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Ranking baseball's rosters based on their tiers of talent

Christian Yelich gives the Brewers a top-tier talent, but Milwaukee also has plenty of quality depth on its roster. Kyle Emery/Icon Sportswire

Over the past couple of weeks, we rolled out our annual position rankings series, which usually come out around the time pitchers and catchers report. This was my first year handling the project, and I decided to structure it from the standpoint of tiers.

Doing it that way helped, I hope, offer a sense of how talent is grouped at the different positions right now, and which positions are stronger and weaker as compared to historical standards. But there is one final step we can take with this approach: What do the teams look like from the standpoint of tiers?

As I did with the pitching staffs, it's simple enough to dump all the ratings into a file and see how many players each team has in each tier. So that's what I did, and the results serve a dual purpose. First, they simply give us a way to look at how teams stack up in relation to each other. It's not a rigorous projection, but the hierarchy of teams organized in this way isn't much different than it looks like in an actual projection of team records.

The other thing this snapshot offers is a glimpse at how teams have constructed their rosters. This is really the interesting part. Which teams are built with a stars-and-scrubs approach? Which teams have a lot of talent bunched in the middle? Which teams are good but have an obvious void in terms of MVP-level talent? Are there any teams that look less talented than the current group of unsigned free agents? (Sadly, there is one.)

As with the pitching tiers analysis, teams are given 6 points for each player rated in Tier I, 5 points for Tier II and so on. Those total points are then divided by the total number of players being rated to give us our tier-based score. I updated the teams' rosters with the latest transactions. To break up the commentary, we'll list the teams in groups of five.