Fantasy Baseball

2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Review – Top 100 players I’m high on

Last week saw the site publish our rankings and as with all consensus ranks, there’s some discrepancies between the rankers. So, it makes sense for me to go through the rankings and look at my top-100 ranked players and explain to you why I’m quite a bit higher or lower on certain players.

I’ve picked out the five players inside my top-100 that I’m higher on and five I’m lower on, then give a brief explanation as to my thinking behind them. Let’s begin with those I’ve ranked noticeably higher.

Player Consensus My Rank Alan’s Rank Todd’s Rank
Patrick Corbin 55 32 79 62
Mike Clevinger 62 49 72 72
Rougned Odor 93 72 108 106
Josh Donaldson 90 73 99 114
Andrew McCutchen 102 81 112 111

 

I have Corbin ranked as my tenth starting pitcher on the basis that not only do I think last year was no fluke, but that he could actually be even better this year. He had a stellar 3.15 ERA in 2018 but his FIP and xFIP (which is Fielding Independent Pitching) was 2.47 and 2.61 which indicates he was unlucky not to post a sub-3 ERA. Among qualified starters, only Jacob DeGrom had a lower FIP and xFIP to give an indication as to how good he was. And out of those aforementioned qualified starters, only Max Scherzer had a higher swinging strike percentage. I’ve got no issue in taking Corbin as your top SP if you go with two hitters to start your draft.

The Mike Clevinger rank isn’t completely numbers based. All the main things I look at (strikeout numbers, walks, contact etc) don’t scream out at me. But he did everything well last year and should be able to repeat that again this year. He’s likely to be a solid anchor in your rotation and a consistently good performer, as highlighted by his 21 quality starts in 2018, something only six pitchers had more of. All of those six had a sub-3 ERA. Now aged 28, I wouldn’t back against a breakout.

Rougned Odor is someone I’m banking on putting all the facets together and producing another stellar season. After his fantastic 2016, his batting average plummeted in ’17, before righting itself somewhat in ’18 albeit with the power fading away a bit. His last three seasons averages though makes for nice reading;

147 games played, 27 homers, 14 steals, 81 runs, 75 RBIs, 0.242 average.

A year like that will be plenty nice and if he maintains his improved patience at the plate (0.326 OBP in 2018 with an 8% BB%), he could have a 30/15 season with an average which won’t kill your ratios.

Josh Donaldson’s ranking would possibly be even higher if he played for an AL team who could use him as a DH frequently. My only concern is his waning health having missed 150 games the last two seasons, most significantly with calf issues. Now 33, that’s unlikely to improve but maybe the move from the astroturf in Toronto may help. He has joined a formidable offense and will likely have a chance to touch triple digits in runs and RBIs if he remains healthy. Even a 130-game season could see him as a top-10 third baseman, a position which holds lots of early strength but significantly thins out later on.

Lastly is another veteran hitter with a new home in the NL-East; Andrew McCutchen. Part of this rank is my belief he will be the leadoff hitter for the revamped Phillies offense. The other notable reason is his consistency. McCutchen has played in 146 games or more in every season since 2009’s debut. He’s hit 20+ home runs and 80+ runs in each of his last eight seasons as well as double digit steals in every one of those (bar 2016). Those steals have been declining and it’s unlikely he’ll return to a 20 stolen base player but his hit tool remains well above average despite a career low batting average. Among qualified outfielders, McCutchen ranked 13th for hard hit rate, was 14th best in soft contact rate and had the 3rd most walks, all with an unfortunate 13% HR/FB%.

That’s the guys I’m higher on and keep your eyes peeled for the guys I apparently hate.

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