2014 MLB Spring Training logo2014 MLB Spring Training

Power Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups Entering Spring Training

Karl BuscheckContributor IIIFebruary 11, 2014

Power Ranking All 30 MLB Lineups Entering Spring Training

1 of 31

    Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

    Everyone knows that pitching wins championships. 

    As the Boston Red Sox demonstrated last season, though, having an explosive offense certainly helps. In 2013, the Red Sox led all of baseball in runs scored, and it wasn't even close. However, that accomplishment doesn't guarantee the club the top spot in the power rankings of all 30 MLB lineups entering spring training. 

    American League teams have an obvious advantage over their National League counterparts in the rankings, thanks to the designated hitter. 

    Still, that didn't stop one NL club from cracking the top three in the rankings. 

     

     

    Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

30. Miami Marlins

2 of 31

    Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. 2B Rafael Furcal
    2. LF Christian Yelich
    3. RF Giancarlo Stanton
    4. 1B Garrett Jones
    5. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
    6. 3B Casey McGehee
    7. CF Marcell Ozuna
    8. SS Adeiny Hechavarria
    9. Starting Pitcher

    Last season, the Miami Marlins finished last among all MLB teams in runs scored, home runs and OPS among a variety of other offensive categories. 

    To correct those shortcomings, the Marlins have been busy adding offensive talent this offseason. The three-year, $21 million deal the club handed out to Saltalamacchia represents the big splash, but the team has also invested in a number of low-risk, high-upside players.

    Furcal, Jones and McGehee have all been added to the infield mix. Despite those additions, though, the Marlins remains stationed in the No. 30 spot in the power rankings.

29. Minnesota Twins

3 of 31

    Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Alex Presley 
    2. 2B Brian Dozier
    3. 1B Joe Mauer
    4. LF Josh Willingham
    5. DH Jason Kubel
    6. 3B Trevor Plouffe
    7. RF Oswaldo Arcia
    8. C Kurt Suzuki
    9. SS Pedro Florimon

    The Minnesota Twins had one of the worst offenses in the AL in 2013, and so far there has been little done to correct that lack of production.

    The two most notable additions to the lineup this offseason have been Suzuki and Kubel. Suzuki, who hit .232 last season, doesn't offer much offensively, but he is a well-respected for his veteran leadership and defensive skills behind the plate. 

    However, the offense will get a boost with Mauer converting to first base. The six-time All-Star should easily surpass the 113 games he played in 2013 now that he doesn't have to worry about catching.

28. Chicago Cubs

4 of 31

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. SS Starlin Castro
    2. 2B Darwin Barney
    3. 1B Anthony Rizzo
    4. RF Nate Schierholtz
    5. C Welington Castillo
    6. LF Junior Lake
    7. 3B Luis Valbuena
    8. CF Ryan Sweeney
    9. Starting Pitcher

    It's a good thing that the Chicago Cubs have one of the best farm systems in all of baseball because the big-league lineup is looking shaky at best heading into spring training. Unfortunately, most of the minor-league talent won't be ready by Opening Day. 

    Third base is one of the biggest problem spots for the club. Donnie Murphy and Mike Olt will get the chance to battle with Valbuena for at-bats in the spring. 

    If the Cubs are going to get back on track in 2014, it will be vital that Castro gets back to his old form. The shortstop has the ability to set the tone for the rest of the lineup if he returns to the level of production that helped him earn All-Star selections in 2011 and 2012.

27. Philadelphia Phillies

5 of 31

    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Ben Revere
    2. SS Jimmy Rollins
    3. 2B Chase Utley
    4. 1B Ryan Howard
    5. RF Marlon Byrd
    6. LF Domonic Brown
    7. C Carlos Ruiz
    8. 3B Cody Asche
    9. Starting Pitcher

    It's not looking good for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014. 

    The Phillies still have a talented assortment of veterans on the roster, but the question is just how much production will that translate to on the field.

    General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has already pulled off a number of questionable moves this offseason, including re-signing Ruiz to a three-year, $26 million deal and splashing out a two-year, $16 million contract to Byrd.

    According to Dennis Deitch of the Delco Daily News, the "most reasonable" move of the offseason could just be the decision to bring back Bobby Abreu on a minor-league deal. Abreu last appeared in a big-league game for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.

26. New York Mets

6 of 31

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Chris Young
    2. 2B Daniel Murphy
    3. 3B David Wright
    4. RF Curtis Granderson
    5. 1B Ike Davis
    6. C Travis d'Arnaud
    7. SS Ruben Tejada
    8. LF Eric Young Jr.
    9. Starting Pitcher 

    The New York Mets have definitely improved the club's lineup with the additions of Granderson and Young. However, it remains to be seen just how extensive that improvement will be.

    Last season, injuries limited Granderson to just 61 games, while Young suffered through a disastrous 2013 as he hit .200 for the Oakland Athletics. 

    There's also substantial uncertainty in terms of who will hold down first base. Davis is the incumbent, but he's coming off a 2013 campaign in which he hit .205 with nine home runs.

25. Houston Astros

7 of 31

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Dexter Fowler
    2. 2B Jose Altuve
    3. C Jason Castro 
    4. DH Chris Carter
    5. 3B Matt Dominguez
    6. 1B Jesus Guzman
    7. RF LJ Hoes
    8. LF Robbie Grossman
    9. SS Jonathan Villar

    The Houston Astros have lots of room for offensive improvement after scoring the second-fewest runs in the entire AL in 2013. 

    The Fowler acquisition should definitely help in the run-scoring category. With a career .365 OBP, Fowler provides the Astros with a strong presence in the leadoff spot. 

    Guzman is penciled in at first base for now, but the position is a definite area of concern for the Astros. Marc Krauss, Japhet Amador and Jonathan Singleton will also battle for playing time at first, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

24. San Diego Padres

8 of 31

    Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. SS Everth Cabrera
    2. CF Will Venable
    3. 3B Chase Headley
    4. LF Carlos Quentin
    5. 2B Jedd Gyorko
    6. 1B Yonder Alonso
    7. RF Seth Smith/Chris Denorfia
    8. C Nick Hundley
    9. Starting Pitcher

    In 2014, there will be no shortage of attention on Headley. The third baseman is set to become a free agent at the end of the 2014 campaign and is coming off a down season a year ago. In 2013, Headley hit just .250 with 13 home runs, after batting .286 with 31 long balls back in 2012. 

    Venable and Gyorko will also look to match their impressive outputs from a year ago. In 2013, Venable totaled a career-high 22 home runs, while Gyorko connected on 23 in his rookie season.

23. Milwaukee Brewers

9 of 31

    Tom Lynn/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. SS Jean Segura
    2. CF Carlos Gomez
    3. RF Ryan Braun 
    4. 3B Aramis Ramirez
    5. C Jonathan Lucroy
    6. 1B Mark Reynolds
    7. LF Khris Davis
    8. 2B Scooter Gennett
    9. Starting Pitcher 

    There's no doubt that the Milwaukee Brewers need bounce-back seasons from Braun and Ramirez. However, it will also be interesting to see if Davis and Gennett can maintain their high level of play from 2013. Last season, David posted a .949 OPS, while Gennett finished the season hitting .324. 

    Reynolds could also prove to be a shrewd buy-low pickup. The first baseman will rack up tons of strikeouts, but he's hit at least 21 home runs in six-straight campaigns.

22. San Francisco Giants

10 of 31

    Ross Franklin/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Angel Pagan
    2. 2B Marco Scutaro
    3. 3B Pablo Sandoval 
    4. C Buster Posey
    5. 1B Brandon Belt
    6. RF Hunter Pence
    7. LF Michael Morse 
    8. SS Brandon Crawford
    9. Starting Pitcher

    The San Francisco Giants have a strong heart of the order in Sandoval, Posey, Belt and Pence. Sandoval and Belt in particular appear due for monster seasons in 2014. 

    Sandoval will be playing in his contract year with his deal set to expire at the end of the season. Meanwhile, Belt will look to pick up where he left off in the second half of the 2013 campaign. After the All-Star break, Belt hit .326/.390/.525.

21. Seattle Mariners

11 of 31

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. LF Dustin Ackley
    2. 3B Kyle Seager
    3. 2B Robinson Cano
    4. DH Corey Hart
    5. 1B Justin Smoak
    6. CF Michael Saunders
    7. RF Logan Morrison
    8. C Mike Zunino/John Buck
    9. SS Brad Miller

    With an abundance of DH's and corner types, there will be plenty of competition for playing time at the Seattle Mariners spring training camp. 

    In the outfield, Franklin Gutierrez will also battle for at-bats. Plus, the picture will get even more complicated if the Mariners end up signing Nelson Cruz, who remains on the club's radar, per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.

20. Chicago White Sox

12 of 31

    Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Adam Eaton
    2. SS Alexei Ramirez
    3. RF Avisail Garcia
    4. 1B Jose Abreu 
    5. DH Adam Dunn
    6. LF Alejandro De Aza/Dayan Viciedo 
    7. 3B Conor Gillaspie
    8. C Tyler Flowers
    9. 2B Gordon Beckham

    The Chicago White Sox have done a solid job of upgrading the club's lineup this offseason. Abreu will be one of the most closely followed players in all of baseball this spring, as the slugger looks to prove that the prolific power he displayed in Cuba will translate to the big leagues.

    The addition of Eaton also significantly strengthens the outfield, as his arrival pushes Viciedo and De Aza into a platoon in left field. 

    At third base, Gillaspie gets the nod over Matt Davidson, as the 26-year-old Gillaspie is out of options, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com.

19. Cincinnati Reds

13 of 31

    Joe Sargent/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Billy Hamilton
    2. 2B Brandon Phillips
    3. 1B Joey Votto
    4. RF Jay Bruce
    5. LF Ryan Ludwick
    6. 3B Todd Frazier
    7. C Devin Mesoraco 
    8. SS Zack Cozart
    9. Starting Pitcher 

    The most pressing question facing the Cincinnati Reds is whether Hamilton can step in to replace Shin-Soo Choo in the leadoff spot. The speedy center fielder should easily eclipse Choo's 20 stolen bases from a season ago, but matching his .423 OBP will be another matter. 

    It's also difficult to know what to expect from Ludwick. Back in 2012, the right fielder hit 26 home runs and put up a .877 OPS. However, Ludwick suffered a torn labrum in his right shoulder on Opening Day last season and was limited to just 38 games. 

18. Pittsburgh Pirates

14 of 31

    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. LF Starling Marte
    2. 2B Neil Walker
    3. CF Andrew McCutchen
    4. 3B Pedro Alvarez
    5. 1B Gaby Sanchez/Andrew Lambo
    6. C Russell Martin
    7. RF Jose Tabata
    8. SS Jordy Mercer
    9. Starting Pitcher

    The Pittsburgh Pirates have a stellar 3-4 combo in McCutchen, the reigning NL MVP, and Alvarez. Last season, Alvarez connected on 36 home runs, but posted just a .296 OBP.

    The club would clearly benefit from the addition of a power bat at first base such as Kendrys Morales. According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Pirates and Morales have expressed "mutual interest," but it's unlcear if Pittsburgh thinks signing the switch-hitter would be worth losing the No. 25 pick in the draft. The team will also have to factor Morales' defensive limitations into the decision. 

    For now, Lambo could join Sanchez in a platoon at first base. Last season, Lambo swatted 32 home runs while splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A.

17. Baltimore Orioles

15 of 31

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. RF Nick Markakis
    2. 3B Manny Machado
    3. CF Adam Jones
    4. 1B Chris Davis
    5. C Matt Wieters
    6. SS J.J. Hardy
    7. DH Henry Urrutia/Delmon Young
    8. LF David Lough/Nolan Reimold
    9. 2B Jemile Weeks

    The Baltimore Orioles tied with the Cleveland Indians to score the fifth-most runs in baseball in 2013. However, the Orioles have toppled down the rankings after a disappointing offseason. 

    With the departures of Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts, the Orioles have some major uncertainty in left field and at second base. Weeks will compete with Ryan Flaherty and Alexi Casilla for the everyday role at second base in the spring.

    There's also a very real chance that Machado won't be ready for Opening Day as he works his way back from knee surgery. 

     

     

    Note: Video courtesy of MLB Advanced Media. 

16. Colorado Rockies

16 of 31

    Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. LF Charlie Blackmon/Drew Stubbs
    2. 2B DJ LeMahieu
    3. CF Carlos Gonzalez
    4. SS Troy Tulowitzki
    5. RF Michael Cuddyer 
    6. 1B Justin Morneau 
    7. C Wilin Rosario
    8. 3B Nolan Arenado 
    9. Starting Pitcher

    The Colorado Rockies have plenty of options in terms of who will end up playing left field and second base. Brandon Barnes will also be part of the conversation for playing time in left, while Josh Rutledge will be in the mix at second. 

    The key to success, though, will be keeping the trio of Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Cuddyer healthy. Last season, all three played in 130 games or less.

15. Arizona Diamondbacks

17 of 31

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. RF Gerardo Parra
    2. 3B Martin Prado
    3. 1B Paul Goldschmidt
    4. LF Mark Trumbo
    5. 2B Aaron Hill
    6. C Miguel Montero
    7. CF A.J. Pollock
    8. SS Didi Gregorius
    9. Starting Pitcher

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have one of the most powerful 3-4 combos in all of baseball in Goldschmidt and Trumbo. The recently acquired Trumbo will be an adventure in left field, but the two sluggers should combine to hit close to 70 home runs in 2014. 

    For the Diamondbacks, there are still jobs to be won during spring training. Chris Owings will battle with Gregorius to claim the starting spot at shortstop.

    Meanwhile, Cody Ross could also work his way back into the outfield equation. Ross' status for Opening Day remains unclear after manager Kirk Gibson explained on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM's Burns and Gambo Show that it will be "a bit of a stretch" for Ross to be ready for the start of the year. 

     

    Note: Video Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

14. Washington Nationals

18 of 31

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Denard Span
    2. RF Jayson Werth
    3. 3B Ryan Zimmerman
    4. LF Bryce Harper
    5. SS Ian Desmond
    6. 1B Adam LaRoche
    7. 2B Anthony Rendon
    8. C Wilson Ramos
    9. Starting Pitcher

    After getting off to a terribly slow start in 2013, the Washington Nationals really picked it up in the second half of the season. After the All-Star break, the club was sixth in all of baseball in runs scored per game, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.

    To maintain that pace in 2014, the Nationals will need to keep both Harper and Werth on the field. During the second half of last season, Werth posted a slash line of .339/.432/.600 with 15 home runs.

13. Toronto Blue Jays

19 of 31

    Frank Gunn/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. SS Jose Reyes
    2. LF Melky Cabrera
    3. RF Jose Bautista
    4. DH Edwin Encarnacion 
    5. 3B Brett Lawrie
    6. 1B Adam Lind
    7. CF Colby Rasmus
    8. C Dioner Navarro
    9. 2B Ryan Goins

    The Toronto Blue Jays have an impressive collection of offensive talent. The question, of course, is whether those players can remain healthy enough to stay on the field. Last year, Reyes, Cabrera and Bautista all missed extensive time. 

    The situation at second base also remains unresolved. Goins is the front-runner to hold down the spot, but the veteran Maicer Izturis will also be part of the competition for playing time. 

12. Los Angeles Dodgers

20 of 31

    Harry How/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. RF Yasiel Puig
    2. LF Carl Crawford
    3. SS Hanley Ramirez
    4. 1B Adrian Gonzalez
    5. CF Matt Kemp
    6. 3B Juan Uribe
    7. 2B Alex Guerrero
    8. C A.J. Ellis
    9. Starting Pitcher

    Kemp's status for Opening Day remains up in the air, as the outfielder explained to reporters at the Los Angeles Dodgers FanFest. If Kemp is not ready to go, Andre Ethier should take his place in the outfield. 

    As far as the infield is concerned, Ramirez is primed to have a monster season with his contract set to expire at the end of the year. Last season, the shortstop finished eighth on the NL MVP ballot, despite the fact that he only appeared in 86 games.

11. Atlanta Braves

21 of 31

    Projected Lineup 

    1. RF Jason Heyward
    2. 3B Chris Johnson
    3. LF Justin Upton
    4. 1B Freddie Freeman
    5. C Evan Gattis
    6. SS Andrelton Simmons
    7. 2B Dan Uggla
    8. CF B.J. Upton
    9. Starting Pitcher

    Outside of Uggla and B.J. Upton, the Atlanta Braves' lineup looks remarkably strong. 

    Freeman has consistently improved in each of his first three full big-league seasons, and there's no reason to think that trend will stop in 2014. Heyward should also be in line for a more productive season next year, assuming he can stay on the field for more than the 104 games he played in 2013. 

    Finally, it will be worth watching to see if Simmons can maintain the power stroke that helped him launch 17 home runs in his first full season in Atlanta.  

     

     

    Note: Video Courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

10. New York Yankees

22 of 31

    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
    2. SS Derek Jeter
    3. RF Carlos Beltran
    4. 1B Mark Teixeira
    5. C Brian McCann
    6. DH Alfonso Soriano
    7. LF Brett Gardner
    8. 3B Kelly Johnson
    9. 2B Brian Roberts

    The New York Yankees spent a ton of cash this winter to upgrade an offense that posted a .683 OPS in 2013, which was the fifth-worst in all of baseball.

    The lineup is certainly better, but serious problems remain. The infield is a mess with Jeter and Teixeira both rebounding from injury-plagued campaigns and veteran journeymen Johnson and Roberts slated to take over at third base and second base, respectively. 

    Ellsbury will provide a much-needed boost atop the lineup, and McCann should be an ideal fit with the short porch in right field. However, the team will need to rely heavily on Beltran who turns 37 in April and Soriano who is 38.

    Simply put, the Yankees are highly talented, but they're also very old.

9. Tampa Bay Rays

23 of 31

    Mike Carlson/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. LF David DeJesus
    2. 2B Ben Zobrist
    3. RF Wil Myers
    4. 3B Evan Longoria
    5. 1B James Loney
    6. SS Yunel Escobar
    7. DH Matt Joyce/Sean Rodriguez
    8. CF Desmond Jennings
    9. C Ryan Hanigan/Jose Molina

    There are no obvious weaknesses in the Tampa Bay Rays' lineup. 

    It will interesting to see what Myers can do with a full season of at-bats. The outfielder snagged AL Rookie of the Year honors last season after making his big-league debut in June. Myers clubbed 13 home runs in 88 games, but he also punched out 91 times. 

    Keeping his strikeout numbers in check will be a key component in just how much success Myers enjoys during his sophomore season and, by extension, how effective the Rays are offensively.

8. Kansas City Royals

24 of 31

    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup: 

    1. RF Norichika Aoki
    2. 2B Omar Infante
    3. LF Alex Gordon
    4. DH Billy Butler
    5. 1B Eric Hosmer
    6. C Salvador Perez
    7. 3B Mike Moustakas
    8. CF Lorenzo Cain
    9. SS Alcides Escobar

    The Kansas City Royals made a pair of key additions this offseason in the form of Aoki and Infante. 

    Aoki provides the club with a legitimate leadoff hitter, as he posted a .355 OBP last season for the Milwaukee Brewers. The outfielder was also the most difficult player to strike out last season with a 5.9 K%, per Fangraphs.com

    With Aoki and Infante setting the table, there should be plenty of runs to drive in for Gordon, Butler, Hosmer and Perez.

7. Oakland Athletics

25 of 31

    Projected Starting Lineup: 

    1. CF Coco Crisp
    2. 3B Josh Donaldson
    3. SS Jed Lowrie
    4. LF Yoenis Cespedes
    5. 1B Brandon Moss/Alberto Callaspo
    6. DH John Jaso 
    7. RF Josh Reddick
    8. 2B Eric Sogard/Nick Punto
    9. C Stephen Vogt/Derek Norris

    The Oakland Athletics have lots of power. 

    In 2013, the team finished third in all of baseball with 186 home runs. That number could rise even higher in the upcoming season if Cespedes can remain consistent throughout the entire year and if Reddick can regain his stroke after a dismal showing in 2013.

    The team does still have some questions marks as to how playing time will be divided. Look for manager Bob Melvin to once again maximize the potential on the roster be utilizing platoons at first base, second base, DH and catcher. 

     

    Note: Video courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

6. Cleveland Indians

26 of 31

    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup: 

    1. CF Michael Bourn
    2. 1B Nick Swisher
    3. 2B Jason Kipnis
    4. DH Carlos Santana
    5. LF Michael Brantley
    6. SS Asdrubal Cabrera
    7. C Yan Gomes
    8. RF David Murphy
    9. 3B Lonnie Chisenhall

    Last season, the Cleveland Indians finished tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the fifth-most runs scored in all of baseball. Cleveland accomplished that feat despite the fact that Bourn, Swisher and Cabrera all suffered through down seasons. 

    After posting an .832 OPS in 2013, Santana should be due for an even better campaign this year now that he's no longer catching.

    Murphy also provides a solid upgrade in right field over the departed Drew Stubbs. Murphy hit just .220 for the Texas Rangers last season, but owns a career .778 OPS.

5. Los Angeles Angels

27 of 31

    Harry How/Getty Images

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. SS Erick Aybar 
    2. CF Mike Trout
    3. 1B Albert Pujols
    4. LF Josh Hamilton
    5. 3B David Freese 
    6. DH Raul Ibanez
    7. 2B Howie Kendrick
    8. RF Kole Calhoun
    9. C Chris Iannetta 

    It's difficult not to like any lineup that includes Trout. 

    For the Los Angeles Angels, though, much of the club's offensive success will hinge on the extent to which Pujols and Hamilton return to form in 2014. 

    Ibanez could also prove to be a shrewd under-the-radar signing. The veteran DH owns a career slash line of .349/.407/.522 in 327 plate appearances at Angel Stadium, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

4. Detroit Tigers

28 of 31

    Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. CF Austin Jackson
    2. 2B Ian Kinsler
    3. RF Torii Hunter
    4. 1B Miguel Cabrera
    5. DH Victor Martinez
    6. LF Andy Dirks/Rajai Davis
    7. C Alex Avila
    8. 3B Nick Castellanos
    9. SS Jose Iglesias

    With Prince Fielder gone, the job of protecting Cabrera will fall to Martinez. That means that the Detroit Tigers will need the switch-hitter to remain healthy, as he was last year when he racked up 668 plate appearances. 

    The Tigers would also benefit from a bounce-back season from Kinsler, whose home-run output dropped from 32 in 2011 to just 13 last season. 

    Castellanos will also be a player to watch out for. According to ESPN's Buster Olney (subscription required), Castellanos "could be a steady contributor, if not a dynamic force."

3. St. Louis Cardinals

29 of 31

    Morry Gash/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup

    1. 3B Matt Carpenter
    2. CF Peter Bourjos
    3. LF Matt Holliday
    4. RF Allen Craig 
    5. 1B Matt Adams
    6. C Yadier Molina
    7. SS Jhonny Peralta
    8. 2B Kolten Wong
    9. Starting Pitcher

    The St. Louis Cardinals rank the highest among all NL clubs. The team lost Carlos Beltran, but the lineup should be just as strong, if not stronger, in 2014.

    The signing of Peralta provides the Cardinals with a massive offensive upgrade at shortstop where Pete Kozma posted a .548 OPS last year. Plus, Adams should be in line for a huge season now that he will have an everyday role. Last year, Adams clubbed 17 home runs in 319 plate appearances. 

2. Boston Red Sox

30 of 31

    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. RF Shane Victorino
    2. SS Xander Bogaerts
    3. 2B Dustin Pedroia
    4. DH David Ortiz
    5. 1B Mike Napoli
    6. C A.J. Pierzynski 
    7. LF Daniel Nava/Jonny Gomes
    8. 3B Will Middlebrooks
    9. CF Jackie Bradley Jr.

    The biggest question facing the Boston Red Sox heading into 2014, is how the club will account for the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury.

    Bradley is slated to become the club's new center fielder, but Grady Sizemore could easily claim that job with a strong showing in the spring. Either way, neither Bradley not Sizemore will make anywhere near the same level of contributions as Ellsbury.

    However, the club will benefit from a full season of Bogaerts, who is already an early favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year honors. Plus, as long as the trio of Pedroia, Ortiz and Napoli remains in tact, there will be no shortage of runs in Boston. 

1. Texas Rangers

31 of 31

    Projected Starting Lineup 

    1. LF Shin-Soo Choo
    2. SS Elvis Andrus
    3. 1B Prince Fielder
    4. 3B Adrian Beltre
    5. RF Alex Rios
    6. DH Mitch Moreland
    7. C Geovany Soto
    8. 2B Jurickson Profar
    9. CF Leonys Martin

    Thanks to the additions of Choo and Fielder, the Texas Rangers overtake the Red Sox to claim the top spot in the power rankings.  

    With both of those players under contract for the next seven seasons, either one of those deals could become seriously problematic in the long run. However, in 2014 the Rangers have the most fearsome lineup in baseball. 

    Fielder provides the right-handed heavy Rangers with a much needed left-handed power bat. The first baseman has also been one of the most durable players in baseball in recent years, as he has missed just one game over the past five seasons.

    Choo meanwhile brings power and speed, but his strongest attribute is the ability to get on base. During his nine-year career, the outfielder owns a .389 OBP. With hitters like Fielder, Beltre, Rios and Moreland behind him, Choo should score a ton of runs in 2014. 

     

     

    Note: Video courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

     

     

    If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices