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May-05-2003,
Major League Baseball Rankings...By Jerry Butler

National League

1-San Francisco Catcher Benito Santiago has rejuvenated his career with the bat and with the glove since joining the Giants 3 seasons ago.

2- Atlanta Shortstop Rafael Furcal has been the offensive catalyst at the top of the order for the Braves.

3-Philadelphia Too many strikeouts and not enough runs batted in has been the pattern to slugger Pat Burrell.s first 30 games.

4-Chicago Cubs Joe Borowski has done a good job filling in for injured closer Antonio Alfonseca.

5-St. Louis Shortstop Edgar Renteria is in the midst of an outstanding season for the Cardinals.

6-Montreal Solid defensively and a top notch hitter, Jose Vidro continues to be one of the most underrated players in the game.

7-Colorado Preston Wilson is currently playing the kind of baseball that the Rockies thought that he could play when they acquired him from the Marlins in the off-season.

8-Los Angeles It is starting to look like Adrian Beltre is never going to develop into a consistent everyday Major League player.

9-Houston The Astros have too much talent on their pitching staff not to be a serious contender.

10-Pittsburgh With a sparkling 2.82 ERA in his first 6 starts, young right-hander Kip Wells has been the best 1-1 pitcher in the NL this season.

11-Florida In a repeat of last season, the Marlins bullpen has been a disaster area.

12-NY Mets The Mets defense has been a total joke and it.s one of the main reasons they are pulling up the rear in the NL East.

13-Arizona Already 9 games back in the West, the Diamondbacks might be out of the race if Randy Johnson is out for the full 6 weeks following knee surgery.

14-Cincinnati The Reds are finding it very hard trying to overcome their 5.94 team ERA.

15-San Diego The Padres continue to be a very poor offensive team.

16-Milwaukee The Brewers thought they were getting a solid offensive player when they acquired Wes Helms from the Braves but what they.ve got is a .216 hitter who is averaging a strikeout a game.

American League

1-NY Yankees Alfonso Soriano has been a one man wrecking crew with the bat for the Yankees.

2-Seattle With a 4-1 record and a 2.43 ERA, right-hander Gil Meche has been a very pleasant surprise for the Mariners.

3-Oakland In Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, Tim Hudson and Ted Lilly the A.s have as good a starting foursome as any team in the AL.

4-Boston The shaky Boston bullpen has already cost Pedro Martinez two wins. 5-Kansas City The Royals have started to come back to earth on their current 4-6 road trip.

6-Baltimore Jason Johnson has been the ace of the staff for the Orioles in the early going.

7-Minnesota Veteran lefty Kenny Rogers has been a solid addition to the Twins staff.

8-Chicago White Sox With a .233 batting average and just 10 runs batted in, Frank Thomas continues to be a big-time rally killer for the Sox.

9-Toronto After posting a horrendous 13.06 ERA in 12 appearances out of the bullpen, Kelvim Escobar has strangely been rewarded with a spot in the starting rotation.

10-Texas Alex Rodriquez continues to put up the kind of numbers that make him worthy of the distinction of being the sport.s highest paid player.

11-Anaheim No member of the Angels starting staff has an ERA under 4.29.

12-Tampa Bay Joe Kennedy showed the kind of pitcher the Rays think he can be during his 1 hit shutout over the Tigers on Friday night.

13-Cleveland After his red-hot September performance last season the Indians were expecting a lot more than a .190 batting average from struggling Karim Garcia.

14-Detroit The Tigers .195 team batting average is all you need to know about this team.



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