derek Dietrich (50). C Sean Murphy rates as a solid 52, while the team has other players who have fallen off from their peak, like 3B Travis Shaw (47), 2B Scooter Gennett (41), and 3B Josh Harrison (37). Oklahoma Oklahomans
Oklahoma’s got a solid, deep rotation with Garrett Richards (62), Jon Gray (57), Andrew Heaney (56), Michael Fulmer (52), and Dallas Keuchel (51). Archie Bradley (59) serves as closer along with notable relievers like Adrian Houser (62), Ryan Helsley (49), and Josh James (49).
Offensively, C JT Realmuto (80) is going to have to shoulder a heavy burden as the only player rated above 52 and one of just 3 players rated above 42. The next-best hitters are Brian Anderson (52) and Matt Kemp (43). Oregon Oregonians
Pitching is gonna be rough for Oregon, with only 7 of their 12 pitchers rating over 20. CL Keynan Middleton (42) rates the highest, while the team’s top starters are Anthony Shew (39) and Bradley Shipley (38).
2019 first overall pick C Adley Rutschman may be a star in the making, but I don’t know if he’s ready to lead just yet. But he’ll have to do just that as the team’s highest rated player (46). 3B Jed Lowrie (45) will also contribute, but no one else on offense is notable or ranks above 36. Pennsylvania Pennsylvanians
Pennsylvania’s best pitcher is two-way player Brendan McKay, who leads the rotation at a 56 overall rating. CL Dan Altavilla (48), Lou Trivino (47) and Ray Black (46) headline the bullpen.
Unfortunately, McKay isn’t much of a hitter yet despite his two-way status, with solid power (50) and eye (55) but just 35 contact. RF Derek Fisher (46) and 3B Ian Happ (46) are the team’s best hitters, followed by 1B Christian Walker (46) and CF Travis Jankowski (another 46). They’ve also got some veteran bats like C Devin Mesoraco (43), 2B Neil Walker (43), 1B Matt Adams (43), and hit-by-pitch specialist Brandon Guyer (37). Rhode Island Rhode Islanders EDIT II: I realized I left off this team initially. My bad, yal!
The Rhode Islanders are going with an all-lefty rotation featuring two Thomas Pannones (41), two Kyle Regnaults (27) and one Mason Feoele (20). Trevor Kelley serves as closer because I guess his 20 overall rating is somehow more impressive than everyone else’s 20 overall rating.
The team also required six clones on offense, giving them two Chris Iannettas (39) to lead the way at catcher and DH. Two clones of OF Nick Zammarelli III are 23 overall—the only other position player above 20. South Carolina South Carolinians
South Carolina’s top 3 pitchers are all relievers—CL Chad Green (62) plus Carl Edwards Jr. (52) and Emilio Pagan (52). The rotation is led by Jordan Lyles (45), Zack Godley (43), and Grant Holmes (40).
Offensively, 2B Whit Merrifield (54), LF Brett Gardner (48), and 1B Justin Smoak (48) are the top bats, followed by CF Steven Duggar (46) and C Matt Wieters (43). South Dakota South Dakotans
If you were to create a Mount Rushmore of South Dakota pitchers, you’d end up with three Sean Doolittle (60) clones, who will fill the two setup man spots and the closer role. RP Sam Wolff (45) also exists three times in this bullpen, while the rotation has another Sam Wolff (35) plus two each of Duane Below (20) and Tyler Mitzel (20).
The offense is made up of lots of clones of C Tyler Cropley, 1B Jake Adams, and SS Dusty Coleman. Coleman as a shortstop (23) is the only one rated above 20. Tennessee Tennesseans
Tennessee’s got a deep rotation comprised of David Price (62), Sonny Gray (61), Robbie Ray (58), Dakota Hudson (51), and Mike Minor (51). Drew Pomeranz (55) serves as closer, while Phillip Pfeifer (48) and Cody Reed (46) are the next-best relievers.
Nashville native Mookie Betts (80) is the stud of this Tennessee team, followed by 3B Nick Senzel (49) and LF Bryan Reynolds (47). SS Zack Cozart (56), CF Tony Kemp (45), and 1B Austin Riley (45) are also solid bats. Brothers Caleb and Corey Joseph aren’t big bats, but at least they have each other! #familyfirst Texas Texans
The best team in their subleague and probably the second-best team after California, Texas is unsurprisingly stacked. The rotation is comprised of Noah Syndergaard (77), Clayton Kershaw (69), Jameson Taillon (59), Chris Paddack (56), and Michael Wacha (49). The bullpen’s also strong with Corey Knebel (78), Jordan Hicks (72), Ryan Pressly (69), Chris Martin (61), and Will Harris (60).
Texas is tough offensively as well, led by 1B Max Muncy (72), SS Trevor Story (70), 3B Anthony Rendon (67), and 1B Josh Bell (65). RF Randal Grichuk (50) and LF Jay Bruce (49) fill out the outfield, while former All-Star and Silver Slugger Matt Carpenter can’t even crack the starting lineup and Brandon Belt (53) can’t make the team! Utah Utahns
Utah had just enough homegrown pitchers to fill out the 12-man staff. Unfortunately, only closer Joe Barlow (42) and reliever Kolton Mahoney (34) are the only guys rated above 30. Brady Lail (30) headlines the rotation.
I basically recognize none of the players on this team and had to clone four guys just to get to 14 hitters. The only players above 20 overall are CF Brennon Lund (33), clone Brennon Lund (29), C Marcus Littlewood (28), and C Payton Henry (21). Vermont Vermonters
If you’re a fan of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare For All plan, you’ll be less enthusiastic about the Bad Pitching For All plan. The pitching staff is comprised of six Theo McDowells (five in the rotation, one as closer) and six Rayne Supples. All of them are rated 20 overall.
Vermont had no hitters to add to this team, but that actually works in their favor as I just unretired the last MLB hitter they had, which turned out to be better than having a bunch of 20-overall prospects. Filling all 14 hitter spots are 34-year-old Daric Barton, who rates at 38 or 37 depending on the position he’s playing with solid contact (45), gap (50), eye (60), and K’s (55). Unfortunately, he’ll be playing out of position a lot, as the AI refuses to put him at any position in lineup except for first base, left field, and DH. Virginia Virginians
Justin Verlander (76) will look to lead the rotation, and he’ll need to as he’s the only starting pitcher rated above 40. Closer Daniel Hudson (50) will work with Sean Poppen (54), Jeremy Jeffress (48), Zack Kelly (45), Tyler Zombro (44), and Tyler Webb (41) in the bullpen.
2B Brandon Lowe (53) is the highest-rated offensive player, followed by 1B Justin Bour (52), CF Jackie Bradley Jr. (52), and SS Chris Taylor (51). Outfielders Justin Upton (47) and Denard Span (45) platoon in left. Washington Washingtonians
Blake Snell (71) leads the rotation along with Matthew Boyd (55) and Jon Lester (49). Andrew Kittredge (55) serves as closer and be helped in the bullpen by the likes of Trevor May (49), Drew Rasmussen (46), and Wyatt Mills (45).
A handful of decent players are present on offense, including RF Michael Conforto (61), LF Michael Brantley (51), C Reese McGuire 45), 3B Jake Lamb (43), and RF Steven Souza Jr. (43). West Virginia West Virginians
Due to lack of pitchers available, three Jordan Montgomerys (47) and two Michael Groves (20) will fill out the rotation. Three David Carpenters (22) “lead” the bullpen. Yikes.
Similarly, three Jedd Gyorkos (46) lead the offense, along with a bunch of dudes I’ve never heard of. Gonna be a rough walk down that country road this season. Wisconsin Wisconsinites
Closer Ben Heller (48) is the highest-rated pitcher on the team, while Jordan Zimmermann (42) is the only other pitcher above 40 overall.
Leading the offense is 2B Gavin Lux (55) who unfortunately won’t be able to progress into his usual “best player ever” in this sim. Two catchers rate the next highest—Danny Jansen (47) and Daulton Varsho (43). CF Jarred Kelenic is the only other hitter above 40. Wyoming Wyomingites
Unfortunately, Wyoming doesn’t have a single pitcher in baseball right now. Which is why I brought 34-year-old Jeremy Horst (who had a solid 3.34 ERA from 2011-13!) out of retirement and cloned him 12 times. He rates as a 24-overall starter and 20-overall reliever. Best of luck, Jeremy!
In a beneficial situation, Wyoming ends up with seven clones of Brandon Nimmo (who peaks at 56 overall) on offense. He’s joined by seven Marvin Malones (20 overall). The game’s AI refuses to put anyone at catcher, second base, third base, or shortstop. Bold strategy, Cotton!
In the next entry on Monday 5/25, I’ll look at the Preseason Predictions!