JetSetters Have Established a Legacy of Flying High

Joey  Votto.jpg

Another season, another playoff appearance. It’s becoming routine for the JetSetters and General Manager David Kahn. They’ve qualified for postseason play the last three seasons and five of the league’s seven seasons.

The team’s playoff pedigree can’t be questioned but despite all of the postseason appearances, the JetSetters don’t have a championship. The team’s only championship appearance occurred in 2011, when they lost to the Lower Haighters.

Veteran first baseman Joey Votto is the cornerstone of the franchise. He was chosen in the third round in the league’s 2010 draft. Young second baseman D.J. LeMahieu and outfielder Starling Marte provide additional offensive punch.

Kahn’s team is a perennial favorite to qualify for the playoffs and challenge for the South Division crown.

2010 SEASON

Los Angeles Dodgers fan Michelle Perry was the original general manager for True Blue. She was the only Dodgers fan in a league full of Giants. She drafted Ryan Braun, Ian Kinsler, Votto, Jayson Werth and Jose Reyes with her first five picks. She added Billy Butler, Josh Hamilton and Ricky Nolasco but had no Dodger stars on that first team.

True Blue was inconsistent at the beginning of the season but won four of their last five series. A crushing loss to Give it a Yankee cost the team a playoff berth. True Blue finished 133-129-14 and ninth overall. Perry acquired six free agents during the season and traded Braun to the Lower Haighters for Jason Hayward and reliever Arthur Rhodes.

The offense was built around speed. Michael Bourn led True Blue with 52 stolen bases while Reyes, Franklin Gutierrez and Chris Young all had 25+ SBs. Votto led the team in home runs (37) RBI (113) and was tied for the lead in run scored (106). He earned team MVP honors, ranking fifth overall.

Starting pitching wasn’t nearly as strong. No starter eclipsed 200 innings pitched or 20 quality starts. Paul Maholm and Nolasco led the team with 16 quality starts but Maholm had a 5.10 ERA and Nolasco 4.51. Andrew Bailey, Brian Fuentes and Juan Carlos Oviedo anchored a strong bullpen. Oviedo was the team leader with 30 saves.

2011 SEASON

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey  Votto (19)

Joey Votto is a two-time team MVP

Perry renamed her team HUMA in 2011. She says it best reflected how she managed it in her first year of fantasy baseball (Head Up My A….) She protected Votto, Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Hayward and Werth then drafted Jon Lester, Ted Lilly and Miguel Montero with her first three picks in the Regular Season Draft.

She worked the waiver wire through September, acquiring 11 free agents during the season. Perry added young talent, including Michael Brantley, Freddie Freeman, and Doug Fister.

HUMA opened the season with three straight wins but didn’t win another series until Week 9. They closed the season by winning three of their final four to win the South Division with a 141-111-24 record. They beat the Bulls to win the championship semifinals but lost the championship series to the Lower Haighters. Still, it was an amazing turnaround for a general manager that added just five free agents the year before.

Beltre led HUMA in homers (32) and RBI (105) while Votto was tops in runs (101) and OBP (.416). Votto earned his second team MVP award, finishing 19th overall in the final player rankings. HUMA had three starters pitch 200+ innings with Ervin Santana leading the staff in innings pitched (228.2) and quality starts (21). Joel Hanrahan became the team closer and finished with a team-high 40 saves.

2012 SEASON

Perry and HUMA went from the penthouse to the outhouse in one season. After advancing to the championship season in 2011, they finished last in the South Division in 2012 with a 122-136-18 record. They lost six of their first nine series even though Perry was actively managing the team, acquiring 12 free agents during the season.

She protected Votto, Beltre, Hamilton, Jon Lester and outfielder Peter Bourjos. A knee injury to Votto derailed the team. The team’s two-time MVP tore ligaments sliding into third base and landed on the DL on July 15. He didn’t return until early September.

Ben Revere and second baseman Jose Altuve gave the team speed. They combined for 73 stolen bases. With Votto injured, Hamilton earned team MVP honors. He ranked 17th in the league’s final player rankings and led HUMA in home runs (43), RBI (128) and runs (103). Jordan Zimmerman was the top starting pitcher and led HUMA with 24 quality starts. Sean Marshall was a dependable setup man with 22 holds while Jansen led HUMA with 25 saves.

2013 SEASON

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In Perry’s last season as general manager, HUMA qualified for the consolation playoffs. The team was built around Hamilton, Beltre, Votto, young catcher Wilin Rosario and Jansen. Perry kept the five stars and added veteran pitcher CC Sabathia, Brett Lawrie and Shin-soo Choo in the Regular Season Draft.

Six players hit 20+ homers, led by Beltre’s 30. Votto (101) and Choo (107) both surpassed 100 runs while Altuve and Alcides Escobar both had 22 stolen bases. Six relievers had 15+ net saves/holds with Jansen leading the ‘pen with 40. He also led the team with more than 13 strikeouts per nine innings. Mike Minor and Derek Holland were the only starters to top 200 innings pitched with Minor earning 23 quality starts.

HUMA won nine of their last 12 series to finish 138-145-16 and finish seventh in the league. They lost their consolation semifinal to A-Rod’s Mirrors but beat Give it a Yankee in the seventh place game. Jansen was dominant down the stretch, allowing just one hit in his last five innings while striking out nine hitters. He earned team MVP honors and finished the season ranked 13th in the player standings. He was the fourth-ranked relief pitcher.

2014 SEASON

Under new General Manager David Kahn the team was renamed JetSetters. Kahn was participating in his first fantasy baseball league and inherited a team that had been to the playoffs in two of the past three seasons.

Kahn protected Choo, Votto, Jansen, Beltre and starting pitcher Marco Estrada in his first Keeper Draft. He added Hisashi Iwakuma, reliever Steve Cishek, and Shane Victorino with his first three picks in the Regular Season Draft. Estrada had a disastrous season, allowing 29 home runs, and Kahn released him on June 16 to acquire free agent Andrew Heaney. Choo was released in September as he underwent elbow surgery. Kahn was an aggressive general manager, using all 40 of his allotted free agent acquisitions.

The JetSetters lost just three of their first 10 series and were competitive in the South Division. They won two of their next eight before rallying late to win four of their last five and grab the league’s sixth-seed in playoffs. The JetSetters finished 143-129-14 and faced division rival High Cheese in the expanded eight-team playoff format. They lost the quarterfinal series then lost the consolation semifinal to Bacon at Mile 11. Home Run 101 beat them in the seventh place game, leaving Kahn and the JetSetters 0-3 in their first playoff competition.

Jimmy Rollins led the team with 22 stolen bases but no player on the team exceeded 100 runs or RBI. George Springer was the only player to hit 20 home runs. Jansen led the JetSetters with 39 saves while Yovani Gallardo was the only starter with 20 quality starts. No starting pitcher exceeded 200 innings pitched. Jansen earned another team MVP and finished ranked 49th in the final player rankings.

2015 SEASON

Dallas  Keuchel delivers a pitch in the second inning.

Dallas Keuchel won MVP honors for the JetSetters in ’15

Kahn and the JetSetters qualified for the playoffs for a second straight season but this time they won a playoff series. They defeated Warning Track Power in the championship quarterfinals before losing to Bacon at Mile 11 in the semifinals. They lost the third place game to the Lower Haighers to finish fourth overall. It was the best finish for the franchise since HUMA finished second in 2011.

The JetSetters finished the regular season 139-133-12, 11 games ahead of High Cheese to win the South Division pennant. It was the second pennant in the history of the franchise.

Kahn built the team around keepers Beltre, Springer, Starling Marte, Votto and Iwakuma. He drafted reliever Dellin Betances, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and catcher Yadier Molina with his first three picks in the Regular Season Draft.

Trevor Plouffe led the JetSetters with 86 RBI and was one of our players to top 80 RBI (Beltre, Marte, Votto). Votto led the Jetsetters with 90 runs and a 1.000 OPS. Marte and DJ LeMahieu each had 20 stolen bases. Betances led the team with 34 net saves/holds and combined with Zach Britton for 66 total. Dallas Keuchel was the team’s top starter, leading the team with 27 quality starts. Keuchel earned team MVP honors, finishing 11th in the league and sixth among starting pitchers.

2016 SEASON

It was a strange season for the JetSetters. They lost five of their first six series and then failed to lose a series over the next 11 weeks. The team then stumbled to the finish, losing four of their last five.

The JetSetters used the league maximum 40 transactions over the course of the season. Adding reliever Luke Gregerson in June helped solidify the bullpen. Gregerson finished with 24 net saves/holds and a 0.97 WHIP. He ended 2016 as the league’s 129th-ranked player.

The team qualified for the playoffs but lost in the opening round to Warning Track Power. The JetSetters rebounded with playoff series wins over Bacon at Mile 11 and High Cheese to finish fifth overall. It was their second straight top five finish.

The bullpen emerged as the team’s strength. Andrew Miller (74.1 IP, 1.45 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 14.89 K/9, 0 QS, 36 NSVH) led the team in ERA, WHIP, K/9 and NSVH. It was a spectacular season for Miller, who finished the season ranked fourth in the final player rankings. Alex Colome and Cody Allen combined for another 64 NSVH and finished as keeper-level players.

Votto (677 PA, 101 Runs, 97 RBI, 120 Ks, .984 OPS, 7 NSB) led the team in OPS and was the league’s 22nd-ranked player while LeMaheiu (635 PA, 104 Runs, 66 RBI, 80 Ks, .911 oPS, 4 NSB) was ranked 42nd. Outfielder George Springer led the team in runs with 116 and outfielder Adam Duvall scored a team-high 103 runs. Marte was ranked 69th in the final player rankings and led the team with 35 net stolen bases.

Kahn will need to make a tough decision with Keuchel in the keeper draft. After finishing 2015 as the team MVP, Keuchel ended the 2016 season with a 4.55 ERA and had just 168 innings pitched as he missed the final five weeks of the season with a shoulder injury.

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