In "normal" times, we'd be looking at the fifth installment of the Official Internet MLB Power Rankings here on CBS Sports. The Major League Baseball season would be some 30-ish games deep for each team.
Instead, we're left looking at the still-blank standings and. To help fill the void here, we'll be power ranking something else instead. We've done , and so far. This time around, let's hit the infields.
Sign-stealing or not, the Astros' infield is ridiculous. Jose Altuve has an MVP and a third-place finish. He was banged up last season and still had a 131 OPS+ and 3.8 WAR in 124 games. Speaking of being banged up, Carlos Correa rarely stays healthy. He also carries career 162-game averages of 35 doubles, 30 homers, 110 RBI, 93 runs and 10 steals while being an outstanding defender at shortstop. Then there's Alex Bregman, who plays short just fine when Correa is hurt. He was second in MVP voting last season and fifth in 2018. He's heading to his age-26 season a full-blown superstar. The first baseman isn't too shabby, either.
It doesn't get any better than that.
An interesting quirk once we get past the top dog: The 2-4 teams here have studs at first, short and third with question marks at second base.
These are obviously subjective and are rankings for a 2020 season that is bound to be a lot shorter and more unpredictable than anything we've ever seen before. As such, we will likely disagree, and that's OK. Surely any disagreement means one of us is ignorant and biased, because that's just how the world works these days. There is no room for respectful disagreement.
Oh, and no, a catcher is not part of the infield.
|Yuli Gurriel hit .298/.343/.541 with 40 doubles, 31 homers and 104 RBI last season and he's their worst starting infielder. Hate all you want, but the talent here is off the charts.|
|It feels like eventually second base becomes a Jason Kipnis/David Bote platoon and that's not half bad. The other three positions are MVP-caliber players when healthy. Unless they decide to trade Kris Bryant, which seems really stupid.|
|Two MVP-caliber stars (yes, I firmly believe Jose Ramirez is fine) along with OPS stud Carlos Santana is pretty fun. Just remember to enjoy Francisco Lindor while you can, Indians fans.|
|Major uncertainty at second base, but -- under the radar -- Matt Olson, Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman are 3/4 of an obscenely good infield.|
|A lot of great players struggled their first time through the league. Austin Riley was actually a beast for a few weeks, too. Don't be surprised if he actually sticks at third and comes into his own. If so, the Braves flirt with No. 1 here with Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies already established.|
|I'm really interested to see Luis Arraez in a full season. Love the Josh Donaldson addition.|
|Opposite of last week, the Diamondbacks got a big boost in the infield while adding an outfielder. How? Ketel Marte gets to slide back to the infield! Nick Ahmed is an exceptional and underrated defender at short while Eduardo Escobar fills the stat sheet at third. Scrappy and lovable group, even if many casual fans have little idea.|
|Was the Tommy La Stella power breakout real? Obviously, Anthony Rendon's addition moves the needle in a big way here.|
|Fun with numbers: Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers had identical slugging percentages last season.|
|Really excited for Pete Alonso's encore.|
|The White Sox join the line of teams with very good infields that have a bit of a hole at second base.|
|Tough ranking here. We've got to deal with rookie Gavin Lux and all his upside while also acknowledging rookies are tough to judge. We've got Justin Turner heading to his age-35 season. We've got Corey Seager in his second full season after Tommy John surgery while we wonder if he'll be MVP-caliber again. Feel free to move them lots of spaces either way and I wouldn't argue.|
|The upside with Eric Hosmer is limited these days. The upside on the left side in San Diego, however, is not.|
|Could we just take the left side? If so, the Rockies would be in the conversation for the top spot. Alas, the whole infield counts.|
|Was the Luke Voit breakout real? His second half wasn't encouraging. Was DJ LeMahieu's post-Coors breakout real? How will Gleyber Torres handle the move to short? Gio Urshela hit .225/.274/.315 in 167 career MLB games before last season, so we could ask plenty of questions there, too.|
|More Tommy Edman over Matt Carpenter would help. Paul Goldschmidt still could be an MVP-caliber player. Paul DeJong has plenty of upside, but he also hit .195/.277/.393 from May 22 to the end of the season last year.|
|Here I sit, dreaming on top prospect Wander Franco in the infield with Willy Adames and Brandon Lowe.|
|Here's the group with the most variance. Leaving aside Travis Shaw, the kids of former All-Stars have huge upside but could pretty easily have growing pains.|
|Joey Votto heads to his age-36 season coming off a below-average offensive campaign. I love Mike Moustakas' power and how it'll play in Great American Ball Park and Eugenio Suarez is a star. Freddy Galvis, though, is a rung below.|
|I'll continue to stress the point that Rhys Hoskins deserves a lot more scorn for last year than Bryce Harper. How will the Didi-Segura left side fare?|
|The champs could run out an Eric Thames, Starlin Castro, Trea Turner, Carter Kieboom infield on Opening Day. Come again? Thankfully Howie Kendrick is back!|
|The ball just explodes off Keston Hiura's bat. This is at least the third straight year we're required to discuss the upside Luis Urias has. Will the change of scenery help?|
|OPS+ from first to short last season: 81 (Ronald Guzman), 79 (Rougned Odor), 78 (Elvis Andrus). Will Todd Frazier really add that much?|
|Josh Bell does a lot of heavy lifting here. He also hit .224 with a .413 SLG after July 5 last season. Maybe Kevin Newman builds off his quality rookie season.|
|The name recognition of Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria matters little on the field in 2020. It's just not a very good group.|
|Evan White has only 96 career games above Class A. Is J.P. Crawford getting close to bust territory? Shed Long is interesting and an unknown.|
|Hey, they aren't last! Party time in Motor City.|
|Can they get the Jesus Aguilar of 2018? That would be fun, though it's very unlikely. By no means is he a great player, but Brian Anderson would get more love if he played elsewhere.|
|It looks like they are going to be using Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier in the outfield a good amount. It got them a bump last week in the outfield rankings. That also means the infield is pretty bad.|
|Only three years and $69 million left on the Chris Davis contract. Not too nice, eh?|