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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.