From the leadoff hitter down to the man in the ninth-hole whose job it is to turn over batting order, these are the best lineups in the 2014 Major League Baseball season.
The typical lineup for the Oakland Athletics in 2014 has begun with centerfielder Coco Crisp, included outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in the middle, and has ended with either Eric Sogard or Nick Punto depending on who is at second base for the game. Only when they get to the eight and nine spots is there a glaring weakness as the rest of the team has been well-rounded and able to produce lots of runs.
Following a breakout season in 2013, third baseman Josh Donaldson has continued to produce offensively in 2014 and might just be the best weapon the A’s have in their lineup. Brandon Moss adds complimentary power and so far catchers Derek Norris and John Jaso have split time at the catcher position with both helping out the offense whenever they get in the lineup. Pitchers have already learned to fear the current A’s batters as a combination of power and simply getting on base are keeping them in the playoff picture as one of the best teams in baseball.
Almost every year the Colorado Rockies put out a lineup worthy of being listed as one of the best. Thanks in part to aid from Coors Field, the 2014 team has been absolutely magnificent. Usual suspects like Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Justin Morneau have all led the way, but they do have a few new names to add to the list.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado has already put together a 28-game hitting streak in 2014 and is well on his way to finding himself among the best at the position. The biggest surprise though came from leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon who wasn’t even expected to start. Rather, Blackmon had been thought of as more of a platoon player. However Blackmon has hit for average and power in the leadoff position while still managing to steal bases like a regular guy at the top of the lineup. All of this is happening with Michael Cuddyer on the disabled list after starting off 2014 on a positive note. Cuddyer now healthy, the Rockies might be unstoppable.
Chicago White Sox
One of the biggest turnarounds from 2013 are the Chicago White Sox; at least as far as the offense is concerned. A lot of this has to do with rookie first baseman Jose Abreu who appears ready to challenge for the home run title in 2014.
Additionally veteran shortstop Alexei Ramirez may have finally arrived. Hitting for a high average and with power, Ramirez has been a spark plug in the lineup no matter where manager Robin Ventura has put him. The team has also gotten contributions from lesser known talent like Conor Gillaspie, Tyler Flowers, and Dayan Viciedo. When healthy, Adam Eaton has been getting on base at the top of the lineup, helping the White Sox off to an early start each game. Finally as underrated as it might be, slugger Adam Dunn has actually raised his average. Little added benefits like this have given the White Sox a lineup worth noticing.