IBL Power Rankings: Week 10

With the transaction deadline less than a week away, teams are putting the finishing touches on their rosters for the stretch runs. These moves could ultimately decide who comes away with the 2023 title, and the squads at the top have certainly loaded up. Let’s look at one move each team should look to make to take themselves to the next level.

#8. Brantford Red Sox (4-23, Previous Week: 7)

Starting pitcher. The offense is not an issue for the Red Sox, but the pitching staff certainly is. They have allowed by far the most amount of runs, and are in desperate need of help to address that. While they’ve taken steps to improve their arms, one more solid starting pitcher could make this team a dark horse for a Hamilton-style upset from 2022.

#7. Guelph Royals (6-19, Previous Week: 8)

Power bat. Guelph seemed that they might have made an addition to help in this aspect when they signed David Mendham, but he was quickly picked up by the Frontier League and might not be available to the Royals this season. Even with Mendham though, they would still need more help in this department. The team has totaled six home runs this season, averaging just over one homer every five games. It’s very difficult to keep up with some of the high octane offenses in the IBL when you can’t hit the ball out of the yard.

#6. London Majors (8-14, Previous Week: 6)

High-leverage reliever. Between Edisson Gonzalez and Owen Boon, it looks like London has stabilized their starting rotation. The bullpen is a different story. They have gotten solid contributions recently from a couple of guys but many of them are heading back to school and won’t be available in the playoffs. If they can add a quality bullpen arm that could shut down games late consistently, it might move them into a higher tier.

#5. Toronto Maple Leafs (13-13, Previous Week: 4)

Top-tier starter. It’s the one thing that Toronto has been missing for the last few years. While Angel Castro was good at times last year, he wasn’t consistently great. Their recent additions to the bullpen has solidified that side of things, which will give them a huge boost come playoff time. If the Leafs can add a top-tier starter, they have a chance to win the whole thing.

#4. Barrie Baycats (16-9, Previous Week: 2)

Veteran Catcher. This one was going to be right-handed power bat, but Barrie just addressed that with the addition of Malik Williams, so instead let’s look at something they need to address before the playoffs – Josh Cote’s inevitable departure. Cote is expected to leave for school prior to the postseason, and with him being one of their best players this season, they will need find somebody who can step in and give them similar production if they want to make a deep run.

#3. Hamilton Cardinals (14-11, Previous Week: 5)

First baseman. With Josh Niles heading back to Canisius, the Cardinals will have a hole to fill at first base. Niles has done a nice job giving their lineup length as the bottom of their batting order leaves a bit to be desired, but with him gone their depth could be exposed. Finding a viable replacement might not change this team’s ceiling, but will ensure that their floor doesn’t get lower.

#2. Kitchener Panthers (17-10, Previous Week: 3)

Bullpen. The Panthers have all the ingredients to be a contender, but to win a championship you need to matchup with the Welland Jackfish, and that means that if you have a lead late, you must be able to hold it, because if they’re up they will. Kitchener has a solid starting rotation, but they don’t have a shutdown arm in the bullpen right now. If they can add one, they will be a legitimate threat.

#1. Welland Jackfish (21-6, Previous Week: 1)

Status Quo. Welland really doesn’t need to add anything else. Their roster is as deep and as loaded as the league has seen in years. The concern for them is that they are so good and so talented that they might lose guys to the Frontier or other professional leagues. There aren’t any holes with the team currently, so there’s no need to add anybody else. If they can keep the band together, they will probably be the favorites until somebody knocks them off in the playoffs.