Category Archives: #StolenBases

Outfield Rankings – Balance Your Team

In most leagues, you are required start 5 outfielders.  While I always want the best player available at each position, sometimes it’s a close call between a few guys and I focus on category needs here.  Your #4/#5 outfielders will not be elite.  I like to utilize those spots to make up for a category deficiency.  If I didn’t secure a Billy Hamilton, Dee Gordon, Jose Altuve, or Trea turner, I’ll probably go after a speed guy in the OF as one of my later picks.  If I’m short on power, I may target a 30+ HR bat that will bat .220 (think Adam Dunn).  With 5 slots to fill, there are plenty of ways to construct an outfield.  On to the rankings…

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

I have 10 players in my top tier for outfielders.  All of these players except for Mookie Betts projects to hit at least 33 HRs.  They may not all be 5 category studs, but they’re exceptional in the things they do well.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Mike Trout – The best player in fantasy baseball.  Nuf said!
(2)  Bryce Harper – Over his 6 yr career, he’s only hit 30 HRs once, scored more than 100 runs once, never had a 100 RBI season, and is a career .285 hitter.  He’s getting over drafted in the top 5 based on potential.
(3)  Giancarlo Stanton – He probably has the biggest home run bat in the MLB and just went to a better home ballpark in New York.  Can he really hit more than the 59 he smashed in 2017?  Gotta stay healthy.
(4)  Charlie Blackmon – In Colorado and expecting a 30/10 season batting above .300.
(5)  Mookie Betts – He just might put up a 25/25 season and lead the AL in runs scored atop the lineup.
(6)  Aaron Judge – Is 50 HRs in his future for 2018?
(7)  George Springer – The reigning World Series champs won’t have a lack of offense, and Springer will be in the heart of it.
(8)  Jose Martinez – Can he deliver a 30/20 season?  It’ll be close and he’ll bat over .300.
  Cody Bellinger – He had a fantastic rookie campaign, but will he see a sophomore slump?
(10)  Justin Upton – Don’t write him off.  He’s not in an improved Angels lineup and should deliver a 30/10 season and close to 100 Runs and RBIs


Fire Bombs (Power Tier expecting 30+ HRs)

There’s plenty of power to be found in the outfield if you are willing to deal with a few shortcomings (usually batting average).  35+ HRs for any of these guys is possible.

Rhys Hoskins – I like Hoskins and expect around 35 HRs, but I typically like to see more of a track record before putting a player in the top tier.  How will the revamped lineup play out in Philly?
Khris Davis – This guy crushes the ball and should hit 40 HRs.  The A’s lineup has improved.
Marcel Ozuna – His 37 HRs last year were a career best by far.  I’m not sure that he’ll match that number, but expect 30+ with the Cardinals.
Jay Bruce – He should have another 30 HR season with the Mets.  He’s done it in 5 of the past 7 years.
Adam Duvall – The outfield in Cincinatti is crowded with Schebler, Hamilton, Duvall, and Winker.  Duvall should reach the 30 HR plateau.
Scott Schebler – See above regarding Adam Duvall.  30 HR possibility.
Kyle Schwarber – His batting average will kill you, but he should get enough playing time to amass 30 HRs.

Lightning (Speed Tier expecting 20+ SBs)

These guys may not provide much power, but they’ll definitely help some in the stolen base category.

Lorenzo Cain – He won’t wow you in any one category, but the SBs and runs can help.
Billy Hamilton – 50+ SBs are almost a lock.  So is a deficiency in RBIs and batting average.
Delino DeShields
– Looks like he’ll be leading off for the Rangers.  I can see 30 SBs and 100 Runs.
Rajai Davis – He’ll get about 30 SBs as the 4th outfielders for Cleveland.
Hernan Perez – We have to see how much playing time he’ll have after the Brewers outfield acquisitions.
Cameron Maybin – Can’t stay healthy, but he runs.
Jarrod Dyson – He will get more playing time with Souza out; expect 30 SBs

Combination Platter (Power/Speed Combo expecting 15/15)

These guys provide a little bit of power and speed to help in both categories with projected HR/SBs.

Andrew Benintendi – 20/20
Tommy Pham – 24/19
Starling Marte – 15/36
A.J. Pollock – 17/26
Eduardo Nunez – 15/28
Chris Taylor – 21/16
Byron Buxton – 20/32
Ian Desmond – 20/19
Gregory Polanco – 20/15
Brett Gardner – 15/20
Bradley Zimmer – 15/26
Michael Taylor – 19/23
Kevin Kiermaier – 18/21
Manuel Margot – 15/22
Carlos Gomez – 16/15
Keon Broxton

Remember that my rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  Make sure you know your specific league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.


Shortstop Rankings – Elite 8 or Wait

Elite Eight is what I’m targeting at shortstop.  I feel that the top 8 players at the position are a cut above the rest in terms of production and/or consistency.  I’ll be happy if I can get a player from one of the top two tiers, otherwise I’ll take a chance late in the draft.  When drafting your SS and/or middle infield spots, remember that 20 HRs are what 15 HRs were in the past.  Unless you’re stealing 20+ bases, I don’t want a middle infielder with less than 20.  There’s plenty of guys that can fill the void if you miss out on the best.  On to the rankings…

Scorching Hot (Top Tier)

This is my top tier for shortstops.  There’s a handful of guys that are difference makers, and the rest can be had later in drafts.  Starting your team off with one of these 4 players will have you in a good place, but you’ll likely need to get them by the second or early third round.  Position rank is in (#).

(1)  Trea Turner – I’m a big fan of Turner.  I see 15+ HRs and 50+ SBs hitting atop the potent Nationals lineup.
(2)  Carlos Correa – At only 23 yrs old, he should hit 25+ dingers but fall short of 30.  Batting avg over .300.
(3)  Francisco Lindor – For a kid that supposedly didn’t have power, his 33 HRs in 2017 isn’t too shabby.
(4)  Corey Seager – He’s averaged 95-24-74 over the past two years.  Hopefully he’s over the nagging injuries.
Burning Bright (Second Tier)

This is my second tier for shortstops.  If you miss out on the top 4, I feel that there are 4 other guys that you can count on at shortstop.  Then there’s a drop off to the rest of the bunch that all have questions.

(5)  Alex Bregman – He’ll help in all 5 categories; possibly a 20/20 season.
(6)  Elvis Andrus – Say what you want, but the guy’s on the field and consistent.  Played at least 145 games since 2009!  Look for around 25 SBs but he’s light on power.  Don’t believe in the 20 HRs from 2017.
  Jean Segura – He should pair up with Dee Gordon atop the Mariners lineup.  Expect 15 HRs / 25 SBs with 90 runs.
(8)  Xander Bogaerts – He’s only 25, but he may never turn out to be a top tier shortstop. He’ll get you runs and a 15/15 season.
Red Embers (Other Options That I Like)

This is a group of players that I like in the late rounds to fill out my middle infield spot…

  • Didi Gregorius – Can he repeat 2017?
  • Trevor Story – He can still hit HRs at Coors Field.
  • Marwin Gonzalez – Eligible at 1B, 2B, SS, and OF.
  • Paul DeJong – Getting drafted too high, but 25 HRs is possible.
  • Orlando Arcia – He should have a 15/15 season with much more upside, especially if he moves up and out of the bottom third of the lineup.
  • Marcus Semien – Consistently underrated; expect a 20/10 season but the batting average will be bad.

Remember that my rankings (unless otherwise stated) are based on a standard 5×5 league.  Players qualify at any position where they played 20+ games in 2017.  Make sure you know your specific league’s scoring, roster size, transaction process, and any other important settings.