Preseason rank in parentheses.
1 (1). Syracuse Orange Raiders – Has the joint most wins, the ML leader in Home runs and RBI (Peter Perez), the joint fewest negative plays. The only negative is the injury to Max Marquez.
2 (2). Chicago Mafia – As solid as ever. The trade for Accardo Palacios is paying off in fine style, he leads the majors in both runs and runs created.
3 (3). Chicago Cubbies – The other key part of the Palacios deal was Kazuya Whang who would be the star at Wrigley – if only 1B Kenny Michaels weren’t so damn good.
4 (4). San Diego Waves – The best team in the NL. Team ERA of 2.79 is ridiculously good. Catcher Mac Pisciotta leads the majors in walks, and the addition of quality RP Conor Nixon should spur them on.
5 (8). Vancouver Whitecaps – Veteran DH Miguel Morlan leads the world in OBP, but it’s the performance of the rotation that’s driving success, if only the bullpen (other than the curiously effective Norberto De La Rosa) could match them!
6 (11). Toronto Mayor Rob Ford – Not dissimilar to San Diego, they’re doing it with good pitching (best WHIP and OAV), and defence (fewest negative plays). And all that with Mac Lee missing 5 starts!
7 (7). Honolulu Humuhumunukunukuapua’as – Ruben Bennett leads the majors in both average and OPS…quelle surprise. The callups of Olivo and Carpenter push the Fish onto a new level.
8 (15). San Francisco Swag – The third NL club to feature, and the third to be doing it by pitching and defence. It also helps when someone like Kevin Ni steps up like he has done.
9 (16). Jackson Crusaders – It’s tough to split the Crusaders from the Swag. Jackson are benefiting from a potential rookie of the year winning season from SP Stuart Kline, and ML leading base thief: William Winston.
10 (5). Toledo Dirty Chickens – A relatively disappointing season so far, but then Hades Allen was a late call up – and he already has 15 homers, and SP Russ Peterson could be on his way to a Cy Young award!
11 (9). Salem Witch Hunt – Salem demonstrates the benefit of doing the little things well and find themselves leading a suddenly competitive AL West. SS Pat Hasegawa has many more + plays than anyone else, and Wilfredo Posada does likewise for infield hits.
12 (10) Charlotte Royal Knights – The best hitting team in Hamilton, topping many of the offensive categories including runs, walks and OPS. In addition: Miguel Roque leads the majors in wins (jointly).
13 (13). Durham Democrats – The Democrats are a good pitching side: when your 4th best starter has figures like Wes Mullaney – you know you’re doing well. But there are only 5 teams with fewer runs scored, Al Mendez has done OK, but we were expecting more, perhaps he’ll have strong second half?
14 (6). St.LouisRedbirds – The reverse of Durham, have scored the 3rd most runs in the NL, but have conceded the 4th most. The number 2 pick from 2 seasons ago – RF Henry Dykstra is having a fine debut season.
15 (12). New Orleans Bounty Hunters – The Bounty Hunters are still very much in contention in the AL South, and old dog Don Helton just doesn’t stop hitting and walking, and C/DH Orber Arrojo does a good job of supporting him.
16 (25). Salt Lake City Seraphim – Possibly the biggest surprise team of the season, they don’t score a lot of runs, but they don’t need to as they have some excellent pitching – in particular rookie Reggie Roundtree.
17 (18). Washington DC Wingnuts – Probably the best team in a weak AL East, they’re having to deal with an injury to rare ML level diamond in the rough Kyle Sherman, helped by RF Scot Byrnes who has the most doubles in all Hamilton.
18 (23). Milwaukee Mud Dogs – With average pitching and below par batting – the Mud Dogs add value with their defence, they have the most positive plays of any team, 1B Ubaldo Diaz has the most with 10, he could find himself in MVP contention.
19 (22). Anaheim Amigos – A solid team, but unable to compete with the Waves and Swag. Rookie 3B Skeeter Hermansen jointly leads the NL in homers, and RF Jimmie Mendoza leads the NL in all the rate statistics.
20 (14). Colorado Springs Coors Lights – the AL West has moved on and left the Coors Lights behind. They rely heavily on Willie Granados who has been excellent, leading the majors in wins, strikeouts and quality starts. They have some good prospects in AAA though – so next year may be a different story.
21 (19). San Jose Jellyfish – the pitching isn’t bad, but they simply don’t score enough runs. They do however run the bases well, they have 117 SBs, the most in Hamilton
22 (21). Boston Buccaneers – it’s the other way around in Boston, the hitting is decent – more so when we recall that star bat Ryan Munoz spent some time on the DL, but the pitching just isn’t there. Lloyd Arnold can hold his head up, he leads the majors in saves.
23 (20). New York Giants – the hitting is decent, and would be even better had Sammy Escobar not badly injured his neck. The pitching however is light once you get past the top 3 starters (Gomez, Guillon & Dukes).
24 (29). New Britain Commodores – A similar team to the Jellyfish: they pitch reasonably well, but only 2 teams in the AL have scored fewer runs. RF Paulie Yates could be having a career year.
25 (27). Richmond Rancor – A more extreme version of the Commodores, the pitching is in the top half of the AL, but they are the lowest scorers. The Rancor exhibit the best team defence in Hamilton, leading in fielding percentage and have the fewest errors.
26 (24). Boise In Blue – Similar story: pitching is adequate (Trevor Keagle and Pedro Piedra are having excellent years), but the hitting isn’t. The building blocks are here to build a decent side in future seasons.
27 (17). Rochester Razzlers – A disappointing season, caused at least in part by a probably career ending injury to SP D’Angelo Carrara, and elbow tendinitis for long-reliever Tyler Ramirez.
28 (31). Tampa Bay Devil Rays – The D-Rays can score runs, they have more triples than anyone else, and rookie 1B Steve Brock is having a fantastic season. the pitching however – just isn’t very good.
29 (30). New York Yankees – leading their division, but ranked 29th? The Yankees concede a lot of runs, and in trading for young talent they have weakened their bullpen further. They do score some runs though, young 2B Branch Denny is on fire!
30 (26). Trenton Try Hards – There’s quite a gap between the Yankees and the bottom three, these are the teams where both the pitching and the hitting are poor. Of course, it doesn’t help when your promising young pitcher like Jose Carrasquel goes down with elbow tendinitis.
31 (28). Scranton Growlers – The Growlers give up the greatest number of runs in Hamilton, 40 more than the second worst. Lary and Affeldt aside, it isn’t pretty. Young Catcher Adrian Carlson is having a decent year mind.
32 (32). Memphis Timelords – The positives: Veteran Tyler Mora isn’t far off getting his 2,000th career hit, Don Kata plays some pretty good SS, Darin Parkinson is a genuinely capable ML 3B. That’s about it though.