Power Rankings: Where every team stands heading into the All-Star break


The All-Star break is almost upon us, when the baseball world will pause to watch some of the biggest names in baseball participate in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas.

The break might be a welcome reset for a number of clubs such as the Yankees, Mariners and Royals, who have all dropped more than half of their games since mid-June and hope to stop their respective skids. On the other hand, teams like the Phillies, Guardians, Orioles and Red Sox are all riding hot streaks that they’ll try to continue in the second half.

So, where do all 30 clubs stand ahead of some of the most anticipated baseball events of the summer?

Our expert panel has combined to rank every team based on a combination of what we’ve seen so far and what we already knew going into the 162-game marathon that is a full baseball season. We also asked ESPN MLB experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Jesse Rogers, Alden Gonzalez and Jorge Castillo to weigh in with an observation for all 30 teams.

Week 14 | Preseason rankings

phi

Record: 60-32
Previous ranking: 1

The Phillies lead all teams with seven All-Star selections, setting a franchise record. Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Alec Bohm were elected as starters, while starting pitchers Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez made it along with relievers Jeff Hoffman and Matt Strahm. The Phillies had never had six All-Star reps before, with five making it on six different occasions, most recently in 2011 (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco). Turner becomes the first Phillies shortstop to make it since Jimmy Rollins in 2005 and the first to start since Rollins in 2002. Wheeler has already said he won’t pitch in the game, but Suarez says he wants to pitch. Harper just came off the injured list, but if he does start at first base, he’d be the first Phillies starter at first since John Kruk in 1993. — Schoenfield


bal

Record: 57-35
Previous ranking: 2

Jordan Westburg was all over snub lists after the reserves were announced Sunday. Two days later, the outrage was quelled when the third baseman was named the Orioles’ fourth All-Star, replacing Boston’s Rafael Devers on the squad. While most of the attention goes to All-Star starters Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman, Westburg has quietly been one of the most productive hitters in the majors, slashing .280/.327/.512 in his second season. He ranks in the top 15 in the American League in both wRC+ and Fangraphs WAR. The Orioles have the best record in the AL and arguably the deepest lineup in the majors. A fourth All-Star was warranted. — Castillo


lad

Record: 55-38
Previous ranking: 4

Tyler Glasnow was selected to his first All-Star team on Sunday. Two days later, lingering tightness in his lower back forced him to the IL, where he joined a who’s who of Dodgers starters on the shelf — Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Emmet Sheehan, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin. The Dodgers have a starting pitching problem. A pretty big one, actually. They’re now counting on four rookies and one James Paxton to make up their rotation. And one of those rookies, Bobby Miller, has allowed 19 runs in 17⅓ innings since returning from a shoulder injury. So, yes, the Dodgers will need rotation help before the trade deadline. — Gonzalez


cle

Record: 57-34
Previous ranking: 5

Cleveland will send five players to the All-Star Game: starters Jose Ramirez and Steven Kwan, plus first baseman Josh Naylor, DH David Fry and closer Emmanuel Clase. For Ramirez, it’s his sixth All-Star selection and his first time starting since 2018. It’s the first time Cleveland has had five All-Star reps since six made it in 2018 (Ramirez, Francisco Lindor, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes) and Kwan is the first outfielder since Brantley was selected that year. Fry is one of the biggest surprises of the first half, a 28-year-old minor league veteran who made the team out of spring training as a utility player. — Schoenfield


nyy

Record: 56-38
Previous ranking: 3

Aaron Judge and Juan Soto were named All-Star Game starters last week, with Judge leading all vote-getters. Duh. Clay Holmes was named the Yankees’ third All-Star on Sunday, as chosen by league officials. Huh? Holmes was unequivocally one of the best closers in baseball until the middle of June. He didn’t allow an earned run in his first 20 appearances. But he has given up nine runs, eight earned, and blown two saves over his past seven outings, a stretch that mirrors the Yankees’ recent nosedive. It would’ve made more sense for the players to have voted in Holmes, but for the league to choose him over other more worthy relievers when the Yankees already had two representatives was a surprise. — Castillo


mil

Record: 54-39
Previous ranking: 7

Christian Yelich is back! What a first half for the longtime star of the Brewers after some down moments over the past few seasons since he won the MVP award in 2018. He was never awful (outside of 2020) but between some back issues and a drop in power, Yelich didn’t look like a guy who could get back to those elite numbers from the past decade. But he has done exactly that, making his third All-Star team despite missing almost a month with an injury. It helps to lead the league in hitting, including a nifty .329 batting average against left-handed pitching. Everyone loves a comeback story, and Yelich’s return to the elite in the league is a good one. — Rogers


atl

Record: 51-40
Previous ranking: 6

The Braves made an important statement over the weekend, taking two of three from the Phillies. In the finale on Sunday, Reynaldo Lopez pitched six shutout innings to run his record to 7-2 and lower his ERA to 1.71. He was then rewarded with his first All-Star selection. Fellow starter Chris Sale and DH Marcell Ozuna also made it. Sale made it to the Midsummer Classic seven consecutive seasons with the White Sox and Red Sox from 2012 to 2018 and started the game from 2016 to 2018. He’s the only pitcher to start three straight All-Star Games. Ozuna was selected for this third All-Star Game, but first since 2017 with the Marlins. — Schoenfield


min

Record: 53-40
Previous ranking: 8

The Twins, despite owning the seventh-best record in the majors, had just Carlos Correa make the initial AL roster. They deserved more love. Jose Miranda’s historic streak of hits in 12 consecutive at-bats came too late for real consideration, but Byron Buxton, Willi Castro and Ryan Jeffers had the numbers to warrant a selection. The vote here goes to Castro. Positional versatility has become more valued than ever, but reciprocating accolades don’t exist for utility players. Castro, 27, is having a career year at the plate, posting a 128 wRC+ in a team-high 93 games while making at least 10 starts at five positions (2B, SS, 3B, LF, CF). Maybe it’s time MLB creates a utility spot for each roster. — Castillo


bos

Record: 50-41
Previous ranking: 12

Devers had quite the weekend. Off the field, the third baseman was named an All-Star for the third time in his career. On it, he terrorized the Yankees in the Bronx yet again, going 7-for-12 with three home runs as the Red Sox took two of three games from their rivals at Yankee Stadium. His 16 home runs in 57 career games at Yankee Stadium are the most of any visitor since the start of the 2017 season. He’s enjoying the best season of his stellar career, slashing .292/.377/.587 with 21 home runs and a 162 OPS+. And he’s done it all with a sore left shoulder that has bothered him since spring training, costing him 11 games in early April, and will keep him from participating in the All-Star Game. — Castillo


sea

Record: 51-43
Previous ranking: 9

The Mariners might not seem like a first-place club, but they do in fact still lead the AL West and have topped the division for nearly two months. That being the case, perhaps they deserved more than one All-Star, which turned out to be righty starter Logan Gilbert. Gilbert is a no-brainer, but you can make a case that George Kirby has been even better. Rather than picking one over the other, both should have made it. Also, Cal Raleigh is right there in the second tier of catchers, joining Salvador Perez (who made it), Logan O’Hoppe and Ryan Jeffers. Raleigh has been one of the most valuable defenders in baseball and, at the plate, leads the woeful Mariners offense in win probability added. — Doolittle


hou

Record: 48-44
Previous ranking: 11

With Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez both named starters through the fan balloting, this season marks just the fourth time the Astros have had multiple starters in an All-Star Game. Both are deserving. So, too, is injured outfielder Kyle Tucker, who has been out for more than a month. That he still made the AL roster shows just how well he was playing before going down and underscores the fact that the league is short on star-level performances from outfielders. Houston didn’t have any major oversights, though starter Ronel Blanco had to merit some consideration. Altuve joins Roberto Alomar and Rod Carew as the only AL second basemen selected at least six times by the fans. He’s pretty good. — Doolittle


sd

Record: 49-47
Previous ranking: 13

Fernando Tatis Jr., previously named one of the National League’s starting outfielders, is expected to remain out through at least the end of the month because of a stress reaction in his femur. But fellow high-priced star Xander Bogaerts could return from his shoulder injury as early as Friday. And the Padres’ other high-priced star, Manny Machado, has heated up. Machado is slashing .298/.348/.496 since the start of June, a run culminated by a walk-off home run against the D-backs on Friday. The Padres went on to lose the next four games. But if Machado can stay hot, they’ll be in good shape. — Gonzalez


kc

Record: 51-43
Previous ranking: 10

What’s the bigger surprise: That the Royals got four All-Stars on the AL squad for the first time since 2016? Or that all four of those players deserved it? Or that all four players not only deserved the honor, but that the process actually recognized them? That Bobby Witt Jr., Salvador Perez, Seth Lugo and Cole Ragans all are headed to Arlington is not just a testament to Kansas City’s surprise success this season, but how much of that success has been a product of the top players on the roster. Witt deserved to start, but it’s hard to argue with the fans for voting Henderson as the AL’s game-opening shortstop. As for Lugo, he deserves to start the game for the AL, and if that happens, there’s another surprise given preseason expectations. — Doolittle


stl

Record: 48-44
Previous ranking: 15

It’s kind of an interesting twist that a current wild-card team has just one All-Star and he’s the closer. But that’s how good Ryan Helsley has been for St. Louis, finishing a league-leading 38 games on the mound with an MLB-leading 31 saves. It’s Helsley’s second All-Star appearance as he has quietly put together a really good career, both as a middle man and ninth-inning expert. The Cardinals aren’t using him to clean up dirty innings this season, which saves some wear and tear on his arm. That bodes well for the second half. With a save percentage of 94% so far, Helsley is a big reason St. Louis is in playoff position. — Rogers


ari

Record: 46-47
Previous ranking: 16

First base in the NL is a tough field to crack, but when you’re identifying players who were snubbed from the initial unveiling of All-Star rosters, Christian Walker is undoubtedly among the most prominent. Walker is the sport‘s best defensive first baseman, a back-to-back Gold Glove Award winner who ranks sixth in outs above average — among all positions, including the ones with more playmaking opportunities — since the start of 2022. This year, he has taken his offense to another level, his adjusted OPS jumping to 137. That his All-Star snub came shortly after he belted five home runs in one three-game series from Dodger Stadium made it all the more glaring. — Gonzalez


nym

Record: 46-45
Previous ranking: 14

Pete Alonso is the Mets’ lone All-Star representative, and he will also participate in his fifth consecutive Home Run Derby. Alonso was a bit of a controversial choice over Arizona’s Walker, who is having a more productive all-around season. Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo also have a sizable edge in WAR over Alonso and would have been better choices, but it was a bit of a roster crunch at their positions.

Mookie Betts and Elly De La Cruz were elected by the players at shortstop (while Turner was elected starter), and CJ Abrams was selected as the Nationals’ rep, so there were already four shortstops (although Betts is injured). Teoscar Hernandez, Jackson Merrill and Bryan Reynolds were the player-elected backups at outfielder. Heliot Ramos also made it, and since the Giants already had a rep in Logan Webb, the league could have left off Ramos and gone with Nimmo there and Walker instead of Alonso. — Schoenfield


Record: 44-49
Previous ranking: 19

That the Rangers landed two players on the AL roster for an All-Star Game they are hosting is both about right and disappointing. It’s also questionable that the right two players made it. It’s hard to argue with closer Kirby Yates’ selection. At 37, Yates has climbed back to the level he was at in 2019 before getting hurt, when he was one of baseball’s most electric relievers. He’s not as dominant but just as effective, and that’s been a godsend for the Texas bullpen. Marcus Semien is a great player, but he has been struggling for weeks, and there were other, more deserving players on the Rangers, such as infield mates Josh Smith and Corey Seager. Smith in particular would have been an inspired selection. — Doolittle


cin

Record: 44-49
Previous ranking: 18

Hunter Greene’s path to becoming an All-Star has been full of ups and downs, but, ultimately, for every step backward, he took two forward. And even though he has his share of control problems — he currently leads the league in HBP — he has harnessed his immense talent to the point of dominating hitters when he’s on his game. Last season, he gave up a hit per inning pitched, whereas this year he’s given up just 76 in 104 innings. That’s lowered his WHIP from 1.420 to a sparkling 1.141. That’s a lot less base runners to contend with despite the occasional hit batter. His selection for the game in Arlington cements him as the Reds ace. — Rogers


sf

Record: 45-48
Previous ranking: 20

Ramos was basically an afterthought when he was called up to reinforce an injury-ravaged Giants outfield in the early part of May. Now he’s an All-Star — the first homegrown Giants outfielder to receive that honor since Chili Davis way back in 1986. He’s a deserving one, too. Ramos, a 2017 first-round pick who’s still only 24, has slashed .301/.372/.530 with 13 home runs while locking down center field in place of an injured Jung Hoo Lee. The Giants’ season has so far been marred by injuries and underperformance, but Ramos — and Webb, surprisingly also a first-time All-Star — has been a major bright spot. — Gonzalez


tb

Record: 45-47
Previous ranking: 17

In a lineup featuring Yandy Diaz, the reigning AL batting champion, and Randy Arozarena, it’s been Isaac Paredes leading the offensive charge for the Rays. The third baseman will be Tampa Bay’s lone representative at the All-Star Game, and deservedly so. Paredes is batting .265 with a team-leading 15 home runs and .830 OPS. His emergence represents another win for the Rays’ front office, which acquired him and a draft pick from the Tigers for outfielder Austin Meadows before the start of the 2022 season. — Castillo


pit

Record: 44-48
Previous ranking: 21

It’s one of the greatest accomplishments ever for a young player: getting drafted one summer and then making MLB’s All-Star team the next. Paul Skenes is already a star and now the world will get to see him on one of the biggest stages. He shouldn’t start the game — that’s reserved for those who have accomplished more in the first half this year — but everyone needs to see him throw an inning of 100 mph fastballs. That’s part of the fun of the Midsummer Classic. — Rogers


chc

Record: 44-49
Previous ranking: 23

It’s telling of their season that the Cubs have $20 million-plus players all over the diamond but it’s a rookie — Shota Imanaga — who is their lone All-Star. Another rookie, first baseman Michael Busch, probably should have made it, too, while Ian Happ’s late first-half surge didn’t net him a bid either. It underscores the point that Chicago has a bunch of solid players but no current or budding super stars. They don’t grow on trees, but most championship-caliber clubs — by definition — have one or two of them. The Cubs are still looking. — Rogers


det

Record: 44-49
Previous ranking: 24

Two of the Tigers’ most prominent young players, Spencer Torkelson and Colt Keith, have taken their lumps this year. But another, Riley Greene, has thrived. On Sunday, Greene, the 23-year-old No. 5 overall pick from five years ago, was named to his first All-Star team, joining teammate Tarik Skubal, who’s a legitimate Cy Young contender. With Torkelson in Triple-A and Kerry Carpenter injured, Greene has been counted on to carry a mostly anemic Tigers offense and has responded by producing an .849 OPS, 17 homers and five triples in 92 games. His defense in left field has also been solid. — Gonzalez


wsh

Record: 42-51
Previous ranking: 22

CJ Abrams had an All-Star-caliber first half and was rewarded with his first All-Star selection. Hopefully it will be the first of many as only one Expos/Nationals shortstop has ever made it more than once. The complete list: Hubie Brooks (1986, 1987), Wil Cordero (1994), Mark Grudzielanek (1996), Cristian Guzman (2006), Ian Desmond (2012), Trea Turner (2019). None of them started, so the Nationals have never had an All-Star starter at shortstop — or third base. Longtime third baseman Ryan Zimmerman did start one All-Star Game, but it was in 2017 after he had moved to first base. Abrams certainly has a chance to have the best season for a Nationals shortstop. He’s on pace for 6 WAR; the franchise record is 4.7, shared by Turner and Brooks. — Schoenfield


tor

Record: 42-50
Previous ranking: 25

Toronto’s offense has been putrid this season, ranking in the bottom five in MLB in runs scored per game, but it’s not Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s fault. Guerrero Jr., elected by fans as the AL’s starting first baseman, has rebounded after a slow start, batting close to .350 with six home runs since June 19. On the season, he’s registering a .290/.364/.454 slash line with 13 home runs and a 132 OPS+. Just two other qualified Blue Jays (Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Justin Turner) have an OPS+ north of 98. It’s the fourth All-Star nod for the 25-year-old Guerrero Jr., who will be the last-place Blue Jays’ only representative in Texas. — Castillo


laa

Record: 38-54
Previous ranking: 26

By rule, someone on the Angels had to be on the roster and it turns out that their lone representative will be starter Tyler Anderson, added by the league office at the end of the process. Anderson is deserving, however, and can hold his head high as he flies off to Texas. As a headliner on the trade deadline rumor mill, maybe the biggest question is whether some aggressive suitor will pry him away from the Halos before the All-Star Game actually gets here. While the Angels were short on All-Star candidates in general, a solid argument could be made for catcher Logan O’Hoppe as a member of the tier of AL backstops one level below Baltimore’s Rustchsman. — Doolittle


oak

Record: 35-59
Previous ranking: 27

Sometimes you have to dig deep to find an All-Star on a dreadful team but that’s not the case for Oakland thanks to the presence of scintillating reliever Mason Miller. Miller has been one of the game’s very best relievers and is a big reason why, as bad as the Athletics have been, things could be a lot worse. The A’s probably don’t need more than one representative, given their place in the standings, but it wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world if Brent Rooker had been selected as the AL’s second DH behind Yordan Alvarez. In a world where Miller had not broken out, perhaps Rooker would have been Oakland’s default choice. — Doolittle


col

Record: 33-60
Previous ranking: 29

Fans tend to shrug at the concept of every team having to be represented at the All-Star Game, but a Rockies club that has been one of the sport’s worst all year got a very deserving All-Star nod in the form of Ryan McMahon. For years, McMahon has been an elite defender at third base but has hovered around league average offensively. Now, in his age-29 season, his bat has finally lined up with his glove, his OPS rising from .759 the last four years to .801 this year. The Rockies haven’t done a lot of things right in recent years, but signing McMahon to a six-year, $70 million extension before the 2022 season was clearly a sound decision. “What’s the saying, ‘Always a bridesmaid, never a bride?'” McMahon told reporters upon getting his first All-Star invite. “I feel like I”m getting married finally.” — Gonzalez


mia

Record: 32-60
Previous ranking: 28

Unsurprisingly, the Marlins ended up with just one All-Star in reliever Tanner Scott. He was really their only reasonable option, but he’s having an excellent season with an ERA under 2.00, overcoming some wildness early on (he had 17 walks in his first 17 innings). Scott becomes the first Marlins reliever to make it since Fernando Rodney and AJ Ramos both made it in 2016. (Rodney had spent most of that season with the Padres but was traded to the Marlins before the All-Star Game.) A trade could also be in Scott’s future since he’s a free agent after this season. — Schoenfield


chw

Record: 27-68
Previous ranking: 30

For the first time since 2009, a Chicago team won’t be sending a position player to the All-Star Game, but the White Sox have made up for that by sending arguably the AL’s best first-half pitcher. Garrett Crochet doesn’t have all the counting stats — like wins or innings pitched — that some counterparts have, but in terms of the eye test, he might be at the top of the list. The team has been careful with his workload, considering he’s starting for the first time in his career, but Crochet does lead the league in one counting stat — strikeouts. Every single pitch he throws, save his changeup, has a strikeout percentage of 30% or higher. He’s simply been electric. — Rogers



Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top