Black Jack JF Jacques

Did I ever tell you my Billy Ashley story? I used to be in a baseball roto league (extremely competitive, I can’t even describe how cruel and vicious we were to each other. It was great) and followed all the prospects very closely (one of the few ways to win in the ERL was to get prospects before anyone knew who they were. It was a keeper league).

Anyway, Billy Ashley was an OF prospect in the LA Dodger system and he hit a lot of home runs in the Pacific Coast League (this was maybe 1994). I remember well doing the Bill James MBLE to let the air out of his offense in order to project him into the National League of 1995.

At the draft (we bid on players, didn’t draft them) I got into a war with another owner and ended up spending $28 on Ashley (which should get you a veteran outfielder with an excellent power/speed number if you’re rational).

Ashley killed me. Jesus he was awful. I can’t even describe how bad he was. He struck out all the time, he hit nothing but air and O by the way he was AWFUL in the outfield too. His hit totals were exceeded by his strikeout totals every season he played. Ashley hit .221, .243, .333 (6 ABs), .237, .200, and finally .244 in his last year with the Dodgers who liked him only a little more than me and his Mom.

I remember he hit two homers at Wrigley one day in 1995 and the next day I got a really good trade offer. Are you kidding me? I kept him baby, because my mighty team was going to have Billy Ashley on it right up until we finished 8th that season.

I’m afraid JF Jacques might be Billy Ashley. Have you SEEN him? He’ a freaking giant. He looks dangerous every shift (and in fact IS dangerous every shift, just not in a good way) and if he could just take a pass, make a pass, shoot the puck or be in the general area that people who play his position are most of the time I think he’ll be a player.

Jacques has a beauty chance to make the Oilers this fall. Just like Billy Ashley in spring 1995. I find myself thanking the Hockey Gods that there is nothing resembling a hockey roto league, because having two Billy Ashley’s in one lifetime is simply too much to endure.

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5 Responses to "Black Jack JF Jacques"

  1. Andy Grabia says:

    $28 on Ashley? Holy s**t. No wonder you stopped watching baseball. That would kill a normal man.

  2. Sideshow Raheem says:

    Shameless self-promotion time… but we’ve been running a hockey roto league here in Edmonton for nearly a quarter-century now.

    Trust me, they do exist.

  3. Dennis says:

    I think it’s down to me and you when it comes to liking this guy, LT. I saw one of his very first pro games down here against the Baby Leaves and I was in love:) The guy is huge and he’s fast and he loves hitting and he put up some decent numbers in his first two years in the AHL, certainly enough to suggest that this guy could be at the very least a 4th liner who hurts two or three defenseman a year and scares a whole lot of others. But then you watch him with the Oil and you wonder if this is like when the A’s picked up that Oly sprinter in the 70′s to pinch run for them. It looks like he has the ultimate hockey body but never a bit of hockey sense.

    Honest to gawd, there were entire games when JFJ didn’t even touch the fucking puck and we saw the best of him when he played with MP or the odd times when he played with both MP and Pisani. Granted, anyone can look good with Pisani, anyone remember the Reasoner-MP-Pisani line that resulted in a goal one night in Det? 34 just gets it, hardly makes a mistake out there and is, as Bubbles would say, hard as fuck on the puck. MP knows his stuff and him and 34 just gelled. Well, there was a HNIC game vs the Flames when JFJ played with 34-78 and they were a force all night and that’s the best that it got for JFJ.

    Here’s a couple of things that I think I have figured out about Jacques.

    1. Last year was just nerves, it just had to be. I guess Ashley was gonna be the next Kingman and to stay on that path, Jack Cust is finally get a long look this year in King Kong’s old stomping grounds, but I’m sure if you looked at Ashley’s numbers, he was striking out a tonne in the minors and never could field and LT we know that IL numbers were always more projectable than were the PCL’s and that was BEFORE the Rockies played their Triple A games in Colorado. So what I’m saying is I bet there were a few reasons why you should’ve stayed away from Ashley and there would be a lot more reasons to doubt then than JFJ.

    2. I think JFJ’s like a lot of kids, he has to play with someone good or he’s gonna get lost in the shuffle. Remember when early last season the Wings came to town with Filpula and Hudler and some other kid on the same line and they just clicked? Well I don’t think you can put Jacques with Reasoner and/or Schremp or Nilsson and expect him to be anyone or anything. We can’t afford to waste Pisani and maybe not even Pouliot but I think he would need to play with either or for us to get anything out of him.

    I’m predicting that Jacques gets lost in the shuffle UNLESS Reasoner’s buoyed by the return of Moreau and we somehow wind up with a tough min line of 18-19-34 and that allows MP and JFJ to play together. I think that’s very unlikely though because that would leave 10-83-14-16-Sanderson-??? to round out the top nine. Maybe that wouldn’t be a bad idea though, have the 19 line taking on tough min, have 14-10-83 taking on tough min and then give Stoll-Sanderson-plus the soft min. Anyway, not to get off track;) but I predict that the Oilers give Jacques a shot out of camp and he shows up to play on the 4th line with Reasoner, gets nothing done and winds up back in Springfield and he’s out of the Oilers org by next summer. What I’d do is start him in Springfield, unless he tears the cover off the ball in camp, put him down there and give him tonnes of min and responsbilities and then bring him back and actually play him with someone.

    I think JFJ’s a bit of a nervous nellie and I think he’s more the supplementry player than complimentry but I do think there’s a useful player in there.

    I doubt we see it in edm though.

  4. Black Dog says:

    What Dennis said.

    The test for this organization this season is that they don’t fuck up with these kids. I have the worst feeling that they are going to hang onto the mopes and trade the guys like Pouliot and Gilbert and furthermore, are going to let some possibly useful players wither and die on the vine. They’ve been pretty good over the years and not screwing things up but the Souray deal shows that Lowe is desparate enough to trade a couple of good kids for Glen Murray and thus ensure that another kid doesn’t get any minutes and the Oilers win the all important race for 12th.

    The one good thing that came out of last season (the only good thing?) is that Pouliot and Thoresen and even Smid showed that they could play in this league. Pouliot got a shot with Torres and Pisani and showed he could play and when I was at the ACC he, Thoresen and Torres played together and they were terrific. That was the game Pouliot has the PS goal and was on the ice at the end of the game when the Oilers drew within one.

    As for Smid, well once management decided to pack the season in, July 31st, was it, you may as well play him and play him a lot and play him with Staios. Of course it was a horror show on a lot of nights but the kid did ok on others and it will serve him well.

    So the challenge this year is finding the linemates, partners and icetime for these three guys plus Jacques, plus Nilsson likely as well, to see if they can play.

  5. uni says:

    Not quite the same, but I kept JFJ on my EA NHL07 team and carried him for 3 season while waiting for his ratings to increase in the minors. It finally did and he had a 41 goal, 30 assist season for me in his first full season and he’s following that up with a 34 games 21 goals, 20 assist season so far now.

    I seriously like this guy…if only life were like video games sometimes.

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