The 2021 MLB season hasn’t ended, but it’s not hard to see, right now, which teams have a shot at contending, and which ones do not in 2022.
These three MLB clubs may have a thing or two going on for them, but are very far from being competitive.
3. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles were atrocious in 2021, with a 52-110 record.
They could potentially be better next season, but how much can they improve if they have to play four monster organizations 19 times a year each?
The Tampa Bay Rays, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Toronto Blue Jays are light years ahead of the O’s.
But it could be at least two or three more years until the Orioles are competitive again.
Their division dooms them, but at least, we can say they are on the right path.
2. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers finished last in the American League West during the 2021 MLB season, with a lousy 60-102 record.
They were 35 games worse than the division winners, the Houston Astros, and finished a whopping 17 games behind the fourth-placed team, the Los Angeles Angels.
In other words, they were, by far, the worst team of the division.
The situation for 2022 doesn’t appear to be getting any better.
Their best-ranked player according to Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, was Joey Gallo, and he is no longer with the team.
Additionally, many of the players who were supposed to take a step forward in 2021 didn’t progress much, if at all.
Nathaniel Lowe was decent, with a .264/.357/.415 and 18 homers, but he didn’t quite break out.
Nick Solak remains promising, but struggled in 2021, with a .242/.314/.362 and just 11 dingers.
However, there is just no way this team doesn’t finish last again next season.
I’m happy for the Texas rangers ! We are rebuilding a great young group. We have a ROY candidate in adolis Garcia and we have a great short stop in Isaiah. Had a great draft night and picked up jack, it’s gonna be a slow rebuild but in about 3-5 years we will be back !
— ⚾️Nate⚾️ (@nate_b08) September 13, 2021
There are just not enough quality players for them to make a run at the fourth place in the same division as the Astros, the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics, and the Angels.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ rebuild seems stalled.
The 2021 campaign was bad, as they went 61-101 and finished 34 games behind the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Even the rebuilding Chicago Cubs were 10 games better than the Pirates.
Beyond Reynolds, there is just not too much to look at.
Oneil Cruz's 118.2 MPH single is the hardest-hit batted ball by a @Pirates hitter since at least 2015.
This is Cruz's debut. pic.twitter.com/MLLS6VISBL
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) October 3, 2021
It appears that 2022 will be another long year.