ESPN put out their annual Future Power Rankings today, and it ranks the Nats 11th overall. I normally don’t worry about these things too much, but there is something I find a little curious about how they rank them. Check out what they did:
Majors – I get that their Majors score is only 26/30, despite the whole best-record-in-baseball thing. Frankly, they aren’t the offensive juggernauts as of yet, and the lack of a true CF or leadoff hitter is mentioned in the text. Plus 26 points is actually 4th best, behind only the Yankees, Rangers, and Angels, so I can certainly buy that.
Minors – Frankly, while this looks low, they don’t have a ton of true top level talent. Rendon could still end up being the best hitter in last year’s draft, and he’ll have time to show it this fall, but as for now, he’s barely played. Giolito is about to have TJ surgery before the end of the month. There are some others here and there, but it isn’t exactly deep or full of top level sure thing talent right now.
Finance – This seems about right to me (he says with a shrug). Simply defined as “How much money do they have to spend” I can’t disagree. However, it depends how they rank this. Do the Yankees have more to spend? Yes. Do they have as much LEFT to spend? Maybe not so much.
Management – Well this is the one I completely don’t understand. Sure the Lerners are hated by some, although do you begrudge them for having a team awful enough to draft Harper and Strasburg? It certainly beat winning 75 games those years and getting the 11th pick or something. And as for Mike Rizzo, he’s basically built this team that leads the league in wins himself, so while he isn’t beyond reproach, he’s been pretty damn good. The coaching staff is something I can’t really rate, other than the manager himself, and I think Davey has been as good or better than any alternatives. So I guess the fact that they gave it a 12 is my real “what the hell?” part of this ranking.
Mobility – This is a low weighted category assessing the ease of moving their players (young and cheap vs old and longterm/expensive). Other than Werth and Zimmerman, anyone on this team could be moved tomorrow, yet they have the same score as the Yankees? Poppycock
Alright, so dissecting this without knowing exactly how they input everything is impossible, but I can’t disagree with too much here. I mean, if they want to say the Nats are set up for the future worse than 10 other teams, I think that’s a little silly. After all, they don’t really NEED a great minor leagues right now, as almost their entire major league roster, including key bench players, are under the age of 30 and under control for at least a few more years. But that is more the fault of the way this particular system measure things, not the input.
But putting the Nats management at a 12? I find that ridiculously low. The only gripe I can think of is with the Lerners, and they’ve shown that they’ll spend money and let the GM do his job. What else do you want? A firing during a press conference? Also, Jim Bowden got a vote in this, so… yeah.