Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Season 26 Preseason Power Rankings

Season 26 is about to get under way, but before it does, it's time for the preseason power rankings!   At the top, there's no reason to think Atlanta won't be a dominant team again, so they maintain their lock on the top spot.  After that, there's a number of teams in the mix who look like solid contenders.  The rest of the top 5 in order are Colorado Springs, Las Vegas, Houston and defending champion Salt Lake City.  I'm sure there will be quite a bit of movement throughout the season, as several other teams look strong as well.  Good luck in what will be an interesting season for sure!   Here are the complete rankings!

Season 25

Team  W L    Comments
1 Atlanta  116 46 No reason to think they won't be tremendous again
2 Colorado Springs 93 69 Adding Crowe helps for sure, can the pitching hold up?
3 Las Vegas 89 73 Outstanding pitching, but do they have enough offense?
4 Houston 90 72 Solid across the board last season and should be again
5 Salt Lake City 90 72 The defending champs have tough competition in division
6 Texas 91 71 They've been building for a run, could be this season 
7 Boston  111 51 Team is getting older and pitching staff is a slight concern
8 Pawtucket 93 69 Had some turnover in the offseason, but still looking good
9 Florida 90 72 Looking pretty solid overall, should have a good season
10 Los Angeles 88 74 Tough division and not sure about offense, but still solid
11 Buffalo  89 73 Can't count them out with 10 straight winning seasons
12 Jacksonville 95 67 Lost a few guys in the offseason, so we'll have to see
13 Trenton 75 87 Added some pieces in offseason, but tough division
14 Arizona 86 76 Roster looks pretty solid, but tough division so we'll see
15 Philadelphia 67 95 Signed a couple of big FA's, so we think they'll be better
16 Cleveland 84 78 Pretty good numbers last season, pretty quiet offseason
17 New York (AL) 82 80 Pitching staff was great last season with decent offense
18 Seattle  78 84 They've been improving, can they take the next step?
19 San Francisco 75 87 Really good offense, but pitching needs to reign it in
20 Durham  75 87 Nice signing in Sakamoto, but will he be enough? 
21 Salem 78 84 Looking to get back into it after a few seasons of rebuild
22 Austin  76 86 Not quite sure what to make of this team this season
23 Charlotte  71 91 Pitching needs to improve if they are getting back in it
24 El Paso 68 94 Solid offense, but the pitching was pretty bad last season
25 Dover 69 93 Added Roberts for $75 mil, so the rebuild may be over
26 St. Louis 61 101 Rough last season, the offense is still taking shape
27 Cincinnati 70 92 Took a step back last season, but could get back in it
28 Santa Fe 84 78 Seem to be rebuilding, letting two top FA's walk 
29 Tampa Bay  77 85 Looking for someone for Haselman to pass the torch to
30 Syracuse  66 96 The pitching wasn't there last season, that will be key
31 Cheyenne 57 105 Also had pitching woes and seem to be rebuilding
32 New York (NL) 58 104 They look to rebuilding, so it may be a rough season 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Season 26 Offseason Free Agency Recap

It was an interesting offseason free agency period with plenty of talent available as well as debate on the hefty sums dished out.  Let's see who made the top ten out of this year's free agents, and where they landed!

1. Tony Yang, 31, SP
Previous Team: Santa Fe
Signed with Philadelphia - 5 years, $69 million

Yang is a hard throwing righty who keeps the ball down, with nice stamina, good control with an outstanding array of pitches.  His splits are good, not great, which is pretty much his only weakness.  Everyone seemed to be after Wallace, and even though Wallace is better right now, he won't be by the end of the contracts, which gave Yang the slight nod.  Nice job by Philly to nab him early at a reasonable price, while others were chasing Wallace.

2. Lyle Wallace, 37, SP
Previous Team: Los Angeles
Re-Signed with Los Angeles - 4 years, $90 million (Mutual Option for year 4)

Wallace was the ultimate win now pickup, but comes with risk as regression is expected with age.  Still, Wallace hasn't show signs of slowing down yet, which makes him less risky than the typical age 37 player.  He still appears to be one of the best pitchers in Cobbfather, and in the end that earned him another 20 mil a year, 10 mil signing bonus deal from LA.  It was probably key for LA to retain Wallace to have a shot in the tough NL West. 

3. Vic Crowe, 30, 2B
Previous Team: New York (NL)
Signed with Colorado Springs - 5 years, $100 million (Mutual Option for year 5)

After a two season hiatus, Crowe is returning to Colorado Springs with a hefty contract in tow.    Crow rated as the top offensive free agent this offseason, with outstanding power and tremendous batting eye, he has managed a .943 career OPS.  His splits are excellent as well.  I imagine it will be nice for Colorado Springs to have that bat back in the lineup, and should further their quest to challenge for the AL title. 

4. Hideo Sakamoto, 27, 3B/SS
Previous Team: Salt Lake City
Signed with Durham - 5 years, $82 million

Sakamoto is an outstanding fielder with 80+ ratings in every defensive category, and a nice bat, even though he hasn't had a breakout season offensively as of yet.  His very good contact, power and batting eye show promise, but his splits are fairly mediocre, which may be holding him back at the plate.  Still, his fielding skills make him well worth while, and he is also only 27 with no comp pick attached, since the reigning champs decided it was time to part ways with him prior to his final year of arbitration.  

5. Alex Alfonzo, 32, RP
Previous Team: Tampa Bay
Signed with Las Vegas - 4 years, $32 million (Mutual Option for year 4)

Las Vegas add the top reliever available to bolster a staff that was tops in all of Cobbfather last season.  Alfonzo can eat up a ton of innings (he pitched 175 innings last season) and those will be high quality innings due to outstanding pitches, very nice splits, excellent control and his ability to keep the ball down.  All in all, the contract seems like a bargain, which tends to happen in a well-stocked free agent pool like this one was. 

6. Gail Roberts, 31, 3B
Previous Team: Santa Fe
Signed with Dover - 5 years, $75 million

Looks like the rebuild in Dover is over with this signing!  Roberts is a nice hitter with good contact and splits, decent power and a plus batting eye.  His offensive output has been extremely consistent over the past few seasons.  Fielding wise, he has an excellent glove and arm strength, with solid range and accuracy.  Other than SS and C, he'd be able to hold his own at any position.  His versatility in the field is a major plus.

7. Wayne Roskos, 34, SP
Previous Team: Boston
Signed with Pawtucket - 5 years, $35.8 million

Roskos gets the nod as the 3rd best free agent starting pitcher this offseason, and is bouncing between AL powerhouses going from Boston to Pawtucket.  Roskos got roughed up a bit last year in Boston, but his ratings seem to indicate he is capable of doing better, particularly his excellent control, pitch arsenals and velocity to go with decent splits.  It will be interesting to see if he can rebound in Pawtucket.

8. Wilfredo Moraga, 30, 3B
Previous Team: Jacksonville
Signed with Los Angeles - 5 years, $53.5 million (Mutual Option for year 5)

LA wasn't done after re-upping with Wallace, grabbing another top 10 Free Agent.  Moraga is a very good defensive player (he'd rank as a plus defender anywhere but SS and C) who has solid, yet not great, power, splits and batting eye to go with decent contact.  Two seasons ago he put up a .912 OPS which seems to be his ceiling.  The combination of a solid bat and great defense  makes Moraga a solid signing this offseason.

9. Frank Nieve, 33, RP
Previous Team: Pawtucket
Signed with Atlanta - 3 years, $12.3 million (Mutual Option for year 3)

Nieve was the 2nd best reliever in the market, according to our scouts, and was signed at a very reasonable price by the team that lives in the top spot of the power rankings, Atlanta.   He won't give up many fly balls at all, and has nice control and pitches and pretty good splits.  He didn't pitch much in Pawtucket the past few seasons, and you have to wonder how many innings he'll log for a stacked Atlanta team, but he's a nice insurance policy, especially given the price.

10. Kevin Taylor, 31, LF/2B
Previous Team: Las Vegas
Re-Signed with Las Vegas - 3 years, $17.7 million (Mutual Option for year 3)

After declining his option to explore free agency, Taylor found that market for his services wasn't what he thought, and ended up back up in Vegas for less money.  Still, Taylor is a solid bat with excellent contact and power and decent to mediocre splits and batting eye.  It would be a reach defensively to put him at 2B or CF, yet he's just good enough where he wouldn't look completely lost out there.  Still, LF is probably his best primary position.  Taylor could be a nice addition in the form of a solid bat.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Season 25 Wrap Up - Salt Lake City brings it home!

Salt Lake City
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Salt Lake City is your Season 25 Champion!

After a most interesting postseason, Salt Lake City has come out on top and were crowned Season 25 champions.  Ranked #9 in the final power rankings, Salt Lake had a tough first round match-up against defending champion Buffalo, which they came through with ease.  Then in the Divisional round, yoker had to take on his former franchise that he won two World Series with, Florida, and came through with the win in a 5 game battle.  After tackling a very solid Houston squad in the NLCS in 6 games, they went on to win the World Series rather decisively over Texas, who defeated the top two teams in the power rankings on their way to the World Series.  The offense was clicking the entire postseason for Salt Lake, with 5 players contributing 5 home runs or more, to go with clutch starting pitching from their top two starters.  Congrats to yoker on a third Cobbfather title, a very impressive feat!

In other news, let's see who took home the individual awards this year.

American League - Vic Park, Atlanta - .310 AVG 25 HR 81 RBI 42 SB
Park took home the AL MVP trophy as one of the key contributors in leading Atlanta to the best record in Cobbfather.  Hitting for a great average, demonstrating good power, swiping bases, and playing good defense, Park showed that he can do it all.  He also made his 2nd All-Star team this year, and won his 2nd gold glove.  This was the first MVP win for the 26-year old jack of all trades.

National League - Willie Cerda, Jacksonville - .332 AVG 56 HR 155 RBI
Arguably the most powerful hitter in Cobbfather was at again in Season 25, Cerda took home his 2nd MVP trophy in three season with extremely impressive batting numbers.  He finished 3rd in batting average, and 2nd in Home Runs and RBI.  Apparently, voters discounted the numbers of triple crown winner Greg Riley who played in extremely hitter friendly Santa Fe and gave Cerda the nod.  Cerda won his 3rd Silver Slugger and made his 2nd All-Star team as well, and at age 27, will likely be in contention for many more.

American League -  Francisco Aramboles, Atlanta - 25-6 3.09 ERA 285 K
The AL Cy Young award was pretty much a decision of which Atlanta pitcher to give it to.  Aramboles seems like the right choice, as the 25 year-old shattered his own single season strikeout record, set last season, and tied for the most single season wins in Cobbfather history.  Aramboles also made his 2nd All-Star team this year.  Even though the competition is fierce for best Atlanta pitcher, much less the AL Cy Young, we have a feeling he'll be back here in future seasons.

National League - Norman LaPorta, Houston - 19-10 3.09 ERA 198 K
LaPorta collected Cy Young award #4 in Season 25, a feat only accomplished by two other players in Cobbfather history.  The 36 year-old showed he still has ace stuff, leading the rotation for a Houston team that made the NLCS.  He also surpassed the 3,000 strikeout milestone this season, they've already started preparing his spot in the Cobbfather Hall of Fame.   A 5th Cy Young seems unlikely, given his age, but we still wouldn't count him out completely from having a chance at it.

American League -  Jiggs Cuddyer, Boston - 1.86 ERA, 42 SV
After seven season of toiling away in the minors, Cuddyer got thrown into the fire quickly in season 25 being named Boston's closer.   He answered the call valiantly, posting a tremendous ERA and saving 42 games for the world's second best regular season team.  This performance was good enough to earn him AL Rookie of the Year honors.  He also made the All-Star team in his rookie campaign.

National League - Dock Kramer, Arizona - 45 SV, 5.14 ERA
A closer also took NL Rookie of the Year honors, as Dock Kramer claimed the NL honors.  Despite a mediocre ERA, Kramer saved 45 games, which voters felt was impressive enough to take the Rookie of the Year title in the NL.  Kramer, similar to Cuddyer, also made the All-Star team in his rookie season.  Overall, his season has to be considered a success.

American League -  Carlos Pena, Durham - 2.85 ERA 42 SV, 3rd win
National League - Rodrigo Ontiveros, Las Vegas - 3.67 ERA, 45 SV, 2nd win

That concludes this season's wrap up, don't forget to renew your teams!  We'll see you back for Season 26 after what will be a hopefully quick rollover!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Season 25 Final Power Rankings

Here are the end of the season rankings, a bit delayed due to the holidays.  Enjoy!

Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Atlanta  116 46 1 Another simply outstanding regular season for them
2 Boston  111 51 2 2nd best record by 16 games and still a 5 seed
3 Pawtucket 93 69 4 Delivered another strong finish, with numbers up overall
4 Texas 91 71 7 Great finish as numbers got better, will be a tough out
5 Colorado Springs 93 69 13 Tied for best record the last 40, so they're hot as well
6 Las Vegas 89 73 14 Nice stretch run, just missed playoffs in tough division
7 Houston 90 72 3 Struggled over the last 40, but still a strong team 
8 Florida 90 72 8 Very nice season, the pitching improved the last 40
9 Salt Lake City 90 72 6 Winners of a very tough division, solid team overall
10 Jacksonville 95 67 5 3rd best record is a very good accomplishment for them
11 Los Angeles 88 74 16 Great down the stretch, but still just missed the playoffs
12 Buffalo  89 73 10 Barely made it in the playoffs with very good pitching
13 New York (AL) 82 80 12 They got the 2nd AL Wild Card, solid pitching staff
14 Cleveland 84 78 11 Not a bad season at all, could be a player or two away
15 Santa Fe 84 78 15 Seems Santa Fe works for this team, but struggled late
16 Arizona 86 76 9 Rough last 40 ended up costing them a playoff spot
17 Austin  76 86 28 Did very well down the stretch, which is a good sign
18 San Francisco 75 87 22 Took a step forward this season and finished strong
19 Seattle  78 84 17 Also improved, as the offense was better this season
20 Salem 78 84 27 Nice finish, as their pitching came around a bit 
21 Trenton 75 87 18 In a very tough division, their offense did well
22 Tampa Bay  77 85 19 Came on toward the end, but slow start hurt them
23 Charlotte  71 91 23 Good offense, but pitching was an issue for them
24 Philadelphia 67 95 26 Decent down the stretch, but offense was a weakness
25 Cincinnati 70 92 25 Pitching staff never quite came together this season
26 Dover 69 93 29 Committed to rebuilding, offense will need to improve
27 Durham  75 87 20 Had 2 top teams in division, and tough park for pitching
28 Louisville 68 94 21 Pitching was an issue, but offense was not bad
29 St. Louis 61 101 30 Despite some additions, the offense didn't produce
30 Syracuse  66 96 24 Really rough stretch run, poor pitching was an issue
31 New York (NL) 58 104 31 Rebuilding this season, so results not surprising
32 Cheyenne 57 105 32 Their pitching was bad, and didn't get much on offense

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Season 25 Power Rankings #3

It's time for another edition of the power rankings!  With just 40 games to go in season 25, the top 3 remained unchanged, with Atlanta holding the top spot, followed by Boston and Houston.  After that, there was some shuffling of teams, indicating that it should be a very interesting stretch run.  Good luck to all teams the rest of the way, here are the complete rankings!

Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Atlanta  89 33 1 They're clearly the most talented team in Cobbfather
2 Boston  83 39 2 Playing very well still, a shame they'll be 2nd in division
3 Houston 72 50 3 Not great since the last rankings, but numbers are solid
4 Pawtucket 66 56 6 Numbers seem even better than record, they're solid
5 Jacksonville 73 49 7 Pitching improved since last rankings, offense is good
6 Salt Lake City 67 55 11 They're on a roll, as the offense has taken a step forward
7 Texas 65 57 13 Pitching has been ok, but offense really has them rolling
8 Florida 66 56 18 Great record since the last rankings, offense is hot
9 Arizona 70 52 4 Pitching took a step backward, but still getting wins
10 Buffalo  67 55 12 They're the defending champs, so can't count them out
11 Cleveland 63 59 22 Major improvement across the board since last rankings
12 New York (AL) 62 60 14 Pretty well balanced team here, looking at the numbers
13 Colorado Springs 65 57 9 Pitching has been better, but offense in a bit of a slump
14 Las Vegas 64 58 5 On a bit of a slide, but still have excellent pitching
15 Santa Fe 65 57 8 Pitching not bad for their park, but offense fell off some
16 Los Angeles 62 60 10 In a very tough division, numbers have been down lately
17 Seattle  59 63 15 Their offense cooled off majorly since the midway point
18 Trenton 58 64 20 Middle of the pack numbers wise, looking to break out
19 Tampa Bay  56 66 30 They've gotten it together some, but is it too late?  
20 Durham  60 62 17 Tough division, and the offense has fallen off a bit
21 Louisville 56 66 19 Pitching is an issue, but they have a very good offense
22 San Francisco 54 68 21 Pitching is getting better, and their bats are good
23 Charlotte  54 68 23 Another team with pitching issues, but good offense
24 Syracuse  59 63 25 Over .500 since last rankings, which is a good sign
25 Cincinnati 52 70 26 Saw improvement in pitching over the last 40 games
26 Philadelphia 48 74 27 Numbers seem better than their record indicates
27 Salem 55 67 31 Winning record over last 40, as pitching stats are up
28 Austin  52 70 28 Their pitching was better, but offense is an issue
29 Dover 51 71 24 Their pitching isn't bad, but offense hasn't been there
30 St. Louis 51 71 16 It fell apart for them since the last rankings, a shame
31 New York (NL) 47 75 32 Seems to be in rebuild mode, they're not quite there
32 Cheyenne 47 75 29 Pitching has been pounded, and bats not great

Monday, November 24, 2014

Season 25 Power Rankings #2

As the midway point of season 25 is upon us, it's time for another edition of the power rankings!  Not surprisingly Atlanta maintains the top spot, with a star-studded roster.   AL East foe Boston checks in at #2.  Houston is still playing well and comes in at #3.  After that, there was a bit of a shift in the rankings, as we saw some new teams pop into the top 10.  Here are the complete rankings, good luck in the second half!

Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Atlanta  60 22 1 Rolling along and playing well as expected
2 Boston  58 24 3 Looks like one of the best AL 5 seeds in a while
3 Houston 52 30 2 Offense tailed off some, but still incredibly solid
4 Arizona 48 34 8 Continued solid play in tough division lands them in top 5
5 Las Vegas 47 35 18 Top pitching team now and offense is good enough
6 Pawtucket 44 38 12 Solid across the board, looking like a contender again
7 Jacksonville 48 34 21 Tremendous over the last 40, can the pitching hold up?
8 Santa Fe 48 34 10 Really doing well in this park, and pitching improved
9 Colorado Springs 46 36 6 Mediocre since last rankings, as pitching got hit some
10 Los Angeles 44 38 16 Numbers up overall after a slow start, so they move up
11 Salt Lake City 43 39 4 They hit a cold spell, but still are a very good squad
12 Buffalo  44 38 5 Defending champs hit a rough patch too, bats are ice cold
13 Texas 42 40 9 Numbers held steady, but losing record over the last 40
14 New York (AL) 41 41 7 Numbers are down overall, and it affected their win total
15 Seattle  40 42 11 Offense held steady, but it didn't translate to more wins
16 St. Louis 40 42 24 Bounced back from slow start as the offense heated up
17 Durham  42 40 14 Numbers are better, but in a very tough division for sure
18 Florida 40 42 13 Pitching improved, but the offense slowed down some
19 Louisville 38 44 19 Pitching has been hit hard since the last rankings
20 Trenton 39 43 15 They fell off a bit record wise, but pitching has improved
21 San Francisco 36 46 23 Good offense, and the pitching is up, but still shaky
22 Cleveland 37 45 20 Pitching got hit pretty hard since the last rankings
23 Charlotte  36 46 17 Offense slowed down, which resulted in a tough last 40
24 Dover 36 46 29 Pitching took a big step forward, but bats are ice cold
25 Syracuse  37 45 26 Pitching continues to be an issue for them it seems
26 Cincinnati 33 49 31 Looks like some pitching issues were fixed, which is good
27 Philadelphia 29 53 22 Offense sputtered and it's been a rough last 40 games
28 Austin  35 47 25 Pitching got better, but offense not at a contender level
29 Cheyenne 32 50 32 They improved some and got some offense over last 40
30 Tampa Bay  33 49 28 Pitching improved, but the bats went stone cold 
31 Salem 33 49 27 Seems like the rebuild is still ongoing here
32 New York (NL) 31 51 30 Also seem to be rebuilding, as offense isn't there yet

Monday, November 10, 2014

Season 25 Power Rankings #1

The silver anniversary season of Cobbfather is out of the gates and it's time for the first power rankings of the season!   Atlanta remains #1 as they have been dominant, which was pretty much expected.  There is a strong pack of contenders behind them, let's see who has surprised and disappointed so far, here are the complete rankings!

Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Atlanta  31 11 1 Extremely dominant after mediocre start, not surprising
2 Houston 28 14 2 Impressive so far, they are performing as expected so far
3 Boston  31 11 8 Great start, but the pitching hasn't exactly been dominant
4 Salt Lake City 24 18 3 Getting it done with great pitching and good enough hitting
5 Buffalo  26 16 5 The defending champs are amongst the best in pitching
6 Colorado Springs 26 16 6 Stepping it up in the AL West with a well-balanced attack
7 New York (AL) 24 18 14 Solid out of the gate, the pitching has been excellent
8 Arizona 23 19 13 Nice numbers across the board, nice start for them
9 Texas 23 19 16 Offense getting it done, pitching ok, but not great so far
10 Santa Fe 24 18 22 Apparently the extreme park suits them quite well
11 Seattle  23 19 24 Finally getting some offense, which is tough in that park
12 Pawtucket 20 22 4 Rough start again, they always seem to bounce back 
13 Florida 22 20 21 Improved, but not sure the offense is there to contend
14 Durham  23 19 26 Good start in a very tough division is a postivie sign 
15 Trenton 22 20 27 Started hot last season too, pitching is a question mark 
16 Los Angeles 21 21 11 Another typical slow starter who always gets back into it
17 Charlotte  21 21 15 Pitching is an issue, but their offense can definitely mash
18 Las Vegas 21 21 17 Amongst the best in pitching, but offense no there so far
19 Louisville 21 21 29 Solid on offense and the pitching is decent so far too
20 Cleveland 20 22 9 They aren't getting much offense, but pitching looks solid
21 Jacksonville 19 23 10 Slow start for them, but they've got some good talent
22 Philadelphia 17 25 25 Making strides with pitching and the offense is good
23 San Francisco 17 25 32 The pitching is getting hit hard, but offense is showing up
24 St. Louis 16 26 7 Offseason FA signings haven't boosted offense yet
25 Austin  18 24 18 Pitching is getting rocked, the offense can't keep up
26 Syracuse  18 24 28 Decent numbers so far, but not a contender quite yet
27 Salem 16 26 19 They haven't done much so far, pitching is really bad
28 Tampa Bay  16 26 20 Worst pitching in the league, but offense is pretty good
29 Dover 16 26 23 Rebuilding, and it looks like they have no bats left
30 New York (NL) 16 26 30 Offense is decent, pitching hasn't been there so far
31 Cincinnati 15 27 12 Pitching has been getting shelled, so rough going here
32 Cheyenne 14 28 31 Not getting anything at all from the offense at this point