MLB power rankings: Sluggers power New York Yankees to top spot

After more than two full weeks of baseball, the sample sizes are still small but there some real takeaways as to what we can expect over the next 6-7 months of baseball.

Notably: The New York Yankees are going to compete in the American League East.

Even with ace Gerrit Cole sidelined, the Yankees are off to a torrid 12-4 start. While the Baltimore Orioles were heavy favorites in the division entering the season, the Yankees look like a genuine AL contender.

After missing out on the postseason last year, the Yankees have gotten some tremendous offensive performances so far. The greatness of Juan Soto (1.009 OPS) was to be expected but second-year shortstop Anthony Volpe (.382 average, 1.009 OPS, 5 SB) is taking his game to the next level.

The USA TODAY Sports power rankings are always fluid this early in the season as we operate on a combination of vibes and small sample sizes, but here's how things shape up this week:

The Yankees enter Monday with the best record in baseball.
The Yankees enter Monday with the best record in baseball.

1. New York Yankees (+4)

  • Clay Holmes (0.00 ERA in eight innings) leads the majors with six saves.

2. Los Angeles Dodgers (-)

  • Right-hander Bobby Miller heads to IL with shoulder inflammation, but Walker Buehler could return next week.

3. Atlanta Braves (-2)

  • Spencer Strider officially done for the year.

4. Baltimore Orioles (-)

  • Colton Cowser's last six games: .435 average, four homers and 12 RBI.

5. Milwaukee Brewers (+7)

  • The Brewers' .480 slugging percentage is second only to Atlanta.

6. Philadelphia Phillies (-)

  • Orion Kerkering joins the bullpen after missing the first two weeks.

7. Cleveland Guardians (+6)

  • Josh Naylor building on great 2023 campaign with four homers, 12 RBI and a .347 average to start the season.

8. Texas Rangers (-5)

  • Josh Smith (.308 average, nine RBI) is doing a nice job filling in for Josh Jung at third base.

9. Chicago Cubs (-)

  • After stealing 43 bases last season, Nico Hoerner is 0-for-2 through 14 games.

10. Kansas City Royals (+13)

  • It's still very early, but this team may be capable of winning the AL Central.

11. Arizona Diamondbacks (-4)

  • Blaze Alexander holding things down at short with All-Star Geraldo Perdomo undergoing knee surgery.

12. Boston Red Sox (-2)

  • 3B Rafael Devers missed four games with a shoulder issue, but is back in the lineup for Patriots Day.

13. Detroit Tigers (+7)

  • After hitting a team-leading 31 homers last season, 1B Spencer Torkelson doesn't have one in 2024 through his first 68 plate appearances.

14. Cincinnati Reds (-6)

15. Toronto Blue Jays (-)

  • Justin Turner hitting .386 with seven extra-base hits in his first 14 games with Toronto.

16. Pittsburgh Pirates (+1)

  • Went 3-3 last week – including four game split with Phillies – after starting 8-2.

17. Tampa Bay Rays (-2)

  • Spring signing Amed Rosario (.318 average) off to a good start.

18. Seattle Mariners (-7)

  • Seattle's .308 slugging percentage is the worst in the majors.

19. San Diego Padres (–)

  • Coming off a good week with series wins against Cubs and Dodgers.

20. New York Mets (+5)

  • Three consecutive series wins – including one in Atlanta – after starting the season 0-5.

21. Houston Astros (-5)

  • Houston's 5.32 ERA through Sunday is the worst mark in the American League.

22. Minnesota Twins (-4)

  • Team's .185 batting average through Sunday is the worst in baseball.

23. Los Angeles Angels (-1)

  • After strong September last year, Logan O'Hoppe (.364 average, .974 OPS) proving himself as an everyday catcher.

24. San Francisco Giants (-3)

  • Blake Snell knocked around in second start of 2024, giving up seven earned runs over four innings returning to Tropicana Field.

25. St. Louis Cardinals (-1)

  • Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt each only had one homer through the team's first 16 games.

26. Washington Nationals (-)

  • Signed to a minor-league deal, Jesse Winker (.341 average, .982 OPS) could be an interesting trade target this summer.

27. Oakland Athletics (+3)

  • Paul Blackburn hasn't given up an earned run over 19⅓ innings in his first three starts.

28. Miami Marlins (-1)

  • Max Meyer turns in back-to-back quality starts, giving up just two earned runs in 12 innings vs. Cardinals and Braves.

29. Colorado Rockies (-)

  • Team's 6.29 ERA through 16 games is the worst in baseball by nearly a full run.

30. Chicago White Sox (-2)

  • They've lost 13 of 15 to start the season but may not be without Luis Robert and Yoan Moncada for as long as initially feared.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: MLB power rankings: Yankees lead in AL East standings, take No. 1 spot