The initial season rankings signify a slight drop for the Brewers from MLB.com’s final power rankings of the year to end of 2020.
The Milwaukee Brewers still (hopefully) have a lot of work to do before their 2021 roster is set, which makes it hard to start making predictions for how their season might go. The same goes for plenty of other teams across the league.
But that doesn’t mean that websites won’t start ranking teams going into the 2021 season soon, based on their progress so far throughout the offseason. Power rankings can always be subject to change, after all, as teams continue to make alterations.
Last Friday, as the calendar officially flipped to 2021, MLB.com released their first official power rankings of the new year.
In the Brewers’ case, they ended up landing….well, pretty much as expected at No. 18 to start the season. That represents a two-spot drop from the No. 16 spot that they occupied last September in MLB.com’s power rankings to end 2020.
Anyone who has paid attention to Milwaukee’s offseason up to this point shouldn’t be terribly surprised by the Crew’s positioning in the power rankings. If anything, it’s telling that they didn’t drop even farther.
After a pretty inactive 2020 – 2021 offseason for the Brewers, it didn’t result in much of a change in power ranking status.
It’s interesting, even if not surprising, that MLB.com doesn’t have the Brewers pegged for much of a change in standing from last season at this point. That’s because the team has suffered the loss of 2020 contributors like Ryan Braun, Jedd Gyorko, Ben Gamel, and Eric Sogard, each of which had differing varieties of effectiveness last year, without doing anything to replace them yet.
So you would think, then, that like Brewers fans, they are expecting bounceback performances from players like Christian Yelich and Omar Narvaez, as well as Avisail Garcia and Keston Hiura to a lesser degree, plus the return of Lorenzo Cain to largely offset those losses.
Combine that with a very effective pitching staff that remains mostly intact, the only major contributors they lost really being Brett Anderson and Alex Claudio, and it makes sense why their power ranking position stayed mostly stagnant.
Most of the rest of the NL Central lacks surprises as well. The Cubs (No. 15) and Reds (No. 16) sit near the Brewers while the Pirates (No. 30) occupy the power ranking cellar, which holds true with the thought that fellow inactivity within the division could leave the NL Central up for grabs.
The Cardinals jumping up two spots from MLB.com’s season-ending 2020 power rankings to No. 12 is somewhat interesting considering they have had a slow offseason as well. But they go into pretty much every season with high expectations and have many core contributors intact despite the losses of mainstays like Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright, and Kolten Wong.
The Brewers still have plenty of time to make some additions for the 2021 roster. The quality of those additions could determine how much of a rise Milwaukee could take in the power rankings before the regular season begins.