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CBL Insider

2017 Season in Review

2017 Season in Review

With the 2017 regular season officially behind us, it’s time to look back on the season that was.

Inside the Numbers

  • 244

    • Number of hits Jordan Zimmerman allowed this season, second behind only Doug Fister of Austin. Zimmerman posted a sparkling 45/5 strikeout to walk ratio after being traded to Syracuse at the deadline, but he went just 1-8 with a 4.90 ERA during that time.
  • 8-21

    • Dayton’s record in September. The Sting have a lot of talent and for most of the season they were playing like the league’s best team. Their poor September allowed Syracuse to run away with the divisional crown, but Dayton is still a team to be worried about in the playoffs.
  • $82,750,000

    • The amount of payroll salary Bowling Green added for just the 2017 season. The team’s GM was MIA most of the season, so it’s hard to know just how good the team could have been, but the Hot Rods finished 69-93 near the bottom of the CBL. Now the team’s new GM is tasked with moving several of these large contracts so the team can make an effort to keep the face of their franchise in Freddie Freeman. Teams hopefully will use the Hot Rods 2016 off-season as a cautionary tale. AJ Preller would be proud.
  • 5.39

    • ERA of the Mahoning Valley starting pitchers this season. The Scrappers were clearly rebuilding this season, but if the team can find a few capable starting pitchers to at least get their rotation to league average, they could possibly compete for a wild card spot next season.
  • $12,940,000

    • Combined 2017 salaries of Gio Gonzalez and Xander Bogaerts, two of Vallejo’s biggest off-season moves. Gonzalez may have been the league’s best pitcher, dominating during the second half of the season and finishing with a 2.78 ERA in almost 200 innings. Bogaerts was worth 4.8 WAR and hit .274/.335/.493. The Admirals also added James Paxton (12-10, 3.17 ERA) who did very well for them this season. It’s easy to see why they won a league-best 95 games.
  • .463

    • The winning percentage of the Austin Bats, your final playoff team! While sub-.500 teams making the playoffs is never a good thing, Austin has the talent to surprise people in the playoffs. Whether their veterans will play consistently enough to give them a chance though, is the question.
  • 32

    • How old Felix Hernandez will be next season on Opening Day. After missing most of the 2016 season with a torn UCL and Tommy John Surgery, King Felix made 19 starts this season before tearing his rotator cuff. For a pitcher with such dominant raw stuff, back to back major arm injuries are likely going to take their toll on the Montreal ace. We’ve likely already seen the best of Felix Hernandez. The Expos may shop him this winter.
  • 33-26

    • Richardson City’s record over the final two months of the season. Despite finishing 73-89, the Blood Raven were battling for a playoff spot until the final day of the season.
  • 3-19

    • Richardson City‘s record in July. Had the team managed even a 6-16 record that month, they would have been playoff bound. The team seems set up well for the future though with several youngsters holding their own this season.
  • 3.14

  • .244

    • Batting average on Balls in Play against starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. The Traverse City starter finished this season with a sterling 18-5 record and a 3.18 ERA, which was impressive after two good but not great seasons. Luck would appear to be the main cause of Kershaw‘s breakout this season. It’s unlikely he’ll be as good as he was this season next year, but you never know.
  • 641

    • Number of runs scored by the Savannah Sand Gnats, worst in baseball. The off-season trade for Salvador Perez didn’t work out very well, as he hit just .256/.286/.359. Improving their offense should be priority number one. It’s always tough to find impact bats in free agency, but the Gnats have so many big league weaknesses even league average regulars would be a considerable upgrade. A good farm system should also help the offense over the next few years.
  • .875

    • David Wright‘s OPS this season for the Boston Minutemen. Wright played in all 162 games, and he hit .297/.379/.495 with 29 home runs. His defense at third has declined rapidly, and Boston used him as a DH most of the second half of the season. In just 89 games at the hot corner this season, Wright’s ZR was -11.9. Every 10 runs is usually worth about 1 win. Boston wisely kept him healthy and got rid of the black hole his defense was creating by moving him to DH. With a massive salary the next two seasons he’s probably in Boston to stay, but if he continues to hit like he did this season the salary won’t matter at all.
  • 1.5

    • Andrew Aplin‘s WAR rating in 61 games for Calgary after being acquired from Richardson City mid-season. Calgary won the FL West division by 1 game, and Aplin’s defense may have been the difference. Teams often forget that improving run prevention (ie defense) can be as valuable or even more valuable than improving run scoring. Calgary proved that this season.
  • 37

    • Home runs hit by Minneapolis Miller first baseman Matt Olson, setting a new CBL record thanks to the 42 game increase to 162 games from last season’s 120.
  • .209

    • Billy Hamilton’s batting average with San Diego after they traded promising starting pitcher Trey Ball for him mid-season. Hamilton is obviously better than he played in San Diego, as his .585 OPS was well below his career .688 OPS. He remains an above average defender and great base stealer, but he’ll need to hit better next season. And for good measure, Trey Ball (a pitcher) DH’d one game near the end of the season for Vallejo and went 2-3 with a walk.
  • 2.78

    • ERA of Jose Fernandez. The Vancouver ace finally performed up to expectations, and was dominant all season long. His FIP was an almost identical 2.80, he struck out 235 batters in 220 innings and he posted 6.8 wins above replacement (WAR). Fernandez was a stud by every measure. With another strong off-season, Vancouver should be ready to contend as long as they have this guy.

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9 Comments

  1. Gary Currier

    Awesome job Erik, love these types of articles.

    Should have had a number “0 for 1, my predicting Syracuse would be a sub .500 team”. j/k haha

    Still can’t believe Zimmerman’s K/BB stats with a 1-8 record and an ERA near 5, it’s just crazy!

    • Erik Voldness

      Thanks!

      Haha I’ll be reviewing my predictions one of these days, I was definitely wrong on the Orange! I can’t figure Zimmerman out for the life of me.

  2. Erik…don’t ever leave this league. You’re too good.

  3. Next spring I’m going to give Ball some playing time in the outfield and see I he can gain a decent position rating. He’s not the best hitter but it could help in case of an emergency!

    • Erik Voldness

      Yeah versatility can’t hurt. He’s solid all around. He’s playing in the wrong era!

  4. Dan Courcelles

    Awesome article Erik!

  5. Tim Imasa

    At this point, VAL obviously won that Hamilton-Ball trade. Good god. Billy’s numbers FELL drastically after the trade. Awesome article yet again, Erik! Well thought out!

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