1. Mike Trout, Angels
He’s the consensus #1 pick overall. Mike Trout will win you your league if you surround him with DECENT players. That’s how good this guy is. If you have the #1 pick, we can’t be friends anymore unless you take Trout. 

2. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
Stanton is one of the only guys in the game that could hit 40 HRs this year. Think about that for a moment. He’s the most powerful hitter in the game and, if it weren’t for Trout being Superman’s spawn, Stanton would be #1 for me. 

3. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
Cutch deserves better than I give him credit for. It’s not that I don’t love the guy, and I’d be thrilled to land him in a draft, it’s just that I can’t get over Stanton’s HR potential. Either way, Cutch shouldn’t sink below the 3rd overall player taken off the board in pretty much every single draft. 

4. Carlos Gomez, Brewers
Baby Cargo is the man! He’s developed some consistency these last couple of seasons and I think he puts together another great one in 2015. He’s a no doubt 20/20 guy with 30/30 upside. Take him and enjoy the ride. 

5. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
Joey Bats is always an injury concern for everybody drafting him, but that power though. While he’s almost guaranteed to miss some time, when he’s on the field, he hits bombs. In fact, two years ago he only played 92 games. He also only hit 27 bombs. 

6. Ryan Braun, Brewers
Braun is back and that’s excellent news for fantasy baseball. He’s had a few health issues and *ahem* performance (?) problems, but hey, when he’s playing, he’s awesome. I think he has a great year and looks like the Braun of old. That’s 92% hunch, 7% things I’ve read, and 3% the green smoothie I had for breakfast. 

7. Adam Jones, Orioles
Baseball’s Mr. Consistency for the last 4 years. He’s a lock for north of .280, 20+ HRs, 80 RBI, and hits in a good spot of what should be a productive lineup. Solid late 1st round pick. 

8. Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Puig carried lots of teams to championships when he debuted in 2013, which lead to being highly drafted (and slightly disappointing) in 2014. He still hit almost .300 and almost 20 HRs (16) while stealing 11 bases. I’m not sure he’s a 20/20 guy, but he could certainly be a 25/15 guy, which is plenty valuable.

9. Bryce Harper, Nationals
What more can be said about Bryce Harper? The kid’s a natural ball player and has a great power stroke, but a reckless playing style that often puts him in dangerous, DL-inducing situations. He’s worth the risk, but have a backup plan ready in case he hits a wall, literally. 

10. Michael Brantley, Indians
Brantley burst onto the scene last year with an impressive 20/20 season. He hasn’t really been known for power (with 10 [!] being his previous HR max), but he hasn’t been a full time player either. That changed last year and so did his power potential. Sure, some regression is always possible, but I think we see the opposite (in case you’re wondering, that’s PROgression). 


2015 Catcher Rankings

2015 First Base Rankings

2015 Second Base Rankings

2015 Shortstop Rankings 

2015 Third Base Rankings

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1. Buster Posey, Giants
If you’re taking a Catcher early, this is your guy. He’s going to get the at-bats and he’s going to drive in the runs. Posey won’t be on any of my teams this year, but that’s not because he isn’t awesome, it’s because he’s too expensive for me and I like some of the other names below his enough to justify passing on him. 

2. Devin Mesoraco, Reds
Mesoraco should be the next Catcher off the board in most drafts, and it’s pretty obvious why: POWER. He’ll hit 25+ HRs at a position where that isn’t very common. 

3. Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
Lucroy recently suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him out of action for most of the Spring. I wasn’t taking him anyway, but it’s only because I won’t be taking a Catcher early. If you want solid, yet unspectacular numbers across the board, this is probably your best bet. 

4. Evan Gattis, Astros
My personal favorite Catcher this year and the one I will be targeting in every draft I’m in. Gattis won’t kill you in Batting Average (maybe), he’ll be on the field for every game, and he’ll smack at least 25, maybe 30 (40?), HRs and he’ll be OF/1B eligible at some point in the year. 

5. Brian McCann, Yankees
McCann has a long history of being a quality fantasy backstop. Heck, I think at one point the guy was a borderline 1st round pick (although never for me because.. well because that’s crazy). He is in a decline and won’t give you what he used to, but he’s still worth it at the time you’ll be able to get him in drafts. 

6. Carlos Santana, Indians
This guy drove me crazy last year. For about 3 months, he couldn’t do ANYTHING. He rode my bench forever and I finally ended up cutting him. He then went on to hit a million (27) HRs and becoming the bane of my existence, except on someone else’s team this time. 

7. Yan Gomes, Indians
Gomes will serve as Cleveland’s primary backstop this year as Santana moves over to 3B. Gomes is a guy with good pop (20+ HRs) and a solid average who represents quite a bargain in fantasy drafts this year. 

8. Matt Wieters, Orioles
Wieters started last season on a hot streak, only to have his season cut short by injury. It’s anybody’s guess if/how he bounces back, but I think he’ll be fine for where you’re getting him. Just make sure you follow his status closely leading up to Opening Day. 

9. Salvador Perez, Royals
Perez is another guy that can reach the 20 HR plateau, although he’s the least likely of this bunch to do it. Still, he should have solid numbers across the board and again, represents a good return for where you’ll get him. 

10. Russell Martin, Blue Jays
Martin represents a very sneaky late round pick that should bring some power, strong average, and hits in a great lineup in a hitter’s park. Wow. 


2015 First Base Rankings

2015 Second Base Rankings

2015 Shortstop Rankings

2015 Third Base Rankings

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1. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
Wow was this guy awesome last year, and boy oh boy do I think he’ll be even better this year! If taking 2B early is your thing, queue up Rendy and make it happen. 

2. Jose Altuve, Astros
I must let you in on a little secret: I am a Houston Astros fan. WAIT! BEFORE YOU CLOSE YOUR BROWSER AND THROW YOUR LAPTOP OUT THE WINDOW, HEAR ME OUT. I also know a lot about fantasy baseball and I don’t let those two things mix. Third, the Astros might actually be decent this year. Still there? Excellent. Back to Altuve: he won’t be hitting .340 again this year, but I can totally see .300+, with 5-7 bombs and 35+ SBs.

3. Robinson Cano, Mariners
So they moved the fences in at Safeco, did they? Excellent. Did they trade Cano back to New York, too? No? Alright then, color me un-excited. Second base is so tough for me to rank because I just don’t see myself spending the early picks required to get these guys this year. 

4. Ian Kinsler, Tigers
Kinsler looked rejuvenated last year and had the counting stats to back it up. While he’s no longer the 30/30 player that he was that one year in Texas, he’s still plenty capable of being a set-and-forget fantasy second baseman. Except if he gets hurt. And he will. Sigh. 

5. Jason Kipnis, Indians 
Boy did he anger some folks last year. Kipnis looked like the ticket after hitting 17 bombs and swiping 30 bags in 2013, only to completely fall on his face in 2014. I believe in the 2013 version more than the 2014, and I didn’t own him last year, so bitterness won’t influence my decision to take him this year. I think he could return excellent value based on where people are getting him right now. 

6. Brian Dozier, Twins
Dozier is a solid guy to own if you want low batting average, teeny bombs and 20+ steals. He did score 112 runs, though, so if you can stomach the average, he could be a heck of a bargain. 

7. Dee Gordon, Marlins
Confession: I dropped Dee Gordon before the season started last year.  Confession, part 2: I owned Jose Altuve, so I barely noticed. Confession, part 3: I may draft Gordon this year with my eyes closed, while I picture Altuve’s face. 

8. Neil Walker, Pirates
 I don’t just love the guy, but geez, he was really good last year. If he can stay healthy, he should easily outproduce most of the projections people have for him. 

9. Kolten Wong, Cardinals
Here’s a guy I wouldn’t hate to end up with on my squad. Wong missed a few games via demotion/injury, but he has some decent pop and good speed. I wouldn’t be shocked to see 15/20 or better from him this season. You can draft him after people are drafting pitchers to stream, for crying in silence. 

10. Daniel Murphy, Mets
Double-digit HRs and double-digit steals should come easily for Murphy this year. He’s another value pick that won’t blow you away with his big numbers, but will be good enough to stick in your 2B slot and forget about.


2015 First Base Rankings

2015 Shortstop Rankings 

2015 Third Base Rankings 

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First base is an interesting position this year. There’s plenty of pop at the top, and several late rounders that you can squint and plug into your lineup. These are the best 10 in my mind.

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1. Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays
Lots of folks (or at least several.. some?) are caught up on the fact that the great Billy Beane shipped a fantastic young 3B out of Oakland for what many agree was less than he could have gotten. Don’t read too much into that, this is going to be your #1 fantasy 3B by season’s end. 

2. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
I almost didn’t put him here because I don’t like to rank players twice at multiple positions, but I did it so that you’d have an idea about where I’d want him in my lineup if I’m drafting him. Here’s a hint: Third base. Look for bombs and questionable health. But mostly bombs. 

3. Anthony Rendon, Nationals
Rendon is everybody’s favorite everything this year. But seriously, check out that 2B/3B eligibility. I like him more as a 2B, but I certainly don’t mind slotting him into my hot corner either. Wait. *Stares into space* Where were we? Oh yeah, Rendon is a good professional baseball player and you should draft him. 

4. Todd Frazier, Reds
Frazier the Amazier! That’s a phrase now, and you have my permission to use it. Seriously, what got into this guy in 2014? 29 jacks and 20 steals? What the what? While I don’t see his steals being quite that high, I think his HR total could actually climb a touch. I will be targeting him heavily this year. 

5. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
I want to like Arenado more, I really do. Those splits, though. Nolan was a much better hitter at home (predictably), and he also missed a bit of time last year with a broken finger. I expect him to endure a few sophomore struggles, but nothing that Coors can’t fix.

6. Kyle Seager, Mariners
This guy won me my league last year. I had 3B issues and there was Kyle Seager, slumping just hard enough for someone to drop him. I scooped him up, he literally (2) caught fire, and I won it all. Thanks Kyle, now could you drop your ADP a touch so we can do it again?

7. Adrian Beltre, Rangers
I was torn about ranking Beltre here. I don’t necessarily believe he’s what he once was, but I don’t have much evidence to back it up. I’ve seen some places that list him as their #1, so maybe somebody knows more than I do about him. If he stays healthy and gets the ABs, I think he’ll produce and maybe give you 25 HRs? You could do much worse than that.

8. Evan Longoria, Rays
Longo has long(o) been one of my favorite baseball players. Despite the fact that I’ve owned him several times in fantasy. I won’t be continuing that trend this year, however, due to how boring last season must have been for his owners and the fact that he has zero help in the lineup this year. He’ll give you decent numbers, but don’t expect more than last year and prepare for quite a bit less. 

9. Chris Davis, Orioles
Focus, please. Lend me your undivided attention. Chris Davis was suspended last season for unapproved Adderal usage and prior to that, he couldn’t hit a baseball to save his life. However, he has submitted the necessary paperwork this season, and will be back on the drug. I don’t know how that impacts his personal life (and I wish him the best, sincerely), but gosh I hope it helps him hit the baseball again. This is my favorite sleeper of the draft this year. 

10. Carlos Santana, Indians
Carlos Santana was a source of immense frustration for me last year. “He’s going to be in the lineup everyday!” They said. “He’s got positional eligibility!” They said. “HE CAN’T HIT HIS WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG. DROPPED.” I said, regrettably. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t regret it when I dropped him. I regretted it 1.5 weeks later when he started hitting everything out of the park. Oy. 

2015 Shortstop Rankings

 

 

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With just a few days until Pitchers and Catchers report, I thought it would be nice to release my 2015 positional rankings (as I see them, of course). I also thought it would be nice to start with the ugliest position and mine for gold. If you mine for gold. Dig? Is it dig for gold or mine? Ah. Don’t get up. I’ll google it. You read on ahead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fantasy Baseball: Top 25 Hitters

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

Greetings, Wagoners! It’s 2015 and Non-DFS Fantasy Football season is (and has been for a couple of weeks) officially over. I don’t know about you, but I’m already thinking about baseball. I’m in a Fantasy Basketball league, too, so I’m not unaware that there’s a season going on there, but I haven’t broadcasted any advice about it because I honestly just don’t dig as deeply into the NBA as I do the other two major leagues. That being said, I’m tied for 1st in my basketball league, so I must be doing something right. [Side note: Kobe, you were killing me. Thanks, though, for teaming up with Derrick Rose and turning into James Harden.] So, without further ado, I bring to you my initial 2015 Fantasy Baseball rankings. Okay, just a bit of further ado, I’m doing hitters only at this point. I hate drafting pitchers because I stream starting pitching all season long and rarely keep guys on my roster that aren’t closers. If you have any pitching questions, tweet them to me @waiverwagon and I’ll throw a solid guess your way!  Read the rest of this entry »