UFLB Unveils the Second Edition of The List: Soren’s Top 30 Franchise Players from MLB
Heading into UFLB franchise auctions, every potential owner will have to ask themselves how badly they want a top 5 player? If the answer is, ‘really bad!’ then they’ll have to pony up and compete with others in a bidding war. But just who is a top 5 player is a matter of many opinions. The auction runs from November 5-7 and to help potential owners make those tough calls we are bringing you a series of articles revealing Top 30 lists from those in the baseball world. The first edition featured Head of Baseball Operations for UFF Sports Dean Millard and potential UFLB GM Jordan Blundell who is also the Head Coach and Assistant GM of the Edmonton Prospects in the Western Canadian Baseball League. This week we present the rankings from the mind of UFLB Director of Competition Matt Soren, who was a Philadelphia Phillies draft pick and this summer the right-handed pitcher was on the Olympic qualifying roster for Team Israel.
“Trying to balance the Legends League with the main UFLB was a focus of mine from 1 to 30” said Soren after watching Atlanta take a 2-0 series lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS Sunday night. Legends League Baseball will feature the best players to ever step on a MLB field in a revolutionary simulation fantasy league. Not surprisingly Soren had super star pitcher and hitter Shohei Ohtani ranked number one, but his first anxiety inducing decision came shortly after. “My first hard choice was not having the greatest player of this generation, Mike Trout, in the top 5. I think he’ll make me regret it if he can stay healthy.” Trout missed almost 130 games this season while Ohtani took over the spotlight for the Anaheim Angels and while some might question the move, like Matt is doing already, most franchise owners would be thrilled with the players he has listed in the top 5.
“I think when you’re talking top 5, you’re going to see similar names on everyone’s list” said Dean Millard who will also oversee UFLB as its Commissioner. “You might see one guy different here and there, but what it comes down to is, do you have a guy you absolutely want to get? Well to do that you need to outbid everyone. If you have a definitive top 2, you know where you need to be when ‘Extra Innings’ stops in the auction.” Extra Innings will occur when there is a bid in the final minutes of the auction, triggering a two-minute extension for all bids. The auction will end when there is no bidding for a full two minutes. The first pitcher to show up on Soren’s list is 33-year-old Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets at #8, ahead of National League batting champions Trea Turner and likely NL MVP Bryce Harper. Like Trout, deGrom missed a good chunk of the season, and unfortunately it happened when he was having one of the best campaigns of all time, further cementing his nickname as deGoat. “With deGrom being in the top 10, the Legend League factors in a little, but I still think he can have 5-6 more years at this Cy Young level. He has the most fluid mechanics in baseball.” Soren’s list includes some other ‘over 30’ stars like Gerrit Cole, Salvador Perez, Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt, but it’s mainly stocked full of guys just entering or in their prime, like the 30th player on the list, Dodgers left hander Julio Urias, who turned 25 in August and led the National League with 20 wins this season.
“Picking the last player was really difficult, as you can tell by my long list of guys that just missed. Hall of famers and franchise faces staying off, to put some future all stars on the list.” Soren submitted a list of 15 who just missed out, here are the top 5! Look for a new edition of The List every Monday afternoon leading up to the franchise auctions, November 5-7. All bidders must be registered in advance. The UFLB Rulebook was recently released and can be found here. For more information email Dean_UFLB@UFFSports.com or visit www.uffsports.com.