The Young Guns
2012 COWL Preview
AKA : Nick Rinehart, Taylor Wallingford, Hunter Bivens, Shane Farley and Joe Rhodes
Inside the Numbers
League and Place: National - NA due to partial season
Post Season Record: Defeated by Redlegs 2-0 in round 1
Win/Loss Record: 2-6 (2-4 regular season)
*Pythagorean Record: 3-5
Win/Loss vs. teams above .500: 2-6
Win/Loss vs. teams below .500: 0-0
Win/Loss games decided by < 5 runs 2-2
Win/Loss in last 10 games : 3-7
Avg. Runs scored in games won: 15.0
Avg. Runs scored in games lost: 10.2
Avg. Runs scored in all games: 10.7 (3rd)
Avg. Runs allowed in all games: 14.5 (8th)
Homerun Total: 48 (3rd)
Avg. Homeruns per game: 6.0 (3rd)
Runs For/Against: 85/116
Homerun Leader: Taylor Wallingford (14)
RBI Leader: Taylor Wallingford (28)
2011 Season Recap
As the clock was steadily approaching midnight during the COWL 2011 regular season, the
powers that be (Jerry) were in desperate need of a team to fill the vacancy in the American League
left by Blade Sharp’s disappearance.
So came about the entrance of the Young Guns. Armed with the most youthful lineup in the
league (in direct contrast to the Pleasant Valley Boys), the Young Guns took to the field in week 7
for the first time against the American League Leading Redlegs.
After dropping their inaugural game, the Young Guns bounced back in game two with a shocking
20 run explosion led by Taylor Wallingford’s jaw-dropping 7 HR’s. The Young Guns would fall in game
three despite another spirited effort from Wallingford (4 HR’s).
The next series would feature three well-contested games between the Young Guns and a
seasoned Pleasant Valley Boys squad. The Young Guns would again manage to take one of three in the
series leading them into the playoffs as a fourth seed with a 2-4 record.
Entering the playoffs as a four seed meant that the Young Guns would get a rematch with the Redlegs.
Already the greenest team in the league, the Young guns would have to play their third ever series without
the big bat that Taylor Wallingford brought to the table.
Heading into this series the commissioning team picked this series as the Upset special, fairly
convinced that the Young Guns could defeat the Redlegs in a major upset.
However, it was not to be. Despite 5 HRs from Shane Farley, Ronnie Anderson and the Redlegs
won the series 2 games to none, never trailing in a game.
The Young Guns lived up to their name in 2011, with youthful athleticism and cannon-powered offense.
Never playing a series against a team below .500, they proved that they will be a handful with a full season
under their belts.
2012 Season Preview
Over the next two sections I will review what appear to be the Young Guns strengths, as well as what
will be required of them if they wish to take the next step in 2012.
standard for rookies with numbers like these. In only his second career game he dropped 7 HRs vs. the
Redlegs. Let’s calculate here for a minute. Each full-time team in the league played between 27-36 games.
If you were to balloon Wallingford’s numbers out to a 27 game season (which was the minimum) with this
same consistency, he would be in the ballpark of 60 HRs and 120 RBIs.
I know you can’t generalize things and just assume that he would stick to that pace, but those numbers aren’t
anything to bat an eyelash at, and a guy can dream, can’t he? Wallingford will be a hitter to watch in 2012.
That level of production would have placed Taylor at #3 in both the HR and RBI categories for the league.
league’s 3rd best offense with 10.7 runs p/g. That’s more than PVB and league runner-up, The U. This
team also managed to belt 48 HRs which put them squarely in 3rd for average HRs p/g. With Nick Rinehart
and Shane Farley both slamming 10 HRs of their own, it is clear that there is no shortage of power on this
ball club. We could be looking at a team of three 30 home run bombers by the end of 2012, placing the
Young Guns in rarified air with the artists formerly known as GDE and 2 time COWL World Series champs
the Legends. Scary territory indeed.
generally happens from year 1 to year 2. As the Young Guns were still learning the rules in their partial
year 1, some of this learning curve will likely still be present in year 2. But, we expect they will adapt
quickly and migrate rapidly from "Gee, this is neat" to "Just Win Baby" !
Guns are in solid position to hit both for power and average. All fields at Legends park are very favorable to
lefty's, and with only 45 feet to 1st and that extra 2 step head-start, getting a lefty out even with Pitcher's Hand
can be a Gillette 'close shave.'
new and less experienced teams. This should dramatically improve their chances to be competitive, as per
league tradition both Conference regular season champion Redlegs and Divsional Playoff champion The U
have been promoted to the National League. Thus, eliminating the top 2 finishing teams from the American
league and opening a huge opportunity for a new team to jump in and fill the power void.
Essentials for a Young Gun Championship Run
Wallingford, Shane Farley, Nick Rinehart, Hunter Bivens, and Joe Rhodes in 2012. Though all the players’
roles are a little cloudy right now, we were able to clarify that Hunter Bivens will be the #1 guy in the Young
Guns rotation this year.
most important detail: these guys were all Wiffle ball rookies last year. They competed with good teams in
three series’ and managed to hold their own despite limited experience. The Young Guns could provide one
of the most intriguing storylines in 2012 if they can follow up with a strong sophomore campaign. Year 2 will
give us a much better perception into how good these kids are. Potential dark horse or a one-trick pony?
We shall see. Remember The Paints ? Young, but Deadly.
bat last season, the statistics show that there is a glaring weakness in their defense. This group of newcomers
conceded nearly 15 runs per game in 2012, which ranked dead last in the entire COWL. There is no question
that this played the largest role in the six losses they acquired.
Playing good defense in this league, much like in baseball, means limiting home runs, using cut offs to limit extra
bases, and not giving up extra outs on routine plays. These three components will decide most if not all games.
The Young Guns have to tighten up on defense to be competitive; otherwise we will be seeing NBA scores from
them all year. (West Coast NBA scores at that !)
As expected with a new team like the Young Guns, there are a lot more questions than answers at this juncture.
We have seen a small sample of this team’s potential, and can recognize that they have the tools to play with anyone.
The sluggers on this team are a match up problem because home runs are crucial in this game.
League Commissioner Jerry Driggs has even gone as far as guaranteeing Guns’ slugger Taylor Wallingford as
a top 5 HR hitter and run producer in 2012, IF he plays regularly. The expectation and hype will be swirling, and if
these predictions hold true the 2012 campaign could be a coming out party for this crew of young Wiffle ballers.
Editors Notes are emphasized in italics.
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