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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Season 25 Preseason Power Rankings

The off-season free agency frenzy has settled and spring training is under way, which means it's time to check in with the preseason power rankings!  Atlanta once again comes in #1 looking very strong once again.   Houston, active in free agency once again, comes in at #2, with Salt Lake City, Pawtucket and defending champ Buffalo rounding out the top 5.  It looks like it will be an interesting season, with several teams having the potential to have break through seasons.  Good luck this season, here are the complete rankings!



Season 24

Team  W L    Comments
1 Atlanta  115 47 Incredibly deep, loss of Monahan shouldn't hurt much
2 Houston 98 64 Added another marquee bat in Guillen, so looking good
3 Salt Lake City 101 61 Looks the same as last year, so they should be solid
4 Pawtucket 91 71 3-time MVP Cruz will lead the way once again here
5 Buffalo  96 66 Defending champs always seem to get it done
6 Colorado Springs 82 80 Up and coming team that should see improvement 
7 St. Louis 79 83 Influx of offense through free agency should definitely help
8 Boston  97 65 Added a few pieces, but Atlanta in same division is tough
9 Cleveland 97 65 Under new ownership, so could see some changes here
10 Jacksonville 82 80 Busy in free agency, and already had a great offense
11 Los Angeles 88 74 Should be one of the best pitching teams once again
12 Cincinnati 88 74 Looking to build on a solid record from last season
13 Arizona 89 73 Should be great on offense again and in contention
14 New York (AL) 87 75 Great pitching should continue, and keep them relevant
15 Charlotte  86 76 We expect similar results as they got last season here
16 Texas 84 78 High upside, as they have a strong minor league system
17 Las Vegas 76 86 Landed ace Monahan, could be the boost they needed
18 Austin  82 80 Not much buzz about them in the offseason, so we'll see
19 Salem 80 82 Pretty strong minor league system, so there is upside
20 Tampa Bay  77 85 Looking to rebound from a slightly disappointing season
21 Florida 73 89 Offense was a weakness last year, we'll see if it improves
22 Santa Fe 75 87 Will be interesting to see what they do in this park
23 Dover 77 85 Seem to be committed to rebuilding, but have some talent
24 Seattle  74 88 They're making strides, but it's tough to hit in their park
25 Philadelphia 50 112 Extremely active in FA, and have a strong minors
26 Durham  74 88 Division very tough, but have talent, so we'll see
27 Trenton 77 85 Have talent on offense but pitching is a question mark
28 Syracuse  64 98 Need pitching to be more consistent to move up
29 Louisville 62 100 Pitching got rocked last season, so not sure about them
30 New York (NL) 75 87 Lost a lot of players in FA, so looks like a rebuild here
31 Cheyenne 62 100 New park could help them, but too early to tell 
32 San Francisco 54 108 Improvement is possible, if the pitching staff steps up

Monday, October 13, 2014

Season 25 Free Agency Preview

Don Monahan
none
none
Age: 32B/T: S/L
Born: Flagstaff, AZ
Position(s): P (SP3)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile
Who will land this 2-time Cy Young award winner?

We have rolled over to Season 25 in Cobbfather and the bidding wars for this season's top free agents has begun.  This class features some good starting pitching and a handful of solid bats.   Overall, it is a slightly above average class, although not spectacular.  Without further adieu, here are the top free agents available as rated by the Gazette!   Good luck with your bids!

1. Don Monahan, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 2.99 Career ERA, 2 Cy Young Awards
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $99 million

Possible Destinations: Pawtucket, Louisville, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, Boston

Signed with Las Vegas - 5 years, $110 million

Monahan is the clear top prize in this season's free agent class.   He is a two-time Cy Young award winner, has a fantastic career ERA and winning percentage, and his ratings are outstanding, it's difficult to find any flaw in his arsenal.  At age 32, he should still be solid at the end of a 5-year deal.  He's the ace on most pitching staffs instantly, it just may take a max contract to get him. 
 
2. Pepe Guillen, 31, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .300 career AVG, .896 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $80 million

Possible Destinations: Houston, Louisville, Jacksonville, Philadelphia, San Francisco

Signed with Houston - 5 years, $92.5 million

Guillen rates as the top offensive player in this season's free agent class, as he swings a mean bat and still has excellent fielding skills.  He has outstanding contact and doesn't strike out much, along with a fair amount of power and good splits.  Add his fielding prowess into the mix, and you've got a player who can be very valuable for a lot of teams. 

3. Yuniesky Nieves, 32, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .775 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $48 million

Possible Destinations: Charlotte, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York (AL)

Signed with Boston - 3 years, $24 million

Nieves has a quality, yet not spectacular bat, but definitely above average for a typical 3rd baseman.  He has very nice contact, batting eye, and RH split to go with a decent amount of power.  His fielding ability is what pushes him up in value, as having that kind of bat at 3rd base is an upgrade for most teams.  Age is a slight concern, but he looks like he'll still be solid for the next few seasons. 

4. Eduardo Trevino, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.70 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $60 million

Possible Destinations: Houston, Pawtucket, Los Angeles, Buffalo

Signed with Pawtucket - 5 years, $84 million

For those that lose out on the Monahan sweepstakes, Trevino might be a nice consolation prize.  He probably doesn't have staff ace type stuff, but would make a nice #2 starter on most teams.  His effectiveness vs. RH is just good, not great, and that's about his only weakness.  Whoever lands Trevino will have improved their pitching staff for sure. 

5. Rolando Gomez, 29, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .766 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $42 million

Possible Destinations: Las Vegas, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Florida

Signed with Philadelphia - 5 years, $56.5 million

Gomez, the youngest player on this year's list, is a nice power bat who again has excellent fielding skills.  The downside is that the rest of his offensive skills are mediocre to slightly above average.  Still his fielding abilities and plus speed warrant a spot on the list, and his age probably bumps him up a few spots. 

6. Geronimo Johnson, 31, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .852 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $40 million

Possible Destinations:  Jacksonville, Boston, Buffalo, Santa Fe

Signed with St. Louis - 5 years, $74.5 million

Johnson swings a powerful bat, has excellent splits and an above average batting eye.  His contact is below average, resulting in a lot of strikeouts, but he has proven that he is capable of putting forth a solid stat line over several seasons.  He may be more suited for right field, as his fielding abilities are below average to average compared to most 3rd basemen.  But his bat may be able to make up for it.

7. Will Maxwell, 32, 1B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .825 career OPS, 374 SB
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $27 million

Possible Destinations: Houston, Louisville, Charlotte, Boston

Signed with St. Louis - 4 years, $39 million

Maxwell is a highly efficient hitter, with great contact, nice splits and very good power, with a good enough batting eye.  He also has good speed, and has stolen at least 26 bases the past 4 seasons.  He is coming off some excellent seasons in Houston above his career line.  He isn't that great in the field, but could probably play LF in a pinch.  Still, it is worth it to have a hitter with his skills in the lineup.

8. Wayne Roskos, 33, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.19 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  3 years, $30 million

Possible Destinations: Charlotte, San Francisco, Syracuse, New York (NL)

Signed with Boston - 1 year, $7 million

Roskos is a hard throwing righty who would make an excellent #3 or #4 starter on most staffs.  He has great control and velocity, and a nice arsenal of pitches.  His splits are above average, but not great, which limits his effectiveness to a certain extent.  His career ERA and winning percentage is not dazzling, but that could change if he lands in the right spot. 

9. Welington Melendez, 32, SP
No Designation
Key Stat: 3.79 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $23 million

Possible Destinations: Louisville, Philadelphia, Arizona, Buffalo

Signed with Charlotte - 4 years, $29 million

Melendez is a solid lefty who can handle a hefty workload rather effectively.   He doesn't rate out as a superstar, but he can make a solid contribution to most rotations.  His biggest strength besides his durability is his excellent array of pitches.  He could be a lower end option for strong pitching teams, or a good, affordable start to upgrading a weaker staff, and not having to forfeit a draft pick to get him is a plus. 

10. Homer Butler, 37, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.03 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $14 million

Possible Destinations: Pawtucket, San Francisco, Arizona, Colorado Springs

Signed with Colorado Springs - 1 year, $5.4 million

Butler comes in as the top reliever on the list.   Even though he is getting up there in age, he can still be very effective for a couple of more seasons.  His ratings are pretty solid across the board, and he looks capable of tossing 100+ innings for a team that needs to shore up their middle relief.  The Type A designation may scare some teams away, given his age, so there is a potential bargain to be had here, if you are willing to give up the draft pick.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Season 24 Wrap Up

Buffalo
Buffalo Bisons (NL)
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Buffalo takes it all in Season 24!

A new entry has been made into the Hall of Champions as Season 24 came to an end.  The Buffalo Bisons were crowned World Series champs after edging out AL pennant winner Pawtucket in a tough six game series.  Although not the favorite, Buffalo finished #6 in the final power rankings, indicating that they were a strong team capable of a nice playoff run after playing great down the stretch.   Cy Young winner Douglas Banks was a major driving force for Buffalo in the playoffs going 5-0 in six starts with a 2.03 ERA, while Magglio Johnson crushed 8 post season homers after a mediocre regular season.  This is the Bisons' first Cobbfather championship, as they lost their last World Series appearance in Season 17.

Pawtucket had an excellent regular season and post-season run led by record breaking slugger and 3-time MVP Albert Cruz.  The 25 year-old slugger will be back and better than ever next season looking to take that next step.

Thanks for a great season everyone, hopefully we'll be rolling on to Season 25 soon, see you then!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Season 24 Awards Recap

As Pawtucket and Buffalo start to battle it out in the World Series, the regular season awards were announced. Let's see who took home this season's hardware!

Most Valuable Player
American League - Albert Cruz, Pawtucket - .330 AVG 61 HR 148 RBI
No player in Cobbfather history has ever won 3 MVP awards, until now, as Cruz has amazingly managed to accomplish the feat in his first three full seasons in the majors.  There's not enough superlatives to describe Cruz's hitting ability, and he's most certainly a candidate to keep the MVP streak going next year. 

National League - Ray Rudolph, Ottawa - .298 AVG 60 HR 133 RBI
The streak of 17 consecutive different NL MVP winners is over, as Rudolph picks up his 2nd MVP trophy with an outstanding season.   Rudolph also won the NL MVP award in Season 19.  His Home Run and RBI totals are higher than his previous MVP campaign and are career highs.  The 31 year-old slugger obviously still is getting done, and his 2nd MVP trophy is well deserved. 

Cy Young Award
American League - Thomas Hutchinson, Atlanta - 18-3 2.70 ERA 174 K
Hutchinson remained the leader of a most impressive Atlanta pitching staff that dominated the regular season, enabling him to claim his 2nd Cy Young Award.   Hutchinson also won the Cy Young in Season 21.  The crafty 27 year-old righty looks to be a perennial Cy Young contender and is sure to come back strong for seasons to come.  His biggest competition for future awards may come from his teammates.

National League - Douglas Banks, Buffalo - 20-3 2.25 ERA 207 K
It's repeat winners all around this year, as Banks claimed his 2nd Cy Young award this season.  He also won in Season 19.  After missing most of the previous season due to shoulder surgery, Banks was back and better than ever this season.  That's an amazing medical team they have there in Buffalo!  Banks has led his team to the World Series this season, on top of taking home the Cy Young.

Rookie of the Year
American League - Dorssys Tatis, Colorado Springs - .313 AVG 35 HR 97 RBI
Tatis was a runaway winner of the AL Rookie of the Year Award.  He was a key part of the offense that led a second half surge for Colorado Springs and an outstanding playoff run that saw them take out the top two regular season teams in the AL.   At just 21 years old, Tatis has tremendous power, a great batting eye and excellent contact hitting skills that should make him a top slugger for years to come.

National League -  Juan Saenz, Houston - 14-2 2.83 ERA 109 K
Saenz was also a decisive winner in the NL Rookie of the Year race.  An early season call-up, Saenz posted a near flawless record, along with very nice peripherals.  We're not sure Saenz will win a boatload of Cy Youngs, but he's a high quality starter that will be an asset to any pitching staff for many seasons to come.

Fireman of the Year
American League - Gus Masaoka, Atlanta - 2.94 ERA, 43 SV, 2nd win
National League - Rodrigo Ontiveros, Las Vegas - 3.35 ERA, 40 SV, 1st win

That concludes the Awards recap, good luck to the World Series teams, and don't forget to renew your teams for next season!