The Cleveland Indians are the top-ranked team in Box-Toppers’ 2018 preseason rankings, the same position where they finished the 2017 season.
Box-Toppers 2018 preseason team rankingsThe Cleveland Indians are the top-ranked preseason team in Box-Toppers rankings. Players on their preseason roster accumulated 143.4 Box-Toppers points in the 2017 season. The Houston Astros, 2017 World Series champions, slip to eighth (from fourth place at the end of 2017). Shown below in the 2018 column is the accumulated 2017 Box-Toppers point total for each player on that team’s current roster. Also shown in the 2017 column is each team’s Box-Toppers point total at the end of last season. The final column (+/-) shows the change in team rosters’ Box-Toppers points from the end of last season until now.
The 2017 World Series-champion Houston Astros fall to eighth place in 2018 preseason rankings, from their fourth-place team ranking at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, the New York Mets made the biggest offseason improvement in players’ accumulated Box-Toppers points, while the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals had the biggest declines.
Players on the Indians current 2018 preseason roster accumulated 143.4 Box-Toppers points during the 2017 season, more than any other team.
The top National League team, the Washington Nationals, rank second overall with 136.3 Box-Toppers points.
Both the Indians and Nationals remain strong making few offseason roster changes. The Indians ended the season atop Box-Toppers’ team rankings with its players accumulating 140.9 Box-Toppers points in 2017. Their 143.4 preseason Box-Toppers point total represents only a 2.5-point increase over 2017. The Nationals, ranked third at the end of 2017 with 135.3, gained only 1.0 net Box-Toppers point in the offseason.
The Indians are led by Corey Kluber, who had 22.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, second among AL pitchers and fifth among all players. Carlos Carrasco ranked right behind Kluber with 21.8 points, sixth among all players and third among AL pitchers. Edwin Encarnacion had 12.1 Box-Toppers points in 2017, first among American League batters.
The Indians biggest offseason loss was right fielder Jay Bruce (10.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017), who returned to the Mets. The Indians biggest offseason gain was first basemen Yonder Alonso from the Mariners (8.0 Box-Toppers points).
The Nationals are led by Max Scherzer, who had 25.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, first among NL pitchers and second among all players. Stephen Strasburg had 22.5 points, fourth among all players and third among NL batters. Top batter was Anthony Rendon (8.0 Box-Toppers points), who ranked 12th among NL batters.
The Nationals biggest offseason loss was relief pitcher Matt Albers to the Brewers (3.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017). The Nationals biggest offseason pickup was first basemen Matt Adams from the Braves (6.5 Box-Toppers points).
Last year’s World Series champion Astros ranked fourth at the end of 2017 with 131.7 Box-Toppers points, but fall to eighth in the 2018 preseason team rankings with 118.6 Box-Toppers points, losing 13.1 net points from last season. While the Astros made one key offseason move, acquiring starting pitcher Gerrit Cole from the Pirates (7.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017), they lost other players, including:
- Starting pitcher Michael Fiers to the Tigers (6.4 points in 2017).
- Outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Marlins (5.0 points).
- Designated hitter Carlos Beltran to retirement (3.7 points).
Last year’s World Series runners-up, the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers fell from second at the end of 2017 to third in preseason rankings. They have 132.9 accumulated Box-Toppers points in preseason and had 138.9 at the end of 2017, a drop of 6.0 points. Most notably, the Dodgers did not re-sign free agent pitcher Yu Darvish (13.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017), who came to the Dodgers from the Rangers in a midseason 2017 trade. Darvish signed with the Cubs.
Mets make biggest offseason gains
The New York Mets are the team that has risen the most in the offseason. At the close of 2017, the Mets ranked 23rd among the 30 teams with 75.0 Box-Toppers points. But in the offseason, the Mets gained a net of 30.5 Box-Toppers points, most of any team, giving them 105.5 Box-Toppers points in the 2018 preseason, rising to 11th place among all teams.
Biggest team gains & dropsThe New York Mets picked up the most Box-Toppers points on its roster in the offseason (+30.5) while the Tampa Bay Rays lost the most (-41.4). The Mets notably gained pitcher Jason Vargas (11.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017), outfielder Jay Bruce (10.0 points) and pitchers A.J. Griffin and Anthony Swarzak (4.0 points each). The Rays notably lost pitcher Jake Odorizzi (11.1 Box-Toppers points), pitcher Alex Cobb (8.4 points), first baseman Logan Morrison (6.7 points) and right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (4.0 points).
The Mets added these notable players in the offseason:
- Pitcher Jason Vargas from the Royals, who had 11.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, 12th among AL pitchers.
- Outfielder Jay Bruce from the Indians, who had 10.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, fourth among AL batters. (Bruce also played for the Mets in 2017 before being traded to the Indians; Bruce earned 8.0 of his points with the Mets prior to the trade, but all 10.0 of his points counted in the Indians’ end-of-season 2017 point total.)
- Pitcher A.J. Griffin from the Rangers, who had 4.0 points in 2017.
- Pitcher Anthony Swarzak from the Brewers, who had 4.0 points in 2017.
The most notable player the Mets lost in 2017 was relief pitcher Josh Smoker, who only had 2.7 Box-Toppers points in 2017. He is now with the Padres.
Twins, Brewers also make big gains
Also rising in 2018:
- The Minnesota Twins made the second-biggest jump, picking up 22.6 Box-Toppers points in the offseason. The Twins have 121.8 preseason Box-Toppers points, sixth among all teams, rising from 13th at the end of 2017. The Twins picked up pitcher Jake Odorizzi from the Rays (11.1 points in 2017), reliever Fernando Rodney from the Diamondbacks (7.0 points), first baseman Logan Morrison from the Rays (6.7) and pitcher Michael Pineda from the Yankees (4.0). The most notable loss for the Twins was pitcher Bartolo Colon (4.7), who went to the Rangers.
- The Milwaukee Brewers made the third-biggest jump, picking up 20.6 Box-Toppers points in the offseason. The Brewers have 126.6 preseason Box-Toppers points, fifth among all teams, rising from ninth at the end of 2017. The Brewers notably picked up pitcher Jhoulys Chacin from the Padres (11.4 Box-Toppers points in 2017), outfielder Lorenzo Cain from the Royals (5.5 points) and outfielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins (5.0). The Brewers’ most notable loss was reliever Anthony Swarzak (4.0), who went to the Mets.
Rays have biggest offseason decline
The Tampa Bay Rays had the biggest drop of any team in the offseason. At the close of 2017, the Rays ranked 14th among the 30 teams with 93.0 Box-Toppers points. But in the offseason, the Rays had a net loss of 41.4 points, most of any team, giving them 51.6 Box-Toppers points in the 2018 preseason, falling to 29th place among all teams.
The Rays lost these notable players in the offseason:
- Pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, who had 11.1 Box-Toppers points in 2017, 11th among AL pitchers.
- Pitcher Alex Cobb to free agency, who had 8.4 points in 2017.
- First baseman Logan Morrison to the Twins, 6.7 points.
- Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. to the Diamondbacks, 4.0 points.
- Third baseman Evan Longoria to the Giants, 2.0 points.
The most notable player the Rays added in the offseason is outfielder Denard Span from the Giants (3.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017).
Royals also experience big decline
Also making a notable decline in the offseason was the Kansas City Royals.
At the close of 2017, the Royals ranked 10th among the 30 teams with 104.5 Box-Toppers points. But in the offseason, the Royals had a net loss of 36.1 points, second-most of any team, giving them 68.4 Box-Toppers points in the 2018 preseason, falling to 24th place among all teams.
The Royals lost these notable players in the offseason:
- Pitcher Jason Vargas to the Mets, who had 11.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, 12th among AL pitchers.
- First baseman Eric Hosmer to the Padres, who had 9.5 Box-Toppers points in 2017, seventh among AL batters.
- Designated hitter Brandon Moss to the Athletics, who had 7.5 points in 2017.
- Pitcher Trevor Cahill to free agency, who had 6.4 points in 2017.
- Outfielder Melky Cabrera to free agency, who had 5.7 points in 2017.
- Outfielder Lorenzo Cain to the Brewers, who had 5.5 points in 2017.
The most notable player added to the Royals roster in 2018 is shortstop Ryan Goins from the Blue Jays, who had 5.0 points in 2017.
Marlins, Rockies also decline
Also falling in 2018:
- The Miami Marlins had the third-biggest decline, falling 27.8 Box-Toppers points in the offseason. The Marlins have 57.9 preseason Box-Toppers points, 27th among all teams, falling from 20th at the end of 2017. The Marlins lost outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees (14.2 Box-Toppers points in 2017), outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the Cardinals (9.2 points), outfielder Christian Yelich to the Brewers (5.0) and pitcher Edinson Volquez to the Rangers (4.0). Notable gains for the Marlins: Second baseman Starlin Castro from the Yankees (5.0 points) and outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Astros (5.0 points).
- The Colorado Rockies had the fourth-biggest decline, falling 22.7 Box-Toppers points in the offseason. The Rockies have 80.4 preseason Box-Toppers points, 17th among all teams, falling from 11th at the end of 2017. The Rockies notably lost closing pitcher Greg Holland to free agency (8.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017), outfielder Carlos Gonzalez to free agency (5.5 points) and first baseman Mark Reynolds to free agency (5.0 points). The most notable gain for the Rockies is closer Wade Davis from the Cubs (5.0 points in 2017).
White Sox: Lowest-ranked team
The Chicago White Sox are the lowest-ranked team in the 2018 preseason rankings with 49.7 Box-Toppers points, which is actually an increase of 9.6 points from the 2017 season closing total of 40.1. (The White Sox also ranked 30th in Box-Toppers team rankings at the close of 2017.) Despite the increase, the White Sox are nearly 2.0 points behind the 29th-ranked Rays, a team that declined 41.4 points in the offseason.
The White Sox did not have many notable offseason losses (having traded away most of its top players during the 2017 season). The most notable loss was catcher Geovany Soto to free agency (1.7 Box-Toppers points in 2017). The most notable gains: Pitcher Miguel Gonzalez from the Rangers (7.0 points in 2017) and catcher Wellington Castillo from the Orioles (5.0 points).
Prominent player changes
Giancarlo Stanton had the most 2017 Box-Toppers points of any player who moved to a new team for 2018.
Prominent player changes from 2017Here are the most prominent player changes from 2017—the 15 players with the most 2017 Box-Toppers points who are not on the same team as they were last season. Giancarlo Stanton had the most 2017 points of any player to change teams. He was on the Marlins in 2017 and was traded to the Yankees for 2018. Players are ranked on the list by their 2017 Box-Toppers point (BTP) totals. Three players on the list are unsigned free agents as of March 7—Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Greg Holland.
|Player||Pos||BTP||’17 team||’18 team|
|2||Yu Darvish||pi sp||13.0||Dodgers||Cubs|
|3||Jhoulys Chacin||pi sp||11.4||Padres||Brewers|
|4||Jake Odorizzi||pi sp||11.1||Rays||Twins|
|5||Jason Vargas||pi sp||11.0||Royals||Mets|
|7||Ryon Healy||dh 1b||9.7||Athletics||Mariners|
|11||Lance Lynn||pi sp||8.7||Cardinals||Free agent|
|12||Alex Cobb||pi sp||8.4||Rays||Free agent|
|14||Randal Grichuk||rf||8.0||Cardinals||Blue Jays|
|15||Greg Holland||pi sp||8.0||Rockies||Free agent|
Stanton had 14.2 points with the Miami Marlins in 2017, second among NL batters and the fourth-highest Box-Toppers point total among batters since 2012. (Among NL batters, Stanton finished behind Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, who had 15.5 points in 2017.) Stanton was traded to the Yankees, helping them make a net 7.2-point gain in the offseason and rising to fourth in Box-Toppers preseason team rankings (128.9 points), from fifth place at the end of 2017 (121.7 points).
Last year, the Marlins also had the most prominent player loss from 2016 to 2017. However, that was due to the death of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a September 2016 boating accident. Fernandez had 22.4 points in 2016, which was the most of any player who did not return to the same team in 2017.
The top pitcher to change teams in the offseason is Yu Darvish, who signed as a free agent with the Cubs, after pitching for the Dodgers in the World Series in 2017. Darvish was traded in midseason 2017 from the Rangers to the Dodgers. Darvish had 13.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, second-most among players moving to new teams in the offseason.
The chart on this page shows the players with the most 2017 Box-Toppers points who are no longer with their 2017 team. Among the top 15, the list includes three who are as of March 8 unsigned free agents—pitchers Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Greg Holland.
About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.
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2018 preseason team rankings(Standings updated with current roster information on March 29, opening day.)
The Cleveland Indians are the top-ranked preseason team in Box-Toppers rankings. Players on their preseason roster accumulated 142.4 Box-Toppers points in the 2017 season. Shown below in the 2018 column is the accumulated 2017 Box-Toppers point total for each player on that team’s current roster. Also shown in the 2017 column is each team’s Box-Toppers point total at the end of last season. The final column (+/-) shows the change in team rosters’ Box-Toppers points from the end of last season until now.
Box-Toppers’ 2017 preseason rankings: Dodgers, Nationals top Box-Toppers 2017 preseason team rankings; Cubs slip to 5th
Box-Toppers’ 2017 end-of-season rankings: Indians lead Box-Toppers final '17 team rankings, NL-leading Dodgers end as hottest team
(Note: Statistics in this post reflect player transactions through March 8. Updated preseason team rankings, reflecting transactions through opening day, March 29, are shown near the bottom of this post. Teams signing available players in the final weeks prior to the regular season affect teams' preseason accumulated Box-Toppers point totals. For example, through transactions of March 6, the Royals actually had the biggest decline of any team from the end of 2017 to preseason 2018. But on March 7, they signed pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who had 4.0 Box-Toppers points with the Angels in 2017. And on March 8, they re-signed free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas, who had 5.0 Box-Toppers points with the Royals in 2017. That was enough to make their decline the second-biggest behind the Rays. It also moved them from 26th to 24th place in Box-Toppers preseason team rankings. However, by opening day, March 29, other player transactions had moved the Royals back down to 26th place.)
Tracking who most helps their teams win the most games, based on box score stats. A method to measure & compare baseball's top players.
Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. Players earn Box-Toppers points for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.