Friday, February 6, 2009

Season 11 Power Rankings

Keep in mind that these power rankings are mostly based on season 10 and not the first 40 games of season 11, after 3/4 (120 games) of season 11 we may have an update if necessary. Majority of the rankings are determined by votes combined with stats and on field performance.

Top 10 Power Rankings

1. (+1) Louisville Sluggers (101-61) - For the past two seasons Louisville represented the AL in the World Series, winning it all last season for the first time in franchise history. Sluggers finished season 10 with the 3rd best offense in Hunter scoring 1011 runs and hitting .292 as a team, I must point out that was with Magglio Javier in the lineup who is no longer with the team. The pitching staff led by Bob Creek and Gene Fitzgerald finished 11th best in Hunter with a 4.50 team ERA and 1.42 team WHIP, the defense finished 14th best with a .982 FPct. Most of last season, playoffs and the World Series the offense carried this team. As we all know Sluggers superstar Magglio Javier signed with the Salem Bald Beavers as a free agent, it will be interesting to see how this lineup performs without him.

2. (-1) New York Metropolitans (114-48) - Season 9 Champs held the best record in Hunter all of last season and finished with most wins in the world and franchise history. Their season came crashing down when they were eliminated in the NLCS by division rival Cleveland Moosdawg. New York finished season 10 with Hunter's 2nd best pitching staff that posted 3.55 team ERA, 1.26 team WHIP and also had the most strike outs (1168) and saves (66). With last season’s NL Cy Young and Fire Man awards winners on this staff we should expect more of the same in season 11. Metropolitans offense finished 6th in Hunter with 917 runs scored and .284 team BA on a very disappointing season for many hitters. The defense finished 5th in Hunter with a .983 FPct and also posted 4443 put outs which was most in the word. This team is solid all around and nothing but the Championship will do.

3. (+2) San Juan RRTA (114-48) - There is couple of reasons why San Juan moved up 2 spots in the rankings. First let me point out that RRTA finished season 10 with the 2nd best offense that scored 1040 runs with a .292 team BA and the best defense in Hunter that posted a .989 FPct with only 67 errors. On top of having the best defense and 2nd bestoffense I must point out that San Juan also signed the best IFA of season 10, SP Roberto Santiago went 13-0 in his rookie year in 21 starts. At 21 years old he is already considered one of the best starters in Hunter. He is also the single reason why San Juan edged the Colorado Blasters for the 3rd spot on the rankings. After studying this team for a while I must say that in my opinion they look the strongest out of all the teams on this list and get my vote as the favorites to win the World Series in season 11.

4. (E) Colorado Blasters (102-60) - The Blasters come into season 11 making the most noise in the off season trading for Ace starters Felipe Bournigal and Kelvin Coleman who will try to power this team to another Championship. Colorado enters season 11 with the highest player payroll in Hunter with 112M. Hunter’s top offense scored 1138 runs last season , that’s 98 runs better than the 2nd best team. They also had the most hits (1803), HR (442), RBI’s (1121), team BA (.302), SLG (.575) and .938 OPS. The pitching staff finished 17th with a 4.92 team ERA and the defense ranked 22nd but the additions of Coleman and Bournigal should help both in more ways than one. Colorado’s killer lineup plus this upgraded pitching staff puts them in the 4th spot on the rankings and definitely makes them one of the strongest teams in Hunter.

5. (-2) San Francisco Night Demons (104-58) – San Francisco dropped 2 spots in the rankings because of two main reasons, Felipe Bournigal is no longer with the club and San Juan had to take over the 3rd seed. In return for Bournigal the Night Demons got a 23 y.o. ace Quentin Lary who’ll dominate the AL for the next 15 seasons. Hunter’s best pitching staff led by veteran Pete Daly finished S10 with a 3.24 team ERA and 1.17 team WHIP, with Bournigal/Lary swap they won’t lose much ground. San Fran may be all about pitching but lets not forget their 13th ranked lineup that scored 870 runs last season and since this line up is mostly made up of young hitters the future looks bright.

6. (*) Atlanta Cheese Grits (93-69) – Atlanta stormed onto the power rankings by finishing season 10 with 93 wins and beating the favorite Night Demons in the ALDS. They lost in the ALCS to the current Champions Sluggers but this is a young team that could become very dangerous in the near future. The Cheese Grits pitching staff finished 4th in Hunter last season, proving they could pitch with the best. The offense scored 897 times last season (11th best) and their 10th ranked defense displayed a average .982 FPct.

7. (*) Cleveland MoosDawg (84-78) - Cleveland stormed into the rankings after their playof run that ended with the NL Championship. On their way to the WS Cleveland ran over Colorado, San Juan and New York, all 100+ wins teams. The MoosDawg line up under performed in the regular season finishing 28th in Hunter with 794 runs scored and .262 team BA. In the post season it was a different story as they hit almost everything that came their way. Led by youngsters like Larry Cannon, Britt Perkins and Alex Diaz this line up will only get better. MoosDawg pitching staff surprised a lot of hitters last season finishing with 4.02 team ERA and 1.42 WHIP, that makes them the 3rd best staff in Hunter. If this 17th ranked defense could play better then their .981 FPct the pitching staff could be even better. Overall this is a young team that's getting better fast.

8.(-2) Pittsburgh Studdabubbas (96-66) - NL North Champs for the past 2 seasons were eliminated from the playoffs by losing 3 straight 1-run games in the NLDS, that's how close they are from braking
through the door. Their pitching staff finished 7th in Hunter with 4.21 team ERA and 1.38 WHIP, with a bit more help from their 18th ranked defense they could be top 5 staff. The strength of this team is their powerful line up that ranked 7th with 916 runs scored but ranked 4th with their .288 team BA. Veterans Willie Drew, Rodrigo Brito, and Archie Blake make this line up very dangerous.

9. (-2) New Britan Yorkies (94-68) - AL North Champs dropped 2 spots because Cleveland and Atlanta moved in front of them. New Britain can jump up these ranking in one season, that's how good they are.
The Yorkies pitching staff tied for 5th in Hunter with a 4.20 team ERA, the offense did not do as well finishing 19th with 827 runs scored and the defense ranked 12th with their .982 FPct. With a few adjustments specially to the line up this team is capable of making huge strides in season 11.

10. (*) Rochester Scorpions (90-68) - The Scorpions won the AL East for the first time in franchise history last season and are looking for repete this season. Their 8th ranked pitching staff finished last season with a 4.22 team ERA, their 21st ranked offense finished with 816 runs scored and their 10th ranked defense posted a .980 FPct. Rochester must make some improvements if they want to be considered one of the top teams in Hunter but winning their division and getting onto the power ranking is great step in that direction.

Scottsdale, Tacoma and Texas are knocking on the door.

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