Posts Tagged ‘fantasy baseball’

The AskROTObaseball Livecast is hosted by Dave Kerr and he welcomes a special guest each week. This week, Dave welcomed Timothy King from They talked all things Fantasy Baseball including their top 5 second basemen for the rest of the year, Gerrit Cole and Mike Zunino, Kyle Blanks, and the Dodgers closer situation. They also answered a few of the question’s that they recently received on Twitter!

AskROTObaseball Livecast Episode 8 06/12 by AskROTObaseball Livecast | Blog Talk Radio.

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The AskROTObaseball Livecast is hosted by Dave Kerr and he welcomes a special guest each week. This week, Dave welcomed K.J. Hanna (@NYLivinCAMind). They talked all things Fantasy Baseball including several buy low candidates, including Jay Bruce, B.J. Upton, Josh Hamilton, and more! They also discuss Michael Saunders and play a game of pick ’em with players that play the same position.

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By David Kerr

Yesterday, I looked at three players, Justin Upton, Chris Davis, and Clay Buchholz, who have started the season by putting up quite gaudy numbers. Today, I want to look at two players who have done the opposite and whether you should buy, sell, or hold on to them. Let’s start in Los Angeles.

Josh Hamilton

Over 76 games dating back to last year’s All-Star break, Josh Hamilton is batting .247 with 16 home runs and 53 RBIs. Minus the average, those are solid power and run producing numbers. At one point early last season, Hamilton was the hottest hitter in baseball and it wasn’t even close. He hit a slump that saw his average drop over 100 points. This season he looks lost at the plate. On Wednesday night against Oakland, I watched him strikeout on three pitches with the bases loaded; strike three was a pitch way out of the zone that he reached for. He just seems uncomfortable. This is a player who is a career .299 hitter in April that also started 2012 batting .395 in that very month. Maybe it’s from jitters because he’s adjusting to a new team or maybe he’s lost a step. Whatever it is, I don’t think it will continue. Hamilton is a hitting machine and his price tag will never be lower this season than it is right now. I don’t think he’s going to put up the same type of power numbers that he put up while playing half of his games in Texas, but I do think hitting cleanup behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols will soon pay dividends. If someone sours on Hamilton, find a way to acquire him. His track record is too good for him to all of a sudden be a notch above mediocre.

Recommendation: HOLD or BUY. Once he starts to hit (and he will,) the window will be closed.

Giancarlo Stanton

As one of my favorite players headed into this season, I think you probably already know what my recommendation will be. Let me tell you why. No one in the major leagues has a better chance to hit 45-50 home runs. I don’t care what the lineup around him looks like. I don’t care whether opposing teams will pitch around him (he already has a 8/11 walk-to-strikeout ratio.) When Stanton gets locked in, the ball will start flying. Just look at his ISO increase over the past three seasons. It has went from .248 (2010), to .275 (2011), to .318 (2012). I can’t stress enough the power that this guy possesses. Add that to the fact that he’s only 23, I can only imagine the numbers he’ll put up in the next 3-5 years. If you’re in a dynasty or keeper league, he’s one of the top five guys I’d look to acquire. Oh, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try to trade for him this year either in redraft leagues. If you already own him, don’t lose faith. The power numbers are coming… very soon.

Recommendation: HOLD or BUY!!

If you have a long form Fantasy Baseball question, please e-mail it to me at Also, you can click the button below to follow me on Twitter where I will give you instant answers to all of your Fantasy Baseball question’s!


By David Kerr

We are just over a week into the 2013 season and there has been plenty of craziness already. Yu Darvish almost threw a perfect game, Justin Upton, Chris Davis, and Michael Morse have been killing the ball, and Roy Halladay’s spring training struggles have carried over into the regular season. Over the next two days, I want to take a look at six guys and their performances to date, followed by a recommendation for the rest of the season. First the guys that have started hot.

Justin Upton

Justin Upton has been the hottest hitter from a power standpoint in the National League since the start of the season. He already has six home runs and if this type of production keeps up, he could easily finish April with ten or more. Upton is a guy that everyone has always been waiting on to break out. I believe that truly happens this year. He’s going to drive in the most runs of his career and will finish with his highest average to date. Who knows how many home runs he will hit, but 40 isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Recommendation: HOLD or BUY. This will be Upton’s career year to date. You will want to be along for this ride. His value is high right now, but if he cools down for a short period, pounce and don’t look back.

Chris Davis

Chris Davis played out of his mind over the first four games of the season, hitting four homers and driving in 16 runs. That will easily be his best week of the season. Davis is a streaky hitter that strikes out a ton. He’s prone to slumps and will definitely go through his fair share this season. With that said, he should have no problem hitting 30 home runs again. He has one of the best power bats in the game. If I owned him and could turn him into an injured Freddie Freeman, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Recommendation: SELL.

Clay Buchholz

Carrying over from his strong spring, Clay Buchholz has looked sharp in his first two starts of the season. He sports a 0.64 ERA to go along with 12 strikeouts in 14 innings pitched. Can he sustain? I’m skeptical. Since his breakout of 2010, he’s been often injured or under-performing. To date his batting average against is .184. That is 66 points lower than his career BAA number of .250. There is no way that will continue. Buchholz has also stranded every runner he’s allowed on base this year. His only run allowed was from a home run. Once these numbers even out, everything will be going up, except of course, the strikeouts. I’d look to move him.

Recommendation: SELL. If you could trade Buchholz for a starter such as Brandon Morrow, Ian Kennedy, or Doug Fister, I’d pull the trigger immediately. He may have his best season since 2010, but I’d rather invest in a starting pitcher that I know will put up good numbers.

I’ll be back tomorrow with three players that have started ice cold and my recommendations for them for the rest of the year.

If you have a long form Fantasy Baseball question, please e-mail it to me at Also, you can click the button below to follow me on Twitter where I will give you instant answers to all of your Fantasy Baseball question’s!


By David Kerr

Deep Relief Pitcher Sleepers

Every year you see multiple closer’s lose their job with someone else then stepping into the role. It happens every season; it is inevitable. I want to take a look at several pitcher’s that could fill the ninth inning role should the current closer falter or go down with an injury. Towards the bottom of the list, I’ll provide a few names that you may not be familiar with, but are worth remembering.

Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers: There is no doubt that Kenley Jansen is a superior pitcher to the Dodgers’ current closer, Brandon League. Just looking at their respective K/9 numbers, you’ll see a huge difference. In three seasons, Jansen’s K/9 number is 14.6; League’s is 6.7 over his nine year career. Brandon League has only been a full time closer for one season and that was in 2011. Last year, he racked up 15 total saves, but blew six in Seattle before he was shipped to the Dodgers. With respect to League, he did pitch well for Los Angeles, seemingly well enough to be anointed closer in 2013. The biggest question with Jansen is his health. He’s had an irregular heartbeat issue twice and obviously the Dodgers are concerned about it. Nevertheless, if his health is good, he will be the Los Angeles closer at some point this year. That elite K/9 rate needs to pitching in the ninth inning and I’m confident that will happen sooner rather than later.

Kyuji Fujikawa, Chicago Cubs: Fujikawa has been an elite closer in Japan for the past six season and will likely fill that role for the Chicago Cubs at some point this year. In Japan, he posted an ERA above 2.00 just once. His WHIP never exceeded 1.07 in any given year; in fact, it was under 1.00 in four of his six seasons while in Japan. Carlos Marmol has excellent strikeout numbers, but that’s about it. He walks too many batters and is prone to blow ups. If he falters or is traded, expect Fujikawa to take over the ninth inning duties.

Sergio Santos, Toronto Blue Jays: If Casey Janssen pitches like he did in 2012, there won’t be a discussion about Sergio Santos in the closer’s role for Toronto. Janssen has always been a solid middle reliever who closed for the first time last year. He had excellent numbers and certainly deserves the role to begin the 2013 campaign. Sergio Santos is a converted Shortstop that has never really put up spectacular numbers as a pitcher except for his 2011 season when he closed for the Chicago White Sox. Learning the art of pitching is a journey and I’m a believer in Santos. His 13.1 K/9 number in 2011 was no accident. He’s pitched well this spring and at the very least he will be used in a set-up role to begin the year. If Janssen has trouble, Santos will be the first reliever in line for save chances.

David Hernandez, Arizona Diamondbacks: With the numbers he has put up over the past two seasons, David Hernandez would be closing for a number of teams. He’s really grown as a pitcher over the past four seasons as he’s lowered his WHIP and raised his K/9 each year. J.J. Putz, the current Diamondbacks closer is 36 and somewhat injury prone. It’s worth noting that he did sign a two-year, $13.5 million dollar contract extension with Arizona, so there is no doubt that the D’Backs look at Putz as their closer. Hernandez would step into that role without question if Putz went down, so keep him on your radar. Not only would he save games, but he’d rack up plenty of strikeouts too. If your league counts holds, he’s a great reliever to own because he helps in the other categories as well. Keep an eye on Hernandez, he’s first in line if something happens to Putz.

Sean Marshall, Cincinnati Reds: Sean Marshall began 2012 as the closer for Cincinnati, but once Aroldis Chapman emerged as an almost unhittable force, he stepped back into the setup role. That will be his role to start the season in 2013. He’ll be setting up for Jonathan Broxton because Chapman is moving to the starting rotation. Broxton returned to form last year, but wasn’t the dominant player that we saw in 2009. His strikeout rates have been way down the past two seasons, so he certainly isn’t overpowering hitters. Marshall has posted a 2.47 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and a K/9 of 10.3 over the past three seasons. He’s a very reliable reliever that has really come into his own and should Broxton pitch like he did in 2010 and 2011, Marshall will be the first option to close games for Cincinnati.

Mark Melancon, Pittsburgh Pirates: Mark Melancon will be with his fourth major league organization in five years when he heads north with the Pittsburgh Pirates in just a few weeks. On paper, Melancon’s 2012 with Boston was awful, but if you dig deeper, there were a few silver linings. He posted a career low BB/9 of 2.40. His K/BB was a career high 3.42. Melancon’s main problem was his occasional blow up. On four separate occasions, he gave up four or more runs in one inning or less. That inflated his ERA to 6.20 on the season. April was an awful month for Melancon as he gave up 11 earned runs in just two innings pitched. From June 11 until the end of the season, Melancon posted an ERA of 4.19 and a WHIP of 1.05. He’s moving from Boston to Pittsburgh this season, so it is safe to say there will be less pressure. Pittsburgh is heading into the season with Jason Grilli as their closer. He’s been a decent reliever throughout his career, but he only has five saves on his rĂ©sumĂ©. Melancon is next in line if Grilli can’t handle the ninth inning role.

Vinnie Pestano, Cleveland Indians: There a decent chance Vinnie Pestano will begin the season as Cleveland’s closer. He will likely slide back into a setup role though once Chris Perez returns from his shoulder injury. If Perez’s injury lingers into the season and he misses an extended period of time, Pestano could claim the closer’s role for good. Over the past two seasons, Pestano has struck out 160 batters in 132 innings pitched. His stuff is good enough to close games and if the situation arises, he should have no problem manning the ninth inning for the Tribe.

Al Alburquerque, Detroit Tigers: It was assumed that rookie Bruce Rondon would start the season as the Detroit closer. That likely is not the case at this point due mostly to his control issues. He has given up seven hits and walked five batters in just 4 2/3 innings pitched this spring. It’s hard to say whether Rondon will start the season with the Tigers or begin in Toledo to work on his control. If, in fact, Rondon does not close for Detroit, they have a handful of options including Octavio Dotel, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, and Al Alburquerque. Alburquerque is an intriguing option and is the one reliever that I think could emerge as closer for the Tigers. He’s a big strikeout guy, which bodes well for his chances to save games, but he also missed most of 2012 with an elbow injury. He needs to prove that he is durable and that could be a big factor into whether he takes the reigns to save games for Detroit. Another aspect of Alburquerque’s game that is worth noting is his walk rate. His sample at the Major League level isn’t huge (53.2 IP), but his BB/9 number of 5.9 is alarming. He’ll either need to get his walks down or continue overpowering hitters with strikeouts. If not, those walks will start turning into runs. Nevertheless, he is the best option for the Tigers, so keep an eye on the situation in the Motor City.

J.J. Hoover, Cincinnati Reds: If you’ve never heard of J.J. Hoover before, it is probably because he’s a relatively young middle reliever. There isn’t much fanfare that goes along with that role. He is a name that you will be familiar with and in my opinion, it will be sooner rather than later. Hoover was traded from Atlanta to Cincinnati at the start of last season and was very impressive in both Louisville (Reds AAA affiliate) and in Cincinnati. Hoover worked as a starter throughout his minor league career until 2011. Once pitching strictly in relief, he put up impressive K/9 and BB/9 numbers. After posting a 1.22 ERA, a 0.73 WHIP, and striking out 55 batters in just 37 innings, Hoover was promoted to the Reds. He continued to impress as he struck out more than a batter an inning and kept the ball in the park by giving up only two home runs in over 30 innings pitched. He will probably be third or fourth in line for the Reds this year, but if Cincinnati has bullpen issues, Hoover could be in line for save opportunities. His minor league numbers as a reliever were excellent and he was certainly impressive for the Reds last year, so keep an eye on Hoover if things get murky in Cincinnati.

If you have a long form Fantasy Baseball question, please e-mail it to me at Also, you can click the button below to follow me on Twitter where I will give you instant answers to all of your Fantasy Baseball question’s!


By David Kerr

If you’re looking for power in the middle to late rounds of your draft, the name Carlos Quentin will likely pop into your head as a viable option to fill that role. There is no question that Quentin has always had serious power, but it’s also well known that he’s been bogged down by nagging injuries. Throughout his career, he’s had numerous injuries including a fractured wrist, plantar fascilitis, and a sprained shoulder. Last season, he missed the first two months after having arthroscopic surgery on a torn meniscus in his knee. After being bounced around as a trade candidate most of last season, he settled on a contract extension with San Diego. He only amassed 35 plate appearances in the final month of the season last year because his knee acted up again and ended up having arthroscopic surgery this past offseason. It’s safe to say that Quentin is a definite injury risk.

This brings us to 2013. Over the past few seasons, good power has been hard to find. Sure, you have guys that will come out of the blue and knock 20 balls out of the park, but aside from the usual suspects, not many players possess eye popping power. Quentin has that type of power. He has a career ISO (Isolated Power) number of .239. That number is higher than the career numbers of Josh Willingham (.222), Alfonso Soriano (.232), and Curtis Granderson (.230). He’s had over 500 plate appearances just twice in his career. In both of those season’s he hit over 25 home runs. Just last year he clubbed 16 dingers in 284 at-bats for a AB/HR rate of 17.75. Are you starting to see a trend here? Health equals power production.

There are many positives in Quentin’s repertoire. His plate discipline is solid because he takes his fair share of walks, he keeps his strikeouts down, and even adds to his on-base percentage by getting plunked more often than most players. He led the National League in that category last season and led the American League in 2011. Quentin has a few less than stellar aspects of his game as well. He’s never really hit for a great average, though it won’t kill you. He’s going to range somewhere in the .245-.260 range. He’s never been much of a base stealer, and with his continuously hurting knees, you can pretty much scratch that category off the board completely.

Carlos Quentin is a fantastic source of power, but he’s also a great bet to be on the disabled list at least once or twice a year, usually for an extended period of time. If he could be counted on to stay healthy, he’d hit 30 home runs easily. It’s likely that he’ll be in the 20-25 range if he can reach or surpass 450-500 plate appearances. I have a hard time believing that he’ll do that because his track record speaks for itself. Though he’s only a career .211 career hitter at Petco Park, it shouldn’t zap his power too much. Petco doesn’t hurt right handed hitters like it does to lefties. He’s worth a gamble late in drafts and if he can somehow get over 500 plate appearances, you may have yourself a cheap source of power with the upside of 30 home runs.

2013 Projection: 440 PA, .250 AVG, 21 HRS, 70 RBIS, 58 RUNS

If you have a long form Fantasy Baseball question, please e-mail it to me at Also, you can click the button below to follow me on Twitter where I will give you instant answers to all of your Fantasy Baseball question’s!


By David Kerr

2013 Relief Pitcher Rankings

1. Craig Kimbrel
2. Jonathan Papelbon
3. Jason Motte
4. Aroldis Chapman
5. Rafael Soriano
6. Joe Nathan
7. Mariano Rivera
8. J.J. Putz
9. Greg Holland
10. Tom Wilhelmsen
11. Fernando Rodney
12. Sergio Romo
13. Jim Johnson
14. Joel Hanrahan
15. John Axford
16. Chris Perez
17. Rafael Betancourt
18. Kenley Jansen
19. Addison Reed
20. Ernesto Frieri
21. Jonathan Broxton
22. Jason Grilli
23. Huston Street
24. Bruce Rondon
25. Casey Janssen
26. Glen Perkins
27. Grant Balfour
28. Steve Cishek
29. Carlos Marmol
30. Bobby Parnell

UPDATED 3/20/13:
Fernando Rodney rises from #13 to #11.
Ernesto Frieri makes the list for the first time at #20.
Bruce Rondon rises from #28 to #24.
Grant Balfour falls from #22 to #27
Ryan Madson fell off the list.

Overall Thoughts

There’s only one Closer in the Majors that will save over 40 games, strikeout over 110 batters, and post a WHIP under 1.00. That pitcher is Craig Kimbrel. He is coming off of a year where he allowed only seven earned runs in 62.2 innings pitched. That’s just dominate for a 24 year old guy in high pressure situations. Relief pitchers can vary from one year to the next, but Kimbrel should stay on top for a long time. He has a flat out ridiculous 15.9 K/9 over three seasons in the big leagues and has kept the ball in the park, giving up only six homers in the same time frame. He’s a stud, but if you want him, you’re going to have to pay for him. It’s doubtful he’ll last past the sixth round in any 12-team mixed draft. If you want him badly enough, you’ll have to pull the trigger relatively early.

Jonathan Papelbon had an excellent season in 2012. I expect more of the same in 2013. He’s be a very consistent Closer over the past seven years and much like Kimbrel, he keeps the WHIP low, the strikeouts high and the saves aplenty. He saved 38 games last season and should repeat or exceed that number with ease.

In his first season as full-time Closer for the Cardinals, Jason Motte raised his numbers across the board. He had a career high 86 strikeouts, a career low 0.92 WHIP, and a 10.8 K/9 which is his best number since his 12 game cup of coffee in 2008. He’s an elite Closer and should be drafted as one.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m worried about Aroldis Chapman and Pitchers and Catchers just reported. I don’t know if it’s the transition into the starting rotation, Dusty Baker, or his overall violent delivery. I feel like Chapman is best suited in the Closer’s role. I mentioned his violent delivery for two reasons. Number one, I fear he is going to get hurt. Throwing a baseball 105 MPH is definitely not natural, especially the way he does it. The other reason is that a delivery like his is better suited in short situations. I think that he has less of a chance of getting hurt if he isn’t pitching seven innings a game. He proved last year that he was a lights out closer when healthy. I’m afraid that his excellent control of last season will falter in a Starter’s role. It’s an interesting thing to watch in Spring Training as Chapman hasn’t even been guaranteed a starting job. The strikeouts are going to be there regardless of which role he has, but I think he, the Reds, and fantasy owners are best suited with Chapman in the Closer’s role.

I expect good things out of Rafael Soriano as he will be closing for the Washington Nationals. He had solid numbers across the board for the Yankees last year and now he’s moving to the National League. Expect 40 plus Saves with good K and WHIP numbers.

Joe Nathan has fully recovered from Tommy John surgery and is a great option for 2013. He had the lowest BB/9 (1.8) of his career in 2012 and upped his K/9 to 10.9. Ironically, that number is identical to the K/9 he averaged for seven years in Minnesota. Don’t worry about his age, he’s going to put up fantastic numbers.

Remember the name David Hernandez. If J.J. Putz goes down with some type of injury, Hernandez will be closing for Arizona and he is very, very good. Hopefully Putz stays healthy because he has been excellent in the Closer’s role for Arizona. He doesn’t walk many batters and has had a K/9 of 10.1 in two season’s for the D’Backs.

A couple of guys that I’m high on for 2013: Greg Holland, Tom Wilhelmsen, and Addison Reed.

A few guys that I’m low on for 2013: Fernando Rodney, Joel Hanrahan, and Ryan Madson.

I just can’t convince myself that Fernando Rodney was for real last year. It was amazing to watch him dominate, but it was a blip on the radar compared to his career numbers. Coming into last season, he had a 1.46 career WHIP. Last year that number was 0.78. Something just doesn’t add up. I’m siding with his career numbers and say that he’ll come back to earth in 2013.

Joel Hanrahan posted a 5.4 BB/9 in 2012. He’s going to have to improve that number pitching in the American League or he could be in for a long season.

Ryan Madson is already hurt… go figure.

Finally, keep an eye on Bruce Rondon throughout the spring. He is likely to break camp as the Tigers’ Closer and he throws triple digit gas. He could be a very dominate Closer in just a few years and he’s going to make for a very good late round pick in 2013.

This completes my Positional Rankings, but I’ll have a Top 250 out on Monday!

Thank-you for taking the time to check out my Rankings. It is greatly appreciated! Agree with my Rankings? Disagree? Please leave a comment. I’d love to interact with you. Click below to follow me on Twitter where you can ask me your Fantasy Baseball question’s and receive instant answers!


By David Kerr

2013 Outfield Rankings

1. Mike Trout
2. Ryan Braun
3. Matt Kemp
4. Carlos Gonzalez
5. Andrew McCutchen
6. Giancarlo Stanton
7. Jason Heyward
8. Josh Hamilton
9. Jose Bautista
10. Justin Upton
11. Bryce Harper
12. Adam Jones
13. Matt Holliday
14. Jay Bruce
15. Jacoby Ellsbury
16. B.J. Upton
17. Yoenis Cespedes
18. Michael Bourn
19. Shin-Soo Choo
20. Austin Jackson
21. Allen Craig
22. Desmond Jennings
23. Ben Zobrist
24. Alex Rios
25. Mark Trumbo
26. Shane Victorino
27. Hunter Pence
28. Alex Gordon
29. Melky Cabrera
30. Carlos Beltran
31. Chris Davis
32. Andre Ethier
33. Michael Morse
34. Curtis Granderson
35. Ben Revere
36. Nelson Cruz
37. Dexter Fowler
38. Norichika Aoki
39. Josh Willingham
40. Josh Reddick
41. Jayson Werth
42. Martin Prado
43. Brett Gardner
44. Carlos Gomez
45. Nick Swisher
46. Angel Pagan
47. Cameron Maybin
48. Torii Hunter
49. Alfonso Soriano
50. Ichiro Suzuki
51. Coco Crisp
52. Carl Crawford
53. Alejandro De Aza
54. Michael Saunders
55. Michael Cuddyer
56. Dayan Viciedo
57. Carlos Quentin
58. Nick Markakis
59. Corey Hart
60. Jason Kubel
61. Emilio Bonifacio
62. Lorenzo Cain
63. Garrett Jones
64. Michael Brantley
65. Ryan Ludwick
66. Starling Marte
67. Adam Eaton
68. Delmon Young
69. Cody Ross
70. Jon Jay
71. Denard Span
72. Drew Stubbs
73. David Murphy
74. Juan Pierre
75. Matt Joyce
76. Colby Rasmus
77. Rajai Davis
78. Brandon Moss
79. Logan Morrison
80. Peter Bourjos
81. Lucas Duda
82. Tyler Colvin
83. Jeff Francoeur
84. Dominic Brown
85. Wil Myers
86. Chris Young
87. Will Venable
88. Aaron Hicks
89. Chris Carter
90. Travis Snider
91. Seth Smith
92. Darin Mastroianni
93. Gerardo Parra
94. Nate McClouth
95. Justin Ruggiano
96. Andy Dirks
97. Justin Maxwell
98. J.D. Martinez
99. Gregor Blanco
100. Jose Tabata

UPDATED 3/20/13:
Alex Gordon rises from #31 to #28.
Josh Willingham rises from #44 to #39.
Darin Mastroianni falls from #85 to #92.
Dominic Brown rises from #100 to #84.
Chris Carter makes the list for the first time at #89.
Jose Tabata makes the list for the first time at #100.
Brennan Boesch falls off the list.
John Mayberry falls off the list.

Overall Thoughts

Mike Trout or Ryan Braun. I’ve been debating between these two players most of the winter and seemingly go back and forth daily. With Braun, you’re looking at a six year veteran coming off back to back 30/30 seasons that has been a top three pick for the past three years. He hit a career high 41 home runs last season. Trout, finished second to Miguel Cabrera in MVP voting last season and likely would have won it had Cabrera not won the Triple Crown. He has an extremely high upside and put up his ridiculous stat line in just five months. In 2013, he will have a full season at the Major League level. News came out last week of Braun being linked to another PED case. You have to wonder whether he’s going to escape this one. Ryan Braun is the safe pick, but there are less question marks surrounding Mike Trout and for that reason, I have him ranked not only as the number one outfielder, but as you’ll see later this week, number one overall. Trout will regress some but at the end of the season he will have the statistics of a number one overall pick.

Coming into the 2012 season, Matt Kemp said his goal was a 50/50 season. He fell well short of that because of a hamstring injury. Naturally with a leg injury, he wasn’t able to run as much and only had nine steals on the season. That number will be back in the 30’s this year and so will his home run total. Kemp will go 30/30 again this year after just missing 40/40 in 2011.

I like Carlos Gonzalez over Andrew McCutchen. He is a more consistent player not to mention the fact that he plays half of his games at the hitter’s haven, Coors Field. What’s most alarming to me about McCutchen is the decline he’s experienced in the final two months. In 2011, he had a triple slash of .227/.336/.416. In 2012 it was more of the same, .253/.354/.435. It is worth noting that Gonzalez didn’t exactly have a great final two months either in 2012, but he did miss a lot of time to injury. I’m confident he stays healthy this season and puts up his best season since 2010. Don’t get me wrong, I like both players a lot, but my preference is Cargo.

Two young studs that I want this year are Giancarlo Stanton and Jason Heyward. If you want them, you’re going to have to use a second round pick because chances are they won’t be there after that. I can say with confidence that Stanton will hit over 40 homers this year. Not many players do that, so keep that in mind on draft day.

Now that B.J Upton and Justin Upton will be sharing the same outfield, I see big things from both of their bats. I think both men will be motivated in a big way and that will translate onto the field. Justin Upton has never really had that huge breakout season. His best season to date has been 2011, but then he regressed last year. He’s definitely been frustrating to own at points, but this will be his year. B.J. Upton is somewhat underrated in my book. He’s basically a lock for 30 steals and he has good power as well. Obviously his biggest knock is that he’s a .250 hitter. If you can handle his streaky bat and high strikeout totals, you’re looking at a 25/30 guy with upside for more. Keep in mind that he’s right in the middle of his prime at 28 years old.

I almost put Bryce Harper in my Top 10, but decided against it as I think that at age 20, he’ll have some growing pains. That isn’t to say that he won’t have a great season, I just don’t feel as though it will be better than someone more established such as Josh Hamilton or Jose Bautista. However, if I’m drafting in a Dynasty League, Harper is a top three pick, no question.

Adam Jones set a career high in both home runs and steals in 2012. It’d be nice to see him increase his steals into the 20-25 range, but if he can hit 30 homers, no one can really complain. Matt Holliday is as sure and steady as the come. He’ll have his usual .300/.380/.525 triple slash to go along with 25 plus homers. Is this the year Jay Bruce hits 40 homers? He’ll come close, but I think he’ll fall a few short. He’s increased his home run total every season in the Majors, but he really needs to cut down on the strikeouts which allow him to become prone to long slumps.

I absolutely love Shin-Soo Choo batting at the top of Cincinnati’s lineup. He’s an on-base machine with a nice blend of pop and speed. Hitting ahead of Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto, and Jay Bruce will push him over 100 runs for the first time in his career.

A player that can be somewhat frustrating yet still has very good numbers at the end of the year is Curtis Granderson. He has a swing made for Yankee Stadium as evident by his home run totals the past two seasons (41 and 43). What is disconcerting though is his decline in walks, stolen bases, and his overall average. His increase in strikeouts is concerning as well. All of these things tie together and it makes me skeptical to draft him. Even with 40 homer power, I’d rather let someone else grab Granderson. His numbers should be there at the end of the year, but I can’t say I’m a huge fan this year.

Desmond Jennings and Dexter Fowler are two players I see that will make positive strides this season. Alex Rios is someone that I’m incredulous about. It’s so hard to predict what he’s going to do because he’s been all over the map, seemingly every other season. If that actually is true, he could be in for a down year. I like Shane Victorino‘s prospects of playing in Fenway Park. Of course he will steal plenty of bags, but I see a slight uptick in his home run total too. He’s a solid player.

Ben Revere said he’s going to steal 60 bags in 2013. I don’t think he will, but he has a solid chance to swipe at least 50. The downside with Revere is that he has no power whatsoever. Keep that in mind on draft day.

Don’t forget about Jayson Werth. Some owners may forget about him because he missed a good chunk of the last season due to a wrist injury. He’s a 20/20 guy over a full, healthy season.

Carlos Gomez seemingly came out of nowhere last year and hit .278/.321/.488 with 14 homers and 26 steals… after the All-Star break. He could have a decent 2013, but don’t overpay for what he could do. He doesn’t walk enough and that isn’t likely to change. His power basically came out of nowhere, so don’t look for 19 homers again. I think 10-15 home runs is more than likely where he’ll end up, but the steals are definitely for real.

There is plenty of value to be found in later rounds for power. Players that fall into that category include: Dayan Viciedo, Carlos Quentin, Jason Kubel, Garrett Jones, and Colby Rasmus.

If you are looking for speed late, these players will provide you with great value: Emilio Bonifacio, Juan Pierre, Drew Stubbs, Rajai Davis, Will Venable, and Darin Mastroianni.

A few 2013 Sleeper picks: Michael Saunders, Dayan Viciedo, Lorenzo Cain, Adam Eaton, Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Darin Mastroianni, J.D. Martinez, and John Mayberry.

A few 2013 Bust picks: Nelson Cruz, Carlos Gomez, Torii Hunter, Brandon Moss, Justin Ruggiano, and Nate McClouth.

Thanks for reading! Agree with my Rankings? Disagree? Please leave a comment. I’d love to interact with you. Look for my Top 100 Starting Pitcher Rankings tomorrow. Click below to follow me on Twitter!


By David Kerr

2013 Shortstop Rankings

1. Jose Reyes
2. Troy Tulowitzki
3. Starlin Castro
4. Ben Zobrist
5. Jimmy Rollins
6. Ian Desmond
7. Hanley Ramirez
8. Elvis Andrus
9. Asdrubal Cabrera
10. Erick Aybar
11. Danny Espinosa
12. Derek Jeter
13. J.J. Hardy
14. Alcides Escobar
15. Josh Rutledge
16. Jed Lowrie
17. Alexei Ramirez
18. Everth Cabrera
19. Andrelton Simmons
20. Zack Cozart
21. Marco Scutaro
22. Johnny Peralta
23. Jean Segura
24. Stephen Drew
25. Mike Aviles
26. Cliff Pennington
27. Dee Gordon
28. Hiroyuki Nakajima
29. Ruben Tejada
30. Yunel Escobar

UPDATED 3/20/13:
Hanley Ramirez falls from #3 to #7.
Stephen Drew falls from #20 to #24.
Andrelton Simmons rises from #23 to #19.

Overall Thoughts

Naturally the top two Shortstop’s in Fantasy Baseball have to both be injury prone. Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki are both ultra-talented, but neither can seem to stay healthy for an extended period of time. Over the past four seasons, they’ve played an almost identical amount of games. Tulowitzki has actually played in more games in that time span, 463 to 455. He’s coming off of a groin injury that cost him the final four months of the season and it supposed to be fully healthy and ready to go for Spring Training. He’s also playing in the World Baseball Classic, so he’ll be tested early on whether or not his groin is ready for game action. Jose Reyes has moved from the pits of South Florida to a stacked lineup north of the border. Toronto is going to have one heck of an offense this season and Reyes will be leading off. As usual, he’ll be good for 100 plus runs, 35-40 steals, and 10 or so homers. My only real reservation with Reyes is playing half of his games on the turf at Rogers Centre in Toronto. He’s had a history of hamstring issues, so there is a bit of a gamble involved. Nevertheless, I love the prospect of him hitting at the top of Toronto’s lineup so it’s easily worth the risk.

This is the season that Hanley Ramirez is going to bounce back to his 2010 numbers. He’s going to play Shortstop and hit in a great lineup. He may not get back to .300, but .280 seems very realistic. It’d be nice to see him get back to around 30 steals, but that number will probably be in the 20-25 range. A projection? .282-95-22-105-21.

For a guy that’s headed into his fourth full season in the Majors, it is amazing that Starlin Castro is only 22 years old. He’ll be 23 by Opening Day. Castro is going to continue to progress as a hitter and will likely be the number one Shortstop when he finally hits his prime in a few years. I’d like to see his Walks increase, but even if he stays at his career BB% rate of 5.2, he’s still going to hit around .300 every season. He’s that good of a pure hitter.

Sure and steady, Jimmy Rollins continues to be a very valuable player. Sure, he’s probably not going to hit over .250, but if he hits 15-20 homers and steals 30 bags, that more than makes up for it. Some owners may have reservations on his age, but I’d dive right in this season. He has a few good years left.

Be cautious of Ian Desmond‘s 2012 power surge. Including his years in the Minors, he never hit more than 13 home runs in a full season before he hit 25 last year. I think that number comes back to earth a bit this year. Look for between 15-18 homers. One thing you do not have to worry about with Desmond is his speed. He’ll steal 20 plus bags with ease. He’s hitting in a great lineup so be confident in his run producing ability.

I’m somewhat down on Elvis Andrus headed into 2013 because of his slack of steals in 2012. In the second half of 2012 he only stole five bags. He basically just stopped running. For Andrus to have full value, he needs to be stealing at least 35-40 bags. He has very little pop, so it’s imperative that he’s exceptional in at least one category. A repeat of last year just isn’t going to cut it.

I like Erick Aybar. He’s a solid all around player that gets you a little bit of everything. He’ll produce similar numbers to Asdrubal Cabrera yet be drafted a few rounds later.

Derek Jeter lead the league in hits last season with 216, but he’s also coming back from a broken ankle not to mention the fact that he’s 38 years old. I’m still a believer though. He’s gunning for 4,000 hits and I think he’ll reach that milestone before it’s all said and done. Don’t forget about J.J. Hardy. He provides big power from a weak power position. You could do a lot worse.

If you’re looking for steals late, grab Everth Cabrera. He led the National League last season and should have no problem reaching 40 again. The rest of his numbers aren’t pretty, but you can’t just pluck 40 steals out of thin air.

I like Zack Cozart to take a relatively big step forward this season, especially in the stolen base department. In 2010, he stole 30 bags for the Reds’ AAA affiliate, Louisville. I think he could steal 10-15 this season and that would definitely up his value.

Keep an eye on Andrelton Simmons and Jean Segura. Both will be starting for their respective teams and are nice flyers late. Don’t expect immediate production, but there is value in both players. Segura especially has had great speed throughout his stops in the Minor Leagues.

Another speed demon to watch is Dee Gordon. He doesn’t have a starting job right now, but if Luis Cruz flames out, Hanley Ramirez could move to third and Gordon could grab the job at Shortstop.

Yunel Escobar is better than Clint Barmes therefore he locked up my number 30 spot. Obviously, that isn’t saying much. You don’t want to own Escobar, or Barmes for that matter.

One notable exception on my list is Jurickson Profar. He’s the top prospect in all of baseball and could be starting the season as the Rangers Second Baseman. He’s been a Shortstop throughout his minor league career, but would likely be eligible at either position in most leagues. My rankings will update as we get closer to Opening Day and it’s likely Profar will land in my top 30 at both 2B and SS. If you’re in a 12 team league and getting down to the last few rounds in your draft, grab Profar. The unknown is his case outweighs the low ceiling type of players that would be available at that point.

Thanks for reading! Agree with my Rankings? Disagree? Please leave a comment. I’d love to interact with you. Look for my Top 100 Outfield Rankings Monday morning. Have a great weekend! Click below to follow me on Twitter!


By David Kerr

2013 Third Base Rankings

1. Miguel Cabrera
2. Evan Longoria
3. Adrian Beltre
4. David Wright
5. Ryan Zimmerman
6. Aramis Ramirez
7. Pablo Sandoval
8. Chase Headley
9. Brett Lawrie
10. Hanley Ramirez
11. David Freese
12. Martin Prado
13. Pedro Alvarez
14. Mike Moustakas
15. Kyle Seager
16. Todd Frazier
17. Kevin Youkilis
18. Lonnie Chisenhall
19. Manny Machado
20. Will Middlebrooks
21. Trevor Plouffe
22. Jeff Keppinger
23. Michael Young
24. Josh Donaldson
25. Chris Johnson
26. Matt Dominguez
27. Alberto Callaspo
28. Alex Rodriguez
29. Chris Nelson
30. Luis Cruz

UPDATED 3/20/13:
Hanley Ramirez falls from #5 to #10.
Chase Headley falls from #7 to #8.
Ryan Zimmerman rises from #8 to #5.
Lonnie Chisenhall rises from #20 to #18.
Jeff Keppinger rises from #25 to #22.

Overall Thoughts

Miguel Cabrera is a top three pick in every Fantasy Baseball league on planet Earth. Naturally, he’s ranked number one at Third Base. He is the most dependable player in Fantasy Baseball and puts up gaudy numbers year-in, year-out. I have no issue with someone taking him first overall. He’s consistent and sometimes it is best to play it safe… I’m looking at you Ryan Braun.

I really struggled with number two, three, and four for this year, but I settled on Evan Longoria at number two overall, followed by Adrian Beltre and David Wright. If Longoria is healthy, and that’s a big if, he will definitely be number two behind Cabrera. I’m banking on him staying healthy for the first time in three years. Wright and Beltre both provide value, but I’ll take Beltre because he will hit many more home runs. He doesn’t steal, but the pop makes up for it.

Don’t forget about Aramis Ramirez. He’s very consistent and will be for the next couple of years. He could fall a round or two because people may think that shipped has sailed. It hasn’t. He’ll have a solid year.

There is no way Chase Headley will hit 31 homers again. His ISO was 100 points higher in 2012 than it was the previous two seasons. There is going to be regression.

Can Ryan Zimmerman or Pablo Sandoval stay healthy over a full season? Zimmerman did play in 145 games last year, but he had a nagging shoulder injury that required two cortisone shots. In Sandoval’s case, at least he doesn’t have another hamate bone to break. Now, if he could just keep the weight off and stay in shape…

Brett Lawrie is an intriguing player in 2013. He’s going to be in a stacked lineup, so he shouldn’t have as much pressure on him. I could see him going 20/20 this year. Martin Prado was traded to Arizona and I think his value will see an increase. He’s never been a favorite of mine, but he’s fairly consistent. His power should increase playing his home games at Chase Field.

Another guy I was really down on was Pedro Alvarez. Last season though, he made me a believer. I know he’s never going to hit over .250, but he has serious power. He blasted 30 last year and could increase that number this year. He’s always going to strikeout way too much, but it comes with the territory. Home runs are a lot harder to pick up on the waiver wire than steals are.

Don’t be surprised if Kevin Youkilis regains his stroke this season. I see good things for “Youk” in the Bronx. Alex Rodriguez could be out the whole year, so Youkilis may have a spot at the hot corner all season.

Todd Frazier, Manny Machado, and Will Middlebrooks will all look to build on their rookie season’s of 2012. I like both Frazier and Middlebrooks to hit at least 20 home runs apiece. These three could very well move into the top-12 next season and I’m very intrigued to see how they produce.

Man, Michael Young is one bland Fantasy Baseball player. He’s a guy that I really have zero interest in owning.

The bottom seven players in this top 30 are guys that you’ll only want to own is deeper leagues. Chris Johnson will likely be splitting time with Juan Francisco. Jeff Keppinger, as discussed in my Second Base Rankings, is only good for batting average. Rodriguez will miss a significant portion of the season with the possibility of not playing at all. Luis Cruz will be batting in a great lineup, but he is quite boring. Hopefully, you’re not counting on any of these players as your starting Third Baseman.

Thanks for reading! Agree with my Rankings? Disagree? Please leave a comment. I’d love to interact with you. Look for Shortstop Rankings tomorrow! Click below to follow me on Twitter!