The post season is in full swing and that means it’s time to reflect on what we just saw. We took a look at the MVPs last week but now it’s time to check in on the top scorers and see how they looked in the preseason. Yep, this will be fun and there’s no possible way that I could have gotten anything wrong. We’ll be going off of ESPN standard scoring for the purposes of this reflection since that’s the format I am most familiar with and that the format I used for my preseason rankings. Most importantly, we’ll be bringing pitchers back into the mix this time around. So here we go, I present the top 10 players in points leagues for the 2021 season.
1. Shohei Ohtani (802) Already talked about him last week. In my preseason rankings, I neglected to add his hitting and pitching stats together. That was an oversight on my part, but even if I had Ohtani was so much better than what I had projected. He gave you All Star production at the plate and on the mound. If you really want to know, projections had him down for 489, so only 300 points short of where he ended up. As I said last week, unless we have an indication that he won’t pitch and hit, he has to be pick 1.01.
2. Walker Buehler (580) I feel pretty good about this one. Buehler checked in at number 10 overall and number 5 for pitchers. He logged the second-most innings this season and that pushed him to the top of the list combined with his 16 wins. Pitcher wins are a tough stat to predict for next year, or any year really, but Buehler certainly seems like a guy who could pile up wins again next season.
3. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (577) He sure smashed his preseason projections. I had him down for 433 points, which placed him just inside the top 30. Already went over him as a great value for where he was drafted but I’ll say it again, I think he can put up top 5 hitter numbers next season. He has the talent and he’s still so young that there’s room to grow.
4. Max Scherzer (576) He’s at the age where I’m not sure if we can count on a season like this again but this was a heck of a year for Max. He was just outside my preseason top 15. The K numbers were great and he gave you innings. Where he ends up next season will definitely influence his ranking.
5. Zack Wheeler (560) He turned into a pretty nice value pick this year and outperformed my expectations. The K’s were great as were the 213 innings good for best in the league. He’s a guy I want next year, but I’m sure he’ll be off the board before I’m ready to draft a pitcher.
6. Juan Soto (535) It was a rough start, but Sexy Dr Pepper really turned it around and turned it on. Hopefully you stayed the course with him and were able to reap the rewards. He was my number one-hitter this season and I will most likely be targeting him at number 2 next season.
7. Robbie Ray (534) Those tight pants must have magical powers. I’ve always loved the strikeout upside that Ray brings to the table but walks prevented him from working deep into games and racking up innings. He found his control this year, only issuing 52 free passes and putting up 193 innings. The best part was he didn’t have to give up the Ks to do it as he lead the league with 248. That’s a winner right there. If his ADP doesn’t skyrocket during draft season he will likely be one of my top pitching targets.
8. Jose Ramirez (526) JoRam was just barely outside the top 10 but a case can be made that I should have him higher than that. He’s going to hit for a solid average and flirt with the 30/30 plateau. That’s bankable production and that makes him a very safe top 5 pick.
8. Julio Urias (526) The Dodgers are loaded at pitcher, and their juggernaut offense helped Urias win a league leading 20 games this season. The rest of his numbers are excellent but the wins are what catapulted him into the top 10. He’ll be good next year but I doubt he matches that lofty total.
10. Kevin Gausman (523) Much like the rest of the Giants, Gausman vastly outperformed all expectations. I had him just outside the top 50 but this is an entirely different level. He is also the reason I prefer to hunt for pitching value later in the draft and load up on the big bats early.