MLB Power Rankings: 2024 Preseason Grades, Key Rookies For Every Team


Image credit: Ronald Acuna (Photo by Eddie Kelly / ProLook Photos)

With the 2024 MLB season getting into full swing this week, the Baseball America MLB power rankings return. We graded all 30 teams on the 20-80 scouting scale, where 50 is average.

See below for who is poised to be on course for a postseason berth in 2024 and who will likely be building toward a future postseason appearance. You can also find Baseball America’s top 20 MLB rookies here.

MLB Predictions 2024: Baseball America’s Ultimate Season Preview

Baseball America is getting fans ready for the start of the 2024 MLB season.

80 Tier

1. Dodgers

Projected NL West winner

The Dodgers are the product of unrivaled player development and a bottomless bank account. To a lineup core of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, Los Angeles added Shohei Ohtani and bounceback candidate Teoscar Hernandez. The Dodgers remodeled their rotation with Tyler Glasnow, James Paxton and Rookie of the Year favorite Yoshinobu Yamamoto, adding the trio to homegrown breakout candidate Bobby Miller

Next First-Time All-Star: Righthander Bobby Miller.

Key Rookies: All eyes will be on $325 million man Yoshinobu Yamamoto, one of the most accomplished Japanese pitchers ever to come to MLB. At the other end of the rotation, Gavin Stone, now armed with a two-seamer and cutter, will be seeking a redemptive season after a brutal MLB debut.

2. Braves

Projected NL East winner

The 2023 Braves were the first team ever to slug .500 for a season. More fireworks are expected this season in a lineup with no letup, led by reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr., Matt Olson and Austin Riley. In the rotation, Spencer Strider strives for his first Cy Young Award and Max Fried prepares to show out in his free agent platform season, while veterans Charlie Morton and Chris Sale supply plenty of moxie. Atlanta’s bullpen is notably deep with varied looks. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Center fielder Michael Harris II.

Key Rookies: Power righthanders AJ Smith-Shawver and Hurston Waldrep will be ready at Triple-A to take on MLB innings as needs arise.

70 Tier

3. Astros

Projected AL West winner

No team reloads like the Astros, who are chasing an eighth straight trip to the AL Championship Series. Strong lineup core centered on Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman? Check. A battle-tested rotation headed by Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez? Check. The fiercest three-headed bullpen monster—Josh Hader, Ryan Pressly and Bryan Abreu—in baseball? Check.

Next First-Time All-Star: Catcher Yainer Diaz could be Adley Rutschman’s backup. Alternately, starters Cristian Javier or Hunter Brown or reliever Bryan Abreu could muscle their way on the team with a great first half. 

Key Rookies: Joey Loperfido could supply power at multiple positions after showing well in spring training. 

4. Phillies

Projected NL wild card

The Phillies have done a great job layering in supporting players around stars Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, JT Realmuto, Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola. These reinforcements have come via the farm system—Ranger Suarez, Bryson Stott, Alec Bohm, Johan Rojas—opportune trades—Brandon Marsh, Cristopher Sanchez, Jose Alvarado—and smaller signings, such as Whit Merrifield and Jeff Hoffman. Philadelphia plays in the same league with the behemoth Dodgers and Braves, so unless they get transferred to the Central, a wild card may be their best outcome.

Next First-Time All-Star: Ranger Suarez or Jeff Hoffman could time a hot spell just right. 

Key Rookies: Reliever Orion Kerkering sliced through minor league competition in 2023, winning the best breaking pitch nod in three different minor leagues, and made a successful MLB debut. He should be a high-leverage fixture.

60 Tier

5. Orioles

Projected AL East winner

The Orioles built back ahead of schedule, winning 101 games and the No. 1 seed in the American League last year. This year’s club should be more complete—even if it wins fewer games. Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Jackson Holliday are the centerpieces of the offense, while Corbin Burnes and Grayson Rodriguez head a rotation that could see the return of Kyle Bradish later in the season. 

Next First-Time All-Star: It’s a race between Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez

Key Rookies: Jackson Holliday is one of the favorites to win AL Rookie of the Year, but he isn’t alone in Baltimore. The club could also receive offensive contributions from rookies Colton Cowser, Coby Mayo and Heston Kjerstad and perhaps a few others.

6. Rangers

Projected AL wild card

Scoring runs shouldn’t be a problem for the reigning World Series champions. Texas’ lineup is loaded with starpower, from Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Adolis Garcia to top 2023 rookie Josh Jung and 2024 newcomers Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford. The pitching staff is fairly deep and talented but lacks an anchor, short of second-half heroics from Max Scherzer or possibly Tyler Mahle.

Next First-Time All-Star: Evan Carter or Wyatt Langford.

Key Rookies: Carter and Langford could finish first and second in Rookie of the Year voting, even in a stacked AL rookie class that also includes Jackson Holliday, Junior Caminero, Colt Keith and others. Teammates have finished one-two in ROY voting eight times previously.

7. Mariners

Projected AL wild card

Each member of Seattle’s top three of Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert and George Kirby could be a No. 1 starter on a contender. And the club rounds out its rotation with up-and-comers Bryce Miller and Bryan Woo. This embarrassment of power pitching makes the Mariners instant World Series contenders—just add offense. That will be up to MVP challenger Julio Rodriguez and Seattle’s new-look lineup. Gone are all-or-nothing sluggers Eugenio Suarez, Teoscar Hernandez and Jarred Kelenic, replaced by Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver and Mitch Haniger

Next First-Time All-Star: Logan Gilbert or possibly flame-throwing closer Andres Muñoz are the logical picks.

Key Rookies: Seattle’s minor league talent is promising but concentrated at the lower levels. If prospects impact the 2024 club, it will likely be via trades.

8. Yankees

Projected AL wild card 

The impossible happened in 2023. The Yankees finished next-to-last in the American League in home runs hit by lefthanded hitters—despite playing half their games in Yankee Stadium. That won’t be an issue this season after New York traded for Juan Soto, Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo. The bigger issues will be the availability of Aaron Judge, who had a spring MRI for abdominal discomfort, and Gerrit Cole, who is sidelined at least one month with elbow discomfort. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Gold Glove shortstop Anthony Volpe or newcomer Alex Verdugo.

Key Rookies: Catcher Austin Wells should help the Yankees’ lefthanded power bottom line. Pitchers such as Will Warren and Chase Hampton could get looks.

9. Twins

Projected AL Central winner

The Twins quietly had one of the more productive offenses in baseball last season. But “quiet” seems appropriate for a team steeped in Minnesota nice culture. This year’s edition should be even better. Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton are prime rebound candidates, while 2023 rookies Royce Lewis, Edouard Julien and Matt Wallner are a year wiser. The Twins’ rotation is led by Cy Young Award hopeful Pablo Lopez. The club’s bench is deep and versatile. Its bullpen is varied. The Twins have the potential to run away and hide in the AL Central.  

Next First-Time All-Star: Third baseman Royce Lewis.

Key Rookies: Switch-hitting shortstop Brooks Lee has a chance to hit his way into the infield mix with a big season at Triple-A.

55 Tier

10. Cubs

Projected NL Central winner

Re-signing Cody Bellinger, signing starter Shota Imanaga and reliever Hector Neris and trading for rookie Michael Busch helped make the 2024 team stronger after Chicago came up one game short of a wild card last season. The Cubs lack transcendent stars but have quality regulars at every position—led by Bellinger, Dansby Swanson and No. 1 starter Justin Steele—a deep roster and prospect depth that should separate them from the NL Central pack.

Next First-Time All-Star: Right fielder Seiya Suzuki or second baseman Nico Hoerner.

Key Rookies: The Cubs have quietly built a top farm system that is ready to bear fruit this season. Center fielder Pete Crow-Armstrong and righthander Cade Horton are the obvious hopefuls, but 2023 first-rounder Matt Shaw and Double-A outfielder Owen Caissie could be ready in the second half.

11. D-backs

Projected NL wild card

The surprising National League pennant winners improved their club around the margins by trading for third baseman Eugenio Suarez, re-signing Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and signing No. 3 starter Eduardo Rodriguez and DH Joc Pederson. Arizona can expect more consistent play from young players such as all-world outfielder Corbin Carroll, standout catcher Gabriel Moreno, potential Gold Glove center fielder Alek Thomas and young starter Brandon Pfaadt. Those improvements could be the difference between the D-backs winning a wild card or just missing.

Next First-Time All-Star: Gabriel Moreno is already one of the finest defensive catchers in MLB.

Key Rookies: Top prospect Jordan Lawlar will try to push Geraldo Perdomo off shortstop by dominating Triple-A competition. The D-backs are otherwise light at the upper levels.

50 Tier

12. Reds

Projected NL wild card

The Reds enter the season a little banged up, but they have the depth to cover for injuries and the 80-game PED suspension handed to rookie Noelvi Marte. Better still: They have superstar in the making Elly De La Cruz at shortstop. The Reds’ depth is a testament to the work of baseball operations head Nick Krall, who has added complementary players aplenty—Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Spencer Steer, Will Benson, Jake Fraley, Brandon Williamson—in various trades. Cincinnati starters ran up a 5.43 ERA last season, meaning that their success hinges on how well free agents Frankie Montas and Nick Martinez support homegrown starters Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft.

Next First-Time All-Star: Shortstop Elly De La Cruz.

Key Rookies: Noelvi Marte had this sewed up before his suspension. Now, the honor goes to righthander Connor Phillips, who has the stuff to make an impact. Righty Chase Petty could pitch his way onto the radar.

13. Rays 

The Rays’ resourcefulness will be tested this season. As pitching injuries and delays mount, Tampa Bay will rely on Zach Eflin, Aaron Civale, Zack Littell and Ryan Pepiot to get the club to the point where injured pitchers, including Shane Baz and Taj Bradley, are ready to return. The club’s offense may sink or swim depending on how ready young hitters such as Junior Caminero, Jonathan Aranda and Curtis Mead are to hold down lineup spots. Losing franchise player Wander Franco to indefinite suspension and ace Shane McClanahan to Tommy John surgery have taken a bite out of Tampa Bay’s 2024 upside. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Zach Eflin may get his due this season. If not, center fielder Josh Lowe could get his next season after he begins 2024 on the injured list.

Key Rookies: Junior Caminero and Curtis Mead could make their marks this season, but something has to give. Second baseman Brandon Lowe and third baseman Isaac Paredes are two of the Rays’ few reliable hitters. 

14. Blue Jays

Toronto has built one of the strongest rotations in the game with Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios and Chris Bassitt as anchors. Scoring runs was more of a problem last season as a reconfigured Rogers Centre took a huge bite out of Blue Jays hitters’ power numbers at home. Thus Toronto’s wild card chances may hinge on how productive Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette and George Springer are this season, and how far Daulton Varsho bounces back. The bottom of the lineup is defense-focused, and there are precious few upper-level hitters ready to step in.

Next First-Time All-Star: Left fielder Daulton Varsho was a popular bounceback pick among industry sources this spring. He has somewhat surprisingly never made an all-star roster.

Key Rookies: Electric lefthander Ricky Tiedemann has the goods to succeed. A healthy season will quickly get him in the big league mix.

15. Padres

For a team that shed impact talent such as Juan Soto, Blake Snell and Josh Hader in the offseason, the Padres are in surprisingly good shape. The lineup core of Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogaerts is strong. The rotation has enviable depth behind veterans Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Dylan Cease. Any number of young big leaguers could step forward, including Luis Campusano or Jackson Merrill or pitchers Jhonny Brito or Randy Vasquez

Next First-Time All-Star: Shortstop Ha-Seong Kim made a name for himself by winning a Gold Glove. Likewise for righthander Michael King after he made nine strong starts for the Yankees last season and was pivotal to the Juan Soto deal. 

Key Rookies: Shortstop Jackson Merrill learned to play center field and hit his way onto the Opening Day roster. Japanese lefthander Yuki Matsui could be a key leverage reliever. Third baseman Graham Pauley and righthander Randy Vasquez could rack up lots of playing time.

16. Brewers

The Brewers have steadily improved their organizational depth by drafting well and taking wise bets on young players such as Willy Adames and William Contreras. The next wave of wise bets could include shortstop Joey Ortiz and lefthander DL Hall, the return from the Orioles for Corbin Burnes. Free agent first baseman Rhys Hoskins is a perfect fit for Milwaukee’s lineup and home park. The Brewers are taking a “wholestaff” approach to pitching, with Freddy Peralta the last frontline pitcher standing at the head of largely anonymous staff. If the Brewers fall out of the race, a stress fracture in closer Devin Williams’ back could impact his trade value. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Willy Adames has one of the better combinations of power and defense at shortstop but has never made an all-star team.

Key Rookies: The Brewers will have another strong rookie crop this season, headlined by potential franchise player Jackson Chourio, who will be an everyday center fielder as a 20-year-old. Joey Ortiz could take over at shortstop if Adames is traded. Catcher Jeferson Quero, third baseman Tyler Black and lefthander Robert Gasser will be on call at Triple-A, while live-armed righthander Jacob Misiorowski might not be far behind.

17. Cardinals

The Cardinals’ deep and talented lineup allows rookie shortstop Masyn Winn and emerging young slugger Jordan Walker to develop at their own pace. That luxury exists because of the presence of Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Willson Contreras plus prime breakout candidate Nolan Gorman. Pitching is still an open question after St. Louis pitchers finished 29th in strikeouts last season. Signing Sonny Gray as staff leader was a clear upgrade, but the rest of an aging rotation—Miles Mikolas, Kyle Gibson, Lance Lynn, Steven Matz—would look more befitting of the 2006 Cardinals. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Second baseman Nolan Gorman is the answer here, but Jordan Walker or Lars Nootbaar, if he returns early from injury, could be candidates.

Key Rookies: As the No. 9 hitter, Masyn Winn will be able to focus on fielding in his first full MLB season. Center fielder Victor Scott II was a spring sensation, while the fruits of the Jordan Montgomery—righthander Tekoah Roby and second baseman Thomas Saggese—could get in the MLB mix. 

18. Giants 

The Giants splurged on 25-year-old Korean outfielder Jung-Hoo Lee and waited out the market for value on free agents Blake Snell, Jorge Soler and Matt Chapman. The quietly effective offseason gives San Francisco life in the wild card race. Ace Logan Webb has Cy Young Award potential and second baseman Thairo Estrada could break out if he has a healthy season.

Next First-Time All-Star: Righthander Logan Webb.

Key Rookies: Lefthander Kyle Harrison is hard to hit and could exceed expectations. Marco Luciano has power and the potential to lock down shortstop, but he didn’t hit this spring. He should get another go during the season.

19. Guardians

Cleveland’s ability to seemingly generate quality starting pitching at will—Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen all debuted last season—makes them dangerous. Less threatening is the Guardians’ Opening Day lineup. The club finished dead last with 124 home runs last season, and only the Pirates have hit fewer bombs since 2021. This perception should begin to change at some point this season after the Guardians call up first baseman Kyle Manzardo and outfielder Chase DeLauter. Rookie Bo Naylor also gives Cleveland the potential for its best hitting catcher since Carlos Santana played the position early in his career.    

Next First-Time All-Star: Probably Tanner Bibee. Maybe left fielder Steven Kwan.

Key Rookies: Kyle Manzardo and Chase DeLauter are the main attractions. Brayan Rocchio has a chance to bring stability to shortstop.

20. Mets

Retrenchment was the offseason theme for a Mets team that had been spending lavishly on marquee free agents the past two offseasons. The organization’s biggest acquisition was president of baseball operations David Stearns, who built the budget-conscious Brewers into perennial contenders. Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo and pending free agent Pete Alonso form the core, while second-year regulars Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty look to hit their way into more prominence.

Next First-Time All-Star: Left fielder Brandon Nimmo has a top 10 on-base percentage since 2017 and is criminally underrated. Catcher Francisco Alvarez has the “it” factor to be a star.

Key Rookies: Righthander Christian Scott has the stuff and command to exceed expectations. Outfielder Drew Gilbert and middle infielder Luisangel Acuña will be a call away at Triple-A, as will righthander Mike Vasil.

45 Tier

21. Tigers

The Tigers haven’t had a winning season since 2016, but the organization’s long, winding rebuild may be nearing an end. Healthy, productive seasons from Tarik Skubal, Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson could be the bellwether signaling better days ahead. Second baseman Colt Keith and center fielder Parker Meadows are ready to step into the lineup as rookies. Detroit’s pitching development showed signs of life with the emergence of Reese Olson and Sawyer Gipson-Long.  

Next First-Time All-Star: Right fielder Riley Greene.

Key Rookies: Colt Keith and Parker Meadows should be regulars from Opening Day. Outfielder Justyn-Henry Malloy, third baseman Jace Jung and righthander Ty Madden could also get extended looks. 

22. Marlins

The 2023 Marlins set a record that will be difficult to beat. Their minus-57 run differential is the worst ever for an MLB playoff team. This year’s team will feature zero starts from Sandy Alcantara and begins the year with starters Eury Perez, Braxton Garrett and Edward Cabrera ailing. The Marlins might be able to cover some of those innings with a combination of Trevor Rogers, AJ Puk, Ryan Weathers and Max Meyer. More critically, Miami will need best efforts from Jake Burger, Jazz Chisholm Jr. and bounceback candidate Tim Anderson if the team is going to score enough runs to make a run at another wild card. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Lefthander Jesus Luzardo.

Key Rookies: Righthander Max Meyer is a year and a half removed from Tommy John surgery and made the Opening Day roster. Xavier Edwards can hit, he can run and he can play second base and center field. He should carve out a role based on those attributes.

40 Tier

23. Red Sox

The Red Sox took a lot of heat for their offseason inactivity, and then their top free agent acquisition, Lucas Giolito, had elbow surgery and might never pitch for the organization. But despite all the negative press, the outline of strong position core is clearly visible in Boston. Triston Casas and Rafael Devers are middle-order bats. Shortstop Marcelo Mayer, outfielder Roman Anthony and catcher Kyle Teel are in the upper minors. Offseason pickup Vaughn Grissom could lock down second base.

Next First-Time All-Star: First baseman Triston Casas.

Key Rookies: Defensive wizard Ceddanne Rafaela has Gold Glove potential in center field and 20-homer pop. Outfielder Wilyer Abreu is a professional hitter and potential strong-side platoon player.

24. Royals

The Royals didn’t do anything particularly well last season, but running up a 5.17 ERA in a pitcher’s park contributed most to 106 losses. That’s why a full season of starts from Cole Ragans and free agent additions Seth Lugo and Michael Wacha could add 15 wins to Kansas City’s bottom line. Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. has MVP upside, and other young Royals hitters, including Vinnie Pasquantino, MJ Melendez and Maikel Garcia, have room to grow. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. has somehow not been the Royals’ all-star representative in either 2022 or 2023.

Key Rookies: The challenge facing the Royals is that they don’t have high-end talent near the big leagues. Potential utilityman Nick Loftin and potential set-up man John McMillon are top names.

25. Angels

The Angels have an interesting young core consisting of catcher Logan O’Hoppe, shortstop Zach Neto, lefthander Reid Detmers and first baseman Nolan Schanuel. Righthander Chase Silseth has flashed promise. The challenge the organization faces is that they don’t have a lot of support for those players in the seasons ahead, at least not beyond Mike Trout, who turns 33 in August. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Lefthander Reid Detmers has an MLB no-hitter and could rack up more impressive surface numbers as the Angels move to a five-man rotation post-Shohei Ohtani.

Key Rookies: Nolan Schanuel should see most of the reps at first base. 

30 Tier

26. Pirates

Few teams have error bars as wide as the Pirates. Young players Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes could be poised to break out into stardom. Henry Davis had a great spring. Bryan Reynolds just hits. Jack Suwinski and Jared Triolo are better players than many realize. If young power pitchers Mitch Keller, Jared Jones and Luis Ortiz are better than projected, then Pittsburgh could take a giant step forward. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Both Oneil Cruz and Ke’Bryan Hayes have the kind of upside to be all-stars this season.

Key Rookies: The Pirates have pitching on the horizon, and lots of it. Jared Jones electrified observers in spring training with 100 mph heat and a wicked slider. Paul Skenes is the top pitching prospect in baseball. Both will toe the PNC rubber this season, probably sooner rather than later.

27. Nationals

Washington is still a few years away from relevancy, so the biggest wins this season will be celebrated in terms of player development and progression. Young regulars CJ Abrams and Keibert Ruiz could take steps toward first-division status. Young pitchers Josiah Gray, MacKenzie Gore and Jake Irvin could emerge as long-term options. Prospect outfielders James Wood and Dylan Crews have a chance to come up and make noise. Most other players on the roster are showcasing for midseason trades.

Next First-Time All-Star: Shortstop CJ Abrams could be poised for a season reminiscent of a young Jose Reyes, complete with stolen bases and triples galore.

Key Rookies: James Wood dialed in his strike zone during spring training and got to all of his elite power. The sky is the limit for the 21-year-old, who grew up in the D.C. area. Dylan Crews, the No. 2 pick in the 2023 draft, may not be far behind. Power righthander Cade Cavalli should reemerge following Tommy John surgery that cost him 2023. 

28. White Sox

Chicago has a bona fide young star in Luis Robert Jr. It has perpetual breakout candidate Andrew Vaughn. Veterans Andrew Benintendi, Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez have MLB value to reclaim. But for this year’s White Sox, trade value may be the greatest value of all. New GM Chris Getz has a lot of work remaining to rebuild the organization, a process that the March Dylan Cease trade underscores. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Someone currently in the minor leagues or not established in MLB.

Key Rookies: Top prospect Colson Montgomery is the focal point, but many young pitchers should get some run this season, including Nick Nastrini, Drew Thorpe, Jairo Iriarte and potential closer of the future Jordan Leasure.

20 Tier

29. Athletics

By no means do the Athletics look competitive in 2024, but there are glimmers of hope tucked into the corners of this roster. Second baseman Zack Gelof could be a star in the making. Catcher Shea Langeliers began to make optimal contact in the second half. Lefthander JP Sears added a sinker and looked in command during spring training. Righthander Mason Miller has a million-dollar arm that could make him a lockdown closer. Oakland’s farm system has shown signs of life but still has a lot of work to do to create a homegrown core. 

Next First-Time All-Star: Zack Gelof.

Key Rookies: Mason Miller remains rookie eligible because most of his MLB time was spent on the injured list. He has the type of upside to follow in the footsteps of past A’s rookie closers such as Huston Street and Andrew Bailey. Darell Hernaiz can hit and will give Oakland more infield options.

30. Rockies

Colorado starting pitchers ran up a 5.91 ERA last season, which is actually the second-worst mark in franchise history. The 78 wRC+ from Rockies hitters was also second worst in franchise history. With a roster full of declining veterans, below-average younger players and cast-offs, it’s going to be another long season in Denver. Children are the future in Coors Field, so further development from the likes of Nolan Jones, Ezequiel Tovar and potential callups Adael Amador, Yanquiel Fernandez, Jordan Beck and Sterlin Thompson will be key markers of progress.  

Next First-Time All-Star: Left fielder Nolan Jones is a strong first half away from the All-Star Game.
Key Rookies: Adael Amador, Yanquiel Fernandez, Jordan Beck and Sterlin Thompson all finished last season at Double-A. At least two of them should hit their way to Colorado this season. Amador and Beck have the best combination of offensive-plus-defensive potential.

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