Class A rankings: Minnetonka, St. Louis Park claim top two spots

By Nick Gerhardt

ScoreMonster Contributor

news@mnbaseball.org

Our four experts weighed in on the Class A rankings and it’s without much surprise that three-time defending champion Minnetonka claimed the No. 1 spot and last year’s runner-up St. Louis Park claimed the second spot.

The Minneapolis Cobras came in at the No. 3 spot and the St. Paul Capitals come in ranked No. 4. BARC Industries rounded out the top 5.

St. Anthony rolls in as the No. 6-ranked team while Lyon’s Pub stands at No. 7. The Minneapolis Angels held down the No. 8 spot, Stockmen’s Irish enters at No. 9 and the Rosetown A’s claimed the No. 10 spot.

Edina, Highland Park, St. Paul Mudhens, Kelly Fuel’s Diesel, Hopkins, Tri-City and Baseball 365 all received votes in the poll as well.

Records were accurate at the time each pollster submitted their picks but might not reflect current records. For teams who don’t regularly update their websites with game results, please do so. It makes it easier on our pollsters to determine rankings. 

Ryan Meehan — Skyline League

1. MINNETONKA MILLERS (14-3) – Notable wins over St. Anthony, Chaska, Minneapolis Cobras, St. Michael, and St. Louis Park.  Only losses are to Cold Spring, Hampton, and Hopkins (all 2017 state tournament qualifiers).

2. ST. LOUIS PARK (16-6) – Routinely posting lopsided victories, including blowout wins over the other three Class A defending league champions. 

3. MINNEAPOLIS COBRAS (11-5) – The primary beneficiaries of the Lake Show’s demise, the Cobras are younger and deeper than last year’s 20-win team.

4. ST. PAUL CAPITALS (10-5) – The lineup remains largely intact from last year, but the pitching staff has an influx of new arms that might take a little while to sort out.  Off to a slow start by Capitals standards, but they’ve taken care of business in league play, going 4-0 out of the gate against St. Paul opponents. 

5. MINNEAPOLIS ANGELS (6-4) – Park National defending champs. Solid squad that only requires a few player additions from year-to-year. This winter, they tweaked the roster by adding a couple impact players from the MSU Mavericks alumni ranks.

6. BARC INDUSTRIES BULLFROGS (6-1) – After losing three of their top pitchers to career-threatening arm injuries last season, rebuilding the pitching staff was a top priority. Some out-of-the-box thinking and connections to the Bethel University coaching staff helped the Bullfrogs establish a pipeline into Forest Lake, plucking three of the top players from last year’s H.S. state runner-up. 

7. ST. ANTHONY HOGS (10-5) –  The Hogs retain one of the deepest pitching staffs in Class A, which is reflected in their early season strength-of-schedule. Of their 14 non-league games to begin the season, 11 were against 2017 state tournament qualifying teams. Notable wins over the St. Paul Capitals, Chaska, Minneapolis Cobras, and St. Louis Park.

8. EDINA BUCKSHOTS (3-1) – Nominally from Edina, the Buckshots are essentially a Bethel University All-Star team, with a few select Hornets added to the mix. For those who weren’t paying attention, Bethel was really good this year. And so are the Buckshots.

9. HIGHLAND PARK (4-1) –  No social media or online presence, so their overall record is a mystery.  But having seen them up close, they are a solid team. And they’re off to a fast start in St. Paul League play, with their only loss coming at the hands of the Capitals. 

10. STOCKMEN’S IRISH (8-4) – Lots of new faces in the lineup, but the pitching staff is as fearsome as ever. Definitely a team you want to avoid in a short playoff series. 

Honorable Mention: Kelley Fuels Diesel (3-0), St. Paul Mudhens (7-6), Bloomington Bandits (3-3)

Phil McDermott — St. Paul League

1. MINNETONKA – defending champs

2. ST. LOUIS PARK – added some nice pieces to an already dangerous lineup

3. MINNEAPOLIS COBRAS – merge with Lakers makes them the favorite in PN 

4. ST. ANTHONY HOGS – some very nice early wins over Park, Cobras, Capitals

5. ROSETOWN A’S – Third-place finish in 2017, nice pitching staff

6. ST. PAUL MUDHENS – won Skyline in 2017, preseason favorite to compete with Hogs

7. STOCKMEN’S IRISH – improved lineup and a couple stud pitchers 

8. ST. PAUL CAPITALS – slow start in 2018 but likely to compete for St Paul No. 1 seed

9. LYON’S PUB WARRIORS – 6-0 in league play and a few nice non conference wins

10. MINNEAPOLIS ANGELS – almost an automatic state tourney team with that pitching staff 

Just Missed – Hopkins Berries, Shamrocks, Baseball 365, BARC

Jon-Eric Urseth — Park National League

1. MINNETONKA MILLERS (14-3) – Probably locked here until they are no longer reigning state champions. Copy paste this for future rankings. 

2. ST. LOUIS PARK PIRATES (16-6) – 197 runs scored in 22 games. Is that good?

3. ST. PAUL CAPITALS (11-5) – 4-0 in STP league. Kubitschek carving teams up.

4. BARC BULLFROGS (5-1) – 4-0 in Skyline coming off nearly ending Tonka’s run last year.

5. LYON’S PUB WARRIORS (8-7) – 7-0 in Park National play. 1-7 other than that? “It’s a league game Smokey.”

6. MINNEAPOLIS COBRAS (9-5) – 3-0 in PNL play. Second in Elko/New Market Tourney.

7. STOCKMEN’S IRISH (8-2) – Good young team and Klingsporn also carving guys up.

8. KELLEY FUELS DIESEL – 3-0 in STP league play.  Outscoring opponents 22-5.

9. MINNEAPOLIS ANGELS (6-4) 5-3 in league play, tough loss in extras to Pub.  Schuld is back.

10. HOPKINS – You make the top 10 by beating Tonka in league play. Jantscher throws gas.

Honorable Mentions: Baseball 365, Bloomington, Edina Buckshots, Tri City Shark, Rosetown, Mudhens. Hard to piece together everyones info when teams do not update their websites.

Matt Paulsen — Riverview League

1. MINNETONKA MILLERS – (14-3)  While I would have had Tonka numero uno anyway, they just beat my number two in a rather ho-hum affair to grab the number one spot in the riverview. 

2. SAINT LOUIS PARK PIRATES – (16-6) Lost to Tonka 4-2 in league play but are continuing to put up huge run totals. Adding Donnie Blount to the line up kind of helped. 

3. BARC BULLFROGS – (4-0) not sure if the Frog’s overall record is 4-0 or just the league record.  I will give them the benefit of the doubt and put them 3. 

4. SAINT PAUL CAPITALS – (11-6) the Caps keep losing dudes to pro leagues and wood bat leagues but still feature a great lineup. Halloran has got to be the best throwing catcher in class A.

5. MINNEAPOLIS COBRAS – (12-5) Just when it looked like the Snakes were done they re-loaded with several of the defunct Lakers players and came back swinging. Sean Bormann is a beast. 

6. TRI-CITY SHARK – (6-1) pretty good record so far. 

7. SAINT ANTHONY HOGS – Don’t know their record but they played great against us. They can hit a little, field a little, and pitch a little. That is pretty much everything.

8. LYON’S PUB WARRIORS – (9-8) Overall record is so-so but they are 7-0 in league.

9. HOPKINS BERRIES – (1-0 against Tonka, no idea on the rest) I am putting Hopkins in the top 10 for three reasons. They beat Tonka in league play, they looked pretty good when we played them, and they finally got a new website that doesn’t suck. Now if they would just update it …

10. BASEBALL 365 – (9-6) Tough call on the last spot. I gave it to 365 because Nate Cousins just picked up his 1,000th town ball K. As a pitcher. Because if you were a hitter and had a thousand K’s that would mean you sucked. He is good. 

Class A rankings (As of June 19)

Tiebreakers went to team with highest single vote 

1. MINNETONKA MILLERS (40)

2. ST. LOUIS PARK PIRATES (36)

3. MINNEAPOLIS COBRAS (27)

4. ST. PAUL CAPITALS (25)

5. BARC INDUSTRIES BULLFROGS (20)

6. ST. ANTHONY HOGS (15)

7. LYON’S PUB WARRIORS (11)

8. MINNEAPOLIS ANGELS (9)

9. STOCKMEN’S IRISH (9)

10. ROSETOWN A’S (6)

Others receiving votes: Tri-City Sharks, St. Paul Mudhens, Edina Buckshots, Hopkins Berries, Kelley Fuels Diesel, Highland Park, Baseball 365, Bloomington, St. Paul Shamrocks

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