MLB Preseason Power Rankings, 1-3

Posted: 02/22/2012 by levcohen in Baseball

Now for the top 3 teams..

3. New York Yankees:

Notable additions: SP Michael Pineda, SP Hiroki Kuroda
Notable subtractions: C Jesus Montero, SP Hector Noesi, AJ Burnett

This is an improved team from last year, when they had the most regular season wins in the AL. They added a budding ace in Pineda, and a solid 3 starter in Kuroda. They needed to upgrade pitching, so they went out and did it. However, it is an aging team. Led by aging stars such as Derrick Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and Mark Teixera, their time is now. I think they will have another superb offensive season, with Jeter, Rodriguez, Teixera, Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson anchoring a stacked lineup. However, when they make the playoffs they need their pitching at the top of it’s game. While it is improved, their starting pitchers don’t quite match up with the likes of the Angels and the Rays. It looks like the Yankees should cruise to at least 93 wins this year, and they can definitely make things happen in the playoffs.

2. Texas Rangers:

Notable additions: SP Yu Darvish, RP Joe Nathan
Notable subtractions: SP C.J. Wilson, RP Darren Oliver

For the second year in a row, the Rangers lost in the World Series. This time, they lost by one strike. In the offseason, they lost their ace in CJ Wilson. What’s worse is that he went to division rival the Angels. They also added a new closer in Joe Nathan. Not only will Nathan close, but he will allow talented Neftali Feliz to go into the rotation, which should help. The rotation is aced by Yu Darvish. The Rangers got him for a steep price from Japan in the offseason. Colby Lewis, Derrick Holland, Feliz, and Alexei Ogando close out a rotation that has a lot of potential. Holland is a streaky pitcher, and the last 2 are former relievers who have tons of talent. The hitters stayed exactly the same for the Rangers. They were in the running for Prince Fielder, but couldn’t match the Tigers offer. However, their offense should be just fine, even without Fielder. They have well above average hitters at every position except for 1st base and center field. With guys like Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Nelson Cruz, they are stacked.

1. Los Angeles Angels

Notable additions: 1B Albert Pujols, SP C.J. Wilson, RP LaTroy Hawkins, C Chris Iannetta
Notable subtractions: RP Fernando Rodney, C Jeff Mathis

The Angels can compete with any team, any day. They were a playoff contender before this year. Now, they have added a new catcher, a division rival’s ace, and a future hall of famer. The catcher is Chris Iannetta, who is a decent catcher who will hit home runs. The pitcher is CJ Wilson. Wilson will be the 3rd best pitcher in a superb rotation led by Jered Weaver and Dan Haren. Ervin Santana, the #4 pitcher, would be a lot of team’s #2. And, of course, they added Albert Pujols, who has been the best hitter in the 2000’s. Without Pujols, they were a lackluster offense. With him, the Angels have an above average offense to go along with their pitching. Along with Pujols, they have consistent Howie Kendrick at 2B and speedy Erick Aybar at SS. Rookie of the year contender Mark Trumbo is expected to make a move over to third base with the arrival of Pujols. The outfield is very crowded. With the likes of Vernon Wells, Bobby Abreu, Peter Bourjos, Torri Hunter, and top prospect Mike Trout nobody knows who will be out on opening day. My prediction is Hunter, Bourjos and Wells out there. However, I think that Wells will struggle and Trout will take over mid season. Regardless of who is playing in the outfield, the Angels have the best team in the MLB.

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Comments
  1. Marinite says:

    Looks as if you see it as an AL year. Sigh! Are you keeping track of your predictions?

  2. Ray Solomon says:

    Don’t underestimate the Phillies. With more speed they can still win 95+ even with Howard out until July. The Yankees age is going to catch up with them this year … or next?

    • 5toolstar says:

      If you think the Yankees age will catch up with them… don’t you think the same is true with the Phillies?

      At C: Carlos Ruiz is 33, Russell Martin is 29
      At 1B: Ryan Howard is 32, Mark Teixeira is 31
      At 2B: Chase Utley is 33, Robinson Cano is 29
      At 3B: Placido Polanco is 36, Alex Rodriguez is 36
      At SS: Jimmy Rollins is 33, Derek Jeter is 37
      At LF: John Mayberry Jr. is 28, Brett Gardner is 28
      At CF: Shane Victorino is 31, Curtis Granderson is 30
      At RF: Hunter Pence is 28, Nick Swisher is 31
      At SP1: Roy Halladay is 34, CC Sabathia is 31
      At SP2: Cliff Lee is 33, Hiroki Kuroda is 37
      At SP3: Cole Hamels is 28, Michael Pineda is 23
      At SP4: Vance Worley is 24, Ivan Nova is 25
      At Closer: Jonathan Paplebon is 31, Mariano Rivera is 42…

      Overall: 404 to 409… a 5 year difference doesn’t really mean much.. The Phillies have 9 “key” players at 30+ while the Yanks have 8.. Of course the Yanks do have a 42 year old… as you can see, it’s pretty much even.. it is 31 and a tenth average vs. 31 and a half.

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