MLB Power Rankings (Pre- Spring Training)

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Spring Training has arrived, which means it’s time for some fresh MLB Power Rankings. I’ll be updating this throughout the season and will have a new one ready before the start of the 2023 campaign. So without further ado, here is my first MLB Power Rankings of the season.

30. Oakland Athletics

If you had to disband one organization in professional sports, it might just be the Oakland Athletics. They’ve been decent at acquiring talent over the years, but they refuse to spend to put the team over the top. Over the last few seasons, they’ve watched All-Star talent after All-Star talent find their way to other organizations via trade, and yet they don’t have much to show for it in terms of their farm system. Their projected lineup this year would have difficulties in AAA.

29. Washington Nationals

The Nationals had some fantastic seasons, culminating in the 2019 World Series, but now, they are smack dab in the middle of a rebuild. Considering they are in the incredibly difficult NL East, they very easily could finish with the worst record in the majors.

28. Cincinnati Reds

The Reds will once again be terrible in 2023, but at least they have some young pieces worth watching to provide their fan base with a glimmer of hope.

27. Colorado Rockies

Like most people, I have no idea what the Rockies’ plan is. They have entered a total rebuild and usually aren’t ones to spend a bunch of money. However, last offseason, they signed Kris Bryant to a lucrative seven-year contract. That was one of the strangest outcomes of any free agent signing in a long time. I have no faith in this organization to get it right anytime soon.

26. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates signed numerous veterans this offseason that should make them slightly more respectable. But most importantly, they hope that experience can help guide their youth movement. For Pirates fans, at least they feature one of the most exciting young players in the game in O’neil Cruz. He alone makes Pittsburgh watchable.

25. Detroit Tigers

The Tigers were among the biggest disappointments in 2022. I didn’t think they would be a playoff team, but I thought they would at least be respectable in a weak AL Central. That didn’t turn out to be the case. I still will be watching them and their impressive crop of players closely this season, though.

24. Kansas City Royals

You can pretty much copy and paste everything I said about the Tigers right here for the Royals, except I actually thought Kansas City had an outside chance of making the postseason. They didn’t come close, and I don’t expect much to change in 2023.

23. Miami Marlins

The Marlins have some pitchers worth watching, even after they traded Pablo Lopez. However, their offense is dreadful, and not much has changed going into this season. They will probably be playing a lot of 2-1 games once again in 2023.

22. Chicago Cubs

The addition of Dansby Swanson should excite Cubs fans, but it’s not enough to make them relevant this season. They will still be among the worst teams in the National League.

21. Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox are in a weird spot. A couple of years ago, they were in the ALCS, and they always seem to exceed expectations. However, that will be hard to do following the departures of J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts.

20. San Francisco Giants

The Giants were the losers of free agency. They were close to landing Aaron Judge and then did have Carlos Correa in the building before the deal fell through. Instead, they ended up losing their ace in Carlos Rodón. The Giants did add Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, but I’m not sure that will be enough to keep them relevant.

19. Los Angeles Angels

The Angels have the two best players in baseball, but their pitching has been abysmal for years, and that’s not going to change after the moves they made this offseason. Everyone is always way higher on the Angels coming into the season than they should be. I don’t see them making the postseason.

18. Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks are going to be a feisty bunch this season. They have a quality rotation and a load of talented young players that could make them a significantly better team than they were a year ago.

17. Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles were the story of last season and narrowly missed out on the postseason. With all of their young talent, there’s reason to believe they are ready to make a playoff run. However, progression in Major League Baseball is rarely linear. There’s a chance they take a slight step back in 2023.

16. Texas Rangers

The Rangers have been one of the biggest spenders for the last couple of offseasons, but it didn’t pay off in 2022, as they won just 68 games. I’m expecting them to be much better this season, but will it be enough to make the postseason? I don’t think so.

15. Chicago White Sox

The next couple on my list come from the same division. They both feature a lot of star power and could challenge for the AL Central if things go the right way.

14. Minnesota Twins

I think the Twins have a real shot at making the postseason in 2023. Following the trade for Pablo Lopez, they have a fantastic rotation, and it goes without saying how big of a deal it is they were able to hold onto Carlos Correa. If they stay healthy, they will compete for the AL Central.

13. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers feature arguably the best one-two punch in baseball atop their rotation, and somehow, they were able to land William Contreras in the three-team trade that netted the Braves Sean Murphy. He will add plenty of pop to a lineup that was in dire need of it. They should compete with the Cardinals for the NL Central.

12. St. Louis Cardinals

Speaking of the Cardinals, they are a team that is loaded offensively, featuring Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the middle of their order. However, their rotation could prevent them from winning the division.

11. Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians’ payroll limits them, but they consistently develop talent through their farm system, particularly when it comes to pitching. They aren’t the sexiest team, but they’ll be in the mix come October and should be viewed as the favorites to win the AL Central.

10. Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are in a similar position as the Guardians when it comes to spending. They must develop talent, and unfortunately, they usually have to trade it away before said talent hits free agency. The good news is nobody does it better than them. The Rays know how to evaluate talent as well as anyone, which is why they are consistently finding themselves in the playoffs despite having such a low payroll. I expect to see them in the postseason once again.

9. Seattle Mariners

Coming in at #9 is one of my favorite teams in the league. The Mariners are oozing with exciting talent, and nobody represents that more than the reigning AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez. He’s poised to be a perennial MVP candidate, but we’ll have to see if Seattle has enough to really challenge the reigning World Champions in the AL West.

8. Philadelphia Phillies

The reigning National League champions clock in at #8. They probably would be a little bit higher if Bryce Harper didn’t have surgery on a torn UCL. That could prevent them from making the playoffs in a tough NL East, but it’s impossible to ignore the addition of Trea Turner, one of my favorite players in the league. I think Philadelphia will make the playoffs again in 2023, and they proved last year how tough of an out they can be, but they are still the third-best team in their division.

7. Toronto Blue Jays

If I had to choose an AL team to root for, it would be between the Mariners and the Blue Jays. Toronto features one of the most powerful offenses in baseball, and they also have an incredible rotation, boasting two of the best starters in baseball in Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman at the top. They should be a tremendous competition for the Yankees in the AL East.

6. New York Yankees

The Yankees desperately needed to add to their rotation this offseason, and they did so in a big way by landing Carlos Rodón, but will it be enough? This is a lineup that has some holes, and the back end of their rotation leaves a lot to be desired. They deserve to be the favorites in their division, but I’m not so sure it’s clear cut.

5. New York Mets

The Mets open up the top five, and some of their fans may believe they should be even higher than this. Their rotation might be the best in baseball, and they made some critical additions to their bullpen. However, their lineup remains weak when talking about the best teams in baseball, which I think will prevent them from winning the World Series unless they make additions at the trade deadline.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers were dormant this offseason. This is the worst roster they’ve put together in a long time, but doubt them at your own risk. As far as the regular season is concerned, they could easily finish with the most wins in the league once again.

3. San Diego Padres

The NL West is going to be a fun race to watch. For the first time in a while, the Dodgers may not be considered the favorite. I still think Los Angeles comes out on top in the division, but if we are talking about who is more likely to have postseason success, it’s the Padres, and I don’t think it’s close.

2. Atlanta Braves

The Braves should clock in at #2 on most lists. They are the cream of the crop in the National League. They won the World Series two years ago, are coming off a 101-win season, and there’s a chance they are even better this season with a healthy Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies.

1. Houston Astros

The Astros should own the top spot in MLB Power Rankings until someone knocks them off their pedestal, which won’t be easy. They’ve been to six straight ALCS, four of the last six World Series, and have two championships. The loss of Justin Verlander stings, but they’ve proven they know how to properly reload.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire



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