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MLB Power Rankings: Athletics on top

May 23, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Here are this week’s MLB Power Rankings featuring thoughts on each team from Mark Zuckerman, Chase Hughes and myself, Steve Roney:

1. Oakland Athletics (LW: 3) – Zuckerman: It took a couple of years, but ex-Nats prospect Derek Norris is living up to the billing at last.

2. Detroit Tigers (LW: 1) — Roney: Really encouraging work from onetime super prospect Rick Porcello: 7-1, 2.91 ERA. Prehaps most impressive? Only seven free passes issued so far.

3. San Francisco Giants  (LW: 2) — Zuckerman: Tim Hudson (4-2, 2.09 ERA) having a very nice bounce-back season in San Fran.

4. Milwaukee Brewers (LW: 4) — Roney: Jean Segura has remained back on Earth after plummeting there late last season: .292 OBP, with horrible efficiency on the basepaths (9 SBs, 6 CS; 60% success rate).

5. Atlanta Braves (LW: 5) — Hughes: What exactly happened to Jason Heyward? The guy was looking like a future superstar just two years ago.

6. St. Louis Cardinals (LW: 13) — Roney: Welcome back, Kolten: Wong has hit in all five games since returning from his brief minor league exile. He’s talented enough to keep it up.

7. Colorado Rockies (LW: 6) — Zuckerman: It’s getting close to that point where we have to start taking these guys seriously.

8. Los Angeles Angels  (LW: 7) — Zuckerman: Mike Trout leads the AL in strikeouts. Reason for actual concern, or much ado about nothing?

9. Toronto Blue Jays (LW: 17) — Hughes: R.A. Dickey’s last six outings have been quality starts. Is he back?

10. Los Angeles Dodgers  (LW: 8) — Zuckerman: Clayton Kershaw looks mortal while Josh Beckett dominates. It’s Bizarro World in L.A.

11. New York Yankees (LW: 12) — Hughes: New York’s leaders in OPS this season are Mark Teixeira and Yangervis Solarte. Can’t predict baseball.

12. Miami Marlins (LW: 15) — Hughes: Giancarlo Stanton has his average over .300 and his OPS approaching 1.000. Don’t be surprised if he wins an MVP some day.

13. Baltimore Orioles (LW: 9) — Hughes: Baltimore is above .500 and Chris Davis and Manny Machado are starting to come around. Look out.

14. Washington Nationals (LW: 10) — Hughes: Having Doug Fister back and pitching well is going to be huge for them. The Nats’ rotation could use some stability.

15. Minnesota Twins (LW: 22) — Roney: The Twins are overachieving, even with their best pitcher (Alex Meyer) striking out 10.6 batters/9 in Triple-A. Will they still be here once the gigantic righty surfaces later in the year?

16. Kansas City Royals (LW: 14) — Roney: Mike Moustakas’ banishment to Triple-A is another nail in the coffin for the disappointing 2007 first round. How bad has Moose been? The Royals have zero power, and they still can’t justify keeping him around, even though he’s tied for the team lead in HR (4).

17. Texas Rangers  (LW: 18) — Zuckerman: If Prince Fielder really is done for the season … wow, that trade looks like a disaster.

18. Chicago White Sox (LW: 20) — Roney: Anybody else notice Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo finally, and quietly, producing on the South Side? Even Adam Dunn is hitting about .250, which is like a regular good hitter batting .380.

19. Seattle Mariners (LW: 16)  – Zuckerman: Robinson Cano hitting .326, but only 2 homers. Think he misses Yankee Stadium?

20. Cleveland Indians (LW: 21) — Roney: How frustrating is Carlos Santana? He can’t even slump well enough to justify benching. Even with a .153 average, he’s walking so much (team-leading 37) that his OBP is a playable .304.

21. Cincinnati Reds (LW: 24) — Roney: Anyone know what Rickey Henderson is up to? Billy Hamilton could use some theivery pointers — his 73% success rate on stolen base attempts isn’t actually efficient enough to help his offense (needs to be 80% or above).

22. Boston Red Sox (LW: 11) — Hughes: The wheels may be coming off in Boston as Tha Sawx have lost seven straight.

23. New York Mets (LW: 19) — Hughes: Matt Harvey wants to come back from after just 10 months of recovery? Good luck selling that to your training staff and front office, dude.

24. Philadelphia Phillies (LW: 27) — Hughes: If the Phillies keep losing, Ruben Amaro may be breaking out the dynamite once the trade deadline nears.

25. Pittsburgh Pirates (LW: 26) — Roney: Change of scenery alert: Ike Davis is hitting .268 on the year. I think locusts come next.

26. San Diego Padres  (LW: 23) — Zuckerman: Only above-average hitters in their lineup have been Seth Smith and Chris Denorfia.

27. Tampa Bay Rays (LW: 25)  – Hughes: Tampa Bay looks terrible at this point, but I would not be shocked if they finish around .500. The roster and manager are too good.

28. Arizona Diamondbacks  (LW: 28) — Zuckerman: The Tony LaRussa hiring may work long-term, but it’s really not fair to GM Kevin Towers.

29. Houston Astros (LW: 30)  – Zuckerman: George Springer looks like he’ll be the real deal.

30. Chicago Cubs (LW: 29) — Roney: Javier Baez can’t come soon enough. He’ll probably never play with Jeff Samardzija, though, who should be Garza’d out of town soon.

  1. jd - May 23, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    I found out about Giolito. They simply skipped a start on purpose to limit his innings.

  2. Ghost of Steve M. - May 23, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    http://www.kansascity.com/2014/05/23/5042208/a-late-bloomer-royals-outfielder.html

    One of my favorite guys when he was in Milwaukees system

  3. Ghost of Steve M. - May 23, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    #13 Who cares

    • secretwasianman - May 23, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      Are you referring to dem Os Hun? I live closer to Bmore than DC but I can’t stand dem Os hun

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

        Yep, can’t believe theyake the list at anything below 15

  4. NatsLady - May 23, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Baseball America rated Michael Taylor as the #9 “hot” prospect and just profiled him on TV. Comp’d him to Adam Jones (though not as polished as Jones was at that stage), said he is the best defensive center fielder in the minor leagues. It’s on the “Rundown” show, if they replay it.

    • veejh - May 23, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      I was hoping he’d come around.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 23, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      That is some great news and this year’s farm crop going to the Arizona Fall League will include Taylor.

      My concern with him is his long swing and facing real MLB pitching will he adjust to a direct to the ball style. Adam Jones is a worthy comp and Taylor can still fill out in body mass.

      The outfielders are developing including Goodwin, Hood and Souza to go with Taylor. I still project Walters as a corner outfielder when he goes back to AAA.

  5. chaz11963 - May 23, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    We are dropping like a lead weight- big drops in consecutive weeks.

    • natsjackinfl - May 23, 2014 at 3:19 PM

      Yep. That 2 1/2 game lead by the Braves is darn near insurmountable this late in May.

      • Eugene in Oregon - May 23, 2014 at 3:24 PM

        +1

      • knoxvillenat - May 23, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Agree, seems like we are drowning in defeat.

      • Hiram Hover - May 23, 2014 at 4:08 PM

        Well, some fans drowning in defeatism, anyway.

      • secretwasianman - May 23, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Wow sarcasm. That’s pretty good. And all this time I thought you rode the short bus.

  6. Eugene in Oregon - May 23, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    7. Colorado Rockies (LW: 6) — Zuckerman: It’s getting close to that point where we have to start taking these guys seriously.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    Home record: 16 -7
    Road record: 10-14

    23 games at home, they’ve scored 162 runs (7 runs/game).
    24 games on the road, they’ve scored 95 (3.95 runs/game).

    23 games at home, they’ve allowed 109 (4.74 runs/game).
    24 games on the road, they’ve allowed 100 (4.17 runs/game).

    They’ve got some terrific players, but I’ll only believe they’re for real if they can keep their average runs allowed at home somewhere close to 4 runs/game and if they’re still ahead of the Dodgers in the July 4th/ASG timeframe.

  7. secretwasianman - May 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    Reds 21st. Took 2 of 3 from us. Phillies 24 took 2 from us. Pirates 25 gonnaa get 3 of 4 at least from us. Padres 26. Split with us. Why the H@&$;(). Are nats 14th???? Really????

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
WASHINGTON 54 43 --
ATLANTA 54 45 1.0
MIAMI 46 52 8.5
NEW YORK 46 53 9.0
PHILADELPHIA 43 56 12.0
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Rockies, 8:40 p.m.
WED: Nats at Rockies, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Nats at Reds, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Reds, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Reds, 1:10 p.m.
MON: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
Full season schedule

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ON THE RADIO

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MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

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