The Minnesota Millers should be able to repeat as AL north champions this season. They added ace Bryce McMillon to an already strong Rotation. They did lose power hitting CF JR Cunnane in free agency leaving a hole there. The Millers still have one of the best line-ups in the AL and should be able to hit. Their bullpen may have over-achieved last season but in all they should be able to hold most leads late. Always a strong fielding team they added Cesar Gabriel to fill in defensive gaps. The team is a year older but still has plenty of wins in them.
The Pawtucket Juggernauts will be in the running for another wild card spot this season. The have a solid rotation that gives them a chance to be in just about every time they play. If they have a lead their back end of the bullpen is about as good as anyone with Geraldo Belliard and Vic Brogna. They have a good enough line up to get leads and play from behind. There is a little less power then we are use to seeing from Pawtucket but they will still hit plenty. We should see another strong defensive team again this season.
The Detroit Miracles will also be hunting for a wild card spot this season. Dispite losing an ace they still hold one in Big Dick Randall and have a very nice 2(Ruben Tejada) and 3(Luis Escobar). The bullpen is also in pretty good shape and won't blow it too many times. The team is going to need to find some hitting with Keith Haad missing most of this season with a ACL tear. On defense they have a few holes to patch up as well.
Seattle Grunge still may need one more season to be a true wildcard contended this season. They do have the talent though that could surpass my expectation depending on how well the coaches improve the players. Lacking a true power hitter may cause some issues but they have enough talent to hit for AVG and a great eye for a High OBP. They will score some runs and they will see plenty of pitches to get the the bull pen quicker. They are missing high end starting pitching and bullpen. They have some solid guys on staff but nothing top end. Some AAA players could help out this season if they can make the jumps that are need to make the show. This team is stacked with defense and should be right up there with the league leaders and that should help the pitchers play better and in turn really make a wild card run.
The AL East
Baltimore What can I say they hit they pitch and they win games in the masses. Every knows when they are coming up on the schedule and either plans on resting players or setting up the best you have to match up with them. As far as hitting goes there is Baltimore than there is everyone else. Every time you play them an ace takes the mound. Every time they have a lead a shut down closer take the mound. They do lack a little in the fielding but with the bats they carry it is more than made up for. If you don't think this is the team to beat you need to get checked into a clinic or something. I know cloud misses his trophy and it has been six season since he has been with out it for two consecutive season. Oh and the AAA team is stacked in case your thinking the pipeline is drying out.
Indianapolis Devils have the hitting and pitching combination to make a play-off run this season. They also have plenty of talent in AAA to fill in holes as needed and they may be needed with the complete lack of any sort of defense.
Kansas City Dingbats are missing pitching in the starting rotation. They have young arms that should develop into top of the rotation starters. At the end of the game they have the best relief pitcher in the world in Hipolito Iglesias. They should hit in the middle of the pack and they are a fine defensive team. they could be in the wild card hunt once again.
Cincinnati Red Legs are still in a rebuild. They have a complete lack of hitting abilities against right handed pitching and that makes for a really really bad offense. With one of the better bullpens in the world the lead they have they should hold well. With a minor system stocked up with talent players I will be keeping my eye on this team in the season that fallow but right now they may be looking ahead and spending on the minors then the ML squad this season.
The AL South
St. Louis Black Dynamites have one the the best up and coming teams in the world. A superpower in the making. They did find some poor luck in losing Alfredo Espinosa for about three more months. Still with out him they showcase two of the better pure power hitters in the world in Harley Nunnally and Miguel Feliz. The line-up is solid up and down and the defense + plays all day. Add in a starting rotation that features some of the games best young starting pitching and you have a real shot at the two spot in the AL and earn the first round bye. The injury may cost them that but they still have so much talent that they should over come it.
Durham Spitoons have a really solid group of starting pitchers and a very nice end of the bullpen with the arms in Endy Simpson, Cristian Black and the young Jair Mijares. Range on defense seems to be a the lower side but the gloves and arms are there to help pick up that weakness. There is a lack of power for the stadium they play in and I believe that might push them towards the back of the pack a little. In all this team could make the play-offs.
Memphis Packers are in the decline after some really good season. Age has caught up to them and they are about to head to rebuild mode I think. the Defense is really solid with amazing range. They did bring in Chris Ray this off season and it will be fun to see if he can catch up to Alex "Doesn't Know when to quit" Silva as the greatest hitter ever. There is some pitching that could become trade bate. To me it looks like a bit of a below average team in the hitting, pitching and pen
Jackson Rollin Rebels lacks high end talent. They fill the roster well enough but there is just not a wow player there right now. They have a team that will win a few games and maybe place third in the South. They will play outstanding defense and they have some OK starting pitchers upfront but nothing too special. The bullpen is looking really shaky and maybe a little scary when in a close game with the lead.
Scottsdale Slam is the class of the west right now. The some of the starters have trouble getting the ball across the plate but for the most part they are an upper tier rotation. They even brought in Aaron McCorley so I will try to keep an eye out for win number 200. The line-up will fill out a nice one-nine with nice power and a solid OBP. I don't see much in the pen but relief pitching can be found during the season.
Helena Troy currently only has about 16-17 players on their 25 man so it is a little hard to tell that they look like as a team right now. From what I can tell they have some nice young players getting ready to make their first pro game. There is not enough young players yet to impact too many wins.
Honolulu Hoplites are in year three of there second rebuild. 2.0 if you will. They don't pitch very well, hit real well or catch the ball real well. Another long season here and next season maybe another top five pick to help with the re-load.
Colorado Springs Cougars are a team with three of the best hitters Kaline has seen(Benji Mota, Chris Montague, and Ron Matherson). Five Or six seasons ago this would be one mean team but that it is a group in their mid 30s on the decline. Not much pitching either starting or Pen. Defense is scary bad. Looking for a number one pick maybe.