Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hunter S27 - End of Season

1. San Fransico

I might as well write this in permanent marker another year another top spot

2. New Orleans

Defending champ gets his due

3. St. Louis

AL number 2 and won the toughest division in Hunter

4. New Britain

Two seasons removed from a WS appearance, a young team continuing to improve

5. Louisville

Rest cost the Sluggers the 3rd best AL record

6. Salt Lake City

The last of the 3 NL power brokers

7. Atlanta

Perennially underrated but always competitive

8. Pittsburgh

Underachieved during the regular season 

9. Charlotte

Power Rankings first.....non-playoff team in the top 10. 5th best AL record.....

10. Jacksonville

Off season acquisitions paid off

Honorable Mention

LA, KC, Boise, Cleveland

Monday, June 24, 2013

S27- Power Ranks (6-10)

1. 6..    Tacoma
The Narrows sit at 18-21 at the time of this writing so many might be surprised to see this team so high. Like a point out every year if people want to look at records there is this magical tool called………the standings. Tacoma is a team that looked like it was one piece away and picking up J. Paranoto pushes this team into title contention

27..    Norfolk
Norfolk boosts the best record in all of Hunter. Last season was a disappointing season for Norfolk after winning the divison and 89 games the previous season. Jbburner’s frustration was apparent as he made a major splash in the offseason signing one of the top FA targerts Ace Bryan Parrish

38.. Jacksonville
Since joining the league Knine had never allowed Jacksonvill to drop below 79wins until  S26. It became apparent in FA that Knine did not intend to suffer through another 70 win season. The Velioraptors signed SP A. Norris, 2b E. Mendoza, LF M. Cobb, RP G. Taylor & RP H. Piedra. All resulted in compensatory picks and that doesn’t even include the biggest FA fish A. Jackson the top SP available in FA. 

9..9.  Pittsburgh
Last year’s NL rep is off to a strong start yet again. Dizz has built a strong core of young players who took a big step forward last year making a run to the NLCS before falling to eventual champion: New Orleans. 

5. 10.      Louisville
Claim favoritism……..but the Sluggers look to rebound off their disappointing 87W season and their first playoff miss in franchise history. I stated going into last season I had forsaken season 26 for championship runs in S23-S25, two titles later I’d make the trade again although……I loved the streak. With a lot of veterans coming off the cap for the current season and minor league reinforcements ready the Sluggers are poised to start another streak.

Honorable Mentions:
Cleveland, Kansas City (the toughest omission), Charlotte, Los Angeles & Philly.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Power Ranks (1-5): S27

1.     1.   New Orleans
3 seasons ago BigTex put me on notice that the Jazz were going to make some noise. It turns out the noise was Championship music. Two seasons ago in a Power Ranks post I stated the thing holding New Orleans back was a lack of MVP bat and Bigtex quickly remedied that with the acquisition of Branch Garnder. This acquisition lead to a title which would point to me being correct ,however the defending NL MVP is E. Patterson who was on the roster that the time I made my comment…..whoops

2.      2.  San Francisco
BJB correctly pointed out that over the last 5 seasons he has likely had either the best or 2nd best team on paper every season and hasn’t won a title since S21. The scary part is during the game 22 annual prospect pissing content this perennial title contender took silver. The end of the Night Demon run is no where in sight. The one thing other teams can take solace in is the “Playoff Crap Shoot Factor”, all a team can hope for is to put itself in position to potentially win a title. 

3.       3. St. Louis
If there was a candidate for the next “New Orleans Jazz” it would be the Browns. This team has been built slowly and then augmented with a few key trades however has yet to see the talent convert to post season success.  The Browns are likely to secure one of the two AL byes which shortens the road to the championship. I have a feeling that if SF is bounced from the post-season this year it will by this roster

4.       4. Salt Lake City
There are a few owners in the world that can be counted on to create perennial contenders and Shmish is definitely among those ranks the S24 champs are off to yet another good start and have a roster built for title contention. Estaban Gomez entering his 2nd complete ML season anchors the batting order while providing gold glove defense in CF. A huge bat at a premium position

5.       5.New Britain
For the first time in as long as I can remember there are 3 NL teams in the top 5 of the power ranks.  I’ve often joked that the NL is Quadruple A and the jokes for years were well founded whenever a huge player hit the FA or trade market it was always an AL team that stepped up to secure the player as the AL was a nuclear arms race however in recent seasons that trend has started to shift and it shows in roster talent. 

      I’m a full paragraph in and haven’t mentioned the Yorkies. DJ moved to the NL and turned around a disappointing franchise in a very short period of time. Making the WS in S25, was likely a year or two ahead of schedule but they came within a win of DJ’s 4th championship. This S25 young roster has matured to become what will likely be a championship contender for years to come.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Season 26 WAR Leaders

National League:

1. Branch Gardner RF, New Orleans - 6.9 WAR. Gardner is a solid RF who carries a lethal bat.  He punished pitchers to the tune of .343/.437/.591. His split time with two teams almost fooled me into thinking he was further down on this list.  Glad I noticed.

2. Kennie Henderson 3B, Philadelphia - 5.9 WAR. Kennie is a dominant third sacker, a full 35%+ better than the next best 3B. He adds more than a full win on defense. He adds a .272/.335/.530 slash line with 26 SB to boot.

3.  Victor Guzman 3B, Baltimore - 5.8 WAR. What is it with 3B in S26?  It's quite the bumper crop.  Victor is basically neutral on defense, he doesn't hurt but he isn't better than average either.  What he does bring is a .285/.341/.618 slash line.  Lots and lots of power.

4. Asdrubal Tarasco 1B, Philadelphia, - 5.6 WAR.  Tarasco is an above average defender at 1B who also happens to hit a little, as his .308/.369/.585 line demonstrates.

5. Luis Rijo C, Philadelphia - 5.4 WAR.  Rijo is a solid backstop who provides value behind the plate as well as at the plate.  He hit .299/.399/.529 in S26.

6. Ken Shoppach CF, San Jose - 5.3 WAR. Shoppach creates value on defense (16 + plays), with his legs (75 SB) and with a decent stick (.283/.362/.417).  He's a true all-around player.

7. Steve Murphy C, San Jose - 5.3 WAR. It's interesting how Murphy can create so much value in only 96 games.  That just goes to show how good catching is hard to find.  He delivered solid results behind the plate in terms of throwing at runners and CERA.  He hit .281/.356/.574.  Great power for a good defensive C.

8.Ren Pong 2B, Salt Lake City - 5.0 WAR. Pong doesn't really add much on defense as he is slightly below average. His bat makes up for it, with a .328/.405/.491 line.

9.  Eddie Patterson 1B, New Orleans - 4.9 WAR. Yes more smooth Jazz, as another of New Orleans S26 group makes the list. Eddie rocked to the tune of .314/.375/.612 and threw in above average defense to boot.

10.  Orlando Cruz LF, New Orleans - 4.9 WAR. Let's make it a Jazz trio with Cruz rounding out the list. Cruz hit .299/.382/.493 with 26 SB and good D in LF.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

WAR -Season 26 Leaders

I've recently loaded all of the hitting and fielding stats for Hunter's position players from Season 26. I will posting a few items of interest from the spreadsheet, starting with Season 26's league leaders in WAR.

 American League:

1. Felipe Sosa 3B, Richmond - 8.3 WAR. Sosa, who manned 3b for Richmond, was far and away the WAR leader for Hunter. He the only player above 8 WAR. With above average defense (4th in Hunter) and a .334/.428/.581 slash line, it's a wonder he did not win the MVP award

2.Tim Ryan DH, San Juan- 7.3 WAR. Ryan was a DH, so he did all his damage with his bat, and boy was it a lot.  He had a .376/.467/.644 line and was the leader in wOBA at .454.  The AL MVP was a force to be reckoned with, but with a 1+ WAR difference from WAR leader Sosa, you could argue he should have been the runner up.

3. Gary Morton 3B, Tacoma- 6.2 WAR. Gary is a fine all around player that created good defensive value at 3B (3rd best in Hunter) and put up a .275/.331/.549 slash line.

4. Carl Ford 3B,St. Louis - 6.1 WAR. Carl was a middling 3B in the field, but he was a sterling batsman, posting a .318/.384/.517 line.  Third base is a very deep position in the AL, capturing 3 of the top 4 spots.

5.  Art Ackley 2B, Charlotte - 6.0 WAR. Ackley delivered above average D (10th in Hunter overall) and a .301/.386/.536 slash line for the Smokies.

6. Bingo Thames LF/2B, Chicago - 5.9 WAR. Thames is an oddity in the sense that he played 60 games at 2B, where he had no business playing (he is LH). He created a good amount of negative defensive value, which offset his bat to an extent. When he played LF, he played well, but interestingly, LF must have been deep defensively, because he comes up short compared to other LF. But his bat more than made up for this, as he hit .354/.435/.507

7. Derrik Tucker 2B, Norfolk - 5.9 WAR. Tucker is a natural 2B and produced slightly above average defensive value, which helped give him a small boost. His hitting line of .330/.392/.576 is where he made his largest contribution.

8.  John Yoshii CF, San Francisco - 5.8 WAR. No surprise that SF had one of their own in the Top 5. Yoshii produced a lot of value with his glove to go along with a .292/.361/.516 line. He had the single biggest boost from defense of anyone in the Top 10, posting a 50% higher defensive value than the next closest CF (Esteban Gomez of SLC).

9. Mickey Webster RF, Richmond - 5.7 WAR. Mickey, if we looked back, would surely be a perennial occupant of this list. Mickey does a lot of damage with the bat, posting a .300/.386/.552 in S26. Mickey is a brutal RF, costing his team a full win in the field (he ranked dead last among all RF in Hunter). He truly is a DH playing the field, evoking memories of Dave Kingman in the Wrigley OF.

10. Rondell Sadowski DH, Kansas City - 5.6 WAR. A second DH (or 3rd if you count Webster) to round out the top 10, Sadowski brutalizes pitching to the tune of .293/.390/.590.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hunter Power Ranks S26-End of Season

All I apologize for only 2 updates this season. Below are the rankings I had written out at the time of the playoffs starting. The startling thing is the lack of movement in the rankings from Game 12 to Game 162 (I think I'm starting to get the hang of this).

1. San Fransisco (Previous Rank: 1)

I have a feeling at some point I'm going to end up with "1.San Fransisco" burned into my screen because I've typed it so many times. Once again the Night Demons are the team to beat headed into the playoffs. They are looking for their 5th World Series Title and have inherited the longest active playoff streak in Hunter

2. St. Louis (Previous Rank: 2)

I've been commenting in the Power Ranks for the last 3 seasons that it was only a matter of time until my Louisville Sluggers ceded the AL South throne to the Browns and for good cause. Jceffai has been patiently building his team via draft and international FA since his arrival. Browns v. Night Demons would be a heavyweight show down

3. New Britian (Previous Rank:3)

At the beginning of the season Djbradford call me crazy when I ranked the Yorkies 3rd. It's now apparent he was trying to throw off the "Power Ranks" curse. The Yorkies are the #1 seed in the NL and the defending NL Champs. Based on roster composition just from development alone this team should be 5% better than last year's version

4. Pittsburgh (Previous Rank: NR)

For years Dizz has yelled at me for over-rating his team. For the first time in years I listed to him and look what happens. Pittsburgh sports the 2nd best record in the NL but has to go the "Hard way" or as we in Hunter know it the "KC Way". Luckily for Dizz he sports a deep team with an incredibly deep rotation. His is one of the playoff teams that could legitimately roll a 5-man rotation and not really lose anything

5. Kansas City (Previous Rank: 5)

In the first power ranks of the year I said that this might be KC's last hurray as a title contender given the age of the roster. Part way through the season it looked like the charge might not come. I WAS NOT FOOLED!!!!!!!!! I knew they were a sleeping giant, you can ask Bjb I traded trade chats where I said I was trying to make trades to weaken KC's current roster so I could slip into the #6 seed. Unfortunately for me Ptowner also believed in his team and was rewarded with a playoff spot

6. Salt Lake City (Previous rank: 6)

The #2 seed in the NL provides the huge advantage of the bye. Shmish has proven over the years that he can successfully navigate the gauntlet that is the post-season. It wouldn't surprise me to see SLC back in the World Series

7. New Orleans (Previous Rank: 4)

I believe this is one of the cases where the talent on the roster did not equal the win total. The race for the NL pennant will be more interesting than it has in years as I see any of SLC, NO, NB or Pitts giving the AL a run for it's money

8. Tacoma (Previous Rank: 7)

Tacoma wins their 3rd division title in 4 years and takes home the #3 seed and is rewarded with........KC in the first round. The Narrows are a strong team but have had an unlucky run of first round opponents. With KC & Louisville fading I see Tacoma moving to #3 in the AL power ranks next season.

9.  Charlotte (Previous Rank: HM)

I commented to myself prior to the season that I was going to have to beat Charlotte out to get the AL #6 seed. As I figured KC had #5 locked up. It turns out I was incorrect Charlotte had the #5 seed locked up going away and is a good young roster. I expect to improve over the coming years and potentially push St. Louis for the AL South title

10. Philedephia (Previous Rank: NR)

The NL North was the most competitive divison in Hunter this season sending 3 teams to the playoffs. Hineiii managed to avoid the Power Rankings curse because of the lack of mid-season update. At the time of the post Philly has been eliminated by NO, but a great season none the less as I had thought Philly was too old. 

Honorable Mention:

Louisville, Augusta & Cleveland

Sunday, March 10, 2013

S26- Power Ranks (6-10)

6. Salt Lake City

The S25 Champs are off to a great start at 10-2. Shmish has a long successful history in Hunter having made 8 straight playoffs from S12-S19 (including a title). After that run the Mormons went into a rebuild mode and rejoined the playoff picture in S23 and has made the playoffs 3 consecutive years including a 2nd WS title. SLC will make it 4 straight playoffs this season.

7. Louisville

Prior to the playoffs last season I commented in the final power ranks that the Sluggers were a team better suited for the playoffs (short bench & short rotation), it turned out to be prophetic as the Sluggers took home their 4th title. For the first time in Sluggers history I don't believe my team as currently constructed is capable of a championship, this is a transition years all of my vets are one year older with diminished skill and the young players aren't quite ready to come up.......Best case scenario the 6th seed in the AL with the chance for a round 1 upset

8. Tacoma

I made a comment last season that it was a shame Minnesota wasn't able to push Tacoma for the divison title which was somehow construed into Tacoma= awful. Well this season Minnesota will push Tacoma for the divison which must mean Tacoma = great :). All kidding aside New Orleans and Tacoma pulled off on of the biggest trades thus far this season a true strength for strength deal. Tacoma shipped All-Star Caliber Hitter to Cruz to NO for new #1SP Bryan Parrish. If asked I am sure Csher would have stated his #1 weakness was that has been address.

9. Baltimore

After a few down seasons it looks like the Baydogs are ready to re-insert themselves into the playoff picture. The team is very similar to last year roster except the young talent is one year older, the one notable exception was the signing of V. Guzman. Guzman boasts and All-Star caliber (40+ HR bat) to anchor the middle of the order.

10. Norfolk

Norfolk returns the majority of the roster that won 89 games last season and won their first divison title since S13. The notatable changes in the off-season were the defection of aforementioned V. Guzman to Baltimore and the signing of D. Isringhausen to improve the middle of their rotation

Honorable Mention:
Durham, San Jose, Minnesota & Charlotte

Monday, March 4, 2013

S26- Power Ranks (1-5)

1. San  Fransisco

Another season and another Power Rankings with San Fransisco on top. During FA of S24 I marvelled at SF stealing Bo Gragg for a rock bottom price. Wondering aloud how a great franchise could get so lucky. Well I have to do the same thing again in S26. SF locked up the best FA SP Glenn Kerr for a below market contact. I estimate that Gragg & Kerr are worth about 30M in the open market & San Fran has them for 18M.  An Elite team with an Elite farm system and Elite FA deals = #1 Power Ranks

2. St. Louis

I've been carefully watching the Browns given the division they reside in. For the last few years I've viewed the franchise as a sleeping giant waiting to awake. Well the alarm went off in S25 to the tune of a 108W (24W jump). The Browns are a young team and one year older and better. Don't expect the top 2 seeds in the AL to change this season

3. New Britain

Speaking of sleeping giants........Djbradford jumped to NL taking over a terrible franchise in S22. I had been waiting for the season when the Yorkies would rise again. I think Dj would be the first to admit that his World Series run was likely a season or 2 early, which is scary because his team is only going to get better. I expect that NB & the next team in the Power Ranks will be locking horns for the NL penant for the next 3-4 seasons.

4. New Orleans

Bigtex1 build to a contender was slow and methodical and the patience has paid off the last 2 season (99 & 97W). At this point the regular season success hasn't translated to the playoffs however I attribute that more to the randomness of a short series than the caliber of the team. New Orleans is a strong team with a balanced offense and pitching staff.  If there was a flaw to the Jazz it would be the lack of a true cornerstone MVP caliber hitter.

5. Kansas City

I've made the analogy before but it does always seem adapt, the Charlie Brown of the AL faces an uphill battle having traded away B. Thames in the off-season and lost G. Kerr to divison rival SF. I have considered SF and KC over the past 3 seasons to be 1a & 1b in terms of talent for the first time in a few seasons there is a noticeable gap. Despite the gap KC is one of the 5-6 team that I see with a legitimate title shot. With a talented roster KC will have a date to the playoff dance

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Power Ranks- End of Season (S25)

Just for fun in addition to the Power Ranks, I'm going to throw a % for each team's championship chances (more or less probability of winning the title).

1. San Fran (Previous Rank: 2, 2)

As much as I tried to fight it SF takes over the top spot having clinched the #1 seed in the AL.

WS Win % Projection: 21%

2. St. Louis (PR: 5,8)

The Browns rocketed up the Power Ranks and jump into the top 2, on the backs of the #2 seed in the AL and pushing SF to game 161 before the seeding was decided. The addition of K. Lawrence and G. Sanchez to a young talented roster pushes them to #2.

WS Win % Projection:  17.4%

3. Kansas City (PR: 1, 3)

KC must feel a little like Charlie Brown. Every year the Comets think this will be the year I get to win the divison (Kick the football) only to have SF (Lucy) snatch it away in the end. KC boasts the 3rd best record in Hunter but is relagated to the #5 seed and a long road to the championship. For the record KC WS % will be significantly lower than later teams based on the fact to win the WS they have to win 4 rounds likely playing St. Louis, SF & the top NL team along the way

 WS Win % Projection:  12.2%

4. New Orleans (PR 4, 4)

Perhaps I should rename themselves the NO Consistency, as they haven't moved a spot all year in the Power Ranks but for the first time they do take over the top NL rank edging out defending champs SLC

WS Win % Projection:  13.6%

5. New Britain (PR: Honorable Mention (HM), Not Ranked (NR))

Perhaps the largest jump into the power ranks that I remember. At mid-season Dj's team just missed the cut which may have been an oversight on my behalf. As Djbradford has a long history of success in Hunter (3 WS titles), it has taken a few years to turn around his new NL team but it was only a matter of time.

WS Win % Projection:  9.8%

6. Tacoma (PR: 8, HM)

The Narrows were ranked 8th in the mid-season rankings which somehow got turned into bulletin board fodder. Tacoma grabs the AL 3-seed, takes the AL North title (2nd time in 3 season) and set a franchise record for wins.The most important thing to note is they play Louisville in the first round (Admittly my priorities might be skewed).

WS Win % Projection:  4.6%

7. SLC (PR: 3, 1)

The title hangover has lasted longer than expected in SLC, especially considering the lack of available adult beverage from which a hangover would be derived. Some would #7 is a lot respect for the #6 seed in the NL but last time I checked Shmish gets to see the WS trophy on his dashboard everytime he signs in

WS Win % Projection:  3.9%

8. Louisville (PR: 6, 5)

It has been a changing of the guard season in Louisville and I've come to the sad realization for the first time since S14 Flip McCall will not be in the playoff rotation. The Sluggers are a cagey veteran team that is better suited for the playoffs (short bench, short rotation), however they will have their hands full with new rival Tacoma in the first round.

WS Win % Projection: 4.5%

9. LA (PR: 10, NR)

In my last post I noted that LA got the final spot based on team talent & previous coaching success. Those two factors combined to get LA the #3 seed in the NL.

WS Win % Projection: 5.1%

10. Philadelphia ( PR: 7, 9)

This was by far the hardest time I've ever had selecting the #10 seed. Any of Cleveland, Norfolk or Boise has a legit claim to the spot. In the end I went with Philly for consistency of performance but I did want to use this space to tip my cap to the other three team. Cleveland picked up their 2nd divison title in franchise history, Norfolk wins their first divison title since S13 and the first with bobbyj at the helm & Boise's 87W is the franchise high since season 6).

Hineiii sorry I hijacked your paragraph, not sure if this helps or hurts the Power Rankings Curse

WS Win % Projection: 4%

Honorable Mention:

Cleveland (WS Win %: 3), Norfolk (WS Win %: 2.5), Boise

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Power Ranks (6-10)- Mid Season

6. Louisville, PR (5)

The S24 champs have gotten old quick, this season could be viewed as a changing of the guard in the Louisville organization. The GM has tried to stem the tides of change with a few medium to large mid-season moves. To bolster the rotation & bullpen the Sluggers traded for Q. Lary  & Z. Carroll. To fill a hole created by a large injury A. Montanez was acquired for one last playoff drive and promptly got hurt 5 games in.

As mentioned this season was a changing of the guard and I'll like to pour some of my drink out for H. Frederick (2nd All-time Saves), languishing at AAA & Skip Haynes who was released but has picked up with NB in the NL. We wish both players the best

7. Philadelphia (9)

I know Hineiii palms get sweaty everytime I move him up in the rankings. I am sure he has a jahu43 pin cushion reserved for days like today.

The best way to describe Philly is they are a professional organization with no major weaknesses across the roster, however one thing time has done is start to rob some of the organization's formally elite talent of their elite skills. P. Earley, B. Dirks & R. Santiago are still very good players but no longer the Superstars they were in their prime.

8. Tacoma (HM)

Tacoma jumps into the Power Ranks for the first time this season. The Narrows hold the largest division lead in all of Hunter at 9 games, which is a shame as Csher himself had admitted. Over the past few seasons Tacoma-Minny had put together a strong rivalry. Now I think Tacoma had better take advantage of his one year reprieve because I believe Wildpike will have Minny back in his rear view next season

9. Cleveland (7)

Despite a strong start Cleveland slips two spots mostly due to the gains made in St. Louis & Tacoma. The glut of off-season additions have paid dividends as the Moosedawgs are currently on pace for a 92W which would be a Cleveland record. I am glad to see that former Louisville Slugger G. Turner is off to a good start in the closer role

10. L.A.  (NR)

The last spot in the rankings was the most difficult to select. Randy's history of success and team talent level gives him the nod for the final spot. It wouldn't surprise me to see 2-3 honorable mentions jump up into the top 10 for the final rankings

Honourable Mention:

Norfolk, Washington & New Britain

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Power Ranks (1-5) Mid- Season

1. Kansas City,  Previous Rank:  (3)

I am going to be right eventually, KC team is too good not to eventually get the best of SF. Right now, I'm sure Ptowner must feel like Wile E. Coyote when it comes to the divison title. KC sits one game back of SF for the best record in Hunter and has the highest exp. win % (albeit all AL teams are skewed due to the Minnesota debacle)

2. San Fransisco,  PR (2)

Most wins in Hunter, ho-hum just another day in the hilly streets of SF. As I've stated in several power ranks the road to a title almost always goes through Hunter. In the first post of the season I mentioned the key defections from the Night Demons in the off-season, I also then mentioned it wouldn't matter because SF has one of the world's top farm system. Looks like I was correct

3. Salt Lake City,  PR (1)

I will admit this rank is a tip of the cap to the defending champ, had SLC not won the title last season the Mormans may have been attempting to convert teams (6-10) in the power ranks. Although currently 2nd in their divison they do boast the 2nd highest exp win % in the NL, which points to a bit of bad luck thus far

4. New Orleans, PR (4)

Great team off to a great start and if it were not for the Defending Champ respect likely would have jumped up to 3rd and been the highest NL team in the power ranks. As New Orleans is the only team in the NL with a higher exp. Win % than SLC. We are a couple seasons removed from a truly dominant NL team (Little Rock), however New Orleans is best positioned talent wise to take that mantle

5. St. Louis, PR (8)

I've been staring at the Browns in my  rearview mirror for a few seasons now wondering when they would blow past me........turns out it was S25. With huge pre-season acquisition K. Lawerence and equally large mid-season acquisition G. Sanchez, St. Louis has put the AL old guard on notice (SF, KC & Lou)