If you're a fan of the Chicago Cubs, you're familiar with the phrase "Wait 'til next year!" But what about the year after, and the year after that? That's where ESPN Insider comes in.
While the baseball world gears up for spring training, we've decided to take the long view and asked our three top baseball analysts -- Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Buster Olney -- to rank all 30 teams in five different categories (see table) in attempt to measure how well each team is set up for the future.
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 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.)
We will unveil the rankings 10 at a time, from Tuesday through Thursday, starting with the bottom 10 teams. The lower tier is filled with teams you might expect, such as the Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles. The Astros might be in the worst shape at the major league level, but at least they've shed some big contracts in recent years. The O's have a bit more money, but they can't seem to develop any pitching. The Bucs? Well, even their lack of bucks can't change the fact that they have only one superstar to show for all of those years drafting in the top five.
So who's No. 30? It's time to find out.