Week 11 Power Rankings

Week 11 – Power Rankings

1) VADERZ (21-9) – This may be the biggest surprise to all the PLW Nation, with the Vaderz moving back up into the #1 spot. But this team has been performing well over the last few weeks with series wins against the Bombers and avenging their series sweep against the Cajuns taking 2 of 3. The lineup is powerful from top to bottom with a team slugging percentage of .627, 2nd in the PLW. And 4 guys with double digit homeruns, opposing pitchers have not cupcakes in this lineup. And the pitching staff, with the addition of Logan Christie, features 4 topflight starting pitchers. Walking out is not a concern for this team as they can just turn it over to another top-notch pitcher. The defense features at least 3 guys on the list for a Gold Glove this season.

2) SANDVIPERS (22-7) – Week 10 saw the Sandvipers stub their collective toes against the Ones, losing only their second series all year! Fear not Viper fans, this is a long season, and 18 weeks is a grind. This is still the #1 offense in the league, leading in AVG (.330), SLG (.670), RBI (211), Runs (222), Hits, Double, Triples and tied for the lead in Homeruns. You get the point; the offense is good. It has been the pitching or lack thereof last week that may have been the issue. With Petrovsky out for a couple more weeks, manager Adam Tanic needs to find another starting pitcher to try and navigate these next few weeks, as the Tom Gannon Experience did not bear a series win for the Vipers last week. And adding maybe another outfielder could help the pitching staff. There are a lot of infielders maybe playing out of position, at least comfortably. With plenty of draft capital and open roster spots, do not be surprised to see the Vipers add someone to win a title

3) CAJUNS (18-11) – Another top 4 team that lost a series in Week 10. But the Cajuns fell to the Vaderz, so Cajun nation there is no need to panic. Manager Andrew Ledet has assembled a squad that is a Top 3 offensive team and a Top 3 pitching team, with a gold glove laden defensive unit. With the emergence of Sashi Bobba (3-1, 3 Svs 2.57 ERA) as the #3 starter and a lineup that is a deep as anyone’s in the PLW, this team will not be losing too many series in the second half of the season. This team is built for the playoffs anchored by their aces, Ruesch (6-3, 2 Svs, 1.99 ERA) and Ledet (8-4, 2.16 ERA) on the mound and ROY candidate Gavin Mansell (.356, 9 HRs, 25 RBIs) at the plate. Don’t be surprised if GM Cody Runnalls makes another under the radar deal that could help lead the Cajuns to back-to-back titles.

4) LIGHTNING (17-10) – The Lightning dropped another series last week, this time to the Snappers. But this one has an asterisk. Mid series, Snappers player Jonathan Wilson has a spell of heat exhaustion and cannot continue. But instead of taking the auto outs in the lineup and making the Snappers play with only 5 fielders, the Lightning facilitate a trade that sends PLW rookie Joey Franklin to the Snappers allowing them to field a whole team. Well done gentlemen. The series is not a good one for the Lightning offense as they managed to score only 4 runs in the 3 games! Now on the other hand, the pitching remained on task allowing only 5 runs in the series. The offense is too good to stay down for long and this team is built on pitching, behind Purdy, Hallead and Spurrier, and defense. I believe this is a championship contending team, even with the recent offensive struggles.

5) BOMBERS (15-14) – The Bombers did it again! They win another close series, this time with a couple of late inning bombs, go figure! The lineup is coming around, especially Alex Fernandez (.300, 9 HRs, 20 RBIs) who has found his power stroke in the middle of the lineup. When the lineup is at full strength it is as good as any in the PLW. And with Kenny Santiwan (6-2, 2.21 ERA) becoming the team #1 starter on the bump, the pitching staff lengthens and becomes even better when the worry about the “walk out” is an afterthought. With series against the Pharaohs and the Ones in coming weeks, can the Bombers separate from the bottom of the PLW and chase down those Top 4?

6) SNAPPERS (13-16) – The best of the rest? Possibly. I know that PLW hardcore fans are just waiting for this Snappers team to put it all together and start chalking up series wins and moving into playoff contention. Those hope will fall directly on the pitching staff. The team ERA has gotten better in recent weeks (see Lightning series), but it is still way under Snapper Standards. The lineup is also coming around, with the return of leadoff hitter Ryan Murphy into the fold. The defense is among the best in the PLW year in and year out and may have just gotten better with the trade last week that brought over PLW rookie Joey Franklin. And his .418 OBP may help the bottom of the Snapper order start to produce more runs in the coming weeks. Was that the under the radar move that makes the difference? Only time will tell.

7) ONES (12-18) – It is with caution that I move the Ones here. And that caution is directly tied to the attendance of one Ryan Chen! No offense to the rest of the roster, but when arguably the league’s most dominant player is in the lineup for a series, the Ones may be the best team in that series. And that we evident last week when the Ones, with essentially their full complement of players, took 2 out of 3 from the powerful Sandvipers. That is two straight series wins, regardless of lineup. Manager Adam Koutz has found his stroke with 9 hits in his last 6 games, while pitching his maximum number of innings and not walking out in his last 5 appearances. This team feeds off each other as well as any team in the PLW. Whether it is a collective chip on the team’s shoulders or the most recent success that is pushing this team back up the standing, the PLW is better when the Ones are good.

8) LEGENDS (13-17) – Another heartbreaking series loss for the Legends. The inability to get the big bats in the lineup week to week has been the biggest issue for the Legends this season. And may continue to be an issue for the balance of the season. The offense has been coming around over the last 3 weeks and the pitching has remained solid. The minimal attendance has allowed for multiple lineups and getting some of the players a little further down the roster to get valuable at bats that could prove valuable in the second half of the season. Attendance should not be an issue for the next 3 to 4 weeks, and this could be the time for the Legends to make a play for the #5 spot and sneak into the playoffs. But if they cannot find a couple of series wins in the coming weeks, the Relegation Tournament may be in the Legends future.

9) PHARAOHS (8-22) – It took 10 weeks, but the Pharaoh franchise had their first ever series sweep win. Scoring 23 runs while only allowing 7. This franchise looks invigorated since the ownership change a few weeks ago. Managers Gio Battastoni and Alex Hutt have brought the experience and their vision for success to the Pharaohs that stayed behind after the change and are looking at a bright future. With PLW rookie Dustin Staggs pitching like an ace last week and newly acquired Kyle Loman picking up a win in the series last week, the perceived pitching weakness was not apparent last week. The lineup is deeper with the addition of Hutt and Battastoni. Pharaoh holdovers Trask and Valencia have found their footing with the new team and once former Night Owl #1 pick Kyle Silva shows up, this team will be a tough out in the second half. The hole may be too deep to stay out of Relegation, but they do not have any fear going into that tournament if it comes to that.

10) NIGHT OWLS (8-22) – The wheels have fallen off this team. This team started 4-2 and had a swagger about them early in the season. But going 4-20 over the last 8 weeks will be hard on any team, regardless of roster make up. Manager Beau Evans has made some moves to try and find some new faces to help kick start the team, in all aspects of the game. The team has way too much talent to be down this low in the standings. The pitching is solid with Holligan, Lawrence and Miller. And the lineup has some real pop 1 through 6. Can they find that individual challenge that can get this team’s fortunes turned around. I believe they can, the question is do they believe it? Time will tell.
Author: Brad Ogden