With the 2013 Spring Training in full session, teams and fans are getting excited for their chances for the postseason. Fantasy baseball players are gearing up for their seasons as well, so with that in mind I have taken the time to rank each team’s lineups from top to bottom, position by position. After tabulating the average positions for each team, they have been ranked from 1 to 30. Most teams rankings shouldn’t come as a surprise. Today’s rankings will be strictly with the American League Central teams, with the following schedule for the rest of the league, and finally the overall rankings:
- American League East
- American League Central
- American League West
- National League East
- National League Central
- Today – National League West
- Tuesday 2/26/13 – Overall Rankings
National League West
I may take some flak from Dodgers fans about this pick, but as long as the Colorado Rockies are playing in Colorado, they will always be in contention for the best lineup in the NL West. The Rockies do have four hitters that rank in my top ten at their position (C Wilin Rosario, SS Troy Tulowitzki, LF Carlos Gonzalez and CF Dexter Fowler), and a young up and comer at second base in Josh Rutledge. I’m also bullish on their utility guy C/3B/OF Jordan Pacheco as he’s done nothing but hit .300 in his time in the majors. Also, don’t sleep on RF Michael Cuddyer either. The Rockies could be really good at the plate this year. Especially in that thin Colorado air…
The Dodgers lineup is led by perennial MVP (and 40-40 candidate) CF Matt Kemp. Aside from Kemp they have a bevy of other big hitters including 1B Adrian Gonzalez, RF Andre Ethier, as well as SS Hanley Ramirez. The problem I see is that I think Gonzalez and Ramirez are in decline, and Ethier in my view is overrated, maybe even by me. LF Carl Crawford is coming off two injury riddled years, so I’m not sure what to expect out of him. Take note that in my opinion C A.J. Ellis could be an underrated piece of the puzzle for the Dodgers, as well as 3B Luis Cruz. But, in the end I don’t think the Dodgers are as good as the Rockies this year.
The Arizona Diamondbacks have a very solid lineup. Their infield is really good aside for the unproven shortstop position. With rising star 1B Paul Goldschmidt accompanying 2B Aaron Hill and newcomer 3B Martin Prado this infield surely has some pop. C Miguel Montero is one of the better catchers in the National League, and the team acquired OF Cody Ross in the off-season to join Jason Kubel and top prospect Adam Eaton. The team did trade RF Justin Upton to the Braves to acquire Prado, so there is a bit of a drop-off in RF. All in all it’s still a very solid lineup.
The San Francisco Giants are here at fourth in the NL West, but I’m doing so with an asterisk, as I believe that if it weren’t for Yasmani Grandal’s 50 game suspension for the San Diego Padres, they would be here in the fourth position. As for the Giants, they do have the reigning National League MVP in C Buster Posey, and I expect nothing but greatness out of this young star. The Giants returned everyone from their World Series team of a year ago, but that might not be a good thing considering what the Dodgers and Rockies have in their current lineups. 3B Pablo Sandoval and RF Hunter Pence will be good as usual, and CF Angel Pagan is still an underrated hitter in the grand scheme of things.
As I mentioned earlier, I think C Yasmani Grandal’s suspension really hurts the San Diego Padres, as the drop-off between Grandal and current C Nick Hundley is huge. The Padres do have a budding superstar in 3B Chase Headley, who was arguably one of the top five hitters in the National League in the second half of last year. They also have a good young hitter at 1B in Yonder Alonso, and one of the top prospects in baseball in 2B Jedd Gyorko (though I’m not expecting him to win the job to start the season). Their outfield is solid if not spectacular, but you know what you’ll get in LF Carlos Quentin, CF Cameron Maybin and RF Will Venable.
Do you agree with these rankings? Disagree? Feel free to debate these and any other topics with me (and add me) on Twitter @DSEmpire_Tim.
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