Here’s a look into the upcoming 2018 Palisades minor league season.
(11-3) Boyz with Feelings – Tim Caulfield (5-0 0.21 ERA) is announcing that he is coming back to play with Boyz with feelings. He is uncrowned Palisades minors CY young winner (there is no award – maybe there should be). In addition to Tim all the Boyz with Feelings members will be returning.
(10-4) (Minors Champs) Stugotz – Stugoz became instant contenders with the addition of Anthony Pace last year. Whereas most minors players were looking to get a taste of the majors in 2017, Anthony Pace (6-2 0.86 ERA) voluntarily chose to play in the minors to alleviate the stress that Palisades major league pitching puts on his elbow. Anthony Pace was able to throw pain free for the season for the first time in a long time. He along with Mike Gray (5-1 2.92 ERA in 2016) and (3-2 3.30 ERA in 2017) gave Stugotz possibly the best 1-2 punch on the carpet. If both return in 2018 there is no reason they cannot repeat as one of the front runners for 2018. There was talk about Bumpy Martinez playing full time in the minors with Stugotz but its undecided yet being that he coaches a team in the majors. Bumpy may opt to play ½ his games in each league similar to last year.
(9-5) Storm – All players are returning for the 2018 season. The Storm have been trying to develop in house pitching so that they could get to the next step. Their overall goal is to win the minor leagues as a group. Should they achieve that feat they may try to join the majors as a group. All players interested in playing in the majors however they want to win that chip first. Mike Quezeda gets his yearly one or two call up to the majors and quite honestly if the rules were more flexible he would probably play more.
(8-6) Dragons – The Dragons made it all the way to the chip last year and lost a close game to Stugotz. They led the minor leagues in hits, homers and RBIs last year. With Nick Lea, Mike Bucci and Brandon Shadood returning in 2018, they will again be at the top of the offense in the league. Their pitching however will take a hit with Vin Lea joining the major’s draft.
Vin Lea is a proven minor league contributor both on the carpet and with the bat and will take his talents to the majors and see what those bulky minor league stats will translate into in the majors. Vin can end up on a team which can allow him to slowly adjust to major league hitting/pitching or he can end up on a team which needs him to produce from game 1 and take an immediate spot in the rotation. Chances are there will be some growing pains as he adjust to majors hitters.
The Dragons plan on bringing in their own replacement for Vin Lea, stay tuned.
(6-8) Knights – Luke Coffey intends to attempt to catch on with a majors team. Luke Coffey is a young big bat who started in the majors very slow in 2016. This slow start eventually led to the team cutting the roster down and Coffey ended up on a minor’s team for the duration of the 2016 season. Luke has nothing more to prove in the minors (.436 in 2016 and .397 in 2017). He got majors AB’s last year and had a respectable 10 hits in those at bats. He ranked 33rd in a pool of 66 hitters last year in hits in limited action, so maybe someone will give him that second chance he been waiting for. He is still young and possibly has not hit his stride yet.
Similar to Luke Coffey, Nick Anezoulakis would not mind catching on with a major’s team for the 2018 season and has been tearing up minor league pitching for the past two years. Nick did not have as much success as Luke during his major league call ups last year but he is a Palisades veteran dating back to the 2011 season. His experience has given him yearly call ups and he is not intimated by any pitcher.
Should both Coffey and Anez return back to the Knights next year they again will be a team capable of bashing the ball. The Knights last year had the best team batting avg. and were second in homers.
(5-9) Risers – no word from the risers.
(5-9) Take a Wiff – (minors champ in 2016) - members admitted, after winning the chip in 2016, the 2017 was a disappointing season. The move of Ryan Petrone to the majors for the 2017 season left take a wiff down a pitcher (who was most likely their ace). Take a wiff are weighing their options for the 2018 season but if they do return they will need to replace Ryan Petrone’s arm if they plan on turning the tables and again being the team to beat in the minors.
(2-12) Magic Lamp – Magic lamp is a team which was comprised primarily with Brett Bevelacqua and Jason Paraskevas. The team on a week to week basis allowed some major league teams to send owners down and get some extra at bats prior to their major’s games and at the same time get an idea of what the minor league talent is. Magic lamp did not have what you would call proven Palisades pitching however. Brett Bevelacqua (2-4) logged the most innings and it’s been a while since he was in his prime. Brett is the owner of a 4.41 career majors ERA but his pitching days were over since the 2014 season where he had a 3.23 ERA. Brett ended the 2017 season haven given up the most runs on the carpet, although he swears that ½ of those runs were due to Jason Paraskevas inability to make plays on the field. Not to be outdone Jason Paraskevas gave up the 2nd most runs on the carpet in 2017. In total Magic lamp had 11 different players play for them during the season. All things considered the team played for fun and filled in to make an even 8 teams last year.