Re-Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups After the 2012 Trade Deadline

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2012

Re-Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups After the 2012 Trade Deadline

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    The 2012 MLB trade deadline was highlighted by a deep pool of potentially available starting pitchers, and while not all of them were traded, the likes of Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Francisco Liriano, Paul Maholm and Anibal Sanchez among others should have a significant impact on this year's pennant race.

    On the other side of things, the pool of available bats was as thin as it has ever been, and when the Padres opted to re-sign Carlos Quentin and hold on to Chase Headley, the market become even thinner.

    Still, a number of hitters were traded at the deadline as contenders looked to shore up their biggest roster holes and add some punch to their lineups.

    With that in mind, here is a look at where all 30 MLB batting orders rank after the moves that went down prior to the July 31 deadline.

No. 30: Miami Marlins

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .242 (T-25)
    Runs Per Game: 3.65 (30) 

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    2B Emilio Bonifacio
    3B Donnie Murphy
    SS Jose Reyes
    1B Carlos Lee
    CF Justin Ruggiano
    LF Bryan Petersen
    C John Buck
    RF Scott Cousins
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    Perhaps the biggest story of the deadline was the Marlins' trade of Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, as once Miami decided to sell it did so in a big way, also moving second baseman Omar Infante and first baseman Gaby Sanchez.

    With Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison currently on the DL, the team has speedster Jose Reyes hitting third right now, as it simply doesn't have anyone capable of driving in runs.

    For a team with such high hopes entering the season, the Marlins are shockingly bad, and while they got a good batch of prospects in return for their many trades, the team could be looking at a rebuilding period.

No. 29: Houston Astros

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .242 (T-25)
    Runs Per Game: 3.87 (27)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    2B Jose Altuve
    SS Marwin Gonzalez
    RF Steve Pearce
    1B Brett Wallace
    LF J.D. Martinez
    3B Scott Moore
    C Chris Snyder
    CF Jordan Schafer
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    The Astros continued to deal anything and everything of interest to teams at the deadline, as third baseman Chris Johnson was traded to the Diamondbacks.

    The team has some solid pieces moving forward, led by the middle infield of Jose Altuve and shortstop Jed Lowrie (currently on 15-day DL), but it is still early in the rebuilding process.

    It will be interesting to see how many players see time down the stretch, as the organization continues to assess its in-house talent and decide who will factor in moving forward.

No. 28: Seattle Mariners

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .234 (28)
    Runs Per Game: 4.00 (23)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    2B Dustin Ackley
    RF Casper Wells
    C John Jaso
    DH Jesus Montero
    3B Kyle Seager
    CF Michael Saunders
    1B Mike Carp
    LF Eric Thames
    SS Brendan Ryan 

     

    Overview

    The Mariners traded their most recognizable hitter in Ichiro Suzuki at the deadline, and with him gone there is no regular on the team batting higher than .260.

    The team demoted first baseman Justin Smoak to Triple-A last week, as he led the team with 13 home runs but was hitting just .189.

    Eric Thames was brought over in a trade with the Blue Jays that could rank as one of the better under-the-radar moves of the deadline. Thames, who is still just 25, was crushing Triple-A pitching after being demoted and still has a ton of offensive upside.

No. 27: San Diego Padres

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .237 (27)
    Runs Per Game: 3.76 (T-28) 

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    2B Alexi Amarista
    RF Will Venable
    3B Chase Headley
    LF Carlos Quentin
    1B Yonder Alonso
    CF Cameron Maybin
    C John Baker
    SS Everth Cabrera
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    The Padres opted not to sell off their two biggest trade chips at the deadline, as Carlos Quentin and Chase Headley look to be a part of the rebuilding plans in San Diego.

    Alongside those two, catcher Yasmani Grandal (currently on 15-day DL) and first baseman Yonder Alonso form a solid core of hitters. Joining them soon should be top prospect Jedd Gyorko, who should see time in September, possibly at second base with Headley still in the fold at his natural position of third base.

    Center fielder Cameron Maybin, who signed a five-year, $25 million extension after a breakout season in 2011, has been one of baseball's biggest disappointments this season.

No. 26: Chicago Cubs

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .246 (22)
    Runs Per Game: 3.76 (T-28)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF David DeJesus
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    RF Bryan LaHair
    C Steve Clevenger
    2B Darwin Barney
    3B Luis Valbuena
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    The Cubs' lineup has plenty of holes, but it also has plenty of reason for hope moving forward, specifically in the form of shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

    Left fielder Alfonso Soriano is having his best season since 2008, and second baseman Darwin Barney continues to put up passable numbers at second base.

    The next few months will likely be used to evaluate some of the team's young talent, as top prospects Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters could get a long look down the stretch.

No. 25: Oakland Athletics

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .229 (30)
    Runs Per Game: 3.99 (24)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Coco Crisp
    2B Jemile Weeks
    RF Josh Reddick
    LF Yoenis Cespedes
    DH Chris Carter
    1B Brandon Moss
    3B Brandon Inge
    C Derek Norris
    SS Eric Sogard

     

    Overview

    Despite an impressive second-half run, the A's were quiet at the deadline, as their only deal was bringing in Brewers backup catcher George Kottaras.

    On Friday, the team dealt catcher Kurt Suzuki to the Nationals and named rookie Derek Norris the everyday catcher for the remainder of the season. Norris was among the prospects the team acquired from Washington for Gio Gonzalez in the offseason.

    The team has found ways to win in spite of its offense, as outside of Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes there is not much in the way of consistently productive talent in the A's lineup

No. 24: Tampa Bay Rays

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .231 (29)
    Runs Per Game: 4.11 (22)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    LF Desmond Jennings
    CF B.J. Upton
    2B Ben Zobrist
    RF Matt Joyce
    DH Jeff Keppinger
    1B Carlos Pena
    3B Ryan Roberts
    C Jose Molina
    SS Sean Rodriguez

     

    Overview

    Entering the season, the Rays were not expected to outslug teams, as they have enjoyed success the past few seasons due in large part to their pitching staff.

    However, with Evan Longoria missing significant time and gaping holes at catcher and shortstop, not to mention DH, where Jeff Keppinger hardly fits the bill of a No. 5 hitter, the Rays' lineup has been a mess all season and ranks among the league's worst as a result.

    The team's only addition at the deadline was Diamondbacks third baseman Ryan Roberts, and in reality he rates more as another option at the position than a better one compared to the other guys who have manned the spot in Longoria's absence.

No. 23: Cleveland Indians

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .253 (18)
    Runs Per Game: 4.26 (17)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    RF Shin-Soo Choo
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    2B Jason Kipnis
    C Carlos Santana
    CF Michael Brantley
    DH Jose Lopez
    1B Casey Kotchman
    3B Jack Hannahan
    LF Ezequiel Carrera

     

    Overview

    The Indians entered the season with a predominantly left-handed lineup, and that remains the case here late in the season, as they have not made any moves and no one from within the organization has stepped up.

    The team recently designated left fielder Johnny Damon for assignment, and they are temporarily without DH Travis Hafner, who is on paternity leave, but other than that not much has changed since Opening Day.

    The team has six players with double-digit home runs but no one with more than 12 and no one with more than 55 RBI, as it has been a balanced attack but one that is not all that impressive.

No. 22: Kansas City Royals

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .268 (4)
    Runs Per Game: 4.18 (T-18)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    LF Alex Gordon
    SS Alcides Escobar 
    RF Lorenzo Cain
    DH Billy Butler
    3B Mike Moustakas
    C Salvador Perez 
    1B Eric Hosmer
    2B Chris Getz
    CF Jarrod Dyson

     

    Overview

    It's been a tough season for the Royals, as they have the offense to at least be competitive, but their starting pitching has been terrible and held them back all season.

    On the plus side, Alcides Escobar is enjoying a breakout year hitting over .300, and Billy Butler continues to be among the most underrated hitters in all of baseball.

    However, the struggles of Eric Hosmer are cause for major concern moving forward, and after being a pleasant surprise last season, Jeff Francoeur has been terrible this season and finds himself relegated to a bench role.

No. 21: Philadelphia Phillies

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .257 (15)
    Runs Per Game: 4.18 (T-18) 

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    RF Nate Schierholtz
    2B Chase Utley
    1B Ryan Howard
    C Carlos Ruiz
    CF John Mayberry Jr.
    LF Domonic Brown
    3B Kevin Frandsen 
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    The Phillies shipped off outfielders Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence at the deadline, and as a result their already struggling lineup is a shell of what it used to be.

    The superstar trio of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard has battled injuries and ineffectiveness all season, and it is looking more and more like the Phillies may need to blow things up and start over.

    One immediate positive of the trades is that the team will get a long look at top prospect Domonic Brown now and get a chance to decide how he will factor into the future plans. Nate Schierholtz was a solid pickup as well, as far as an immediate replacement for Pence and someone who is under team control through 2014.

No. 20: Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .245 (23)
    Runs Per Game: 4.14 (21) 

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    LF Starling Marte
    RF Travis Snider
    CF Andrew McCutchen
    1B Garrett Jones
    2B Neil Walker
    3B Pedro Alvarez
    C Rod Barajas
    SS Clint Barmes
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    The Pirates offense has improved by leaps and bounds since the beginning of the season, but it remains a weak spot for a team that looks to be in a legitimate position to contend.

    Travis Snider was acquired from the Blue Jays for reliever Brad Lincoln, and he could wind up being a major factor down the stretch. Former All-Star first baseman Gaby Sanchez was also picked up at the deadline.

    The team has enough offense to compete with the pitching staff that it has, and Andrew McCutchen may be the best hitter in baseball right now, but no one is going to confuse the Pirates for the 1927 Yankees anytime soon.

No. 19: New York Mets

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .259 (11)
    Runs Per Game: 4.52 (12)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    SS Ruben Tejada
    RF Jordany Valdespin
    3B David Wright
    1B Ike Davis
    2B Daniel Murphy
    LF Jason Bay
    CF Andres Torres
    C Josh Thole
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    A rough second-half slide kept the Mets from buying at the deadline, as they will play out the rest of the season with the same lineup they went into the deadline with.

    David Wright has been fantastic, Ike Davis has put up power numbers despite a batting average hovering around .200 and Scott Hairston continues to be one of the best platoon guys in all of baseball.

    The Mets still rank high in most offensive categories thanks in part to their terrific first half, but their runs per game are down to 4.25 in the second half, and the lineup has simply not been as productive across the board.

No. 18: Baltimore Orioles

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .244 (24)
    Run Per Game:  4.18 (T-18)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    RF Nick Markakis
    SS J.J. Hardy
    DH Chris Davis
    CF Adam Jones
    C Matt Wieters
    LF Lew Ford
    3B Wilson Betemit
    1B Mark Reynolds
    2B Omar Quintanilla

     

    Overview

    The Orioles held off on making any significant moves in July, with the addition of DH Jim Thome (currently on 15-day DL) marking their only major addition.

    In reality, the purchase of Omar Quintanilla from the Mets has been a bigger move, as he has seen extended playing time with Brian Roberts out for the season.

    Adam Jones continues to enjoy a breakout year, and Nick Markakis is finally healthy, but the team has holes. Mark Reynolds is struggling mightily, the second-base platoon of Quintanilla and Robert Andino is average at the very best and comeback story Lew Ford has not seen MLB action since 2007.

No. 17: Washington Nationals

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .256 (17)
    Runs Per Game: 4.28 (16)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    2B Steve Lombardozzi
    RF Bryce Harper
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    LF Michael Morse
    1B Adam LaRoche
    CF Jayson Werth
    SS Danny Espinosa
    C Kurt Suzuki
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    The Nationals decided to stand pat at the deadline, though they did make a move on Friday in acquiring Kurt Suzuki from the A's.

    The team was without Michael Morse to start the season and also lost Jayson Werth to injury for a significant amount of time. While those two are now back, shortstop Ian Desmond is now on the DL with a torn oblique.

    The contributions of rookies Steve Lombardozzi, Tyler Moore and Bryce Harper have been huge, as has the return of Adam LaRoche after he missed most of last season. At the end of the day, though, the Nationals are a team built on pitching, and they will go as far as their staff takes them.

No. 16: Minnesota Twins

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .264 (T-9)
    Runs Per Game: 4.38 (14)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Denard Span
    RF Ben Revere
    C Joe Mauer
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau
    DH Ryan Doumit
    3B Danny Valencia
    SS Brian Dozier
    2B Alexi Casilla

     

    Overview

    The Twins opted to hold on to everyone aside from Francisco Liriano, and chief among the group that could have been on the move was offseason signee Josh Willingham.

    He's proven to be a steal at three years, $21 million, as he has 27 HR and 79 RBI with a .931 OPS that is good for seventh-best in the AL.

    With a healthy Joe Mauer and breakout slugger in Trevor Plouffe (currently on 15-day DL), the team has had a solid year offensively. If only the Twins had a starting rotation, they might be in position to make some noise in the AL Central. 

No. 15: Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .248 (21)
    Runs Per Game: 3.87 (T-26)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    LF Shane Victorino
    2B Mark Ellis
    CF Matt Kemp
    RF Andre Ethier
    3B Hanley Ramirez
    1B James Loney
    SS Luis Cruz
    C A.J. Ellis
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    No team did more at the deadline than the Dodgers, and among their many moves were the additions of Hanley Ramirez and Shane Victorino.

    The moves solved two of the team's biggest problems and replaced underperforming veterans Bobby Abreu and Juan Uribe in the process.

    How well the group meshes together in the weeks to come will be a big determining factor in the Dodgers' postseason hopes, but it certainly looks like they have the pieces to make a run.

No. 14: Milwaukee Brewers

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .251 (20)
    Runs Per Game: 4.64 (T-9) 

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    RF Norichika Aoki
    CF Nyjer Morgan
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    1B Corey Hart
    2B Rickie Weeks
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    SS Cesar Izturis 
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    With Prince Fielder in Detroit, the Brewers had an uphill climb ahead of them if they wanted to repeat as NL Central champs, but they struggled to the point of selling at the deadline, as they moved ace Zack Greinke for a trio of the Angels' top prospects.

    Despite the team's struggles, the offense as a whole has been solid, and the trio of Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart has been one of the best in the National League.

    The acquisition of Jean Segura from the Angles solidifies the shortstop position for the future, but the current double-play combination of Rickie Weeks (.212 BA) and Cesar Izturis (.239 BA) is providing very little in the way of production.

No. 13: Cincinnati Reds

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .254 (18)
    Runs Per Game: 4.37 (15)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    SS Zack Cozart
    CF Drew Stubbs
    2B Brandon Phillips
    RF Jay Bruce
    LF Ryan Ludwick
    3B Scott Rolen
    1B Todd Frazier
    C Ryan Hanigan
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    Most expected the Reds to do something to upgrade the top of their lineup at the deadline, as Zack Cozart (.288 OBP) and Drew Stubbs (.305 OBP) simply don't get on base enough.

    The team instead went without making an addition to its lineup, but it will get the biggest addition of all when Joey Votto returns from knee surgery, as it has been a feat in itself that the team has continued to win without him.

    Once he returns, it will be interesting to see what the team does with Todd Frazier (.275 BA, 13 HR, 40 RBI), as he could legitimately bump Scott Rolen from the starting third-base job.

No. 12: Toronto Blue Jays

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .252 (20)
    Runs Per Game: 4.85 (5)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    3B Brett Lawrie
    CF Colby Rasmus
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    2B Kelly Johnson
    SS Yunel Escobar
    DH David Cooper
    LF Rajai Davis
    C Jeff Mathis
    RF Anthony Gose

     

    Overview 

    The Blue Jays' lineup is in shambles right now, with Jose Bautista, J.P. Arencibia and Adam Lind all on the 15-day DL, but once they come back it ranks among the more formidable in all of baseball.

    The team dealt left fielder Eric Thames at the deadline, and once Bautista returns to his post in right field, it will be interesting to see how big of a role rookie Anthony Gose has the rest of the season. 

    Edwin Encarnacion (.292 BA, 28 HR, 72 RBI) is having a fantastic season and has been there to pick the team up with Bautista's early struggles and now with his injury.

No. 11: San Francisco Giants

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .258 (T-12)
    Runs Per Game: 3.94 (25)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Angel Pagan
    2B Ryan Theriot
    LF Melky Cabrera
    C Buster Posey
    RF Hunter Pence
    3B Marco Scutaro
    1B Brandon Belt
    SS Brandon Crawford
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    The Giants pulled off one of the bigger trades of the deadline when they acquired Hunter Pence from the Phillies, as they looked to keep pace with the free-wheeling Dodgers.

    They also picked up Marco Scutaro, and once Pablo Sandoval returns from the DL, Scutaro could push either Ryan Theriot or Brandon Crawford for a job or simply serve as a super utility player.

    With the emergence of Melky Cabrera and return of Buster Posey, as well as the addition of Pence, the Giants finally have a lineup that can help out their tremendous pitching staff.

No. 10: Detroit Tigers

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .266 (T-6)
    Runs Per Game: 4.48 (13)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Austin Jackson
    LF Quintin Berry
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Brennan Boesch
    RF Andy Dirks
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Alex Avila
    2B Omar Infante 

     

    Overview

    The Tigers addressed their biggest lineup hole at the deadline when they acquired second baseman Omar Infante from the Marlins along with starter Anibal Sanchez.

    Infante began his career with the Tigers and represents a significant upgrade over Ramon Santiago, Ryan Raburn and others who have manned the position this year.

    Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder continue to rank among the best duos in all of baseball, and Austin Jackson has really come into his own this season. 

No. 9: Atlanta Braves

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .257 (14)
    Runs Per Game: 4.64 (9) 

     

    Current Starting Rotation

    CF Michael Bourn
    LF Martin Prado
    RF Jason Heyward
    3B Chipper Jones
    1B Freddie Freeman
    C Brian McCann
    2B Dan Uggla
    SS Paul Janish
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    The Braves' big deadline deal saw them add left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Cubs. While Johnson won't start, he provides a terrific veteran bat off the bench for the stretch run and bolsters what was a relatively weak bench.

    It's been a down year for Brian McCann, and Dan Uggla continues to battle with the Mendoza Line, but the team has gotten enough production up and down the lineup to still rank among the league's best.

    The only real offensive hole is at shortstop, where Paul Janish was brought in when Andrelton Simmons went down with a fractured hand. Getting him back would be an offensive boost—a boost the team expected to come from fellow rookie Tyler Pastornicky.

No. 8: Colorado Rockies

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .267 (5)
    Runs Per Game: 4.77 (6)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Dexter Fowler
    SS Josh Rutledge 
    LF Carlos Gonzalez
    RF Michael Cuddyer
    1B Todd Helton
    C Ramon Hernandez
    3B Jordan Pacheco
    2B DJ LeMahieu
    Pitcher

     

    Overview

    If not for an absolutely horrendous starting rotation, the Rockies might be right in the thick of things in the NL West, even without star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

    Carlos Gonzalez has returned to his 2010 form, Dexter Fowler is finally enjoying the breakout season the Rockies have been waiting for and Tyler Colvin has proven to be one of the best pickups of the offseason.

    Not finding a taker for Ramon Hernandez at the deadline was a poor move, as rookie Wilin Rosario is ready to step in as a starter. Speaking of rookies ready to step in, it will be interesting to see what the team does with Josh Rutledge (.375 BA, 5 HR, 14 RBI) next season when Tulowitzki is back, as he could be the long-term answer at second base.

No. 7: Chicago White Sox

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .258 (12)
    Runs Per Game: 4.74 (7)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Alejandro De Aza
    3B Kevin Youkilis
    DH Adam Dunn
    1B Paul Konerko
    RF Alex Rios
    C A.J. Pierzynski
    LF Dayan Viciedo
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    2B Gordon Beckham

     

    Overview

    The White Sox filled their biggest need before the month of July even rolled around, as they acquired Kevin Youkilis from the Red Sox to fill what had been a black hole production-wise at third base. 

    With Alex Rios having a bounce-back year, A.J. Pierzynski finding the fountain of youth and Adam Dunn slugging alongside the always consistent Paul Konerko, the White Sox lineup is a legitimate weapon.

    The race for the AL Central title is shaping up to be a good one between the Sox and Tigers, and both teams have top-tier offenses.

No. 6: Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .266 (T-6)
    Runs Per Game: 4.58 (11)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Gerardo Parra
    2B Aaron Hill
    LF Jason Kubel
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    RF Justin Upton
    C Miguel Montero 
    3B Chris Johnson
    SS Stephen Drew
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    For all of the attention that the Dodgers and Giants have gotten, the Diamondbacks are just two games out of first in the NL West.

    The offense has been led by the somewhat unlikely trio of Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel this season, and if guys like Justin Upton and Miguel Montero can get hot down the stretch, look out.

    Chris Johnson was acquired from the Astros to fill the gaping hole at third base in what I feel was one of the best trades of the deadline. Chris Young also appears to have lost his hold on the center-field job, as his struggles have pushed Gerardo Parra back into a starting role.

No. 5: Boston Red Sox

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .265 (8)
    Runs Per Game: 4.86 (4) 

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    LF Carl Crawford
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    1B Adrian Gonzalez
    DH Cody Ross
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    RF Ryan Kalish
    SS Mike Aviles

     

    Overview

    Getting David Ortiz back from an Achilles tendon injury will give the Red Sox lineup a boost, with Cody Ross shifting to right field and Ryan Kalish moving to the bench.

    Shortstop Mike Aviles is battling turf toe right now and is day-to-day with Pedro Ciriaco filling his spot in the lineup in the meantime.

    With the returns of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford here in the second half, the Red Sox lineup is again among the league's most formidable. It remains to be seen if it will be enough to overcome a subpar pitching staff though.

No. 4: Los Angeles Angels

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .271 (3)
    Runs Per Game: .4.66 (8)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    CF Mike Trout
    RF Torii Hunter
    1B Albert Pujols
    LF Mark Trumbo
    DH Kendrys Morales
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    SS Maicer Izturis
    C Chris Iannetta

     

    Overview

    The Angels landed the prize of the deadline in Brewers ace Zack Greinke, but offensively they didn't add anyone for the stretch run.

    Getting starting catcher Chris Iannetta back after he missed most of the season is a significant internal addition, and getting Erick Aybar back from a fractured toe will put the lineup at full strength.

    Regardless, the trio of Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and MVP candidate Mike Trout alone makes the Angels' lineup one of the best in all of baseball.

No. 3: New York Yankees

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .264 (T-9)
    Runs Per Game: 4.89 (3)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    SS Derek Jeter
    CF Curtis Granderson
    1B Mark Teixeira
    2B Robinson Cano
    RF Nick Swisher
    DH Raul Ibanez
    3B Eric Chavez
    LF Ichiro Suzuki
    C Russell Martin

     

    Overview

    Losing Alex Rodriguez to a fractured left hand was a blow, even with his production down across the board this season.

    The team traded for Pirates corner infielder Casey McGehee, and he will spell Eric Chavez at third base a few times a week.

    The addition of Ichiro shores up left field, which had been manned by the veteran duo of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones with Brett Gardner out for the season. Their lineup is no doubt their greatest asset, and Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson rank among baseball's best.

No. 2: St. Louis Cardinals

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .276 (2)
    Runs Per Game: 4.95 (2)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    SS Rafael Furcal
    CF John Jay
    LF Matt Holliday
    RF Carlos Beltran
    1B Allen Craig
    C Yadier Molina
    3B David Freese
    2B Skip Schumaker
    Pitcher 

     

    Overview

    The Cardinals have dealt with injuries all season and continue to as Lance Berkman landed back on the DL on Friday with knee inflammation.

    However, they have the luxury of having perhaps the best bench player in baseball in Allen Craig (.295 BA, 15 HR, 54 RBI), as the lineup does not miss a beat with him subbing for Berkman.

    The team did not make any moves at the deadline to bolster the lineup, but when you have David Freese (.313 BA, 15 HR, 59 RBI) batting seventh, it's clear that not much needs to be done to your lineup.

No. 1: Texas Rangers

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    Team Ranks

    Batting Average: .278 (1)
    Runs Per Game: 5.12 (1)

     

    Current Starting Lineup

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    CF Josh Hamilton
    3B Adrian Beltre
    RF Nelson Cruz
    DH Michael Young
    LF David Murphy
    C Mike Napoli
    1B Mitch Moreland

     

    Overview

    The Rangers added Cubs catcher Geovany Soto to back up Mike Napoli and called up top prospect Mike Olt (.288 BA, 28 HR, 82 RBI at Double-A) to bolster their lineup down the stretch.

    Josh Hamilton has slumped badly in the second half (.179 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI), and it has been a down year across the board for veteran Michael Young.

    Still, the team has the best offense in baseball, and if Hamilton can turn things around, it will go back to having that title by a long shot.