ESNY’s 2021 MLB Power Rankings: March 4th Update

New York Yankees

As Spring Training games begin, let’s update our preseason MLB Power Rankings.

With Spring Training games now in full swing, each team has began to piece their roster together with players who are now looking to prove themselves. However when it comes to the grand scheme of things, many of the top tier teams are now just looking to put a bow on what most view as a set roster.

With training camp at full swing, here is the newest power rankings from 1-30.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers on paper have the best rotation and one of the deepest rosters in all of baseball. A rotation consisting of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Trevor Bauer, it might be the best three headed monster the league has seen over the last 20 years at least.

2. San Diego Padres

If the Padres rotation was at 100 percent, they could easily have dethroned the Dodgers in the top spot. However, with Mike Clevinger on the shelf, and a few question marks in the outfield in Tommy Pham and an aging Wil Myers, the depth in comparison to the Dodgers is not there.

3. New York Mets

A team that has made improvements in every area they needed to, including adding Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco via trade, the Mets look to take the NL East crown by storm. This team has the chance to be a favorite in the National League, however some bullpen pieces have big question marks.

Gary Sanchez
Courtesy IG: @yankees

4. New York Yankees

With a rotation full of question marks past ace Gerrit Cole, the team will look towards their almost overpowering offense to help carry this team. However, Cory Kluber has looked good thus far this spring. If the rotation can stay healthy, the Bronx Bombers could be deadly.

5. Chicago White Sox

With the White Sox making additions to make the roster, the rotation is leaning on the shoulders of Lucas Giolito to perform at the level he did last year. Between a thin pitching staff, and the questionable hiring of Tony La Russa, they are truly a “boom or bust” type of team right now.

6. Toronto Blue Jays

Pitching, pitching, pitching. The Jays added to their roster, and added closer Kirby Yates, however the eyesore that is the rotation and most of the bullpen could be the teams Achilles heel this season.

7. Atlanta Braves

With Marcell Ozuna back in the outfield, a healthy Austin Riley looking to take the next step in his development and the rest of the powerhouses in that lineup, a lot will fall on this team’s bullpen.

8. Houston Astros

Although they lost George Springer, being able to keep Michael Brantley was a positive. The Astros hope Framber Valdez doesn’t miss much time because of a broken finger on his pitching hand, a tough blow to their rotation as Justin Verlander recovers from Tommy John surgery. The AL West appears to to be a two-team race.

Nelson Cruz
Courtesy IG: @twins

9. Minnesota Twins

Once a favorite in the AL Central, the Twins took a few steps back this offseason, they lost more than they gained, and are hoping their top heavy rotation can carry the load for most of the year. The line up is also riddled with multiple “three outcome” type of hitters in Miguel Sano, Mitch Garver, and an aging Josh Donaldson.

10. Tampa Bay Rays

Similar to the Twins, the Rays lost more than they gained this offseason as well. They parted with ace Blake Snell and Charlie Morton while also missing out on Marcell Ozuna. With a thinner rotation and  bench than the 2020 AL Championship team, the weight will be on the backs of the returners from last years’ team.

11. Oakland Athletics

The boys in green and yellow took a big hit losing Liam Hendricks to the White Sox this offseason, and are taking a big gamble on Trevor Rosenthal to fill those big shoes. However, the addition of Mitch Moreland will provide pop to the middle of that order, which is a big positive playing in the cavernous Oakland Coliseum.

12. St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals made arguably the biggest trade of the offseason in landing Nolan Arenado. The rotation past Jack Flaherty seems to be on their last leg. The line up is obviously deeper with the addition of Arenado, but it is imperative that both Dylan Carlson and Tyler O’Neill take on big roles on both sides of the ball.

Juan Soto
Courtesy IG: @nationals

13. Washington Nationals

The rotation, when healthy could be the best in baseball, however with Jon Lester having his thyroid removed, the rotation took a bit of a hit already. The 2019 World Series champions also lack serious depth at multiple positions. New acquisitions Josh Bell and Kyle Schwarber will look to add some power behind Juan Soto.

14. Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have now added Jackie Bradley Jr. to a two year deal, but where does that leave Lorenzo Cain? There is no such thing as too much depth, however that is one thing the pitching staff as a whole is lacking. Kolton Wong will sure up the defense up the middle, and allow Keston Hiura to develop as a first baseman.

15. Chicago Cubs

The term “loveable losers” might be back in the Windy City in 2021. A now extremely thin rotation partnered with question marks scattered throughout the field with the exception of first base, catcher, third base, and shortstop this team is hurting. Between the Rickett family crying broke, and the inability to add top tier free agents, this team might get lost in the shuffle of a weak NL Central.

16. Philadelphia Phillies

Speaking of not adding any free agents, the return of catcher JT Realmuto was the big “splash” the Phils made this offseason. With no rotation past Zack Wheeler, and arguably one of the worst rotations in the league, the Phillies will look to their offense to over power their opponents.

17. Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout is not getting any younger, and Albert Pujols might actually be older than he says he was, but the Angels inability to build a competent starting rotation will keep them from having any real success. A bounce back year from Shohei Ohtani would benefit the team both offensively and on the bump. Partner Ohtani with Rendon as potential AL Comeback Player of the year awards candidates.

18. Miami Marlins

A team that literally nobody expected to make the playoffs last year, might be heading back to the same type of expectations in 2021. The free agency “big fish” they added was power bat Adam Duval, however this team is filled with young players, this year could be chalked up to be another year of development under Derek Jeter’s regime.

Chris Sale
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

19. Boston Red Sox

The 2018 Red Sox World Series roster now lays barren. With only a few names to be excited about. Chris Sale is returning from Tommy John surgery, and the bullpen has a lot to be desired, minus the addition of Adam Ottavino. A thinner line up with no real depth, partnered with John Henry crying broke similar to the Rickett family leaves the Red Sox in baseball purgatory.

20. Cleveland Indians

This team is sad. Once a powerhouse in the American League, Jose Ramirez and Shane Bieber are all that’s left when it comes to excitement. A rebuild seems imminent, especially after the salary dump of Lindor and Carrasco. In an AL Central where teams vastly improves, the Indians did the opposite.

21. Baltimore Orioles

Call me crazy, but the O’s are actually in the right direction. Although a bit behind the Marlins in terms of their rebuild, the young roster the team brought out last year had plenty of bright spots, partnered with the inspirational return of Trey Mancini, this team could continue to take steps in the right direction in 2021.

22. Cincinnati Reds

With the loss of Trevor Bauer, and the team is solely in the hands of starting pitchers Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo. Their lineup is filled with big strikeout guys, minus Joey Votto.

23. Kansas City Royals

Similar to the Orioles and their rebuild, the Royals are now able to dish out their younger players with a sense of confidence. They are still a ways away, even in the lowly AL Central.

Detroit Tigers
Courtesy IG: @tigers

24. Detroit Tigers

Speaking of the lowly AL Central, this is as low as it gets. More and more development for the Tigers should be expected, Miguel Cabrera might be stuck playing for first overall picks for the remainder of his time in Detroit.

25. Colorado Rockies

A team that should be covering their face in shame after the Arenado trade, expect Trevor Story to be next. Nobody wants to pitch in Colorado, still.

26. San Francisco Giants

A team that is still recovering from their even-year success in the 2010’s, and an aging Buster Posey and Brandon Belt will look to rekindle some of that magic.

27. Arizona D-Backs

A team that has the ability to perform, however will get lost in the monstrous NL West. Ketel Marte will continue to develop into an All-Star.

28. Seattle Mariners

An organizational disaster is a kind way to describe the M’s. With their top prospects all upset with management, an olive branch could be extended to Julio Rodriguez and Jared Kelenic in the form of Opening Day roster spots.

29. Texas Rangers

The Rangers are going to welcome fans into a new stadium with the worst on-field product they have had in awhile. Joey Gallo will look to return to his normal, home run happy self after a lost 2020.

30. Pittsburgh Pirates

Ke’Bryan Hayes is the ONLY bright spot in the “Burg” in 2021. Their scouting department are already scouting the next number one overall pick for 2022.

FOR FULL STORY ON STANDARD WEBSITE: ESNY’s 2021 MLB Power Rankings: March 4th Update | Elite Sports NY

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