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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

2020 Outfield Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

For the first time in a long time, Mike Trout isn't the top dog in dynasty baseball. While this is hard to believe for some, the numbers being put up by players like Ronald Acuna Jr., Christian Yelich, and Cody Bellinger, to name only a few, are impossible to ignore.

You simply can't go wrong at the top of the outfield player pool. After the first-rounders are gone, however, the pool becomes a minefield of playing time battles, injury concerns, and worrisome aging curves. Let's dive into this position and dig up some gold for your dynasty drafts.

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the outfield position, put together by analysts Ellis Canady, Nicklaus Gaut, Kyle Brown, and Pierre Camus. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well.

 

Outfield Rankings — Dynasty Leagues (March)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Rank Tier Player Name Position Pierre Camus Nicklaus Gaut Ellis Canady
1 1 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF 1 2 1
2 1 Mike Trout OF 2 1 2
3 1 Christian Yelich OF 4 3 3
4 1 Juan Soto OF 3 7 4
5 1 Mookie Betts OF 7 4 5
6 1 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 6 5 7
7 2 Bryce Harper OF 14 19 15
8 2 Aaron Judge OF 23 37 17
9 2 J.D. Martinez OF 22 22 34
10 2 Eloy Jimenez OF 20 35 24
11 2 Yordan Alvarez OF 27 32 26
12 3 Victor Robles OF 36 53 37
13 3 Starling Marte OF 34 39 58
14 3 Austin Meadows OF 42 50 39
15 3 George Springer OF 56 25 51
16 3 Giancarlo Stanton OF 57 52 71
17 3 Luis Robert OF 32 107 49
18 4 Andrew Benintendi OF 59 68 70
19 4 Joey Gallo OF 72 57 69
20 4 Marcell Ozuna OF 45 75 88
21 4 Charlie Blackmon OF 98 40 85
22 4 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 143 43 44
23 4 Ramon Laureano OF 73 70 87
24 4 Ketel Marte 2B/SS/OF 106 60 76
25 4 Jo Adell OF 82 101 62
26 4 Eddie Rosario OF 99 63 90
27 5 Michael Conforto OF 89 99 81
28 5 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 134 47 91
29 5 Nick Castellanos OF 74 109 96
30 5 Michael Brantley OF 71 106 110
31 5 Kyle Tucker OF 101 115 86
32 5 Tommy Pham OF 122 82 116
33 5 Max Kepler OF 121 104 98
34 6 Oscar Mercado OF 100 120 112
35 6 David Dahl OF 85 153 102
36 6 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 111 111 118
37 6 Yasiel Puig OF 116 94 139
38 6 Willie Calhoun OF 81 127 169
39 6 Jorge Soler OF 155 102 123
40 6 Franmil Reyes OF 120 122 140
41 6 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF 203 93 105
42 6 Nick Senzel OF 150 162 107
43 6 Alex Verdugo OF 103 188 132
44 6 Lorenzo Cain OF 131 144 156
45 6 Byron Buxton OF 178 136 120
46 6 Bryan Reynolds OF 142 141 152
47 6 Mitch Haniger OF 139 150 159
48 6 Khris Davis OF 126 190 148
49 7 Aristides Aquino OF 167 130 182
50 7 Kyle Schwarber OF 215 139 172
51 7 Nomar Mazara OF 140 219 170
52 7 Lourdes Gurriel 2B/OF 241 126 183
53 7 Austin Riley OF 171 242 153
54 7 Mallex Smith OF 169 177 235
55 7 Trent Grisham OF 165 231 192
56 7 Julio Rodriguez OF 242 228 144
57 8 Hunter Renfroe OF 152 267 199
58 8 Hunter Dozier 1B/3B/OF 228 221 176
59 8 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 182 235 209
60 8 Joc Pederson 1B/OF 257 146 223
61 8 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS/OF 227 254 185
62 8 Jarred Kelenic OF 254 250 163
63 8 Justin Upton OF 248 184 236
64 8 David Peralta OF 195 272 230
65 8 Victor Reyes OF #N/A 234 #N/A
66 9 Taylor Trammell OF 170 335 200
67 9 Alex Kirilloff OF 218 332 174
68 9 J.D. Davis 3B/OF 356 159 215
69 9 A.J. Pollock OF 294 204 242
70 9 Aaron Hicks OF 288 244 231
71 9 Jesse Winker OF 200 290 281
72 9 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF #N/A 263 #N/A
73 9 Dylan Carlson OF 297 302 198
74 10 Adam Eaton OF 310 195 295
75 10 Stephen Piscotty OF 234 304 273
76 10 Domingo Santana OF 181 372 274
77 10 Kyle Lewis OF 224 309 305
78 10 Gregory Polanco OF 286 270 287
79 10 Brandon Nimmo OF 345 211 294
80 10 Avisail Garcia OF 323 237 307
81 10 Andrew McCutchen OF 369 172 334
82 10 Austin Hays OF 359 275 247

 

Tier One

Acuna is an absolute monster in today's fantasy baseball landscape. With stolen bases getting harder and harder to find, Acuna's 40/40 potential at 22 years old is the perfect, and only, type of age/production combination that could wrestle away the top spot from Mike Trout. Keep in mind that Aunca Jr. has not yet had his peak season, and the possibility of him putting up a .300/40/40 campaign this year is very real. Do everything in your power to get that #1 pick in your dynasty draft.

There is nothing wrong with Mike Trout. In a 5x5 format, Acuna has a higher ceiling due to the steals, but Mike Trout's floor is still an MVP season. It will be interesting to see what Trout's stolen base total is in 2020 after he had surgery to fix a nagging nerve issue in his foot at the end of 2019. It's too easy to simply write off the possibility of Trout stealing 30 bags again. Consider Mike Trout's 2014 and 2015 seasons where he only stole 16 and 11 bases, respectively. Well, all he did after that was go out and steal 30 bases in 2016. Trout is still several years away from his decline and remains a legitimate choice for the #1 overall pick in any format.

If Yelich's 2019 had not been cut short by an unlucky foul ball, he might have hit 50 HR with 40 SB. No, really. In just 130 games, he was able to mash 44 bombs and swipe 30 bags. He is also the only player in tier one to hit over .320 for two consecutive seasons. Simply put, Yelich is elite is every single 5x5 category, and you really can't say that about any other player in fantasy baseball. At only 28, Yelich has a few more MVP seasons left in the tank.

Juan Soto's emergence defies reason. He has hit 56 HR in the major leagues and will play the entirety of 2020 as a 21-year-old. Players like this simply do not come around very often. A big part of his elite value in 2019, and his top-15 ADP in 2020, comes from the 12 SB he logged last year. Soto's sprint speed was in the 60th percentile last season, which is good, but his minor league career lacks a track record of swiping bags. If Soto can continue to tack on double-digit steals for the next few seasons, he is likely to remain a first-rounder for the next decade. Juan is just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential, and none of us are ready for what's to come.

Mookie Betts had a down year in 2019 and still had a wOBA of .380 with a wRC+ of 135. His floor is extremely high, and NASA is probably monitoring his other-worldly ceiling. Betts will be hitting at the top of a Dodgers lineup that could easily be the best in baseball in 2020, even without a DH. Oh yeah, Mookie is also in a contract year. Betting on elite players to put everything on the line for a huge season and subsequent payday is just smart money. He may not have the green monster to smack doubles off anymore, but the centerfield wall in Dodger Stadium is much friendlier than centerfield in Fenway. Betts is still in the conversation for the best player in baseball. Don't let him slip too far.

You can read about Cody Bellinger in the 1st base rankings here. First base is incredibly thin this season, and it is, therefore, unwise to think of Bellinger as an OF. That said, the multi-position eligibility is a nice chip to keep in your back pocket.

 

Tier Two

Harper is a frustrating player to own in dynasty leagues. It can feel as if Harper merely decides what stats he wants to chase in a given year and gets tunnel vision. Frustration aside, Harper possesses the skills to turn in HOF level production at any time. Just look at his .330/.460/.649 season in 2015, or his .319/.413/.595 season in 2017 for proof. Both his average exit velocity and hard-hit rate are in the 86th percentile or better, and his on-base skills are incredible. With a floor of 30/15, the 27-year-old Harper is a great piece for any dynasty team despite the possibility of a .250 average.

Aaron Judge has a bum shoulder and a stress fracture in his rib. Without knowing how the injuries will play out for 2020 and beyond, it is extremely difficult to place a value on the oft-injured slugger. We all know that Judge has the potential to hit 50 HR with any baseball, but will he ever reach that number again? Proceed with caution.

J.D. Martinez is as steady as they come. JDM has hit over .300 for four consecutive seasons, a very rare feat for a power hitter that can easily blast 40 HR. At 32, the clock is running out on Martinez for dynasty leagues, but until the numbers show a noticeable dip, there isn't much reason to get off the train.

In a world where seemingly every top prospect comes up and immediately lights the world on fire, Eloy Jimenez's debut could be viewed as a disappointment. Do not fall into this trap and let the Eloys of the world slip through your fingers because they didn't go all Acuna and Soto on the league. Jimenez's two biggest problems are a lack of walks and an abundance of strikeouts. However, both of these shortcomings are hidden in a 5x5 format, and at just 23, he has lots of time to grow into the 40 HR masher we all expect him to become.

Yordan Alvarez was just 22 years old in 2019, but that didn't stop him from hitting 50 HR between AAA and the MLB last season. His slugging percentage in 56 AAA games last season was .742. The major leagues barely slowed him down after he debuted, and his final triple-slash line ended up a jaw-dropping .313/.412/.655. The league should adjust to him with a full season of analysis, but Alvarez is likely to remain an upper-echelon power source for dynasty teams for six to eight more seasons. That said, he is a risk to lose OF eligibility in the future if he doesn't log enough games on the grass.

 

Tier Three

Victor Robles has plenty of people cheering and jeering him on both sides of the fence. Those who favor him are looking at his elite speed (29.3 ft/sec). Those who steer away from him are eyeing the poor 81 MPH average exit velocity. At 23 years of age, there’s still time to decide which side of the fence you’re on.

Feet don’t fail me now. Starling Marte’s superior sprint speed (29 ft/sec) endured another year. If you believe in his career-high Barrel rate (8.2%), then a 20 HR/30 SB season is well within reach for the aging veteran.

Austin Meadows is the next superstar with power and speed. The youngster will have his streaky moments, but a decade of this goodness has people salivating. He is worth his current price.

Luis Robert represents a ton of value at this very moment. Right now, he has the potential to hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases. You could even look at his .312 AVG across his minor league career and project a great batting average as well. Everything looks peachy. Consider using this as an opportunity to test the market. Robert’s value will never be as high as it is now when the imagination runs wild of what he could become. Long-term, he does have the tools to be a very good fantasy player.

 

Tier Four

Andrew Benintendi contributes in all five categories but doesn’t excel in any one of them. His tremendous 2018 season was supposed to be a launching pad for an exciting career. However, his contact rate (77.3%) dropped off, and his Swinging Strike rate (11.6%) jumped. A silver lining is that he improved his performance against southpaws. Right now, Benintendi is a great buy-low candidate. Get in now.

What type of dynasty league are you in? Joey Gallo is perfect for those big-power and high-OBP leagues, albeit with a low-average.

Marcell Ozuna might present a buying opportunity if the owner is fretting over a career-low batting average. His one-year contract in Atlanta will provide the opportunity for plenty of counting stats to boost his value by the end of the season. Don’t get involved with paying for his career-high 12 stolen bases, though.

Charlie Blackmon is still a four-category contributor that has a lovely home park. However, he is best suited for the win-now roster construction as he’s not getting younger (33 years old) or faster (26.7 ft/sec).

Kris Bryant still has outfield eligibility. Though he has above-average speed (28.2 ft/sec), it hasn’t resulted in many stolen bases. Bryant does have excellent plate discipline, though, which has contributed to tallying 100 runs in three of the last four years. The trend should continue with a move to the leadoff spot and a career .385 OBP. Bryant might even have some discounted value in him.

A leg injury didn’t stop Ramon Laureano from validating his rookie season. He exhibited enough power (93.3 mph LD/FB) and speed (28.5 ft/sec) to make people slobber over themselves at the possibilities. We would prefer a higher walk rate that 5.6%, but we won’t quibble about the process if he can achieve 30 HR/20 SB.

 

Tier Five

Michael Conforto seems to have put the shoulder troubles in the past. He has rewarded you with the power (33 HR) that you sought all along. However, be honest with the talent; He’s not a four or five-category contributor. Conforto is a serious power bat (40 HR, anyone?) who will draw plenty of walks (13%).

Nick Castellanos falls into a primo situation that allows every owner to giggle like little school girls. Covered in Cincinnati red, he will attempt to convert his league-leading 58 doubles into even more homers for the next four years. If you own him, hold onto him unless the offer is substantial for a four-category provider.

Tucker’s performance at Triple-A in 2019 was jaw-dropping; he compiled 189 R +RBI, 34 HR, and 30 SB with a .266 AVG. Regardless of your personal opinion, Tucker earned an opportunity to ride the MLB pine and get a few spot-starts. He has been waiting a while, but it seems regular playing time is near as Josh Reddick is in the final year of his contract. The 23-year-old brings power and speed that will make him a coveted asset annually.

 

Tier Six and lower

David Dahl and Willie Calhoun represent the opposite end of the opportunity spectrum. Dahl has been presented with chances, but his injuries have kept him from giving any consistent excitement to owners. They have every right to be restless, but his potential is too much for them to give up on him. I’d move on from him as soon as possible. That might not happen until he entices owners with a sniff of his all-around performance.

Calhoun has power and should hit for a high batting average. He lacks a defensive position as he’s not as defensively inclined as he is at the plate. Calhoun is projected to own an outfield spot in 2020; however, a fastball broke his jaw in spring training. Once he returns from surgery, it wouldn’t be surprising if he became a bit more timid in the batter’s box.

Grisham and Verdugo both benefit from trades that open avenues for playing time. Grisham had poor minor league performances until a power breakout (26 HR) at Double- and Triple-A in 2019. The power quickly carried over with six long balls in 156 at-bats. While the batting average (.231) was poor, his 10.9% walk rate was encouraging. Even with a .250 average, Grisham’s power and premium speed (29.1 ft/sec) make him a target everywhere. How much does he cost in your league?

Verdugo was the major piece in return for Mookie Betts and David Price. The pressure already exists to validate the value sacrificed. In his best year, Verdugo will never be Betts, but he is still a great asset hitting at the top of a dynamite lineup. Verdugo has discipline and a great eye at the plate that will limit his swing and misses. However, he won’t be looking to take walks (6.9%). His principle tools (power and batting average) will keep his value high regardless of any injuries, and it will be worth it.

Bryan Reynolds silently flies under many radars. Some consider him the replacement for Michael Brantley on your roster. Statistically, he looks to fit the mold with a .314/.377/.503 slash line. Naysayers will point towards his .371 wOBA that outweighed his actual xwOBA (.357). They will even bring up a very generous .387 BABIP. We can't predict the future, but I will point this out. Reynolds has not had a BABIP below .362 or a batting average below .302 in his entire professional career.

Carlson and Hays represent the next group of prospects that deserve their fair share of big-league playing time in 2020. Carlson skyrocketed up the rankings and is considered a contender to get a spot to start the season. He hit 21 homers with 18 stolen bases and a .281 batting average at Double-A in 2019. I know, I know. Our fantasy teams need him on our rosters now. Check your league to see if the positivity train has already inflated his value beyond reach.

Hays has continuously battled injuries but did well in 2019. In only 75 plate appearances, he hit four long balls and had a .309 AVG while pitching in two stolen bases. Some of these numbers contradict his minor league performances, but player development is significant. Playing time is extremely important in fantasy and Hays has already been identified as the leadoff guy for the Orioles. Not only does he call Camden Yards home, but he has a few more favorable parks to visit in the American League East. Assuming health, the 25-year-old rookie will show us the extent of his skills soon enough. It doesn't hurt to have a couple of cheap shares of him.

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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis Editor Note Featured Baseball MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

2020 Starting Pitcher Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

Even with the baseball season delayed, many are looking for places to cast their stored up fantasy baseball energy. With no drafts or mocks to do, the Dynasty community becomes the primary source of enjoyment. Your team could be looking to continue their dominance, rebuild, or in a worst-case scenario, stick their hands up in frustration. Regardless of the team's competitive situation, everyone wants to add value to their roster.

Starting pitcher has a wide variety of talent, and everyone will be looking at the same players in the upper tier. This could force the market to share the same valuations and control pricing. Future elite options like Jesus Luzardo and Julio Urias will drive the market as well. However, there will always be players in the middle-to-late range that will have people conflicted. This is where you can find values if you believe in players more than others. Don't forget about the value that veterans can bring to your dynasty strategy.

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the second base position, put together by analysts Nicklaus Gaut, Pierre Camus, and Ellis Canady. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well, coming soon!

 

Starting Pitcher Rankings - Dynasty Leagues (March)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Rank Tier Name Position Pierre Camus Nicklaus Gaut Ellis Canady
1 1 Gerrit Cole SP 16 11 14
2 1 Jacob deGrom SP 15 14 21
3 1 Walker Buehler SP 19 17 19
4 2 Jack Flaherty SP 25 30 38
5 2 Shohei Ohtani DH/SP 39 29 33
6 2 Shane Bieber SP 29 45 36
7 2 Justin Verlander SP 30 36 46
8 2 Blake Snell SP 48 34 40
9 2 Max Scherzer SP 37 38 48
10 2 Luis Castillo SP 38 59 45
11 2 Mike Clevinger SP 51 49 43
12 2 Aaron Nola SP 47 56 52
13 2 Stephen Strasburg SP 53 51 53
14 2 Chris Sale SP 64 42 54
15 3 Chris Paddack SP 60 69 61
16 3 Patrick Corbin SP 66 67 63
17 3 Clayton Kershaw SP 69 64 66
18 3 Lucas Giolito SP 65 71 64
19 3 Noah Syndergaard SP 61 96 55
20 3 Tyler Glasnow SP 96 76 82
21 4 Charlie Morton SP 75 81 99
22 4 Brandon Woodruff SP 77 88 92
23 4 James Paxton SP 94 83 84
24 4 Mike Soroka SP 70 121 73
25 4 Trevor Bauer SP 76 112 77
26 4 Jose Berrios SP 58 147 68
27 4 Zack Greinke SP 95 92 100
28 5 Hyun-Jin Ryu SP 102 86 109
29 5 Yu Darvish SP 125 80 101
30 5 Jesus Luzardo SP 114 110 95
31 5 Zac Gallen SP 97 140 94
32 5 Eduardo Rodriguez SP 90 154 89
33 5 Max Fried SP 93 128 124
34 5 Corey Kluber SP 124 125 115
35 5 Brendan McKay SP 43 196 125
36 5 Carlos Carrasco SP 136 105 136
37 5 Madison Bumgarner SP 104 173 114
38 5 Robbie Ray SP 112 158 128
39 5 Frankie Montas SP/RP 151 116 133
40 5 Dinelson Lamet SP 130 100 175
41 5 Forrest Whitley SP 91 210 108
42 5 Sonny Gray SP 160 138 129
43 5 Zack Wheeler SP 163 142 126
44 5 Sean Manaea SP 137 163 141
45 5 Matthew Boyd SP 141 156 151
46 5 Casey Mize SP 113 203 150
47 6 Mike Minor SP 128 182 162
48 6 MacKenzie Gore SP 154 201 122
49 6 A.J. Puk SP 158 183 138
50 6 David Price SP 129 160 193
51 6 Julio Urias SP/RP 204 149 147
52 6 Nate Pearson SP 148 185 180
53 6 Mitch Keller SP 133 180 205
54 6 Kyle Hendricks SP 202 152 168
55 6 Lance Lynn SP 207 135 190
56 6 Matt Manning SP 157 236 145
57 7 Caleb Smith SP 188 168 188
58 7 German Marquez SP 179 189 177
59 7 Luke Weaver SP 189 170 202
60 7 Dustin May SP 185 213 173
61 7 Lance McCullers Jr. SP 193 197 #N/A
62 7 Masahiro Tanaka SP 187 241 164
63 7 Carlos Martinez SP/RP 176 208 211
64 7 Marcus Stroman SP 206 187 204
65 7 Mike Foltynewicz SP 183 262 166
66 7 Griffin Canning SP 149 248 216
67 7 Michael Kopech SP 190 230 194
68 7 Joey Lucchesi SP 174 206 237
69 7 Sixto Sanchez SP 159 269 191
70 7 Ryan Yarbrough SP 168 227 234
71 7 Jon Gray SP 205 216 217
72 7 Andrew Heaney SP 244 166 229
73 8 Domingo German SP 199 220 225
74 8 Joe Musgrove SP 222 199 233
75 8 Kenta Maeda SP/RP 214 176 277
76 8 Miles Mikolas SP 213 194 262
77 8 Jake Odorizzi SP 209 265 207
78 8 Jose Urquidy SP #N/A 233 228
79 9 Sandy Alcantara SP 186 314 208
80 9 Matthew Liberatore SP 243 #N/A #N/A
81 9 Steven Matz SP 197 292 245
82 9 Alex Reyes SP/RP 239 #N/A 257
83 9 Aaron Civale SP 268 238 #N/A
84 9 Brent Honeywell SP 127 394 252
85 9 Adrian Houser SP #N/A 258 #N/A
86 9 Eric Lauer SP 260 #N/A #N/A
87 9 Jameson Taillon SP 212 285 290
88 10 Jorge Guzman SP 279 #N/A #N/A
89 10 Dallas Keuchel SP 220 319 303
90 10 Cole Hamels SP 221 323 301
91 10 Rick Porcello SP 264 271 310
92 10 Triston McKenzie SP 184 389 275
93 11 Brady Singer SP 283 #N/A #N/A
94 11 Pablo Lopez SP 219 382 248
95 11 Spencer Howard SP #N/A 245 331
96 11 Dylan Cease SP 301 301 279
97 11 Reynaldo Lopez SP 211 397 276
98 11 Dylan Bundy SP 289 255 356
99 11 Kyle Wright SP 156 482 263

 

Tier One

Gerrit Cole didn’t win the Cy Young, but he finished the 2019 season with a 20-5 record, 2.64 FIP, and led the majors in strikeouts (326). He also had a league-leading 34% K-BB. Cole used his success in Houston to launch himself into a dynamite free agency. The Yankees saw the same thing fantasy owners did and paid him a hefty sum. To obtain Cole, you’ll need to sacrifice what feels like more than the Yankees did. If you own him, ring that cowbell.

Jacob deGrom has every right to own the top spot, even though he will play most of 2020 at 32 years of age. He is a workhorse that provides excellent ratios and strikeouts across 200 innings of a regular, non-shortened season. Historically, the Mets have been unable to provide deGrom with a suitable number of wins. His age and win total is no reason to offer a discount to anyone looking to purchase deGrom.

Walker Buehler has youth and elite stuff to be in this tier for quite some time. His arsenal is headlined by a fastball that he throws 60% of the time. It is his slider (18%) and curveball (17.1%) that generate the most swinging strikes. Buehler etched his name in the elite tier in 2019 with a FIP (3.01) that ranked fifth among qualified starters.

 

Tier Two

Bieber has struck gold for some owners, but your perspective will depend on whether you’re buying or selling. Many had concerns prior to 2019 after he lived in the zone 50% of the time in 2018. Bieber cast off any doubters with a 25.5% K-BB that ranked fifth among starters. His 1.30 HR/9 isn’t preferable, but that isn’t going to keep him from the second tier of pitchers. You’ll need to pay a pretty penny to get a premium pitcher who is only 24 years old.

Scherzer led all starters with a 2.45 FIP in 2019. The competitive status of your team defines his value. If you’re rebuilding, Scherzer doesn't have enough time to wait on your squad. You will have to determine the best time to sell. Is it before the season starts or halfway through the season when you can find a team that needs one elite starter to push them towards the championship trophy?

When you win a Cy Young, it’s tough to match that excellence. Few could have expected Snell to have a 2019 riddled with injuries in the form of toe and elbow issues. He was also wholly unlucky with a .343 BABIP, and his performance resulted in a 4.29 ERA (3.32 FIP). Snell’s 2020 season hasn’t started any better with a cortisone injection in his elbow. He is a dominant pitcher when he’s on the mound, but with continued health issues, Snell also has tremendous risk. It might be worth it to see if his owner is shaking in his or her boots, looking to discharge Snell from their roster.

There will always be bumps and bruises with pitchers. Clevinger has had his share of them, but they haven’t stopped him from providing excellent returns. Even with back and ankle injuries in 2019, he matched the previous season’s record (13-4) in only 21 starts. Clevinger utilizes four pitches that each earned a Swinging Strike rate higher than 13.94% (fastball). Even at 30 years of age, Clevinger has plenty of tread left on the tire.

Luis Castillo might want to thank Derek Johnson for some of his 2019 success. He finished with a 15-8 record and a 28.9% strikeout rate. Castillo increased his changeup (32%) usage that generated a 27% whiff rate. He also finished fourth among all qualified pitchers with a 15.9% Swinging Strike rate. Don’t get sidetracked by his 4.02 ERA that was ballooned by a couple of rough outings in the second half. Trust in the 3.70 FIP and be confident that he can repeat. Although, we would like to see the 10% walk rate trimmed down a little bit.

 

Tier Three

Paddack’s rookie debut couldn’t be any more marvelous. The crowd went wild with each start; unfortunately, the frequency of his starts was inconsistent as the season went along to minimize his innings. Paddack still finished with 153 strikeouts in 140.2 innings. He utilized two pitches, a four-seamer and a changeup, to earn a 3.95 FIP and a 0.98 WHIP. Paddack also led all pitchers with 71.3% first-pitch strikes (minimum 140 innings). There is still room for growth in his arsenal. While many are excited at owning a young fireballer, don’t forget to consider the value he possesses in a trade.

Where are all the people concerned about Patrick Corbin’s health? With back-to-back seasons exceeding 200 innings, 238 strikeouts, and a 14.2% Swinging Strike rate, let’s just consider him a reliable starter worthy of more recognition than what he receives.

Clayton Kershaw bounced back in 2019 after a 2018 season that many thought indicated the end of his elite status. He is no longer the pitcher that sat at the top of the SP totem pole. Even with a velocity (90 mph) that has declined for four-straight seasons, Kershaw is still a premium starter.

Giolito’s terrible 2018 left many supporters lost and concluding that he was another over-hyped pitching prospect. His 5.30 ERA in the first 18 innings of 2019 confirmed that as well, despite a 3.91 FIP. Regardless of what anyone tells you, no one anticipated the phoenix. Giolito rose from the ashes to finish the season with a 3.43 FIP and 228 strikeouts in 176.2 innings. The turnaround stems from an increase in both his fastball (55%) and changeup usage (26%). Giolito also brought back the velocity (94.6 mph) and increased his first-pitch strikes (62%). If you believe in his changes, you’re keeping him. If you doubt them, you’ll be maximizing profit.

Syndergaard has had a rollercoaster career for dynasty leaguers. Selling him now would sacrifice an opportunity to gain value. Check your dedication level.

Glasnow shoves it with a two-pitch mix, a 97.6 mph fastball and a curveball. In 60.2 innings, he had a 2.26 FIP, 33% strikeout rate, and a 50.4% ground-ball rate. The primary concern with Glasnow has been his health. If the health or limited arsenal concerns you, it might be time to consider trading him off.

 

Tier Four

Charlie Morton has already stated he will be retiring after the 2020 season. At 36 years old, we have to take him at his word. As such, you have one of two options. Your team is competing; therefore you keep him. Or, your team is rebuilding in which case you need to get as much value as possible for him.

Paxton and Greinke are both on the list to own only if you are competing this year. Greinke is here primarily due to his age, and Paxton, who is only 31 years old, slots in due to his continual health issues. Of course, his upside is still tremendous when he is on the field. The optimum situation is to sell after he’s had a streak of consistent health and elite performance.

Soroka put on an impressive display of control in his age-21 season. Don’t get blinded by the 2.68 ERA as his 3.85 xFIP is more telling. Soroka’s 80% Left on Base rate and .280 BABIP were sparkling, a little too much. Even if these regress a bit, he can still sit near a 3.50 FIP. Soroka shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg as most owners want more strikeout upside that a 20% K rate. He also benefits from the Braves giving him continual opportunities for wins. Soroka might still be undervalued.

Everyone expects more from Berrios. Even if he never develops ace-level status, Berrios is still a very good starter. Though he’s lost a tick off his velocity the last three seasons, Berrios came just short of striking out 200 batters for the second-consecutive season. Now is an optimal time to buy as concerns are growing regarding his lack of upside and his second-half struggles of 2019. Let’s be clear, though. While the ERA fell, Berrios’ second-half 3.86 FIP remained the same as his first-half level (3.85). Two hundred strikeouts and a 3.50 annually isn’t out of the realm of possibility. That is a very good dynasty asset.

 

Tier Five

The Darvish resurgence is in full swing. Yes, he’s 33 years old, but it looks like you can get a couple more years of supreme strikeouts.

Luzardo is the next wave of elite starters, but you already knew that. Multiple injuries in 2019 delayed his season until he could get 12 innings in September. If you’re going to make a pitch for him, do it now. Once he wins the Rookie of the Year, his price will be untouchable. His health has to be a consideration since he’s already had Tommy John surgery (2016) and a few other issues on his record. When he’s on the mound, he exudes confidence and excellence with his three plus pitches.

In regards to Max Fried, every fantasy baseball analyst across the internet agrees. He is the darling of the preseason. Fried is the SP3 everyone wants to own. It is not hard to see with 53.6% ground-ball, 63.7% first-pitch strike, and 18% K-BB rates. If the excitement continues to build, this might be the last time you can get him at a reasonable price.

Kluber, Carrasco, and Bumgarner are all trending in the wrong direction. Bumgarner’s move to Arizona isn’t viewed as a positive as he has a 3.68 FIP away from Oracle Park.

Kluber missed a majority of 2019 with a fractured arm as well as an oblique injury. He didn’t perform well in 35 innings. Five-straight seasons exceeding 200 innings might have finally taken its toll as well. The Rangers staff will attempt to work their magic. It’s time to sell.

Carrasco’s return from a severe malady has been impressive and heartwarming. The question now will be whether he returns to the 200-strikeout pitcher of 2017 and 2018. At 33 years of age, that is questionable. All the best, Cookie.

 

Tier Six and Lower

The cover of the David Price book might cause some to shrug their shoulders with indifference when looking at his 4.28 ERA and declining 92 mph velocity. Ongoing injuries, 3.62 FIP, and a move to a favorable ballpark/division should persuade you to dust off this old cowboy for one more cattle drive.

The Dodgers have finally cleared a path to consistent starts for Julio Urias. His stuff is undeniable, and he will be in the elite category soon enough. For this, he carries a hefty dynasty tag with him. It is unfortunate that he dealt with a suspension for domestic violence during the 2019 season.

Nate Pearson brings excitement and an inflated cost for some. Sure he throws 100 mph and is a bulldog on the mound. If you think Pearson stays as a starter, he might be a good buy. If you think he ends up in the bullpen, then the price might be a bit too rich.

There is a bunch of helium surrounding Mitch Keller thanks to his undeserved 7.13 ERA and .475 BABIP. His 28.6% strikeout rate and 3.19 FIP are exactly what we want. However, he is still a speculation play, so if someone is trying to make you pay the “he’s already done it” price, look elsewhere.

Currently, German Marquez has four years left in Colorado. If he ever escapes prior to that, his value will skyrocket. Over the last two seasons, he has a 3.31 ERA and a 25.8% strikeout rate away from Coors.

Struggling or rebuilding teams often need a couple of players to break through to increase value for both fantasy teams and trades. Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Bundy fall in this category.

Lopez didn't have a great year, but he improved to a 4.18 FIP and a 22.5% strikeout rate in the second half of 2019. The addition of Yasmani Grandal might be enough to improve performance and increase trade value.

Bundy isn't sexy, so you can get him quite easily. He benefits from a move to LA. Not only does he have a better park, but Bundy's 53% Pull and 41% ground-ball rates versus right-handers make the Anthony Rendon addition a valuable resource.

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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

2020 Shortstop Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

As the season draws near, we realize suddenly that it's draft season. There is a large portion of fantasy baseball busy with mock drafts, rankings, sleepers, and more mock drafts. The Dynasty community, on the other hand, is looking to continue their dominance, rebuild, or in a worst-case scenario, stick their hands up in frustration. Regardless of the team's competitive situation, everyone wants to add value to their roster.

Shortstop is the deepest position in fantasy baseball and ensures nearly every team in your league will have the spot comfortably filled. This presents an issue and opportunity when managing your leagues. It is an issue as it could limit trading if you have multiple shortstops on your roster. It presents an opportunity as there are many potential investments for profit available. Make sure you have a stud, even in the likes of Bo Bichette or Xander Bogaerts. After that, you have 50 other players that you can use to speculate on to test your Buy-Low/Sell-High strategy.

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the second base position, put together by analysts Nicklaus Gaut, Pierre Camus, and Ellis Canady. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well, coming soon!

 

Shortstop Rankings - Dynasty Leagues (March)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Rank Tier Player Name Position Pierre Camus Nick Gaut Ellis Canady
1 1 Francisco Lindor SS 9 6 8
2 1 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 5 12 6
3 1 Trea Turner SS 8 10 9
4 1 Trevor Story SS 13 9 13
5 1 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS 12 13 10
6 1 Javier Baez SS 17 20 18
7 2 Gleyber Torres 2B/SS 24 31 23
8 2 Xander Bogaerts SS 26 27 27
9 2 Adalberto Mondesi SS 28 23 30
10 2 Wander Franco SS 54 33 47
11 3 Bo Bichette SS 46 61 31
12 3 Manny Machado 3B/SS 86 41 35
13 3 Carlos Correa SS 62 78 56
14 3 Tim Anderson SS 63 95 67
15 3 Ketel Marte 2B/SS/OF 106 60 76
16 4 Gavin Lux 2B/SS 92 114 78
17 4 Jorge Polanco SS 105 124 93
18 4 Marcus Semien SS 132 91 104
19 4 Corey Seager SS 107 132 106
20 5 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS 236 85 135
20 5 Amed Rosario SS 201 134 130
21 5 Jean Segura SS 208 137 154
22 5 Paul DeJong SS 153 169 181
23 5 Didi Gregorius SS 194 175 196
24 5 Elvis Andrus SS 231 155 206
25 5 Royce Lewis SS 180 313 119
26 6 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 182 235 209
27 6 Carter Kieboom SS 173 289 171
28 6 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS/OF 227 254 185
29 6 Brendan Rodgers 2B/SS 161 369 165
31 6 Willy Adames SS 237 300 218
32 6 Dansby Swanson SS 255 291 214
33 6 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF #N/A 263 #N/A
34 7 Kevin Newman 2B/SS 410 164 288
35 7 Marco Luciano SS 316 346 212
36 7 Danny Santana 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 324 123 238
37 7 Luis Urias 2B/SS 307 415 201
38 7 Jazz Chisholm SS 319 350 268
39 7 Xavier Edwards SS 409 383 222
40 7 Ryan Mountcastle SS 331 457 251
41 7 CJ Abrams SS 272 427 #N/A
42 7 Mauricio Dubon 2B/SS 373 #N/A 350
43 8 Bobby Witt Jr. SS 287 441 #N/A
44 8 Ronny Mauricio SS 402 #N/A 372
45 8 Brayan Rocchio SS #N/A #N/A 375
46 8 Luis Garcia SS 375 #N/A #N/A
47 8 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/SS/OF 499 337 289
48 8 Nick Ahmed SS 341 357 429
49 8 Andrelton Simmons SS 391 387 359
50 8 Tyler Freeman SS 451 384 318
51 8 Andres Gimenez SS 362 468 404
52 8 Cole Tucker SS 420 #N/A #N/A
53 9 Leury Garcia SS/OF 350 516 405
54 9 Nicky Lopez SS 424 #N/A #N/A
55 9 Jorge Mateo 2B/SS/OF 392 550 341
56 9 J.P. Crawford SS 429 #N/A #N/A
57 9 Jeter Downs SS 423 442 #N/A

 

Tier One

There are seven players in this tier. If you’re lucky to have any one of these guys, you’re set at the position. Lindor, Bregman, Story, and Turner are all excellent options and provide similar elite stats.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the latest hot stuff in baseball. His stat line glistens with possibilities. We didn’t get to see the extent of his rising start as unfortunate hamstring and back issues disrupted and ultimately ended his 2019 season. Tatis did ooze power (22HR) and speed (16SB) in only 334 at-bats. However, he demonstrated concerning aggressiveness at the plate and had a 15.6% Swinging Strike rate. Tatis should be off the market in your league. You should be ecstatic if you can acquire him for anything less than an elite player. Another perspective, considering he will have some regression, is to consider trading the undefinable helium into an uber elite player.

Javier Baez defies the odds and gives you comfort despite some unsettling metrics. In 2019, he had a 44.1% Chase rate with an equally unbelievable 18.3% Swinging Strike rate. Though he is a chase monster, Baez still finds success at the plate. It might be considered a disappointing season, but he still hit 29 homers with 11 steals and a .281 batting average. He is worth acquiring as his 2019 gives an opportunity to acquire his services.

 

Tier Two

Xander Bogaerts doesn’t carry the same excitement as some other premium shortstops. However, he is an outstanding four-category contributor that gets glossed over because of the tremendous depth at the position.

Adalberto Mondesi has had repeated injuries that have slowed his glide path. He won’t be a major producer in 2020. However, he is a premium speed option in the game for the foreseeable future. It is concerning that he lacks plate discipline in addition to a 29.8 percent strikeout rate. Thankfully he’s only 24 years old and can still develop these skills. The shoulder concern and strikeout rate might present a buying opportunity. Take advantage if you have a backup plan.

Wander Franco is not too far from reinforcing the mistaken expectation that all prospects should be superstars once promoted. That mentality shouldn’t be the norm, but the difference is that 19-year-old Franco actually is a star. Everyone knows about his super-fast bat speed and the power/speed combo he brings to the table. Franco’s elite plate discipline enabled him to walk (56) more than he struck out (35) across Single- and High-A levels in 2019. He will likely start 2020 at Double-A with the potential to own a starting job in Tampa in 2021. He’s a known commodity, but it never hurts to see if you can lure him away from his owner.

 

Tier Three

Bo Bichette falls into the third tier but is likely to move up by the end of this year. Bichette brings five categories to your front door. After returning from a wrist injury, he quickly adjusted to the Major Leagues in 2019. Bichette smacked 11 long balls and stole four bases while adding a .311 batting average across 196 at-bats. You’ve got to give up something to get something. If you want Bichette on your dynasty team — and, you should — you’ll need to offer something of serious value.

Manny Machado’s profile isn’t unique and he might be overrated in fantasy baseball. He thumps 30 homers annually, but that is where reality stops and fantasyland begins. The fantasy community wants him to have a great batting average, but we’d be lucky to get .260. We yearn for more stolen bases but would be overjoyed to see five. If you’re looking for a source of profit, Machado could be an option though. His value is currently deflated, but he still has the potential to have a great season.

What type of player is Carlos Correa? He’s a guy with above-average power and a solid batting average. However, that isn’t the extent of his potential. His 95.7 mph exit velocity on LD/FB gives reassurance that the power is sustainable. Even his above-average sprint speed (27.6 ft/sec) would indicate he can do better than the six bags he stole the last three seasons combined. The primary limiting factor has been health. Correa is likely treated as an afterthought in most leagues. There is profit to be made from him this season.

On top of the world, ma! Tim Anderson wins a batting title and there aren’t many that support him in part to a .399 BABIP. The batting average will not reach .335 again (right?) but a 20 HR/20 SB player with a .270 AVG is still quite sexy.

 

Tier Four

Jorge Polanco is constantly overlooked. He doesn’t have an elite category so he is often relegated to an MI spot of a lineup. There is value in boringly reliable stats. Admittedly, he isn’t too boring as he offers a premium plate approach resulting in an 8.5% BB, 16.5% strikeout, and 7.3% Swinging Strike rates. He has the sprint speed (28.2 ft/sec) to accrue more bags but team philosophy prevents him. The philosophy is simple: Get on base, the big bats will do the rest. It works; expect Polanco to tally triple-digit runs annually.

Marcus Semien has often been underrated but it’s possible the pendulum has swung the opposite direction. He had a career year in 2019 with a .373 wOBA. He continued to improve his approach at the plate, lowering his strikeout rate (13.7%) and raising his walk rate (11.6%). Speed will always be in demand and he’s reached the double-digit mark in each of the last five seasons. The 30-homer power will be tough to replicate, however. Semien is a great asset to own but do not pay too much for his services. Remember, he’s already creeping up on 30 years old.

Corey Seager should be the target in all your leagues. I don’t care if you already own a premium shortstop. Admittedly, he misses time every year due to health issues, but he still profiles as an elite hitter. Don’t fret over the slight dip in exit velocity (88.8 mph) and walk rate (8.1%) or even the increase in strikeout rate (18.1%). Let’s give the 25-year-old a pass as he returned from hip and elbow surgeries. Seager finished 2019 with a bang, hitting seven homers, 26 RBI, and a .291 batting average in his final 90 plate appearances. His value is tremendously deflated. Buy back in now and watch his value soar in the explosive Dodgers lineup.

 

Tier Five

Amed Rosario continued his developmental process in 2019, both on the basepaths and with the bat. In his third season, he increased his contact rate to 77.6 percent and finished the year with a .287 AVG. This can be attributed to a .340wOBA in the second half. Rosario’s sprint speed (29.2 ft/sec) is his calling card. However, he’ll need to improve upon his 66 percent success rate to optimize his skills. He’s currently a 15 HR/20 SB guy with the potential to even become a 20/30 player if his power and basepath efficiency continues to progress.

Jean Segura will be 30 years old when the 2020 season begins. His age and a disappointing performance in 2019 has caused his value to unnecessarily plummet. He dealt with numerous injuries that it is no surprise he didn’t steal many bases. He did, however, maintain an impressive 86.6 percent contact rate. With a new regime in Philly, and the possibility of increased positional eligibility (2B), there is value having Segura on your roster.

How often can you get 30 homers from an infielder? Paul DeJong hears your struggles and he grants your wishes. But, be careful what you wish for as it has baggage in the form of a .233 batting average. Batting cleanup, you’d prefer that he did better than a .193 average with men in scoring position. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess. Hopefully, offseason adjustments will improve this area of his game. It wouldn’t be wildly abnormal to expect a .250 AVG with 30 homers.

 

Tier Six and Lower

Willy Adames is one of the few permanent fixtures in the Rays lineup. He reached the 20-homer mark thanks in part to a 42.1% hard hit rate. If he can improve his 10-degree launch angle, Adames could chip in a few more. Despite a 28.3 ft/sec sprint speed, he has yet to eclipse double-digit steals, but they should be coming soon enough. Adames will need to improve versus left-handers (career .205 AVG) if he is to reach his full potential. He’s young enough to make all the adjustments necessary to jump a few tiers by next season. He’s dirt cheap right now if you’ve got a roster deep enough to wait for him to develop.

Dansby Swanson has already gone back to pre-2019 popularity which was non-existent. Many have already forgotten his stellar first-half performance. He hit 17 long balls, stole seven bags, and a had a .341 wOBA. However, a foot injury derailed that fantasy with zero homers and only three steals in the second half. His exceptional stats shouldn’t be prorated, but they should still give an idea of his potential. Also, Swanson isn’t even stealing as many bases as he could as his 28.7 ft/sec sprint speed seems to be overshadowed with all the other news. Injuries aside, Swanson could be a 20/20 player and it would take a few quarters to find out.

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2020 Fantasy Baseball Advice 2020 Fantasy Baseball Keepers & Dynasty Ranks 2020 Fantasy Baseball Projections & ADP Analysis Editor Note MLB Analysis RotoBaller - All Fantasy Sports Articles

2020 Third Base Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

The pool of third basemen for the 2020 dynasty season is jam-packed with talent. From budding stars like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Rafael Devers, to productive veterans like Justin Turner and Mike Moustakas, no one should have trouble finding a useful bat to hold down the hot corner.

That said, depth can breed confusion and the overabundance of choice can sow the seeds of doubt into your draft strategy. Should your team spend a high pick on Bregman, Arenado or Rendon when so many other useful options are available several rounds later? Which prospects simmering in the upper levels of the minor leagues should one target if they end up with an aging MVP like Josh Donaldson at the five? No time for delay, to the rankings!

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the third base position, put together by analysts Ellis Canady, Nicklaus Gaut, and Pierre Camus. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well.

 

Third Base Dynasty League Rankings

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Ranking Tier Player Name Position Pierre Nick G Ellis
1 1 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 5 12 6
2 1 Nolan Arenado 3B 10 8 12
3 1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 3B 11 18 11
4 2 Anthony Rendon 3B 33 21 22
5 2 Jose Ramirez 3B 52 15 29
6 2 Yoan Moncada 3B 50 46 32
7 3 Rafael Devers 3B 88 24 20
8 3 Manny Machado 3B/SS 86 41 35
9 3 Matt Chapman 3B 109 62 57
10 3 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 143 43 44
11 3 Eugenio Suarez 3B 115 66 72
12 4 DJ LeMahieu 1B/2B/3B 108 90 117
13 4 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B 162 77 111
14 4 Josh Donaldson 3B 145 89 121
15 4 Miguel Sano 1B/3B 146 97 142
16 4 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF 203 93 105
17 4 Mike Moustakas 2B/3B 258 98 131
18 5 Eduardo Escobar 2B/3B 256 148 146
19 5 Justin Turner 3B 270 151 179
20 5 Hunter Dozier 1B/3B/OF 228 221 176
20 5 Scott Kingery SS/3B/OF 182 235 209
21 5 Miguel Andujar 3B 216 293 155
22 5 J.D. Davis 3B/OF 356 159 215
23 5 Yuli Gurriel 1B/3B 346 167 226
24 6 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF #N/A 263 #N/A
25 6 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B 431 157 220
26 6 Gio Urshela 3B 284 324 271
27 6 Danny Santana 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 524 123 238
28 6 Alec Bohm 3B 385 264 243
29 6 Renato Nunez 1B/3B 399 318 269
31 6 Nolan Gorman 3B 386 361 249
32 6 Ke'Bryan Hayes 3B 315 427 255
33 6 Yandy Diaz 1B/3B 481 215 314
34 7 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/OF 517 229 266
35 7 Brian Anderson 3B/OF 405 276 339
36 7 Oneil Cruz 3B 318 364 380
37 7 Josh Rojas 2B/3B/OF 358 391 #N/A
38 7 Nolan Jones 3B 556 310 280
39 7 Travis Shaw 3B 468 298 #N/A
40 7 Jordan Groshans 3B 383 480 296
41 7 Tristan Casas 3B 395 #N/A #N/A
42 8 Howie Kendrick 1B/2B/3B #N/A 415 #N/A
43 8 Willians Astudillo C/1B/3B 484 354 #N/A
44 8 David Fletcher 3B #N/A 419 #N/A
45 8 Jonathan India 3B 558 363 344
46 8 Matt Carpenter 3B 438 543 324
47 8 Starlin Castro 2B/3B 616 280 #N/A
48 8 Isaac Parades 3B 456 #N/A #N/A
49 9 Ian Happ 2B/3B/OF 583 344 448
50 9 Kyle Seager 3B 580 343 #N/A
51 9 Tommy La Stella 2B/3B 578 365 443
52 9 Maikel Franco 3B 560 437 423
53 9 Josh Jung 3B #N/A 478 #N/A
54 9 Hanser Alberto 2B/3B #N/A 486 #N/A
55 9 Blaze Jordan 3B 487 #N/A #N/A
56 9 Isaac Paredes 3B 466 521 #N/A
57 9 Jake Lamb 1B/3B 492 508 #N/A
58 9 Abraham Toro 3B #N/A 524 #N/A
59 9 Matt Beaty 1B/3B/OF 623 451 #N/A
60 9 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/3B/OF 647 444 #N/A
61 9 Johan Camargo 3B/SS/OF 632 491 #N/A
62 9 Evan Longoria 3B 604 527 #N/A
63 9 Colton Welker 3B 574 #N/A #N/A
64 9 Bobby Dalbec 3B 608 549 #N/A
65 9 Joey Wendle 2B/3B/SS 595 #N/A #N/A
66 9 Jeimer Candelario 1B/3B 598 #N/A #N/A
67 9 Rio Ruiz 1B/3B 612 #N/A #N/A
68 9 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B/3B 657 574 #N/A
69 9 Hudson Potts 3B 618 #N/A #N/A
70 9 Tyler Nevin 3B 620 #N/A #N/A

 

Tier One

Alex Bregman is one of only a few hitters in the major leagues who possess the skills required to hit for massive power without striking out. Trash cans aside, Bregman has been dominating the strike zone for his entire professional career. No other Astros player has figured out how to use the Crawford boxes in left-field better than Bregman. Despite a barrel rate of just 5.4%, Bregman was able to mash 41 HR last year and had a ridiculous walk rate of 17.2%. Bregman has increased both his LD% and his FB% for three straight seasons, a feat that is very hard to accomplish as most players tend to steal an increase in FB% from their LD% when they sell out for power. Bregman's floor is one of the highest in all of baseball, draft with confidence and try to ignore all the banging. Alex will turn the ripe old age of 26 just after opening day and we are likely to be talking about him as a tier-one talent for years to come.

No analysis is needed to understand Nolan Arenado. Don't succumb to the pernicious trend swirling around the fantasy industry about Nolan Arenado being a "boring" pick. Sure, he won't get you steals, but he is the safest bet in baseball to go .300/40/100/100. Arenado won't turn 29 until April and the air in Colorado is still thin. Take it to the bank and don't look back.

Vladito is very far away from his peak season. He needs to learn to hit the ball in the air more (20% fly-ball rate in 2019) to capitalize on his insane raw power, but let's take a minute to reflect on what his triple slash was in the 2018 MiLB season before we start to nitpick. Here it is: .387/.436/.636...as a 19-year-old. When it comes to dynasty leagues, Vladdy needs to be taken early. Don't let his first 123 MLB games dissuade you from getting him on your roster. Do you know who hit the hardest ball in all of baseball last season? That's right, Vlad Jr. It might not happen in 2020, but Vlad Jr. is going to be one of the best hitters in baseball very soon. Once he figures out how to loft the ball more - something that shouldn't be too hard for the player that Baseball America saddled with their first-ever 80-grade overall rating - we are going to see some seasons that defy reason and common sense.

 

Tier Two

Every slider bar on Anthony Rendon's Statcast page that relates to pure hitting ability is blood red. After three solid seasons of production, Rendon absolutely exploded in 2019 and turned in a wOBA of .413. All of his expected stats last year were in the 98th or 99th percentile of the league. On top of that, he will now take his game to Anaheim where he will get to hit in a lineup with Mike Trout and take a few days at DH. At 29, Rendon is firmly within his peak years. If he ends up on your team it will be wise to keep an eye on the lower recesses of the minors for his eventual replacement, but for the moment he remains an absolute fantasy stud.

It was a tale of two seasons for Jose Ramirez in 2019. Somehow displeased with his 39HR/34SB season in 2018, Ramirez changed his approach at the beginning of 2019 in an attempt to beat the defensive shifts laid down in front of him. Well, the experiment failed and Ramirez only managed to hit .218 in the first half of 2019. J-Ram ditched the new approach in the second half and went right back to obliterating the ball, smashing 14HR in an injury-shortened 43 games. Do not let the first half of 2019 scare you away from getting Jose Ramirez on your team as both his hard-hit rate (35.7%) and average exit velocity (89.7%) were both career highs despite the first-half failures. On top of that, even when he was slumping, Ramirez continued to steal bases and ended the year with a total of 24. In an era where stolen bases are harder and harder to find, the 27-year-old slugger is one of the only third basemen who can provide owners with a significant amount of steals. Another 30/30 season is on the table for 2020 and 2021.

Rounding out this tier is the fiery Yoan Moncada. Unfortunately for early buyers, the 30-40 stolen base potential Moncada showcased in his minor league career has turned into a more pedestrian 10-15 steals at the major league level. However, the raw power has started to show up in games and the rise from 17 HR in 2018 to 25 HR in 2019 is supported by a three-year increase in Moncada's exit velocity, from 88.5 MPH in 2017 to 92.8 MPH in 2019. Very few players in the major leagues can boast an average exit velocity higher than Moncada. Other managers might look at Moncada's .406 BABIP and cry "REGRESSION," but Statcast tells us a different story and reports an xBA of .291 for his .315 average. Simply put, when you hit the ball as hard as Moncada, a lot more of your batted balls go for hits. Moncada will be 24 when the 2020 season starts and saw a jump in his barrel rate from 9.6% in 2018 to 12.2% in 2019. With all those incredible underlying metrics it is safe to say that the real Moncada breakout is yet to come. If the White Sox ever let him run he is a threat to put up a few 30/30 seasons before he turns 30.

 

Tier Three

The crown jewel of this tier is Rafael Devers. The hard-hitting Dominican gave owners a true breakout season in 2019 and had underlying metrics that fully support the on-field results. Devers' average exit velocity was a jaw-dropping 92.1 MPH last season, putting him in the top six percent of the league. On top of that, he had a fantastic hard-hit rate of 47.5%. Those numbers are what we typically see from superstars in their prime seasons, but Rafael is already clocking that type of exit velocity at the tender age of 23. In short, Devers is dynasty gold. He has shown a three-year progression in average exit velocity and was able to pop 90 XBH in 2019. We will see a .300/40HR season from Rafael Devers in the next five years, possibly more than one. Devers even managed to steal eight bases last year! If Devers turns in a repeat of 2019 this season, he will cement his place in tier one of these rankings for many seasons to come.

Manny Machado is getting similiar treatment to what Nolan Arenado has experienced this offseason. The ever-present and reliable Machado, still just 27, is thought of as "boring." Well, if being boring means hitting 32+ HR for five straight seasons, sign me up. Machado's stolen base totals have always fluctuated, but he is eligible at both SS and 3B this season and his average exit velocity has not dipped below 90MPH for the entirety of the Statcast era. The eight percent barrel rate he posted last season was his lowest since 2015, but there is very little reason to think that his skills have started to diminish.

Matt Chapman built upon his breakout 2018 campaign by blasting 36 HR with career-best marks in both walk rate (10.9%) and strikeout rate (21.9%). Chapman's average fell all the way down to .240 in 2019, partly due to a career-low .270 BABIP, so he is likely due for some positive regression in that category. That said, Chapman's xBA has been ~.250 for the last two seasons so it seems unlikely that he will gain more than 10-15 points of batting average in the future. When he does connect with the ball, Chapman produces hard contact ~48% of the time. Chapman will always turn in full seasons when he is healthy as the A's can't keep his gold glove on the bench. Matt turns 27 this season and should be a mainstay in the top tiers of these rankings for several seasons to come, even if there isn't much reason to think that he can improve upon his 2019 numbers. Don't discount the value of consistency.

Without the nagging shoulder woes, we would likely be talking about Kris Bryant as a tier-one or tier-two player. Unfortunately, the shoulder will likely plague Bryant for the remainder of his career and continue to zap his power potential, making him a falling star when playing in dynasty leagues. His hard contact rates are well below league average, but what Bryant does do well is put up solid counting stats year in and year out. If the rumors of Bryant leading off this year come to fruition, he will put up some truly elite run totals and may even tack on a few more stolen bases. The nagging injuries are worrisome for the long-term value of the 28-year-old, but for now you can count on him for solid numbers across the board.

Did Eugenio Suarez sell out for power last year or what His strikeout rate jumped a full five percent, all the way up to 28.5%, but he managed to clobber a ridiculous 49 HR. Unfortunately, after increasing his HR output for five straight seasons, Eugenio needed surgery on his shoulder this spring after a bizarre swimming incident. The injury does cool the market a bit for Eugenio, but the underlying power is very real and he should recover quickly. His barrel rate shot up to 14% last season and those kinds of gains are hard to maintain, but it is safe to count on the 28-year-old Suarez for .270/35-40HR for at least a couple more seasons.

 

Tier Four

DJ LeMahieu did crazy things in 2019. First, he hit a career-high 26 HR (previous high of 15). Second, he racked up 211 combined runs and RBI. Third, he hit a blistering .327 with an xBA of .322. It might be hard to believe, but what DJ Lemahieu did last season is very real. Already a former batting champion (2016), DJ found out just how friendly the short porches at Yankee Stadium can be for a hitter who can make tons of hard contact (47.2% hard hit rate). LeMahieu possesses incredible barrel control, a fantastic eye (23.8% chase rate), and is eligible at every infield position save for shortstop. He is 31, so dynasty value will likely be limited to the 2020 and 2021, but don't be afraid to cash in on DJ's second coming. Who could have guessed that leaving Coors Field would be the key to unlocking his power?

Another multi-position hitter with a track record of production, Max Muncy is a late-blooming slugger hitting in the middle of his prime and a terrifying Dodgers lineup. In the last two seasons, Muncy has put 70 balls over the fence, with some even making it into the ocean. Muncy's combination of slugging prowess and elite on-base skills will provide owners with 30+ HR and close to 200 combined runs and RBI. The league seemed to adjust to Muncy in 2019 by throwing him fewer fastballs, a fact reflected in the steep drop in his barrel rate from 16.9% in 2018 to 12.6% in 2019. Forty-nine of his 70 HR hit in the last two seasons have come off fastballs, so it will be interesting to see if Muncy sees even fewer heaters going forward. Regardless, the consistent power and counting stats are more than enough reason to get him on your roster.

Josh Donaldson lost most of 2018 to a nagging calf injury, but he returned to prominence in 2019 by smashing 37 HR for the Braves before accepting a deal to play for the Twins in 2020. The ability to take a few days at DH in Minnesota will likely prolong his career and productivity, not to mention the fact that he will join a Twins lineup that broke the MLB home run record last season. Donaldson's barrel rate, hard-hit rate, and average exit velocity were all in the top five percent of the league or better last season. Simply put, he still has what it takes to do a lot of damage with the bat. At 34 years old, the only question left to answer is how long can he maintain his elite skill set.

Miguel Sano is a 26-year-old monster. His 21.2% barrel rate, 94.4 MPH average exit velocity, and 57.2% hard-hit rate were all in the top one percent of the league. Sano managed to hit a staggering 34 HR in just 105 games last season. With the addition of Donaldson, Sano will likely move across the diamond to first base, giving dynasty owners another powerful option with multi-position eligibility. The average will never be pretty, but Sano is one of the few players in the major leagues capable of hitting 50 HR.

Jeff McNeil silenced a lot of his detractors in 2019 by putting together a .318/.384/.531 season. The 27-year-old McNeil is a very peculiar hitter who measures his success solely by his batting average. Instead of finding pitches to hit through selectivity, Jeff prefers to put a swing on nearly 60% of pitches he sees. With that in mind, the generally weak contact numbers he produces should be taken with a grain of salt. With 23 HR and 38 doubles last season it is clear that McNeil makes enough hard contact to be a very effective hitter. After several MiLB seasons with high batting averages, McNeil turned on the power in 2018, hitting 22 HR in 151 games between AA, AAA, and the majors. If dynasty owners can count on one thing, it is Jeff McNeil hitting .300 and blasting 20+ HR for several more seasons.

 

Tier Five

Eduardo Escobar's 2019 just screams regression. At 31, it was the best season of his career and his Statcast page is more blue than red. Heck, he even barrelled one fewer ball in 2019 (36) compared to 2019 (37) despite seeing 227 more pitches. Don't pay the peak year price, but if you need an infielder with .250/20 HR production late in the draft, Escobar can be useful.

Justin Turner just keeps on ticking. He will likely play around 120-130 games at this point in his career, but in those games he will provide owners with a very good average and a healthy amount of counting stats. Despite the days off, .300/20 HR is nothing to sneeze at and his age (35) will drop his ADP for dynasty leagues. Turner can be a great stopgap until another third baseman is ready to be called up from your farm.

Hunter Dozier finally arrived in 2019, but he doesn't look like a safe bet to repeat his 2019 numbers this season. The multi-position eligibility is valuable, it just isn't enough to discount the 73-point difference between his SLG and xSLG. While Dozier is unlikely to revert back to his abysmal 2016, 2017, and 2018 numbers, he is another player we can toss on to the "don't pay for the breakout" pile and leave for other managers to gamble on.

Kingery ripped the MiLB apart in 2017 and it looked like the Phillies might have a stud in the making for the 2018 campaign. Unfortunately for Philidelphia, Kingery needed to struggle through all of 2018 before he was able to provide some value for owners in 2019. Scott will turn 26 during the 2020 season and is one of the few players out there still stealing bases. With elite speed (93rd percentile sprint speed) and above-average defense (80th percentile OAA), Kingery should be able to stay on the field long enough to learn how to get the most out of his average hitting ability and could rise up these ranks in the coming years.

J.D. Davis was great for the Mets in 2019 and helped to ease the sting from the Jarred Kelenic-Edwin Diaz/Robinson Cano trade. Davis produced elite contact numbers last year with an average exit velocity in the 90th percentile and a hard hit rate in the 91st. J.D. is entering his prime seasons and should get ample playing time for the Mets for the next several seasons, especially if he keeps smashing the cover off the ball.

 

Tier Six and lower

Tommy Edman can be a decent option for steals in 2020. That said, he did sort of come out of nowhere after several pedestrian minor league seasons and his main value going forward appears to be limited to average and steals.

If Ryan McMahon has the inside track to a starting job in Colorado he just might turn in a really valuable season in 2020. Bud Black seems to favor McMahon over Hampson at this point, and in a 5x5 format, McMahon's 30% strikeout rate doesn't count against you. With a full season, McMahon should blast 30 HR at Coors.

Alec Bohm is one of the most exciting third base prospects residing in the upper-levels of the minor leagues. Bohm blasted 14 HR with a walk rate of 10.4% in 63 games at AA Reading last season. If he starts off 2020 by torching AAA we could see him in the major leagues by the end of the year. There is big power potential with this kid and he is exactly the kind of prospect to get on your roster if your MLB third baseman is on the wrong side of 34.

Nolan Gorman was a first-round pick in 2018 because of his massive raw power. That said, he has been unable to find enough contact to really showcase the power in games so far in his minor league career. If Gorman can make more contact this season he will shoot up prospect lists and find his way into the major leagues by 2021. If he can't, then he and Mike Hessman will have a lot to talk about at the local watering hole.

Ke'Bryan Hayes should find his way to the majors this season on the strength of his incredible defense and passable bat. There is more room to grow when it comes to his hitting ability and he should provide some steals when he gets promoted. That said, Hayes is likely to be one of those players who is way more valuable in real life than in fantasy.

If you need some power potential in your farm system, then you'll want to keep an eye on Oneil Cruz. The 6'7" SS has been slapped with an 80-raw power grade by some scouts and has shown a knack for making contact so far in the minors. This kid could absolutely explode if it all comes together.

Nolan Jones likes to walk. He likes to walk a lot. In 107 games at A+ ball, Nolan Jones had a walk rate over 20%. Jones might need to get a little more aggressive to translate his 70-grade raw power into game-changing dingers, but players with elite OBP skills tend to have high floors and every dynasty team needs a couple of safe prospects on the farm.

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2020 Catcher Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

Spring Training is upon us! Pitchers and catchers have reported and we finally have some box scores to desperately over-analyze. The catcher position can really be a headache for dynasty owners trying to plan for the future. Needless to say, it is not a position that many MLB teams count on for offense, leaving fantasy players out in the cold searching for even the smallest boost to their overall stat line. On top of that, catcher is arguably the hardest spot on the diamond to play and tends to destroy an athlete's body much quicker than other non-pitching positions. More often than not, dynasty players avoid all but the best catching prospects in drafts, and are willing to take on more statistical warts than normal simply to fill the position with a player guaranteed to start games. Let's see if we can't alter that mentality and steal some value for you this year.

Outside of a couple high-end hitters such as Gary Sanchez, J.T. Realmuto, and Willson Contreras, catcher is a veritable desert. An out-of-nowhere campaign from Mitch Garver breathed a little life into the position in 2019, giving fantasy players hope of finding a breakout in 2020 that can turn the tide of their season. While the current state of the position might not be glowing, the future is as bright as ever thanks to the introduction of 2019 #1 overall pick Adley Rutschman and the continued production of 2018 #2 overall pick Joey Bart. The diamonds in the rough, however, lie outside of the obvious choices, often hiding in plain sight.

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the catcher position, put together by rankers Ellis Canady, Nicklaus Gaut, and Pierre Camus. Analysis is provided by yours truly, Kyle Brown. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well, coming soon!

 

Catcher Dynasty League Rankings

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Rank Tier Player Name Position Pierre Nick G Ellis
1 1 Gary Sanchez C 68 72 79
2 1 J.T. Realmuto C 84 55 83
3 2 Willson Contreras C 83 192 97
4 2 Yasmani Grandal C 198 108 157
5 3 Mitch Garver C 191 131 210
6 3 William Smith C 232 143 186
7 3 Adley Rutschman C 291 252 213
8 3 Joey Bart C 295 243 227
9 3 Sean Murphy C 235 278 256
10 3 Salvador Perez C 332 179 311
11 4 Francisco Mejia C 273 325 260
12 4 Carson Kelly C 313 288 259
13 4 Danny Jansen C 298 266 319
14 4 Jorge Alfaro C 333 261 340
15 5 Tom Murphy C 380 256 #N/A
16 5 Wilson Ramos C 370 232 354
17 5 Omar Narvaez C 354 295 337
18 5 Roberto Perez C 379 303 #N/A
19 5 Christian Vazquez C/1B 422 224 392
20 5 Tyler Stephenson C 348 #N/A #N/A
21 6 Buster Posey C 430 239 441
22 6 Yadier Molina C 408 306 411
23 6 Keibert Ruiz C 372 400 361
24 7 Travis D'Arnaud C/1B 433 368 #N/A
25 7 Mike Zunino C 418 #N/A #N/A
26 7 Willians Astudillo C/1B/3B 484 354 #N/A
27 7 Yan Gomes C 435 #N/A #N/A
28 7 Kurt Suzuki C 472 398 #N/A
29 7 Ronaldo Hernandez C 448 #N/A #N/A
30 7 Zack Collins C 452 #N/A #N/A
31 7 Chance Sisco C 453 #N/A #N/A
32 7 M.J. Melendez C 454 #N/A #N/A
33 7 James McCann C 515 #N/A 364
34 7 Robinson Chirinos C 480 430 #N/A
35 7 Austin Hedges C 464 #N/A #N/A
36 7 Daulton Varsho C 402 529 #N/A
37 7 Alex Avila C 471 #N/A #N/A
38 7 Andrew Knizner C 446 536 #N/A
39 7 Shea Langeliers C 501 #N/A #N/A
40 7 Victor Caratini C/1B 502 501 #N/A
41 7 William Contreras C #N/A 546 #N/A
42 7 Tucker Barnhart C 646 475 #N/A
43 7 Manny Pina C 658 #N/A #N/A

 

Tier One

When Gary Sanchez is on the field, he absolutely torches the ball. His career average exit velocity sits at 91mph, which explains the robust .518 career slugging percentage. One would think that the ability to DH once in a while would have helped keep him healthy, but Sanchez has already dealt with a bevy of injuries in his first five seasons. Regardless, Sanchez is still just 27 and his ability to provide a massive amount of home runs for your fantasy team in 2020 and beyond is undeniable. If he ever manages to stay on the field for more than 130 games, a 45-HR season is absolutely in the cards. Simply put, Sanchez is the only catcher in the majors who currently possess the kind of in-game power necessary to lead the league in home runs.

While that outcome is unlikely, it speaks to the upside potential that comes with owning Sanchez. He won't provide much of anything in terms of AVG, but the HR, R, and RBI totals will dwarf the average production most teams get from the catcher position. When it comes to building a dynasty, having above-average production at every position is essential, making Sanchez the top dog at catcher until some new young buck comes along to take his spot.

J.T. Realmuto is a rare breed of catcher. Power, speed, contact, and defense are all above average skills for the Phillies backstop. In addition, he has been able to play 125 games or more for five consecutive seasons, no small feat for a cacher. Realmuto turns 29 this year, so he should still be able to provide dynasty teams with a few more years of decent production, assuming his health holds up. With a sprint speed in the 89th percentile, the 5-10 stolen bases Relamuto provides are likely to be a part of his game for the foreseeable future, a-la Jason Kendall. Compared to other positions the overall stat line won't be jaw-dropping, but Realmuto won't hurt you in any category. Heck, he has even managed to increase his home run total every year that he has been in the league. Realmuto is a great anchor at backstop for any dynasty team in win-now mode.

 

Tier Two

Willson Contreras has been a fantasy mainstay for several years now. He is one of the few catchers that can provide your team with 20+ HR without sacrificing much in AVG (career .267). Contreras's hard-hit rate skyrocketed to 41.5% in 2020, up from a career mark of ~34%. This spike is supported by a four-year improvement in launch angle, a career-best barrel rate of 11.5%, and a trend in his plate discipline profile that suggests Contreras is getting more aggressive, swinging at more pitches in the zone (and out of the zone).

Originally more of a line-drive hitter, Contreras has increased his FB% and decreased his LD% for four consecutive seasons and appears to have bought into the prevailing philosophy among MLB hitters that more fly balls will lead to more home runs. In 2019, Contreras produced the lowest contact rate (69.2%) and his worst swinging-strike rate (15.1%) of his career, but all that uptick in aggressiveness did was net him a career-high of 24HR in only 105 games. At just 27, Contreras has a great shot to give dynasty owners a couple of .275/30 seasons in the next few years and could easily find himself in tier one after 2020.

Yasmani Grandal has been one of the most consistent catchers in baseball for the past four seasons. At 31, he is going to age out of fantasy relevance in the not-so-distant-future, but for at least a couple more years he should have no issue providing fantasy owners with the .240/25 seasons that they have come to expect. The move from Milwaukee to Chicago should be a positive one for Grandal as it will allow him to see some time at DH, giving his aging body a few days of respite from his time behind the dish. Grandal's hard-hit rate has been steady for several seasons, maintaining an average above 40%. You won't get credit for his excellent OBP in standard 5x5 leagues, but his 17.2% walk rate and excellent OBP skills will allow him to score more runs than your average catcher, especially with all the powerful bats hitting around him for the White Sox.

 

Tier Three

This is the tier where it really starts to get interesting. Is it better to chase elite production in the future or fall back on mediocre but reliable outputs from some old standbys? Mitch Garver is the only true standout from this tier that will provide elite production in 2020, assuming his 97th percentile hard-hit rate wasn't a mirage. The underlying metrics on Garver's 2019 are very positive. With an xSLG and xwOBA both above the 90th percentile, there are plenty of reasons to bet on Garver's power for 2020 and beyond. With all the prodigious mashers around him in the Twins lineup, Garver should have no problem putting up run and RBI totals similar to that of Realmuto and Sanchez. Mitch has a real shot at 40 HR if he can put together a full season of plate appearances.

Will Smith's first major league home run was a walk-off. Two weeks later, he smashed another walk-off dinger. All in all, Smith managed to mash 15HR in just 196 PA. He posted an excellent barrel rate of 10.6% with an xWOBA of .369. Granted, the MLB sample size for Smith was small, but he was absolutely spectacular last season. Despite the low BABIP of .264, Statcast isn't bullish on his ability to hit for average, giving him an xBA of only .225 for 2019. That said, the power is real and has been on display in the minors for quite some time. Between AAA and the MLB last season, Smith hit 35HR in 116 games. Smith will turn 25 during the 2020 campaign and will be hitting in the stacked Dodgers lineup for several seasons to come. Smith resembles Mitch Garver in terms of profile, but he's four years younger, making him a little more valuable long term.

Adley Rutschman hit .411/.575/.751 in his junior season at Oregon State. That is pure madness. Oh yeah, Adley Rustchman also hit over .400 in his sophomore season. This kid can flat out play. The Orioles selected him #1 overall and his first taste of the minors was solid, but I am not going to put much stock in the 37 pro games played after a grueling college baseball season. Rustchman is a future MVP and you should do everything you can to get him on your dynasty team. Don't let the prejudice against catchers keep you from drafting him in the top five of your FYPD this season.

If you don't want to wait for Rutschman to develop, Joey Bart is going to be your dynasty catcher of the future. Between A+ and AA last year Bart put together a triple slash of .278/.328/.495. Bart has shown plenty of contact ability in his minor league career, which was one of the only concerns about his game when he was drafted #2 overall in 2018. Buster Posey is well on his way to spending more at first base and Bart should have no problem ascending to San Francisco to take over catching duties for Posey as early as 2021.

After scorching AAA to the tune of 10HR in just 31 games, Murphy came up for a cup of coffee and completely held his own at the MLB level. Slated to start the season as the A's primary backstop, Murphy will be a decent source of power for fantasy owners in 2020 and will likely have a stranglehold on the catcher position in Oakland for the foreseeable future.

 

Tier Four

Carson Kelly established himself as the backstop of the immediate future in Arizona last season with an above-average offensive campaign. Kelly managed to pop 18HR in 111 games with a .245 average. That is not too shabby for a catcher that wasn't on most dynasty radars at the beginning of 2019. The trade from St. Louis to Arizona opened up an opportunity for playing time that simply wasn't available with the Cardinals thanks to the presence of Yadier Molina. Kelly possesses a fantastic eye at the plate, only swinging at 25% of pitches outside of the zone. Still just 25, Carson is unlikely to be supplanted by prospect Dalton Varsho given Kelly's excellent framing abilities (88th percentile) and ability to get on base (.348 OBP). Kelly is a great under-the-radar option in all formats this year and will be a reliable backstop for several seasons to come.

Danny Jansen was a popular sleeper pick in 2019, having put up excellent minor league numbers in both 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, Jansen flopped last year thanks to a .230 BABIP and a .207 average. He did manage to hit 13 HR and with just a little more luck on balls in play this season he could easily put up a decent .245/.330/.440 season for the Jays. Jansen will be 24 to start the 2020 campaign and there is still some room for future development.

 

Tier Five

Tyler Stephenson is the future at catcher for the Cincinnati Reds. It took him a couple of seasons to find his groove in the minor leagues, but everything came together in 2019. Stephenson is the type of catcher that can hit for a decent average and good on-base percentage, though it may take a little time in the MLB for the power to fully materialize. In 89 games at AA last season, he showed off some pretty impressive plate discipline numbers with a walk rate of 10.2% - his third straight season over 10% - against a strikeout rate of just 16.5%. Barring an unexpected collapse in AAA to start the year, Stephenson is likely to end the year as the starting catcher for the Reds and establish himself as the franchise cornerstone at the position.

Christian Vazquez came of out nowhere last year and managed to hit 23 taters for the Red Sox at age 29. That is the first time since 2011 that Vazquez has ever hit more than 10 HR in a season. It's worth mentioning that Vazquez was in A-ball in 2011. Is Vazquez likely to repeat that power output in 2020? Likely not. His hard-hit rate (47th percentile) and exit velocity (41st percentile) were both well below the league average. That said, no one is coming to take his job in Boston until Connor Wong is ready to take over, making Vazquez a reliable option to hold down your catcher position this season while other options mature in your farm.

 

Tier Six and Lower

Keibert Ruiz has lost some shine from his star with a couple of unspectacular campaigns in 2018 and 2019. The contact skills remain elite and there is plenty of time for the rest of the tools to come together for the future Dodger backstop. The Dodgers tend to get their players to learn multiple positions to help deal with the glut of talent on the club, so it isn't hard to imagine Ruiz and Will Smith both learning to play 1B in the future to help keep their bats in the lineup and their knees intact. 2020 is a big year for Keibert's development and he will need to tap into some power to really challenge Smith for playing time.

Daulton Varsho is currently listed as a catching prospect for Arizona, but with the emergence of Carson Kelly last season, it is safe to assume that the Diamondbacks will end up using his incredible athleticism somewhere else on the diamond. Varsho is the rare type of catcher who has the athleticism and speed to play center field and swipe more than 20 bases in a season. His time in AA last season was extremely encouraging as he managed to hit 18 HR and steal 21 bases to go along with a .301/.378/.520 triple slash. Varsho will likely see enough time at catcher to maintain the eligibility for a couple of seasons after he makes his debut, but with 20/20 potential it's not hard to see why the Diamondbacks would want to keep his legs as healthy as possible.

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2020 Second Base Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

As the season draws near, we realize more and more that it's draft season. There is a large portion of fantasy baseball busy with mock drafts, rankings, sleepers, and more mock drafts. The Dynasty community, on the other hand, is looking to continue their dominance, rebuild, or in a worst-case scenario, stick their hands up in frustration. Regardless of the team's competitive situation, everyone wants to add value to their roster.

Second base is filled with a wide variety of talent, which provides every owner some flexibility when building their roster. There are a few aging players in the top tiers, but there is an influx of youth ready to drive them out in the coming years led by Ozzie Albies and Keston Hiura. Though there are promising players at the position, it still lacks significant depth. While some see it as a negative, use it as an opportunity to find hidden gems among the 55 players ranked.

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the second base position, put together by analysts Nicklaus Gaut, Pierre Camus, and Ellis Canady. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well, coming soon!

 

Second Base Rankings - Dynasty Leagues (February)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Rank Tier Player Name Position Pierre
Camus
Nick
Gaut
Ellis
Canady
1 1 Gleyber Torres 2B/SS 24 31 23
2 1 Ozzie Albies 2B 35 26 28
3 2 Keston Hiura 2B 44 58 41
4 2 Jose Altuve 2B 80 44 50
5 3 Ketel Marte 2B/SS/OF 106 60 76
6 3 Whit Merrifield 2B/OF 134 47 91
7 3 Gavin Lux 2B/SS 92 114 78
8 3 DJ LeMahieu 1B/2B/3B 108 90 117
9 4 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B 162 77 111
10 4 Cavan Biggio 2B 117 118 143
11 4 Jeff McNeil 2B/3B/OF 203 93 105
12 4 Jonathan Villar 2B/SS 236 85 135
13 4 Brandon Lowe 2B 147 165 149
14 4 Mike Moustakas 2B/3B 258 98 131
15 5 Lourdes Gurriel 2B/OF 241 126 183
16 5 Eduardo Escobar 2B/3B 256 148 146
17 5 Nick Madrigal 2B 217 207 197
18 5 Garrett Hampson 2B/SS/OF 227 254 185
19 5 Brendan Rodgers 2B/SS 161 369 165
20 5 Vidal Brujan 2B 275 240 189
20 5 Nico Hoerner 2B 196 321 221
21 5 Michael Chavis 1B/2B 317 249 195
22 5 Jon Berti 2B/3B/SS/OF #N/A 263 #N/A
23 5 Rougned Odor 2B 271 260 267
24 6 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B 431 157 220
25 6 Nick Solak 2B 376 200 240
26 6 Kevin Newman 2B/SS 410 164 288
27 6 Cesar Hernandez 2B 355 225 300
28 6 Danny Santana 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 524 123 238
29 6 Jonathan Schoop 2B 296 274 326
31 6 Kolten Wong 2B 368 223 312
32 6 Luis Urias 2B/SS 307 415 201
33 6 Isan Diaz 2B 267 377 306
34 7 Tommy Edman 2B/3B/OF 517 229 266
35 7 Dee Gordon 2B 374 328 330
36 7 Mauricio Dubon 2B/SS 373 #N/A 350
37 7 Josh Rojas 2B/3B/OF 358 390 #N/A
38 7 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/SS/OF 499 337 289
39 7 Jurickson Profar 2B/OF 467 419 253
40 7 Luis Arraez 2B 585 287 365
41 7 Jorge Mateo 2B/SS/OF 392 550 341
42 8 Adam Frazier 2B 496 395 #N/A
43 8 Starlin Castro 2B/3B 616 280 #N/A
44 8 Robinson Cano 2B 398 537 426
45 8 Shed Long 2B 404 504 #N/A
46 8 Brian Dozier 2B 476 #N/A 436
47 8 Ian Happ 2B/3B/OF 583 344 448
48 9 Tommy La Stella 2B/3B 578 364 443
49 9 Jose Peraza 2B/SS/OF 489 480 #N/A
50 9 Hanser Alberto 2B/3B #N/A 485 #N/A
51 9 Josh VanMeter 1B/2B/OF #N/A 486 #N/A
52 9 Franklin Barreto 2B 419 560 #N/A
53 9 Jed Lowrie 2B 506 #N/A #N/A
54 9 Freddy Galvis 2B/SS 510 #N/A #N/A
55 9 Chris Taylor 2B/SS/OF 641 571 413
56 9 Joey Wendle 2B/3B/SS 595 #N/A #N/A
57 9 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B/3B 657 573 #N/A
58 9 Scooter Gennett 2B 621 #N/A #N/A
59 9 David Bote 2B/3B 644 #N/A #N/A
60 9 Yairo Munoz 2B/3B/SS/OF 648 #N/A #N/A
61 9 Kike Hernandez 2B/SS/OF 654 #N/A #N/A

 

Tier One

Gleyber Torres did his best to dispel any notion of a sophomore slump by hitting 38 homers with 186 R + RBI. He is likely the Yankees shortstop of the future, but Torres split time at both middle infield spots in 2019. His power is a significant advantage while he retains 2B-eligibility. It is too soon to expect 40 long balls annually, though. His barrel rate (7.1%) and exit velocity on LD/FB (92.8 mph) are great starting points considering his age. However, we must keep in mind that a majority of Torres’ success occurred in two months (22 HR) and against the Orioles (13 HR). At 23 years old, he still plenty of years of excellence ahead of him. Enjoy his 35 homers and very good batting average, and don’t be greedy. If you’re set at the keystone on your dynasty team, test the waters while Torres’ value is impressive.

Albies is an exciting young player that fits perfectly as part of a dynasty squad core. He may not have elite power (24 HR) or have displayed elite stolen bases (only 15 SB, despite 28.6 ft/sec speed), but his skills are still attractive. Albies also adds a .290 AVG to his power/speed combination. He also benefits from hitting near the top of a potent Braves lineup, between two top-20 players. Do not be surprised by a handful of 20/20 seasons, starting in 2020. Between these two Tier-one second basemen, Albies is the one to own. If you can acquire him in your league and haven’t done so already, we’ve already identified priority number one.

 

Tier Two

Keston Hiura arrived with a thunder in 2019, probably earlier than the Brewers had intended. He performed exceptionally well at Triple-A to start the year, yet he still bettered those numbers upon his promotion to the big-league club. In 348 plate appearances, he hit 19 homers and 51 RBI with nine stolen bases. Hiura was also very aggressive at the plate chasing and swinging through pitches worse than league average. Despite these rookie-like tendencies, he still hit for a .303 AVG. It is not too often that you can find a second baseman who hits 30 homers with a .300 AVG and chips in double-digit steals. If you have to pay market value for Hiura in your league, do it.

It has been an offseason filled with controversy surrounding Jose Altuve and his teammates. That aside, we still need to assess him on his own merits. We’re not going to list off Altuve’s trophy collection. It doesn’t help you, but to say he has been successful in the past. You’re concerned about WHYDFML (What have you done for me lately). How does 31 long balls with a .298 batting average suit you? Before you even say it, let others concern themselves with the decline of his stolen bases. If others in your league have soured on 29-year-old Altuve, send an offer to acquire a hitter with excellent plate skills, power, and still possesses a 28.6 ft/sec speed. (Remember Albies above?)

 

Tier Three

If you’re a Ketel Marte owner, you’re ecstatic by his performance in 2019. However, are you happy for the right reasons? Let’s find out. No one could have predicted this type of breakout for Marte. His 32 homers were more than all previous four seasons combined. Marte also tied for sixth in baseball in hits (187), fifth in triples (9), and nearly won the National League batting title with a batting average of .329, albeit buoyed by a .342 BABIP. He even utilized his speed to rack up 10 stolen bases, which isn’t his peak number. It would be smart to consider taking advantage of his current value, but don’t be offended if other owners are hesitant to pay for a career year.

Owners everywhere are let down by Merrifield’s declining stolen base total. Unlike Altuve, Merrifield doesn’t have the power numbers to offset a drop from 45 to 20 steals. However, he did lead baseball with 206 hits and finished 2019 with an excellent .302 batting average. Even at 31 years old, Merrifield has the speed (28.6 ft/sec; sound familiar?) to rack up stolen bases if he can improve his efficiency on the base paths (caught 10 times). Despite a desirable batting average, Merrifield is nearing his expiration date. If you are competing this year and next, he is a useful asset. Otherwise, don’t get caught holding the bag.

There are always growing pains for rookies not only performance-wise but also due to playing time. Gavin Lux was a late-season call-up for the Dodgers and finished with two homers, two stolen bases, and a .240 AVG in 82 plate appearances. While it wasn’t jaw-dropping, it doesn’t overshadow his excellent minor-league showing to start the year. Lux hit 26 long balls with 10 steals and a .347/.421/.607 slash line across Double- and Triple-A. The Dodgers have enormous talent on the offensive side, but Lux should start the season at second base. Regardless of his performance this season, Lux is a great dynasty prospect with power, speed, and hit tool. If the owner in your league is nervous about his sample-sized performance or his 29.2% strikeout rate, see if you can acquire him with even the slightest of discount.

 

Tier Four

Still only 29 years old, Max Muncy still has plenty of life left in the dynasty tank. You know about the significant power, stacked lineup, and multi-positional eligibility. There is nothing left to know. The three-year contract extension (with an option) helps solidify his presence with the Dodgers and your team.

To start his major league career, Cavan Biggio mashed 16 homers and stole 14 bases in 430 plate appearances. Of course, his max exit velo (104.6 mph) wasn’t indicative of someone crushing the ball. He will need to work on that if he maintains his 20.1 degree launch angle and a 47% fly-ball rate. Otherwise, Biggio will give away a bunch of outs when he does swing. As it is, he’s been extremely patient at the plate with only a 35.9% Swing rate. It has led to a 16.5% walk rate, which makes Biggio a great asset in OBP leagues. His 28.6% strikeout rate is a concern, though, caused mostly by struggles against breaking balls and offspeed pitches. Biggio has the ability to reach 20-20 annually, but it will come with a mediocre batting average. He does benefit from hitting behind Bo Bichette and in front of Lourdes Gurriel and Vlad Gurruero Jr. There is likely no discount to buy or value to sell right now.

Jonathan Villar has speed. He even had pop when playing in Camden Yards; of course, who doesn’t? What else does he have? Villar has a starting job for the offensively challenged Marlins. That should enable him to run until his heart's content. It could all change if the team trade him at mid-season. If you’re able to parlay his recent success into a profit, jump on it.

Brandon Lowe had a phenomenal start to the 2019 season, showcasing his power with 16 homers in 307 plate appearances of the first half. His 96 mph exit velocity on FB/LD was impressive. The most significant troubling issues are his team context and (lack of) plate discipline. The Rays love to have depth. In doing so, there are only a couple of players who have secured playing time. Lowe will not be one of those if he can’t fix his 53.9% strikeout rate versus southpaws or his terrible contact rate (64.8%), which was sixth-worst in baseball. Lowe can pitch in a few steals with his power; however, he isn’t one to build a dynasty team around.

Mike Moustakas finds himself on the disrespected list yet again. For our purposes, he still has value, even at 32 years of age. Premium power in a shoebox-sized park with second-base eligibility is quite sexy. Look to obtain him if your squad is in contention for the next few years.

 

Tier Five

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. needed a demotion in 2019 to recalibrate and ultimately find success in the majors. His 20 homers and six stolen bases in 314 at-bats brings a smile to every owner, especially with a 95.6 mph exit velocity on LD/FB. However, but we need to be honest with ourselves; Gurriel has plate discipline and health issues. His chase (38.6%) and contact (69.1%) rates are wanting. Also, significant injuries have limited his playing time. He’s still young and can overcome both of these issues. As of now, if you own him, stick with him. If you can obtain him cheaply, it doesn’t hurt to do so.

Eduardo Escobar’s breakout arrived at 31 years of age. I don’t recommend an ageistic attitude, but it’s time to capitalize. He is a prime ‘Get Out While The Gettin’s Good’ candidate.

Owners are eager to get the White Sox' 2B of the future, Nick Madrigal, promoted. The lineup is already ripe for productivity. It will be exciting, but be mindful of what Madrigal brings to your roster. Madrigal excels at getting on base and is nearly immune to strikeouts with a 3.5% rate across his minor-league career. He also provides premium steals and an elite batting average. His profile is fantastic for a leadoff hitter, but do not expect the power to develop at any point. That isn’t his style. There likely is no discount to be had in dynasty leagues. It doesn’t hurt to inquire on the off chance you can add a valuable asset.

Can someone talk to the Rockies about their prospect hoarding? Garrett Hampson’s routine in 2019 consisted of demotion, promotion, and platoon player. Rinse and repeat. An excellent September provided optimism. With a 30.1 ft/sec sprint speed, Hampson’s potential stolen bases are worth keeping him on your roster. Brendan Rodgers suffered from a similar routine before a torn labrum ended his season. The injury notwithstanding, Rodgers usually takes a year to transition to a new level. There's still plenty of potential built into his bat. The delay in his success might offer a buying opportunity.

Vidal Brujan is here for the speed and the propensity to get on base with very little reliable power. It may sound a lot like Madrigal but with even more speed and a slightly lower batting average. The switch-hitter can get on base, though. Up until 2019, Brujan’s strikeout and walk numbers nearly mirrored each other. Last year there was a small dip with an eight percent walk rate tied to an impressive 15% strikeout rate.

 

Tier Six and Lower

Nick Solak moved to the Rangers, where there is a better opportunity for consistent playing time. He isn't a superstar, but he’ll be a valuable regular, especially with speed that rivals Christian Yelich (28.7 ft/sec) and a power stroke that generated Eugenio Suarez-like exit velo on FB/LD (93.2). Currently, he’s UTIL only in most leagues, but playing time will find him, even if it is in the outfield. He’s slotted on this list since second base has always been his ultimate destination. Of course, Rougned Odor muddies those waters with a power/speed combo of his own. If only his batting average were respectable. If I had an extra spot on my dynasty team labeled ‘Stand By: Emerging Profit,’ Solak would be occupying it.

Mauricio Dubon’s circumstances changed for the better, yet it might not have a positive impact for fantasy. Dubon moved from Milwaukee to San Francisco, which results in near-stable job security and playing time. The question will be his production. Statistically, his 2019 season across Triple-A and the big leagues was a success with 24 homers and 13 stolen bases. A 91 mph exit velo on FB/LD with a 1.8% Barrel rate is not a recipe for sustained power, especially in Oracle Park. Additionally, Dubon’s speed is only slightly above the league average, and his 56% success rate for stolen bases in Triple-A is a concern. For Dubon’s sake, the regular playing time will provide more success than mere experience.

Some feel that if a player has an elite skill, they should be on a roster. Luis Arraez brings a .334 batting average, yet it still doesn’t incite a call to action. He doesn’t hit the ball that hard and has average sprint speed. This is not a marketable combination. It is more preferred to own a player that can actually improve their value.

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2020 First Base Rankings - Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Leagues

We're not far from the start of spring training and draft season is almost afoot! In re-draft leagues, a ton of preparation and research goes into building a new squad for 2020. Dynasty owners scoff at this because they already have their core players established. The question then becomes of relative value. Who is still worth their current price tag and when do you look to move on for a younger player?

First base has become a black hole of sorts recently, with a steep drop-off in production after the first couple of tiers. Breakout seasons by Pete Alonso and Josh Bell injected some life into the position last year but it's still tough to find anything resembling a sure thing after the top 10. Fortunately, our dynasty rankings go about 750 players deep, so you won't miss out on any potential assets when doing your evaluations.

All preseason long, RotoBaller has you covered with the latest rankings for all fantasy baseball league types. Here we present our dynasty rankings for the first base position, put together by analysts Ellis Canady, Nicklaus Gaut, and Pierre Camus. Check out our analysis of all other positions as well, coming soon!

 

First Base Dynasty League Rankings (January)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season!

Ranking Tier Player Name Position
1 1 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF
2 1 Freddie Freeman 1B
3 1 Peter Alonso 1B
4 2 Josh Bell 1B
5 2 Anthony Rizzo 1B
6 2 Paul Goldschmidt 1B
7 2 Rhys Hoskins 1B
8 2 Matt Olson 1B
9 3 Jose Abreu 1B
10 3 DJ LeMahieu 1B/2B/3B
11 3 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B
12 3 Trey Mancini 1B/OF
13 3 Miguel Sano 1B/3B
14 4 Carlos Santana 1B
15 4 Luke Voit 1B
16 4 Hunter Dozier 1B/3B/OF
17 4 Danny Santana 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF
18 4 Andrew Vaughn 1B
19 4 Michael Chavis 1B/2B
20 4 Joc Pederson 1B/OF
21 4 Yuli Gurriel 1B/3B
22 5 Nathaniel Lowe 1B
23 5 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B
24 5 Christian Walker 1B
25 5 Eric Hosmer 1B
26 5 Edwin Encarnacion 1B
27 5 Daniel Vogelbach 1B
28 5 Yandy Diaz 1B/3B
29 5 Wil Myers 1B/OF
30 6 Renato Nunez 1B/3B
31 6 Evan White 1B
32 6 C.J. Cron 1B
33 6 Daniel Murphy 1B
34 6 Justin Smoak 1B
35 6 Grant Lavigne 1B
36 6 Jesus Aguilar 1B
37 6 Christian Vazquez C/1B
38 6 Joey Votto 1B
39 6 Mark Canha 1B
40 6 Bobby Bradley 1B
41 6 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/SS/OF
42 7 Rowdy Tellez 1B
43 7 Willians Astudillo C/1B/3B
44 7 Ronald Guzman 1B
45 7 Nick Pratto 1B
46 7 Jay Bruce OF/1B
47 7 Jake Bauers 1B/OF
48 7 Josh VanMeter 1B/2B/OF
49 7 Matt Thaiss 1B
50 8 Garrett Cooper 1B
51 8 Jake Lamb 1B/3B
52 8 Brandon Belt 1B/OF
53 8 Kevin Cron 1B
54 8 Jeimer Candelario 1B/3B
55 8 Miguel Cabrera 1B
56 8 Travis D'Arnaud C/1B
57 8 Dominic Smith 1B/OF
58 8 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/3B/OF
59 8 Ryan O'Hearn 1B
60 8 Eric Thames 1B/OF
61 9 Brandon Dixon 1B/OF
62 9 Victor Caratini C/1B
63 9 Rio Ruiz 1B/3B
64 9 Michael Toglia 1B
65 9 A.J. Reed 1B
66 9 Albert Pujols 1B
67 9 Matt Beaty 1B/3B/OF
68 9 Mitch Moreland 1B
69 9 Ryan Zimmerman 1B
70 9 Brent Rooker 1B
71 9 Ryon Healy 1B/3B
72 9 Tyler White 1B
73 9 Colin Moran 3B/1B
74 9 Greg Bird 1B
75 9 Yonder Alonso 1B
76 9 Chris Davis 1B

 

Tier One

There's little doubt that Cody Bellinger is the top asset at this position. We may as well forget about his outfield eligibility because he is far more valuable in the infield for fantasy purposes. Hopefully that doesn't change, as he played all of 36 games at 1B last year and should man center field most of the year again. Still, there's little reason to think he won't see enough action at first base throughout the season and at age 24, he has a clear edge over Freeman. ATC projections have Bellinger going over 40 HR, 110 RBI, and 100 R again this year with a repeat of his 14 steals. That doesn't just make him the top option at first base, it makes him a top-five fantasy player at a thin position.

Freeman turned 30 toward the end of last season but he is getting better with age. In 2019, he posted career highs in HR (38), RBI (121), and R (113). His .295 average was a little disappointing though, as it was his lowest in the past four seasons. His xBA, xSLG, and xwOBA all ranked above the 90th percentile. He's the closest thing resembling a warm, fuzzy blanket that you can put on to embrace the warmth of a sure thing at first base.

Some dynasty owners may see Alonso as a better asset than Freeman, given his age and higher power totals. It is becoming a home run-driven league but he was the only one to break the 50-HR plateau last year and that was just the start of his MLB career. His excellent ability to turn on a fastball resulted in a .671 SLG on heaters and came with a reasonable chase rate of 31.9%, for a slugger at least. It would be hard to argue if you preferred him over Freeman but the uncertainty that comes with being part of the Mets organization puts him one spot lower.

 

Tier Two

If Josh Bell were in a better situation, there's no telling how much better his numbers might be. He posted a higher exit velocity than all but 12 players last year and had an xSLG in the 93rd percentile. He slashed .336/.455/.664 with runners in scoring position, which unfortunately didn't happen as frequently as it should. The recent trade of Starling Marte and dearth of offseason movement from the front office to bolster the offense could hurt Bell's counting stats in the short-term. With the likes of Colin Moran, Kevin Newman, and Jason Martin currently slated to hit behind him, Bell's already-high 12.1% walk rate could spike even higher. He's more of a sell-high/buy-later type in 2020 even though his long-term value should still hold together just fine.

Goldy has lost the wheels but his hit tool is still there. His once-elite fantasy status was predicated on five-cat production that included 71 steals over a three-year period from 2015-2017. Over the last two years, he has combined for 10 steals. His average also dipped down to .260, which is the lowest since his rookie season. There are still a couple of good years left in the tank but anyone not ready to compete for the throne should consider selling now.

Perhaps Matt Olson should be above Goldschmidt, since he's already outpaced him in multiple categories. Olson hit more homers and finished with a higher batting average, thanks to a spectacular 50.3% hard-hit rate that was among the best in the majors for a second straight year. He doesn't have the name recognition but he is a much younger hitter who is still one the rise. While the Oakland Coliseum doesn't favor sluggers, ranking 26th in HR Park Factor last year, it was one spot better than Busch Stadium. The only question is batting average and whether Olson can keep climbing in that regard. His improving plate discipline and contact rate on balls outside the zone say yes.

 

Tier Three

Jose Abreu had quite the bounce-back year, posting a career-best 123 RBI and ranking 24th in Hard-Hit rate. As a result, the White Sox locked him down for three more years at a cost of $50 million with a no-trade clause included. That job security plus the number of improvements the team made over the offseason to support its young talent already in hand should make him a steady contributor for the length of his contract.

Miguel Sano will be the regular first baseman in Minnesota now that Josh Donaldson has assumed the starting third base job. De-emphasizing his role on defense may help him concentrate on what he does best - punish the ball at ungodly levels, when he actually makes contact that is. It's true that he finished first in Hard-Hit rate at 57.2% and second in Barrels per Batted Ball Event at 21.2%, which has caused some fantasy managers to salivate at the thought of a full season hitting in the heart of Minnesota's lineup. Caution must be applied, however, since he's just one year removed from slashing .199/.281/.398 and hasn't exactly fixed his swing-and-miss issues. Sano ranked fifth-worst among all hitters with at least 200 plate appearances with a 36.2% strikeout rate. He is a volatile asset that may reap great reward or prove infuriating. Or both simultaneously.

 

Tier Four

The jury is still out on whether Luke Voit is the answer at first base for the Yanks. News that Miguel Andujar will start practicing at the position and Mike Ford's hot finish to last year should scare Voit owners into thinking a timeshare could be at play. He impressed in the first half of 2019 with a .280/17/50 triple-crown line before hitting the IL twice in July and seeing just 136 at-bats after the All-Star break. What we've seen so far indicates that he has the tools to succeed when healthy. It began with his Bronx debut in 2018 when he posted a 54% hard-hit rate and slugged .689. He obviously didn't sustain those levels in his follow-up season but he continued to improve his walk rate, up to 13.9%. His spot in a loaded Yankees lineup is a boost to his value. Those in win-now mode should hold onto Voit for the time being but the window may not stay open too long for him as a top-20 asset at 1B.

Hunter Dozier had a nice season, jacking 26 homers and tying for the league lead in triples, surprisingly, with 10. Despite his 6'4" frame, Dozier did record a Sprint Speed in the 80th percentile, although it only led to two stolen bases. Dozier's appeal will continue to be in the power department. Despite a spotty minor league track record, he showed flashes of his potential and finally capitalized. Unfortunately, he enters the year already at age 28 and may lose his 1B/3B eligibility if Maikel Franco holds down the hot corner while Ryan O'Hearn can make strides at first. Dozier is far better as a redraft asset than in dynasty.

Andrew Vaughn makes the top-20 in our rankings even though he is yet to take an at-bat in the majors... or Triple-A... or Double-A. The former University of California star is a former Golden Spikes award winner and one of the top hitting prospects at his position. In fact, he's been described as the best first base prospect since Cody Bellinger. He should make his way through the minors quickly, especially since the Chi Sox have shown they are not hesitant to bring up their young players as soon as they are deemed ready, sometimes too soon for their own good. As mentioned above, even though Jose Abreu is only 32, it can't be ignored that he will be a free agent by the time Vaughn is ready to take over. Vaughn should fit nicely with the young, free-swinging style of this ballclub and could be a stalwart at 1B for years to come.

 

Tier Five

The Nate Lowe breakout didn't quite happen last year but there were positive signs. He managed a 45.2% hard-hit rate and a solid 27.9% LD%, which resulted in a .432 xwOBACON. I prefer him over similarly-aged Michael Chavis because of better plate discipline and an easier path to regular playing time.

Is once-future top prospect Daniel Vogelbach already being replaced? The Evan White signing (see analysis in Tier Six below) might indicate so but there's always a DH spot waiting. That's likely where Vogelbach will reside this year if White is deemed ready for The Show. With precious little depth, Vogelbach is almost guaranteed regular at-bats. He'll have to perform better than his .228 xBA that was in the bottom 8 percentile last season though, even with the 30 home runs. A bigger problem might be the lack of RBI opportunities on a Mariners lineup that is projected to be among the youngest in the majors and now will be without Mitch Haniger for the first part of the year. By this time next year, he might slip out of the top 30 first basemen in our rankings.

Did anyone else notice that Christian Walker nearly had a 30-HR season? Just as soon as he was scooped up by fantasy owners in April, it wasn't long before he was being discarded in May and everyone suddenly had eyes for Kevin Cron. Walker came back with a solid second half though and should once again hold down first base for the snakes, batting either fourth or fifth. He may not bring up his average to Goldschmidtian levels but a hard-hit rate in the 94th percentile and increasing pull rate at least promise a potential repeat of his power numbers. He can be considered a value at the CI position.

 

Tier Six and Lower

Evan White is sure to be with the Mariners for the next few years, seeing as how he's been signed to a six-year deal worth $24 million. This may come as a surprise since he was still at the Double-A level all last year but based on what we saw starting with Scott Kingery in 2018, this is now becoming a trend to lock up players before they've even sniffed their first cup of coffee. It's not a guarantee that White will develop into a superior talent but obviously the M's think so. He's hit at every level so far and showed his developing power with 18 HR in 365 AB in the Texas League last year. His superior defensive ability should keep him at first base for the foreseeable future, making him a safer pick than most other prospects in the tier.

Bobby Bradley, by contrast, is the opposite of White. He's a pure slugger with swing-and-miss tendencies and an average fielder at best. He hit .224 across two levels in 2018 and raised it merely to .264 in Triple-A before getting his first taste of the majors last June. He may only see DH duty this year if called up but there's a potential opening at first base in 2021 if the team doesn't exercise Carlos Santana's team option.

Rowdy Tellez got his first extended Major League action in 2019 and was... OK. His 21 homers were a plus, especially this mammoth shot that was the longest-recorded distance for a HR in Fenway Park:


The addition of Travis Shaw could push Tellez to the bench or back to the minors but his raw power shouldn't be ignored.

Speaking of being ignored, poor Jake Lamb gets no respect. Shoulder and quad injuries have conspired to rob him of the majority of the last two seasons. If healthy, it's fair to wonder if he can regain the form he showed in his All-Star 2017 season when he hit 30 home runs and drove in 105 runs. After a down year where he finished with a slash line of .193/.323/.353 in 187 at-bats, he will cost next to nothing in dynasty leagues to take a flier on. If Christian Walker flops, Lamb could see time at first base this year and become relevant once again.

Remember when A.J. Reed was the next big prospect in Houston's system and Greg Bird was going to be the next Lou Gehrig? Reed has raked throughout the minors but his brief stints in the majors have resulted in a .149 average with four homers in 175 at-bats. If he can settle down and not press so much by swinging at fewer first pitches, good things could happen eventually. He's worth a stash in deep leagues if you have the space. Bird, not so much. Now a free agent, it doesn't seem like he'll ever recapture the magic of his Yankee debut. A variety of injuries have derailed a once-promising career. We'll always have the summer of '15 in our memories though.

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