Moving right along now to the HL
Portland is a team that everyone should admire. The CBL depth along with the minor league system they have is incredible. Portland showed even more promise last season. Making it farther in playoffs losing game 7 to Altoona in the HL championship series. Portland had a wonderful blend of power,contact,defense,and pitching.
2025 prediction: 97-65
Still moving on up is Portland, they improve every season. I love the upside of their young pitching like Wes Hines and Chris King. Jacob Gatewood should have a bounce back season and John Devine has really made a fantastic start to his career. I think Portland should be a repeat HL West champion
Last Season we saw a very impressive second half by Colorado. Garrett Gooden was absolutely AMAZING in the second half of the season finally looking like a man that wants to lead this rotation. Offensively they underwhelmed just a little bit from what many expected them to be and some pithers really under preformed. I said last season that Colorado needed time to learn how to play together and as we saw by the second half they seem to be grooving now.
2025 prediction: 89-73
Colorado looks like they could be a power house. Signing Wily Peralta could be huge along with Japenese Breakout Tadashi Nakagawa. If Jimmy Goodwin bounces back they could have a phenomanal starting rotation! Now offensively they have two rookies that I believe can absolutely help a team in win now mode in Hyun-Suk Soun and Ben Grimm. Look for Colorado to have the best season in Franchise history and be in playoffs for the first time ever.
Richardson City Blood Ravens
Richardson City has a formula for winning that other teams seemingly try to emulate. Defense! Defense! Defense! RC got an amazing year out of reemerging Martin Perez. 2024 was yet another successful season for RC and I don’t see them slowing down.
COL and RC are so talented and close! It should be an intense and interesting battle. RC has Alfredo Espinosa seemingly geared up for his rookie season and he could make a YUGE impact. Yorman,Sano,Lopez,and Bo Bichette are all backs and ready to rock this offense into the top of the leader boards. I think it’s a coin toss this season between RC and COL for that second place spot.
2024 saw the bats unload some key talent but got an amazing amount of young talent in return. Getting Jose Ramirez back for Joe Campbell was an incredible and savvy move by GM Trey Schalk. Clint Frazier and Hector Espinosa were also some big guys to move but you have to admire his commitment to the retooling and prospect building.
So this Record would indicate a falling for Austin but I think it shouldn’t be looked at like that. The system Austin has built is truly impressive. GM Trey Schalk does a fantastic job and committed all in to rebuilding Austin to sustain long lasting success. Give it a season or few and Trey will absolutely be a horse in the competition again.
Vallejo had another rough season. That being said I like the direction GM Matt Garber is taking them. 2024 saw Jerry Chandler finally dominate, while inconsistent there was nights he was just unhittable. Getting Leonardo Caneque was a great acquisition along with moving Pena for a similar Steve Carlton plus prospects. Arismendy Alcantara was a deserving winner of comeback player of the year. With that said Kodi Medieros had by far his worst season and Giancarlo Stanton was depressing to watch.
2025 prediction: 74-88
I see lots of improvements to this team. While the record I’m predicted doesn’t indicate huge improvement when considering the fact every team in this division is making improvements a 8 game jump is actually hugely indicative of the work by GM Matt Garber. I think Jerry Chandler could be fantastic and Kodi Medieros should have a bounce back season without question. Offensively Steve Carlton, Preston Broadus, Leonardo Caneque and Javier Baez should make this offense improved. Pitching looks young and talented. Len Edwards, Bo Allen, Jerry Chandler, and Marlo Stanfield could be the making of something extremely incredible in the HL West.