Sunday, September 11, 2016

Season 38 Power Rankings - Playoff Push Edition

Los Angeles Colemans
Current: 1  Last: 1

Big Picture: Has a nine game lead for one of the byes, and a six game lead for the number one seed.
Biggest Surprise: 19 year old Raphael Jiminez raking to a .900+ OPS and making a bid for ROY.
Biggest Disappointment: Nobody is seriously underperforming, but I bet the Colemans had hoped soph-a-more Brian Weaver would have taken the next step.

Wichita Rocks 
Current: 2  Last: 7

Big Picture: In a multi-team battle for one of the byes.
Biggest Surprise: Addison Locke has far exceeded expectations after stepping into the rotation.
Biggest Disappointment: He adds value with his speed but the hope would be that COF'er Louis Jamison would produce better than a OPS of just over .600.

Honolulu Jackwagons
 Current: 3  Last: 2

Big Picture: Trying to fend off surging Burlington/Montreal for a bye, while trying to catch Wichita for the one seed.
Biggest Surprise: Since getting the full-time job at catcher a year ago, Glenn Seo has continued to impress.
Biggest Disappointment: After signing a long term extension, defensive whiz William Berger has totally disappeared at the dish.

Richmond Confederates
Current: 4  Last: 3

Big Picture: The front runner for the second seed and a bye, and still has a shot at catching LA for the one.
Biggest Surprise: B.C. Bolivar with career highs in homers and ribbies.
Biggest Disappointment: Yannick Manning with career lows in BA and OPS.

Montreal Stars
Current: 5  Last: 15

Big Picture: Has eyes on both the the division and a bye.
Biggest Surprise: Rookie starter Gary Rhodes has not really experience growing pains.
Biggest Disappointment: Christian Downs has seemed to have taken a step back at the plate.

Cincinnati Dawgs
Current: 6 Last: 5

Big Picture: Tight fight for the division and a possible bye.
Biggest Surprise: Tsubasa Sasaki has career highs in homers and steals, and is raking to a .800+ OPS.
Biggest Disappointment: Carlos Mateo has regressed to the norm after an outstanding 37.

Burlington Bookworms
Current: 7  Last: 11

Big Picture: Battling Montreal for the division, and is fighting for one of the byes.
Biggest Surprise: After breaking out last season, Giancarlo Velez has taken it to another level.
Biggest Disappointment: Sam Henry will probably end the season with career lows in HR, BA and steals.

Santa Fe Brooks
Current: 8  Last: 6

Big Picture: Within striking distance of Wichita for the division, and is in a tight battle with a cluster of teams for the wildcard.
Biggest Surprise: Albert Jose likely to establish career bests in wins, ERA and WHIP.
Biggest Disappointment: Brooks had hoped Matty Simmons could slide into the set up role.

Las Vegas  Bookies
Current: 9  Last:  10

Big Picture: Battling teams on all sides. In a tight race with Honolulu for the division, and could still earn a bye if they can catch them.
Biggest Surprise: Felix Wagner breaking out big time, eclipsing last season's highs in every offensive category, including 117 runs scored.
Biggest Disappointment: Was expecting Jamie Reed to take the next step in the bullpen.

Detroit Chippewas 
Current: 10  Last: 8

Big Picture: Best case scenario is catching Cincy and earning a bye. Worst case is that miss out on a spot entirely, but do have a slight edge against the other wildcard hopefuls.
Biggest Surprise: Wilin Aparicio has played a vital role in the back of the bullpen.
Biggest Disappointment: After last season's 40 HR, 99 RBI breakout, catcher Brandon Cunningham is struggling to maintain a .700 OPS.

Colorado Surf Riders III
Current: 11  Last: 4

Big Picture: The thin air has done a job on the pitching staff, but they are very much still in the mix for a playoff spot.
Biggest Surprise: After posting an ERA near 8 last season, Trevor Bonilla has been key at the back of the bullpen.
Biggest Disappointment: Junior Chong is around for his defense, but he's hitting more than 30 points below his career average right now.

Iowa City Johnsons
  Current: 12  Last: 12

Big Picture: Too many cold stretches have all but eliminated a shot at the division, but are in the hunt for a wildcard.
Biggest Surprise: He didn't come in with high expectations, so I'm sure they must be thrilled with an .800+ OPS from Bobby Walsh.
Biggest Disappointment: After back-to-back strong seasons at the plate, Wallace Herrera has seemed to disappear into those cornfields ala Moonlight Graham.

Washington D.C. Senators
Current: 13  Last: 9

Big Picture: Has pulled away in the division, but will be a long shot to earn a bye.
Biggest Surprise: Toby Stanton having a career year, and will establish career highs in BA, homers, and doubles.
Biggest Disappointment: I bet the hope was that second-year man Felipe Pirela would produce more.

Tacoma Tornadoes
Current: 14  Last: 20

Big Picture: A recent slump has knocked them behind several teams for the wildcard, but they have the goods to pull it off.
Biggest Surprise: Garabez Del Rosario's time was coming, but we didn't figure it'd be this soon.
Biggest Disappointment: It made sense that Jolbert Seanz went down with an elbow injury, as he just wasn't himself this season.

Fargo Marlboro Men
Current: 15  Last: 22

Big Picture: Strong play down the stretch has not only made them frontrunners for a wildcard, but also thrust them into the mix for the division.
Biggest Surprise: Rookie Hayes O'Brien has far exceeded offensive production expectations.
Biggest Disappointment: Oswaldo Flores will establish career lows is almost all offensive categories.

Charlotte Charlatans
Current: 16  Last: 21

Big Picture: After winning 92 games last year, they'll be fortunate to finish at .500, but they still have a slim lead for the division.
Biggest Surprise: Starter Kosuke Sakamoto has progressed each season, but he's now taken it to new heights.
Biggest Disappointment: After hitting .309 last season, Dave Haren is at .232.

Texas Wildcats
Current: 17  Last: 14

Big Picture: Solid season has put them in the playoff hunt, but there may be too many teams to leapfrog.
Biggest Surprise: Rookie catcher Ender Crespo has raked to a .940 OPS.
Biggest Disappointment: After Walt Phillips hit .307 last season, they were banking on at least decent production.

Tampa Bay Don Cesars
Current: 18  Last: 18

Big Picture: Recent stretch of strong play has made them relevant, but may be too little, too late.
Biggest Surprise: Many thought Farmer Torres was done, but he's converted 30 of 32 save chances.
Biggest Disappointment: Although he's turned it on recently, Pablo Figureoa still has 15 losses.

Philadelphia Phoenix
Current: 19  Last: 16

Big Picture: They were one of the hottest teams in the league around the break and were in the hunt, but they have too much of a hill to climb at this point.
Biggest Surprise: Stu McCurry has finally faded into the sunset, but he was a key contributor during their run.
Biggest Disappointment: Hanley Everidge had been a key member of the bullpen, but he's had a rough go of it.

Pittsburgh Appalachians
Current: 20  Last: 19

Big Picture: There were whispers of playoff hopes well into the second half, but they now must wait for next year.
Biggest Surprise: Brett Johnson has saved 20 games while posting a good WHIP and ERA.
Biggest Disappointment: They knew he could pick it, but Pitt needed at least a little pop from newcomer John Koh.

Scranton Rail Riders
Current: 21  Last: 13

Big Picture: Just couldn't keep pace with Burlington and Montreal.
Biggest Surprise: Not sure the Riders could have expected .800 OPS from Donaldo Correa.
Biggest Disappointment: After hitting a combined .280 the last two seasons, Souta Sung is hitting .215 this year.

Anaheim Arte Morenos
Current: 22  Last: 24

Big Picture: Too many strong teams in front of them, but they'll easily eclipse their win totals from each of the past two years.
Biggest Surprise: Edgmir Ramirez has been lights out in a supporting role in the 'pen.
Biggest Disappointment: Steve Snow had a 40/40 season and a 30/30 season in each of the past two seasons. Arte was banking on more than 20/20.

Jacksonville Minutemen
Current: 23  Last: 17

Big Picture: Starting completely from scratch, as most of the big pieces are gone.
Biggest Surprise: Danny McMichael having his most productive season.
Biggest Disappointment: After the two best seasons of his career, we thought Sandy DaVanon had turned the corner.

Durham Bulls
Current: 24  Last: 23

Big Picture: About a .500 team after their 0-10 start, so the turnaround should happen soon.
Biggest Surprise: James Nelson providing some speed, and establishing himself as a decent run producer.
Biggest Disappointment: Doug Shannon in danger of finishing the season with an OPS under .700.

Toledo Mud Hens
Current: 25  Last: 26

Big Picture: Running hot and cold, but has a legit shot at the division title.
Biggest Surprise: Career high already in wins for Renyel Estrada.
Biggest Disappointment: A drop off in production for the 35 year old Otis Sparks was expected, but he has not produced at all.

Trenton Thunder
Current: 26  Last: 27

Big Picture: Staying competitive while going through a rare rebuild.
Biggest Surprise: After serving as a swing man for the past few seasons, Skip Roundtree has exceeded expectations as a member of the rotation.
Biggest Disappointment: Newcomer Chris McKnight has an OPS under .700, and is getting caught on the bases as well.

Syracuse Barking Spiders
Current: 27  Last: 25

Big Picture: Investing their funds in acquiring players for the future.
Biggest Surprise: We knew rookie Shannon “Don't Call Me Kate” Gosling would be good, but probably not this good. Sky's the limit.
Biggest Disappointment: We probably expected a little more from Steve Lennon.

New York Blues
Current: 28  Last: 30

Big Picture: Getting the young talent ready for the future.
Biggest Surprise: Wildthing Ignacio Valdes staying in control out of the bullpen.
Biggest Disappointment: After signing a big contract after his career year season 37, Sandy Perez has neither hit nor fielded well.

San Francisco Lockdown
Current: 29  Last: 29

Big Picture: Waiting for continued minor league success to graduate to the big team.
Biggest Surprise: Rookie catcher Rolando Jacquez has burst onto the scene with his 22 bombs in spacious San Fran.
Biggest Disappointment: The hope was that starter Gary Hamilton would build upon his successful season 37.

San Jose Sea Slugs
Current: 30  Last: 28

Big Picture: The franchise has been in the playoff mix for forever, but the much needed rebuild is in full effect.
Biggest Surprise: Career under-achiever Kane Brown has been lights out coming out of the 'pen.
Biggest Disappointment: Former MVP Gerald Hull has been in decline for awhile, but it's tough to see him with an OPS below .700.

New York Bombers
Current: 31  Last:  31

Big Picture: Will be looking to become relevant at the big league level in the near future.
Biggest Surprise: Rule 5 guy Pete Murphy has proven to be an effective ML reliever.
Biggest Disappointment: If you're going to sacrifice defense at 2B, you'd hope Caleb Cowgill would give you even a little production at the plate.

Chicago Blagos
Current: 32   Last: 32

Big Picture: Lots of young talent to build upon.
Biggest Surprise: Jerry Winchester is having his best season so far.
Biggest Disappointment: Ross Rogers seemed to be a good fit for Wrigley, but hasn't produced as expected.

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