Thursday, September 05, 2013

Dodgers Fourth in ESPN's MLB Future Power Rankings

ESPN did an assessment of how the 30 MLB teams are set up for the next five years (link insider only). The media-darling Cardinals took first place, but the Dodgers took fourth (behind the Red Sox and Rangers as well):

We've once again asked three of our top baseball analysts -- Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney -- to rank all 30 teams in five different categories (see table) in an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years. [...]


  • MAJORS (full weight): Quality of current big league roster
  • MINORS (full weight): Quality and quantity of prospects in their farm system
  • FINANCE (2/3 weight): How much money do they have to spend?
  • MANAGEMENT (2/3 weight): Value and stability of ownership, front office and coaching staff
  • MOBILITY (1/3 weight): Do they have a lot of young, cheap players, or old, immovable guys?


The bar graphs reflect the average points given by the voters for each category.

The Overview

With the way most clubs are now locking up their young talent years before free agency, it's becoming a lot harder for big-market clubs to spend their way into contention. The Dodgers, however, are trying their best to prove that enough spending makes anything possible. They shocked the baseball world in 2012 by spending big on Cuban defector Yasiel Puig and taking on a number of "bad" contracts via trade, such as those of Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez. So far, so good. -- Buster Olney

The Dilemma

The Dodgers have four talented and well-compensated outfielders and only three starting spots. It's hard to imagine that Puig, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are all on the 2014 Opening Day roster, and they have to figure out a way to optimize one of those assets on the trade market. -- Jim Bowden

The New "Guy"

Lefty Julio Urias just turned 17 last week, but he has been extremely effective as a starter in the low Class A Midwest League, showing above-average velocity and the potential for as many as three-plus pitches when he fills out. -- Keith Law

Rounding out the NL West: the Diamondbacks ranked 16th (49.2), Padres 20th (40.7), Giants 23rd (38.5), and Rockies 27th (27.9). The Brewers were 30th (14.3). The Angels ranked 26th (30.4).