Thursday, April 17, 2014

Season 23 Power Rankings # 1

We're about a quarter of the way through Season 23, so it's time to check in with the power rankings!  Dover, the # 1 team for an amazing 14 consecutive rankings, spanning close to 3 seasons, is off to a great start at 27-14.   With a start like that, it would be hard to imagine taking the top spot away from them.  Nonetheless, a team has put up an even better start that warrants being awarded the # 1 ranking.  Atlanta is your new top team, as it can no longer be argued with their impressive start that they don't deserve it.  A still excellent Dover team is # 2.  A very good Tampa Bay squad comes in at number 3, although they are battling in a tough division where everyone is over .500.  In other news, new ownership in Florida has the squad over .500 to start with a team that didn't top 57 wins over the past 4 seasons.  Truly an impressive feat, they jump from 31 to 19. 

Some favorites are off to slow starts.  Houston hasn't lived up to their preseason hype being ranked # 2, but are certainly capable of bouncing back.  Pittsburgh and Los Angeles are off to slow starts as well, but it's a good bet they'll be a factor in the races to make the postseason.  

An interesting first quarter of the season, here are the complete power rankings!


Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Atlanta  29 12 5 It can no longer be denied that they are the top team
2 Dover 27 14 1 Still a very good team, but pitching is down a notch
3 Tampa Bay  24 17 3 Nice numbers, but division is tougher this season
4 Boston  26 15 7 Offense rolling, pitching not bad even with injuries 
5 Little Rock 25 16 13 Looks like they're back, pitching is a slight concern
6 Buffalo  24 17 10 Great pitching, and offense has been good enough
7 Pawtucket 24 17 18 League's top pitching so far, and getting offense too
8 Louisville 24 17 19 Offense is crushing it so far, pitching is a bit shaky
9 Helena 23 18 11 Playing well, with good numbers across the board 
10 Salt Lake City 24 17 21 Pitching has carried them, definitely a nice start
11 Pittsburgh  20 21 4 Starting slow again, but always turn it up at the end
12 San Juan 23 18 12 Back in the thick of it, although pitching not great 
13 Charlotte  23 18 15 Good start, but pitching is a bit of a concern 
14 Rochester 23 18 26 Nice start, proving preseason ranking was too low
15 Los Angeles 20 21 6 Out of the gate slow, but always seem to find a way
16 Houston 18 23 2 This is a surprise, but they should get back in it
17 Ottawa 21 20 17 Excellent pitching so far, but offense is fairly weak
18 Colorado Springs 21 20 20 Why a winning record?  73 should win division again
19 Florida 23 18 31 This start is amazing, considering the team's past 
20 Austin  19 22 16 Numbers not terrible, could use a little more offense
21 New York  21 20 24 Pitching not great, but winning games with offense
22 Texas 21 20 27 Numbers almost identical to New York, same story
23 St. Louis 17 24 8 A bit of a surprise, pitching has been rocked so far
24 Trenton 16 25 29 Numbers aren't bad, record may be a bit of bad luck
25 San Francisco 16 25 32 Pitching is still a major problem, but nice offense 
26 Las Vegas 14 27 9 Horrid start, but not as bad as the record indicates 
27 Seattle  18 23 22 Offense really struggling, pitching has not been bad
28 Syracuse  18 23 25 In a bit of a slump all around, but could pick it up 
29 Albuquerque 16 25 23 Pitching has been rocked, but offense is doing ok
30 Salem 13 28 28 Looks like rebuild mode, as they are just not good
31 Durham  12 29 14 A bit shocking, they are majorly struggling all around
32 Philadelphia 13 28 30 Rebuild continues as the majors team struggles 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Season 23 Preseason Power Rankings

Season 23 is the brink, which means it's time for the preseason power rankings!  There were some interesting off-season events, including a change in ownership for the back-to-back champs Dover, who still come into the season as the #1 team, although they should be heavily challenged for that spot throughout the season.  Coming in at #2 is Houston, who has broken into the ranks of the elite by adding 3-time Cy Young Award winner Norman LaPorta and 2-time MVP Dustan Jackson to an already solid squad.  Tampa Bay comes in at #3, as they should have another great year, along with #4 Pittsburgh who has won 100 games 3 out of the last 4 seasons.  World Series runner-up Atlanta comes in at #5, despite being the undisputed, unchallenged #1 in their owner's mind.  Jokes aside, it wouldn't be shocking to see them a top the rankings at some point this season.   Here are the complete rankings, good luck to all the teams in Season 23!


Team  W L   Comments
1 Dover 109 53 Hard to drop the back-to-back champs at this point
2 Houston 94 68 Adding LaPorta and Jackson should make them elite
3 Tampa Bay  109 53 Some argue they are aging, but should be solid again
4 Pittsburgh  105 57 Looking like a contender again with great pitching 
5 Atlanta  96 66 World series runner-up should have a great season
6 Los Angeles 92 70 Always in the thick of it, and should be this season
7 Boston  105 57 Not sure if they can repeat last season, but still good
8 St. Louis 89 73 Solid across the board, so should be in it this season
9 Las Vegas 86 76 NL West is tough, but they should be up for the fight
10 Buffalo  88 74 Great pitching, but how will the offense produce?
11 Helena 87 75 If the pitching improves, they could be on the rise
12 San Juan 83 79 Made some moves in FA, and have solid core of youth
13 Little Rock 86 76 Coming off a down season, have the talent to rebound
14 Durham  88 74 This team is up and down, what will this season hold?
15 Charlotte  82 80 Pretty solid club here, and could be headed higher
16 Austin  84 78 Offense needs to improve for them to contend 
17 Ottawa 81 81 Offense was an issue for them, can they improve? 
18 Pawtucket 80 82 Have some potential here, and city move should help
19 Louisville 77 85 Losing Jackson hurts, but pitching is the main issue 
20 Colorado Springs 73 89 AL West contenders, but not because of team talent
21 Salt Lake City 80 82 Fell apart at the end last season, and lost some FA's
22 Seattle  61 101 Have good prospects, can the offense get it down?
23 Albuquerque 70 92 Lost a few FA's, as the new owner makes it their own
24 New York  72 90 We'll see if they're able to take a step forward 
25 Syracuse  75 87 Pitching needs to improve for them to get better
26 Rochester 74 88 Pitching got rocked last season, will it improve? 
27 Texas 67 95 Surprisingly bad offense last season needs to improve
28 Salem 71 91 At least you can't count them out of the AL West race
29 Trenton 69 93 Lost some FA's, so they're a bit of a question mark
30 Philadelphia 51 111 Not really sure where they're at with the rebuild
31 Florida 53 109 This is a rebuild for sure, but new owner is solid
32 San Francisco 55 107 Can they finally get it together this season?  Not sure.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Season 22 Wrap Up - Dover goes back to back!

Dover
Dover Diamond Dogs (NL)
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Dover wins it all again in Season 22! 

In one of the most talked about World Series in recent Cobbfather history, Dover beat Atlanta 4 games to 2 to take the title.  When Dover jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the series, many were predicting a sweep, but Atlanta battled back to take the next two games.   Atlanta couldn't keep the momentum going when the series headed back to Dover, losing a tight 4-3 game 6.  It looks like the power rankings had it right, as Dover was ranked #1 all season from wire to wire.  After their own boisterously predicted a World Series title preseason, Atlanta started the regular season slowly, but became hot near the end, and carried that momentum into the playoffs, almost fulfilling their prediction.  Both teams look to be solid for next season, and a potential rematch certainly isn't out of the realm of possibilities, but there will be a lot of hungry teams gunning for them.   Congrats to both teams on excellent seasons!

In addition to the World Series trophy, other hardware was handed out as well.  Let's review the individual award winners for Season 22!

Most Valuable Player
American League - Albert Cruz, Detroit - .303 AVG 48 HR 110 RBI
The young 22 year-old Detroit slugger took home the AL MVP in a tight race amongst many worth candidates.  In the end, his combination of solid average, high OBP and great power numbers appeared to give him the slight edge.  He also won a Silver Slugger award this season.  He looks pretty flawless at the plate, so expect him to compete for MVP awards for years to come. 

National League - Felipe James, Los Angeles - .327 AVG 35 HR 110 RBI 21 SB
This is one free agent acquisition that paid off, as offseason signee Felipe James took the NL MVP award for Los Angeles.  His already impressive numbers are even better when you consider the park he played in.    James started in the All Star game and won a Silver Slugger award as well.  Fun fact, James is the 16th different NL MVP winner in the past 16 seasons, wow!

Cy Young Award
American League - James Haselman, Tampa Bay - 21-4 2.11 ERA 202 K
Chalk up another Cy Young for Haselman, who won the award by a significant margin.   Haselman did it all again for Tampa this season, with impressive all around numbers.  This is his staggering 6th Cy Young award for the 34 year old hurler, who made his 11th All Star appearance in 11 seasons as well.  With a great deal of young pitching talent in the AL, and the effects of age, it may be difficult to ring up #7, but you can never count out Haselman. 

National League - Lewis Peterson, Pittsburgh - 19-9 2.41 ERA 215 K
Peterson won a closer race for the NL Cy Young Award with an impressive ERA, and a solid 19-9 record over 40 starts.  Peterson joins the ranks of multiple time winners, as he also won the Cy Young in Season 18.   He made his 2nd All Star appearance this season as well.  At 31, Peterson has the potential to be a Cy Young contender for a handful more of seasons. 

Rookie of the Year
American League - Vladimir Troncoso, San Juan -.298 AVG 33 HR 108 RBI
Offense won out over pitching in the AL Rookie of the year race, barely, by just one vote in fact.  Troncoso has amazing power, with great splits and batting eye that should lead to many more years of impressive stats.   His numbers this year were definitely legit. 

National League -  
Paul Burroughs, Austin - 16-7 3.04 ERA 128 K,                                              
Ryan Martin, Seattle -.299 AVG 25 HR 93 RBI 31 SB
NL Rookie of the Year voters couldn't decide between pitching and offense, as the vote ended up in a tie, and we have Co-Rookies of the Year.   Burroughs is a 21 year old hard throwing righty, who has plus ratings across the board, except for splits.  He is so high everywhere else, that shouldn't limit his future success.  Martin is a five tool player, whose out put was extremely impressive given his home park.  It will be interesting to see if he can maintain those numbers in that park, but he will still be a valuable asset either way. 

Fireman of the Year
American League - Walt White, Charlotte - 3.56 ERA, 48 SV, 2nd win
National League -  Manuel Estrada, Houston - 1.72 ERA, 43 SV, 2nd win

That wraps up Season 22, hoping for a quick turnaround to Season 23, don't forget to renew!   See you next season!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Season 22 Final Power Rankings

Season 22 is in the books, so it's time for the final power rankings of the season.  The top 4 remained the same, as all were equally solid down the stretch, and won 105 or more games.  But that doesn't mean there aren't some strong contenders to challenge them.  Atlanta looked great down the stretch, and comes in at number 5 and hopes to carry that momentum to help fulfill a promised World Series title.  Los Angeles is looking good right now too, coming in at #6.  Should be an interesting postseason, here are the final rankings.  Good luck to the playoff teams!


Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Dover 109 53 1 Holds on to #1 with impressive stats all around 
2 Tampa Bay  109 53 2 A really close #2, no doubt they are a great team 
3 Pittsburgh  105 57 3 Looking good at playoff time, could give Dover a run
4 Boston  105 57 4 Struggled a bit down the stretch, but still good 
5 Atlanta  96 66 7 Turning it up in hopes of fulfilling WS title promise 
6 Los Angeles 92 70 8 Offense improved, which they'll need in the playoffs
7 St. Louis 89 73 16 Impressive stretch run, hot going into the playoffs
8 Houston 94 68 5 Not great down the stretch, but a very solid team 
9 Helena 87 75 11 Nice stretch run to grab an NL Wild Card spot
10 Little Rock 86 76 12 Missed playoffs, but should bounce back next season
11 Buffalo  88 74 6 Grabbed NL Wild Card, despite rough stretch run
12 Las Vegas 86 76 10 Good season, but faltered down the stretch a bit 
13 Durham  88 74 13 Got an AL Wild Card, which is always a good thing
14 San Juan 83 79 18 It's starting to come together, will be good next season
15 Ottawa 81 81 19 Offense was a weakness, but still a good season 
16 Austin  84 78 14 Not a bad season at all, bats could use more punch
17 Detroit  80 82 22 Amazing stretch run, could be sign of things to come
18 Salt Lake City 80 82 21 Good team, a victim of an incredibly tough division
19 Charlotte  82 80 9 Faltered towards the end, but not a bad team at all
20 Louisville 77 85 15 Rough stretch run, they have a very good offense
21 Syracuse  75 87 28 Played much better down the stretch, a good sign
22 Colorado Springs 73 89 20 Did they really win their division?  Wow!
23 Vancouver  70 92 17 Wheels fell off, probably sad about the retiring owner
24 Rochester 74 88 26 Pitching was bad, but over .500 down the stretch
25 Salem 71 91 24 Numbers were middle of the pack all around
26 Burlington  69 93 25 Incredibly tough division didn't help them this season
27 New York  72 90 23 Bad stretch run, and middle of the pack stats wise
28 Seattle  61 101 29 Great pitching, hitting is tough going in that park 
29 Texas 67 95 27 Offense just wasn't there this season for them 
30 San Francisco 55 107 31 Still need to work on their pitching, which was last 
31 Philadelphia 51 111 32 Looks to be full rebuild mode here, rough season 
32 Jacksonville 53 109 30 Rebuilding too, we'll see what next year holds for them

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Season 22 Power Rankings # 3

We're headed down the home stretch of Season 22, but before that it's time to check in with another edition of the power rankings.  The top teams continued to play very well since the last rankings, with not a lot of movement at the top.  Dover holds on to the top spot again, with the offense stepping it up even further as of late.   Tampa Bay is a very close 2nd, playing incredible ball as of late.   Pittsburgh has shown they are capable of giving Dover a run for their money in the NL, as they've been playing outstanding since the last rankings, and they come in at #3.   Other teams are playing very well also, but the teams above them didn't falter.  Here's the complete power rankings!


Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Dover 83 38 1 Staying on top, thanks to offense turning it up
2 Tampa Bay  82 39 2 Creeping closer to the top spot, playing great 
3 Pittsburgh  79 42 4 Playing fantastic, the offense has stepped it up
4 Boston  80 41 3 Playing solid ball still for sure, holding steady
5 Houston 73 48 5 Getting it done with solid all around play
6 Buffalo  69 52 6 Pitching has been great, getting them W's
7 Atlanta  69 52 7 Offense is coming around, in the AL mix for sure
8 Los Angeles 66 55 11 Winning games with pitching, can bats come around?
9 Charlotte  65 56 15 Solid across the board numbers wise, playing well
10 Las Vegas 67 54 16 Pitching really stepped up to get them NL West lead
11 Helena 63 58 17 Showing improvement pitching wise, great offense
12 Little Rock 66 55 8 Pitching is coming around for them, offense is solid
13 Durham  69 52 9 Improved pitching, but offense fell off a bit 
14 Austin  63 58 12 Offense showed a slight uptick, which is a good sign
15 Louisville 60 61 19 Played very well since the last rankings
16 St. Louis 62 59 10 Below .500 since last rankings, but still a solid team
17 Vancouver  58 63 18 In the lead in the AL West, which is still for the taking
18 San Juan 60 61 20 Making strides this season, but not sure about pitching
19 Ottawa 58 63 25 Major improvement in pitching since the last rankings
20 Colorado Springs 56 65 26 Still in the thick of it in AL West, despite rebuild
21 Salt Lake City 57 64 14 Have fallen off a bit, the offense is down some
22 Detroit  53 68 23 Playing a bit better as of late, may be coming around
23 New York  56 65 27 Numbers improved overall since last rankings
24 Salem 53 68 24 Offense has been better, but pitching is down a bit
25 Burlington  52 69 13 Wheels have fallen off lately, numbers down overall
26 Rochester 53 68 29 .500 since last rankings, but pitching is still an issue
27 Texas 53 68 21 Pitching stats ballooned a bit since last rankings
28 Syracuse  53 68 22 Not playing well lately, but offense is pretty good
29 Seattle  45 76 28 Playing better, and numbers have been up lately
30 Jacksonville 42 79 32 Not getting much offense at all has been an issue
31 San Francisco 37 84 31 Pitching is improving some, but not much offense here
32 Philadelphia 34 87 30 In a major slump, offense has been an issue for them

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Season 22 All Star Coverage

It's hard to believe the All Star game is already here in Season 22, but the festivities are getting under way and the All Star teams have been announced.  Tampa Bay (AL) led the way with 7 All Stars this season, followed by Dover (NL) with 6.  Boston (AL), Buffalo (NL) and Pittsburgh (NL) each had 5.

In the AL, only 9 teams had players on the squad.  Leading the way for the AL again, is the great one or Mr. Perfect, as he is known in some circles James Haselman, making his 11th All Star appearance in 11 seasons.  Roberto Bennett of Vancouver gets an honorable mention for making his 7th appearance.

In the NL, 12 teams were represented on the squad, and headlining is a pair of Dover teammates grabbing the headlines, as Mendy Kondou is making his 8th appearance, and Norman LaPorta is making his 7th.

Here are the complete All Star Rosters!

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Starters


Player Team Appearance
C Roger DuBose Boston 2nd
1B Vern Connelly Louisville 1st
2B Dustan Jackson Louisville 4th
3B Benjamin Delcarmen Rochester 1st
SS Dorian Hochevar Durham 1st
LF Stubby Shaw Boston 4th
CF Morgan Cerda Atlanta 3rd
RF Juan Mercado Charlotte 2nd
DH Arthur Stern Vancouver 1st




Pitchers


Player Team Appearance
P Walt White Charlotte 3rd
P James Haselman Tampa Bay 11th
P Edwin Radlosky Boston 4th
P Luis Valdes Durham 1st
P Gus Masaoka Atlanta 1st
P Victor Almanzar Boston 5th
P Terry Cameron Louisville 2nd
P Julio Sanchez Tampa Bay 4th
P Tony Saenz Tampa Bay 1st
P Footsie Blauser St. Louis 1st
P Logan Roberts Charlotte 1st
P Carlos Castro Tampa Bay 1st
P Vic Amaral Atlanta 1st




Reserves


Player Team Appearance
C Jimmie Newson St. Louis 1st
1B Eugene Brantley Tampa Bay 6th
2B Gerald Jacobsen Tampa Bay 2nd
3B Roberto Bennett Vancouver 7th
SS Pedro Cervelli Tampa Bay 1st
LF Midre Mantalban Vancouver 3rd
CF Aaron Kennedy Boston 3rd
RF William Sabathia Vancouver 5th

AL All-Stars by Team
Tampa Bay 7
Boston 5
Vancouver 4
Atlanta 3
Charlotte 3
Louisville 3
Durham 2
St. Louis 2
Rochester 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Starters


Player Team Appearance
C Stan Dickens Dover 4th
1B Victor Guzman Helena 1st
2B Benny Lee Pittsburgh 1st
3B Mendy Kondou Dover 8th
SS Albert Pineda Dover 6th
LF Felipe James Los Angeles 4th
CF Chris Nye Dover 3rd
RF Jerrod Griffiths Houston 2nd




Pitchers


Player Team Appearance
P Manuel Estrada Houston 3rd
P Homer Butler Los Angeles 5th
P Rodrigo Ontiveros Las Vegas 2nd
P Brent Voyles Ottawa 3rd
P Don Monahan Dover 3rd
P Jayson Klesko Austin 3rd
P Lewis Peterson Pittsburgh 2nd
P Norman LaPorta Dover 7th
P Edgar Henriquez Pittsburgh 2nd
P Welington Melendez Buffalo 2nd
P Pedro Mijares Pittsburgh 1st
P Juan Seanez Little Rock 2nd
P Antonio Ishida Buffalo 1st
P Dom Sturtze Austin 1st




Reserves


Player Team Appearance
C Dan Pall Helena 2nd
1B Howard Greer Pittsburgh 4th
2B Kevin Taylor Las Vegas 1st
3B Vic Rios Buffalo 1st
SS Hideo Sakamoto Salt Lake City 2nd
LF Pascual Hernandez Buffalo 4th
CF Timo Worrell Seattle 1st
RF Magglio Johnson Buffalo 1st
 
NL All-Stars by Team
Dover 6
Buffalo 5
Pittsburgh 5
Austin 2
Helena 2
Houston 2
Las Vegas 2
Los Angeles 2
Little Rock 1
Ottawa  1
Salt Lake City 1
Seattle 1