MLB Preview, 2011: Red Sox Rank Best in Positional Analysis of the AL East

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MLB Preview, 2011: Red Sox Rank Best in Positional Analysis of the AL East

A few weeks ago, I initiated a series of articles analyzing and ranking the starters for all of the clubs in the American League East. The series concluded with the belated publication of my analysis of the DHs on Friday. So now it’s time to rank the organizations within the division on the relative strength of their lineups, starting rotations and closers.

The players were ranked 1 through 5 at each position. Each team was assigned points based on where its players rated relative to the other players at the same position: 10 points for best player, seven points for second-best, five points for third place, three points for fourth place and one point for last.

The Red Sox came out on top in my analysis, accumulating a total of 112 point by placing its players in either first or second place in 13 of the 15 positions (failing only at catcher and right field). The Yankees finished in second place with 105 points, placing eight players in either first or second place in my analysis.

They were followed by Tampa Bay (67 points), Baltimore (63 points) and the Blue Jays (43 points). Neither the Orioles nor Blue Jays had a player who ranked first among the five players at his position…the Jays had no one who rated better than third at his position.

Here are the rankings, by team, for each of the positions analyzed:

Catchers: TB, BAL, TOR, NYY, BOS

Designated Hitters: BOS, BAL, NYY, TB, TOR

First Basemen: BOS, NYY, BAL, TOR, TB

Second Basemen: NYY, BOS, BAL, TOR, TB

Third Basemen: TB, BOS, NYY, TOR, BAL

Shortstops: NYY, BOS, BAL, TOR, TB

Left Fielders: BOS, NYY, BAL, TB, TOR

Center Fielders : NYY, BOS, BAL, TOR, TB

Right Fielders: NYY, BAL, BOS, TB, TOR

No. 1 Starting Pitchers: NYY, BOS, TB, TOR, BAL

No. 2 Starting Pitchers: BOS, BAL, NYY, TOR, TB

No. 3 Starting Pitchers: TB, BOS, TOR, NYY, BAL

No. 4 Starting Pitchers: BOS, TB, NYY, TOR, BAL

No. 5 Starting Pitchers: TB, NYY, BOS, TOR, BAL

Closers: NYY, BOS, TOR, BAL, TB

Here is how things shook out on a team-by-team basis (ranking in parenthesis):

Red Sox: Saltalamacchia (5th), Ortiz (1st), Gonzalez (1st), Pedroia (2nd), Youkilis (2nd), Scutaro (2nd), Crawford (1st), Ellsbury (2nd), Drew (3rd), Lester (2nd), Buchholz (1st), Beckett (3rd), Lackey (1st), Matsuzaka (2nd), Papelbon (2nd).

Yankees: Martin (4th), Posada (3rd), Teixeira (2nd), Cano (1st), ARod (3rd), Jeter (1st), Gardner (2nd), Granderson (1st), Swisher (1st), Sabathia (1st), Burnett (3rd), Hughes (4th), Garcia (3rd), Nova (3rd), Rivera (1st)

Rays: Jaso (1st), Ramirez (4th), Johnson (5th), Rodriguez (5th), Longoria (1st), Brignac (5th), Damon (4th), Upton (5th), Zobrist (4th), Price (3rd), Shields (5th), Niemann (1st), Davis (2nd), Hellickson (1st), Farnsworth (5th)

Orioles: Wieters (2nd), Guerrero (2nd), Lee (3rd), Roberts (3rd), Reynolds (5th), Hardy (3rd), Scott (3rd), Jones (3rd), Markakis (2nd), Guthrie (5th), Matusz (2nd), Arrieta (5th), Bergeson (5th), Duchscherer (4th), Uehara (4th)

Blue Jays: Arencibia (3rd), Encarnacion (5th), Lind (4th), Hill (4th), Bautista (4th), Escobar (4th), Rivera (5th), Davis (4th), Snider (5th), Romero (4th), Morrow (4th), Cecil (3rd), Drabek (4th), Litsch (5th), Francisco (3rd)

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