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.
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
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 SP.........now that has been address.
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.
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
Durham, San Jose, Minnesota & Charlotte