MLB Preseason Power Rankings

Just Baseball's first power rankings for the 2022 MLB season.

Mookie Betts
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 21: Mookie Betts #50 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by teammates after scoring a run during the eighth inning of Game Five of the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on October 21, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

After a near 100-day lockout threatened the 2022 MLB season, we now sit just 10 days away from Opening Day, as all 30 teams gear up for a fresh 162-game campaign.

Once the season begins, we will be giving you an updated power ranking every Monday, breaking down who the best teams in baseball are throughout the marathon that is the Major League Baseball season.

Today, we are kicking off our first power ranking of the season, setting the stage for how we view each team prior to Opening Day.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

The team with the highest win projection in baseball and the odds-on favorite to win the World Series slots into our top spot. Corey Seager got his fortune in Arlington, but Andrew Friedman replaced that offensive production by signing 2020 National League MVP Freddie Freeman to a six-year deal.

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The Dodgers will roll out a full season of extension-candidate Trea Turner at short, Max Muncy back at second base, and newly re-signed swiss army knife Chris Taylor all over the diamond. If the concern during the lockout was starting pitching, getting Clayton Kershaw back in Dodger Blue to complement the tandem of Cy Young hopefuls Walker Buehler and Julio Urias quells a lot of those worries. The best team on paper will be the best team on the field.

2. Atlanta Braves

The defending World Series champions will be without their former face of the franchise in Freddie Freeman, but an argument could be made that they upgraded at first base for the foreseeable future by trading for Oakland A’s slugger and Atlanta-native Matt Olson.

Aside from Freeman, minimal changes came to a potent and clutch offense. A battered starting rotation got a bit healthier, with Huascar Ynoa slated to be ready by Opening Day and Mike Soroka projecting to return to the mound near the All-Star Break.

The Braves bullpen even got even stronger; the “Night Shift” of Will Smith, Tyler Matzek, Luke Jackson, and A.J. Minter added two more blue-chip arms in Kenley Jansen and Collin McHugh. The Dodgers are just too loaded to not put in the top spot, but the Braves are the reigning champs and deserve the respect to be near the top of our first power rankings.

3. Toronto Blue Jays

The most exciting offense in baseball got even more exciting, thanks to Oakland’s fire sale. While Olson went to Atlanta, the Blue Jays swept in for Platinum Glover Matt Chapman to man third base.

George Springer is finally healthy, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. can solidify himself as a top bat in the game, and the strength of Bichette/Hernandez/Gurriel/Biggio/Kirk/Jansen is too plentiful to ignore. The bullpen may need some deadline reinforcements, but the starting rotation is now set after some key signings in free agency.

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The Blue Jays signed free agents Kevin Gausman and Yusei Kikuchi, and also extended Jose Berrios. Pair that trio with veteran Hyun-Jin Ryu and young star Alex Manoah and the Blue Jays have a potent five-man rotation. They also have fireballer Nate Pearson waiting in the wings, who could give Toronto the edge needed to escape the American League. 

4. Chicago White Sox

For the first time, the young nucleus of star power assembled on the South Side will be at full strength on Opening Day. The White Sox 2021 season was plagued by injuries, from Eloy Jimenez’s wall bout, to Luis Robert’s torn hip flexor, to stop-and-go back-halves for Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, and Yasmani Grandal. All weapons are a full-go, and we’re now given the chance to see what one of the more exciting teams on paper can do as a cohesive unit.

The bullpen added right-handers Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly to multi-year deals, bolstering the claim that Chicago owns the best bullpen in the game. The starting rotation should include swingman-extraordinaire Michael Kopech as he continues his progression to becoming a full-time starter.

Offensively, the only questions marks Rick Hahn needed to address were at second base and right field, which he halfway did by signing Josh Harrison. The quartet of Leury Garcia, Gavin Sheets, Andrew Vaughn, and Adam Engel should hold down right at a replacement level, but the White Sox still have plenty of talent to make them an October darling if fully healthy. 

5. Tampa Bay Rays

The highlight of Tampa Bay’s offseason came before the lockout, when General Manager Erik Neander inked young phenom Wander Franco to a massive 11-year, $182 million extension.

A full year of Franco should bolster a 100-win team in 2021 that returns All-Star catcher Mike Zunino, American League Rookie of the Year Randy Arozarena, and Brandon Lowe’s 39 home runs at second base. Young hopefuls Francisco Mejia, Taylor Walls and prospect utilityman Vidal Bruján should all factor in for meaningful at-bats seemingly right away.

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On the mound, the absence of ace Tyler Glasnow, likely for the entirety of 2022, hurts mightily. However, young flamethrowers Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Luis Patiño are all likely to elevate their games, and Just Baseball’s second-best pitching prospect, right-hander Shane Baz, will be part of the Opening Day roster.

There’s never a reason to worry about Tampa’s bullpen; they seemingly spawn fringe All-Stars each and every season. The question for the Rays isn’t if they’re talented enough; it’s if the young studs are ready to carry them through the toughest division in baseball.

6. Houston Astros

The glaring hole on the roster seems to be at shortstop, as superstar Carlos Correa bolted for big money in Minnesota last month. However, the Astros seem bullish on rookie Jeremy Peña, who could fill the void without as drastic a tick down in production as many expect.

The AL West titan still features Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, and batting champion Yuli Gurriel in the infield, and young stars Kyle Tucker and Yordan Álvarez occupying spots in the middle of the order.

On the hill, the return of future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander on a one-year deal provides a front-line anchor to the rotation while Lance McCullers works his way back from forearm issues. The bullpen may need some help at the deadline, but Ryan Pressly is, without question, one of the strongest closers in the game. Despite losing one of the best shortstops in baseball at the peak of his power, Houston shouldn’t have much of a problem in 2021.

7. New York Mets

All eyes gravitate towards the front of the rotation, which boasts the best pitcher in baseball and a future first-ballot Hall of Famer (and those aren’t the same person). Steve Cohen and General Manager Billy Eppler practically handed Max Scherzer a blank check at the negotiating table, but made bang-for-your-buck deals before the lockout with outfielders Mark Canha and Starling Marte and infielder Eduardo Escobar.

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Depth will become the main question in Queens as the season progresses; the starting nine is top-flight, but there are major questions with players like Robinson Cano, JD Davis and Dominic Smith all still expected to play big roles.

There is also questions in the Mets rotation behind the elite trio they have formed on top with deGrom, Scherzer and the newly the newly-acquired Chris Bassitt. Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker are expected to fill out the back-end of the rotation, but both were ineffective in the second half of 2021. Still, thanks to Cohen, the Mets might have figured out a way to financially escape the level of bad luck that this franchise has always been plagued with.

8. San Francisco Giants

While the Mets’ main concern is depth, that is not an issue at all for San Francisco. A bench consisting of Darin Ruf, Wilmer Flores, Austin Slater, and Thairo Estrada may be the deepest in the National League.

New free agent signing Joc Pederson provides big-time pop from the left side, who can play either of the corner outfield spots to give Mike Yastrzemski and LaMonte Wade a breather when he and Ruf aren’t tag-teaming the new DH spot.

Newly signed left-hander Carlos Rodon factors in to be the No. 2 behind emerging ace Logan Webb, while Anthony DeSclafani, Alex Wood, and Alex Cobb fill out the rest of a very strong rotation. In the bullpen, Camilo Doval seems primed to headline a list of Jake McGee, Tyler Rogers, and Dominic Leone as reliable back-end contributors.

Giants legend Buster Posey’s retirement leaves a massive hole to fill, but Giants’ No. 6 prospect Joey Bart will look to prove he is the right man to fill the role on Opening Day. 

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9. Milwaukee Brewers

The best starting rotation in baseball has both top-end talent and phenomenal depth. Reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes fronts a staff that trots out fireballer Brandon Woodruff and soft-contact extraordinaire Freddy Peralta for arguably the best trio of young starters in the game. Pair them with underrated ground-ball inducer Adrian Houser, and enticing left-handers Eric Lauer and Aaron Ashby and the Brewers rotation is loaded.

In the bullpen, Josh Hader remains the best reliever in the game, and with set-up man Devin Williams, back from injury, the Brewers might have the best duo of relievers as well.

Offense will make or break this squad, but trade acquisition Hunter Renfroe and free agent signing Andrew McCutchen should provide trace amounts of reassurance. Christian Yelich may be the biggest X-Factor in Major League Baseball this season; if he looks healthy and gets back to the Yelich-like production we saw in 2018 and 2019, the great Bob Uecker may be calling November baseball.

10. New York Yankees

Even though the Yankees were finally active after the lockout was lifted, they remained true to their previous identity. Gary Sanchez and Giovanny Urshela were shipped to Minnesota for possibly three Opening Day starters in third baseman Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and catcher Ben Rortvedt.

New York also re-signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo to a multi-year deal. This team is built to lead baseball in both home runs and doubles, but also likely to strike out more than anybody in the game. Gerrit Cole remains one of the best pitchers in baseball, but the rest of the rotation looks like a below-average group with a top-10 bullpen to lean on. This team is built to win slug-fests; whether it’s built to win playoff series is another discussion entirely.

11. Boston Red Sox

While this lineup gets the edge over the Yankees dynamically, it may not be better than New York in terms of production. The trio of Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts is as intimidating a heart-of-the-order as there is in the American League, while Kiké Hernandez and Alex Verdugo provide star power at the plate and in the outfield.

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New big-money signing Trevor Story vaults himself into being a top-five second baseman with a position change, while the tandem of Bobby Dalbec and top prospect Triston Casas will provide boatloads of power at first base.

The rotation ticks down early in the season with left-hander Chris Sale dealing with a stress fracture in his rib cage, but Nathan Eovaldi and short-term signees Rich Hill and Michael Wacha provide a veteran presence to fill out the back of the rotation, along with young stud Tanner Houck.

12. St. Louis Cardinals

There are eight defensive positions aside from the pitcher. For the St. Louis Cardinals, seven of those eight spots are occupied by a possible front-runner for Gold Glove honors in 2022. The only spot that’s absent from that list is shortstop, only because advanced defender Edmundo Sosa will likely split the job with Paul DeJong.

Tyler O’Neill seems primed to build on his breakout 2021 season, Harrison Bader broke the bat out in a big way last season, and young star Dylan Carlson completes one of the best outfields in baseball. New signing Corey Dickerson and power-hitting prospect Juan Yepez are likely to split the designated hitter duties in the early goings, and the timeless Yadier Molina will be a consistent presence behind the plate yet again.

The weak spot for St. Louis seems to be the starting rotation. Jack Flaherty is dealing with shoulder bursitis, which could rule him out for the first bit of what he hoped to be a bounce-back season after an injury-riddled 2021. Forty-year-old Adam Wainwright will likely eat innings, but depth behind those two is a serious question that was only partly addressed by signing injury-prone left-hander Steven Matz to a four-year, $44 million deal. Top pitching prospect Matthew Liberatore will be called upon early, but his production will say a lot about whether the Cardinals can contend in the NL Central this year. 

13. Minnesota Twins

The Twins were going to be no higher than the early twenties on this list when Major League Baseball imposed its lockout on December 1. Now, they seem to be pushing to be postseason contenders this season.

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First, Minnesota landed right-hander Sonny Gray in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds to become their de facto ace. Then, they made a MLB swap with the Yankees when they acquired Giovanny Urshela and Gary Sanchez. Finally, Minnesota came out of nowhere to sign mega-star Carlos Correa to a three-year, $105 million deal.

There are still glaring holes; with the exception of Gray, the pitching staff as a whole is nowhere close to even being below-average. With a recently-extended Byron Buxton and Correa leading the pack, Minnesota is hoping they can bypass pitching woes with a now elite position player core.

14. San Diego Padres

The Padres are wading through dangerous waters now that Fernando Tatis Jr. is out after undergoing wrist surgery in mid-March. Still, Manny Machado has yet to turn 30 and looks like he’s fully hitting his stride in San Diego, while Jake Cronenworth has become one of the better second basemen in baseball.

The Luke Voit acquisition from the Yankees helps shore up the middle of the order, but Eric Hosmer, Jurickson Profar, and Ha-Seong Kim still factor into the lineup on an everyday basis.

The front four of the Padres starting rotation stack up against anyone in the National League. Joe Musgrove has proven his legitimacy, Yu Darvish and Blake Snell seem too talented to underwhelm, and Mike Clevinger’s return from Tommy John surgery provides some comfort at the back-end.

The two biggest X-Factors seem to be top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore and injury-prone fireballer Dinelson Lamet. If Gore solidifies the five-spot in the rotation and Lamet stays healthy in a closer-type role, the staff becomes the class of the NL West.

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15. Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies had two glaring needs when their season ended last October: offensive reinforcements to bolster the lineup around reigning MVP Bryce Harper, and adequate bullpen arms to bypass recent struggles late in games.

Philly did address both of those things, but it is unclear if those problems are entirely solved. At the plate, adding Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos via free agency should bring about 60 home runs to the middle of the order. On the mound, Corey Knebel, Jeurys Familia, and Brad Hand are proven relievers that have the chance to fix some of the Phillies bullpen woes.

Zach Wheeler and Aaron Nola headline a strong rotation, but pitching depth and lack of athleticism defensively could result in a narrow-miss from the expanded postseason field in 2022. 

16. Los Angeles Angels

Perpetual mediocrity should be Anaheim’s worst nightmare. The most talented baseball player on the planet and the best player on the planet are different people, and they both play for the Halos. The worry here is complementary pieces.

Anthony Rendon and Noah Syndergaard need to be healthy. Jared Walsh and newly-extended Max Stassi need to contribute every day. Young outfielders Brandon Marsh and Jo Adell need to perform beyond their years. Also, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez need to consistently give Joe Maddon five solid innings. This roster is talented but it is still flawed.

17. Seattle Mariners

If we were power ranking the most exciting situations in baseball, the Seattle Mariners would be the runaway No. 1. The M’s dealt from the game’s top farm system to acquire Jesse Winker as an impact left-handed bat from the Reds, but only had to part with one of their top-10 prospects in order to do so.

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Young outfielder Jarred Kelenic shouldn’t have to wait too long to team up with Just Baseball’s No. 2 overall prospect Julio Rodriguez in the outfield, and fellow top-100 prospects George Kirby and Matt Brash could join a rotation featuring Logan Gilbert and reigning Cy Young Award winner and newly-acquired ace Robbie Ray relatively quickly. Seattle will be fun to watch; they may just be a year or two away from really contending.

18. Cleveland Guardians

One of the few organizations that knows how to wring the towel dry of all the resources they have at their disposal, the Guardians have learned how to maximize production with a miniscule payroll.

José Ramirez is still on the most team-friendly contract in baseball, with multiple years of control. Shane Bieber is arguably a top-five pitcher in the game, when healthy, and has yet to hit four years of Major League service time.

Depth does hinder this team; Andrés Giménez, Bobby Bradley, and Austin Hedges factor in to consistent roles, while promising rookie Steven Kwan should commandeer an outfield spot but needs to immediately perform. Cal Quantrill is expected to build off of a surprisingly strong back half of 2021, while Zach Plesac rebounds from injury and Triston McKenzie takes the next step in his progression. Cleveland has the tools to stick around, but they may not have the firepower to truly compete. 

19. Kansas City Royals

Much like the Mariners, the Kansas City Royals are set up to compete for quite a while in due time. Just Baseball’s No. 1 overall prospect, Bobby Witt Jr., should break camp with Kansas City and make his Major League debut on Opening Day. Witt, Nicky Lopez, Adalberto Mondesi, and Whit Merrifield could spearhead the effort to lead the league in stolen bases as a team.

Salvador Perez is coming off the best power-hitting season of his career, and should have reinforcements when prospects M.J. Melendez and Nick Pratto join the fold at some point this year. Whether Kansas City can compete this season depends entirely on their young rotation.

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Zack Greinke returning to his roots on a free agent deal provides a veteran presence, but Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, and Kris Bubic need to see their wicked arsenals turn into positive results in 2022. If they don’t, it could be detrimental to the young staff’s overall confidence moving forward.

20. Texas Rangers

A combined 17 years and $500 million later, the Texas Rangers have one of the best middle infield pairings in the game in Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Utilityman Isiah Kiner-Falefa is now in the Bronx, but Texas was able to finagle catcher Mitch Garver from Minnesota in part one of the IKF flip.

Aside from the new trio, the lineup may need time. Adolis Garcia has the potential to become a well-above average center fielder, but MLB-ready prospect Josh Jung’s labrum tear limits their options at third base. Young slugger Sam Huff should be ready to join the fold soon, where he could split duties with Nathaniel Lowe at first base, Willie Calhoun at designated hitter, or give Garver a day off his feet behind the plate.

The bats should get fans to the ballpark, but the pitching staff may not keep fans there long. The Rangers locked up ex-Rockie Jon Gray for four years and $56 million, but after missing out on Dallas area-native Clayton Kershaw, the back four may be the worst in the game. Last year’s No. 2 overall pick Jack Leiter can’t get to Globe Life Field soon enough, but that only puts a Band-Aid on a two foot-long gash. 

21. Cincinnati Reds

The Cincinnati Reds are clearly looking beyond 2022, considering they not only let free agent Nick Castellanos walk, but also dealt right-hander Sonny Gray, 2021 All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker, third baseman Eugenio Suarez, and catcher Tucker Barnhart. Still, this could be the best thing for the Reds long-term, as it sets them up for greater success one or two years from now.

In 2022, franchise great Joey Votto is flanked by last year’s National League Rookie of the Year Jonathan India and new free agent signing Tommy Pham, while Barnhart’s departure opens a full-time role for catcher Tyler Stephenson.

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Without Gray, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle may seem like they’re on an island in the rotation, but Just Baseball top-20 prospects Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene should both debut before the All-Star break, with new acquisition Brandon Williamson not far behind and former Mariner Justin Dunn ready for duty once he returns from a more severe than initially thought shoulder strain.

There may be less talent in Cincinnati on Opening Day, but the Reds elevated their ceiling during the winter months

22. Miami Marlins

The most exciting young rotation in baseball may also very-well be a top-five unit in the game. Sandy Alcantara, fresh off of signing a five-year, $56 million dollar extension, fronts a rotation that features Rookie of the Year runner-up Trevor Rogers, wildly reliable right-hander Pablo Lopez, and left-handed fireballer Jesús Luzardo with young studs Edward Cabrera, Max Meyer, and Jake Eder not far behind.

The bullpen certainly needs assistance, but what may really hinder the Marlins’ immediate hopes of contention in the NL East is on the offensive side. Jazz Chisolm is an exciting young star hitting in front of run-producing machine Jesús Aguilar, but it does feel like money could have been better spent than on Avisaíl García and Jorge Soler in free agency.

New trade acquisitions Jacob Stallings and Joey Wendle certainly raise the floor of this lineup greatly, with Wendle set to thrive in a super utility role and Stallings set to lead this young rotation after winning a Gold Glove behind the dish in Pittsburgh last season. Still, Miami can’t win 85 games by a 2-1 score. 

23. Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers became noticeably better this offseason. First, they traded prospect Nick Quintana to Cincinnati for Tucker Barnhart to address their catching concerns. Then came the signing of left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year deal to front a young-yet-exciting rotation.

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Finally, in December, Detroit signed shortstop Javier Baez to a six-year, $140 million deal just before the lockout. Center field and first base can be dealt with without outsourcing any talent; Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson, both top-10 prospects by Just Baseball, are ready to become everyday Major Leaguers this season.

On the mound, Rodriguez and newly-signed Michael Pineda should sandwich young arms Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning to form a respectable rotation. If Mize and Skubal take the next step in their development and Manning can put his overwhelming struggles in the rearview mirror, the Tigers could provide palpable excitement to its fanbase and bring solid crowds to Comerica Park this summer.

24. Chicago Cubs

The window to contend slammed shut for the Cubs when they shipped Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, and Anthony Rizzo off at last year’s trade deadline. However, it felt like President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer and General Manager Carter Hawkins were not entirely sold on a true rebuild, signing right-hander Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal and Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki for five years and a combined $150 million between the two.

Aside from those two additions, the Cubs lack any security in possible production. On the mound, Kyle Hendricks slipped last year, while Alec Mills and new additions Wade Miley and Drew Smyly provide little-to-no excitement.

Offensively, free agent signings of Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Villar don’t bolster the lineup much, while Nick Madrigal, Nico Hoerner, and Ian Happ are anything but sure things. If all goes well, this team could finish .500. If things head south quickly, 81 wins may seem laughable by mid-June.

25. Washington Nationals

Juan Soto may be the best hitter in the world, but talent is tough to locate elsewhere on this roster. The 23-year-old Soto is likely to put together a season statistically unmatched by anyone else in the game. Free agent acquisition Nelson Cruz should provide some spark in the new designated hitter spot in the National League, while Josh Bell could complement the two with his fair share of power.

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The return from L.A. for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner is present on this roster; Keibert Ruiz should handle the catcher duties entirely, while Josiah Gray slots into the rotation immediately behind Patrick Corbin, with Stephen Strasburg sidelined with thoracic outlet syndrome.

26. Colorado Rockies

The Rockies may not know what their plan exactly is, but we applaud them for trying to concoct one. Trevor Story may have left for greener pastures, but that didn’t stop General Manager Bill Schmidt from shelling out $182 million over seven years for third baseman-turned-left fielder Kris Bryant.

Aside from that, retention was the name of the game in Denver this offseason, signing Ryan McMahon and Antonio Senzatela to extensions.

On the mound, Colorado has front-line starter German Marquez locked up through 2024 and came to terms with free agent signing Alex Colome just after the lockout was lifted. The bats will be underwhelming; aside from Bryant and McMahon, the Rockies will rely on the volatile-but-still-young Brendan Rodgers and the yet-fully-proven C.J. Cron to supplement the production.

New signing Jose Iglesias won’t bring much, Charlie Blackmon seems like he’s closer to the end than the beginning, and new trade acquisition Randal Grichuk may provide more “buck” than “bang.” The way Colorado spent this offseason indicates that they’re in win-now mode. We just don’t know how many wins that will be. 

27. Oakland Athletics

Oakland spent precisely zero dollars and zero cents on improving their roster prior to March 23rd, when they signed catcher Stephen Vogt to a one-year deal. Aside from adding Vogt and Jed Lowrie for just 2022, the A’s have done nothing but tear down what they had previously built.

Pitcher Chris Bassitt is now a Met. Matt Olson is a recently-extended Brave, and Matt Chapman is a Toronto Blue Jay. The returns have not been as massive as many were expecting, but two more could be on the horizon with pitchers Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas firmly on the block.

Offensively, Seth Brown, Skye Bolt, and Billy McKinney will get regular at-bats. Cole Irvin, Daulton Jeffries, and Brent Honeywell Jr. will consistently start games. It may be time to get ready for 2023 if you’re an A’s fan. 

28. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates look closer to getting back to even water than they did at any point last season. Bryan Reynolds’ breakout campaign may just be the start for an uber-talented center fielder, who has been floated in trade rumors but was ultimately retained. Ke’Bryan Hayes can build at the plate to complement his already all-world defensive abilities, while top prospect Oneil Cruz could be the man at shortstop on Opening Day.

Daniel Vogelbach should provide some offensive entertainment after being acquired in free agency, while Roberto Pérez is a nice stop-gap between the recently-traded Jacob Stallings and last year’s No. 1 overall pick Henry Davis behind the plate.

Pitching is the least impressive facet of this roster, but Mitch Keller has looked utterly phenomenal this offseason in bullpen sessions and in Spring Training. They’re nowhere close to competing, but Pittsburgh will be much more enjoyable to keep tabs on this go ‘round.

29. Baltimore Orioles

It’s hard to elevate this team from the cellar, but there are reasons to have trace optimism about the Orioles. Just Baseball’s third-ranked prospect Adley Rutschman should quickly make his way to Camden Yards after his triceps issue is taken care of, and top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez shouldn’t be far behind.

At the big league level on Opening Day, Cedric Mullins is must-watch television and the tandem of Ryan Mountcastle and Trey Mancini at first base/designated hitter provides exciting production. Aside from that, the Major League talent on the roster is thin, especially since the Orioles could feature the worst pitching staff in all of baseball. 

30. Arizona Diamondbacks

It’s hard to pick the correct adjective to describe this roster, so we’ll go with “uninspiring.” Zac Gallen could have a nice bounce-back season off of an injury-hampered 2021, but the new reality of Madison Bumgarner, Merrill Kelly, and Zach Davies leaves a bit to be desired.

Offensively, Ketel Marte is one of the more exciting players in the NL West, but Carson Kelly, Seth Beer, Christian Walker, and David Peralta are sub-par Robin’s to Marte’s Batman. Here’s to hoping Daulton Varsho provides some excitement and Alek Thomas and Corbin Carroll make their way up sooner rather than later.