This is one installment in a series of articles called "The Pride of the Organization". In these articles, we will identify one player from each club labeled the pride of their organization by their respective GM's. We will kickoff the first installment in the division that now houses the defending Murph Series Champions, the National League East.
Over the last few weeks, all of us here at the Dale Murphy Free Press were able to spend some time with the various GM's in the Murph League. Our main goal was to put the screws to them and coerce just one name from them. This player would be the guy they held in the highest regard. The lists have all been compiled to form "The Pride of the Organization".
Being the Murph League defending champs and having such a talented team, I initially thought that this GM would take some time before making his selection. That, however, would not be the case as he emphatically selected Herman Stewart as the pride of the ScroggDawgs. Stewart (4-0, 0.40 ERA) has started the season at the Big League level for the first time in his career and is has already experienced some early success. We asked the Boston GM, Coonja76, if he or any of his staff had any question marks left for their young ace. "The only question is what will Herm win more of in Boston, World Series rings or Cy Young awards?" In time, that question will be answered and either way, that's gonna be one happy GM.
Kansas City Thunder Scum
After back-to-back 90+ win seasons in years 13 and 14, some fans have looked at Kansas City's most recent 85-77 mark as a bit of a let down. Are the Thunder Scum on a downward slope to rebuilding? Club GM 520kahlua doesn't think so and he has some evidence to prove it. I present to you Exhibit A: Standing 6'2 and hailing from County Kildare, Ireland, I give you Carl Barnes. Wait, wait, hold up... Ireland? Really? Don't worry. I found myself asking that very same question. Don't let the birthplace fool you. Barnes (1 HR, .362 BA) is an incredible talent with an All-Star game under his belt and three 100+ RBI seasons. There's no question on Kahlua's part either. "Hes a young all around talent that can mash from the left side of the plate. Whats not to like?" I don't think the fans in KC have to worry about this team going into "rebuild mode" anytime soon as long as "Big" Carl Barnes is in the lineup.
When the books were closed on Season 14, the Noc-a-Homa's organization found themselves in a serious state of disarray. Sure, there 40 and 122 record assured them of a last place finish within the division but worse then that, ownership had lost all confidence in its front office staff. Entering the picture were two North Carolina boys: new GM Hamilton44, and his first amateur draft selection Derek Hernandez. "Your never quite sure the caliber of talent in the draft until the scouting reports start rolling in" Hamilton said. "When we saw Derek, we had to keep our excitement to ourselves." When the Montreal Rum Runners took Deivi DeJesus 1st overall, Atlanta knew they had their man. Hernandez (4 HR, .380) destroyed the Rookie League last season acquiring a silver slugger award and an All-Star appearance along the way and is currently at the Single A level.
To say that last years 61-101 record was a disappointment is an understatement. You can bet that Manager Marco Ross' seat is getting mighty warm as well. The outlook for this club however, has been surprisingly positive leading into Season 16 and alot of that can be attributed to one man, Santiago Mesa. Mesa (4 HR, .400 BA), at the ripe old age of 22, is coming into his 3rd Big League season and has already belted 75 Major League home runs. "He's a perennial 40+ homer guy who will drive in 100+ RBI's" said Baltimore GM pitnickd. "He blends in really well with our offense." From watching this kid, I think we can all agree that hes the real deal. The Mets have a superstar on their hands and I'm sure their fans are hoping he calls Baltimore home for a long time coming.
In the next installment of "The Pride of the Organization", we will look at the American League East. Stay tuned...