Thread: The Magpies
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Old 02-19-2018, 05:21 PM   #230
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9 March 2048

Preview: As spring training nears its end, Graziano Polomint presents the first of a two-part series looking at the Des Moines Magpies roster. Today, we look at the offense.

The Magpies offense returns largely intact with the group which performed well in the regular season, but was such a let down in the league championship series defeat to Lansing last October.

Fernando Martínez (.221/.303/.393) will be the starting catcher. But he failed to build on an encouraging break-out year in 2046 and will be under pressure to rebound. The club’s former top prospect Walton White (.206/.304/.267) had a difficult debut season in the big leagues as Martínez’s backup, but improved during August in September and will see regular playing time. Valentín Ortíz is a capable third catcher.

The real star of the lineup is first baseman Enrique Limón (.290/.367/.447), who will bat #2 in the lineup most days. He is entering the first year of a $9m per year contract extension which looks exceptionally good value from the club’s perspective. At the other hot corner is Carlos Zúñiga (.260/.319/.410), who enjoyed a terrific year at the plate while retaining his defensive excellence. Shortstop extraordinaire Matt Anderson (.233/.264/.308) won his second straight Glove Wizard award, but came under increasing pressure over his lacklustre hitting. Roberto Caro (.278/.331/.365) will play at second base, while versatile former #1 draft pick Jeremiah Harvey (.225/.317/.360) will back up all four infield spots after suffering a disappointing second half of 2047. Fast-improving 24-year-old Juan MacNamara and veteran Felipe Ríos back up the infield, with MacNamara in particular highly likely to feature during the season.

Left fielder Guillermo Díaz (.259/.332/.450) will bat leadoff ahead of Limón. At centre field is Dave Dodd (.254/.297/.434), like Anderson an absolutely elite defender, but who also put up good numbers at the plate in his best year in the SCL so far. Offseason trades saw GM Billy DePodesta part ways with right fielders Bob Miller and Al Elliott, and the starter will be Eastern League rookie of the year Iemitsu Ishii (.247/.326/.495), previously of Augusta and Indianapolis. The Magpies have excellent outfield depth, with promising young players Pedro Soto (.206/.292/.299) and António Fernández (.250/.289/.458) on the 25-man roster, and Cy Cox and Terry Lawrence on the minor league roster.

The oldest member of the offense is 29-year-old Michael O’Quinn (.238/.348/.382), who returns for a second year as designated hitter, batting cleanup.
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