Author: Kaunain Taki

2020 JMS First Round Lottery Draft Preview

The 2020 JMS draft is only a day away! All players, full time and reserve, will be drafted to their teams, and the race for the coveted championship will begin. The draft order is set, so let’s get into a little prediction of how us writers think the first round will go down. But before we do, here’s a little recap of the captains and their co-captains thus far, in their draft order:

 

  1. Bucks – Captain: Ali Raza Nasser Assistant Captain: Imran Nasser
  2. Owls – Captain: Minhal Jaffer Assistant Captain: Mikael Ratansi
  3. Eagles – Captain: Ali Manek Assiatant Captain – Umair Ali
  4. Falcons – Captain: Ali Reza Merali Assistant Captain: Noor Zia
  5. Tigers – Captain: Vick Vij Assistant Captain: Ali Zia
  6. Lions – Captain: Asad Hussain Assistant Captain: Zane Hussain
  7. Wolves: Captain: Imran Virji Assistant Captain: Aadil Jaffer

 

 

 

 

First Pick – Bucks: The Smash Bros, Ali Raza Nasser & Imran Nasser will kick off the draft lottery with the first overall pick. Question is, what direction will they go? Will they look to go with familiarity and consistency of a Maysum Jaffer or Kabir Molu? Or add a three-headed monster with the likes of Abbasali Kermalli or Mahmood Kara? Will the player who is drafted first overall be able to live up to the hype? These guys are shrewd operators, so buckle up!

Prediction: Maysum Jaffer

 

 Second Pick – Owls: Championship pedigree! Captain Minhal Jaffer and Assistant Captain Mikael Ratansi have a proven track record coming through in big games, question is will they be able to do it now as Captains? With the second overall pick, it will be interesting to see what direction they go. They are set at Pitcher and Shortstop, so they might lean towards a steady bat who can anchor the outfield.

Prediction: Kabir Molu

 

Third Pick – Eagles: After a disappointing 2019 season, Captain Ali Manek is planning his revenge tour. Last season’s MVP Umair Ali fell from the heavens into the Eagles lap during the Assistant Captain’s draft. Manek and the Eagles are set up beautifully picking in the three hole of the first round. Will they take the best player available? Or once again go completely off the board with the third overall pick?

Prediction: Yasser Malik

 

Fourth Pick –  Falcons: Back as Captain, Ali Reza Merali is looking to regain his crown. After solidifying last season’s Rookie of the Year Noor Zia as his Assistant Captain, there are many ways he can attack the fourth overall pick. If history is any indication, he will take a proven veteran player in the first round. Likely a strong two-way player who can play all over the field and bring balance to the lineup.

Prediction: Mahmood Kara

 

Fifth Pick – Tigers: Captain Vick Vij plunged on top rookie prospect Ali Zia as his Assistant  Captain. Over the last few seasons, Vick has built his team around a strong veteran experience, however he might be changing his strategy this season. We still feel Mahmood Kara or Shelly Vij will be selected at the five spot IF they are still available, but Vik might also be looking to inject more youth at the top of the draft with the likes of Yasser Malik, Maysum Jaffer or Mikhail Mapp.

Prediction: Shelly Vij

 

Sixth Pick – Lions: Back as captains of the Lions are Asad Hussain & Zane Hussain. Last time we saw them leading the Lions in 2018, they bolstered one of the deepest lineup in JMS history. Development and winning is the main focus for these legendary captains. Look for them to maybe go off the board with the sixth overall pick based off breakout potential.

Prediction: Mikhail Mapp

 

Seventh Pick – Wolves: Last season’s JMS Champions will pick  in the final 7th spot in this year’s draft lottery. Skill, depth, grit, and dedication is how Captain Imran Virji likes his players. This was evident when he chose Aadil Jaffer as his Assistant Captain. There will still be some really good players left on the board when the Wolves are on the clock picking 7th. Depth is usually the Wolves strategy, and they are sitting pretty with back to back picks at the end of the first and beginning of the second rounds.  They have had the luxury of having Mik as a top end pitcher for previous seasons, so they might go after a pitcher right out of the gates.

Prediction: Hussein Allidina or Riaz Champsi

Agree or disagree with our predictions? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Unsung Heroes (2019 Season)

By: Kaunain Taki

Unsung?

Unheralded?

Underrated?

Or simply unknown?

These players weren’t the biggest, the fastest, the tallest, the strongest, or the most skilled. However, they maximized their talent to leave an indelible mark on their teams this year.

Each JMS team is loaded with its share of star players, but it’s also filled with players who do their jobs and don’t get notoriety or attention many of them deserve. Here is a list of some of the Unsung Heroes for every team this season:

Eagles

Hasanain Panju

I could make a case for him as dark horse MVP candidate. He has certainly been the Eagles MVP all year, shouldering a lot of the load since Asad Hussain went down with injury. He leads the team in hits and batting average, while finishing second in RBIs and SLG. An underrated defensive player, HP has been plugged all over the infield. He continues to push away Father Time and if the Eagles win it all he will be a huge reason why.

Shane Worthington

He got off to a rough start this season. In his first 7 games, he went 4 for 21 with 4 strikeouts. Since the trade deadline he has been the hottest hitter in the league going 16 for his last 20, finishing tied for third on the Eagles with 11 RBIs. Shane has been utilized all over the infield defensively due to team injuries. A resurgence year for the JMS veteran who had a disappointing 2018 campaign and one of the key reasons the Eagles have stayed afloat since Asad’s injury.

Tigers

Ray Noormohamed

The Tigers found a gem with their late 8th selection in this year’s draft. Ray put his 2018 struggles behind him in a big way with a bounce back 2019 season. Playing in 10 games, he finished top 4 on his team in RBIs, SLG, and OBP. He has provided solid protection in the middle of the Tigers lineup, batting behind star players Abbasali Kermalli and Vick Vij. His hot bat has played a huge role in the Tigers contending for a title.

Shelly Vij

Without Captain Vick Vij in Week 2, Tigers went 2-0 and he was player of the week. Likely runs away with Rookie of the Year Award if not for Noor Zia. He leads his team with 25 hits and 19 runs scored, while finishing second on a loaded Tigers lineup with 19 RBIs. The only player on his team to play all 14 games this season, its hard to imagine the Tigers are elite contenders without Shelly having a breakout rookie campaign.

Falcons

Hussein Allidina

It was almost impossible for him to duplicate last years performance on the mound, but he still put up quality numbers for a Falcons team who never could put together a consistent defensive line-up behind him. His 0.738 strike percentage was highest of his career and he finished second in the league with 30 strikeouts. He was drafted for his pitching, but he also finished with a respectable .410 AVG/.439 OBP/.538 SLG hitting-line over 12 games. The Falcons lost a lot of close games in the regular season and he could have easily been in contention for Pitcher of the Year again if not for some bad luck.

Salim Champsi

After getting his feet wet the first half of the season, Salim went on a tear towards the end of the season going 7 for 12 in his final 4 games with a home run, triple, double and 4 RBIs. He also appeared in all 14 games for a Falcons team that desperately needed depth at the bottom of their batting lineup. I can see him being drafted a little earlier next year by a team looking for a committed player on the rise.

Bucks

Hisham Ali

The rookie phenom started off the season at the bottom of the batting order and played the first half of the season at second base. Now he finds himself in contention for a Gold Glove at shortstop and is now positioned in the middle of the lineup. Hard to imagine how the Bucks infield would look without Hisham emerging. He has played in all but one game this season and after a slow start at the plate he finished his Rookie campaign slashing a respectable .459 AVG/.487 OBP/.459 SLG. The sky is the limit for him going forward and one of the steals of the draft.

Munir Nasser

In 2018; he appeared in all but one game, took home a Gold Glove at Catcher and a played a crucial role in the Bucks capturing a Championship. In 2019; he is looking to win back to back Gold Gloves and has nearly doubled last season’s hitting totals. Munir Uncle has given the Bucks a consistent bat at the bottom of the order and has appeared in all 14 games for a Bucks team that has lacked full-time participation. He always seems to come through on both sides of the ball. What more can you ask for?

Wolves

Aadil Jaffer

What a monster season he has put together. A career year, finishing the season with a ridiculous .542 AVG/.938 SLG. Leads a star-studded Wolves team with 25 RBIs and tied for second on the team with 3 home runs. He is the tone setter, a glue guy for the Wolves and arguably the best left fielder in the league. Next year, Captains will seriously have to consider drafting him in the first round as a cornerstone player.

Tanveer Husnani

Tanveer has provided consistency to the Wolves lineup slashing a steady .500 AVG/.515 OBP/.500 SLG, while appearing in 12 games.  He has been extremely reliable in the outfield and has made some important catches in big moments this season. Another draft steal for Captain Imran Virji and one of the more under-appreciated right fielders in the league.

Owls

Khizer Jamal

A strong rookie campaign for the athletic third basemen. Usually batting in the top of the order, he has found ways to get on base with stout .447 AVG/.533 OBP/.526 SLG while drawing 7 walks. This has benefited Noor Zia in a big way as he is a dangerous hitter with runners in scoring position. Captain Kumail Meghani is starting to show his ability to scout new talent and Khizer has been an underrated cog on a talented Owls team.

Imran Merali

Finished second on the team with 17 RBIs and third on the team with 19 Hits, while appearing in all 14 games this season. Only struck out twice this year after 7 strikeouts in 2018. Imran has been a consistent contributor in the middle of the Owls lineup. He is a streaky hitter and has shown he is one of the more under-appreciated power hitters in the league.

Lions

Abbas Nasser

After a disappointing 2018 campaign as Captain of the Falcons, Abbas has had a coming out party this year with career highs across the board. Since his trade from the Eagles to the Lions, he’s been one of the hottest hitters in the league with an absurd .727 AVG/.760 OBP/1.091 slash-line in 8 games with his new team. He has also helped solidified the Lions defensive at second base beside star shortstop Imran Nasser.

Abbas Allidina

I could easily make a case for him to be an MVP candidate. Abbas has been lights out on the mound since his trade to the Lions, winning his last 6 starts which ties him for the league lead. His numbers at the plate are just as impressive as he finished the regular season with a surreal .605 AVG/.638 OBP/.907 SLG and tied for the team lead with 30 RBI’s. A character player with high slo-pitch IQ and under-appreciated leadership qualities, he has been one of the main catalyst for the Lions second half surge.

 

Player Stock Market

By Kaunain Taki

The 2019 Ramadan Tournament was a huge success. Thank you to all the participants who came to play, regardless of the cold or wet conditions. Our league continues to grow thanks to your commitment as players. A huge shout out to all the organizers/volunteers who made this tournament possible, along with our Triple Sponsors

The tournament also gave us an opportunity to see which players stock went up or down after this tournament leading into the 2019 season.

Stock Up

Noor Zia, Medina Owls

Not many people knew what to expect after Noor was selected as the Assistant Captain to Kumail Meghani and the Medina Owls. But he certainly seems like a surefire blue-chip stock. After this Ramadhan tournament, our expectations for him are now sky high. He finished top 3 in Hits, RBI’s, SLG, OBP, AVG, and Runs scored while blistering shots to all parts of the field. He will also be in contention for a Gold Glove at Shortstop with his elite range and electrifying arm. The Owls look like they might just have the most dynamic duo in the league with Noor and Kumail as the anchors of an Owl’s team looking to make serious run at the championship.

Arif Hirji, Mashad Bucks

After a strong last half of the 2018 season after being traded to the Wolves, Arif Hirji continued his surge after leading the Ramadan Tournament in batting average and hits. He brings proven leadership, high slo-pitch IQ, and a Gold Glove at first base. He did have some nagging injuries he played through in last year’s playoffs, but the added rest in the off-season seems to have served him well. His stock continues to climb.

Irfaan Jaffer, Mecca Wolves

An intriguing prospect, Irfaan had a very strong Ramadan Tournament and looks hungry to challenge for Rookie of the Year. He is a very good athlete, coachable, and adaptable. His hitting and fielding potential were on full display and he might have been the biggest surprise of the tournament. Look for him to be one of the steals of the draft.

Nabeel Naqvi, Mecca Wolves

Based off stats and the eye test, it’s clear Nabeel is blossoming into one of the most consistent hitters in the league. He had a very strong 2018 campaign, but you could tell he is ready to take another step forward after his impressive performance in the Ramadan Tournament. His ability to hit line drives will be key for the Wolves as the team is built on speed as well. Look for him to be a key contributor to a championship run.

Abbasali Kermalli, Qum Tigers

After a disappointing season last year, Abbasali Kermalli looks like a prime bounce back candidate this season. He had an impressive Ramadan Tournament, showing power to all parts of the field. He looks leaner, faster and stronger; it will be interesting to see if he can carry this momentum into the season. If he does, the Tigers have all the makings of a scary heart of the order lineup with Vick Vij, Mahmood Kara, & Abbasali Kermali as three-headed monster leading the offense.

Abbas Mohamedali, Samarra Eagles

His stock continues to climb every year. His hitting numbers across the board have all increased YoY. His confidence at the plate is evident, which is attributed to his hard work during and after every season. If he can put together another solid campaign and build off last season’s numbers, he has the potential to be one of the steals of the draft. Anything he can provide on defense is a bonus.

Hasnainali Walli, Kadhmain Falcons

Traded to the Falcons in March, Hasnainali is a very strong two-way player on a loaded Falcons teams. His hitting numbers across the board also continue to increase every season and he has shown a strong ability to leadoff. Look for him to also be a key contributor in what might be the best outfield in the league.

Stock Down

Bobby Bharwani, Qum Tigers

Bobby had his ups and downs in this years Ramadan Tournament. Last years 2018 Gold Glove second basemen did not play much defense and when he did he looked sluggish. He struck out an uncharacteristic 3 times, while only registering one extra base hit. He has been dealing with a chronic back injury, but it could also be a lack of confidence at the plate as well. As of now his arrow is pointing down, but he could easily shut this writer up with a strong week 1 performance.

Imtiyaz Kara, Najaf Lions

It’s hard to knock a future JMS Hall of Famer, but he did have a disappointing Ramadan Tournament by his standards. He struggled making solid contact throughout the Tournament but was still very patient at the plate drawing 5 BB’s. He will be a tremendous asset to the Lions with his high slo-pitch IQ and leadership.  But we must ask ourselves, is father time catching up to him? Or was this just a case of Rojo Lageyche and he returns to vintage form this season?

Moe Abdalla, Qum Tigers

His hitting numbers across the board dropped drastically last season, which carried over into this year’s Ramadan Tournament. His offensive woes have also seemed to have affected his fielding. A fresh start with the Tigers might help him return to his 2017 season form. As of right now, we believe his stock is down until he proves otherwise.