Patriots begin forming their bullpen
Between 2016 and 2018, Johnny Barbato dispersed 44 MLB appearances between the Yankees, Pirates, and Tigers. Barbato spent 2019 pitching for the NPB’s Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, with whom he posted a 5.56 ERA, 1.673 WHIP, and struggled at times with his control. The team has nothing to do with pork products, which is disappointing.
Projection (53%): 46 IP, 1.452 WHIP, 4.24 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 7.5 K/9
High-end Projection (2%): 53 IP, 1.351 WHIP, 2.22 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
Low-end Projection (8%): 39 IP, 1.526 WHIP, 4.76 ERA, 4.2 BB/9, 7.2 K/9
James Pugliese returns for his 3rd Atlantic League season and his 2nd in a Patriots uniform. Last season, Pugliese, recorded a 3.62 ERA in 59 and 2/3 innings. Despite an All-star game appearance in 2019, Pugliese’s 2019 ALPB performance was weaker than his showing in 2018 (2.29 ERA and a sub-1.000 WHIP), but James’ 2020 projections paint him as a key contributor to the Patriots’ bullpen.
Projection (52%): 46 IP, 1.188 WHIP, 3.27 ERA, 2.5 BB9, 9.0 K/9
High-end Projection (2%): 49 IP, 1.034 WHIP, 2.47 ERA, 1.7 BB/9, 9.1 K/9
Low-end Projection (8%): 35 IP, 1.214 WHIP, 3.41 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9
Pair of Cabreras returning to Long Island
Ismael Cabrera will be playing in his second season of Atlantic League baseball, after being added by the Ducks this past August. Ismael struggled in the ALPB, certainly taking a step back from his performance in the Can-Am League to start the season. However, Ismael’s peripherals were strong. He struck out 20 batters (9.5 K/9) and only allowed 1 HR (.5 HR/9). If Ismael can keep the ball in the zone, he should settle into the Atlantic League in time to make solid contributions out of Long Island’s bullpen.
Projection (25%): 46 IP, 1.350 WHIP, 4.29 ERA, 4.6 BB9, 8.5 K/9
High-end Projection (3%): 50 IP, 1.182 WHIP, 2.82 ERA, 4.6 BB/9, 8.6 K/9
Low-end Projection (12%): 43 IP, 1.595 WHIP, 5.55 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, 7.9 K/9
Catcher Ramon Cabrera has re-signed for a third season with the Ducks. In 66 games during the 2019 season, Cabrera improved is OPS from 2018’s .653 to a .676 mark. Cabrera is good with the glove behind the plate, but his arm is a pressing liability. 2019 saw Ramon’s caught stealing percentage fall to just 6% in 87 attempts. Ramon could improve his pop time since there is no need for framing in the Atlantic League, but there is still a long way to go.
Projection (59%): 300 PA, 30 Runs Created, .659 OPS, 5 HR, 1.8 WAR
High-end Projection (2%): 350 PA, 36 Runs Created, .666 OPS, 6 HR, 2.0 WAR
Low-end Projection (7%): 200 PA, 20 Runs Created, .654 OPS, 3 HR, 1.1 WAR
An Addition and a loss for the Blue Crabs pitching staff
Southern Maryland made its first signing of 2020, bringing in right-handed reliever Dalton Geekie. Geekie is tough to project due to his recent MiLB stints and Frontier League time. Since missing 2017 due to injury, Geekie has bounced through 4 leagues in 2 years. On one hand, Dalton has been dominant since 2018. He showed some serious strikeout-stuff in Rookie ball, low class-A, and in the Frontier League (with the Lake Erie Crushers). Concerningly, Geekie boasts a career 5.28 ERA in single-A and the talent he will be faced with in the Atlantic League will present a far more challenging environment for the 25-year-old. Keep an eye out for more detailed projections in April’s preseason previews.
Projection (32%): 40 IP, 1.096 WHIP, 4.48 ERA, 4.7 BB/9, 11.2 K/9
Lefty reliever, Adam Choplick, has been signed by the Cubs. Last year, he posted a 2.28 ERA and 10.9 K/9 with Southern Maryland.