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Annual Program Baseball Predictions

Apr 02, 2014 -- 11:27am

Below are the annual predictions by The Program and Rany Jazayerli:


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Petro's AP College Basketball Top 25 Ballot - March 17

Mar 17, 2014 -- 9:14am

By Soren Petro

Below are Soren Petro's ballot for All-American teams, Player and Coach of the Year, and the final regular season Top 25 for the Associated Press:

F  Doug McDermott - Creighton
F  Jabari Parker - Duke
F  Melvin Ejim - Iowa St.
G  Russ Smith - Louisville
G  Nik Stauskas - Michigan

C  Joel Embiid - Kansas
F  Julius Randle - Kentucky
F  Andrew Wiggins - Kansas
G  Tyler Ennis - Syracuse
G  Nick Johnson - Arizona

F  Cameron Bairstow - New Mexico
F  T.J. Warren - NC St.
G  Sean Kilpatrick - Cincinnati
G  Fred VanVleet - Wichita St.
G  Shabazz Napier - Connecticut

Doug McDermott - Creighton

Billy Donovan - Florida


1. Florida
2. Wichita St.
3. Louisville
4. Virginia
5. Arizona
6. Duke
7. Villanova
8. Michigan St.
9. Kansas
10. Iowa St.
11. Michigan
12. Syracuse
13. Creighton
14. Cincinnati
15. Ohio St.
16. UCLA
17. San Diego St.
18. Wisconsin
19. Gonzaga
20. Kentucky
21. North Carolina
22. VCU
23. Oklahoma
24. Tennessee
25. New Mexico

Thoughts From Surprise

Mar 11, 2014 -- 10:32am

By Soren Petro


Danny Duffy

Duffy has a great attitude about where he is in his career, speaking openly about his need to become more pitch efficient.  Duffy joked, “I can’t take 170 pitches to get through five innings.”  It is refreshing to see a Big Leaguer have a sense of humor, while acknowledging their weaknesses. 


Duffy has only thrown 576 professional innings and just 157 in the big leagues.  It needs to be noted that the reason he hasn’t been able to pile up innings is because he left the game while in the minors and has had major reconstructive surgery.  Even with that note in hand, the lack of innings is a reason to believe that with more experience he can harness his top shelf, left-handed stuff and become a top of the rotation starter.


Last time out Duffy went 3 innings giving up just one run on one hit.  The one his was a homerun, but most think it was an Arizona homer (altitude plus wind = a fly ball out in Kauffman).



Norichika Aoki

The Royals have had Japanese pitchers on the roster in the past, so Aoki is not a first for the Club.  Aoki has a translator at his side at all times to make sure he understands the instructions from the coaching staff, which has been standard with all the other Japanese players. 


The difference with Aoki is his translator is actually a character.  Most translators are pretty stiff and seem to be on a “speak when spoken to” leash.  Aoki’s translator, Kosuke Inaji, cuts it up with the PR department on a regular basis.  He seems to be in on the jokes with Aoki’s teammates.  In Milwaukee he became such a part of the team that when Aoki hit a walk-off homer on June 7, 2012 the Brewers hit both Aoki and Inaji in the face with shaving cream pies.


Aoki seemed to continue to break down the language barrier with his teammates by offering up some “Hi-Chew” candies to the rest of the guys.  A box from Japan was opened to reveal some folding display boxes and several pounds of the Japanese candy.  The Hi-Chew was a universal hit around the clubhouse, being described as a gummy bear, starburst but with a lot more flavor.  One of the two boxes was gone in less than 24 hours. 


Inaji said Aoki’s teammates had liked the candy in Milwaukee, but he had “never seen it go that fast.”



Mike Moustakas

After a tough season in ’13 it would be understandable if Moustakas had a sour attitude this spring.  Instead Moustakas is answering every question thrown his way about his struggles last year and seems to be confident those struggles are behind him.  Don’t get me wrong, Moustakas is always going to be a bit of a red-ass on the field, and maybe around game time, but he certainly seems to be in a good place right now. 


That can probably be attributed to his marriage this offseason… both to his new wife and his new hitting coach.  Which one has been more of the calming influence is unknown, and maybe unimportant.  So far a comfortable Moose has generated frequent contact and plenty of pop at the plate.


Moustakas is off to a hot start this Spring, but keep in mind he did hit almost .400 with 5 homers and 16 RBI last spring.



Salvador Perez

Health is going to be the biggest question for Perez… which is almost always the case with a catcher.  Right now Perez is dealing with a bruised palm, which could be a good thing.  If the Royals sit him as a precautionary move, it will keep him off his feet and help rest him for the regular season. 


Ned Yost had him behind the dish almost every game he was available last year.  The Royals walked away from George Kottaras after last year.  Kottaras was one of the few Royals that could actually draw a walk, but he didn’t bring a lot to the defensive side of the catching job (at least that is the way Yost made it sound in Surprise).  The backup job should go to a more defensive minded backstop, probably Brett Hayes (over Ramon Hernandez), and give Yost more confidence in resting Perez.


Last year there were reports of Perez tipping the scale at over 270 lbs.  He looked to be a in good shape this Spring, which is important for him if he wants to play beyond his 20’s.

Petro's AP College Basketball Top 25 Ballot - March 10

Mar 10, 2014 -- 10:01am

By Soren Petro

2014 All Big XII Team and Awards


First Team


Melvin Ejim


Andrew Wiggins


DaAndre Kane


Marcus Smart


Juwan Staten



Second Team


Cameron Clark


Markel Brown


Joel Embiid


Cory Jefferson


Cameron Ridley



Coach of the Year


Bill Self



Player of the Year


Melvin Ejim



Newcomer of the Year

DeAndre Kane



Freshman of the Year

Andrew Wiggins


Top 25, March 10

1. Florida
2. Wichita St.
3. Arizona
4. Villanova
5. Louisville
6. Duke
7. Virginia
8. Kansas
9. Syracuse
10. Michigan
11. San Diego St.
12. Creighton
13. Wisconsin
14. Cincinnati
15. Ohio St.
16. North Carolina
17. VCU
18. Oklahoma
19. Iowa St.
20. Michigan St.
21. Gonzaga
22. UCLA
23. Kentucky
24. Tennessee
25. Oregon

26. Oklahoma St.
27. Iowa
32. Saint Louis
34. Texas
37. Baylor
42. Kansas St.
48. Nebraska

Petro's AP College Basketball Top 25 Ballot - March 3

Mar 03, 2014 -- 9:11am

Soren Petro's AP Ballot - March 3


1. Arizona
2. Florida
3. Wichita St.
4. Villanova
5. Duke
6. Virginia
7. Kansas
8. Syracuse
9. Louisville
10. Creighton
11. Wisconsin
12. San Diego St.
13. Michigan
14. North Carolina
15. Iowa St.
16. Cincinnati
17. SMU
18. Michigan St.
19. Iowa
20. Ohio St.
21. UCLA
22. Kentucky
23. Connecticut
24. Pittsburgh
25. VCU

Others of Local Interest
26. Oklahoma
28. Saint Louis
29. Oklahoma St.
33. Kansas St.
34. Texas
35. Tennessee
42. Missouri
43. Baylor

Petro's AP College Basketball Top 25 Ballot - Feb 24

Feb 24, 2014 -- 5:59am

By Soren Petro

1. Arizona
2. Florida
3. Syracuse
4. Wichita St.
5. Kansas
6. Duke
7. Louisville
8. Creighton
9. Villanova
10. Virginia
11. Kentucky
12. San Diego St.
13. Michigan St.
14. Wisconsin
15. Michigan
16. Saint Louis
17. Cincinnati
18. Iowa St.
19. Iowa
20. Ohio St.
21. North Carolina
22. UCLA
23. SMU
24. Memphis
25. Oklahoma

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