(GAME DATE — Sep.9, 2019) — The Dallas Deputies have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, and will likely finish the 2019 season in last place for the sixth year in a row. But, despite the disappointing showing, the team’s proponents and front office remain hopeful for a big turnaround in the near future.
They did not crash to the depths of their 2014 season, when they finished that 82-game schedule with a paltry 21-61 (.256) record, instead cruising to a 55-87 (.387) showing so far this year, and on track to have their 4th best all-time finish.
Their division, the Metro League East, was particularly challenging this season, with the St Pete’s Admirals dominating the division since relocating from Anchorage after 2017.
Dallas was roughed up by the Admirals, going 4-13 so far against the division dominators in the current season. Their schedule took them to West division powerhouse Nevada numerous times as well, and they are 3-11 against the Nevada Speeders in 2019.
But the Deputies have some bright spots, such as their 10-7 record against Norfolk, and 7-9 record against both Miami and Philly, all of whom they faced frequently as East division opponents. Had the Admirals been out of the mix, the East division race could have been a lot tighter.
One important area where the Deps have an advantage over many of their opponents in their bullpen, which has so far posted a strong 4.29 ERA, ranking 3rd in the ML. Defensively, they have been solid as well. In May, they had one a solid month where they were nearly even, going 13-15, and two months later went 12-14 through July.
At the end of this season, they will have turned one of their largest profits ever, tracking for about a $15 million profit. They have unloaded hefty salaries, cutting their payroll down to the lowest in the Bull League, at under $59 million. Financially, this places the team in an enviable position to make some big-ticket off-season free agent acquisitions, of the type that have practically turned around teams like Nevada and California.
Finally, the team already has the top ranked minor league system in baseball, headed by #3 prospect CF John Heart, and #4 prospect, CF Georges Henri, both of whom are seen as potential game changers in the league. Heart spent the year in AA, tearing it up with a .286 average, 16 homers, and 28 stolen bases in 97 games, making the top 10 in nearly every batting stat category.
Dallas is looking solid for 2020, especially in Heart makes the cut in spring and the team is able to pick up some key starting pitching this off-season. This could be their last time finishing in last for a long while.