By Dr. Rug
Congratulations to the Home Building Centre team on their league championship and thanks to all the teams and players in the league for another fantastic season of YK Fastball. As the boys from Slades contemplate what could have been an epic underdog victory, and the Cardinals recover from their victory celebration, Dr. Rug is here to take a quick look back at the best of the best from the past year. To help you struggle through your first Monday of the offseason, here is one man’s take on the 2018 all-stars.
(Dr. Rug’s note: Some positions are stacked so worthy candidates missed out on the list (i.e. Nichols at SS), some players missed out because they had too much versatility to be able to slot them in at just one position (i.e. Andy Williams playing everywhere on the diamond), and some players just don’t need their heads getting any bigger (i.e. Vette))
1B – Brad Waugh
Brad is carrying on the family tradition of crushing baseballs all summer long. He had another fantastic season for the Rockies with both his bat and his glove. Much like his father, there are still improvements to be made on the mound, but when he’s in the batter’s box, Brad is one of the best there is in YK Fastball.
2nd Team All Star – Tracy
The best glove on the field for the Thunder and the most reliable player as well. Tracy joins the long list of ladies that continually prove that the YK Fastball league isn’t just for the guys (Jenn, Weather Girl, the Gard sisters, etc.).
2B – Chris Cahoon
When Chris Kelln went on the DL one game into the season, fans everywhere wondered if the other half of the Cards’ Chris combo would be able to hold down two bag for the team all by himself. Cahoon did not disappoint. He played gold glove defense all season long and raked at the plate. His clutch two out, two strike, two run liner in the championship game put an end to Slades’ Cinderella dreams and was the biggest hit of the year for the Cardinals. He was also able to pass off the No-Show crown to Jaden Beck sometime late Friday night on the Gold Range dancefloor which made Cahoon’s weekend an even bigger success.
2nd Team All Star – Josh Brown
The offensive leader of the Thunder, Josh is the one bat in their lineup that you have to worry about every time he’s up.
3B – Kaeler Pagonis
With another year under his belt, Kaeler is proving that he is one of the stars of the future in the YK Fastball league. His defense at the hot corner was spectacular and as his bat continues to improve he’s looking like he’ll follow in the footsteps of Devin Case and Jonny White as the next homegrown star to come out of the Trappers minor league system.
2nd Team All Star – Ian Farrer
Solid glove, solid bat, solid player. Ian is an underappreciated staple of the Rockies squad and a reason they continue to improve. His only weakness is the beer gardens bleachers.
SS – Kevin Vallillee
The sun rises in the east, the sky is blue, and Ishii is Ishii. He plays gold glove defense, leads the league in pitches seen (and fouled off), and hits liners to every field. The inevitability of it all is really quite tiresome. As the new generation of Slades players begin to find their groove and learn the ins and outs of fastball, Kevin is the backbone of a Slades team that saw unprecedented turnover this year. Despite the numerous new faces, the veteran presence of players like Vallillee and Borko made for a smooth transition and carried the Expos to the championship game.
2nd Team All Star – Devin Case
For personal health and safety reasons, I’m glad that Case was away for this year’s end of season tournament. The Trappers were likely a little less enthused about his absence.
LF – Aaron LaBorde
One of the nicest guys in the league is also turning into one of the best players in the league. Bordey continued his development at the plate this season and by year’s end was one of the offensive leaders for the Slades squad. Add in his rock solid D in left and his cannon of an arm and he has the potential to be their MVP for years to come.
2nd Team All Star – Aaron Plotner
Slim Plot continues to show the world that the Keto diet can work.
CF – ChaDevin Hinchey
The Hinchey bros were once again the scariest power threat in the most powerful lineup in the league. They both annihilated the ball on a regular basis and whichever one was tasked with patrolling center made sure that anything that could be caught, was caught. The two-headed Hinchey beast is a nightmare inducing animal to any pitcher that has the misfortune of having to face them.
2nd Team All Star – Andy Penton
Where other centerfielders amaze with their closing speed and immense effort, Andy just shakes his head and positions himself in the perfect spot to make every play with minimal effort.
RF – Fletcher Stevens
Carrying on the illustrious tradition of all-star right fielders for the Slades Expos, Fletch is a slight upgrade in the speed department over long time cornerstone Mike Desjarlais. And similarly to Roadie, Fletcher brings it with both stellar defense and a consistent bat.
2nd Team All Star – Carter Stirling
It may be the hollowest .600 batting average in the history of organized sports but it is still a .600 batting average.
C – Mike Hugall
A rookie of the year candidate, Mike was exactly what the Cardinals needed behind the plate as the years continue to take their toll on grizzled veteran, Darin Strain. While Cahoon may have thrown out more potential base stealers at 2B during his brief catching cameo this year, that was due to the trepidation that runners felt when Huggy showed off his gun. He didn’t have a chance to throw anyone out because everyone was too scared to run. If they keep picking up players like Hugall, the Cardinals transition from a team of firefighters to a team of journalists will be seamless and they’ll remain atop the YK Fastball world.
2nd Team All Star – Steve Robertson
The louder half of the Steve Squared™ combo continued to provide expert guidance for the Jays from behind the plate and atop the batting order.
P – Steve Thomas
The unquestioned top pitcher in the league, Steve once again was the reason the Jays were a contender this season. His improved bat this year helped the Jays offense find their groove for most of the season but, of course, it was his pitching that made them a title contender. His ferocity on the mound is matched only by his disdain for players who bunt (see: Couvrette, Brian).
2nd Team All Star – Garrett Hinchey
The MVP of the year-end tourney for the Cardinals, Hinchey was a workhorse this season and was finally able to end up on the winning end of a duel with Steve when it mattered most.
There you have it fans, my choices for the 2018 All-Star squad. You may disagree with some of the selections and I always welcome feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org… even if your opinion is wrong.
And with that, we say farewell to another glorious (if somewhat wet) season of YK Fastball. Thanks again to all the players, fans, groupies, and even the umps for making this league as great as it is. I’ll see you all again next year (or maybe in a tavern at some point during the offseason).