Pre-Season Power Rankings (Season 20)

As with last season, these are just pre-season rankings.  I have no intention to under value your teams.  As some teams showed us last season, a low early ranking does not mean they cannot pull off big surprises.  Good luck to all as the season gets under way and I look forward to a low rank jumping up top!

1.

NewOrleans

New Orleans aligators

Last Season- 110-52

As if they weren’t dangerous enough. Sal Sanders has now joined the defending champs rotation.  Some other small signings include Lawrence Marshall, Wilfredo Encarnacion and Julio Diaz.  All three players couldn’t sign their contract fast enough, knowing the opportunity to end their careers with a ring just became very likely.

2.

Minnesota

Minnesota Baggies

Last Season- 103-59

A year without the Baggies in the World Series is certainly a strange year.  It’s very rare that it happens 2 years in a row. Vicente Lopez will leave Minnesota for the first time in his career, and will take 5 rings with him.  Look for the Baggies Dynasty to once again be dominate, and extend their impressive NL North run.

3.

KansasCity

Kansas City Monarchs

Last Season- 98-64

The Monarchs just can’t seem to get over that hump, and it is not going to get any easier.  Losing players like Ricardo Seguignol, Milt Morgan and Ubaldo Beltre are tough gaps to fill.  They will be facing a much improved division, but have the depth to once again be atop it, and fight for their first ring.

4.

Vancouver

Vancouver Killivers

Last Season- 106-56
A disappointing exit from the playoffs last season, along with losing Ellie Gwynn and Harry Bocachica will sting a little bit, but Vancouver is still going to be an AL favorite. Barney Fryman is certainly no replacement, but the rest of the staff can pick up the slack.  Time may be running out if Vancouver wants to win the eluded World Series, so the Killivers really need to make something happen this season.

5.

Charlotte

Charlotte Rae Dawn Chong

Last Season 93-69

Some bullpen fixes include Vasco Lira and Sherman Ashby.  Other than that not a whole lot going down in Charlotte.  They are still a young team with a lot of potential.  They believe they are the top team in the South and will battle with New Orleans all season to prove it.

6.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia Phillies

Last Season- 91-71

Philadelphia made it very clear this off-season that they like winning, and they plan to do a lot more of it.  After the additions of Bronson Welch and Roscoe Kashmir to the rotation, along with Kiki Castro to provide some much needed offense, the Phillies may find themselves as a top player in the American League this season.

7.

Hartford

Hartford Crusaders

Last Season- 96-66

The additions of George Hughes and Melvin Grey will help compound losing Roscoe Kashmir.  Hartford is going to once again have to battle for a playoff spot with many competitive teams in the NL, but expect them to be in the mix.  The big question will be, can they finally end the run of Minnesota?

8.

Salem

Salem Witch Hunters

Last Season- 93-69

A late season melt down and a first round exit made Salem rethink a few things.  Mainly the pitching staff. Ellie Gwynn and J.P. Ramirez are excellent additions to the rotation along with Dennis Miclat in the bullpen.  Meanwhile, Douglas Hunt is also a nice addition to the outfield.  Salem should take home the division again, but they want more.

9.

Colorado

Colorado U$eful Idiot$

Last Season- 94-68

Some minor moves in Colorado include signing Don Murphy and Charlie Service.  After pulling the upset of the playoffs they were sent home packing.  Though some say they overachieved, the U$eful Idiot$ wanted more.  Look for them fight for the division, and attempt another run at greatness.

10.

SanFrancisco

San Francisco Rocks

Last Season- 82-80

San Francisco made one thing apparent this off season, last season will not happen again.  They reached into their pockets and made some very solid signings in Harry BocachicaChief GipsonTed Orosco and Milt Morgan.  Expect big things out of them as they look to rejoin Kansas City and Colorado at the top of the division, and potentially be one of the top teams in the American League.

11.

Atlanta

Atlanta BeerCats

Last Season- 87-75

Some very good signings by the BeerCats will keep them as the NL East favorites. Barry SweeneyIgnacio Castillo and Michael Diaz will make Atlanta a threat to everyone.  No longer will the East be scoffed at now that a true contender has emerged.

12.

Fargo

Fargo Red River

Last Season- 90-72

After a surprising season last year, Fargo is back and ready to compete again this year.  Signings Ricardo SeguignolErubiel Machado and R.J. Schrenk will certainly assist in that.  Trading for D.J. McPherson will also help.  The young rotation has high expectations as they try to lead the Red River to the playoffs.

13.

LittleRock

Little Rock Bill Clintons

Last Season- 91-71

Not a whole lot going on in Little Rock.  A strong push towards the end of last season left them just a little short.  They will once again have to face off against two mighty division foes, along with the rest of the National League.  There’s no counting them out, but it will be a tough road.

14.

Louisville

Louisville Hill Jacks

Last Season- 84-78

Not too much happening in Louisville aside from trading for Hideo Zhang.  They will likely be stuck chasing Philadelphia for most of the season, however, more was expected of them last year so look for it to be a little tighter race heading down the stretch.

15.

Anaheim

Anaheim Halos

Last Season- 84-78

The miracle team from last year returns with high hopes.  The addition of Jose Mendoza will certainly do the Halos a lot of good.  Can they pull off the same magic they did to end last season? Possibly.  It will certainly be fun to watch.

16.

Richmond

Richmond Spiders

Last Season 88-74

They are by no means getting any younger.  However, placed in a weak division it is likely that they will once again finish on top.  It is simply turning into a matter of when will their age get the best of them, and make way for the rest of the AL South.

17.

NewBritain

New Britain Bulldogs

Last Season- 82-80

The arrival of Richard FloydRogers Gipson and Vicente Lopez will be much anticipated.  They will fill the void of Kiki Castro moving to Philadelphia.  The Bulldogs should be competitive this year and it will be interesting to see how far this team can go in a much improved American League.

18.

Boise

Boise Blue

Last Season- 78-84

Some smaller signings by Boise along with Dave Juden will likely keep them around a .500 club.  They have plenty of youth still up and coming so it is only a matter of time before the rise of the Blue.

19.

Helena

Helena Big Sky Bombers

Last Season- 77-85

Another team with a couple of additions. Domingo Gomez, Paul Shea and Gerald Hendricksen will certainly create a buzz around the ball park.  Helena showed last year that they can make things exciting, but it will certainly be tough for them to compete in a very deep NL North.

20.

Trenton

Trenton Shockmasters

Last Season- 83-79

Trenton made it very clearly that they are going to lay low for awhile and move towards a rebuilding stage.  While the fans may disagree, it will likely be for the best.  Look for their youth movement to to make big impacts in the future.

21.

Rochester

Rochester Sidewinders

Last Season- 83-79

Not much to mention in Rochester.  A team nobody expected to be in contention last season watched as rivals Atlanta improved significantly.  Another .500 season is expected as they will likely be middle of the road.

22.

Augusta

Augusta Moose Heads

Last Season- 74-88

With Ubaldo Beltre arriving up North, fans will continue to come out and show support.  However, it does not appear that Augusta is ready to make a playoff push.  Look for the offense to put on some shows, but the pitching to struggle.

23.

Arizona

Arizona Royals

Last Season- 71-91

Watching Jose Mendoza leave is upsetting, but this team isn’t worried about how this season turns out.  Look for the Royals to have some struggles, but ultimately end up around the middle of the NL.

24.

ElPaso

El Paso Manatee Dogs

Last Season- 70-92

A new location will also display many new faces. Gustavo Gomez will light up the offense as Turner Pittinger, Eli Arrojo, Davey Andujar and Edgar Johnson will highlight a new rotation.  The bullpen also had an overhaul so it is hard to know what to truly expect from El Paso.

25.

SanJuan

San Juan Clementes

Last Season- 65-97

Collin Kroon and Todd O’Donnell make nice additions to the offense.  If history holds true, it is the Clementes turn in the cycle to take home the East, but it would certainly take a miracle to keep this streak alive.

26.

Columbus

Columbus Isotopes

Last Season- 65-97

While Izzy Ventrella is a nice bullpen addition, and trading for Banjo Kensing will also help, it is going to take a lot more to catch Vancouver.  The Wild Card is not completely out of the question, but it will take something pretty spectacular.

27.

SantaFe

Santa Fe Bible Thumpers

Last Season- 63-99

A new look rotation in Santa Fe includes Ricardo Rivera, Karl BelisleJoaquin Villafuerte and Jamie Baker. Tito Tice has also jumped on board to help a very dynamic offense attempt to compete this year.   The need of pitching has been filled, so the Bible Thumpers have a chance to battle in the AL.

28.

Cleveland

Cleveland Crappers

Last Season- 62-100

A tough season last season leaves little hope for this year. Ruben Montero should help the new Cleveland fans support their team, but it’s certainly going to be an uphill battle.

29.

TampaBay

Tampa Bay Sharks

Last Season- 61-101

William Ruffin and Stewart Politte head the free agent signings by Tampa Bay.  Hopefully they will help them avoid another 100 loss season.  However, that will likely be Tampa Bay’s only goal for the season as a playoff run seems to be out of the question.

30.

Chicago_1

Chicago Wieners

Last Season- 61-101

Hold the phones! Frank Redman will be arriving in Chicago.  His salary makes up 1/5 of Chicago’s entire payroll, so it is safe to say that he will be the one and only thing Wiener fans will be cheering for this season.  Look for it to be another tough one in the windy city.

31.

Houston

Houston Juicers

Last Season- 55-107

A couple small signings will not change too much for the Juicers.  Avoiding another 100 loss season will be difficult but doable.  The only thing going for Houston right now, is they are not on the bottom.

32.

LasVegas

Las Vegas Gamblers

Last Season- 52-110

Finishing up their 6th consecutive season in last in the NL West, Las Vegas still has a lot of work to do.  Hopefully they manage to find a way to get enough wins to stick around.

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