Since the buff a couple patches ago, things have been "better" for the tier 7-9 US cruisers but in my opinion, things are still lacking. They still have the worst win rating and worst damage of any cruisers tier of tier. Their strength in AA doesn't matter anymore because CV players have become endangered. Their Strong AP is offset by their poor range and shells that hate gravity. They tend to have the lowest health of other equivalent tier cruisers. They also feel bland from tier to tier. I don't feel that they are bad but I feel that they are incomplete and poorly balanced compared to other cruisers.
Some idea that I feel can make them more balanced
2) US gunnery compared to IJN gunner was superior due to the radar controlled gun director during WW2. Arguably they may be the best at the time but this is hard to simulate in games as the player is the gun director so i think flattening gun arcs would be a valid change
3) US ships during WW2 had excellent damage control parties. So faster reloading damage control consumable and damage repair should repair more and appear earlier on ships.
4) make shells do more damage
5) make ap shells capable of defeating bow taking ships
Obviously, i don't mean that they get all of these but just one of them would, in my opinion, go a long way.