We are now 13 seasons into the CBA. We have seen teams rise to the top tier of the league, then fall back down to the BL. We’ve seen teams that have managed to stay in their respective league for all 14 seasons. While teams have their differences, we do, however, manage to combine all their history into a single number – which tells us how successful the team has been in their time.
The formula we used was a combination of team and player success – for team success we placed a heavy emphasis on winning the Tournament of Champions (after all, you play to win the Super Bowl or the Stanley Cup, not to win your division – the same logic applies here), along with winning the President’s Cup (those can be a good indication of the quality of a team, but sometimes can show how good a team can be on a hot streak), number of playoff appearances, and the number of seasons in each league (Staying in the PL is a lot more of a success than staying in the BL).
While individual player success did not play too much of a role – only six teams moved ahead of another team because of individual performance – those players can be a good indication of drafting and developing talent or having the necessary pieces to acquire top tier talent, which is the hallmark of a good team. The top 50 players most likely to make an impact on a Hall of Fame ballot were listed, giving teams bonus points for those players. Then, the players most likely to garner significant votes on a ballot were given bonus points. The Plainsmen got bonus points for having Shawn Martin already inducted.
All this information was combined into one number, which will now be listed off.
30. Seattle Titans
Team Success Points: -750|Player Success Points: 0
The trident in the logo is the hardest hitting item in Seattle so far
Might it be a little unfair to put Seattle at the bottom of the list? Seattle, after coming in as an expansion team to even the league out to 30 teams after Dallas folded, hasn’t had much to celebrate. It’s been a slow build, but they are starting to show signs of breaking out of the cellar. Ryan Bauer, who was loaned to Oklahoma last season, won the SL MVP award. Aaron Biviano is a real deal closer. The negative points come from relegation, and since Seattle hasn’t had much luck in terms of promotion, playoffs, or impact players, they don’t have anything to put up positive points. Still, for a team that came into existance after the inaugural draft and had such a terrible start, don’t be surprised to see those points rising soon.
29. Salt Lake City Snappers
Total Points: 2500
Team Success Points: 1000|Player Success Points: 1500
Rumor has it they still can’t figure out whether they’re left or right handed
Salt Lake has been one of the annual BL teams with a few breakouts to the SL, only to be relegated a season after. Without many wins to their name, they’ve managed to pick up a nice young core that should start producing soon – led by the likes of the best BL prospect Bobby Dietz and third overall pick Andy Murray. While there’s a chance that the Snappers could have broken out of the BL by this point and potentially even be in the PL, they gave up what could have been the best starting rotation in the league for a chance to go hitter friendly. While the prospects are mostly young, expect this team to start competing in the coming years. While team success hasn’t been there, Jason Surface, Dennis Chandler, and Sean Milbrandt would all be Snappers if inducted to the Hall right now.
28. Philadelphia Liberty
Total Points: 3000
Team Success Points: 3000|Player Success Points: 0
Even though we haven’t heard reports I’m sure batteries have been thrown at some point
Philadelphia, outside of an initial stint in the PL, has been mediocre at best. They’ve found a way to split their time between the BL and SL, though they haven’t found success in the SL and also haven’t torn the team down enough to be terrible in the BL – basically the AAAA team between the bottom two leagues. They haven’t had many superstar players – the most WAR put up by a player, Chris Greenwell, is 19.2, and that’s over many seasons – has led Philadelphia to a stalling point. They might choose to make some moves, but after the big free agent spree the team went on, money has been tight. For now, they’re just a jellyfish, floating where the ocean takes them.
27. Portland Axemen
Total Points: 3000
Team Success Points: 3000|Player Success Points: 0
Gets himself out every time because the ball gets stuck on his bat
Portland had initial success in the league – they even reached the coveted top four spot in the PL to reach the playoffs once – but has since been a team that hasn’t managed to pull themselves out of the gutter. Being a fan of Portland was such an emotional roller coaster over the first years – the Axemen made it to the PL on a third place promotion series win, finished fourth in the PL, then finished 10th place three seasons in a row, where they never quite recovered since. Years of terrible play and mismanagement led the to pursue relocation to the sweetest town on earth: Hershey, PA.
I feel bad for all those “Five Year Plan” season ticket holders.
It would last all of two seasons before the Chocolate Kings moved back to Portland.
Pitching has been a notable black hole for this franchise, with their highest all time WAR pitcher, Cody Ely, garning a full eight wins. He was traded to Iowa in the offseason and put up 3.4 WAR the next season.
Portland has had no success for a while, and we all hope (for Portland’s sake) that they find a way to snap out of their losing funk soon. With no notable players for the franchise to come around, hope that Ryan Kraus or Jon Parr can be the player they’ve never had.
26. Houston Moondogs
Total Points: 3250
Team Success Points: 2250|Player Success Points: 1000
Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars – suffocating in the vacuum of space
At least the Moondogs have Jesse Robison to gather around, because there’s not much else for this team to look towards. Having been in the BL for all but three seasons (all of which were spent with a losing record in the SL), there hasn’t been much high competition in the team’s games. Some of this could be due to some trades along the way – while going all in on Latrell Edwards and Tony Sipe might not have been such a bad move, trading away Bob Hansen probably has hurt the franchise much more than anything else. They’ve got a few good careers going, with the aforementioned Robison and Luke Allen making a name for himself, along with Latrell Edwards doing good things – but the team around them isn’t strong enough to make an impact.
25. Mexico City Chupacabras
Total Points: 3750
Team Success Points: 1250|Player Success Points: 2500
They’ve had as many seasons in the PL as Chupacabras captured: None
Mexico City has a long history against majority SL/BL teams because, as the tagline says above, there’s been no PL seasons in Mexico City. Taking a quick look at the draft histroy shows us one of the biggest reasons why – there has been no solid buildup. How many first round picks has Mexico City made? Six.
How many of those picks are making an impact right now on the team? One. Jonathan Perkins. Who might have been a reach at fifth overall as a reliever.
Are they just missing on all their picks? No, have you heard of Joe Mcguire? How about Sean Norman? Both are fairly solid starting pitching prospects (McGuire has even made his debut after being the top pitching prospect in the PL for multiple seasons). There aren’t any notable home grown talents in Mexico City, but hey, Tony Varela and Andy Popour are both considered Chupacabras in any Hall of Fame discussion.
24. Great Lakes Monsters
Total Points: 5000
Team Success Points: 2500|Player Success Points: 2500
How can they play? Look at the monster! There are no arms on it!
Great Lakes, to their credit, finally broke out of the BL cellar by winning the league – the first time they’ve won something their entire franchise. They’ve rebuilt their identity on the back of starting pitching, though their high pick Kevin Bourque has simply declined following a major arm injury. They haven’t had much luck with injuries, but the starting rotation is very strong as they make their push to the PL. After an initial two year stint in the PL, it’s been eight long, deadly seasons in the BL – hopefully they can make their push soon. Josh Verburg will likely go in to the Hall of Fame as a Monster, and Jordan Duke (it might be too early to discuss him, but after the recent HOF voting results it’s not too far fetched that he’d make an impact if he had a major injury and “died” next season) would be a strong candidate given a few more seasons.
23. Wichita Weasels
Total Points: 5500
Team Success Points: 3750|Player Success Points: 1750
I’ll give you $20 right now if you can tell me what state Wichita is in
Wichita has never found their groove, always being in the BL or SL their entire franchise career. And another thing – they’ve been very good at being mediocre about it. They’ve been within 10 games of .500 in all but two of their seasons – both of which they were either promoted or played in the promotion series. One major aspect in Wichita has been the inability to draft stars – the only first round picks to really pan out for the Weasels have been Craig Tipler and Bobby Simpson.
To which I hear you say, “Craig Tipler isn’t a star? He’s making $40 million a year!”
To which I reply, yes. Yes he is being grossly overpaid by Florida. But what’s the kicker here? Wichita had the chance to re-sign him for $20 million a season but declined to. Instead of keeping a future Hall of Famer on a solid contract with the ability to trade him later, they let him walk only to sign for twice the money. Tipler and Dave Buckley would be the most likely guys to enter the Hall with the Weasels cap on.
22. Atlanta Swarm
Total Points: 6750
Team Success Points: 5500|Player Success Points: 1250
Just like an undisturbed beehive in the forest, they aren’t moving
Atlanta’s time in the league has to be the most impressive – constantly mediocre, never good enough to get promoted ot the PL but never bad enough to get demoted to the SL. There has been some talent acquisition there, with Stephen Ferguson and Matt Howard being a duo which combined for more than 15 WAR – but there has never quite been the depth needed to get promoted.
What could be different heading into the future? They’ve got three solid young players – Danny Deneen, Marvin Bazan, and Jose Trevino ready to lead the team. Veterans Sheldon Grant, Guan-pei Yao, and newly acquired catcher Joel Saez look to lead a hard hitting Atlanta lineup to their first promotion the entire history of the league.
Sheldon Grant is the major player headed into potential Hall status from the Swarm, and at 32 WAR and two MVPs at age 29, he’s nearly punched his ticket.
21. Boston Rogers
Total Points: 6750
Team Success Points: 6250|Player Success Points: 500
Yes, we checked – no player named “Roger” has played for the Boston Rogers yet
Boston hasn’t really gained a footing in any league yet, splitting time between the PL, SL, and BL for their existence. For most of their time in the league, they’ve been the BL-SL promotion/relegation splitter, visiting both leagues fairly often. They did get a shot at PL glory the past season, however they were relegated soon after. You may be able to see Boston in the TOC, but you’d only find them getting the promotion spot. Even though they’ve been a winning team in the BL and SL, they’ve never quite found a footing as a league favorite at any time. Craig Sherer at least makes things interesting, and Bobby Brown has thus far churned out good seasons as a reliable 3 WAR player.
20. Oklahoma Mammoths
Total Points: 7250
Team Success Points: 6000|Player Success Points: 1250
The last sports championship in Oklahoma was celebrated by live mammoths
Oklahoma has long led the Atlanta life, living in the SL without much movement. When they did make the jump, however, the team proved that it was not ready for the PL competition – and thus, back to SL livin they went. Limited draft success has certainly hindered the franchise’s progress, though they have had their fair share of quality players picked up through other methods. Miguel Hernandez was a cheap IAFA signing (who was shipped off for a solid haul). Mario Castillo has had a HOF worthy career, the best seasons with Oklahoma. Andy Mobley, who reached 40% of the vote the last ballot might wind up as a Mammoth in the Hall of Fame. The acquisition of talent in ways other than the draft has been a strength for the franchise, who, hoping to turn some drafts around, could put that unique strength into good use to a PL worthy contendor soon.
19. Arizona Thunderbirds
Total Points: 7500
Team Success Points: 7000|Player Success Points: 500
Off to a hot start and currently heating up
Arizona has the strategy of trading multiple first round picks in exchange for solid prospects and/or players that hopefully pan out. Tony Juarez, Juan Sanches, and Matthew Felix are a few of the names that come to mind when talking about the splashy Arizona trades. Early on, they were one of the best teams in the league – making the playoffs twice out of a PL top four spot. Since then, however, it’s been a slow decline for Arizona, playing losing ball for three seasons in the PL, three seasons in the SL, and two seasons in the BL. However, this past year, they broke the streak and were promoted for the first time in the franchise’s existence. Drafting has been a weakness for the team – however, as mentioned before, there hasn’t been much to work with in terms of picks. Abel Kennedy likely makes the Hall of Fame as a Thunderbird.
18. San Diego Skylarks
Total Points: 8000
Team Success Points: 7500|Player Success Points: 500
The Skylarks’ entire 14 year payroll is less than what Manny Machado signed for
We’ve gone into depth the fall of the San Diego team and the rise in the 10 for 10 for 10 series (When the Sky Falls), though the rise of the franchise has been (what some would call) a success – the ability to go from the laughingstock of the league to a PL contending team in a short period of time is a job well done, even if they are currently sitting at the bottom of the SL. Perhaps the biggest issue for the Skylarks is player retention – they’ve had numerous high picks, all of whom were shipped out of San Diego at some point. Bobby Odom, Nick Worthington, Jake Quick, and Steve Salazar are all solid players who were traded out of the Skylark system, and Bill Strome was a reach. When you take a look back at those drafts, however, you see that those players might not have been as bad picks as we first thought – Odom only trails Omar Costa and Sheldon Grant for WAR in the 2027 draft, Strome has half the career WAR of Kevin Bourque (9 to 18) and John Chrisman only leads him by 5 WAR, then Steve Salazar was picked. Their 2028 draft produced four major league arms that are still throwing today. So yes, even though they are going through a retool right now, San Diego is a team that is capable of snapping out of the funk – especially with three top 10 picks this upcoming draft.
17. Indianapolis Hawks
Total Points: 8250
Team Success Points: 7250|Player Success Points: 1000
For a team named “Hawks” you’d expect them to be better than 27th in walks
Indianapolis had a short run as a PL team, but outside of those years it’s been a mediocre (at best) franchise. Never finishing above 6th in the PL over four seasons, the Hawks have been selling their team to the highest bidder over the past three years. While this is a good strategy, theoretically, it all comes down to how well Indianapolis drafts. Consider their top players right now, namely starters Zachary Wallace and Josh Clark, and infielders Matt Pressler and Sam Greene. Those four players have been loaned out pretty much since they’ve been major league ready with the Hawks, and are rejoining the team for what looks to be a solid team that has real playoff potential.
There is one problem with that strategy, however – if they were to get promoted this season from the BL and next season from the SL, in their first PL season those four would be 30, 28, 29, and 29 respectively, and given the early CBA cliff phenomenon, the Hawks might only have three seasons with those four star players before relying on new talent. They will, however, have the first overall pick this year and will likely have a few more high picks in the coming seasons. This is a team that drafts well and, given a few years, will be a real threat to the PL big four.
Hall of Fame-esque players: Matt Pressler and Jose Sanchez.
16. Brooklyn Bulldogs
Total Points: 9000
Team Success Points: 7750|Player Success Points: 1250
All bark, no bite
This is the surprise ranking this high, as Brooklyn has always been a BL team that has never really found a footing. Whether it be subpar drafting, trading away talent, or just all around bad luck, Brooklyn has never quite made it out of CBA pergatory.
What does put them up this high, however, happened in 2023. Yes, something that happened 11 years ago is enough to put them in the middle despite being a bottom three team in league play success.
The 2023 President’s Cup champion Brooklyn Bulldogs, to be exact.
Something that only 30% of the league can claim is to have won a tournament, and, although the President’s Cup is still considered the lesser of the two, it is still a trophy that can sit in the Brooklyn trophy case. Teams like Austin and LA still don’t have any tournament trophies, and, although they have come close, Brooklyn is a tournament champion.
You may not like it, but that fluke win is something that Brooklyn fans can still hold on to that most teams don’t have. They’ll also have Tom Bridges and his Hall of Fame future, assuming he doesn’t go off in Mexico City.
15. Carolina Coyotes
Total Points: 9250
Team Success Points: 8500|Player Success Points: 1250
Most of their first round picks wound up as crash landings
Carolina was the first team to truly embrace a rebuild after the inaugural draft. It only took one year to learn that the team would need to go through the long, painful rebuild process, during which time they scored multiple first and second overall picks. With those picks they drafted franchise changers Kevin Monckton, Eric Watson, Chris Anderson, Nick Arvin, and Tommy Leiser.
Ok, so the only name you probably know out of that bunch is Chris Anderson, and even he might not wind up on the major league squad next season.
Even though those picks didn’t turn out, they’ve had success outside of the first round, picking up players like Mark Epps, Chris Varela, Jeff Sanchez, Aaron Switzer, and others, all of whom are producing for the major league club.
Hockey in the desert? Haha, who thought that would wor – wait, this isn’t hockey?
Carolina changed their name from the Aces to the Coyotes in the 2032 season, and have recently been promoted to the PL to try their luck in the toughest league to stay up in after promotion. Chris Anderson is the key player, though he is difficult to predict as he has hit the 35 WAR mark but also is the cautionary tale about aging for pitchers.
14. Sacramento Golden Bears
Total Points: 10250
Team Success Points: 9000|Player Success Points: 1250
Let me just give you a promotion real quick, a nice prospect or two, a solid FA signing, welcome back to the PL aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand it’s gone
When looking at what Sacramento has accomplished, it’s not difficult to see a pattern of up and down, back and forth, constant overhaul in the organization that has never led to any stability. They’ve been a team that has always been good in the SL, but getting to the PL has shown how hard it can be for a team to sustain success when jumping from the middle to top league. Consider this – outside of last season, the average finishing spot for the Golden Bears in the SL was 3rd, whereas the average finishing spot for them in the PL was 8th. On a team that was largely centered on the contributions of a few key players, Sacramento has yet to find those players in the draft, often getting them via free agency or the inaugural draft. Recent HOFer Jose Rodriguez leads the charge for the player success points.
13. Bay Area Pandas
Total Points: 10250
Team Success Points: 7750|Player Success Points: 2500
So let’s be honest here – Bay Area has had one of the most interesting team histories so far. The model team to see if a rebuild could work, they made their push after waiting, only to come up just short of any PL playoff spot. After that season it’s been downhill, with the Pandas going back to their bottom BL spot. As a testament to how quickly a team can rise in this league, the Pandas finished dead last in the inaugural season, going 38-124. Three years after that, the team won the BL, and finished second then first in their two SL seasons. Currently in the midst of another rebuild, the Pandas’ saving grace has come from drafting in the depth rounds. Early in drafts, the Pandas would nail almost every pick – but the real team building came from the second and third round selections, which this team has consistently found major league players to help the cause from. While the pitching might be a bit off, the Pandas could compete real soon to make another push to the PL.
For the PSP, Tyler Shinkle is about the closest thing to a sure HOFer there is – among all pitchers taken from the amateur draft, he is the leader in WAR. Chris Allen also has quite the resume.
12. New York Roar
Total Points: 12000
Team Success Points: 12000|Player Success Points: 0
Expect them to come roaring up the standings soon
New York is the new hotshot team that can make waves in the PL for years. But before we get to current day, let’s talk about just how bad this franchise has been. Most (who am I kidding, all) of their team success points have come from the past two seasons, with two promotions and a lost in the TOC finals. Now, taking out the past two years, what is the highest position the Roar have ever finished in any season? What’s the most wins they’ve ever had in a season? I’ll give you a hint by saying that, if not for the turn around the past two years, this team likely finishes in the 30th spot.
The answer: 7th place. In 2025, the Roar finished 7th in the SL with a 58-68 record, which, at 58 wins, is also the most wins they’ve ever had in a season. A quick run down of their finishes:
9th (PL)/9th (SL)/7th (SL)/8th (SL)/9th (SL)/8th (BL)/10th (BL)/8th (BL)/10th (BL)/9th (BL)
However, the New York club did one thing that other New York teams have never done a good job at – rebuilding. When looking back at their drafts, they’ve nailed almost every top 10 pick they’ve had. And, especially when looking at their recent picks, it’s obvious how good this team can be:
Josh Dixon, Tom Coffman, Eric Hipp, Bobby Lanier, Charles Bailey, Dustin Wallner, Efrain Vargas, Jonathan Lampkin
While all of those guys were fairly safe picks (it’s hard to fully mess up a 1st/2nd overall pick), that’s still a great amount of capital acquired. What remains to be seen from this franchise is how they’ll keep acquiring talent while picking in the 20s in the future.
11. Chicago Gale
Total Points: 13000
Team Success Points: 13000|Player Success Points: 0
Can we mention the fact their logo has “2017” on it
Chicago is an interesting team, one which was propped up on free agent acquisitions and trades rather than solid drafting. Aside from the inaugural season championship and two PL playoff appearances, both of which were early on in the league’s history, the Gale fans haven’t had much to cheer for – besides the occasional promotion to the PL after their short stays in the SL. History of drafting? Not so good. They rank 29th of 30 in drafting by WAR, only ahead of Sacramento. How they build is by trades for young prospects – Miguel Montano and Ramon Martinez – and free agent acquisitions, like the $40 million man Chad Armbruster. Chicago fans hope to get back to success sooner rather than seeing another Cubs-esque drought.
10. Midwest Plainsmen
Total Points: 14250
Team Success Points: 10000|Player Success Points: 4250
I’ll give you $20 right now if you can tell me what state Midwest is in
Midwest immediately shoots up the rankings because of their HOF players – Shawn Martin is already in, with Jamie Malchow likely to follow, and the players also include Matt Laferty and Sean Erickson (who is, admittedly, a bit far fetched – as he’s not a name you think of when you think Hall of Fame – but take a look at the stats. There’s a solid chance he hits the 35 WAR threshold). Midwest has also had their time to shine in the PL, garnering two PL playoff spots early on in the league history, but hasn’t done much since – finding time to hang out in the SL and BL, mostly. One surprising thing to note – filtering out first round picks, Midwest has gotten the most WAR from their drafted players in the second round and later. It’s this approach they hope to take with them to get back to the PL.
9. Iowa Predators
Total Points: 14250
Team Success Points: 14250|Player Success Points: 0
I’ll give you $20 right now if you can tell me what state Iowa is… oh wait
Iowa may be surprising up here – but this team has an extensive history of showing up for tournaments. Regular season Predators? Not too good. Mostly hanging out in the BL, they finally broke through and made it to the PL on the strength of pitching a few years ago.
Which promptly fell apart after finding themselves in a hitter friendly environment rather than pitcher friendly most games.
Iowa is a team that hasn’t had many first round picks, and when they have used them, the results generally haven’t yielded anything – which leads to the point of consistent BL play and no PSPs.
But for whatever reason, this is a team that can flip the switch when it comes to tournaments. The President’s Cup has seen the Predators in the finals twice, winning one of them. That alone is enough to catapult the Predators up above some of the more established franchises. Knowing that a team has the ability to play top tier baseball when the stakes are raised gives a team that much more of an edge come October (or July).
8. Austin Outlaws
Total Points: 15500
Team Success Points: 12000|Player Success Points: 3500
Outlaws? I like my in-laws better than this team
Austin is where New York will be soon – the team that tore everything down, got the top picks, used them wisely, and got up to the top of their division. Austin has plenty of finishes at the top of the PL (where “plenty” is three because, relative to the rest of the league, that’s quite a number). Most of their top performance comes from the top picks of Brett Sisti and Bryce Palmer, both of whom were first overall picks that are finishing with MVPs next to their name. Add in the starting rotation coming together based on non-drafting – David Ybarra developing a phantom changeup and other starters coming from international scouting discoveries.
Here’s a quick question – how many of the 15 starter spots for the PL run the Outlaws are having filled by players drafted by Austin?
Two, both by Dan Emery. 13 of the 15 spots were either scouting discoveries, trades, or free agent signings. When freeing up those picks for hitters, you can gain a deadly lineup, which has carried Austin to their top-tier standing position.
They might soon run into contract issues with most of their stars getting off the cheap rookie contracts, but Austin’s window is now – and who knows, they may even find themselves as the sixth team to win a championship sooner rather than later.
Players: David Ybarra, Luis Botero, Brett Sisti, Bryce Palmer.
7. Denver Wolves
Total Points: 21000
Team Success Points: 20000|Player Success Points: 1000
I couldn’t be bothered to think of a joke about a mile here
Denver has one PCUP win, one loss in the finals, and one TOC finals loss. They’ve managed to come close multiple times, but never quite got over the hump required to win the league championship. A PL->SL->PL->SL->PL veteran, the Wolves have always been good enough to the the last PL team (or the first SL team). They haven’t managed to get a PL playoff spot yet, but have done quite a bit given the opportunity in the playoffs via promotion. A lot of this comes down to pitching – the Wolves have been able to develop hitters, but pitching has eluded them, often finishing at the bottom of the league. However…
-It’s thin air
-It’s a small park
So why bother with pitching? There has been an attempt on the draft to rectify the problem recently, but they have yet to fully fix the problem. Should they get better pitching, however, watch out – this team could make the playoffs out of the PL. The HOF player for the Wolves is Kevin Rayos.
6. Los Angeles Chilis
Total Points: 24000
Team Success Points: 23000|Player Success Points: 1000
Because nothing screams LA quite like a vegetable with a mean look on his face
We’re at the point now where LA has had twice the success as the 13th place New York Roar team have had. For LA, things have not been fun in the playoffs. They’ve been to the TOC finals twice, losing the series both times to the Motors. They had a short stint in the PL before dropping back down, rebuilding, then getting back up to the PL where they finally claimed their first PL playoff spot last season. This is a team that makes their living on trades, acquiring their top talent through deals with other teams (for the past season, Jake Quick, Quintino Casihiragi, Alejandro Ramirez, Leo Navarro, Chris Allen, and Rogelio Juarez were all key players that were acquired via trade.) Their drafts have left something to be desired, but when your record for trading is this good, you can afford a few misses in the draft. After a roller coaster ride from the bottom, to the top, back to the bottom, and now back up to the top of the league, the Chilis hope to build on last season’s success and finally claim the first championship for LA. Abe Caputo is the key player for future consideration from the Chilis.
5. DC Eagles
Total Points: 38500
Team Success Points: 34500|Player Success Points: 4000
Soaring up and down like their namesake
We are now at the point of team’s success being more than three times that of New York’s, and more than double that of Austin. DC is the rebuild poster child based on the simple fact that it was
- A total tear down
- A rebuild that resulted in a championship
If you were to boil it down into two simple reasons, that’s it. No other team has gone full rebuild (one went into a slight rebuild, who we will get to later) and managed to win the championship through it. One thing that sets this team apart is the ability to draft and develop pitching. Does it help they’re in a pitchers park? Potentially, but when you look at the success the team has had drafting pitchers in the second and third round in recent years – starters Matt Voorhees (10 WAR), John Lansdowne (5 WAR through three seasons, averages 205 IP a year), and Bobby Dietz (#1 BL prospect), along with relievers Eddie Ruelas, Tony Evans, Jasper Manson, and Justin Temoney. Their first round pitchers haven’t been half bad either – Matt Howard and Travis Emery have 34 WAR between them, Jerry Simpkins garnered 3.5 WAR his rookie season, Sean Seawright is the #14 SL prospect, and Joe Mindel is now the #1 SL prospect (picked up 28th overall). Manson and Temoney are the two big names to watch for – of the four true relievers who rank above 50 in the OSA top 100 for each league, DC has two (Manson at #36, Temoney at #27, Chris Hester of Miami at #34, and Logan Peoples of Austin at #38).
With four PL playoff appearances, one league championship, and one PCUP victory, the Eagles were on pace to become one of the teams consistently competing for a top four PL spot. One bad season, however, led to them losing five key pieces of the team (the five have combined for 162.5 WAR for their careers thus far), getting relegated, and getting stuck in the SL. Luck has not been on their side, but with the pieces coming up, they may have enough to overcome whatever Joe Namath-style voodoo curse put on the franchise for winning once.
HOF players: Orlando Burgueno, Austin Owens, Fernando Martinez, Mac Woolfrey.
4. Cincinnati Royals
Total Points: 41000
Team Success Points: 37000|Player Success Points: 4500
Under new management apparently
Cincinnati is a team that has had a longer period of sustained success than DC, but the peak product has had a lower impact on the league. With one TOC win to their name, Cincy’s seven TOC appearances have more often than not come up empty. That’s not to discount the six times they’ve made it from a PL playoff spot, however.
Starting out in the SL for the first year of tiered play, the Royals quickly climbed their way back up the CBA to finish towards the top of the PL. After three bottom placements their first three years, Cincy did something that most teams can’t find a way to do – turn their team around in the PL. After averaging a 7th place finish the first three years in the PL, they finished 1st the next three – and have lived up to a high level of play since then, only missing last season (finishing 7th again).
Cincy’s strategy has been consistently nailing their high picks – multiple top six picks have turned out for the Royals, including Chad Armbruster (1), Chase Gumbrecht (2), Ramon Millan (4), and Jason Isley (6). Beyond that, the Royals have turned to trading to fill their holes – with almost all of their top talent coming in through trades. It’s a constant cycle of trading out players in their prime for prospects (who nearly always turn out) – and if it’s not prospects, it’s making the splash deal to acquire a big name talent. Of their top 15 players today (sorted by potential via OSA ratings), nine were acquired by trade. Their entire starting rotation was acquired by trade. Their top two position players were acquired by trade. This team consistently finds a way to finish on the better end of trades. If Cincy comes calling, you best believe it’s going to end in their favor.
Drafting outside of their top six overall picks has been weak, but if you can continually trade for talent at the rate this team is doing, you don’t need to draft well.
HOF Players: Jason Isley, Chad Armbruster, Matt Anderson, David Perez, Mario Cordoba, Brad Limbach.
(Dis)honorable mention: Dallas Devils
Total Points: 49250
Team Success Points: 47750|Player Success Points: 1500
I am contractually obligated to keep this PG rated – however, did you know Burberry is an American fashion line?
You can’t go into the annals of CBA history without stumbling onto the monstrosity that was the Dallas scandal. After roiding out their entire players, the commisioner’s team was stopped after independent investigators found evidence of foreign substances in random drug tests – which led to the entire team being found out and disbanded. Before that happened, however, Dallas was looking like the team to beat for the future – and we all know why now.
If we were to head into the future with Dallas, you’re likely looking at the #1 franchise on the list – however, in the short time the Devils were in the league, they have managed to end at #4 – without all the additional seasons on the end. That’s how good this Dallas team was.
HOF Players: Keith Bush, Alvaro Mejia.
3. Florida Giants
Total Points: 61000
Team Success Points: 57250|Player Success Points: 3750
Giant heart, Giant name, Giant ballpark
Florida may have one of the most interesting cases of tournament success – two TOC wins against one TOC finals loss, and they are 0-3 in PCUP finals.
What they don’t have in finals performance, they do, however, make up for in sustained success.
Never looking back on the PL, Florida has consistently been one of the top teams in the PL. There’s been no up and down – just death, taxes, and Florida in the PL. The sustained success has come from a blitzkrieg free agent style acquisition, with most of their big name players coming from the free agent market. Trades have also factored into the Florida pipeline, though when the Giants have had the chance to pick, they have hit on pitchers that don’t have the spectacular career – there are no true stars that were selected by Florida in any draft, despite the constant star power on the team (which goes to show how good the free agent acquisitions have been) – but were good enough to put up solid numbers. The Giants are third all time in drafted pitcher WAR, with four starters going over 13 WAR a piece. Nick Pankow is their highest performer, taken first overall, who has put up 25 WAR in his career (and likely going to plateau around that number as well.)
Their HOF players (Matt Peterson, Leo Navarro, Xander Phillip) were not drafted – instead, Peterson and Navarro were traded for, and Phillip was a FA signing. Florida continues to use their picks wisely as trade bait to reel in the big player.
2. Miami Warriors
Total Points: 65750
Team Success Points: 62250|Player Success Points: 3500
Always fighting their way to the top
Miami’s path to the PL is not the same as the other four powerhouses – they started in the BL, though were sent up the next season to toil in the SL for a few years. After an initial year in the BL, the Warriors would struggle their first year in the SL before promotion – and they never looked back. They’ve been in the PL for the last nine years, going to the playoffs in half of those seasons, winning the PL twice. What sets this franchise apart from others is their ability to win in the postseason – while they may not have as good a full history as other teams up here, they’ve gotten to the finals four times, winning twice. The only other teams to win two or more championships are Florida, Dallas, and the #1 team.
They’ve managed this success by signing international amateurs that have panned out for them in ways unbeknown to other teams. In their existance, they’ve signed eight amateurs to a total of $62 million in contracts. Five of them you’ve probably heard of – Miguel Molina ($1.5 million), Jonathan Anaya ($6 million), Mario Diaz ($8.6 million), Juan Rojas ($10.5 million), and Alex Rodriguez ($35 million). While those first four may not sound like much, remember that, at the time of their signing, those prices were unheard of for any amateur – and the gambles paid off. Add in the fact that, for their time in the PL, they were often picking towards the top of the draft – for the first four years of their PL time (2026-2029), they picked 3rd, 4th, 4th, and 2nd – netting Matt Arender, Omar Costa, John Chrisman, and Aaron DeRouen. That crop of draft picks combined with the amateurs is the winning formula in South Beach.
HOF Players: Mario Diaz, Aaron DeRouen, Tye Bruce, Seth Paddock.
1. Detroit Motors
Total Points: 125750
Team Success Points: 121000|Player Success Points: 4750
Keeps running like a fine tuned engine
Detroit is the model organization for teams to follow – combining solid drafting, amateur and professional free agent signings, trading, and good luck to create a dynasty that will continue for years. Breaking down the parts…
Drafting: They’ve been able to find gems hidden in the middle to late 1st round, including Daniel Castro, Mairo Chevez, Nick Payne, and Sidney Webb. Their inaugural draft was the best of any team, gaining Edwin Nadal and Chris Cochran among other big names.
Amateur FA: Xavier and Efrain Rodriguez have combined for 40 WAR and cost the Motors $7.8 million.
Professional FA: Where the Motors do most of their damage. Jose Guzman, Angelo Underhill, Jesus Gallegos, and pretty much the entire 2029 DC team after they opted out.
Trading: Continually adding talent and picks via trades have been a calling card for this team. Max Fuller looks to be a star, and Dennis Chandler was acquired via trade. They also have two first overall picks from trades, along with a number of mid round picks from trading away talent no longer needed.
Good Luck: Detroit couldn’t be here without a solid stroke of luck. Their top two starters now, Sergio Morrett and Zacharias Patoine, both were scouting discoveries and both developed changeups that started at 20 potential. Without those two Detroit might not even be in the PL today.
HOF Players: Edwin Nadal, Chris Cochran, Jose Guzman, Efrain Rodriguez, Sergio Morrett.
When you take all those things together, it gives you four championships and Five PCUP victories. It will take a long time for a team to match Detroit’s dominance in the CBA.