The manager’s were polled and the results are in! Here are the
2021 PLW Spring Preseason Power Rankings!
The Snappers have more question marks on their roster than any other team in the league, and that’s why they landed the #8 spot in the preseason rankings. If things pan out the way co-managers Jesse Capps & Peter Mavro are hoping, then the Snappers could find themselves in the playoffs, but if the team doesn’t live up to their full potential, then they’ll be lucky to avoid relegation play. Number 1 overall pick Manny Santillanes Jr. has already shown his ability on both sides of the ball with solid pitching performances, and a home run in preseason play. Taylor Bryner is another rookie that has shown the potential to be a superstar, but if the Snappers aren’t able to get everything they can out of their team, then it might be a long season.
#7 Stone Men:
The Stone Men are also a team that’s full of potential, but they haven’t had enough opportunities to prove how good they are just yet. Levi Lawrence has shown a lot of enthusiasm as the manager of this new expansion franchise, and Jimmy Talamantez went on an absolute tear during the preseason with 4 home runs in just 7 games, with a .412 batting average. If Talamantez is able to carry those numbers over into the regular season, and the Stone Men develop more pitching depth, then they may avoid relegation play, but if they don’t solidify their rotation soon, they’ll need more than Talamantez’ bat to outslug teams.
The runners up from last season ranked 6th? Maybe this preseason poll was biased, or maybe that’s just how competitive this league has become. The Warbirds placed second last season, but their offense struggled for some stretches throughout the winter. Luckily they had Cy Young winner Chad Phillips pitching nearly half of the innings to keep them in games, but Phillips may not be able to maintain that workload in the spring. The Warbirds selected superstar Randy Dalbey in the draft, but he’ll only be available for about a dozen games. If the Warbirds strengthen their rotation, and the balls start to fly as the weather gets warmer, then they’ll still be a contender, but if batters start connecting with Phillips’ signature riser, and their offense doesn’t take a step forward, then the Warbirds may miss the playoffs.
#5 The Ones:
The Ones are another new team this season, but in the preseason they hit the ground running. Manager Ryan Chen, Adam Koutz, and Scottez Dobbins all batted comfortably above .300, and Chen also hit two home runs. Their numbers may fall off a bit during the regular season when they’re facing an ace’s best stuff, but the Ones will be able to put runs on the board. The big question mark for this team is pitching. If they can find an ace early in the season, and develop a couple other guys, then the sky’s the limit for this team, and even if they don’t, they’ll get some wins outslugging teams.
The Bombers went 5-1 during the preseason to lead the league, and if they’re able to carry the momentum they’ve built up into the regular season, then they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. TJ Brown took over as Bombers manager, and it seems he’s already found his ace in Brandon Maio. Maio allowed just 3 hits and 1 run in 9 preseason innings, while striking out exactly half of the batters he faced. Jim Dodos also showed improvement in his pitching during the preseason on top of being one of the top hitters and fielders in the league already. When Dodos is in the lineup the Bombers are elite, but if he isn’t committed, then the Bombers might be fighting for a playoff spot at the end of the season.
The Calicos selected James Stein with the 4th overall pick in the draft, and Stein might be the piece that the Calicos were missing last season. When Stein is available, he and Alex Carrasco are a great 1-2 punch pitching, and manager Nick DiVella can come in as a strike throwing machine whenever needed. Barry Hutter also hit 2 home runs in as many games this preseason, so when the Calicos are firing on all cylinders they’ll be tough to beat, but when they aren’t they may run into trouble.
Ranking a new team second might seem too high, but the Tomahawks aren’t just a bunch of rookies. They’re managed by All-Star Jason Stephenson, and he had so much confidence in his roster that he decided to forego the draft. Tony Garay, Brad Ogden, and Nick Sansone all had a batting average above .500 in the preseason, and Kenny Tracy (.412) hit a home run, and had 10 runs batted in. These numbers are sure to fall a bit as they face better pitching during the regular season, but the Tomahawks offense alone should keep them in most games. If they develop some more pitching, the’ll be a juggernaut, and even if they don’t they still might end up with a playoff spot.
The Sandvipers are managed by last season’s triple crown winner, Adam Tanic. Tanic alone would bring just about any team to the top of the power rankings, and behind him is a solid core of Casey Herzog, Trench Picone, and Jason Walker. Tanic made this strong core even stronger with the addition of Tom Gannon last season, and the Sandvipers went on to win the championship. With a potent lineup, and the deepest pitching rotation in the league, the Sandvipers are expected to make the playoffs even if there are a few bumps along the way. Will another team emerge as the best in the league this season, or will the Sandvipers continue to dominate?