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Power Rankings: Snakes on a train (to first in NL West ... and playoffs?)

by | Baseball Writer

Might we be treated to the Justin Upton Bowl (alternate name: Gritty Bowl) in this year's playoffs?

Upton's 2013 team, the Braves, has held down first place in the NL East for pretty much the entire season. His former team is looking particularly strong right now, too.

That's right, those gritty Diamondbacks are sitting in first place in the NL West and have won nine of their past 13 after sweeping the Texas Rangers in a doubleheader on Memorial Day.

They've gotten excellent work from Patrick Corbin -- who may end up being an All-Star Game starter -- on the hill, but perhaps the most exciting part of the ballclub as constructed is the young infield nucleus of first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and shortstop Didi Gregorius.

Goldschmidt is one of the more underrated sluggers in baseball, hitting .324/.407/.595 with 14 doubles, 12 homers and 40 RBI. He's athletic, he gets on base and hits for power. And he's only 25.

Gregorius is hitting .324/.385/.541 with eight doubles, two triples, four homers and 18 runs scored in 29 games since his promotion. He's a slick defender with great gap power. And he's only 23.

Add these young guns to a veteran mix of Miguel Montero, Jason Kubel, Cody Ross and Martin Prado -- and remember, Aaron Hill will be back at some point, too -- and the Diamondbacks definitely look like they have staying power this season.

And they're now in the top three of the rankings.

Please feel free to contact me with comments on Twitter (@MattSnyder27) or via email: matt.snyder@cbs.com. These were posted the morning of Wed., May 29. Any action coming after posting wasn't included here.


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