Power Ranking All 30 MLB Teams Going Into Spring Training
Power Ranking All 30 MLB Teams Going Into Spring Training
Anyone else just itching for the return of MLB baseball? The World Series is all but a memory, and Spring Training is still about a month away. For now, baseball is simply stuck in a holding pattern that cannot end soon enough.
The winter has been very busy for the most part with all 30 teams trying to make things happen. However, there are still many free agents out there that could greatly help teams in 2014. The most highly publicized guy on the market is one that has yet to throw a major league pitch in the form of Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. Which team will be able to land the coveted pitcher and perhaps shake up these power rankings?
Aside from Tanaka, there is still a few hitters available, other starting pitchers and a handful of closers that still need homes for the 2014 season. Over the last three seasons, only the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals have reached the postseason in all three years. That just speaks to the parity in the league and how anything can happen out on the diamond. What is great about Spring Training is that everyone starts at 0-0 and all 30 teams still have a chance to ink that one more signing for a chance to win it all in October.
It was a treat to be able to compile this list. Where does your favorite team land? With Spring Training around the corner, here is a look at all 30 clubs showcased in the first of many power rankings. It is a great debate -- how would your rankings look?
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.
30. Houston Astros
In year two in the AL, the Houston Astros are still a few years away from being serious contenders. They could have the worst record in the league for the fourth straight year.
29. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers were one of the quietest teams in the offseason. On paper, they have many holes to fill, but Ryan Braun will be returning.
28. Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians had a great season a year ago, but they look set up to take a major step back this year. I'm a big fan of Terry Francona, but the Tribe did not improve much this winter.
27. Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins have added a few bats to the order, but they will still come up short this year. How will year two of the Jose Fernandez era fare?
26. San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres could have a very difficult year based on the other teams in their division. Their offense will likely be near the bottom of the pile in 2014.
25. Colorado Rockies
In true Colorado Rockies fashion, the offense is strong on paper, but the pitching staff is filled with only paper cuts. The limited depth on the pitching staff will hold the Rockies back in the NL West.
24. Chicago Cubs
The bullpen looks to be improved, but the championship plan is still in the rebuilding stages. The Chicago Cubs are still a year or two away with one of the best farm systems in the league.
23. Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins added a few starting pitchers to the rotation, and Joe Mauer will be playing the majority of his games at first base. However, they desperately need another bat to fill out the order.
22. New York Mets
I love the David Wright and Curtis Granderson duo, but the New York Mets will miss Matt Harvey all season. They could use another bat or two.
21. Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays made a huge splash last winter, but it did not exactly pan out. How will the much less-hyped second season go in the strong AL East?
20. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles have a nice core of players, but their window is closing. The Orioles need another arm in the rotation, and who will be closing out games?
19. Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox have made some nice upgrades this year, and it will be interesting to see how well Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu gel together. The big question will be how the pitching staff adapts to the loss of Addison Reed.
18. Philadelphia Phillies
It is great to see Ryne Sandberg get his chance at a full season of big league managing, but the Philadelphia Phillies are an aging ball club -- how will that play out over a 162-game season?
17. Cincinnati Reds
The Cincinnati Reds will likely miss the services of Shin-Soo Choo, but they still have a great heart of the order. The pitching staff needs to keep up its end of the bargain all season.
16. Seattle Mariners
The Seattle Mariners added arguably the biggest free agent this year, but will it be enough? The Mariners could still be a year or two away until they can get Robinson Cano some more protection.
15. Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals could be one of the dark horse darlings in 2014. They will be a small-ball team, but that style just may lead to a big-time playoff run within the AL Central.
14. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates finally made it to the playoffs last year and also have the reigning MVP. The follow-up season could see a slight regression as they could be a starting pitcher and shortstop shy of serious contention.
13. Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays will continue to be that pesky team that just will not go away. Keeping David Price will surely help them make a run at the playoffs.
12. Arizona Diamondbacks
Mark Trumbo and Paul Goldschmidt are a dangerous duo in that Arizona Diamondbacks lineup. Can the pitching staff compete for the full year in that division?
11. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels were World Series contenders last year, only to become a major bust. They have three of the best hitters in the game, added David Freese, and will try to make a run in 2014.
10. New York Yankees
The New York Yankees made several offseason additions to the offense, but the pitching staff still has some holes to fill. Is their back half of the rotation and closer situation strong enough to make a run in October?
9. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers will always have an offense to compete with the best, but is their pitching enough to get them over the hump? Pitching always beats hitting in October as the Rangers have seen first-hand, and losing Derek Holland for some time knocks them down the rankings.
8. Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics were certainly busy this winter. They have a nice pitching staff (especially the bullpen), and the A's will once again find a way to be in the hunt all season long.
7. Atlanta Braves
There are two big concerns that could keep the Atlanta Braves from making a deep run in the postseason. Will the rotation last, and can B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla find a way to bounce back from bad 2013 seasons?
6. San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants will always stay in games because of their pitching. This year, the offense may be able to help out more than in previous seasons.
5. Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers added a needed closer, but lost some parts as well. Two of their big stars had offseason procedures done, and it will be interesting to see how it all comes together in Motown.
4. Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals were World Series favorites at this time last year, but failed to meet those expectations. They have one of the best rotations in the game and enough pop on offense to be dangerous all season.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals will rely heavily on their pitching staff as it is one of the best around. The offense will not be filled with a ton of home runs, but the bats are all capable of getting on base and driving in runs to win.
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers seem to have 48 guys on their 25-man roster at times with the way they are able to sign players. However, the guys they do have make up a formidable team, and they can always go out and add more if needed.
1. Boston Red Sox
To be the best, you have to beat the best. The Boston Red Sox have earned the right to be the no. 1 team going into Spring Training. The core players are all back to try and make a run at a repeat championship.
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