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