Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Power Ranks (6-10)- Early Season

Below is the first installment of the Power Ranks

10. Columbus- Finished 75-87 last season. Of the teams in the power ranks Columbus posted the worst record at the end of season 21. Columbos had limited FA departures with the biggest being the loss of V. Hara to Jacksonville in the NL. Hara was a solid inning eating reliever, however lacked the elite skills that would make him difficult to replace. The big off-season acquistion for the Blue Claws came via the trade route, picking up Stevie Flaherty a pitcher with top of the rotation skills from Louisville along with two ML caliber prospects. For the package of three players the Blue Claws sent Uber-prospect Fred Hayes to the Sluggers. Hopefully the addition of Flaherty fills the SP hole that Toni has been searching for, over the last few seasons.

9. Philadelphia- Finished 85-77 last season. I don't care what Hineiii says in the world chat, I can't let it affect the integrity of the power rankings. So once again you've touched with the "Canadian Curse", does anyone else think that sounds like a "sex move"? Philly only had limited losses in the off-season. The departures were all marginal bench players. The team was able to add some significant punch to the line-up via FA. Last year Hineiii made a splash giving R. Santiago a MAX contract, this year he did the same with a hitter: P. Earley (despite the commish forbidding him to do so). In addition to 5-time Silver Slugger Earley, he added slugging OF Blake Dirks coming off a 47HR season. In consecutive off-seasons Hineiii has added the best pitcher available & now added arguably the best hitter available.

8. Minnesota- Finished 89-73 last season just missed the playoffs. No significant pieces left following the season. In the off-season, Minny was busy signing H. Sanchez as a new DH, he offers high OBP with a little bit of pop. They also signed of Eric Dillon improvingtheir CF position, Dillon has great speed (Hunter record holder for steals), good defense and murders LHP. Unfortunately, Dillon does have one major flaw (33 vs. RHP), with this flaw Staz paid a hefty price in terms of contract and Type A compensation (mitigated a bit by the next signing). While there was some arguement as to who was better E. Fernadez or P. Earley there is no argument that those two hitters were clearly the best in the FA market. With a 3 year average of 42HR 133RBI & .970 OPS, the addition of E. Fernadez adds significant teeth to an already good team.

7. Las Vegas- Finished 90-72 last season. Iain joined the world mid-season last year as a replacement owner so this off-season was the first time he was able to really put his stamp on the team. The Sinatras had 5 ML players depart however looking at the player list, it was mostly Iain cutting bait with players that either wanted too much or returned significant compensation. Tim Farley was likely the biggest departure but was likely asking for an oversized contract based on his 77 overall. He was eventually scooped out of the bargin bin by Knine in Jacksonville, which netted LV a couple comp picks. This write-up will get super long if I summarize ALL of the players LV added in the off-season but here is a basic summary Iain added: Three quality RP, two new C, a new SS, a new LF & slugging 3b E. Alacorn while barely touching his ML roster. Needless to say this team should improve on their 90 wins

6. Little Rock- The Buffalo Bills finished 108-54 last season, I mean the Renegades. As we all know Little Rock made the WS for the 4th consecutive year. This ties a record set by the Louisville Sluggers in S9-12 (2 Titles), unfortunately for Little Rock they have zero titles to show for it. In the off-season Little Rock took a step back, trying to semi-retool while trying to stay competitively. The trades made this off-season just cut into the organization's depth & the farm is bare. This could be the Renegades last stand before a Cincy(NB) like tear down. All told 6 vets were sent out the door via trade with only one impact player coming back (V. Kraemer). This is still a strong team, but don't expect them to lead the league in wins like they have for the last few seasons

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