Power Rankings: The Best Top Of The Order for Every MLB Team

Ross ColemanAnalyst IDecember 9, 2010

Power Rankings: The Best Top Of The Order for Every MLB Team

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    Power Rankings: The Best Top Of The Order for Every MLB Team

    Well, the Red Sox made the big splash this offseason trading for Adrian Gonzalez and signing top overall position player Carl Crawford.

    After that signing, where does that put the Red Sox in comparison with the other teams in the MLB as far as the first few guys in the order.

    What about the other free agent acquisitions like Jayson Werth? Does he help the Nationals to crack the top 10?

    Find out ahead and let us know what you think.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates

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    1. Andrew McCutchen CF

    2. Neil Walker 2B

    3. Garrett Jones 1B

    4. Pedro Alvarez 3B

    Andrew McCutchen is a future star in baseball, but we'll see if that is with the Pirates.

    This is a team with a ton of holes that will need a miracle to finish better than last in the NL Central and the top of their order isn't miraculous.

29. Kansas City Royals

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    1. Yuniesky Betancourt SS

    2. Alex Gordon LF

    3. Jeff Francoeur RF

    4. Billy Butler DH

    The Royals have been one of the worst teams in the majors over the past few years. You would think that they would have built up a good top of the order to compete in the AL Central. You'd be wrong.

    Gordon has failed to live up to the hype from his days in the minors, Francoeur has been disappointing after a strong start to his career, and we are still waiting for Butlers huge break out.

    This group might move up by the end of the year, but right now they aren't very good.

28. Cleveland Indians

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    1. Grady Sizemore CF

    2. Asdrubal Cabrera SS

    3. Sin-Soo Choo RF

    4. Travis Hafner DH

    This is another unit that could end up making a leap depending on how guys bounce back.

    It seems like just yesterday Sizemore was being touted as one of the best players in the majors and Hafner was one of the most feared hitters in the American League.

    They are low because Sizemore missed most of last year due to injury and the Indians as a whole tanked.

27. Baltimore Orioles

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    1. Brian Roberts 2B

    2. Adam Jones CF

    3. Nick Markakis RF

    4. Mark Reynolds 3B

    The Orioles were one of the teams in the AL East that people expected to try and make a splash in free agency this year. The real reason they were mentioned was because if they didn't sign at least one decent free agent they could have ended up last on this list.

    Adding Mark Reynolds might not be a huge addition, but it's better than nothing.

    This group isn't bad, but they could be a heck of a lot better.

26. San DIego Padres

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    1. Cameron Maybin CF

    2. Jerry Hairston Jr. SS

    3. Ryan Ludwick LF

    4. Chase Headley 3B

    Wow, quite a drop off with the departure of Adrian Gonzales, however Headley and Ludwick are both very good players.

    Maybin has bounced around a little bit to start his career, but he is one of the best young outfielders in the country and he will help keep the Padres towards the top of the NL West.

    Hairston is the weak link here, but if David Eckstein comes back, he will fill into the top of the order for the Padres.

25. Florida Marlins

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    1. Mike Stanton RF

    2. Chris Coghlan CF

    3. Hanley Ramirez SS

    4. John Buck C

    The Marlins are hard to project. The departure of Dan Uggla is a huge loss. Buck is only listed here because there is not really anyone else who is projected into the top of the order.

    The reason they are this high has everything to do with Hanley Ramirez. He is a great player, maybe the best in the NL.

    Mike Stanton is a budding star poised for a break out year.

    Depending on who bursts into the starting lineup, this unit could end up the season much higher or much lower.

24. Houston Astros

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    1. Michael Bourne CF

    2. Jeff Keppinger 2B

    3. Carlos Lee RF

    4. Hunter Pence LF

    Bourne has speed, Lee has pop, and Pence has a little of each. The only problem is that Lee is on the decline. He was once a 40 homer threat, but now he is probably the third best player on the team.

    If Lee continues his decline, this unit falls a lot. Pence won't see as many pitches and even if Bourne gets on and steals bases he still needs someone to drive him in.

23. Oakland Athletics

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    1. Coco Crisp CF

    2. Daric Barton 1B

    3. Kurt Suzuki C

    4. Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B

    Daric Barton and Kevin Kouzmanoff are two young players trying to figure out how to hit MLB pitching. Crisp is a solid outfielder and lead off hitter and Kurt Suzuki might be one of the best young catchers in the majors right now.

    This pick is more about Barton and Kouzmanoff making strides this year, which I think they will.

    With a solid contribution from starting pitching and maybe a surprise or two they could win the AL West.

22. Seattle Mariners

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    1. Ichiro CF

    2. Chone Figgins 2B

    3. Milton Bradley DH

    4. Justin Smoak 1B

    Last season the Mariners severely underperformed. Chone Figgins flopped as a free agent acquisition, Milton Bradley struggled with injuries, and Justin Smoak was bad after being the primary piece in the Cliff Lee trade.

    This team appears to be on the way down, not up. Felix Hernandez was the CY Young winner despite getting absolutely zero run support all year. If these four guys improve their output even a little the Mariners could be a surprising team, but I don't think it's likely. 

21. Arizona Diamondbacks

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    1. Kelly Johnson 2B

    2. Stephen Drew SS

    3. Justin Upton RF

    4. Chris Young CF

    Justin Upton might be carry the Diamondbacks back to the top of the NL West. But with the departure of Mark Reynolds and his 32 homeruns leave a glaring hole in the heart of the lineup.

    Chris Young is another exciting young player that could dramatically help the D'backs but I still think Arizona is going to struggle to score runs without another bat in the lineup.

20. San Francisco Giants

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    1. Andres Torres CF

    2. Freddy Sanchez 2B

    3. Buster Posey C

    4. Aubrey Huff 1B

    This is the stop of the order for the World Series champs? Wow. Shocking what good pitching will do.

    Sanchez is a former batting champ and he is a threat to bat over .300 any season. Posey is poised to break out this year to be to face of the Giants. Huff and his red thong get the job done, but this team needs another bat to come close to repeating.

19. Los Angeles Dodgers

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    1. Rafael Furcal SS

    2. Matt Kemp CF

    3. Andre Ethier RF

    4. James Loney 1B

    This group has a lot of big names and looks like it is a lot better than it is. Kemp had a really disappointing year last year, Loney hasn't found his power yet, and Furcal has been struggling with injuries.

    The Dodgers would have been better last year if Ethier hadn't gotten hurt but even with a healthier Ethier the Dodgers need either Kemp or Loney to go crazy this year or they need another bat.

    It is a real shame the ownership is so screwy for the Dodgers because if they had any money to go after a guy like Carl Crawford they could be among the best of the majors.

18. Washington Nationals

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    1. Nyjer Morgan CF

    2. Ian Desmond SS

    3. Ryan Zimmerman 3B

    4. Jayson Werth RF

    Nyjer Morgan may be a little bit unpredictable, but his speed is fantastic. Ryan Zimmerman is one of the most underrated players in baseball.

    The shocker of the off season so far was the Nationals signing Jayson Werth. Teamed with Zimmerman, the Nationals will score some runs and could shock some people in the NL East.

17. Los Angeles Angels Of Aneheim

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    1. Erick Aybar SS

    2. Bobby Abreu DH

    3. Kendry Morales 1B

    4. Torii Hunter RF

    For a team in serious need of offense, the Angels are the biggest losers in the Carl Crawford signing.

    This group could jump dramatically if Adrian Beltre signs with the Angels.

    The Angels underperformed last year due in large part to the Kendry Morales injury. The loss of the big bat left the Angels without a real threat to force opponents to pitch to players in Anaheim.

16. Chicago Cubs

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    1. Starlin Castro SS

    2. Alfonso Soriano LF

    3. Aramis Ramirez 3B

    4. Marlon Byrd CF

    5. Carlos Pena 1B

    Castro is the only relative unknown in this group. Soriano is declining but he is still a threat. Ramirez is one of the best third basemen in baseball. Byrd is looking for a bounce back year but is still a threat. Pena moving to the NL is probably going to do wonders for a guy that was a real boom or bust last year.

    It is doubtful that this group will be winning the Cub's first World Series in over 100 years, but they will absolutely score plenty of runs.

15. Toronto Blue Jays

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    1. Rajai Davis RF

    2. Yunel Escobar SS

    3. Jose Bautista 3B

    4. Vernon Wells CF

    The acquisition of Rajai Davis really helps this group. He adds a legitimate leadoff hitter to a team that led the majors in home runs.

    If Bautista can even come close to his 2009 season, the Blue Jays could pass the Rays and enter into the top 3 in the AL East.

14. Detroit Tigers

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    1. Austin Jackson CF

    2. Ryan Raburn LF

    3. Miguel Cabrera 1B

    4. Brennan Boesch RF

    The duo of Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera catapult the Tigers ahead of teams that probably are better top to bottom. Jackson and Cabrera are that good.

    Jackson is a threat to steal every time he gets on and Cabrera is a threat to put any pitch into the seats. Isn't that what any team is looking for in the top of their order?

13. Cincinnati Reds

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    1. Brandon Phillips 2B

    2. Orlando Cabrera SS

    3. Joey Votto 1B

    4. Jay Bruce RF

    The Reds have maybe the most prototypical lineup; a speedster leading off, a savvy player in the two hole, a basher third, and a great all around player at fourth.

    Jay Bruce is the wild card here. He might bat anywhere between third and seventh depending on how he is swinging the bat.

    Votto really makes this group, he is the reigning NL MVP and was very close to a triple crown.

12. Atlanta Braves

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    1. Martin Prado LF

    2. Jason Heyward RF

    3. Chipper Jones 3B

    4. Dan Uggla 2B

    5. Brian McCann C

    Jason Heyward had an outstanding rookie year. He showed that he is headed towards a fantastic career. But the reason they are ranked this high is because of the addition of Dan Uggla who is a threat to hit over 30 homeruns ever year.

    If Chipper Jones is healthy they could climb higher than this, but this lineup is great.

11. Tampa Bay Rays

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    1. B.J. Upton CF

    2. Sean Rodriquez 2B

    3. Evan Longoria 3B

    4. Willy Aybar 1B

    The loss of Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena drop this group out of the top lineups in baseball, but they are still great.

    B.J. Upton is looking for a bounce back year this year and Evan Longoria is an MVP candidate nearly every year. Sean Rodriquez is making the Rays look like the winners in the trade between the Angels and Rays for Scott Kazmir.

    Willy Aybar fills in at first base for now, but the Rays are the type of team that has plenty of help in the farm system.

10. Minnesota Twins

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    1. Denard Span CF

    2. Alexi Casilla 2B

    3. Joe Mauer C

    4. Justin Morneau 1B

    5. Jason Kubel DH

    If Justin Morneau is back from a sever concussion that kept him out most of last year, then this group could be among the best in baseball.

    Without Morneau the Twins made the playoffs and did so behind a great offense. Span and Casilla have speed, Mauer is one of the best hitters in baseball, and Morneau and Kubel both have great power.

9. Milwaukee Brewers

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    1. Richie Weeks 2B

    2. Corey Hart RF

    3. Ryan Braun LF

    4. Prince Fielder 1B

    The chances that this is the top of the Brewers lineup all season are not very good. Fielder has been part of trade rumors for weeks and if you take him out of this group and it isn't nearly this high.

    Weeks has speed and is really hitting his stride, Hart was huge in the Homerun Derby, Braun is a legit power hitter, and so is Fielder.

    If the Brewers keep Fielder and the rest of the roster gets better, they could win the NL Central.

8. Colorado Rockies

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    1. Eric Young 2B

    2. Dexter Fowler CF

    3. Carlos Gonzalez LF

    4. Troy Tulowitzki SS

    5. Todd Helton 1B

    The three-four-five of the Rockies lineup could be as good as any lineup in baseball.

    Carlos Gonzalez was getting MVP consideration most of the season, Tulowitzki is the best young shortstop and he is getting paid like it, and Todd Helton is a legend in Colorado.

    If Young and Fowler get on base, the Rockies will run away with the NL West.

7. St. Louis Cardinals

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    1. Skip Schumaker 2B

    2. Ryan Theriot SS

    3. Albert Pujols 1B

    4. Matt Holliday LF

    5. Colby Rasmus CF

    Pujols is the headliner here but Holliday and Rasmus aren't chopped liver.

    This Cardinals team won't struggle to score runs that's for sure.

    The odd thing about this season though is that Pujols will be a free agent after this season and there have been some rumblings that the Cardinals could either sign him to a record breaking deal or they could let him walk away.

6. NY Mets

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    1. Jose Reyes SS

    2. Angel Pagan RF

    3. David Wright 3B

    4. Carlos Beltran CF

    5. Jason Bay LF

    The Met's lineup doesn't have many holes in it and looking at the top five in the order make it staggering that they haven't had more success.

    Jose Reyes might be on the move but if not he is an ideal leadoff man.

    David Wright, Carols Beltran, and Jason Bay all will be looking for bounce back years to validate this ranking.

5. Chicago White Sox

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    1. Juan Pierre LF

    2. Alexei Ramirez SS

    3. Alex Rios CF

    4. Adam Dunn DH

    5. Carlos Quentin RF

    The White Sox added to an embarrassment of wealth with the acquisition of DH Adam Dunn. Throw in the fact that the Sox also have Paul Konerko and Mark Teahan in the line up.

    If the White Sox don't win the AL Central it won't be because of a lack of offense.

4. Texas Rangers

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    1. Elvis Andrus SS

    2. Ian Kinsler 2B

    3. Josh Hamilton LF

    4. Nelson Cruz RF

    5. Michael Young 3B

    Looking at the top of the Rangers order and it's no secret why they won their first post season series and made it to their first World Series.

    Kinsler had a down year because of injury but Hamilton won the AL MVP. If the Rangers can come close to matching last year, they will likely win the AL West again.

    Not bad for a team that declared for Bankruptcy last year.

3. Philadelphia Phillies

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    1. Jimmy Rollins SS

    2. Placido Polanco 3B

    3. Chase Utley 2B

    4. Ryan Howard 1B

    5. Shane Victorino CF

    6. Raul Ibanez LF

    Even with the departure of Jayson Werth to Washington, the Phillies have one of the best offenses in baseball.

    Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard highlight a team that won a World Series just a few years ago.

    If the Phillies can find someone to fill in for Werth, they could jump back up to the top of baseball.

    And when you think about the pitching staff the Phillies still have, it seems like they are a lock to win the NL Pennant barring injury.

2. NY Yankees

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    1. Derek Jeter SS

    2. Nick Swisher RF

    3. Mark Teixeira 1B

    4. Robinson Cano 2B

    5. Alex Rodriquez 3B

    It's not every day you have a guy who has 3,000 hits and another guy who has 600 homers in the same line up. However, it seems almost a certainty that at some point this season the Yankees will boast that.

    However, the more miraculous thing about those stats is that neither of those guys are the best players on the Yankees offense. Robinson Cano was an MVP candidate and Mark Teixeria is a perennial stud.

1. Boston Red Sox

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    1. Dustin Pedroia 2B

    2. Carl Crawford LF

    3. Kevin Youkilis 3B

    4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B

    5. David Ortiz DH

    Does anyone else feel like the Red Sox are hypocrites? For all those years you claimed that the Yankees were the "Evil Empire" because they threw money around like it was nothing.

    Now? All I hear is, "Well, it's not my money."

    You are spoiled. Yes I know I am bitter that the Sox signed Crawford instead of my Angels, but really I am man enough to admit that I am just jealous.

    I will say though, that if the Red Sox don't win the series this year, they will be a huge disappointment.