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.

No comments: