1 Chicago Wolves - Former #2 pick Todd Olerud (S15) looks start in his rookie season. "He showed us a lot in the spring, holding batters to under .200 BAA and his 4 Minor league Cy Young Awards probably are a little telling. We knew he could find success, but he has been a rock to lean on" said Bench Manager Felipe Julio.
2 Madison Massa's - The acquisition of Ray Wright has turned around the Massa rotation from last year's dismal performance. With Wright at #1 it allows them to pitch Tamura down in the rotation where he has excelled out of the spotlight.
3 Salt Lake City Prospectors- SLC has been a monster on the base paths with 27 stolen bases and only being caught 2 times. With inexperienced 1st and 3rd base coach who struggled in their playing days making good base running choices, this is hard to believe it will continue.
4 Colorado Springs Organizational Filler- Struggling this season to get pitches in the right place and hitters to swing and miss. 1st year Lee Sherman who coached AAA last season has been trying to get his finger on these guys all season.
5 Texas Tornadoes - Starting pitchers Diego Gomez and Vin Delgado are 2nd and 3rd in the league in strikeouts this season. They might be the dynamic duo in a tough hitter's park.
6 New York Dolls - HOF'er to be Mat Shave looks worn and it is becoming more difficult to find him time in the lineup with his .188 batting average a no power.
7. San Juan Saints - 10-3 on the road makes them the best road team. Only 3-3 at home shows they need to find that groove for the home crowd.
8. Memphis Amon-Ra - The Amon-Ra spend nearly 17M on bringing in Aaron Fox for 3 years and he looks every bit of 34 this season. He has been sluggish in the field and seems to be just hacking at the plate.
9. Minnesota Wobegon's - another season with a huge season ending injury to a big star, this time Sterling Daniels goes down with a major elbow injury. He will be shelved until season 21. Huge blow for a team that will be looking for a deep playoff run.
10. Colorado Mile High Club- 9 time all-star Del Prieto's spring training injury is most likely career threatening and will cost him any shot of getting 3ooo hits for his career. Sad end to a possibly a great Hall of Fame career.
11. Charlotte knights - LF Jimmie Miranda seems to be getting the green light again, if he keeps is batting average up he should beat his career high in Stolen bases this season.
12. Dover Doves – the 2 longest hitting streaks of the season belong to Dovers Matt Chouinard(16 games) and Valerio Guillen(17 for 17 games). Hitting has been impressive.
13. Cincinnati Ramrod – steady reliever Jeff Watson looks like he has lost something off his fastball and curve. Hitters seem to be reading him, league scouts believe he might be tipping his pitches by cheating in his stance to compensate for some lost velocity.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates – 3rd year starting pitcher Richie Hurst has responded well to pitching coach Felipe Dominguez's off-season workout regimen. His fastball looks unhittable to far this season. The team's ERA is a lead leading 2.86
15. Charleston Cougars - RP David Itou wasn't able to get anything started this season after a solid spring, he seemed to lose all confidence and was waived. Better luck in Cleveland.
16. St. Louis Twains – SP Eric Erickson continues to amaze me with his 4 years as at least average pitching. He has been able to keep St. Louis in all his games this season. Still waiting for the wheels to fall off this guy.
17. Helena Mail Order Cowboys - The cowboys are a combined record 9-63 in the minors. Cowboys need to take a look at the farm and protect some of their future investments. At least use Simmy.
18. Cleveland Spyders – After a down power year in S19 Jose Park seems to have reclaimed his swing already nailing 8 dingers in 18 games.
19. Burlington Ice Storm- DH David Johnson is playing himself out of a job, when your only job is hitting the ball you should probably bat better than .114 in 70 at bats.
20. Anaheim strasfigor- Fans in Anaheim are blowing up talk radio all over California about Everett Rodgers's fielding at SS, he just isn't getting to the hole quick enough and his throws are an adventure.
21. Cheyenne Marmots – P Dale Taylor has slid each year since his career year in S17. He struggled in spring training, but in his first 4 starts he was been beyond awful to the tune of 35 hits in 13 innings with an ERA of14.54. He will be skipped in the rotation until his mechanics are worked out.
22. Houston Stone Cold Killers – Houston fans are at a loss on what happened to steady setup man Livan Campos's arm. Some in the media are speculating he is hiding an injury and trying to pitch through it. The results have been awful, a .400 BAA and an ERA north of 11.
23. Norfolk Train Wrecks – SP Rudy Henry has had a tough start to the season, getting rocked in 3 of his 4 starts.
24. Atlanta Braves - 2B Robert Lundquist who has played sparingly through 4 seasons has broken out on the scene this season. Batting a league leading .429 after a spring where he batted .778. Playing like its little league for him. Experts point to his high strikeout total as an indicator his bubble might be short lived.
25. El Paso Massacre at Two Pines - RP Kelvin Shaw's season ended before it started in spring training, most scouts thought he was ML caliber before the injury and will wait to see how he bounces back before commenting on his future, but many proven Major leaguers would struggle to come back from that type of elbow injury and pitch at an ML level again.
26. Salem Slammers- Ace Angel Mateo's shoulder issues from S19 seem to be long since over as he has dominated the NL this season and has been the X factor for the Slammers.
27. Durham Bulls – 2nd year hitting coach Freddy Blauser spend the off season and the spring retooling CF Frank Yamamoto's swing to move Frank from concentrating on hitting for the fences to working more on contact and putting the ball in play. The results are lower power numbers and a .351 batting average to lead the Bulls.
28. Tampa Bay Guls - bullpen is getting a heavy workload pitching 43% of the innings this season in Tampa. They need to get the starters on track or there will be long range issues in August.
29. Philadelphia Stars - SP Johnny Powell has pitched well the past 2 seasons, but fan are getting frustrated that he's only going 4-5 innings a start. The Stars need to check on how to keep him in games longer to put less stress on the pen.
30. Seattle Fainting Goats –Starting rotation has an ERA of more than 6.50. Not going to last long for a rebuilt team.
31. Kansas City McCoys - I refuse to acknowledge that losing Mike Cox to injury in spring training is why this team can't win, but his replacements in the rotation have been stinking up the place pretty bad……so maybe.
32. Richmond James Gang – Pitching coach Banana Upshaw is trying to figure out why ace reliever Lonny Uribe is plunking guys to the tune of every 8 batters. Uribe seems to be guarding the plate like he is pitching in the 40's.