30 Paragraphs About 30 MLB Teams From The Baseball Prospectus CrewThe following is excerpted from the team chapters and player profiles of the perpetually splendid Baseball Prospectus. You can buy the book now. And be sure to head over to the BP site this weekend for free access to their content. Projected records via BP's playoff odds report.

AL East

New York Yankees
2012: 95-67
2013 (forecast): 88-74

Twenty-four of the 25 least-valuable 40-homer seasons since 1950 were posted by designated hitters or players at corner positions. The other one was Curtis Granderson's 2012. Historically, center fielders who hit 40 homers have been worth about seven wins, but the stats say Granderson is a center fielder only in name. For the second straight season, his FRAA ranked second-worst among AL center fielders, and the apologist's excuse from 2011—that left fielder Gardner had bogarted his fly balls—didn't sound so convincing with Gardner replaced by range-averse Raul Ibanez.

Tampa Bay Rays
2012: 90-72
2013 (forecast): 85-77

Jeremy Hellickson followed up his Rookie of the Year 2011 with a similar 2012. In both seasons he led all pitchers in undershooting his SIERA projection, prompting a Fangraphs columnist to throw up his hands and complain that “his underlying metrics offer no hints whatsoever as to how the heck he has done what he has.” Hellickson's extreme infield-popup tendencies in 2011 regressed in 2012, the Rays defense was worse, and his slightly higher strikeout rate didn't make up the difference. So how'd he do it? Here's a hint: Hellickson's 82.7 percent strand rate led major-league starters. That may not have been a fluke: His LOB percentage placed second in 2011. Closer scrutiny suggests that Hellickson's mechanics improve when he pitches from the stretch. If his strand rate stays high in 2013, we may have to stop calling him lucky and accept Hellickson as a clutch pitcher and therefore a legitimate statistical outlier.

Boston Red Sox
2012: 69-93
2013 (forecast): 83-79

Boston's nominal ace, Jon Lester's slip from the front of the rotation continued in 2012. His strikeout rate dropped for the fourth year in a row and his homer rate rose. He endured a particularly rough stretch in July when he gave up 25 runs in 18 1/3 innings over four starts, but even if you buy the lost mechanics argument and don't count that against his season totals, his ERA is still an un-ace-like 4.09. The scary thing is Lester isn't doing anything particularly different. His pitch mix and velocity are about the same; the only thing different is the results. He has one more season and what was previously thought to be a no-brainer team option left on his contract, but another season like 2012 could be Lester's last in Boston. Maybe the return of former pitching coach John Farrell as manager will help.

Toronto Blue Jays
2012: 73-89
2013 (forecast): 82-80

Joey Bats was slowly digging his way out of a dreadful start to the year when a wrist injury put him on the shelf in mid-July. He returned to the Jays lineup at the end of August but was back on the disabled list, this time for good, after only two games. Even before injuries wiped out nearly all of the second half for Bautista, he was enduring a largely disappointing season. His over-the-fence power was still there, but an absurd number of balls in play were converted to outs—his .215 BABIP was the lowest among players with at least 300 plate appearances. Toronto's offense fell apart without Bautista, scoring 1.15 fewer runs per game after he went on the disabled list. Wrist injuries have a tendency to sap power, so don't be surprised if his 6.8 percent home-run rate dips. He'll almost certainly have better luck on balls in play, however, so he should see a rebound in batting average.

Baltimore Orioles
2012: 93-69
2013 (forecast): 75-87

Despite a sparkling ERA and the second-highest leverage index on the team last season, Pedro Strop seems unlikely to engage in a repeat performance unless he can improve his control. At least his sinker generates 73 percent groundballs, which mitigates some of that walk damage via double plays—12 percent of runners reaching first were doubled-up, and even that seems low. He's still got great stuff and additional strikeout upside. Both his two- and four-seam fastballs were up three ticks to an average of nearly 98 mph, which he complements with a swing-and-miss slider and a splitter that he primarily uses as a strikeout pitch to lefties. This all adds up to a good middle-innings option even without improvement, and there's closer upside here.

AL Central

Detroit Tigers
2012: 88-74
2013 (forecast): 89-73

Austin Jackson's well-publicized removal of a cumbersome leg kick at the plate paid immediate dividends in the form of a breakout season slowed only by the strained abdominal muscle that cost him 21 games. The cleaner approach gave him more balance, which aided a massive power boost and a significant drop in strikeouts. He slashed his strikeout rate from 27 percent to 22. Meanwhile, his improved discipline was reflected in a career-best 4.15 pitches per plate appearance, tying him with Michael Bourn for the best among leadoff hitters. While his hot rookie season bred many skeptics thanks to the glaring holes in his swing, those holes are shrinking. This growth was built on change and maturation, suggesting we may not yet have seen Jackson's best work.

Cleveland Indians
2012: 68-94
2013 (forecast): 81-81

For the Indians to succeed, Cleveland's front office must have proficiently filled out the remainder of the roster. That sounds simple, but last season the Indians had 29 different players contribute negative WARP. Many of those were bit players or minor leaguers up briefly and then sent down, but not all. Ten hitters received over 100 plate appearances and registered negative WARP, while four pitchers threw 50 innings and achieved same. That Cleveland was forced to repeatedly play those players speaks to a lack of depth. Put another way, the Indians don't have nearly enough even average players, players who can competently step in and not immediately hurt the team. A team with star power up front might be able to overcome that. The Indians are not that team.

Chicago White Sox
2012: 85-77
2013 (forecast): 79-83

Chris Sale's season was the 20th-best, based on pitcher WARP, by a White Sox hurler since 1950, and the seventh-best WARP-per-inning for a White Sox starting pitcher in that span. An early-season MRI gave everyone a scare—prompting a relief outing and discussion of a full-time move to the bullpen—but the results came back clean. Predictably for a pitcher increasing his workload to career highs after a season in relief, Sale wore down as the summer wore on, his velocity and effectiveness dipping, allowing batters an OPS over 790 after August 1. If Sale had a textbook delivery, there would be minimal concern about the innings, but he doesn't: Terms like “elbow drag,” “Inverted W,” and “terrifying” are bandied about. It's a tightrope he's walking, because that funky delivery allows his sinker-slider combination to erase left-handed batters, and his changeup has become good enough that righties no longer look forward to facing him, either.

Kansas City Royals
2012: 72-90
2013 (forecast): 78-84

They call him Country Breakfast. The Royals had long desired their designated hitter to hit for more power and Billy Butler finally obliged. He traded his prodigious doubles numbers for the long ball, offsetting a career low in two-baggers with a career high in home runs. His 23 percent line-drive rate was the highest of his career, but his 19.9 percent HR/FB rate suggests he won't replicate the power surge in 2013. Still, there's plenty of value here. Butler is among the more selective hitters in the game, offering at just under 60 percent of all pitches in the strike zone last year. Hitting in the heart of the order, he brought home 19 percent of all baserunners, the sixth- best rate among qualified batters. The man is asked to do one thing: hit. He does it extremely well.

Minnesota Twins
2012: 66-96
2013 (forecast): 70-92

This team needs to be torn down to its foundations. Sadly, there's little indication the front office comprehends this; GM Terry Ryan has indicated that more coaching and front-office changes are likely if he doesn't see improvement this season—a turnaround that would be both unwise to attempt and (very likely) impossible to achieve. Further, despite their move away from strike-throwers at the amateur level, the Twins seem likely to once again be looking for “affordable” pitchers to fill out the suspect rotation. Almost by definition these will be guys who eat innings, limit walks, and are completely incapable of striking anybody out. So even though they've lost faith, the Twins are still stuck with the same doomed strategy.

AL West

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
2012: 89-73
2013 (forecast): 88-74

PECOTA already wasn't a fan of the 10-year, $240 million contract the Angels gave Pujols. Over WARP for the first baseman; assuming $5 million per win and a generous 7 percent inflation, Pujols would be “worth” about $170 million. Having produced 3.7 WARP in 2012, he's now behind on two counts: nearly two and a half wins below expectations through year one, and now a lousier bet to uphold the other nine years of PECOTA's forecast (which, it should be noted, still expects him to lead the league in WARP in 2013). Pujols's career-low TAv marked a fourth consecutive year of decline. His career-low unintentional-walk rate is half what it was three years ago. Even his defense, while still good, is declining—from 31 runs above average in 2007 to seven runs in 2012. He's still one of the three best first basemen in the game, so it's not time to panic yet. But it will be, sooner than the Angels hoped.

Texas Rangers
2012: 93-69
2013 (forecast): 88-74

Baseball Prospectus’s top prospect on our list of 101, Profar could become a special player at a valuable position. Following a late-season cup of coffee in 2012, the 20-year-old should begin 2013 on the big-league roster. If that happens, the presence of defensive whiz Andrus will force Profar to second base and Kinsler to first. The Curacao native should easily handle the move; he’s smooth with the glove at both middle-infield positions. While few are immune to growing pains, the switch-hitting Profar is mature beyond his years both mentally and on the field. With a disciplined approach, he shows the potential to be a .300, 20-home-run bat. Profar may not reach that type of production as a rookie, but he’s got a potent mixture of talent and polish.

Oakland Athletics
2012: 94-68
2013 (forecast): 82-80

Yoenis Cespedes was an online celebrity before he played a game in Oakland, thanks to a low-budget promotional video that went Gangnam-style viral. There was no question about his athleticism, with a power-speed combination that invoked the previously unmentionable comp of Bo Jackson, but there was plenty of doubt surrounding Cespedes's skill level. Most thought he would need some minor-league seasoning, but Cespedes broke camp with the team and never looked back. A hand injury shelved him in May, but he broke loose upon his return in June and saved his greatest power display for the season's final month. In a rookie season that was dripping with upside, flashing elite potential, Cespedes received down-ballot recognition for the AL MVP Award. As he enters his prime, a fan-base that is dying for a new stadium will be dreaming of vaulted ceilings in the House that Yoenis Built.

30 Paragraphs About 30 MLB Teams From The Baseball Prospectus Crew

Houston Astros
2012: 55-107
2013 (forecast): 69-93

The haters can point out that Jose Altuve's second half was disappointing, a red flag for a young player, from whom constant growth is expected. Also, he barely survived against right-handed pitching. But there were so many positives for this diminutive keystoner who won't turn 23 until May. He had the seventh-best TAv of qualifying second basemen. He had the 20th-best strikeout rate among all qualifying batters, battered lefties enough to compensate for struggles against northpaws, had a positive BRR thanks to 33 stolen bases and good baserunning, and posted a very good FRAA total. All told, a very well-rounded set of contributions. His size perpetually limits expectations, but even slight improvements in his game—the most likely a rediscovery of some of the power he showed in the minors—will make him one player who legitimately qualifies for the star he wears on his cap.

Seattle Mariners
2012: 75-87
2013 (forecast): 79-83

In pursuing Mike Napoli early in the offseason, Seattle stressed the changing offensive environment. The fences will come in from right-center to the left-field corner, juicing home-run totals by 30 to 40 per year, according to the Mariners' math. BP's Colin Wyers looked at the changes and concluded that Safeco will still be solidly on the pitchers' side, but the Mariners would know best how much the ballpark dimensions have affected the pursuit of free agents in recent years. The Mariners' decision to sign sharp defenders, rather than power hitters, might not have been the sabermetric strategy it appeared so much as playing the hand that was dealt them.

NL East

Washington Nationals
2012: 98-64
2013 (forecast): 86-76

Two-and-a-half years removed from Tommy John surgery, Jordan Zimmermann is slowly shedding the “league's best-kept secret” tag, though he is now overshadowed by Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez. He's a human Don't Walk sign, one of only six qualifying starters to rank among the top 15 in BB/PA in each of the past two seasons. Zimmermann's fastball, which averages 94 mph, was the third hardest among NL starters in 2012, trailing only Strasburg and Jeff Samardzija, and he complements it with a quality slider and curveball. If Zimmermann can stay healthy and find a way to notch a modest uptick in strikeouts, he has the control and savvy to contend for Cy Young honors in the coming years.

Atlanta Braves
2012: 94-68
2013 (forecast): 83-79

Here's a thought sure to keep Braves fans up all night: Dan Uggla has three years remaining on his contract. The closest thing baseball has to a Popeye lookalike made contact at a career-worst rate in 2012. When he did hit the ball, he didn't do as much damage as in the past, as evidenced by a career-low ISO. Uggla did walk a ton, but he's at the uncomfortable point where a complete offensive collapse would surprise no one. This could be a long three years because Uggla's bat is his one positive attribute.

New York Mets
2012: 74-88
2013 (forecast): 82-80

Jon Niese cut his ERA by a full run without moving the needle on his component stats, his velocity, his movement, or anything else beyond the fact that he threw his cutter as his second pitch instead of his fourth in terms of frequency. The cutter alone was very likely not responsible for a 68-point drop in BABIP, especially since Niese used a very similar pitch mix in 2010. With or without the BABIP Kraken on his side, Niese is a nice mid-rotation lefty who won't blow anyone away with either his stuff or his contract, which maxes out at $9 million guaranteed money in 2016 before two option years at $10 million and $11 million.

Philadelphia Phillies
2012: 81-81
2013 (forecast): 81-81

The Chase Utley of the last two years is likely the one we should expect to see the rest of the way, at least in terms of ceiling with his rate statistics. As with Jimmy Rollins, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it feels that way because of the player Utley used to be. Though teammates Howard and Rollins won MVP awards in 2006 and ‘07, Utley was the Phillies' best player both years. Hardware or not, Utley has been one of the top players of his generation, and the skills are intact for him to ease into the twilight of his career. Health is a major concern after three years of 115 games or fewer, but the 1:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and capable power keep him among the best at his position per plate appearance. A pair of sub-.270 BABIP seasons might also be some misfortune ready to regress, though that number has been declining yearly since 2007, so perhaps his days of .300 BABIP are behind him.

Miami Marlins
2012: 69-93
2013 (forecast): 70-92

Sidewinders who can hold their own against opposite-handed hitters are a rare breed, but Steve Cishek showed that he has that uncommon DNA, stepping in for Heath Bell when the beleaguered ninth-inning man needed a break from his high-stress role. Despite his low arm angle, Cishek can touch 94 mph with his fastball, and the righty complements that uncanny heat with a changeup and slider that each induced a whiff rate above 14 percent last season. With only a modest cut to his walk rate, Cishek could blossom into one of the senior circuit's best setup men, and Bell's departure opened the door for him to earn save opportunities in the near term.

NL Central

Cincinnati Reds
2012: 97-65
2013 (forecast): 89-73

After battling shoulder issues throughout 2011, Johnny Cueto stayed healthy last year and had his best season to date. He does two things that are remarkable. First, he ignores the fact that Great American Ball Park is a bandbox. He has pitched better at home over the last three years than away. Bailey would do well to pick his brain about that. Second, he eliminates the running game. Would-be thieves were 1-for-10 against Cueto in 2012 and are 14-for-42 in his career. Thanks to a great pickoff move, he hasn't allowed a steal of second base since September 2010. Cueto throws strikes, keeps the ball down, and gives his team a good chance to win every time he takes the mound. He is especially tough in day games.

St. Louis Cardinals
2012: 88-74
2013 (forecast): 82-80

Quick: who led the Cardinals in WARP last year? Yeah, okay, it was the indestructible catcher with the groovy neck tattoos, but who would have expected Jon Jay to outpace Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, and David Freese for second place? Sometimes dismissed as a tweener lacking the range for center field or the bat for a corner, Jay has transformed himself into a dynamic center fielder whose bat could play elsewhere. Jay will never have more than gap power, and his on-base percentage was boosted by an unsustainable 15 plunkings, but even with some regression at the plate, his terrific glove makes him an above-average player. Jay won't be eligible for arbitration until after this season, so St. Louis should get his peak years at a discount.

Pittsburgh Pirates
2012: 79-83
2013 (forecast): 80-82

According to his own spring training statements, Russell Martin has reported to camp in the best shape of his life for five consecutive seasons. (By the time you read this, he may have made it six.) Whatever workout plan has made his annual proclamation so predictable has had the same effect on his on-field performance. Since his heyday as a hitter with the Dodgers, Martin has settled in as a slightly above-average offensive catcher, a slightly above-average thrower, and a slightly above-average blocker. However, he has distinguished himself to an even greater degree as a receiver. According to Max Marchi's estimates, Martin saved nearly 90 runs due to framing from 2008–12, the third most among backstops behind Jose Molina and Brian McCann. Some fans won't care about framing until it becomes a category in their fantasy leagues, but Martin's work with the glove meant more to the Yankees than his career-high home-run total, and figures to mean more still to the catching-starved Pirates.

30 Paragraphs About 30 MLB Teams From The Baseball Prospectus Crew

Chicago Cubs
2012: 61-101
2013 (forecast): 78-84

Theo Epstein has also taken steps toward increasing the size of what had been one of the smallest front offices in the game. The moves that have gotten the most attention have involved an embrace of analytics, with the Cubs signing a big deal with Bloomberg Sports to provide them with data. Less heralded but perhaps more significant, the Cubs have hired a bevy of new scouts in all aspects of the game—amateur, pro, international, and major league. Creating scouting depth is a critical part of any plan that involves significant investment in building through player development.

Milwaukee Brewers
2012: 83-79
2013 (forecast): 78-84

Since taking Ryan Braun at the top of their 2005 draft, the Brewers haven't gotten much from their premium picks. Of the 11 first-round or supplemental picks they've used through 2011, those who have seen significant time in the majors (Brett Lawrie, Matt LaPorta, and Jeremy Jeffress) or are knocking on the doorstep (Jake Odorizzi) have been dealt away. Those that remain have ranged from somewhat disappointing to heartbreaking, including Taylor Jungmann and Jed Bradley, the twin first rounders from 2011 who didn't exactly light it up in High-A last year.

NL West

Los Angeles Dodgers
2012: 86-76
2013 (forecast): 88-74

In what seemed like an overreaction both to years of neglecting the international market in the McCourt era and to the looming cap on international spending, the Dodgers signed Cuban defector Yasiel Puig to a record-setting seven-year, $42 million deal—more than Yoenis Cespedes or Jorge Soler received. Considered the fastest player in Cuban baseball, Puig is a five-tool guy with plus raw power, plus speed, and a plus arm, with names like Vladimir Guerrero and Giancarlo Stanton thrown about—perhaps haphazardly—as comps. He hit well during limited playing time in August despite being out of shape and not having played competitively in over a year. Puig will go to camp with the big-league club in the spring, but the Dodgers will likely keep him in the minors all year, particularly with no opening in their outfield.

San Francisco Giants
2012: 94-68
2013 (forecast): 83-79

Tim Lincecum continued to strike out batters at a high rate, but that's essentially where the positives ended, at least in the regular season. He struggled with his command and control, and he lost more than 2 mph on his four-seam fastball, which caused many to conclude his unorthodox mechanics have caught up to him. There may be something to that, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle quoted Sabean saying Lincecum needs to be “willing to accept the delivery he's going to use to be a successful pitcher.” Sabean also mentioned that Lincecum will need to pitch more to contact. In addition to changing his mechanics, Lincecum was also tasked with putting on about five pounds in the offseason. He ended the year dominating out of the bullpen during the postseason, though he was no ordinary reliever, throwing at least two innings in all five of his appearances. Back in the rotation this year, he'll try to right the ship, and PECOTA (despite an alarming set of comps) thinks he can do it.

Arizona Diamondbacks
2012: 81-81
2013 (forecast): 83-79

The acquisition of Trevor Cahill last offseason underscored a growing organizational emphasis toward groundball pitchers inspired by the home park. Cahill's 2012 grounder rate was baseball's highest among starting pitchers, and the 25-year-old with a frame built for pitching and a clean medical record is well-tailored for his new home. By some measures, last season was the finest of his brief career. Cahill's core ratios improved across the board. A sustained growth trend in critical categories teases the possibility that Cahill has yet to reach his ceiling.

San Diego Padres
2012: 76-86
2013 (forecast): 78-84

A farm system that Kevin Goldstein rated as the best in baseball before last season has started to produce, and more talent is on its way. Casey Kelly struggled in his debut but showed promise, Jedd Gyorko could see material playing time at second base, and southpaw Robbie Erlin should be in the picture at some point, assuming he stays healthy. Prized outfield prospect Rymer Liriano could make an appearance late in the season.

Colorado Rockies
2012: 64-98
2013 (forecast): 73-89

CarGo’s MVP-caliber 2010 campaign is looking more and more like the outlier. He started strong last year but struggled in the second half when Troy Tulowitzki was out of the lineup (“I am getting pitched to differently,” he told the Denver Post’s Troy Renck in September). The death of his grandfather in Venezuela and a nagging left hamstring injury may have been contributing factors. His defense in left field isn’t as good as you’d expect from a former center fielder, and for his career, Gonzalez loses nearly 300 OPS points away from Coors Field. He hits lefties well enough to be a solid everyday player and is in his physical prime. Expect more of the same for the next few years.