Here is the AL Power Rankings going into the last Quarter of Season 17:
1. Las Vegas -- jceffali continues to dominate the AL, despite a mediocre batting average. However, they lead the AL in Home Runs, and have the best pitching and fielding in the league, so suffice it to say, they will be a hard out come the playoffs. Has not lost more than 2 in a row since before the All-Star Break. Impressive!
2. Norfolk -- Currently leads the battle for 2nd bye in the playoffs, and will desperately need it! Similar to LV, their offense isn't where they would like it, but pitching and fielding has made up for that. In the midst of a tough 20-game stretch involving Iowa City, Las Vegas, Boise, Charlotte, and St. Louis. Success of team will hinge on this stretch.
3. Charlotte -- Has really turned it on as of late, going 16-2 over last 18 games. Has easiest schedule of division leaders based on record of opponents.
4. Boise -- Still leading the AL North and has stretched the lead out to a more comfortable cushion. Unlike other division leaders, offense is carrying this team so far. Will make for interesting matchup if they go head-to-head with any of the other division leaders in a 5 or 7-game series.
5. Pittsburgh -- Still showing strength in offense, but pitching took a big hit with the loss of Vernon Lloyd for the season. This could open the door for other teams in the Wild Card, and will definitely test this team for the AL East.
6. Iowa City -- Team has yet to get really hot like it usually does for the playoff push. Pitching has declined compared to prior years, but any team with Spike Chase will always be dangerous.
7. Richmond -- No superstars on this team or players that stick out statistically, but hovering around .500 and within earshot of wild-card. Late season push might put this team in playoffs for first time since Season 4.
8. Seattle -- You won't see many offensive highlights from Seattle, but that is OK by Hextall. Pitching continues to carry this team for a playoff push.
9. Kansas City -- Rumpshakers starting to show some dents in the armor (lack of quality starters after Aviles and Willis, suspect bullpen), but still within striking distance of Wild-Card.
10. Rochester -- Unofficially went to selling mode, as Iglesias and Hauser went on the Trading Block. Fielding has been the Rattlers downfall, ranking 3rd from bottom in AL.
11. Syracuse -- The Siege have been in selling mode for almost the entire season. A pitching staff long in the tooth about ready for re-vamp.
12. St. Louis -- Really strange to see the possibility of a post-season without St. Louis. If any team can surge from this far out, it can be this team. Otherwise, will be on verge of only 2nd losing season in team history.
13. New York -- Sad ending to see piratestros disappear without a trace. Next owner will inherit a team with great possibilities, but underachieving without a leader.
14. Little Rock -- Great offense + Poor pitching = frustrated rangerfan1!
15. Philadelphia -- Continues to build for the future, and showing some flash on the basepaths.
16. Oakland -- Team has started to gel and will be good to see some of they youngsters get playing time in preparation for next season.
AL MVP -- I am sticking with Quilvio Castro. He has 45 Home Runs, which is 10 more than the anyone else in the AL, and he has 21 Stolen Bases to boot. Not too shabby.
AL Cy Young -- I see a battle between Pedro Tavarez (leads the league with 15 wins and IP, and 2nd in Complete Games), Tony Aviles (Rookie is 2nd in Wins and ERA, and 5th in WHIP), Max White, and Spike Chase.
AL Rookie -- As I predicted, Tony Aviles has pulled away and should win this hands down.