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.