Author: Dawson Haywood
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Since Minor League Baseball kicked off last week I sought the approval of those on the forum to do Minor League Mondays. Here is how it will work. Each Monday we will take a look at Minor League Teams from across North Carolina and put them into a power ranking chart. The ranking of a team will be dependent on a few factors.
1. Weekly Performance
2. Difficulty of Opponents
3. Hits and Total Points Scored
4. Points Allowed
6. Performance against in-State teams
#1 Durham Bulls (5-1) (Series 1-0)
The Bulls find themselves sitting pretty with a 5-1 record at the conclusion of the week nearly sweeping the Memphis Redbirds. The only reason they did not was because of their loss on Sunday by only one run. As it stands, as long as the Bulls can hold their opponent to under 5 runs they will win the game. The Bulls scored a total of 49 runs and allowed 23. This week the Bulls take on the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. A successful series against them could put them in a very good position in next week's power rankings as they enter this week with a 4-2 record.
#2 Down East Wood Ducks (6-0) (Series 1-0)
The Wood Ducks completed the sweep of the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers this week which is no easy feat to accomplish in a 6 game series. The reason they are placed at #2 is because of their division and the scoring difference for the Bulls was higher this past week. This coming week the Wood Ducks will face off against the #3 Mudcats which could potentially change the tide of the standings and secure the Wood Ducks at the #1 position for a long time if they complete a sweep. Being 12-0 is very rare in baseball but not impossible. The Wood Ducks though from one of the smaller markets in NC could be one of the most respected teams in the State if they continue to perform at this level. The Wood Ducks finished the series with 40 runs and only allowed 20.
#3 Carolina Mudcats (5-1) (Series 1-0)
The Mudcats dominated the #9 Fayetteville Woodpeckers in dominating fashion this week and in a less than glorified fashion. Games were relatively close generally being within four runs with the exception of the Thursday game where they won by 10 runs. The series was finished with a combined score of 45 Mudcats 25 Woodpeckers. This week the Mudcats go on to face the #2 Wood Ducks.
#4 Asheville Tourists (3-2) (Series 1-0)
The Tourist sit in the middle of the pack and unfortunately for the Asheville team they could have been higher on this list if the game on Sunday against the Brooklyn Cyclones had not been cancelled and they won. A 4-2 record would do this team some good but a winning record is a winning record. One of the losses this past week was not a result of bad offense, but bad pitching allowed for the Tourist to lose a game 12-16. The combined score of this series is 44 Tourist 36 Cyclones.
#5 Greensboro Grasshoppers (3-3) (Series 0-0-1)
The Grasshoppers find themselves with a tied series against the #6 Hickory Crawdads. The reason the Grasshoppers are above the Crawdads is because of the three more runs they have in the series. Greensboro was not shutout at all this previous week and have not allowed more than 7 runs, but they have also not scored 7 runs. The series had a combined score of 34 Grasshoppers 31 Crawdads. This week the Grasshoppers are at home against the Rome Braves.
#6 Hickory Crawdads (3-3) (Series 0-0-1)
The Crawdads find themselves lower on this list because they allowed more runs than they scored against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. A .500 record is something to improve upon which is likely as they enter this week to face the #7 Winston-Salem Dash who is currently 2-4. A good outing against the Dash could significantly improve their positioning on this list.
#7 Winston-Salem Dash (2-4) (Series 0-1)
The Dash find themselves with a losing record after their series against the Rome Braves. The series had a combined score of 28 Dash 34 Braves. It is still early in the season and the Dash have a lot of time to increase their positioning on this list. Going into this week the Dash will face the #6 Hickory Crawdads, who have a slightly better record but their losses were not quite as bad as the Dash's losses.
#8 Charlotte Knights (1-5) (Series 0-1)
The Knights performance this week has been short of exceptional in their series against the Gwinnett Stripers. The Knights were lucky enough to pull off a win to avoid the sweep but their pitching and defense is something to be concerned about moving forward. Three games that were played this week resulted in the Stripers scoring at or above 10 runs, one of these games the Stripers scored 19. Of the six games the Knights did have some success on the mound racking in 9 runs three times. The combined score of the series is 31 Knights 58 Stripers. With one shutout and terrible pitching the Knights are looking to redeem themselves against the Norfolk Tides this week.
#9 Fayetteville Woodpeckers (1-5) (NC 1-5) (Series 0-1)
The Woodpeckers were nearly swept this week by the #3 Mudcats with four runs being the reason they were not swept. This week the Woodpeckers will play against #10 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers but this series will not move either team in the standings much as they sit at the bottom. Moving up in the standings will be an uphill battle moving forward and their performance against out of state competition in coming weeks will be the deciding factor in whether or not they move in the standings.
#10 Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (0-6) (NC 0-6) (Series 0-1)
The Cannon Ballers are the only team in the standings to be swept this past week and sit at the bottom of the barrel as a result of this. Though the upcoming series against the #9 Woodpeckers will not impact the standings much it does impact how long the Cannon Ballers will remain at the bottom of the standings. Their performance against the Woodpeckers could hurt the Cannon Ballers for the rest of the season if they allow the Woodpeckers to dominate the series as the Wood Ducks did.