Although great starting pitching is considered essential for MLB contenders, these power rankings suggest that there's also a strong correlation between starting infield performance and overall success.
The marathon-like design of the regular season leads to frequent lineup changes, so pay close attention to how we determined each franchise's representatives.
In most cases, players who have started the largest number of their teams' games at first base, second base, shortstop and third base were deemed starting infielders. For certain scenarios, however, this wasn't a logical approach.
Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera, for example, would be included under that simple definition. Both accepted suspensions for their involvement with Biogenesis, and we cannot be sure if either of them will play next summer with their 2013 employers. Anybody who has suffered a season-ending injury was also omitted, and any two players consistently used in a platoon were used to represent a single starting infield spot.
Now that you've been prepped, continue clicking and offer whatever encouragement/criticism you deem appropriate.
*Stats provided by FanGraphs unless otherwise noted. Accurate through the games of August 26.