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CBL Mid-season Power Rankings (2023 Edition)

CBL Mid-season Power Rankings (2023 Edition)

CBL Mid-Season Power Rankings

These Power Rankings are as of July 7, 2023. We hope to do this every month down the stretch, time permitting, as this takes a long time to go through. The Rankings are for current performance only, not for projections. Glossary for abbreviations are at the bottom.

 

1. Mahoning Valley

Mahoning Valley

Perhaps a bit controversial that Vancouver is not in this spot, however, MV has faced tougher competition–the total run differential difference between the two leagues is around 300 runs in favor of The HL–and yet, MV has the best Run Differential in baseball. The most balanced team in The CBL, no holes in the lineup, or pitching staff or defensively.

SP:  2.78 ERA (1st)
RP: 3.17 ERA (4th)
DEF: +13.2 ZR (4th)
OFF: 4.76/G (5th)
RD: +144 (1st)

Fun Fact: A rotation full of a Wheeler, Piper, Gillis and a Lawrence, it’s Damian Cooper who leads the team in ERA, Opp. SLG and HR/9. And how about the very late signing of Rougned Odor paying dividends? 2nd on the team in wRC+ while hitting a cool .340/.423/.487 vs RHP. Signing of the year.

2. Vancouver

Vancouver

Perhaps the most dominant team in The CBL, leading The FL in nearly every category, a great case could be made for them being #1. Have already had the division all but wrapped up.

SP:  3.16 ERA (2nd)
RP: 2.75 ERA (1st)
DEF: -5.9 (14th)
OFF: 4.76/G (2nd)
RD: +144 (2nd)

Fun Fact: RF Gareth Morgan had amassed a -.5 WAR in his first 1000 PA; this season he’s second on the team in HR (behind run-away MVP Griffin Keller) and already at 2 WAR, whilst being the team’s best defender.

 

3. Richardson City

RC

These aren’t The Bloodraven of years past; they are winning through pitching, with offense taking a backseat. Their +32.4 ZR is nearly thrice better than the next best contending team (something often overlooked on their championship teams). That’s with missing three of their best defenders for stretches in Rat, Meadows and Soler. The coaching staff has to be given a ton of credit (nearly all legends) as they have survived month long injuries to the aforementioned and their best hitter in Yorman, is also on the DL for the next few weeks. They are also winning at home at a ridiculous, and unsustainable 74% clip.

SP:  3.23 ERA (3rdT)
RP: 3.63 ERA (8th)
DEF: +32.4 (2nd)
OFF: 4.62/G (7th)
RD: +90 (3rd)

Fun Fact: Former Rule V pick, Vahanush Sarukhanian, leads the club with +8.9 ZR, while committing just two errors in 81 games. Another former Rule V’er in SP Josh Smith is 2nd in all of CBL in HR/9.

 

4. Austin

Austin

Though RC leads the division, as of this writing, The Blood Raven have played 15 more home games than road games. We think Austin takes the division in the second half. The best offense in The CBL has 32 more HR than the next best offensive club. Torrens is hitting 8th in their lineup, a clean-up hitter on a lot of teams. They are MV’s biggest threat on the road to The Premier Cup, if their injury-prone players can stay healthy down the stretch.

SP:  3.64 ERA (6th)
RP: 2.75 ERA (18th)
DEF: -5.9 (10th)
OFF: 5.46/G (1st)
RD: +90 (4th)

Fun Fact: Shelby and Dobzanski are a combined 22-3, hard pressed to find a better 1-2 combo.

5. Nashville

Nashville

A well-balanced club that can beat you through great starting pitching or with one of the deepest lineups around. The club is led by All-time WAR leader in Scooter Gennett and sports one of best outfields on both sides of the ball. Their 45-23 record vs RHP is 2nd only to Vancouver in all of CBL.

SP:  3.70 ERA (7th)
RP: 4.10 ERA (12th)
DEF: +9.6 (6th)
OFF: 4.71/G (6th)
RD: +61 (5thT)

Fun fact: The Outlaws are 16-4 in games Brigham Hill starts, emerging as the club’s ace this season. Hill is sporting the 4th best home-run rate.

 

6. Regina

Nashville

Each year we wait for the bottom to fall out of Regina and each year they stay in contention. Led by their strong and deep rotation (Strasburg is third on the team in Starter’s ERA). It’s a shame that Superstars Justin Williams and Ape are having just okay years or they’d contend for the division title.

SP:  3.23 ERA (3rdT)
RP: 3.46 ERA (5th)
DEF: +5.6 (9th)
OFF: 4.07/G (12th)
RD: +61 (7th)

Fun fact: SP Felipe Rivero, who was once traded for Strasburg, is outperforming him this season to the tune of a 2.82 ERA. Steffen Smith in the bullpen is the Reliever of the Year favorite. He’s on pace for 164 innings and 193 K. Pretty unfathomable from a relief pitcher.

 

7. Portland

Nashville

A good example of W-L records not showing the whole story. Few holes, but stuck in possibly the toughest division in baseball. Their run-differential is not indicative of their Record, implying bad luck. Expect them to get better in the 2nd half and contend for the 3rd WC or better.

SP:  3.73 ERA (8th)
RP: 4.11 ERA (13th)
DEF: +13.9 (3rd)
OFF: 4.79/G (4th)
RD: +61 (5thT)

Fun fact: CF William Wallace, seemingly out of nowhere, leads the club in wRC+ vs RHP over the likes of Gatewood, Helms and Maille.

 

8. Traverse City

Nashville

The Club seemed to be out of the race early but has made a late surge led by Ace Carlos Rodon and an elite bullpen. Rodon isn’t mentioned enough with the likes of The Strasburg’s and Aiken’s and Wheeler’s, but he’s good as any of them.

SP:  4.06 ERA (11th)
RP: 2.90 ERA (2nd)
DEF: +5.9 (8th)
OFF: 4.07/G (13th)
RD: +14 (8th)

Fun fact: Brad Campbell finally having a breakout season. Leads the team with +10.4 ZR, WAR, and wRC+ vs RHP. He’s hitting .323/.394/.476 vs right-handers. And how about 40 year old David Wright who refuses to die? Hitting a solid .291/.371/.500. Somebody put him back into a nursing home.

 

9. San Diego

Nashville

The loss of Bandilla, who had the 3rd longest consecutive saves streak in league history, last season, has really hurt the bullpen, holding them back from equaling last year’s success.

SP:  3.62 ERA (5th)
RP: 4.10 ERA (20th)
DEF: +10.1 (5th)
OFF: 4.18/G (11th)
RD: -4 (9th)

Fun fact: Where is the hype on Mike Smith? He’s putting up Aiken-like numbers. 118.2 IP, 119K, with just 16 Walks yielded. He also leads the entire league in shut-outs and is 2nd in BB/9 to Aiken.

 

10. Altoona

Nashville

The Altoona pitching is finally improved and is the strength of the team, with the offense holding them back, typically not the identity of the team. Estrada has finally come into his own and looks like a star in the making

SP:  4.06 ERA (10th)
RP: 3.87 ERA (9th)
DEF: -1.1 (11th)
OFF: 3.99/G (15thT)
RD: -9 (10th)

Fun fact: Taillon finally living up to his hefty contract. On pace for 155 innings out of the pen.

 

11. Charlotte

Nashville

A very strange Charlotte season, yet again. The Starting Pitching is holding them back, which is a bizarre thing to say. Sale quitting on the team didn’t do them favors. Some of the young starting pitchers are still learning to pitch. They seemed to have found a rotation stalworth in Tyler Mondile, who has yet to give up a home-run in 66.2 IP.

SP:  4.56 ERA (13th)
RP: 3.09 ERA (3rd)
DEF: -2.4 (13th)
OFF: 4.24/G (10th)
RD: -13 (11th)

Fun fact: Relief Aces Arroyo and Storen have combined for a 1.22 ERA in 88.2 innings. The best duo in baseball.

 

12. Dayton

Nashville

You have to wonder where they would be without Aiken, who’s giving up walks and HR at the same pace (a miniscule 0.5) and has already amassed 5.3 WAR. Vets such as Denney and Syndegaard are really hurting them. This team has as high of a ceiling, long-term, as any team in the league, however. They just need complimentary pieces to the likes of Fuller, Ramsey and Beck. All look like future superstars.

SP:  3.93 ERA (9th)
RP: 4.2 ERA (15th)
DEF: -13 (16th)
OFF: 4.00/G (14th)
RD: -18 (12th)

Fun fact: Sophomore Andy Ramsey has really come into his own hitting .354/.429/.544 vs RHP.

13. Minneapolis

Nashville

This team has done a great job building something out of nothingness. Always moving guys around, waiving, claiming players, to find the right pieces and to be a game out of the 3rd WC is a rousing success.

SP:  4.58 ERA (14th)
RP: 3.57 ERA (7th)
DEF: +7.3 (7th)
OFF: 3.85/G (17th)
RD: -43 (13th)

Fun fact: Old Man Gyorko (not quite David Wright Old, a rookie compared to him) is quietly having his best season in 7 years. How about Stopper Studstill? He’s left stranded 27 out of 28 base-runners this season. By far the best in baseball. Oh and he’s also striking out 11.1 K/9

 

14. Calgary

Nashville

Clubhouse cancer, Kris Bryant, took the money and ran and his evil twin took over his spot to continue the scam, sources tell me. The Mavericks sport one of the more unique pitching setups in the league. A 6 man rotation with 6 in the bullpen. The problem is that none of the Starters are performing. Kingham has taken a huge step back from what he was couple of seasons ago. They are, however, still right in the mix for the 3rd WC.

SP:  4.80 ERA (16th)
RP: 4.59 ERA (17th)
DEF: -17.1 (17th)
OFF: 4.39/G (8th)
RD: -55 (14th)

Fun fact: One of the strangest things I’ve ever seen, the bullpen with a 4.80 ERA is 24-10.

 

15. Colorado

Nashville

The Sox were in the WC race until a bad June pulled them out of the picture. However, they have done a great job maximizing their offensive talents. It’s a creative lineup and it finds a way to score runs.

SP:  5.51 ERA (20th)
RP: 4.91 ERA (19th)
DEF: -11.1 (15th)
OFF: 4.83/G (3rd)
RD: -57 (15th)

Fun fact: Cole Albright, just in his second season, is already a Top 5 2nd baseman. Super-stardom may be in his future.

16. St. Louis

Nashville

The Sultans have a ton of offensive weapons but very little pitching, and should be in rebuild mode for the foreseeable future.

SP:  4.95 ERA (18th)
RP: 4.18 ERA (14th)
DEF: -2.2 (12th)
OFF: 4.34/G (9th)
RD: -58 (16th)

Fun fact: Former 3rd Overall Pick, Rhubarb Baldwin, is looking like a player tailor-made for the park, yielding just 2 HR in his first 6 starts.

 

17. Tucson

Nashville

A straight re-build job that had virtually zero prospects at the start of the season. The situation in the minor league system is improving as their GM has had to get creative. Despite his fastball looking more like a knuckleball, Sale continues to pitch well into the twilight of his career. For an expansion team, they are not an easy ‘out’.

SP:  4.18 ERA (12th)
RP: 3.96 ERA (10th)
DEF: +32.5 (1st)
OFF: 3.35/G (20th)
RD: -72 (17th)

Fun fact: The Bullpen has 5 guys with an ERA 3.44 or below. Lots of teams would kill for that.

 

18. Erie

Nashville

Rebuilding. Lack any capable defenders. A spectacular bullpen for a rebuilding club.

SP:  4.75 ERA (15th)
RP: 3.51 ERA (6th)
DEF: -41.3 (20th)
OFF: 3.55/G (18thT)
RD: -92 (18th)

Fun fact: Steve Hudson claimed on waivers already looks like their best hitter. Journeyman, Grant Holmes, finally seems to have figured it out. He hasn’t had a good season since 2019 and sports a cool 2.64 ERA this season with an 11 K/9

 

19. Connecticut

Nashville

Always a success when you are an expansion and not deemed the worst team in the league. Superstar Rat Encarnacion has arrived, holding his own, after destroying the minors, last couple of seasons. Along with Donaldson and Fuentes, making of a solid outfield. For an expansion team, there are some nice pieces here.

SP:  5.16 ERA (19th)
RP: 4.04 ERA (11th)
DEF: -28.3 (18th)
OFF: 3.99/G (15th)
RD: -95 (19th)

Fun fact: Closer Dan Slania aught to be a target for a contending team. 1.80 ERA, 30 IP, 1 HR allowed, 5 BB and 29K.

 

20. Vallejo

Nashville

In need of a makeover. Even Superstar Javier Baez has become just a guy.

SP:  4.80 ERA (17th)
RP: 4.33 ERA (16th)
DEF: -31.8 (19th)
OFF: 3.55/G (18thT)
RD: -134 (20th)

Fun fact: Edward Pena is the lone bright spot. On pace for 29 HR 90 RBI and 101 BB

 

 

 

 

League Average Starter’s ERA = 4.12

League Average Bullpen ERA = 3.91

AVG ZR = -1.02

AVG OFF = 4.3 R/G

 

GLOSSARY:

SP = Starting Pitching ERA

RP = Bullpen ERA

DEF = Defensive Zone Rating. Best determinant of defensive value.

OFF or R/G = Runs Scored Per Game

RD = Run Differential, best described as Runs scored minus Runs allowed


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Imran
Imran K | General Manager - Richardson City Blood Raven Accolades: 2018 CBL Premier Cup Champions 2019 CBL Premier Cup Champions

1 Comment

  1. Dan Courcelles

    Great article Imran. Definitely an argument for MV and Van in 1st. Respect the decision though. MV is definitely a challenge for us.

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