Friday, July 25, 2008

NKotB Part Two: Albuquerque Isotopes

Part Two focuses on the Albuquerque Isotopes, formerly the St. Louis Hell Hogs.

The franchise has never made the playoffs and recent management didn't help the situation, failing to establish a firm direction. Last season, deposed owner jets12 failed to sign first-round pick, Rob Mientkiewicz, a high school pitcher chosen 8th overall, marking the 2nd time in it's history the franchise had failed to sign a top 10 pick. In fact, 'Tope CF David Williamson is the highest franchise draft pick currently on the roster and he hit just .222 last season. Alfonso Romero, a top ten pick in Season 7 has struggled mightily under poor coaching and poor fielding.

The team hit just .257 last year and no player slugged more than 21 HRs. New owner uustal spent lavishly on the free agent market in an attempt to jump start the franchise. FA signees Rob Henderson ($35.5 M over 5 years) and Vince Fordham were brought in to bolster the offense while Felipe Colon figures into the top part of hte rotation.

The coaching staff appears much-improved and the minor league system will certainly benefit from that change.

The Name:
Well, the Isotopes are not surprisingly named for the famous Simpsons' baseball franchise, the Springfield Isotopes. What's lesser known, is that uustal actually designed the reactor at Three Mile Island which almost

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