The Best and Worst Proposed Starting Lineups in MLB Right Now

Jared FeldmanContributor IIIMarch 28, 2012

The Best and Worst Proposed Starting Lineups in MLB Right Now

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    Opening Day is right around the corner, and as position battles are wrapping up, lineups are coming into shape.

    With all the big-name free agents changing zip codes in the offseason, lineups have shuffled and have been improved—in some cases.

    In other cases, teams made additions that won't be enough to protect their fan bases from woeful offensive anemia.

    Let's take a look at the best and worst lineups in baseball.

Best: New York Yankees

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Derek Jeter SS
    2. Curtis Granderson CF
    3. Robinson Cano 2B
    4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
    5. Mark Teixeira 1B
    6. Nick Swisher RF
    7. Russell Martin C
    8. Raul Ibanez DH
    9. Brett Gardner LF

    Even with Jeter aging and A-Rod on the downhill, the combination of power and speed from Granderson and Cano with the power bats of Teixeira and Swisher make the Yankees too strong for most pitching staffs.

    The bottom third of the order with Russell Martin, Raul Ibanez and Brett Gardner isn't too shabby either.

Worst: Oakland Athletics

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Jemile Weeks 2B
    2. Coco Crisp LF
    3. Josh Reddick RF
    4. Seth Smith DH
    5. Brandon Allen 1B
    6. Yoenis Cespedes CF
    7. Kurt Suzuki C
    8. Josh Donaldson 3B
    9. Cliff Pennington SS

    The A's aren't going to be a power-hitting team by any stretch of the imagination.

    But they won't be awful if Yoenis Cespedes hits and if Manny returns healthy and ready post-steroid suspension.

Best: Texas Rangers

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Ian Kinsler 2B
    2. Elvis Andrus SS
    3. Josh Hamilton LF
    4. Adrian Beltre 3B
    5. Michael Young DH
    6. Nelson Cruz RF
    7. Mike Napoli C
    8. Julio Borbon CF
    9. Mitch Moreland 1B

    There's really no weak spot in the Rangers lineup, which is 1-9 probably the deepest in the majors.

    Despite no new additions to the offense this year, there's little reason to expect much of a regression from last year.

Worst: Chicago Cubs

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    Projected Lineup

    1. David DeJesus RF
    2. Starlin Castro SS
    3. Marlon Byrd CF
    4. Bryan LaHair 1B
    5. Alfonso Soriano LF
    6. Geovany Soto C
    7. Ian Stewart 3B
    8. Darwin Barney 2B

    There's a lot of youth and a lot of speed, but other than Soriano, there's not much power and not much hope—for 2012 that is.

    The Cubs are rebuilding, and they'll get the opportunity to see their prospects in big-league action for most of the year.

Best: Boston Red Sox

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    1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
    2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
    3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
    4. Kevin Youkilis 3B
    5. David Ortiz DH
    6. Cody Ross RF
    7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
    8. Ryan Sweeney LF
    9. Mike Aviles SS

    While the bottom four probably won't cause too much strife amongst opposing pitchers, the top five are arguably the best in baseball.

    Table-setters Ellsbury and Pedroia can both hit for power and average, and the middle of the order is fearsome.

    If Cody Ross magically returns to his 2010 postseason form, the Sox will be even more dangerous.

Worst: Seattle Mariners

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Chone Figgins 3B
    2. Dustin Ackley 2B
    3. Ichiro Suzuki RF
    4. Mike Carp LF
    5. Jesus Montero DH
    6. Justin Smoak 1B
    7. Michael Saunders CF
    8. Miguel Olivo C
    9. Brendan Ryan SS

    I think the Mariners could be real good—in two or three years—but for now, they are stuck with an underpowered lineup.

Best: Colorado Rockies

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Dexter Fowler CF
    2. Marco Scutaro 2B
    3. Carlos Gonzalez LF
    4. Troy Tulowitzki SS
    5. Todd Helton 1B
    6. Michael Cuddyer RF
    7. Ramon Hernandez C
    8. Casey Blake 3B

    While it's not the sexiest lineup on paper, it's well constructed, and the additions of Cuddyer and Scutaro will only compliment the power duo of Carlos Gonzalez and Tulowitzki.

Worst: San Francisco Giants

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Angel Pagan CF
    2. Melky Cabrera LF
    3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
    4. Buster Posey C
    5. Aubry Huff 1B
    6. Nate Schierholtz RF
    7. Ryan Theriot 2B
    8. Brandon Crawford SS

    The Giants lineup will be better than last year with the return of Buster Posey and Freddie Sanchez.

    But the additions of Melky Cabrera and Angel Pagan aren't enough to make up for a woefully underpowered lineup with injury risks and holes throughout.

Best: Detroit Tigers

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Austin Jackson CF
    2. Brennan Boesch RF
    3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
    4. Prince Fielder 1B
    5. Delmon Young DH
    6. Alex Avila C
    7. Jhonny Peralta SS
    8. Andy Dirks LF
    9. Ryan Raburn 2B

    Even after losing Victor Martinez for the season, the addition of Prince Fielder makes all the difference.

    Boesch is ready to break out, and him and Jackson at the top are going to create numerous RBI chances for Cabrera, Fielder and Young. Alex Avila had a solid 2011 and is looking to push his numbers even higher this year.

Worst: Houston Astros

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    Projected Lineup

    1. Jordan Schafer CF
    2. Jose Altuve 2B
    3. J.D. Martinez LF
    4. Carlos Lee 1B
    5. Brian Bogusevic RF
    6. Jed Lowrie SS
    7. Chris Johnson 3B
    8. Chris Snyder C

    This is definitely a team in transition as the Astros complete their final season in the NL. They've got a decent amount of young talent, but no superstars in the making.

    A solid season from Carlos Lee would at least make the Astros "respectable"—that is, perhaps not losing 100 games in 2012.