Way-too-early 2024 MLB power rankings

ByDavid Schoenfield ESPN logo
Thursday, November 2, 2023

The Rangers have done it! They've won their first World Series in franchise history, beating the Diamondbacks in five games in what was one of the most surprising Series matchups ever.

Now that the Fall Classic is over, it's time to turn our attention to 2024 -- and we're kicking that off with some way-WAY-too-early power rankings.

Where do Texas and Arizona rank after theirexhilarating World Series runs? Were the Braves and Dodgers hurt by their division-round knockouts? And where did the Orioles and Astros land? Let's get right into it!

Final 2023 regular-season Power Rankings| Grades for every team

1. Atlanta Braves

2023 record: 104-58

2023 final ranking: 1

After losing to the Phillies in the division series for a second straight season, there was a lot made in Atlanta about the Braves lacking the necessary intestinal fortitude required to win in October. It can't be a coincidence. Changes need to be made. The one player Braves fans seemed to defend the most was Spencer Strider, even though he's 0-3 against the Phillies in those two series.

Let's not forget that many of these same players were part of a World Series roster just two years ago. What, you want to trade Ronald Acuna Jr.? Dump Ozzie Albies and his $7 million-per-year contract? Look, no doubt the rotation was a bit of a mess by the end of the season, with Charlie Morton injured, Max Fried pitching through a blister issue and Bryce Elder struggling. Alex Anthopoulos will no doubt address the bullpen and perhaps add a veteran starter, but the lineup that became the first ever to slug .500 remains intact, and that will make the Braves the team to beat.

2. Texas Rangers

2023 record: 90-72

2023 final ranking: 5

Well, that was quite the ride ... and there are reasons to expect the Rangers will be even better in 2024. An offense that led the AL in runs will now be adding Evan Carter for a full season, and 2023 first-round pick Wyatt Langford looks like a potential superstar after hitting .360/.480/.677 and reaching Triple-A in his pro debut. All the starting pitching options will be back except for free agent Jordan Montgomery, and given his postseason success you wonder if the Rangers will make a hard pitch to bring him back. You can never have too much starting pitching, especially given the various health concerns with Max Scherzer, Nathan Eovaldi, Jon Gray and Jacob deGrom. You can also never have too much relief pitching either, and that will be the offseason priority. How about signing free agent Josh Hader as the new closer?

3. Baltimore Orioles

2023 record: 101-61

2023 final ranking: 2

When the Rangers swept Baltimore in the ALDS the general reaction seemed to be, "Oh, the Orioles weren't really that good anyway," which felt like an in-the-moment dismissal of a team that won 101 games. Perhaps that win-loss record did overrate the Orioles' true talent level -- their Pythagorean record was 94-68 -- but the good news is there is more young talent on the way to join Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez, including Jackson Holliday who emerged as the game's top prospect -- plus Heston Kjerstad, Coby Mayo and catcher/first baseman Samuel Basallo, who hit .313/.402/.551 while reaching Double-A at 19.

The question: How will Mike Elias reinforce the pitching staff? Starting pitching is the strength of an otherwise weak free agent class: Nola, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, Sonny Gray and Japanese right-hander Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who is expected to be posted after a sensational season (1.16 ERA, just two home runs allowed in 171 innings), top the list. Whether the Orioles fork over a nine-figure contract remains to be seen, maybe they'll trade from their prospect depth instead. Either way, it's time for the organization to make a big move for the rotation.

4. Philadelphia Phillies

2023 record: 90-72

2023 final ranking: 6

There are two ways to view the Phillies: (1) They've defeated the Braves two years in a row in the postseason; (2) They've finished 14 games behind the Braves in the NL East each of the past two seasons. That's aside from the shocking loss to the Diamondbacks in the NLCS, which did expose a few weaknesses: The lineup, even with Kyle Schwarber and Bryce Harper, doesn't draw a lot of walks; they also strike out a lot. In other words, some of these guys can be pitched to, and Arizona exploited those holes. The other problem, of course, was Craig Kimbrel. He's a free agent, and the team will need a new closer -- either from within or perhaps Philadelphia will be among the teams chasing Hader.

Still, few can match the Phillies' frontline talent, and they return all their key players except longtime starter Aaron Nola, who heads into free agency. Re-signing him -- or replacing him -- will be an offseason priority (with an eye towards Zack Wheeler's free agency after 2024 as well). Maybe they'll count on top prospect Mick Abel (fellow prospect Andrew Painter underwent Tommy John surgery in July), but Nola's durability is a big plus, and you have to think Dave Dombrowski will make a run at bringing him back.

5. Houston Astros

2023 record: 90-72

2023 final ranking: 9

Losing all four home games in the ALCS was the exclamation point on a weird season for the Astros, one in which they battled injuries and had a losing record at home and then ended with Dusty Baker announcing his retirement.

Was winning 16 fewer games than they did in 2022 a sign that the Astros are finally getting old? Not really. Alex Bregman is entering his age-30 season, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker will be 27 and Jeremy Pena 26. Yainer Diaz should take over as the regular catcher after hitting 23 home runs as a rookie, and that will improve the offense. Jose Altuve is 34 but coming off a .311/.393/.522 season. Depth remains an issue for Houston offensively, but not star power. In the rotation, the Astros will have Justin Verlander for a full season but need Cristian Javier to show up more often in the regular season and Framber Valdez to rediscover his sinker.

Overall, the Astros will be loaded with hopes of another championship run. Indeed, the biggest issue may simply be mentally gearing up for another 162-game regular season. At some point they'll have to rebuild -- Bregman and Altuve are entering the final years of their deals -- but that time has yet to arrive.

6. Tampa Bay Rays

2023 record: 99-63

2023 final ranking: 4

The Rays are a tough team to evaluate. They're coming off an impressive 99-win season with the third-highest run differential in the majors, but the injuries to the starting rotation had piled up by the end of the season, and they'll be without Shane McClanahan in 2024 after Tommy John surgery. Tyler Glasnow's salary also jumps from $5.35 million to $25 million, which might put him on the trade block. Plus, there's the uncertainty of the Wander Franco investigation.

Still, the offense was terrific. Top prospects Junior Caminero and Curtis Mead should be ready to play major roles, and Shane Baz should be back from Tommy John surgery. And they'll probably find three relievers off the waiver wire and turn them into dominant arms.

7. Los Angeles Dodgers

2023 record: 100-62

2023 final ranking: 3

Deep breaths here. The Dodgers aren't facing an impending organizational collapse. Yes, that playoff loss to the Diamondbacks was embarrassing and all kinds of awful, and the rotation at season's end was messier than a 4-year-old eating a chocolate ice cream cone. Clayton Kershaw is a free agent with an unknown future, and Julio Urias will not be back. Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May will miss 2024 after Tommy John surgeries. That leaves Bobby Miller, a returning Walker Buehler, Emmet Sheehanand Ryan Pepiot as the rotation heading into the offseason -- plus a group of interesting starting pitching prospects in the upper minors, including Gavin Stone, Nick Frasso, River Ryan and Landon Knack. The cupboard isn't exactly barren here.

Plus, you know ... there's Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. And Will Smith. And Max Muncy. And James Outman had a nice rookie season. They'll have Gavin Lux back. Oh ... and they have plenty of payroll room to spend over the winter. Rumor is they may be looking at getting a certain superstar to make a 31.4-mile trip up I-5. Look, there are real concerns here: An unproven rotation, a lineup that was mostly a bunch of 30-somethings in 2023. But bet against the Dodgers at your own peril.

8. Seattle Mariners

2023 record: 88-74

2023 final ranking: 11

In an all-time foot-in-his-mouth moment, Mariners baseball operations head Jerry Dipoto told reporters during his end-of-season news conference that "We're actually doing the fan base a favor in asking their patience to win the World Series." He then explained his theory that winning 54% of games over a decade is the team's aspiration. The Mariners won 54% of their games in 2023 -- and missed the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Mariners have seen the Rangers leapfrog right over them in the AL West.

The rotation gives Seattle a high floor -- although I think that group is a little overrated. The Mariners were just 12th in the majors in rotation ERA on the road. Still, it's a strong foundation with Bryce Miller lining up behind Luis Castillo, George Kirby and Logan Gilbert. They'll hope to get Marco Gonzales back and Robbie Ray could return from Tommy John surgery later in the season. The offense finished eighth in the majors in runs on the road, but strikeouts were a problem -- second most in the majors. That's just too many whiffs to make a deep playoff run -- if they get in. What do they need to win, oh, 56% of their games? A left-handed, power-hitting DH would be nice. Know anybody who fits the bill?

9. Chicago Cubs

2023 record: 83-79

2023 final ranking: 13

The Cubs ended up missing the postseason by one win after losing five of their final six games, which head of baseball operations Jed Hoyer described as "Painfully, we did not finish the race. And you can't call something that falls short of your goals a success." Still, after posting a plus-96 run differential that ranked 10th in the majors, the Cubs are headed in the right direction, including having a slew of young players such as September call-ups Jordan Wicks and Pete Crow-Armstrong, Cade Horton, Ben Brown, Kevin Alcantara and even 2023 first-round pick Matt Shaw who could impact the major league roster in 2024.

They'll have to decide whether to pursue re-signing Cody Bellinger, and Marcus Stroman has an opt-out, so that could mean there are two big holes to fill. With Crow-Armstrong ready to take over in center field, maybe they let Bellinger walk, although that opens up a hole at first base where Matt Mervis may or not be the answer. Still, with so much promising young talent on the way, the Cubs have the flexibility to pursue free agents to plug some gaps.

10. Toronto Blue Jays

2023 record: 89-73

2023 final ranking: 8

Is there more in the tank here? After seasons of 92 and 89 wins that both ended in two-game sweeps in the AL Wild Card Series, the Jays are kind of stuck between contender and pretender with no clear path to improvement. On the positive side, Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi all return after making 30-plus starts with ERAs under 4.00. If Alek Manoah can figure out what went wrong, the rotation should again be one of the best in the majors. On offense, Matt Chapman, Brandon Belt and Kevin Kiermaier are all free agents so this lineup could look different in 2024. After ranking eighth in the AL in runs, they'll need to fill those holes. John Schneider is back as manager after his dubious decision to pull Berrios in the playoff game that was questioned by his own players and front office. I'm not sure he's a strength here -- given the health of the rotation in 2023, it's hard to say he got the most out of this club.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks

2023 record: 84-78

2023 final ranking: 12

The Diamondbacks squeaked into the postseason for the first time since 2017 and then had a memorable playoff run in beating the Brewers, Dodgers and Phillies to reach the World Series. It will be interesting to see what kind of offseason the front office pursues. After all, this was a team that was outscored during the regular season and relied on a red-hot bullpen in the postseason. There is an exciting young core here that should keep the D-backs in contention in upcoming years: Corbin Carroll will be 23, Gabriel Moreno 24, Alek Thomas 24, Geraldo Perdomo 24, with top prospect Jordan Lawlar ready to break into the lineup as well.

They'll have to improve the back of the rotation -- beginning with improvement from playoff hero Brandon Pfaadt, who had a 5.72 ERA in the regular season but showed in October that he has potential to be much improved in 2024. Ryne Nelson (5.31 ERA) will be given another opportunity in the rotation, and it makes sense to go after a veteran starter -- even an innings-eater like Kyle Gibson would help -- but the Diamondbacks should sense some weakness in the Dodgers and Padres and aim higher.

12. San Diego Padres

2023 record: 82-80

2023 final ranking: 17

I hate to use the term luck since you make your own luck, but the Padres were one of the unluckiest teams in MLB history, finishing 10 wins worse than their Pythagorean record. That came courtesy of a 9-23 record in one-run games, including 2-12 in extra innings. By FanGraphs' "clutch" factor, they were also the least clutch offensive team in the majors (they hit .210 in high-leverage situations).

They do have two premier free agents to replace in likely Cy Young winnerBlake Snelland closer Josh Haderand will need yet another new manager with Bob Melvin leaving for the Giants. The frontline talent is here to compete for a division title, and given how much the Padres have invested in this roster it seems unlikely they'll back off now. That's not to dismiss the possibility they trade Juan Soto as he enters his walk year and A.J. Preller hasn't exactly proven he can build the depth around his stars. Still, I think the Padres will be more competitive in 2024.

13. Minnesota Twins

2023 record: 87-75

2023 final ranking: 10

Ahh, the benefits of playing in a division where two teams are a mess, one is rebuilding and one is too cheap to improve its roster. OK, maybe saying that much of their success is simply the AL Central is a bit unfair to the Twins, who were six games over .500 outside the division (frankly, they should have done better within the division). Most importantly, the Twins ended that horrific 18-game postseason losing streak with a wild-card series win over the Blue Jays.

The strength of the team in 2023 was a starting rotation that led the majors in strikeout rate, but Cy Young contender Sonny Gray is a free agent, as are Kenta Maeda and (the often injured) Tyler Mahle, so that's 57 starts to fill. The offense was fifth in the AL in runs scored as Edouard Julien looks like he'll be an on-base machine, and Royce Lewis showed signs of potential stardom if he can stay healthy. If Lewis, Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton can all post and produce, the offense could be really good, but they are three big ifs given their health history. The offseason focus will likely center on adding a starting pitcher to replace Gray and perhaps a corner outfield bat (Joey Gallo was not a solution).

14. New York Yankees

2023 record: 82-80

2023 final ranking: 16

No team has more on the line this offseason than the Yankees, who are coming off their worst winning percentage since 1992 (although they avoided a losing season) and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Is Brian Cashman getting an unfair rap? After all, the Yankees won 99 games in 2022 and 100 and 103 in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Maybe, but the World Series drought is now at 14 years and the lack of left-handed power in recent years has been a strange approach to lineup construction given their home park.

The Yankees' best solutions have always been to just spend money (although not enough in recent years, according to Yankees fans), but the free agent market won't be too helpful here unless they can lure Shohei Ohtani to the Bronx (and they're kind of stuck with Giancarlo Stanton at DH already). This feels like a spot where they could overpay Cody Bellinger for his big 2023. Still, the pitching might be very good-to-dominant if Carlos Rodon and Nestor Cortes bounce back from injuries and with Michael King looking like a nice starter based on his late-season performance in the rotation. For now, we'll put them in the middle of the pack and note that there is upside here with the right tweaks and better health.

15. Boston Red Sox

2023 record: 78-84

2023 final ranking: 19

Chaim Bloom is out after four years as chief baseball officer, and former Red Sox reliever Craig Breslow, who has been in the Cubs' front office since 2019, takes over. No doubt owner John Henry has given him the mantra to win now, replacing Bloom's more cautious approach.

Luckily for Breslow, the Red Sox have a nice offensive foundation and Bloom did a nice job rebuilding what had been a weak farm system. On top of breakout seasons fromTriston Casas and Jarren Duran, prospects like Ceddanne Rafaela, Marcelo Mayer and Nick Yorke might be ready to contribute in 2024, with Roman Anthony and Kyle Teel perhaps a year away.

The problem is the rotation ranked 22nd in the majors in ERA. If ownership wants to win now that will mean purchasing some arms in free agency or trading away some of that young position player talent.

16. Milwaukee Brewers

2023 record: 92-70

2023 final ranking: 7

Of the six division winners, the Brewers feel like the team most likely to fall. First off, manager Craig Counsell -- arguably the best in the game -- is unsigned. Maybe he ends up going back to Milwaukee, or maybe David Stearns, his former boss, lures him to manage the Mets. We already know they'll be without Brandon Woodruff for all of 2024. The bullpen, which led the majors in win probability added, is likely to regress at least a little. Then there's the status of Corbin Burnes, with one season left until he's a free agent. Trading him might be an opportunity to add a young bat or two to a lineup that ranked 14th in the NL in slugging and OPS, with only Willy Adames cracking the 20-homer barrier.

17. New York Mets

2023 record: 75-87

2023 final ranking: 22

Hey, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer did end up reaching the LCS -- just not with the Mets, after the club gave up on 2023 at the trade deadline. What we know: Buck Showalter and Billy Eppler are out, and former Brewers GM Stearns takes over the baseball operations department. What we don't know: Are the Mets all-in for 2024? At his introductory news conference, Stearns played it down the middle: "We are going to do our best to put together a team in 2024 that is competitive. And we're going to do it in a way that does not detract from our competitiveness in the future years."

Stearns did more with less in Milwaukee, but now he'll have to prove he can do more with more. That didn't work for the Mets in 2023 and we're left to wonder if perhaps 2022, when the Mets won 101 games, was just a fluke season spliced between what remains a mediocre base of talent. Perhaps the best way to "thread the needle" -- as Stearns put it -- is to simply use owner Steve Cohen's money to go after Ohtani and Yamamoto, two players who will help in 2024 ... and beyond.

18. Detroit Tigers

2023 record: 78-84

2023 final ranking: 21

The Tigers appear to finally be moving in the right direction. They had a winning record in the second half, when the rotation had the seventh-best ERA in the majors. Tarik Skubal was a beast when he returned in July, with a 2.80 ERA in 15 starts and terrific peripherals. Reese Olson had a promising rookie season. If they can keep Matt Manning healthy (he had two separate IL stints after getting hit twice in the right foot), get Casey Mize back from Tommy John surgery and have Eduardo Rodriguez stick around (he has an opt-out clause), this could be a really good rotation.

That leaves the offense, which was better -- Spencer Torkelson finally broke out in the second half and finished with 31 home runs -- but still needs a lot of help. Colt Keith should plug the hole at third base after hitting .306 with 27 home runs in the minors. Getting Miguel Cabrera's $32 million off the books will be nice and, frankly, the Tigers have a lot of payroll room here. I'm not sure this is the year president of baseball ops Scott Harris decides to ramp up the payroll, especially given the weak market for free agents, but even some second-tier free agents would help the lineup depth.

19. Cincinnati Reds

2023 record: 82-80

2023 final ranking: 15

Look, there's no doubt the Reds were one of the fun stories of 2023, hanging in the wild-card race until the final few days of the season. Maybe I'm underrating them here; after all, there is the exciting class of rookie position players in Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Noelvi Marte to build upon (plus starters Andrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson). De La Cruz became an instant highlight sensation, but he's more hype than production right now (144 strikeouts and a .300 OBP in 98 games). I can't get past the rotation questions: a 5.43 ERA, 28th in the majors, and it didn't really improve over the course of the season. Cincinnati will have to upgrade the pitching -- perhaps dealing from that excess of young infielders -- to look like anything more than a .500 team.

20. Cleveland Guardians

2023 record: 76-86

2023 final ranking: 20

There are reasons to be optimistic about what Cleveland might do in 2024: The AL Central remains soft, and rookie starters Tanner Bibee, Logan Allen and Gavin Williams all impressed, combining for a 3.35 ERA across 65 starts. Hopefully,Triston McKenzie will be at full strength after injuries limited him to four starts, and Shane Bieber is still here -- although he's in his final year of arbitration, which means a trade is possible. The Guardians have to replace Terry Francona, however, and while it's impossible to give an exact number on wins a manager can add, we may just find out how valuable Francona has been. More problematic: fixing the offense, which ranked last in the majors in home runs, including at pathetic 18 from its outfielders.

21. Pittsburgh Pirates

2023 record: 76-86

2023 final ranking: 23

Are the Pirates making progress? Manager Derek Shelton thought so by the end of the season, saying he was encouraged by the team's final two months. "We're playing better baseball but we're also -- and this may sound a little different -- we're getting things out of the way," he said. I'm not sure exactly what Shelton meant, but it sounds like a nice way of saying this is no longer the atrocious 100-loss teams of 2021 and 2022. GM Ben Cherington even said the team would "have the resources we need to get better and to compete and contend" in 2024.

Of course, given owner Bob Nutting's history, what does that mean? Increasing payroll from $71 million to $100 million? Bottom line: The Pirates still have a long way to go. They were 24th in the majors in rotation ERA and 13th in the NL in runs. Top prospects Endy Rodriguez and Henry David hardly looked like impact players, and Davis had to play out of position in right field. It will help if No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes is ready to jump into the rotation, but they need to upgrade the infield.

22. Miami Marlins

2023 record: 84-78

2023 final ranking: 14

It was an exciting season for the Marlins: Their first winning season in a full schedule since 2009, their first playoff appearance in a full season since 2003, Luis Arraez winning the batting title, young starters Jesus Luzardo and Braxton Garrett making 30 starts for the first time and Eury Perez flashing signs of future stardom. So why the low ranking? The season ended with the controversial departure of GM Kim Ng and the stability of the organization once again teeters on the ledge.

I just don't think Miami enters the offseason in a strong position. The Marlins were minus-57 in run differential, with their record propped up by a 33-14 record in one-run games (and it's not like the bullpen was especially effective). They were last in the NL in runs scored. Ace Sandy Alcantara will miss the season with Tommy John surgery and the farm system is weak. The owner may be a problem. Good luck to the GM.

23. St. Louis Cardinals

2023 record: 71-91

2023 final ranking: 25

The Cardinals suffered their first losing season since 2007 and their first 90-loss season since 1990, so the front office will be tested more than it has been in decades in reshaping the club for 2024. There's certainly more talent here than your typical 91-loss team, but it's also important to remember that Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado produced an estimated 67 fewer runs than in 2022 -- and they're not getting any younger. Of course, the biggest challenge is fixing a rotation that ranked 26th in the majors with a 5.08 ERA -- and that could put president of baseball ops John Mozeliak in the uncomfortable position of spending some money on free agents.

24. San Francisco Giants

2023 record: 79-83

2023 final ranking: 18

The Giants lost 83 games and fired manager Gabe Kapler -- and they may have overachieved just to do that well (at least in the first half, when they were eight games over .500). Bob Melvin takes over at manager, and perhaps some of the thinking there is hiring the understated Melvin will help bring free agents to San Francisco. The second half exposed the team's lack of star talent, which is why Vegas oddsmakers have made the Giants one of the favorites to land Ohtani and why baseball operations president Farhan Zaidi made a recent trip to Japan to scout Yamamoto. GM Pete Putila was also in South Korea scouting center fielder Jung-hoo Lee. They'll also need to replace Brandon Crawford, the team's long-time shortstop. Marco Luciano was once the heir apparent, but his prospect hype has faded, and he may not be the answer.

25. Los Angeles Angels

2023 record: 73-89

2023 final ranking: 24

Take away Ohtani's 10.0 WAR and what are you left with? Let's do some quick math. With Ohtani, the Angels ranked 21st in the majors in WAR. Subtract 10 and they fall to 26th. Which is about where I'm putting them here. There's a non-zero chance they trade Mike Trout -- but given Trout played just 82 games and had the worst OPS of his career while turning 32 in August and is owed a ton of money through 2030, that feels unlikely. Obviously, their offseason hinges on re-signing Ohtani, but you do wonder what their Plan B might look like.

26. Washington Nationals

2023 record: 71-91

2023 final ranking: 26

The Nationals were last in this space a season ago and finished with a more respectable record than anticipated, avoiding the 100 losses many believed were coming. They worked in some young guys, with mixed results. The underlying talent here is still thin: They were last in the NL in home runs while allowing the most home runs, and that's not going to work. The rotation was also healthy with the top five starters combining for 143 starts -- that probably won't happen again. If Josiah Gray and MacKenzie Gore make a leap forward and James Wood and Dylan Crews can impact the offense in the second half, Washington will at least be interesting, but it wouldn't shock me to see regression back to 100 losses (unless additions are made in the offseason).

27. Oakland Athletics

2023 record: 50-112

2023 final ranking: 30

Wait, not last? The franchise more interested in promoting architectural renderings of a new ballpark in Las Vegas than winning games in Oakland? The franchise with an owner in John Fisher who is so disliked that pitcher Trevor May retired and deplored him to sell the team to "someone who actually takes pride in things they own"? The franchise that just lost 112 games? Well, the A's will certainly be bad in 2024, but they did improve in the second half, dropping their run differential from minus-248 to minus-91. After a nightmare first half, the rotation lowered its ERA from 6.32 to 4.97 -- which isn't anything to brag about but is a small indicator that the team won't be quite so awful again.

28. Kansas City Royals

2023 record: 56-106

2023 final ranking: 29

The Royals have two starters rostered who made more than 12 starts in 2023 -- and both had ERAs over five and a half. They don't have a single reliever returning who pitched at least 20 innings and had an ERA under 4.00. They do have Bobby Witt Jr. and Cole Ragans, who had a breakout performance the final two months and looks like a potential top-of-the-rotation starter. A healthy Vinnie Pasquantino will help, and maybe Nelson Velazquez will show up, but the pitching staff basically needs to be completely re-constructed -- with a farm system that has little to offer.

29. Colorado Rockies

2023 record: 59-103

2023 final ranking: 28

The worst offensive team in the majors via wRC+ (weighted runs created), Colorado has to find some hitters. Just once, wouldn't it be fun for the Rockies to bring in some superstar sluggers? They have some hitting prospects of interest down on the farm, although I'm lukewarm about most of them. Guys like Jordan Beck, Yanquiel Fernandez and Zac Veen all scuffled when they reached Double-A, so I don't see any impact in 2024 from that group. The Rockies are coming off 103 losses. Hopefully that will be rock bottom, but this is an organization wandering in the baseball desert without any grand plan.

30. Chicago White Sox

2023 record: 61-101

2023 final ranking: 27

That was a disaster. The White Sox lost 101 games, their most since 1970 (a team so bad it averaged fewer than 6,000 fans per game). Longtime executives Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn were fired in August with farm director Chris Getz taking over as general manager, even though the farm system hasn't exactly been pumping out quality prospects. Pedro Grifol will get another chance as manager even though the team fell apart in the second half (23-47, minus-133 run differential). Maybe they'll spend some money in the offseason, and maybe some of the better players will rebound, but the White Sox enter the offseason as the most dysfunctional organization of 2023.

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