Free agency is right around the corner, and we at ESPN Insider decided we'd steal a page from gyms and weight-loss programs everywhere by producing a "before" and "after" snapshot of each franchise. The "before" shot represents what the team looks like heading into what's sure to be a busy offseason for many teams. We'll check in with the "after" shot next spring when the dealin' is done.
As in past renditions of the MLB Future Power Rankings, we've asked three of our top baseball analysts -- Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney -- to rank all 30 teams across five different categories (see table) in an attempt to measure how well each team is set up for sustained success over the next five years. Some things have changed drastically since we last did these rankingsback in March -- we're looking at you, Texas Rangers -- while many other things have remained the same (the top three teams remain the top three teams, just in a different order). To show you what's changed, we compare the updated rankings to the March version for each team.
The better your rank in a given category, the more points you get, and the average point scores from the three voters are available in the bar graphs accompanying each team's section, rounded to the nearest integer. We weighted the categories and then gave each team a score on a scale of 1 to 100, with the score representing a team's percentage of total possible points. (For a detailed breakdown of the methodology used for the Future Power Rankings, click here.)
With each team's ranking, you'll also get a take from Buster, Jim and Keith. Buster will give an overview of the franchise's future, Jim will explain the biggest dilemma currently facing the team, and Keith highlights a prospect facing a make-or-break season.
So who's No. 1? Which team did our team of experts think is best equipped for success over the next half-decade? And where does your favorite team rank? It's time to find out.
Los Angeles Dodgers
NL WEST FPR RANK: 1
The bar graphs reflect the average points given by the voters for each category.
As Andrew Friedman takes over the organization, he is flush with the dollars and prospects to fill any roster holes. -- Buster Olney
Whether to re-sign Hanley Ramirez is not the Dodgers' biggest dilemma; it's how to clear up their crowded outfield situation. Their preference would be to keep Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig as their starting outfield and try to trade the hefty contracts of Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford (while realizing they'll have to eat some of Ethier's and Crawford's contracts). -- Jim Bowden
Pitcher Grant Holmes was a top-10 talent in this year's draft but slid out of the top 20, perhaps because of concerns over his height. But he's a polished and physically mature 6-foot right-hander who fills up the strike zone and sits in the low 90s. -- Keith Law