Really, ESPN? The World Wide Leader in Sports has released their way-too-early power rankings for the 2024 season.
Unsurprisingly, the Atlanta Braves come in at No. 1. The Braves were arguably the best team all season, so it's no wonder that they occupy the top spot in these rankings.
The Braves were followed by the new World Series Champion Texas Rangers, the upstart Baltimore Orioles, the NL runner-up Philadelphia Phillies, and last year's world champions, the Houston Astros.
ESPN besmirches Reds in way-too-early 2024 power rankings
Honestly, it's kind of hard to have much of an argument with the Top 5 in ESPN's way-too-early power rankings. I would think the Arizona Diamondbacks have a legitmate gripe to be in the Top 10 after advancing to the World Series, but the D-backs come in at No. 11.
However, in order to find the Cincinnati Reds, one has to scan all the way down to No. 19. Ahead of the Reds on this list are the Chicago Cubs (9), New York Yankees (14), Boston Red Sox (15), Milwaukee Brewers (16), and Detriot Tigers (18).
Now, what makes absolutely no sense is that Cincinnati ranked 15th at the end of the season, and were somehow leapfrogged by the Yankees (16), Red Sox (19), Tigers (21), San Diego Padres (17), and New York Mets (22).
What in the world is going on in Bristol, Connecticut? The Padres are looking to unload Juan Soto while also likely to lose probable NL Cy Young Award-winner Blake Snell, and All-Star reliever Josh Hader.
The Red Sox took forever-and-a-day to find a new leader for the front office after about a dozen other people said, "No, thank you." Then you've got the Cubbies who are set to lose Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman to free agency after having lost five of their final six games.
Yet, here are the Cincinnati Reds. A roster filled with a much balleyhooed group of young and talented players that ESPN couldn't get enough of all season, and they're ranked 19th.
David Schoenfield, ESPN's senior writer, cited the Reds 28th-ranked ERA among starting pitching as the reason for the absurdly low ranking.
But that's okay. These types of rankings will only add fuel to the fire. Reds President of Baseball Operations has a clear task in front of him this offseason - improve the roster and elevate this club from pretender to contender.