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Stan 'The Fan' Charles' MLB Power Rankings: Preseason

March 16, 2017
It's time to get started with a sixth straight year of MLB power rankings. Let's take a look at my first run at the 2017 rankings. 

1. Chicago Cubs (103-58 2016 overall record) -- The Cubs are too strong and too smart to see much of a drop-off this season. 

2. Cleveland Indians (94-67) -- The addition of first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion has the Indians primed for a repeat World Series appearance. 

3. Seattle Mariners (86-76) -- If starting pitcher Felix Hernandez returns to form, the Mariners could be right there in the hunt.

4. Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71) -- While left-handed starters Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill provide a great one-two punch in the rotation, starters Nos. 3, 4 and 5 will decide how far the Dodgers go.

5. Boston Red Sox (93-69) -- Even without designated hitter David Ortiz, the Red Sox are a potential offensive juggernaut.

6. Houston Astros (84-78) -- The additions of catcher Brian McCann and outfielder/DH Carlos Beltran will provide necessary leadership for this young group.

7. Toronto Blue Jays (89-73) -- The Blue Jays' rotation can pitch with anyone, but questions surround the team's middle-inning relief and whether there's enough punch in the lineup.

8. Washington Nationals (95-67) -- A spotty offseason by general manager Mike Rizzo has the club very dependent on questionable late-inning relief pitching.

9. San Francisco Giants (87-75) -- Manager Bruce Bochy is still at the top of his game, but there are questions with the starting rotation and the team's ability to score enough runs.

10. Baltimore Orioles (89-73) -- The injury to starting pitcher Chris Tillman casts a dark shadow over the team's playoff chances.

11. Texas Rangers (95-67) -- Coming off a 95-win season, the Rangers have deep rotation holes to fill, but their answers -- Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross -- could both start the season on the disabled list.

12. New York Yankees (84-78) -- There is excitement from the management and fans about the Yankees' youth movement.

13. Pittsburgh Pirates (78-83) -- Despite the organization's botched handling of the move, switching Andrew McCutchen to right field is still the correct decision.

14. Detroit Tigers (86-75) -- With the passing of owner Mike Ilitch, 2017 is probably the last high-payroll run at a championship for the Tigers.

15. Kansas City Royals (81-81) -- The death of star young hurler Yordano Ventura probably blots the Royals' chances for playoffs.

16. St. Louis Cardinals (86-76) -- For any possible playoff run, the Cardinals need big seasons out of the trio of starting pitchers Adam Wainwright, Lance Lynn and Michael Wacha.

17. New York Mets (87-75) -- If the rotation health is good from top to bottom, so are the Mets' playoff chances.
 
18. Arizona Diamondbacks (69-93) -- The Diamondbacks' new regime of general manager Mike Hazen and skipper Torey Lovullo inherits a solid enough everyday lineup to contend, but it'll need huge bounce-back seasons from pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller. 

19. Tampa Bay Rays (68-94) -- The Rays still have plenty of good arms, but the results will depend on whether they can figure out how to plate more runs.

20. Philadelphia Phillies (71-91) -- The Phillies' rebuild appears to be on track, but the team made several questionable moves to add experience. 

21. Miami Marlins (79-82) -- Much like the Royals and Ventura, the Marlins will be stymied by the devastating loss of pitcher Jose Fernandez.

22. Atlanta Braves (68-93) -- The smart additions of veteran hurlers Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey will enhance the young starting rotation.

23. Minnesota Twins (59-103) -- The Twins will be better than a 59-win team in 2017, but too many questions still abound for Minnesota to contend this season. 

24. Milwaukee Brewers (73-89) -- Wins and losses aren't important for the Brewers in 2017, but building a solid, youthful core is.

25. Colorado Rockies (75-87) -- The Rockies brought in Bud Black as manager, but they didn't expect the black cloud of injuries to infielder Ian Desmond, outfielder David Dahl and pitcher Chad Bettis that have overshadowed the team's spring training.

26. Los Angles Angels of Anaheim (74-88) -- The Angels remain greatly inhibited by ownership's mandate to stay under the luxury tax.

27. Chicago White Sox (78-84) -- The White Sox are about to enter the second phase of the team's huge winter rebuild that began with the trades of pitcher Chris Sale and outfielder Adam Eaton in December. 

28. Oakland Athletics (69-93) -- The "Moneyball" legacy is showing signs of tarnish in Oakland. 

29. Cincinnati Reds (68-94) -- The Reds are a long way from their glory days and still in the early phases of a major rehaul.

30. San Diego Padres (68-94) -- After some high-profile trade flops, the Padres appear to be focusing on the foreign market instead. 

Catch "The Bat Around" with Stan "The Fan" Charles every Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at PressBoxOnline.com/StanTheFan.  Follow him on Twitter at  @StanTheFan.