In the Power Ranking discussion every GM is asked to predict how each team will finish out the regular season from first place to eighth. When these numbers are combined, every team is given a score with the lowest and best possible result being an 8. The summer ranking scores are as follows:
1. Butter Tounges – 12
2. Weemen – 18
3. Sasquatch – 23
4. Beasts – 28
5. Blaze – 29
6. Bassholes – 38
7. Chiefs – 46
8. Tribe – 50
These results* have in turn placed the Flushing Pond Bassholes and the Lowell Chiefs into the Grenade division while the Billerica Beasts and XL Tribe land in the Bones division (Scheduling concerns also helped shape this year’s divisions).
While pre-season is in full motion, we have only seen one exhibition game thus far. The Nashoba Valley Sasquatch (3) edged out the Flushing Pond Bassholes (6) after 5 innings. This game alone may have exposed problems with this seasons rankings. Flushing Pond was thought to have no real talent on the mound which is a great way to find yourself in last place in this league. With the emergence of Tim McGeown as a possible #1 and TJ Deignan working off the rust in the off-season, the Bassholes may have one of the stronger rotations in the entire league. Couple this with one of the most dangerous offensive dou’s in the game and Flushing Pond suddenly looks more like a #3 or 4 team.
While the Sasquatch were able to best the holes, their own pitching rotation has shown some gaps. Captain and GM Jon Anderson has said whoever has the hot hand will take the helm of this team and work from the bump but you have to assume new comer Dave Tamarro was selected at number 2 overall with a #1 or #2 pitching spot in mind. In preseason action Tamarro got into trouble early letting up two bombs to the fiery offense of the Bassholes. Dave was able to settle in and get the job done but Nashoba fans will hope for this to work itself out in preseason action while others around the league will question the legitimacy of this teams #3 ranking.
The leauge's #2 ranked team had a great winter season and locked up the #1 seed in the Bones division. The Weemen, previously located out of Boston, took an early exit from the playoff’s as #1 pitcher and GM Colin Amidon struggled from the mound. Amidon’s pitching mechanic issues seem to have followed him into pre-season as he has seen some rough outings while trying to work things out. If Amidon is unable to get back to his KAAPE contending days then the Weemen’s draft becomes highly suspect. Taking Pat Scoops Coop Keating with the 3rd overall pick, the Weemen were looking to bolster up their outfield and add spark to the club house. If Worcester comes to rely on Jeremy Ellis as the #1 guy then fans may have wished this pick went towards one of the available pitchers to act in the two spot while Amidon works out the kinks. Without Amidon’s all star arm this team should fall well short of their #2 ranking.
The expansion team out of Billerica find themselves ranked #4. This ranking is largely due to the hot bats they brought to prospect night along with the solid fielding and chemistry seen between GM David Grubb and #1 acquisition Matt Austin. After the draft it is still unclear who will be throwing for the squad and with limited pre-season action these guys might fall short of the leagues expectations for them. Little is known about their latest acquisition, Brian Cosentino, but hopefully he can throw from the hill.
The Burlington Blaze could benefit from all of the questions marks looming in the ranks above them as GM Mike Taft blew up the team after last season. Taft acquired Jon Costanza in the off-season who is said to be a solid all around player. With the first overall selection the Blaze are vastly improved as they welcome lefty ace, Devin Amidon to the franchise. With D. Amidon getting the majority of the starts, Mike Taft’s Winter numbers look mighty nice in a supporting role and the team should have a strong rotation of their own.
The Butter Tongues alone look to have a great chance of finishing out at their expected rank. When that rank is #1 a lot is being said about this team. Coming into the draft the squad had a very strong foundation with expectations to match. Early candidate for MVP, Nick O’Keefe returns to the Tongues as their #1 pitcher and league ace. GM Matt Mullen was crippled by the constriction of the indoor winter field and has had a breath of life come his way as he steps back out doors. Mullen has looked impressive in preseason action and is said to have finally shaken his lingering elbow injury which plagued his winter pitching performance. These two alone make a fearsome team but the BayState cleaned up at the draft selecting veteran pitcher and slugger Kyle DeFrancesco with their first round pick. In the second round the Tounges picked up DH Kevin Macdonald who is said to have his own power bat. This team is primed for success and hold all the key aspects of the game, strong pitching, great hitting and players that can make the big plays out in the field. If the new and improved BayState can get some chemistry going they will be tough to beat but will the pressure’s of #1 expectations be too much? Only time will tell.
Written by Jon Anderson, NEAWL Staff