Only 15 games into the 2015 season, I asked myself: “Is it too early to compile positional rankings?” Considering most readers love rankings, the answer was a resounding “NO”. However, what was more troubling was the fact that I consistently find myself talking to myself. Allow myself to introduce myself. That was awkward. You should only hear half the sh*t that goes on inside my head, but we’ll leave that exploration into my thoughts for another time…
While they are nothing more than simple lists, everyone loves rankings. It’s a fact. But are these current rankings? Rest of season rankings? And what are these “thankings” and “spankings” you speak of? I’ve got questions people. Well, be it as it may, I also have answers.
Think about it in Pineapple Express terms. If my preseason rankings met my rest of season rankings – and they had a baby. And then, meanwhile, my current rankings and my computerized rankings met and had a baby. And by some miracle, those two babies met and got together, these rankings would be the rankings that they birthed. Thank you James Franco for enabling such an illuminating explanation.
As for the “thankings”, that’s where I get to highlight players whom (is it supposed to be who) have made pleasant, and unexpected, jumps up in the rankings since the preseason. “Spankings” represents the exact opposite and is my opportunity to crap on a player for showing up much lower in the rankings than everyone expected and his draft position mandated. Ha ha, I said “man date”. Will there be any “wankings”? What you do on your own time is none of my business and I’d appreciate it if it remained that way, but I assume there will be if we are talking about man dates.
While we’re on the topic of man dates, we might as well start with catchers. It should come as no surprise to find Buster Posey as my top catcher. His batting average is a bit down at .250, but he’s only 56 at bats deep. The surprise, and our first “thanking” goes to Stephen Vogt. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that with an average draft position of 242 Vogt was drafted in about 1% of points leagues and 100% of those leagues were two-catcher leagues. He currently leads all catchers with 56 points, 4 home runs and 14 RBIs. Hey, wasn’t it supposed to be Evan Gattis that led catchers in homers and runs batted in? You know what he does lead catchers in? Sucking! And strikeouts. With 21 strikeouts and -3 points Gattis is an embarrassment to fantasy baseball and the recipient of my first ever spanking award. On the flip side, with only one homer, he’s probably good for another 20.
When Jerry Seinfeld asked who the top first baseman was, Kenny Bania replied “That’s Goldschmidt, Jerry. Goldschmidt!” Off to perhaps his best start, Paul Goldschmidt has 5 home runs, 16 RBIs, 2 stolen bases and 60 fantasy points. In the words of our fearless mustached leader, “Au Shizz!”. I had a tough time deciding whether the first base “thanking” should go to Adrian Gonzalez or Joey Votto. Even though I was almost swayed by the fact that AGone just hit his sixth home run, I am calling it a tie. And since this is my post, I can do that. So consider it done. Shame on you Albert Pujols and your .196 average and 33 points. You’re better than that. Aren’t you? Are you actually reading this Albert?
Like I said in last week’s post, I’m sticking with Robinson Cano as my top second baseman. He’s just too good. Is it possible for him to be dethroned by someone like Dee Gordon or Dustin Pedroia? Maybe. The guy I actually liked a lot preseason and even more now is Howie Kendrick. I loved his ADP and took full advantage of it, drafting him in most of my leagues. But the “thankings” has to go to Devon Travis. He leads all second basemen with 57 points and has almost come out of nowhere. I think he’ll slow down a bit, but so far I love what I’ve seen.
And coming in at number one at the hot corner is Josh Donaldson. I was tempted to go with Nolan Arenado, but instead I went with my Mr. Myagi-like instincts and chose Donaldson. Nolan does have the Denver thing working in his favor, but I think in the end Donaldson will out-slug and outpoint him. Big Ups to both Alex Rodriguez and Mike Moustakas for their performances so far, but I’ve got to give the honors to AROD. And the spanking goes to… Adrian Beltre. Expected to be near the top, he falls to number 8.
If Tulo had a daughter and he named her Helen, would she be Helen of Troy Tulowitzki? Or am I just imagining an potential candidate for Wheel of Fortune’s “Before and After” category? Either way, I’ve got Tulo barely edging out Hanley Ramirez putting the “top” in shortstop. The big riser here is Xander Bogaerts, but I’d also like to give a shout out to Zach Cozart. Both with the potential to finish in the top ten.
Now it’s time to shift to the outfield. Honestly after the first 10 or 20, ranking outfielders can really be done by pulling names out of a hat. There isn’t a rankings known to man that doesn’t have Mike Trout at number one. My rankings are no different. Adam Jones is giving him a good run for his money, but I’m not ready to unseat Trout quite yet. Matt Kemp and Nelson Cruz are two players I didn’t expect to see in the top ten. Look at Steven Souza creeping into the top 20! The biggest drop is probably Ryan Braun. Fooled me again Ryan. Hebrew Hammer? More like the Heblew Hammer.
And last, since I refuse to rank relievers, we have starting pitchers. Clayton Kershaw remains my top pitcher. The next four really could be in any order. Between Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, Chris Sale and David Price it’s almost impossible to rank them. And any one of them could easily finish the season in the number one spot ahead of Kershaw. Matt Harvey is showing that he really is a top ten pitcher, and if Chris Archer continues to pitch the way he has, he will find himself even higher on this list the next time. I just wasn’t sure what to do with Bartolo Colon. Can he keep this up? It certainly would be great to see. Colon aside, the biggest surprises I think are Shane Greene and Trevor Bauer. And since it’s always great to end on a low note, let’s all raise our beers to Jon Lester.
I’m sure I probably left a player or two out, and for that, I apologize. Not really, but it sounded nice to say. I’d like to leave you with this thought. I really hope that when Alex Guerrero smacks another pinch hit home run that he enacts Kenny Powers’ air jerk and throw in Don Mattingly’s direction as he trots towards first base. What’s it going to take to get this kid some regular playing time? In 19 at bats he now has 4 home runs, 12 RBIs and 39 fantasy points (2.05 PPPA). With one third the number of at bats, that’s still better than every other Dodger hitter not named Adrian Gonzalez or Howie Kendrick. Rank that Donnie Baseball. Free Alex Guerrero!!!