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AL East position rankings

This is hardly news, but the AL East once again looks to be the toughest division in baseball, with a chance the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays could all win 90-plus games and the O's and Jays improved. With talent deep top to bottom, Times baseball writer Marc Topkin ranks the teams at each position, with an emphasis on overall contributions. The totals are at the end (and like in golf, low score wins):

Catcher

1. Victor Martinez, Red Sox

2. Matt Wieters, O's

3. Jorge Posada, Yankees

4. Dioner Navarro/Kelly Shoppach, Rays

5. John Buck, Jays

In five words: Martinez hits really, really well.

First base

1. Mark Teixeira, Yankees

2. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox

3. Carlos Peña, Rays

4. Lyle Overbay, Jays

5. Garrett Atkins, O's

In five words: Teixeira is best all-around player.

Second base

1. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox

2. Aaron Hill, Jays

3. Reid Brignac/Ben Zobrist/Sean Rodriguez, Rays

4. Robinson Cano, Yankees

5. Brian Roberts, O's

In five words: Pedroia pick of powerful pack.

Shortstop

1. Derek Jeter, Yankees

2. Jason Bartlett, Rays

3. Marco Scutaro, Red Sox

4. Alex Gonzalez, Jays

5. Cesar Izturis, O's

In five words: Guard is close to changing.

Third base

1. Evan Longoria, Rays

2. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees

3. Adrian Beltre, Red Sox

4. Miguel Tejada, O's

5. Edwin Encarnacion, Jays

In five words: Yes, we're serious — just watch.

Leftfield

1. Carl Crawford, Rays

2. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox

3. Nolan Reimold, O's

4. Brett Gardner, Yankees

5. Travis Snider, Jays

In five words: Crawford is very, very motivated.

Centerfield

1. B.J. Upton, Rays

2. Adam Jones, O's

3. Curtis Granderson, Yankees

4. Vernon Wells, Jays

5. Mike Cameron, Red Sox

In five words: B.J., A.J. better than okay.

Rightfield

1. Nick Markakis, O's

2. J.D. Drew, Red Sox

3. Zobrist/Gabe Kapler, Rays

4. Jose Bautista, Jays

5. Nick Swisher, Yankees

In five words: Markakis should be better known.

DH

1. Adam Lind, Jays

2. David Ortiz, Red Sox

3. Nick Johnson, Yankees

4. Luke Scott, O's

5. Pat Burrell, Rays

In five words: Lind gets the concept here.

Rotation

1. Red Sox (Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Buchholz, Wakefield/Matsuzaka)

2. Yanks (Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte, Vazquez, Hughes)

3. Rays (Shields, Garza, Niemann, Price, Davis)

4. Orioles (Millwood, Guthrie, Matusz, Bergesen, Hernandez)

5. Jays (Marcum, Romero, Morrow, Rzepczynski, Tallet)

In five words: Sox deeper and most talented.

Closer/bullpen

1. Mariano Rivera, Yankees

2. Jonathan Papelbon, Red Sox

3. Rafael Soriano, Rays

4. Mike Gonzalez, O's

5. Jason Frasor, Jays

In five words: Maestro matters most at end.

Manager

1. Terry Francona, Red Sox

2. Joe Maddon, Rays

3. Joe Girardi, Yankees

4. Dave Trembley, O's

5. Cito Gaston, Jays

In five words: Francona has most to manage.

How it adds up (lower is better):

1. Red Sox

25

2. Rays

31

3. Yanks

32

4. O's

43

5. Jays

49

AL East position rankings 04/01/10 [Last modified: Friday, April 2, 2010 6:07pm]

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