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Way-too-early 2023 MLB Power Rankings: Who’s No. 1? How far down are the Yankees?!

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It’s time for the off-season! Which means it’s time for our too-early 2023 power rating.

The 2022 season came to a close on Saturday night in Houston as the Astros won their second World Series title since 2017 after beating the Phillies in Game 6. What do the next few months have in store for the Fall Classic winners?

Let’s recap where all 30 teams are right now as we head into what should be an exciting and intriguing free agency – I mean, I hope the dude who hit 62 home runs and is a free agent will call you’re delighted this offseason.

Final Power Rating 2022

1. Houston Astros

Record 2022: 106-56 (1st in AL West)

Final Ranking 2022: 2

With nearly the entire roster returning in 2023, Houston’s incredible pitching depth makes the Astros a pretty easy call here. They allowed the fewest runs in a full season in the American League during the DH era (since 1973). Justin Verlander has a $25 million player option, and even if he pulls out and signs with another player, the Astros will still have the best serving depth in major tournaments, especially with a full season from Lance McCullers Jr. and Hunter Brown, who copied Verlander’s Delivery when he was growing up in Michigan, was poised to play an important role.

The Astros even have some payroll flexibility to make a great addition. With Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman becoming free agents after 2024, it’s possible they’ll be looking for a strong bat on a long-term basis. You know, maybe even some New York Yankees outfielder…


2. Atlanta Braves

Record 2022: 101-61 (1st in NL East)

Final Ranking 2022: four

However, the Astros were not ideal for first place as the Braves dominated the last four months of the regular season and captured their fifth straight division title. The arrival of center fielder Michael Harris II and starters Spencer Strider and Kyle Wright took this team to the next level. Now imagine Ronald Acuna Jr.’s line-up, who is fully healthy again if he rediscovers his power hitting – he hit just 15 home runs in 119 games this season – after knee surgery in 2021. Shortstop Dansby Swanson is moving to free agency after his best season, and if he doesn’t return, it’s possible the Braves will turn to Vaughn Grissom, who made an impression playing second base after all.

Bottom line: With Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Akuna, and now both Harris and Strider signed far into the future, the Braves will be in contention for National League pennants for a long time to come.


3. San Diego Padres

Record 2022: 89-73

Final Ranking 2022: ten

This might be a bit ambitious as the Padres have some gaps to fill in the rotation and at first base, but be aware:

  1. They have three MVP-level talent in Manny Machado, Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr., and Tatis should now return after being suspended from PED on April 20th.

  2. They have elite defenders in the middle in outfielder Trent Grisham and shortstop Ha-Seong Kim who can push Tatis into the outfield.

  3. Josh Hader, Robert Suarez, Luis Garcia, and Nick Martinez are all back to solidify the bullpen, though it’s possible Martinez will switch to the rotation.

  4. They must have about $20 million to add a starter and/or first baseman.

Yes, there are concerns: Soto hasn’t made much power since the trade, Tatis’ wrist should be healthy, and the 40-man depth isn’t great. But what if Soto and Tatis play what we’ve seen in the past? Carefully.


4. Tampa Bay Rays

Record 2022: 86-76 (third in AL East)

Final Ranking 2022: 9

They won 86 games (tied for 12th in the majors), they struggled to score points throughout the season and then scored just one run in 24 innings in a wild-card series loss to Cleveland. So why do they rank so high here? Yes, heave, heave, and heave again… but also because of this little fact: According to @ManGamesLostMLB, the Flight finished fourth in games missed due to injured players (behind the Reds, Nationals, and Cubs). And many of them were key injuries.

First, they will add Tyler Glasnow, who returned in September from Tommy John surgery, to the rotation of Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen and Jeffrey Springs – and the three have quietly teamed up for a 2.61 ERA (although former top prospect Shane Baz will miss 2023 after his own Tommy John operation). The offense needs to improve, and it will, starting with Brandon Lowe and Vander Franco, who have combined just 148 games and 14 home runs.


5. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record 2022: 111-51

Final Ranking 2022: one

Most wins in the NL since the Cubs in 1906. Highest mileage differential since the 1939 Yankees. Led majors in both scoring and fewest runs allowed. And then a brutal four-game loss to the Padres in a divisional series that left Dodgers fans crying that it was their most painful loss of the postseason. Sure, you can’t go from 111 wins to Pumpkins overnight, but the Dodgers have a few key agents that need to be replaced or re-signed: Trea Turner, Clayton Kershaw, Tyler Anderson and Andrew Heaney, and Walker Buehler is out. season. That’s 14.1 WARs combined and 76 launches.

Then the question arises of how to prepare and repeat all over again. So far this hasn’t been a problem for this group, but maybe one of these years they’ll last the first three months. They have money to spend, with current estimated wages about $119 million less than in 2022, according to the FanGraphs List Resource (and that includes roughly $18 million for Cody Bellinger, who they might not be involved in tender).

Of course, that rating could rise by the time spring training begins and the Dodgers sign Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa and Edwin Diaz.


6. Philadelphia Phillies

Record 2022: 87-75 (third in NL East)

Final Ranking 2022: eleven

Will the playoffs move to 2023? We may be giving too much importance to what happened in October, but the team under Rob Thomson was definitely better than under former skipper Joe Girardi. All the majors are returning, although we will have to see if Bryce Harper needs Tommy John surgery to repair the injured elbow that has limited his DH duties.

Expect the Phillies to be aggressive in free agency again. They could forfeit the club’s $17 million option on Gene Segura, move Bryson Stott to second base, and take on one of the big free agents: Correa, Turner, Swanson and Xander Bogarts. I like what Brandon Marsh will give them in midfield defense. And keep an eye out for Andrew Painter, the team’s first-round pick in 2021, who went through three minor tiers in 2022 and could join the rotation at some point in 2023 at age 20.


7. Milwaukee Brewers

Record 2022: 86-76 (2nd to NL Central)

Final Ranking 2022: 13

After all, the Brewers were one game behind the Phillies to reach the finals of the playoffs, and you can’t help but wonder how that scenario would play out if they didn’t trade Josh Hader. However, the Brewers are in a good position, especially with Corbin Burns and Brandon Woodruff leading the rotation. They’re looking to get over 78 innings from Freddie Peralta, and young left-hander Aaron Ashby has the potential to break through after 126 fans in 107 1/3 innings.

They also have an influx of young outfielders poised to make an impact in 2023: Garrett Mitchell (who has already reached the Majors), Joey Wymer and Sal Frelik. The Brewers were second in the NL in home runs, so they’re playing a modern power game even as Christian Yelich’s contract has turned into a financial drain. An important key to the upcoming season is finding the right bullpen depth behind closer Devin Williams.


8. Toronto Blue Jays

Record 2022: 92-70

Final Ranking 2022: 7

The Jays won 92 games, were second in the series in the AL, and Alec Manoa and Kevin Gausman had a great one-two hit in the rotation, but the season still left the impression of “we thought they’d be better than that.” Maybe it’s because they went 16-3 against the Red Sox, struggling to score against the Yankees and the Race.

Their biggest hurdle to moving forward is that they are paying Jose Berrios, Hyun Jin Ryu and Yusei Kikuchi a total of $46 million in 2023. The trio put together a 5.26 ERA in 2022 and Ryu is likely to miss most of next season following Tommy John surgery. Are the Jays counting on better seasons from Berrios and Kikuchi or will they add to the rotation? Offense and Manoa/Gausman can still make them division favorites, and the payroll is already $215 million, but imagine this team with Carlos Rodon as the #3 starter.


9. St. Louis Cardinals

Record 2022: 93-69 (1st in NL Central)

Final Ranking 2022: 6

With 15 consecutive winning seasons, it’s hard to put the Cardinals much lower than that, even with starting pitch concerns – though it helps that Adam Wainwright has announced he won’t be joining Yadya Molina and Albert Pujols in retirement.

The Cardinals will likely find a way to stop Nolan Arenado from taking advantage of the waiver clause. They also have a wave of young players in positions that have reached the majors – Nolan Gorman, Lars Nutbaar, Brendan Donovan, Alec Burleson, Ivan Herrera – or will soon, especially Jordan Walker, arguably the best junior prospect. Tyler O’Neal’s return for the season is key, and Jack Flaherty is a wild card at the moment, but adding another rookie as a free agent – or exploiting the depth of perspective for a deal – tops the to-do list. .


10. Seattle Mariners

Record 2022: 90-72

Final Ranking 2022: 12

The Mariners finally ended their long playoff drought since 2001 and Julio Rodriguez became a star at the age of 21. They beat the Blue Jays in the wild-card series and played hard against the Astros in the division series despite losing. What’s interesting is the perception that the Mariners were all pitching and not hitting, though T-Mobile Park kind of masks some of the team’s strengths.

They were 8th in the majors at wRC+ (weighted runs created) and 12th at ERA+, so the offense may have been on par with or better than the pitching staff. However, given the depth of rotation at full…



Source: www.espn.com