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    • ESPN Power Rankings
  • To:All
  • 12/28/12
  • BeaneBall

A's 7th; Giants 13th

Power rankings: All 30 teams!
December, 22, 2012
DEC 22
By David Schoenfield | ESPN.com
Last weekend, I presented the top 10 teams in my personal power rankings. That was before the Blue Jays officially acquired R.A. Dickey, so I updated my top 10 after that trade, and, to spur on more debate, now present the rest of my rankings. Agree or disagree, but I do think this is the most parity we've seen in a long time. It's why the Orioles and A's were able to surprise this past season and why we will undoubtedly see another surprise team in 2013. It's a great time to be a baseball fan.

1. Nationals
Most talented rotation in the majors, deep lineup, depth. Re-signing Adam LaRoche to add another lefty power bat will help.

2. Reds
Superb rotation could be better if the Aroldis Chapman transition works, bullpen is deep enough to absorb his loss and Shin-Soo Choo provides a needed leadoff hitter.

3. Yankees
I think they can stretch things out more season with a deep rotation, excellent bullpen and power. Remember, they had the largest run differential in the American League last season.

4. Tigers
Deep rotation, great 1-2 punch with Miggy and Prince, and Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez should improve the lineup.

5. Braves
Left-handed power, power bullpen and a young team that could improve from last year's 94 wins.

6. Blue Jays
Addition of Dickey adds a needed No. 1 to a rotation that could be dominant if Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow remain healthy.

7. A's
Young teams that show big improvement are usually for real, and this team has a solid rotation, a strong outfield and power arms in the bullpen.

8. Dodgers
Have to love the Clayton Kershaw-Zack Greinke combo and an offense with big upside if Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez come close to 2011 levels.

9. Rangers
I think the rotation is playoff-caliber with Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando, Martin Perez and Colby Lewis.

Which of these five teams should be No. 1 right now?

Blue Jays

10. Cardinals
Have to replace Kyle Lohse, but they'll score plenty of runs as long as Carlos Beltran (36 years old in April) and Matt Holliday (33 in January) keep producing.

11. Rays
Still some holes in the lineup, and replacing James Shields' 220-plus innings won't be that easy, but underestimate the Rays at your own risk.

12. Angels
Oddsmaker Bovada.lv has the Angels with the second-best odds to win the World Series (behind the Blue Jays), but I see a rotation with a lot of question marks behind Jered Weaver, and Josh Hamilton only replaces Hunter, who was terrific in 2012.

13. Giants
I discussed my issues with the Giants here. I could be wrong, although our friends at Bovada only put the Giants tied for ninth in their World Series odds.

14. Diamondbacks
Their run differential wasn't much different than the Giants last year, and they've added Brandon McCarthy, infield depth and still have Justin Upton.

15. Phillies
I want to say we're all underestimating a team that includes Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay, but then I see an outfield of Darin Ruf, Ben Revere and Domonic Brown, and an infield defense that includes Michael Young and Ryan Howard and 30-somethings Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

16. Brewers
They can score runs -- most in the National League last season -- and if the bullpen regroups after 2012's gruesome late-inning efforts, this team could surprise.

17. Red Sox
There will be no expectations after the disaster in 2012 (the franchise's worst record since 1965), but I see a big rebound coming.

18. Royals
I'll buy -- but I'm not buying a playoff spot. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas have to take huge leaps forward ... or the Royals could be headed for another rebuild.

19. Orioles
Last season's 93-win playoff team provided a beautiful ride, but the Orioles haven't added that big bat they need.

20. Padres
Young team is moving in the right direction after winning 76 games in 2012. Can rotation improve to push Pads over .500?

21. Mariners
Mariners have pursued a big bat all offseason but were only able to pick up Kendrys Morales, and he cost them Jason Vargas, opening up a 200-inning hole in the rotation. Looks like 2014 before Mariners can make a push in the tough AL West.

22. Pirates
Still no No. 1 or even No. 2 starter (sorry, A.J. Burnett is a No. 3 at best) and not enough support for Andrew McCutchen. One of these years, Pirates fans, one of these years.

23. White Sox
No A.J. Pierzynski, a declining Paul Konerko, good year/off year Alex Rios due for an off year. Then again, White Sox had a bigger run differential in 2012 than the Tigers.

24. Cubs
Rotation of Edwin Jackson, Jeff Samardzija, Travis Wood, Scott Baker and Scott Feldman could be competitive, but offense won't be.

25. Mets
At least Mets fans can dream of a future rotation that includes Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jonathon Niese and Noah Syndergaard. Unfortunately, the 2013 version still includes Frank Francisco and a bunch of fourth outfielders.

26. Marlins
Giancarlo Stanton still makes this team worth watching on a daily basis.

27. Indians
Getting Trevor Bauer in the Choo deal added a much-needed starting pitcher prospect. Unfortunately, much of the rest of rotation remains suspect.

28. Twins
Kevin Correia, Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey ... what, Rich Robertson and Sean Bergman weren't available?

29. Rockies
At least the Twins have a direction as they wait for young position players to reach the majors. I have no clue what the Rockies are doing, intend to do, want to do, wish to do or hope to achieve.

30. Astros
Welcome to the AL West, boys.

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  • 12/29/12
  • TiggerBounce

Seems too high of a ranking for the Yankees and too low for the Blue Jays. JMO.

rofl on the #8 ranking, considering the payroll.

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  • 12/29/12
  • LongBeach_Jake
The Reds are not the second best team in baseball
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  • 12/29/12
  • cufc

Boy this is tough now and may change

1 Reds... I'm going with that Red's staff at number 1 and solid lineup --- Cozart could be huge and Choo was a nice addition for them... A really good looking ball club

2 Tiggers... That lineup is awesome ... Staff solid... Central AL helps them a bunch IMO... Got mostly the Nat East less the Braves and only 2 game against the Nats - 4 tough games with Pittsburgh ... Get to go out the door against the Twinkies and Fish... Great games in a race...

3 Angels... I believe in the SP and what a lineup... Tough Division drops them a bit -

4 Nats... Solid team and how many times they get to play the Fish... I'm still not sold all the way to rank them higher

5 Bluejays... Most creative off season I can remember in a long time - money was not an object.. I believe in the staff good lineup in a down year for the AL East... gelling may be an issue though... And it is the AL East

6 Giants They are good team and that pitching... Health of Posey and the Fat 3rd baseman a concern always... Is Lincecum OK or toast... A huge question...

7 Dodgers... A very good club ... Fun with Giants and Angels .... Mark your calanders for late May hottest ticket in Baseball next year... Is Crawford toast... Is Handley really in decline

8 Yankees..... who needs pitching... ARod and Jeter injuries big questions... Youk takes the heat... Nunez could be a great sleeper finally....... Never forget the deep pockets

9 Phillies.... bounce back ... SP healthy??? Revere and Young are good pickups for the them...

10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 .... No order here --- Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Orioles, Rangers and A's... As problems prevent ordering

Brewers... are a good team in a tough division with a tough 4 teams (Pirates are not pushovers - they are going to hurt others) SP bottom depth a question for them.. Good lineup

Cards... Lineup solid is Freese for real... SP health ???s

Braves ... are the Braves... Lot of questions in lineup Freeman??? McCann's health??? Bleachy will he be OK??? Not sold on BJ Upton for them....

Orioles... Are victims of their Division again!!!... Talk about lucky last year... If Roberts is back Markarkis, Rheimold ...you name'm... Wieters needs to step up big... Machado is a STUD!!!! SP is OK... Some more surprises... If they pop Smoak and he comes alive that might help

Rangers... Are going to miss Hamilton carrying them for periods of time Staff is in the hospital to much... many questions of health there... Young position studs... are they ready???..

A's Are they overachievers and the will luck will be there again like the Os had too... Too many holes and can the SP do it the 2d time around... The most likely of this group to fade badly... Also could could make the playoffs... There are some bright spots

Tickled this group

White Sox.... ... Old and odd lineup mix... Flowers is a no AJ... and many other???... Is Danks back???? Think Peavy is still the man... But they are in a weird Div... KC is hopeless and the Twinkies are bad and Cleveland is there too... Can you say default

Pirates... Nice improving team.. They are going to break hearts and take names at time again..

Arizona ... I don't believe... Their pitching is not going to do it... McCarthy sadly will fail... Cahill has become a yawn outside of Oakland... Ian is good at times... Lineup OK

bad teams that surprise...

San Diego Padres.... Keep your eye on them... They could win 82 games... A feeling the NL west could wobble...

Rockies.... NL West could do a top to bottom... Good lineup... Pitching????


Rays pitching potential deserves comment .... But that lineup is all wrong....

Red Sox... Could be horrible... Only rated because they are who they are.. Even spending money didn't help.... In major decline?????


KC ....I root for them... But, they don't get it... They have never recovered from the dropping of the training camp in the islands 30 years ago or more years ago... they are lost in time... When is a pitcher going to arrive... The young studs turn out to be also rans... Over and over and over

Worst team

FISH... maybe the worst team in the last 30 years of baseball... They make Houston look good!

Edited 12/29/12   by  cufc
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