Week 5 Power Rankings


1) VADERZ (9-3) – Riding a 7-game win streak that included a 3-game sweep of the former #1 ranked Lightning, this team is riding high. The pitching staff features, in my opinion, 3 PLW caliber aces in Billy Santiwan (2-2, 5.90 ERA), Kyle Eder (3-0, 1.66 ERA) and Tanner Roundy (2-1, 2.19 ERA). And with PLW veterans Jason Walker and Nate Stepna, manager Sesai Alarcon has plenty of arms to work through a series. And this lineup is as powerful as any in the PLW, led by Santiwan and Roundy each with 7 HR’s. Add Eder, Alec Hutt and Gio Battistoni, along with free agent pickup Tyler Willinsky and Alarcon can piece together a formidable lineup with whoever shows up on game day.

2) SANDVIPERS (9-3) – Another team riding a 7-game winning streak, manager Adam Tanic has all the pistons firing for this veteran squad. Powered by their PLW leading offense and top-notch defense, the Sandvipers have scored more than double the amount of runs they have given up on the young season, with 4 guys with more than 10 RBI’s the lineup is deep. AJ Petrovsky has taken the reigns to be the Game 1 starter in the past few weeks and manager Adam Tanic with a top 5 league ERA as another starter, this team looks like it going to be at the top of the rankings for a while.

3) LIGHTNING (8-4) – In a long season, there will be a bump or two in the road. This is what I believed what transpired last week against the Vaderz. This is still a top team and championship contender, led by their dominate pitching staff who saw there team ERA balloon to 1.64, which is still league best! The defense is solid. But manager Chad Phillips will need to find another reliable and a bottom of the order bat when Dalbey is out of the lineup. Look for the Lightning to bounce back in the coming weeks and continue to be at the top of the rankings.

4) CAJUNS (6-6) – The reigning champs showed no panic early as they seem to have found their footing and have won 6 of their last 7. Led on the mound by reigning Cy Young award winner Ryan Ruesch (2-2, 0.92 ERA) and manager Andrew Ledet (3-1, 1.66) arguably the best 1-2 pitching punch in the league looks to be back in form. This team wins with pitching and defense, but the offense has been grinding out wins’ thanks in part to the top of the order getting on base at over a .400 clip, Runnalls at .420 and Mansell at .439. With the top getting on base and powerful Devlin Daniel at the bottom, teams are having to pitch to Ledet and Ruesch. That is a bad combination for opposing pitching staffs. A continued rise in the rankings is in the future.

5) SNAPPERS (5-6) – The middle of the rankings is fluid from week to week and this week is no different. With the return of the PLW’s version of the bash brothers, Taylor Bryner (4 HR’s) and Shane Weber (6 HR’s) hitting 10 HR’s combined in there series win against the Nightowls the Snappers move up into the top 5, even if only for a week, maybe. The offense was firing on all cylinders last week with 6 Snappers leaving the yard in the series. The pitching staff is looking for someone other than Bryner to consistently get outs. With a team ERA of 5.72 and that includes the 4-inning no hitter against the Owls last week, the inability to get shut down innings could have the Snappers rising and falling in the standings as the pitching goes.

6) LEGENDS (6-6) – What goes up, must come down. At least when it comes to the Legends and PLW weekly rankings. Legend got the bad end of a split versus the Ones last week. The offense has been less than worthy of legendary status, with a .232 team batting average and with only 9 HRs as a team going into Week 5 the pitching had better be good! And it has. A team ERA of 2.45 has them the 2nd best in the league. Led by JT Church’s 1.86 ERA, Osgood’s 2.29 ERA, and Trench Picone’s 2.47 ERA, a team not known for pitching is getting much needed help from that side of the ledger, while the offense looks to start contributing. Attendance will be the key for the Legends in the coming weeks.

7) BOMBERS (4-7) – I cannot explain what happened to the Bomber offense last week, but 0 homeruns and only 11 hits will not get it done in a 3-game series. This team is built on its offense, and it will need to get it figured out in the coming weeks or that limbo between playoffs and relegation could be where they sit all season. The offense will rebound, the defense has been at the top of the league, but the pitching has got to throw up some more zeros until the offense starts to get going. The schedule eases up for the Bombers with the Pharaohs and Ones in the coming weeks. They will need to collect a couple of series wins to separate them from the bottom half of the rankings.

8) NIGHTOWLS (5-7) – It has been said a couple of times during broadcasts that the Owls chemistry is better this season than in seasons past. And it has shown on the field, with the Owls ability to overcome adversity in a series and find a way to get a win. The offense needs to continue to run out a consistent lineup. I believe this team will be better in the second half as they continue to gel and see more PLW pitching. The defense is very athletic and one of the longest in the league, the pitching will need to improve. Walks have been an issue, with the league’s worst 60 free passes issued. Cutting down on the walks to over 5 per game will help the pitching staff and turn those multi-run homeruns into solos. And solos, as we all know, do not hurt!

9) ONES – (4-8) – Coming off a series win over the Legends; the Ones look to build off that success and try to prove the naysayers wrong by continuing to be a tough out each week. Powered by the bat of Adrian Gutierrez (.302, 6 HR’s, 12 RBI’s) and a pitching staff really led by PLW rookie James Ogburn (1-0, 2.52 ERA, 16.2 IP, 12 K’s) with James Stein being his dominate self (2-1, 2.21 ERA, 19 IP, 20 K’s) when he is in the rotation. The defense needs to improve and limit those extra bases to allow the infield to make plays. The lineup must improve on the back end as the lineup seems different every week. Don’t take this team lightly, stacked with veterans with a championship pedigree and hungry rookies they could get to 16+ wins and stay out of the number 10 spot in the rankings.

10) PHARAOHS – (3-9) – Losers of 3 straight and 6 of their last 7 games, the Pharaohs need to find that mojo that got them into the PLW to begin with. Attendance has been the issue, with only 6 players with Tera Hall being the norm and not the exception, the defense has suffered, and the offense has suffered, hitting a league low .202, while leading the league in strikeouts at 94 and last in walks with 19! It will not matter how good the pitching has been, if the offense continues to be this bad. The pitching is good enough to keep teams off the scoreboard, and the defense when they have people in attendance, is top notch. But this team must find a way to get on base so when they do hit homeruns, they are not of the solo variety. I hope that the Pharaohs look to the PLW eligible Free Agents. There may be a couple of guys down in the PCL that can make games and help lengthen this roster.

Author: Brad Ogden