Monday, December 13, 2010

Season 11 - NL Power Rankings (All Star Break)

NL Power Rankings to represent the NL in the World Series.

-Rankings are based on expected win pct (run differential), standings, and stats.

-Some owners submitted recaps of their teams, I will post the owners name before the blurb to show that they are the author.

Please, please, pleaseeeeeee don’t take this seriously. This is purely for fun and is just to make this blog better. This is strictly for entertainment value and to promote discussion and debate.

Contenders – small number of contenders in the NL as there is a huge clump of mediocracy.

1. Charlotte Tar Heels – Leading the NL in record, winning pct, and expected winning pct while leading the league in pitching, second in fielding, and top 5 in hitting makes them the team to beat so far. However, the Orange are breathing down their neck in the NL East. Unfortunately for both teams, it looks like they have sizeable leads in the standing dept, but one will get stuck without a playoff bye for the second season in a row which is huge.

2. Syracuse Orange – Evil Doers: The Syracuse Orange are obviously a contender. We have the fourth best record with a very strong chance to make the playoffs for the seventh straight season. Winning their fifth straight NL East title may be a different story as we continue to trail the tough Charlotte Tar Heels.

Season 11 is actually going about as planned. Michael Seay continues to bash. Free agent pitcher has been as good as expected with a 10-4 3.49 at the break.

Two rookies are platooning at the top of the order, Raymond Nixon and Gustavo Savillia. Both were number one picks. They’ve been doing a fine job. Nixon has the edge with a nice .392 ob%.

Staying healthy and getting some breaks in the playoffs are what matters now.

3. Arizona Sun Devils – Welcome back to the Sun Devils who had a disappointing Season 10. I was tempted to place them in the pretender pile, just because Charlotte and Syracuse are in a class of their own, however they are leading for the second playoff bye which would be a tremendous boost to their chances. They also boast a top 5 pitching staff and lineup, but their fielding could use a boost.


4. Richmond Spiders – cmthieme: My performance has been in-line with expectations as I thought we had a fighting chance at the division, though I hope to pick up the pace in the 2nd half. The pitching has been acceptable and has likely been helped quite a bit by good defense. The offense has been good but inconsistent, with Enrique Sojo carrying quite a load for the team. The addition of Andrea Nelson via trade should really help bolster the offense, as should a healthy Graham Wilson, who has had 2 stints with injuries thus far, neither of which the team has played very well during.

I don't expect any more major moves as I used my main bullet in the minors to acquire Nelson. I like my chances to win the division, but I'll need to stay healthy and hope no one else in the division gets hot.

5. Kansas City Wildcats – llcc: My starting pitching has been very weak the first half of the season. I hope to win my division but my starting pitchers have got to pitch better in the second half .

6. Detroit Wolverines – tk21775: 1st half of the season has pretty much gone just like last season went. The Detroit Wolverines find themselves at the top of the NL North by six games but only one game above .500. Our pitching is outstanding once again, keeping us in most games but our offense is letting us down. Management went back to the trade block this week and continued talks that were haulted at the beginning of the season, this time making a deal to bring Erik Haynes to the team. We gave up three nice prospects to get him, although held onto Arrojo. We're hoping that by putting Haynes in the lineup along with Arrojo and the season that Wiggins and Carter are having will jump start the offensive production we have been lacking. Sanford will be off the DL in 24 days and he should give us some need power as well. The Wolverines young pitching should keep us contending for the next several seasons, now it's just up to the offense to see how far the team can go.

7. Texas Mustangs – Still has a great shot at the division, but doubtful they could make a ton of noise in the playoffs. Could use an upgrade on the pitching staff to help get them over the hump.

8. Louisville Cardinals – Treading water in the really tough NL East. Possibly could make some moves to go after a wild card or could just as easily be a seller to re-tool for next season.

9. Columbus Buckeyes – weena: So far, this has been a season of woulda, shoulda, coulda but sometimes did for the Buckeyes. We are currently in 2nd place in the NL North with a 38-49 record. We are 5 GB and 6 GA of 3rd place. On the negative side, we are tied for the league lead in 1-run losses with 18 and are 1-7 in extra inning games. A major reason for this is our bullpen's 14 blown saves.

Our pitching staff is 22 hits below average in Hits Allowed but above average in SLG. This means that the hits we do allow are more of the extra base variety. It is not too surprising then that we are above average in HR Allowed unfortunately in a home park that is near balanced. On the hitting side, we are slightly above average in OBP but near the bottom of the league in HR and 2B. We get 'em on but we can't get 'em in.

Management and coaches have discussed ways to correct some of the weaknesses in this team. Some options include trades and/or promotions/demotions in the pitching staff, adjusting aggressiveness levels in certain hitting/base running areas, and lineup changes to find the optimum spots for our hitters. Another issue that was discussed is the fact that this team is playing at a .437 pace but their Expected Percentage is .483. Hopefully, that means that we are due for some breaks and things will start to fall our way a little more.

The Bottom Line is this team should be able to hold on to 2nd place but is an unlikely candidate for a .500 season or a playoff spot.

10. Helena Grizzlies – drichar: The Grizzlies spent most of the first half surprising the NL West by contending for a top spot in the division. The team jumped off to a quick 26-23 start. Since then, the Grizzlies have fallen back going just 13-23 since their hot start. Most of the team's early success can be attributed to their rookies and free agents. Helena was lucky to bag 1 year deals with free agents SS Hamish Reynolds (.312/.406/.510) and CF Lawrence Turner (.309/.342/.546). They are leading the offense along with Rookie standout Gill Grace. Grace, a former 7th round draft pick, is near the top of the NL batting leader board with his .326 average. Free agents and rookies are the story on the mound for the Griz as well. Free Agent veteran Pete Young has been the best arm in the bullpen (3.83 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) while Rookie Victor Valdes has 19 saves. Finally rookie Jose Mendoza has the fans in Helena the most giddy about his future. The hard-throwing 23 year old is off to a 4-3 start with a 3.14 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. The Grizzlies are probably at least a season or two away from being a division contender.

Is it next season yet?

11. Huntington Thundering Herd – hurricane384: Despite turning over the roster by more than 50%, the Thundering Herd has endured a very disappointing season. The offense has put up some solid numbers but is struggling reaching base and has been let down by the bullpen and, to an extent, the starting pitching.

12. Buffalo Bulls

13. Dover Fightin’ Blue Hens: Nearing the all-star break it became clear that Dover could not contend, even in a weak division. 2 of the Rule 5 pitchers suffered injuries requiring extended stays on the 60 day DL. Management made the decision to trade a couple of veterans, Otis Damon and Charlie Spencer, to stock up on younger prospects. LF Max Peterson and SP Tom Hawkins will get a chance to show their stuff in the majors right away. LF Davy Walker and prized catching prosepct Clarence Christensen will work on their game in the minors and should play a part in about 2 seasons. Dover will continue to examine young talent in the 2nd half while trying to reach a goal of 65 wins.

14. Memphis Tigers – mh17: At the midpoint of the season, the Tigers had hoped to be a tick better than what they have shown thus far this season. The offense hasn’t produced like it did last season, but the questionable bullpen, unable to hold many leads, has once again been Memphis’s biggest downfall. The fantasy of Esteban Cedeno providing anything in the closer role has turned into a nightmare.
Memphis stands 11 games back at the break. With some luck and a couple good stretches they could find themselves back in the thick of things. But unless something is done about the inept bullpen, specifically in the later innings of games, the rest of the season could prove long and frustrating.

15. Boise Bronces – abesmem: well, it looks like we're pretenders again, disappointingly. Two big reason for our failures - Aside from Craig martin, no one is hitting up to expectations. Secondly, Hod Farrel has been quite poor in the closer role. The starting pitching has been OK, so if the bats heat up our goal is to play at or better than .500 in the second half

16. Iowa City Hawkeyes – Just had a great draft and also made some trades to win now to get over the 70 win mark. Everyone is rooting for them to do so, but either way, they are looking to next season.

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