Friday, October 11, 2013

Season 13 Preseason Power Rankings

Spring Training is under way for Season 13, free agency is over and the regular season is right around the corner.  That means it's a good time to release the preseason power rankings.  These are always tough to do, since so much has changed from the previous season, but it's worth a shot.   The preseason # 1 is the defending champion Oklahoma City.   Although some might question that choice, since they seem to only win titles in even numbered seasons, the roster is strong again, and there's no reason to deny them the top ranking.  There will be some strong challengers this year.  Coming in at #2 is Little Rock, the only other team than OKC to hold the #1 spot over the past season.  Offensive juggernaut Pawtucket is #3, while Buffalo and Memphis round out the top 5.  Here's the complete preseason rankings!!

Season 12

Team  W L   Comments
1 Oklahoma City 103 59 Champs have won 3 titles, but never back-to-back
2 Little Rock  102 60 Very strong roster, should be great again.
3 Pawtucket  103 59 Great offense, the pitching is above average too
4 Buffalo  100 62 Solid across the board, always seem to be in the mix
5 Memphis  97 65 One of the best pitching staffs, not sure about the bats
6 Arizona 99 63 Great roster, how will new ownership guide them? 
7 Tampa Bay 76 86 Improved in the offseason, but in tough division
8 Cincinnati 79 83 Good team got better through offseason free agency
9 Chicago (AL) 89 73 This franchise is on the uptick, added a few FA's
10 Honolulu 84 78 Added a couple of pieces and were solid last season
11 Kansas City 83 79 Good roster here, we'll see what the new owner can do
12 Rochester 86 76 Very nice pitching, but do they have enough offense?
13 Nashville  91 71 Didn't do a lot in the offseason, but still pretty good
14 Texas  67 95 Very busy in free agency, we'll see if it leads to wins
15 St. Louis 92 70 Lost some talent in FA, but they could be all right still
16 Dover  89 73 Some players left in FA, and they declared a rebuild
17 Vancouver 85 77 We'll see how they do in a more hitter friendly park
18 Seattle 83 79 Offense needs to improve, and Seattle is tough for that
19 Charleston 81 81 Good pitching here, bats are key factor here too
20 Toronto 81 81 Pretty average overall, could be about the same 
21 Portland  58 104 Great 2nd half last season and very active in FA
22 Philadelphia 73 89 Great pitching last season, but offense is a ? 
23 Jacksonville 74 88 Not sure they have the pitching to contend just yet
24 Oakland 69 93 Did sign a few FA's so should be better
25 Detroit 67 95 Seems to be still in rebuilding mode
26 New Britain  69 93 Another team that is looking toward the future
27 Chicago (NL) 64 98 May still be a few seasons away from contending
28 Louisville 79 83 Took some hits in free agency, and division is brutal
29 Anaheim 72 90 Hard to predict what they will do after leaving Colorado
30 Indianapolis 79 83 Lost a couple FA's, so they may be impacted
31 Burlington 59 103 Seem to be in rebuild mode, so may be a down year
32 New York  59 103 Quiet in FA, so looks like another rebuild season

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Season 13 Free Agency Preview

Season 13 of the Kenny Powers World is under way and the offseason Free Agency period has begun! It's time to take a look at this season's free agent class.  There aren't any superstars, and the caliber of offensive players is fairly weak.  So, it's not the best free agent class ever, but there are still some players who will be solid adds to any roster.  Without further adieu, here's the top 10 Free Agents of Season 13!

1. Pascual Nunez, 29, 2B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .811 Career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $58 million

Possible Destinations: Vancouver, Cincinnati, Memphis, Burlington

Signed with Chicago (AL) - 4 years, $27 million

Nunez gets the nod as the top free agent this offseason.  He's not a superstar, but has a good power bat, and decent speed.  His top attribute is his tremendous fielding ability, as a possible gold glove caliber 2B or CF.  His age, 29, is a big plus as he'll have several quality seasons still to come.  Given the lack of quality free agents on offense, we rank him #1.  

2. Douglas Telford, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.57 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $50 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago (AL), Pawtucket, Texas, Portland

Signed with Memphis - 5 years, $73 million

Telford is a hard throwing righty with elite level control and good splits.  He has two excellent pitches in his arsenal as well.  He's done excellent in a wide variety of parks, and would make a great #2/#3 type and would be a staff ace for some.  You could easily argue he should be ranked #1.  

3. Ron Wilkinson, 30, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.96 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $44 million

Possible Destinations: Cincinnati, Nashville, St. Louis, New Britain

Signed with Cincinnati - 5 years, $62.5 million

Wilkinson has good control, is excellent vs. righties and keeps the ball down.  His pitch quality is pretty mediocre, which keeps him from being considered an elite SP.  Still he'd be a decent #3/#4 type for a contender, and should put up some fairly good numbers, and eat up a lot of innings.  

4. R.J. Vidal, 28, SP
No Designation
Key Stat: 4.30 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $50 million

Possible Destinations:  Toronto, Honolulu, Anaheim, Burlington

Signed with Vancouver - 5 years, $56 million

Vidal is a crafty lefty with very good pitch quality and above average control.  He also keeps the ball down pretty well.  His splits are fairly mediocre, so he falls more in the #3/#4 SP category.  But on the upside, he is only 28, and doesn't cost a draft pick (rumor has it he was a cap casualty in Seattle), so he should be a popular target this offseason.  

5. David Thomas, 35, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.33 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $30 million

Possible Destinations: Cincinnati, Toronto, Texas, Honolulu

Signed with Texas - 4 years, $29 million

Thomas is one of the most talented hurlers in this free agent class, with great ratings across the board, except for pitch quality, which is somewhat mediocre.  Still, he has a past history of success, and would be a good add for most rotations, and even though he is 35, should still have a few more excellent seasons left. 

6. Ralph Erving, 31, CF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .824 Career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $36 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago (AL), Vancouver, Memphis, Portland

Signed with Tampa Bay - 4 years, $30.6 million

Erving has a great power bat, and excellent contact, to go with being very efficient against RHP.  He has an excellent glove with decent range, good enough to put in CF, albeit he won't be great there.  Still, he has to be considered one of the best all around offensive players in this year's free agent class.

7. Geovany Mateo, 30, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat:  3.47 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under:  4 years, $36 million

Possible Destinations:  Rochester, Tampa Bay, Honolulu, Nashville

Signed with Tampa Bay - 4 years, $22.3 million

Mateo gets the nod for top reliever in this free agent class.  He has excellent pitches, and great control and effectiveness vs. righties.  His LH split isn't great, and he does allow some fly balls, but we think he is still an elite reliever and is a workhorse who has show he can put in a quality 100 innings plus.  

8. Juan Ramirez, 32, RP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.05 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $27 million

Possible Destinations: Toronto, Pawtucket, Philadelphia, Louisville

Signed with Arizona - 4 years, $16.8 million

Ramirez is also a great reliever, with plus control and efficiency vs. righties, to go along with excellent pitch quality.  He throws hard, but does allow some fly balls.  He's not quite the workhorse Mateo is, but should still flourish, possibly in a closer's role. 

9. Pep Hasegawa, 30, DH
No Designation
Key Stat: 245 Career Home Runs
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $15 million

Possible Destinations:  Chicago (AL), Arizona, Texas, New Britain

Signed with St. Louis - 2 years, $8.4 million

Hasegawa has elite power to go with very good splits and a decent batting eye.  His fielding skills are weak, making him a DH or maybe a reach 1B (fielding wise) in the NL.  Still, his bat will boost most lineups, his numbers are a bit skewed from playing in Seattle, we feel he has the potential to do a lot better in a more favorable park for hitters. 

10. Herbert Vina, 30, RP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.16 Career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $25 million

Possible Destinations: Rochester, Tampa Bay, Texas, Oklahoma City

Signed with Rochester - 4 years, $16 million

Vina looks similar in a lot of ways to Juan Ramirez, excellent ratings across the board in control, vs. RH and has two outstanding pitches.  He is good, but not great vs. LH, and tends to allow some fly balls.  His stamina is limited, so he can't be considered a workhorse, but for the innings he is out there, whoever signs him should get quality production.