2023 MLB Preseason Power Ranking
This year Baseball America graded every projected MLB regular position player, starting pitcher and high-leverage reliever.
We then used the BA Grades to build an MLB preseason power ranking. More specifically, we used the BA Grades to determine which teams had the most players above and below a 45 grade, which is the cutoff point for a big league regular.
We then graded all 30 teams on the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average. Because MLB teams tend to be all-in for a postseason berth or all-out to build for a future postseason appearance, there are just few teams clustered in the middle. In this case, just six teams reside in the 50 or 55 tier.
1. Houston Astros
Top 100 Players (eight): DH Yordan Alvarez (#9), 2B Jose Altuve (#38), LHP Framber Valdez (#40), RF Kyle Tucker (#51), 3B Alex Bregman (#56), 1B Jose Abreu (#62), RHP Cristian Javier (#66), SS Jeremy Peña (#96)
Houston returns the core of its World Series championship team, minus Justin Verlander but plus Jose Abreu. This year’s impact Astros rookie figures to be righthander Hunter Brown, though on the downside Yordan Alvarez was slowed by hand soreness in spring training and Jose Altuve is out at least two months with a fractured thumb.
2. Atlanta Braves
Top 100 Players (eight): RF Ronald Acuña Jr. (#16), 3B Austin Riley (#19), LHP Max Fried (#33), 1B Matt Olson (#35), RHP Spencer Strider (#49), C Sean Murphy (#77), CF Michael Harris (#80), RHP Kyle Wright (#85)
The Braves add Sean Murphy to their formidable lineup and have the type of pitching depth to cover for absences. Atlanta is gunning for its sixth straight National League East division title.
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
Top 100 Players (six): RF Mookie Betts (#4), 1B Freddie Freeman (#18), LHP Clayton Kershaw (#23), LHP Julio Urias (#26), C Will Smith (#53), RHP Tony Gonsolin (#97)
The Dodgers have led the National League in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed for the past five seasons, an MLB record. To make it six straight, Los Angeles will need to compensate for the losses of Trea Turner and Tyler Anderson, among others, in free agency and Gavin Lux to a torn ACL this spring.
4. San Diego Padres
Top 100 Players (eight): 3B Manny Machado (#5), LF Juan Soto (#13), RF Fernando Tatis Jr. (#29), SS Xander Bogaerts (#30), RHP Yu Darvish (#34), RHP Joe Musgrove (#55), LHP Blake Snell (#71), CL Josh Hader (#79)
Few teams have a concentration of stars to match the Padres, who added Juan Soto at the 2022 trade deadline and then signed Xander Bogaerts and extended Manny Machado and Yu Darvish in the offseason. The return of Fernando Tatis Jr. when he finishes serving his suspension could change the complexion of the lineup.
5. New York Yankees
Top 100 Players (four): RF Aaron Judge (#2), RHP Gerrit Cole (#8), LHP Carlos Rodon (#47), LHP Nestor Cortes (#91)
No team spent more in free agency than the Yankees, who retained Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo and added Carlos Rodon. New York’s pitching depth is outstanding—and may be tested with early injuries to Rodon and Frankie Montas. Rookie shortstops Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe could add a spark to the offense.
6. New York Mets
Top 100 Players (seven): RHP Justin Verlander (#7), RHP Max Scherzer (#21), SS Francisco Lindor (#25), 1B Pete Alonso (#37), RF Starling Marte (#58), CF Brandon Nimmo (#64), 2B Jeff McNeil (#82)
Edwin Diaz ranked as the No. 54 MLB player prior to tearing the patellar tendon in his knee at the World Baseball Classic. Even without their all-star closer, the Mets have a well-rounded team that can challenge for NL East supremacy with a rotation headed by future Hall of Famers Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer and a lineup centered on Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil. Rookies Brett Baty and Francisco Alvarez could impact the offense.
7. Seattle Mariners
Top 100 Players (six): CF Julio Rodriguez (#11), RHP Luis Castillo (#41), LHP Logan Gilbert (#76), RHP George Kirby (#81), RHP Robbie Ray (#83), 1B Ty France (#92)
Seattle’s rotation could spell trouble for AL rivals. The Mariners’ front four of Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby and Robbie Ray all have No. 2 starter or better upside. And while Seattle won’t lead the league in runs scored, it has a strong defensive alignment up the middle—shortstop J.P. Crawford, second baseman Kolten Wong, catcher Cal Raleigh and center fielder Julio Rodriguez—that will embellish the already strong rotation and bullpen.
8. Philadelphia Phillies
Top 100 Players (seven): SS Trea Turner (#10), DH Bryce Harper (#20), RHP Aaron Nola (#27), RHP Zack Wheeler (#31), C J.T. Realmuto (#32), LF Kyle Schwarber (#70), 1B Rhys Hoskins (#88)
The defending NL champions are loaded with star players who can help them win in October. Following his star turn in the World Baseball Classic, Trea Turner is a potential difference-maker in the rugged NL East. Philadelphia will be without 2021 MVP Bryce Harper for the first half as he recovers from Tommy John surgery and may be without Rhys Hoskins and Ranger Suarez to open the season.
9. Toronto Blue Jays
Top 100 Players (six): 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (#28), RHP Alek Manoah (#44), RF George Springer (#54), SS Bo Bichette (#59), RHP Kevin Gausman (#61), C Alejandro Kirk (#90)
Toronto had one of the top offenses in baseball last season. Adding lefthanded hitters Daulton Varsho and Brandon Belt to the mix makes the club more balanced and more dangerous because it becomes more difficult to game-plan against. Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman give the Blue Jays an October-worthy top two, and live prospect arms like Ricky Tiedemann and Yosver Zulueta should be ready to contribute in a variety of roles.
10. St. Louis Cardinals
Top 100 Players (three): 3B Nolan Arenado (#15), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (#17), C Willson Contreras (#74)
Willson Contreras replaces Yadier Molina behind the plate. Outfielder Lars Nootbaar is a popular breakout pick. Jordan Walker might be the NL Rookie of the Year. The Cardinals will definitely hit. But St. Louis faces the same question it did last year: Can its starting pitchers miss enough bats to be relevant in October? Just six rotations had a lower strikeout rate last season. Healthy returns from Steven Matz and Jack Flaherty would help.
11. Cleveland Guardians
Top 100 Players (six): 3B Jose Ramirez (#6), RHP Shane Bieber (#39), CL Emmanuel Clase (#65), 2B Andres Gimenez (#73), LF Steven Kwan (#89), RHP Triston McKenzie (#98)
The Guardians won’t get to beat up on an AL Central-focused schedule this season, but they still have the most talent in the division heading into the season, with all-stars Jose Ramirez, Shane Bieber, Emmanuel Clase and Andres Gimenez at the top of the roster. Signing Josh Bell adds power to a lineup that was home run deficient. It will be interesting to see how much this speedy, young team runs with the new rules that encourage stolen bases.
12. Tampa Bay Rays
Top 100 Players (four): RHP Tyler Glasnow (#48), LHP Shane McClanahan (#52), SS Wander Franco (#60), LF Randy Arozarena (#67)
Scoring runs was a problem for Tampa Bay last season, but that will be less of an issue in 2023 with healthy seasons from Wander Franco and Brandon Lowe. But the bottom of the lineup could use any boost a young player such as Josh Lowe, Jonathan Aranda or Curtis Mead can provide. Pitching remains the Rays’ strength, with Tyler Glasnow and Shane McClanahan established frontline arms in front of starters like Jeffrey Springs and Zach Eflin, who are trending up.
13. Milwaukee Brewers
Top 100 Players (three): RHP Corbin Burnes (#14), RHP Brandon Woodruff (#42), SS Willy Adames (#87)
The Brewers have arguably the best pitcher in baseball in the form of Corbin Burnes, and the club’s offense is poised to take a step forward with the offseason additions of William Contreras and Jesse Winker. Speed, defense and OBP-oriented rookies such as outfielders Garrett Mitchell and Sal Frelick and second baseman Brice Turang should do their part.
14. Minnesota Twins
Top 100 Players (two): SS Carlos Correa (#24), CF Byron Buxton (#78)
A little health luck will go a long way for the Twins, who have as much star talent as any AL Central club via Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton. Rookie Royce Lewis could add a spark in the second half if he comes all the way back from his second ACL reconstruction. The key to success in the Twin Cities revolves around the health of a rotation led by Pablo Lopez, Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan and Tyler Mahle, all four of whom were acquired in trades the past two years.
15. Los Angeles Angels
Top 100 Players (two): DH/RHP Shohei Ohtani (#1), CF Mike Trout (#3)
This season the Angels have perhaps their best chance to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014 and capitalize on having both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout, two of the top three players in MLB. Not only does adding a third AL wild card help, but Los Angeles has a nice rotation shaping up thanks to free agent import Tyler Anderson and up-and-coming young lefties Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval and Jose Suarez. Adding veterans Brandon Drury, Hunter Renfroe and Gio Urshela will help lengthen what has been a thin lineup.
16. Chicago White Sox
Top 100 Players (five): RHP Dylan Cease (#45), SS Tim Anderson (#57), RHP Lance Lynn (#75), CF Luis Robert (#95), DH Eloy Jimenez (#100)
Chicago returns largely the same cast of characters—minus Jose Abreu but plus Andrew Benintendi—from last year’s .500 team. But young players like Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, first baseman Andrew Vaughn and righthander Michael Kopech have room to grow, while Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito have past value to potentially reclaim. The biggest change for the White Sox may be in the dugout, where first-time manager Pedro Grifol replaces the divisive Tony La Russa.
17. Texas Rangers
Top 100 Players (three): RHP Jacob deGrom (#12), SS Corey Seager (#50), 2B Marcus Semien (#84)
Texas has spent liberally the past two offseasons to import veteran talent such as Jacob deGrom, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Jon Gray, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney. To take the next step toward wild card contention, the Rangers need young players like rookie third baseman Josh Jung and potentially pitchers like Owen White and Jack Leiter to come through and join an improving young core.
18. Baltimore Orioles
Top 100 Players (one): C Adley Rutschman (#43)
The Orioles played at an 89-win pace after calling up Adley Rutschman last May 21 and missed a wild card by just three games. Baltimore returns the same core players from last season, many of them youngsters who should improve with further experience, including Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Ryan Mountcastle, Kyle Bradish and Felix Bautista. Next up are righthander Grayson Rodriguez and outfielder Kyle Stowers, not to mention the fearsome foursome of Connor Norby, Jordan Westburg, Colton Cowser and Joey Ortiz on deck at Triple-A.
19. Arizona Diamondbacks
Top 100 Players (two): RHP Zac Gallen (#46), 2B Ketel Marte (#93)
Arizona has a raft of elite young talent on its way to Phoenix, and by the second half of the season left fielder Corbin Carroll, catcher Gabriel Moreno and righthander Brandon Pfaadt should be firmly established. Shortstop Jordan Lawlar and righthanders Ryne Nelson and Drey Jameson may also have MLB roles for a team that could push for its first winning record since 2019.
20. Chicago Cubs
Top 100 Players (one): SS Dansby Swanson (#86)
The Cubs somewhat quietly spent more than $300 million on free agents in the offseason, fifth most of any club. Most of that money went to Dansby Swanson, but Chicago also added righthander Jameson Taillon on a four-year deal and made shorter pacts with Cody Bellinger, Trey Mancini, Drew Smyly and other veterans to fill supporting roles. Rookies Matt Mervis and Hayden Wesneski could help.
21. Boston Red Sox
Top 100 Players (one): 3B Rafael Devers (#36)
World Baseball Classic hero Masataka Yoshida is Boston’s headlining offseason move, but free agents Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Corey Kluber also will help the Red Sox improve their consistency. The installation of rookie first baseman Triston Casas and a return to health of Chris Sale should further improve a team that was brutalized by AL East opponents last season and looks forward to 24 fewer such matchups in 2023.
22. Miami Marlins
Top 100 Players (three): RHP Sandy Alcantara (#22), CF Jazz Chisholm Jr. (#68), 2B Luis Arraez (#94)
The Marlins had the eighth-best starters’ ERA last season—despite playing a rugged NL East schedule—but did not receive enough support from their lineup or bullpen to avoid 93 losses. Miami attacked its on-base deficiency by trading for Luis Arraez and signing Jean Segura and fortified its bullpen by importing Matt Barnes, A.J. Puk and JT Chargois. MLB moving away from the unbalanced schedule this season will help.
23. San Francisco Giants
Top 100 Players (one): RHP Logan Webb (#69)
The Giants have hemorrhaged premium talent the past two offseasons—losing Buster Posey and Kevin Gausman after 2021 and Carlos Rodon after 2022—while bids to attract free agent superstars Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa fell flat. But San Francisco made a series of budget buys—outfielders Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, starting pitchers Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling plus reliever Taylor Rogers—that could push the club toward wild card contention.
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24. Cincinnati Reds
Top 100 Players: None
The Reds’ prospect depth makes the future bright in Cincinnati, but sunny days will take time to manifest. The good news is that the Reds are ahead of the game in terms of acclimating young pitchers to the rigors of MLB. Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft all flashed quality stuff and had periods of success as rookies last season. Next up: integrating young hitters like Elly De La Cruz, Noelvi Marte and Christian Encarnacion-Strand.
25. Kansas City Royals
Top 100 Players (one): SS Bobby Witt Jr. (#99)
The Royals graduated a future lineup core last season, led by Bobby Witt Jr. but also including first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino, second baseman Michael Massey, catcher MJ Melendez and others. Improving the club’s pitching quality is paramount after Kansas City had the fourth-worst starters’ ERA in baseball last season—ahead of only the Reds, Rockies and Nationals—despite pitching in a favorable home park and favorable division.
26. Pittsburgh Pirates
Top 100 Players (one): LF Bryan Reynolds (#63)
A young MLB core is beginning to take shape in Pittsburgh. Bryan Reynolds is the senior member, with third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, shortstop Oneil Cruz and righthander Roansy Contreras positioned to take steps forward this season. A slew of pitching and catching prospects have 2023 ETAs.
27. Colorado Rockies
Top 100 Players (one): LF Kris Bryant (#72)
Average run production. Substandard run prevention. One element or the other will have to improve for the Rockies to make the steep climb back to contention. An improving farm system offers the prospect of better days ahead.
28. Detroit Tigers
Top 100 Players: None
Detroit made a run at relevancy in 2022 by signing Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez and others, but it failed miserably. Now with a new front office in place, cozier outfield dimensions and key young hitters like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson a year older and wiser, the Tigers will try again to get their offense off the floor. Returns to health from Casey Mize and Tarik Skubal would go a long way.
29. Oakland Athletics
Top 100 Players: None
Oakland will not win often in 2023, so that means it has nothing to lose by trying out young players. Hopefuls include mostly players acquired from other organizations, including catcher Shea Langeliers, outfielders Esteury Ruiz, Cristian Pache and JJ Bleday, and lefthanders Ken Waldichuk and Kyle Muller. Fans may also see the debut of homegrown catcher Tyler Soderstrom, the Athletics’ 2020 first-rounder.
30. Washington Nationals
Top 100 Players: None
Success in Washington this season will be measured not in wins but in development from young big leaguers such as shortstop CJ Abrams, catcher Keibert Ruiz, second baseman Luis Garcia and righthander Josiah Gray. Prospect righty Cade Cavalli was poised to join them before he had Tommy John surgery this spring.