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Dynasty Crystal Ball - Projecting the Top Fantasy Baseball Hitters for 2027

Ronald Acuna Jr. - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Betting Picks

It's always fun to look ahead in the fantasy baseball world. With dynasty leagues, looking ahead is especially important, as you always need to have one eye on the present and one eye on the future.

That can sometimes be hard to do, but remember, every move you make in dynasty has a short-term impact and a long-term impact. Will a win-now move hurt you in the long run? Can you sacrifice win-now pieces for win later pieces if not contending? It's a delicate balance we need to try to tightrope.

After projecting my Top 10 prospects last week here on RotoBaller, I'll be dusting off the dynasty crystal ball once again today and projecting the top hitters at each position three years from today.

Be sure to check all of our fantasy baseball waiver wire pickups and weekly lineup resources:

 

Top Catchers for 2027 Fantasy Baseball

1. Adley Rutschman, Baltimore Orioles
2. William Contreras, MIL
3. Samuel Basallo, BAL
4. Gabriel Moreno, ARI
5. Will Smith, LAD

When opening day 2027 rolls around, Adley Rutschman will have just turned 29 years old and should still be atop this position and in the middle of a juggernaut Baltimore lineup. Just imagine that 2027 lineup with Jackson Holliday and Coby Mayo as now-established Major Leaguers and Gunnar Henderson as one of the best players in the game. Rutschman's four-category impact and high floor make him the #1 guy right now, and I'm not expecting that to change in the next few years. Rutschman is an annual .280/80/20/80 threat with the upside for .300/100/30/100.

Honestly, I debated putting William Contreras at #1. Contreras and Rutschman are very close in my eyes, and Contreras has improved his zone contact, overall contact, whiff, chase, and strikeout rates every year of his career. If anyone is going to dethrone Rutschman as the top fantasy backstop, it's likely going to be Contreras. Right behind Contreras are a pair of youngsters, Samuel Basallo and Gabriel Moreno. I'm not 100% certain Basallo is still catcher eligible in three years, but if he is, his combination of contact, power, and approach, along with an outstanding lineup around him, could push him to the top tier at this position.

For Moreno, it's 100% about the power and if he can get into the 15-20 homer range annually. The elite contact skills (88% Zone, 80% Overall) put him in the top 10 at this position, but he's going to need to start hitting more home runs to push higher. Moreno has shown that he has the quality of contact metrics to flirt with or exceed 20 dingers annually, but a 4.2° launch angle has limited him so far.

 

Top First Basemen for 2027 Fantasy Baseball

1. Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox
2. Matt Olson, ATL
3. Bryce Harper, PHI
4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR
5. Pete Alonso, NYM

This was a tough position to put in order. Current top dogs like Matt Olson, Bryce Harper, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will be 33, 34, and 28, respectively, and there's no reason to anticipate a fall in production for Olson and Harper, health permitting. Olson is coming off a season where he was a Top-5 overall player with a .283/.389/604 slash line, 54 HR, 139 RBI, and 127 runs scored. On top of that, Olson's 16.4% barrel rate, 93.7 mph AVG EV, and 55.5% hard-hit rate were about as elite as they come. At age 33, when the 2027 season starts, there's no reason to expect Olson to not still be an elite performer.

Guerrero could easily be in this #1 spot in any year between now and 2027 and beyond. We've seen year after year of elite metrics, but only one elite fantasy season back in 2021. Outside of that one year where he was aided by 44 games in minor league ballparks (21 HR), Guerrero has been a good but not great fantasy asset. Can he finally increase that launch angle a bit and capitalize more on his elite quality of contact metrics? And with Harper, he's elite on a per-game basis and probably has another monster season or two upcoming, but one must wonder about how his body holds up as he progresses further into his 30s.

That brings us to the man in the #1 spot by a slim margin, Triston Casas. It might seem a bit risky to slot Casas ahead of Olson, Harper, and Guerrero, but I'm a believer that what we saw from Casas in the second half of 2023 is just the beginning. From July 8 through the end of the season, Casas slashed a stellar .319/.417/.622 with 15 HR while ranking in the top 5 for AVG, OBP, SLG, wOBA, and wRC+. The upside is a .270 or better hitter with at least 35 HR annually who will be only 27 in 2027.

Lastly, I gave serious consideration to Christian Encarnacion-Strand here and even had him ahead of Alonso on our Toolshed episode about this same topic. Encarnacion-Strand's upside is very similar to where Alonso has been the last few years, and he'll get to call Great American Ballpark his home for at least the next few years. It was also VERY tough to not include Freddie Freeman who has been the gold standard at this position, but he will be 37 at this time and probably more likely in the 6-8 range.

 

Top Second Basemen for 2027 Fantasy Baseball

1. Jackson Holliday, Baltimore Orioles
2. Matt McLain, CIN
3. Ozzie Albies, ATL
4. Zack Gelof, OAK
5. Colt Keith, DET

With Jackson Holliday moving over to second base, he was a fairly easy selection for the top spot at the Keystone in 2027. Holliday is one of the best pure hitters to come through the minors over the last half decade and is one of the few players in baseball that I feel confident in projecting an annual AVG of .300 or better for. That high AVG and OBP should come with around 25-30 steals and hopefully around 20 HR as well.

Before the positional shift for Holliday, Matt McLain was going to be my #1 in this position, and I firmly believe he's going to be closer to Holliday than people think. Yes, Holliday is a better pure hitter, which gives him the edge. However, McLain has the power and speed to be an annual 25/25 guy in Great American Ballpark, along with plenty of R and RBI in an exciting Cincinnati lineup. Holliday and McLain barely edge out Ozzie Albies who will be 30 in 2027 and likely still a top-50 overall player if he's still running enough.

The top trio here were fairly easy selections, but not so much with the last two spots in this top five. If we're talking upside, then Zack Gelof is a no-brainer selection. In 300 plate appearances as a rookie in 2023, Gelof put up a 14 spot in both the HR and SB departments while recording an 11.1% barrel rate and 91st percentile sprint speed. The upside to going 25/25 annually exists for Gelof, but improving his lowly 72.4% zone contact and 66% overall contact rates is going to determine if he's a good or great fantasy second baseman.

Colt Keith's upside isn't as high as Gelof's, but the floor certainly is with Keith being a potential above-average or better hitter that can hit 25 homers annually. He'll likely be a solid four-category contributor for years to come.

 

Top Third Basemen for 2027 Fantasy Baseball

1. Austin Riley, Atlanta Braves
2. Rafael Devers, BOS
3. Junior Caminero, TBR
4. Royce Lewis, MIN
5. Noelvi Marte, CIN

This was probably the toughest position for me to rank the five. Picking the five wasn't the challenge, but ranking them, especially the top-3, was very tough. Leaving out José Ramírez feels odd, but he'll be 34 at this time, and even a slight drop in production with these other five studs in the picture could bump Ramírez out of the top 5, especially if the SB starts to decrease.

When we did this episode on Toolshed, I had Caminero first, but after thinking about it more, I dropped him to third. Riley and Devers will both still be 30 when the 2027 season begins and still in the middle of prime offensive production in four categories. That's exactly the type of player Caminero projects to be, and him being 23 could give him the boost in dynasty rankings, but it's still hard to firmly place him ahead of Devers and Riley. But, at this time, I expect these three to all be very close in production.

Healthy permitting, Royce Lewis could easily be on the same level as the aforementioned trio, but his worrisome knee issues keep him down in the fourth spot for now. When healthy, Lewis has shown near-elite power potential with an 11.7% barrel rate and 15 HR in just 239 plate appearances last season and realistically could be a 35/10 player moving forward. However, durability is still a question here. Let's hope the knee issues are behind him.

While an 80-game suspension puts a damper on Noelvi Marte's 2024 season and short-term impact, his long-term upside is still a potential fantasy stud with the upside for 30 HR, 20 SB, and a solid AVG/OBP. If you're able to buy low in dynasty leagues due to the suspension, I'd absolutely do so.

 

Top Shortstops for 2027 Fantasy Baseball

1. Bobby Witt Jr., Kansas City Royals
2. Elly De La Cruz, CIN
3. Gunnar Henderson, BAL
4. Oneil Cruz, PIT
5. Jordan Lawlar, ARI

When you have a current 23-year-old coming off a 30/49 season, it's not overly difficult to keep him in the #1 slot here at shortstop when he'll still only be 26 entering the 2027 season. Witt is one of the fastest players in baseball and might even have more power potential in the tank. He'll probably always be on the lower end of the OBP scale, but Witt could put together a 110/35/110/50 season if the lineup around him in Kansas City improves.

However, if any one player were to leap frog Witt, only Elly De La Cruz has that level of upside to do so. De La Cruz has flaws in his game centered around his higher strikeout rate, but he's one of only a few players in baseball to have the upside to hit 40 HR and steal 40 bags in a season. Playing in Great American Ballpark is just the icing on the cake. If De La Cruz is able to build off his late-season improvements and keep his strikeout and contact rates respectable, fantasy superstardom awaits.

At spots three and four, Gunnar Henderson and Oneil Cruz are interchangeable. And it really all depends on how risk-averse you are with your fantasy teams. Henderson is safer with a higher floor and could easily be an annual .270/30/15 threat. He was near that level already in 2023, finishing with 100 R, 28 HR, and a dozen SB while recording an 11% barrel rate, 52% hard-hit rate, 92 mph AVG EV, and 86th-percentile sprint speed. On the other hand, Cruz has legitimate 40/20 upside and has dazzled us with his mammoth raw power, posting a 15.5% barrel rate, 46.1% hard-hit rate, and 91.9 mph AVG EV in 2022. Cruz will probably be more in the .250-.260 range, but the power/speed should make him a Top-25 overall player.

The 5th spot was very difficult. Current studs like Corey Seager, Trea Turner, Francisco Lindor, and Bo Bichette were all strongly considered and should all still be Top 10 players at this position in 2027, but all three will be 33 at that time. I'm still banking on Jordan Lawlar being a major impact fantasy asset with the upside to go .260/20/25 or better in each category.

 

Top Outfielders for 2027 Fantasy Baseball

1. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves
2. Julio Rodriguez, SEA
3. Corbin Carroll, ARI
4. Wyatt Langford, TEX
5. Fernando Tatís Jr., SDP
6. Kyle Tucker, HOU
7. Juan Soto, NYY
8. Michael Harris II, ATL
9. Jordan Walker, STL
10. Jackson Chourio, MIL

There's not a lot of turnover here in the outfield, as many of the current elite options are in their early or mid-20s and will still be under age 30 when the 2027 season rolls around. In fact, the "old man" of this group is Kyle Tucker, who will turn 30 a little over two months before the 2027 season begins.

Ronald Acuña Jr., Julio Rodriguez, and Corbin Carroll are chalk at 1-2-3, but current prospect Wyatt Langford slots in right behind them as the #4 outfielder. After dominating during his final two seasons at the University of Florida, Langford slashed .360/.480/.677 in 200 plate appearances after the draft last season, along with 17 doubles, ten HR, 12 SB, and more walks (36) than strikeouts (34). He's also been one of the best hitters this spring, currently tied for the 2nd in HR with five. Given his elite blend of contact, approach, power, and speed, Langford has the upside of a .280/35/20 player and could easily join the top tier at this position sooner rather than later.

After Langford, the next four are also pretty chalk and already top-10 options at this position, but the final two spots were tough to pick as there are so many talented young outfielders in the game right now. It was really difficult to exclude players like Luis Robert Jr., Evan Carter, Jasson Dominguez, and others, but Jordan Walker and Jackson Chourio get the final two roses here.

I'm still a firm believer that Walker is going to be a .270/35/15 middle of the order force for St. Louis, so buy now before his price tag soars over the next few years. As for Chourio, his aggressive nature probably limits his AVG a bit, but he could still develop into a .260/25/30 type and a Top 25 overall player.

 

Two Notable Omissions

I'm sure some of you thought, "Where the heck are Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani?" Well, since Ohtani will likely not qualify at any one spot in the field, it didn't make sense to force him into a position above.

As for Betts, I'm just not sure what position he'll be in 2027, as the Dodgers keep moving him around every year or two. More than likely, he'll probably still be eligible for two or three positions. Both Betts and Ohtani should still be Top-25 players in the 2027 season.

 

If you enjoyed these rankings and want to see Eric's full prospect rankings for redraft and dynasty - along with additional rankings, analysis, and more - check out Eric's Toolshed Fantasy Patreon.



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Michael Florio's Football Show - Podcast RotoBaller Network

Florio's Football Show: Late Round Targets!

Michael F. Florio is back and so is best ball season! If you are drafting in best ball, you need some targets for the later rounds. Florio gives you his favorites at each position! Plus, he talks why it is smart to wait on RBs even if you grab one in the early rounds. Get... Read More