Week 6 Power Rankings

1) VADERZ (12-3) – Now riding a 10-game win streak that included another 3-game sweep this time it was the Snappers that fell. Each week it seems there is a new spark for this team. This week it was Nate Stepna with 3 homeruns and 10 RBIs in the series and another solid pitching series from this deep pitching staff, it does not matter which Vaderz show up they are a threat to sweep every week. With Santiwan leading the way at the top of the line up, getting on base at a .458 clip, the rest of the lineup has opportunities to strike quickly, and the pitching and defense are both among the tops in the league. This team looks like it will continue to lock down the #1 Spot!
2) SANDVIPERS (12-3) – Another team riding a 10-game winning streak, on the back of its #1 offense and a top 3 pitching staff, the Sandvipers are not going away anytime soon. The offense features 5 hitters with 15 RBIs on the season and two (Justin Hicks’ 21 and Kenny McDowall’s 23) with over 20 RBIs, offense has been in the calling card early on this season. If you look at the pitching leaders, Adam Tanic leads the way with a 6-1 record, a 1.38 ERA and only 11 walks in 26 IP. McDowall adds his 3-0 record to Petrovsky’s 2-2 record, and you have a staff that is not missing Mr. Winkly as much as previously reported. Best run differential in the league and with the Ones and the Pharaohs in the coming weeks, this team could be off to a record-breaking start.
3) LIGHTNING (10-5) – The only team in the top 4 to not get a sweep last week, the Lightning have proven if they can avoid having their starter walk out, the script usually leads to a Lightning win. Still in possession of a league leading 1.90 team ERA and a team OBP of .413, the formula is still in place for a deep playoff run. Hallead looks like an MVP, hitting .373 with 5 HRs and 21 RBIs, and the lineup features 5 regulars hitting over .300, it is the lack of homerun production that gives me pause, only 12 as a team last in the league. The Vaderz and Sandvipers will cool off sometime soon. But the Lightning will need an infusion of power in the coming weeks, having to get 2 to 3 hits just to score a run will put a lot of pressure on that pitching staff.
4) CAJUNS (9-6) – Don’t look now, but here come the champs. Winners of 6 in a row with sweeps over the Ones and Pharaohs, the Cajuns have taken care of their business and have put themselves right back into the title talks. Rookie Gavin Mansell, looks like the real deal, hitting .444 with a team-leading 8 HRs. Devlin Daniel looks to have found a home in the heart of the Cajuns lineup and manager Andrew Ledet has found his stroke hitting .476 over the last 3 series. And then there is the pitching, Ledet set the PLW record for consecutive shutout inning with 19 over his last 6 appearances and finds is 1.62 ERA third behind Tanic’s 1.38 and teammate and reigning Cy Young winner Ryan Ruesch’s 0.92 ERA! With the Snappers and the Nightowls up in the coming weeks, the Cajuns will be looking to separate from the middle of the pack.
5) LEGENDS (7-8) – Well in a week full of sweeps, it was this veteran squad that was able to avoid being swept. Thanks to a great play by Nick Sansone in left to rob a homerun in the 6th and JT Church’s 6 IP of shutout ball against the Lightning to secure the Game 3 win. The lineup is still struggling apart from Derrick Corral and his .500 batting average, 5 HRs and 11 RBIs, all of which lead the team. Only one problem is he has only played in 6 games. The offense must come around, the line up is just too good. And the pitching has been fantastic, led by JT Church’s 2.48 ERA and veterans Billy Osgood (3.22 ERA) and Trench Picone (2.47 ERA). Tough stretch coming up for Legends with the Sandvipers and Vaderz in the next two weeks, but if manager Brad Ogden can find a way to win 3 or 4 games in that stretch the Legends could be a problem in the second half of the season.
6) BOMBERS (7-7) – Can you sweep a series and look bad? The Bombers almost did, when those big bats went silent for over 5 innings in the second game against the undermanned Pharaohs. But a much-needed Mateo Fernandez bomb to left, his 6th of the season at that point, to walk it off saved the series and maybe will be the springboard to an offensive resurgence?!? I cannot explain what I have been witnessing, but this team has looked out of sorts for much of the first part of the season. This team needs to find a little spark, and maybe last week was it. But until the consistency is there from week to week, the weather has been an issue keeping the bat silent in weeks past, but that cannot be the excuse going forward.
7) SNAPPERS (5-9) – I got nothing here. The Bash Brothers are hitting at the top of the lineup, Jonathan Wilson is hitting .361, Brandon Gregg is hitting .346 and Austin Topel looks like a ROY candidate. What could be the problem? Found it! Teams are hitting .327 against the Snapper rotation that sports a 6.41 ERA. Neither are very Snapper like. It does not matter who is hitting, if you cannot get anyone out, in this league slugfests could go either way and so far, none have gone the Snappers’ way. It is still early, and this lineup will score runs but the rotation needs to figure out how to get back in the dugout. Is that my phone ringing? Are reinforcements on the way? Maybe.
8) NIGHTOWLS (5-10) – In a week full of sweeps, there were 4 of them, the Nightowls found themselves on the bad side of one of those series sweeps. This one at the hands of the Sandvipers. Losers of 6 in a row and sporting the league’s worst run differential at -56, manager Beau Evans is still looking for that combination that will find the consistency to win a couple of series in the coming weeks. The Nightowls suffer from the same affliction as the Snappers, the inability to get outs. A team ERA of 6.92 and a league worst 83 walks and 33 HRs allowed, the staff has too much talent to struggle this much. The defense is young and athletic, and the lineup has no shortage of run producers, just need to find the strike zone a little more and rely on that athletic defense. If the pitching does not improve it could be a long summer.
9) ONES – (4-11) – Without some of their more proven players the Ones ran into a Cajuns team that does not allow for teams to find any rhythm and that was evident by the 8 hits the Ones collected in the 3-game series against the Cajuns. There were some bright spots, Spencer Barrick hit his 4th HR of the year. And rookie Richard Parsons held the Cajun bats at bay for several innings in the second game. The Ones get the Bombers and the Snappers in the coming weeks, so a rebound is not out of the cards. The rookies are getting valuable playing time, and the record is not a true showing of what could have been with 5 losses by 2 runs or less. A bounce here or there and they could have 7 wins and the outlook could be totally different.
10) PHARAOHS – (3-12) – Attendance. Plain and simple. Manager Logan Christie was missing 8 players last week and went into the Emergency Player Roster just to field a team to play the Bombers this week. Matthew Kelly and Miguel Jose Ruiz came up from the PCL and showed that they should be in the league. With a roster of only 10 players and one of those resides in California, the Pharaohs may struggle all season trying to field a full team. When the lineup resembles what they put on the field the first couple of weeks, this could be a team fighting for a wild card spot. With the attendance of the last 3 weeks, this is a team that will be fighting to stay in the PLW. Hopefully, as the season goes along, the attendance improves. Losing 30-35 games in a season is no fun for anyone.
Author: Brad Ogden