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Cowboys from Hell Preseason 2016

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After capturing the 2015 FFBL American League pennant and a second straight bronze trophy, the Cowboys From Hell are poised to make another run for the Championship in 2016. For winning his division, manager Jeff Varnum was able to draft this year's American League, which he is hoping will help control his destiny.

Plagued by off-the-field distractions from Chapman, Reyes, and Puig, the Cowboys will begin the season at a slight disadvantage as some of their starters will be suspended from major league play. A deep minor league system of major league ready talent should help alleviate this issue.

In the latest supplemental draft, Varnum targeted starters on the cusp of the major leagues; Nick Tropeano, Clayton Blackburn and Marco Gonzales. Said Varnum "if just one of these young hurlers can be relied upon for a few quality spot starts, then I'll consider this draft a success." It is noteworthy that his first selection came in the 3rd round of the draft.

Also acquired in the draft was J.J. Hoover, a quiet selection of a strong major league reliever who will begin the season in a closing role, which Varnum says will help deal with the suspension of Chapman.

Contrary to the off-the-field news of his players, this offseason was quiet for Varnum on the trade front, baring witness to Varnum making only a handful of transactions, all of which revolved around picks and prospects. He believes that this foretells of a confidence with the core of his team as it stands.

As has been the case for a few years now, the franchise's pitching was its calling card again in 2015. This season should be no different as the team's aces—Bumgarner, Sale, Fernandez and Hernandez—are ready to post quality starts at a rate most FFBL franchises only dream of. The team is looking forward to being bolstered by a full season from Jose Fernandez, FFBL's 2013 Rookie of the Year.

The offense will again be lead by Todd Frazier, Chris Davis, and Matt Carpenter. Disappointing seasons from Yasiel Puig and Jose Reyes held the team's offense back to a league average level last year. The Cowboys have a surplus of batters, and manager Jeff Varnum is hoping that the quantity of batters will make up for the difference in quality from the top tier teams, or perhaps for a couple of his players to outperform their expected play. A resurgence from Yasiel Puig would go a long way in bringing back the team's offensive impact.

After about 30 games, the team should be back at full force as also expected back around that time is the exciting Devon Travis who showed brilliance last year before his season was cut short by injuries. Brilliance like that is precisely what the Cowboys from Hell need, particularly as the season wears on. The team is playoff caliber, and falling short of the championship round will be considered a disappointment.

This last paragraph is just fluff since I now no longer have control over my custom pages, so my means of making sure what I write here lines up well with the right column of ranks and projections. I even made the font size larger and added more line breaks, but the width of this column is too large to properly fit the short blurbs I used to write, and has way too much blank space around it. The old ones don't line up evenly anymore either. Maybe I should just ask Matt to reduce the line heights for that right column, because this is really going to bother me. I don't have anything else to say. Long live crappy old HTML editing in notepad.exe. There, that should just about wrap this mess up. Just another line more... or two. For fuck sake, just wrap to the next line and match the length of the right column.

Top Ten Prospects
1. Jesse Winker, of
2. Max Kepler, 1b/of
3. Jorge Alfaro, c
4. Chance Sisco, c
5. Marco Gonzales, sp
6. Derek Fisher, of
7. Rob Kaminsky, sp
8. Clayton Blackburn, sp
9. Zach Lee, sp
10. Jonathan Harris, sp
Projected Starting 2019 Lineup
Catcher Andrew Susac
First Base Chris Davis
Second Base Devon Travis
Third Base Todd Frazier
Shortstop Wilmer Flores
Outfield Yasiel Puig
Outfield Colby Rasmus
Outfield Jesse Winker
Utility Matt Carpenter
Utility Mitch Moreland
Starter Madison Bumgarner
Starter Chris Sale
Starter Jose Fernandez
Reliever Aroldis Chapman
Reliever Kenley Jansen
Reliever Huston Street
Pitcher Felix Hernandez
Pitcher Jose Quintana
Bench C.J. Cron
Bench Josh Harrison
Bench Max Kepler
Bench Jaime Garcia
Bench Mike Leake
Bench Marco Gonzales
Bench Clayton Blackburn
Top Prospects of the Past 10 Years
Year Player, Position Currently
2006 Rich Hill, sp The Bluth Company
2007 Miguel Montero, c Cowboys from Hell
2008 Kosuke Fukudome, of Free Agent (Japan)
2009 Madison Bumgarner, sp Cowboys from Hell
2010 Madison Bumgarner, sp Cowboys from Hell
2011 Aroldis Chapman, rp Cowboys from Hell
2012 Matt Moore, DL Scranton Yankees
2013 Jose Fernandez, sp Cowboys from Hell
2014 Addison Russell, ss Scranton Yankees
2015 Jesse Winker, of Cowboys from Hell
Top Draft Picks Last 10 Years
Year Player, Position Currently
2007 Livan Hernandez, sp Retired
2008 Kosuke Fukudome, of Playing in Japan
2009 Dayan Viciedo, of Free Agent
2010 Aroldis Chapman, rp Cowboys from Hell
2011 Chris Sale, sp Cowboys from Hell
2012 Leonys Martin, of Free Agent
2013 Addison Russell, 2b/ss Scranton Yankees
2014 Hunter Harvey, sp Scranton Yankees
2015 Monte Harrison, of² Cowboys from Hell
2016 Nick Tropeano, sp³ Cowboys from Hell

All Preseason Reports