We’ve gone over the final 2020 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters. This is different than Final Fantasy rankings where you rank Final Fantasy 1 thru Final Fantasy 15. That’s hardcore nerd shizz! This is simply fantasy baseball — we’re softcore nerds like Emmanuelle is to porn. So, there’s no more of these godforsaken recap posts left. You’re welcome. I, my over-the-internet friend, will be talking next about 2021 rookies. Let’s boogie to the next year, I’m so done with 2020. Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:
21. Hyun-Jin Ryu – As the kids say, I stan Ryu. He is Hyun-Jin Ryu, I am Stan-You Ryu. He went from one of the cushiest division and best parks to one of the worst divisions and parks without even blinking twice, and just roaring through, making wishes come true. Thank you, my Hyunicorn. Preseason Rank #28, 2020 Projections: 5-2/3.32/1.09/57 in 62 IP, Final Numbers: 5-2/2.69/1.15/72 in 67 IP
22. Tyler Glasnow – Look at Glasnow putting together a “great Robbie Ray” year. Glasnow was one of those guys I moved up during the shutdown, and, I’m not 100% sure, but I think I moved him up from the 22nd starter ranking spot. Just absolutely nailing it until I overthink myself and drop the ball. It’s prolly becoming readily apparent that I’m like the only person who doesn’t like Glasnow and Snell. Okay, correcting myself after just saying something, I like them in real baseball, but they are constantly overrated for fantasy. Preseason Rank #14, 2020 Projections: 5-3/3.77/1.20/73 in 63 IP, Final Numbers: 5-1/4.08/1.13/91 in 57 1/3 IP
23. Chris Bassitt – Speaking of overrated (I was, above, in the Glasnow blurb, anyway…), Bassitt is the exact opposite. He is incredibly underrated. Even after I told everyone to draft him this year, I would get comments a month into the season like, “Grey, you look incredibly handsome, and, hey, do you like Bassitt?” Yes, I’ve been liking him! Past tense! Liked him! You know what I mean. Preseason Rank #80, 2020 Projections: 4-2/3.96/1.23/57 in 60 IP, Final Numbers: 5-2/2.29/1.16/55 in 63 IP
24. Zac Gallen – Serious request, go to one of the ‘perts out there in the wild who tell you to draft an ace and ask them, “Why when you could just draft, say, Gallen, Ryu, Maeda, Valdez and Castillo and be fine?” But don’t tell them I sent you, because they think I’m trolling. I am trolling — for fantasy baseball championships like a baller! (An actual baller would never say anything resembling mentioned on this site.) Oh, and for what it’s Werth, Gallen would’ve been a top ten starter if he had seven wins like Marco Gonzales. Preseason Rank #29, 2020 Projections: 5-2/3.42/1.17/73 in 63 IP, Final Numbers: 3-2/2.75/1.11/82 in 72 IP
25. Framber Valdez – May not have been the best thing for Verlander’s career, but somehow one vet starter going down was good for Framber, Javier, and Urquidy. Also, not to take anything away from Framber, while doing exactly that, for him and all Astros starters, going against the Angels, M’s, Rangers, Giants, Rockies, and Diamondbacks wasn’t exactly offset by the Padres, Dodgers and A’s games. Framber was still solid, he cut his walks to his minor league levels (2 BB/9) and held his 9+ K/9 Ks. He’s exactly the type of pitcher who will be lost next year and has the stuff for an easy top 25 starter season. Preseason Rank #128, 2020 Projections: 2-1/4.77/1.33/29 in 26 IP, Final Numbers: 5-3/3.57/1.12/76 in 70 2/3 IP
26. Adam Wainwright – You’re not gonna get super smart stuff anywhere else like from someone who says “super smart stuff” and you know who Wainwright is, so a quick note about guys who didn’t make the top 40. Dustin May (41), Kwang-Hyun Kim (45), Dakota Hudson (50), Triston McKenzie (56), Julio Urias (59), and Mike Clevinger (60) would’ve been top 40 with better win luck. Okay, continuing on now…So, I guess you could say I threw a change in Wainwright’s blurb and froze you like Beltran. Preseason Rank #116, 2020 Projections: 4-3/4.37/1.41/53 in 62 IP, Final Numbers: 5-3/3.15/1.05/54 in 65 2/3 IP
27. Cristian Javier – Here’s what I mean when I say you don’t have to be anywhere near exact in your drafting of starters. On July 30th, I told you to buy Javier after his 1st start. No one owned him prior to that, though Prospect Itch told you to grab him in the late rounds of 50-round drafts at NFBC during the preseason. And that’s me paraphrasing me and Itch! Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 5-2/3.48/0.99/54 in 54 1/3 IP
28. Brad Keller – Much like another Keller and not Mitch, I’m gonna act like I don’t see him here. Preseason Rank #100, 2020 Projections: 3-2/4.21/1.31/49 in 67 IP, Final Numbers: 5-3/2.47/1.02/35 in 54 2/3 IP
29. Luis Castillo – One thing I want to point out is that, when a pitcher doesn’t do as well as his preseason ranking, in this case Castillo finishing 29th vs. 10th, it’s not great, but as long as the pitcher is still in the top 40 somewhere, it’s not a bad season. You would’ve done fine with five pitchers in the top 40 starters, without having a top five starter. Though, how you didn’t draft Maeda when I literally told you every single day of the preseason to draft him. Preseason Rank #10, 2020 Projections: 6-4/3.32/1.09/88 in 73 IP, Final Numbers: 4-6/3.21/1.23/89 in 70 IP
30. Pablo Lopez – Have I done the thing I do yet where I list all the starters I didn’t like in this post and it’s like no one? Okay, I loved Pablo Lopez and told everyone to draft him, even if I ranked him 75th overall. The only guy in this top 20 that’s a top 40 that I didn’t like was Wainwright, Keller, Snell, Scherzer and Carrasco. Snell and Scherzer were going too high; Wainwright and Keller were and are meh, and I was worried about Carrasco’s health, though by the end of the shutdown, I had eased up on that. Preseason Rank #75, 2020 Projections: 3-2/4.11/1.19/49 in 56 IP, Final Numbers: 6-4/3.61/1.19/59 in 57 1/3 IP
31. Tony Gonsolin – One word about me saying I “liked” starters then didn’t rank them, like Gonsolin or Javier, I did like them, but I didn’t know they’d be in the rotation, and no one did. Once they threw an inning, I told everyone to grab them. No one told you before that for redraft leagues, and, if they did, they were doing you wrong. Anyhoo! Gonsolin makes me think the Indians and Dodgers just create great pitchers in a lab, and no one else has the secret location of this lab. He didn’t get as many Ks as I would’ve guessed with his stuff, but he elicits a ton of junky contact. Gonsolin works with a 95 MPH fastball (because of course he does), and gets a .191 BAA on it, and a .156 AVG against on his slider, a pitch that ranged from 84 MPH to 90 MPH, and, yeah, I’m sold 100% if he ever gets 200 IP, but on the Dodgers that might come in five years. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 2-2/2.31/0.84/46 in 46 2/3 IP
32. Carlos Carrasco – Nice to see Cookie make a comeback from leukemia. If “that’s how the Cookie crumbles” is a saying, we need a saying for when the Cookie comes together to make wonderful. Like a backwards Steely Dan’s “We need a name for the losers.” Preseason Rank #34, 2020 Projections: 3-2/3.54/1.17/55 in 46 IP, Final Numbers: 3-4/2.91/1.21/82 in 68 IP
33. Sonny Gray – Can’t take out two random starts when Gray wasn’t doing well, because that’s not how it works, but, if it was, Gray’s ERA would’ve been 2.08, and he would’ve been a top 10 starter. Preseason Rank #16, 2020 Projections: 5-4/3.27/1.10/80 in 73 IP, Final Numbers: 5-3/3.70/1.21/72 in 56 IP
34. Kevin Gausman – The names of the starters I was drafting this preseason from my last tier: Gausman, Urquidy, Pablo Lopez, Dustin May, Eflin, Plesac, Matz, Bassitt, Alcantara, Sheffield, Josh James, and Yamamoto. Oh, ten out of 12 ain’t bad. But you have to draft starters high! That was a listing of pitchers who were all going after 250th overall, except maybe Dustin May, I forgot where he was going, but I’d guess inside the top 200. Preseason Rank #73, 2020 Projections: 3-2/4.09/1.30/47 in 49 IP, Final Numbers: 3-3/3.62/1.11/79 in 59 2/3 IP
35. Max Scherzer – I didn’t hear one word about Scherzer battling back issues, which derailed his 2019, but I don’t need to hear anything because he had a 3.1 BB/9 and his WHIP is 1.38. His career is going full circle back to his Diamondbacks days when he was a high K, high walk starter. I love Scherzer from over a decade ago, but you can’t tell me he’s 100% right. Preseason Rank #5, 2020 Projections: 5-2/2.83/1.02/93 in 66 IP, Final Numbers: 5-4/3.74/1.38/92 in 67 1/3 IP
36. Taijuan Walker – For full disclosure that paints me in a better light, I didn’t rank Walker initially, but I told people to pick up or draft Walker in July when the season was delayed. About the only ones helped by the delayed season were the ones returning from Tommy John surgery. By the way, not sure what it means if anything, but in 26 1/3 IP with the Jays, Walker had a 1.37 ERA, and a 4.00 ERA in Seattle. Oh, and to save you the trouble, he had a .270 BABIP on the Jays, and .210 on the M’s (roughly, I did math in my head), so it wasn’t all fueled by luck, but we are talking under 30 IP in both places, so sample sizes. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 4-3/2.70/1.16/50 in 53 1/3 IP
37. Blake Snell – Peter Fairbanks ended up higher on the Player Rater than Snell. On a side but related note on Snell, he has 157 IP across the last two seasons, how is he ever going to throw 175 IP next year and be worth anywhere near as valuable as his draft ranking will almost certainly be? Preseason Rank #18, 2020 Projections: 4-3/3.12/1.09/57 in 70 IP, Final Numbers: 4-2/3.24/1.20/63 in 50 IP
38. Zack Wheeler – Up until about a week before the season resumed in July, I told you to draft Wheeler, then, as it was rumored that he might leave to be a doula for Baby Wheeler, I told you to ease off him. Hopefully by that point, you had already drafted him. Though, honestly, no great loss if you didn’t, what the hell happened to his Ks? He had a 6.7 K/9 and gained velocity, and I’m just writing off this year for him, I don’t know. Preseason Rank #32, 2020 Projections: 5-4/3.67/1.22/75 in 74 IP, Final Numbers: 4-2/2.92/1.17/53 in 71 IP
39. David Peterson – He had two more wins than deGrom. Haha, wins are stupid. Peterson also looks like a pretty whatever number five starter who had a good two months. Not especially impressed with anything I’m seeing under the hood. Or unda da hood, if you’re gangsta. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 6-2/3.44/1.21/40 in 49 2/3 IP
40. Ian Anderson – Technically, I ranked an Ian Anderson, but it was for 3rd basemen and there was a “Br” in front of his name. 2020 was so goofy…Audience chimes in, “How goofy was it?” Anderson appears like he had a great season and he had six starts and 32 1/3 IP. Audience chimes in, “Okay, so kinda goofy? Is that it?” Yes, Anderson looks great, but he has 32 1/3 IP under his belt. I know, I know, I KNOW! The postseason, but we’re talking about the regular season, and Anderson was a top 40 starter with 32 1/3 IP, that’s goofy. Also, Prospect Itch just gave you his Atlanta Braves fantasy prospect report, which went over Ian Anderson in detail. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 3-2/1.95/1.08/41 in 32 1/3 IP
Which of these guys are top40 SP’s for 2021?
Luzardo, Bassitt, Heaney, McCullers.
You can take new questions to my newest post
Wow, what does Marco have to do to get your attention?? He’s likely to finish 3rd or 4th in the AL Cy voting
I’d just like to voice my support for both weighing variables based on personal preferences and ginning up results, if for no other reason other than it helps support a healthy gambling addiction.
Have a great offseason Grey, thanks for delivering this season (bumping fist on chest).
Ha, you too!
What are your thoughts on Benintendi for 2021? Did he lose skills or did he never have them? Was his early career lineup driven? Could he be a sleeper 15/15 guy? I have questions. Come on,man—smile.
He lost his skills two years ago, I have no faith in them returning, though obviously they might
Haha! Let me know after next season.
I also enjoy chili — chili and chill as they say
Great price on Randy Arozarena! Look at that team too, looks solid! I love the pitching, and I think you have great upside guys…The hitting looks good too, crazy price on Ohtani…Only guys I don’t love are Benintendi, Kikuchi, Anderson, but minor quibbles
Feels like Gallen, Castillo, and Gray will be undervalued next year. The bumpy road at the end will hide just how good Gallen and Gray were for most of the season, and Castillo’s bumpy start with horrible luck hides how good he was later and in the end.
I think i will be evaluating starting pitchers that pitched both this season and last by adding together their last 30 starts with weighted values to try to get a good read on them for 2021. And will be doing the same with batters last 160 games / 500 ABs etc… the temptation to over-credit a good 2020 and to over-fade a bad 2020 i think will be biting some people hard.
Yeah, agreed on all three…That’s a good idea! I’d like to see results of that…
Do think that there might be some guys who have asterisks tho, because of injury (Yelich) or something else like changed approach (Myers maybe)
Absolutely. Thats why I’ll use weighted values. I just need to decide how best impartially gage the weights on guys that made clear mechanical changes, philosophical changes etc vs just purely performance based. Like guys such as Myers etc with clear indicators i’ll need to weight 2020 a bit heavier.
Yelich is such an odd case. He had a knee injury true, but his struggles seemed to be mental at the plate, its like he never really got his head out of spring training. A few notes on him: his BABIP was 100 pts below career avg, he saw x2 curveballs than 2019, he swung at 10% less pitches both in and out zone, yet his contact% in the zone dropped 8%. This leads me to believe he both really unlucky and had trouble indentifying pitches/timing so he was more passive assuming there would be more balls – but K% spiked 10%
Right, but weighting things is where problems arise, as you know, because you don’t want to gin up the results by adding personal preference
Think I might end up with Yelich on some teams in 2021…I get the concern, and I wonder if he had 500 ABs this year if he would’ve came around in the next 300, but might depend on price — it was a weird year, and he’s so talented
Yep, thats the challenge… maybe just not weight it differently at all use same weight for everyone’s 2020. LOL. Let the numbers speak for themself, and then choose to buy it or not.
As i said, an odd case. And yeah when you have 300+ more ABs the better players tend to find their way out, Yelich chief among them. Yelich is historically a 2nd half hitter, 2019 hot start was an edgecase for him.
Yeah, that’s prolly right move…Let them choose to buy or not buy and you say why you buy or don’t buy — Most won’t be that odd
Grey Albright Fantasy Master Lothario delivers again- this is about to feel like an infomercial- with GA FML guidance I had seven of the top forty starters in a twelve team dynasty (plus I flipped Bauer and Giolito for bats pre-season, because you can only win the pitching categories by so much).
Ha, nice! You’re welcome!
Trading for pitchers is even more goofy. Is there a pitcher you would target in a trade in which you traded Aldeberto Mondesi in one to one deal?
Hmm…In a keeper or you saying in a hypothetical redraft?
it’s a keeper.
Hmm, prolly a top five SP…Honestly, I think I’d want a better pitcher than I’d be able to get…Maybe a top 10 — So maybe Darvish? Giolito?
Thanks, that is kinda of the problem. Greed, and pitchers are so risky, kinda like Mondesi!
Great analysis as always. You have always been my go to.
In a keeper pool I was offered Rendon and Yordan Alvarez for Freeman. Would you take this?
Also, do you think Alvarez will have OF eligibility in yahoo in 2021 or will he be the dreaded “util”? I worry about his knees but read that there’s no structural damage so that easing concerns a bit.
Thanks a lot.
I’d guess Yordan doesn’t have OF elgib, but not 100% sure — Yordan seems like he should be fine, he’s already running…I’d take Rendon/Yordan if the league is deep or you just lack keepers, it’s pretty fair
1. Thanks for the added tidbits.
2. I trust you fully when it comes to pitching.
3. The only thing it’s a little more difficult in weekly formats to roster certain players, mostly depending on the division they play in which you alluded to.
4. Most of us know if you draft 6 SP’s and 3 closers in March, by July an active manager will have at least a 50% turnover of a pitching staff.
5. Looking forward to 2021 stuff.
1. No problem!
3. Yeah, totally
5. Appreciate it!