MLB Power Rankings: Mid-Spring Training Edition

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: Mid-Spring Training Edition

0 of 30

    While wins and losses are essentially meaningless during spring training, it is still an important time for players to round into regular-season form.

    It's a time for star players to get ready for another big season, and bubble players to battle for their spot on a team's 25-man roster.

    We're roughly at the midway point of spring training, so here is an updated look at where all 30 teams stand as we move closer to Opening Day.

     

    *Note: Rosters taken from MLBDepthCharts.com.

30. Houston Astros

1 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    SP Phil Humber (4 G, 14 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K)

    Picked up off waivers from the White Sox before spring training, Humber will make $800,000 this coming season with a team option for 2014 and will serve as the team's No. 4 starter.

    After resurrecting his career in 2011, he struggled to a 6.44 ERA last season over 26 games (16 starts), though he did throw a perfect game against the Mariners on April 21.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Tyler Greene
    2B Jose Altuve
    DH Carlos Pena
    LF Chris Carter
    1B Brett Wallace
    CF Justin Maxwell
    C Jason Castro
    RF Fernando Martinez
    3B Matt Dominguez

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Bud Norris
    SP Lucas Harrell
    SP Jordan Lyles
    SP Phil Humber
    SP Erik Bedard
    CP Jose Veras

29. Miami Marlins

2 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    2B Donovan Solano (14-for-28, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 6 R)

    Signed at the age of 17 by the Cardinals out of Colombia, Donovan Solano signed as a free agent with the Marlins in November of 2011 but failed to make the team out of camp.

    The 25-year-old did earn a midseason call-up last year, though, and took over at second base after Omar Infante was traded. He hit .295/.342/.375 over 285 at-bats, and he'll open 2013 as the unquestioned starter at second.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    LF Juan Pierre
    3B Placido Polanco
    RF Giancarlo Stanton
    1B Logan Morrison
    CF Justin Ruggiano
    C Rob Brantly
    2B Donovan Solano
    SS Adeiny Hechavarria
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Ricky Nolasco
    SP Henderson Alvarez
    SP Wade LeBlanc
    SP Nathan Eovaldi
    SP Jacob Turner
    CP Steve Cishek

28. Colorado Rockies

3 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    3B Nolan Arenado (8-for-23, 3 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R)

    After a breakout season at High-A in 2011, Nolan Arenado struggled to duplicate that success while he made the jump to Double-A in 2012, finishing the year with a .285/.337/.428 line and 12 home runs.

    Those are still solid numbers—especially given the fact that he was 21—and he has impressed all spring in his pursuit of the everyday third base job this season.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Dexter Fowler
    2B Josh Rutledge
    LF Carlos Gonzalez
    SS Troy Tulowitzki
    RF Michael Cuddyer
    1B Todd Helton
    C Wilin Rosario
    3B Chris Nelson
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Jorge De La Rosa
    SP Jhoulys Chacin
    SP Drew Pomeranz
    SP Juan Nicasio
    SP Jeff Francis
    CP Rafael Betancourt

27. Minnesota Twins

4 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    CF Aaron Hicks (13-for-35, 3 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 11 R)

    Hicks has been on the top-prospect radar since being taken in the first round of the 2008 draft. He enters the 2013 season as the No. 72-ranked prospect in baseball and the No. 6-ranked prospect in the Twins' system, according to Baseball America.

    With Darin Mastroianni (7-for-17) hitting well this spring, the 23-year-old Hicks may still wind up starting the year in the minors, but he'll make his debut at some point in 2013. 


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Darin Mastroianni
    2B Jamey Carroll
    C Joe Mauer
    LF Josh Willingham
    1B Justin Morneau
    DH Ryan Doumit
    RF Chris Parmelee
    3B Trevor Plouffe
    SS Pedro Florimon Jr.

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Vance Worley
    SP Kevin Correia
    SP Mike Pelfrey
    SP Liam Hendriks
    SP Brian Duensing
    CP Glen Perkins

26. San Diego Padres

5 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    LF Kyle Blanks (11-for-24, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R)

    Injuries have limited the once promising Blanks to just 92 games over the past three seasons, and he has failed to take the next step after hitting 10 home runs in 148 at-bats back in 2009.

    He's still only 26, though, and the Padres could certainly use another bat with some pop, so he has an outside shot to crack the Opening Day roster if he keeps it up.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Everth Cabrera
    2B Logan Forsythe
    3B Chase Headley
    LF Carlos Quentin
    1B Yonder Alonso
    RF Will Venable
    CF Cameron Maybin
    C Nick Hundley
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Edinson Volquez
    SP Clayton Richard
    SP Jason Marquis
    SP Eric Stults
    SP Freddy Garcia
    CP Huston Street

25. Chicago Cubs

6 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    OF Brian Bogusevic (11-for-25, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R)

    A first-round pick back in 2005, Bogusevic saw a career-high 355 at-bats for the Astros last season but hit just .203/.297/.299 with seven home runs and 15 steals.

    The Cubs gave a roster spot to Joe Mather last spring after he turned in a solid preseason, and Bogusevic looks to have a great shot at beating out either Dave Sappelt or Brent Lillibridge for a bench spot this season.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF David DeJesus
    SS Starlin Castro
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    LF Alfonso Soriano
    RF Nate Schierholtz
    3B Ian Stewart
    C Welington Castillo
    2B Darwin Barney
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Jeff Samardzija
    SP Edwin Jackson
    SP Scott Feldman 
    SP Travis Wood
    SP Carlos Villanueva
    CP Carlos Marmol

24. New York Mets

7 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    OF Jordany Valdespin (10-for-27, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

    Valdespin appears to have taken the lead for a starting outfield job and the lead-off spot in the Mets lineup, where his greatest asset—his speed—will be on display.

    He hit .241/.286/.424 with eight home runs and 10 steals in 191 at-bats last season while playing all over the field. Now, he has a chance to settle into an everyday job in a wide open Mets outfield if he keeps it up this spring.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Jordany Valdespin
    2B Daniel Murphy
    3B David Wright
    1B Ike Davis
    LF Lucas Duda
    RF Marlon Byrd
    C John Buck
    SS Ruben Tejada
    Pitcher 

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Jon Niese
    SP Shaun Marcum
    SP Matt Harvey
    SP Dillon Gee
    SP Jeremy Hefner
    CP Bobby Parnell

23. Pittsburgh Pirates

8 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    LF Starling Marte (9-for-24, 2 3B, 6 R, 3 SB)

    The speedy Marte announced himself as a top prospect with a breakout 2011 season in Double-A, and he turned in a solid big league debut last season.

    Over 167 at-bats, he hit .257/.300/.437 with five home runs and 12 steals, which was enough to make him the front-runner for the starting left field and leadoff roles entering camp this year. He's done nothing to hurt his stock this spring, and he could be in line for a breakout year.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

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

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP A.J. Burnett
    SP Wandy Rodriguez
    SP James McDonald
    SP Jeff Karstens
    SP Kyle McPherson
    CP Jason Grilli

22. Chicago White Sox

9 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    SP Dylan Axelrod (3 G, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K)

    Taken in the 30th round by the Padres back in 2007, Axelrod was released by San Diego in 2009 and spent time in the Independent League before landing with the White Sox in August of that same year.

    He went 7-5 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 Triple-A starts last season, and he also saw 14 games (seven starts) in the majors where he was 2-2 with a 5.47 ERA. He may not earn a rotation spot out of camp, but he could be the next in line if the team needs a fill-in starter at any point.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Alejandro De Aza
    3B Jeff Keppinger
    RF Alex Rios
    1B Paul Konerko
    DH Adam Dunn
    LF Dayan Viciedo
    SS Alexei Ramirez
    C Tyler Flowers
    2B Gordon Beckham

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Chris Sale
    SP Jake Peavy
    SP John Danks
    SP Gavin Floyd
    SP Jose Quintana
    CP Addison Reed

21. Seattle Mariners

10 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    RF Michael Saunders (12-for-29, 4 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 7 R)

    The above stats reflect Saunders' combined performance between six games in camp with the Mariners and three games playing for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

    Though Canada was eliminated in pool play, Saunders was the MVP of Pool D, as he went 8-for-11 with three doubles, a home run and seven RBI. He'll now look to carry that production over to the regular season and build off his quiet 2012 breakout year in which he had 19 home runs and 21 steals for the Mariners.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    2B Dustin Ackley
    CF Franklin Gutierrez
    3B Kyle Seager
    LF Michael Morse
    DH Kendrys Morales
    C Jesus Montero
    1B Justin Smoak
    RF Michael Saunders
    SS Brendan Ryan

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Felix Hernandez
    SP Joe Saunders
    SP Hisashi Iwakuma 
    SP Erasmo Ramirez
    SP Blake Beavan
    CP Tom Wilhelmsen

20. Cleveland Indians

11 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    SP Scott Kazmir (3 G, 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)

    With all due respect to Ryan Raburn and Nick Swisher, who have both been tearing the cover off the ball, Kazmir has been the talk of Indians camp, and rightfully so.

    The 29-year-old last pitched in the majors on April 3, 2011, and he spent last season toiling in the Independent League. He has a ways to go to prove that he's back, but so far he has looked good on the comeback trail.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Michael Bourn
    SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    2B Jason Kipnis
    1B Nick Swisher
    C Carlos Santana
    DH Mark Reynolds
    LF Michael Brantley
    3B Lonnie Chisenhall
    RF Drew Stubbs

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Justin Masterson 
    SP Ubaldo Jimenez 
    SP Brett Myers
    SP Zach McAllister
    SP Scott Kazmir
    CP Chris Perez

19. New York Yankees

12 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    2B Robinson Cano (17-for-37, 4 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R)

    Cano, who is playing for the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic, has gotten off to a great start this spring and is turning in an MVP-caliber performance in the tournament.

    He leads the WBC field with 12 hits, including four doubles and two home runs, and he'll be counted on to keep that up in what will be a decimated Yankees lineup to open the 2013 regular season.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    RF Ichiro Suzuki
    SS Derek Jeter
    2B Robinson Cano
    3B Kevin Youkilis
    DH Travis Hafner
    LF Juan Rivera
    1B Dan Johnson
    CF Brett Gardner
    C Chris Stewart

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP CC Sabathia
    SP Hiroki Kuroda 
    SP Andy Pettitte
    SP Phil Hughes
    SP Ivan Nova
    CP Mariano Rivera

18. Boston Red Sox

13 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    CF Jackie Bradley, Jr. (15-for-28, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 7 R)

    Bradley put any lingering injury concerns from his time at South Carolina behind him during his first pro season last year, hitting .315/.430/.482 and swiping 24 bases.

    He appears to be the heir apparent in center field with Jacoby Ellsbury set to hit free agency at season's end, and he has the potential to be a bona fide star down the line.

    *Special mention to right-hander Allen Webster, who was acquired in the blockbuster deal with the Dodgers last August, as he's been terrific as well (11 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 K).


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    SS Stephen Drew
    DH Mike Napoli
    RF Shane Victorino
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    LF Jonny Gomes
    1B Lyle Overbay
    C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

     

    2013 Projected Rotation

    SP Jon Lester
    SP Clay Buchholz
    SP Ryan Dempster
    SP Felix Doubront
    SP John Lackey
    CP Joel Hanrahan

17. Milwaukee Brewers

14 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    OF Caleb Gindl (10-for-26, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R)

    A fifth-round pick in 2007, the 5'9" Gindl has spent the past two seasons in Triple-A. Nagging injuries limited his production last season, but his 2011 numbers could be an indication of what he's capable of.

    In his first go-around in Triple-A, he hit .307/.390/.472 with 15 home runs and 60 RBI. While he may never be an everyday big leaguer, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook likens him to Laynce Nix, who has put together a solid career as a fourth outfielder.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    RF Norichika Aoki
    2B Rickie Weeks
    LF Ryan Braun
    3B Aramis Ramirez
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    CF Carlos Gomez
    1B Alex Gonzalez
    SS Jean Segura
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Yovani Gallardo
    SP Marco Estrada
    SP Michael Fiers
    SP Chris Narveson
    SP Wily Peralta
    CP John Axford

16. Philadelphia Phillies

15 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    RF Domonic Brown (16-for-40, 2 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 15 R)

    After being considered one of the top prospects in baseball entering the 2011 season—ranked No. 4 overall, according to Baseball America—Brown has seen just 371 total at-bats over the past two seasons due to injuries and offensive struggles.

    With two spots in the outfield up for grabs on the big league club, Brown has done everything in his power to win a starting position this year. Maybe this will be the year he turns in the breakout season that we all expected back in 2011.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Jimmy Rollins
    2B Chase Utley
    3B Michael Young
    1B Ryan Howard
    LF Darin Ruf
    RF Domonic Brown
    CF Ben Revere
    C Erik Kratz
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Cole Hamels
    SP Roy Halladay
    SP Cliff Lee
    SP Kyle Kendrick
    SP John Lannan
    CP Jonathan Papelbon

15. Texas Rangers

16 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    UT Jeff Baker (18-for-34, 4 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 10 R)

    After spending last season with the Cubs, Tigers and Braves, Baker settled for a minor league deal from the Rangers this offseason with an invitation to spring training.

    He's a .266/.316/.428 career hitter and is capable of playing all four infield positions as well as the corner outfield. He should be a shoo-in for a bench spot this season after the way he has opened the preseason.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    2B Ian Kinsler
    SS Elvis Andrus
    DH Lance Berkman
    3B Adrian Beltre
    RF Nelson Cruz
    LF David Murphy
    C A.J. Pierzynski
    1B Mitch Moreland
    CF Leonys Martin

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Yu Darvish
    SP Derek Holland
    SP Matt Harrison
    SP Alexi Ogando
    SP Robbie Ross
    CP Joe Nathan

14. Baltimore Orioles

17 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    1B Steve Pearce (9-for-21, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 5 R)

    A journeyman with plus power, Pearce has never seen more than 165 at-bats in a season, and he spent last year with the Orioles, Astros and Yankees.

    The Orioles acquired Jim Thome at the deadline last year to try and provide some punch off the bench, and that is a need once again. Pearce and Conor Jackson both have an outside shot at a roster spot as a result.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    2B Brian Roberts
    RF Nick Markakis
    CF Adam Jones
    C Matt Wieters
    1B Chris Davis
    SS J.J. Hardy
    LF Nate McLouth
    3B Manny Machado
    DH Wilson Betemit

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Jason Hammel
    SP Wei-Yin Chen
    SP Chris Tillman
    SP Miguel Gonzalez
    SP Jair Jurrjens
    CP Jim Johnson

13. Kansas City Royals

18 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    LF Alex Gordon (15-for-28, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 10 R)

    The Royals are currently hitting a ridiculous .342/.395/.528 as a team this spring, so there are plenty of impressive performers to choose from, but we'll give Gordon the nod here.

    Though he failed to match the production of his breakout season in 2011, the 29-year-old was solid nonetheless with a 5.9 WAR. He may never be a superstar, but he should continue to be a plus-performer atop the Royals lineup.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

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

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP James Shields
    SP Jeremy Guthrie
    SP Ervin Santana 
    SP Wade Davis
    SP Bruce Chen
    CP Greg Holland

12. Arizona Diamondbacks

19 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    1B Paul Goldschmidt (13-for-29, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 5 R, 6 BB)

    After a strong audition in 2011 that ended with him serving as the starting first baseman in the postseason, Goldschmidt took the next step toward stardom last season.

    He hit .286/.359/.490 with 20 home runs and 18 steals, and he still has the room to improve. At 25 years old, he has the tools to join the ranks of the game's elite first basemen.


    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Adam Eaton
    2B Aaron Hill
    C Miguel Montero
    LF Jason Kubel
    3B Martin Prado
    1B Paul Goldschmidt
    RF Cody Ross
    SS Cliff Pennington
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Ian Kennedy
    SP Trevor Cahill
    SP Wade Miley
    SP Brandon McCarthy
    SP Tyler Skaggs
    CP J.J. Putz

11. Oakland Athletics

20 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    OF Shane Peterson (16-for-35, 5 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R)

    A second-round pick in the 2008 draft, Peterson has moved slowly through the A's system, but he put up the best numbers of his career last year, hitting .326/.460/.510 between Double-A and Triple-A.

    The Oakland outfield is already crowded, so Peterson's chances of making the roster out of camp are slim, but the 25-year-old should see the majors at some point in 2013.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Coco Crisp
    3B Jed Lowrie
    LF Yoenis Cespedes
    1B Brandon Moss
    RF Josh Reddick
    DH Seth Smith
    C John Jaso
    2B Scott Sizemore
    SS Hiroyuki Nakajima

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation 

    SP Brett Anderson
    SP Jarrod Parker
    SP Tom Milone
    SP A.J. Griffin
    SP Daniel Straily
    CP Ryan Cook

10. St. Louis Cardinals

21 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    SP Michael Wacha (4 G, 9.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 13 K)

    The No. 19 overall pick in last June's draft, Wacha made a splash after signing last summer with a 0.86 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 21 innings in Double-A.

    He's just another frontline arm in a terrific Cardinals minor league system, and the 21-year-old should continue to move quickly through the system and could set himself up for a September call-up.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF John Jay
    1B Allen Craig
    LF Matt Holliday
    RF Carlos Beltran
    C Yadier Molina
    3B David Freese
    2B Matt Carpenter
    SS Pete Kozma
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Adam Wainwright
    SP Jaime Garcia
    SP Jake Westbrook
    SP Lance Lynn
    SP Shelby Miller
    CP Jason Motte

9. Tampa Bay Rays

22 of 30

    Mid-Spring Stats

    SP Alex Cobb (4 G, 14 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 18 K)

    The trade of James Shields has left a hole in the Rays rotation, but there may be no team better suited to replace someone like Shields than Tampa Bay, with its deep stable of starting pitching.

    Though he didn't break camp with the team last year, the 25-year-old did make 23 starts for the team and went 11-9 with a 4.03 ERA. He's pitched like an ace this spring, and he could certainly help ease the loss of Shields with a breakout season.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Desmond Jennings
    SS Yunel Escobar
    RF Ben Zobrist
    3B Evan Longoria
    LF Matt Joyce
    DH Luke Scott
    2B Kelly Johnson 
    1B James Loney 
    C Jose Molina

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP David Price
    SP Jeremy Hellickson
    SP Matt Moore
    SP Alex Cobb
    SP Jeff Niemann
    CP Fernando Rodney

8. Los Angeles Angels

23 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    2B Howie Kendrick (13-for-27, 1 2B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5 R)

    Kendrick has continued his hot spring as he looks to bounce back from a disappointing 2012. After a breakout 2011, he signed a four-year, $33.5 million extension, but his OPS fell nearly 80 points last season.

    He is still just 29 years old, so a return to his All-Star form is very possible. He could give the Angels yet another potent bat in their already stacked lineup.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    LF Mike Trout
    SS Erick Aybar
    1B Albert Pujols
    RF Josh Hamilton
    DH Mark Trumbo
    2B Howie Kendrick
    3B Alberto Callaspo
    C Chris Iannetta
    CF Peter Bourjos 

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Jered Weaver
    SP C.J. Wilson
    SP Joe Blanton
    SP Jason Vargas
    SP Tommy Hanson 
    CP Ernesto Frieri

7. Atlanta Braves

24 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    C/OF Evan Gattis (13-for-28, 5 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R)

    Though he is already 26 and has just 49 games above Single-A under his belt, Gattis has made quite an impression this spring with his powerful bat.

    A wrist injury limited him to just 74 games last season, but he still managed to hit .305/.389/.607 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI, and he has a real shot at a bench job with Atlanta.

    *Props to shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who has been a catalyst for the surprising Team Netherlands in the WBC, going 10-for-27 with three doubles and two home runs.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Andrelton Simmons
    RF Jason Heyward
    LF Justin Upton
    1B Freddie Freeman
    CF B.J. Upton
    2B Dan Uggla
    3B Juan Francisco
    C Gerald Laird 
    Pitcher 

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Tim Hudson
    SP Kris Medlen
    SP Mike Minor
    SP Paul Maholm
    SP Julio Teheran
    CP Craig Kimbrel

6. Toronto Blue Jays

25 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    SS Jose Reyes (15-for-33, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 9 R)

    One of a number of big-name acquisitions the Blue Jays made this offseason, Reyes went 9-for-14 with a double and a home run in six games with the team before joining the Dominican Republic for the World Baseball Classic.

    He has continued to hit well in the tournament, scoring five runs, and he should serve as a similarly dangerous table setter for a stacked Blue Jays lineup in the season ahead.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Jose Reyes
    LF Melky Cabrera
    RF Jose Bautista
    1B Edwin Encarnacion
    CF Colby Rasmus
    3B Brett Lawrie
    DH Adam Lind
    C J.P. Arencibia
    2B Emilio Bonifacio 

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP R.A. Dickey 
    SP Brandon Morrow
    SP Mark Buehrle
    SP Josh Johnson 
    SP Ricky Romero
    CP Casey Janssen

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

26 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    OF Yasiel Puig (14-for-33, 3 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R)

    Signed to a seven-year, $42 million contract after defecting from Cuba last summer, Puig hit .354/.442/.634 with five home runs and eight steals in 23 minor league games for the Dodgers last season.

    The 22-year-old has as much offensive potential as any prospect in baseball, and he has held his own against big league talent this spring. He does have 10 strikeouts in 33 at-bats, so he still needs some seasoning, but he appears to be ahead of the developmental curve.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SS Hanley Ramirez
    2B Mark Ellis
    CF Matt Kemp
    1B Adrian Gonzalez
    RF Andre Ethier
    3B Luis Cruz
    LF Skip Schumaker
    C A.J. Ellis 
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    SP Clayton Kershaw
    SP Zack Greinke
    SP Josh Beckett
    SP Hyun-Jin Ryu
    SP Chad Billingsley
    CP Brandon League

4. Cincinnati Reds

27 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    C Devin Mesoraco (8-for-17, 1 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 3 R)

    Mesoraco turned in a disappointing line during his rookie season, hitting just .212 with five home runs and 14 RBI over 165 at-bats while backing up Ryan Hanigan.

    He'll once again fill the role of backup, but if he can continue to hit like he has this spring, he could unseat the veteran Hanigan. Mesoraco's offensive upside is high, and if he can step up, he would make an already stacked Reds lineup that much better.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Shin-Soo Choo
    2B Brandon Phillips
    1B Joey Votto
    LF Ryan Ludwick
    RF Jay Bruce
    3B Todd Frazier
    SS Zack Cozart
    C Ryan Hanigan
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Johnny Cueto
    SP Mat Latos
    SP Bronson Arroyo
    SP Homer Bailey
    SP Aroldis Chapman
    CP Jonathan Broxton

3. Washington Nationals

28 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    OF Bryce Harper (14-for-32, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R)

    Last spring, Harper was trying to prove that he belonged in the major leagues, though he'd eventually wind up starting the season in the minors.

    This spring, Harper is trying to take the next step in his progression toward super stardom, and the early returns have been impressive. Manager Davey Johnson has already seen enough to slot him in the No. 3 spot in the order, and a 30-HR, 100-RBI season is certainly doable.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Denard Span
    RF Jayson Werth
    LF Bryce Harper
    3B Ryan Zimmerman
    1B Adam LaRoche
    SS Ian Desmond
    2B Danny Espinosa
    C Kurt Suzuki
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Stephen Strasburg
    SP Gio Gonzalez
    SP Jordan Zimmermann
    SP Dan Haren
    SP Ross Detwiler
    CP Rafael Soriano

2. Detroit Tigers

29 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    RP Al Alburquerque (7 G, 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 11 K)

    With Jose Valverde departing via free agency and hard-throwing prospect Bruce Rondon struggling early on in camp, the ninth-inning role in Detroit has yet to be resolved.

    Alburquerque has legitimate swing-and-miss stuff, with 85 strikeouts in 56.2 big league innings. Even if he doesn't wind up in the closer's role, the right-hander will still play a major role in the team's bullpen this coming season.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Austin Jackson
    RF Torii Hunter
    3B Miguel Cabrera
    1B Prince Fielder
    DH Victor Martinez
    LF Andy Dirks
    SS Jhonny Peralta
    C Alex Avila
    2B Omar Infante

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Justin Verlander
    SP Doug Fister
    SP Max Scherzer
    SP Anibal Sanchez
    SP Rick Porcello
    CP Bruce Rondon

1. San Francisco Giants

30 of 30

    Mid-Spring Star

    1B Brandon Belt (15-for-33, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R)

    Belt set the bar incredibly high when he hit .352/.455/.620 in his pro debut in 2010 while reaching Triple-A. As a result, his first full season in the majors last year was a disappointment of sorts.

    Still, his .275/.360/.421 line was solid, and he added seven home runs and 12 steals. The 24-year-old has plenty of room to improve, and while he doesn't have premier power, he could settle in as a perennial 20/20 player.

     

    Projected Opening Day Lineup

    CF Angel Pagan
    2B Marco Scutaro
    3B Pablo Sandoval
    C Buster Posey
    RF Hunter Pence
    1B Brandon Belt
    LF Gregor Blanco
    SS Brandon Crawford
    Pitcher

     

    Projected Opening Day Rotation

    SP Matt Cain
    SP Madison Bumgarner
    SP Tim Lincecum
    SP Barry Zito
    SP Ryan Vogelsong
    CP Sergio Romo