Monday, December 29, 2014

Season 17 Power Rankings #1

Season 17 is under way, and it's time to check in with the power rankings!  And we have a #1!  Breaking a streak of six consecutive #1 rankings for Oklahoma City, Buffalo is off to a red hot 31-9 start and claims the top spot.  Their offense is killing it so far, and their pitching is excellent.  Congrats to Buffalo on taking the top spot!  OKC comes in at #2 with a solid start, and New Britain rounds out the top 3 with an equally solid start.  Here are the complete rankings!

Team  W L PREV    Comments
1 Buffalo  31 9 4 Take over the top spot with hot start, offense is crushing
2 Oklahoma City 27 13 1 Incredibly solid as always, just a smidge behind Buffalo
3 New Britain  26 14 5 Out of the gates strong, good numbers across the board
4 Seattle 28 12 11 Very good start, the offense is surprisingly good so far
5 Tucson 25 15 3 Great offense, the pitching has been middle of the pack 
6 Detroit 24 16 6 Great pitching, but their offense is slow out of the gate
7 Atlanta 25 15 7 Excellent start, although the offensive numbers are low
8 Little Rock  22 18 9 Pretty good start, the numbers are strong, yet not elite
9 Rochester 22 18 14 Fantastic numbers again, underperforming on wins 
10 Syracuse 24 16 17 Pretty well balanced at this point, we'll see if it continues
11 Honolulu 22 18 15 Pitching below average so far, but very nice offense
12 Tampa Bay 21 19 10 Not a blazing start for defending champs, but they're good
13 Salt Lake City 21 19 12 Great pitching so far, but can the offense produce more?
14 Toronto 21 19 16 Not a bad start for them, numbers are middle of the road
15 Oakland 20 20 22 Offense is killing it, but the pitching staff has struggled
16 Pawtucket  19 21 13 Slow start for them, pitching has definitely been an issue
17 Chicago  19 21 19 Coming on a bit, numbers look good, especially offense
18 Burlington 20 20 25 Top pitching staff so far, but not much on offense yet 
19 Louisville 20 20 30 Nice jump for them, thanks to solid pitching thus far
20 Nashville  19 21 8 Average numbers so far, they have potential for better play
21 Charlotte 19 21 26 Doing ok so far, although the pitching is a bit below average
22 St. Louis 17 23 2 Rough start sends them free falling in the first rankings
23 Florida 17 23 18 Pitching has been rocked, and offense is below average
24 San Francisco 15 25 23 Above average offense, but pitching is not getting it done
25 Scranton 18 22 24 Bats are there as always, but pitching has been awful
26 Cleveland 16 24 27 Have had pitching issues, but offense hasn't been bad
27 New Orleans 16 24 31 Another team with good offense, but horrible pitching
28 Memphis  15 25 28 Pitching is decent, but offense is off to a horrid start
29 San Juan 14 26 21 The offense just hasn't come together yet for this team
30 Vancouver 13 27 32 Bad pitching and little offense to speak of to this point
31 Richmond 12 28 20 Very little offense, and pitching his been hit quite a bit
32 Helena 12 28 29 Their pitching has been rocked, but offense is not bad

Monday, December 15, 2014

Season 17 Preseason Power Rankings

OK, so we're a few games into the season actually, but I did not use teams' starts as a factor, so I still consider these the preseason rankings.  Sorry for the delay!   Oklahoma City looks reloaded and ready to roll again, so they take the top spot.  St. Louis comes in at #2, with Tucson, Buffalo and New Britain following.  It will be interesting to see how it looks after the first 40 games, good luck everyone, here are the rankings!

Season 16

Team  W L   Comments
1 Oklahoma City 112 50 Bringing back another tremendous team yet again
2 St. Louis 98 64 Added stud SP Troncoso, so looking good again
3 Tucson 96 66 Excellent all-around team should be tough to beat
4 Buffalo  96 66 A perennial contender, always amongst best in pitching
5 New Britain  96 66 Very well balanced, and should be tough in the AL again
6 Detroit 97 65 Lost Orie, but should still be very good this season
7 Atlanta 82 80 Solid last year, and added some free agents 
8 Nashville  89 73 Landed our top FA Towers, so that is a plus for sure
9 Little Rock  91 71 Bringing back a solid team that should contend again
10 Tampa Bay 89 73 Defending champs, can Brock do it all for them again?
11 Seattle 91 71 Look to be bringing back pretty much the same team 
12 Salt Lake City 77 85 Very active in free agency, so we predict improvement
13 Pawtucket  97 65 Lost a couple of Type A FA's so we'll see what happens
14 Rochester 82 80 Always solid, is this the year they can break through?
15 Honolulu 86 76 Took a step back last season, but bounce back is possible
16 Toronto 89 73 Lost a few pitchers, but should still be pretty good
17 Syracuse 76 86 Added a few FA's, we'll see if the offense can improve
18 Florida 73 89 An up and coming team that has made steps forward
19 Chicago  71 91 Once again active in free agency, we'll see if they can climb
20 Richmond 77 85 We'll see what direction new ownership takes the team
21 San Juan 75 87 They're pitching staff was pretty good last season, actually
22 Oakland 75 87 They've got some decent bats, we'll see about the pitching
23 San Francisco 67 95 Pretty good on offense too, but can the arms improve?
24 Scranton 74 88 The ultimate offensive juggernaut, but pitching was bad
25 Burlington 77 85 Struggled offensively in their park, but have decent arms
26 Charlotte 67 95 New ownership here, we'll see what they can do
27 Cleveland 61 101 They seem to be making strides, but pitching an issue
28 Memphis  68 94 Offense was an issue for them, so we'll have to see
29 Helena 66 96 Former world series winner in rebuild mode it seems
30 Louisville 67 95 They've been rebuilding, so could see some callups soon
31 New Orleans 73 89 They lost some guys, as new owner makes their mark
32 Vancouver 57 105 They signed a few guys, so improvement is possible

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Season 17 Free Agency Preview

With the hot stove cranking in both real life MLB and Kenny Powers, let's see who made the list of the top 10 free agents of this offseason in Kenny Powers!

1. Marc Towers, 28, 3B
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .838 career OPS

Signed with Nashville - 5 years, $47.2 million

Towers tops this year's free agency rankings thanks to a solid combination of a great bat and outstanding fielding ability.  He's not quite shortstop caliber in the field, although if you're willing to live with a handful of errors, his bat would be a huge plus at that spot.  At any other spot in the field, he'd be a plus fielder.  He's got tremendous power, solid contact, decent splits, although his batting eye is pretty mediocre.  Still, he brings a lot to the table at the plate.

2. Jimmy Fox, 29, RF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .902 career OPS

Signed with Oklahoma City - 5 years, $50.1 million

Fox is an outstanding bat with tremendous splits and an elite batting eye to go with very good contact and decent power.  He falls just behind Towers due to his fielding ability, he's got a right field type arm, but not a good enough glove to be successful at the hot corner.  Still, his bat is going to be a major plus in the lineup, regardless of where he plays in the field

3. Erubiel Troncoso, 32, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.83 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 5 years, $70 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Kansas City, Scranton, Vancouver

Signed with St. Louis - 5 years, $66 million

Troncoso ranks as the top starting pitcher in this free agent class.  He's got very good control and splits and can easily throw 200 innings with his stamina, and also good velocity and ability to keep the ball down.  His pitch quality is one of the things that keep him from being truly elite, still he'd be a very good add to just about any rotation.

4. Dan Ohlendorf, 31, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 2.98 career ERA

Signed with Toronto - 2 years, $13.3 million

Ohlendorf is our choice for top reliever in this free agent class.  He has plus ratings across the board in control, velocity, RH split, and pitches.  He may be slightly vulnerable against lefties, but it's not a major concern.  He has the stamina and durability to approach 100 innings of elite quality relief pitching, which is why he lands at #4 on this season's rankings. 

5. Jack Thompson, 29, SP
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.58 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 4 years, $40 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Scranton, Nashville, Tucson

Signed with Chicago - 5 years, $62 million

Thompson has several redeeming qualities, such as an elite pitch arsenal and control, excellent velocity, and good splits.  One weakness that prevents him from moving up in the rankings is that his durability/stamina combination put a ceiling on his innings somewhere around 175.   Still, those will be high quality innings, and if there is a good bullpen behind him, all the more better. 

6. Geovany Mateo, 34, RP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.57 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $26 million

Possible Destinations: Honolulu, Tampa Bay, Scranton, Vancouver

Signed with Little Rock - 3 years, $8.4 million

Mateo is another excellent reliever in this year's free agent class.  His control, effectiveness vs. RH and pitch arsenal are outstanding.  He is not quite as effective vs. lefties, and he tends to give up some fly balls.  The pros definitely outweigh the cons, however, and Mateo can provide 100 innings of quality relief help, which makes him a good signing.

7. Cory Orie, 33, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 3.57 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $25 million

Possible Destinations: Kansas City, Toronto, New Britain, Detroit

Signed with Salt Lake City - 5 years, $51 million

There are many positives to be said about Orie, and not many negatives.  He has outstanding ratings across the board, although if a weakness were to be noted, it would be that his effectiveness vs. RH is good, but not elite.  Also, his durability/stamina profile will limit his innings to around 175 max, similar to Thompson, and is four years older.  All that aside, he still has a few very good years left, so he'd be worth the add. 

8. Delanor Broadway, 33, SP
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: 4.26 career ERA
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $21 million

Possible Destinations: Toronto, Nashville, Vancouver, San Juan

Signed with Atlanta - 3 years, $24 million

Broadway brings to the table a truly elite arsenal of pitches, excellent velocity and control, and he is very good against LH hitters.  His RH split is decent to mediocre, which seems to have limited his effectiveness throughout his career.  Given what's out there this offseason, he still wouldn't be a bad signing for a team that needed pitching help and missed out on the guys higher up on the list.

9. Blake Lofton, 34, RF
Type A Free Agent
Key Stat: .834 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 2 years, $14 million

Possible Destinations: Buffalo, Honolulu, St. Louis, New Britain

Signed with Buffalo - 3 years, $18 million

Lofton has had an outstanding career, and although he's getting up there in age, he still has a few more excellent seasons left in him.    His elite batting eye and plus contact rating will keep him on base without many strikeouts.  He is very good against LHP, and still solid vs. RHP as well.  His power is above average, but not great, and he's pretty much only a RF, LF or 1B at this point, but he will still add a lot to a lineup for the next few seasons. 

10. Devon Milton, 32, 3B
Type B Free Agent
Key Stat: .832 career OPS
Salary Over/Under: 3 years, $20 million

Possible Destinations: Chicago, Syracuse, San Juan, Salt Lake City

Signed with Vancouver - 3 years, $20 million

Milton is a skilled hitter, with good splits and batting eye and excellent contact.  He has decent power where he could hit around 20 or so home runs and he is still a serviceable 3rd baseman.  A ratings drop this past season have to be a concern, but given that he is a type B free agent, it's probably worth the gamble that he can maintain his productivity for the next few seasons.