Brett Detmar and his Jager Corn Bombers go into the 2017 season with a target on their back. The Bomber franchise enters its 3rd season with a 29-10 record. This teams performance last year will also be remembered in Leroy history. They finished with a 2.08 team E.R.A. in 130 innings of work. They next best full season E.R.A. in the history of Leroy was 3.18 from the Fantastic squad that won in 2015. The next best was the 4.40 from the Badgers last season. The league average is 6.97 to reference how dominant they were. in 507 opponent at bats they struck out 290, a 57% clip. The second best in league history was Fantastic who had 86 k's in 213 at bats, 40%. The dominance is unheard of and will be very, very hard to copy with the updated rankings system that will enforce more competitiveness throughout the league. The final statistic I am going to highlight is k's per hits allowed. Only 3 teams in 3 years have struck out more batters than allowed hits. The Master Batters in 2014 struck out 108 giving up 100 hits (1.08), Fantastic Four in 2015 striking out 86, with 50 hits allowed (1.72), and of course the Bombers. The Bombers gave up 119 hits against their 290 k's, a 2.44 ratio, many leagues allow one pitcher to pitch the whole game and sometimes don't even enforce some players to have to pitch at all. Leroy is different and enforces every player to pitch one inning every game, which shows how dominant all 4 of these players were all year.
Anyway its not 2016 anymore, so lets dive into the new Bombers roster. Brett passed on Jon Gibson with the 4th pick in the draft and selected his brother Erik. These two have no filter when playing each other often times arguing time and time again during the game, yet they use it as motivation getting the better of the opposing team. His second round pick when to Jake Van Vuren, a solid pick that has shown improvement year to year. The third round pick was a steal, grabbing Kyle Reynhout with the 18th pick in the draft. Let's take a look at where this team sits among the league.
Bombers roster sits at 91-61-0, the only roster without a tie. The .599 winning percentage is ranked 1st among all 7 teams going into the season. Brett has to get the most out of this team, because with the new salary restrictions he has little room to make any moves as he sits over the cap to start the season. Fear won a lot of games for the Bombers last year, something that won't be a characteristic of the 2017 Bombers. Kyle brings a sense of entertainment to this team that could pan out for good or bad. Jake needs to take another step again this year if a repeat is in order. Erik will be a consistent pitcher, he has proven it year after year, although his bats have to take another step. Brett just has to be 2016 Brett. It will be hard to repeat a Mr. Leroy season and time will tell how batters approach him this season. This team will succeed and make another run if they continue to dominant from the mound. If Kyle and Jake can adapt to the style of Erik and Jake this will be another successful Bombers season. If Kyle and Jake lose their sense of competitiveness and ultimately give up on the mound and at the plate this team could struggle. Erik and Brett alone make this a .500 team this season, the only way they become elite is behind the 2nd and 3rd round picks.
Batting isn't this team's strength and it shows in the numbers. They are below average in many batting statistics including batting average. They sit at .363 with the roster they have the 2nd worst among the 7 teams. The team has 1103 total at bats among the 4 which is 2nd most, that means this team has veterans who need to step up and take advantage of new guys on other teams. Brett and Kyle had statistically their worst seasons from the plate late season with career lows in average and slugging, while Jake and Erik had their best seasons with career highs in average and slugging. With 18 games on the schedule you have to find ways to stay in games, and you have to score to win. This team has to play small ball and get on base as many times as possible to put themselves in position to score. Brett, Jake, and Kyle all struck out 50+ last season, something that needs to change if they want a deep run.
Before looking at the numbers I though for sure this team was lined up to lead the way in many pitching categories, unfortunately that's not the case. The roster sports a 6.48 E.R.A. which sits right in the middle of the pack, yet its 0.375 opponents batting average is 2nd among the 7 teams. They do have the most strikeouts with 363, but that should be the case since they lead the all teams with 232 1/3 innings pitched career wise among the four. I can't wait to see how Brett chooses his rotation during the season and more importantly during the playoffs if this is his current roster. Kyle introduced a Ephesus pitch he seemed to master in the playoffs last season. Erik and Brett claim they have a new pitch going into 2017 so all these numbers could mean nothing when they actually hit the mound.
This isn't the 2016 Bombers, they know it and the rest of the league knows it. The key is finding the new identity and everyone buying in. Finding the roles of each player and exceeding in that role. Brett has to be better than the opposing star, Erik has to be better than the opposing 2, so on and so on. Kyle was offered a team in early March after Neil hung it up, Kyle refused saying he loves his situation and playing for Brett. All four of these players were All Stars last season, the only team in the league who can boast that. They need to replicate that to get back to where they are going.
This will present the history of the franchise including leaders in every general, batting, and pitching category. It will give a year to year breakdown of the franchise with past logos and records. Finally it gives head to head matchup records against all other franchises' through the years with run differential.
Finally is Player Pages: This will include bio as well as career stats and awards through the years.