Class B rankings: Miesville moves up, fresh faces garner attention​

By Nick Gerhardt
nickgerhardt@mnbaseball.org

We’ve got some major shakeups in our latest rankings as our pollsters have tried to navigate the field. Between rain and posting scores (team’s please post your scores to help the world follow your season!) it’s been tough to sort things out.

What became clear is that there’s a new No. 1 in this poll as last year’s champion, Air Freight Unlimited, plummeted down the list. That made room for Miesville to snatch the top spot after receiving three first-place votes.

Lyon’s Pub moved up a couple of spots to claim the No. 2 ranking and Burnsville continued its climb, all the way to the No. 3 ranking. The Bobcats share the spot with Minnetonka, which rose three slots in this poll.

Elsewhere, Stockmen’s Irish dropped to No. 5 and Shakopee grabbed the No. 6 ranking after coming in at No. 4 in the previous poll.

The aforementioned Air Freight Unlimited moved down to No. 7 after only playing five games thus far. That will likely change in the next poll. The Cold Spring Springers moved up to No. 8 from No. 9 last time and Victoria entered the top 10 at No. 9 after a flawless start. Anoka claimed the No. 10 spot, moving down from No. 8 in the last rankings. Meanwhile, we have several more teams on the radar, like the St. Paul Mudhens and Shoreview Stump Grinders. Then again, we’ll have to wait until August to see how it all gets sorted out.

Nat Croaker — Northwest Orioles

      1. Miesville Mudhens
      2. Air Freight Unlimited
      3. Lyon’s Pub Warriors
      4. Stockmen’s Irish
      5. Burnsville Bobcats
      6. Anoka Bucs
      7. Shakopee Indians
      8. Minnetonka Monarchs
      9. Baseball 365
      10. Rochester Royals

    Honorable mention: Shoreview Stump Grinders

    Jordan Wiggins — St. Anthony Hogs
    Between a lack of score entries and two weeks of constant rain, it’s hard to sift through the few games most teams have played/submitted to get a good idea at a true top 10. I typically have a good idea of the landscape of Class B based on Twitter but this is the first time I’ve had to do a more thorough deep dive of the MBA website.

    Based on the aforementioned lack of score submissions and actual lack of games played due to Mother Nature, here is my best stab at an accurate look at the Class B top 10 and, for fun, I’m going to go in reverse order.

    (Before diving into the rankings, a quick shout out to the baseball communities who are greatly impacted by the flooding recently. Seeing the cities of Chaska and Dundas, to name a few, come together and do their best to salvage their ballparks is super cool and is a small glimpse into how strong a lot of our communities are. Hats off and best of luck to those in affected areas.)

    10. Champlin Park Logators — Undefeated in Metro Minny play makes you an automatic bid for my top 10. But they’ve lost almost all other non-league games. We will find out which one of these polar opposites shines the truest in the next month.

    9. North St. Paul Snowmen — This team is legit. Really talented arms and a strong lineup top to bottom. Having a squad of college kids is a blessing and a curse depending on Northwoods League phone calls and leaving early for college but these guys have the talent to beat anyone on any night. And they have awesome new uniforms. 

    8. Cold Spring Springers — No results on the MBA page should probably dock the Springers a few spots but I trust the consistent success these guys have had, enough for me to have them here. 

    7. Minneapolis Mudcats — These guys have been a really solid, young team the last few years and it seems like they finally have all the needed pieces for success. A battle with Lyon’s Pub for the top spot in the Park National will show how serious they are at this point.

    6. Shakopee Indians — A staff of good arms and a potent lineup that plays clean baseball. Wins over Minneapolis Mudcats, Lyon’s Pub, Chaska and Minneapolis Cobras is as strong of a resume as there is. This is a really tough team to beat for nine innings, as they showed last August. 

    5. Air Freight Unlimited — Tom Kolar just doesn’t like baseball enough to play any tune-up games and prefers to roll his squad into St. Paul League play with cobwebs hanging from their jerseys. Glad he’s had plenty of time to study for his CPA exam … I’m probably letting some early season (It’s late June?) losses distract me but I’m here to make the reigning champs earn their spot back at the top of my rankings. Stay tuned for July rankings on these guys. 

    4. Minnetonka Monarchs — No Millers? No problem. Beating the brakes off teams it seems like with wins over Champlin Park and Plymouth HitDawg early on. Can the Monarchs keep flying into the late summer? 

    3. Miesville Mudhens — A lot of good wins based on the short list online (Champlin Park, Northfield twice, and St. Patrick to name a few). Perennially a top dog in Class B and they’re backing up the name so far this year.

    2. Stockmen’s Irish — Often toward the top of the rankings but I’m not sure they’ve ever come in at the top. They’re very close to being there at this point. I’m not sure what happened in their game versus Lyon’s Pub but I’m letting that game be the separator here. They have two good, top-end arms in Ryan Duffy and Luke Siegle and they added a left-handed bat in PJ Jones, who might be scarier than Brodie Paulsen. 

    1. Lyon’s Pub Warriors — Really good season going with wins over Stockmen’s (the Irish’s only loss) and Champlin Park. Really good arms paired with a lineup that will be able to put up more runs this year. Undefeated in league play heading into a matchup with Minneapolis MudCats (result should be out now) and I see them staying on a tear into July.

    Nate Jackson — Lyon’s Pub Warriors

        1. Burnsville Bobcats
        2. Miesville Mudhens
        3. Cold Spring Springers
        4. Minnetonka Monarchs
        5. Shakopee Indians
        6. Victoria Vics
        7. Anoka Bucs
        8. Elko Express
        9. Moorhead Brewers
        10. Lyon’s Pub Warriors

      Honorable Mention: Champlin Park LoGators, Air Freight Unlimited, Minneapolis MudCats, Minneapolis Cobras, Stockmen’s Irish, St. Paul Mudhens

      Aldon Severson — Northfield Knights

          1. Miesville Mudhens (11-1)
          2. Burnsville Bobcats (12-0)
          3. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (14-4)
          4. Stockmen’s Irish (8-1)
          5. Minnetonka Monarchs (10-3)
          6. Shoreview Stump Grinders (13-3)
          7. Anoka Bucs (11-3)
          8. Shakopee Indians (8-2)
          9. Victoria Vics (10-0)
          10. Rochester Royals (8-2)

        Honorable Mention: Air Freight Unlimited (3-2), Baseball 365 (10-5), Elko Express (13-5), Moorhead Brewers (7-1), St. Paul Mudhens (7-0)

        Matt Marek — Champlin Park LoGators
        As the season nears its halfway point, I started to look at bodies of work, and moving past perceived and actual talent. Some teams that you would normally expect to see in the rankings, or even in the honorable mentions, might be absent, but it’s starting to be put-up or shut-up time. With that being said, Class B is looking more and more wide open as we progress through the 2024 season.

          1. Miesville Mudhens (11-1) — I would argue that the Hens are the best hitting team in the state. I think their title hopes will hinge on what they can get out of some of the younger power arms they signed this year, and if they can step up. Might not matter if they are putting up 10 runs a game, however …

          2. Burnsville Bobcats (12-0) — Can I say I told ya so? Wins over Shakopee, Moorhead and Anoka after a soft early schedule should have you convinced.

          3. Stockmen’s Irish (8-1) — I hope you have a solid left-handed arm in your rotation …

          4. Rochester Royals (8-2) — I’m really looking forward to the matchups with Miesville coming up. Losing Matt Meyer maybe takes them out of the prohibitive favorite category, but the Matteo Finocchi-Gabe Pilla 1-2 is pretty tough to beat.

          5. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (15-6) — Quality teams on the slate from B-C and wins to boot. Looking good with recent wins over the Cobras and Stockmen’s.

          6. Minnetonka Monarchs (10-3) — Not much to see here. Same stacked lineup, Wyatt Nelson chucking full-time, and Sam Schlecht back in the mix? Sounds like a recipe for a lot of success.

          7. Shakopee Indians (8-2) — Apologies for leaving the Tribe out of the last rankings and mentions. Schleper’s boys are still riding high after last year’s runner-up finish. Nice wins over the MudCats, Chaska, and the Pub, and you really gotta like that Ryan Boldt signing.

          8. St. Paul Mudhens (7-0) — Can’t ignore a perfect start (with wins over Air Freight and River Falls). They should be in the mix come August, but I think the team makeup might prevent a deep run. Sidebar, any reason you wouldn’t start a Missouri-commit game one of the state tournament if you had him available?

          9. Air Freight Unlimited (3-2) — The season is young for the perpetually late-starting Planes. The loss to Rosetown is a little eyebrow raising, but due to the lack of publicity I imagine that was a Kellen Rholl-Laubscher matchup?

          10. Victoria (10-0) — About as quiet of a 10-0 start as you can imagine, but the Vics have wins over Baseball 365, Lyons Pub, and a pretty solid Chaska club to start the year.

          10. Elko (13-5) — Nice wins over Rochester and Baseball 365 this year to prove they belong in the rankings. Let’s just move past that first Miesville game, however.

          Honorable Mention: Anoka Bucs (13-3), Baseball 365 (10-5), Cold Spring Springers (9-4), Moorhead Brewers (7-1)

          Tom Kolar — Air Freight Unlimited

            1. Lyon’s Pub Warriors

            2. Stockmen’s Irish

            3. Miesville Mudhens

            4. Shakopee Indians

            5. Minnetonka Monarchs

            6. Burnsville Bobcats

            7. St. Paul Mudhens

            8. Air Freight Unlimited

            9. Cold Spring Springers

            10. Anoka Bucs

            Jon Sands — Victoria Vics

              1. Air Freight Unlimited

              2. Miesville Mudhens

              3. Minnetonka Monarchs

              4. Victoria Vics

              5. Shakopee Indians

              6. Cold Spring Springers

              7. St. Louis Park Pirates

              8. Burnsville Bobcats

              9. Elko Express

              10. Moorhead Brewers

              Class B rankings (as of June 27)(Pts)(Previous)

                1. Miesville Mudhens (64)(2)

                2. Lyon’s Pub Warriors (43)(4)

                3. Burnsville Bobcats (42)(7)

                4. Minnetonka Monarchs (42)(6)

                5. Stockmen’s Irish (40)(3)

                6. Shakopee Indians (35)(4)

                7. Air Freight Unlimited (30)(1)

                8. Cold Spring Springers (18)(9)

                9. Victoria Vics (15)(NR)

                10. Anoka Bucs (14)(8)

                Also receiving votes: Baseball 365, Rochester Royals, Champlin Park LoGators, North St. Paul Snowmen, Minneapolis Mudcats, Elko Express, Moorhead Brewers, Shoreview Stump Grinders, St. Paul Mudhens, St. Louis Park Pirates, Minneapolis Cobra

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