Projecting the Starting Lineup of Every MLB Team Post-Peak Free Agency

Robert Knapel@@RobertKnapel_BRCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2012

Projecting the Starting Lineup of Every MLB Team Post-Peak Free Agency

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    Many of the top players on the free-agent market have already signed this winter. There are some solid players such as Michael Bourn that are still on the market, but many teams have their lineups set for the 2013 season.

    Having a strong lineup is a large part of the equation for a team that is looking to reach the postseason. A good starting rotation is equally important, if not more important for success.

    After all of the changes that were made this winter, some teams find themselves with improved starting lineups that should put up large run totals throughout the year.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Projected Lineup

    1) Didi Gregorius—SS

    2) Aaron Hill—2B

    3) Justin Upton—CF

    4) Paul Goldschmidt—1B

    5) Jason Kubel—LF

    6) Miguel Montero—C

    7) Cody Ross—RF

    8) Chris Johnson—3B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The Arizona Diamondbacks had a full outfield before they went out and signed Cody Ross, so they will have some interesting decisions to make when it comes to configuring their outfield.

    The recently acquired Didi Gregorius will likely have a chance to win a job during spring training, and if he fails to do so, then Cliff Pennington or Willie Bloomquist will be the starter.

Atlanta Braves

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Andrelton Simmons—SS

    2) Martin Prado—LF

    3) B.J. Upton—CF

    4) Jason Heyward—RF

    5) Freddie Freeman—1B

    6) Dan Uggla—2B

    7) Brian McCann—C

    8) Juan Francisco—3B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The Atlanta Braves are in a position to give the Washington Nationals a run for their money in the National League East this season. They have both the offense and rotation to be a postseason contender.

    B.J. Upton is a new addition to the Braves' lineup, and he will be expected to play a big role for the team both as a run producer and as a defender.

Baltimore Orioles

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Nick Markakis—RF

    2) J.J. Hardy—SS

    3) Chris Davis—1B

    4) Adam Jones—CF

    5) Matt Wieters—C

    6) Wilson Betemit—DH

    7) Nate McLouth—LF

    8) Manny Machado—3B

    9) Brian Roberts—2B

    Following their surprising run into the postseason in 2012, the Baltimore Orioles will need another outstanding performance from their team if they are going to contend in the difficult American League East.

    Manny Machado will be tested over the course of a full season, and if he responds to the pressure, the Orioles could find themselves in a good position.

Boston Red Sox

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Jacoby Ellsbury—CF

    2) Shane Victorino—RF

    3) Dustin Pedroia—2B

    4) David Ortiz—1B

    5) Will Middlebrooks—3B

    6) Ryan Lavarnway—DH

    7) Jonny Gomes—LF

    8) Jarrod Saltalamacchia—C

    9) Stephen Drew—SS

    While the Boston Red Sox have seemingly reached a deal with Mike Napoli, there are some complications that have prevented the deal from becoming official (h/t Dallas Morning News).

    Boston's lineup looks significantly less intimidating without Napoli. The Red Sox are going to need players to outperform expectations to have a chance at winning the American League East.

Chicago Cubs

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    Starting Lineup

    1) David DeJesus—CF

    2) Nate Schierholtz—RF

    3) Anthony Rizzo—1B

    4) Alfonso Soriano—CF

    5) Starlin Castro—SS

    6) Ian Stewart—3B

    7) Wellington Castillo—C

    8) Darwin Barney—2B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The Chicago Cubs will be in a rebuilding mode this season, so it would not be surprising to see some of their prospects reach the majors at some point.

    Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters both could see extended time at the major league level. These stints could determine how soon the Cubs will be able to turn things around.

    David DeJesus CF L
    Nate Schierholtz RF L
    Anthony Rizzo 1B L
    Alfonso Soriano LF R
    Starlin Castro SS R
    Ian Stewart 3B L
    Wellington Castillo C R
    Darwin Barney

Chicago White Sox

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Alejandro De Aza—CF

    2) Brent Morel—3B

    3) Adam Dunn—DH

    4) Paul Konerko—1B

    5) Alex Rios—RF

    6) Dayan Viciedo—LF

    7) Alexi Ramirez—SS

    8) Tyler Flowers—C

    9) Gordon Beckham—2B

    There are a number of questions surrounding the Chicago White Sox lineup heading into the 2013 season because they lost a number of players to free agency.

    Chicago still has Paul Konerko around, and he will need to serve as a leader for the young players in the White Sox lineup.

Cincinnati Reds

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Zack Cozart—SS

    2) Shin-Soo Choo—CF

    3) Joey Votto—1B

    4) Brandon Phillips—2B

    5) Jay Bruce—RF

    6) Ryan Ludwick—LF

    7) Todd Frazier—3B

    8) Ryan Hanigan—C

    9) Starting Pitcher

    Entering the 2013 MLB season, the Cincinnati Reds have to be the favorites to win the National League Central.

    The Reds can win games with both their power and speed, which makes them a big threat. They are certainly a team to watch.

Cleveland Indians

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Drew Stubbs—CF

    2) Jason Kipnis—2B

    3) Asdrubal Cabrera—SS

    4) Carlos Santana—C

    5) Nick Swisher—RF

    6) Mark Reynolds—1B

    7) Michael Brantley—LF

    8) Lonnie Chisenhall—3B

    9) Mike Aviles—DH

    Two big offseason additions give the Cleveland Indians a chance to be a team that could surprise a number of people in 2013.

    Mark Reynolds provides a lot of power in the middle of the Indians lineup. Nick Swisher will be a consistent bat in the Indians' lineup as well.

Colorado Rockies

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Dexter Fowler—CF

    2) Josh Rutledge—2B

    3) Carlos Gonzalez—LF

    4) Troy Tulowitzki—SS

    5) Michael Cuddyer—RF

    6) Todd Helton—1B

    7) Wilin Rosario—C

    8) Chris Nelson—3B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    While there are a number of bright spots in the Colorado Rockies' lineup, there are questions of how Todd Helton will preform now that he is older.

    Even if Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez perform at an All-Star level, the team may have trouble picking up wins because of its starting rotation.

Detroit Tigers

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Austin Jackson—CF

    2) Torii Hunter—RF

    3) Miguel Cabrera—3B

    4) Prince Fielder—1B

    5) Victor Martinez—DH

    6) Andy Dirks—LF

    7) Johnny Peralta—SS

    8) Alex Avila—C

    9) Omar Infante—2B

    Few lineups around the league can compare to the one that the Detroit Tigers have. The combination of Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez is one that will scare a number of pitchers.

    Detroit has the firepower to win the American League Central and challenge for a World Series title once again in 2013.

Houston Astros

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Jose Altuve—2B

    2) Jed Lowrie—SS

    3) Brett Wallace—1B

    4) Carlos Pena—DH

    5) Fernando Martinez—RF

    6) J.D. Martinez—LF

    7) Jason Castro—C

    8) Matt Dominguez—3B

    9) Justin Maxwell—CF

    The Houston Astros' lineup is not one that will cause a lot of trouble for opposing pitchers in 2013. However, a number of young players will get a chance with the Astros.

    Houston is rebuilding, and the team will likely be in for a very long season.

Kansas City Royals

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Lorenzo Cain—CF

    2) Alcides Escobar—SS

    3) Alex Gordon—LF

    4) Billy Butler—DH

    5) Mike Moustakas—3B

    6) Eric Hosmer—1B

    7) Salvador Perez—C

    8) Jeff Francoeur—RF

    9) Chris Getz—2B

    The Kansas City Royals have gone all in and are trying to make the postseason for the first time in decades during the 2013 season.

    There are still some issues with the Royals' lineup, but with a number of players left on the free-agent market, the team can still make some improvements.

Los Angeles Angels

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Mike Trout—LF

    2) Erick Aybar—SS

    3) Josh Hamilton—RF

    4) Albert Pujols—1B

    5) Mark Trumbo—3B

    6) Howie Kendrick—2B

    7) Vernon Wells—DH

    8) Chris Iannetta—C

    9) Peter Bourjos—CF

    Just when it looked like the Los Angeles Angels' lineup could not get better, the team went out and signed Josh Hamilton.

    This addition is a huge boost for the Angels and gives the team one of the top lineups in all of baseball. Los Angeles will be a major contender for the World Series title this year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Carl Crawford—LF

    2) Mark Ellis—2B

    3) Matt Kemp—CF

    4) Adrian Gonzalez—1B

    5) Hanley Ramirez—SS

    6) Andre Ethier—RF

    7) Luis Cruz—3B

    8) A.J. Ellis—C

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The Los Angeles Dodgers have spent a ton of money improving their roster since new management took over in the hopes of winning a World Series.

    However, all that spending has not necessarily made them better than the rival San Francisco Giants.

Miami Marlins

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Juan Pierre—LF

    2) Donovan Solano—2B

    3) Giancarlo Stanton—RF

    4) Logan Morrison—1B

    5) Placido Polanco—3B

    6) Justin Ruggiano—CF

    7) Rob Brantly—C

    8) Adeiny Hechavarria—SS

    9) Starting Pitcher

    Following their fire sale, the Miami Marlins' starting lineup will be fairly weak. While Giancarlo Stanton is still around, he does not have much support.

    The Marlins could very well end up being one of the lowest-scoring teams in the majors in 2013.

Milwaukee Brewers

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Norichika Aoki—RF

    2) Rickie Weeks—2B

    3) Ryan Braun—LF

    4) Aramis Ramirez—3B

    5) Corey Hart—1B

    6) Jonathan Lucroy—C

    7) Carlos Gomez—CF

    8) Jean Segura—SS

    9) Starting Pitcher

    Looking up and down the Milwaukee Brewers' lineup, it is clear that the team has a very talented offense. They will be able to produce at a high level in 2013.

    Milwaukee could be a playoff team if its starting rotation is able to perform at the same level as its starting lineup.

Minnesota Twins

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Jamey Carroll—2B

    2) Trevor Pouffle—3B

    3) Joe Mauer—C

    4) Josh Willingham—LF

    5) Justin Morneau—1B

    6) Chris Parmelee—RF

    7) Ryan Doumit—DH

    8) Aaron Hicks—CF

    9) Pedro Florimon—SS

    It will be hard for the Minnesota Twins to contend with the team that they currently have. Minnesota's lineup is not enough to compete with the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central.

    If the Twins get off to a slow start, a number of the team's prospects could be given a chance to play at the MLB level.

New York Mets

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Ruben Tejada—SS

    2) Daniel Murphy—2B

    3) David Wright—3B

    4) Ike Davis—1B

    5) Lucas Duda—LF

    6) John Buck—C

    7) Kirk Neiwuenhuis—CF

    8) Mike Baxter—RF

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The New York Mets' starting lineup will certainly change as the offseason progresses. New York will be looking to bring in at least one outfielder this winter.

    Changes will likely continue once the season begins. Top prospect Travis D'Arnaud will eventually be called up to play catcher for the team.

New York Yankees

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Derek Jeter—SS

    2) Ichiro Suzuki—RF

    3) Robinson Cano—2B

    4) Mark Teixeira—1B

    5) Kevin Youkilis—3B

    6) Curtis Granderson—CF

    7) Eduardo Nunez—DH

    8) Francisco Cervelli—C

    9) Brett Gardner—LF

    One of the concerns with the New York Yankees' lineup is the age of their players. Alex Rodriguez is already missing a good part of the season as a result of an injury (h/t Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York).

    If the Yankees can stay healthy, then they will be able to compete in a difficult American League East. This is a big if, however.

Oakland Athletics

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Coco Crisp—CF

    2) Adam Rosales—2B

    3) Yoenis Cespedes—LF

    4) Josh Reddick—RF

    5) Chris Young—DH

    6) Chris Carter—1B

    7) Josh Donaldson—3B

    8) Derek Norris—C

    9) Andy Parrino—SS

    One of the strengths of the Oakland Athletics' roster is their outfield. Those bats are going to play a key role in trying to bring the Athletics back to the postseason.

    However, Oakland does have a number of question marks in its lineup such as Chris Carter and Derek Norris.

Philadelphia Phillies

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Ben Revere—CF

    2) Jimmy Rollins—SS

    3) Chase Utley—2B

    4) Ryan Howard—1B

    5) Michael Young—3B

    6) Domonic Brown—RF

    7) Darin Ruf—LF

    8) Erik Kratz—C

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The Philadelphia Phillies have made a number of moves already this offseason, but they are still going to be running out two prospects at the corner outfield spots.

    In addition to the outfield concerns, the Phillies will need to start the year with Erik Kratz at catcher as a result of Carlos Ruiz's PED suspension (h/t Craig Calcaterra of NBC Sports).

Pittsburgh Pirates

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Starling Marte—LF

    2) Neil Walker—2B

    3) Andrew McCutchen—CF

    4) Garrett Jones—1B

    5) Pedro Alvarez—3B

    6) Russell Martin—C

    7) Travis Snider—RF

    8) Ivan DeJesus—SS

    9) Starting Pitcher

    The goal for the Pittsburgh Pirates entering the 2013 season should be to finish with a .500 record or better. Their current lineup gives them the opportunity to do just that.

    Andrew McCutchen will be expected to once again be a leader for the Pirates, and he has some added help this season with the addition of Russell Martin.

San Diego Padres

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Everth Cabera—SS

    2) Will Venable—RF

    3) Chase Headley—3B

    4) Carlos Quentin—LF

    5) Yonder Alonso—1B

    6) Cameron Maybin—CF

    7) Nick Hundley—C

    8) Logan Forsyth—2B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    Moving the fences in at PETCO Park will certainly help out the offensive numbers of many of the players in the San Diego Padres' lineup (h/t Associated Press via ESPN). The team should see a few more home runs over the course of the year.

    San Diego did receive some bad news this winter as it learned that its starting catcher, Yasmani Grandal, is going to be suspended for the first 50 games of the year (h/t Gabe Lacques of USA Today).

San Francisco Giants

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Angel Pagan—CF

    2) Marco Scutaro—2B

    3) Pablo Sandoval—3B

    4) Buster Posey—C

    5) Hunter Pence—RF

    6) Brandon Belt—1B

    7) Gregor Blanco—LF

    8) Brandon Crawford—SS

    9) Starting Pitcher

    As the defending World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants will have high expectations heading into the 2013 season.

    San Francisco's rotation has been the key to its success, but its offense is also in the top half of the league when it comes to talent.

Seattle Mariners

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Dustin Ackley—2B

    2) Franklin Gutierrez—CF

    3) Kendrys Morales—1B

    4) Kyle Seager—3B

    5) Jesus Montero—DH

    6) John Jaso—C

    7) Michael Saunders—RF

    8) Raul Ibanez—LF

    9) Brendan Ryan—SS

    One of the goals for the Seattle Mariners this offseason was picking up a power bat for their lineup. They accomplished that by trading for Kendrys Morales.

    The American League West is an incredibly difficult division, and the Mariners' lineup may not have the talent necessary for the team to contend.

St. Louis Cardinals

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Rafael Furcal—SS

    2) Jon Jay—CF

    3) Matt Holliday—LF

    4) Carlos Beltran—RF

    5) David Freese—3B

    6) Yadier Molina—C

    7) Allen Craig—1B

    8) David Descalso—2B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    In terms of having talent from the first spot all the way through the eighth spot of a lineup, the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the top teams in MLB.

    It is hard to find an easy out in the Cardinals' lineup, and that is one of the reasons why they have been able to be so successful over the past few years.

Tampa Bay Rays

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Desmond Jennings—CF

    2) Yunel Escobar—SS

    3) Ben Zobrist—2B

    4) Evan Longoria—3B

    5) Matt Joyce—RF

    6) James Loney—1B

    7) Wil Myers—LF

    8) Jose Molina—C

    9) Sam Fuld—DH

    The Tampa Bay Rays have one of the most exciting outfields in the major leagues as a result of their trade with the Kansas City Royals. Bringing in Wil Myers was a move that sets the Rays up well for the future.

    Tampa Bay will have a lot of competition in the American League East this year, and it needs its top players such as Evan Longoria to stay healthy all season.

Texas Rangers

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Craig Gentry—CF

    2) Ian Kinsler—RF

    3) Elvis Andrus—SS

    4) Adrian Beltre—3B

    5) Nelson Cruz—DH

    6) A.J. Pierzynski—C

    7) Mike Olt—1B

    8) David Murphy—LF

    9) Jurickson Profar—2B

    After missing out on a number of big-name free agents this winter and losing Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers will have to make changes for 2013.

    Fitting Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt into the lineup won't be easy, but Ron Washington will figure out a way to make sure both of these talented players get playing time.

Toronto Blue Jays

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Jose Reyes—SS

    2) Melky Cabrera—LF

    3) Jose Bautista—RF

    4) Edwin Encarnacion—1B

    5) Brett Lawrie—3B

    6) Colby Rasmus—CF

    7) J.P Arencibia—C

    8) Adam Lind—DH

    9) Emilio Bonifacio -- 2B

    After the two blockbuster deals that they pulled off this winter, the Toronto Blue Jays have been thrust into the spotlight as the favorites to win the American League East.

    The Blue Jays are a team that when healthy will be able to score a lot of runs. That will help lead them into the postseason.

Washington Nationals

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    Starting Lineup

    1) Denard Span—CF

    2) Jayson Werth—RF

    3) Ryan Zimmerman—3B

    4) Mike Morse—1B

    5) Bryce Harper—LF

    6) Wilson Ramos—C

    7) Ian Desmond—SS

    8) Danny Espinosa—2B

    9) Starting Pitcher

    Last season the Washington Nationals finished with a league-best 98 wins. They will be looking to break the 100-win mark in 2013.

    Having Bryce Harper for a full season will certainly help, as will the addition of Denard Span. The Nationals are one of the teams to beat in the National League this season.