If you're a fan of the Chicago Cubs, you're familiar with the phrase "Wait till 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 sustained success over the next five years.
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.)
On Tuesday, we began with the lower tier of teams, and today we get the meaty middle. Many of the teams featured here are considered contenders for 2012, but they lack the farm system or cash to give off the confidence that they are in position to sustain success beyond the next year or two.
Amazingly, the highest-ranked team in this group hasn't made the playoffs in more than 25 years, yet is above all other teams in its division.