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.