Once again, on paper, Medina looks like a contender to take the throne in Season 2. The squad has a unique blend of veterans, all-stars, and role players setting Medina up to always contend every night it plays. The draft was not fluke or a matter of luck, but was the result of a masterful design executed by none other than GM Moh "Mamba" Kala, who has established himself as an expert drafter. To his credit, Kala drafted a team which experts are predicting will land Medina atop of the standings by season end, if all goes to plan.
Medina is led by its threatening 1-2 punch, the CF and SS, Ismail Akhtar and BSL legend, Zahid "I ain't pitching" Merchant. Akhtar is arguably the best overall player in BSL Nights, and he will be relied upon to carry the squad onto his massive shoulders once again this year – indeed, the man is a favourite to winning MVP. Merchant, on the other hand, comes to Nights after leading his team to several BSL Sunday championships. He is known to bring the best out of his players through his brotherhood leadership style, which Kala will rely upon from time to time for in game adjustments. Kala did a tremendous job at the beginning of the draft by forming a solid supporting cast. Guys like Hamid Malik and Waseem Kala are more than capable of both shagging difficult line drives, and blasting the ball out of the park. Given this pedigree of player greatness, any newcomer to BSL would want to play for this team, so this should make it easier for Hannan Uppal to develop his skills while learning under the tutelage of this formidable core.
But, the question of whether Medina reaches its potential will come down to the remaining cast filling in the rest of the wholes, as this often becomes the difference between mid-tier and top-tier teams. Firstly, it remains to be seen whether the starting pitcher of Medina can hold down their position throughout the course of the season. At the exhibition, Atif Parvaiz showed abilities to toss from the mound, so it is expected that he will be entrusted to being opening day pitcher. Opponents should look to remain patient until Parvaiz shows that he has the ability to throw strikes on demand, which can be evident by looking at his strike to ball ratio. The aforementioned Merchant, who some say is the greatest pitcher in BSL Sunday Nights history, has made it clear to his GM that he will not be pitching this year, however he will be relied upon to coach up whomever takes the mound. The uncertainty around pitching may force Kala to either pressure Merchant into pitching or trade for a proven arm, however we feel Kala should develop Parvaiz ala Trust the Process. Secondly, does the east coast mystery man Zane Sheikh, play up to the hype and develop into the player that Medina needs in order to fill its championship ambitions? The signs point to yes, as scouts have all agreed, he is the real deal and opponents should look to neutralize his talent by honing into his lack of BSL experience. Otherwise, if Sheikh can transition his baseball experience to softball, the rest of the league should start planning for 2020 season. Thirdly, rounding out the remaining Medina players, Kala selected guys with all-star level potential, so these guys have come into season two with some lightweight expectations. If one of either Farooq Sani or Abdo Menla or Abdul "safe glove" Butt or Omar "power bat" Khan takes their game to the next level, Medina can become very scary to play against because it will take some pressure off the top part of the batting lineup. But, once opposing pitchers and defenses begin learning, it will be a true test for Medina's overall lineup.
Despite all that, Medina season outlook remains promising because they are led by experienced players who that have won championships while being leaders on their teams. Medina is in a position to win it all, and they look like a fun team to be a part of. GM Moh Kala continues to downplay his team's regular season outlook, but we are not to be fooled of their intentions. Only time will tell for sure whether Medina becomes the greatest city in BSL nights again.