With Spring Training literally around the corner. Here’s the official SD Bandwagon MLB Power Rankings for the start of Spring Training.
1. Washington Nationals
The Nationals are going to be one of the hottest teams this season. Adding Denard Span, the Nationals are looking to pick up right where they left off last season. As long as injuries don’t plague them, the Nats are the team to watch in 2013.
2. Atlanta Braves
With the Upton brothers in Atlanta along with third baseman Chris Johnson, this Braves lineup is going to be scary. Speed and power are everywhere for the Braves. With the Nationals and Braves, the NL East has gotten a lot more exciting.
3. San Francisco Giants
The defending World Series Champions are going to come to play in 2013. Led by All-Star and MVP Buster Posey, the Giants have a shot to make another run at the title that they currently hold. If their pitching can stay dominate … look out.
4. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays had the best free agency in baseball this off-season. They picked up a slew of pitchers, including Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and Josh Johnson, along with Melky Cabrera. This team has the potential but can they put it all together? If they can, the Jays might soar to the top of the AL East.
5. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds always seem to be that team who’s somewhere near the top of the NL but never takes it anywhere in the post season. They have the pieces, they just need to finish down the stretch and stay hot.
6. St. Louis Cardinals
With the apparent loss of Chris Carpenter, this ranking might be a bit high. Their lineup might be able to justify this preseason ranking. The Cards only lost Lance Berkman from their strong lineup but that loss won’t be one that’ll come back to bite them. With guys like Allen Craig, there’s still a pop in the middle.
7. Tampa Bay Rays
If they Rays can get their lineup to step up, they can be a force in the AL. They’re defense and pitching is strong, but it hasn’t been enough to carry them to the top.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
There’s talk every year about, “Will this be the Dodgers’ year?” Injuries have always plagued the Dodgers so as soon as they can overcome that and get past all the “hype”, they’ll start to move up.
9. Detroit Tigers
With the addition of Tori Hunter, the Tigers could be on their way to another strong run. Their downfall? Bullpen. If they can get some solid gun slingers in the pen, they’ll be set.
10. Los Angeles Angels
I’m not convinced that Josh Hamilton will be the one to surge the Angels. But I’m still putting them at number 10 because I can’t afford to take the chance that he won’t produce. With their pitching lookin suspect as well, it’ll be a hit or miss season for the Angels.
11. Oakland Athletics
The A’s came on strong last season but it wasn’t enough. The young guys for Oakland will be playing with a chip on their shoulder and a huge drive for success. I’ll just say one thing: Sleeper Alert.
12. Texas Rangers
The Rangers have lost a lot of fire power in their lineup. A lot. They’ll need to rely on their pitching until they can figure out who’s going to be the producer in the lineup.
13. Baltimore Orioles
Coming off one of their best seasons in recent memory, Baltimore is in the same category as the A’s. They’ll be playing with a chip on their shoulder. Competing with the strong Blue Jays, Rays and Yankees, the Orioles will have to play even better than ever.
14. New York Yankees
This lineup has the fire power, but it never seems to add up. If the Yanks can get everything clicking to their potential, they could surge through the AL East, which is easily the toughest division in baseball.
15. San Diego Padres
The Padres have great potential but I think it’ll take them a little white to get it all figured out. They’re a young team with a lot to play for. Keep an eye out for their young guys to make a statement.