Week 8 Power Rankings

Week 8 Power Rankings –

1) SANDVIPERS (18-3) – To say that this team has been dominating of late would be an understatement. Winners of 16 in a row, a new PLW record, Adam Tanic’s Sandvipers lead the PLW in Batting Average at .325 and Team ERA at 2.22. And this has been a complete team effort with 5 guys having over 21 RBI’s, that’s 5 guys averaging at least 1 RBI per game. And the pitching has also been a team effort, with Tanic with 7 wins and McDowall and Petrovsky each with 5 wins at this stage of the season. Lastly, the defense has been stellar all season with gold glove caliber play from the entire team. I don’t see this team slowing down any time soon.

2) VADERZ (17-4) – This squad has been the other dominant team of the first half, winners of 15 of their last 16 games, this lineup also sits at the top of the league is OPS with an incredible 1.101. And they lead the league in Homeruns with 55, 12 more than the 2nd Place Sandvipers! 10 of the 12 players on the roster have multiple HRs led by Kyle Eder’s league leading 14 and Tanner Roundy’s 10 HRs. And do not sleep on this pitching staff, the team’s ERA of 3.61 is top 5 in the PLW, with former Cy Young winner Billy Santiwan’s 4.14 ERA and supported by Eder’s at 3.08 and Roundy’s 2.47. And don’t forget about PLW veteran Jason Walker who is 2-0 on the season. The Vaderz pride themselves on defense, with some of most athletic players in the league, this is another team that is looking for their second championship!

3) CAJUNS (13-8) – The reigning PLW champs have overcome their 1-5 start to move into serious repeat contention. With Andrew Ledet leading his team both at the plate (.365 AVG) and on the mound (7-2, 2.10 ERA) and reigning Cy Young Ryan Ruesch sporting a 1.18 ERA the recipe that took them to the title last year, pitching and defense is still working this season. And we cannot forget about the numbers that are being put up by rookie Gavin Mansell (.446 AVG with a ridiculous 1.479 OPS, both leading the league) add in Devlin Daniel’s .934 OPS and the offense is holding up their end of the bargain too! This team will continue to stalk the top of the Power Rankings and could be the first team to claim a second championship.

4) LIGHTNING (14-7) – The Lightning have been in the Top 3 of the Power Rankings in every prior to Week 8 and an argument could be made that they are still a Top 3 team. Either way, this is another complete team with a Top 4 offense and a Top 4 pitching staff and another defense that is littered with Gold Glove caliber defenders. The offense has been led by PLW veteran Bruce Huson (.360, 6 HRs, 23 RBIs) and reigning ROY Tyler Hallead (.375, 8 HRs, 29 RBIs), while strike out machine Jayk Purdy (4-2, 2 Svs, 2.30 ERA & 69 Ks) has led the pitching staff. With Justin Spurrier (3-2, 2 Svs, 2.69) and Hallead (5-3. 1 Sv, 2.16) grabbing much of the rest of the innings, PLW veterans Randy Dalbey and Chad Phillips are also formidable arms that keep this team in every game. Lastly, former Warbird Jaedyn Traut has looked great this season (.304, 5 HRs, 16 RBIs) at the back end of that lineup.

5) BOMBERS (10-10) – Holding down the last playoff spot in the Power Rankings, the Bombers still seem to be looking to hit their stride. The offense is back in the Top 5 of all the major categories, led by Mateo Fernandez (.351, 11 HRs, 18 RBIs). And the pitching staff has been able to get key outs after struggling early in the season, behind the arms of Max Fernandez (4-4, 1 Sv, 4.41) and Kenny Santiwan (2-1, 3.06). Once reigning MVP Trevor Bauer’s stuff starts equaling more outs, this team will start to climb in the Power Rankings. A pleasant surprise has been the bat of Zach Hartwell with his 6 HRs and 12 RBIs at the bottom of that Bomber order. Look for the warmer weather to help the Bomber bats to start heating up and that could be bad news for the PLW.

6) LEGENDS (8-13) – Season 6, same story as previous seasons, another slow start. This team has shown flashes of brilliance, playing both the Lightning and Vaderz tough in recent weeks, and a clutch hit here or a defensive stop there and this time could easily be 3 to 4 wins better. Attendance has been an issue, but so has a team full of slow starts. Apart from Derrick Corral (.467, 5 HRs, 11 RBIs, in only 8 games), the rest of the lineup has been performing under their standards. It has been the pitching, led by JT Church (3-4, 1 Sv, 2.94) that has kept the Legends treading water. History says that the bats will come around, and if the pitching can come around a solid second half could be in store for this veteran team. It was about this time last season where the Legends went on a then record 14 game winning streak.

7) SNAPPERS (7-13) – This is one of the hardest teams to figure out. The normal consistency that has been the staple of this franchise, has just not been on display yet this season. This powerful lineup has struggled to put up enough runs on a consistent basis to have more opportunities to win some series. PLW’s version of the Bash Brothers, Bryner (.380, 6 HRs, 15 RBIs) and Weber (.295, 10 HRs, 17 RBIs) are up to their old tricks. But it has been the pitching that has been unable to really keep anyone off the scoreboard that has been the real issue, with a team ERA of 5.78. Unless the pitching settles in, it could be a long summer for the Snappers.

8) ONES (7-14) – Coming off their second series win of the season, some of the original Ones are trying to breathe a little life into the season. Only predicted to win 6 games all season in the Preseason Power Rankings, this squad is giving those doubters a little crow to eat. With 4 players hitting between .269 and .296, it has truly been a team effort at the plate. While on the mound, PLW veteran James Stein (4-1, 1 Sv, 1.59) has led the way, while rookies James Ogburn (21.1 IP) and Richard Parsons (17.1 IP) are 2nd and 3rd on the team in innings pitched. The Ones may not be a playoff team, but they will play a role in which teams will be. Overlook them at your own risk.

9) NIGHT OWLS (6-15) – Last week they ended their losing streak in a dramatic walk off victory against the Cajuns. Will that be the moment where this team looks back as says, “We can beat any team in the PLW!” Malik Ogburn (.357, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs) is making his case for ROY consideration, and when he is in the lineup, the lineup looks better from 1 through 6. Former Warbird, Alex Holligan has been effective getting the Owls back into the dugout with his team leading 3.46 ERA. Manager Beau Evans is looking for someone else to find some traction on the mound as free passes and home runs have been the biggest issue for this team so far this season as they are last in the PLW in both categories (115 Bases on Balls issued & 44 Home runs allowed). They look to add to their winning streak as it is a Battle at the Bottom versus the Pharaohs this week.

10) PHARAOHS (5-16) – Back to the bottom for this young squad as they faced the juggernaut that is the Sandvipers last week. The offense has been at the bottom of the PLW in most categories all season apart from HRs where there 28 as a team have them 5th. Power is not this issue with every player on the roster with more than 15 ABs having at least 1 HR, led by manager Logan Christies’ 10 HRs. The pitching has been unfortunately a one man show with Christie pitching more than twice as many innings as any other pitcher on the roster. And there are plenty of PLW level arms on the roster, just a matter of which ones will step up and help solidify this rotation. Recent additions of PLW veterans Barry Hutter from the Ones and Austin “Bird” Bull from the Sandvipers should add some depth to the lineup and help with some of the attendance issues. They look to get on track this week against the Night Owls and move out of the cellar.
Author: Brad Ogden