Monday, August 27, 2012

Power Ranks (6-10)

6.  Tacoma 

It was S23 before Tacoma/Chicago made the franchise's first playoff appearance and it will likely be a few seasons before they are out of the playoffs again. Csher has slowly built a contender in the Pacific North-West. 

The line-up is anchored by MVP caliber bat Alex DeLeon acquired from New Orleans. The rotation while it lacks a true ace runs 5 deep with above average arms (Sojo, Martin, Kinney, Simpson and Hardtke)

7. New Orleans

Since joining Hunter bigtex has been slowly improving his team season by season. It looks like S24 that the Jazz make the jump to NL Pennant contender.

Top to bottom New Orlean's rotation may be the best in the NL and not that far off the top AL counterparts (SF, KC & Lou). To give perspective on the talent and depth of rotation Luis Vizcanio is the 5th starter and sports an ERA of 4.00 in 600 ML IP. To give perspective the average NL era last season was 4.36.

I would be shocked if New Orleans didn't end the franchise 14 season playoff drought this year

8. Augusta

It's apparent that Cincybang had no issue taking over where jsturggis left off, the Nationals are off to a 10-3 start as they look to defend their division NL East Title.

The strength of the Nationals lies in their rotation specifically their top 3 (Mesa, Clark & Bulter)\

9. Atlanta

For pfontaine over the last few seasons these Power Rankings must feel like the movie Groundhog Day. Check everytime only to see Atlanta in the honourable mention category. To be fair I always underestimate the management of the owner in this case.

Every year on paper Atlanta looks like a .500 team, however every single season, there is a point where Louisville is looking up at Atltanta in the standings. The team is 2 year removed from a ALCS appearance and this organization has won 86+  since S14 and only has 1 losing season dating all the way back to S10.

It's shrewd off-season signings like Derrin Blake to a cap freight 4M deal that keeps their division rivals on their toes.

10. Minnesota

Stazrunner has been a model of consistancy since joining Hunter winning 88, 89 & 88 games respectively over the last 3 seasons. Last year the Twinkees lost a tight divison battle to Tacoma but won't give up the divison without a fight.

The Minny lineup is built around 3-MVP Ty Langston and Max Money Man-Estaban Fernadez. Last year they combined like Volrton to post 97HR 150 RBI .302 AVG .945 OPS

Honourable Mentions:
Jacksonville, Washington, Boise & Baltimore

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Power Ranks Start of Season (1-5)

1. Kansas City

The Comets would like to erase last year's ALCS from their memory, they were 1 out away from a trip to the World Series when the Sluggers pulled off an unprobable Game 6 (5 runs) and Game 7 (2 run) 9th inning comebacks. The loss in the ALCS aside Kansas City deserves the rise to number 1. They return the majority of the team that knocked off SF in the 2nd round of the playoffs and added D. Manto a potential 40HR guy cheap at 2M year.

I think this might finally be the year where KC knocks SF off for the division.

2. San Fransico

The Night Demon missed the ALCS for the first time since S20. The perinnennial World Series Contenders face one of the toughest roads to the World Series for years to come. With the Comets rises to the top of the tower ranks and Boise's steady improvement the AL West may be the toughest division in Hunter.

All of the above said the San Fransico Night Demons keep getting better. In the off-season SF added the best FA pitcher Bo Gragg at a rock bottom price of 6M a year. As several joked in the World Chat it was nice to finally see Bjb catch a break :). Unfortunately for the rest of Hunter the SF farm is just as good as the parent club.

3. Louisville

Normally I like to provide a professional courtesty to the defending champ by ranking them #1 in the following season's luckily I don't have to worry about stepping on my own toes. Going into the playoffs last season I viewed my team as the 3rd best team in Hunter with a pitching staff capable of winning any series it turned out that assestment wsa correct.

A familiar group is back for the title defense Bo Gragg is the only player who didn't return that pitched more than 50 innings or had more than 150 at-bats. If I was asked to assess my team I would use the same assesment as last year.....3rd best team in the league with a pitching staff that could beat anyone

4. Salt Lake City

The Mormons as are storied francise in Hunter with 10 playoff appearances, 4 World Series Appearances & 1 World Series title before they fell on hard times S20-S22. However, if last year was any indication SLC is back.  The Mormons were relatively quiet in FA, deciding to build from within. If S23 was Step 1........ 22 win improvement and a trip to the WS, the entire AL should be scared about Step 2.

5. Phildelphia

Sorry, Hineiii I am putting the stink of the power ranks on your team early this season. The Phillies boast the highest payrooll in Hunter. Over the last 2 years it's apparent that Philly has spent well as they have posted 100W & 99W seasons over the last 2 years.

With Little Rock falling back to the pack it's time for a new "Big Dog" to step up in the NL.