It is about time I get around to updating my fantasy rankings. There is a lot of movement this time around after a month’s worth of play.
Matt Wieters is one of the best catchers offensively in baseball this year. We were supposed to be saying that a few years ago when he made his debut. He was a “can’t-miss” hitting prospect. He missed. At least for the first few years in the Bigs, but he is raking now. He already has seven home runs and is slugging .580. He likely will come down some but it isn’t beyond reason that he keeps this up for most of the year based on how good he was projected to be.
Others that move up are Yadier Molina, Jesus Montero, Carlos Ruiz and Jonathan LuCroy. Going the other direction is Joe Mauer and the fact that he plays on one of the worst offenses in baseball does not help. Who else is going to hit in that lineup?
The Rockies Ramon Hernandez falls off of my list due to the fact that his playing time is in question with Wilin Rosario…and the fact that he is battling injuries already. Jarrod Salty takes his place on my rankings.
Justin Morneau, Pablo Sandoval, Ike Davis, Lance Berkman and Kevin Youkilis drop off of my list. All of these guys except Davis are on the DL and each has a track history with injury problems. Davis is just plain sucking right now.
Replacing them is Bryan LaHair (leading 1B in the NL in HR), Adam Dunn (is he back to his 40 homer ways?), Mark Trumbo, Adam LaRoche and Todd Helton.
Freddie Freeman makes a huge jump in the rankings and it was just last year when Jason Heyward was considered the better prospect between the two. It is becoming increasingly clear that you want Freeman if you have to pick between these two young Braves players.
No, I am not dropping Pujols. 10 years worth of performance still trumps one bad month.
You might ask why I didn’t drop Eric Hosmer off of my list if I dropped off Davis and the simple answer is that I think Hosmer will hit this year and not sure about Davis.
A lot of movement with new players at second, too: Chase Utley, Danny Espinosa, Ryan Roberts and Darwin Barney are all off and are replaced by Mike Aviles, Omar Infante, Robert Andino and Jemile Weeks. Utley falls off due to too many questions about health and the others fall off due to performance. Rickie Weeks younger brother hits the list and what is going on in Baltimore? The biggest surprise so far in 2012?
And how about that little man in Houston? Jose Altuve is producing offensively. Conversely it seems Brandon Phillips got his contract and then decided to take a year off. Kidding. But he is definitely struggling early by his usual high standards.
The first rankings in which my #1 player drops from #1. Jose Bautista hasn’t been good this year and according to ESPN’s Player Rater he is the 25th best third baseman in baseball right now. Where a guy like Pujols gets the benefit of the doubt I am fearful that as quickly as Bautista rose to 50 homer power he might just as quickly fall.
David Wright on the other hand (Get it? Hand?) is playing great with a broken finger and playing very well. While he only has three home runs this year he is still slugging over .550 and producing runs.
Pablo Sandoval drops off another list of mine due to his hand injury and is replaced by Hanley Ramirez. Kyle Seager also makes his first appearance and replaces Ryan Roberts. Youkilis also falls of this list and is replaced by Miguel Cabrera (apparently I should have updated this sooner as he gained 3B eligibility a long time ago..). Chipper Jones is healthy so far and he appears on the list and knocks off super power hitting Danny Valencia. Mike Aviles and Martin Prado are also new comers to my list.
I want to add Will Middlebrooks to the list but there isn’t room, maybe next time around.
How about Derek Jeter? He might not have the range to play the position anymore but in fantasy that doesn’t matter: the guy can still hit. I moved him all the way up to my #2 spot.
While many people believe that Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes are clearly the best two shortstops in fantasy I think Starlin Castro has to be in the conversation going forward. Until the Cubs realize he cannot play the position defensively and try to move him his bat is very nice at short. Castro led the league in hits last year and already has 43 this year which is good for third in all of baseball. The kid can swing a bat.
Only a few players were dropped/added from my list: Rafael Furcal and Mike Aviles were added while Marco Scutaro and Jhonny Peralta were dropped.
Outfield and Starters
I am not going to re-do these ranks today and will try to get to them later this week or early next. In looking at them briefly I would say Bautista is too high in the outfield ranks and obviously Josh Hamilton is too low – he should probably be #1. Don’t ya think?
As for starters I think I will be dropping Tim Lincecum as he has really struggled this year and maybe the trend over the past three years in his drop in fastball velocity is a sign of things to come.
I will do my best to not be bias against guys like Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and Chad Billingsley as they continue to screw me in my main league.