30: Milwaukee Brewers– They’re a rebuilding team in a tough division, outside of their “Watch the Game with Your Dog and Eat a Free Dog” promotion and their mascot Hank, they don’t have much to look forward to in the immediate future. They have two established stars in Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy, one with a tarnished reputation and one already packing his bags, and basically no one else. This team looks like the discarded extras of the Astros, when they were bottom of the league. It worked out for Detroit, but for every JD Martinez there’s Nameless Player A we don’t hear of ever again. The pitching staff is lead by Matt Garza, not a good thing to say about a rotation in 2016. Wily Peralta clocks in as one of the hardest throwing hurlers in baseball, but he’s still pretty terrible. It’s not all bad, Scooter Gennet is still one of the coolest names in baseball and their logo is still the best as well; but Miller is a bad beer and so is this team.
29: Atlanta Braves – This team will be good soon, we can thank the Diamondbacks for that, but it’s not this year. Freddie Freeman isn’t surrounded by good hitters, but it’s not like he was surrounded by any good players last year. He’ll finally get some lineup protection when he’s on the decline. Losing Andrelton Simmons can’t have a positive effect for this young pitching staff. I’m so happy his glove is out of the NL East though. I didn’t even realize Michael Bourne was still in the majors, but he may be starting for this team as an everyday player. I bet Shelby Miller really dislikes sports media, he’s been lambasted as a poor prize on both trades he’s been involved with. Poor guy goes from the Can’t do Wrong Cardinals to the Diamondbacks and somehow still ends up with Tony La Russa. Julio Tehran doesn’t look like an ace anymore, but I’m sure if the Braves offered they’d be able to get another #1 pick from the Diamondbacks for him. I’d be afraid being a Braves fan, they’re the worst team in one of the weakest divisions in baseball…for now.
28: Colorado Rockies – I didn’t really understand the Jose Reyes trade at the time and with the Corey Dickerson trade this team makes even less sense to me. The Rockies really dicked over their fanbase trading one of their best team controlled players for a reliever. Jake McGee is good, but rarely do relief pitchers turnaround a miserable team good. Poor Reyes, he hasn’t been on a contending team in almost 10 years. Arenado is a stud, but because he doesn’t walk some baseball analysts find flaws in his greatness. The guy’s a great hitter and defender, but he’s no Joey Votto. I don’t have any faith in the management here and I don’t expect the Rockies to have Blackmon or Gonzalez by the trade deadline, but I also don’t trust them to net anything worthwhile either. How many pitchers have the Rockies ruined by drafting them? How disappointing it must be for a pitcher drafted by the Rockies, all his hopes and dreams for nothing. They still have a potent lineup and a beautiful stadium, so they have that going for them. Coors is a piss poor beer and this is a poorly run team.
27: Seattle Mariners – I think Felix Hernandez’s body has finally had enough. He wasn’t bad last year, well besides a couple of atrocious starts, but he’s thrown at least 190 innings for 10 years and his velocity has steadily declined as well. If Game of Thrones has taught me anything it’s that kings can only sit on the throne for so long before coming to a sudden and brutal end. If there’s something that I should have known going into last year when the Mariners had mildly hopeful expectations it was that Seattle baseball fans won’t ever be happy. Of course this team disappointed last year and they’ll do it again this year. They’ve never had a World Series appearance despite having 3 no brainer Hall of Famers on their team at the same time, say what you want about Arod’s personality but he has Hall of Fame numbers and a surprisingly promising career in broadcasting. Also despite having the team with the most wins in a season ever, they can’t win a pennant . Their prospects haven’t panned out in years, outside of the King, why is anyone excited for Taijuan Walker? He’s doomed, I don’t care if he showed promise last year. James Paxton won’t stay healthy, they have the less talented Seager, and Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz won’t age gracefully. I don’t know how they convinced Iwakuma to come back, Ichiro’s ghost? Stock in Starbucks? The Mariners make Seattle Pilot fans grateful their team left.
26: Philadelphia Phillies – I think we were too tough on Cheesesteak Amaro Jr., it’s not like any of the prospects he gave up were All-Stars and he got a ton of talent in return, albeit aging old talent. Sure the Ryan Howard contract was awful, but he somehow convinced Cliff Lee to stay there for less money and is it really his fault that 3 of the 4 dream team aces all got decimated from injuries? Yeah, they were old. Still, I’m impressed with his ambition. His contracts and talent evaluations were terrible, but at least he made things interesting. This year the Phillies don’t have Cole Hamels and without him the team doesn’t have any good veteran players. Utley and Rollins are gone so it’s just a fresh batch of nobodies on this team now, and Ryan Howard. At least there seems to be a ton of promise in Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola, and Odubel Herrera. JP Crawford should be MLB ready soon too and by all scouting reports he impresses. Jonathan Papelbon is gone! That has to help. Dominic Brown was really good for that one month a couple years ago, maybe the Phillies can too? For one month.
25: Cincinnati Reds – I was way too high on this team last year, and maybe if they weren’t in the NL Central they could have had some chance of being competitive and make me look like smart for once, but they didn’t. They lost a couple of their better players in Frazier, Cueto, and Leake and now have to rely on a bunch of rookies in the rotation, but somehow Cingrani still doesn’t have a definite spot. Who is he competing with?! He was really good not too long ago. A quite resurgence from star first baseman Joey Votto didn’t amount to much, but if Billy Hamilton and Jay Bruce don’t improve their OBP then Votto will have yet another reason to not swing his bat, “This is how you take a pitch boys!” Votto is the hero all boys too afraid to swing their bat in little league look up to. There is some good news though, Devin Mesoraco should be healthier this year and Raisel Iglesias had a promising end to the season. I think people have finally given up on Jay Bruce breaking out, so this is the year he finally puts it all together! It’s a three team race in the Central, there aren’t enough wins for everyone.
24. San Diego Padres – I feel bad for San Diegans, they just lost their NFL team and have no solace in watching their baseball team. For a few short weeks last year the Padres were interesting, and now they’re back to being forgettable.
BJ Melvin Upton somehow had a higher WAR than Matt Kemp last year…just how bad is Kemp’s defense? I didn’t think that was possible to be worse than Melvin Upton. Wil Myers finishes off this outfield and has the most promise and upside, just give him one year without any wrist issues and he can probably carry this team to just above mediocrity. The top three starters in the rotation are all good, but all have their flaws that will keep them from becoming a true ace. I’m still surprised the Padres traded away Tyson’s little brother, they could have had two very good brother pitchers in their rotation and it would have been so cool! I guess they were scared off of the Upton brother’s successful team up. If I lived in San Diego I’d rather watch the news than sports.
23: Baltimore Orioles – I’m not sure where I see improvements on this team to make them too much better than last year, but then again, I don’t see any dominant team in the AL East either so any one of those teams could end up winning the division. Manny Machado performed to his potential last year and while he’s young and could easily maintain this level of production, I’m a little worried about his knees. Chris Davis just signed a huge contract even though no other team was pursuing him for that price or that many years. If he regresses to 2014 numbers then this team may have signed their very own Ryan Howard. The rotation has never been a strength, even when they were a good team, but at least there are some pitchers in there with some upside. Then again, I can’t remember a successful homegrown Orioles pitcher. I think Jonathan Schoop breaks out in a big way this year, but Wieters continues to disappoint. Birds of a feather flock together, and like their Raven cousin, this team disappoints.
23. Oakland A’s – This team doesn’t look good and feels very injury prone, but I could still see this team surprisingly making a playoff run. The AL doesn’t really have too many dominant teams, so if things fall just the right way I can see a lot of surprising teams making the playoffs, somehow the Rangers did it last year. Billy Butler didn’t make a splash (unlike when he cannonballs into the pool) last year and didn’t even make it on the A’s top 12 players by WAR. I would rank this team higher if I knew Beane wasn’t going to trade Gray away for a bunch of C rated prospects, but then again it might work. He traded away Donaldson a couple of years too early, but who wants to win with good players anyway? That’s too boring. Khris Davis should hit a ton of HRs and Billy Burns should steal a ton of bases, together they make for a great player. Stephen Vogt was the best offensive catcher in baseball last year until he wasn’t. This team was in the playoff race two years ago until they weren’t.