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Eric Cross' Top 50 Dynasty Rankings for Fantasy Baseball

Shohei Ohtani - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, Draft Sleepers, MLB Injury News

As the calendar flips from May to June, we're seeing plenty of movement in dynasty fantasy baseball rankings.

Plenty of big names are hurt or struggling right now, while young players are making a name for themselves and flying up rankings. It's always important in fantasy baseball to adapt and adjust on the fly, and that's especially true in dynasty leagues.

That's why I went from 2-3 rankings updates a year several years ago, when I started publicly posting rankings, to now posting monthly updates during the season. You need to always stay on top of trending players and react accordingly.

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What Factors Into My Rankings

  • Recent/Current Performance
  • Projected future short-term performance
  • Projected future long-term performance
  • Safeness of the profile
  • Age


Dynasty Rankings Notes

Clear Top Tiers

In my eyes, regardless of format, the clear-cut top tier should only contain the names Ronald Acuña Jr and Shohei Ohtani right now. Given the injuries and/or less-than-elite production from the handful of names behind them, these two have separated themselves from the pack.

With Ohtani, you're basically getting a top-20 hitter and a top-10 pitcher all in one player that you can use in a multitude of ways that nobody in the history of baseball has been able to replicate. Not even Babe Ruth. As for Acuña, he's on right around a 35/70 pace while improving his strikeout rate exponentially from 23.6% to 13.7% and also improving his zone contact, chase, and walk rates. It's almost not even fair at this point.

On the mound, I believe there's a clear-cut top-2 names here as well with Shane McClanahan and Spencer Strider. Both Corbin Burnes and Sandy Alcantara have fallen off a bit this season (I'd still buy low on both) while McClanahan and Strider have excelled. Given their age, ability to miss bats, and consistently low ratios, these are the locked-in top-2 dynasty arms right now.

Shane McClanahan 12 69.2 2.07 1.15 9.6% 29.1%
Spencer Strider 12 69.2 2.97 1.00 9.4% 40.6%

Corbin Carroll, Arizona Diamondbacks

Rising into the top-10 is rookie sensation, Corbin Carroll. My former #1 overall fantasy prospect has excelled to start the season, slashing .286/.373/.523 with 38 runs, 10 home runs, 25 RBI, and 16 steals in 229 plate appearances.

Not only is Carroll putting his elite power/speed on display in a near 30/50 pace, but he's also been able to trim his strikeout rate from 27% to 20.5% while improving his walk rate from 7% to 10.9%, zone contact from 77.9% to 84.9%, and whiff rate from 28.8% to 20.5%.

This is a no-doubt top-10 dynasty player that could even jump as high as #3 overall behind Acuña and Ohtani by the end of the season.

Elly De La Cruz, Cincinnati Reds

The top prospect on this list is Elly De La Cruz who comes in just outside the top-25 at #26 overall. While he's dealt with some strikeout woes in the minor leagues, De La Cruz has shown a better approach this season, trimming the strikeout rate from 30.8% to 26.9% and improving his walk rate from 7.8% to 14%.

All of this while still flexing his mammoth power/speed blend that resulted in 28 home runs and 47 steals in 121 games last season and 12 home runs and 11 steals in 38 games so far this season in Triple-A.

Even if De La Cruz can just hit .260 or so -- which is very possible given his power/speed blend and the BABIP boost that Great American Ballpark will present -- he'll likely become a fantasy monster that can rival Acuña/Tatís levels of power/speed that we've seen over the last few seasons. He's that damn good.

Framber Valdez, Houston Astros

It's time for Framber Valdez to be universally considered a top-10 arm for dynasty. The 29-year-old southpaw has solidified himself as one of the safest and most consistent arms in baeeball with arguably the highest floor of any pitcher in the game.

Over the last three season, Valdez continues to improve, dropping his ERA from 3.57 to 3.14 to 2.82 to 2.16 this season to go along with a 1.03 WHIP, 5.1% walk rate, and 26.9% strikeout rate.

Both his walk and strikeout rates, along with his ERA, are career best marks and he's been able to miss bats more consistently thanks to three offerings with a whiff rate north of 30%. Oh yeah, and this marks his 6th straight season with a groundball rate above 60%. Valdez is as rock-solid as they come.


Quick Notes

After a slow start in April, Juan Soto cranked up the heat in May, slashing .333/.482/.632 with 11 doubles, five home runs, more walks (25) than strikeouts (19), and even five steals. Yes, he's slumping a bit in May so far, but I'm never going to bet against Soto. Those that did in April were presented with a "hold my beer" month from him in May. This is still a no-doubt top-10 dynasty asset and top-5 in OBP formats.

Bo Bichette finds himself back inside the top-10 this month as he is currently slasdhing .329/.364/.519 with 34 runs, 12 home runs, 39 RBI, and two steals. You'd love to see him run more, but it's hard to argue with a 100/34/114 pace while hitting well over .300. Bichette is a .301 hitter for his career that has led the Major Leagues in hits since the start of the 2021 season.

The power/speed blend has taken an unsurprising step forward for Bobby Witt Jr. this season with 10 home runs and 18 steals so far in 253 plate appearances. We've also seen his overall quality of contact metrics take a step forward as well with his barrel rate and hard-hit rate improving to 13% and 12.9% respectively. However, Witt's aggressive approach continues to limit him in the AVG and OBP departments. It's not a swing and miss issue as Witt is running a 22.5% strikeout rate and 26.2% whiff rate, but he just doesn't show enough patience and has yet to crack a 5% walk rate. If he can begin improving in that regard, Witt could jump into top-5 overall discussion.

Without question, Michael Harris II has been one of the biggest busts through the first third of the 2023 season. However, are we really going to let two months for a player that clearly hasn't been 100% healthy overshadow a phenomenal rookie season where he was one lone home run away from a 20/20 season despite playing only 114 games? I'm sure not. Yes, he's moved down my rankings a bit, but I'd look to buy-low if possible in dynasty leagues right now.

As there was with my overall rankings and with pitchers, there's also an obvious top two at the catcher position with Adley Rutschman and Will SmithGiven their age and production, these two have certainly distanced themselves from the second tier at this position and I don't really envision that changing any time soon. Rutschman is currently hitting .285 with eight home runs and a .402 OBP while walking more than he strikes out. The quality of contact metrics have dipped a bit lately, but Rutschman is settling in as an annual .280/25 bat with solid run production in Baltimore exciting young lineup.

Smith has been even better this season with a .308/.411/.521 slash line and eight home runs in 180 plate appearances. He's also demonstrating elite plate discipline with a 15% walk rate, 9.4% strikeout rate, and a 16.4% whiff rate. If he was a few years younger, Smith might be #1 ahead of Rutschman.

Last but not least, I'm looking to buy-low on Gunnar Henderson wherever I can in dynasty leagues. On the surface, Henderson's .201/.328/.384 slash line isn't refrigerator worthy, but he's still hitting the ball hard (12% barrel, 91.8 mph AVG EV, 48% hard-hit) and walking at a 15.3% clip. However, Henderson's swing and miss issues, coupled with his overly passive approach, have led to a higher strike out rate and a lower contact rate as well. He's a tweak or two away from really taking off offensively, and that's the type of player always worth investing in, especially when the price tag has dipped.


Top 50 Fantasy Baseball Dynasty Rankings

Updated: June 2023

Rank Player Pos. Team Age Prev
1 Ronald Acuna Jr. OF ATL 25.46 1
2 Shohei Ohtani UT,P LAA 28.92 2
3 Julio Rodriguez OF SEA 22.43 3
4 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS,OF SDP 24.42 4
5 Juan Soto OF SDP 24.61 5
6 Kyle Tucker OF HOU 26.38 6
7 Yordan Alvarez OF HOU 25.94 7
8 Corbin Carroll OF ARI 22.78 16
9 Bo Bichette SS TOR 25.25 14
10 Aaron Judge OF NYY 31.11 9
11 Bryce Harper OF PHI 30.64 17
12 Jose Ramirez 3B CLE 30.72 11
13 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1B TOR 24.22 12
14 Wander Franco SS TBR 22.26 27
15 Trea Turner SS PHI 29.93 10
16 Bobby Witt Jr. 3B,SS KCR 22.97 8
17 Mookie Betts OF LAD 30.66 13
18 Rafael Devers 3B BOS 26.61 15
19 Mike Trout OF LAA 31.83 18
20 Randy Arozarena OF TBR 28.27 33
21 Luis Robert OF CHW 25.84 25
22 Pete Alonso 1B NYM 28.49 22
23 Shane McClanahan SP TBR 26.10 26
24 Spencer Strider SP ATL 24.60 37
25 Austin Riley 3B ATL 26.17 19
26 Elly De La Cruz 3B,SS CIN 21.39 62
27 Freddie Freeman 1B LAD 33.73 30
28 Jordan Walker OF STL 21.03 20
29 Corbin Burnes SP MIL 28.62 21
30 Gerrit Cole SP NYY 32.74 28
31 Manny Machado 3B SDP 30.92 24
32 Zac Gallen SP ARI 27.84 39
33 Brandon Woodruff SP MIL 30.32 32
34 Michael Harris II OF ATL 22.24 23
35 Francisco Lindor SS NYM 29.56 34
36 Aaron Nola SP PHI 30.00 35
37 Adley Rutschman C BAL 25.32 38
38 Jazz Chisholm Jr. 2B MIA 25.34 31
39 Nolan Arenado 3B STL 32.14 40
40 Vinnie Pasquantino 1B KCR 25.65 42
41 Will Smith C LAD 28.19 53
42 Matt Olson 1B ATL 29.19 46
43 Sandy Alcantara SP MIA 27.74 29
44 Gunnar Henderson 3B,SS BAL 21.93 36
45 Corey Seager SS TEX 29.11 49
46 Cristian Javier SP HOU 26.19 55
47 Luis Castillo SP SEA 30.51 56
48 Eloy Jimenez OF CHW 26.52 41
49 Cedric Mullins II OF BAL 28.68 64
50 Framber Valdez SP HOU 29.54 75


If you enjoyed these rankings and want to see the full Top 500 along with additional rankings, analysis, and more, check out Eric's Toolshed Fantasy Patreon.

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