The Dutch Ovens are led by first time owner Kyle Jansma going into the 4th season of the league. He has gained respect throughout Leroy over the last three seasons even with being on a losing team all 3 years. He looks to change that with a dynamic draft class in his first go at it. He was awarded the first pick of the draft and he didn't mess around. He picked up All Leroy player Matt Dykstra, who initially won pitcher of the year last year until the new rankings gave it to Brett. Never the less his season was one for the ages and he claimed Rookie of the Year completing his first official season. Kyle then sat and waited as 12 picks came and went before he drafted two guys in a row. His first was Jack Hillegonds, a lefty two way player that put in a All Leroy season in 2015. After that he picked up Greg Gierling who will enter 2017 on a roster for the first time after going unsigned last season.
The Ovens roster goes into 2017 with 1 61-56-2 record mainly led by Matt Dykstra and Jack Hillegonds. The Ovens start the season over the cap due to new restrictions which means his roster has a high chance of not seeing a move all season. A lot hinges on the participation of Jack Hillegonds who missed the playoffs last season for unknown reasons. He signed up for the first week which is a good sign for the Ovens who currently have the whole team signed up for the first week except the owner himself. It's hard to gauge the character of a new team, but Kyle led the Sliders for much of the year last year with Jordan coming late most weeks. He likes a fast pace game of getting guys out when pitching and getting guys on when batting. He rarely waited for pitch to hit and would attack every pitch he thought he could hit. Matt looks to cement himself as an All Leroy player. He feels the change of mound distance won't effect him, but others have their doubts. One thing for sure is his ability to change the game with one swing, something he has so far in his career. He lives for the big moments and lets others know it. Greg is arguably the most ready to get this season going. He was thrilled to go to the Ovens and expects big things from his team. Kyle, Jack, and Matt have all had All Leroy seasons and to think these 3 are all on the same team is scary. How much improvement we see out of Greg will determine how elite they can be at season end.
Batting will be a big strength for the Oven, they have players who know how to score runs. There roster leads all teams in RBI's showing when guys are in scoring position this team will capitalize. Kyle seemed to formulate a batting Juggernaut picking up Greg who will be a patient at bat working opposing pitchers with the ability to get on. The other three batters have the power to drive it out of the park at anytime. Matt has 25 career homers, Jack has 28, and Kyle with 57. They are also one of 2 teams with less strikeouts at the plate then RBI's which shows they can get the ball in play and make the fielders make a play to get the out. Both Matt and Kyle were on the All Batting Team last season, with Jack and Kyle making it as well in 2015. This roster posted absurd 2015 numbers, a 0.490 batting average and a 1.125 slugging percentage. Everyone, except Greg who was in his first year, had worse batting averages last season compared to the previous.
Pitching could be a wildcard for this team. Matt had an impressive 2016 campaign that saw him in the running for every pitching category. This roster has a career 6.16 E.R.A. which is 2nd among all teams, shocking i know. When you dig deep you will find this roster has a solid rotation. Jack and Kyle are above average pitchers who limit damage and don't take any plays off. Greg had spurts last year, but had a hard time stopping an avalanche of runs when the opposing team got on base. This roster pitched 194 2/3 innings last year, and had 275 k's which both rank 2nd among all teams. The key to them being a dominant pitching will also be effected by their fielding. With the wider fields more space will have to be covered, no one on this team really know for speed. Kyle has some sneaky quickness, but other than that not much from the defense side of things.
If you breakdown this team player verse player you could put them against any other team. Matt was the second best player in the league last year behind Caleb based on stats. Kyle was 8th (7th in players who qualified) meaning he is the best #2 on a team. Jack didn't qualify, but if he did he would have finished 12th, a #2 for numerous teams. Greg will come every week and going into his 2nd season will be better. The only thing really stopping them from winning it could be something not related to wiffleball at all. Some say a bun in the oven, in this case a dutch in the oven.