2013 Reds

Power Rankings? Already?

Seems a little early, but our buddy David Schoenfield never stops thinking about baseball. And he has the Redlegs sitting at number two in his power rankings. Not bad.

52 thoughts on “Power Rankings? Already?

  1. Not sure which omission is more shocking – the Angels or the Giants. Giants have won the world series 2 of the last 3 years, including last year. I don’t care how the team looks on paper they should be in the top 10. Angels have Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. I’m having a hard time believing 10 teams are better than a team with those 3 guys. Schoenfield knows more than I do but I was surprised to not see those teams on there.

  2. @VottoManCrush: I didn’t immediately notice the Giants’ absense, but I was just about to comment on the Angels. The odds-on favorites to win the WS are not in the top 10? Really? I think this list is nonsense.

  3. While we can quibble over 3-10 should be (Yankees at #3 is way too high), it’s really nice to see the Reds NOT get overlooked in an ESPN poll like this. #2 is where they should be I think, just slightly below Washington. The Choo and Span trades are about even, with Chapman’s move being the only uncertainty. If the Cuban Missile pans out as a starter, I think we become favorites

  4. Nice to see respect for the Reds. That’s rare on ESPN seeing that the Cubs and Cardinals are in our division.

  5. Nice, but much to do about nothing. On paper at least, the Nationals, Giants and Dodgers should be ranked ahead of the Reds. And in the AL the LA Angels, Detroit Tigers, and Toronto Blue Jays, if Jays pick up RA Dickey, should be ranked ahead. Don’t want the Reds to get big heads going into the season. Would rather they go into 2013 season with a chip on their shoulder with something to prove. Hungry for a championship.
    Are the Reds looking at LH relievers, once starters, JA Happ of the Jays and Brian Matusz of the Orioles for the bullpen??

  6. Interesting to think about, but as long as the Reds are better than the rest of the Central, doesn’t matter for much. We certainly learned what home field gets you. I do think the Reds are set up beautifully for the regular season, and the key to being a real playoff contender is to have the big horses at 1 and 2 (not sure the Giants quite fit the bill, but generally speaking), and Chapman as a starter makes us more formidable for a short series. Keep obliques intact.

    Also, I have been able to watch Hannahan play a lot the last couple years, and his defense is excellent. Probably has been mentioned, but moving him to third as a late inning replacement allows Super Todd to roam as double switches and batting order dictates. Nice pickup I think.

  7. i absolutely agree with the author’s take on the giant’s. they played way over their heads for a few weeks in the playoffs, but they are way down my list in terms of talent.

    the agnels would certainly crack my top 10 now, but they didn’t have a whole lot of pitching last year and they lost grienke and haren, and they’re losing torii hunter. i think hamilton is better than hunter overall, but last year hunter put up 5 wins, and hamilton hasn’t gotten there either of the last two seasons. even if he’s better, he’s not going to be a huge upgrade for them, more just replacing what they lost.

    also surprised the yankees are as high as they are, and that the blue jays got left off. las vegas has the blue jays right up with the nationals as WS favorites and i can see why.

  8. @WVRedlegs: To be fair, I don’t think getting national recognition prior to the season will do much to hinder the Reds’ hunger for a WS bid this year. This group is basically the same we’ve seen the past 2, 3, 4 years in Cincinnati, so I am not seeing complacency as an issue. They know that only a WS ring leaves a lasting impression, and there are no champions crowned for a good regular season.

    If anything, I think it’s a good measure for these guys to hold themselves to a higher standard this-coming season. They need to expect to compete and win every night, and anything less is unacceptable. With the way they performed last year, I doubt that is a problem here.

  9. my top 10 would be:

    1. nationals
    2. reds
    3. tigers
    4. blue jays
    5. angels
    6. dodgers
    7. yankees
    8. a’s
    9. braves
    10. rangers

  10. I agree that there are definitely a few teams I could see removed from this list and a few others added. I can see the central coming down to a heater race between the Reds and the Cardinals this year tho. Somehow they always catch fire down the stretch. One might refer to them as the Anti-Pirates.

  11. It amazes me that we won 97 games, filled the biggest hole in our lineup, and improved our starting staff, yet the national press STILL gives more respect to the Cardinals. I just don’t see it.

    • It amazes me that we won 97 games, filled the biggest hole in our lineup, and improved our starting staff, yet the national press STILL gives more respect to the Cardinals.I just don’t see it.

      The difference being the Cardinal are competitive year in and year out. The Reds have only recently been in the conversation and are inconsistent (i.e. 2011). I’m not a fan of the Cardinals in any way, but give that organization it’s due. They know how to win.

  12. Dickey signing with the Blue Jays doesn’t change my opinion about them. The Jays were already pretty good. In fact they were much better than their record would indicate last year. After the trade with Miami they became a powerhouse. But I’d still not put them above the Reds in the power rankings.

    • Dickey signing with the Blue Jays doesn’t change my opinion about them.The Jays were already pretty good.In fact they were much better than their record would indicate last year.After the trade with Miami they became a powerhouse.But I’d still not put them above the Reds in the power rankings.

      The problem I have with the Blue Jays is that they may still be the 4th best team in the AL East. I have big questions about Josh Johnson and RA Dickey playing in the AL East.

  13. @BenL: 100% agree with you on the omission of the Angels. Not only did the Halos pick up Hamilton, but they also added Tommy Hanson and Ryan Madson. For my money they up they are just ahead of Detroit as the best in the AL.

  14. Are the Reds going after a LH reliever?? Would they go after Toronto’s JA Happ or Baltimore’s Brian Matusz?? Both are former starters. Both are big, tall pitchers. Happ looks like a LH Ondrusek, but pitches a bit better. Both have their ++ and –. Either would help the Reds bullpen from the LH side. Not typical LOOGY’s. But either could be a LH option for long releif opposite LeCure and Simon, could also be a spot starter and be a LOOGY. If Chapman starts and Cingrani goes to AAA, the Reds will need another LH reliever. Both of these guys possess the versatility to be a big asset to the bullpen.

  15. Way too early to start ranking teams as the free agent period is not over yet.

    I cannot see how the Yankees are ranked in the top ten-pitching is only decent, day to day lineup is a question mark; with several players in the twilight of their careers.

    It is “much ado about nothing” not “much to do about nothing.”

    I doubt that the power rankings have anything to do with reality, as seldom does the best team on paper win the whole thing. Remember that the Angels were going to be a beast last year and did not even make the playoffs.

    I doubt the Cardinals are the equal of either the Reds or Pirates on paper, but they are still a threat to win every year. The Giants are not equal, on paper, with the Dodgers, but they do seem to be there every year.

    • It is “much ado about nothing” not “much to do about nothing.”

      @redmountain:

      Definition of ADO
      1: heightened fuss or concern : to-do

      His use of “to do” was okay to use.

  16. Congratulations to Todd Frazier on his wedding. He’s had a great year, and it seems fitting that it ends with one of the most momentous events of his life.

    Congrats, Todd. I hope the best for you.

  17. I don’t get everybody jumping on the Angels bandwagon. To me, they have too many questions to be taken seriously just yet, such as:

    1. Can Hamilton stay healthy/sober/not be a drama queen living in L.A.?
    2. Can Madoson fully recover and be a dominant closer only one year removed from TJ surgery?
    3. Can Trout avoid the “Sophmore Slump”?
    4. Can their pitching staff be strong 1-5 and not just be top heavy?

    Personally, I think the Reds are a MUCH stronger team than the Angels as they have fewer questions/weaknesses across the board, ESPECIALLY concerning pitching. Sure, Pujols/Hamilton should be sick, but I don’t see it being any more lethal than Braun/Fielder. And really, Tommy Hanson and Joe Blanton give them a “strong” rotation? Ok then…

    I’d put the Angels in the top 15, but not the top 10. Wouldn’t shock me if they missed the playoffs. Usually, having tons of questions about your pitching does not bode well.

  18. @CI3J: FWIW, I think given the numbers Trout is starting from, any amount of “sophomore slump” would still have most of us Reds fans advocating Todd Frazier or Cozart for MVP if it were their numbers in their second year. And Hamilton, games played might be an issue, but I’ll take his drama any day if it meant the kind of production he brings. I might be more concerned that Pujols would start to slow down… but every time we think that, he comes back to life. But yeah… maybe their pitching might bite them. I wouldn’t mind being them though.

  19. I share CI3J’s skepticism about the Angels but I don’t think a sophomore slump by Trout is much of a concern. It’s unpredictable guys (or at least… who knows what to expect from them?) like Hamilton, Madson, and Blanton that concern me. Not only does Josh Hamilton bring questions about his ability to stay healthy but he provides a big distraction in the clubhouse. The Angels have a lot of big name players, a lot of egos, and one gets an accountability partner assigned full time to babysit him. We’ll have to wait and see how they all get along.

    Boring week for the Reds. Baseball America is publishing its list of the Reds’ top 10 prospects on January 9th – I’ll be looking forward to that. Last winter’s list from November 16, 2011, listed Alonso, Grandal, and Boxberger as to prospects before they were traded. Mesoraco, Cozart, and Frazier have now also been skimmed off the list while Gregorius was traded. Billy Hamilton (2), Daniel Corcino (6), and Robert Stephenson (7) are the only prospects on last year’s list who remain.

    It’ll be interesting to see who joins them on Baseball America’s list. Presumably Tony Cingrani, Nick Travieso, and Jessie Winkler will be added. I’m wondering if Ryan LaMarre, Kyle Lotzkar, Neftali Soto, Ryan Wright, Sean Buckley, Brodie Greene, Henry Rodriguez, Ismael Guillen, Tucker Barnhart, or others will make the cut. Somebody has to get those final 4 spots.

    • Boring week for the Reds. Baseball America is publishing its list of the Reds’ top 10 prospects on January 9th – I’ll be looking forward to that. Last winter’s list from November 16, 2011, listed Alonso, Grandal, and Boxberger as to prospects before they were traded. Mesoraco, Cozart, and Frazier have now also been skimmed off the list while Gregorius was traded. Billy Hamilton (2), Daniel Corcino (6), and Robert Stephenson (7) are the only prospects on last year’s list who remain.

      Here are the remainder from last years BBA top 30 that are still with the organization and not graduated to the bigs:

      2. INF Billy Hamilton
      6. RHP Daniel Corcino
      7. RHP Robert Stephenson
      11. 1B Neftali Soto
      14. OF Ryan LaMarre
      15. LHP Tony Cingrani
      17. 2B Henry Rodriguez
      18. LHP Amir Garrett
      19. OF Yorman Rodriguez
      20. 3B Gabriel Rosa
      22. OF Kyle Waldrop
      23. 2B Ryan Wright
      24. 3B Sean Buckley
      25. C Tucker Barnhart
      26. 3B David Vidal
      28. OF Juan Duran
      29. RHP Jonathan Perez
      30. RHP Kyle Lotzkar

  20. @redsfanman: I’m expecting Baseball America to list the top 10 prospects as:
    1. Billy Hamilton
    2. Tony Cingrani
    3. Robert Stephenson
    4. Daniel Corcino
    5. Nick Travieso
    6. Jessie Winker
    7. Ryan LaMarre
    8. Drew Cisco
    9. Kyle Waldrop
    10. Kyle Lotzkar
    After #6 it seems like it’d just be a toss-up.

  21. Oh my Oh my Oh my…

    The Indians just signed Mark Reynolds. With Drew Stubbs and Reynolds in the same lineup, the Indians might just set a MLB stike out record for one team in a season.

  22. @Shchi Cossack: They announced that before the Stubbs/Choo trade – like Ryan Ludwick it took some time between coming to an agreement and finalizing the deal.

    It’ll be interesting if Mark Reynolds becomes a 44 homerun guy again or if he’ll continue to be defined by his strikeout totals.

  23. @CI3J: you don’t think the angels deserve to be taken seriously? that seems a little over the top.

    they may not be the best team in the league, but they certainly have a better offense than pretty much anyone. they don’t have elite pitching top to bottom, but they also aren’t bad.

    elite offense plus average pitching seems like a pretty good combination.

  24. @Tom Diesman: Well, some of them are probably moving up (like #15 Tony Cingrani and #30 Kyle Lotzkar) and others are probably moving down (like #11 Neftali Soto and #19 Yorman Rodriguez). Any guesses on who gets the top 10 spots this year?

    We don’t have much else to discuss right now.

  25. @al:

    What have the Angels done to deserve to be taken seriously? It’s like I said: Pujols/Hamilton to me is no scarier than Braun/Fielder. How about the rest of their offense? Yes, the Angels have Trout too, but after that, then what? And their pitching is HIGHLY suspect.

    We’ll see. They’ll have to play well and live up to their potential before I think they deserve to be taken seriously. Championships are not won in the offseason.

    • @al:
      What have the Angels done to deserve to be taken seriously? It’s like I said: Pujols/Hamilton to me is no scarier than Braun/Fielder. How about the rest of their offense? Yes, the Angels have Trout too, but after that, then what? And their pitching is HIGHLY suspect.

      We’ll see. They’ll have to play well and live up to their potential before I think they deserve to be taken seriously. Championships are not won in the offseason.

      This might be in line for worst take of 2012. The Angels’ starting lineup OPS+ in terms of OPS+ :

      SS. Aybar (109)
      CF. Trout (171)
      1B. Pujols (141)
      LF. Hamilton (139)
      RF. Trumbo (126)
      DH. Morales (121)
      2B. Kendrick (106)
      C. Ianetta (107)
      3B. Callaspo (98)

      To put that lineup in perspective, only 4 Reds players last season mustered an OPS+ higher than Callaspo (5 if you include Choo)

      Their pitching staff in terms of ERA+ :

      1. Weaver (134)
      2. Wilson (99)
      3. Hanson (89)
      4. Blanton (84)
      5. Williams/Richards (82/81)

      Weaver may be just below Verlander for the best pitcher in the AL. Despite down years, Wilson has a career ERA+ of 119 (over 130 from ’09-’12) and Hanson’s career is 110. That is a solid rotation. The Angels don’t need Madson to be a shut down closer. Frieri had an ERA+ of 163 13.4 K/9 and 3.27:1 K:BB and blew only 3 saves in 26 chances. That’s a really good 8/9 inning tandem.

      BTW Braun/Fielder is now Braun/Ramirez and Cabrera/Fielder.

  26. My top prospect list would be as follows:

    1.) Billy Hamilton
    2.) Robert Stephenson
    3.) Tony Cingrani
    4.) Daniel Corcino
    5.) Henry Rodriquez
    6.) Nick Travieso
    7.) Ryan Wright (I’m particular to him. Please pardon this high ranking.)
    8.) Theo Bowe
    9.) Jessie Winker
    10.) Ryan LaMarre

  27. @TC: Tell it to the Bard. :D

    Although, I went waaay too long thinking the phrase “for all intents and purposes” was “for all intensive purposes.”

  28. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/12/twins-rockies-reds-interested-in-freddy-garcia.html

    MLBTradeRumors reports that the Reds have checked in on Freddy Garcia. Presumably he’d be replacing Jeff Francis as a veteran to fill a spot in Louisville’s rotation. Considering signing Garcia, in my opinion, is another sign that the Reds are not serious about converting Chapman.

    I doubt Garcia will come to Cincinnati because he has a much better chance of earning a spot in another teams’ rotation. He’d be 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th on the depth chart with the Reds and I doubt he wants to pitch out of the bullpen.

  29. @David:

    One thing to consider is how good Hunter was last season. He was worth 5 WAR to the Angels last year. Hunter posted a 130 wRC+, and that’s pretty impressive given Hamilton’s career wRC+ is 135. The past 2 years he was 140 and 126. So if Hamilton hits like he did in 2011, he’d actually be worse than Hunter was last year. Which is crazy to think about.

    So it needs to be pointed out that while Hamilton seems like a massive upgrade, he’ll simply replace what they lost when Hunter left for FA.

    And yes, their pitching is worse than last year.

    So please explain to me how a club that missed the playoffs last year is suddenly going to make it when, according to stats, they have basically just replaced what they lost in FA and gotten worse at pitching?

  30. @David:

    The Angels pitching: The Angels will have Joe Blanton (4.79 ERA over the past three seasons in the National League) in the rotation. And injury risk Tommy Hanson. And unproven Garrett Richards or fifth-starter-type Jerome Williams. They’ll need C.J. Wilson to be healthy after minor elbow surgery. Jered Weaver is great, I’m not arguing that. But he can only pitch every 5 games. There are a lot of questions about the rest of their pitching, to say nothing of their bullpen.

    Bottom line: The Angels will have a good offense, but they haven’t done anything to warrant being taken seriously as a playoff contender. You just need to look past the hype and see them for what they are.

  31. I wonder if the Reds would have any interest in Peter Bourjos as a 5th OFer. He’s now expendable on the Angels. He’s so good defensively that if played 12-15 innings a week it might offset how otherwise bad the Reds’ OF defense will be. (I’m exaggerating but he is lights out defensively.) What would the Reds give up? No clue. I’m just thinking out loud.

  32. I don’t really know enough about the guts of the Angels to be able to speak intelligently about them. But from the outside looking in, even with the departure of Hunter, the Angels are a solidly built team. There wasn’t much difference between the 2010 Reds and 2011 Reds, yet one was good and one wasn’t. Likewise, Miami looked to be the team to beat last year in the NL East. Yet they had a rough season.

    On the other hand, who say the A’s coming, or Orioles. There is something more important that combined WAR, there is the spirit of the club. I don’t know what type of clubhouse the Angels will have. But it seems these mercenary clubs don’t always do well. Of course the Yankees and Boston do well most of the time because after all, its the Yankees and Sox. But the Dodgers, Angels, Jays, etc need to show me before I buy in.

    talent + spirit = good club
    talent + spirit + luck = world series

  33. That last post was all over the place. Let me approach it a different way. The Reds are one of the best teams in the NL not because they have the best talent. In that respect they are probably 4th or 5th. They have a very tight clubhouse and FAs that are known for being good mentoring type guys. You need talent and spirit to be a good club. But even good clubs have bad years. Luck factors in. Suppose a strong rotation loses there 1 and 2 guys. Bad luck. You are replacing your 1 and 2 with your 6 and 7. But, suppose you have a guy like Trout who you figured would be good. But no one expected him to be that good.

    I’m not sure how much luck factored in to the Angels last year. I did not follow them. But like the Reds, the same basic team can have good years and bad years. But with Pujols and Hamilton hitting back to back… that’s just freaky scary. Oh, and they have this guy named Trout.

    From my seat in the back of the room, their starting rotation doesn’t look bad at all. So, who knows.

    • From my seat in the back of the room, their starting rotation doesn’t look bad at all. So, who knows.

      And the Angels just picked up Seattle’s Vargas for the rotation. It cost the Angels their 1B, Kendrys Morales. Trumbo will move from LF to 1B now. The Angels are loaded.

  34. ^^^^ Trumbo will play some at 1B and mostly DH. Angels have this dude named Pujols that will play some 1B.

  35. @TC: The Angels have a bunch of great hitters but I agree that it’ll be interesting to see how they get along in the clubhouse. Pujols is used to being the star player and the center of attention. So is Hamilton. It looks like Trout will be a superstar soon, if he isn’t already. If the Angels don’t do well big free agent signings, like Pujols and Hamilton, are commonly blamed.

    I have trouble taking some teams, including the Angels, seriously.

  36. I think the Phillies/Cardinals have showen the best way to build a sustainable winning organization; something WJ and BC brought with them from St Louis. You start with the front office and get guys who want to build a professional, close-knit atmosphere with a culture of winning. You bring up your core of players from your own system, then you make a few key big name signings in the Free Agent market, and trade for the rest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s