Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NL First Half Power Rankings and Awards

Thanks to ironman2011 for this contribution (takeaway -- if you have any beefs with the rankings, blame him!!!!)

1. Tacoma - league leading ERA

2. Minnesota - league leader in BA and Runs

3. Austin - 7th in ERA and 11th in BA - smoke and mirrors?

4. Tucson

5. Helena

6. Houston - 2nd in league in runs scored

7. Tampa Bay - league leader in SB and 2nd in ERA

8. Trenton - tied for LL in HR

9. Scranton

10. Ottawa

11. Honolulu - tied for LL in HR - this team is selling

12. Buffalo

13. Anaheim

14. Atlanta

15. Washington DC

16. Charleston

NL MVP - Very tough race to call. Nicholas Crawford (HOU), Tomas Calles (AUS), Sam McCallum (HEL), Ronald Rothschild (LAA) are all in the hunt. However, would currently give the nod to Vicente Martinez from Minnesota.

NL CY Young - P.T. Nunez is running away with it. He is 9-1 with a 1.76 ERA and .92 WHIP.

NL Rookie - Jake Watson (TAC) is outpacing Tanyon Moore (TB) and Gus Giles (HOU), but not by much.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AL First Half Power Rankings and Awards

As of last night, every one played 81 games. Since I had some down time, I decided to do a strictly biased version of the Power Rankings and 1st Half Awards. Any and all comments are welcome.

1. Las Vegas -- This was a no brainer. The cream of the crop of the AL continues to surge through their schedule on their way to another post-season run.

2. Boise -- Leads the league in Runs Scored and is 2nd to Las Vegas in Home Runs. Can superior offense stay hot in time for pitching to improve? We shall see.

3. Norfolk -- Another season, another consistently good performance from the Phanatics. Can they hold off the surging Sluggers?

4. Pittsburgh -- After several down seasons, the Sluggers have pieced together a contender. Should be a good battle the rest of the way.

5. Iowa City -- We usually see a slow starting Independence squad, only to REALLY heat up in the 2nd half. Will that trend continue? If so, watch out.

6. Kansas City -- Dwilli91 has done an excellent job in turning this team into a contender after just 1 season. Do the Rump Shakers have enough to stay competitive?

7. Charlotte -- A little surprised that the best team in the AL South is only a game above .500, but not too surprised at who that team is.

8. Richmond -- Right on the Chickens' heels, the Rattlers look to be finally poised to take their game to the next level.

9. Seattle -- After Boise, the next 3 is anyone's guess at this point. Last season's AL North Winner looking for some consistency.

10. Rochester -- Almost exactly the same record through 81 games as they were all last season (.500). Needs to improve SOMEWHERE to make a push.

11. Syracuse -- Despite being in selling mode all season, they still are hanging around in the AL North, which should make other teams nervous.

12. New York -- Once mighty Mutuals starting to show weaknesses in armor. Has thrown high value players on the trading block, and 'stros has been absent for over a week. Dynasty over?

13. St. Louis -- AL South Powerhouse St. Louis in LAST PLACE? Seems the key losses from last season is taking its toll on this team. Current record makes Blaine Prince's extension a questionable one.

14. Little Rock -- Despite some pretty good offensive numbers, Armadillos 2nd to last in Pitching and Defense. Those need to improve for them to climb the rankings.

15. Philadelphia -- bball10 has gone into selling mode and traded away good ML talent for potential rebuild next season.

16. Oakland -- Not even the great buffaloqb could resurrect this team this season. Doing the best he can with what is there, but still a ways to go.

First Half Awards

AL MVP -- Quilvio Castro -- All he has done is lead the AL in Home Runs and RBI's, and has chipped in 18 SB as well. If New York bounces back, would have to give Osvaldo Montero a consideration.

AL Cy Young -- Pedro Tavarez is showing the league that he belongs with the big boys. As of today, he is 12-3 with and ERA at 2.91. Early favorite, but keep an eye on Spike Chase as well.

AL Rookie -- It's hard to look at Kansas City's success and think that the arrival of Tony Aviles and Mario Munoz is more than a coincidence. The only question could be is who has the bigger push to become ROY. My bet is on Aviles.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The (Sprint) Race to 689!

As we embark on the 17th season of Jersey League baseball, we have another race on our hands. It isn't as sexy or as common as the Home Run or Wins or Strikeouts. We are talking about Stolen Bases. For the last 6 seasons, Braden Bynum has retired holding the top spot as Stolen Base King at 688. What was amazing was that he did this in only 9 seasons. He was able to steal at least 50 bags in his first 8 seasons, before age finally began to take its toll and he rapidly declined the final 3 seasons, playing a combined 14 games in his last 2 before retiring. Well, get out your speed guns and hide your pitchers and catchers, because we have the luxury of having not 1, but 2 speed demons that will surpass this number (hopefully) by season's end.

The first is Iowa City's Ricardo Valdes, who began the season with 618 Stolen Bases. At age 34, his speed has slowly declined over the past couple of seasons. But, coach carlspenard does not intend to give Valdes the red light any time soon (he already has 10 swipes to start the season).

The other candidate is New York's own Calvin Lee. As a fellow AL Easterner, it bothered me IMMENSELY when this ballplayer fell into piratestros lap via the Rule V draft in Season 10. Since then, Lee has done nothing but wreak havoc on the basepaths. To know that he is on the verge of surpassing Bynum at the young age of 29 makes one wonder just where he will end up as All Time Stolen Base King.

As we have done for other records, I will post these 2 players on the blog wall to see how they are doing as the season progresses. As fast as these guys are, however, don't be alarmed if the blog is a stolen base or 2 behind the times. Good luck (unless you are playing Norfolk, of course).