It’s been just a week since the offseason started, but it’s never too early to analyze what’s to come. Only one team finished at the top, which means that, while one organizes parades and celebrations, the rest of the 29 teams have started thinking about 2022. And so have we.
Here’s a look at the latest Power Ranking for 2021.
They are the champions of the World Series. Although recent history suggests that they won’t repeat in 2022 (no team has won championships in a row since the Yankees won three between 1998 and 2000), the Braves lifted the trophy. Therefore, they have to be at the top of our latest Power Ranking. Atlanta’s young pitching gives the team every reason to be optimistic for the upcoming season. But there are questions surrounding the outfielders – they could lose them all in free agency (Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler of Cuba and Eddie Rosario of Puerto Rico). And of course, Freddie Freeman is also on the free market. There is work to be done.
The Dodgers have a group of players who were key in 2021 who are now free agents. But, with deep pockets, solid estates and a talented group that will be back, there is little reason to think that they will not be at the top of their division again. They have already started to boost their rotation, acquiring Andrew Heaney via a modest one-year deal. The southpaw will not replace Max Scherzer, who is a free agent, or Clayton Kershaw, who did not receive the qualifying offer, but it is a small step. As with all the teams on this list, there is still a long way to go.
The Rays’ first 100-win season in history was contrasted with an early elimination in the postseason. However, that does not overshadow the bright future ahead. Even with Wander Franco off the rookie tag, the farms are still among the best (sixth, according to MLB Pipeline) and have a pool of prospects ready to compete for some of the openings left by free agents. If there is any clear need, it is for a durable pitcher that stabilizes the top of the rotation.
Like the Rays, the Brewers had high expectations after one of the best regular seasons in franchise history, but fell short in the Division Series against eventual world champions. Milwaukee will need to strengthen its offense in 2022 if it wants to see progress in October. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to go for a heavy hitter, but rather improve on what they already have – Christian Yelich, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Keston Hiura. The pitching looks much better, with the presence of Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta – one of the best trios in baseball.
Chicago took a step forward by conquering its division in 2021, but given the structure of the roster – presuming that several key players who missed much of the year can return to health – the expectation for 2022 is even higher. The White Sox could look to improve middle and right field, though Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn could hit the prairies after strong rookie seasons. Chicago could lose Carlos Rodon in the free market, but with Michael Kopech ready to be moved into the rotation, the starting pitching looks solid.
The rest of the teams:
9. Red Sox
Voters: Alyson Footer, Anthony Castrovince, Jesse Sánchez, Mark Feinsand, Nathalie Alonso, Mike Petriello, Sarah Langs, Andrew Simon, David Venn
We want to give thanks to the writer of this write-up for this remarkable material
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