Sunday, May 26, 2013

Season 19 Wrap-Up

Vancouver Canadians (AL)
View Hardball Dynasty Profile

Vancouver goes back-to-back!  Wins Season 19 World Series!

After a season of parity where the #1 ranking changed hands every edition, with no one holding it twice, the World Series goes to the preseason #1 Vancouver Canadians, as they make it back-to-back titles, and 3 in 5 seasons.  Vancouver struggled after being named the #1 team in the league preseason, even falling out of the top 10 at the midseason rankings.  But they surged back in the second half, finishing in the top 4 in the last two rankings, and taking that momentum to surge past Boston, Durham and Dover in the playoffs.  The key to their run appeared to be strong bullpen work, as most of their relievers pitched very well in the playoffs. 

Dover had a great run this season as well, coming out of the NL as the #5 seed, they took out the only two 100 win teams back-to-back to make the World Series, but they just ran out of steam, dropping the last 4 games after going up 2-0.

Now, let's take a look at the Season 19 awards winners.

Most Valuable Player
American League  Morgan Cerda, Atlanta - .282 AVG 50 HR 133 RBI 37 SB
Morgan Cerda managed to squeak out another MVP in controversial fashion, as Shawon Stoops and Eugene Brantley had seemingly better numbers, but Cerda takes it an upset win for the second straight year. Not to say Cerda didn't have a great year, he absolutely did, showing that he is a five tool player that will compete for many MVP's in years to come, given that he is only 26.

National League Ray Rudolph, Little Rock - .301 AVG 59 HR 120 RBI
Rudolph was a less controversial winner in the NL, but is only 26 as well, so this may not be his last MVP award either.  Rudolph led a Little Rock offense that was dominant all year, and his impressive numbers speak for themselves.  He also made the all-star team, won a silver slugger award and was the Home Run Derby champion.  Not much else he could have accomplished this season!

Cy Young Award
American League  James Haselman, Tampa Bay - 22-7 2.34 ERA
The AL Cy Young Award may be renamed the Haselman Award soon.  Haselman won his 4th Cy Young Award and it wasn't even close.  He tied all-time great Hall of Famer Carl Sosa for most Cy Youngs in World History, and at only age 31, he seems destined to break the record, and it wouldn't surprise us at all if it were next year. 

National League Douglas Banks, Buffalo - 17-5 1.91 ERA
Banks won the Cy Young in a dead heat over Clarence Poole as he took the award by a single vote. Banks was the leader of a Buffalo team that lead the World in wins and by far had the best ERA.  It's hard to argue against Banks even though Poole had a great year.  Banks is only 25 so he could be great for years to come, if he can avoid the injury bug.  He did spend a little time this season on the DL.  Hopefully Banks can stay health and we'll see his name back here again soon. 

Rookie of the Year
American League  Victor Guzman, Burlington -.273 AVG 38 HR 111 RBI 22 SB
Guzman put up tremendous numbers in a park heavily favoring pitchers.  There's no telling what his stat line would have been in Durham or Colorado.  Guzman looks like he will be a great power hitter for years to come, although as long as he plays in Burlington, future awards may be hard to come by, as he'll have a major park factor obstacle to overcome in putting up the huge numbers that award winners do.

National League Luis Duran, Omaha -.321 AVG 33 HR 83 RBI
Yet another offensive winner who plays in a pitcher's park!  Duran's numbers look legit, and he is also an excellent fielder.  He does have the park factor going against him, but at just age 21, he does not seem to be done improving, and he could be an award winner for multiple seasons to come.  You don't see players like Duran come around too often, he will be a good one.

That concludes Season 19's wrap up, thanks to everyone for a great season, and we would for a quick turnaround into Season 20.  Spread the world to your friends, family and acquaintances about Cobbfather, and see if they want to get in on the fun! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Season 19 Final Regular Season Power Rankings

Leon Jackson - Senior Writer - Cobbfather Post Gazette

The regular season is in the books for Season 19, and it's time to look at where teams stand in the rankings heading into the playoffs.  Yet again, there is a new #1, as one team stood clearly above the rest after a tremendous last quarter of the season.  Buffalo is the fifth different #1 team this season, as they dominated the stretch run going 31-10.  They move up from #2 to claim the top spot.  The league's only other 100 win team, Pittsburgh comes in at #2.  Heading into the playoffs, it seems it's still anyone's for the taking, as the top teams have all been bunched up, with five different number 1's.  It's going to be an exciting post-season for sure!  Here are the final rankings for Season 19.

Team  W L PREV Comments
1 Buffalo  105 57 2 Established as league's top team with great stretch run
2 Pittsburgh  102 60 5 Also had a great stretch run, pitching looking good
3 Dover 96 66 8 Played great all around the last quarter to get a wild card
4 Vancouver  94 68 3 Pitching stepped it up down the stretch
5 Little Rock 92 70 4 #3 NL seed, numbers say they are even better
6 Boston  93 69 14 Great stretch run thanks to greatly improved pitching
7 Durham  93 69 12 Also great stretch run, could be a factor in the AL playoffs
8 El Paso  87 75 10 Played well enough to earn the 2nd NL wild card
9 Kansas City  96 66 6 Average down the stretch, but earned #1 AL seed
10 Tampa Bay  88 74 1 No Haselman in the playoffs?  Offense slowed at the end
11 Detroit  85 77 13 Solid all year, it's a shame they won't be in the playoffs
12 Colorado Springs 91 71 7 Under .500 the last quarter, but #6 seed in the AL
13 Burlington  84 78 17 Nice season all around, just missed playoffs
14 Los Angeles 85 77 16 If the offense improves next season, look out
15 Cleveland  87 75 18 Pitching hurts their ranking, but did win the division
16 Minnesota  86 76 11 Good season to build on here
17 Boise 87 75 9 They were awful the last 41, but managed to win division
18 Austin  78 84 19 Offense never got it together
19 St. Louis 75 87 24 Over .500 down the stretch is a good sign
20 Omaha  78 84 23 Offense needs some help, but pitching is solid
21 Syracuse  75 87 15 Rough stretch run due to lack of offense
22 Arizona  74 88 21 Offense is there, but could use some better pitching
23 Atlanta  69 93 25 Still in rebuilding mode, should improve soon
24 New York (NL) 74 88 22 Average across the board, needs a few tweaks. 
25 Charlotte  72 90 28 Played decent down the stretch, over .500
26 Seattle  68 94 31 Great finish after an awful first three quarters
27 New York (AL) 73 89 20 Pitching got lit up towards the end
28 Honolulu  75 87 26 Poor stretch run, the pitching stats weren't good
29 Florida  67 95 30 Did finish over .500 the last quarter, a good sign
30 Texas 65 97 27 Forgettable last 41 games, looking towards next season
31 Washington  50 112 32 Bad down the stretch, needs some help in the field 
32 Colorado  48 114 29 Major help needed with the pitching staff