The leaves are beginning to come back and the smell of fresh cut grass fills the air. Spring has sprung and the the Leroy Wiffle Season has begun. I am up to bat against Austin Warner. He tries to throw a heater by me, but I turn on it and give it a nice tapping over the left field fence. Bodak Yellow begins to play as I suddenly wake up and realize this was just a dream. It is December and winter has just begun. We may have a few months to go until the season begins, but my mind often goes back to the summer days playing wiffleball on Wednesdays. It was a great season and there was a lot of growth for the league and players. Before I reminisce any longer, let me get to the meat and potatoes of this segment. I am going to give you my insight on the top eleven players of the 2018 Season Leroy Draft. I will also provide some insights on who I think is a steal for their salary. So without further ado, light up a fire, cover yourself in a blanket, and grab a cup of tea as you cozy up for Tea Time With Tapper.
#1 Jack Hillegonds - consider him the Bryce Harper of the league without the flow. He is a generally good looking guy with a grin that could turn anyone's frown upside down. The guy sees the ball like it's a beach ball. A consistent power hitter who has improved every year. His pitching is decent when he is finding the zone, and any runs he gives up he will make up with a few taps of the bat. I take this guy first out of those available in 99 of 100 drafts. If you're wondering who the 1 out of 100 is it's Ben Huff.
#2 Jon Gibson - I like to think of Jon as the Jay Cutler of our league. He seems to have a no care attitude about anything, but the skills and talent are there. He is a phenomenal hitter who smashed the ball in 2015. He is also a good fast pitcher when he can find the zone consistently. He needs an owner who cares about winning will motivate him, and that is what Caleb did in 2017. This is why I consider him the Giancarlo Stanton of the league. He could easily be number one on the list if he didn't need the motivation
#3 Kyle Jansma - I played with Kyle in 2016. He is a great teammate and player. He has figured out how to be deceptive with slow and fast pitches. He is also another one of the great hitters of the league. Let me take a moment to congratulate him on becoming a father. He may not show up every week this year, but he is a top player and the intangible of being a great teammate cannot be bought.
#4 Wes Ellis - I realize I am putting a player who lives far away high on the list, but he is a top tear player. He reminds me of Barry Bonds. Great power hitter with a competitive arrogance to match it. I would consider his this a positive in the sense it gives him confidence against any pitcher at the plate. From what I saw last year, he also had some nasty pitching. Wes will make any team better he is on, and if he shows up consistently will be a top five player.
#5 Andrew Sitter - I don't really care what anyone else thinks about how high I am putting Sitter. He is the Benny the Jet of the league. He throws a heater like the pitcher from the sandlot as well. He can hit with the best of him, and if he shows up each week will be an awesome asset to your team. If he comes consistently, I see him returning to his top pitching and hitting form.
#6 Lucas Meidema - A first time player this year, and he was a good one. The kid wears hats bigger than the yellow hat guy from curious George. He started to figure out pitching at the end along with becoming a consistent hitter. He was actually one of the top hitters on the national team, so look out for a stud in the making.
#7 Jeremiah Wiltjer - I don't know much about him personally, but I do know that he is one of the top pitchers in the league. He throws about as fast as Aroldis Chapman on a consistent basis. When he is hitting the zone it is going to be three up three down. He is a decent hitter, and if he shows up consistently I expect him to have another good season.
#8 Shane Anderson - One of the ORWBL players who started coming last year. Shane is a cool guy and I would equate him to the Kris Bryant of the league. He comes in and plays very well, and you won't hear him bragging about it. He ended up being one of the top hitters in the league. He comes from a slow pitch league, so his pitching can be quite nasty due to the spin he puts on it.
#9 Austin Gibson - The older brother of Jon Gibson. He looked like Aaron Judge in the home run derby. He was injured for most of last year, but came on strong when he played. He is a top ten hitter who would be top five if he plays a whole season. His pitching is fast, but he needs to find the zone to do well. He is a competitor and loves to win, making him a top eleven player in my book.
#10 Colin Lautenbach - Another new player this year, Colin had a decent time playing including a championship. He has the flow Jack Hillegonds is missing. He sees the ball well and can hit fast pitching. He was starting to figure out fast pitching toward the end of the season, and could be a nice asset to a team.
#11 Sam Staal - He has been a great asset to the league in playing and outside of playing. Sam is a decent hitter and pitcher. He is a quick baserunner, and an excellent fielder. If you want a jack of all trades on your team, this is the guy you want. He is very competitive, and a good teammate.
Now it is time for my steals of the draft. These are players who have a great value of skill for their salary.
Andrew Sitter, Austin Gibson, Sam Staal, Jake Van Vuren, and Alex Friedman.
That's it for Tea Time With Tapper this time. I hope you enjoyed the read and your tea. This is Tapper signing off.