In this edition of Pitcher List’s power rankings, we’re looking at where teams stand before most of the offseason moves have gone down. These are Pitcher List’s Offseason Power Rankings:
Tier 1: The Top 3
Houston Astros – #1:
It is almost a given that the Astros will be back in the ALCS in 2023. They proved themselves to be the best team in baseball in 2022 by winning the World Series; the young guys stepped up and the stars continued to shine. The main piece Houston may be without in 2023 is Justin Verlander, and even without the veteran pitcher, the team still managed to win the pennant back in 2021.
Los Angeles Dodgers – #2:
Even without the few players that are headed to free agency, the team can still maintain its top-tier status. Between Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, and others, the Dodgers will carry over a handful of perennial all-start into the upcoming season. Despite their postseason woes, there is simply too much talent on Los Angeles’ roster to place the team any lower.
Atlanta – #3:
Like the other top teams, Atlanta has several of its top performers carrying over to the upcoming season. In addition to the team’s top performers in 2022 like Spencer Strider, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson, Atlanta will also be getting a Ronald Acuña Jr. back that should be at his healthiest since the beginning of the 2021 season.
Tier 2: The Great Teams
San Diego Padres – #4:
Two players who could be projected to win NL MVP will be in the Padres’ lineup in 2023. The team will also retain some elite and reliable pitchers. It will always be hard to catch up to the Dodgers, but the Padres can be expected to be one of the best National League teams.
New York Mets – #5:
After quickly locking up Edwin Díaz, the Mets are set to retain a significant chunk of their talent. It does not look like Jacob deGrom will be a Met come 2023, but the team still has Max Scherzer leading off its rotation along with decent pitching depth to follow the ace. With many of the same faces coming back, the offense will also be of significant help to the team.
New York Yankees– #6:
The Yankees had immense trouble in the ALCS but the team had some very high points in 2022. They will be a very good team in 2022 as it stands now, but if they want to have what it takes to beat the Astros, big changes are necessary.
Seattle Mariners – #7
Seattle will look to lock up some important pieces this offseason, but as it stands now, the team carries a more than solid core. Julio Rodríguez will continue to be the driving force leading off the offense, and Luis Castillo and Robbie Ray will be the leaders of the rotation.
St. Louis Cardinals – #8
As it stands now, the Cardinals should be the favorites to win the NL Central in 2023. Adam Wainwright has already returned and he should offer a solid number of innings in his final season. Surrounding Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, the team has solid depth comprised of young players that can take the offense very far.
Cleveland Guardians – #9:
Everything appeared to come together for the Guardians at the end of 2022. With José Ramírez presumably returning in 2023 at full health combined with the team’s never-ending pitching depth, Cleveland should have an easy time navigating the AL Central.
Philadelphia Phillies – #10:
The Phillies will have a lot to work on this off-season. The deep playoff run was exciting, but the Astros exposed the team’s holes in the end. The team has serious issues with putting runners on base in addition to having defensive issues all around the field.
Toronto Blue Jays – #11:
The Blue Jays entered 2022 with high expectations. It was soon clear those expectations would be severely missed. Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah will look to repeat their impressive 2022 campaign, but José Berríos will need to put in some serious work to regain his pre-Toronto form. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will also be a bit of a variable as to if he will be his 2021 self or his slightly-regressed 2022 version.
Tampa Bay Rays – #12
Tampa will always manage to have a very good pitching staff, but the way its season ended exposed its offensive issues. The team struggled with widespread injuries throughout the season, and players like Wander Franco will presumably be back for 2023 with full health.
Tier 3: The Middling Teams
Milwaukee Brewers – #13:
Christian Yelich was still unable to rediscover his swing in 2022 and the team traded away its prized closer. The team will still retain some big performers, but they will not be enough to make a serious playoff run. A rebuild may be in the picture if 2023 is a repeat of 2022.
Chicago White Sox – #14
With their new manager, the White Sox will make one last try to make a deep playoff run with their current core. The team may pivot away from José Abreu at first base, but the younger members of the core and Liam Hendriks will be sticking around for this year.
Baltimore Orioles – #15
The Orioles are on the precipice of something big. They proved in 2022 that the young team was and is able to beat some of the best teams in the league. Some off-season additions will be necessary to build a complete product for 2023, but the roster already contains significant talent.
Boston Red Sox – #16
2022 was a story of mistakes and underperformance across the board for the Red Sox. The team already performed very mediocrely with several of those now-free agents, but with them gone, the front office has a boatload of work to do in order to field a competitive product in 2023. Nevertheless, some younger players like Brayan Bello and Triston Casas who made their debuts down the stretch last season prevent Boston from falling even lower.
Minnesota Twins – #17
With the departure of Carlos Correa, the Twins’ best players are Byron Buxton and Luis Arraez. After them, there is not much. An overhaul of the roster may be needed for Minnesota, but for now, the team has sufficient talent to be a middling club.
San Francisco Giants – #18
Once free agency is all set and done, the Giants will jump much higher on this list, but for now, they remain stuck with most of the players from 2022 that led the team to an 81-81 season. Several of those players have shown greater potential in the past, and maybe they could return to their previous forms.
Chicago Cubs – #19
Despite the loss of Willson Contreras, the Cubs still have some significant rising talent on their team. Seiya Suzuki will hope to avoid the IL, Christopher Morel should settle into a regular MLB role, and Marcus Stroman will attempt to regain his 2021 form.
Arizona Diamondbacks – #20
The Diamondbacks had some important players break out in 2022. Zac Gallen put up Cy Young-worthy numbers and Christian Walker hit nearly 40 home runs. The team is in the best position it has been in for several years.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)