Brentwood Bearcats






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Team: Brentwood Bearcats [ID #628] Bookmark Brentwood Bearcats

Location: Brentwood, CA (West)

League: VI.22 - West

Owner: Eric83 send message
          [since February 06th 2018 | last seen August 21st 2018]

Manager: Omar Becerra

Ballpark: Brentwood Ballpark

Rank: #507 - Rating: 66.66

Fan Mood: 83.56

Prestige: 3

Color: Blue & Gold

Team Notes:

• May 17 2037: Mo Perrin was claimed off of waivers.
• May 10 2037: Dylan Aiello was claimed off of waivers.
• May 06 2037: Ángel Linares was released.
• Apr 29 2037: Bob Houghton was claimed off of waivers.
• Apr 18 2037: Irvin Parnell was released.
• Mar 20 2037: Darrin Abbott was released.
• Mar 18 2037: Randall Fontana was claimed off of waivers.
• Mar 18 2037: Kevin Garrett was claimed off of waivers.
• Mar 02 2037: Stephen Elliott was claimed off of waivers.
• Mar 02 2037: Samuel Day was released.


League Record:

Wins: 17 Losses: 16 Pct: .515 Last10: 5-5 Streak: L4

Ave: 4.0 - 4.3 RS: 133 RA: 141 DIFF: -8

Cup:

Group 56 [0 | Eliminated]

Press Releases:

Jan 15 2037: Bearcats Return to VI.22 Amid a Complete Rebuild - by Eric83 on July 21st, 2018

The Brentwood Bearcats went from VI.22 champs to V.11 hopefuls to a complete teardown in a blink of an eye. And after a painful 109 loss season featuring numerous young batters struggle mightily, the team is back in VI.22 where the franchise had spent the previous 25 seasons (under approximately 25 different ownership regimes). Management is not trying to fool anyone this time around and it openly expressing the rebuild will continue, but hoping for more tangible success than last season.

So how bad was 2036? Here are a few fun facts:
  • Greg Berg led the team in HRs (16) and RBI (39), despite being cut on June 4th after 46 games.
  • Jun Seo Kim - the team's best pitcher by ERA and quality starts - had 17 losses.
  • 7 players with at least 150 ABs batted below .200.
  • After starting the youth movement in June, the team went 36-91 (.283).
On a slightly positive note, after being slow footed in 2035 the team led the league in stolen bases. They also led the league in caught stealing, as they basically ran every chance they had to make up for the lack of baserunners. The defense was poor (led league in errors, w/ 136), but is not considered a major concern. 2B and SS were both learning new positions, and 3B was out of positions just to get offensive reps.

None of the newcomers were so promising as to get designated a keeper yet, although most are likely to return at least for one more year of development. Here are a few thoughts on each of the main trainees who remain with the team, roughly in order of how likely they are to stick around past this year:
  • Paul Childs (25) – started hot and then slowed, but still finished 3rd in the league in voting for Rookie of the Year. Good speed (28 SB in 47 attempts), with some power (9 HR, .662 OPS) and a team-leading .302 vs lefties. Played OF exclusively but a poor defender better served as a platoon 1B or a pinch hitter.
  • Jorge Ramírez (27) - distinguished himself in two positive ways – very good speed and great defense in the OF (led team by a wide margin with 14 outfield assists from CF). Also led the team in walks and had 10 HRs but batted below .190 against both LHP and RHP. At his age he may not live up to his 14 POT, but likely has a role going forward.
  • Ruben Fortune (26) - above-average defense in OF, one of the better offensive seasons (.250, 8 HR, 22 2B, .701 OPS), 14 POT. Probably worth keeping around.
  • Jimmy Cormier (26) - one of the better offensive seasons but has no defensive position and limited potential. Led the team in hits, doubles, and SB (38 in 56 attempts). Was relatively "respectable" offensively (.238 AVG, .703 OPS). Not good enough to be long-term DH, and not getting much better, so probably destined for pinch running/hitting role.
  • Feliciano / Hasebe (23) – both were dreadful offensively (sub .200 AVG, sub .550 OPS) while not showing expected speed or defensive strengths. Feliciano is much more developed, but neither will probably live up to their potential or find enough offense to warrant a roster spot. They will probably get another year to develop and prove themselves because there are no viable middle infielders in either the minors or majors.
  • Fernando Carrizales (23) – below-average batting against lefties and dreadful against righties. Decent defensive stats. Maybe a situational pinch hitter, but likely a cut.
  • Sandy Free (21) – late addition to team but looked competent on offense (.689 OPS). Poor defense in OF, and competition at position limits his chances of development and carving out a long-term role.



May 18 2036: Bearcats Abruptly Begin a Rebuild - by Eric83 on June 5th, 2018

Only a month into the team's first season in League V, the Brentwood Bearcats have quickly shifted focus from treading water in its new division to embarking on a complete rebuild through youth and development.

"I blame myself for delaying the inevitable," owner and general manager Eric83 admitted. "When I took over this franchise last year I promised to build a winning culture for the long haul. We made a lot of positive moves, but our winning was getting in the way. This fanbase has been starved for a winning team for so long, that I didn't have the heart to gut the team any further. Last year's team was good enough to win League VI, but our goal is to win at much higher levels, and our short-term success set us back a little bit."

In the past few days the team has released 8 players (6 over the age of 30). Replacing some of the high priced veterans are overlooked and underdeveloped players in their mid-20s. The team knows many of these players won't pan out, but the new strategy appears to be to assemble as many players with room to grow as possible in the hopes of uncovering a few long-term building blocks while waiting for some of their most promising minor league players to get ready for the big leagues. The team expects to be very active on the waiver wire in the coming weeks and will be watching the roster's training results carefully.

As the team trades talent for potential, the Bearcats' current 45% winning percentage (15-18 record) in league games may be the high point for this year. But it is also a clear indication that the team wasn't on the path to great success anyway. To do the rebuild correctly, it will be a difficult journey for the next year or two, but the franchise appears to be in good hands and should come out better in the end.


Apr 03 2036: Season 2036 Preview - by Eric83 on May 23rd, 2018

The Brentwood Bearcat’s 2nd season is underway, and with it brings a new set of expectations and challenges. The team overachieved in its inaugural season under new ownership, finishing with a 91-69 record, while advancing from its Cup group, winning its division and promoting to League V.11.

The two key departures are slugger Adam Collins, who led the team in most offensive categories, and 2B Brad Curry. Curry was among the team leaders in several offensive categories, but also led the squad in strikeouts and errors while struggling with a .231 batting average (.198 at home). The pair of 34 year olds were showing signs of age down the stretch, and management decided it was time to move on.

The team hopes free agent signee 32-year-old Greg Berg will fill the power void in the middle of the lineup, while also improving defense at third base. 33-year-old Jesus Chavarria was another free agent pickup expected to start every day and should bring improved hitting and much needed speed to the top of the lineup. By moving a couple of everyday players still in their primes to the bench (Grosso and Hernandez, who combined for 800+ ABs last year), management is sending a clear message that their stated “youth movement” goal from last year only applies to players who they see as long-term solutions at higher levels.

The hope is that offense will carry the team again, as pitching remains a question mark and is unchanged from the end of last season. Management intends to scan the waiver wire throughout the season in hopes for upgrades but acknowledges it will be tough to make meaningful changes.

The finest pickup of all won’t be on the active roster for another few years. 19-year-old OF prospect Sergio Pascual, a 14-POT, 67-waiver-claim signee is by far the most celebrated addition in the new regime. Closer to making their big league are a few infielder prospects, but most experts expect them to be at least a year away. The team is hoping that the veteran major league roster can hold their own and stay in League V, while the promising youngsters have time to get ready.



Nov 04 2035: Season 2035 Recap: Rebuilding Year Turns to Division Crown - by Eric83 on May 4th, 2018

In what was supposed to be a year of transition, the Brentwood Bearcats exceeded even the most optimistic projections, finishing the season atop the VI.22 West Division, with a 91-69 record and a ticket to League V next season.

In his first year at the helm, GM Eric's stated goals were to bring youth, defense, and an overhauled minor league system to the newly relocated team. Competing for a division title was secondary and expected to be at least one year out. These were all notable areas of improvement, although work remains to be done in all three, and finding playing time for younger unproven players will be even more challenging against tougher competition next year.

But for this season, almost everything worked. The Bearcats signed new starters to fill every infield position as well as one in the outfield. The defense improved drastically while the offense showed its ability to score runs in bunches. The signing of a pair of 33-year old defensive studs - Infante and Curry - was key in shoring up defense in both middle infield positions while bringing pop to the line-up but did slow down the youth movement. The signing of fellow 33-year old Adam Collins to play DH was the one move that didn't seem to align with the team's new vision, but he looked like a sure-fire MVP candidate for most of the year. A late season slump brought Collins' numbers back to earth, but he did lead the team in several categories (.307 avg, 39 HR, 112 RBI, and .927 OPS). Moving Hodson from 2B to his more natural outfield position was also a key moved that helped with both the offense and defense. The pitching staff got younger, but was inconsistent throughout much of the year.

Despite tempered expectations before the year, it looked like the team would coast to a division title as the Bearcats started the season 63-30 by August 1. But after a 28-39 finish to the season, the Bearcats won the division on a tie-breaker and lost in the playoffs in six games to the bot-led Starkville Catfish.

Highlights
  • 27-yo P Montoyo (16-10, 3.91 ERA, 20 QS, 187 K) was an 8-waiver claimee and finished 3rd place in the Cy Young voting
  • Drafted five players with POT 12 or higher, including two 13 POT players and one 14 POT pitcher
  • Team led the league in HRs
  • Defense improved from league worst last year (by a wide margin) to middle of the pack

Lowlights
  • In his 15th year on the team, Julian Romero downgraded from the team's perennial ace to its least inconsistent starter (8-8, 4.55 ERA) and is a likely cut candidate as he turns 35 next season.
  • Late season slump, going 28-39 after August 1
  • Finished last in the league in stolen bases

Challenges Ahead
  • Three starters will be 34 at start of next year, including both middle infielders
  • Pitching staff is younger but very inconsistent and unproven
  • Minor league has lots of potential, but short supply of major league ready players



Mar 25 2035: Move to Brentwood Signals Optimism For the Future - by Eric83 on March 6th, 2018

Brentwood is getting a new baseball franchise. And perhaps the sunny California neighborhood is just the change of scenery needed for a franchise that has been mired in darkness for more than two decades.

The Brentwood Bearcats, formerly known as the Great Falls Lumberjacks, has been marooned in League VI.22 for 24 consecutive years, which includes 16 seasons in the bottom half of their division. While their .467 win percentage and negative 1,958 run differential in that time leaves a lot to be desired, the lack of stability has been at core of the team’s problems. Over the last 17 years, the franchise has never had an active owner stay with the team in back-to-back seasons. So is yet another ownership change the answer to this team’s problems? This time is might be.

New owner and president of operations, Eric83, is best known for successfully leading his Bananahorn basketball franchise from a DV bottom-dweller to the top of the NBBA. He did it by focusing on well-rounded player development, defense, and team chemistry while always maintaining a long-term vision.

“Long-term” may be the key phrase here, because changes for the Bearcats won’t be quick or easy. Eric inherited an aging roster that was assembled with complete disregard for defensive skills or positions. There may not be a single pitcher that factors into the team’s long-term plans - each is either past their prime or too undeveloped to ever reach their potential. But worst of all, the minor league system is completely desolate after years of neglect from previous owners. Experts have estimated that there may be less than a handful of players who will ever have a impactful role in the major leagues.

It will be a long road to recovery, but the team has already been extremely busy this offseason. 1st round draft pick Juan Mireles, a 14-POT pitcher, instantly becomes the most intriguing prospect in the minor league system. 2nd round pick, 13-POT outfielder, could be an offensive weapon in the future. The team has already turned over nearly half of the original minor league players, replacing many of them with 13-POT youngsters.

In the major leagues, the Bearcats have been selectively adding players under 30 who may still develop into starters. They’ve also added a few strong defensive veterans in the middle infield positions to keep those positions warm, while waiting for younger talent to develop in these key positions. Management has also added a few younger pitchers, but admits that will be an area of focus and improvement in the coming year. They've indicated their goal for the year is to continue to get younger, and to play and develop unproven players as the year goes on.

As the Bearcats undergo yet another regime shift and push forward with a youth movement, the team may again find themselves in the middle of the pack of League VI.22. But for the first time in memory, Bearcat fans can finally start a new season with optimism for the future.