Tuesday, December 15, 2015

S35 Power Rankings - Playoff Push Edition

Honolulu Jackwagons
Current: 1 Last: 1

Will get a bye and a great shot at the title.  Awards should pile up as well, with Daniel Mulder and Ben Perez in the running for MVP and Cy Young respectively.

Wichita Rocks
Current: 2  Last: 2

Is the front runner for the other AL bye.  Great shot at a return to the World Series.  Alexi Arenado could be the second player in three seasons to nab the ROY and MVP award in his first year.

Iowa City Johnsons
Current: 3  Last: 3

Is in great shape to earn a bye and make a run for their third title, and first since season 23's repeat.  Sherman Curtis and Diego Alvarez could split MVP votes, but both are certainly worthy.

Los Angeles Colemans
Current: 4  Last: 5

The division, and most likely the other NL bye is at stake, and they're playing some of their best ball of the season right now.  21 year old Seop Jiang is eyeing the MVP and Harry Arias the Cy Young.

Syracuse Barking Spiders
Current: 5  Last: 11

They've shed the "storybook-turnaround-feel good story" image, and are making a case for being one of the elite teams.  Joe Cooper is definitely the leader, but they have 12 guys with at least 250 AB's making winning contributions.  Wichita looking over their shoulder at 'Cuse for the bye.

Tacoma Tornadoes
Current: 6  Last: 6

Pushing the red hot LA for the division title and the possible bye, but the wild card is a fall back option, barring disaster.    Former 16th round draft pick Victor Santana locks down the the 9th inning leads.

Monterrey Minutemen
Current: 7  Last: 12

Looks like it will be another tough battle for a playoff berth, but are currently 4 games up for a wild card.  Goose King earned his 9th All-Star nod, and is leading the charge.

Pittsburgh Appalachians
Current: 8  Last: 9

Currently hold a four game lead in the division.  But the pressure is on Cy Young candidate Karim Izquierdo and the rest of the staff to fend off the bunched up NL East and wild card wanna be's.

Richmond Confederates
Current: 9  Last: 7

Their recent hot streak may be too little, too late to catch Iowa, but are three games up for a wild card.  Never under estimate the heart of a champion (and the bat of Tony Rodriguez.)

Colorado Surf Riders III
Current: 10  Last: 13

Have played solid ball down the stretch to become one of the wild card favorites.   Steady Sammy Elster leads the rotation and ROY candidate David Hudson locks down leads. 

St. Louis Cardinals
Current: 11  Last: 8

Have fallen out of the running for the division, but are only three games off the pace for a wild card.  If they can make it, the one-two punch of Jose Leon and Julio Martin at the top of the rotation would look good in a short series.

Louisville Nightmare
Current: 12  Last: 10

Four games off the pace for the division, five for a wild card.  Jimmy Elarton having a career year.

Santa Fe Brooks
Current: 13  Last: 19

Being several games back of a playoff spot at this point last season didn't phase them.  They're only three games behind Colorado for the wild card.  Vicente Vasquez having a monster rookie season. 

Burlington Bookworms
Current: 14  Last: 14

Took charge of the division at mid season, and are now trying to hang onto a six game lead. If they can, they're capable of knocking off a big gun with both Jackson and Melville pitching twice in a short series.   Carlton Hines putting up big numbers in a big park.

Philadelphia Phoenix
Current: 15  Last: 15

Fell just short of a playoff berth last season.  Newcomer Edgardo Cruz hopes to be difference maker this season in a crowded NL mix.

Hartford Hippopotamus Dance Party
Current: 16  Last: 23

Started coming on strong again down the stretch as they did last season, but could ill afford the recent rough patch that has put them nine games out of a spot.  Newcomer Felipe Mercado has been a welcome addition.

Trenton Thunder
Current: 17  Last: 21

Can't be counted out with the likes of Nick Jacquez and Lou Torre having tremendous seasons, but it will be tough to make up nine games.

Washington D.C. Senators
Current: 18  Last: 28

Have quietly been one of the the better teams during the second half, and are about a game away from showing up in the wild card standings.  Braxton Wayne is in the ROY mix with his power and sold D at 2B.

Scranton Railraiders
Current: 19  Last: 4

Gave up the early division lead to streaking Burlington, but the door is definitely still open to claim it back.  Only five games out with a series against their rivals still on the schedule.  Al Gardner's season sums up the 'Raiders fate;  he won his first 13 starts, then proceeded to lose his next 5.  He is back on track though, and ready to lead the charge.

Tampa Bay Don Cesars
Current: 20  Last: 17

Looking ahead to next year.  Arthur Collier have a nice season at the back of the rotation.

Charlotte Charlatans
Current: 21  Last: 18

Building nicely on last years nine win improvement.  Should be part of the playoff hunt by next season, with Julius Ramirez and Anibal Espada set to be around for the long haul.

Fargo Marlboro Men
Current: 22  Last: 27

They say all you need to do is make the tournament and it's a whole new season.  Will probably win the division with a sub .500 record, but Denny Jung et al, are the championship driven type.  Could be a sleeper in the playoff mix.

Montreal Stars
Current: 23  Last: 26

Tons of talent on the offensive side of things, with Robert Browning set to be in the middle of the line up for years to come.

San Francisco Lockdown
Current: 24  Last: 22

They were hovering around .500 and in the hunt until their recent skid.  If they can get more leads to Sidney Little next season, they could make a run.

Anaheim Arte Morenos
Current: 25  Last: 24

Write them off as simply having a bad year.  A.J. Sheffield and this talented crew will most likely be back with a vengeance next season.

Durham Bulls
Current: 26  Last: 16

  The reset button seemed to be hit around mid season.   They have a beast to build around in Doug Shannon.

Buffalo Blues
Current: 27  Last: 32

Too bad they can't throw away their 0-10 start.  They've actually had several solid stretches during the second half and seem to be turning the corner.  Dingo Robinson should be around for the long haul, and Wellington Rijo is locked up for three more seasons.

Chicago Blagos
Current: 28  Last: 20

It's rare to see the Blagos in rebuild mode, as they're been a consistent contender for so long.  Even so, they were still in the division race until just a few weeks ago.  Sparky Knight is having a nice rookie campaign.

San Antonio Wildcats
Current: 29  Last: 31

It's another rarity to see the 'Cats rebuilding too.  The San Antonio experiment may be close to an end, as a return to Arlington could be what the doctor ( Donn Jones) ordered.

Detroit Chippewas
Current: 30  Last: 29

They were in the mix as well in the weak NL North, but it is more about the future with these guys.  Can't wait to see what up and comers Julian Guerrero and Aramis Javier will do at the big league level.

Milwaukee Boomers
Current: 31  Last: 25

The reset button seemed be hit when Robin Walter went down with an injury.  Stud of the future Alexei Ferrer fits the Boomer mode to a tee.

Las Vegas Point Shavers
Current: 32  Last: 30

They were able to nab a solid pitcher in Diego Medrano, and power hitting catcher in Albert James to help set up the rebuild.  But it's all about the future with this franchise.

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