The 2009 Outfield

Fehlandt Lentini

“[Fehlandt Lentini will] team up with Miller and Mark Okano to give us an incredible outfield” – Peter Young.

Perhaps as a way to celebrate the fifth birthday of the Calgary Vipers, a late free-agent signing of another Original Viper, Fehlandt Lentini, rounds out the outfield picture.

Of course, we can’t be blamed for thinking the outfield was already rounded out before Lentini was signed, with GLROTY Colin Moro in the mix, but you can never have too many quality bats, and Moro will now platoon in the outfield, as well as seeing duty in the DH spot and at 1B.

I like this signing for a lot of reasons.

  1. Lentini is a big-time speed guy, which helps when you consider that Jorge Tang won’t be back this season.  If we look at Lentini’s Independent stats since 2004 (Frontier League and Northern League), he’s stolen 193 bases with an 86% efficiency.  I’ve made the case in the past that the Golden League is a base-stealer’s league – so expect Lentini to thrive in his return.
  2. Having four capable outfielders makes so much more sense then having a DH who can’t field.  With a tandem of Lentini, Okano, Miller, Moro, and Terry Mermer* (L.O.M.M.M.), players can get a bit of a rest on certain days while still staying in the line-up as a DH and/or 1B.  This little save on wear-and-tear can make a big difference in fielding a healthy team over a long grind of a season.
  3. Lentini has been a part of a championship team.  He won a Northern League Championship with Gary in 2005, and having a player who has been there and done that on the roster certainly can’t hurt the Vipers in getting over the hump.

* And what about Terry Mermer?  The ink is still wet on the press release announcing his acquisition…

His [Mermer’s] addition gives field manager Morgan Burkhart four outstanding outfielders for 2009.  Mermer joins Drew Miller (20 HR), Mark Okano (19 HR) and GBL Rookie of the Year Colin Moro.  Burkhart will be able to alternate one outfielder in the DH position to guarantee each maximum playing time.

Hmm… we’ve just been saying that about the Lentini signing, haven’t we?  Well, like I said, you can never have too many quality bats (or former League Champions).  Also, Mermer can also play first base… but then there’s Ivan Reyes… and now you can see a bit of a log jam, which I think it a good problem to have (too many impact bats? – yeah, I’ll take that “problem”).

Terry Mermer

Terry Mermer only has 51 Independent ABs, but he made the most of them, slugging .608 over that span.  It’s possible that his performance at training camp will influence his position on the roster more than any other player’s performance will influence their own respective position(s).

Considering the turn-over and surprise signings we’ve seen this off-season, penciling in a line-up would be a dangerous endeavor, but we here at Ten Prairie Sticks endeavor to be dangerous.

  • 1B – Ivan Reyes
  • 2B – Jorge Mejia
  • SS – Nelson Castro
  • 3B – Carlos Duncan
  • C – Rick Guarno
  • OF – Drew Miller
  • OF – Fehlandt Lentini
  • OF – Mark Okano
  • DH – Colin Moro
  • First stick off the bench – Terry Mermer

And what happened to controversial slugging first baseman Mario Delgado?  Did he fall through the cracks?  Did I miss something?

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