I sure wish Grey would do his 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  Wait, I am Grey and this is those rankings!  I need to sit down.  Wait, I am sitting!  I can’t handle all of this!  I’m going to put on a pair of pants and go dance in the street.  Meh, let’s be honest, pants are a chore.  So, this is the greatest day ever!  Now, only 400,000 words more until I finish my top 500 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 have lost all definition in my buttocks?  *wavy lines*  Hmm, I’m gonna stay me.  Now before we get into the top 10 for 2017 fantasy baseball (though I imagine every single one of you has skipped this intro paragraph), I’m gonna lay down some exposition.  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 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  Here’s the position eligibility chart for 2017 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.  (Unless you just go to the top menu on this page that says “Rankings” and click it, but semantics, my over-the-internet friend, semantics.)  Now my expositional half insists I breakdown some generalizations about these 2017 fantasy baseball rankings.  The 2017 fantasy baseball rankings will be an ever-evolving mass like the blob.  This fantasy baseball top 10 for 2017 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.  (I’m not sure yet where Trout would rank in my Mahjong Top 10.) So while it is the 2017 fantasy baseball gospel, take it with a tablet of salt.  Tomorrow we will cover the rest of the top twenty for 2017 fantasy baseball, then we will go around the horn with a top 20 (more like 50) list for every position.  Then for pitchers and outfielders, I’ll turn the dial to 100 (more like 140).  Listed with each player are my 2017 projections.  Did I consult with anyone else who does projections?  It would be ignorant not to, but, in the end, these are my projections.  Players need 10 games at a position to get included in the positional rankings.  Finally, as with each list in the 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, I will be mentioning where I see tiers start and stop.  I look at tiers like this, if Jose Altuve 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 over 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 2017 fantasy baseball:

1. Mike Trout – This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “The Americans, Piper’s Pit with Snuka and going to a sporting event with your dad when you’re a kid.” By the tier name I mean, these are a few of the greatest things in the world.  You can argue The Americans is not the best TV show like you can argue Trout is not the best player, but the only arguments you’re going to hear are from people grasping at straws.  You can argue the Piper’s Pit with Snuka was not the greatest moment of the 1980s, but you’re only going to hear arguments from East Germans excited about getting a clearer view of West Germany.  And games with your dad, well, it doesn’t matter what sport, really.  Even if you now think your dad is a total ass, those moments when you were a kid were special, just like Trout.  So, you can argue Trout is not the best player of our generation, but you sound like an East German Commie grabbing straws.  2017 Projections: 105/37/117/.326/21 in 561 ABs

2. Paul Goldschmidt – This tier goes from here until Machado. I call this tier, “Judge Choosy.” By the title I mean, you can argue for any of the players ranked 2nd through 8th to be ranked in any of those spots, and I will hear those arguments after the recess. Right now, I need to recess the court for an hour lunch to get out of this robe and eat a Chicken Caesar Wrap. *pounds gavel, chyron flies out with the most spectacular font you’ve ever seen announcing Judge Choosy, defendant looks at his attorney* “I thought this was traffic court.”  I, Judge Choosy, decided to choose Goldschmidt for the 2nd overall slot, but I can look at any player down to Machado and see them in this slot depending on the angle.  As for Goldschmidt, his infield popups went up (literally), his ground balls went up (not literally — un-literally?) and his fly balls went down (literally again).  It caused his home runs to fall (literally literally) and his average to dip (you dip, we dip, you put your hand upon my hip — not literally!  Stop touching me!).  None of these numbers seem to be the new normal, but — and this is a well-defined but like Serena Williams’ — even if he were to repeat these numbers, he still ranked 6th overall for fantasy value last year on our Player Rater.  That, my friends and frenemies, is consistency.  Finally, I really wanted to put Betts 2nd overall, but I’m concerned about the lack of depth at 1st base for the first time maybe ever.  I’m concerned, y’all!  2017 Projections:  105/28/107/.306/21 in 581 ABs

3. Mookie Betts – MB!  MB!  Who’s Peabo Bryson?!  Two years ago, I renewed my license!  Anyway, why’d I start this blurb like that?  Prolly because I was listening to Nicki Minaj.  Or maybe because Mookie Betts is a monster.  The best living or dead hands down, huh.  Mookie Best hit 31 home runs last year with a 13.6% HR/FB and stole 26 bags with only four times caught.  What does that mean?  The Betts There Ever Was has upside left in his game.  Brucely, you’re not getting a whole lot of return on your investments with the guys in the top 10 (or, really, top 20).  You draft Trout, Au Shizz or any of these guys and hope to get back exactly what you paid.  You pay $46 and hope to get a player worth that.  With My Bestie, I think you might be able to get more than what you paid.  Finding upside in a top three pick is sick as in extremely healthy.  2017 Projections:  104/29/113/.314/21 in 584 ABs

4. Kris Bryant – I’ll get to more of this in the next tier, but, if I could have three picks in this tier, I will repent all my sins like Chunk in The Goonies.  Bryant, Betts and Goldy on the same fantasy team?  *makes a kissing motion with my fingertips exploding from my lips like an Italian waiter describing the veal scallopini*  I’d skip the next five rounds of draft picks for three of these guys.  They’re all…*channeling Italian waiter again* boo-tee-ful choices!  And, as every Italian also likes to do, to quote Madonna, I was beat, incomplete, I’d been had, I was sad and blue, but you, Kris Bryant, made me feel….Shiny and new!  The guys in this tier are not only terrific, but they’re all so young.  To quote an Italian and ABBA, Mamma Mia!  No wonder offense is up, it’s not because baseballs are being stuck with Capri Sun straws by Rob Manfred, it’s all this youthful pleasure.  Youthful pleasure was also a phrase used by Italians during Pizzagate.  By the way, did you hear about the scandal in the gate section of Home Depot?  It’s Gategate.  2017 Projections: 106/34/113/.288/10 in 588 ABs

5. Jose Altuve – If you haven’t seen Eastbound and Down, you’re a Commie East German too, but, even if you haven’t, I have another installment of Dude’s Doppelganger!  Which one is Jose Altuve?  This one or this one?  Mamie, I am high on Fanta!  Sorry, still in Eastbound mode.  Admittedly, that likeness isn’t as close as this one for Carlos Beltran. So, last year Altuve reached new heights 24 HRs, 96 RBIs, 108 runs, 61 inches, and I’m not totally convinced these won’t all stay career highs, as he peers down at lesser stats and the tops of 8-year-olds’ heads.  “Altuve, you’ve reached the mountaintop!” That’s me calling to Altuve who is standing on top of a foot stool.  “It is high up here.”  That’s Altuve.  His HR/FB was more than double his career average, and his fly ball percentage actually went down.  He did hit the ball harder with his line drives shooting up.  Even if Altuve’s stats take off their Tom Cruise lifts, so to speak, he should still be a solid, five-category performer.  2017 Projections:  107/18/81/.321/37 in 612 ABs

6. Nolan Arenado – “It just took me six hours to properly collate my entire 1987 Topps baseball card set, and I can’t find my Dale Sveum.” *sees card stuck between folds of belly skin*  “Got it!”  *carefully putting Sveum card in its proper place when the window shutters vibrate*  NOOOOOO!!!  IT’S A TORENADO!  Ever curious what a stud, in his prime, playing in Coors, looks like?  Two hints for you.  First hint:  It’s Arenado.  2nd hint:  See first hint.  2017 Projections:  103/38/123/.291/2 in 601 ABs

7. Anthony Rizzo – Essentially, I feel like Rizzo and Bryant are interchangeable.  On the surface, they have the same amount of power, speed, lineup, for Cheez-It’s sake, they both hit .292 last year!  Under the hood, as mechanics and gynecologists like to say, Bryant is younger, hits the ball harder and strikes out more.  If you jumped out of a DeLorean and said you just arrived back from October and told me Rizzo had a better year than Bryant, I’d say, “I’m not surprised and that’s the info you bring me back from the future?  Should I buy any specific stock?  Short any stock?  Start learning Russian?” And that’s me quoting hypothetical me!  2017 Projections: 97/35/109/.297/7 in 571 ABs

8. Manny Machado – He attempted three steals last year and came away with zero.  The Goose Egg.  The Zilch of Nil.  The Big O.  Though, that last nickname for zero might be used already for other topics.  I think basketball player, Orgasm Robertson, might have dibs on it.  Machado is still only 24 years old and I can’t believe we never see another steal from him.  He has to at least be projected for 5 steals.  Mean’s while, 20 steals, the number he got two years, has to be in the realm of possibilities.  Why so focused on the steals?  Well, because everything is a given for wonderful.  35 HRs — check! 100 runs and RBIs — check!  Hits .290 — check!  What two people who met playing chess say at their wedding — checkmate!  2017 Projections: 102/35/107/.292/5 in 603 ABs

9. Bryce Harper – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until here.  I call this tier, “Ugh, can’t difficult decisions wait until later in the draft?”  There’s only one hitter who can be much better than Trout and worse than Jay Bruce.  Is Bryce safer than, say, Donaldson?  I can’t say that, especially not if you’re sharing cotton candy.  Wait, that’s Sam Donaldson you don’t want to share cotton candy with because of his eyebrows.  “Um, Sam, you go ahead and keep it.”  That’s someone who shared cotton candy with Sam Donaldson and sees it’s half-stuck to his brows.  Pound for pound, Josh Donaldson has been more consistent and better than Harper, but aging curves are funny and for the 20% chance of Donaldson falling apart, I’ll take the 20% chance Harper recaptures wonderful*.  *20% is a totally arbitrary number.  As for Harper, here’s an offseason tweet I made when the Nats revealed Harper wanted $400 million:

Harper’s future contract demands don’t mean a ton for fantasy, but it could just mean he wants to prove why he’s worth that.  Also, I think Harper only had a down year the previous season due to a shoulder issue.  He’s 24 years old and should have no problem rebounding in health and stats.  This might be the last year you can draft Harper outside the top two overall for many years to come, unless he becomes a Saberhagenmetrician darling.  2017 Projections: 96/33/106/.291/12 in 534 ABs

10. Josh Donaldson – This is a new tier.  This tier goes from here until the top 20 for 2017 fantasy baseball.  I call this tier, “Easy like Monday morning quarterbacking.”  By the tier name I mean, I think these picks are easy, but you might get to May and be like, “Why did I take the old guy whose better days were behind him?  I mean, he’s fine, but he’s so not exciting.  Shoot, someone is watching me talk to myself.  Slowly pick up your phone and pretend you were talking into it.  Hello, no, I don’t need a subscription to the Sunday paper.  There, that was very convincing.”  Word on the predominantly white, male streets of fantasy baseball is Donaldson won’t still be on draft boards for me to draft him here.  You know what?  I’m okay with that.  I might be bailing on him too soon, but I’d prefer to be too soon than too late.  If there is one guy that I see in every first round that I think is going to disappoint, it’s always Donaldson.  Injuries happen to everyone, and can’t be avoided, but who in this top ten do you see disappointing while staying healthy?  Anyone?  Harper doesn’t count, he wasn’t healthy last year.  I don’t see anyone.  About the safest top nine I can remember (wait, until you see the top 20 and how perilous that is).  I think Donaldson could stay healthy and disappoint.  His lineup is not as good this year, so 122 runs for a third year in a row seems to be a stretch.  His home runs declined from 2015 to ’16.  He counts on having 700 plate appearances for a lot of his value, so one DL stint ruins that.  He’s now 31 years old and you can’t share cotton candy with him!  Wait, wrong Donaldson again.  2017 Projections:  95/32/101/.287/6 in 570 ABs

 
  1. Simply Fred

    Simply Fred says:
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    You are the greatest!

  2. Boomer19 says:
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    Thanks Grey. Now it feels like a new season of fantasy baseball! Great work.

  3. Ante GALIC says:
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    Grey!

    Really nice write-up. Just when you think that this can’t be more exciting – you make it more exciting!! Well done.

    a. Think your assessment of Goldy is pretty accurate. Add to this that he had little or no lineup support in 2016 and your argument is even more killer. With Yasmany having another year under his belt and Pollock healthy Goldy could get more fastballs (just my theory) and that could lead to better stats.

    b. #3 Mookie is my favorite order!!!

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Thanks! A. Yup, B. Ha So you made it back okay?

  4. Traded a Fister for a BJ says:
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    Thanks Grey for working on a holiday!!! So excited to see the rankings posted. I like your top 10 and don’t really see anyone falling to the second round in a 12-teamer except Rizzo or perhaps a very small chance for Harper.

  5. JeF WiTh 1 F says:
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    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re back!!

  6. Duda Want to Build a Snowman? says:
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    HUMidiyeeeeeeahaw!!!

  7. Malicious Phenoms says:
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    The beginning of the most wonderful time of the year!

    “The one constant through all the years, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”

    • Count de Monetball says:
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      Best quote ever from darth earl jones

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Haha

  8. M says:
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    Thanks Grey-happy 2017!

    Betts is obviously awesome and like you said could be #2 overall, yes he is 23,24ish and you mention his 13.6 HR/FB rate as something that could potentially improve, are you concerned with the amount of “just-enough” HR’s he hit last year or with some added muscle this year it’s not something to be concerned about?

    Thanks for the great work!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @M: Yeah, I didn’t mention them, but I did see he had a ton of Just Enoughs…. I think due to his age, he can build on his year, while getting a couple less homers… Meaning, he gets stronger with age, but only hits 29 HRs, which evens out the Just Enoughs

      • BK1 says:
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        Agree. Is my thinking flawed that his 42 doubles (6th in MLB) should provide comfort. Like you said, he’s not falling back to 18..worst case he’ll be high 20s.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          That’s my thought… Feels like 23-30, I’m being optimistic with my projections, but he’s young, talented, Fenway and Sox lineup

  9. Christmas morning has arrived! Thanks in advance, Grey. & on a personal note, your kid looks great. Finally a hint of a stache. Chip off the ol’block! Let him rank the DHs.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @zombie: Aw, thanks, Zombie! I thought he looked a lot like his mother, who abandoned us

  10. Tigres says:
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    Welcome back, Grey’s Rankings! Looking forward to the next 398,500 words.

    Keeper league Q: 1 yr of Lester for 3 yrs of Dahl?

    • FKA Ralph says:
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      @Tigres: Dahl

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tigres: Ha, thanks! Dahl

  11. Tweak says:
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    Great to see the Rankings get started up again. Only a month or so until Pitchers and Catchers.

    I agree that 1B feels super shallow this year. I’ve been working on my draft strategy and have found myself taking a 1B with almost every 1st pick (unless someone really drops the ball and hands me Betts). On the other hand, 3B feels really deep. We’ll see when real drafts kick off, but I feel like I might end up not taking an OF until the 4th rd. Ugh.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Tweak: Nah, catchers are on Wednesday…Pitchers prolly in two weeks… You’re taking 28 1st basemen? Oh, every 1st pick, not every pick… Misread

  12. Burningbridges247 says:
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    And so it begins…… Welcome back, Grey!

  13. Copperhead Road says:
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    Oh glorious day. Opening day of fantasy baseball. Thanks, Grey!

  14. Hawk says:
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    This post makes me so happy….

    ….because I own 3 of the top 10 in my big money keep forever league. SUCK ON THAT LEAGUEMATES MUAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!

    • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
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      @Hawk: you best hope they don’t actually read this. not from the taunting of course.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Hawk: Well done!

  15. RePete says:
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    Can’t wait for another season. After becoming the champ in my 14-team league of record last year, I’m expecting that I’ll make some impulsive ”why not, I already won it all last year” trades. Hopefully I don’t destroy my team in the process and compete again this year. Care to weigh in on what my team name should be based on my keepers (Betts, Bogaerts, Trea Turner, J.D. Martinez, Strasburg/Carrasco)?

    Fenway Phemons (last year’s name)
    Bogey and the Betts (Benny and the Jets/Beauty and the Beast)
    A TreaTur Among Us (A Traitor Among Us; favorite so far being a Nats fan)
    Scared of the Bogeyman
    Trick or Trea’T
    The Stras that Broke the Hamels back (if I draft Hamels)

    *Nothing vulgar, no appreciated in my league

    • RePete says:
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      @RePete: #first one is supposed to be Fenway Phenoms

    • Tweak says:
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      @RePete:

      Here’s Looking At You, Trea (Bogey and Turner)
      Strasablanca (Bogey and Stras)

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @RePete: Canseco Hung Up On Grey After 15 Seconds?

      • Count de Monetball says:
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        How about Grey only lasted 15 seconds with Canseco…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          How about Grey lasted longer with Canseco than Canseco lasted with Madonna?

          • I don't want to brag but i have irritable bowel syndrome says:
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            @Grey: probably speaks more to her sperm gathering skills than anything bad about him though.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Haha

  16. Dodger Rabbit says:
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    Yea!
    It’s 2nd Christmas!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        Better than Greek Orthodox Christmas!

  17. Paulito says:
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    Who would you rather in a keeper league: Goldy or Harper?

    (I currently own Goldschmidt but he is turning 30 soon…)

  18. Warren says:
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    Ok, now I am going to try to work out a Donaldson + for Arenado trade before keepers lock!

  19. Big Mike says:
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    Merry Christmas to us!!!! Yay!!

    So, I should keep Mookie, Rizzo and Arenado in my keeper league, huh?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Big Mike: Haha…. Yeah, I think so

  20. Paul says:
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    Keeper Question:
    Can only keep two of these guys
    Either Trout or Goldschmidt round 1
    Bryant round 4
    Machado round 5

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Paul: Trout, Bryant

      • thatguy says:
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        @Grey: Dang, I love Trout, but I say grab Bryant and Machado. Can’t beat that huge value.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          I hear ya

  21. ERad says:
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    All is right again in the world.

    Happy birthday too, no? I need to get out more

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @ERad: Happy birthday to all of you! My bday is Wednesday

  22. Natty Boh says:
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    And with this post my wife realizes she loses me for the next 10 months.

  23. Clogged Rosterman says:
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    I have a ball with a Dale Sveum autograph in a case on a shelf in my parents’ house.

  24. DonnieB says:
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    Welcome to 2017 Grey. Keeper question in a 12 team auction league. Cap level is $300.We can keep eight. Already have: Betts($20); Arenado($13); CSeager($10); Syndergaard($1); Chapman($15). Last three I need frm following:
    Yelich($22). Machado($56). Betances($10)
    Segura ($10). A Reyes ($10)
    Castellanos($4). Salazar($10)
    Ozuna($2). S Marte. ($43)
    Top players go for $50-70. Only Trout and Harper of your top 10 will be available in draft. If I keep Machado,I would have 3 of top 8 players for a total of $89. It’s not Betts,Goldy and Kris but not bad. Would you keep Machado? And what other two or three( if no Machado)? Thanks to the best expert/writer in fantasy baseball and its not close!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @DonnieB: Machado, Yelich, Segura — keeper prices are inflated b/c you get Noah for $1 so him and Machado, for instance, are $57 or ~$28 apiece

      • DonnieB says:
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        Thanks. That was my thoughts as well. Great MI of Segura,Seager and Machado!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          No problem

  25. The Fridge says:
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    Forget Punxsutawney Phil….Grey’s first post of the season signals the beginning of spring!!

    Looking forward to a great 2017…

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha!

  26. Bill says:
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    Who in your top 10 are you buying or selling in Keep Forever leagues?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Buy the 1st 9

  27. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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    You break out the Seventh Seals to celebrate the end of when rankings come out questions?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha… I should! Maybe I’ll wear them for my birthday on Wednesday

      • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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        @Grey: Treat yo self!

        I just bought shoes off this dude I know, and told him not to send them to me for over a month because I made a promise that I wouldn’t buy anymore until after vacation.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Haha, you got a problem! You’re the guy that gave up drinking alcohol then drinks beer and says it’s beer not alcohol… I’ve already talked myself out of wearing the Seals (I might be worse)

          • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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            @Grey: I don’t wear mine because of shit weather constantly….and because I have 30 other pairs I haven’t worn yet. You have no excuse. Throw some stain repellant on them and represent.

            The pair I needed to buy and hide are purple. So, there.

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              I forget, did you get Seals too?

              • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
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                @Grey: Yeah I mentioned that I bought them the day you gave a Bergman reference.

                Seriously have only worn them for about 10 minutes, so I’m no better.