Welcome to the second annual Razzball Keepers Top-100 list-a-roo. I capped it AND italicized it, because it’s just that special. (The 2013 Top-100 can be found here.)
Spoiler Alert! We’re doing things keeper league style, dynasty style… which ever nomenclature you prefer. Basically, if you hold onto players for more than a year, these are the rankings you’ve been waiting your whole life for. Whole life man. Seriously.
Remember, the process for this list is quite unique. Unlike Grey, I didn’t type half of it with my mustache. Also, this isn’t your list. It’s my list. So, yeah, I’ll love guys a lot more than you will. I’ll also love your mom. Or vica versa. It’s just the way it is. If you stuck me in a keeper this very instant, this is pretty much the list, in order, of who I’d personally want long term. Things like previous production, expected 2014 production, projections for 2015-2017, future potential, positional-scarcity, and injury-risk are all things I bake into the rankings. Regardless, the big takeaway here is that I believe in the Oxford comma. And I guess a lot of comma’s in general. And short sentences. And baking. And female nudity. Word.
Note: I’ve only ranked players who have pitched at least one inning or had one at-bat in their MLB career, sans Masahiro Tanaka and Jose Abreu. Our prospect maven, Scott Evans, has the low down on all those MiLB guys I left out. Go check out his 2014 rankings (Top-25, Top-50), he won’t bite… I think.
Top 100 Keepers for 2014 And Beyond
1. Mike Trout - The Trout/Miggy conundrum is debatable in redraft leagues, but Trout still remains numero uno in all keep’s. And if we’re going to stick with the Spanish theme, that makes him la mayor trucha en el estanque. Which, if I’m reading that correctly, roughly translates to: “There is water in the library, but don’t worry, my loins are on fire.” 3-year Projection: 110/25/95/315/35.
2. Miguel Cabrera - The move back to first base is certainly a blow, but that won’t be felt until the 2015 season, and by that time, his numbers will most likely have already helped deliver another championship to your team. Or an erection. Either way, there’s no downside here. 3-year Projection: 100/35/120/320/0.
3. Bryce Harper - I’m still a big believer, despite so much Mormonism. And bursitis. I mean, seriously, who thinks bursitis is going to happen? Remember, the root word is ‘burst’. You know what I think of when I think of burst? This. Do you think any of them saw that coming? The answer is no. No they did not. 3-year Projection: 95/35/115/290/15.
4. Paul Goldschmidt - Yes, I’m convinced he’s for real. FINALLY, I know. Goldy is living proof that I’m not infallible, which now puts him in the same dubious group that includes, but is not limited to, all of my ex’s. Sorry bro. At this point, he kinda-sorta gives you the inverse of what Trout gives you in terms of home runs and steals. While I don’t foresee a 250-pound bear being able to sustain such lofty steal totals, I’ve never really gotten close enough to a bear to verify this. 3-year Projection: 90/35/105/290/15.
5. Andrew McCutchen - The Dread Pirate has pretty much stabilized into what I imagine a real Dread Pirate would be. And that is a Predator with a shoulder parrot that wreaks havoc upon Aliens, humans, and the coastlines of Somalia. 3-year Projection: 95/20/95/300/25.
6. Robinson Cano - Since I’m fresh out of Canoe puns, because they are just so awesome and I just use them way too much… I’ll just state that the move to SafeCo doesn’t really scare me. Sure, he doesn’t have elite power, but he’s a consistent multi-category producer, and does it all at the keystone. 3-year Projection: 90/25/105/310/5.
7. Ryan Braun - Boy, it’s a good thing I’m not an anti-Semitic Cubs fan, or this would have been awkward, amiright? And I’m pretty sure that if you blame someone from Chicago for your lot in life, you have an easier option with Obama. Look, I’m not entirely convinced that steroids actually benefit a hitter. I’m just convinced that I’d rather use UPS than FedEx when making an important delivery. I still view him (maybe the only one) as a premium talent with 30/30 potential, but I guess I understand if you don’t. 3-year Projection: 95/25/100/290/15.
8. Adam Jones - Jones gets a large movement (haha) from last season’s list due to two factors. First, another scrumptious display of fantasy baseball elite-ness. Go away Joe Flacco. Second is pretty much– ef you Giancarlo Stanton. You’ve ruined me and I’ll never be able to love again. Which also describes a lot of outfielder’s last season. Cough Matt Kemp Cough, to name another. What? That’s what my cough sounds like. 3-year Projection: 95/25/95/280/15.
9. Carlos Gonzalez - I think you just have to expect anywhere from a 15 to 50-game gap of production when buying in. By the way, you have no idea how much willpower it took to not insert an escargot joke right here. You’re welcome. 3-year Projection: 95/25/90/290/20.
10. Edwin Encarnacion - Simply a beast. In fact, if Skittles didn’t exist up in Seattle, I’d be tempted to name what E5 does as Beast Mode. Or Beef Moe. Basically, he’s the Marshawn Lynch of baseball. The main difference being, Encarnacion doesn’t have a smug coach that smack’s his gums like a 40-year-old divorcee snorting cocaine for the first time since college. 3-year Projection: 90/35/105/275/5.
11. Troy Tulowitzki - See: Gonzalez, Carlos. Ditto, ditto, something about playing shortstop. More fascinating is the fact that the Colorado Rockies have not one, but two of the game’s top players, and their front office exudes something in effect of how a cat operates. Profound aloofness with a bunch of hairballs. 3-year Projection: 80/25/95/305/2.
12. Chris Davis - While I don’t think last season is repeatable, I don’t see any reason why Davis can’t put up gaudy home run totals, which in today’s run environment, is a premium resource. Mining metaphors… ugh. What can I say? I’m trying to build some momentum here… I know the population of Indiana is familiar with that concept. It’s how they roll most places. 3-year Projection: 95/35/100/270/2.
13. Joey Votto - I just made the connection that he’s Italian. WEIRD. It’s too bad he was born in Canada though. I would have loved to be born in a country that made ‘Bunga Bunga’ parties famous. And, ya know, salami’s. 3-year Projection: 95/25/85/310/5.
15. Evan Longoria - Longoria is always hard to rank for me, because the ingredients are there for an elite multi-category producer. But, he seems to just kinda pick-and-choose his moments from year-to-year. One year, he’ll hit .290 with 20 home runs, then hit .270 with 30 home runs the next. Or have an elite hamstring injury. But he’s still in his prime and you’d be hard pressed to find a player closer to a complete package at the hot corner. 3-year Projection: 90/30/90/275/2.
17. Yu Darvish - [Insert highly offensive Asian joke.] [Admit that it's not raycess because I'm of 50% Asian.] [Insert statement that it still might be sorta raycess.] [Insert Yu pun.] [Insert Yu pun, part deux.] [Inster Yu GIF.] [Drop mic, give peace sign, leave stage.] 3-year Projection: 16-10/2.90/1.10/270.
18. Ian Desmond - I’ve never been a huge fan, but I can’t deny the production he puts up among the dearth of talent among his shortstop peers. In fact, 20/20 is down-right top-tier production at the position, and we now have two full seasons with those numbers to warrant my stamp of top-25 approval. 3-year Projection: 75/20/75/280/20.
19. Giancarlo Stanton - I’m certainly not going to ride this train again. As you can tell by the ranking, Stanton has been snowballing (just like your mom). And I’m not sure he’s worth it. There will be always some measure of hype for a Puerto Rican having a sexed-up Italian name-reversal with raw-eighty power. But keep in mind that he’s only played more than 123 games once in his career, and has not eclipsed that mark in two seasons. 3-year Projection: 75/35/70/280/2.
20. Jason Kipnis - Igor Kipnis was a well-known American harpsichordist and pianist. Jason Kipnis doesn’t have anything to do with Igor Kipnis. I’m glad we cleared that up. 3-year Projection: 85/15/80/270/30.
21. Justin Upton - Since I’m not riding the Giancarlo Stanton train, you might think I’d be open to riding the J-Up train. Nope. Though, I would be open to piggy-backing a DeLorean on that train, while flying off a cliff, blasting Huey Lewis, all in an effort to time travel back to 1990. Gauge how much I just swung-and-miss on that tie-in that reference and then add about 78 feet. Congratulations. You have just duplicated Justin Upton’s strike-zone. FUN FACT! Add the continent of Antarctica to that total and you have B.J. Upton’s strike-zone. 3-year Projection: 95/25/75/275/15.
22. Hanley Ramirez - In last year’s list, I described HanRam as ‘used-up’. And then he goes out and hits 345/402/638 with 20 home runs in just 336 PA’s. My response? There are some wonderful things that can happen if you heal from shoulder surgery. And a broken thumb. And a strained hamstring. Uh, and also some lower-back pain. What I’m saying is, you can be used-up and jacked-up at the same time. But the brightest flame burns twice as fast. Something-something, wax poetic. 3-year Projection: 75/20/75/290/10.
23. David Wright - Despite the power-outage in 2009 and peculiar 2011, Wright has been a quiet and consistent producer at third-base. While you could go with flashier names, you’d be hard pressed to find a more solid-all-around contributor. Which, in this case, makes him the Wright choice. (The ‘W’ is silent.) 3-year Projection: 85/20/85/295/15.
24. Stephen Strasburg - Now two-seasons clear and free of any injury, I think it’s safe to say that Strasburg will settle into a top-10 starter from here on out. Except those peak season’s where everything comes together and we see flashes of vintage Pedro Martinez. Well, probably a little less Dominican and a little bit more, um, Burgian? Is that even a thing? Should I have just said White-ian? 3-year Projection: 13-7/3.10/1.06/195.
25. Prince Fielder - Moving up from last season’s list probably reflects the changing run environment we are living in. Though, with the amount of Tex-Mex and brisket he’s likely to encounter, moving up on the weight-scale might also be a real possibility. Oh, yeah, that’s right, he’s a vegetarian. That kind of ruins the joke. 3-year Projection: 90/30/100/285/0.
26. Felix Hernandez - 2013 marked the third season in a row that the King has seen his fastball velocity drop. Yet, 2013 also marked the third season in a row that his K/9 and K/BB have risen. Elvis called. He, actually, does not want his nickname back. 3-year Projection: 13-10/3.05/1.13/215.
27. Yasiel Puig - #ManBearPuig took the league by storm by hitting 319/391/534, and single-handily made guys like Jose Abreu and Alexander Guerrero that much richer. More importantly, though, he created the narrative that a mustache-less Don Mattingly is actually a good thing for keeping a clubhouse in order. That’s not what we should be going for here. Regression seems a forgone conclusion, but barring some kind of catastrophic event, like not learning how to drive at some point, 20/10 seems like such a nice a shiny floor to have. Though, I hear Brazilian cherry is pretty good too. 3-year Projection: 80/20/85/285/15.
28. Albert Pujols - Normally, you wouldn’t see a rise in the rankings of this nature with a year so depressing (258/330/437). Then again, while I’m not projecting a return to greatness, there’s no reason why Pujols can’t settle in as a 280/30 guy now that he’s healthy, which, if you hadn’t noticed, in this run-environment, is still pretty darn good. 3-year Projection: 85/30/105/285/8.
29. Carlos Gomez - Another heavy riser, I’ve always been reluctant to buy into the idea that Go-Go can be stable-stable. (I have 100 of these, just go with it.) The BABIP luck-dragon will spew hot flames of regression all over the place… maybe. But even on the low-end, we’re looking at a 10/25 guy that could provide as high as a 25/40 split. In any format, that’s top-50 quality. 3-year Projection: 80/20/75/250/35.
30. Adam Wainwright - Might possibly still be just as good if he was Wainwrong. I think. A lot of silent ‘W’s’ in baseball I’m noticing… 3-year Projection: 17-10/3.15/1.10/210.
31. Eric Hosmer - He hit 15 home runs after I wrote my Hosmer Haiku. Now, I’m not saying I had anything to do with his resurgence. What this blurb presupposes is, maybe I did? 3-year Projection: 85/25/80/280/15
32. Starling Marte - One of the many players I spotlighted last season, and let me tell you this: no one can do a 1500-character write-up full of hedging like I can. Like Carlos Gomez, a lot of his production is BABIP dependent, but any young multi-category producer should get the benefit of the doubt. 3-year Projection: 80/10/45/260/35.
33. Max Scherzer - More the original Mad Max than Thunderdome. In the end, that’s all we can ask, amiright? 3-year Projection: 16-8/3.30/1.11/230.
34. Shin-Soo Choo - Kim Jong-un is really poisoning our well, is he not my Korean bother-from-another-mother? Well, in this case, only if your father was Irish like mine… oh, and also had strikingly dominant hansom genes. Because science. And sexiness. They call it geography I believe. Or maybe geometry. Genealogy? Pfft, naw. Not possible. Way too many vowels. 3-year Projection: 90/17/60/285/20.
35. Dustin Pedroia - As an aside, here’s my Baseball Facial Hair Top-5: Starting off with (5) Josh Reddick — Just so rural apple pie. 4) Brian Wilson — Horrifying. Which gets points considering the effort. 3) Jayson Werth — Almost made me Catholic. 2) Anthony Rendon — Because goatees should not exist. NEVER. EVER. Yet he rivals Tony Stark in that department. Good enough for silver. 1) Dustin Pedroia — Lumberjack’s pubes. Nuff said. Wait, what were we talking about again? 3-year Projection: 90/15/80/295/15.
36. Manny Machado - He should be healthy to start the season, so I’m optimistic that he’ll build from a fantastic 2013 debut. I feel like this blurb needs more meerkat. Wait, what? 3-year Projection: 85/20/80/285/5.
38. Jose Fernandez - Had a 9.75 K/9 and 2.73 FIP over 172.2 innings. All at the age of 21. I have nothing to add here. 3-year Projection: 10-10/2.95/1.10/195.
39. Jose Bautista - It’s not that I’m especially down on Joey Bats, despite the drop from last year’s ranking. I just think more options have emerged that do similar things, or more exotic things, or younger things, all for a longer period of time. Basically, everything you want your (possible) future second wife to be. But if you need power, and are in OPS/OBP cat leagues, I still flutter at the skill set. Plus, he follows me on twitter, which was going to be enough to keep him inside the top-50 this year anyhow. 3-year Projection: 80/30/80/250/5.
40. Jose Reyes - My general feeling is this high ranking represents how the offense will be rolling this upcoming season. Right down a hill. Into a dumpster fire. Next to an abortion clinic. Before things get out-of-control, I’ll just say there’s risk here. A lot of risk. But besides Jean Segura, there isn’t another shortstop who can give you a 10/40 spot, and there’s none that can do it while hitting well over .300. 3-year Projection: 80/10/50/290/35.
41. Josh Donaldson - It’s well known that I’m a believer, and while he’ll be hard pressed to match 668 PA total from last season, even if take a bit off the top from his counting stats, a 290/20 is realistic. He’s still in his prime, can stick at the hot corner, which easily puts him in the top-5 3B discussion. 3-year Projection: 80/20/85/285/5.
42. Jacoby Ellsbury - I have no idea how to rank Ellsbury. He’s hit 32 home runs. He’s also hit just three. He’s stolen 70 bases in one season, and then seven in another. He’s hit as high as .321 and as low as .192. When you average all that out, sure, you get a good player. In reality though, one year, you’ll get a top-10 guy, another, you’ll get a wtf-mate? So let’s just call this ranking for what it really is– hedging. 3-year Projection: 85/10/50/280/45.
43. Justin Verlander - Well, falling down the list like this is what happens when you have five consecutive seasons of velocity-loss combined with the fact you play for a team that enjoys punting defense. Don’t get me wrong, this version of Verlander is still pretty damn good, but I’m not sure he’ll ever return to the top-25. 3-year Projection: 15-10/3.35/1.15/220.
44. Jay Bruce - Last season marked his five-year anniversary of a rising K%, while he also celebrated his third-year anniversary of a sinking BB% and Contact%. Me? I celebrated my 31st anniversary of monogamy with porn. Moral of the story? Mines better. Yes, I was watching porn at the age of one. Don’t question it. 3-year Projection: 85/30/95/250/5.
45. Madison Bumgarner - Still just 24 years old, Bumgarner has established himself as a pitcher who can consistently drop a 200-spot in both innings and strikeouts. Probably not 200 Yeti’s though. Because, why? 3-year Projection: 15-12/3.10/1.05/195.
46. Jedd Gyorko - And you thought Chase Headley would be in the top-100 this season. I have found a new muse! Gyorko, to be honest, should be ranked higher, but I’m trying on some anti-homerism for a change. Does it make my butt look big? You should know, he hit the most home runs (23) at the keystone, sans any player named Robinson Cano. Oh, and by the way, he achieved that total in only 125 games. 3-year Projection: 75/25/75/265/3.
47. Jason Heyward - I have no idea what to do with Heyward. It’s not like I don’t believe in the talent. But my god… the injuries. Sore shoulder’s, appendectomy’s, hamstring’s… you know what, who cares about his ranking. Someone send in the Red Cross. 3-year Projection: 85/20/80/275/10.
48. Matt Kemp - So if I’m not riding the the Giancarlo train, going Back to the Future with that J-Up train, what do you think I”m going to do with the the Matt Kemp train? If you guessed, (A) GAH, KILL IT WITH FIRE! , boy do I have a Twix bar for you my friend. The potential is still there for a 30/30 season. The problem is, there’s probably an equal, if not higher chance that he puts up a 0/0. 3-year Projection: 80/20/80/285/15.
49. David Price - I think I’ve used The Price Is Right pun at least five times with David Price, so now I guess we’re at the stage where I just talk about the pun to avoid the pun, which begs the question– what’s next? Stigmata? 3-year Projection: 13-10/3.30/1.13/195.
50. Ian Kinsler - While moving out of the friendly confines of Arlington and the lead-off spot doesn’t really instill confidence, I’m not entirely sold on his decline phase being this bad. His Batted Ball and Plate Discipline profile tells me that a 275/20 guy is still in there… somewhere. Combined with his usual 15 steals, you’ll totally forget that I think the stat page tells me things. In whispers. Sweet-soothing whispers… 3-year Projection: 85/20/75/270/15.
51. Christian Yelich - This would be the highest-ranked debut on this list, and I’m proud that it’s going to guy that sounds like a Die Hard villain. Obviously, I’m quite bullish, and think he’s going to be the rare multi-category producer which will be flirting with my top-10 as soon as 2015. BUT NO TONGUE UNTIL THE SECOND DATE. 3-year Projection: 75/20/80/290/25.
52. Chris Sale - Every time I write something about Chris Sale, the piece always comes with a standard injury-disclaimer, proving to you that I, in fact, have no medical background whatsoever. Sorry mom! 3-year Projection: 10-13/3.15/1.12/200.
53. Yoenis Cespedes – Cespedes appears to be the first player to gain the ‘best shape of his life going into Spring Training’ label. X-BOX ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. What I like more is the fact there are also reports that he’s shortened his swing a bit. With a little bit of health, I see no reason to think he can go back to his charming first-year self. 3-year Projection: 75/25/85/270/10.
54. Pedro Alvarez - His ability to not hit water when jumping in the pool will always keep him from being an elite player… But the power, oh that sweet-nectar-power from the baseball gods will keep him very relevant in any format. 3-year Projection: 70/30/95/235/1.
55. Cliff Lee - For this list, Cliff Lee get’s the AARP discount. But throwing at least 200 innings with a FIP no higher than 3.13 for the past six seasons officially labels you ‘spry’. Just the way your mother likes it. Probably. 3-year Projection: 15-8/2.95/1.05/215.
56. Buster Posey - I find it hard to take anybody named Buster seriously. And while that probably didn’t contribute to the drop in this year’s list, even with positional scarcity being what it is, his production just doesn’t justify a top-50 placement. On the bright side, at least he isn’t named Angus. Or Cammy. 3-year Projection: 65/17/75/310/1.
57. Adrian Beltre - Ah, yes, the one guy who makes Cliff Lee look young on this list. He’s old, yes, but the production is still there, and he’ll be on this list until that stops. 3-year Projection: 85/27/90/300/0.
58. Anibal Sanchez - Sure, he’s never pitched more than 200 innings, but he’s logged at least 180 innings for four straight seasons. And if you believe in the improved velocity, which I do, there’s a fair bet he can duplicate his near-10 K/9 and mid-2 FIP, providing us with ‘Great Anibal’s of Fire’. That word-play right there? That’s what the kids today call ‘magic’. 3-year Projection: 15-9/3.30/1.15/200.
59. Xander Bogaerts – Yeah, it’s an aggressive ranking. I know. There’s a lot of division here; is he over-hyped? Will he play up to the scouting reports? My ranking answers where I stand. But I’ll say one thing, after typing his name, I’ve bought into the fact that he’ll live up to being a spell-check nightmare. 3-year Projection: 70/15/75/280/5.
60. Alex Rios - The last list, I described his career as the entire Star Trek movie franchise. Well, his ‘every-other-season I’m going to suck it’ strategy went out the door in 2013, but I just couldn’t tell you what this season will bring. He has power, he has speed, and when it comes together, boy does it come. That’s what she said. Then again, I feel like he’s almost 90 years old and 40+ steals won’t happen again, so there’s that too. 3-year Projection: 80/15/85/275/25.
61. Gerrit Cole - Some might prefer Miller here. Personally, I think Cole is the more complete package and has a higher ceiling because of it. 3-year Projection: 12-12/3.25/1.16/165
62. Brandon Belt - You have no idea how long I’ve been staring at this screen trying to think of a Belt pun. Mainly because there’s no concept of time. See, you’re reading this in real-time, at some point in the future, as I am typing this, at some point in the past, with several Twix in my mouth, thinking about how you are going to be reading this in the future… whoa. I need to take a nap. Before I do, know that I believe this Belt is definately real enough to hold up my pants. SWISH. 3-year Projection: 80/23/75/285/7.
63. Wilin Rosario - Sooner, rather than later, the gap will have closed between him and Posey, and Rosario will stand as the top fantasy catcher. And then he’ll immediately be moved to first base and his value will go the way of a piñata. It’s not raycess because I love candy. And Taco Bell. 3-year Projection: 65/25/75/280/2.
64. Shelby Miller - Despite what I said in Cole’s blurb, it’s hard to knock that Miller seems to be doing just fine with two pitches. Both project as top-of-the-rotation guys, and I think if you own either one, they’ll make you happy. 3-year Projection: 15-10/3.35/1.20/160.
65. Freddie Freeman - I’m still bearish on Freeman, as I think people are confusing his new ceiling as a floor. There isn’t much left and I think we just saw his peak year. Let me put it this way. He hit .443/.591/.695 with RISP last season. Repeatable? Uh… no. 3-year Projection: 85/20/80/280/0.
66. Danny Salazar - Whoa. I know bro. I’m surprised at this ranking. I mean, I’m not, since I’m the one who wrote this. But I didn’t think he would land this high. I think it’s obvious I have a crush, and the logical next step is to put him this high because on the off-chance he might reply to my text’s and phone calls. Yes, there’s only 52.0 innings of Major League data, but let’s just say I’m confident in the idea that he’s a strong #2 that can be a #1. At age-23, sign me up. 3-year Projection: 13-12/3.25/1.16/180.
67. Adrian Gonzalez – Same thing I said about Beltre, but subtract the amount of home runs with their age difference times two. You just got math’ed. 3-year Projection: 80/23/90/290/0.
68. Julio Teheran – I don’t know, are we allowed to do Tehran puns? Or did I just put myself on the no-fly list? 3-year Projection: 13-11/3.40/1.17/175.
69. Starlin Castro – More like Black-holin, amiright? Sounds like what I watched the other day. Truth be told, I have no idea what to do with Castro. I still believe in the talent, but last season left such a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. With Javier Baez breathing down his neck, literally, like, back away bro, you’re in my space and I can smell you… this is a make-or-break year. 3-year Projection: 75/15/70/265/15.
70. Anthony Rizzo – I’m less worried about Rizzo. I’m not sure he’ll ever have a batting average over .270, but I think the power will be there to stick through these growing pains. 3-year Projection: 75/25/85/250/5.
71. Alex Gordon – I see Gordon as one of those non-exciting, but pretty stable guys. Sam Worthington says hello. Gordon will get you some above average production across the board, and if you’re in a win-now mode, he’s a risk-mitigator. Which means I guess you can call him during tax season too. 3-year Projection: 85/20/80/280/13.
73. Matt Adams – I’m still kinda iffy here with Adams. I like what he did in just 108 games last season, and with more at-bats coming, he can certainly boost his counting stats. Then again, unlike my own personal routine, going lefty-heavy won’t feel like a stranger, it’ll feel like a horrible platoon split. Let’s see how well Adam’s adjusts, and then, maybe I’ll be able to figure out a better masturbation metaphor. 3-year Projection: 75/25/80/275/0.
74. Zack Greinke - Dat collerbone bro. Lord of the Ring’s it… keep it secret, keep it safe. 3-year Projection: 16-9/3.25/1.16/180.
75. Matt Holliday – I think it’s fair to say that at this point of the list, using a Holliday/Hollendaze joke is either status-quo or perhaps the furthering destruction of all that is holy. So I’ll just simply talk about that joke which “never happened”, thus achieving a balance between the two. 3-year Projection: 85/20/85/290/3.
76. Ryan Zimmerman – Probably one of the best players who can go from a ‘mild-strain’ to ‘x-ray’s needed’ to ‘back after All-Star break’. I’m not questioning his ability, but Zimm just plays older than he really is. An eventual move to 1B in the not too distant future doesn’t help either. 3-year Projection: 75/20/75/275/3.
77. Jose Abreu – Despite the wild comps, I’ll settle on the side that says he’s more Adam Dunn than Miguel Cabrera. But I think there’s an impact bat here. I would love to rank him higher, but I think some MLB at-bats are required before I do so. 3-year Projection: 70/25/75/250/5.
78. Nick Castellanos – The talent is there to be a multi-year All-Star, but don’t be surprised if the power isn’t there right away. Let’s call it more of a Machado debut, rather than a Braun debut. Hopefully without the torn medial patellofemoral ligament. My spell-check just threw up on me. 3-year Projection: 70/15/80/275/3.
79. Anthony Rendon – There is no reason why a goat-tee should ever exist. Yet he’s able to rock one, and I’m none-the-wiser as to how. That’s not the main reason he’s here, of course, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Really, the only question is health, because if those ankles stay in one piece, he’ll be a star. 3-year Projection: 70/15/85/275/3.
80. Cole Hamels - Yeah, I know last season wasn’t exactly what we’re used to, but his peripherals didn’t really change much and his FIP was way within career norms. If there’s a buy-low opportunity, I’d take it in a heartbeat. Especially if it involves actual ham. 3-year Projection: 14-12/3.35/1.17/200.
81. Domonic Brown - I’ve never been a fan. Heck, I didn’t even know how to set up all the vowels in his first-name properly until last July. You may think he’s crossed a corner, but I don’t. The HR/FB just doesn’t gel with his career numbers, especially when you look at his batted ball distance. 3-year Projection: 65/20/70/250/5.
82. Billy Hamilton - His speed will change the game. Unless, you know, he can’t get out of the batters box. I’m willing to say that if he produces a .250/.300/.330, that will just be enough to have relevancy in all formats… but I’m not that optimistic. 3-year Projection: 60/1/30/235/35.
84. Mark Trumbo – I’m a bit uncomfortable having Trumbo this high, because it’s not like he’s plays in Colorado, amiright? But I just love that power in Chase Field. In fact, if he played third base, he’d be right there with Alvarez. 3-year Projection: 75/30/85/230/5.
85. Jurickson Profar – He seems so close, yet so Profar. Yep, that pun right there is exactly why I get paid the big bucks. At some point, he’ll have to play up to his scouting reports, but he’s still young and it’s hard not to believe that he’ll blossom into a star. You know I’m serious because I brought flower metaphors into this. Just remember: he’ll be a better real-life player than fantasy one, and if the keystone’s his permanent home, that also knocks his value a bit. 3-year Projection: 70/7/75/280/15.
87. Brad Miller - Some might see this as an aggressive ranking, but I liked what I saw, even with the caveat of small samples. Any time there’s potential for 20 home runs at a position with so little depth, once you get past the top-5, you’re basically watching Encino Man on an endless loop… well, you have to take notice. 3-year Projection: 75/15/75/260/10.
88. Carlos Santana – I’m not really sure what to do with the reports of his third base experiment. I’d like to think it’ll work out with the emergence of Yan Gomes and I guess what you could call the de-emergence of Lonnie Chisenhall being contributing factors. I do like the production both at the battery and hot corner, and since most keeps have advanced cat’s like OBP, he gets extra credit to go along with being named Carlos Santana. 3-year Projection: 75/20/75/260/3.
89. Taijuan Walker – The raw talent and athleticism are attractive, no doubt. While there’s only a few innings of Major League data to go on, I’m a little concerned with reports that Walker’s mechanics have regressed since the beginning of last season. 3-year Projection: 10-10/3.45/1.19/180.
90. Nolan Arenado – He won’t be a big OBP guy, but I think he has a great hitting profile for that environment. 20 home runs could be a ceiling, but there will be plenty of doubles and triples to balance the other numbers. 3-year Projection: 75/17/80/280/1.
91. Jordan Zimmermann - Other’s might have him ranked higher, sure. The ratios are always strong, but the underwhelming strike-out totals always give me pause . Kris Medlen and Ervin Santana basically did the same thing last year. The only difference is, I expect Zimmermann to keep it up, which is part of the consideration. 3-year Projection: 15-10/3.35/1.13/150.
92. Oswaldo Arcia - Another aggressive ranking, because power. The K% is a bit high, but if you can hit more than 30 home runs, it doesn’t matter. Hitting 14 in just 378 plate appearances projects well for this 22-year-old. 3-year Projection: 70/25/75/260/2.
93. Mat Latos – Look, I know I always talk about it, but it’s really starting to bother me. Are you reading this Mat? Your name needs more ‘T’s’! Or maybe rearrange them… just do something. It’s not natural man. 3-year Projection: 14-7/3.40/1.18/185.
94. Jose Altuve - Take away the speed, and there’s really not much else there. Okay, now put back the speed, because it’s not like we chopped off his legs. That’s morbid yo. Just keep in mind, the upside is limited, as is the non-steal’s production. 3-year Projection: 70/5/45/280/30.
95. Sonny Gray - No funny business here… he shares the name of my awesome dog, who I named after one of the characters from one of my all-time favorite TV show’s. It’s not to hard to figure out which one, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re dead to me. Or, far too young for me to date legally. All of this is to say, I want dates. Legal dates. 3-year Projection: 10-10/3.40/1.16/175.
96. Kyle Seager – He got off to a great start last season and had me believing that a new Seager was emerging. After the fade though, a 20 home run guy was still reamined, which has value at third. And I actually think there might be some more room to grow. Only if to give me time to think of a great Bob Seger pun. 3-year Projection: 75/20/75/260/10.
97. Ben Zobrist – I actually looked into his strange power-outage at the end of last season, which leads me to believe that he’ll return to once again be a 20/15 guy all while destroying coastal cities off of Japan. Maybe he should be called Zokushima to modernize his nick? Too soon? 3-year Projection: 75/20/75/270/10.
98. Avisail Garcia – Yeah, all the Avisail people are going to be disappointed. You guys should join forces with the Tyson Ross club, since they’ve already submitted an estoppel action because he wasn’t in the top-10. Ya crazies! Keep in mind, I don’t hate Garcia… he’s still in a pretty select group here. I just get this feeling that a still-raw and over-aggressive approach might cause some really nasty streaks. Let’s say I like him, but I have commitment issues. 3-year Projection: 65/17/65/275/5.
99. Gio Gonzalez - He certainly has his ups-and-downs, and while his peak year may have already come-and-gone, there’s still a lot to like about a guy who can provide a mid-3 ERA and 200 K’s over a full season. 3-year Projection: 14-9/3.40/1.19/195.
100. Chris Carter - I know he has a dirty batting average, like, not even normal dirty. We’re talking Christina Aguilara dirrty. Two ‘R’s’… and yeah, have you seen her lately? It’s like a 10-pound turkey in a 5-pound bag. Anyhow, in terms of Carter, despite the contact issues, he finished 15th in home runs, and, interestingly enough, his batted Ball Profile and Plate Discipline numbers are eerily similar to Chris Davis’. It could mean nothing, but if it means something, look out. 3-year Projection: 70/30/80/230/0.