Early 2017 Preview: Dilrose Apache

Tony Hurd’s franchise started fast out of the gates, with top three finishes in each of The League’s first four seasons. However, the organization has slipped in recent years. Let’s examine what we may see from the Dilrose Apaches in Year 11.

2017 Outlook:

This roster has as many bright spots as it does question marks. There’s a lot of nice names on this roster, but there’s no denying that they could use a boost of youth.

You have to wonder if Andrew McCutchen’s time is up in Dilrose. At this point, his cost might be outweighing his production. Sometimes it’s better to trade a star too soon instead of too late. At nearly $30, GM Tony Hurd may have waited a year or two too long to cash in on his franchise player.

Andrew Benintendi is one of the bright spots. He was overlooked in last year’s draft despite being touted by this publication. He’s drawn his share of Andrew McCutchen comparisons, which must thrill the Dilrose Apache fanbase.

There’s great value to build on with the current pitching staff, led by deGrom, Cole, and Jose Quintana.

Goldschmidt an ideal centerpiece for any roster, but if the Apaches fall out of contention again, they should think hard about cashing him and Posey in for younger assets.

Top 3 finish if…

He spends his keeper dollars wisely and gets a little lucky.

Dilrose is a few pieces away from having a serious contender. Paul Goldschmidt is going to do Paul Goldschmidt things and keep the offense respectable, but all other infield positions carry question marks at this point. While there won’t be any keeper discounts for Benintendi, if he lives up to the hype, he could end up being the 3rd most valuable hitter currently rostered.

For me, pitching staff management is what’s going to make a difference for this club. Hurd currently has a nice assortment of fantasy #2s on his roster. The problem is, I think ownership believes they already have three #1s. I do think one or two of their guys could potentially reach that status this season, but the Apaches shouldn’t bank on it. I think they need to add a true ace or build an elite relief staff to put them over the top.

If he addresses these needs and hits a couple of home runs in the draft, Hurd should be able to crack the top three as he did regularly in the early years of this franchise.

Bottom 3 finish if…
He rosters Shelby Miller again.

Shelby Miller joined Dilrose for his first full season in 2011, and the organization has been awful ever since.

I don’t like scapegoating players, but this chart speaks for itself. Before Shelby Miller, Tony’s teams never finished below 3rd place. Since then? He hasn’t finished higher than 4th. His average point total from 2007–2011 was second best in The League. Since then he has the second lowest average point total among all franchises.

Perhaps it’s not all because of Shelby Miller. Maybe it coincides with a shift in Tony’s strategy. Maybe he’s just hitched his wagon to the wrong horses. Either way, pitching has always been the achilles heel (still too soon?) for this club. Hurd’s teams have the worst cumulative ERA and WHIP in this league’s 10-year history.

With his aging offensive core, Dilrose needs to either win now or get younger.

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