Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks

CF - ANA
Height: 6-1
Weight: 205 lbs
Age: 34
College:
Los Angeles Angels

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The ScoreMLB Power Rankings: Teeing up Opening Day

Welcome to theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2024 regular season. Playoff odds courtesy theScore Bet. 1. Los Angeles Dodgers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 100-62 93-69 -5000 The Dodgers spent over a billion dollars on players this winter, and anything short of a World Series title will be considered a disappointment. This team is absolutely loaded - with three MVP winners perched atop the lineup - but there are some potential early signs of concern. The durability of the pitching staff, Mookie Betts playing shortstop, Yoshinobu Yamamoto's transition to MLB, and the lingering scandal around Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter are all things to watch.2. Atlanta Braves PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 101-61 97-65 -1500 The Braves bring back the same lineup that tied an MLB-record 307 homers last season. Yet, the offense could get even better if newcomer Jarred Kelenic can reach his potential. The rotation looks deeper, with Chris Sale and Reynaldo L pez rounding out the group. It's also a World Series or bust for Atlanta with such an embarrassment of riches.3. Houston Astros PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 95-67 90-72 -400 The Astros have epitomized success and consistency by appearing in seven straight ALCS, and they look primed to make it eight. Houston returns much of the same lineup as 2023, along with a new closer in Josh Hader and a change at catcher with Yainer Diaz taking over everyday duties. Several injuries to the rotation could lead to a slow start, but the Astros still look like the AL's best team entering the season.4. Philadelphia Phillies PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 85-77 -230 Philadelphia should be motivated after collapsing against Arizona and letting a golden chance at a World Series slip last campaign. Dave Dombrowski spent the winter extending key starters Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola rather than making a major splash outside the organization. A full season of Bryce Harper should help the Phillies as they try to snap Atlanta's six-year reign as NL East champions.5. Baltimore Orioles Daniel Shirey / Major League Baseball / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 87-75 85-77 -215 The Orioles surprised many with a 101-win season and an AL East title in 2023. Baltimore isn't sneaking up on anybody this year. The club filled a major need by acquiring ace Corbin Burnes to add to an excellent young core, which will soon see the arrival of No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday.6. Texas Rangers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 86-76 82-80 -190 The reigning World Series champions should be a force again, with Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Adolis Garc a leading the charge for an offense that scored an AL-best 881 runs last season. The Rangers are rolling the dice by entrusting Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford with starting duties, but the pair look like future stars. Starting pitching remains a concern, with Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Tyler Mahle injured to begin the campaign.7. Arizona Diamondbacks PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 84-78 +110 The Diamondbacks are coming off a surprise run to the World Series last season and did a great job supplementing a solid core by adding Eugenio Su rez, Joc Pederson, Randal Grichuk, Jordan Montgomery and Eduardo Rodriguez. Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno, and Brandon Pfaadt developing more could push the club to the next level. They might not challenge the Dodgers for the division, but they're getting closer. 8. New York Yankees PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 92-70 88-74 -275 Pairing Juan Soto, who's in a contract year, with Aaron Judge will give many pitchers nightmares before playing the Yankees. However, New York's rotation has major question marks with Gerrit Cole out long term and potential durability issues surrounding Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman, and Carlos Rod n. The Yankees look like a playoff team, but injuries could quickly derail this older roster.9. San Francisco Giants PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 86-76 83-79 +135 The Giants look much different than the 79-win team from a campaign ago after an offseason spending spree landed them Blake Snell, Jung Hoo Lee, Matt Chapman, Jordan Hicks, Jorge Soler, and Robbie Ray. It's clear San Francisco is in it to win it, but claiming the loaded NL West is no small task. Despite the additions, there are still questions about how much this club will score.10. Toronto Blue Jays Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 88-74 85-77 -140 It's finally time for the Blue Jays to deliver on all their promise. This is no longer a young team; the clock is ticking on their competitive window. Toronto's offense greatly underperformed last season, and several players will need to have bounce-back years if the club wants to be a threat come October. The Blue Jays are dealing with some early injuries to the pitching staff, and the schedule to start the campaign is difficult. They'll need to weather the storm out of the gates.11. Seattle Mariners PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 85-77 -175 The Mariners spent the winter remaking the offense after their hitters recorded the second-most strikeouts in the majors in 2023. Julio Rodr guez looks like a perennial MVP candidate, and the 23-year-old will need to be since he'll likely have to carry the offensive load again this season. The rotation might be the most underrated in the majors.12. Tampa Bay Rays PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 87-75 86-76 +110 With Wander Franco, Shane McClanahan, and Tyler Glasnow missing from the 2024 roster, the Rays have lost almost a combined 10 fWAR. Tampa Bay also basically has an entire rotation sidelined, as McClanahan, Shane Baz, Taj Bradley, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs are on the IL. The team has a modus operandi of turning water into wine, but this could be the year the club takes a step back.13. Minnesota Twins PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 89-73 84-78 -180 TV revenue uncertainties prevented the Twins from adding much of anything this winter. However, they're still dangerous if Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Royce Lewis remain healthy and produce like they can. Losing key pieces like Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, and Jorge Polanco hurts, but Minnesota is still the favorite to repeat as AL Central champs.14. Chicago Cubs PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 81-81 82-80 -125 The Cubs are returning a roster similar to the one that missed the playoffs by one game last year. Chicago is counting on Cody Bellinger to prove 2023 wasn't a fluke and newcomer Shota Imanaga to replace Stroman in the rotation. The team's success could also depend on top prospects Pete Crow-Armstrong and Cade Horton graduating to the majors.15. San Diego Padres Gene Wang / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 82-80 83-79 +140 Trading Juan Soto was a tough pill to swallow, but the roster might be more balanced because of it. And a lineup consisting of Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado still looks capable of making the postseason. Acquiring Dylan Cease is also a huge addition after losing Blake Snell, Seth Lugo, and Michael Wacha this offseason.16. Boston Red Sox PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 78-84 80-82 +300 A completely underwhelming winter has the Red Sox entering the season in a weird spot. The offense could actually be very good, with the lineup featuring several young and athletic players and Trevor Story looking healthy for the first time in years. Still, if Boston hopes to escape the AL East basement, it'll need its young arms to take the next step under new pitching coach Andrew Bailey, something they couldn't do last season.17. Cincinnati Reds PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 79-83 79-83 +150 Jonathan India believes the Reds will win the NL Central this campaign. While Cincinnati has the high-end talent to win the division, is the core experienced and consistent enough to take the crown for the first time since 2012? Adding veterans like Jeimer Candelario and Frankie Montas helps, but Matt McLain and TJ Friedl have early injury concerns.18. New York Mets PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 81-81 +200 The Mets took a different approach to the offseason than last year, focusing on depth instead of inking star-studded deals. A core of Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and Brandon Nimmo have quite a test in front of them. However, shutdown closer Edwin D az's return should erase any uncertainties in the late innings.19. Milwaukee Brewers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 79-83 80-82 +340 Milwaukee made moves for 2024 and beyond this winter, trading away Corbin Burnes for Joey Ortiz and DL Hall - both of whom will start the season on the MLB roster - and signing Rhys Hoskins, Gary S nchez, and Jakob Junis to short-term deals. All eyes will be on Jackson Chourio, though. The 20-year-old inked a $82-million deal in December despite never playing higher than Triple-A.20. St. Louis Cardinals Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 83-79 -110 The Cardinals aren't used to being doubted. St. Louis finished under .500 last season for the first time since 2007, missing the postseason for only the fourth time in the previous 13 years. The club's lineup looks strong, but a revamped rotation featuring Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Sonny Gray, who's already hurt, has an average age of almost 35.21. Detroit Tigers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 75-87 79-83 +165 Detroit enters the campaign without Miguel Cabrera for the first time since 2008. Youngsters Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene, and Kerry Carpenter are the offense's focal point, with veteran help sprinkled in. A full season of Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize could go a long way for a Tigers rotation featuring veteran newcomers Maeda and Jack Flaherty.22. Cleveland Guardians PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 83-79 80-82 +220 Cleveland did little to supplement a lineup that hit the fewest home runs in the majors last season - 27 fewer than the next worst team. The Guardians' strength remains in their pitching staff, which will benefit from a healthy Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie to start the year. Those two combined for just 25 starts in 2023.23. Los Angeles Angels PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 74-88 78-84 +800 Mike Trout publicly begged the front office and ownership for meaningful roster additions all offseason after seeing Ohtani leave for nothing. The Angels didn't replace the two-way superstar in the lineup or rotation. Instead, Aaron Hicks and Robert Stephenson were the club's biggest moves, which speaks volumes about where Los Angeles is at.24. Pittsburgh Pirates PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 71-91 77-85 +550 This version of the Pirates is the closest it has looked to a playoff contender since Ben Cherington took over as GM in 2019. Oneil Cruz, Henry Davis, and Jack Suwinski are promising young players who should accompany Bryan Reynolds well on offense. The rotation looks better behind ace Mitch Keller, and the bullpen should be tough in the late innings with David Bednar and Aroldis Chapman.25. Miami Marlins PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 80-82 80-82 +260 Miami reached the postseason last year despite a minus-57 run differential. The offense again appears underwhelming, and it'll be more difficult to keep runs off the board with Sandy Alcantara, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett, and Eury P rez sidelined to start the campaign. Those four combined to throw over 500 innings in 2023.26. Kansas City Royals Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 71-91 76-86 +475 After a strong offseason, the Royals could make some noise in a weak division. They improved the pitching staff by adding Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, Will Smith, and John Schreiber. Kansas City also looks like it finally has an ace in Cole Ragans. Budding superstar Bobby Witt Jr. leads an underrated lineup that may surprise.27. Washington Nationals PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 58-104 66-96 +1800 The Nationals punched above their weight last season, winning 71 games despite playing in a tough division. Adding Joey Gallo, Eddie Rosario, and Jesse Winker could incrementally increase the team's victories. But Washington will need CJ Abrams, Lane Thomas, Josiah Gray, and MacKenzie Gore to continue upward trajectories if it stands any chance of making a significant jump in the standings.28. Chicago White Sox PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 67-95 67-95 +2200 The White Sox are entering another rebuild. New general manager Chris Getz completely remade the roster by trading away several veterans while letting others depart in free agency. Chicago carved out a lot of playing time for younger players, and the club will see what it has in Garrett Crochet and Michael Soroka in the rotation. It'll be interesting to see if Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jim nez stick around through the campaign.29. Oakland Athletics PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 65-97 72-90 +2800 The Athletics' rebuild continues after averaging 107 losses per season over the last two years. Yet, there's some hope youngsters like Zack Gelof, JJ Bleday, and Shea Langeliers can become reliable impact players. The rotation looks better with veterans Alex Wood and Ross Stripling leading the way.30. Colorado Rockies PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 57-105 63-99 +2500 Aside from adding Cal Quantrill and Dakota Hudson to the rotation, the Rockies' extension of shortstop Ezequiel Tovar was their biggest offseason business. Even if Kris Bryant remains healthy, Colorado looks destined for its third straight last-place finish because the rest of the division is that much better.Copyright © 2024 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Wednesday, Mar 27, 2024

The ScoreMLB Power Rankings: Where each team stands on Opening Day

Welcome to theScore's MLB Power Rankings for the 2024 regular season. Playoff odds courtesy theScore Bet. 1. Los Angeles Dodgers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 100-62 93-69 -5000 The Dodgers spent over a billion dollars on players this winter, and anything short of a World Series title will be considered a disappointment. This team is absolutely loaded - with three MVP winners perched atop the lineup - but there are some potential early signs of concern. The durability of the pitching staff, Mookie Betts playing shortstop, Yoshinobu Yamamoto's transition to MLB, and the lingering scandal around Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter are all things to watch.2. Atlanta Braves PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 101-61 97-65 -1500 The Braves bring back the same lineup that tied an MLB-record 307 homers last season. Yet, the offense could get even better if newcomer Jarred Kelenic can reach his potential. The rotation looks deeper, with Chris Sale and Reynaldo L pez rounding out the group. It's also a World Series or bust for Atlanta with such an embarrassment of riches.3. Houston Astros PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 95-67 90-72 -400 The Astros have epitomized success and consistency by appearing in seven straight ALCS, and they look primed to make it eight. Houston returns much of the same lineup as 2023, along with a new closer in Josh Hader and a change at catcher with Yainer Diaz taking over everyday duties. Several injuries to the rotation could lead to a slow start, but the Astros still look like the AL's best team entering the season.4. Philadelphia Phillies PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 85-77 -230 Philadelphia should be motivated after collapsing against Arizona and letting a golden chance at a World Series slip last campaign. Dave Dombrowski spent the winter extending key starters Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola rather than making a major splash outside the organization. A full season of Bryce Harper should help the Phillies as they try to snap Atlanta's six-year reign as NL East champions.5. Baltimore Orioles Daniel Shirey / Major League Baseball / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 87-75 85-77 -215 The Orioles surprised many with a 101-win season and an AL East title in 2023. Baltimore isn't sneaking up on anybody this year. The club filled a major need by acquiring ace Corbin Burnes to add to an excellent young core, which will soon see the arrival of No. 1 prospect Jackson Holliday.6. Texas Rangers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 86-76 82-80 -190 The reigning World Series champions should be a force again, with Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Adolis Garc a leading the charge for an offense that scored an AL-best 881 runs last season. The Rangers are rolling the dice by entrusting Evan Carter and Wyatt Langford with starting duties, but the pair look like future stars. Starting pitching remains a concern, with Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Tyler Mahle injured to begin the campaign.7. Arizona Diamondbacks PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 84-78 +110 The Diamondbacks are coming off a surprise run to the World Series last season and did a great job supplementing a solid core by adding Eugenio Su rez, Joc Pederson, Randal Grichuk, Jordan Montgomery and Eduardo Rodriguez. Corbin Carroll, Gabriel Moreno, and Brandon Pfaadt developing more could push the club to the next level. They might not challenge the Dodgers for the division, but they're getting closer. 8. New York Yankees PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 92-70 88-74 -275 Pairing Juan Soto, who's in a contract year, with Aaron Judge will give many pitchers nightmares before playing the Yankees. However, New York's rotation has major question marks with Gerrit Cole out long term and potential durability issues surrounding Nestor Cortes, Marcus Stroman, and Carlos Rod n. The Yankees look like a playoff team, but injuries could quickly derail this older roster.9. San Francisco Giants PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 86-76 83-79 +135 The Giants look much different than the 79-win team from a campaign ago after an offseason spending spree landed them Blake Snell, Jung Hoo Lee, Matt Chapman, Jordan Hicks, Jorge Soler, and Robbie Ray. It's clear San Francisco is in it to win it, but claiming the loaded NL West is no small task. Despite the additions, there are still questions about how much this club will score.10. Toronto Blue Jays Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 88-74 85-77 -140 It's finally time for the Blue Jays to deliver on all their promise. This is no longer a young team; the clock is ticking on their competitive window. Toronto's offense greatly underperformed last season, and several players will need to have bounce-back years if the club wants to be a threat come October. The Blue Jays are dealing with some early injuries to the pitching staff, and the schedule to start the campaign is difficult. They'll need to weather the storm out of the gates.11. Seattle Mariners PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 85-77 -175 The Mariners spent the winter remaking the offense after their hitters recorded the second-most strikeouts in the majors in 2023. Julio Rodr guez looks like a perennial MVP candidate, and the 23-year-old will need to be since he'll likely have to carry the offensive load again this season. The rotation might be the most underrated in the majors.12. Tampa Bay Rays PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 87-75 86-76 +110 With Wander Franco, Shane McClanahan, and Tyler Glasnow missing from the 2024 roster, the Rays have lost almost a combined 10 fWAR. Tampa Bay also basically has an entire rotation sidelined, as McClanahan, Shane Baz, Taj Bradley, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs are on the IL. The team has a modus operandi of turning water into wine, but this could be the year the club takes a step back.13. Minnesota Twins PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 89-73 84-78 -180 TV revenue uncertainties prevented the Twins from adding much of anything this winter. However, they're still dangerous if Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Royce Lewis remain healthy and produce like they can. Losing key pieces like Sonny Gray, Kenta Maeda, and Jorge Polanco hurts, but Minnesota is still the favorite to repeat as AL Central champs.14. Chicago Cubs PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 81-81 82-80 -125 The Cubs are returning a roster similar to the one that missed the playoffs by one game last year. Chicago is counting on Cody Bellinger to prove 2023 wasn't a fluke and newcomer Shota Imanaga to replace Stroman in the rotation. The team's success could also depend on top prospects Pete Crow-Armstrong and Cade Horton graduating to the majors.15. San Diego Padres Gene Wang / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 82-80 83-79 +140 Trading Juan Soto was a tough pill to swallow, but the roster might be more balanced because of it. And a lineup consisting of Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado still looks capable of making the postseason. Acquiring Dylan Cease is also a huge addition after losing Blake Snell, Seth Lugo, and Michael Wacha this offseason.16. Boston Red Sox PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 78-84 80-82 +300 A completely underwhelming winter has the Red Sox entering the season in a weird spot. The offense could actually be very good, with the lineup featuring several young and athletic players and Trevor Story looking healthy for the first time in years. Still, if Boston hopes to escape the AL East basement, it'll need its young arms to take the next step under new pitching coach Andrew Bailey, something they couldn't do last season.17. Cincinnati Reds PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 79-83 79-83 +150 Jonathan India believes the Reds will win the NL Central this campaign. While Cincinnati has the high-end talent to win the division, is the core experienced and consistent enough to take the crown for the first time since 2012? Adding veterans like Jeimer Candelario and Frankie Montas helps, but Matt McLain and TJ Friedl have early injury concerns.18. New York Mets PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 81-81 +200 The Mets took a different approach to the offseason than last year, focusing on depth instead of inking star-studded deals. A core of Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, and Brandon Nimmo have quite a test in front of them. However, shutdown closer Edwin D az's return should erase any uncertainties in the late innings.19. Milwaukee Brewers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 79-83 80-82 +340 Milwaukee made moves for 2024 and beyond this winter, trading away Corbin Burnes for Joey Ortiz and DL Hall - both of whom will start the season on the MLB roster - and signing Rhys Hoskins, Gary S nchez, and Jakob Junis to short-term deals. All eyes will be on Jackson Chourio, though. The 20-year-old inked a $82-million deal in December despite never playing higher than Triple-A.20. St. Louis Cardinals Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 84-78 83-79 -110 The Cardinals aren't used to being doubted. St. Louis finished under .500 last season for the first time since 2007, missing the postseason for only the fourth time in the previous 13 years. The club's lineup looks strong, but a revamped rotation featuring Lance Lynn, Kyle Gibson, and Sonny Gray, who's already hurt, has an average age of almost 35.21. Detroit Tigers PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 75-87 79-83 +165 Detroit enters the campaign without Miguel Cabrera for the first time since 2008. Youngsters Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene, and Kerry Carpenter are the offense's focal point, with veteran help sprinkled in. A full season of Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize could go a long way for a Tigers rotation featuring veteran newcomers Maeda and Jack Flaherty.22. Cleveland Guardians PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 83-79 80-82 +220 Cleveland did little to supplement a lineup that hit the fewest home runs in the majors last season - 27 fewer than the next worst team. The Guardians' strength remains in their pitching staff, which will benefit from a healthy Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie to start the year. Those two combined for just 25 starts in 2023.23. Los Angeles Angels PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 74-88 78-84 +800 Mike Trout publicly begged the front office and ownership for meaningful roster additions all offseason after seeing Ohtani leave for nothing. The Angels didn't replace the two-way superstar in the lineup or rotation. Instead, Aaron Hicks and Robert Stephenson were the club's biggest moves, which speaks volumes about where Los Angeles is at.24. Pittsburgh Pirates PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 71-91 77-85 +550 This version of the Pirates is the closest it has looked to a playoff contender since Ben Cherington took over as GM in 2019. Oneil Cruz, Henry Davis, and Jack Suwinski are promising young players who should accompany Bryan Reynolds well on offense. The rotation looks better behind ace Mitch Keller, and the bullpen should be tough in the late innings with David Bednar and Aroldis Chapman.25. Miami Marlins PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 80-82 80-82 +260 Miami reached the postseason last year despite a minus-57 run differential. The offense again appears underwhelming, and it'll be more difficult to keep runs off the board with Sandy Alcantara, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett, and Eury P rez sidelined to start the campaign. Those four combined to throw over 500 innings in 2023.26. Kansas City Royals Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport / Getty PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 71-91 76-86 +475 After a strong offseason, the Royals could make some noise in a weak division. They improved the pitching staff by adding Michael Wacha, Seth Lugo, Will Smith, and John Schreiber. Kansas City also looks like it finally has an ace in Cole Ragans. Budding superstar Bobby Witt Jr. leads an underrated lineup that may surprise.27. Washington Nationals PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 58-104 66-96 +1800 The Nationals punched above their weight last season, winning 71 games despite playing in a tough division. Adding Joey Gallo, Eddie Rosario, and Jesse Winker could incrementally increase the team's victories. But Washington will need CJ Abrams, Lane Thomas, Josiah Gray, and MacKenzie Gore to continue upward trajectories if it stands any chance of making a significant jump in the standings.28. Chicago White Sox PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 67-95 67-95 +2200 The White Sox are entering another rebuild. New general manager Chris Getz completely remade the roster by trading away several veterans while letting others depart in free agency. Chicago carved up a lot of playing time for younger players, and the club will see what it has in Garrett Crochet and Michael Soroka in the rotation. It'll be interesting to see if Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jim nez stick around through the campaign.29. Oakland Athletics PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 65-97 72-90 +2800 The Athletics' rebuild continues after averaging 107 losses per season over the last two years. Yet, there's some hope youngsters like Zack Gelof, JJ Bleday, and Shea Langeliers can become reliable impact players. The rotation looks better with veterans Alex Wood and Ross Stripling leading the way.30. Colorado Rockies PECOTA Projection FanGraphs Projection Playoff Odds 57-105 63-99 +2500 Aside from adding Cal Quantrill and Dakota Hudson to the rotation, the Rockies' extension of shortstop Ezequiel Tovar was their biggest offseason business. Even if Kris Bryant remains healthy, Colorado looks destined for its third straight last-place finish because the rest of the division is that much better.Copyright © 2024 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Wednesday, Mar 27, 2024

The Score1 player from each MLB team standing out in spring

Every spring, there are a number of MLB players who open eyes with strong performances in the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues. Here, we look at a player from each team who's made an impact.*All stats from spring training gamesRyne Nelson, Diamondbacks Norm Hall / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP ERA WHIP K 20.1 2.66 1.43 26 Nelson has been effective so far this spring as he tries to lock up the No. 5 spot in Arizona's rotation to start the season. The 26-year-old struggled to the tune of a 5.31 ERA and 1.42 WHIP over 27 starts last season but will be counted on early in the campaign with Eduardo Rodriguez sidelined.Chris Sale, Braves Julio Aguilar / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP ERA WHIP K 11.2 3.86 1.20 17 The Braves surprised many when they acquired Sale from the Red Sox. The veteran left-hander struggled through injuries over the past few seasons. Atlanta is hoping to keep Sale healthy when the postseason rolls around to give them a formidable top of the rotation alongside Spencer Strider, who has been his dominant self in spring, and Max Fried. The 34-year-old looks primed for a big season, flashing his trademark brilliance so far this spring.Colton Cowser, Orioles Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 18 6 13 .304/.418/.717 1.135 Cowser struggled in his first 26 MLB games last season, hitting just .115 with zero home runs. Jackson Holliday has dominated the conversation at Orioles camp so far this spring, but Cowser, the team's No. 2 prospect, put together quite an audition to secure a roster spot for Opening Day.Ceddanne Rafaela, Red Sox Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 21 3 8 .281/.339/.544 .883 Rafaela has put himself in position to earn the Opening Day center field job for the Red Sox after Rob Refsnyder broke his toe. The 23-year-old is a consensus top-100 prospect on most lists and has showcased his five-tool potential this spring. The development of Rafaela will be one of the more exciting storylines for Red Sox fans to follow in 2024.Shota Imanaga, Cubs Chris Coduto / Getty Images Sport / Getty Innings ERA WHIP Strikeouts 9.2 4.66 1.24 19 The Cubs handed Imanaga a four-year, $53-million contract, hoping he could emerge as a No. 2 or No. 3 in the rotation. The 30-year-old has already shown flashes of what he might be capable of this spring, punching out nine batters in his first start against Oakland. Imanaga has good command and a variety of different offerings to throw at hitters with two strikes.Eloy Jim nez, White Sox Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 18 2 13 .333/.370/.529 .899 Jim nez played 100 games for only the second time in his career last season but produced middling offensive numbers. The 27-year-old hasn't reached the 20-homer plateau since his rookie campaign in 2019. With the White Sox firmly in a rebuild, Jim nez could emerge as a prime trade chip if he's able to carry over his strong spring performance into the regular season.Elly De La Cruz, Reds Dylan Buell / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP 2B 3B HR SB AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 17 3 2 2 5 .280/.379/.540 .919 De La Cruz had an up-and-down rookie season, setting the house on fire right out of the gate before slumping badly down the stretch. The 22-year-old already ranks among the game's most electrifying players. If he can find a bit more consistency at the plate, the sky is the limit for De La Cruz heading into his first full MLB season.Shane Bieber, Guardians Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty IP ERA K WHIP OPP AVG 17.1 1.56 19 0.81 .130 Bieber is entering his final season under contract and looking to rebound after a less-than-stellar performance in 2023. The 2020 AL Cy Young has flashed some increased velocity so far this spring, raising hope in Cleveland that a return to his past form might be in the cards for 2024. Bieber could emerge as one of the season's most interesting trade candidates if Cleveland falls out of contention and he stays both healthy and productive on the mound.Michael Toglia, Rockies Diamond Images / Diamond Images / Getty GP 2B HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 21 3 5 13 .260/.339/.620 .959 Toglia's power has been on full display during spring training. The 25-year-old has had issues with strikeouts during his career but made some improvements in 78 Triple-A games last season. Toglia appears ticketed for the minors to start the season but should get another MLB opportunity at some point in 2024.Andy Ib ez, Tigers Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 20 5 11 .279/.333/.674 1.007 Ib ez showed some promise last season and appears to have carried some of that momentum into the spring. The 30-year-old has shown good knowledge of the strike zone throughout his career and has the offensive profile to be an effective bench piece for a Tigers team looking to contend in the AL Central.Ronel Blanco, Astros Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP ERA K WHIP OPP AVG 15.2 0.00 18 0.64 .118 Blanco's spring performance has been a huge development as the Astros navigate several injuries in the rotation, including ones to Justin Verlander and Jos Urquidy. The 30-year-old is expected to begin the season as either the No. 4 or No. 5 in the rotation.Nick Pratto, Royals Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 13 4 13 .421/.476/.816 1.292 The Royals optioned Pratto to Triple-A despite his monster numbers this spring. The 2017 first-round pick struggled last season, posting a 79 wRC+ with a 40% strikeout rate. He could earn another look at the major-league level with a strong start to the season.Aaron Hicks, Angels Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty GP 2B HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 17 3 2 6 .385/.510/.667 1.177 Hicks resurrected his career with the Orioles last season, hitting seven home runs with an .806 OPS after a trade from the Yankees. The Angels added Hicks on a league-minimum deal, and he's looking to secure an outfield spot for Opening Day. He's outperformed former top prospect Jo Adell to this point in spring.James Outman, Dodgers MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / Getty GP 2B HR .AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 12 3 2 .345/.441/.655 1.096 Outman's spring performance flew under the radar amid the hype at Dodgers camp surrounding Shohei Ohtani. The 26-year-old put together a nice rookie campaign but struggled at times, especially against left-handed pitching. It appears the Dodgers are going to give him every opportunity as the starting center fielder in 2024. A.J. Puk, Marlins Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP ERA WHIP K OPP AVG 13.2 1.32 1.17 23 .231 The Marlins have been ravaged by injuries in the rotation to Sandy Alcantara, Braxton Garrett, Edward Cabrera, and Eury P rez. Puk is making the shift back to starting after spending time as Miami's closer in 2023. The left-hander was drafted as a starter in the first round back in 2016 and is showing why he was a highly-touted prospect with his performance this spring.Eric Haase, Brewers Michael Reaves / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP 2B HR .AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 17 3 4 .378/.452/.784 1.236 The veteran catcher has opened some eyes at Brewers camp with an impressive showing at the plate. Haase struggled mightily last season but was an above-average offensive player, totaling 36 home runs over the 2021 and 2022 seasons. The 31-year-old appears to have done enough to earn the backup catcher spot behind William Contreras.Bailey Ober, Twins David Berding / Getty Images Sport / Getty Innings ERA WHIP Strikeouts 10 4.50 1.20 16 Ober had a breakout season in 2023, registering a 3.43 ERA and 9.1 K/9 across 144 1/3 innings. The right-hander has carried that momentum over and appears primed to build off last season's success. Ober's velocity has ticked up this spring, and he earned the praise of Phillies star Bryce Harper after an outing against Philadelphia.Luis Severino, Mets Newsday LLC / Newsday / Getty Innings ERA WHIP Strikeouts 14 1.29 0.71 12 The Mets took a gamble on Severino after he posted a 6.65 ERA in 89 1/3 innings for the Yankees last season. The veteran right-hander has looked sharp on the mound in spring with strong velocity as he aims to stay healthy and recapture some of his past form. Juan Soto, Yankees New York Yankees / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP 2B HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 15 3 4 10 .326/.396/.674 1.070 Soto looks primed to return to his perch as one of the game's best offensive players after two years that were slightly below the lofty standard he set early in his career. The 25-year-old should give the Yankees baseball's most intimidating offensive duo alongside 2022 AL MVP Aaron Judge. Soto seems set on testing free agency next winter, and the stars appear to be aligned for him to put together a monstrous walk season in the Bronx.Mason Miller, Athletics Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images IP ERA WHIP K OPP AVG 6.2 4.05 1.05 11 .200 The Athletics moved Miller to a bullpen role after he made six starts last season. The 25-year-old has an impressive fastball that can reach triple digits and pairs it with a good slider. Miller has all the tools to earn the closer's role in Oakland and could be one of the most exciting Athletics to watch in 2024. Whit Merrifield, Phillies Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty GP 2B HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 15 6 2 7 .390/.390/.732 1.122 The Phillies signed Merrifield to a one-year, $8-million contract with plans to have him fill a utility role at a handful of different positions. The 35-year-old's skill set feels like an ideal fit for a team that has visions of yet another deep October run.Oneil Cruz, Pirates Ben Jackson / Major League Baseball / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 15 7 14 .273/.347/.773 1.120 A devastating ankle injury limited Cruz to only nine games in 2023. The young star's declared himself fully healthy this spring, and his performance at the plate drives that home. Cruz has been hitting the ball with authority, including a home run with an exit velocity of 116 mph. The Pirates are a trendy sleeper pick in a less-than-stellar NL Central. A healthy and productive season from Cruz would go a long way to helping Pittsburgh play its way into contention for the first time in almost a decade.Jackson Merrill, Padres Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP 2B HR RBI SB AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 13 3 2 6 2 .351/.400/.595 .995 Merrill forced the Padres' hand with a strong spring performance, earning the club's starting center field job. The 21-year-old is one of baseball's premier prospects, thanks in part to a polished offensive profile that utilizes all parts of the field effectively. Merrill should be a mainstay for the Friars for many years to come.Matt Chapman, Giants Christian Petersen / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 9 2 .280/.400/.560 .960 Chapman's looked sharp at the plate and in the field despite getting a late start to spring after signing in early March. The Gold Glove third baseman should provide a huge boost to the Giants, who ranked 21st in fWAR and 23rd in wRC+ at the position in 2023.Jorge Polanco, Mariners John E. Moore III / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 16 3 15 .436/.511/.769 1.280 Polanco looks very comfortable at the plate in his first spring with the Mariners after he was acquired in a trade from the Twins. Seattle's second basemen combined to hit 17 home runs with a .212 average last season. Polanco is a lifetime .269 hitter with a 111 wRC+. He'll provide a major upgrade at the position in 2024.Alec Burleson, Cardinals Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 19 4 1 .364/.442/.523 .965 Burleson appears ticketed for left field to start the season with the Cardinals navigating injuries to Tommy Edman and Lars Nootbaar. The versatile Burleson does a good job putting the ball in play and avoiding strikeouts with a career 13.5% strikeout rate. He's struck out in just three of 43 at-bats this spring. Zack Littell, Rays Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images Sport / Getty IP ERA WHIP K OPP AVG 13.1 1.35 1.13 13 .240 The Rays will be counting on Littell to become a consistent performer in the rotation with injuries to Shane McClanahan, Drew Rasmussen, and Jeffrey Springs. Littell had a career season in 2023 and has carried over some of that momentum into spring training.Wyatt Langford, Rangers Steph Chambers / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 19 6 20 .375/.429/.732 1.161 The fourth overall pick from last summer's draft has showcased his immense power potential so far this spring, utilizing all parts of the field to earn an Opening Day roster spot. Langford only played five games at Triple-A last season but made a strong case that he's ready to showcase his skills at baseball's highest level.Alejandro Kirk, Blue Jays Alika Jenner / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 14 3 9 .342/.390/.684 1.074 Kirk's hit the ground running so far this spring after a so-so performance at the plate in 2023. The Blue Jays will be heavily reliant on Kirk early in the season with catching partner Danny Jansen sidelined due to a broken bone in his wrist. Kirk returning to All-Star form would go a long way to helping the Blue Jays rebound from a disappointing offensive season last year.James Wood, Nationals Rich Storry / Getty Images Sport / Getty GP HR RBI BB AVG/OBP/SLG OPS 22 4 7 10 .372/.509/.721 1.230 Wood was one of the big pieces the Nationals acquired in the Juan Soto blockbuster in 2022. The 21-year-old already looks like a future building block for the Nationals with five-tool potential. Wood hit a few impressive home runs this spring and despite failing to make the Opening Day roster, it might not be long until he makes is MLB debut. Copyright © 2024 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Monday, Mar 25, 2024


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