Wednesday, January 12, 2011

MLB Power Rankings # 23

Before i get into who is the #23 team in the power rankings i would like to briefly recap the previous teams for those who have missed the previous posts.
#30- Kansas City Royals
#29- Cleveland Indians
#28- Houston Astros
#27- Seattle Mariners
#26- Pittsburgh Pirates
#25- Arizona Diamondbacks
#24- Washington Nationals

And the #23 team is.........the Toronto Blue Jays. Now i realize some people may not agree with this position, stating that they finished with a 85-77 Record and have a solid foundation of players to build from. I realize all of those things but the division got better so i doubt they will be as successful against their division foes as they were last season. They also had several players who had career years (Jose Bautista?) and they lost Shaun Marcum to the Brewers which will hurt their pitching staff. But this team is significantly better than the teams bellow it on the power rankings, and with a little luck could be an upper echelon team. Lets take a little bit deeper look at the Blue Jays.

1. Ricky Romero
2. Brandon Morrow
3. Brett Cecil
4. Kyle Drabek
5. Jesse Litsch

The loss of Shaun Marcum is going to sting a little but hopefully a full season of Kyle Drabek will offset that loss. This staff definitely overachieved in 2010 but they still have enough talent to be better than any of the staffs bellow them and many of the teams above them. Ricky Romero may not be an ace but he is a solid 1/2 type starter, Brandon Morrow has great stuff but he needs to learn to keep it under control. Brett Cecil was a bit of a surprise in 2010 but his innings went up significantly and he is a young guy so we could see some decline in 2011. The wild card in this group is Drabek, he was the centerpiece of the Roy Halladay trade and we will finally get an idea of how good the trade was for the Blue Jays. Then Jesse Litsch is another interesting option as he was a effective in 07' and 08' but has battled injuries the past few seasons. He could be another surprise in 2011, if Drabek and Litsch meet or exceed expectations this could be a very good staff. But if they flop or some of the other starters regress this could be a very average pitching staff.

CL- Octavio Dotel
SU- Shawn Camp
SU- Jason Frasor
MR- David Purcey
MR- Casey Janssen

They lost Kevin Gregg, but they replaced him with Octavio Dotel. Dotel does not necessarily have the closer job wrapped up, he will have to battle Shawn Camp and Jason Frasor for the job but Dotel has the experience so i think he will get the job. Both Camp and Frasor are very effective relief pitchers who are dominant set up guys and Janssen and Purcey are solid middle relief options. But projections are predicting that Frasor and Camp take a fall this season so beware. I think this group could be very good but again they overachieved in 2010 so there has to be some regression.

1. Rajai Davis-LF
2. Yunel Escobar-SS
3. Jose Bautista-RF
4. Vernon Wells-CF
5. Adam Lind-1B
6. Aaron Hill-2B
7. Travis Snider-DH
8. Edwin Encarnacion-3B
9. J.P. Arencibia

This was a very home run driven offense and likely will be again in 2011. And although you have to expect some regression by Bautista, players like Adam Lind and Aaron Hill who had rough 2010 seasons may bounce back and make up for Bautista's regression. I think this offense will be equally as good as the 2010 offense but there is a chance that this team could be even better. Davis gives the Jays a strong lead-off hitter and Escobar is the ideal #2 hitter and hopefully will bounce back from a disappointing 2010. Wells will likely continue to put up the same numbers and we are still waiting for Travis Snider to play up to his potential. Edwin is always a power threat but he is extremely streaky and J.P. Arencibia will battle Jose Molina for the starting catcher job. This is a solid offense that will rank near the top of the league in home runs but they are not the best at getting on base. The more I look at this team the more i feel that they deserve to be higher. So i will put in this ranking a disclaimer that i think they could easily move up as high as 13-14 in the rankings. But for now I will keep them at 23 with the idea that they could work there way up. This is a team with promise and probably a bright future ahead but they are in the toughest division in baseball so for them to get to the playoffs it is going to be tough.

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