6. Philadelphia: Previous Rank (6) Current Record: 82-54
Philly currently holds the NL 2-seed by a razor thin margin (1 game), last year potential title hopes were derailed with Ace R. Santiago suffered a season ending injury and crippled their pitching staff just prior to playoffs. In the off-season Hineiii added future HOFer Bob Creek (only 300 game winner and will look great wearing a Louisville hat at induction), to his staff. Thus far the returns on the Creek signing specifically haven't been great (4.9 ERA), however his talent remains unquestioned. Creek + Santiago + Earley = Title Contender
7. Boston: Previous Rank (NR) Current Record: 81-53
As mentioned previously Philly holds a razor thin lead and the team that they hold it over is Boston. In jsturgis5866 first season with the team he has Boston positioned to return to the post-season for the first time since Radek departed Hunter for good. The most impressive aspect of Jsturgis' first year is how he has molded a team that only won 76 games last year and with only a few minor roster tweaks has them on pace for almost a 15 game improvement. The largest off-season signing was F. Gonzalez and SP3, the rest of his roster movers were improving spots 17-25 on the roster
8. Jacksonville: Previous Rank (NR) Current Record: 79-56
Knine joined Hunter in S22 with an amazing history of success (.600 win % in 50+ seasons) and it didn't talk long to see why, through a series of shrewed inexpensive signings Jacksonville saw a 15W jump in S22 to get to .500 and Knine has carried that success into this season with an almost 100 pt improvement in win %. Not to be overlooked is Jacksonville holds a 4 game lead over defending champ Little Rock as they try and break timf's 6 year hammerlock on the divison.
9. Atlanta: Previous Rank (NR) Current Record: 76-59
I think pfontaine leads all owners in the number of times he's been an honourable mention in the Power Ranks. I think this will mark the 2nd time the Cheese Grits appear in the 3 season I've been doing the rankings, last year I mistakenly left them out of the mid-season ranks only to see Atlanta storm past my struggling franchise and almost knock them out of the playoffs. Despite a low seed in the S22 playoffs Altanta marched to the ALCS. Once again Atlanta is knocking on the door of the AL South Title and sits 3 games back of the AL 2-seed
10. Tacoma: Previous Rank (NR) Current Record: 76-60
The Tacoma story reads like a sports movie. For those that haven't been in Hunter long here's the background. A committed and well-intending but untimely unskilled owner (Gocubz) owned the franchise from S2 to S20. Year after year the owner trades away the franchises most promising prospects for short-term gains, in 19 seasons Chicago never finished better that 82-80 and never made the playoffs. Following S19, the owner sells the franchise to a new ownership group headed by Csherwood (we'll get into his backstory in a second) and the group promptly moves the team to Tacoma and promises a brighter future for the franchise. Csherwood himself was looking for redemption after being removed from Moneyball, Tacoma was his fresh start. (Insert montage from S20 where the team starts out poorly but starts to come around for the new owner). The team slowly builds under Csher from 61W to 79W to the brink of the playoffs. Regardless of the outcome Tacoma will set a franchise record for wins and take the best run at a playoff spot in franchise history. Now if this truly was a sports movie, Tacoma would sneak into the 6th seed in the AL (currently tied for 6th seed and divison lead) and then promply knock off the 3seed, 2seed, 1seed on the way to the WS title).
Honourable Mentions: Washington, Minnesota & Las Vegas