To end the season, we are examining the 2nd and 3rd rounds of the JMS 2017 Draft.
The Bucks came into the season hot off the trade market that many thought on paper put them ahead of the pack and landed them one extra 2nd/3rd round pick. However, flipping 1st and 3rd round picks in both cases have not worked out for them at all. Abbasali Kermalli’s spiral to insignificance has been well documented this season but as Imtiyaz Kara has flourished with the Lions, the same cannot be said for trade partner Damien Ramnauth. Defensively, he has found it hard to find a home and has moved around both infield and outfield. He even dabbled into pitching where he has a 17.78 ERA. However, with a .409 Average places him 11th on the Bucks.
With their own 13th pick, the Bucks banked on a strong pre-draft performance in Sarfaraz Karmali and while he has been a solid pitcher, he has been the least effective offensive player on the Bucks. His average of .353 has him at the bottom of the Bucks roster but with a potent offensive team, he wasn’t needed for that. His pitching record of 5-2 has him 1 win shy of the league lead. He’s tied for 1st in Strikeouts and has a respectable 3.28 WHIP. His 7 Home Runs allowed is solid and minus 4 in one game from Ali Manek, he would be leading the league in this category for a pitcher with nearly 40 innings of work.
Irfahn Khimji was picked up by the Falcons to play the infield however after acquiring Ali Manek, getting Hussain Habib from the Bucks already packed outfield gave the Bucks one of the biggest steals of the season. 2nd in the league and leading the Bucks in RBIs (15) and Doubles (7), Khimji is 1st or 2nd in all major offensive categories for the team and amongst the top 7 in the league in all major offensive categories. He has proven to be a key cog in the Bucks offensive that currently leads the league with 113 runs scored and they will finish 2nd in the standing this season. Defensively he has proven to be versatile as he has moved around the field and played strong defensive around the field. At 12th overall, he is easily the best draft pick of 2017.
11 – Eagles – Hussein Allidina
The Eagles eventually lost their 3rd round pick in the trade that brought Miqdad Jaffer to reunite with his brothers. So with only one pick in the 2nd and 3rd round, they went with Hussein Allidina. With Allidina representing both picks, he has not lived up to the expectations. Although he has been a solid 1st baseman, at that part of the draft, teams are looking for impact bats or strong pitching – neither of which Allidina has provided the Eagles. With only 2 wins on the season, there are many fingers to be pointed however a lot of them are at #11 overall. His .385 Average and .407 OBP are 7th and 9th on the Eagles. However, the predictions have all been that the Eagles will be playoff ready and going 2-5 in his last two games, maybe Hussein is climbing back up to prove he was a worthy investment in the 2nd round.
Going into the last week of the season, the Tigers are looking to secure 3rd place – a feat that was unthinkable a few weeks ago as they struggled out of the gate. #7 draft pick Nadim Rahemtulla leads the team with a .619 Average and is 2nd on the team in Hits (13), OBP (.652) and Slugging (.762). Defensively he has always proven to have a strong glove at Shortstop and this season has been no different.
Mehdi Nasser on the other hand drafted at 18th overall is being considered a draft bust. He’s only got 7-at-bats this season and while it’s clear that when he is there he is good, but because he isn’t, he’s just isn’t contributing. While the Tigers can’t blame an absentee for their start to the season, if he returns to form for the playoffs, nothing else to this point will matter. This week the Tigers need to tie or win to secure their 3rd place finish.
Many assumed that Mikael Ratansi was drafted as a pitcher however that was a trick up the sleeves of the Wolves captains. When he started the season at shortstop, there were a lot of questions and he delivered. Defensively he was solid and the Wolves picked up former Ramadan Tournament MVP Aman Nasser to pitch so Ratansi was able to settle in. However, the Wolves quickly spiraled towards the basement of the league in some part to Ratansi’s .407 average and .467 OBP. With Aman and Ali Merali not getting the job done pitching, they have brought in Ratansi to finish off the season so the book is still out on the decision to take Ratansi at 10th.
Muzammil Jaffer was a surprising choice as a rookie to go 15th however he has proven to be a solid pick at that spot. His power was a total unknown but he is tied for the team lead in Home Runs (3) and is in the top 5 of each offensive category. His spot at Rover has proven to be perfect for him as he’s taken away a lot of base hits from players with stellar defense in a very potent defensive outfield. Safe to say he was a steal at 15th overall.
The Falcons didn’t draft either of their 2nd or 3rd round picks but a series of trades landed them two solid contributors. The Habib/Khimji trade made a lot of sense for both clubs. Habib’s average is too low for someone drafted so high (.400), but he has played some solid defence all season as he and Chagani quarterback the outfield – and he did show his power with a no-doubter home run two weeks ago. He is also 2nd in the league in triples (2) this season. If he has found his swing going into the playoffs, this pickup could be vital for the Falcons. Salim Chagani came over
Salim Chagani came over in to help balance out the widely regarded, lopsided trade involving Ali Manek and Miqdad Jaffer. Salim has been a great defensive player for the team, however, his .333 average and .481 OBP has been a disappointment for a guy who many are saying was drafted based on how well he dresses as opposed to how well he plays. Despite his low OBP, he’s still batting in the heart of the order and has the opportunity in the next week to prove that his pickup at #14 was well warranted. The Falcons end the season as the last obstacle for the Lions to finish the season with a perfect record. We expect them to leave it all on the line this week as a victory and a Tigers loss would put the Falcons in 3rd place.
Clearly, with a chip on his shoulder, Imtiyaz Kara has been playing like a man possessed this season. One of the big reasons the Lions remain undefeated going into the last week of the season. He currently leads the league in average with .750 and an .OBP of an insane .846. But despite the crazy OBP and average, he is still 3rd on the Lions in runs scored and RBI’s leaving no question as to why the Lions have been so dominating. Defensively, he has regressed from his Gold Glove days and shifted to 2nd base this season where his ability to manage the infield and outfield is still in full effect.
Riaz Champsi getting picked at 9th overall surprised a lot of onlookers but with a perfect season in tow, the Lions clearly knew what they were doing. Solidifying pitching in the early rounds has proven to be a tremendous asset at Champsi leads the league with a 6-0 record, 10 strikeouts and a WHIP of 2.32. But the biggest stat is his 16 walks in over 38 innings pitched which is by far the lowest walk ratio in the league this season. Offensively he is a liability and but, because he like so many other Lions, is not afraid to “not” swing the bat in men’s recreational softball, his OBP is respectable at .600. However, his grade comes from his pitching and the Lions seem to have done everything right.