FanGraphs Power Rankings – 5/16/11

This past week, we saw some great research introduced on when the standings actually start to matter. It showed that the really great and really bad teams don’t really shake out until June, so despite the fact that the bottom five teams have been identical in each of the power rankings’ first three weeks, there is still time for one of those teams to escape the bottom of the pack. In our third week, teams are starting to make bigger jumps in the standings. In week two, only two teams moved three or more places from week one. This week that number was seven, with three teams (the Angels, Rangers and Twins) dropping at least five spots.


1. Boston: Last week – 2, WAR% – .541 (12), FAN% – .605 (1), TOTAL% – .5893
Josh Beckett has already surpassed his WAR total from last season, and while his BABIP is low, his SwStr% is the highest it’s ever been during his six seasons with the Red Sox. Also, just noticing that it’s Beckett’s sixth year with the Olde Towne Team makes me feel old. I need a nap.

2. New York Yankees: Last week – 1, WAR% – .618 (3), FAN% – .580 (2), TOTAL% – .5891
Since JoePawl looked at Jorge Posada towards the end of April, his BABIP, SwStr%, K% and O-Contact% have stabilized somewhat, and he is seeing more pitches per plate appearance as well. He still isn’t having a good season, but perhaps we should give it a few more weeks before we set up his retirement presser.

3. Philadelphia: Last week – 3, WAR% – .620 (2), FAN% – .556 (3), TOTAL% – .571
Roy Halladay is so good that even when he loses, he looks fabulous anyway. Halladay was 0-2 last week, but his 0.5 WAR still tied for the third-best mark among pitchers.

4. St. Louis: Last week – 4, WAR% – .657 (1), FAN% – .512 (12), TOTAL% – .549
Anyone who thought that Albert Pujols’ and Yadier Molina’s wOBA’s would be within 11 points of each other this far into the season must have had a pretty high opinion of Yadier Molina. Seriously though, the fact that the Cards have the Majors’ best offense so far and Pujols is no better than their fifth-best hitter is nothing short of amazing.

5. Colorado: Last week – 6, WAR% – .492 (19), FAN% – .556 (3), TOTAL% – .541
Todd Helton is once again leading the Rockies in wOBA, but unlike 2005 (the last time he was team wOBA leader) those around him are a bit better.

6. Tampa Bay: Last week – 5, WAR% – .549 (11), FAN% – .537 (5), TOTAL% – .540
Matt Joyce has already equaled his 2010 season WAR in half the plate appearances. Between him, Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria, the Rays don’t seem to be missing Manny Ramirez at all.

7. Florida: Last week – 7, WAR% – .569 (7), FAN% – .525 (7), TOTAL% – .535
Fun fact: There have been seven players named “Gabe” in Major League history, but Gaby Sanchez is the first to go by “Gaby.”

8. Milwaukee: Last week – 11, WAR% – .564 (8), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .530
On Sunday, Zack Greinke threw a no-hitter for four innings and then gave up six hits and five runs in the fifth. Which makes about as much sense as According To Jim being on the air for nine years.

9. Atlanta: Last week – 9, WAR% – .558 (9), FAN% – .506 (14), TOTAL% – .51955
Whether or not his latest knee injury ends Chipper Jones’ career, he is truly one of the greatest third basemen ever. Did you know that, for his career, Jones has a better wRC+ than Harmon Killebrew, George Brett, Wade Boggs and Paul Molitor?.

10. San Francisco: Last week – 12, WAR% – .522 (14), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .51946
It is not the same old Ryan Vogelsong and dance by the Bay (thank you, I’ll be here all week!).

11. Cincinnati: Last week – 13, WAR% – .596 (5), FAN% – .494 (17), TOTAL% – .5192
Just as no one talks about Matt Holliday, it seems like no one talks about National League OBP leader Joey Votto either. Is Bill Simmons right? Would we talk about him more if he was Joe Votto?

12. Chicago Cubs: Last week – 15, WAR% – .531 (13), FAN% – .506 (14), TOTAL% – .5121
We’re going streaking! Starlin Castro started the season 35-for-89 (.393), then went 7-for-51 (.137) and is now hot again, going 12-for-20 in his five games since May 10, with multiple hits in four of them. Which is pretty good production considering it’s been a little cold out there.

13. Los Angeles of Anaheim: Last week – 8, WAR% – .584 (6), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .5120
While debating whether or not Howie Kendrick is for real, one thing that probably isn’t debatable is that if Kendrick really is the Halos best hitter, their offense is going to be on shaky ground all season.

14. Detroit: Last week – 14, WAR% – .509 (16), FAN% – .512 (12), TOTAL% – .5115
Victor Martinez — so hot right now.

15. Texas: Last week – 10, WAR% – .469 (23), FAN% – .525 (7), TOTAL% – .511
Adrian Beltre isn’t exactly having a terrible season — he’s hit 10 dingers, and has a .252/.304/.503 line with a .347 wOBA. But when his .216 BABIP (tied for sixth lowest in the Majors) regresses back to the mean, it’s going to be like he threw some D’s on that $%^&*.

16. Toronto: Last week – 19, WAR% – .551 (10), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .503
Fact: Jose Bautista rulz. Paired with Yunel Escobar, they beat out Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta for the most valuable teammates of the week award.

17. San Diego: Last week – 18, WAR% – .509 (15), FAN% – .494 (17), TOTAL% – .4976
The BABIP’er of the Week Award goes to Bradley Bonte Hawpe, who tipped the scales at .727 for the week. Hawpe was one of three Padres to single twice during their eight-run inning in Milwaukee, and he enjoyed his first return to Coors Field as well, where he reached six times in ten trips and hit a game-winning homer.

18. New York Mets: Last week – 16, WAR% – .431 (25), FAN% – .519 (9), TOTAL% – .4970
Carlos Beltran may have increased his trade value this past week, but all is not rosy in Queens. To wit, Jeff Francis has accumulated the same WAR (0.7) this season as have all Mets starting pitchers combined.

19. Chicago White Sox: Last week – 23, WAR% – .484 (20), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .487
Back in December when Paul Konerko signed, he looked like a tough guy to project. He’s still putting up near identical numbers to 2010 though (his OBP and wRC+ are identical) and if this continues, the White Sox will have scored a major bargain in ole’ Paulie.

20. Cleveland: Last week – 20, WAR% – .603 (4), FAN% – .451 (27), TOTAL% – .485
One thing to keep in mind with the Indians: Thanks to three rain outs so far, including two this weekend, the Indians woke up this morning having played the fewest games in the Majors. Therefore, Cleveland’s WAR% got the lowest weight of any team in this week’s rankings.

21. Los Angeles Dodgers: Last week – 22, WAR% – .472 (22), FAN% – .488 (19), TOTAL% – .484
Scary thought for Dodgers opponents: Clayton Kershaw is still just 23 years old, and he is still getting better.

22. Oakland: Last week – 21, WAR% – .481 (21), FAN% – .481 (23), TOTAL% – .481
As the one team with identical WAR and FAN percentages, at least for right now, we can say that Oakland is who we thought they were.

23. Minnesota: Last week – 17, WAR% – .297 (30), FAN% – .537 (5), TOTAL% – .480
The Twins were the big movers of the week, and not in a good way, as they dropped six spots. Cut to every member of the Twins at home, brewing up concoctions to cure bilateral leg weakness.

24. Baltimore: Last week – 25, WAR% – .410 (29), FAN% – .500 (16), TOTAL% – .478
Led by Zach Britton and Brad Bergesen, the Orioles only allowed nine runs in their last five games. Unfortunately, they allowed 34 in the five games preceding them.

25. Arizona: Last week – 24, WAR% – .504 (17), FAN% – .463 (25), TOTAL% – .473
I can’t decide what’s crazier, the fact that Ian Kennedy is tied for the seventh-best pitcher in the Majors this season (by WAR) or that one of the pitchers he’s tied with is Brandon McCarthy.

26. Seattle: Last week – 26, WAR% – .422 (27), FAN% – .469 (24), TOTAL% – .458
“I don’t try to strike out people, but sometimes they swing and miss.” Understatement of the year, or the century?

27. Washington: Last week – 27, WAR% – .434 (24), FAN% – .457 (26), TOTAL% – .451
Facts that won’t be facts for long: Laynce Nix has a 135 wRC+ despite having just a 1.2 BB% and a 29.8 K%.

28. Kansas City: Last week – 28, WAR% – .499 (18), FAN% – .420 (29), TOTAL% – .439
Of the 193 qualified hitters on the FanGraphs leaderboards, only 14 have walked more than they have struck out this season. Would you believe that one of them is Chris Getz?

29. Pittsburgh: Last week – 29, WAR% – .426 (26), FAN% – .438 (28), TOTAL% – .435
So, how did you celebrate Pittsburgh Pirates Week? If you’re like me, you totally didn’t discourage your wife when she almost tried on that puffy shirt at Ann Taylor. I know, I went crazy!

30. Houston: Last week – 30, WAR% – .421 (28), FAN% – .370 (30), TOTAL% – .383
Dear Jim Crane: congrats on buying the Astros. I humbly recommend reading The Extra 2% by Jonah Keri, like, immediately.

We hoped you liked reading FanGraphs Power Rankings – 5/16/11 by Paul Swydan!

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Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

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yes of course I'm a Giants fan
Guest
yes of course I'm a Giants fan

If your gonna painfully undersell the Giants, why oh why must you overrate the shit outta of the Rox and Friars? We’ll just see who’s laughing in October (again)

Louis
Guest
Louis

Shut up. The Giants have a shitty lineup. Deal with it.

Ratto's Pants
Guest
Ratto's Pants

Rockies will run away with the NL West title. Might as well them now.

Ratto's Pants
Guest
Ratto's Pants

crown them

lol
Guest
lol

the giants are currently playing better using linear weights (check bpro’s third order wins) instead of runs scored/runs allowed and projected better at the beginning of the season using oliver, zips and pecota.

don’t let the facts get in the way of the narrative you’ve created in your head though.

lol
Guest
lol

oh yeah their war is currently higher than the rockies too. and check out that sweet 4.7 xfip on the rockies ace.

they’re totally way better than the giants though because some fangraphs commenter said so.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb

To this whole line of posts:

“my team is better than your team and my dad can beat up your dad so nanny-nanny-boo-boo!”

johngomes
Member
johngomes

rockies will need to find a SP by deadline if u want to play out this fantasy. ubaldo has a few loose screws, running two miles inbetween starts will only loosen the screws more.

brendan
Guest
brendan

I like the giants there at 10, but I think the rockies are too high at 5. I see that as a pretty tight NL west race this year (I’m an SF fan as well). I think it’s hard to argue the giants are an elite team, even if posey and huff were hitting well, which they are not.

lexi
Guest
lexi

Obviously you havent been watching the Giants as Posey is hitting and huff isnt so get your facts straight thanks