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MLB Power Rankings for May 28- 2007

There’s been a changing of the guard in Major League Baseball. Over the past year and a half that I have been writing this weekly article the Royals have had the worst or second-worst record in the league for essentially every single week, and have occupied the 29th or 30th spot in the power rankings each and every single week. Despite getting swept by Seattle, it’s time for Kansas City fans to rejoice… they’ve clawed their way out of baseball’s cellar and seen the light of day.

Of course, their meteoric rise has not been because of their good play, by any means, but because of the horrid play of the Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers. There is still some hope, however, for the dwindling fan base of the Reds and Rangers, as the Royals still have the worst home record in baseball and are still riding a four-game losing streak.

On the other hand, the NL West, once revered as the weakest division in baseball, now looks to be one of the most competitive, with three teams in the top ten for the second week in a row.

Rank (Pv)
Team
Record
Comments
1 (1) 34-15
Kevin Youkilis is the perfect compliment for the meat of the lineup, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. During May he’s hit .409 with 11 doubles, 19 runs, and 19 RBI.
2 (2) 32-17
Julio Franco continues to hit, even at the age of 93. He is among the league leaders of pinch hitters in runs (4), RBI (5), and average (.267).
3 (3) 31-17
Last year Victor Martinez’ defense at catcher was so bad, he was on the verge of being completely relegated to being a first-baseman. However, this year he has dramatically improved his ability to throw out basestealers, gunning down over 28% of runners, up from only 18% last year. This improvement has given way for Ryan Garko to show off his bat while starting at first.
4 (5) 31-20
The Angels are the hottest team in baseball right now, riding a five game winning streak, and 10 of their past 12, due in large part to the bat of Mike Napoli, who’s slugged .714 over the past week.
5 (4) 29-20
Magglio Ordonez is the hottest hitter in baseball, slugging .779 for the month of May.
6 (8) 29-21
In Florida’s World Series season of 2003 Juan Pierre got on base more than any other lead-off hitter in baseball. This year, hitting in the no. 2 spot, he has gotten on base less than any two-hitter with the exception of Jack Wilson of the Pirates.
7 (9) 29-21
Of the Padres top prospects (a list that includes Derrek Lee and Matt Clement) in their organization for each year of the past decade only right-handed pitcher Cesar Carrillo is still with the organization.
8 (6) 29-22
I’ve said before that John Smoltz is overrated, but it is hard to argue with the only Major Leaguer in history to notch 200 wins and 150 saves.
9 (10) 29-23
There might still be some gas left in Randy Johnson’s tank yet. In each of his past three outings he has allowed three earned runs or less, while striking out at least nine. In his most recent start he struck out 10 in just under six innings of work.
10 (7) 28-23
The Brewers have lost 12 out of their last 15 games, but they still hold a five game lead over the Cubs.
11 (11) 24-21
Bobby Jenks is tied with Al Reyes of Tampa Bay with 13 consecutive saves, most in the American League.
12 (13) 26-24
It was Atlanta who jumped out to the hot start, while Philadelphia struggled. People quickly jumped to the Braves’ side and shot down the Phillies, but Philly has crept up to within two games of the perennial favorites.
13 (12) 24-25
Jack Cust leads the team in homeruns with eight, even though he has only played 20 games.
14 (16) 24-25
With a winning percentage of .490, the Twins are the winningest fourth place team in baseball (tied with the Giants).
15 (14) 24-25
With all the talent the Giants have on their pitching staff, it’s Matt Morris who leads the team in wins (5).
16 (15) 21-27
It has been said recently that the Boss isn’t holding Torre at fault for the Yankees bad play, but Brian Cashman is on the hot seat, perhaps showing a more mature and rational Steinbrenner.
17 (17) 24-22
Although I think it was a bad move to have Brandon Morrow in the bullpen as a setup man, he has done an excellent job in the role, holding opponents to a .177 average and a 1.96 ERA. Morrow is considered the third best prospect in the Mariners organization, which would lead fans to believe that the top two (Adam Jones and Jeff Clement) could be really good.
18 (18) 22-26
The last three managers of the Cubs were all former All-Star outfielders (Piniella, Baker, and Baylor).
19 (20) 23-27
Hanley Ramirez continues to impress in all aspects of the game. When he was hitting in the no. 1 spot, he lead all leadoff hitters in average, on-base percentage, and was second in OPS. He has since moved to the three spot, giving Miguel Cabrera a better chance to drive him in.
20 (21) 22-27
Roy Halladay was expected to miss six weeks for his appendectomy, but is expected to be back any day now, leading us to believe he is either way ahead of schedule or just tougher than the doctors expected.
21 (19) 21-29
Hunter Pence has cooled off after a hot debut. He hasn’t had a homerun in his past 10 games and has knocked in only three runs over the stretch. However, he’s bound to get hot again. He’s considered the top prospect in the Astros organization and is hitting .365 since getting the call to the Show.
22 (23) 22-28
Although Zach Duke was generally thought of as the higher prospect, Ian Snell has turned out to have the more impressive arm. He is averaging 7.24 strikeouts per nine innings, better than Curt Schilling, Dan Haren, and Matt Cain. He also has an ERA of 3.06, also better than Schilling.
23 (25) 23-27
Orioles’ leadoff hitter Brian Roberts leads the team in OPS, at just .831.
24 (24) 20-27
Josh Hancock’s father is suing the restaurant where he was at before he chose to drink and drive, the flatbed tow truck he collided with while he was talking on his cell phone and the car that was being helped by the tow truck. His pain is understandable. His reaction is absurd.
25 (28) 23-27
Four teams that might be willing to give up enough to get Todd Helton: Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The question is whether or not Helton will be willing to give up his no-trade clause.
26 (26) 20-28
Elijah Duke threatens to kill his wife, but it would seem the Tampa Bay Devil Rays put more stock in cheap talent than they do in class or abiding the law.
27 (30) 21-30
I normally say something like, “At least there’s the Redskins,” but they didn’t make the playoffs either.
28 (29) 19-32
Mike Sweeney isn’t the hitter he used to be, but he still comes through in the clutch. With nobody on he’s hitting just .217 and has an OPS of .618. His OPS with runners on is .861; with runners on in scoring position it’s .880; and with runners on in scoring position and two outs his OPS is .925.
29 (22) 19-33
It might be time to see Homer Bailey. The 20-year old phenom has already mastered the AAA level, with a 1.99 ERA and .176 average against. Obviously the Reds will need to be careful with his million dollar arm, but they’ve lost 20 of their last 25 and in desperate need for some help. Bailey is rated as the top prospect in the Reds organization, and the fifth overall by Baseball America.
30 (27) 18-32
Although the “quality start” statistic is often an innate statistic, it can sometimes show how consistent a pitcher or pitching staff has been. For instance, the Rangers pitching has been extremely consistent. Consistently bad. In 49 games, they’ve only recorded 17 quality starts, worst in the Majors.

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