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2019 Diamond Digest Power Rankings #2

Baseball has returned in a big way. We’ve already had record starts to the year by Christian Yelich (good) and Chris Davis (not so good) and some huge surprises and disappointments by teams across the league. With that, there has been a ton of movement in our power rankings. Here is how our writers stack up the 30 teams two weeks in:

1. Tampa Bay Rays (12-4)

Previous: 13

Off to the best start in franchise history, the Rays are proving that they can compete in the AL East. Austin Meadows has finally reached the potential he was expected to have, Snell/Glasnow/Morton has proven to be a three-headed monster, and Jose Alvarado is a bullpen stalwart. It might be tough for the Rays to keep a hold on the AL East lead, but they’ve proven the doubters wrong in 2019 so far.

– Tyler Jennings

2. Houston Astros (11-5)

Previous: 1

The Houston Astros are as advertised. They started the year a bit slow, but have been red hot the past few series, sweeping three straight three game sets against the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners. The offense is clicking from top to bottom, and the pitching staff is showing that they can be successful without Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton. The Astros are bulldozing opponents, and they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down.

– Adam Koplik

3. Seattle Mariners (13-5)

Previous: 23

The unstoppable force of the Mariners met its immovable object when the Astros came to town over the weekend. Both teams walked in with 6 game winning streaks, and the Astros left with their win streak now at 9. The Mariners bats did manage to extend their Major League record of games with a home run to start a season to 18, and Mitch Haniger looks to be heating up as some others in the lineup are starting to cool down. The Mariners bats may continue to surprise people as the season continues, while the bullpen continues to perform exactly as expected, despite the constant tweaks being done by GM Jerry Dipoto.

– Nick Tucker

4. Milwaukee Brewers (10-6)

Previous: 8

The offense has been almost as advertised, with Christian Yelich making an early case for a repeat MVP and Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain already making big contributions. While the rotation has tons of potential, it’ll need to tap into it so this injury laden bullpen doesn’t have to be used more than it has to. 

– Brian Schlosser

5. Philadelphia Phillies (9-5)

Previous: 10

The Phillies jumped out of the gates starting the 2019 campaign 4-0 before dropping 5 of the next 9. Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins have looked every bit the part, and form one of the best 3-4 punches in baseball. While the offense has surpassed expectations so far, the starting and relief pitching have both dissapointed. Key cogs Aaron Nola, Nick Pivetta, Seranthony Dominguez, and David Robertson have all struggled and blown a ballgame or two this year.

– Jordan Lewin-Skversky

6. San Diego Padres (11-6)

Previous: 19

Through the first two weeks, the Padres have been the NLs biggest surprise and one of the most entertaining teams in the league to watch. Tatis Jr is already mashing and looks like a star and if they can get Machado fully going, this team could contend for the division.

– John Principe

7. Los Angeles Dodgers (9-8)

Previous: 4

Despite a hot and cold start to the season, the Dodgers look to retake the NL West lead sooner than later. The return of Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill should give them a needed boost at the front of the rotation. Cody Bellinger also looks to continue his scorching hot start.

– Luke Pawlawski

8. New York Mets (9-6)

Previous: 15

The team from Queens is looking like the best team in New York through the first two weeks. The team has scored the fourth most runs per game in MLB, but, since they’re the Mets and multiple things can’t be going right, they’ve also allowed the fourth most runs per game. But with a staff led by Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler, this team could make a real run for the NL East crown.

– Adam Koplik

9. St. Louis Cardinals (9-6)

Previous: 7

After starting out with a rough 3-5 record, the Redbirds turned it around starting with their final game against the Padres by going on a very solid five-game winning streak. This was made possible by the pitching staff stepping up their game against a scorching-hot Dodgers lineup to secure a four-game sweep at home before the trip to Mexico this week where they were able to secure two of three games against the Reds. The best news for the Cardinals is the recent success of their starting pitching (specifically Adam Wainwright) and the emergence of John Gant as a go-to guy in the bullpen for Mike Schildt.

– Mick Callahan

10. Minnesota Twins (8-4)

Previous: 17

With a top heavy rotation consisting of budding superstar José Berrios and Michael Pineda, the Twins offense is a well rounded group that has a chance to compete in the AL Central. The only concern for them is starting pitching depth, as 3 of their 5 starters currently have an ERA over 6. 

– Brian Schlosser

11. Atlanta Braves (9-6)

Previous: 9

In the past week, the Atlanta Braves have gone 5-2, outscoring opponents 42-32 in a 6 game stretch. The bullpen has redeemed itself from its horrendous first series, only allowing 7 runs in 28.1 IP in 6 games. The offense has heated up after a slow start, and the middle of the lineup, Donaldson, Freeman, and Acuña, are becoming the formidable tandem they were predicted to be.

– Peter Bekkerus

12. Washington Nationals (7-7)

Previous: 5

The Nationals have turned the page officially from the Bryce Harper era, and 3B Anthony Rendon has had no issue picking up the slack. Rendon forms a potent lineup including Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Adam Eaton, and Brian Dozier, but the group will have to cope with the loss of star SS Trea Turner, who is injured with a hand injury. The Nats have one of the best rotations in baseball led by mega superstar Max Scherzer and new signee Patrick Corbin, however the revamped bullpen has struggled mightily leaving some concerns with fans and the front office to make a move as the 7-7 Nats could fall even further behind in the playoff race in the short lived season.

– Jordan Lewin-Skversky

13. New York Yankees (6-9)

Previous: 2

The injury bug has bit the Yankees in a crazy way. Five players who were expected to be in the Opening Day lineup, Giancarlo Stanton, Troy Tulowitzki, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, and Gary Sanchez are sidelined with the possibility of Andujar missing the year, and pitchers Luis Severino and Dellin Betances both suffered huge setbacks that will keep them out a couple weeks. Besides that, the team is just not playing good baseball. Just two weeks in, but if the Yankees don’t turn it around soon, a once promising season could have an early ending.

– Adam Koplik

14. Oakland Athletics (10-9)

Previous: 14

The Athletics started the season just as we expected them to. The bats haven’t been bad, Khris Davis leads baseball in homers, and the offense has carried its weight. But the pitching has been mediocre at best

– Jack Dorfsman

15. Cleveland Indians (8-7)

Previous: 11

The bullpen has been the only bright spot on this Hanley Ramirez led team.

– Kristian Lloyd

16. Los Angeles Angels (8-7)

Previous: 16

Even without their top 2 hitters, the Angels have been finding ways to score runs. While the starting pitching hasn’t been excellent, a lockdown bullpen has held every lead they’ve had all season.

– Brian Schlosser

17. Boston Red Sox (6-11)

Previous: 3

The defending World Series champions really stumbled out of the gate, starting the season 3-8 on a west coast trip. They somewhat bounced back in two home series against division rivals, but with how good the Rays are playing, need to get it together before the division crown is out of reach.

– Adam Koplik

18. Pittsburgh Pirates (8-6)

Previous: 20

Well the offense doesn’t have as many high profile names as it used to, Starling Marte, Francisco Cervelli, and Josh Bell are all more than capable of leading an offense. The emergence of Joe Musgrove creates a healthy complement to ace Jameson Taillon, and Felipe Vasquez is as lockdown of a closer as there is.

– Brian Schlosser

19. Chicago Cubs (5-9)

Previous: 6

The Cubs are a rather confounding case early on: while the offense has bounced back to a rate that’s more representative of the talent in the lineup after dying at the end of 2018, that has been led by Willson Contreras and Jason Heyward rather than Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. The starting pitching and bullpen have lacked promise early on, but their peripheral stats (including ridiculous HR/FB rates) suggest that improvement is on the horizon for the pitching staff, and with a return to form from Bryzzo, for the team as a whole.

– Ryan Ruhde

20. Arizona Diamondbacks (7-9)

Previous: 21

The Diamondbacks are hovering around .500, which is about what we expected. Zack Greinke has been carrying the team in all aspects (he is 4 for 9 with TWO HOMERS, you guys), and as the only true 5-tool player in baseball, any number of teams should want him. Trade Zack Greinke.

– Dakota Lovins

21. Detroit Tigers (8-7)

Previous: 28

Matt Boyd has looked lethal through three starts, leading the league with a K/9 of (!!) 15.1 (!!). Other than that, the hot start seems to have been frozen for Detroit. There’s been a lot of potential shown by the young Tiger players, but this team is still clearly a year or more away.

– John Principe

22. Texas Rangers (7-7)

Previous: 26

The offense has some returning names like Elvis Andrus, Shin-Soo Choo, and Joey Gallo, which should lead to a respectable offensive output week to week. However, the pitching staff is almost completely unnameable, which will more than likely hamper the Rangers’ ability to win games.

– Brian Schlosser

23. Cincinnati Reds (5-9)

Previous: 18

What was supposed to be a dynamic offense in 2019 has been disappointing to say the least. The Reds have been a mixture of an inept offense and lackluster pitching, a combination that makes it difficult to win games.

– Brian Schlosser

24. San Francisco Giants (7-10)

Previous: 24

The Giants have had their best week so far this season, however that doesn’t mean it was great. The acquisition of Kevin Pillar seems to be paying off as he has been the Giants beat hitter since he arrived in San Francisco. Look for the G-men to keep building off their first series victory of the season. 

– Diego Franco-Carreno

25. Chicago White Sox (5-9)

Previous: 25

After 14 games, the White Sox are certainly seeing some bright spots offensively. Anderson, Moncada, and Jimenez are all starting to get hot while Abreu is still getting back into the groove. As far as pitching, we are still waiting to see the consistency we are hoping for. Currently sitting at 4th in the AL Central, I anticipate to see more improvement and more wins coming from this team as the season progresses.

– Alexis Atwater

26. Toronto Blue Jays (5-11)

Previous: 22

I could say a lot about the Blue Jays. They can’t really hit, they can’t really pitch, BUT Rowdy Tellez hit a ball 505 feet so they got that going for them. Currently, they are a super boring baseball team, but as the month of April winds down, it looks like superstar prospect Vlad Guerrero Jr’s defense has suddenly improved and he’s ready for the big leagues, so this team could get exciting very quickly.

– Adam Koplik

27. Kansas City Royals (5-10)

Previous: 27

Coming out of the gate, the Royals look more or less the same as anticipated: Brad Keller has been great, Adalberto Mondesi is finding free-swinging success, and Whit Merrifield broke the franchise record for the longest hit streak. The ugly side of that, however, is that the bullpen has been even worse than anticipated. The Royals currently sit in last in the AL Central, but with a continuation of the offense with the fourth most runs scored in the AL and any pitching improvement at all, things could begin to look up in Kansas City moving forward.

– Ryan Ruhde

28. Colorado Rockies (4-12)

Previous: 12

The Rockies offense has always been a staple of their success. It’s been Rocky Mountain cold to start the year, and the Rockies are finding that it’s very hard to win games when you aren’t scoring a lot of runs.

– Brian Schlosser

29. Baltimore Orioles (7-10)

Previous: 30

All things considered, the O’s couldn’t have asked for a better start. They’re not going to win a ton of games, but there are some major bright spots. Trey Mancini is near the top of leaderboards, the Sucre/Severino catching duo has been oddly enjoyable, and John Means has been effective enough to push his way into the rotation.

– Denis Ackermann

30. Miami Marlins (4-12)

Previous: 29

Derek Jeter has built, undoubtedly, the most boring team in baseball history. Yes, they’re young and “bright future” blah-blah-blah. They suck, and it’s going to be a long year for Marlins fans – as shown by their record low attendance – so good luck to the few of you loyal ones still left.

– Adam Koplik

Agree? Disagree? Let us know your rankings on Twitter @Diamond_Digest

Adam Koplik

Rudy said my bio was too long. Hamilton College '25 Yankees writer, fluent in nerd. Follow me @adamkoplik on Twitter.

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