CLASS B RANKINGS: Top teams slide down and make room for new entries

By Nick Gerhardt

In our second round of rankings the top teams have shuffled around a bit, but Rochester’s loss to Hastings did little to dissuade our pollsters from keeping the Royals in the top spot again.

We saw some big jumps this week from the Minneapolis Cobras and two new teams in the top 10.

The Cobras snaked their way into the No. 2 spot in this poll following a 6-0 start. The Cobras have dropped their last two games, both one-run affairs, to the Crystal Cowboys and Minneapolis MudCats.

Elsewhere in the rankings, Miesville jumped up to No. 3 and Minnetonka followed to the No. 4 spot. After a slow start, St. Louis Park dropped down to the No. 5 spot and Champlin Park slid to the No. 5 spot as well while it competes through a tough slate of games.

Baseball 365 dropped one spot while Elko moved into the top 10 at No. 8 after taking care of business against league foes and earning a win over Baseball 365. Air Freight Unlimited remained at No. 9 and the Forest Lake Brewers, with their retooled roster, climbed into the top 10 at No. 10.

Patrick Sheehy — Highland Park Beavers 

1. Minneapolis Cobras

2. Rochester Royals

3. Miesville Mudhens

4. Elko Express

5. Baseball 365

6. Air Freight Unlimited

7. Minnetonka Millers

8. St. Louis Park

9. Hopkins Berries

10. Shakopee Indians

Aldon Severson — Northfield Knights

1. Minneapolis Cobras (6-0)

2. Rochester Royals: 2-1 including win over Champlin in 2022 state championship rematch

3. Champlin Park LoGators (3-1)

4. Elko Express (4-0)

5. Baseball 365 (4-1)

6. Dundas Dukes (3-1)

7. Miesville Mudhens (0-0)

8. Minnetonka Millers (1-2)

9. Air Freight Unlimited (0-0)

10. Moorhead Brewers (0-0)

Matt Marek — Champlin Park LoGators

1. Rochester Royals (4-1) — Stumbled against an upstart Hastings club, but with Meyer and Finocchi in the fold, they’re looking good. Joe Sperry for the summer will help replace the losses of Dan Lyons and Jake Halverson. 

2. Minneapolis Cobras (6-2)  — Nice start to the year for the Cobras … losses to upstart Crystal and Minneapolis Mudcats keep them out of the top spot

3. Miesville Mudhens (1-0) — The addition of Trevor Koenig is a big boost to the front end of the rotation. 

4. Baseball 365 (5-2) — Hot start for the Class A runner-ups from a year ago. Danner still doing Danner things on the mound. 

5. Forest Lake Brewers (5-0) — Big roster growth for the Brewers this year has paid dividends, as Davis Bryan leads the staff after coming over from Blaine. Nice win over St. Anthony on Wednesday.

6. Minnetonka Millers (3-2) — Two losses before June 1 for the Millers, I’m too lazy to check, but I’m guessing that hasn’t happened too often in their illustrious history! Either way, Ethan Roe is a nice add with Jackson Cooke off to the Northwoods League.

7. Champlin Park LoGators (4-2) — The gauntlet has started … Rochester (loss), Minnetonka, St. Louis Park over the next two weeks. 

8. Shakopee Indians (2-1) — Wins over Minnetonka and Champlin in the span of a few days will get you some recognition!

9. Elko Express (5-0) — The knock will always be playing in a Class C league, but they’ve taken care of business, including a nice win over Baseball 365. 

10. Hopkins Berries (1-0) — New look Berries should be a player in the Riverview League. Plenty of University of Minnesota talent on that roster and a win over St. Louis Park to start the season. 

Honorable Mention 

Anoka Bucs (4-1) — Stumbled in the league opener to what should be an improved St. Michael club, but averaging close to 9 runs a game will do the trick

Moorhead Brewers (0-0) — For the simple fact they haven’t played yet. They’ll be there!

Dundas Dukes (4-1) — Rose to the challenge with a nice win over Baseball 365.

Cold Spring Springers (2-0) — If I heard right, Drew Bulson may be out awhile with a broken wrist. Big loss for the Springers.

Crystal Cowboys (2-1) — I know next to nothing about these guys, but a win over the Cobras deserves some recognition

St. Louis Park (0-2) — Early, but the drubbing at the hands of Stillwater and a loss to Hopkins raises some concerns

Stillwater Loggers (2-0) — Wins over two state tournament clubs to start the year.

Jordan Wiggins — St. Anthony Hogs

1. Minnetonka Millers — Added a ton of talent to an already great roster.

2. Rochester Royals — I’ve never seen these guys but winning the 2022 Class B title is enough for me. Seem to be off to a good start this season.

3. Miesville Mudhens — Always a tough team whether you play them in May, June, July, August or September.

4. Minneapolis Cobras — Lineup is always elite Nos. 1-9 and they added a few arms to fill in for Cobras legend Matt Germar.

5. St. Louis Park — I don’t trust anything with this team until I see who is around when they play Tonka the first time. I assume they’ll be ready to defend their 2022 Class A title come August.

6. Air Freight Unlimited — St. Thomas Summer League. How can that go wrong?

7. Forest Lake Brewers — Added a bunch of Blaine Fusion guys and their pitching staff appears to be loaded. If the bats keep up their end of the bargain, they’ll be toward the top of these rankings soon.

8. Champlin Park LoGators – Always a very good team. No. 8 is probably not a fair spot for them and I’ll look terrible in a month.

9. Baseball 365 — Danner is very good and they added Walker and Wyatt Rogers to an already solid lineup. Should have a good chance to win the Park National.

10. Chanhassen Red Birds — Sounds like they lost a bunch of guys. Chanhassen does baseball too well for this team not to be in the fold, nonetheless. 

Jon Sands — Victoria Vics

1. Minneapolis Cobras

2. Rochester Royals

3. St. Louis Park

4. Baseball 365

5. Miesville Mudhens

6. Forest Lake Brewers

7. Anoka Bucs

8. Moorhead Brewers

9. Minnetonka Millers

10. Air Freight Unlimited

Nate Behlen — Baseball 365

1. Minnetonka Millers —  After a disappointing year in 2022 that ended in a third-place finish and the cancellation of any Thanksgiving celebration for players, what did they do? They restocked. Looks like Skoro is back and they signed Ethan Roe. Because of course they did. An early season no-hitter doesn’t hurt things either. 

2. Rochester Royals — I heard from someone in a brief conversation last fall that Matt Meyer was going to hang ‘em up (Source: Matt Meyer). So imagine my surprise when I saw he was back. And that lineup looks like an absolute meat grinder. 

3. Champlin LoGators — I still don’t know what a LoGator is, and I’m sure some of them don’t know that Baseball 365 is a store (98th and Lyndale*), so we’re even. What I do know is they are a very good team. Riola deserves the attention he gets, but they are so much more than a one-man show. 

4. Miesville Mudhens — The ballpark and the uniforms are like something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The experience of facing them is like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock film. (Those references are for the old timers. My peers.)

5. St. Louis Park Pirates — ”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Last year SLP was very quiet during the regular season. Still won their fair share of games, but … quiet. Then they came to the state tournament, stretched a little bit, yawned, threw out their toothpicks, gave a “welp” and then steamrolled their way to the championship. 

6. Minneapolis Cobras — If you’re into baseball books, there is a book called “The Bad Guys Won”  by Jeff Pearlman about the ‘86 Mets. It reminds me of the Cobras. (I mean that affectionately … although others may not.) A couple of tough league losses this week, but like the ‘86 Mets, they may very well be standing on top at the end. 

7. Dundas Dukes — We don’t travel well so maybe I’m way off. But every time we play Dundas I think “These guys are really good.”  I also like their musical selection between innings and that counts for something. 

8. Moorhead Brewers —Total “Why not?” pick. We played them once in the COVID season over in North Dakota, and they were very good. Fundamentally sound, which tells you about a team philosophy.  Other than that I don’t know much about them other than their reputation and what others tell me. 

9. Air Freight Unlimited — They’re going to use the St. Louis Park method. Get everyone playoff eligible and then show up for state.  Like the other teams that have won it all before, you’re able to do this. There’s something to be said about “Learning to win” and Air Freight has done that. They’ll be able to turn it on. 

10. Hopkins Berries — Marek was first on it … these guys may be really good. They’ll sneak up on people.

Honorable Mention: Lyon’s Pub Warriors (Off to a good start.), Elko Express (I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.)

*Mind you, I’m not Nate Cousins-Owner of Baseball 365.  I’m Nate Behlen-Player for Baseball 365. And in spite of my promoting the store, I still pay a league fee. 

Class B rankings (As of May 28)(Pts)(Previous)

1. Rochester Royals (55) (1)

2. Minneapolis Cobras (51) (8)

3. Miesville Mudhens (41) (4)

4. Minnetonka Millers (34) (5)

5. St. Louis Park (23) (2)

5. Champlin Park LoGators (23) (3)

7. Baseball 365 (21) (6)

8. Elko Express (16) (NR)

9. Air Freight Unlimited (12) (9)

10. Forest Lake Brewers (11) (NR)

Also receiving votes: Shakopee Indians, Dundas Dukes, Moorhead Brewers, Hopkins Berries, Chanhassen Red Birds, Anoka Bucs, Lyon’s Pub Warriors, Cold Spring Springers, Crystal Cowboys, Stillwater Loggers

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