Ranking all 30 MLB Broadcast Booths

The best television broadcasts across MLB

The distribution tails of MLB.TV announcers are pretty short. That is, we’re (thankfully and mostly) past the point of having announcers that say completely untrue, misleading, or offensive things that take away from our enjoyment of a ballgame on a Sunday afternoon.

The task to rank them comprehensively becomes more difficult, however. For the most part, teams have hired broadcasters that are well-adapted to the internet age, when anything can (and likely has) been fact-checked in a matter of moments. We’re often left, then, with capable and fluent broadcast teams that are very close in ability and execution.

It’s a job many want but there are only 30-ish of them, so teams (and/or their broadcast partners) can afford to be choosy.

Before getting into the rankings, I also want to note the extreme subjectivity of these rankings and the impossibility of gaining a clear picture of what all 30 teams’ broadcasters bring to the table. Fans of a team spend 100 or more games with their broadcasters, through the ups and downs of the season. Inside jokes between play-by-play and color analysts from a week ago won’t necessarily carry over to a casual observer tuning in for that night’s specific pitching matchup. I believe this is why fans are fiercely loyal to their teams’ broadcast booth, and also why you may strongly disagree with these rankings if you feel I’m too low on your favorite team.

Likewise, we all expect different things from our broadcasts. A diatribe into the local ballpark’s ridiculous hot dog may charm some viewers and add some spice to the monotony of a 162-game season, while others find it gimmicky.

For these rankings, I’ve listened to each team’s broadcast during a random game and tried to stick to mid-season where possible, when teams’ fortunes aren’t wrapped up but the announcers have some time to round into form and build rapport.

My guiding star on the rankings was “do these announcers enhance my enjoyment of these innings?” Broadly, my subjective view is that my enjoyment is dictated by gaining insight into the action unfolding on my screen, and not taking away from the game itself. I could, after all, watch the game and know if a ball or strike is called, but how the batter is approaching the next pitch, or even (true) statements of how they’ve done against similar circumstances is interesting. Local color and context are welcome, again if it’s enhancing the game itself.

With those caveats, I have broken each broadcast team into tiers. I’ve listed each team with their primary announcers based on Wikipedia and tried to note when there is more of a “true” 50/50 split of duties among secondary announcers. In disclosure, I have briefly met with a few members of the Brewers’ TV broadcast and so did not include them here.


To Be Determined


Several teams are going through a broadcast booth change this offseason, and so it remains to be seen how these teams will present the game for the upcoming season.

Toronto Blue Jays– Buck Martinez / TBA


St. Louis Cardinals– Chip Caray/Jim Edmonds

Chip Caray is leaving Atlanta to call his hometown Redbirds. Caray got off to a rough start in previous stops in Chicago and Atlanta, but in my opinion, eventually found his footing and has done well in the past several seasons calling games in Atlanta.


Los Angeles Angels– Wayne Randazzo/Mark Gubicza

Randazzo joins an Angels booth that’s gone through changes over the past few years but should be able to fill in capably. His calls of Apple TV’s Friday night games have been good and he’s demonstrated an ability to work with several different partners. He previously was the radio play-by-play of the Mets and will join Mark Gubicza who is a capable color analyst and can share his excitement with the audience, which is an absolute must when you have generational talents like Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on the field for 162 a year.


Atlanta- TBA/Jeff Francoeur

Chip Caray’s replacement is yet to be announced, but Jeff Francoeur nicely slots in as a color analyst that provides some insight while not taking himself too seriously and has acquitted himself well on national broadcasts on TBS.


Boston Red Sox– Dave O’Brien / Kevin Youkilis

It’s too bad Dennis Eckersley has retired from the booth, who was perhaps one of the most enthusiastic and excitable color announcers in the game. Kevin Youkilis was part of 50 broadcasts for the Red Sox last year, so he’s not exactly new, but will be calling a fuller load of games for the first time. Dave O’Brien meanwhile, continues to be an excellent play-by-play announcer.


Not For Me


Arizona Diamondbacks– Steve Barthiume / Bob Brenly

Barthiume does fine in the Diamondbacks’ booth but perhaps too often humors Bob Brenly’s worst tendencies to criticize “modern” players. Brenly is one of the last remaining holdouts on regular broadcasts of “the game was better in my day” types, which surprisingly does not make viewers think highly of the current game they’re watching.


Detroit Tigers– Matt Shepherd / Craig Monroe / Kirk Gibson

It’s a bit unclear how the Bally Sports Detroit booth is working this season– according to the press release it appears to be a three-man booth with Matt Shepherd and Craig Monroe taking the lion’s share of games, and Kirk Gibson joining in. To be fair this group could fall under the “TBA” tier, but they just parted with Jack Morris, who dragged down the Tigers broadcasts. I will give the new group another chance in 2023.


Miami Marlins– Paul Severino / Tommy Hutton

Paul Severino calls a decent game but has a constantly rotating cast of color announcers partnered with him which makes a definitive ranking difficult, and I’d think it affects the chemistry of the announce team. As a result, the Marlins’ broadcasts seem a bit stilted at times. This season, Tommy Hutton will rotate with three other color announcers, and Craig Minervini will jump in for Paul Severino on occasion. I can’t shake the feeling that somehow this is a cost-saving move for the Marlins but have no way of knowing how Bally Sports Florida’s rotating announce teams would equal profit for the Fish.




Cleveland Guardians– Matt Underwood / Rick Manning

Underwood and Manning seem to genuinely enjoy each other’s company, which makes for a pleasant watching experience. They get excited sometimes and have a quick tempo to their call of the game, which isn’t unwelcome but sometimes leads to them running into each other. During the game, there’s a lot of talk of “us” and “our dugout” when referring to the current Guardians on the field. It’s not a deal-breaker but if you’re a neutral observer of the game, it can take you out of the moment a bit.


Cincinnati Reds– John Sadak / Chris Welch


Kansas City Royals– Ryan Lefebvre / Rex Hudler

More than any other broadcast team, Lefebvre and Hudler call the games pretty straight. It’s a straightforward presentation of the game that’s a pleasant viewing experience.


Baltimore Orioles– Kevin Brown / Ben McDonald / Jim Palmer

McDonald is folksy without hitting you over the head with it. Kevin Brown is a solid play-by-play announcer who doesn’t just call balls and strikes, but also interjects some humor within the broadcast. The one complaint I’ll register here is I heard Brown and McDonald discussing the opening weekend of college football for a near half-inning. This isn’t a complaint with those two directly, but rather a pet peeve of mine in which baseball announcers discuss and/or compare the game or players to other sports. I struggle to come up with an example of an NBA broadcast where Reggie Miller speculates on the pennant favorites in NL East this year, or Kevin Harlan says that Giannis Antetokounmpo would make a great center fielder. Please, broadcasters, there’s enough impressive in baseball to leave the other sports out of it.


Washington Nationals– Bob Carpenter / Kevin Frandsen


Chicago Cubs– Jon Sciambi / Jim Deshaies

Boog has one of the best voices in the game and makes the game breezy with a good mix of game-calling and asking his partners good, thought-provoking questions, especially on national broadcasts. JD is solid on color commentary, but the two together are not quite as good as Sciambi is on national TV, which is perhaps an unfair expectation of both.


Colorado Rockies– Drew Goodman / Jeff Huson

Both Goodman and Huson have unique voices for broadcasters. It doesn’t make the viewing experience unpleasant at all, and I even found myself appreciating the non-monotony of a broadcast that doesn’t sound so similar to almost all other “announcer voices” across the league. Goodman does a nice job of facilitating conversation with Huson, setting him up with questions that allow him to shine. Both seem to really enjoy the Rockies, which enhances the experience and must be no small feat (just kidding, Rockies fans).


Enjoyable Listen


Texas Rangers– Dave Raymond / CJ Nitkowski

Both announcers for the Rangers seem to truly enjoy the game before them. It should be a prerequisite for calling games (looking at you, national broadcasts), but it’s still appreciated. Dave Raymond excels at using his access to the team to weave in context for what’s happening on the field (“I asked Woody about wearing sunglasses on the hat…”) and both Nitkowski and Raymond seem at home using advanced statistics as context rather than the focal point.


Seattle Mariners– Dave Sims / Mike Blowers

Blowers is a good color commentator in that he deepens the viewers’ understanding of what just happened on the field, rather than simply voicing over the action that’s apparent to anyone watching. The booth strikes a nice balance of being excited for the Mariners without falling into the previously mentioned “us” and “our” trap. On a scale between complete detached neutrality and Hawk Harrelson, the Mariners booth is right in the middle, and that’s a good place to be.


New York Yankees– Michael Kay / David Cone

It appears folks are split on Michael Kay, but one wonders how much of that is separating “radio show” Kay from the one that calls Yankee games with David Cone. I’m aware of Kay’s antics on his radio show but don’t listen to it, so have always found Kay capable and he’s well-suited as a partner to David Cone. Cone, meanwhile, remains one of the best working television analysts when it comes to pitching, so there’s not much additional needed to make this broadcast booth work.


Tampa Bay Rays– Dewayne Staats / Brian Anderson

Dewayne Staats has the best voice in the majors. It has a timeless quality to it, where if you close your eyes you can imagine hearing it over a crackling radio in the 1930s. Brian Anderson competently fills out the broadcast. He doesn’t jump in too much or provide a lot of additional context but also doesn’t fill the time with a lot of extraneous fluff, which is a harder middle ground to find for color commentators than you might expect. The only downside is there’s a completely missed opportunity for the analytically-minded Rays to include a “Staats Corner” for Dewayne to host during each broadcast.


Philadelphia Phillies– Tom McCarthy / John Kruk

After calling Sunday Night Baseball for many years, John Kruk is probably familiar to most baseball viewers. His Phillies broadcast style is much the same– entertaining and self-deprecating– but with many more hours to fill during a full regular season. And so Kruk tells a lot of stories, some of them having to do with the game at hand, but most of them at least entertaining. Your mileage may vary, but it’s different than most other tv games and Tom McCarthy makes a good audience for Kruk.


Pittsburgh Pirates– Greg Brown / Joe Block / Bob Walk


Houston Astros– Todd Kalas / Geoff Blum

Baseball in general has a nepo baby problem, so it’s perhaps not surprising to see it permeate broadcast booths as well. This isn’t a criticism of Todd Kalas (son of the late and legendary Phillies’ announcer), but outside a few exceptions, the broadcast booths across baseball lack much in the way of diversity of background or experience. For his part, Kalas calls a fine game and does most of the talking from my observation. There were a few times I had to check and make sure Geoff Blum was still in the booth, but that alone isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as the booth in general is fairly content to let the game breathe.


Oakland A’s- Glen Kuiper / Dallas Braden

In another family tie, Glen Kuiper is the younger brother of the cross-bridge Giants’ announcer Duane Kuiper. Kuiper the younger does fine work with Dallas Braden, the spiritual successor to Dennis Eckersley. Braden is excited about the big plays and as a result watching A’s games you come away with an appreciation for how impressive the work players on the field are doing.


Calls a Heck of a Game


Minnesota Twins– Dick Bremer / Justin Morneau

There wasn’t a broadcast team I came away more impressed with from this project than the Twins’. Morneau goes in-depth in the best possible way for various game scenarios, such as how PitchCom has changed fielders’ abilities to read signs from the catcher and position themselves accordingly. It enhances the game and I learned something. Dick Bremer facilitates the conversation well, especially when there’s a three-man booth with LaTroy Hawkins on the call as well. There is a lot of talking, unlike the Astros broadcast to name an example, so I would understand if it’s not for everyone.


Los Angeles Dodgers– Joe Davis / Orel Hersheiser

It’s unenviable to be the announcer to come after Vin Scully, but Joe Davis acquits himself well. It’s a good, straightforward, well-informed call and Orel Hersheiser is probably the second-best pitching analyst after only David Cone.


San Diego Padres– Don Orsillo / Mark Grant

I’m still not sure why the Red Sox let Don Orsillo go, but it has been San Diego’s gain. Orsillo ranks right after Dewayne Staats for me in terms of voices in the game, and he successfully navigates the games along with Mark Grant.


San Francisco Giants– Duane Kuiper / Mike Krukow


Would Watch Just for the Announcers


New York Mets– Gary Cohen / Ron Darling / Keith Hernandez

When you’re faced with a slate of games on MLB.TV you’re not particularly invested in, you could do worse than the Mets. Darling and Hernandez are the stars here, but Cohen does admirably in keeping the game moving along and overseeing the conversation. I find Darling’s Mets work to be better than his national calls on TBS, largely because of the chemistry with Keith Hernandez. Earlier I mentioned David Cone and Orel Hersheiser as standouts when it comes to analyzing pitching, but there’s not a booth in baseball that covers the pitching and hitting sides as well as Darling and Hernandez. Their long affiliation with the Mets is helpful in their presentation as well, adding historic context while still appreciating the modern Mets and avoiding the “why it was better in 1986” trap. It’s perhaps the second-best example of combining history and tradition with an appreciation for new analysis and viewpoints, after only…


Chicago White Sox– Jason Benetti / Steve Stone

One of my earliest baseball memories is watching the Cubs in the 80s on WGN-TV with Harry Caray and Steve Stone on the call. Stone would regularly make predictions like, “look for a curveball here…and it is a curveball, he takes it low, 2-0.” I vividly recall asking my dad why the Cubs didn’t just make him the manager if he already knew what pitch was coming. I understand a little better now, but only a little. Stone still throws out tidbits during a game that make you wonder how he knew that.

Jason Benetti is not only the best play-by-play announcer working in baseball, but he might also be the best on TV in general. It helps that he’s widely familiar with advanced statistics and so can add context to the on-field action, but he deftly navigates those topics in a sort of Socratic discussion with Steve Stone. They’re not debating (as that is now a tired trope that is thankfully behind us in baseball broadcasting), but merely conversing about what is happening and providing appropriate context to place it in. Benetti is great with his partners in the booth, allowing them room to provide their expertise in the moments where they’ll shine the best.

Both of them working together truly enhances the game by informing viewers in an entertaining way. The White Sox should consider themselves lucky to have them.


Photo by Matt Botsford/Unsplash | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Sean Roberts

Sean Roberts is a baseball columnist for Pitcher List. His work has been featured on Baseball Prospectus, the Hardball Times, and October. He's still getting used to the DH in the national league. @seanroberts.bsky.social

18 responses to “Ranking all 30 MLB Broadcast Booths”

  1. Mark says:

    who the heck is Larry Krukow–its Mike

  2. Eric says:

    Dewayne Staats would be a great comic book character alter ego for SABRman

  3. corked bats Gibson says:

    Sean – I love Steve Stone’s commentary and play-by-play and followed him back in his Cubs days too. But Gary Cohen is the best guy going right now. And the Mets booth together is the best listen. It’s not even close.

  4. Chris P. says:

    I guess it really goes to show you that the “local guys” are the ones you love — I’m in the Phoenix area and have watched Bob Brenly ever since he started.
    I think the Diamondbacks broadcasts are great and doubt I’d enjoy them nearly as much without Brenly.
    The article fails to mention he was the Diamondbacks’ manager for their one and only World Series championship. How many of these broadcast teams are led by the team’s former World Series-winning manager? If he’s of the “it was better back then” school, it’s because the team literally has never been better than when he was in charge and they won the whole damn thing!

  5. Bill Corfield says:

    Nothing to say on the Pirates team?

  6. Bailey says:

    The disrespect on the Giants broadcasters, long considered the best in the business. Put some respect on MIKE Krukow’s name.

  7. Herbert White says:

    Agree that Steve Stone is and always has been outstanding. But so is Jim Palmer and nary a word about his fine work?

  8. Bummed says:

    Wow. Gets Mike Krukow’s name wrong. Doesn’t mention that Jon Miller (hall of fame broadcaster) and Dave Flemming regularly switch between TV and radio with Kruk and Kuip. I mean yes I’m a Giants fan but I think it’s widely understood that these 4 are some of the best in the business.

    This article really feels lazy when you think about it.

  9. Nick says:

    I know this list is legit cause I’m sure you’ve heard Larry Krukow call many a game for the San Jose Very Tall Persons

  10. Scott says:

    Are you kidding me? No mention of the Milwaukee Brewers team of Brian Anderson and Bill Shroeder?

  11. Tim says:

    How do you leave the Brewers off the list entirely? Brian Anderson and Bill Schroeder are one of the best in baseball in my opinion and the entire article loses credibility by not including them at all.

  12. MJL says:

    I agree with most of this, and I am wondering what you think about the Pirates’ booth. While we wait for your thoughts, I will say that Walk is almost always thoughtful and often funny. Brown has aged well–keeps things lively without laying on the false excitement too heavily.

  13. Matt Lingo says:

    I came here because for the first time ever, I decided to subscribed to MLB.tv after cutting the cord to ditch cable. The only problem is that with a cable last season, I was able watch the Cubs on Marquee Sports Network and the White Sox on NBC Sports Chicago. Though not a fan of either team, I did enjoy hearing Jon Sciambi/Jim Deshaies as well as Jason Benetti/Steve Stone when I watched those games. Don’t get me started, though, on MLB’s blackout restrictions. Granted, I live in northern Indiana so I expect those teams to be included, but I’m still three hours from Chicago. Not only that, but the Tigers and Reds are also included.

    But I’m going to have to agree with some of the other comments listed here. Milwaukee Brewers’ broadcaster Brian Anderson is one of the best in the business. Not only does he do a tremous job for his baseball coverage on Bally Sports Wisconsin, but also for national MLB coverage on TBS and his work doing NCAA tournament basketball games.

    The funny thing is, you’ve included Brian Anderson a commentator for Tampa Bay Rays, who was a relief pitcher. But the link to the name in the article is for current major-leaguer Brian Anderson who plays for the Brewers.

    So maybe it was a brain fart?

  14. Ian says:

    “Ranking all 30 teams” -Doesn’t rank a few of the teams lmao

  15. Tom says:

    Brian Anderson of the Rays doesn’t know when to shut up. Most annoying mouth in baseball.

  16. Billy B says:

    Orel is by far the worst he never shuts up I
    Have to turn the volume down

  17. John Fichter says:

    Can’t understand why you didn’t even mention Jim Palmer, Orioles immensely knowledgeable and insightful color man

  18. Bill says:

    Randomly found this list after getting mlb TV for the first time this year. As a reds fan, let me inform you all that Barry Larkin (only does home games) is BAD. Doesn’t know when to stop talking….goes on long soliloquys that when he finishes you realize he didn’t make a single point. Chris Welsh does MOST of the road games and is pretty good. Knowledgeable pitcher, not the best/most fluid speaker. The real treat though is Jeff Brantley (the Cowboy). He mostly does radio but fills in some on TV. As a play by play, meh, but he is an INCREDIBLE color commentator. He is very entertaining on non-baseball topics and has an amazing baseball pitching mind. Countless times over the years he breaks down the at bat pitch by pitch explaining exactly what the pitcher is trying to do and then of course perfectly predicts what happens next.

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