Welcome my friends, JTells here. I switched over from writing DFS last season and will be bringing you the corner IF rankings this year. Your corner IF players are such a vital part of your fantasy team and if you miss on a pick on one of these guys it really stings. Good thing there are some studs here that perform year in and year out so make sure you are getting a couple of those guys to build your foundation. I used position eligibility rules from the NFBC based on a traditional roto 5X5 league.
Baseball is definitely back as news comes fast and furious. Trades here, trades there, trades everywhere, and a devastating injury to a Padres superstar has started off the first full week that players are in camps. As exciting as this is I’m sure there will be plenty of more action as we all hold our collective breaths as the news comes out that anything negative isn’t about our early picks we might have made so far this season. I’m going to be with you this season ranking all the corner IF’s and moving players up and down each week based on current performance, playing time, and changes in team construction due to injuries or players being promoted etc..pay attention to the bottom of the list as well because I’m going to be taking shots on players I think are capable and worthy of eventually cracking the top 10. I’m going to be breaking them down into tiers and if you need more in-depth info feel free to click on their name to gain more valuable info about that particular player. All righty, let’s do this.
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1. 3B Jose Ramirez Indians
2. 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Blue Jays
Really you can’t go wrong with these two as a first rd pick both players are elite hitters who pitchers hate to pitch to and can hit the holy you know what out of the ball. If Vlad was 3B eligible he would go in front of Ramirez all day long but drafters are prioritizing the 3B position here with a player that does it all for you at a weak position. I’ve built teams with both players as my #1 pick and feel most confident with my Ramirez teams as 1B is a deeper position this year.
3. 1B Freddie Freeman FA
As of this moment, Freddie is a FA but all indications look like he is going near where he grew up in Southern California and joining the LA Dodgers. I think he vaults up to the end of 1st rd instead of the 2nd rd where he had been going previously.
5. Matt Olson 1B Braves The newly minted 1B of the Atlanta Braves Olson feels like he’s hitting 40+ HR’s this year in a murderers row lineup. Currently, Roster Resource has him penciled in at the #2 spot in front of Riley and in back of Albies so seems like there will be plenty of opportunities for production at both ends for Olson.
7. Austin Riley 3B Braves I know some drafters are shying away from Riley based on his career season last year and point to his .283 AVG in the minors and say no way he’s hitting .300 again. He can’t possibly sustain a .368 BAIP and WOBA of .379. I say to them he can and will. Batting 3rd in the lineup he will thrive and just got a new teammate in Olson to bat after I think it just got better for him.
STUCK IN MIDDLE
13. Jared Walsh 1B Angels This is no doubt in my mind Walsh has the tools to be a 30 HR player and can hit .300. The question is does he have the mental stamina and desire to become an elite hitter or is he content playing in the OC soaking up the rays and the laid back lifestyle while churning out a 10-12 year career as a very good but not elite player. I don’t think we have seen Walsh’s best year this could be the one.
14. Adalberto Mondesi 3B Royals We all know what Mondesi is or what we hope he can provide us when we draft him. Toughest player to rank. Realistically could be out of the top 25 before the season starts.
17. CJ. Cron 1B Rockies I didn’t see anything alarming to make me think Cron is going to regress from last year’s 30 HR’s 90 RBI’s .280 AVG is what we’ve come to expect. Sounds good to me I’m here for it.
18. Joey Votto 1B Reds Unfortunately for Votto it looks like the Reds are entering a rebuilding year. Tough to keep up the good fight every year especially after you get older. I hope he hangs in there for another year or two he’s a great player.
20. Josh Donaldson 3B Yankees The New Yankee 3B should have a great start to the year but by July (New York we have a problem) an ensuing DL stint will arrive followed by more DL stints. Won’t be a bad best ball pick or DFS lineup player but season long I’d take more upside personally.
21. Jeimer Candelario 3B Tigers Yes Sir, candyman is one of my favorite 3B this year. He was on a tear in the 2nd half and was playing elite baseball hitting in the top 10%of the league. I believe Candelario has turned the corner and the Tigers will be a team to watch at least from the offensive side of the ball. Regular scores in the double digits will be played and Candelario hitting 4th or 5th in the lineup will be a big part of why.
22. Rhys Hoskins 1B Phillies
24. DJ LeMahieu 1B/3B Yankees I don’t know if LeMahieu would make the cut if it were not for his position flexibility. It gets him there for now. I think he does have a better year than last year at least in runs and avg but I’m going to have to see a lot more from him if he’s going to stay on this list.
25. Ty France 1B Mariners I love his .290 avg and 25 HR power potential with 80 RBIs. Seeing how they just traded for Winker and Suarez the Mariners just got better and France is penciled in the #4 hole behind Winker. I think he vaults up the list here very soon.