Charlotte Rae Dawn Chong
A solid pitcher catcher duo headlined Charlotte’s draft. Both have ML potential and should fair well when they reach that level. However, the main story in Charlotte is their current team. They lead all of the bigs in wins and their pitching has been dominant. They’re certainly a World Series contender, but will still have their work cut out for them holding off New Orleans in the South.
Not the strongest of draft classes for Hartford, but that’s of little concern to them. The Crusaders are still in the process of ending the Baggies division title stretch. Aside from one rough stretch of 6 losses in 6 days, the Crusaders have been unstoppable. They have what it takes to not only win the division, but to make a deep playoff run, and it will be exciting to see if they keep it up.
New Orleans aligators
A second basemen with blazing speed and a solid hitting catcher show more promise for New Orleans’ future. For now, they are in the process of trying to catch Charlotte in the NL South. At the rate they are going, it will likely mean one team will get a first round bye, and the other will have a tough road in a very talented National League. It should be a great race all season.
Salem Witch Hunters
Three solid picks will help add some depth to Salem’s farm. They have dropped since the last rankings, but it is hard to stay number 1 when there is so much depth in the National League. They have pulled away in their division and will be looking to try to fight for a first round bye as the season goes on. It will be crucial after being taken out in the wild card round last year.
Having 6 picks in the top 67 usually means good things for a team. Vancouver certainly could use a youth movement, but for now they are still looking for that first World Series. It’s hard to imagine what more the Killivers could have done to get a ring, but its becoming very hard for them to do so. The AL has become a much deeper league, and it’s going to be a tough battle.
Colorado U$eful Idiot$
A below average draft for Colorado as they only lock up a reliever, but that’s okay. The U$eful Idiot$ find themselves atop a very talented AL West, which also means they are above the team that took them out last season. However, there is a long way to go and their offense will have to keep performing the way it is to hold off Kansas City, as well as San Francisco.
A solid defensive short stop and a talented right fielder are the stand out picks for Minnesota. After what would be considered a slow start in Minnesota, they have bounced back and pulled within striking distance of Hartford. It’s looking like this could be Minnesota’s tightest race in years, so they will have to continue to stay hot in order to jump in front of the Crusaders, and stay there.
Louisville Hill Jacks
A good closer is the highlight of Louisville’s draft. They currently have bigger things on their plate however. A surging Philadelphia team and a talented New Britain team means there will be no room for mistake all season long if the Hill Jacks are to return to the playoffs. The offense has been successful, and will need to stay it.
Kansas City Monarchs
An alright draft for Kansas City. They currently have a solid core of youth, so they’ll be set for awhile. They find themselves slipping recently which is a bit of a surprise. Success has been driven into the heads of each Monarch player, so they should turn it around sooner rather than later. Expect them to make it a tight race in the AL West.
New Britain Bulldogs
Four top 45 picks left the Bulldogs a very happy bunch. Not only did they solidify a promising future, but they are also currently in an unexpected playoff race. While being outscored by a good margin, New Britain is winning the close games, and have managed to do enough to close to the top of the AL East. Can it last? Only time will tell.
San Francisco Rocks
An alright draft for the Rocks as they acquire two decent prospects. They currently have a lot more going on though. A huge off season left fans expecting a return to the playoffs, and finally competing for a division title. So far that’s what they’ve gotten. San Francisco should be able to step it up a little, and then they might be able to climb the division ladder.
Two decent pitchers join the organization at a good time. They are currently the hottest team in the world, and fans don’t expect them to ever lose again. After a terrible start to the season, Philadelphia has bounced back and put themselves back towards the top of the AL East. Assuming they continue form, they will make it a very good race with Louisville and will be a solid competitor in the AL.
Little Rock Bill Clintons
Top Picks: Lariel Castilla
Still awaiting the signing of some other picks, but this was a good start. Little Rock is a solid team placed in a tough situation. They are in a division with two World Series caliber teams, and the other wild card spot is currently held by Minnesota. Making the post season is not out of the question, but it will certainly be a very difficult task.
Fargo Red River
A good draft for Fargo who locked up some talented young players. When it comes to their current season however, something has to change to boost them to the playoffs. Their pitching has been performing very well, but the offense is a surprising disappointment. It should turn it around at some point, Fargo only hopes that it isn’t too late when it finally does.
San Juan Clementes
Top Picks: Chili Daly
A great pitcher will give San Juan a future ace. That is great news for a team that is currently in a playoff position. It’s going to be a tough battle to stay there, but it is a weak division and San Juan appears to be the stand out team. They need to start to win the close games, but they seem to be in decent shape as the season goes on.
Two decent picks for the Halos left them feeling a little better after the way they’ve performed recently. The surprise playoff team last season is currently last in their division, but in better shape than this time last year. Will they turn it around and make another run? Maybe. Their offense has done great but with the pitching the way it is, its going to be tough.
El Paso Manatee Dogs
El Paso had arguably one of the top drafts this season. Add that to a team that has turned things around and find themselves as the division leader, and you’ve got a pretty happy team. El Paso may not be a top AL competitor this year, but if they can reach the post season in a weak division, it will certainly gain fan support for a future of very strong talent.
Helena Big Sky Bombers
A solid short stop is the top addition for Helena. It is something to be happy about as they will once again likely fall short of the playoffs. Like last season they find themselves in the mix early on, but it’s tough to compete with the likes of Hartford and Minnesota currently. If the pitching steps up they have a chance, but it won’t be easy.
Adding solid pitching always means a successful draft, and that’s what Rochester did. Like last year, Rochester is getting outscored by opponents, but find themselves in the midst of a playoff race. Currently second in the division, they will need to win it if they want to make their first ever playoff appearance. While unlikely, you never know with the NL East.
Augusta Moose Heads
Augusta managed to fill two tough positions with two solid prospects. A starting pitcher and a center fielder will certainly help the future Moose Heads. For the current team though, its another below average season. Their return to the top has certainly been a building process, but the fans are assured the wait will be worth it.
Santa Fe Bible Thumpers
Top Picks: Sean Bonds
One star stands out in Santa Fe’s draft, but they have a good amount of youth in their system. The offense is there as we all knew it would be, but the pitching has begun to struggle. It’s tough to be successful in such a small park, but Santa Fe had greater expectation’s then what they’ve been seeing. Not too late to turn it around, but El Paso is getting hot.
Las Vegas Gamblers
Top Picks: Philip Cole
The number one pick in the draft belonged to Vegas, and they took advantage of it. Drafting a pitcher who is destined to be great. To go along with that, they have also been performing much better than last year. Certainly a team on the rise and will be a force in a couple more years. For now, they will lay back and grin.
Top Picks: Jim Crisp
The team with almost as much prospect payroll as player payroll selected a solid pitcher with their number three selection. Chicago is in year 4 of the rebuild and we are starting to see some of their young talent emerge. It shouldn’t be too much longer until this team takes that big step forwards.
A great pick for Cleveland acquiring the top center fielder in the class. It’s a good step in the right direction for Cleveland. They’ve been a team waiting to reach a high point of success but have yet to get there. A lot of young talent in their minors means they’re working towards it. They are also very close in a down NL East, so maybe they’ll get lucky this year.
Top Picks: Bob Gonzales
A talented left pitcher joins Columbus. They are certainly a team in need of pitching so this will help them out down the road. It looked for a moment that they may be a competitive team this season, but a recent rough stretch has put them pretty far back. There’s still time for the Isotopes to bounce back to what we were seeing, so we will see what they do.
Top Picks: None
No picks in the first two rounds for Atlanta means they weren’t too concerned about what happened there. At this point, they didn’t have time to be anyways. A team that finally gave the NL East a winning team last season was certainly the early favorite but has not been playing like it. Fortunately, they are not far back and a few minor tweaks should be all they need to get back on track and fight for this division.
Top Picks: Matthew Hughes
A weak draft for Richmond, who hasn’t been concerned about their future in a long time. It is looking like it is time to start though. Their 14 consecutive playoff appearances appears to be reaching an end, and this once dominant franchise, has finally reached a rebuilding phase. It was bound to happen, but the fans are sad to see it go. Who knows what’s next for the Spiders.
An alright draft for a team that made a flurry of trades for prospects this off-season. It is clear they are trying to start over and they have managed to add a lot of youth very quickly. While the struggles of this season will continue, fans know that it shouldn’t be too long of a wait before the Shockmaster’s compete once again.
Top Picks: Stefen Wood
Having the number 2 and 13 pick in the draft seemed like a fantastic thing, and it will be, if their number 2 selection signs. They have a very talented second baseman, and would love to add the other middle infielder to that mix. Houston is going to remain on the bottom half this year, so it is crucial that they take advantage of singing all the prospects that they can.
Top Picks: Howie Merrick
Another team stuck hoping they get their top 10 pick to sign. Arizona is obviously a team on the rebuild, so it is crucial that they acquire their top draft pick, especially since he is a pitcher which is their biggest need. They were the last franchise to take a division title from the Salem franchise, and the fans are desperately hoping that they’ll also be the next one to do so.
Some good signings out of Boise who seems to be having a down year. While making the playoffs was a long shot, the fans expected more than what they’ve gotten. Boise certainly has a great core of youth that are still developing, so a little more patience is going to be needed as they grow their way up to the top.
Tampa Bay Sharks
Two very solid starting pitchers was a great draft draft result for Tampa Bay. They have given up the second most runs in the National League, so pitching was their main need. Hopefully they are able to string some wins together to build some confidence going into future seasons, but they definitely added a lot of promise.