Baseball Essential MLB Power Rankings: April 18th, 2016

Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

Source: Denis Poroy/Getty Images North America

30. Atlanta Braves (3-9, -25 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 3-4
Previous Ranking: 30

Going into the 2016 season, there wasn’t much hope for the Atlanta Braves. The team made quite a few good trades this offseason, including acquiring a haul of prospects for Shelby Miller, but still find themselves building for the long term future. However, on the field, things couldn’t really be going much worse for the Braves to this point. The Braves did finally get their first win on Friday, but things aren’t really looking up much in Atlanta.The team’s only remaining star player from yesteryear, Freddie Freedman, has hit only one home run so far and is hitting only .107. One of the team’s other best players, Ender Inciarte, has already hit the disabled list. Youngster Mallex Smith has struggled upon being called up, and outfielder Hector Olivera has been put on leave after being arrested for a domestic incident. The only bright spot for the Braves appears to be their minor league system, where the likes of Aaron Blair, Dansby Swanson, Max Fried, and a few others have excelled so far this season.

The following tweet really says it all for the Braves at the big league level.

Best Hitter of the Week: Nick Markakis 11/27, 1.151 OPS, 10 RBI
Worst Hitter of the Week: Erick Aybar 3/24, .285 OPS, 1 SB

Best Pitcher of the Week: Jhoulys Chacin 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 K
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Jim Johnson 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 K

Upcoming Schedule: vs. Dodgers (3), vs. Mets (3)

29. Minnesota Twins (3-9, -18 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 3-3
Previous Ranking: 29

Only ahead of the Braves because their actual talent level and previous hopes of playoff contention, the Minnesota Twins have been equally bad early in the season. Although the Twins playoff hopes are still very much alive, the first week plus of the season didn’t do much to help their cause. Technically the Twins were the last team to win their first game this season, as the Braves won their first earlier in the day. The Twins real problem has been at the plate, where Byron Buxton (50%), Miguel Sano (39.5%), and Byung-ho Park (43.8%) have all struck out at alarming rates. Beyond that, all three, as well as Brian Dozier, Trevor Plouffe, Eddie Rosario, and Kurt Suzuki have hit at or below .200 to start the season. Joe Mauer has been a revelation so far, hitting over .300, but the rest of the offense has certainly lagged behind. There’s plenty of time for the Twins to get it together, but the signs aren’t encouraging through two weeks.

Best Hitter of the Week: Eduardo Nunez 9/12, 1.786 OPS, 2 RBI, 2 SB
Worst Hitter of the Week: Eduardo Escobar 3/20, .340 OPS

Best Pitcher of the Week: Ricky Nolasco 14 IP, 5 ER, 8 K
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Glen Perkins 1 IP, 2 ER, 1 K (Hurt)

Upcoming Schedule: vs. Brewers (2), @ Brewers (2), @ Nationals (3)

28. San Diego Padres (4-9, -17 Run Differential)
Record for Week: 2-5
Previous Ranking: 24

Speaking of teams that have been terrible on offense to start the season, the San Diego Padres have been right there with the Braves and Twins, although their record is at least slightly better to this point. Being a Padre fan, I have witnessed this poor performance firsthand, with five shutouts in the teams first ten games, and only seven runs combined in three of the other ten games. This offensive ineptitude was punctuated by a complete game, sixteen strikeout shutout for Vincent Velasquez against the Friars on Thursday. Ironically enough, the Padres best hitters have been Matt Kemp and Melvin Upton, with Alexi Amarista being the team’s most effective hitter since his call up at the beginning of the week. Yeah, it’s really that bad.

Best Hitter of the Week: Melvin Upton 8/26, .795 OPS, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SB (GW HR)
Worst Hitter of the Week: Jon Jay 4/30, .388 OPS, 2 RBI

Best Pitcher of the Week: Colin Rea 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 K
Worst Pitcher of the Week: Brandon Maurer 4 IP, 3 ER, 4 K

Upcoming Schedule: vs. Pirates (3), vs. Cardinals (3)

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