s the midway point of this MLB season nears, much of the conversation will surround who is buying and selling at the trade deadline, which teams are true contenders and who are the front-runners for individual awards.
The further into the season, the more it's about celebrating greatness and focusing on the game's most relevant figures.
That is one reason why it's important now to take inventory of some have-nots in MLB. We're ranking the futures of every MLB team under .500 as of Thursday.
Some of these teams are borderline, fringe playoff contenders, either because of underperforming talent or playing in a weak division.
To rank their futures, we give consideration to their current roster makeup, as well as their farm system rankings by both B/R's Joel Reuter and MLB.com.
14. Oakland Athletics
- 2023 Record: 19-52
Oakland does not appear to have much of a baseball future, both in terms of talent and the franchise's standing in the city. The Athletics hold the second-worst record and by far the worst run differential (-196) in the major leagues through 71 games.
Much of the A's talent has been traded away as they stockpile assets for the future, which still looks bleak. The most noteworthy part of their season so far is the reverse boycott their fans pulled off Tuesday imploring owner John Fisher to sell the team as he courts Las Vegas.
Then there's the farm system ranking in the bottom third of baseball. MLB.com noted in March how the drastic, full-on rebuild has yielded a high volume of prospects, but it's more quantity than quality, or depth as opposed to high-end talent.
13. Kansas City Royals
- 2023 Record: 18-52
The Royals are in an awkward place where they are a mostly young, homegrown roster, just unsure of how good their young, homegrown talent is. They have not exactly made progress over the past two years as some of their prospects have become big leaguers.
Kansas City has the worst record in baseball going into Thursday's action, racing with Oakland to see which team will be last to 20 wins.
Then to add, the farm system has taken a hit as prospects graduate. So, now the Royals are putting out a bad major league product, along with one of the lowest-ranked farm systems in baseball.
If Kansas City is going to get out of the AL Central dungeon, it will rely on players like Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, Brady Singer, Scott Barlow and others in the system to live up to expectations.