MLB Power Rankings: Week 16

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 16

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 MLB teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 First Half Week 15

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Awfully close to TEX, but Yankees are half-game better.
JJ: Have emerged from brutal East as best in the game.
2
Tony: Will be interesting to see what they add at deadline.
JJ: Hamilton since June 1: .201.290.396. Yikes.
3
Tony: As we creep closer, Strasburg limit will become top MLB story.
JJ: Rotation can hold up with Gonzalez, Zimmermann and Jackson.
4
Tony: Incredible how hot they are now without Votto.
JJ: Neck-and-neck with Reds, going with PIT here for pitching.
5
Tony: (Potential) Dempster trade is a quality boost.
JJ: If they can play this well without Votto...watch out.
6
Tony: This is the year Pittsburgh. Get ready for Oct. baseball.
JJ: Pujols somehow quietly rounding into form.
7
Tony: To answer my question, yes this is the hot streak.
JJ: Can Sheets keep this up?
8
Tony: Too soon to try to get Trout on Weaver-like discount?
JJ: It's about three months late, but this is the team we expected.
9
Tony: Hottest team in baseball right now. Wow.
JJ: Could Belt be sent down with .341 OBP?
10
Tony: Could they separate from the Dodgers in NL West?
JJ: Incredible that both the A's and Pirates are top 10 teams.
11
Tony: Dang, that was a rough week, eh South Siders?
JJ: Konerko only has six extra-base hits since June 1.
12
Tony: If only they could play the Cubs every weekend...
JJ: Could NL Central get three playoff teams?
13
Tony: Even if they get Garza, would that be enough?
JJ: We're 20 starts in and Chis Capuano's ERA is 2.81.
14
Tony: They're not for real. See JJ's article.
JJ: As of Monday, have best run differential in NL West.
15
Tony: They need Bautista back like now.
JJ: With their rotation problems, pretty tough buy.
16
Tony: Doesn't look like this is Maddon's year with these guys.
JJ: One step forward, two steps back.
17
Tony: Lester doesn't even look like he belongs in bigs right now.
JJ: Maybe could make a run when Longoria gets back.
18
Tony: As Tigers heat up, Indians start to fade.
JJ: Getting absolutely hammered by injuries.
19
Tony: Rejuvenated Chris Young could help them make a run.
JJ: Santana's no-hitter a great moment, but has it killed season?
20
Tony: Wright's future is biggest question mark of this team.
JJ: Fading fast, could be sellers at deadline.
21
Tony: They're out of it. Time to sell.
JJ: Norichika Aoki a bright spot for them.
22
Tony: Carlos Lee trade didn't help too much, did it?
JJ: Just as they near .500, lose five straight.
23
Tony: Utley stole a base this weekend. Gotta be a good sign, right?
JJ: They're pretty well buried, may be too late to turn it around.
24
Tony: Will any of their young guns make first ML starts in '12?
JJ: Liking the future for this club.
25
Tony: HosmerGordon primed to have big second halves.
JJ: Padres are closer to division lead than Phillies.
26
Tony: Still think trading Quentin might have been better.
JJ: Finally dumped Jonathan Sanchez. Worst trade of offseason?
27
Tony: Was hottest team in baseball before STL sweep.
JJ: AS Roma playing at Wrigley Field was pretty neat.
28
Tony: Don't know what to say about them anymore, honestly.
JJ: Should probably trade Willingham, but may not.
29
Tony: Don't have much to offer before deadline.
JJ: Shame Dexter Fowler's solid season is going to waste.
30
Tony: Well, they got Brett Myers off their hands at least.
JJ: Without Jed Lowrie...man, they're bad.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."