Thursday, July 2, 2015

Off Season Power Rankings

1. Monterrey Minute MenStefan Redondo;  ROY, Silver Slugger, MVP and WS Ring for the freshman...can't wait to see the encore.

2. Santa Fe BrooksEdgardo Cruz went 33-1 and offense scored nearly 7 runs  per'd they lose 50?

3. Louisville Nightmare – Even with the move to hitter-friendly Loo-ville, the tres-headed beast at the top of the rotation  Ismael MartinOssie Diaz and Hugh Hogan will still be Nightmarish

4. Pittsburgh Appalachians – If free agents Joe Cooper and Welington Rijo defect, can we count on the fountain of youth to keep flowing for Hi Shouse  and Luis Castillo?

5. Fargo Marlboro Men – A line up stacked with Renaissance Men, led by JungCust, and Flores. Do they cook and do windows too?

6. Wichita Rocks – Deep staff, led by Brent Davis, topped the AL in a long shot. Takes pressure off Ming, Piedra , and the rest of the talented line up.

7. Iowa Johnsons- Shrewd ownership always seems to put together the right pieces...Diego Alvarez  a .959 OPS in Iowa? You must be pullin' my Johnson!

8. Anaheim Arte Morenos – Count on a bounce-back year from Anthony Aven. Were fortunate to sneak out the division and bye last season. New look owner Arte pushes team to shave Zeus beards (or at least brush the crud out.)

9. Trenton Thunder – Losing Lou Torre to injury was a blow to their title hopes, but are championship caliber with him and A.J. Sheffield in the line up, and with Pressley and Balentien in the rotation.

10. Honolulu Swingin' Jackwagons – Late season collapse most likely an aberration, should be the team to beat in the AL West. Rudy Howell poised to be perhaps the greatest power hitting catcher in World history.

11. Richmond Confederates- Fielding issues have kept this talented squad from advancing to elite status. The undeniable talent of Tony Rodriguez, Harry Arias, and Perry Gonzales keeps them a legit title contender.

12. Scranton Rail Riders – If Alex Scott defects, the high powered offense featuring Torres, Durrington, Molina and Thompson may not even miss a beat. This storied franchise always seems to find a way to stay in contention.

13. Chicago Blagos – Santo Cerda (the Jay Cutler of Chicago-fake-baseball) has seen his win total decrease in each of his four seasons in Chi-town. Having a big “contract” year could be the difference between the team being a title contender and also-rans.

14. D.C.Senators – One of the World's all-time bests, Oleg D'Amico collected his 400th career homer and his 7th gold glove last year. If he and the rest of the high powered offense can get a typical Birdie "Boys of Summer" Henley type season from their ace, the sky's the limit.

15. San Antonio WildcatsJuan Martin posts a 1.17 WHIP in Texas; I'm going love to see what he does in the new cavernous ball yard in San Antone. ( Yorvit Rodriguez has asked to be traded though.) Brant Ducey will continue to mash his way towards his 400th homerun.

16. Durham Bulls – Six all-stars headed by lights out closer Andrea Sheffield, power-hitting catcher Christy Cintron, and all-around good guy Doug Shannon make this team an instant contender. Too bad they played in a division with three teams that had 97 wins or more.

17. Tampa Bay Don Cesars – Sub par seasons from Anibel Olivares and Cam Moustakas eliminated any hope of contending in the tough NL South. Young slugger Mike Christians  seems to be the real deal, however.

18. Colorado Bigfoot - Wellington Rijo hit 34 homers in fewer than 400 AB's before he was dealt, and Andy Lincoln just plain rakes. Too bad these two can't pitch as well....

19. San Francisco Lockdown - This team stormed into the playoffs in the season's last week on the backs of pitchers Harold DurhamMiguel Ozuna and Sindey Little. Too bad they can't hit too...

20. Tacoma Tornados – The 'nados finished first in the league in plus defensive plays and third in fielding percentage, with slick glove-man Al Mesa leading the charge. Sluggers Luis Peron and Benny "The Jet" Molina rake at the dish and dazzle in the field. Get this squad some solid arms and we'll be talkin' title.

21. Kansas City BluesOrel "Bulldog" Stearns finally made his debut, (although a little late to the dance), and raked to the tune of .307/.403/.532. He and Pedro Ontiveros should be paired in the middle of the line up for several seasons. If well-aging Pat Dougherty re-signs, they will score some runs. Free agent ace Stu McCurry would look nice in Blue's blue.

22. Hartford Hippopotamus Dance Party – Kevin Hatteberg is poised to become one of the all-time greats, and he has plenty of offensive support in the likes of Andrew Turner and Sammy Medrano. They need to lock up ace Ivan Aquino and build a staff around him to compete.

23. Milwaukee Boomers – This team is going to slug, with 7 guys who hit 24 or more homers last season.   Esmil Izquieredo led the way with 47, and is locked up long term. The pitching staff is extremely deep, led by Juan Bennett and Elrod Lankford. Expect this team to make some noise.

24. Los Angeles Colemans – Starter Rich Wright developed into an ace this past season and won 20 games for a sub-500 club. Wellington Diaz and Seop Jiang anchor the line up, and more young guns will be up to help soon. The window is just opening...

25. Augusta Polar BearsHal Ladendorf  belted 55 homers and raked to a 1.007 OPS, but he and his boys Gordon Villone and and Pepe Hernandez have put out a call for the missing arms. Free agent ace Stu McCurry would look nice in Augusta blue...

26. Arizona Wild Kitties – Looks like they are going to build around slugger Daniel Mulder. Not a bad plan, not a bad plan at all.

27. Albuquerque Atomic RatZ – The top/middle of both the line up and the rotation seemed to take a year off.    But I would expect Gerald HullHersh "Judd" Glynn, Darrell Bigbie, and Waldimir Ontiveros to return to form.

28. Syracuse Barking Spiders- Alex "Long Duck" Dong never saw a pitch he didn't like (excuse the double-negative and the Sixteen Candles reference); 33 walks in 1575 career AB's. He and his roster mates have some decent offensive skills and the potential to score some runs, but they may as well just throw their gloves away.

29. Philadelphia Phoenix – The have an ace in Kenley Skinner to build around and a couple of run producers in Socks "Three Team Parlay" Rose, Sid Reed, and Al Fernandez. May not be long for these guys to put it all together.

30. Detroit Chippewas  - There's also an ace to build around here. But Delenor Melville is going to need some help.

31. Charlotte Charlatans – Much less about the now and more about the later.  Gerry Morse, David Reynolds and Cord Hennessey should be making their way up soon.

32. Burlington Bookworms – Nate Lanier and Matt Gerut should be providing some help to Silver Slugging SS Woody Bryant real soon.

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