It’s been a while now, but from time to time around here we used to breathlessly pour over a little exercise that ESPN does each year, getting Keith Law, Jim Bowden and Buster Olney together to rank the MLB teams in terms of their future championship viability in what they call their Future Power Rankings.
The crew ranks each club in terms of the quality of their Major and Minor League talent, their finances, the value and stability of their management and coaching staff, and the flexibility of their roster.
Today they updated the project for the end of the 2013 season (Insider Only), and… uh… well… as you can see above…
The shadow graphs show us where the Jays were ranked at the start of the year, before it turned out their talent base was about half of what we expected. That, of course, threw most of the other categories into flux– their management and coaching situation isn’t nearly as stable or valuable as it was considered back during the spring, and their ability to move pieces around and their financial commitments look considerably more dire than they did back then as well.
Of course, as you can also see, the club was only ranked 13th at the start of the season. Prior to 2012 they were ranked sixth– and following last year they had moved up to fifth. In other words, the rankings, for whatever they’re worth, see more value in the frustratingly untapped potential energy of the previous years than whatever construction it was misapplied in creating. Which… is kinda entirely their intention, right?
And maybe they’re not worth all that much anyway: in the rankings that came ahead of 2012 the Orioles were ranked dead last in all of baseball, and they’re a month away from wrapping up a second straight very strong season.
So… yeah. Things can still work out OK, you guys! And the rankings are, maybe, a little more down than I’d be on what they think of Alex Anthopoulos, or of the talent that’s got the potential to rise up from the lower minors in the next couple of years, or of what I’m hopeful about when it comes to the security of John Gibbons’ job and Rogers’ willingness to spend their way out of this horror show. But it’s a pretty doggone honest assessment, unfortunately.