Panning for Gold: Yellowstone Magic Dream Team

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By: Nate

I figured I would give the performance of Yellowstone Magic over the past two eras a look-see and report back with what I’d say is our All-Star Roster. I am happy to report that Magic is… OK! I’m also pleasantly surprised to report that we’ve had more than just one early Discipline Era player represented— Wow!

But first, the rules:

1. Team sizes will be standard. 9 in the Lineup and 5 in the Pitching Rotation. Players cannot be considered Elsewhere or Shelled.
2. The Selection must represent a single season played with that team.
3. The player must have played at least one full season with that team.
4. A player can only be selected once across all 14 slots.
5. No Replicas are allowed.

Without further ado, let’s look at who I’ve picked for my first four Lineup players.

Washer Barajas (S4) — OBP .367, BA .332, 135 H (6 2B, 7 3B, 17 HR)
Bonk Jokes (S12) — OBP .360, BA .299
Francisco Preston (S4) — OBP .380, 21 HR, 21 SB, SLG .618
Bevan Wise (S17) — BA .306, SLG .600, OBP .332

This is almost a carbon copy of Magic’s Lineup for like… thirteen seasons. Unfortunately, Sutton didn’t make the cut— a lack of optimal performance and suffering from anaphylactic shock means that they just couldn’t perform up to snuff. Had great base-stealing though. And I’d like to give a special shoutout to Bevan Wise from Season 24, who only managed to get back onto Lineup permanently after getting ping-ponged around while Magnified about… halfway through a season. They were also the strongest they’d ever been. What a shame.

OK! Moving on.

Tiana Wheeler (S16) — BA .313, 41 2B, 37 HR, BA/RISP .442
James Mora (S20) — BA .340, OBP .357, 300 TB
Ziwa Mueller (S23) — BA .251, RBI 143.30, 8 SH
Jesús Koch (S23) — BA .332, 24 3B, OPS .985

The next set of players looks oddly placed but please bear with me. I want Tiana in front of James to prevent them from stealing if they can’t manage to bring Tiana home, and a Magnified Ziwa comes up after to hit a triple for the yummy 4x Magnified Runs. Ziwa is tragically “not that good.” But what Ziwa does have is a full season of play while Magnified as a Batter on Magic, and that’s literally good enough to make up for the otherwise poor performance. Also, Jesús is just great. They get to hang out with Bevan on the “Triples Hit Career Leaderboard,” and the only reason Bevan couldn’t catch up was that they were pitching for three seasons.

Last but not least…

Oscar Dollie (S13) — .313 BA, 13 3B, 19 HR, .944 OPS

Oscar Dollie is like the fear factor. The guy at the end of a Lineup with a bat that has probably been used to commit a crime. Oscar Dollie has never had a chance to dominate performance charts. Oscar hits for the fences, cannot be stopped when it gets going, and genuinely is probably the most powerful player Magic ever had in the early days. But never was Oscar considered Idol-worthy. Probably because it’s bad form to idolize a demon, but also because of how few plate appearances the last player on a Lineup sees. Oscar is a sleeper hit. Oscar stays at the end because I’d like someone who’s good at cleaning up the bases, and I want someone who can get easily batted in by Washer.

For our pitching Rotation, our choices were far more limited. Easier for the first four, but it’s a bit worrisome when you realize how very little our pitching staff has changed over the seasons.

King Weatherman (S21) — Underhanded, ERA 0.45, -38 HR, 11.30 R, 1.321 WHIP
Cravel Gesundheit (S18) — ERA 3.34, 175 H / 83.1 R, WHIP .821
Inky Rutledge (S17) — ERA 2.45, WHIP .722, 5 SHO, 1.0 HR9
Curry Aliciakeyes (S18) — ERA 1.94. 8 SHO, 241 SO, 21 QS

… OK, yeah, that’s it! That’s all our pitchers. Nothing wrong here.

Curry maintains their 4th Pitcher position, due to the nature of Postseason brackets but I wanted to mention them first. Season 18 was probably their best performance ever. Though the Rotation was whittled down to four, Curry maintained an ERA of 1.94, literally the best they had ever performed. King with Underhanded is a no-brainer, as maintaining such a comically low ERA was mostly due to King’s unbelievable weakness to home runs, which became their greatest strength. Cravel was a late addition to the pitching crew but showed a lot of promise right out of the gate. Considering Magic spent 16 seasons “working on defense and pitching,” having Cravel was a great boost. Then again, it was at the cost of Inky Rutledge, so it really just became a “well, it’s not the worst possible result in the world!” situation.

And God. Inky Rutledge. You’ve got to be joking. We turned Inky Rutledge into an absolute monster. Inky played 20 games with us before ending up on the Shoe Thieves due to Jaylen Hotdogfingers playing Three Card Monte with our Rotation.

ERA of 2.45, with five shutouts, a Perfect Game versus the Millenials, and a WHIP of .722. Inky, if they stayed with us, probably could have carried us past the Postseason. But should’ve, would’ve, could’ve.

So as I was digging through our trove for pitchers we’ve had for a lengthy period of time, and their performance during, I was very sad to learn who we had to rely on. Our fifth pitcher, our “in case of emergencies” pitcher, our “if they get past Curry, we throw caution to the wind” pitcher…

Logan Rodriguez (S4) — 3.69 ERA, 1.283 WHIP, .47 W-L%, Can’t Keep Getting Away With It
Yeong-Ho Garcia (S3) — 3.69 ERA, 1.096 WHIP, .80 W-L%

Mercifully, and I do mean mercifully, our pinch pitcher is Yeong-Ho Garcia. The Original Yeong-Ho, I should clarify. After Alternates passed, Yeong-Ho became basically on-par with the rest of our pitching staff: Kind of bad. The fact that a Season 3 pitcher performed about on-par with Cravel in Season 18 with the height of Magic’s Defensive Power is an indication of how dire that Alternation was. Yeong-Ho Garcia the Original was a competent pitcher with plenty of room to grow, saw a positive WL ratio which was RARE back then for us, and given time would have been Magic’s second Ace. But we don’t live in that fairy tale.

Honestly, I’m just so absurdly thankful I didn’t have to put Logan on this team.

So to figure out if the Yellowstone Magic All-Star Roster is goo, we must ask ourselves: Are the mounds lowered? No? Then yeah, we’re the best damn team in the All-Star League. If they ARE lowered… Well.

At least they’ll have fun.

This article is part of the Dream Team Series, in which our writers look back on the Discipline and Expansion Eras to create the strongest version of our beloved teams. Read the first in the series here

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