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.