Sunday, February 26, 2012

MLB preseason power rankings: 20-11

Continuing on with our MLB preseason power rankings from yesterday, as promised here are teams 20-11 (teams 10-1 to be unveiled tomorrow):

20 Minnesota Twins
- Only Houston lost more games than Minnesota did last year (99). I don’t foresee them losing that many this time around though. However, I don’t expect Ron Gardenhire’s bunch to contend with the Tigers for a division title either.

19 Cleveland Indians
- The Tribe overachieved in 2011 by posting an 80-82 record and placing second in the AL Central. With basically the same roster as last year they look on course to be the second-best team in a weak division yet again.

18 Colorado Rockies
- There’s no doubting the offensive talent that resides on the Rockies roster. There is doubt however, in the effectiveness of their pitching staff. They’ll be competitive as usual, but I’d expect a 4th-place finish from them again this year.

LA's Matt Kemp
17 Los Angeles Dodgers
- The Dodgers have the Cy Young winner (Clayton Kershaw) and the MVP runner-up (Matt Kemp) at their disposal. What they don’t have are the rest of the pieces to keep up with division rivals San Francisco and Arizona. Oh, and apparently money as well.

16 Toronto Blue Jays
- There’s not another team in the majors more willing for a change of divisions than the Jays. They’re always formidable, but can never reach the postseason because of the triple-headed monster occupying the top of the AL East known as Boston, Tampa Bay and New York. But watching how far Jose Bautista’s homers travel sure is fun isn’t it?

15 Washington Nationals
- Make no mistake about it; the Nats are armed and ready for a breakout season. After an 80-81 2011 campaign they’ve acquired outside help to go along with their young nucleus of players. They’ll threaten to reach the postseason for the first time since 1981 (as the Expos), but the revamped Marlins, hungry Braves, and powerhouse Phillies will prove to be much to contend with.

14 Milwaukee Brewers
- No squad took a bigger blow to their offensive unit than the Brew Crew did this offseason. With Prince Fielder gone and Ryan Braun to miss the first 50 games due to a positive PED test, they’ll unquestionably struggle to score runs. But a strong starting rotation and a solid bullpen will keep them afloat…for awhile at least.
Miami's Jose Reyes

13 Miami Marlins
- New name, new ballpark, new uniforms, and a new identity. That’s what the Fish are shooting for in 2012. Their eclectic mix of free agents they reeled in (no pun intended) this winter may not prove to be a successful endeavor, but it’ll most definitely be entertaining.

12 St. Louis Cardinals
- It’s a shame that the reigning World Series champs place this far down the list on the preseason power rankings, but the loss of baseball’s best hitter and manager cannot be understated. I don’t expect for lightning to strike again for the Cards this year, but I wouldn’t count ‘em out either.

11 Arizona Diamondbacks
- What a turnaround it was for the Snakes last season. Manager Kirk Gibson quietly led the team from worst-to-first and narrowly lost a game-five, extra-inning affair to Milwaukee in the NLDS. They’ll have a target on their backs this year, but they have the pitching and offense to vie for the NL West crown again.

So, there you have it. Would you have ranked these teams any differently?

Be sure to check out the blog tomorrow as I wrap up the list with the top ten.

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