CLASS B RANKINGS: Deep field sees new No. 1

By Nick Gerhardt

news@mnbaseball.org

As the postseason approaches, teams have started to create some separation and establish themselves as contenders. 

With that, our top 10 rankings have seen a shakeup with a new No. 1 and four new teams in the top 10. Perhaps it doesn’t come as a surprise but the Minnetonka Millers have risen to the No. 1 spot, displacing the Rochester Royals, who have hit a skid after some injuries to slip to the No. 5 spot.

Just behind the Millers comes Lyon’s Pub at No. 2, cracking the top 10 for the first time this season. Air Freight Unlimited took off to claim the No. 3 spot after holding the No. 9 spot in the previous rankings. The Miesville Mudhens dropped one spot, falling to No. 4 while the Dundas Dukes make their first appearance in the top 10 at No. 6.

Champlin Park, which shared the No. 5 spot in the last poll with St. Louis Park, continues to play nice with others to share the No. 7 spot this time with Stockmen’s Irish. The Minneapolis Cobras slithered down to the No. 9 spot after holding the No. 2 position last time and the Shakopee Indians round out the top 10 with their first appearance in the rankings. Here’s how our pollsters broke it down.

Nate Behlen — Baseball 365

1. Lyon’s Pub Warriors — Typical solid pitching, defense and solid ABs up and down the lineup. But the addition of SS Ben Palmer-who looks like a townball superstar means the Pub is back. Paraphrasing Seinfeld, “They’re (for) real and they’re spectacular.”

2. Minnetonka Millers — Whether it’s moccasins, Cargill, or their townball team, Minnetonka is synonymous with quality, year after year. 

3. Dundas Dukes — They are scoring a ton of runs and letting up few. I called the Twins analytical department and they were able to confirm this is a good way to win ball games. They then begged me not to go public with this information, as it may cost them their jobs. 

4. Air Freight Unlimited — Leading the St. Paul League. But they’re just … preparing … for … take-off.  

5. Champlin Park LoGators — It’s all about the league Wins, and they sit atop the Metro        Minny. 

6. St. Louis Park Pirates — RIverview in general and SLP in particular keeps their information tight. But it doesn’t matter, we all know SLP. They are a team full of baseball players. That’s much different than a team full of guys that play baseball. It’s not semantics, the difference is enormous. 

7. New Market Muskies — I was comfortably living in my Class A cocoon before the powers that be in MBA decided to merge A/B and my understanding of all of it is fundamentally flawed. I’m really trying to be fair and objective, but my ignorance is vast amongst B. So maybe New Market should be ranked higher. 

8. Miesville Mudhens — I am probably ranking them too low as well. 

9. Minneapolis MudCats — Harry Blum is maturing on the mound and is slowly making his way into the Laubscher/Danner/Skoro etc. discussion of top pitchers. 

10. Highland Park Beavers — Again, they seem to  just get it done because they have baseball players. A “lunch bucket” mentality. Give me nine of them over the Hit Trax generation any day of the week. 

Nat Croaker — Northwest Orioles

1. Minnetonka Millers — As usual, good wins and lots of them — against Coon Rapids, Champlin, Lyons Pub, St. Louis Park, Plymouth. These guys can always swing it, and have lots of good arms.

2. Air Freight Unlimited — I have never seen these guys play, but they have only one loss registered. After the good performances these last few years, I have to assume this is a really good team.

3. Shakopee Indians — A lot of good wins: Tonka, Champlin, Chanhassen, Coon Rapids and Baseball 365.

4. Rochester Royals — Good wins against Champlin and Miesville, but some losses drop them down.

5. Minneapolis Cobras — I don’t doubt this is a really good baseball team, but more losses than most townball folk would expect.

6. Miesville Mudhens — Good wins against Elko and Baseball 365, but some losses drop them down a bit.

7. Champlin Park LoGators — Good wins against St. Louis Park, Lyon’s Pub and Cold Spring.  

8. Lyon’s Pub Warriors — Only registered one loss in the month of June. A lot of wins and some good ones, too.

9. Baseball 365 — Had a tough stretch there in late June, but regardless, some good wins against the Cobras twice and St. Louis Park.

10. St. Louis Park Pirates — Just a lot of good hitters on this team, always a good team and always in the mix.

Honorable mention 

Plymouth HitDawg, St. Michael Saints, Elko Express, Dundas Dukes  

Patrick Sheehy — Highland Park Beavers

1. Stockmen’s Irish

2. Lyon’s Pub Warriors

3. Air Freight Unlimited

4. Dundas Dukes

5. Minnetonka Millers

6. Champlin Park LoGators

7. Forest Lake Brewers

8. Shakopee Indians

9. Highland Park Beavers

10. Rochester Royals

Matt Marek — Champlin Park LoGators

With Class A and B combining, and the season just past the halfway point, a ton of teams have legitimate credentials and have put together great seasons. With the quality of teams in Class B now this could definitely be a top-20 ranking as opposed to top 10.

1. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (21-5) — The Pub is undefeated in the Park National and has been red-hot, suffering only one loss since May 30.

2. Minnetonka Millers (19-6) — Class A, Class B, doesn’t matter, the machine keeps rolling. A slight stumble as of late, dropping three of four, but the ship will be righted soon.

3. Miesville Mudhens (14-5) — The Hens are hitting their stride, winning seven of their last eight. Dickmeyer back in the rotation is a much-needed boost.

4. Stockmen’s Irish (14-3) — Solid play all year thus far for the boys from South St. Paul. Several quality wins with losses coming to Champlin Park and Minnetonka.

5. Dundas Dukes (16-6) — A bounce-back year of sorts for the Dukes so far, notwithstanding a drubbing at the hands of New Market on Sunday.

6. Burnsville Bobcats (15-2) — I can’t argue with the record so far. A lack of high-quality wins, and a slightly down Section 3B keeps them a little lower.

7. Rochester Royals (16-8) — Trouble brewing in Rochester as Matt Meyer is down with an injury and a three-game losing streak recently.

8. Air Freight Unlimited (11-1) — Graham Laubscher, Graham Laubscher, Graham Laubscher. They mash, but will the pitching depth be there to make a deep run?

9. Shakopee Indians (13-6) — Another traditionally strong team having a resurgent year, with some nice wins over Champlin, Baseball 365, Minnetonka and Delano. Getting Sievers back from college is a huge boost for the lineup.

10. Champlin Park LoGators (16-10) — I’m a homer, but sitting in first place in the Metro Minny, to go along with wins over Lyon’s Pub, Stockmen’s and the two teams behind us in Section 4B (Forest Lake, St. Michael) is enough for me!

Honorable Mentions

Forest Lake Brewers (15-5) — A solid season with some solid additions for the Brewers continues with an appearance on FOX9’s townball tour on Wednesday.

St. Michael Saints (10-2) — The lack of games and lack of games against quality opponents outside the league keep them out of the top 10. Still, there’s a ton of talent, new and old, on this team that will make them a tough out come August.

St. Patrick Irish (11-6) — Considerable talent and they’re now getting their full team to the park. Look for them to make some noise as they are coming off a big win over Rochester.

Cold Spring Springers (11-5) — A heavier Class C schedule, with a lack of highlight wins keeps them in the HMs

Minneapolis MudCats (13-6) — Winners of seven of eight, they are one of a few teams trying to keep pace with Lyons Pub in the Park Nash.

Minneapolis Cobras (18-11) — A nice showing in the Stockmen’s Tourney, with a win over Minnetonka, but some head-scratching losses as well.

Plymouth HitDawg (13-6) — Another team with a hot stretch, winning eight of nine.

St. Anthony Hogs (11-6) — Winners of eight straight, highlighted by a win over Tonka on Sunday.

Aldon Severson — Northfield Knights

1. Minnetonka Millers (19-6): A perennial contender that plays a strong schedule. They’ve beaten Lyon’s Pub and Stockmen’s which gets them the No. 1 ranking this time around. 

2. Miesville Mudhens (15-5): Expect the Mudhens to contend for the Section 1 title. Currently in third place, they’re 4-0 in their last four games with a run differential of 49-4.

3. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (21-5): The first team in Class B to reach 20 wins, including victories over some of the state’s best. 

4. Stockmen’s Irish (14-3): Atop Section 7 with a solid record and some impressive victories. 

5. Air Freight Unlimited (11-1): Mid-July with only 1 loss, I’m impressed. 

6. St. Patrick Irish (11-6): The Irish currently own the top spot in Section 1 and have proven they win games that matter. 

7. Minneapolis Cobras (17-11): The Cobras might deserve better than this. A record of 3-0 against other teams on this list with Lyon’s Pub awaiting them this Thursday. 

8. Dundas Dukes (16-6): Battle tested against Section 1 opponents as well as a strong non-section schedule.

9. Champlin Park LoGators (16-10): Currently in third place in Section 4 but 2-0 against the teams ahead of them. 

10. Rochester Royals (16-8): Need I remind myself the Royals were 2022 state champions? Questions about Matt Meyer’s health have the state watching closely. 

Honorable Mention

Burnsville Bobcats (15-2): Excluded from the top 10 because Section 3 is down this year and they don’t have many notable non-section victories. 

Minneapolis MudCats (13-6): 2-0 against the Cobra’s. Excluding the MudCats from the top 10 might show my ignorance when it comes to Section 5. 

Plymouth HitDawg (14-6): What’s a Hitdawg? Doesn’t matter. These guys are winning. 

Shakopee Indians (14-6): Wins over Minnetonka and Champlin. Expect to see the Indians in Delano next month. 

Jon Sands — Victoria Vics

1. Moorhead Brewers

2. Minneapolis Cobras

3. Miesville Mudhens

4. Baseball 365

5. Minnetonka Millers

6. Air Freight Unlimited

7. Burnsville Bobcats

8. Lyon’s Pub Warriors

9. Rochester Royals

10. Shakopee Indians

Others to watch: St. Louis Park Pirates, Forest Lake Brewers, Chaska Cubs

Tim Flemming — Hamel Hawks

1. Rochester Royals 

2. Champlin Park LoGators 

3. Dundas Dukes 

4. Miesville Mudhens 

5. Chaska Cubs 

6. Cold Spring Springers  

7. Moorhead Mudcats 

8. Anoka Bucs

9. Coon Rapids Redbirds 

10. Victoria Vics

Jordan Wiggins — St. Anthony Hogs

1. Air Freight Unlimited — When at their best, they’re the toughest team in the state. D1 bats throughout the lineup with maybe the best arm in townball. 

2. Lyon’s Pub Warriors — Undefeated in a great league. Very impressive to be on their game every night. 

3. Rochester Royals — Saw them play one game in New Prague. Good bats and arms. 

4. Stockmen’s Irish — Improved lineup and good arms. Duffy is a stud and these guys come to play every night. 

5. Minnetonka Millers — New year, same story. 

6. New Market Muskies — Know nothing about them but the record tells the tale. 

7. Champlin LoGators — Metro Minny is really tough and 6-2 is a great record, so this may be too low for them. Always a very good squad. 

8. St. Louis Park Pirates — Probably a top three team but they post nothing online. I bet Duda will be mad when he sees their name down here on my list. 

9. Miesville Mudhens — Legacy vote here. 

10. Minneapolis MudCats — Really impressive wins but I have no clue who is on this team anymore. But the record and wins speak volumes. 

Class B Rankings (As of July 12)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Minnetonka Millers (56)(4)

2. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (52)(NR)

3. Air Freight Unlimited (48)(9)

4. Miesville Mudhens (42)(3)

5. Rochester Royals (33)(1)

6. Dundas Dukes (32)(NR)

7. Champlin Park LoGators (31)(5)

7. Stockmen’s Irish (31)(NR)

9. Minneapolis Cobras (19)(2)

10. Shakopee Indians (14)(NR)

Others receiving votes: St. Louis Park Pirates, New Market Muskies, Minneapolis MudCats, Highland Park Beavers, Baseball 365, Forest Lake Brewers, Burnsville Bobcats, St. Patrick Irish, Moorhead Brewers, Chaska Cubs, Cold Spring Springers, Moorhead Mudcats, Anoka Bucs, Coon Rapids Redbirds, Victoria Vics, Plymouth HitDawg, St. Anthony Hogs, St. Michael Saints, Elko Express

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