2015 Fantasy Baseball: Rookie Hitter Rankings
Plenty of rookies have hit the majors so far in 2015, with perhaps the best one of the bunch, Carlos Correa, getting the call this past Monday for the Astros. There have been many players to be called up this season that have been an impact on their teams, but here is my list of the top 10 rookies in the league this season.
- Kris Bryant – 3B – Chicago Cubs
Bryant never really had the question of whether he was going to get called up because of how ready he was coming into this season. The Cubs did a great job of letting him season in the minor leagues when their team was irrelevant up to this point, and I personally believe that will help him in the long run. Bryant has seven home runs and 34 RBI while hitting .282 in the heart of the Cubs lineup. The Cubs promoted him on April 17th, and he has immediately become their second most potent hitter in that lineup behind Anthony Rizzo.
- Joc Pederson – OF – Los Angeles Dodgers
Pederson was my prediction for NL Rookie of the year Bryant, and he has been right there so far this season. While Pederson is hitting just .253 on the year, he has 17 home runs and is easily the most power-potent leadoff hitter in baseball. If he can raise his batting average while continuing to hit home runs, he could turn into a top 10 outfielder quick, if he’s not there already.
- Carlos Correa – SS – Houston Astros
There was a large part of me that wanted to have Correa ahead of Pederson and Bryant, strictly because of the position that he plays. Correa is an absolute monster, as he has been compared to guys like Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. He hits for power and average, and he will steal bases for the Astros, who are not afraid to let their guys run. As dreadful as the shortstop position is in fantasy baseball this season, Correa will quickly make you forget about the pain that is your shortstop, and it sounds like he’s not planning on moving positions anytime soon.
Correa got his first major league hit in his MLB debut against Chris Sale, an RBI infield single, and then followed that up with a 2/4 night with his first career home run and steal in his second game. Correa absolutely dominated in AA this season, hitting .385 with an OPS of 1.185 with seven home runs. Perhaps the most impressive stat in AA Corpus Christi was the fact that not only is he a shortstop hitting at such an effective rate, but he also stole 15 bases and was not caught stealing once. He was promoted to AAA Fresno where he played 24 games and came back down to earth from those dominant numbers in AA.
- Yasmany Tomas – OF, 3B – Arizona Diamondbacks
Tomas is hitting .329 on the year while driving in 21 runs in 43 games this season. He began the year in AAA and was promoted as a bench player for the first few games. He didn’t get a chance to start regularly until Jake Lamb went down with an injury, and he’s made the most of it. He has only hit one home run, but the average and RBI have made up for it a bit.
- Steven Souza Jr. – OF – Tampa Bay Rays
Souza has been the definition of a roller coaster this season. For example, he hit a home run in three straight games in the final three days of May, and now in June he is hitting .067 and is 0/4 in the past four games. The power is there, and he is providing a good number of steals but the average is not.
- Devon Travis – 2B – Toronto Blue Jays
Devon Travis was incredible to begin the 2015 season, but an injury has sidelined him since May 16th, and I am fearful of that negatively impacting the rest of his season. I look for Travis to come back and be somewhere between where he was at the beginning of the season and where he was just before the injury when he struggled.
- Maikel Franco – 3B – Philadelphia Phillies
Franco was tough to put this far down the list, and I could easily put him higher without much doubt, but I have him slated for seventh for the rest of the season. He started off fairly slow at the plate, but he has lifted his average to .287 in 94 at-bats. He doesn’t have any protection in a terrible Phillies lineup, and I believe he will be shaky at times, like every rookie.
- Addison Russell – SS, 2B – Chicago Cubs
Russell having shortstop eligibility is huge for fantasy owners because he has spent most of his time at second base this season for the youthful Cubs. He hasn’t been living up to the hype that he had when he was promoted, but I believe he will settle in nicely.
- Joey Gallo – 3B – Texas Rangers
Gallo burst onto the scene in his MLB debut, going 3/4 with a home run and four runs batted in. He’s hitting .286 through 28 plate appearances with a .500 BABIP in his young career, but he has also struck out 14 times. Not to mention, Gallo might be demoted back to AAA Round Rock immediately following the activation of Adrian Beltre, which is why I have him so far down this list. Strikeouts have always been the bugaboo for Gallo, which I believe can be fixed, and I believe he will have a great MLB career.
- Rusney Castillo – OF – Boston Red Sox
Castillo has been dealing with injuries for most of the 2015 season, which could be holding him back from showing what he is truly capable of. I believe he is going to flip a switch sometime soon, and if he does, I believe he can be a real impactful player for the Red Sox and for your fantasy team.