Early Report Cards for Each Team
Express (2-1, 3rd in AC)
The Express are a Marcus Deyo walk-off away from being 1-2 and their offense is underperforming so far, especially against great pitching (shutout vs underdogs). Point being, Missouri should be playing better than they are, given the gobbles of talent they have, but if you're familiar with the JAL at all, this early start is nothing to be concerned about. Only twice in the last 5 seasons have the Express won the American Conference regular season (twice they've taken 3rd!), yet they've won 3 titles in those 5 seasons...
Lawmen (2-1, 2nd in AC)
The Lawmen are hitting the ball about as good as any team in the league, but for some reason that's not translating to the scoreboard (team ranks tied for 10th in runs per game). Shea Thomas is throwing well, but is still searching for improvement with the all important K/BB ratio. If he does in time for the postseason, the Lawmen will have all the tools to make a deep run.
Bison (2-2, 4th in NC)
Zachary Warren is a flashy pitcher, but the Bison are primarily in the playoff hunt because of their bats. Tony Liepa might be the new most underrated player in the game with his OBP of .723 and only 9 strikeouts in 47 at bats!
Sasquatches (0-3, 6th in AC)
Believe it or not, the Sasquatches are a good hitting team, but their defense is still costing them the ability to stay in ballgames. Rookie Ryan Brown is still gaining experience at pitcher and could become solid by the end of the season, but don't be surprised if the Sasquatches go searching for a mid-season pick up. Hey, they might already be looking...
Cobras (3-2, 3rd in NC)
After last season's disappointment people began writing off the Cobras, and while this season is showing they're not the "title contenders" they've been for so many seasons anymore, this team still has some fight and ability to knock off teams considered "elite."
Rapids (2-1, 2nd in NC)
What made the Rapids so good last season was how they could find a way to grind out wins either offensively or defensively, depending on what was needed. So far this season though, the Rapids are one dimensional, relying way too much on Jeter Larson to pitch them to victory. Ty Johnson and especially Troy Flanagan (only 3 hits combined though 3 games) will need to do their part in the puzzle and pick up the production if Castle Rock is to repeat as champs.
Wrecking Crew (0-3, 5th in AC)
The Wrecking Crew have been beat by double digits in every game so far this season, but at least you can see the talent is there for them to be a better team eventually. This season is all about finding what works, what doesn't and what needs to be sought after in free agency this offseason. Accomplishing that will put them in a good position to be dangerous by the end of this season and next.
Bambinos (4-1, 1st in AC)
Cowlitz is going to be a good team as long as Colton is doing his thing, but what's setting them apart this season is Traver and Vanderwerf's offensive production. Both have OBP's of over .600 and are giving Titus the added cushion of run support he needs to be aggressive at all times with his pitches.
Lynx (2-1, 4th in AC)
Matthew Morton is earning every penny of the $150/3-season deal he signed this offseason. He's the offense, the defense and everything in between for them.
Anaheim Storm (0-4, 6th in NC)
After making the playoffs last season for the 1st time in 3 seasons, the future looked so bright for this young team. They had a prolific offense, which now ranks dead last in the league and Batting Crown winner Aaron Adams has a less than .500 OBP right now. Although the Storm will likely start experimenting with Keith Bunn at pitcher, perhaps they need to look inward to figure this out and remember what made good to begin with... High volume scoring.
Waves (2-3, 5th in NC)
Don't let the record fool you, the Waves are still a good team, they've just had to play a lot of good teams this season. If Halverson can stay hot on the bat and Clark avoids being out for any more games, the Waves can reach the playoffs where they'd be a team you wouldn't want to run into.
underdogs (3-0, 1st in NC)
Yes, the underdogs are riding high, and rightfully so, but their offensive numbers are a bit troubling. Nobody on the roster is providing instant offense as virtually all of their scoring is dependent on walks. If Goforth isn't pitching his A game and a team can make them win with the stick, the u-dogs may find themselves in trouble.