Yankees drop to 13th in ESPN’s Future Power Rankings

Spring Training Game Thread: Hey, It's Baseball
Open Thread: 3/15 Camp Notes

In an Insider-only piece, ESPN ranked all 30 teams based on what amounts to the health of the franchise going forward. Strength of the Major League roster and farm system were considered, ditto the team’s finances, management, and roster flexibility. The Red Sox top the rankings with a score of 89.1 (out of 100) while the Marlins bring up the rear at 20.4. The Cardinals (82.3) are the only other team over 76.

The Yankees dropped to 13th with a score of 51.6. They have progressively fallen from second (79.6) before the 2012 season to fifth (65.9) before last season to 11th (53.8) after last season. From what I see, the Yankees held steady in the Major League talent, financial, and management categories while dropping in farm system and roster flexibility. Makes sense. These rankings don’t really mean anything, but by far the easiest way for New York to climb will be improving their minor league system.

Spring Training Game Thread: Hey, It's Baseball
Open Thread: 3/15 Camp Notes
  • RetroRob

    I think they also dropped in overall management rating from two years back by a decent amount, impacting their overall rating, but yes, an improvement in the minor leagues pretty much will address the other areas where they fell short.

    • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks)

      Damn, If they only had the equivalent of 5 First Rounders infusing the Farm System with talent. Maybe the Massive Spending Spree in International Free Agents that we’ve heard about as a possible Plan A for this summer will help too.

      • RetroRob

        That is the hope!

        I don’t think it means a heck of whole lot. It’s almost a backward looking rating, not telling us much about the state of the organization today. It’s also basically the opinion of three people. I’d be more interested if I could see how each of the three ranked the Yankees and other teams. I have more faith, for example, in Klaw’s opinion than I do Buster Olney’s. I’m not an Olney basher. He’s a good reporter. Not a good analyst.

        • RetroRob

          And I should add in case it’s not obvious. It’s supposed to be a forward-looking power ranking, yet I think it’s based more on data that looks backward, making it pretty useless, but one of those things that’s good for discussion before real baseball starts!

  • EndlessJose

    How is the Red Sox a team without question marks.Without HGH Otiz they would have never won the World Series as no one hit above .200 in the series and their rotation minus Lester isn’t a sure thing.

    Remember Middlebrooks, Bogaerts and Bradley Jr are not sure things and are unproven.Yes the Red Sox won the championship last year but that’s when everything worked out perfectly for them.The Dodgers are the better team as their rotation is the best.

    • I

      It’s the same question I’ve been asking myself all offseason. Obviously we are Yankee fans and there will be some negative Red Sox bias with our comments, but dead honest truth, the Red Sox are currently fielding a very average middle of the pack team this year. I have zero idea what they PROFESSIONAL sports writers are looking at. I think someone in the Boston Herald or elsewhere did say “hold on a second, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” The Red Sox were dreadful in 2012. They moved all that money. They won in 13 (which, I still feel was an overachievement, but deserved). I do believe when we look up at the end of 2014, the Red Sox will be somewhere in the range of 81-84 wins.

      First: their outfield is not very good at all. Sizemore, oddly, could be their best outfielder this season and that alone, says a lot. Victorino is a nice complimentary player out there, but he’s had his bumps and bruises and has never graded highly defensively (please consider his time on Phillies). Who else? Gomes? Nice guy, but a platoon player. Nava? Seriously? Guy is another nice bench option, has his annual (I’m going to hit 6 homers this week and that’s it for the season) stretch and then Bradley? An unproven prospect who actually might not be as good as advertised.

      Infield: Middlebrooks is hit or miss and jury still out. I bet it’s not pretty ultimately. Bogearts? Really great upside, however two ab’s in the post season and people are talking that he is worth something like $400m. Pedroia we all know. Great guy and player, but does get hurt. I don’t think Napoli will have a great season. Something tells me he has a lot of little bumps and bruises this year.

      Pitching: This is the most laughable of them all (although they OF is pretty scary). They have an entire collection of 3’s and 4’s. No one will argue this. Lester is their best pitcher right? Everyone sees him as a #3 (maybe a #2 at times). Buchholz has talent, but has yet to get through a single season healthy. Lackey? Peavey also is a bit of an injury risk. Who else? Dubrount? He is Nova light and Nova has better upside (comparison player). Then they have some great arms on the farm sure, but….BUT!!!!

      As it’s been statistically proven, that better than 70% of prospects fail. This is what I find most humorous about these articles. The same people that profess their love and belief the Red Sox are in the best shape organizationally, are the same people that write articles saying that most prospects don’t work out. So, which is it? The Red Sox have a nice farm at this very moment. They have, what 8,9,10 potentially good prospects? They’re lucky is just 2 make it to the big leagues and become impact players. Remember, this isn’t my opinion. It is statistically proven.

      Now, take this circling around with a Lester extension and it makes absolutely zero sense. Again, he is arguably their best and most consistent pitcher right? There are few high end free agent arms in the market the next year or two. So why are they screwing around? Way too much love is being given to the Sox at the moment and they are going to regret what they are doing. Mark my words. They are going to look up in two years and have a low payroll, great, but a bunch of “can’t miss prospects” which turns out they “missed” few players in the market and then what? Lackey, Ortiz, Napoli, all gone by then. In fact, by next year.

      I just don’t get it and I’ve been trying to understand what these people are looking at and writing about. We’ll, book mark this comment and remember it when the Sox are 83-79 at the end of 2014 and realize, “hey, maybe we should go buy a few players.”

      • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

        Ummm, they have beards. Hello?

      • Brandon

        I remember watching Opening Day last year on ESPN, which was filled with people related to the Red Sox, and they were just blowing Jackie Bradley Jr. I don’t know what’s so great about him. He looks like he’s going to be a bust. He might lose out to freaking Grady Sizemore. The Red Sox always have their prospects get overhyped.

    • I

      Well, I just read the article and the rational behind this ranking system is flawed. It’s mainly about future financial commitments and prospects, and not so much about current on the field product, which is pretty stupid. Great, the Red Sox will have lots of money to spend in 2016 and no one to buy and just one “can’t miss prospect” that made it. This won’t be too far off from the truth. Look at Sano, Medlen, and so many others. I HATE to see young players go through that. The current Red Sox team, on paper, really isn’t a top 10 team in 2014.

    • RetroRob

      I think their ratings related to finance, management and minors is more than fair. I think the ratings for the current MLB team is way too optimistic.

  • viridiana

    Farcical to put Boston on top. This was a team of dramatic over-achievers last year. Unlikely to get repeats from many — and key stars are either ageing or possible free agents. The farm looks good now — but let them have a year of injuries comparable to last two Yanks have suffered. In any case, they’ll need lots of help from farm to replace current players. They do have lots of cash to spend– but pickings may be slim in free agency. Looks to me like they should rank about nine or ten.

    • I

      I just wrote a much longer version of this above. It makes absolutely no sense.

    • I

      ..and I am not entirely saying the Yanks are underserving of their rank for most of the offseason, but the stuff written about the Red Sox has been very strange. I truly don’t think they are any better than say the BlueJays at the moment.

  • Shocked

    NESPN put the Red Sox at number 1? How…predictable.

    • Mr. Roth

      ESPN never misses an opportunity to give the Red Sox a handjob under the bleachers.

      • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

        No doubt about it. 3/4s of their smartass, know it all, on air personalities are known Boston fans. I’ve also heard that the men’s restrooms in ESPNs broadcast facilities are equivalent to early 80s San Francisco bath houses.

  • LarryM Fl

    I do not care where the other 29 teams fall even if the scoring is tainted. The Yankees have not improved their farm system when it was mentioned as a priority a few years back by Cashman. I understand and agree to a certain extent on the Mission Statement of this team but there comes a time when doing the same thing over and over is just plane wrong.

    The Yankees have got to bite the bullet soon or this franchise could be in deep do do for many years. The teams all have money and the squeeze is on the Yanks.

    • Kenn

      Sounds right to me.

      It’s a franchise in decline and hasn’t figured out how to counter the new $$$ advantages so many other teams now have or the various field-leveling maneuvers introduced during the Selig years. In the past, one of their big advantages has been staying ahead of the management curve in the business of baseball: e.g., by plowing profits back into the time in the 1920s, by getting quickly onto the minor-league bandwagon in the 1930s and going further with it than their rivals, and then by the audacity with which they more or less took over “free agency,” making it into a kind of Yankee phenomenon at which others teams now and then tried their hand. That first move was a tribute to Col. Jake’s generosity and acumen. Later Jake followed Barrow on the minor leagues. And then in the 1970s, there was George’s genius in getting the Yankees back into the WS.

      The jury seems still out on whether Hal has the kind of savvy to master the present historical crisis.

      This particular ranking, for whatever worth it may really have, seems (in the second-hand way I’m understanding it) more or less fair. This is not an organization that is scaring anyone. Even Baltimore’s announcers, today, had a sad note of condescension as they reported on the un-identified pundits who were picking the team to finish “at the bottom” of the AL East.

      If they get good performances from CC, Kuroda, Ivan, and Tanaka, they won’t be finishing anywhere near the bottom. But one understands why there may be skepticism about them. Doesn’t take long for an aged team to become a paltry thing.

  • Brandon

    Not shocking Eating Sox Penises Nightly ranks the Bearded Scumbags Number One.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Obviously not signing Stephen Drew hurt here.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      Complete garbage.

      They picked the wrong Sizemore.

    • Mr. Roth

      If the Red Sox resigned Stephen Drew they actually would have gotten a perfect 100 score.

  • Giancarlo Murphy

    The best way to climb in the rankings might be to improve the farm system, but the easiest would be for the Dodgers to take on A-Rod, Teixeira, and CC’s contracts for prospects and expiring contracts.

  • http://riveravenueblues Blubber123

    Boston has all the intangibles.

    After all, they are comprised solely of down to earth, lunch bucket, blue collar, scrappers who just want to compete for the love of the game and their fans. In fact, they would gladly play this game free. You know, dirt dogs.

    Oh, and they also have beards.

  • BigLoving

    I am actually happy about this since ESPN rankings are always garbage and their goal has shifted to becoming the TMZ of sports.

    • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

      “the TMZ of sports”

      they’re shameless about it.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    You guys aren’t measuring intangibles like “grit”