Another great postseason is in the books and the hot stove season is already well under way. To help pass the time, we’re again delivering our annual 14-part “Top 10 Right Now” series ranking executives, managers and players throughout Major League Baseball.
A new list will be published each Monday leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting in February. The lists will highlight the Top 10 players at each position, managers and executives, finishing up with the Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking of each of the position’s number one player.
Here’s a list of what’s to come and already been published:
Nov. 12 – Executives
Nov. 19 – Managers
Nov. 26 – Catchers
Dec. 3 – Left Fielders
Dec. 10 – First Basemen
Dec. 17 – Starting Pitchers
Dec. 24 – Designated Hitters
Dec. 31 – Third Basemen
Jan. 7 – Right Fielders
Jan. 14 – Relief Pitchers
Jan. 21 – Second Basemen
Jan. 28 – Center Fielders
Feb. 4 – Shortstops
Feb. 11 – Ultimate Top 10
These are the Top 10 Executives in MLB. This list is clearly subjective based on team performance and perception as there are not many, if any, definitive analysis available for these positions.
10.) Jeff Bridich, Colorado Rockies
9.) Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals
8.) Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs
7.) Chris Antonetti, Cleveland Indians
6.) Oakland Athletics
5.) David Sterns, Milwaukee Brewers
4.) Los Angeles Dodgers
3.) Brian Cashman, New York Yankees
2.) Dave Dombrowski, Boston Red Sox
1.) Jeff Luhnow, Houston Astros
In close consideration (with their rank on last year’s list): Billy Eppler (5), Matt Klentak (9), Dayton Moore (10), Tampa Bay Rays (NR), Mike Hazen (NR), John Mozeliak (NR), Jerry Dipoto (NR), Alex Anthopoulos (NR), AJ Preller (NR)
Notes: the executive ranks among teams are possibly the strongest they’ve ever been which makes this an incredibly difficult list to put together. Right off the bat, there were eight people/groups that felt they absolutely had to be on the list. That left only two spots for another 10+ worthy candidates… the major separator between Luhnow and Dombrowski – the last two World Series winners – is that Luhnow is the owner of a stronger farm system according to MLB Pipeline’s mid-season rankings. Still, major kudos to Dombrowski for going after the title with prospects who have no guarantee of panning out (would they rather still have Margot, Guerra, Asuaje, Allen, etc. – granted, the jury is still out on most of the traded players – or the 2018 Championship?)… Cashman makes the list for his still unreal “re-build” if that’s what one wants to call it since it was so fast… despite having seemingly unlimited funds, the Dodgers have seen back-to-back World Series appearances in part due to strategic spending (although they did so under the luxury tax this year) and strong player development… Sterns debuts on the list for his ability to make runs to the postseason in each of the last two seasons regardless of what people think about the Brewers’ roster construction… yes, the A’s made the playoffs in ’18, but placement on this list is as much for their fan-friendliness from a free game to team President, David Kaval, open to input from fans among other things… despite a down year, Rizzo makes it for having a homegrown replacement on hand for Bryce Harper, not to mention their sustained competitiveness under his watch. With Robles, the Nats hope to not skip a beat if they cannot retain Harper in free agency… it’s hard to build a winner in Denver, but that’s what Bridich has been able to do. That said, he faces some interesting personnel decisions in the next few years… really wanted to get Eppler on the list because what he has done in Anaheim with the restrictions he has faced (i.e. not having an open check book like his predecessor) has been very impressive… Anthopoulos is a very good exec, but he’s still fresh in Atlanta so time will tell how the tenure goes there… In Preller, “prospects are cool, but winning is cooler.” Let’s see if the farm can pan out for San Diego. VERY curious to see Brodie Van Wagenen in the GM role.