Now that the 2011 edition of the Rule 4 draft is in the books, it's time to look ahead to next season. I know, I know, I could give the thing a little time to breathe, but we're doing a standings update anyway. Might as well make it about the draft, right?
The Minnesota Twins have been consistently the worst team in baseball and are still projected for the least wins in the majors, giving them the top overall pick in 2012. However, things got interesting this week as the Twins won enough games to move up to 62 wins for the season.
Add to that the fact that the Houston Astros caught them for the actual worst record in the league at 27-39, a half game worse that Minnesota. The Astros, though, are still ticketed for 64 wins, but it's become more of a horse race now.
The Chicago Cubs are still hanging around at 25-36 and have a bead on the third overall pick. They're also projected for 66 wins, which would also get them the third overall pick.
Oakland has been in a horrible tailspin lately, resulting in manager Bob Geren getting fired. It also dropped the A's down to fourth in the AL West and in line for the fourth overall pick. Kansas City, though they have a ton of prospects who are close to the majors, fell back to earth a bit and are now in line to pick fifth for a second straight season. Baltimore, the Dodgers, the Mets and the Angels round out the bottom ten.
Of course, there is still plenty of time for things to change. Last year, Houston was also flirting with the first overall pick at this point and finished with the ninth-worst record. If I had to put money on it, though, I'd say the Astros will have at least a top 10 pick again next season.