Thank you, dear reader, for tuning into our continuing positional power rankings series. This episode concerns right field, and I’m your host, Sheryl Ring. Should it be that you reached right field in error and you wish to view other episodes with other (better) hosts, you may do so simply by selecting the appropriate position on the widget atop this article. If, on the other hand, you actually intended to choose this episode, I thank you heartily and promise you an adventure which should provide you with no ability whatsoever to stave off your eventual death, but which will at least give you something of nominal interest to do whilst awaiting its inevitable arrival.
With those words of introduction having been satisfied, to the graph:
You could say that, in recent years, we’ve seen a downturn in the quality of player being utilized in right field by your average major-league ballclub. Last year, in this very space, Neil Weinberg had four teams projected to eclipse three wins and five more projected to at least approximate three wins. As you can see, that isn’t the case this year. Last year, 14 teams were projected to surpass two wins in right field; this year, only 12 are. And then there are the Braves, whose ranking remains unchanged from last year. You can probably figure out why that is.
Despite what could possibly be interpreted as a low point for the major-league right fielder, there are signs of promise. For one, the top-three teams (the Nationals, Red Sox, Yankees) will all be starting players, who, for one reason or another, are standouts and stars worthy of that moniker. For another, unlike last year, there are reasons for optimism for many of the teams towards the middle and bottom of this list: either they are starting young players with yet-untapped upside (the Brewers, Mariners, Rangers, Tigers) or they have top prospects waiting in the wings with that sort of upside (the Mets, Orioles, Rays, Reds, Rockies, and White Sox).
As a consequence, there’s a lot more volatility here than you might expect. As you’ll see, while the top-three teams will probably see stability for years to come, there is likely to be pretty significant upheaval over the course of this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see five of the top 10 teams replaced by the time these rankings come out next year.
Sheryl Ring is a litigation attorney and General Counsel at Open Communities, a non-profit legal aid agency in the Chicago suburbs. You can reach her on twitter at @Ring_Sheryl. The opinions expressed here are solely the author's. This post is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.