Now we are a few weeks into the season and it is becoming clear that some players need to be moved around a bit in my current rankings. Here are the adjustments I made and some other notes.
It is becoming clear that Mike Napoli was no fluke last year. With his two home runs yesterday he now has four on the season and clearly the best option at catcher going forward.
There are a few other catchers with four bombs on the year but A.J. Pierzynski isn’t going to keep that up. Matt Wieters on the other hand may keep up that pace. He was the Bryce Harper of catchers before Bryce Harper – a sure bet to hit and hit hard in the majors. After a few years of average play maybe that bat is finally going to live up to the hype from a few years ago and produce a monster season. I bumped Wieters up my rankings by two positions just ahead of Alex Avila. It is still early so I am not going to drop him all the way to the top but he is certainly worth watching.
I also moved Chris Iannetta up a few spots because he already has two home runs and in that lineup he should get plenty to hit and the fans here in Denver know he has 20 homer power.
Last night on Twitter Jeff Sullivan (@LookutLanding) tweeted that Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins have more home runs than Albert Pujols in this young season. Of course Rockies fans also should know that Jonathan Herrera also has more homers than Pujols. This obviously won’t apply by the end of next week, is my guess. Pujols is on a rare stretch in his career with the most plate appearances to start a season without a home run. He hit seven in Spring Training alone this year. He will hit.
With that being said I am not moving anyone in my top eight but am dropping Pablo Sandoval and everyone behind him down one as it looks like Justin Morneau is healthy (two big bombs last night). Another new name to my list is Carlos Pena as maybe there is just something in the water in Tampa Bay because his bat looks to have returned since rejoining the Rays this offseason. Gaby Sanchez and Michael Young are the two bats to drop off of my first base rankings to make room for Morneau and Pena.
Michael Cuddyer comes off of my list. I don’t think he is second base eligible in most leagues unless your league needs very few games from last season to be eligible for that position.
With only 19 players listed without Cuddy I am moving Darwin Barney into the 20th spot in my rankings solely because he seems to be entrenched in the two hole in the Cubs lineup. Which isn’t say a lot but it does give him some run scoring potential.
Other than that not a lot of movement at second other than Dustin Ackley moving up to the 11th spot and everyone else dropping down one.
Skipping third base today. I am definitely tempted to move Sandoval down – a lot – but will leave him there for now. I still don’t know what to make of David Freese and Chase Headley (will they keep it up?) and with David Wright’s broken finger (but he is still playing and producing) I just don’t want to touch my rankings yet. Maybe next week.
Can I ignore Derek Jeter’s smoking hot start? I don’t think I can. Not sure he will hit 20 home runs this year but it looks like 15 is a definite maybe. How many shortstops can realistically hit 15 or more home runs and score over 100 runs? Not too many. I am bumping him up to #5 on my list.
I am also moving Zack Cozart up the list a few spots as he looks like the real deal and even though Dee Gordon isn’t getting on base a lot it sure seems like that whenever he is on base he steals a base. Can he steal 75 bases with a .300 OBP?
My top four remain the same and Jeter makes a big jump.
Chris Young is going to hurt me. I drafted him in my major league and he has carried my team so far this year. Sure a cold spell was bound to come but landing on the 15-day DL hurts. Of course those who own Jacoby Ellsbury don’t want to hear it.
Young doesn’t move as I had him lower to start the season and even with the hot start his ranking now is about right because he will certainly cool down and add in his injury I don’t think moving him up makes sense.
Ellsbury drops quite a bit as I am going off of the most gloom and doom reports. Another Red Sox outfielder plummets: Carl Crawford.
Kemp takes the first place spot over Braun as it looks like he is going to do his damnedest to make his prediction of a 50/50 season come true (or maybe 75 homers and 200 RBI?).
I also put Luke Scott into the 45th spot and dropped Jason Bay off of the list.
Matt Cain moves up, how can he not after those last two starts? Was it less than five runners allowed in each of his past two starts and no runs over nine innings each? What a duel last night between he and Cliff Lee.
Chris Carpenter falls about 20 spots and Michael Pineda drops a chunk, too.
I like the way Madison Bumgarner has looked this year. Albeit the one outing I watched was against the Rockies and until last night it looked like it was going to be another long year for the Rockies against left hand pitching. Bumgarner looks tough and the Giants rotation is stout.
I wouldn’t normally update relief pitching but with Brian Wilson getting season ending surgery and Drew Storen still being out I needed to make a few adjustments.
Here’s hoping you make the right decision if you have to choose between Colby Rasmus and Dexter Fowler in the outfield or if you want to trade for Jeter. May luck be with you.