Friday, March 20, 2009

AL Power Rankings: March Madness Edition

#9 Seed Durham Bulls (64-77) vs. #8 Las Vegas Gamble (65-76)

Richie Cormier (.271, 37, 106) vs. Terrell Welch (.276, 35, 95) promises to be an exciting matchup in the post, but the difference will be 5'11" point guard Del Prieto (18 HR, 78 SB).

#10 Burlington 'Storm (63-78) vs. #7 Louisville 'Mouths (65-76)

Is it fair to call the AL East a mid-major conference? All its teams are now in the lower half of the rankings.

#11 Fargo Fevola's (63-78) vs. #6 Toledo Holy (84-57)

A first round matchup between two teams from the AL North, Ryan's answer to the Big East. Toledo = Syracuse; Fargo = St. John's.

#12 Charlotte Winstons (60-81) vs. #5 Kansas City McCoys (86-55)

Ah, the ever-popular 12 vs. 5 upset looms large. But if Charlotte is going to pull it off, they'll need diaper dandy Johnny Powell to get healthy.

#13 Houston Colt .45s (56-85) vs. #4 Oklahoma City Chickens (86-55)

Houston's Craig Witt is 6'6" and will cause matchup problems for OKC, but like their Oklahoma University brethren, the Chickens are just too good to lose this one.

#14 San Fran HitchHikers (57-84) vs. #3 Wichita Sizzlers (96-45)

The Committee made Wichita a 3 seed because their RPI has taken a beating the past few weeks. The Sizzlers dropped sets to Madison and the Bombers.

#15 Hartford Ascension (50-91) vs. #2 Madison Massa's (98-43)

Madison's Bessire Ballpark is Ryan's Cameron Indoor Stadium: The Massa's are a world-best 52-21 at home.

#16 D.C. Warriors (45-96) vs. #1 New York Bombers (99-42)

Everyone knows the 16 never beats the 1.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


1. Colorado Springs Organizational Filler-
Last Ranking:
Record: 88-41 (22-9)
Expected Win %: .709
The Skinny: Aubrey Kell is looking to blast career home run number 200 this week. CSP should be able to lock up there playoff spot this week. Their bigger goal will be holding off a surging New York team to have home field throughout the playoffs. It should also be noted that they have 3 of the currently names ROY candidates Eduardo Campos, Pokey West and
Glenn Gibson. Smells like a Dynasty.


2. New York Burros
Last Ranking
: 2
Record: 86-43 (23-8)
Expected Win %: .663
Skinny: extended their division lead and all but lock up their playoff run. With 4 guys poised to knock in over 100 runs, this team is more balanced than ever to push through the NL. Is it possible for Ryan Perry to win 2 Cy Young Awards in his first 2 years? People in New York seem to have forgotten old what his name is. Also to note on the Balance of the Farm system, New York could win 90+ games at all levels above Rookie. Quite impressive!


3. Cheyenne Marmots-
Last Ranking:
Record: 80-49 (19-12)
Expected Win %: .605
The Skinny: Kiki Soto returns to his S9 form, but once again will be a brides maid and not the bride when it comes to Cy Young voting. It's a tough career, but someone's got to have it. Speaking of Awards Chris Durbin has my vote for NL MVP.
MAGIC NUMBER: 24 wild card

4. Chicago Ballbusters-
Last Ranking: 4
Record: 79-50 (18-13)
Expected Win %: .645
The Skinny: 3B Julian Bonilla is looking like a good signing in his 1st season. He is a difference maker at the plate and in the field. On his way to his 2nd Gold Glove. The team's weakness seems to be pitching in the clutch they are without a go to closer and have had 9 different guys get a save while blowing 1/3 of their opportunities.
MAGIC NUMBER: 25 wild card

5. Texas Outlaws-
Last Ranking
: 7
Record: 73-56 (21-10)
Expected Win %: .571
The Skinny: Sam Miller's stolen bases have progressively gone down each of the past 4 seasons. The team's starting pitching needs to go deep in games if they want to compete. Middle relief has been mediocre at best outside of their closer Matt O'Malley.
MAGIC NUMBER: 17 division

6. Cincinnati Bowties -
Last Ranking:
Record: 69-60 (17-14)
Expected Win %: .575
The Skinny: I'm not saying that a shoulder sprain isn't serious but being out in excess of 60 days as a result of one is a little fishy Bump Loiselle. I smell insurance fraud. Cincinnati has an opening to take the division and as it is every season it's going to come done to the wire between Cinci and Philly with the loser crying themselves to sleep on their pillow.

MAGIC NUMBER: 32 division 23 from WC Elimination

7. Philadelphia Balboas-
Last Ranking
: 5
Record: 70-59 (15-16)
Expected Win %: .522
The Skinny: This is Phillies division to lose. They have controlled the North for much of the season, but ultimately never slammed the door closed, now Cinci is looking to smash that door down and leave Philly sprawling everything comes down to their match up with Cinci on 3/22 and CSP on 3/23 they need to win both series to make it this season.

MAGIC NUMBER: 32 division 24 from wild card elimination

8. San Diego Surf -
Last Ranking: 8
Record: 71-58 (20-11)
Expected Win %: .531
The Skinny: 7 games this week against the red hot Burros will make or break their playoff run. They need a spectacular showing against New York going into the final week if they have any hope of the final wild card spot. The Surfs need to invest in a high contact hitter to get on base for Campbell and Salinas, Bud Spence has fallen out of favor for the job and a speedster who gets on base would make them that much better if they did.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 16 division 25 wild card

9. San Antonio Alamos -
Last Ranking:
Record: 57-72 (11-20)
Expected Win %: .485
The Skinny:
Graham Greene should be a big free agency ticket this off season if he doesn't get resigned. The layer who exceeds all expectations has to be Oswaldo Amaral who has increased production each of the past 3 seasons. I am not sure how many of us would have given him this chance.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 17 division 10 wild card

10. Florida Marlins -
Last Ranking:
Record: 55-74 (14-17)
Expected Win %: .436
The Skinny: all but eliminated, Florida is already looking to next year by stashing lightly injured players on the DL to bring up new blood. Should be looking to retool for next season, with no expendable contracts coming off the books for S12 it will be interesting to see where they go with this team.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 15 division 8 wild card

11. Atlanta Braves-
Last ranking:
Record: 60-69 (8-23)
Expected Win %: .435
THE SKINNY: Rough week takes Atlanta out of contention. The team could still finish strong and make .500 on the season. It has been a setback season for the Braves, as they looked to be a strong contender in the beginning of the season, and somehow watched the wheels fall off. DH/1B Matty Evers, LF Nate Anderson and RP Gaylord Jaha might draw some looks in the Majors after roster expansion.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 7 division 13 wild card

12. Memphis Amon-Ra
Last Ranking: 12
Record: 49-80 (12-19)
Expected Win %:
The Skinny
: The Minor's are loaded with the Pitching help they really don't need, but everything is still about 2 seasons away from making an impact, so maybe there is a plan. Mike Fitzgerald, Elvis Borland, Wascar Martin, and Jamie Martin have the rotation set for the present. Trade some of these pieces away for a superstar offensive power and they team is in the thick of things next year.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 9 division 3 wild card

13. Seattle Warbirds
Last Ranking
: 14
Record: 47-82 (10-21)
Expected Win %: .383
The Skinny: A lot of payroll comes off the books in S12 which should give the team some flexibility with the Roster. The team has the pitching to compete, but players like Walter O'Bryan have never performed up to potential. With a youthful core of Bo Glanville, Jacob Kwon, and Jordan Williamson now surrounding Matt Mathews this team should start to come out its offensive funk.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 10 division

14. Milwaukee Blues -
Last Ranking:
Record: 49-80 (13-18)
Expected Win %: .375
The Skinny: The pieces are there to build around. 3 solid starters and 2 good bats in Clarke, and Worthington. C Rolando James has no business in the NL and needs to be shipped to an AL team for value. This team's biggest issue is it's made for the AL, a lot of good hitters with poor defense. A solid infield of defenders and a roving CF would make the pitching tenfold better. Add in a catcher who calls a solid game and BAM Playoff bound.

TRAGIC NUMBER: 12 division 3 wild card

15. Rochester Raging Reverends-
Last Ranking: 15
Record: 46-83 (12-19)
Expected Win %: .348
The Skinny: unlike other teams who have built through the draft Rochester has been like a supplemental farm system for many of the Contending teams the likes of Ryan Perry, Roger Post, Dan Reidling , Vic Castilla, Dan Eldred have all been taken in the 1st round the last 5 years. All are gone and in their place are Brad Finnessey, Harry Hayes ,
Torey Matos , Lou Youkilis
Tex Boyle, Neil Fletcher. Okay I get it: "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21), but probably not the way to play HBD.


Last Ranking: 16
Record: 44-85 (13-18)
Expected Win %: .286
The Skinny: In Season S14 this might be the team to beat with 4 top 10 picks on the horizon this is a powerhouse in the making 2b Lucas Martin ( the 2nd coming of Freddie Reynolds), SP Jaret Redman ( middle of rotation guy),
SS Delino Frias
(top defender, solid bat), LF Albert Montanez (solid hitting LF). With whoever they get in next season draft they will look good.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


16. Washington D.C. Old School Warriors (Last Week: 14)
Record: 37-73 (.336)
Expected Winning %: .321

Update: D.C. posted an AL-worst 5-19 record since the last Rankings, including a series in which they dropped three of four to former bottom-dweller Hartford.

Player Spotlight: The Curious Case of Victor Mondesi: The left fielder seems to be regressing as he enters his prime. As a 24 year-old, he was a .290 hitter with two .800+ OPS seasons under his belt. At 27, he struggles to hit .250.

15. Hartford Ascension (16)
Record: 41-69 (.373)
Expected Winning %: .340

Update: An impressive series against D.C. and a sweep of Burlington propel Hartford's ascent.

Player Spotlight: Matthew Hurst is making a run at the Ryan record books. With 95 SB through 110 team games, he is on pace for 140. That would surpass the previous record of 132, set by Sam Miller in S8.

14. Houston Colt .45s (15)
Record: 41-69 (.373)
Expected Winning %: .393

Update: It's been a while since a Colt .45 pitcher was run out on 0(0) fatigue, so it appears the owner is back behind the wheel.

Player Spotlight: Veteran righty Fred Moehler, acquired for practically nothing last week, is an excellent addition to Houston's staff. He brings five solid pitches and a penchant for getting the groundball out.

13. San Francisco HitchHikers (13)
Record: 46-64 (.418)
Expected Winning %: .399

Update: The HitchHikers were outscored 43-19 on a tough road trip against the McCoys and the Winstons.

Player Spotlight: Todd Clayton is quite possibly the worst starting pitcher in Ryan: an 18-68 career record and 6.30 ERA.

12. Fargo Fevola's (9)
Record: 46-64 (.418)
Expected Winning %: .426

Update: A 1-10 stretch in division play causes this team to tumble three spots.

Player Spotlight: 2B Turk Thornton is a Rule 5 draftee who's hit .283 with 53 homers over the past 2+ seasons.

11. Louisville Loud Mouths (11)
Record: 47-63 (.427)
Expected Winning %: .431

Update: Division rivals Louisville and Charlotte are very even and essentially interchangeable. Recently, the Loud Mouths and Winstons split a 4 game series.

Player Spotlight: Closer Willie Feliz is 4th in the AL with 22 saves, but getting there has been an adventure: 5 blown opportunities, 5.10 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .306 OAV.

10. Charlotte Winstons (10)
Record: 47-63 (.427)
Expected Winning %: .490
Update: Despite a slightly inferior record, Charlotte maintains its position ahead of Louisville due to a vastly superior Expected Winning Percentage.

Player Spotlight: Is there an unluckier pitcher than Vladimir Rodriguez? His 2-11 record belies his solid performance: 10 Quality Starts, 110/44 SO/BB, .272 OAV.

9. Burlington Ice Storm (8)
Record: 49-61 (.445)
Expected Winning%: .482

Update: After yours truly predicted a second-half surge for this club, the Ice Storm were swept by Hartford and dropped three of four to division rival Durham.
Player Spotlight: 1B Denny Graham's road splits: .280/14/43. In Burlington: .204/5/19.

8. Las Vegas Gamble (12)
Record: 50-60 (.455)
Expected Winning %: .428

Update: The Gamble have taken 2 of the first 3 games of its current series with Burlington, so they leap four spots despite another weak run through their division. They are now a Ryan-worst 3-18 in divisional play.

Player Spotlight: Too bad you can't steal first base. RF Hugh Prokopec has 58 SB despite a .283 OBP.

7. Durham Bulls (7)
Record: 56-54 (.509)
Expected Winning %: .521
Update: Due to the Ice Storm's aforementioned woes, the Bulls strengthen their grip on the seventh spot and in the AL East.
Player Spotlight: Deivi Blanco leads AL second basemen in BA (.349), OBP (.406), and OPS (1.008).

6. Toledo Holy (6)
Record: 64-46 (.582)
Expected Winning %: .578
Update: Welcome the newest addition to the Contenders list: the Holy are now only six games out of the final wild card spot.
Player Spotlight: After bouncing around with 8 franchises in 9 pro seasons, all-or-nothing slugger William Takada has resurrected his career in Toledo. He's proven capable of more than platoon duties, hammering 63 homers in 1.5 seasons.

5. Oklahoma City Chickens (5)
Record: 66-44 (.600)
Expected Winning %: .605
Update: Since we last checked in, the Chickens have played to a 3-3 draw in six games vs. the McCoys. Two games remain in the current series, and OKC will likely need to win both to move up any further.
Player Spotlight: DH Bill McGowan has lost 11 points from his power rating after suffering a season- ending forearm injury. This probably means he's swung his last bat for the Chickens, since he'll be a free agent and OKC values power.

4. Kansas City McCoys (4)
Record: 70-40 (.636)
Expected Winning %: .610
Update: Their draw with Oklahoma City assured the McCoys of at least this spot, but after being swept by Wichita, they don't deserve to move any higher.
Player Spotlight: The Count of Monte Cristi's quest for Ryan's first Triple Crown since Vic Mullins achieved the feat in S1 is effectively over. A monster week by Albert Frazier and Edgar Tarraga have all but ended Seanez's chance at a home run title. But he can still win the triple crown for handsomeness, 'stache, and adulation.

3. Madison Massa's (2)
Record: 74-36 (.673)
Expected Winning %: .667
Update: The Massa's fall a spot after being dismantled by the Bombers.
Player Spotlight: AL Rookie of the Year candidate Marcus Thompson is hitting .300 with 12 HR, 48 RBI, and 58 SB. He leads all rookies in OPS (.897).

2. New York Bombers (3)
Record: 76-34 (.691)
Expected Winning %: .683
Update: Since last week, the Bombers have taken sets vs. the Massa's and the Sizzlers. The only reason there isn't a new #1 is because this team recently suffered two bad losses to the HitchHikers.
Player Spotlight: Second-year phenom Virgil Diaz is sporting an ERA 0.8 runs higher than it was last season, despite lowering his WHIP, maintaining his OAV, and drastically raising his K/9 rate (from 7.12 to 8.26).

1. Wichita Sizzlers (1)
Record: 79-31 (.718)
Expected Winning %:.727
Update: Their once firm grip on the top spot has weakened with two losses to the Bombers, but the Sizzlers are still the class of the AL.
Player Spotlight: Timothy Garcia recently picked up career win number 200. Ryan may never see this again.

Friday, March 6, 2009


1. Colorado Springs Organizational Filler-
Last Ranking:
Record: 66-32 (12-11)
Expected Win %: .700
The Skinny: Just When I think they are for real, do they show cracks in their armor. Dropped 40 points in exp Win %.

First Half Hero: Made SP Hi Telgheder very happy in the off season signing him for 5 years 39M. He rewards them well

First Half Bust: SO much more has to be expected of LF Clarence Sutton

2. New York Burros
Last Ranking
: 3
Record: 63-35 (16-7)
Expected Win %: .634
First Half Hero: C JP Santiago batting over .350 with 22 dingers
First Half Bust: SS Louis Mateo has shown a large sophomore slump

3. Cheyenne Marmots-
Last Ranking:
Record: 61-37 (17-6)
Expected Win %: .612
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: 2B Chris Durbin leads the team in batting and the league in stolen bases. With a newly signed 4 year 30M contract he is playing happy
First Half Bust: LR Royce Peters has been a near debacle these last 2 seasons after signing his 4 year deal in S10

4. Chicago Ballbusters-
Last Ranking: 2
Record: 61-37 (13-10)
Expected Win %: .658
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: Starting C Kevin Martin is easily in his career year
First Half Bust: backup C David Candelaria still provides the power but is doing little else

5. Philadelphia Balboas-
Last Ranking
: 6
Record: 55-43 (16-7)
Expected Win %: .542
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: CL Albert Rincon has been the rock of the bullpen
First Half Bust: Each season SS
Arthur Dunn returns to the Balboas he gets a little worse

6. Cincinnati Bowties -
Last Ranking:
Record: 52-46 (14-9)
Expected Win %: .571
The Skinny:

First Half Hero: P
Bump Loiselle is having career resurgence in the Cinci System
First Half Bust: SS Hades Sedlacek is having a down year even for his standards

7. Texas Outlaws-
Last Ranking
: 5
Record: 52-46 (10-13)
Expected Win %: .554
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: With 2 HOF caliber starts ahead of him Brandon Roosevelt has had much to prove and has done very well this season
First Half Bust: CF Damion Eldred is on his 3rd season of declining stats, his number might be up in Texas

8. San Diego Surf -
Last Ranking: 8
Record: 51-47 (13-10)
Expected Win %: .520
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: SP Deion Dunn- has been worth every penny of his 4 year 25.5M contract
First Half Bust: 2B Dale Hill's BA has fallen over 100 points this season

9. Atlanta Braves-
Last Ranking:
Record: 52-46 (14-9)
Expected Win %: .475
First Half Hero: 1B Ralph Carmona's best days are gone, but he is having a great season.
First Half Bust: SS Albert Gonzales recently signed for over 27M million in the off season, not quite earning the dollars this season.

9. San Antonio Alamos -
Last Ranking:
Record: 46-52 (11-12)
Expected Win %: .498
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: SP Corey Webb as a rookie went to the All star game
First Half Bust: C Brian Hocking was having such a bad season, he was returned to AAA

11. Florida Marlins -
Last Ranking:
Record: 41-57 (7-16)
Expected Win %: .429
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: SP Albert Mauer earning every penny of his 4 year 30M deal
First Half Bust: SS Anthony Mahay will never be a superstar, or a Shortstop 29 errors is to many for his lack of offense this season

12. Seattle Warbirds
Last Ranking
: 14
Record: 37-61 (9-14)
Expected Win %: .370
The Skinny:
First Half Hero: RP Orlando Pena is leading a bullpen, he's the bright spot
First Half Bust: LF Jesus Ramirez a mid season waiver claim has shown the skills that got him released.

13. Memphis Amon-Ra
Last Ranking: 12
Record: 37-61 (6-17)
Expected Win %:
The Skinny
First Half Hero: SP Mike Fitzgerald is on his way to being a superstar
First Half Bust: LF Nipsey Diaz should be further along in his progress than this

14. Milwaukee Blues -
Last Ranking:
Record: 36-62 (6-17)
Expected Win %: .364
The Skinny: if you are playing in extra innings with Milwaukee you will win 1-13 in the bonus for the Blues.
First Half Hero: RP
Ellis Small his small sample size inflates and masks a good pitching year OBA of .218, when he is in control he's dominant
First Half Bust: SP Angel Mateo- it's not that he has been horrible, it's just that Milwaukee had to expect more from him

15. Rochester Raging Reverends-
Last Ranking: 15
Record: 34-64 (10-13)
Expected Win %: .349
The Skinny: Steadily moving up the power ranking without moving up in actual ranking. In the past 2 weeks they have played just under .500 ball. That shows promise for the future.

First Half Hero: 1B Jumbo Tavarez has shown flashes of what many in Rochester hopes he will be

First Half Bust: RP Rene Richardson showed flashes last season of what Rochester needed in the Bullpen, not so much this year.

Last Ranking: 16
Record: 31-67 (10-13)
Expected Win %: .276
The Skinny: RP Arthur Mattes illustrates why this team is not winning. As he is a fair representation of some of the pitching in Colorado
First Half Hero: SP John Overbay
at 36 is still getting it done; lack of wins will cost him any type of recognition
First Half Bust: Future HOF Vic Mullins just needs to call it quits. He's in the middle of his 2nd sub-.230 campaign with no signs of power, fielding, or any usable skills. Just a name to fill the seats at this point.