MLB Power Rankings: NL West ruling the baseball world

Tim Brown
MLB columnist

A few fellow ball writers and I have taken to celebrating draft day by recalling our favorite old scouting descriptors, some of which are real, some made up but close enough to sound sort of legit. Think of these being side-mouth mumbled by a well-tanned gentleman whose neck is coated with sweat salt.

Thanks to Marc Carig of Newsday, Adam Kilgore and Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times and others for the amusement. I’ve distributed the comments here randomly, though they also could be on press releases trumpeting first-round picks anywhere. So, here’s to the next, oh, let’s say, uh, Wade Boggs. With pop.

The rankings (records through Wednesday’s games):

1. Houston Astros (49-24; Previous: 1): Off-the-charts makeup. Volunteers at both a nursing home and a shelter for stray animals.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (47-26; Previous: 3): Makes his own clothes.

3. Colorado Rockies (47-27; Previous: 4): Think Grace, with pop.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks (45-27; Previous: 6): He was actually one of the top-five guys on our board. We were thrilled to take him when we did.

5. Washington Nationals (43-29; Previous: 2): Baseball’s not even his best sport. ATH-lete.

6. New York Yankees (39-30; Previous: 5): We’re really excited to see what happens when our player development people get their hands on him.

7. Boston Red Sox (40-32; Previous: 7): Don’t look at his stats from college. Misleading.

Jose Ramirez, right, Edwin Encarnacion and the Cleveland Indians are heating up. (AP)

8. Cleveland Indians (38-32; Previous: 12): Just look at his stats from college.

9. Milwaukee Brewers (39-35; Previous: 8): Drags the infield, too. Work ethic is an 80, for me.

10. Chicago Cubs (36-35; Previous: 9): Finished his degree in mechanical engineering in three years. Gets it.

11. Minnesota Twins (36-33; Previous: 11): Has the good face.

12. Tampa Bay Rays (39-36; Previous: 14): We have not spoken to his adviser yet. I honestly don’t know who it is.

13. Texas Rangers (35-36; Previous: 20): Guy wears size-15 spikes. He’s not even done growing yet.

14. Toronto Blue Jays (35-36; Previous: 16): He’s gonna move fast. Gets it.

15. Kansas City Royals (35-36; Previous: 26): Dad killed a beloved wood-handed golf pro with one punch in the boxing ring. Mom wore a buzz cut. Tremendous family.

16. Los Angeles Angels (37-38; Previous: 17): He can spin it. He can cut it. The changeup is a work in progress, but we believe in it.

17. Seattle Mariners (37-37; Previous: 15): Don’t pay attention to the 55 errors he made in 22 games. Have you seen the high school infields in northern Vermont? Kid can pick it.

18. Baltimore Orioles (35-36; Previous: 10): Think Gwynn, with pop.

19. St. Louis Cardinals (33-37; Previous: 18): Wait until you meet this kid’s family. Gets it.

20. Pittsburgh Pirates (33-39; Previous: 19): Coach’s kid, you know? (Gets it.)

21. Detroit Tigers (32-39; Previous: 13): Look, we always trust our scouts first. When the analytics match up, it doesn’t hurt.

22. Atlanta Braves (33-38; Previous: 24): His velo dropped senior year, but our medical thinks they know why. We’re comfortable.

23. Miami Marlins (32-38; Previous: 23): Frankly, this kind of pitchability doesn’t fall out of trees. The kid’s polished.

24. New York Mets (31-40; Previous: 27): Plus, in his right elbow? TWO UCL’s. Never seen anything like it.

25. Chicago White Sox (31-39; Previous: 22): We’re not worried about his level of competition. This kid played all the big showcases, all the big events. He wanted to prove he belonged.

26. Oakland Athletics (31-41; Previous: 25): Tremendous competitor. Finds homes for stray animals.

27. Cincinnati Reds (30-41; Previous: 21): This is an old-fashioned area scout story. Our Pacific Northwest guy was in the family’s kitchen when he was in fourth grade. Like kin.

28. San Diego Padres (29-44; Previous: 29): He’s a baseball player.

29. San Francisco Giants (27-47; Previous: 28): One thing you notice: Every game we saw, he’d have the dirtiest uniform on the field.

30. Philadelphia Phillies (22-48; Previous: 30): Think Magadan, with pop.