I sure wish Grey would do his 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Wait, I am Grey and this is those rankings. Holy crapballs, this is the greatest day ever! Now, only 400,000 words more until I finish my top 400 and I’ll be done. Worst day ever! Damn, that excitement was fleeting. Well, not for you because you don’t have to write all the rankings. You lucky son of a gun! I wish I were you… *wavy lines* Hey, why am I balding and wearing sweatpants? *wavy lines* Hmm, maybe we’re okay with who we are. Now before we get into the top 10 for 2015 fantasy baseball (though I imagine every single one of you has skipped this intro paragraph), I’m gonna lay some ground rules. First, keep your hands and legs inside the trolley. Second, send me all your money. Damn, tried to trick you! Okay, here’s where you follow us on Twitter. Here’s where you follow us on Facebook. Here’s our fantasy baseball player rater. Here’s our fantasy baseball team name generator. Here is all of our 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2015 fantasy baseball. And here is a picture of my son. What a punim! You may not get all of those links in such a handy, easy-to-use format ever again this year, so make proper note. Now my expositional half insists I breakdown some generalizations about these 2015 fantasy baseball rankings. The 2015 fantasy baseball rankings will be an ever-evolving mass like the blob. This fantasy baseball top 10 for 2015 list is as of right now and could potentially change with a big injury or Mike Trout quitting baseball because he’s bored with being the best and wants to play competitive Mahjong. So while it is the 2015 fantasy baseball gospel, take it with a tablet of salt. Tomorrow we will cover the rest of the top twenty for 2015 fantasy baseball, then we will go around the horn with a top 20 list for every position. Then for pitchers and outfielders, I’ll turn the dial to 100. Listed next to each player are my 2015 projections. Did I consult with whoever else does projections? It would be ignorant not to, but in the end they are my projections. Players need 10 games at a position to get included in the positional rankings. Finally, as with each list in the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings, I will be mentioning where I see tiers start and stop. I look at tiers like this, if Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Goldschmidt are in the same tier, it doesn’t matter if one guy is ranked 2nd and one guy is ranked 5th, they’re both very close. It comes down to personal preference. I would prefer the guy at number two better than the guy at five, but you do you, I’ll do me and let’s hope we don’t go blind. Anyway, here’s the top 10 for 2015 fantasy baseball:
1. Mike Trout – This is the first tier. This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “No one else is Mike Trout.” For a few years now, I’ve put other players in Mike Trout’s tier, but, brucely, there’s no one else that belongs in Mike Trout’s tier. He wins leagues on his own. If you win the fantasy lottery and get to draft first and you don’t draft Trout, then you are daft, which is the beginning to this fantasy baseball tongue twister. You are daft if you draft anyone but Trout down by the sea-sharrio; then sit back and peep this sce-nahr-i-o. Trout’s floor is 30 HRs, 15 SBs, .275. Or to get punny on your ass, Trout’s plankton on better than the fourth best hitter in fantasy. That’s right, McCutchen can’t touch Trout’s floor. And why only expect the worst from Trout? Again for emphasis, why would we expect the worst from Trout, still only 23 years old? As Kendrick Lamar would say, ya fish don’t kill my vibe. Where’s Trout living? In roe housing. Take it, Highlights. 2015 Projections: 108/33/106/.281/20
2. Giancarlo Stanton – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Goldschmidt. I call this tier, “You got the 2nd pick, so flip a coin.” What I mean by the tier name is, after Trout, there’s a few guys you can draft that all have different reasons for being drafted 2nd. I put them in this order due to a mix of floor and ceiling. Stanton’s floor feels stable at 32 HRs and his ceiling feels high; think 50 HRs. If there’s one hitter that could pass Trout for fantasy value, I’d take Giancarlo’s chances. Or to misquote Henny Youngman, I take Giancarlo’s chances everywhere and they always find their way back in my dreams. Now, because Giancarlo seems to have blocked my calls and I’m forbidden from going within 500 feet of him, I will need to leave a poem for him here and hope he gets it. I call this poem, “You Must Be Tired Because You Keep Running Through My Mind.”
You could rule the world by hitting those white stitched-up spheres,
When you face the Brewers next year, they’ll be tears for Fiers.
I put my heart on eBay and there was only one bid,
It was for $325 million, which is around half that in quid.
Okay, so you’re my honey,
Like ODB say, now give me my money!
Together we’d be in heaven,
For 2015 Projections: 93/43/109/.270/seven.
3. Jose Abreu – You can look Abreu’s 2014 one of two ways. One way to look at it is he was on pace for 50 homers when they went to the All-Star break. The other way to look at it is he only hit 7 homers in the 2nd half. It’s a glass is half full vs. half empty scenario. Did you know that if you were to pour the half empty glass into a smaller glass it would be a full glass? Yeah, I think deeply. Take his 7 post-ASB homers and pour them into a smaller glass labeled “Post-All-Star break” when his K-rate went down, his OBP went up to .435 from .342 and his batting average went up to .350 from .292. The half glass of water is now running over with other wonderfulness in the smaller glass. McCutchen led the league last year with a .410 OBP (yeah, that’s pathetic compared to five years ago), and Abreu had a .435 OBP in the 2nd half. Prettttay, prettttay good. On a side note that I like to call Fun With Baseball Stats. The Grande Dolor had exactly 18 homers with the bases empty and 18 homers with men on base. Even crazier, he had exactly 36 runs from those 36 homers. If you found that even crazier, I have 500 Gregg Jefferies rookie cards to sell you. Frank Thomas won’t be drafting The Grande Dolor third, but that’s because he drinks Campari straight up because he’s already got the bitters, but I will be. 2015 Projections: 86/32/110/.306/4
4. Andrew McCutchen – Remember way back in Giancarlo’s blurb how I was talking about floors and ceilings and you were like, “Is Grey building a house?” and I was like, “No, I don’t even know the difference between screwdrivers,” and you were like, “Screwdrivers? Are you talking dirty to me?” and then we started cackling and our neighbor knocked on the door and said, “Keep your cackling down,” and we did until you showed me that pic that you thought looked like a cross between a young Roger Ebert and our very own JB? Ah, yes, good times. Now we’re back to business! McCutchen’s stats are like they’re on the 7 1/2 floor in the Mertin-Flemmer Building — low ceiling, high floor. 2015 Projections: 92/22/94/.309/20
5. Paul Goldschmidt – Yes, two of the top five guys had season-ending injuries prior to mid-September last year. Gee, thanks for raining on my parade, Bobby Darin. You’re swell! By the by, Bobby Darin was famous for Don’t Rain on my Parade, Splish Splash and Beyond the Sea. Is it me or was Bobby Darin into watersports? So, Au Shizz, like Giancarlo, had a season-ending injury. Unlike Giancarlo, I have some pause on Goldschmidt’s injury, since it was a fractured left hand, and Giancarlo’s was just a fractured dimple. No one ever hit 30 homers on dimples alone. Though Jose Canseco’s could’ve prolly hit 17 to 20. Also, prior to the left hand injury, Goldschmidt’s power looked closer to 27-ish than 35-ish. All indications are that Au Shizz will be fully healed, and I hate to question a novio of mine, but I have so0me trepidation, so there ya go. Still, he is only 27 years old, capable of 35 HRs and .300+ average and I can’t drop him any lower for fear I’ll have my Au Shizz Fan Boy card revoked. I pay $19.99/month for this stupid card! 2015 Projections: 94/29/103/.292/12
6. Adam Jones – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Miggy. I call this tier, “Your safeword.” You’re in the throes of a fantasy draft. You’re choosing sixth overall and the draft plays out exactly as it is above. 1-5 are gone and suddenly you’re pushed up against the wall. The binds tighten for who you can choose. A bead of sweat slowly drips down your forehead. The haunting words, “Water, water everywhere, not a drop to drink,” ring in your head. An elderly Asian woman spreads hot wax on your hairy buttocks. You gulp, she rips the wax and you scream. You’re not sure why you’re getting a Brazilian wax while you draft. Something about wanting to do more things together with your woman. You let the pain continue for another 89 seconds. Finally, with one second to go before you get autopicked, you say your safeword: Adam Jones. You feel a tinge of sorrow that you had to say your safeword, but you’re at least grateful you’re out of pain, until the elderly Asian woman turns you over and begins to manscape your front. Jones isn’t going to leave you feeling like you won your draft in the first round (or anyone in this tier), but it’s four years in a row now that he’s played at least 151 games and has put up number one outfielder stats. I’d prefer to say my safeword in the first round and save the kinky, risky shizz for the 10th round. 2015 Projections: 90/28/101/.280/10
7. Edwin Encarnacion – He’s averaged 37 home runs over the last three years and hasn’t hit below .268 in any of those years. Let’s write “Good news” on that. He hasn’t played in more than 151 games in any season of his career, last year he played in 128 games and he’s now 32 years old. Let’s write “Bad news” on that. His walk rate went down below its pre-breakout level, his K-rate went above his pre-breakout level and his line drive rate dropped. On that, let’s write “More Bad News.” Let’s go back to the “Good News” and remember only three players hit 37 homers last year and Edwin has averaged that over the last three years. 2015 Projections: 87/37/107/.272/5
8. Miguel Cabrera – This is the lowest I’ve ever ranked Miggy since I started this blog in 2007. You remember 2007. It was the year when you promised yourself, “If I can just get to 2015, I’ll be rich and successful and will have wiped out Ebola!” Don’t worry, there’s always your 2008 dream, which was, “If I can get to 2015, I’ll be rich and successful and will have wiped out Ebola! And if not 2015, then by 2016 for sure!” I nearly ranked Swiggy up around 3rd overall, but there’s word that he won’t be ready for Opening Day. I hate that. I’m an injury-phobe. If a player’s injured, I stay far away. Swigs, though, played hurt last year, and still had a decent year. He seems capable of having solid years deep into his 30s, a’la his teammate and last year’s favorite Zombino, Victor Martinez. As for the big Miggy years, I think they’re only closer in your rear view mirror. 2015 Projections: 95/27/106/.305/1
9. Anthony Rizzo – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the top 20 for 2015 fantasy baseball. I call this tier, “The ceiling can’t hold us.” I’m a big believer in a player’s third season is their breakout and around the level we can expect from them give or take a few stats. As they move towards the age 28, it’s usually getting more stats. As they move past the age 28 year, it’s usually subtracting some stats. It’s pretty rudimentary, but I’ve had the best fantasy baseball rankings for the last two years, so whether you believe in this anecdotal evidence or not is irrelevant. I believe in it and it works. Natch! Last year, I was crazy high on Rizzo, and it paid off. He was headed into his third full year and ready to explode. Explode he did — 32 HRs, 5 SBs and .286. There’s nothing in those numbers you should be worried about. Going into last year, there was some concern he couldn’t hit lefties. Last year, he hit .300 with 8 homers off southpaws. This is why I get so infuriated when young players are platooned without ample opportunity to show they can hit same-sided pitchers. Infuriated, y’all! Rizzo is only 25 years old and getting better. Could he be Au Shizz as soon as 2015? I have no doubt. Au Rizz! 2015 Projections: 93/36/100/.262/7
10. Carlos Gomez – I’m fairly confident in my rankings up until this point. Maybe Jose Daria Abreu only hits 7 homers in the first half and we realize he was a 7-homer half hitter and not a 29-homer half hitter. Maybe dog butts are a passageway to the future and that’s where the term hindsight came from. Something always goes wrong with the top 12 that is somewhat unforeseeable without butt-sniffing dogs. The reason why I say that now is Carlos Gomez’s stats the past three years definitely make the case for him to be ranked here, but he’s the first player I’m truly scared about disappointing. The reason why I still ranked him here is because there’s no scientific evidence to make me worry, it’s just my gut and I just ate a tuna sandwich that smelled funny. The last two years he’s hit .284, and last year he even cut his Ks and upped his walks. Age can be tricky for speed, he’s 29 years old and last year he stole the fewest bags of the last three years. He still stole 34 bases though, so hold the phone on calling the Mayans on the Gomezcalypse. 2015 Projections: 89/24/70/.279/28