Preseason Power Rankings

The 2015 Preseason Power Rankings:

1. Washington Nationals
2. St. Louis Cardinals
3. Boston Red Sox
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Detroit Tigers
6. Pittsburgh Pirates
7. Kansas City Royals
8. Texas Rangers
9. Seattle Mariners
10. Baltimore Orioles
11. San Francisco Giants
12. Miami Marlins
13. San Diego Padres
14. Chicago White Sox
15. Los Angeles Angels
16. New York Yankees
17. Cleveland Indians
18. Milwaukee Brewers
19. New York Mets
20. Tampa Bay Rays
21. Toronto Blue Jays
22. Atlanta Braves
23. Chicago Cubs
24. Houston Astros
25. Cincinnati Reds
26. Oakland Athletics
27. Arizona Diamondbacks
28. Minnesota Twins
29. Colorado Rockies
30. Philadelphia Phillies

Current Top 10’s – General Managers

This is the last in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of when the respective lists were published:
Nov. 3 – Starting Pitchers
Nov. 10 – Relievers
Nov. 17 – Catchers
Nov. 24 – First Basemen
Dec. 1 – Second Basemen
Dec. 8 – Third Basemen
Dec. 15 – Shortstops
Dec. 22 – Left Fielders
Dec. 29 – Center Fielders
Jan. 5 – Right Fielders
Jan. 12 – Ultimate Top 10
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers

These are the Top 10 General Managers in MLB. This list is clearly subjective as there are not many, if any, definitive analysis available for GMs.

Top 10
10. Mike Rizzo
9. Rick Hahn
8. Neil Huntington
7. Jeff Luhnow
6. Dan Duquette
5. Dave Dombrowski
4. Ben Cherington
3. John Mozeliak
2. Billy Beane
1. Brian Sabean

Current Top 10’s – Managers

This is the twelfth in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

These are the Top 10 Managers in MLB. This list is clearly subjective as there are not many, if any, definitive analysis available for Managers.

Top 10
10. Matt Williams
9. Mike Redmond
8. Mike Matheny
7. Joe Girardi
6. Terry Francona
5. Mike Scioscia
4. Bob Melvin
3. Joe Maddon
2. Buck Showalter
1. Bruce Bochy

Also considered: John Farrell, Robin Ventura, Ron Roenicke, Bud Black. ***Note: Rick Renteria ranked 10th until his dismissal from the Cubs.

Current Top 10’s – Ultimate Top 10

This is the eleventh in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

This is the ultimate Top 10 list, taking each of the adjusted number one’s from each position to create the best of the best based mostly on how much they can affect their team’s success.

Adjusted Top 10
10. Aroldis Chapman
9. Carlos Gonzalez
8. Adrian Beltre
7. Yadier Molina
6. Troy Tulowitzki
5. Robinson Cano
4. Giancarlo Stanton
3. Miguel Cabrera
2. Clayton Kershaw
1. Mike Trout

Current Top 10’s – Right Fielders

This is the tenth in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Jan. 12 – Ultimate Top 10
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

Below are two lists, one shows players ranked per a combination of their 2014 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. The second list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on defense, track record, injuries and projections.

2014 Stat Top 10
10. Jason Heyward
9. Torii Hunter
8. Ryan Braun
7. Charlie Blackmon
6. Josh Harrison
5. Jayson Werth
4. Jose Bautista
T-2. Hunter Pence & Yasiel Puig
1. Giancarlo Stanton

Adjusted Top 10
10. Jason Heyward
9. Nick Markakis
8. Jay Bruce
7. Michael Cuddyer
6. Ryan Braun
5. Jayson Werth
4. Yasiel Puig
3. Hunter Pence
2. Jose Bautista
1. Giancarlo Stanton

In consideration (in no particular order): Harrison, Hunter, Blackmon, Kole Calhoun, Alex Rios.

Current Top 10’s – Center Fielders

This is the ninth in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Jan. 5 – Right Fielders
Jan. 12 – Ultimate Top 10
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

Below are two lists, one shows players ranked per a combination of their 2014 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. The second list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on defense, track record, injuries and projections.

2014 Stat Top 10
T-10. Billy Hamilton & Drew Stubbs
9. Ben Revere
8. Adam Eaton
7. Marcel Ozuna
6. Jacoby Ellsbury
5. Adam Jones
4. Denard Span
3. Carlos Gomez
2. Andrew McCutchen
1. Mike Trout

Adjusted Top 10
10. Adam Eaton
9. Lorenzo Cain
8. Dexter Fowler
7. Marcel Ozuna
6. Denard Span
5. Jacoby Ellsbury
4. Adam Jones
3. Carlos Gomez
2. Andrew McCutchen
1. Mike Trout

In consideration (in no particular order): Hamilton, Revere, Austin Jackson, Desmond Jennings, Leonys Martin, Angel Pagan.

Current Top 10’s – Left Fielders

This is the eighth in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Dec. 29 – Center Fielders
Jan. 5 – Right Fielders
Jan. 12 – Ultimate Top 10
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

Below are two lists, one shows players ranked per a combination of their 2014 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. The second list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on defense, track record, injuries and projections.

2014 Stat Top 10
10. Yoenis Cespedes
9. Christian Yelich
8. Melky Cabrera
7. JD Martinez
6. Corey Dickerson
5. Justin Upton
T-3. Matt Holliday & Matt Kemp
2. Nelson Cruz (qualifies as LF)
1. Michael Brantley

Adjusted Top 10
10. Yoenis Cespedes
9. Bryce Harper
8. Alex Gordon
7. Melky Cabrera
6. Justin Upton
5. Matt Kemp
4. Matt Holliday
3. Nelson Cruz
2. Michael Brantley
1. Carlos Gonzalez

In consideration (in no particular order): Martinez, Yelich, Dickerson, Shin Soo Choo, Brett Gardner, Starling Marte.

AJ Preller is a Madman, And You Love It

After years of small market, bottom-fifteen payroll chatter, something has changed in San Diego. Apparently, all that was needed was a General Manager with the vision and gumption to make moves. After all, the ownership group cannot necessarily still be considered new. So with that, recently ousted GM, Josh Byrnes, seemingly could have gone for it the same way AJ Preller is in his first offseason with the Padres. That’s not to slight Byrnes as he did make some quality moves – some of which included players used in Preller’s recent flurry of activity. It is simply shining light on the vastly different approach this new GM is taking with a team that is used to seeing its players on the way out rather than welcoming new players to the fold.

In barely over a week’s time, Preller has completely transformed a roster that finished with a historically barren offense in 2014. Moreover, he has done so without giving up any of the top three starting pitchers – Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy – and has retained three of the top four prospects (from the 2014 MLB.com midseason list) in Austin Hedges (#1), Matt Wisler (#2) and Hunter Renfroe (#4, now #3).

Come Opening Day, the Padres will feature potentially five new faces in the starting lineup with Matt Kemp, Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks (a reported deal). With a glaring hole still at shortstop and 10 (yes, 10) legitimate Major League outfielders – you thought the Dodgers had a logjam – on the 40-man roster, you can be sure the dealing is far from over. Assuming the newest acquisitions remain in San Diego, the following outfielders may want to have their bags packed just in case their name comes up (just ask Rene Rivera how fast fortunes can change): Abraham Almonte, Jake Goebbert, Rymer Liriano, Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Seth Smith and Will Venable.

So what is Preller saying with all these moves? Well, a few things. First, he and the Padres are ready to win now. In a season in which the World Series champions reside in the same division and the Dodgers are just flat-out financial monsters, that hasn’t deterred the Padres from going all in now. Secondly, it says that Preller identified the prospects he liked upon taking over and worked deals to keep them, even if it meant giving up more of the others in each deal (read further for a full list of players traded away). Thirdly, Preller is showing that he isn’t afraid to take an injury-prone player (Kemp) or one coming off an injury-shortened season (Myers, Middlebrooks) with the potential of great upside. He also isn’t afraid or concerned about defensive metrics which have not been kind to Kemp or Norris, particularly. The last thing of note is that right-handed power plays at Petco. Maybe it is just a lack of a left-handed market, but Preller has certainly targeted right-handed power hitters.

The potential downside to all these moves, however, are the upsides of the players that have been sent out. Eleven of the organization’s top 30 prospects will find themselves in different training camps next year (with the exception of Trea Turner who will have to play for the Padres organization until he can be officially moved in June) as a result of these moves including: Burch Smith, Jake Bauers, Joe Ross, Turner, Jace Peterson, Mallex Smith, Max Fried, Dustin Peterson, RJ Alvarez, Joe Wieland and Zach Eflin.

The farm system has been depleted as a whole, yes, but if this doesn’t work, and the Padres find themselves out of contention in July, there are pieces on this team now that can be flipped for minor-league depth. On the other side of that, assuming the Padres contend all year and cannot get long-term deals worked out with pending free agents (i.e. Upton, Kennedy), they have the option to make a qualifying offer and recoup a high draft pick in those instances should those players decline the QO. And, don’t forget about the glut of outfielders still on the team that could also be swapped for younger talent.

The other two upside players moved this week but don’t qualify as prospects were Jesse Hahn – who came over in the Alex Torres deal and showed great promise in ’14 with a big curveball – and Yasmani Grandal, both of whom were big parts of the 2014 squad assembled by former GM Josh Byrnes.

One other question the team faces now is who plays centerfield? Do they go with the aging, declining skillset of one-time centerfielder Kemp or the younger, more agile Myers, who, while hasn’t played more than 53 innings of centerfield in the majors, played 200 games there in the minor leagues.

So, take the title of this piece as an extreme compliment towards first-time, first-year Padres General Manager, AJ Preller. Whatever he does from here on out, it’ll be hard to surpass the level of activity he has created in the 2014-15 offseason.

How many times can the Padres say that they have been on the receiving end of the marquee player at the time the deal was struck, let alone in multiple trades during the same year? In five years when Kemp’s deal is up, Myers hits free agency and we have a clear picture of what all the young talent the Padres gave up has become, we can take time to evaluate this offseason. Until then, enjoy it Padres fans, the waiting is over.

Current Top 10’s – Shortstops

This is the seventh in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Dec. 22 – Left Fielders
Dec. 29 – Center Fielders
Jan. 5 – Right Fielders
Jan. 12 – Ultimate Top 10
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

Below are two lists, one shows players ranked per a combination of their 2014 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. The second list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on defense, track record, injuries and projections.

2014 Stat Top 10
10. Alcides Escobar
9. Erick Aybar
T-7. Jimmy Rollins & Ian Desmond
6. Troy Tulowitzki
5. Hanley Ramirez
4. Starlin Castro
3. Jose Reyes
2. Alexei Ramirez
1. Jhonny Peralta

Adjusted Top 10
10. Asdrubal Cabrera
9. Jimmy Rollins
8. Alcides Escobar
7. Elvis Andrus
6. Starlin Castro
5. Hanley Ramirez
4. Jhonny Peralta
3. Ian Desmond
2. Jose Reyes
1. Troy Tulowitzki

In consideration (in no particular order): Aybar, Ramirez, JJ Hardy, Andrelton Simmons, Eduardo Escobar/Danny Santana.

Current Top 10’s – Third Basemen

This is the sixth in a series of thirteen installments highlighting the Top 10 players at each position, as well as, taking the number one player from each position to create a Top 10, Top 10 list. The exception in the list is Designated Hitters simply because there aren’t enough qualifying DH’s.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and when:
Dec. 15 – Shortstops
Dec. 22 – Left Fielders
Dec. 29 – Center Fielders
Jan. 5 – Right Fielders
Jan. 12 – Ultimate Top 10
Jan. 19 – Managers
Jan. 26 – General Managers
(check previous posts for what’s already been revealed)

Below are two lists, one shows players ranked per a combination of their 2014 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. The second list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on defense, track record, injuries and projections.

2014 Stat Top 10
10. Pablo Sandoval
9. Evan Longoria
8. Casey McGehee
7. Nolan Arenado
6. Matt Carpenter
5. Todd Frazier
4. Kyle Seager
3. Adrian Beltre
2. Josh Donaldson
1. Anthony Rendon

Adjusted Top 10
10. Todd Frazier
9. Pablo Sandoval
8. Kyle Seager
7. Nolan Arenado
6. David Wright
5. Anthony Rendon
4. Josh Donaldson
3. Evan Longoria
2. Matt Carpenter
1. Adrian Beltre

In consideration (in no particular order): McGehee, Aramis Ramirez, Luis Valbuena, Trevor Plouffe.