The article that gets passed around more than a Kardashian with professional athletes. Let’s change that. I believe this thing’s a…wait for it…keeper. Oh, gosh. Got ya there, didn’t I? Well, all hilarity aside, it’s about time we focused not just on the right now with all the Top 100’s, but we delivered one with an eye to the future. Let’s get a little wisdom in our baseball leagues that we can apply to the seasons to come. It’s time for the Top 100 Keepers!
Now, before we dive into the rankings, we need to discuss the subjective dynamic of keeper leagues. In my opinion, these leagues sit squarely in the middle of redraft annual leagues (you can find all of Grey’s rankings for 2017 HERE) and the deeper dynasty options like JB’s REL League or mine and Ralph’s Razz30. The former doesn’t need to look at age much, and the latter focuses primarily the mingling of prospects with big leaguers (Here’s where you can find Ralph’s Top 100 Prospects…such a great read). Yet, here we are with Keeper Leagues.
Keeper Leagues are the Goldilocks of fantasy baseball. Not too long, not too short. It fits just right. So, as you read these rankings, I’m primarily concerned with a 3-5 year window. If you’re making moves in a keeper league for beyond that window you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. That’s not The Process, that’s just dumb. No Kevin Maitan or Jason Groome’s here, but age definitely matters. You’ll see some ‘spects, but also a lot of savvy veterans well into their 30’s. Think of it like a bell curve. If a player’s trajectory is aiming up, it’s a bonus; if it’s beginning to fall, well…so is their rank.
And now for the final piece of subjectivity: Hitters vs. Pitchers. J-FOH touched on this last year, but here’s my thoughts on it when it comes to future value, and how you’ll see that reflected in the rankings. I heavily value hitters over pitchers when it comes to keeper rankings. In my opinion (see, there’s that subjectivity), there is far more value and reliability with a hitter than a pitcher, especially when it comes to health concerns. Tommy John is far too prevalent and shoulder injuries can destroy you (see: Hyun-jin Ryu). Beyond injury is simply the volatility of their progression. Case in point: my Atlanta Braves. I absolutely love what the team has done in shifting their trajectory, but some of the shine from the prospects headed this way have certainly lost a little luster. Sean Newcomb, Aaron Blair, Matt Wisler and Mike Foltynewicz were all supposed to anchor the braves rotation, every one of them has underperformed the hype. Haha, and then there’s the whole Shelby Miller problem. Sheesh. Or, look at everyone not nicknamed after a Norse god in the Mets rotation. It’s simply terrifying. Last year Raisel Iglesias, Carlos Rodon, Garrett Richards, Taijuan Walker, Adam Wainwright, Patrick Corbin and Tyson Ross were all in the Top 100. A little heads up…they’re nowhere close to my rankings. Hitters over pitchers. Every day.
We’ll break these up in groups of 10, and then give some deeper analysis way down at the nether of this already too long article. Enough talking…more ranking!
For context: here are the 2016 Top 100 Keepers from J-FOH. But let’s be honest…these are better.
- Zero surprises that Trout takes the #1 spot, and all the other names are really a matter of preference. Tons of youth with a lot of proven production. Some may argue that Harper should drop down due to the volatile nature of his playing style mixed with his disappointing 2016, but let’s not be so recency biased. He’s a unicorn, and 2016 was his floor. He did all of that while injured. His teammate Turner next to him…that’s a little risky. But I’m a full believer.
- In case you were counting, that’s 5 SS in the top 20. There’s a changing of the guard in fantasy baseball with middle infielders being potentially the deepest positions in the game. Remember when Troy TUlowitzki was so incredible because he was the only SS worth anything? Not anymore. This is optimistic for Trevor Story, but you can see the other trend happening: four Rockies in the top 20. That matters. I’d grab as many Coors Field hitters as possible this year, and for the next 3-5 nothing changes with their park factor. Unless Yellowstone blows up, but then we’re all screwed.
- Quick note on Odor, Grey’s gregariously giddy about him this year. I have a hard time with it. He’s #20 because at 22 years old he hit 33 HR and got 14 SB, but his .296 OBP must improve. I think it can, but it’s rare that someone with a 1:7 BB/K rate produces that all the time. Regression may be in store for 2017.
- Here comes the next small wave of SP, but it’s still hitter dominated. Guys like Springer and Bregman need to bloom into their potential, while names like Villar, Bogaerts and Dozier need to prove they can repeat their monster 2016 seasons. As for mainstays Miggy, Votto and Donaldson, I don’t see anything changing with them over the next few years. They’re reliable. Reliably incredible. Is that everyone? Look…and in only three sentences.
- What do you do with Giancarlo Stanton? Seriously…he has the talent to be in the Top 5, but that health. I truly hope he blasts 50 bombs at least once in the next few years, but you can’t depend upon even 110 games, let alone a full slate. Myers and Polanco need another stellar season to prove they belong here. And then there’s David Dahl. He’s the first big reach in these ranks, but, again, there’s that whole Coors Field thing. He’s only 22 and is already a 20/20 candidate with a .280 average. In that vaunted lineup he could really wreak havoc for years to come.
- Some may argue that Schwarber should be higher on this list, but I actually want to see him do it for a full season. The bop in his bat is completely legit, but his hit tool needs to come full circle and I’d like to see him cut down on the K’s. Next year he could crack the Top 20 of this list, but I’ll hesitantly put him right inside the Top 50 for 2017. And, oh, Benintendi. How I love thee. Go Heels!
- Strasburg and Darvish both have to erase the doubts about their health, but they’re elite options still young enough to prove they can handle the rigors of a full season.
- Sanchez, just like Schwarber, could soar up these ranks next year with a dominant encore to his flash last season. I believe Rendon can rebound to his 2014 numbers when he was a borderline first-round pick. More SP pepper the rankings, and if you’re looking for power you know what to expect out of the Davis’. I doubt that slows down in the next few years, either, even though Khris needs to learn to take a walk more often.
- Cruz and Encarnación are approaching 40, but David Ortiz just proved that it’s within the realm of possibilities for an almost-flamingo to still be a viable fantasy asset. Jones and McCutchen need to reverse their trend, while Frazier and Duvall could benefit from a more balanced slash line.
|71||Jackie Bradley Jr.||OF||BOS|
- A few more prospects appear in the ranks here. Buxton has the talent to be much higher, and his massive September (9 HR) showed it may be closer than some think. Baez, Pederson and Bradley Jr. all have room to grow, but are already impressive options. And then there’s Austin Meadows. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Pittsburgh outfield, but I want all of these shares, because he’ll hit his way into the majors. And yes, that’s Justin Upton. I suffered through his schizophrenic fantasy tendencies as an Atlanta for a few seasons, but I believe he can hone in the consistency. He’s still just 29. Somehow.
- Urias is the most exciting young arm that’s yet to truly make an impact in the entire game. And right behind him we have the second true prospect of the list, Nick Senzel. There are so many reasons why he should make an appearance soon. He was a top pick in the amateur draft, he crushed in his debut last summer, and the Reds have nothing blocking him from taking over. It’s bullish to say that he’s a Kris Bryant mold (in terms of what he can produce), but all the signs are there for him to be a major contributor as early as this summer. The other young bucks include Moncada and Mazara (or is it Mazooza, Grey?), who should both carve a path to the upper tiers of their positions soon. Sneaky add to the group, and to redraft leagues for this year, is Keon Broxton. His pace last year was bananas, and with just a little more plate discipline (high K%) he could boost into another stratosphere. We’re talking Starling Marte upside with more power and slightly less average.
- As a Braves fan I’m excited for what the Dansby Swanson era will usher in for the franchise, but as a fantasy addict I question his ceiling. Is he truly the next Derek Jeter? If so, that means he won’t reach the highest tier of fantasy stardom. Which is fine, but this is case in point to the differences of MLB’s top prospects lists and top fantasy prospects. Defense and leadership don’t count in this game, Lieutenant Dan. But Ice Cream Does! Well, that’s what Bartolo Colon thinks. Some others in the crop need more playing time, but their ceiling is high enough to warrant their high value.
That’s a total of 18 pitchers and 82 hitters. Feels about right. And yep, zero closers. Their position is too volatile, let alone the wear, tear and strain of their flame-throwing arms.
Last note…while these rankings are presented in an order, don’t treat them as canon in a vacuum. In keeper leagues it’s important to take salary (if your league uses it), scoring, other team’s keepers and your current team construction into account. So, yes…I’d much rather have Andrew McCutchen than Nomar Mazara, but if you’re playing for two/three years from now rather than ’17/’18, it may be a shrewd move. Again, subjectivity is a massive dynamic to the keeper game.
My subjectivity is just the best kind…
NOW DROP THOSE COMMENTS!
Where am I wrong? Where am I right? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments.
And good luck to you in 2017 and beyond!
Love the site!
12 team–$280 budget 5×5 and can keep 9 players. Below are 2017 prices and those increase $5 each year if I elect to keep again. Would love your opinion!!
G. Sanchez -7
Longoria – 25
C. Seager – 11
Cruz – 30
Polonco – 16
Springer – 16
Cargo – 32
Urias – 6
C. Martinez – 13
Maeda – 11
McCullers – 7
Cole – 22
Struggling with a keeper decision. I have to deal Altuve this year because I’ve had him for 3 years & now I have the best, dominant year-after-year, manager bothering me with offering Rizzo for him. I’ve barked up some other trees in terms of trying to get Arenado or Machado, but those managers aren’t interested. Do I deal Altuve for Rizzo? Categories are R, HR, RBI, SB, TB, AVG, OBP
@Teuvo: First, why do you HAVE to deal Altuve for someone? That’s a silly rule? Can’t you just throw him back?
That being said, I have Rizzo 10 overall, so there are only 7 other players you could do better in getting. My Top 11 (Kershaw is 12) are:
Rizzo (and Rizzo is great with OBP)
@[email protected]: Thanks for the reply! Technically I don’t ‘have’ to throw him back, but if I held him all year, he would go back into the draft pool and whoever won the draft lottery would obviously select him 1st overall next year.
@[email protected]: Whoops, I mean technically I don’t have to trade him & he could go back, but if I held him all year, he would go back into the draft pool and whoever won the draft lottery would obviously select him 1st overall next year.
@Teuvo: Totally understand. I’d weigh it against how much you want one of those other names. Not really doing wrong to grab Rizzo for more years than Altuve for just one.
I’m new to fantasy baseball, and started a keeper league last year. So this is the first year I can keep my players. We can keep 5 players but I’m struggling on my 5th keeper. Any help would be great. It’s a 10 team league, 25 round draft. We can keep any player drafted after round 4 and they go up one round if kept every year. We use Quality Starts NOT Wins.
Here are my top keeper potentials and the round I can keep them in.
Round 24: Osuna – Current Keeper
Round 20 – T Turner – Current Keeper
Round 19: Maeda
Round 16: Buxton
Round 14 – S Matz
Round 12: K Davis
Round 12: Porcello
Round 10: A Russell
Round 8: Lester – Current Keeper
Round 7: Lindor – Current Keeper
Who would be your 5th keeper above? I’m already planning to keep Turner, Osuna, Lester and Lindor.
Also, I have the 1.2 pick. Would you draft Betts, Altuve or Bryant?
@Paul: Wow. Yes to Turner and Osuna that late. I’d consider keeping Buxton in the 16th as my 5th. He has the highest upside for what he can give the following year if there’s no limit on how long they can be kept. Similar to what you have in Turner this year.
And at 1.2, given who you’re keeping, I’d go for Betts. OF is a little thin this year, and he can provide 5 cats. I have Trout, Betts, Altuve, Goldy, Bryant as my Top 5.
Thanks, we can keep them up to 5 years, but every year the will cost one round higher.
So I can keep Turner this year round 20, next 19, ect.
We can only keep up to 5 keepers a year.
So I was debating Maeda in the 19th just for value as I see him going around 90-100.
Porcello I like because what he did last year and like having better top end talent, but I’ve seen him go all over between 50-110.
Davis I like his HRs and power.
Buxton is a high upside guy but think I could still draft him around that spot.
I’m just really torn.
@Paul: Any of them are great options. All depends on how you want to fill out your roster. I’d go with Buxton for the upside, but Davis’ 40 HR power in the 12th is nice, as are the pitchers.
Struggling with my keepers this year in a 14-team H2H-cats league. We each get 6 keepers, split into tiers based on draft round (keepers: 1-6; first-tier: 7-12; second-tier: 13-18; third-tier: 19-24), and kept players go up a round each year (so last year’s 2nd-tier become 1st-tier this year).
2x first tier: Kluber, Encarnacion, Pollock, Polanco, McCutchen, Rendon
2x second tier: Piscotty (skipping a second keeper here to keep an extra 3rd-tier guy)
2x third tier: Swanson, Jose Ramirez, Herrera, Urias
Was leaning Kluber, Enc, Piscotty, Swanson, Ramirez, Herrera, for 2017 production, but long-term value has me debating another first-tier over Enc, and Urias over Ramirez. Any suggested changes to my planned six? (fwiw, I’ll be drafting 13th in the snake after finishing runner-up last year.)
@Phil: I agree since there aren’t great keeper SP options later.
However, you could easily take Urias as the end over Ramirez or Swanson, then keep Polanco or Pollock over Kluber.
Love the list every year. Have a question. I am in a 12 team, H2H league. We can keep 2 players, but they cannot be either of your 2 highest ranked players at the end of the league. Draft position for a snake draft is determined by adding up the end of season rank of your two keepers. Team with the highest total drafts first and so on. My potential keepers are
Starling Marte Rank: 77
Christian Yelich Rank: 61
Gary Sanchez Rank: 589
Kris Davis Rank: 67
Adam Jones Rank: 109
DJ LeMathieu Rank: 45
Marcell Ozuna Rank: 185
Troy Tulowitzki Rank: 269
@Keeper: Huh…intersting format. I kinda like that. Given you want the highest picks since the top options are thrown back, I’d keep:
Sanchez (um, that helps immensely)
Marte may keep you from getting a high pick, but I love picking at the back end of the 1st, as well this year. Those two are your best values.
Hey man- thanks for the write up.
I’m in a 5 keeper league, 5×5 with OBP in place of avg.
I have Machado, Rizzo, Odor, and Abreu.
Stuck on the 5th- Benintendi, Buxton, or Sano?
@lubes: OBP kills Buxton. The power and BB% of Sano too strong to pass. Give me him over ‘Tendi
I get to keep 8. Thoughts? thanks
Also sitting on Moncada, Buxton, Swanson, Urias, Renfroe
@Josh: Your ray 8 names listed. Too much production to keep one of those prospects we them, skip the closers, and Matz is the most volatile SP
Thank you. If I keep Miggy, Marte, Dozier, Yelich, Frazier, DJ and lose the RP’s. Do you recommend Hendricks/Salazar? Or dip into the rookies?
Appreciate your advice.
In a keeper league that is expanding. We have two groups of keepers depending on when they are drafted. We’re able to protect 4 of the top group and 5 of the bottom from the expansion owner.
Top 4 from this group? Donaldson, Cespedes, Piscotty, Cain, Hamels, C Martinez, W Davis, H Ramirez
Top 5 from this group? Rizzo, Arrieta, Odor, Villar, A Sanchez, Britton, Margot, Conforto
Top 4 of these MILB players? Reyes (bummer), Giolito, Rosario, Zimmer, Happ
@Kevin: My old boss was a Cubs fan named Kevin. But the moment you typed MiLB you made it clear you’re not him. So, hello new Kevin!
Top 4: Donaldson, Cespedes, Hanley, Piscotty. Carlos a close 5th (for me). If you want him, drop Hanley.
Bottom 5: Rizzo, Arrieta, Odor, Villar, Britton
MiLB: Drop Reyes if you don’t want to wait. Otherwise drop Zimmer.
Need to keep 5, any thoughts?
Sonny Gray 1$
Carlos Martinez 2$
J. Urias 1$
@Jonathan Duennebier: Bregman, Sano, Martinez, Buxton, Swanson. Matz and Urias right behind.
Did you forget Addison Russell? Should be in your top 30
@Dennis: Nope, sure didn’t. I’m not a fantasy fan of Russell. .255/70/25/80/5 is a solid improvement on last year’s and maybe his ceiling. He can top that, but for the next 3-5 I’d rather have every SS listed.
@[email protected]: saying he can’t be ranked above Diaz is crazy talk to me. Have a feeling he’ll be on this list next yr, but we’ll see. Thanks for the reply!
@Dennis: Absolutely. He could be. But there’s nothing in Diaz’s track record to show that what he did last year was a fluke and can’t be improved upon, which, if that happens, is better than what Russell will do.
Thanks for the article, i enjoyed the read, yet Encarnacion threw me.. Think you could shed some thoughts on my situation? 12 team league, can keep for three seasons, 4 for undrafted in previous season. Can only keep 6..
Bryant (2 keeps left)
Encarnacion I had higher on my personal list. I pick 6th overall. Thanks!
@NewYorkMutts86: Thanks man! I had Encarncion lower because of his age (I was wrong on how old he was in my comment in the article) and his new situation. I don’t know that he repeats those numbers in the Cleveland lineup. He very well could, but it’s small knock in comparison to the upside of the players above him.
I’d keep Bryant, Lindor, Edwin, Stanton, Sanchez, Archer.
@[email protected]: It’s crazy to think that Strasburg would be the best option to let go, but given the situation, I suppose there’s a much better chance of him still being available than any of the hitters.. but I’m preaching the choir there!
NL-only league. Unlimited keepers. $260 budget. Who would you keep? The core of this roster has won to back-to-back championships. I did lose Arenado going into this year (keeper limit of three years reached):
Brandon Phillips $9
@Benjamin: Trea, Seager, Freeman, Phillips, deGrom. (that’s only $70 for those 5 players, 4 being elite in NL-Only). I know that’s not a lot, but all the rest are right there at market value, so you can just buy them again if you want them with all the money you’re saving from the others.
Why so high on Ozuna? I own him and Buxton each for a $1 but could only keep one. Grey is much higher on Buxton and has Ozuna 159 overall.
@cheez whit: He had almost identical numbers to his 2014 season last year, but he cut down on his K rate significantly (26.8% to 18.9%) and had a much lower BABIP. If the BABIP jumps back to his career norm of .320-.340 his line could end up: .280/80/25/90/1 (because 1 SB is more fun. It’s funner). And that’s just for this year. With a bad lineup. He’s only 26, and I think has a higher ceiling than what we’ve seen.
As for Buxton, I love him. I drool over what he can do, but I want to see him do it for more than one month before I move him higher. That will probably be this year, but for now I’m treading carefully in comparison to more reliable options.
Thanks for the post. Can you please give me some advice on the keeper league I’m in? Standard 5 x 5, 12 teams. Keep players for 3 more seasons. Pick 5 keepers:
@Hooker: Sweet mercy. 3 more? That’s awesome. Turner, Correa, Bregman, Marte, Yelich. Give me all the hitters. Go pay for pitchers.
Where would you have listed Jose Fernandez? 15-20?
@Gary: Man. That sucks. 16 probably.
absolutely awesome post. this is definitely going to help me in a new franchise league i just joined. any chance you’d consider ranking the next 100 players beyond your top 100 here?
Really surprised not to see Carlos Martinez on this list. Young, tons of velocity. I’d take him over several SPs on this list.
@Curious George Springer: I’m a fan, but for the next 3-5 years I’d rather have the options on the list. He’s outperformed his peripherals the past two years, and saw his K/9 stop by more than 1 last year. If he throws 200 innings closer to his FIP (3.61 in 2016), I think people will cool on the hype. Not to say he’s not great, and not right outside the 100, but I’d choose the others first.
10 team H2H Categories, four keepers max (cost in parens)
Betts (4th round)
Bryant (12th round)
Villar (18th round)
For last pick, deciding between:
Verlander (5th round)
Edwin Diaz (18th round)
Urias (19th round)
Was leaning Verlander, but I have some regression concerns. he was pretty bad last year before going on a second half tear, and his peripherals don’t look quite as good as his final line, in spite of the uptick in his velo and career high k-rate. 34 year old pitcher screams “danger” to me, and I’m not sure I want to anchor my pitching staff to a dude who’s only looked good in the second half the past couple of years — and looked REALLY bad at other points. Diaz would free me up from worrying about grabbing an elite RP early. Urias obviously has the most upside, but just as obviously isn’t going to pitch more than like 140 innings, optimistically.
@larry: I would go Diaz, and I do not think it is a particularly close decision.
According to NFBC ADP, Verlander is going in the 40s and Urias in the 160s, right around where you have to keep both of them. Diaz, OTOH, is going in the 80s, way before the pick you have to give up.
@LenFuego: For this year, yes.Diaz. Anything further it becomes cloudier.
@larry: Agree on the first three. Those are awesome.
Depending on how long you can keep them, I’d consider Urias over Verlander, and save the 14 rounds. However, if it’s primarily just this year or next I’d go Diaz. Closers are always more volatile than SP, and Urias seems to be the sure thing, I just don’t know that he accumulates the innings for this year alone.
Keeper Question (Keep 5)
Players can be kept 1 round earlier every year you keep them. For instance if you keep them in the 4th round this year, you can only keep them in the 3rd next year, then the 2nd round the next year etc. The top 4 guys are the obvious ones, but for the others, who do you keep?
Mookie Betts R4
Kris Bryant R13
Carlos Correa R14
George Springer R23
Rough. Odor R12
Justin Upton R15
Alex Bregman R15
Yu Darvish R10
Brendan Rogers R15
@The Ace Man: Odor. Darvish wouldn’t be crazy if you want to go pitching, but Odor.
@LenFuego: Agree. Dervish there is awesome, too. I’d still go Bregman, then Odor.
@The Ace Man: Agree on the first four. Easily. And while I love Odor, I may keep Bregman over him. That’s three extra rounds over three extra years. Hard to choose between them. Can’t go wrong with either.
@[email protected]: Yeah, its been a long time of hoarding prospects to get here, trust me. So the top 4 plus Bregman and Odor seems where I was leaning. This eaves me 2b, ss, 3b, mi, of, of in keepers too which is nice. Time to target 1b I guess. Moved Story after the injury for Goldy who I couldnt keep and wishing I had that one back.
Standard 5X5 keeper league with 12 teams. Four keepers. I have a stockpile of draft picks next year, so while I am concerned with long term keeper value (seen above in the article), I am also interested in potential immediate returns.
Machado (Round 8)
Choose three of the following, all of which are in the last round possible, 22:
@PutALittleEnglish: Adam Jones, Benintendi, Dahl. If you want the best return immediately, you could include Hanley over Dahl or Benintendi. Buxton could outproduce them all, butte’s the most volatile option.
Good job getting them all at the end!
Wanna pick your brain with a keeper question…
8 (or 9, not sure yet) team AL Only 5×5 Standard Roto league. Can keep 3 players for one year off of current roster. Keepers for 2017 for my current squad are Mookie and Machado. Trying to decide on the 3rd.
First thought is Xander, but Correa is draftable, and if I get a slot in the first 3 picks, I’m going with him in this format to lock him up for ’17 and ’18 (unless I get 1st pick, in which I get Trout). That would give me 3 SS eligible players. Odds are that this probably doesn’t happen, but it’s possible, though I could always slot one into and IF or Util position.
Love Martinez, but thinking I can probably draft him a little later.
Typically never keep pitchers, but I’m wondering if I’m starting to get swayed by all the excitement I’m hearing/reading about Yu.
@omar: Love Yu. And J.D. But I’m keeping Xander. Machado will likely lose SS eligibility next year, and having both Correa and Xander isn’t a problem.
If you can draft them, take J.D. over Yu.
I was gonna keep duvall and gattis…
if gattis plays the 5 days hoping he gets to 30.hr…
and I hate c.
I like Tomas to join that 30 hr club.
@AP: Tomas could, you’re right. I just don’t see high ceiling with him.
I think Gattis gets there, but I don’t think he reaches 30 HR. McCann will eat into the ABs too much.
Curious to get everyone’s opinion on Puig, long term (3-5 years). In a vacuum, unlimited keepers, worth a keep or jump ship?
@cheese: Unlimited keepers, then yes, keep him. I think he could rebound. He’s not a 30/20 guy, but a 25/15 as a ceiling is definitely worth keeping if the price isn’t too high.
need serious help in my 13 team 5 x5 traditional roto $260 auction 12 player keeper league
can hold for 3 yrs at contract price then raises in 5 dollar increments.
Im set on the 5 obvious.
Chris Davis ($14)
Trea Turner ($9)
need 7 out of the remaining.
These Im seriously considering 2 due to other pitchers being kept.
Lester 24, Verlander 27, Happ $1, Estrada $2 (I aslo have 4 closers im not gonna keep)
now the hitters
Aledyms Diaz $2
Jose Ramirez $2
@AP: I won my championship last year because of duval. I say keep him I am the only one but I believe he will hit for .270 with 35 homers this year. Thats possible. Considering other players with his power at his adp he has the best chance of hitting for ave.
Plus I think you need as many hitters you can get. IF all the young good pitchers are being taking dont chase and get pitchers not nearly as good. Stock up on hitters and draft pitchers while everyone else is drafting hitters.
@mike: just keep 7 players 12 is too many keep the players you named and ad duval to them and thats all. Save money for draft day and do you really want you roster filled before draft day. Believe me you only want to keep like 6 of those players cause come draft day you can build a better team. Ilmaybe you will draft another two worth keeping this year to add to the list of stars. Yeah id only add duval to that list and if you have any good closers keep two of them also maybe three depending the price and what closer it is. In a 12 keeper league , keeping closers are very important. YOU could be on to something if you really have four closers. What closers can you keep at what prices.
@mike: Good call, Mike! I think Duvall could hit the bombs again, but .270 may be out of reach.
@AP: I would keep Duvall at $2, Diaz at $2, Ramirez at $2, Gyorko at $2, Lester at $24, Happ at $1, Gattis at $3.
That’s $96 for 12 players. In a $260 budget you can’t do much better than than, especially given the names you have. All of those keepers, except Lester, are well under market value.
Very interesting. Love the rankings. I’ve been waiting to see Turner ranked over Goldschmidt.
I am in a standard ESPN 5×5 league with three keepers. I have Betts, Machado and Goldschmidt, plus Turner. It’s likely if I let Turner go I will never have a chance to get him back, but Goldschmidt is so solid in each category, it’s a dream to build a team around him.
I guess my question is basically if I keep Goldschmidt, how many seasons until I regret not keeping Turner?
@Igor: if your not saving money by keeping turner then drop him. Anyone drafting him in the first round is not getting a good deal. He is worth it but its not a good deal. Trout mookie then goldy , picks 1,2,and 3. Should be in every draft.
@mike: Not necessarily. A STRONG argument could be made for Altuve in the Top 3, and Bryant over Goldy isn’t crazy, either.
@Igor: I think Turner could outproduce Goldy as early as this year. It really comes down to what you want to build your team around and what they bring. or, perhaps, what positions are more available after the keepers (if you can know that). When guys are ranked that close it comes down to personal preference. I have Turner over Goldy because of age and upside, but NO ONE would fault you for taking Goldy over him.
You could also make an argument that Betts/Turner/Goldy is the best three since Machado forgot how to run last year and should lose SS eligibility after this year.
Keep forever – Aaron Nola or Kevin Gausman? (5×5)
@boy o boy: Aaron Nola. I’m sure many others would say different, tho.
Sweet baby Jesus I need help with my keepers. 12 team 5×5 roto no stings on who I keep can only keep 10.
Miguel Cabrera, Nolan Arenado , Corey Seager, Wil Myers , Mookie Betts, Ryan Braun, Bryce Harper, Trevor Story, Corey Kluber, Jose Quintana , Justin Verlander, Blake Snell ,Carlos Carrasco
Also I have the 12th pick in every round so who do I drop?
@Zac James: I would drop Braun, Verlander, and Snell
@Zac James: I feel soooooo terrible for you with that roster.
@Zac James: Haha, Jesus is the best. About 33 years after he was a baby he got even better. Now in terms of the Keepers, I’ll try to help since I don’t know how much he cares about fantasy baseball, haha (even though he’d probably be the best at it and win all of the RCL’s)…
But sweet mercy! How in the balls did you end up with that squad? Is it a 4 team league?!? You better have the effing 12th pick…even in the 4 team league.
Arenado, Seager, Harper, Betts, Story, Miggy, Myers, Braun, Kluber, Carrasco
Then try to draft a SP at the top. All the hitters need to be kept.
@[email protected]: thanks for the help..it’s been years of rebuilding and I made a few well timed trades last year.
@Zac James: Well, awesome job!
Where would Carrasco fall on a keeper list is he just outside the top 100?
@Dj: Yeah, I’m high on him. Top 25 SP, most likely just outside the Top 100.
Nice writeup – really interesting to see how similar your keeper philosophy mirrors mine.
On that note, I’ve been offered JD Martinez for Duffy/A Chapman in a dynasty league (keep 20 + 8 minor leaguers forever). It’d allow me to keep Brad Miller, so it’d work out to JD/B Miller for Duffy/Chapman in my mind.
My team is bat-heavy, but I’ve made a few trades to balance out my keepers:
P: Kluber/Verlander/Cueto/Tanaka/Duffy/J Ross/Britton/Chapman
M: Robles, M Chapman, Tapia, Verdugo, Bader, Tellez, L Weaver, Aiken
Surely I do this deal and then target starting pitching in the first 3 – 4 rounds of the redraft? I don’t mind losing Chapman if I still have Britton and can find value in the draft (saves + holds are counted).
@Jibbs: Thanks Jibbs!
YEP!!!!! Do it.
What are your thoughts on Eloy Jimenez? Roughly how far outside your top 100 would he fall?
@Boaty McBoatface: I really like him, but not yet. The Cubs are in win now mode with their old crop of top shelf prospects almost all at the MLB level now…I think Eloy waits a little while longer before making a splash, even though at a young age he could probably produce. It’s hard not to be a little cautious after what happened with Soler, but Eloy seems to be the real deal.
Ralph has him Top 5-10 in the prospects list. I’m a little lower on him, but still a top flight option. Since I look within the 3-5 year window and he’s likely 2 years away at the earliest I’m not considering him yet.
What methodology did you use to come up with the rankings? Dahl has been projected to have less than 2 WAR the next couple of seasons by a couple of reputable sites. Do you know something about his playing time we don’t? Any trades or metrics that aren’t otherwise out there?
For Segura, he’s 27 and should have better value during his age 28 season. He’s got Cano and Cruz behind him at the 1-3 or 2-4 lineups. You think Safeco’s going to diminish him that much?
Thanks man, rankings are subjective and I agree it’s up to everyone to make their own determination. Just curious to hear your process, if it’s not a secret sauce, that is…
@Steve: I don’t look at WAR, because that factors in defense which means nothing for fantasy. My eyes mainly go to age, health, playing time/path to playing time, home park factor, ISO/OPS or FIP/K9/IP the past three seasons and the overall trend of the player.
I’m not high on Segura because he hasn’t proven he can sustain it. He had a MONSTER first two months in 2013, and a MONSTER second half in 2016 (mainly the power). I see him as a .280/70/10/50/30 guy. There’s value in it, but MI is so deep I’d rather have others over him. For instance, I’d probably take the flier on Brad Miller’s power over Segura repeating 2016. Less to do with Safeco, more to do with overall body of work. Safeco actually isn’t a negative for hitters anymore…
@[email protected]: thanks!
thoughts on Kepler? was he close for you?
@nightpandas: Grey is the only one that likes Kepler. ;)
@swaggerjackers: Yep. He’s higher than most. I like him, and he’s still young, but not yet.
@nightpandas: I considered him, but when I look deeper into his stats there’s still some improvement I’d like to see, especially compared to the other options. His hit tool isn’t high enough to project a great average, and he’s never flashed the power guys like Bregman, Sano or Franco.
Hay [email protected] great stuff :)
In my 14 Team Keeper/dynasty league I’m having 4 (Betts,Arenado,Story,Blackmon) of your top 15 guys so i think I’m in pretty good shape.
What do you think about Vincent Velasquez ?
@Saints: Uh, yeah you are. Love those 4!
Velasquez needs to prove he can throw 180+ IP without wearing down. His stuff is nasty, and the K/9 is glorious, but gotta be reliable for the whole season.
Where would you rank him if this list goes on ? Around 150 ? 200? Or even later ?
@Saints: He’d likely be in the Top 150 because he’s flashed power and is so young. I wanna see some improvement, though.
I’ve got some great options but only get to keep 4 in my points league keeper (sps are especially valuable in this format). It’s a snake draft, so you keep them for a max of 3 years based on their draft slot. Which 4 would you keep?
1 year of Rizzo (6th round)
1 year of Lester (9th round)
3 years of Trea (10th round)
3 years of Myers (10th round)
3 years of Schwarber (10th round)
3 years of Daniel Murphy (14th round)
1 year of Polanco (21st round)
@hankp: 3 Years of Turner. 3 Years of Myers. 3 Years of Murphy.
For this year only, would you go Cespedes over Polanco as a keeper?
@Humm Baby: Just for this season I’d prefer Cespedes. He’ll have the higher AVG and more power. I’d prefer those over the speed.
Starling Marte must be ranked high on all sites due to stolen bases? My league cares mainly about runs created, and Marte is pretty mediocre in that category.
@James T Kirk: You should definitely look at these through the lens of your league. My home league is an 8×8 with TB and OPS, which drops Marte (and guys like him) for me. But for standard 5×5 Marte brings a lot, including the elite speed.
What do you see from Stephen Piscotty in 2017? Projection systems don’t love him (.329 steamer wOBA) but does he have hidden upside?
Do you think Miguel Sano makes a big jump in 2017 or more gradual improvement over the next few years?
What’s your ETA on Senzel?
@westcoastpete: Good questions, would like to see an answer too.
@westcoastpete: Had these written out last night, then they disappeared. Poop.
I’m much higher on Piscotty than the projections. Most of them have him for only 140 games played, and everyone expects a regression in power. However, he’s been consistent with his ISO through the minors and in his first two seasons, and last year pulled the ball 8% more than in 2015. If he takes that up even a tick, while hitting in the middle of that lineup, he could post 25+ HR with great counting stats.
I believe we just saw the floor for Sano. He hasn’t hit with a lower ISO than last year (.227), and is a prime candidate to actually improve. He has a great profile looking at his peripherals, the power’s as legit as it comes, and he’s still very young. If he can just cut back on the Ks a little…Look for him to top 30 HR this year with a slight improvement in average.
Senzel should make his debut sometime this summer, even if it’s not until August. There’s no reason for the Reds to rush him, but there’s also nothing blocking him from taking over. As the #2 pick, and almost 22, he can fast track through the minors, especially if he rakes at every level. It will definitely be after Super 2, but they may wait until they can keep his ABs under that 130 mark to delay his clock a little further, similar to what the Braves did with Dansby last year. He’s gonna be special I think. Maybe not Bryant, but the potential to be right there.
@[email protected]: All 3 just got bumped up in my rankings. Thanks for the great list and thorough responses!
@westcoastpete: Thanks for reading!
Great read. Thanks for getting into “the goldilocks of fantasy baseball”. Pretty sure that’s a new reference.
As you’d agree, league settings obviously factor in huge with all rankings. I’m in a shallow (10 team) head to head points keeper league that goes +1/-1 for BB and K respectively. That’s a game changer. I’ve got Khris Davis and Byron Buxton on the fringes of my lineup, but their BB/K makes them almost unstartable. I’m pretty sure Davis “is what he is”, maybe he’ll show minor improvement with age. What do you think about Buxton’s future in that regard? Thx.
@Kojak: Haha thanks man! Came up with that one on the fly. Feels right tho. And I got to out the best TWSS gif in there.
I don’t foresee Khris improving much there. I value walks almost too high in those leagues because it can be an extra 40-70 points bonus on other players if you grab the right guy. It also mitigates the lower OBP options like Odor.
I think Buxton could get his BB% to rise. He’s so young. So much potential with him. That could get to 10%, but prob not this year.
@[email protected]: Thanks man. That’s what I was thinking. I might show more patience with Buxton. We’ll see. Yeah, that league setting makes guys like Zobrist and Brantley look like league leaders, and even a guy like Joe Panik easily startable.
@Kojak: Yep, you can really take advantage in a points league when standard rankings don’t account for those bonuses. Load up on top flight SP…
Have a few questions keeper wise. We run a typical 6×6 12 team h2h league that has OPS and K/9’s and Holds. Our rosters are a bit different because we start (2) First basemen, (2) Second Basemen, (2) SS and (2) Third basemen, while other positions are normal. So we can keep three keepers and here are the options, I have the 6th overall pick
Gary Sanchez/ Free
Edwin Diaz/ Free
@The Price is Wright: @The Price is Wright: Villar, Bregman, Dahl. They’re free.
I love the others, like Yu, Diaz and Millie, but I’d make them targets in rounds higher than where you kept them. The most value is with the other three.
@[email protected]: Thanks for the answer. Would it change things if I can’t keep anyone past this year? Once I keep them one year then I lose them the next. I should have claified to begin with. Sorry about that.
@Price is Wright: Probably the same, but it’s hard not to keep Mookie in the 2nd. If you did I’d keep him over Dahl.
I think I’m most interested in why Wil Myers over Gregory Polanco?
I’d have Polanco ahead for a variety of reasons, but am interested in the counter argument.
@Lance: Pedigree is similar for both, but Myers ability to steal bases elevated him a little for me. Average will be the same for both (~.260), both can steal 20+ bases, both the same age (26 & 25), but Myers has shown more power in his bat both through the minors and at the major league level. Polanco’s ISO of .205 was the highest of any level in his career, while Myers .202 last season pales in comparison to his minors numbers. A slightly higher ceiling for Myers in my book.
And if he keeps 1B the positional eligibility is a small boost.
What’s your reasoning on seager over correa? Doesn’t correa have the chance to produce more speed, have the better ballpark, and have the advantage of the AL?
@Harry Hardenberg: He does, but I feel like the floor is lower for Correa than it is for Seager. And I’ll admit, it may be a little recency bias in it. Correa will run more, Seager will have a higher average. Both could hit 30 bombs. Correa more RBI depending on where he hits, Seager more R. Haha, take your pick (10 & 12)…they’re both elite. Seager just feels a little safer. And by a little I mean a pinch of salt…
No AJ Pollock?
looks like we were thinkin the same thing haha
@Jay Smith: Love Pollock for this year, but for the next 3-5 I want to see him do something more than just once (2015) at an elite level, and prove that he can stay healthy.
I’d find a different job. Your top 100 is a joke. T Turner at 5 ? D Dahl ? Wow
@John Payne: Well, lucky for me I have a real job. And I’d love to hear your reasoning for why those aren’t good rankings rather than just your Twitter-style hot take.
Thanks for reading Major Payne!
@[email protected]: Why should he have to defend/explain his rankings? You didn’t defend/explain many of your own.
By the way, I agree with Payne’s general conclusions. I looked at these and just shook my head. I won’t be using these as a guide. And I don’t have time to discuss the 20 or so players who I subjectively believe that you ranked way differently that I would have. But thanks for your efforts. I’ll try to use them on my more gullible leaguemates to take advantage of them during trades. So there’s that.
@The Eye of Horus: stop the presses … the eye of horus agrees with John Payne. who gives a sh!t. I don’t see either of your top 100 keeper rankings for others to pick apart and analyze.
@Rock D: I see you
@The Eye of Horus: Haha, so there’s that. Such a salty addition.
He can defend his because I asked him too after his hot take. Just like I defend plenty of mine through these comments.
Thanks for agreeing with 80% of the ranks! I really do think that’s awesome, and am grateful. I know there’s a lot of subjectivity to it. Those were my thoughts, I’m just the guy willing to put the time into writing it all. And I know what I’m doing.
Who is someone I missed that you would have included? Who is the most aggressions rank in here?
I would’ve included CarMar, so clearly you are wrong
@CarMar is a keeper: Haha, yep…that subjectivity thing. I don’t think his ceiling is high enough. He was solid last year, and has good potential, but I’d rather have Teheran than Martinez.
@[email protected]: Haters gon hate.
My only gripe is that Encarnacion just turned 34 and you said he’s approaching 40. I’ll be 34 this year and certainly don’t consider myself to be approaching 40!
@swaggerjackers: You’re right. I thought he was older and didn’t look. Poor on my part.
But I bet he’s really “34”. Like Alfonso’s Soriano or Rafael Furcal “34”
I actually think these rankings are pretty close to mine. I absolutely love Dahl. He’s going to be beast mode in Coors. I do think it’s crazy to rank Turner that high. I’d slot him in somewhere between 35-40.
@kenly0: Thanks man! And based on what Turner did through the minors, and especially last year in his short stint, I think he fully deserves top -0. He’s arguably a first rounder already this year and he’s crazy young and in a great lineup.
@[email protected]: if Trea continues what he’s done there is no way he should be outside top 10, and definitely can be placed top 5.
Floor is probably .280/100/15/80/45 and that’s FLOOR! Steals likely stay that high for at least 3-4 years yet. And what usually happens to young players? They develop more power and get stronger!
Can I get in a $ League with the guy that put him at 35/40?
@The great knoche:
Email me at [email protected]
I’ll play in any league that you want except points leagues. I kick butt every year. Come get some.
@kenly0: Ooo. Fantasy the threats.
For real, you should try points leagues too. They’re a lot of fun as a dfifferent format. @malamoney has some great points league advice.
@[email protected]: Man, I used to play in a points league about 10 years ago. Seems I’d rather chase actual stats than points. I know that he didn’t expect to call me out then I not reply. Lol. I do like Turner. I think he’ll still have good numbers. But, as pitchers adjust to him. I could see his overall stats drop a bit. Needless to say, but I won’t be owning him anywhere. Not with a 1st round price tag
@kenly0: Good call on pitchers adjusting. Hopefully he will. Good luck this year!
@kenly0: Of course I want you to call out. It’s what Razz is all about.
@Chucky: No, and I’m a huge Pollock fan. He’s north of 30 this year, has a penchant for getting injured, and needs to prove to me that he can repeat 2015 once again. That’s really his only elite season.
I’ll target him in a lot of drafts this year, tho.
@[email protected]: so in a 16 teamer with QS/holds/OPS/hits as extra stuff, and h2h. with 1 of each position, and 3 OF, 1 util, no CI/MI. and about 8 SP optimally owned at any given time you’d keep the clear
and would do c.santana and hendricks over segura and pollock eh? i’m pretty sure if i throw back santana i can get him again (at least more so than getting pollock or segura if i don’t keep them). i’m fairly sure guys in hendricks range like salazar/duffy/lackey will be possibly obtainable in the 1st round (i’m 14th in that), but if i throw pollock and segura back i ain’t probably getting either one. my thinking is if i keep pollock and segura i can get back a near equal (or better, duffy maybe) SP back at 14th and probably somebody in c-sant’s range at 19th.
@Mantis Toboggan MD: also upton is an option that you’d have ahead of segura and pollock as well.
@Mantis Toboggan MD: Yep, I’d rather have Upton than Pollock or Segura, but again, this is in a 3-5 year window, not necessarily just this year.
And you should do whatever plays out best in the confines of your league. QS would seem to make Hendricks even more valuable, but if you think you can get him again, take the best value move. That’s ALWAYS the decision I go with in keeper leagues.
I have Dozier Arrieta and Pollock and pick 9 out of 10 in a 10 team 3 keeper head to head 10 categories league.
Who do I keep?
Pollock is ranked in the 50s on espn.
If keep dozier get two pitchers next pick? (Thor and Arrieta) Or best SP avail and then best bat avail?
I’m in a 12 team 5X5 auction keeper league. $300 salary 30 player roster. Who would you keep out of the following players below. Salary is next to their name. I can keep up to 7 players for 3 yrs max. Each year there salary goes up $5
JT Realmuto $3
Trea Turner $3
Joe Ross $3
Aaron Nola $3
Tyler Glasnow $3
Jackie Bradley Jr $1
Marcell Ozuna $3
Tanner Roark $1
Gregory Polanco $23
Anthony Rizzo $42
Kris Bryant $41
R Odor $18
Those four for sure. After that the $ gets tricky. If the market is for the 1st rounders to go for $40+, I’d probably throw Rizzo/Bryant back and try to draft them again. I play the market value game all the time. It maximizes what you can build with your roster. So, the next three are probably:
But really you can’t go wrong with Realmuto (1% of your entire budget) or Glasnow either.
I’ve been struggling with Franco vs Piscotty as a keeper going forward. Everyone’s drool over Franco’s potential is getting in my eyes. But I’m really high on Piscotty. I think he will be a high OBP, total bases machine so it’s nice to see you have him where you do.
@Cram It: Haha, and who like’s drooly eyes? Ew.
Yeah, I’m not Franco’s biggest fan. It was hard to even put him in the bottom reaches the rankings, but the upside is high enough, and he’s shown enough at this level to designate a little hope.
Either way, Piscotty>Franco. OBP always matters to me, like with the Odor comment at the top.
Looking forward to getting destroyed by you in the ‘Perty Perts RCL this year!
@[email protected]: Haha. Hey man, I’m just a dude who loves to play fantasy baseball. I don’t have the depth of knowledge that you writers do. But I look forward to whatever happens!
@Cram It: I can tell ya right now I won’t have the time to make the volume of moves needed to truly reach the top of the standings. I’m gonna have to draft my way up there.
And we don’t know any more than a lot of people, we’re just willing to put in the time to write about it.
@[email protected]: Yeah, it’s my biggest pet peeve of any format. It’s legit impossible to maximize every possible AB and IP every day for the entire season. I was only half-joking when I said the guy who beat me out in tthe Master Standings last year should have gotten an asterisk. He was co-managing! I wish I had a guy making batty calls and streaming for me those times I was absent.
@Cram It: I smell a partnership brewing between us…
Bergman is really that good? He has MI eligibility for yahoo already. You think he’ll get SS eligibility to go along with3B? Solid column bro
@BAG$: I like him that much. I don’t know that he’ll keep SS eligibility moving forward, though (he doesn’t have it in ESPN). His power through the minors was legit, and he did nothing but prove he can do it at the MLB level in his short stint last season (and that’s with a horrendous start). I’d say his ceiling is a small step higher than Evan Longoria at his peak.