Which MLB Team Will Be The Biggest Surprise Of 2023?
This is one of eight burning questions comprising Baseball America's 2023 MLB Season Preview. To see the full preview, click here.
Josh Norris—D-backs. Gabriel Moreno and Corbin Carroll will combine to help Arizona stay surprisingly competitive with the NL West one-two punch of San Diego and Los Angeles.
Matt Eddy—D-backs. Arizona will integrate a bevy of talented rookies this season—Corbin Carroll, Brandon Pfaadt, Ryne Nelson, Drey Jameson, possibly Jordan Lawlar— that could make it surprisingly feisty in the second half and postseason contenders in 2024.
Carlos Collazo—Marlins. Arizona is the obvious pick to step forward, but the balanced schedule will benefit Miami significantly considering how strong the NL East looks this year. While I didn’t love the Luis Arraez trade, their defensive alignment will be… interesting… and I think their run prevention will be quite good.
Kyle Glaser—Rangers. The offseason signings of Jacob deGrom and Nate Eovaldi quietly gave the Rangers one of the AL’s best rotations to go with a sneaky-good bullpen. Marcus Semien and Corey Seager should be more comfortable in year two in Texas and the impact of new manager Bruce Bochy can’t be understated. It should all add up to the Rangers’ first winning season since 2016 and an outside chance at a wild card berth.
Ben Badler—Twins. The AL Central favorites are the Guardians, but the competition in the division is thin, with the Royals and Tigers rebuilding and the White Sox looking like a team that’s stuck in the middle. The opportunity is there for the Twins to go from 78 wins in 2022 to a playoff spot in 2023.
Chris Trenkle—D-backs: With a wealth of young talent in the majors, including rookie of the year favorite Corbin Carroll and trade acquisition Gabriel Moreno, the D-backs will post a winning record for the first time since 2019 and compete for a playoff spot.
Geoff Pontes—Angels: This could be the final season that the Angels have both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on their roster. They made some strong additions this offseason with Hunter Renfroe, Tyler Anderson, Brandon Drury and Matt Moore. The division has improved in recent seasons with the upstart Mariners and the heavy investments by the Rangers in veteran talent, but the Angels still boast the two best players in the division. Expectations are low, but full, healthy seasons by Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Anthony Rendon and a breakout from 2020 first-round pick Reid Detmers could result in a playoff push in 2023. It’s a risky bet, but sometimes baseball is illogical.