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MLB Power Rankings for April 27- 2006

Welcome to the second week of the Major League Baseball Power Rankings. Remember, questions, comments, and complaints are always welcome. Feel free to talk some smack, but be prepared to have it sent back at you.

Rank (Pv)
Team
Record
Comments
1 (3) 14-7
I mentioned it last week, but it bears repeating. Jim Thome’s return to the American League has been extremely detrimental to opposing ERAs. He scored runs in his first 17 games of the season and has knocked in 21 RBIs.
2 (4) 15-6
With almost the exact same starting lineup that took them to the World Series, Houston is averaging 1.1 runs per game more than they did last year. However, the Rocket-less staff ERA is up almost half an earned run per game.
3 (1) 13-8
The biggest question marks for the Sox this season were Schilling’s health and their closer. Schilling has looked awesome so far (4-0, 2.60 ERA, 31 k’s), and 25 year-old Papelbon has dominated the ninth (9/9 in save opportunities, 0 runs).
4 (2) 14-7
The Mets have stumbled a bit, losing 5 of their last 9, but the good news is that Pedro and Glavine (5 Cy Youngs combined) seem to have returned to ace status, combining for a 6-2 record, 2.93 ERA, and 58 k’s.
5 (5) 14-7
As good as St. Louis has been over the past six years, they seem to be falling into a one man show. Pujols leads the team in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, HR, RBI, Runs, Walks, Total Bases, and even Stolen Bases. He has as many homeruns as the rest of the team combined, more RBIs then their second and third man combined. Despite a good handful of other great hitters in the lineup it begs the question, where would they be without Pujols?
6 (10) 15-7
It’s early but Cincinnati looks for real. Imagine the NL Central pennant chase if the Reds maintain this early momentum and Cubs can keep their heads above water until their superstars return, because everybody knows St. Louis and Houston will be in it at the end.
7 (6) 10-9
The Yankees have a 41 run differential over their opponents, topping even the reigning champs (29 run differential), but how much .500 baseball can the Bombers play before people stop thinking of them as the American League powerhouse?
8 (7) 12-8
Derek Lee’s injury is a HUGE disaster for the Cubs. He is the only bat that puts fear into the opposing pitchers. Without him other hitters like Ramirez, Walker, and Pierre will have to step up their game to keep the Cubs afloat for a couple months. On a positive note, Prior and Wood seem to be progressing satisfactorily in their rehab work… yeah, right, we’ve heard that one before.
9 (12) 12-10
Perhaps the Angels are realizing that not all Molinas are created equal. Last year, Ben Molina was the unsung hero of the division winners, but Jose hasn’t quite filled his brother’s shoes, hitting only .205, with an on-base percentage of just .244.
10 (9) 11-10
Omar Vizquel is having a career year, which makes this a perfect time for some early Hall of Fame campaigning, because he’s going to need a ton of campaigning to get a Cooperstown invite. His 10 gold gloves at SS are second only to The Wizard, and if you compare their career stats I think you’d be surprised at the parallels.
11 (14) 13-9
Chris Shelton has cooled off, but instead of losing ground the Tigers have actually picked up their pace. They’ve won six out of eight, since Leyland made it clear he would not accept a losing mentality.
12 (8) 11-10
After opening the season 6-1 the Indians have been in a two week skid, losing 9 of their last 14. Obviously they have plenty of offense, but their pitching staff is struggling–Sabathia seems constantly injured, Wickman’s ERA is twice what it was last year, and off-season acquisition Paul Byrd has an ERA of over 9.
13 (16) 11-8
The Burnett injury should scare Jays fans, despite the MRI revealed no tissue damage. Burnett missed most of the 2003 season because of Tommy John surgery and this is his second elbow-pain-related stint on the DL this season.
14 (11) 11-11
Beyond Benson and Bedard the O’s are stuck with the three headed starting pitching monster of Cabrera, Lopez, and Chen (ERAs 6.87, 7.20, 7.84 respectively).
15 (13) 12-10
Prince Fielder looks like he’ll live up to the hype, but his old man won’t be much help for advice on cutting back on strikeouts. Big Daddy struck out once every 3.9 ABs, while the boy who might someday be King is averaging a punchout per 3.8.
16 (15) 9-12
The Jones brothers have picked up right where they were at last year. Andruw hitting homeruns and Chipper… hurt. The elder Jones is starting to show his age- he’s missed over 80 games in the last two full years, although he did hit a homerun in his first game off the DL.
17 (18) 10-12
Nick Swisher’s bat has heated up, showing signs that he wasn’t just a rookie flash in the pan. He hit 19 homeruns last year, but was relatively unknown because he plays in a weak AL West and the A’s didn’t make the playoffs last year. If they make a playoff run this year he’ll be one of the big reasons.
18 (20) 11-11
Kevin Mench might have half the hitters in baseball trying on a bigger size shoe after hitting homeruns in 6 consecutive ballgames. He had 0 homeruns and 0 RBI through his first 16 games.
19 (17) 11-10
If Helton’s illness lingers it would be a blow not only to the Colorado Rockies, but Major League in general.
20 (23) 9-11
The Phillies are another example of a team that has so much offensive talent they should compete for the NL East title every year. However, it’s tough to win games when opposing hitters are batting .315.
21 (21) 10-12
Reportedly Gagne will be cleared to start throwing on Friday, but will this make the Dodger’s better? Baez has saved 6 of 7 chances without allowing an earned run in 11 innings.
22 (24) 11-11
Arizona is either the best of the worst or the worst of the mediocre — Neither of which is complimentary.
23 (19) 8-12
Of course its far too early to start in on the rumor mill, but three of the top ten teams are already in need of a centerfielder and the other seven are just a twisted ankle away.
24 (22) 9-12
The Devil Rays have fallen back to where we expect them to be, but if there is a silver lining here, it’s that they haven’t fallen on their faces without Rocco Baldelli, Aubrey Huff or Jorge Cantu. All three should be back on the field within a couple weeks.
25 (25) 9-14
The good news is that Adrian Beltre has raised his batting average 32 points in the past week. The bad new is that he is still hitting .182, with 0 homeruns and only 4 RBI.
26 (26) 8-13
Currently the Padres are rounding out the bottom of the NL West as the #26 team, but they’re not out of it yet. The other teams in the division are only ranked #19, #21, and #22. The Giants are leading the division at #10, but even at that, they’re only 1 game over .500.
28 (28) 7-14
Alfonso Soriano is a horrible defensive player no matter where you try and hide him. With that said, the kid can hit the crap out of the ball.
29 (29) 6-13
I don’t know how many of the Marlins recently acquired prospects will pan out, but I do know one that will, or already has. Hanley Ramirez is hitting .309 with a .902 OPS. He does, however, strikeout too much but then again, this is his first season in the bigs.

29 (30) 4-14
It could be a battle all year long between the Pirates and the Royals for last place on the planet. The difference between them, though, is that the Pirates actually have a couple talented players on the DL. The Royals don’t have a good excuse, they just stink.
30 (27) 5-18
The Bucs have dethroned the Royals for the illustrious 30 slot. After realizing that the competition at the bottom of the league was tight Pittsburgh stepped it up a notch and proceeded to lose 6 in a row, and 9 of their last 10.

8 replies on “MLB Power Rankings for April 27- 2006”

Excellent! Finally, someone realizes this is baseball season and NOT NFL Draft season. (By the way, what kind of sport spoils three months of unending hype by announcing the first pick the night before? What a joke the NFL is?)

I agree with your overall rankings, but after this week’s porous display, especially last night’s, the Padres are the WORST team in baseball. And this is coming from a Padre fan.

I sincerely hope the NFL Draft nonsense does not ruin this great sports weekend. I am not even an NBA or NHL fan, but this is the playoffs and we are talking meaningless football. What a country.

I agree with you on the football nonsense… and since the NBA does nothing for me, I feel like we should be knee-deep in baseball season.

But, for some reason, I still think the Padres will compete for the NL West title, maybe just because it is by far the weakest in baseball.

Well… The NL West is, again, the worst division in baseball, so who knows? Even KC and Pittsburgh could compete for a title in the NL Worst.

Yes, the Draft  is horribly timed as well. I might care a LITTLE bit if they correctly had it right after the season in February ala the NBA in June. Having it now is truly arrogant and makes me like football even less.

Wow! A bunch of haters!!! Football season lasts 12 months in the USA because it has a salary cap.

You tell me what’s wrong with baseball when the largest bit of income for the Marlins is the luxury tax from New York’s roster!!!!

I hate to say it, fellas, but this isn’t your daddy’s world anymore, this isn’t the 1960’s, and baseball is NOT America’s pastime!

The Numbers Don’t Lie The 73 million people who attended baseball games last year would probably disagree with you. Last year’s attendance was an all time high, despite a fair share of league problems (ie, the salary disparity you mentioned). I understand that football has become by far the more rabidly supported sport, but far too much time is devoted to talking about it.

Hmmm… 73 million divided by the 2430 games played last year is about 30,000 per game. The NFL was easily twice that. Though I don’t have the stats in front of me, I would venture to say that the NFL had more games sold out than MLB did by a loooong way. I’m not saying that baseball isn’t popular, I’m just saying that it’s not the national pastime anymore, and so it doesn’t deserve 12-month coverage like the NFL gets.

Your opinion about football coverage is your opinion, and I won’t argue with it, though I disagree.

I feel compelled to point out one other thing. The NFL draft is held in April because the league’s fiscal year ends/starts in April, so it is actually well-timed instead of “horribly timed”. It’s been like this for decades –to include the time before wire-to-wire ESPN coverage. They don’t do it to get more press, or because they are “arrogant”.

The NBA needs to have their draft in June because they have a significantly smaller amount of off-season time. Hell, MLB has such a long season that THEIR draft is in JUNE!!!!!! LOL!!!!

Again, I won’t argue with opinion; I just wanted to point out some discrepancies in fact.

I do, however, really like the power rank feature.

Don’t get me wrong… I think all your points are valid, it just seems we will always have differing preferences on topics in sport. I agree football probably sells out a significantly higher number of games, and every football game is going to average more fans per game, but part of that is the nature of the game, playing once a week. I think the true testament to how popular football really is, is not only the NFL attendence, but also that most major colleges also sell out every Saturday, sometimes packing 20,000 more people in the stadium than NFL counterparts.

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