Yesterday, I went over the top 10 for 2019 fantasy baseball. Was surprised by the questioning of Acuña’s ranking. Let me say this, if you were not on board with Acuña, you’re going to get thrown from the train on the top 20. Today, I throw out preconceived notions, drink some potions and lather up my body with lotions, as I sloppily slip and slide my way through a very precarious top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball. This top twenty is a blind man playing Twister. Half the time, I’m grabbing for things not knowing if they’re there or not. I legit think this top 20 could go countless other ways. Is countless a widowed Countess? No, it’s not, it’s a confusing AF top 20 for fantasy baseball. All the positional rankings will live under the 2019 fantasy baseball rankings. Here’s Steamer’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Hitters and 2019 Fantasy Baseball Projections for Pitchers. The projections in this post are, as always, mine. (But if you click on a player’s name, you see Steamer’s projections for that specific player. It’s magic!) Anyway, here’s the top 20 for 2019 fantasy baseball:
11. Bryce Harper – This tier started in the top 10 for 2019 fantasy baseball. I called this tier, “Hedging is not a tantric move for fantasy.” This tier goes from here until Just Dong. As I said when Harper signed–Kidding! He hasn’t signed yet. Maybe because only the Phillies, Yankees and White Sox are actually talking to him. Can you imagine a sport where a generational talent was available and only three teams of a possible 30 are interested? I love baseball, but shizz is so broke. Any hoo! There is some legitimate concerns for Harper. Maybe that’s why he didn’t receive the $3 kajillion he was seeking, and is only in talks for a half a bajillion. He’ll do all right, I’m not worried for his family. As they now say in Harper’s home, “First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the electric bill.” Perhaps I’m confusing Harper with my deadbeat uncle. Or as my aunt said, “Then you get the commemorative spoons.” No matter what you’re getting, if that was Harper trying to get a big contract last year, he abandoned all sense of how to make contact with the baseball. He didn’t swing at more pitches outside the zone; the number of pitches he swung at inside the strike zone actually went up. Then, after it went up, it crash landed so haphazardly, he should’ve had Sully be his batting coach. Harper made so much less contact with pitches inside the strike zone, that, honestly, if he returned with a different eye prescription, it wouldn’t surprise me. Here’s Harper reading the eye chart, “H-A-N-G-I-N-T-H-E-R-E.” Eye doctor, “Um, Bryce, you’re reading my inspirational cat poster.” Something was just not right with Harper, maybe he was pressing. I don’t know, but I’m a little worried about Harper. Of course, even with his problems, he was still a top 20 hitter, so he’s not garbage, and could finally have that otherworldly 45/20/.315 season. I’m just not betting on it. UPDATE: Bryce Harper returns to the City of Brotherly Love, where he first visited with the Phillies’ front office six months ago. “We want you to be a Philadelphia Phillie.” “I want $330 million.” “Okay.” Then six months later, “You’ve got a deal!” Harper and Boras drive one hard bargain. They accept the first deal they’re given, but nearly a half year after they’re given it. Bryce Harper’s gonna love playing in Philly. They have the best fans in the world. They’ve already announced May 1st is Rain Batteries On Bryce’s Head Day. A crowd favorite, for sure. I don’t think this changes anything about my preseason projections for him, tee bee aitch. I always assumed he’d end up in Philly, New York or with the White Sox, because, brucely, those were the only three teams ever serious about him. Maybe the Giants, but let’s just be glad that didn’t happen. Only difference now will be if Gabe Kapler and Bryce’s dad get into an arm wrestling fight, and Daddy Harper wins and Bryce is randomly benched for Scott Kingery. 2019 Projections: 97/35/112/.261/14 in 527 ABs
12. Jose Ramirez – The Indians got rid of Chief Wahoo at the end of last year, because he was problematic. The liberals are also saying kids playing “Cowboys and Indians” is problematic, they want them to play “Tops and Bottoms!” What will Chief Wahoo do now that he’s not the mascot for the Indians? Teach sensitivity training? Open a casino? Wal-Mart greeter? Be the Redskins mascot? What do you want the Cleveland Indians name to be now? The Indiain’ts? Liberals have ruined everything! According to my mom, at least. However, Chief Wahoo isn’t the only thing problematic, Jose Ramirez’s 2nd half is too. He hit 10 HRs and .218 in the 2nd half. Could the league have finally figured him out? His strikeouts were identical in the 2nd half, and his walks actually went up. His SLG, OBP, hard contact and line drives went way down. His BABIP bottomed out, but I can’t write off everything on luck. Looks like he was biting on opposite field strikes (and balls) a lot more. Okay, so bad 2nd half, can we just write it off? Let’s take a step further back to the full season. His infield fly balls were terrible. That says bad contact. It’s not everything, but he was 26th worst in the league, and no one worst than him is above him in the rankings. His fly ball rate was 45.9%, easily a career high. He was 8th in the league for fly balls. Above him, you see home run hitters and guys who regularly hit .250 or lower. He had a 18.8 degree launch angle, that’s 7th highest in the league (sorted by 300 batted ball events). In conclusion, he hits a lot of balls in the air. Fine for a home run hitter, but is he? His home run distance on average was 388, easily the worst for a guy who hit 39 homers last year. He’s either going to continue to hit fly balls at a 46% rate and hit under .250 or he’s going to curb his fly balls and hit 27 or fewer home runs. He cannot do both. Right now, the nearest comp I can think of is Ian Kinsler in his prime, that was 30/30/.255, but I’m not convinced Ramirez’s 2nd half was just a blip. I was all about Jose Ramirez last year, I had him ranked higher than anyone else, but this year, he seems to be going way before this, and I won’t be in again. 2019 Projections: 104/25/82/.288/24 in 582 ABs
13. J.D. Martinez – Now some of you may feel the urge to groan that I’ve still not let go that I kept calling for Just Dong to stop Just Dong’ing last season while he kept Just Dong’ing. Well, nonsense! I’m taking down the patriarchy, but as part of the patriarchy. See, we’re controlling what we take down too! I’m feeling particularly feisty, so, excuse me, if I start singing Mushaboom, but I can’t get behind Just Dong ranked above this point. Honestly, he can hit 40+ homers every year for the rest of his career and his career can last until 2059, when we’re all replaced by robots, and I still won’t rank him much above here. Sex robots, by the way, that’s our replacement. If Rodney Dangerfield were still alive, “I had a sex robot and I caught it cheating with my Roomba. No respect, I tell ya.” Zombie Rodney pulls on his collar. So, why can’t I ever move Just Dong higher? He’s 31 years old and he’s had too many 120-ish game seasons. That’s it? Purdy much, but I’ll add more. He is a career 21% HR/FB guy and had 29.5% last year with only a 34% fly ball rate. Yes, Fenway fixes a lot of this, but his ground ball rate was top 60 in the majors (not good) and his fly ball rate was bottom 50 (terrible). Not a ton of home runs are hit on ground balls, in case you didn’t know. The two guys closest to him in fly ball rates are Tim Anderson and Cesar Hernandez. That fact goes backwards into the bushes like Homer, not like a lowercase homer. 2019 Projections: 96/34/105/.307/4 in 512 ABs
14. Giancarlo Stanton – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Judge. I call this tier, “Sex Farm.” I’m not talking about animals who have dabbled in adult entertainment like Dolphin Lundgren or Fapper or Pinky Blowhole or Deep Sea Throat–Okay, you know what, these are all dolphin porn names. Sorry. It’s not ewe, it’s me. On this sex farm, everyone has crabs from the blue-footed boobies. All right! Enough pun and games, this is about as sexy as stuffing a bra with Cinnabons. Actually, that sounds amazing. I call this tier, Sex Farm, because I’d happily do naughty things with all of these guys and I’d take multiple for some pigomy. Okay, I’ll stop. As for Giancarlo, I put him in the Sex Farm tier, because I’m a jackass and I want to have his babies. There’s some concerns, his K% went up from 23.6 to 29.9% year to year; his ground balls were up and not in the good way; his fly balls were down also in the bad way; semi-colons are more fun than this sentence. He still hit 38 homers, a top 5 exit velocity, a top 20 barrels per plate appearance, and a top 16 for percentage of hard hit balls. Giancarlo might only go 38/5/.265, but, over-the-internet friend, that’s still really good. 2019 Projections: 95/43/110/.262/4 in 567 ABs
15. Trevor Story – He says his elbow is fine, his MRI results showed no structural damage in late September, and he returned after missing five games and hit three homers in the final week, and played in the playoffs, so, I mean, I guess he’s fine. Of course, nightmarish flashbacks of Corey Seager having Tommy John surgery are flooding back to me like that time I was pantsed in 3rd grade. For the thousandth time, I was wearing brown underwear! I really don’t want to lose my 2nd round pick in April to a bum elbow. Fun fact! A bum elbow was first diagnosed from someone who was trying to get a handout. Hey, I’m turning into my racist uncle! There’s risk with Story, but Giancarlo’s missed time to injury in the past, Aaron Judge’s missed time in the recent past, Freeman, Au Shizz, all of them. Story comes with risk, but a guy who is 26 years old who just went 37/27/.291 in Coors is a top 5 player, and is only dropped down to 15 because of the injury risk. I don’t want to be a lamb led to slaughter, but I’m drafting Story onto my Sex Farm. Besides, slaughter is really just sex and laughter slammed together, right? That’s romance. 2019 Projections: 90/34/105/.276/17 in 582 ABs
16. Aaron Judge – This is funny (not funny). I clicked on the leaderboard for exit velocity, expecting to see Aaron Judge at or near the top, and I saw Rich Hill. Silly me, I had sorted to the worst exit velocities. Rich Hill’s 64.7 MPH average was the worst. He’s a pitcher though, so, ya know, whatever, but that led me to look for the worst hitter. Any guesses? Too slow!…unlike the winner (loser), Billy Hamilton. 2nd was Delino DeShizz. Any hoo! That was off topic (like the rest of this shizz is on topic — the tier’s name is Sex Farm, for crissakes). So, yes, Aaron Judge was the top exit velocity guy. Oddly enough, his average feet/homer was “a little past 2nd base.” Kidding, it was 397, which was only one foot better than Adam Eaton. 397 feet per homer was only the 252nd best in the majors. Judge Judy’s average feet per homer was higher (399), and she’s an 87-year-old TV judge. Honestly, I think this is just an aberration, but Judge’s fly balls did come down and his line drives and ground ball ratios went up. Maybe there’s something to this, but, obviously, I think he hits around 40 homers if he plays 155 games. Finally, on his wrist injury as mentioned briefly in Story’s blurb, all reports say he’s fine, and a full offseason of rest should make him more Aaron Judge and less Punch & Judge Judy. 2019 Projections: 103/39/93/.267/7 in 529 ABs
17. Paul Goldschmidt – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Scherzer. I call this tier, “You think avocado is too ethnic.” Here’s you at Chipotle, “Can you wrap my burrito in white bread?” After a brief moment of confusion, you clarify, “Oh, I know you only have those thin flat things — tortitos, I think you call them — so I brought my own Wonder Bread for you to use.” You wear a slicker everywhere you go for fear of it raining at any time. You watch airplane edits of movies even when you’re not on a plane because some of the words “they” say scare you. I understand you better than you understand yourself, which is why I made a tier for you. This tier is boring AF. The best case scenario for two hitters in this tier is going to be 35/12/.310, which is not bad at all, and, worst case scenario is 24/5/.275. The reason why I’m even considering a possible 24/5/.275 guy for the top 20 is track record and 1st base is a Death Valley. As for Goldy specifically, here’s what said after his trade to the Cards, “Au Shizz was “aw shizz” until the beginning of June last year, as he hit .144 in May. However, Au Shizz’s BABIP in May was .186, and his strikeouts boomed to 31.5%, because he was in an extended slump. He still ended the season more valuable (33/7/.290) than, say, Freddie Freeman who played 162 games (23/10/.309). Au Shizz still feels pretty risk-free, like you getting to the airport four hours before your flight. At least less risky than your November charity pledge to go “condom free” or dressing as Jar Jar Binks for a Star Wars convention.” And that’s me quoting me! 2019 Projections: 102/30/105/.284/8 in 574 ABs
18. Freddie Freeman – That a guy with a name like Freddie Freeman is white feels like a perfect fit for this tier. Too bad, Kelby Tomlinson isn’t better. Whatever the case, you want Freeman because he feels safe, then fine. I won’t argue it. He does feel safe. But allow me to repeat what I said in the last blurb, he went 23/10/.309 in 162 games. I know, I know, you’re screaming, “But what about his runs and RBIs?!” Okay, Screamy, but he didn’t even reach 100 in either category. His HR/FB% was a little low, but not that low (14.9%, and his career mark is 15.8). In layman’s terms, he’s more of a 26-homer guy than a 35-homer guy. By the way, a layman is not a euphemism for a porn actor. You’re thinking of Freddie Freeballin. Freeman is the new Joey Votto. I will call him, Nouveau-y Votto. He seems a lock for solid stats with an outside chance for more power. 2019 Projections: 101/27/103/.303/7 in 582 ABs
19. Max Scherzer – If you’ve been following my rankings for a minute, and not an actual minute, but an Urban Dictionary minute which is actually a long time, you know I’d never draft a starter in the top 20. So, yes, I’ve chosen to only rank one starter in the top 20. If you want to bemoan my low ranking of one starter, then bemoan away. Just remember, a bemoaner sounds a bit to me like “U be a boner.” Here’s what I’ve said previously about ranking one starter in the top 20, “Before you say, ‘Grey, you’re handsome AF, and super smart. You rub-a-dub places I thought only ladies could rub and/or dub. Yet, you say you’d never draft a starter in the top 20, but you’ve ranked Scherzer in the top 20. Should I not draft Scherzer if he’s available? Thank you for your time, you are a real pleasure.’ This always drives me crazy. Not the compliments, those are nice. You ask if you should draft (fill-in player name) if he’s available, because I have him ranked around where he’s going. If you’re following my rankings, Au Shizz, Baez, Machado, Trea, Bregman, Giancarlo, Judge, Acuña and more are ranked higher than their ADP and where others are ranking them (for the most part; there’s exceptions, obviously). So how on earth did you get to pick 19, and have no one else available to you but Scherzer? Are you in a league with eleven me’s? Otherwise, there’s guys to draft I like more than Scherzer available. A companion piece to this question is the guy (and, let’s be honest, it’s always a guy), who says, ‘Only players available were Scherzer and Judge and I didn’t want to draft Judge, so I went with Scherzer.’ So, you don’t want to listen to me on who to draft in regards to Judge, but you want me to say it’s okay to draft a guy I’ve ranked later who I’ve said not to draft? Okay…*places traffic cone on head, kneels down in driver’s ed course, gets slammed by pimple-faced teenager* So, why even rank Scherzer 19th overall if I wouldn’t draft him here? I gotta rank him somewhere! What, I’m gonna rank him 450th overall by Mitch Garver? As for Scherzer, doode’s a mixed-eye dynamo. Last year, his K/9 was 12 with a 2.1 BB/9 and 2.53 ERA. His 3.06 xFIP was a bit high, but he always throws 200 IP and his team could easily set him up to win 20 games. Last year, he had a 30 pitch value on his fastball. The likes of which we have not seen since Randy Johnson. By the way, in Vegas, I was at a urinal and there’s a crazy tall guy next me, so I look up and it’s Randy Johnson. I immediately blurt out, ‘Hey, it’s the Big Unit!’ Not what you wanna say at a urinal. Awkward.” And that’s me quoting me! I changed some names and numbers from last year to this year, but that’s still completely applicable, so please appliqué! 2019 Projections: 17-6/2.58/.93/285 in 212 IP
20. Adalberto Mondesi – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until here. I call this tier, “Raul Mondesi, your son is a Fantasy God, but what did you do to make him change his name?” Something I want to clarify that I think gets lost on people. Fantasy baseball is not real baseball. You are not reading The Athletic. If I’m starting a major league franchise and I’m calling the County Registrar’s Office for a player’s WAR record, I’m going Andrew Benintendi, Jose Altuve, Jacob deGrom and others. I understand it’s weird to see Mondesi over someone like Altuve, but let’s just go off of last season. In 599 plate appearances, Altuve hit 13 homers; Mondesi hit 14 in 291 PAs. Altuve had 17 SBs; Mondesi had 32. If you’re in a OBP league, things change. If you’re in a league that counts how good someone is in real baseball vs. fantasy baseball, then, by all means, take Altuve. Take me out of the equation, Steamer projects Altuve for 17/18/.302; Mondesi’s projections are 19/38/.252. Sure, fifty points on average makes a difference, but not enough. If you were to jump out of a DeLorean and tell me, “Altuve hits .350 and goes 20/20 while Mondesi goes 20/40/.252,” I’d say, “That’s the info you bring from the future? What is wrong with you? Tell me which stocks to invest in! Who do I bet on to win money? I have a mortgage to pay now! I need moneymaking schemes!” After that tirade, I’d say I still want Mondesi. I only need to get around .272 on average to be competitive in fantasy leagues. Altuve’s average is nice and all, but Mondesi’s 40 SBs, I’m taking it to the bank if it’s coming with 20 homers. You know what I’m not taking to the bank? Any money because of your terrible future stock advice! I’m house poor! I need money! 2019 Projections: 91/20/71/.249/40 in 594 ABs
Still crackin’ up at the Big Unit in the men’s room. Loving the rankings can’t wait for the rest.
11 team keeper – keep any 8 straight up for as long as u want – draft starts in round 9.
8×8 roto — The extra cats: H, BB, TB, QS, L, IP. We use K/9 in place of K’s.
HR, RBI, AVE, SB and W, QS, ERA, SV are double point categories.
roster: C, 1B(2), 2B, SS, MI, 3B(2), OF (4), UT (2), SP (6), RP (2)
I have the first pick in “round 9” so technically may be able to “keep” 9 if there’s not a better option… so lmk who was your last man out as well!
Thanks and can’t wait for the rest of the rankings… and the laughs!
With the apparent lack of both top tier talent and positional depth is there any reason not to draft Miggy late and “punt” 1b? Projections at fangraphs are particularly bullish on him. I figure let him play while healthy at the beginning of the season, find a mid season upgrade and trade him before he is too hurt to play?
Thanks for the rankings so far…
Do you keep Harper at 43? in NL only auction ten team league keep up to 15 players. Competitive. Lots of players kept. With inflation he’s prob a little under what he’d go for at auction. If I keep will drive up the top players…
Have Acuna at 5, Rendon at 29, may keep Rizzo at 35–thinking just driving prices up and keeping Harper…gives me a real solid hitting base in NL only league…
Have Arenado at 46 too.
Or toss him back and have the flexibility at auction?
Thanks again for the article Grey….would you trade away Arenado, Judge for Harper, Bregman in a Dynasty League Ottoneau scoring h2h pts?
Hmm… Tough call, but yes…
Would you deal Moncada for Mondesi in a keeper league?
When it comes to my keepers for next year, Grey’s rankings giveth and Grey’s rankings taketh away – I seem to have all the controversial ranking guys. This is a 12 team 2 catcher standard 5×5 roto with $260 budget and weekly lineup changes.
Regular keepers (7):
Tilde Acuna (19 salary)
Alex Bregman (25)
Jose Ramirez (15)
Whit Merrifield (15)
Mitch Haniger (11)
Trevor Bauer (13)
James Paxton (10)
Supplemental keepers (up to 5 players who were never put in the starting lineup last year – they do not take up a starting roster spot and do not count against the auction budget):
Would you keep any of the following guys over any of the seven regular keepers?
JD Martinez (47)
Charlie Morton (3)
Francisco Mejia (6)
Nomar Mazara (6)
Robbie Ray (11)
Hmm… Mazara vs. Haniger, Paxton vs. Morton… Prolly go with what you have…
Who do you think has a higher ceiling…. Trea Turner or Mondesi?
Mondesi could go 25/50+, so him
In a keeper league.
You like story over seager long term at SS?
I get espn’s rankings are awful, but how is Mondesi sitting at around 160 ADP? They’ve had plenty of drafts cause Trout is bouncing around from 1.3 to 1.5 the past week since they opened the site. I decided from you response weeks ago to keep him over klubler. Glad To see that reinforced with your rankings.
@Bterry: your*. Kluber.*.
160?! See, I was thinking about writing a sleeper post on him, but thought I was just bonkers
@Grey: 163.3adp. It’s actually gotten lower every time I’ve looked. Lol. He may officially be the lowest Espn adp keeper ever kept in our leagues 9 year history. Keep 4 players at no penalty league.
That’s insane, that sounds like when you look at Trout’s ownership and it’s at like 98% and you know he’s owned everywhere
insert GIF of Anchorman saying I don’t believe you to ESPN’s ADP
@Grey: I swear it. I look everyday to see if it becomes reasonable at some point. At least in the low 100’s. Nope. Just getting worse. I’m sure I’ll catch shit come draft day when our keepers lock and they see I’m keeping a 160ADP guy and everyone else’s keepers are top 60. Lol. We always have at least one guy in our league who doesn’t draft prep and wings it with the draft adp.
Haha, that is insane
@Grey: hahaha. I said that same exact thing to one of my league mates when they swapped to that style owership% a few years ago. “Where are the 1.3% of leagues where trout is on the waiver wire “. They revamped their format (the only thing they had going for them) and now it’s not mobile friendly anymore. They got rid of the trading block too cause, well, it’s espn.
The Harper ranking is logically accurate, but it does seem to neglect the potential upside you alluded to…and this complicates my decision whether to keep Harper at $52 ($260 budget, 5×5 OBP ESPN roster setup).
In looking at his stats, you hit the only thing that stands out – a decline in contact in the zone (and contact rate overall); batted ball profile is stable, BB% and K% were in line with his career norms, exit velo and other statcast data are similar year to year.
So all that being said, 2018 seems like an anomaly, but I’d really like a bit more insight into your thought process to (slightly) fade Harper. And your thoughts on Harper as a keeper at $52 (my other core hitter keepers are Arenado – $41, Khrush Davis – $21, Trea Turner – $20, Merrifield – $10).
$52 is really high, but I don’t know how many teams in your league… Also, OBP helps Harper…
Let Rudy know that something is wrong with the Razzball/Steamer Projections. Trout is ranked #21.
Is it just sorted by PAs?
@Grey: You right. I guess its not rankings, just projections. Makes sense.
the projections are sorted by PAs. you need to go to the player raters for sorting by $/estimated value :)
So pleased January Grey finally woke up. Which side: Freeman or Votto and Scherzer (in a keeper league but playing short term)?
He’s alive! Scherzer/Votto
So what am I supposed to do during the draft if I have only two choices: Mitch Blood Garver and Mad Max Scherzer!?!?!
Do you need a catcher or pitcher?
@Grey: Great stiffy as usual Grey!
Not sure why the hate for Mondesi. First off, it’s likely you’ll get two players ranked above him in the first two rounds…Current ADPs for the following: 19.) Goldy
20.) Story, 21.) Freeman, 24.) Stanton. In other words, everyone needs to shillax since you’ll already have rounds one and two filled with higher ranked players. Secondarily? Mondesi’s ADP is 40th…meaning he’ll likely be there for the third round for 12-team drafts and even for 15-teamers.
So, for a third round pick with 1st round upside and a Tim Anderson-downside of 81st overall on the last year’s player rater (7th round)….YES PLEASE and THANK YOU!
Yes! Please! And thank you! Exactly Squat Cobbler!
JoRam, Goldy, JD. I can keep 2 of them for this year and the foreseeable future, would you take your two ranked higher or are you that much more worried about JoRam that you would play it safe with Goldy because 1B is a dumpster.
Nah, I’d go two highest
These rankings are even more controversial than the Gillette man-hating ads!!!!
Real men tweeze their hair!
Is the luxury tax (and draft penalty) causing a behavior shift (and maybe some eventual parity)? The Red Sox were penalized $12 million last year. Which is probably the cost of business for a World Series ring. But because they were too far over, their first pick in the draft will be dropped 10 picks though. Do those spots matter that much? Teams like the Dodgers, Red Sox, Cubs and Nats are staying away because they are bumping the limit. And the Yankees are subdued because of it as well. And then they’d be throwing money at a guy who doesn’t hustle and one who breaks his face running through walls. If it’s not that, then I’m lost. I don’t understand how teams are staying away.
I think this is the year I’ll have no JD. I think he’s been in the 18-24 range the last two years and fully expect him to be a first rounder this year.
If I have say the #8 or #9 pick, I’m hoping for a Trea/Judge combo in the first two rounds…
Mondesi similar to Baez. The 20/40 projection is titillating. But I’m not sure I’m buying yet… Maybe in the next round. Unlike Baez, Mondesi’s exit velocity is 87.4. Know what else is 87.4? League average. Got me thinking what league average for HR was… There were 5585 total homers hit last year. That means each of the 30 teams hit 186.1667 HRs on average. With 9 hitting slots in a game, that averages to 20.68519 per batter. Maybe 20 isn’t so crazy.
Agreed on the behavior shift…It’s perplexing and not a great sign of things… Trea/Judge is a sexy combo
If Goldy steals 8 bags as you have it, wouldn’t it be hard to justify taking him top 20? Given the age/risk/4 hours before your flight boring safety baked in?
Until he proves us different there’s a large amount of safety baked in too… Which helps his case…
What is it with you and 22year old second baseman with high K ratios and upside?
@The Great Knoche: sorry should have said middle infielder
Don’t do that to me!
good stuff, I feel the same way as you re: pitching. Just so, much, risk. Which brings me to
dynasty questions (that I already know the answer to, so I’m going to phrase them as declarative statements). Grey, can you please comment on my 2 dynasty declarations below? Thanks as always
a) 23 year old jake bauers is too much to give up for 22 yr old Freddy Peralta. And
b) 24 yr old Harrison Bader is too much to give up for 22 yr old Freddy Peralta.
Looked at Woodruff over the weekend. The fastball is good. I don’t know if late life is a real thing or something old timers still say, but the four seamer seemed to have that late jump that made it hard to catch. From August on he threw both a two seam and a four seam. The effect was to make the four seam a better swing and miss pitch. Almost all of his Ks came on the fastball.
I’d like to see the slider have a bit more bite to it. It was a fairly effective pitch but didn’t generate much swing and miss. The change I thought showed some potential but he went away from it late in the season when he worked some shorter relief stints.
There’s a good chance he ends up with the swing man longer relief guy to start the year but definitely worth watching. But unless he sees some improvement in his secondary pitches I think the K rate will probably decline a bit were he to get a traditional starting gig. I think the fastball is good enough for him to get outs and be better than league average. Would own him but with tempered expectations.
Good stuff! Was pretty much my takeaway with ‘potential long man’ killing my enthusiasm… Prolly will take a flyer on him in draft & hold NFBC if he’s there late enough, and sit on him for his starts…
Based off of your projections for Conforto, he must be coming up soon on this list and I’m pretty pumped about it.
@Grey: I project that you will project him as #45ish
Sounds a hair high
Well this makes me happy! I traded for Mondesi giving up Hampson last week..
Grey thanks for returning and making these lazy winter days better. Being a Nats fan I wanna try and did myself of Harper . If I can get Acuña by adding a small piece to Bryce that’s a slam dunk right ?
No problem… Yup
I am in an auction league (4 keepers and $260 to spend). Multi question about Robles:
1-how much would you spend on him?
2-do you think he gets 12/25?
3-do you think, assuming Haprer goes away, he starts the season with Nats and gets 500AB’s
@I am the Walrus:
1) Depends on league format, but assuming 12 team roto I’d prob go $15, maybe a few bucks more if I’m feeling frisky (I usually am)
Hellacious timing! Just received an offer in dy asty league of Mondesi, pick 35 in prospect draft, and Stroman for Brendan Rodgers. Background:
Mondesi would either be $15/yr for 5 yrs or $10/yr for 3 years. Stroman 1 yr, $8. When promoted, I’d have Rodgers for $3 each of the first 3 years, then the decision of 5 or 3 years above. Leaning towards taking..
Stroman’s gross, but I’d take Mondesi
Grey love your work! Mondesi is too much risk for me in the top 20. That is all sir!
I hear ya!
Grey, totally off topic but have a comp i want you to analyze:
Rafael Devers=Jake Lamb. I’m almost certain everyone has forgotten about Jake Lamb. Could i get similar or equal value if i draft Lamb over Devers? (barring playing time, Devers seems like he will get more. Although their #s against lefties are both putrid).
I don’t think they’re that different at all… At least not heading into 2019… Devers still has more upside, so he could break out and I like him a bit better, but for now they’re a toss up…
@Grey: Fantasy Master Lothario, respectfully, I think you’re selling Devers short. I’ve always liked Lamb, but he’s six years older, constantly battling an injury, struggles mightily every 2nd half, in a weak lineup, and doesn’t seem to have the same average upside as Devers.
Spoiler alert: The first edition of “Pay for the Horse or Settle for the Donkey: Andujar v. Devers” is coming soon!
I like Devers, I’m just saying for this year maybe not that huge of a difference…
Mondesi’s NFBC ADP is 43, going as late as 80. Seems to me that the overall point is you can get a guy with top 20 upside without actually having to draft him early because your typical fantasy league mates won’t draft him top 20. It’s a value based mentality.
Very interested in what your take will be on Bellinger this year. You know Dave Roberts has a binder full of women…err stats…breaking down hitters. And the very first page is Bellinger’s L/R splits. Roberts is going to play games with his outfielders all year. He’s doing it now in his head.
Haha, damn Roberts and his binder… You know how many games Bellinger played in last year?
@Grey: All 162. But with around 550
ABs. As the year went along Roberts mixed and matched more and more with his OF- especially Bellinger- in game. I’m not sure if they’ll actually give him more opportunities, or less. And then that 162 becomes 140, etc. Roberts is…unique.
That’s surprising tho, right? I was surprised by that at least, 162 games… Yeah, I hear ya, he pulls him vs. certain pitchers, but if Bellinger starts hitting those pitchers, he’ll pull him less… I’m not too concerned, but I’m also a bit more conservative on Bellinger this year
I still like Belly tho!
it seems like Bellinger went to shit when Roberts yanked him for not running hard enough in late April.
Then his whole season would be bad, which it wasn’t
14-Team H2H OBP Keeper League;
Keep Robles or Mondesi?
My other keepers;
As someone who owns Jo Ram as a 14th round keeper in a keep forever league – I’ll take 25/25/.280 all day – would I jump on him in the first round this year – probably not.
That 2nd half last year was beyond rough – maybe he was pressing for number 40 – but with no apparent injury, i.e. Judge in 2017 – it’s concerning.
Curious to see where you are on Altuve. I’ve had Altuve as a 7th round keeper for the last 4 years, and this probably feels like the last year where I’ll be able to own him at that round for solid value.
The flip side to Altuve’s eventual departure is I have Vlad JR as a 27th rounder in a keep forever – mmmmm tasty
I wouldn’t sweat either of them if I had them that cheaply… I’m more concerned about redrafts and taking either in 1st 2 rounds… As a 14th round keeper or 7th round, you’re in the $
Grey, cant help but think that you had worked something out with HBO yesterday with your top 10, GOT trailer and premier date. I thought you’d be down on JoRam but didnt expect that he’d hit Ramsey Bolton low on the site. Just hoping his ADP stays high like Altuves last year and i’m picking behind that guy who takes him in rd 1
Ramirez will definitely go in the 1st round of every draft… Just not by me…
Ramirez reminds me too much of another short, kind of rotund, Latin American ballplayer, he being Carlos Baerga. Baerga had a few pretty darn good fantasy baseball seasons then it all came crashing down, that’s my fear with Ramirez.
Ramirez’s underlying numbers would likely say more Baerga than 30/30, but I’d have to look…
You got me interested so I went down the Baerga rabbit hole… I don’t think he’s like Ramirez at all except body type… But I only have FB% and stats from 2002 thru 2005 when he was on his downslide…So maybe
Is there anything Mondesi can do that Villar cant do 5-8 rounds later?
@hip hop panda:
Win greys heart…
I like Villar, but he’s failed years after he’s succeeded already, and a younger Mondesi looks to be coming into his prime… But you’re right, they’re more similar than the Tim Anderson analogies above…
@Grey: Understood. Villar is def more volatile.
Yup, for now, we may find out Mondesi is also volatile, but we haven’t found that out yet
I made the Villar comp in like nov/dec in a Klugh post (some kind of early mock draft piece)… but I’ve downgraded to Anderson because even tho Villar has some questions, he’s at least done it before.
to be clear I do like mondesi , just not top 20, just feel like that’s his ceiling and he’s only about 15% (in my head) to reach it
the dialogue in the comments has been super interesting and spicy
Little spicy, but mostly vs. Jo-Ram being low…
Seems like it might be last chance to buy low on Moncada or Devers in keeper. Who do you like better in obp?
@Big Ticket: They’re close, Moncada
@Grey: What about Didi vs. Devers in keeper obp?
For this year, obvi Devers, but Didi long term
I hardly ever disagree with you on a ranking, but NO way is Adele Berto the 20th best player in all of baseball.
Go big or go home bro, but that is just a clown ranking.
@Malicious Phenoms: It’s not baseball, it’s fantasy baseball and 20/40 is huge
@Grey: I just consulted my crystal balls: Adalberto goes 20/60 .270 and finishes top 10 in 2019.
Thank you for checking!
A bit surprised not to see Albies in the 20 spit you seem to serve every year for breakout players. Care to wager with me as to who has the better year, Albies or Mondesi?
@Vacation: spot, not spit.
@Vacation: Mondesi, but I do like Albies this year, so this isn’t against him… I have him ranked way higher than ADP
Looking to fill my last keeper spot. Short term thinking of using Malex Smith for the SB. Long term consideration is Julio Urias.
Hey Grey- on Mondesi, is there any concern on SBs with the lineup? So if he bats 2nd, he has Merrifield batting first and Hamilton batting 9th. So the two guys ahead of him are SB guys…I dunno….does that mean everyone runs, or he runs less? I can’t remember a lineup in recent memory with so much speed to use as a baseline.
@YC: Everyone runs, don’t think it’s totally irrelevant, but don’t think that’ll factor into much… If anything might give him more SBs bc they’ll see SBs are working for them…Definitely won’t slow him down
@Grey: last year they double stole a ton. Merrifield loves to steal 2nd base, and if Merrifield and Mondesi are on, they are going, which means Mondesi gets the free half of the stolen base
Any value left for Ryan McMahon in dynasty? Will he ever get regular AB worth rostering?
Thank you for all your work!
@Sport: I don’t trust anyone on the Rockies to get PT, and McMahon is buried behind Murphy
16 team dynasty 6×6 with ops. team built to win now. top hitters are bryant, correa, joram, blackmon, cruz, stanton, marte
looking to deal for another impact bat. it won’t be a 1 for 1, but i should be more than willing to throw my kirillof in a deal for his khris davis or springer, right? do you like khrush or springer more for this year? yahoo lg so khrush should still qualify at OF.
@James: Springer and Khrush are coin flip really… I think I like Springer but still doing my OF rankings…
14team, roto, keeper forever
who too keep? keep 7
for sure-trout, goldy, degrom, verlander
not sure-javier baez, mondesi, paxton, khris davis, rizzo
@NDGWYNN: Baez, Rizzo, Mondesi
@NDGWYNN: Agree with Vacation
Glad the rankings are back! I am in a 10 man 5 player keeper league with no draft penalties. It’s weekly 7×7 (obp, hits, K9, qs added). Based on your top 20 I’m keeping Trout, Goldy and Scherzer. But what other 2 would you keep out of Severino, Buehler, Bauer, Rendon (3b), and Merrifield? I am leaning towards keeping 2 SPs given I pick last as I won last year.
@Bob: Woof, glad you won last year, hope you can do it again… Bauer, Rendon
Off the Rendon mention, would you trade Bryant and CMart for a return of Rendon and Cole? Standard category 10 team keeper league. Thanks
@bill: Bill, you came around!
“Besides, slaughter is really just sex and laughter slammed together, right? That’s romance.”
@Bill: What, Bill? An overshare?
I know experts need to really go out on a limb to signal they like a player, but Mondesi at 20 is a little too far. Slappy Jack is right, his upside is Tim Anderson. He should be in the 70s.
@hat: Nah, he’s 140% the player Anderson is… Not close really
Just Dongs scoffs at your prefs, the only thing that will hold him down is an injury.
Mondesi top 20 huh
Noticing lots of love for him in the comments too
Just can’t shake the feeling that he might not even be better than Tim Anderson
And while that plays in most leagues, top 20 seems like a stretch with no room to profit.
My marbles are much to small to make that kind of play
Great post tho , I laughed, I cried, I thought about what a real sex farm would be like for too long. Really liked the JoRam take as well. It’s been a great morning.
@Slappy Jack: That’s funny, Tim Anderson is the first player I thought of too. Very nervous about the reliability of players with 20%+ difference between BB% and K%.
@Slappy Jack: I agree. I’m having flashbacks to Rougned Odor and the year he was bumped into the second round ranks. I think Mondesi can be had in the early-mid rounds, but if someone wants to take him in the 2nd, they can have him!
@Slappy Jack: No problem! I’m a bit surprised by the Mondesi agreement (but I welcome it) and surprised by backlash against my Jo-Ram ranking… I think if anyone digs in on Jo-Ram they’re not happy with what they find
@Grey: I like the idea of Mondesi a lot . . . I just think I’d rather have a much cheaper Villar (followed by Tim Anderson, a couple rounds after Villar) and expect a very similar end of season line. Of course, if I have Mondesi as a cheap keeper, why not.
I guess I keep just wondering why Villar is [presumably] so much lower than Mondesi. Villar has a better plate approach, same speed, and maybe a bit less pop but potential for better average.
Mondesi seems like the first guy in the Top 20 who could truly screw you (without it being injury related).
I talked it up with hip hop panda below… Villar seemed great once before and screwed everyone… He’s also older, which is something for a guy you want 40 steals from… I do like Villar tho, so not to bash him too highly…
@Grey: I’ve been questioning all winter just how much 2nd half Mondesi film all the Mondesi haters have watched. Dude was MASHING.
Most people also glace over his .340 OBP in 321 AAA ABs at age 21. No doubt in my mind, he can be a superstar.
Completely! He’s a special player, it was just a matter of time… If now’s his time, it’s way earlier than most and a great sign…
@Grey: Forget the stock picks, just buy Mondesi auto rookie cards! They’re cheap!!
How much they at? I’ll take 10!
Anywhere from $10-$35 unless you want the really rare ones.
Welcome to Donkey Teeth Financial! Just send over yours and Cougs’s life savings, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Transferring equity now!
@Donkey Teeth: are there even haters tho? seems like everyone loves him
DT’s starting his own narrative…
@Slappy Jack: nevermind, i hadn’t read the rest of the comments yet, yikes
Grey, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators you have made my morning with #20. Keeping 6. No contract. I think I got them. Correa, Bellinger, Acuna, Vlad, Nola, Mondesi, drop Kershaw, Stras. Gonna be a fun next 8 years!
@Bozzzzzzz: Agree that those guys are going to be a centerpiece of your team for a while. Anyone other than Correa? If not, I think dropping Kershaw and Strasburg are probably right, though we don’t the other pitchers on your staff.
@Bozzzzzzz: Nice! Agreed too
6 keepers, 5×5, OBP, 10 teams league. I was Champion last year so I am the last to draft in this year.
My players: Machado, Lindor, Arenodo, Belliger, Springer, Scherzer, Mondesi
Who I should give up ? Especially it seems Mondesi is good for bet this year.
If I give up Springer, then I don’t have pure OF for keeper then I need to draft 5 more.. and I think he will be gone when I draft.
If I give up Mondesi, it is possible to draft him back however there is still a risk. Thoughts appreciated.
@Wilson: Depending on the landscape of other teams, who they will keep, I might drop Scherzer. Should be plenty of SP available in a 10 teamer.
@Cram It: Come on guys, this Scherzer hate is over the top! I’d cut Springer or Belly…coin flip for me.
@Donkey Teeth: Who’s hating on Scherzer? I own him in a keeper and I ain’t cuttin’ him! It’s all relative.
@Wilson: Count your blessings and let Springer walk. OF is easier to fill anyway. You’ve got Lindor and Mondesi for speed (w/ a better AVG).
@Wilson: Tend to agree with bigbear
Digging the top 20! It has me fired up to prepare my keepers for next year.
You could say that I am Raul-in on Mondesi too
@OldMilwaukeePounders: Nice! Thanks!
Mondesi lovers unite!! Love where you have him. Only question is on the R/RBI projections. 80 runs seems plenty doable, maybe even a little low, but 90 rbi seems pretty steep. Anything I’m missing on the rbi projection?
@Big Ticket: If he gets into 20 HRs (which feels low) and Merrifield and Hamilton steal 2nd in front of him a bunch, well, I’m optimistic
Grey! Happy new year! Thanks for coming into rankings season In The Best Shape Of Your Life.
I have Mondesi in a keeper and even I am screaming “holey freakin moley” at the laptop screen. Not because I don’t believe; just that it was a totally unexpected turn at the end of the top 20. Thanks for keeping us on our toes!
Looking forward to all the position ranks… Catcher questions in t-minus 21 hours!
@Tigres: Happy New Year! No problem!
So good, man!
a. This just gets better and better. Can’t wait for chapter 3 of War and Peace!
b. Gimme Mondesi all night long!
c. Subdued Norm MacDonald quote for January 15
According to an obscure 14th century law, British Army Captain James Hewitt could be hanged for having an affair with Princess Diana. So, in conclusion, the punishment for having sex with Princess Diana is death. The punishment of having sex with Princess Anne is having sex with Princess Anne!
@Ante Galic: Haha, thanks! C. Ha
Really like the write up. Was the same sort of deep diving I have been doing fading JRam so far in top 6 or 7 spots. Not to sound heightest, but he is short. He has low bat speed. He has low EV. He has bad HR distance. Last year was a perfect storm. When you add to it that he is short and stocky, you seem to get an Altuve vibe without the batting average. Short guys who carry excess weight put a lot of pressure on their knees, and he is slow to begin with. Don’t believe me? Ask statcast. He is surrounded by catchers. Literally. His sprint speed tier has 4 catchers: John Ryan Murphy, Austin Barnes, and Romine and Contreras. Some of the names ahead of him, Bote, Gallo, Brad Miller, Conforto. Danny Jansen is nearly 100 spots ahead of him! I feel like I am preaching to the choir, but if you watch him run he is not fast. He is quick, fast twitch. I owned him nearly everywhere in 17, and a lot of places in 2018, but when you see a guy who isn’t actually fast, and doesn’t really have a lot of power getting drafted 3rd overall you run for the hills. Guys like Judge can miss a ball and hit a home run. JRam literally has to get all of it. I don’t buy his power, I don’t buy the uptake in stolen bases/ success rate. There is variance in that too. People are going to be buying a guy who could very possibly have a Rougned Odor season at 3rd overall.
@cg: Yo, CG, we’re in the minority big time, but that’s all right, it make it that much sweeter in September
@cg: wait what!?!? When did Rougned Odor walk at a 15% clip? When has Odor had a K% at or below 11%? When has Odor stolen 34 bases? Do I need to continue? Odor is more closely related to Mondesi or better yet Baez!
How do your ranks change using obp instead of avg? I’m specifically talking about guys like acuna who I love, freeman who seemed to be developing into a 35 hr guy until he got plunked on the elbow, wrist year before derailed a monster season. Look at the nose dive in his power after July 1. He hit his 16th hr on 7/1. Hbp on the elbow 7/4 and hit 7 hr rest of season. That park plays well for left handed bats.
Who are some guys that move into top 10 and out of top 10 with obp instead of avg? Thanks
@Scott: There are rankings for OBP leagues on the site. I’d start at the rankings tab above.
@Cram It: Are those actually Grey’s, though? Seems like they are more driven by analytics type projections…
@Big Ticket: They’re Rudy’s, I believe, and they’re . . . perfect. Last year’s list produced for my 12-team h2h OBP league team Betts, Machado, Bregman, and Yelich as my first four picks. Thanks, Rudy!
@American Troutfisher: I use Rudy’s too for OBP… Totally Rudy; All Praise!…Wait, TRAP? Hey!
@Big Ticket: I don’t know, but every time someone asks about how OBP affects things, he responds with a link to that.
What if we have ABG & OBP. What rankings do we use? I need to know like I need air!
And by ABG, of course I mean AVG. Need to grab my first cup of coffee.