Team Preview: Grays
The losses of Amit and Dipan Patel on a full-time basis were two big holes the team needed to address in order to continue advancing on the progress made in 2011. Last season saw the Grays take a big stride by earning a spot in the wildcard playoffs in SNL. Pitching was inconsistent and ultimately proved to be a critical difference maker. Ghanshyam had flashes of brilliance but at times the erratic control was too much for the team to overcome. Defensively, few teams in the league can flash as much leather in the outfield as the Grays. This season features some important free agent acquisitions with former Pitch Slap players Omer Malik, Bilal Khan, Saqib Chaudry, Ali Nobani, and perennial all-star Keith Ginzberg. The additions will help fill the losses of aforementioned AP and DP. The addition of talent and experience will serve the Grays well in close game situations. In 2011, seven losses were by 3 runs or less.
Position by position look:
1B – will be anchored by Akil Gubbi and Ankit Ramchandani. Both have tremendous upside. Akil will be looking to be more of a run producer this season batting in a deeper lineup. Ankit will be looking to continue his consistency at getting on base. His versatility of being able to be a top of the order threat and also batting in a run producing slots makes him a multipurpose threat.
2B – co-captain Uday Gosalia will need to improve his batting if he’s going to see much playing time this season. Bilal Khan can also play the position and has a potent bat.
3B – Ali Nobani is a raw talent in this league. He has a knack on offense of hitting the ball very hard and usually line drives for extra basehits. On defense he can use his strong arm at the hot corner to help anchor the left side of the infield.
SS – Keith Ginzberg adds a big a bat to the lineup, which already features Mike K. The two are expected to be among the leagues elite 1-2 punches. There is a lot to like about the addition of Keith’s bat to the lineup. However, it’s going to be on defense where he will likely make the greatest impact. He’s got cat-like reflexes and throws seeds from short. Suring up the infield defense will help keep the team in many games extremely in close games.
C – Saqib Chaudry will be manning the position formerly held by Ashish Gosalia. Ashish was lost during the fall league when he broke his leg. His loss is pretty big because of his intensity and his ability to make putouts at the plate. Saqib brings similar skills to the field and there is great confidence in his knowledge of calling a game to help stabilize the pitching.
P – Ghanshyam Gosalia improved considerably as the year progressed. He is incredible shape through a rigid offseason training regime. His endurance will have likely improved, and with another year of experience under his belt, combined with his ferocious competitive spirit, this year is likely going to be a big one on the mound. Offensively, after a couple of knee surgeries in early 2010, he’s got his legs back and we can expect some reliable ABs at the end of the lineup.
OF – Mitul Patel, Mike Kovacik, Omer Malik, Darshak Patel
Mitul will continue to be a pain for opposing teams by continually getting on base and always being a threat to take the extra base. Fully recovered from an ankle injury last season, it will be a lot of fun to see him score many runs this season with the support behind him this season. Defensively, he’s a lockdown middle-outfielder as his speed allows him to cover a lot of ground and he’s unafraid of getting his jersey dirty (to the chagrin of his wife/team co-manager Lisa Patel).
Mike K. is looking to build on his remarkable 2011 season. This guy is undeniably clutch and holds himself to the highest standards. He will benefit from having another big bat in Keith G. in the lineup in addition to the other performers who are returning and have been added. His incredibly strong throwing arm highlights his defense.
Omer Malik is a speedster with a strong throwing arm. His offense will likely be looking to improve and there’s no reason not to expect it will. He’s going to be providing tremendous value to the team covering one of the corner-OF posts. Good defense can feed good offense.
Darshak Patel is a newcomer to SASL. He comes from the family of AP and possesses raw talent that still needs to be harnessed. Has one of the strongest arms in the league and at the plate can still get better at consistently hitting line drives helping to leverage his lightening speed. If he can get on base a respectable clip, he’ll be a big threat at the bottom of the lineup.
Considering the fact that Amit Patel and Dipan Patel were losses going in to this upcoming season. The GRAYS were able to snag the best free agent out there in Keith Ginzberg who can make up for the offensive and defensive production of Amit Patel. Another area that was addressed with the GRAYS is depth which they are going to add by adding all of these guys plus they may have a few more surprises up their sleeve.
That being said considering what the hole that this team had going in to this upcoming season they get an off season grade of...