Get excited and get ready for the Fifth Anniversary of Jaffari Masumeen Softball League!
Spring Training is well under way and the all new JMS League Assistant Draft Lottery has taken place!
This preview will look at what it takes to be an assistant captain and take some guesses as to who will be the best pick for each team.
In case you missed it, here is the draft order along with the team captains:
- Eagles – Ali Manek
- Lions – Miqdad Jaffer
- Falcons – Umair Ali
- Wolves – Imran Virji
- Bucks – Ali Raza Nasser
- Owls – Kumail Meghani
- Tigers – Vick Vij
One important key to note this year is that the player draft lottery (Tuesday, February 26, 2019 @ 9PM – Private to Captains only) odds will be determined by the combined salary of the captain and assistant captain. The tandem with the lowest combined salary gets the best chance to get their pick of where they want to draft. Will this factor into their decisions? While JMS does not post salaries, you can do your best to speculate.
Also, please remember to visit our sponsors websites. Thanks to them and the volunteers who spend countless hours in making sure we all have a great time!
The question you are all probably asking is, “What does it take to be an assistant captain?” A key difference for this year is that assistant captains are not bound to any responsibilities. Unlike previous two and three-captain systems, assistant captains can be traded. So really, while an assistant captain this year is a glorified first round pick, it can be very important to have a strong first pick that can help mould the rest of the team. Either that, or a captain can just stockpile the best available talent so no one else can get them!
Here are some traits that we think should go into the selection of the assistant captain:
The first thing that any captain is looking for from their assistant captain is trust. The assistant captain will be entrusted with bouncing key ideas for the draft, positions, and batting lineup. These are very important factors to selecting an all-star roster for the upcoming season.
Some of the captains are extremely organized, whereas others need a bit of help sorting things out. An important quality of an assistant captain is being organized enough to help get practices scheduled and booked, have lineup cards done well in advance of the Sunday games, and make sure not to forget the bases.
In prior years, some captains would team up with the best player they could get their hands on just to keep them off the draft board. The holder of the first pick in the Assistant Captains draft might not have the first pick in the player draft, so drafting good talent is going to be key.
Some sports pundits say that if you’ve been there before, it’s a lot easier the next time around. There are some things one can only learn by going through it. Having a former captain to lean on is not necessarily a bad thing.
One theme that has always been maintained throughout the years in JMS is that the family BBQs need to remain friendly. Passing over a brother or cousin could hurt the family dynamic. It helps if you have an MVP caliber brother, but some picks happen just so you don’t get a phone call from your grandmother.
In the next section, we shall take a look at a few players who check off these boxes and could be key contributors as assistant captains.
Can’t Miss Picks
Asad Hussain – The perfect blend of skill, experience, leadership, and organization. With this being the first draft that he is not a captain, look for Asad to not be available at the player draft.
Ali Merali – A great leader, skill, championship pedigree, and the experience of being a JMS captain for multiple years, Ali is definitely going to be off the board.
Riaz Champsi – Riaz has led multiple teams in various sports to championships but has yet to taste JMS victory. With a few seasons under his belt and a key eye for talent, look for Riaz to be a great assistant as well as one of the top pitchers in the league.
Nadim Rahemtulla – Nadim has great skill in setting defences and hitting open spots with his bat. His injury history puts him at a bit of a risk but he can definitely be a great asset as an assistant captain.
Hussein Allidina – As another former captain, Hussein has the experience to help run a team. In addition to that, his position versatility will be highly sought after. Look for a captain to take a chance on someone who should thrive without the official captain pressure.
Imtiyaz Kara – No matter what team Imtiyaz has played on he has always been looked to as a leader. While not as quick as he used to be, his cool demeanour and experience would be a welcome addition as an assistant captain.
Abbasali Kermalli – With his skill level in decline the last two years, Abbasali is definitely a dark horse to be picked up as an assistant captain. He has experience running a team, very organized, and can impart his wisdom on younger hitters.
Imran Nasser – Another candidate with previous captain experience, Imran can definitely add speed and some pop in from his bat to the leadership core of a team. The big question will be if he can contribute on a team that doesn’t have his brother on it. Nasser family BBQs will be a lot more interesting if Imran does not get drafted onto the Bucks.
Bobby Bharwani – Bobby has plenty of experience and a keen eye for the game. He proved last year that he still has game left in the tank. His organization and positive attitude can definitely add to the leadership core of any team.
Irfahn Khimji – While always eager to motivate his team, Irfahn has yet to prove he can perform in the playoffs. His athleticism, skill, and constant analyzation of lineups and defensive matchups can be helpful if he can handle the grind of the 14 game season. Whatever team drafts him should give him the “Kawhi” treatment.
First Pick: Eagles – Ali Manek
After finally being the first overall pick last year, Ali Manek is back as captain of the Eagles. Basking in the glory of winning this draft, some are calling foul play. Manek brings skill, grit, and experience as one of the best players in the league. With a swagger that’s bordering on an ego problem, this preview thinks Manek will pick himself first overall! However, since that’s not allowed we think he will go with the safest no-brainer in the history of JMS.
Prediction: Asad Hussain
Lions – Miqdad Jaffer
After taking a hit last year by not being drafted first, Miqdad Jaffer had a rough start to the season. By moving to captain he no longer has to worry about where he will be drafted. With that, Jaffer already has skill, organization, and the knowledge of the game that it takes to be an excellent tactician. Look for him to take the second no-brainer of the draft.
Prediction: Ali Merali
Falcons – Umair Ali
Umair brings power and grit in his second year as captain of a team. However, being a quiet leader, look for him to draft an assistant captain that can motivate a team to victory.
Prediction: Abbasali Kermalli
Wolves – Imran Virji
Imran’s athleticism, leadership, and experience as part of the leadership core of previous championship teams allows him to take an alternative approach to picking his assistant captain. Look for Virji to be willing to use his pick on someone with some additional championship pedigree.
Prediction: Imran Nasser
Bucks – Ali Raza Nasser
Coming off his second championship, Ali Raza Nasser has no problem being the sole captain of a team. When asked to comment on his thoughts of a repeat, Nasser was unable to as he has gone all the way to Africa to channel his inner Masai Ujiri. Look for Nasser to use this positional advantage on a pitcher.
Prediction: Riaz Champsi
Owls – Kumail Meghani
Once (self) dubbed as too good for JMS, Kumail Meghani got a taste of just how competitive this league is after captaining the Owls last year. When asked to comment on his draft strategy he said, “The only surefire way to championship in softball is a strong catcher.” Therefore, look for Meghani to shore up by drafting someone with experience and vision of the game.
Prediction: Imtiyaz Kara
Tigers – Vick Vij
With the final pick and one of the biggest power bats in the league, Vick Vij’s draft record shows he likes to pick the players he knows well. While this could be advantageous for chemistry and the family BBQ, history has shown this has not translated well on the field.
Prediction: Bobby Bharwani
Agree with our picks? Who do you think each captain will pick? Get in on the chat by commenting below.