I love keeper leagues. Love ‘em. Can’t get enough of ‘em. Redraft leagues are fine and all but with keeper leagues you become more connected to certain players and have an affinity for them over all others. They become the unofficial “face of your franchise” and are synonymous with your team. Hanley Ramirez will always be one of my favorite players because he was one of my keepers from 2007 (back when he was a 50 base stealing FLORIDA Marlins shortstop) until 2012. I grabbed 26 error third basemen Ryan Braun in 2007 and he was my ride or die until he was 61 games-played outfielder Ryan Braun in 2013. I still haven’t forgiven him for embarrassing the Roswell Aliens like that…

Keeper leagues add a new wrinkle to your draft strategy. You’re keeping Gary Sanchez? Great! You don’t have to decide whether you want to draft James McCann or Tucker Barnhart in the 25th round!  Keeping one of the big-4 aces? Wonderful! You can now load up on offense early and wait to take Kyle Hendricks as your second starter.

If I were writing this article pre-season 2017 pitchers would be few and far between on this list. Only Clayton Kershaw would’ve been found in the top 25. Now, in this juiced ball era, starting pitchers find themselves a bit more valuable. Although, with this universal humidor situation it’ll be interesting to see what happens to the faces of our teams. For example, the day after the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they would utilize a humidor in their stadium I saw a tweet that said Paul Goldschmidt fell to the 15th overall pick in one draft. If they kept Paul Goldschmidt himself in a humidor for all of 2018 I’d still draft him before pick 15.

Let’s get into my methodology here. I’m going to be mainly focusing on 2018 because the future is hard to predict. However I’m not going to completely ignore that if you’re reading this article you’re probably not in a 1-year keeper league so there will be some projecting for the next few years as well. That means age will be a factor here. Joey Votto can still smash, but is 34 while his younger brother Freddie Freeman hits just as well and is only turning 29 at the end of this season. Position will also be a factor. Needing 1 second basemen in a shallow pool means that they’re more valuable than the 3-5 outfielders you’ll need. The intersectionality of speed/power and age will also be considered. Dee Gordon is turning 30 in April — how long will his legs hold up? Chone Figgins went to Seattle in his 30’s in 2012 and his career was donezo by 2013. Injury history should also be considered. Giancarlo Stanton was an MVP in 2017, but had over 500 ABs just twice in his previous 7 seasons. As a Yankee fan I’m hoping he stays healthy, but as a fantasy baseball owner I’m cautious. Have any of you actually read any of this or did you just jump straight to the chart to find your players?

Oh well, enough jibber-jabber! Let’s get into it:

The 2018 Razzball Commenter Leagues are now open! Free to join with prizes! All the exclamation points!


Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
1 Mike Trout OF 26 1
2 Jose Altuve 2B 27 9
3 Trea Turner SS 24 5
4 Bryce Harper OF 25 4
5 Manny Machado 3B/SS 25 7
6 Carlos Correa SS 23 12
7 Nolan Arenado 3B 26 6
8 Kris Bryant 3B 26 3
9 Mookie Betts OF 25 2
10 Francisco Lindor SS 24 17
  • By the end of this season Turner could be a solid #2. His 50+ stolen base potential paired with his 12-15 HR is money in this offensive climate.
  • Bryce in a walk year scares me in a good way. He’s gotta be the clubhouse leader for NL MVP.
  • Betts hitting in front of Andrew Benintendi, Hanley Ramirez, JD Martinez and Rafael Devers could see him honestly reaching the 140 plateau.
  • Lindor is a big gainer after more than doubling his HR total while keeping his SB total respectable. The drop in AVG should bounce back a little bit.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
11 Andrew Benintendi OF 23 49
12 Corey Seager SS 23 10
13 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 30 8
14 Giancarlo Stanton OF 28 33
15 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 22 N/R
16 Freddie Freeman 1B 28 18
17 Alex Bregman 3B/SS 23 25
18 Jose Ramirez 3B 25 N/R
19 Anthony Rizzo 1B 28 11
20 Charlie Blackmon OF 31 15
  • I think the humidor concerns over Goldschmidt are a tad overblown, but I’m going to trust the experts on this one who see him losing about 5-7 HRs at home. With Freeman, Rizzo and Votto nipping at his heels — his value drops a bit.
  • With Bellinger the concern is definitely with that average. The potential for 40 HRs from a 22 year old is great, but that 26.6% K/rate worries me.. He could take a step back in his sophomore year as pitchers figure him out and he fights back.
  • Of this group, the player I could see cracking the top 10 in 2019 is Alex Bregman. Before July 1st he had 8 HRs and 6 SBs with a .249 average. After: 11 HR, 11 SBs and a .315 AVG. And don’t forget his post-season performance. He slugged HRs off of: Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, and Chris Sale twice!
  • Poor Anthony Rizzo. He’s so predictably great that we get bored of him. High 90s in runs, 32 HRs, 100+ RBI and a .275-.290. The most predictable player in fantasy baseball.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
21 Aaron Judge OF 25 N/R
22 George Springer OF 28 23
23 Clayton Kershaw SP 30 14
24 Joey Votto 1B 34 27
25 Gary Sanchez C 25 53
26 Chris Sale SP 28 37
27 Noah Syndergaard SP 25 30
28 Corey Kluber SP 31 55
29 Marcell Ozuna OF 27 65
30 Max Scherzer SP 33 31
  • Aaron Judge: see Cody Bellinger except make it a 30.7% strikeout rate. Grey seems to agree.
  • This is where my pitchers start to fall and here are my elite five. With a healthy 2018 Syndergaard could be the top starting pitcher keeper for 2019.
  • Biggest concern with Gary Sanchez is when they move him off the position. Luckily for his owners he is blocked by an equally young Greg Bird so for the next 3-4 years Sanchez will have C eligibility.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
31 JD Martinez OF 30 40
32 Luis Severino SP 24 N/R
33 Byron Buxton OF 24 74
34 Yoan Moncada 2B 22 86
35 Madison Bumgarner SP 28 26
36 Stephen Strasburg SP 29 43
37 Christian Yelich OF 26 44
38 Shohei Ohtani SP/DH 23 N/R
39 Carlos Martinez SP 26 N/R
40 Yu Darvish SP 31 46
  • The flipside of my Betts run prediction is JD’s RBI. He’s hitting behind Betts, Benintendi, and HanRam. Ladies and gentlemen your 2018 AL RBI leader.
  • Some might say I’m a little high on Severino, but his 2017 was exactly what he’s done every year in the minors. He’s a 10+ K/9, close to 1.00 WHIP, 2.XX ERA pitcher.
  • I put Buxton and Moncada right next to each other because they’re very similar to me. Both consensus #1 prospects who scouts were drooling over who didn’t set the world on fire immediately as everyone predicted. Buxton is starting to come around and I think Moncada will as well.
  • And there he is — the most talked about man in Major League Baseball this year — Shohei Ohtani. Will he got 400 ABs? Will he throw 150 IPs? He’s a really fun novelty — but I think next season he’ll decide to just be a SP and THAT’S when his value will really start to shine.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
41 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 25 N/R
42 Jose Abreu 1B 31 41
43 Starling Marte OF 29 16
44 Jacob DeGrom SP 29 77
45 Chris Archer SP 29 60
46 Josh Donaldson 3B 32 22
47 Carlos Carrasco SP 31 N/R
48 Anthony Rendon 3B 27 54
49 Rafael Devers 3B 21 N/R
50 Willson Contreras C 25 N/R
  • I wrote a Philadelphia Phillies team preview on my other blog and boy did it get me excited about Rhys Hoskins. In front of him he has: Cesar Hernandez (.372 OBP in last two seasons), Odubel Herrera (.344 OBP in last two seasons) and Carlos Santana (.365 OBP in last two seasons.) Ladies and gentlemen your 2018 NL RBI Leader.
  • Starling Marte took quite a fall from grace after his 2017 PED suspension. However, even with those missed games he was on pace for over 45+ SBs and around 15 HRs. Still a worthy investment in my book.
  • One of the youngest guys on this list, Devers hasn’t even lost his baby face fat yet, but came up hitting amazingly with 10 HR and a .284 average in only 58 games. A full season hitting right behind JD Martinez could mean biiiiiiigggg things for the 21-year old.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
51 Robbie Ray SP 26 N/R
52 Elvis Andrus SS 29 N/R
53 Justin Upton OF 30 79
54 Wil Myers 1B/OF 27 36
55 Daniel Murphy 2B 32 34
56 Aaron Nola SP 24 N/R
57 Lance McCullers SP 24 N/R
58 Xander Bogaerts SS 25 24
59 Dee Gordon 2B 29 N/R
60 Brian Dozier 2B 30 29
  • Robbie Ray and the other Diamondback pitchers will benefit from humidor-gate. His 12.1 K/9 was best in the bigs and that number should only go up more this season.
  • Aaron Nola might be one of the biggest gainers by the time we’re writing this article next year. He’s got close to a 10 K/9 and was 11th with a 1.91 GB/FB ratio.
  • Go ahead and try to get me excited about the 10 HR/10 SB potential of Xander Bogaerts. I don’t love him, but he’s young enough to rebound somewhat.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
61 Jonathan Schoop 2B 26 N/R
62 Jose Berrios SP 23 N/R
63 Zack Greinke SP 34 N/R
64 Eric Hosmer 1B 28 98
65 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 35 63
66 Robinson Cano 2B 35 56
67 Joey Gallo 3B/1B 24 N/R
68 Miguel Sano 3B 24 50
69 Ronald Acuna OF 20 N/R
70 Domingo Santana OF 25 N/R
  • I’m worried Sano might turn into one of those tragic stories. This offseason he got himself involved in a sexual assault situation and now apparently has shown up to camp out-of-shape while everyone else is bragging about being in the best shape of their lives. Sano has 50 HR power potential in his body, but has Korean League potential in his brain.
  • Don’t sleep on Joey Gallo just yet! The 40 HR and 80+ run and RBI potential is there and I think there is sleeper potential for a .235 average. The closer that average creeps up to .250 the better he is for your fantasy team. He’s still only 24 and was only just finally entrusted with his first full season of ABs. Let’s give the kid a chance!
  • Some keeper rankings have Acuna in the 20’s, but I can’t commit to that until I see him face a major league pitcher in the big leagues. See: Byron Buxton and Yoan Moncada.
  • Domingo Santana might have had the quietest 30 HR/15 SB season of all time in 2017. The only thing holding him back in 2018 is playing time. The Brewers have 5 (or 6 depending on how you feel about Keon Broxton) outfielders who deserve playing time so he might lose out on some ABs.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
71 Khris Davis OF 30 58
72 Nomar Mazara OF 22 87
73 Billy Hamilton OF 27 96
74 Buster Posey C 31 90
75 Mike Moustakas 3B 29 N/R
76 AJ Pollock OF 30 N/R
77 Marcus Stroman SP 26 N/R
78 Justin Verlander SP 35 N/R
79 Tommy Pham OF 30 N/R
80 Justin Turner 3B 33 N/R
  • I’m not giving Khris Davis enough love here. He’s a surefire bet for 40 HR and 100+ RBI and will probably last much deeper in your drafts than other outfielders.
  • Tommy Pham will probably be ranked higher by other people, but I need to see that 25/25 potential for a second season.
  • If he were 6 years younger (and healthier), Justin Turner would be in the 30-40 range. Turner deservedly finished in the top-10 in MVP voting the past two years and if he stays healthy should be there again this year. But at 33 years of age and with an extensive injury history — how much longer?
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
81 Manuel Margot OF 23 N/R
82 Rougned Odor 2B 24 20
83 Javier Baez 2B/SS 25 73
84 Gerrit Cole SP 27 81
85 Luis Castillo SP 25 N/R
86 Jean Segura SS 28 99
87 Michael Conforto OF 25 95
88 Gregory Polanco OF 26 39
89 Victor Robles OF 20 N/R
90 Kenley Jansen RP 30 N/R
  • I’m definitely higher on Margot than most. I think he has legitimate 15 HR/40 SB potential. It might not happen in his age 23 season, but it’s coming. He is going very late in drafts so far and you could win in 2019 by drafting him late now.
  • If I wasn’t worried about his shoulder Conforto could’ve found himself in the 30-40 range this year. He has a solid walk rate, a great hard hit rate and is good at using all parts of the field as witnessed by his 27.9% opposite field percentage compared to his pull percentage of 32.4%.
  • Gregory Polanco could either be the greatest gainer on this list or will fall off completely. As a 2017 buyer in Polanco stocks, I can tell you that he was playing through injury last season. He has come into camp looking swole AF which will hopefully contribute to solid production on the field.
Rank Name Position Age 2017 Rank
91 Dinelson Lamet SP 25 N/R
92 Matt Olson 1B 24 N/R
93 Josh Bell 1B 25 N/R
94 Alex Reyes SP 23 N/R
95 Jameson Taillon SP 26 N/R
96 Alex Wood SP 27 N/R
97 Trevor Bauer SP 27 N/R
98 Greg Bird 1B 25 N/R
99 Michael Fulmer SP 25 N/R
100 Vlad Guerrero Jr. 3B 19 N/R
  • Lamet finished in the top 10 in K/9 among pitchers with at least 100 IPs. Unfortunately he was also bottom 10 in BB/9 among those same pitchers. Control has always been Lamet’s achilles heel, but if he’s worked on it this off-season and can get that aspect of his game under control he could be a top-25 SP.
  • Alex Reyes was a tough addition to this list since we don’t know how he’ll respond to Tommy John surgery — but his pedigree and the history of successful TJ returners tells me that he’ll be okay by the time 2019 rolls around.
  • Trevor Bauer seems like a strange inclusion on this list, but he’s someone you have to think is going to one day be better than his numbers show. He has a great K/9, solid GB/FB ratio and every year his FIP is lower than his ERA.
  • Baby Vlad is the first prospect ever to receive an 80 out of 80 in his hit tool. The youngest man on this list has to get you excited to see what exactly that could translate to in the major leagues.



Now every keeper league has their own unique rules — if you’ve got different keeper rules and have specific questions leave a comment below!

  1. Grey

    Grey says:

    Excellent work, thanks Kerry!

  2. George says:

    Our first season keeping 2 players (lose that draft position from where they were drafted in 2017). It’s a 12-team head to head categories league. the drafting order will be determined after keepers are decided. who would you guys consider my best choices for my 2 keeper ?
    -Altuve costs me my #1
    -Correa my #2
    -G.Sanchez my #5

    Thanks !

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @George: For me it’s gotta be Altuve and Correa.

  3. D Landis says:

    Awesome stuff!!

    12 team 5×5 Roto… forever keep 10 + 10 Farm/Stash…

    Just offered His Gallo, Cespedes, Austin Hays for my Dozier.. What’ya think? Thank you as always

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @D Landis: Yea I’d accept that.

  4. brian says:

    Good read ty so much

  5. AL KOHOLIC says:

    great job Kerry thanks

  6. JCM says:

    I can’t decide on who to keep between Hoskins and Benintendi, so I’m thinking of trading both of them for an obvious upgrade. It’s a 12 team league, 6 x 6 each category (OBP and SLG), keep 3 forever (the players’ are kept in the first 3 rounds, no matter what).

    My first two keepers are Correa and Rizzo. Would you keep Hoskins or Benintendi? Is trading both of them for JD Martinez too much?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @JCM: too much. I’m pretty high on both hoskins and Benintendi.
      I’d keep Benintendi and see if you can shop hoskins for a pick to someone.

      • JCM says:

        @Kerry Klug: Can I ask why you would pick Benintendi over Hoskins? I get the steals aspect of it, especially since I won’t be getting too many from Correa and Rizzo anyway, but I’m starting to think that Hoskins is a 5 category stud in my 6×6 league.


        • Kerry Klug

          Kerry Klug says:

          @JCM: Benintendi had a great debut year as a 23 year old and has 25/25 potential with a TON of runs. I really like both — but Benintendi’s speed sets him above.

  7. Randy says:

    No Albies???

    • himom says:

      @Randy: was surprised by this as well…

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @himom: @Randy: he’s definitely 101. I want to see what he’s capable of over a full season. I think he could end up pretty high on this list with a good season. I really like him.

  8. Raider says:

    10 team mixed and my hitters are trout, lindor, arenado, benintendi with no year restrictions so this gave me a little chub

  9. himom says:

    godley or taillon in a dynasty?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @himom: Taillon for me. I’m not super high on Godley… I might be alone on that.

  10. Adrian says:

    I’m wondering how you think your approach to dynasty rankings differs from Tristan Cockroft’s at ESPN. My league has used his lists as gospel for a few years but I see significant disparity in some players, such as my boy Buxton.

    • knucks says:

      @Adrian: You should be taking advantage of your leaguemates and pretending T-Cock doesn’t exist. Razz is your bible now!

    • Heathcliff Slocumb says:

      @Adrian: I would steer as far clear of Cockroft’s rankings as you possibly can because they, well, they suck. He might be knowledgeable, but that is definitely not his area of expertise.

      • Adrian says:

        @Heathcliff Slocumb: my biggest concern with Cockcroft is his conservativeness with youth. I understand you don’t want to dive in on a guy after one good season, but I was holding on to Domingo Santana, Gallo, and Olson as potential trade bait for a higher caliber keeper. Cockcroft has them at 106, 94, and 101 respectively, which seemed kinda meh especially for Santana. I liked the bullishness of this list.

        • Adrian says:

          @Adrian: also I’m in 5×5 OBP

        • knucks says:

          @Adrian: Don’t concern yourself with his rankings. Its that simple. You have the advantage if your leaguemates use his rankings. Its classic zig/zag 101.

          • The Harrow says:

            @knucks: it could have value to know a list if he KNOWS others value it.

  11. knucks says:

    How much higher would you push Gallo up if your league uses OBP and SLG instead of AVG?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @knucks: quite significantly. Maybe around 41-50

  12. slimbo says:

    what do i do with ohtani (batter) in my dynasty? had to draft both..would it be ok to cut him for any of these guys listed

    Gattis, C Hernandez, Glassnow, cotton, Soto, Triston mckenzie, Greene, Trammell, Collins


    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @slimbo: cut no. I’d stand pat. Maybe see if anyone else is willing to trade for him.

  13. Anodyne says:

    In deep dynasties, who do you like better, Juan Minaya or Kyle Gibson?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Anodyne: Juan Minaya. Not close.

      • Anodyne says:

        @Kerry Klug: Sweet! Appreciate the decisive answer!

  14. Jack says:

    Does AF stand for as fuck?

  15. dprat says:

    Need to make cuts on my dynasty league team: 12 tm, 27 kept (basically we’re dumping players that were carried last year in 3 DL spots and 1 NA spot). So need to cut four of these six: Jose Martinez, Pedroia, Kepler, E Rodriguez, J Nelson, Corbin. I’m deep in pitching; no aces, but Paxton, Wood, Castillo, Berrios, Duffy, Hendricks, A Reyes, Godley, W Buehler – any of whom I think would disappear in a heartbeat if thrown back in the pool to eat up our 1300 IP max). I’m thin in the OF, so leaning toward keeping Kepler. Thoughts on which four should be the dumpees?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @dprat: Pedroia Martinez ERod and Corbin if you’re committed to Kepler.

  16. Steve says:

    Great list thanks!

    14-team h2h, keep 9

    Trade away Benintendi/Keuchel (or Quintana) for Machado? Not planning to keep either SP (will go back in the draft pool otherwise). Or should I just keep Benintendi (late round keeper vs early round Machado).

    Other keepers: Stanton, Harper, Arendo, Trea, Abreu, Kershaw, Thor, Benintendi, (T Beckham, Puig, Segura, Keuchel or Quintana)

    Also, any specific reason Puig didn’t make the cut? He’s heading into his year 28 season and is projected at a WAR over 3 in one of the best lineups in the NL. Too much personality risk?

    Thanks again

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Steve: I always tend to keep the later round keepers to free up my picks but machado is pretty special… I’d grab him if you could. However… He’s hell bent on being a SS going forward so you might have a logjam at that position with trea.
      Puig is another guy who just missed. Young but volatile. I actually think he’s settled into a normal American ball player life. With another solid season he will be here next year.

  17. Ciwa says:

    In my 14 team keeper league I have Merrifield,Happ and Story. What do you think about them?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Ciwa: I have them: Whit, Happ, Story.
      Whit: nice sb, decent HR. But yuck to that lineup
      Happ: great power but how many ABs?
      Story: that 2017 average is legit. And Brendan Rodgers is knocking on the door.

  18. Nightpandas says:

    Hey Kerry,
    15 team obp slg K/9 QS keep 11
    My keepers right now are:
    Gallo Odor Devers Schwarber Puig Torres
    Sale Bauer Castillo Osuna

    Would you move Castillo for Berrios and Krush?
    Also how early would you take Vlad Jr in the draft…maybe round 2 ?

    • Mike L says:

      @Nightpandas: Keeper league better grab Vlad #1

      • Mike L says:

        @Mike L: Also if you need extra OF that trade is fair I think Berrios will be better

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Nightpandas: Yea I like that trade a lot.
      Depending on who’s available Vlad will be one of the first 5 players taken.

  19. LeftCoastYankee says:

    Standard 12-team 5×5 $260 auction league…

    My potential keepers are all stacked together on your list; please help me decide as I can only keep ONE of the following!

    Elvis $13
    Murphy $20
    Upton $21
    Carrasco $22

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @LeftCoastYankee: I’d go with Elvis despite what my most recent article says…$13 opens up a lot more opportunities with your $$$

  20. Dan says:

    Really enjoyed this article, thanks!

    One guy I’m interested in why he missed the list was Travis Shaw. Ive been waiting for him to get a full time job and he finally did and put up Rizzo esque numbers. He’s younger too. Thoughts on him? Just not a believer?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Dan: I like Shaw but we need to see it for a second season.

  21. AL KOHOLIC says:

    Value wise carrasco

  22. Ballin says:

    Keeper league where you give up round drafted to keep for next season. Need to pick seven of the following.
    Arenado (round 1); Corey seager (round 2); Freedie Freeman (3); benintendi (9); Jose Ramirez (18); bellinger (23); severino (last round); hoskins (last round); devers (last round). I’d appreciate any advice

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      Can you keep all three guys in the last round or just 1 of them?
      Because if no — I’d keep Devers and Severino.
      If you can: I’d throw back Seager and Ramirez.

  23. Swick says:

    what side in a dynasty

    starling marte
    odor and 1 of bauer or paxton (would be getting this side)

    • JJ says:


      Young Swick?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      I like Marte actually.

  24. John says:

    Great article! Question – 10 team Standard H2H with 4 keepers and I don’t know what to do. Trout, Arenado, Goldschmidt and Bellinger are my current keepers but I have Kershaw. Am I making the wrong choice letting him go for Bellinger or Goldschmidt?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      I’d throw back Bellinger if you can.

  25. nathan says:

    we keep 3 hitters for as long as we want, no penalties.. my first 2 are trea & correa… I have to pick from bregman and benintendi for my next to. Who would you pick I’m leaning bregman because of the third base eligibility

    thank you and great write up

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      For me its Bregman.

  26. Craig says:

    Hi. We are a progressive keeper league. I am starting the season with
    G Sanchez
    M Betts
    G Stanton
    C Bellinger
    A Judge
    C Carrasco
    C Archer
    I will have my first pick in the 8th round. I know you can’t give me specific picks, but what position should I look to


    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      best available middle infielder.

  27. Kevin says:

    Great list! Trying to decide my first pick in a keeper league.. Pick 3rd and best available are Buxton, Hosmer, Cruz, Murphy, Ohtani, Acuna, Yoan.. Probably putting them in about that order for who I want this year. Tend to lean towards proven guys even though it’s a keeper. If Buxton isn’t there do I go young or stick with the reliable vets?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      Without knowing who you’re keeping I’d go Buxton first and then go young.
      Not high on Hosmer this year, Cruz will fall, Murphy has been falling in drafts.

  28. Slappy Jack says:

    Thanks for the list!

    Benintendi at number 11 seems really high tho … 20/15 .280 ?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Slappy Jack: I’m thinking 22/22/.290 with 100 runs and 80 RBI with the potential for more. And he’s only 23 so you can hang on to him for at least a decade in most keeper leagues.

  29. Pine Tar Incident says:

    So I’m trying to decide whether to keep Rhys Hoskins versus Yu Darvish, your 40 and 41 ranked guys.

    Most I’ve talked to have counseled Rhys (this is in a keep-forever-four guys league, no inflation or anything like that). As he significantly younger, has great power, and seems to have less injury risk.

    I guess I’m looking for a bit more color on why you have Darvish above Hoskins (realizing they are literally as close as they can be).

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Pine Tar Incident: You know, your question made me reexamine my rankings — because I DO like Hoskins over Darvish. I would flip flop them and maybe move up Hoskins a bit too. Read the little blurb i wrote about him in the rankings — he’s got a safe plate discipline floor and should have a lot of Phillies on base ahead of him.

      • Pine Tar Incident says:

        @Kerry Klug: Appreciate the reply, Hoskins it is! Thanks man.

  30. Austin says:

    Thanks for the super helpful list!
    Keeper question/ (6×6 OBP, SLG, QS instead of Wins)
    We get to keep up to 6 players. I have:
    Freeman, Rizzo, Lindor, J-Ramirez, Kershaw, Donaldson, MadBum.
    I thinking of keeping those first 5 but struggling with Madbum or Donaldson.
    What do y’all think? Both have their risks and rewards.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      I’ve been in 5 drafts this weekend and grabbed MadBum in 3 of them. I’m pretty high on him this year.

  31. ALB says:

    Roto League (5×5) (OBP instead of AVG)

    5 Keepers with 12 years total (you do not have to use all 12 years) to hand contracts out:

    Current Players on contract whom I will keep:
    Betts 2 years
    Buxton 2 years
    Rendon 1 year

    Players I have to choose TWO from to keep and give a contract to:

    Jonathan Schoop
    Michael Conforto
    Ian Happ
    James Taillon
    Blake Treinen

    NOTE: I have the second pick in the draft. Players coming off contract and are in the draft this year

    Mike Trout ( I assume he will go #1)
    Jose Altuve
    Freddie Freeman

    Just wondering what two you would go with to keep taking into account who you think I should draft at #2 assuming Trout goes #1

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      I’d go…Ian Happ 3 years and James Taillon for 2.
      Normally I’d say Schoop as well — but with your #2 pick you’re grabbing Altuve.

  32. NO PEPPER says:

    Thanks Kerry!

    I use this list every year and it always has served me well.
    I just keep drafting players off this list weather I need them or not until they are all gone.
    3 championships and one loss in the championship game in 4 years in a 12 team 8 player keeper forever.
    Going to wait on Vlad Jr this year though.

  33. Brian Bushman says:

    Awesome list as always! No senzel tho?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Brian Bushman:
      Senzel is another guy who is around the 101 range. Don’t know when/how he’ll do in the bigs. He might struggle in his first year up like some guys do. A lot of upward mobility though.

  34. Amolnar says:

    What would your strategy be for a keeper league that does contracts. You can keep a player you drafted in the auction the year before for the same value the following year but each additional year you keep them, you have to increase their price by $5 for hitters and $4 for pitchers. The max contract length is 5 years.

    This is the 2nd year of doing this and other guys in my league have signed almost everyone to long 5 year deals which limits the player pool in the auction. One guy has every “young stud” signed to 5 years even without a track record. My strategy has been to not sign that many long term deals and just pick proven guys out of the auction for cheap. Example A: Ozuna went for $1 last year and now I can keep him for $1 in 2018 and I signed him to a 3 year deal so his contract the following years are $6 and $11.

    Any recommendations on how many years to sign a guy like Ozuna that go super cheap? I feel like a lot of guys are going to have some terrible contracts once it’s all said and done and dropping them they forfeit or have to payout 50% of the remaining contract if they drop them.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Amolnar: For me this type of thing all comes down to age. Ages 27-29 are typically a player’s prime so if you can sign a younger guy through these years — I’d spend the extra money/years.
      If someone is turning 29-30 — I’d aim for less years because the decline is going to start setting in.
      The problem with signing every young stud for 5 years is that they might not pan out until year 5 OR — they won’t reach their peak until after that contract.

  35. Paul says:

    need to keep two guys,
    Stanton can be kept this year in the 2nd round then next year 1st round and year after that in the 1st round,
    Bryant can be kept this year in the 3rd but then cant be kept again
    Machado can be kept this year in the 4th but then cant be kept again
    Hoskins can be kept this year in the 10th, then 9th, then 8th
    Buxton can be kept this year in the 15th, then 14th, then 13th

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      I’m always the type of guy who keeps deeper value so I’d go with Hoskins & Buxton.
      Stanton’s length of contract and his potential in NY is enticing though…
      I’d lean Stanton + Hoskins

  36. JoeBoo says:

    12 team mixed keeper with 3 year fixed contracts (draft round is the cost), daily lineups, 5 bench spots and we can keep up to 8. Here’s what I’m keeping so far(draft round, years left on contract in parentheses):
    Strasburg (3,2)
    Darvish (5,1)
    Gordon (25,1)
    Bregman (26,1)
    Hoskins (27,2)

    With those keepers set, unsure about the last keeper spot. I can keep:
    Moncada (16, 2)
    Marwin Gonzalez (28, 2)

    Marwin is incredibly useful in a daily league because he is eligible everywhere except P. Is this worth throwing back Moncada?

    • DaveHuffJr says:

      We have a very similar league and I would say Moncada is the more valuable keeper for the next two years.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @JoeBoo: I like Moncada more. Even with marwin’s discount.

  37. Dunder Mifflin says:

    Great read! Thank you for your hard work. Got a late start to my research for this years season. Having a hard time deciding my final keeper in a 12 team h2h ops and qs are extra cats.

    I’m already keeping Bryant lindor benentendi Khris Davis Robinson cano and verlander. I’m writing between Paxton McCullers and berrios.

    I was on the berrios train and he burned me his first year. I added him late in the year as a flier. McCullers is nasty but is he going to be the same as Paxton. Ace talent with poor health.

    Thank you in advance!!

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Dunder Mifflin: I reallllly like Berrios this year and going forward.

  38. DaveHuffJr says:

    12 team H2H: R, HR, RBI, NSB, OBP, SLG & IP, ERA, WHIP, SV, QS, K/9. Keep 6 in the round they were drafted. Judge, Bryant, Conforto, Mazara and Faria all in the 15-19 rounds. Keep one more from J. Nelson, Dickerson, Souza Jr., or LeMehieu in the 20th or E. Diaz 5th? I’m leaning towards Nelson (have two DL slots to stash him) or LeMehieu even though I don’t think LeMehieu is all that sexy of a keeper.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @DaveHuffJr: I like LeMahieu in the 20th. Him + Judge make a nice pair.

  39. RoarOf84 says:

    I’m the defending champ in a 10-team league where each team gets to select 6 keepers from year to year. It’s a 6×6, h2h, roto league with 6th categories of OPS and holds for hitting and pitching, respectively.

    My current keepers are Nolan Arenado, Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Cody Bellinger, and Clayton Kershaw.

    Who do you like out of the following options for my final spot? Jose Abreu, Rhys Hoskins, Byron Buxton, Ronald Acuna, Jacob deGrom, and Shohei Ohtani

    With my strong offensive group of keepers, would it make sense to gamble on Acuna’s massive upside? Or is a player like Abreu or Hoskins safer?

    • RoarOf84 says:

      With that being said, I was recently offered a trade of my Jacob deGrom and Anthony Rendon for his George Springer. Would he jump to the front of the pack as the best option compared to what I have now?

  40. Jay Boopers says:

    Can only keep 5 of Abreu, Cruz, Dozier, Springer, J. Turner, Judge, Andrus. Please help

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Jay Boopers: Judge. Springer. Abreu. Dozier. Turner.

  41. FUZZIEDEE says:

    Having trouble in 10-team pts for my last keeper selection, ave betts,lindor,ramirez,yelich, and strasburg lined up it comes down to a battle between Abreu and Hoskins for like last spot.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @FUZZIEDEE: I’d go with Hoskins.

  42. Peteraz says:

    Keeper league:
    My options heading into 2018:
    -Gary Sanchez

    Weighing possibility of keeping Syndergaard over rizzo (have owned rizzo for 3+ Years and love the dude), but forsee thor being better than rizzo after 2019 like you and will likely be drafted before I can reclaim him. Thoughts on which way I should lean?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Peteraz: I’d go with thor since you are looking really solid offensively. SPOILER ALERT: in the 2018 predictions article thats coming later this month thor is going to be my pick for NL Cy Young

  43. Richie Suess says:

    I own both Schoop and Moncado in a 10 team, 5 player keeper league. points based, head to head match up’s. weekly lock.

    According to your rankings above, my current keepers should be the following
    Bryce Harper
    Charlie Blackmon
    Yoan Moncado
    Starling Marte
    Jacob DeGrom

    Keep in mind i’m also own Schoop and Hosmer and was considering keeping over both Marte and Moncado before i read the above. My question is, why such a disparity between Moncado and Schoop and is going with 3 keeper OF’s smart?

    thanks in advance for your insight.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Richie Suess: 2017 could be Schoop’s career year and is just a power threat. while Moncada has a lot of room to grow into his power & speed threat.
      I don’t mind 3 OFs — it frees you up to focus on other positions.

  44. David says:

    12-team H2H points league. Our league plays 2 games per week (Mon-Thur and Fri-Sun) and we use 5 SP per game, so SP are highly valued in this league. We can keep 8 players every year without surrendering draft pick or anything, and my top 6 is already set. For the last 2 I’m debating between the following players: Jon Gray, David Price, Miggy Cabrera, Ryan Braun, Greg Bird, Lorenzo Cain, DJ LeMahieu. FYI my top 6 includes 4 hitters (Trea Turner, Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Yelich) and 2 starters (Strasburg and Keuchel). Any advise on who to keep in these last 2 spots??

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @David: I’d go with Price if SP is valued and probably Bird. You already have 3 OF so that counts out Braun/Cain. LeMahieu doesn’t hit for enough power or steal enough bases to keep and Miggy is an unknown at this point but won’t be what he once was. It’s too early to trust gray for me.

  45. Foulball says:

    First time reader, appreciate your insight. I’m in a head to head category league and we kept 9 from last year. Mine are Correra, JD Martinez, Bryant, Posey, Gordon, Donaldson, Ozuna, Bum, and Ray.
    In draft should I focus first on getting a 1b, CF or Closer?


    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Foulball: It’s hard to say without knowing who is available. Were keepers already announced?
      My first inclination is to say 1B. 1B is surprisingly shallow and sad once you get past the top 12ish.

  46. SDub88 says:

    Hey guys, just inherited a team in a keeper league, 11 team Roto:

    Runs, HR, RBI, AVG, SB

    ERA, WHIP, Quality Starts, Saves/Holds, K

    Can keep 3 guys, values are as follows…who would you keep?

    Álex Cláudio Tex – RP  1
    Brandon Belt SF – 1B,OF  4
    Corey Kluber Cle – SP  45
    David Price Bos – SP,RP  30
    Dexter Fowler StL – OF  8
    DJ LeMahieu Col – 2B  1
    Drew Pomeranz Bos – SP  3
    Dustin Pedroia Bos – 2B  6
    Eduardo Núñez Bos – 2B,3B,SS,OF  5
    Edwin Díaz Sea – RP  14
    Ervin Santana Min – SP  1
    Eugenio Suárez Cin – 3B  3
    Fernando Rodney Min – RP  1
    Jeurys Familia NYM – RP  6
    Jonathan Lucroy Col – C  14
    Kole Calhoun LAA – OF  3
    Mike Moustakas KC – 3B  4
    Nicholas Castellanos Det – 3B,OF  1
    Nolan Arenado Col – 3B  58
    Rajai Davis Cle – OF  1
    Rick Porcello Bos – SP  1
    Starlin Castro Mia – 2B  1
    Wade Davis Col – RP  18
    Xander Bogaerts Bos – SS  35
    Yoenis Céspedes NYM – OF  38
    Zack Greinke Ari – SP  16

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @SDub88: Arenado, Nunez, and LeMahieu I guess. This is definitely going to be a rebuilding year for you. Even Arenado at 58 is too expensive…but there really isn’t much else to keep.

  47. Sam says:

    I need to keep one of Ian Happ or Yoan Moncada .

    14 team Roto league where you keep 2 outfielders, 2 Infielders and 2 pitchers. Can keep them indefinitely. Other keepers are Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant in OF and Manny Machado INF, plus Scherzer and Carrasco Pitchers.

    Need 1 more infielder either Moncada or Happ.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:

      @Sam: I’d keep Moncada based on potential. Although check on Javier Baez’s injury as your keeper announce date approaches to see if Happ has that job locked up….he has 30 HR upside while Moncada has 25/25 potential in the future.

  48. Sam says:

    These are the stats for the above Moncada or Happ Keeper ???


  49. James says:

    Thank you for this comprehensive list. Will help my tremendously in my draft.

    I am in a 8 keeper league (first 8 picks), and plan on keeping Trout, Stanton, Bellinger, Degrom. Deciding next four between Hoskins, Boegarts, Buxton, Ohtani (yes, available as free agent before draft and I grabbed him), Contrares, Hosmer, Cole, Segura.

  50. Peter Rabbit says:

    Im in a keep 10 guys with the option of keeping 12. My roster is below. Who would you suggest I keep ?
    C posey
    1b votto
    2b schoop
    3b rendon
    Ss Bregman
    Of jd Martinez
    Util encarcion
    Sp sale, c. Martinez, Nola

    Extras: bogaerts, Rosario, Olsen, conforto , odor

    Thanks for your help

  51. Max says:

    Standard (except OBP not AVG) 12-team 5×5 $260 auction league

    Four keepers allowed per year, but a player can only be kept for 3 years

    I am keeping Bellinger and Severino. Need to pick two from:

    Francisco Lindor $23
    JD Martinez $21
    Justin Verlander $14
    Robbie Ray $6
    Byron Buxton $5

    Thanks in advance

  52. Mobin Can't Hack It says:

    a.reyes behind a few SP is nutzo. it’s TJ. it’s not a shoulder thing.

    where you read that vlad is first with the 80? not saying it’s common but hardish to believe anybody has a higher than bryant got a few years back. or trout maybe had.

  53. Dustin says:

    10 team H2H league.

    R, HR, TB, RBI, K, SB, OBP

    IP, QS, SV, ERA, WHIP, K/9, K/BB

    Can keep up to 10 of

    Ian Happ
    Felipe Rivero

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