Sunday, February 21, 2016

DrB's NL Power Rankings: #'s 15-10- Braves, Brewers, Reds, Phillies, Rockies, Padres

I was looking at the Cubs and Giants depth charts and mentally comparing them.  I decided, whattheheck?  I'll just do my own power ranking of all 15 NL Teams.  Now, the tough part of that is there are 6 teams who, IMO, have essentially no chance of making it to the postseason in 2016 which makes it pretty boring.   I'll do those 6 teams first.  BTW, the AL is a much more balanced league right now, not necessarily better, but more balanced.  So here are the NL teams starting from bottom to top( I am using the depth charts from the team websites):

#15.  Atlanta Braves

Projected Opening Day Roster:

Postion Starters:  C  AJ Pierzynski, 1B  Freddie Freeman, 2B  Jace Peterson,  3B  Adonis Garcia,  SS  Erick Aybar, LF  Hector Olivera, CF  Ender Inciarte, RF Nick Markakis.

Starting Rotation:  Julio Teheran, Bud Norris, Matt Wisler, Wiliams Perez, Mike Foltynewicz.

Bullpen:  Jason Grilli, Arodys Vizcaino, Manny Banuelos, ??????

Bench:  C Tyler Flowers, IF/OF Nick Swisher, OF Michael Bourn, IF Kelly Johnson, IF Gordon Beckham.

I guess AJP has a Ring to his name, but in 2016 it seems like any team that has him on their roster at all, let alone #1 on a depth chart is in a lot of trouble!  The Braves are at the bottom of a teardown.  Looks like they will build around Freddie Freeman.  Inciarte is a nice get from the D'Backs who should be just entering the peak of his career. Olivera is a big question mark.  Garcia at 3B could really surprise, but probably won't.  Aybar at SS  is a placeholder for Dansby Swanson or Ozhaino Albies.  Mallex Smith should get a chance to play before the season is over and they have a whole shipload of talented arms on the farm.  Look for Bourn and/or Swisher to be released before the year is out.  The Braves are building for the future, but 2016 will be pretty ugly.

#14.  Milwaukee Brewers

Projected Opening Day Roster:

Postion Starters:  C Jonathan Lucroy, 1B  Chris Carter,  2B  Scooter Gennett, 3B  Aaron Hill, SS  Jonathan Villar, LF  Rymer Liriano, CF  Domingo Santana, RF Ryan Braun.

Starting Rotation:  Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson, Taylor Jungmann, Matt Garza, Chase Anderson.

Bullpen:  Will Smith, Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel, Blazek, Thornburg, ???

Bench:  C Martin Maldonado, OF Kirk Niewenweiss, OF Keon Broxton, IF ?, IF ?

The Brewers are starting their own teardown and more shoes could drop by the trade deadline.  Lucroy is definitely at risk to be traded and the Brewers are probably praying Matt Garza shows enough to draw some interest at the deadline.  I kind of like Villar as a sleeper at SS, but he's a placeholder for Orlando Arcia who is their top prospect.

#13. Cincinnati Reds

Projected Opening Day Roster:

Position Starters:  C Devin Mesoraco, 1B Joey Votto, 2B  Brandon Phillips, 3B  Eduardo Suarez, SS  Zack Cozart, LF  Adam Duvall, CF  Billy Hamilton, RF  Jay Bruce.

Starting Rotation:  Homer Bailey, Anthony DeSclafini, Raisel Iglesias, John Lamb, Jon Moscot, Brandon Finnegan.

Bullpen:  John Hoover, Jumbo Diaz, Tony Cingrani, Mike Lorenzen, ????

Bench:  C Barnhart, IF Ivan DeJesus, OF Scott Schebler, OF  Tyler Holt, IF Jose Peraza?

Another team in the middle of teardown.  The Reds would love to burn it to the ground by trading Bruce and Phillips which would give starting gigs to Schebler and Peraza.  Bailey is coming off TJ surgery.  Lorenzen will be given a chance to compete for a rotation slot, but I expect him to lose out to Finnegan if Bailey is ready to go.  It will be interesting to see what Duvall does with a starting gig, especially in that park.

#12  Philadelphia Phillies

Projected Opening Day Roster:

Position Starters:  C Cameron Rupp, 1B Ryan Howard, 2B  Cesar Hernandez, 3B Maikel Franco, SS  Freddy Galvis, LF  Aaron Altherr, CF  Odubel Herrera, RF  Peter Bourjos.

Starting Rotation:  Jeremy Hellickson, Charlie Morton, Aaron Nola, Jared Eickoff, Vincent Velasquez.

Bullpen:  David Hernandez, Brett Oberholtzer, ??????

Bench:  C Carlos Ruiz, IF/OF Darren Ruf, IF  Andres Blanco, OF Tyler Goeddel, IF/OF Cody Asche.

The Phillies lineup has several breakout prospects including Maikel Franco and a lot of folks are sleeping on Aaron Altherr.  Galvis is a placeholder for uber-prospect JP Crawford.  Cesar Hernandez  could steal 40-50 bases.  The other side of the coin is any starting rotation headed by Jeremy Hellickson is in a whole lot of trouble!  Nola is a former first round pick who could be a future #2 and Mark Appel could move up fast if he can ever get his sssstuff together.  Jared Eickoff is a big time sleeper.  The Bullpen was stripped to get more talent for the farm, but it will eventually pay off.  The #5 starter Velasquez came back in the Ken Giles trade and has a serious FB with the potential to become an ace starter.

#11  Colorado Rockies

Projected Opening Day Roster:

Position Starters:  C Nick Hundley, 1B Ben Paulsen, 2B DJ Lemahieu, 3B Nolan Arenado, SS  Jose Reyes, LF Gerardo Parra, CF Charlie Blackmon, RF Carlos Gonzalez.

Starting Rotation:  Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Jordan Lyles, Jonathan Gray.

Bullpen:  Jason Motte, Chad Qualls, Jake McGee, Christian Bergman, Adam Ottavino(due back from injury mid-season).

Bench:  C Dustin Garneau or Tom Murphy, IF Mark Reynolds, IF Daniel Descalso, IF Christian Adames, OF Brandon Barnes.

This team will still score a lot of runs, especially in Coors Field, but it will take time to rebuild the rotation.  Jonathan Gray is the first of several hard throwing pitching prospects who will come online in the next year or two.  The Rockies main focus this offseason was building up the bullpen.  It will be interesting to see how much difference that makes.

#10  San Diego Padres

Projected Opening Day Roster:

Position Starters:  C Derek Norris, 1B Wil Myers, 2B Cory Spangenburg, 3B Yangervis Solarte, SS Alexei Ramirez, LF Jon Jay, CF Melvin Upton, Jr, RF Matt Kemp.

Starting Rotation:  Tyson Ross, James Shields, Andrew Cashner, Brandon Maurer, Carlos Villanueva.

Bullpen:  Fernando Rodney, Jon Edwards, Nick Vincent, Drew Pomeranz, Kevin Quackenbush, ??

Bench:  C Christian Betancourt, IF Brett Wallace, IF Alexei Amarista, OF Travis Jankowski, OF Alex Dickerson.

The Padres are caught in no-mans land after a crash rebuild from last offseason went bust.  They are outgunned at the MLB level but they stripped their farm system in the process.  It seems to me that Travis Jankowski should start in CF with Upton as the utility OF and liking it.  Overall, its kind of a nondescript, motley bunch.  The good news for Padres fans is they managed to stockpile something like 6 draft picks in the first 58 or so, but help from that is a few years away.


  1. I'm looking for ward to the rest of the rankings. As you say... not much to separate or say about the tanking 5+SD.

    1. Thanks, kennv. The next two just went up.