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Updated May Rankings and Tiers: Relief Pitcher (RP)

The comedian Lewis Black has a fantastic bit about the dumbest thing he’s ever heard in his life. After relaying the thing in question, he cautions the audience, “Don’t think about that sentence for more than three minutes, or blood will shoot out your nose.” This is more or less how it felt trying to make heads or tails of 2017’s weird and wild first month and produce updated rankings. It’s why, unlike my esteemed colleague Nick Mariano, I went only 300 players deep as opposed to 500. Had I pressed on, it might have broken my brain. All of which is to say, if you disagree strongly with any particular ranking, know that there’s a decent chance you could talk me into adjusting mine. The sheer number of injuries and surprise performances (in both directions) made putting this update together a stiff challenge. We're finishing up this series with a look at relievers. Unsurprisingly, quite a bit has changed since March - and even since we completed this update at the beginning of the month. You can find our full, updated rankings here. Note that they’re based on a standard 12-teamer, so you should make adjustment based on your specific league settings. Tiers, auction values, prospects, news and more. It's all free.  

2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Relief Pitcher (May Updates)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Aroldis Chapman RP 62 59 60.5
2 1 Kenley Jansen RP 60 61 60.5
3 1 Edwin Diaz RP 86 101 93.5
4 2 Craig Kimbrel RP 97 97 97
5 2 Roberto Osuna RP 94 121 107.5
6 2 Kelvin Herrera RP 104 122 113
7 2 Wade Davis RP 128 109 118.5
8 2 Seung-Hwan Oh RP 113 125 119
9 2 Kenneth Giles RP 127 163 145
10 2 Alexander Colome RP 117 176 146.5
11 3 Andrew Miller RP 118 178 148
12 3 Cody Allen RP 124 174 149
13 3 Dellin Betances RP 125 184 154.5
14 3 Greg Holland RP 146 169 157.5
15 3 Brad Brach RP 158 158 158
16 4 David Robertson RP 139 246 192.5
17 4 Mark Melancon RP 196 196 196
18 4 Chris Devenski SP/RP 168 254 211
19 4 A.J. Ramos RP 195 231 213
20 5 Matt Bush RP 186 305 245.5
21 5 Tony Watson RP 220 294 257
22 5 Brandon Maurer RP 221 297 259
23 5 Justin Wilson RP 260 260 260
24 5 Addison Reed RP 261 261 261
25 5 Santiago Casilla RP 262 262 262
26 5 Hector Neris RP 257 276 266.5
27 6 Cameron Bedrosian RP 192 348 270
28 6 Neftali Feliz RP #N/A 271 271
29 6 Hyun-Jin Ryu SP/RP 273 328 300.5
30 6 Brandon Kintzler RP 259 346 302.5
31 6 Shawn Kelley RP 250 357 303.5
32 6 Jim Johnson RP 276 338 307
33 6 Francisco Rodriguez RP 311 311 311
34 6 Raisel Iglesias SP/RP 161 462 311.5
35 6 Zach Britton RP 312 312 312
36 6 Jeurys Familia RP 313 313 313
37 6 Nate Jones RP 283 372 327.5
38 6 Fernando Rodney RP #N/A 331 331
39 6 Trevor Rosenthal RP #N/A 332 332
40 7 Ryan Madson RP #N/A 345 345
41 7 Daniel Hudson RP #N/A 354 354
42 7 Kyle Barraclough RP 287 443 365
43 7 Adam Ottavino RP #N/A 370 370
44 7 Arodys Vizcaino RP #N/A 376 376
45 7 C.J. Edwards RP #N/A 379 379
46 7 Carter Capps RP #N/A 398 398
47 7 Ryan Dull RP #N/A 430 430
48 7 Corey Knebel RP #N/A 439 439
49 7 Ty Blach RP #N/A 442 442
50 7 Sean Doolittle RP #N/A 444 444
51 7 Luke Gregerson RP #N/A 451 451
52 7 Michael Lorenzen RP #N/A 465 465
53 7 Joaquin Benoit RP #N/A 469 469
54 7 Will Harris RP #N/A 471 471
55 7 Chad Green RP #N/A 478 478
56 7 Matt Strahm RP #N/A 487 487
 

Relief Pitcher Rankings Analysis: May

Right off the bat, we've got multiple rankings in the top tier that need adjustment. Aroldis Chapman hit the disabled list a few days ago with a strained rotator cuff. He's not expected back until mid-June. Edwin Diaz was demoted from the closer role on Tuesday, one day after walking four straight batters. While he'd only blown two saves, he also hasn't looked much like the dominant reliever we saw last season. It seems like a temporary move while Diaz gets straightened out, and the talent is still immense. Obviously, however, we can't put a guy in the top three when he's not locking down games for his team. At least Kenley Jansen has been his usual self, and Craig Kimbrel is making anyone who thought he'd fallen out of the ranks of the elite (meekly raises hand) look like a fool. Things are relatively stable otherwise in the top 10, though Seung Hwan Oh and Ken Giles haven't really lived up to their preseason hype so far. As we move into the middle tiers, we see plenty of players whose valuations have fluctuated wildly in the early going. Greg Holland took the Rockies' closer job and ran with it from day one. He leads MLB with a whopping 17 saves, five more than anyone else. Of course, he's not going to go the entire season without allowing a home run, but he's certainly proven he's all the way back from Tommy John surgery. With Zach Britton out long-term, Brad Brach is closing for the Orioles. He hasn't been nearly as dominant as he was in 2016 and has blown his last two save chances, but appears to still have a firm grip on the role. Similarly, Addison Reed is the man in Queens with Jeurys Familia on the shelf, though he's struggled relative to his outstanding performance from a year ago. Sam Dyson's disastrous April opened the door for Matt Bush to seize the ninth in Texas. Until recently, the Rangers had gone on a remarkable run of games without a save opportunity. Bush converted all three chances he got last week, however, and hasn't allowed a run since April 9. The biggest jump of all belongs to a guy who isn't closing. Chris Devenski has looked a bit more human lately, but he's still sitting on a gaudy 46.8 K% and 0.82 WHIP. With most of his appearances covering multiple innings, he's been more valuable than many starting pitchers, to say nothing of relievers. A few quick hits to close things out:
  • Archie Bradley hasn't been quite as good as Devenski, but he occupies a similar role for the Diamondbacks and deserved to be ranked here.
  • There was speculation that Bradley could see some save ops, but Fernando Rodney hasn't allowed a run in his last five appearances. That streak has brought his ERA down to a sparkling 8.59. Fernando Rodney is bad, but he somehow has 10 saves anyway.
  • The Nationals' ninth inning situation has predictably been a mess, but at least last year they had a good bullpen otherwise. This year's group has been awful. They're still the best team in the National League, but it seems like even more of a lock than before that they'll trade for a closer.
  • Another guy we didn't rank who probably should have been mentioned: Bud Norris. He's been quite solid with Cam Bedrosian out, and could hold on to the job even when Bedrosian returns.
  • Names to remember ROS: Carter Capps, Felipe Rivero, Nate Jones.
 

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Updated May Rankings and Tiers: Starting Pitcher

The time for chalking things up to “just April shenanigans” has come and gone, and we here at RotoBaller felt that it was time for a rankings update with roughly 20 percent of the season in the books. Of course, now we’re closer to 25 percent but don’t worry -- we’ll always bring you the latest analysis across the site for the best context possible. This round features rankings from myself and my Reddit-famous brochacho Kyle Bishop, so you know you’re getting the best. The pitching world has been absolutely rocked by this 10-day disabled list, as many arms are finding themselves on the shelf when they might’ve simply skipped a start or just pitched through some general fatigue/ineffectiveness/dirt-bike incidents. We can’t say for certain that anything fishy is afoot, but DL trips are up roughly 50 percent and the fantasy world is still reacting to those ripple effects. As a result, those who have stayed healthy look even better thus far, and some hot starts stand out even more than usual with so many others hurt. For instance, James Paxton and Corey Kluber both got hurt pretty much as soon as we submitted our updated ranks. Obviously, Jameson Taillon's rank should be ignored and we wish him all the best in his battle with cancer.  

2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Starting Pitchers (May Updates)

You can check out all of our updated rankings. Positional tiers, top prospects, dynasty ranks, and more. It's all free.  
Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Clayton Kershaw SP 7 6 6.5
2 1 Max Scherzer SP 10 14 12
3 1 Chris Sale SP 18 20 19
4 1 Corey Kluber SP 23 23 23
5 1 Jacob deGrom SP 28 35 31.5
6 1 Yu Darvish SP 48 26 37
7 2 Stephen Strasburg SP 37 38 37.5
8 2 Justin Verlander SP 54 30 42
9 2 Jake Arrieta SP 50 42 46
10 2 Jon Lester SP 44 48 46
11 2 Carlos Carrasco SP 38 55 46.5
12 2 Chris Archer SP 56 43 49.5
13 3 Johnny Cueto SP 45 92 68.5
14 3 James Paxton SP 74 65 69.5
15 3 Masahiro Tanaka SP 89 52 70.5
16 3 Gerrit Cole SP 75 70 72.5
17 3 Carlos Martinez SP 96 58 77
18 3 Dallas Keuchel SP 90 69 79.5
19 3 Zack Greinke SP 85 96 90.5
20 4 Danny Duffy SP 93 93 93
21 4 Michael Fulmer SP 114 80 97
22 4 Kenta Maeda SP 92 108 100
23 4 Jose Quintana SP 110 105 107.5
24 4 Lance McCullers SP 129 91 110
25 4 David Price SP 98 123 110.5
26 4 Marcus Stroman SP 123 99 111
27 4 Danny Salazar SP 134 95 114.5
28 5 Kyle Hendricks SP 137 106 121.5
29 5 Rick Porcello SP 122 135 128.5
30 5 Julio Teheran SP 154 107 130.5
31 5 Rich Hill SP 148 127 137.5
32 5 Julio Urias SP 142 133 137.5
33 5 Jameson Taillon SP 188 89 138.5
34 5 John Lackey SP 145 134 139.5
35 5 Aaron Nola SP 149 138 143.5
36 5 Cole Hamels SP 143 149 146
37 6 Aaron Sanchez SP 184 110 147
38 6 Sean Manaea SP 158 141 149.5
39 6 Tanner Roark SP 159 144 151.5
40 6 Noah Syndergaard SP 169 136 152.5
41 6 Luis Severino SP 183 128 155.5
42 6 Madison Bumgarner SP 170 145 157.5
43 6 Matt Harvey SP 198 131 164.5
44 6 Michael Pineda SP 157 182 169.5
45 6 Jharel Cotton SP #N/A 170 170
46 7 Dylan Bundy SP 207 153 180
47 7 Jeff Samardzija SP 203 175 189
48 7 Steven Matz SP 178 210 194
49 7 Adam Wainwright SP 204 185 194.5
50 7 Drew Pomeranz SP 144 247 195.5
51 7 Vincent Velasquez SP 185 206 195.5
52 7 Jonathan Gray SP 150 243 196.5
53 7 Sonny Gray SP 236 160 198
54 7 J.A. Happ SP 180 218 199
55 8 Jerad Eickhoff SP 212 188 200
56 8 Ervin Santana SP 244 159 201.5
57 8 Ivan Nova SP 252 154 203
58 8 Robbie Ray SP 190 217 203.5
59 8 Chris Devenski SP/RP 168 254 211
60 8 Lance Lynn SP 247 181 214
61 8 Matt Shoemaker SP 235 199 217
62 8 Felix Hernandez SP #N/A 221 221
63 8 Gio Gonzalez SP 241 203 222
64 8 Jake Odorizzi SP 200 249 224.5
65 8 Ian Kennedy SP 245 213 229
66 8 Marco Estrada SP 237 227 232
67 8 Robert Gsellman SP 275 197 236
68 9 Zack Wheeler SP 271 205 238
69 9 Jeremy Hellickson SP 279 216 247.5
70 9 Carlos Rodon SP 249 252 250.5
71 9 Blake Snell SP #N/A 251 251
72 9 Alex Cobb SP #N/A 255 255
73 9 Joe Ross SP 286 225 255.5
74 9 Eduardo Rodriguez SP 264 250 257
75 9 Michael Wacha SP #N/A 259 259
76 9 Daniel Norris SP 299 220 259.5
77 9 Taijuan Walker SP 201 322 261.5
78 9 Kevin Gausman SP 298 228 263
79 10 Francisco Liriano SP 291 236 263.5
80 10 Alex Wood SP 269 262 265.5
81 10 Daniel Straily SP 268 #N/A 268
82 10 Andrew Triggs SP 272 266 269
83 10 Garrett Richards SP #N/A 270 270
84 10 Chris Tillman SP #N/A 272 272
85 10 Matt Moore SP #N/A 273 273
86 11 Kendall Graveman SP #N/A 278 278
87 11 Michael Foltynewicz SP 282 277 279.5
88 11 Zach Davies SP #N/A 283 283
89 11 Brandon McCarthy SP 263 310 286.5
90 11 Jason Hammel SP #N/A 287 287
91 11 Mike Leake SP 262 319 290.5
92 12 Miguel Gonzalez SP #N/A 293 293
93 12 Hector Santiago SP #N/A 299 299
94 12 Raisel Iglesias SP/RP 161 462 311.5
95 12 Patrick Corbin SP 274 356 315
96 12 Drew Smyly SP #N/A 323 323
97 12 Wily Peralta SP #N/A 329 329
98 12 Bartolo Colon SP #N/A 330 330
99 13 Anthony DeSclafani SP #N/A 333 333
100 13 Junior Guerra SP #N/A 336 336
101 13 Archie Bradley SP 267 406 336.5
102 13 Jaime Garcia SP #N/A 340 340
103 13 Tyler Anderson SP #N/A 342 342
104 13 Collin McHugh SP #N/A 343 343
105 13 Tyler Chatwood SP #N/A 344 344
106 13 Joe Musgrove SP #N/A 355 355
107 13 Derek Holland SP #N/A 362 362
108 13 Jose Berrios SP #N/A 363 363
109 13 Brandon Finnegan SP #N/A 364 364
110 14 Tyler Skaggs SP #N/A 369 369
111 14 Chad Kuhl SP #N/A 397 397
112 14 Adam Conley SP #N/A 400 400
113 14 Trevor Bauer SP #N/A 410 410
114 14 Matt Boyd SP #N/A 411 411
115 14 Jordan Zimmermann SP #N/A 422 422
116 14 Hisashi Iwakuma SP #N/A 425 425
117 14 Bud Norris SP #N/A 429 429
118 14 Wade Miley SP #N/A 433 433
119 14 Jimmy Nelson SP #N/A 452 452
120 14 Tyler Glasnow SP #N/A 455 455
121 14 James Shields SP #N/A 467 467
122 14 Wei-Yin Chen SP #N/A 474 474
123 14 Tyson Ross SP #N/A 475 475
124 14 David Phelps SP #N/A 476 476
125 14 Matt Garza SP #N/A 477 477
126 14 Mike Montgomery SP #N/A 482 482
127 14 Nate Karns SP #N/A 492 492
128 14 Homer Bailey SP #N/A 493 493
129 14 Scott Kazmir SP #N/A 494 494
130 14 Tom Koehler SP #N/A 495 495
131 14 Ariel Miranda SP #N/A 496 496
132 14 Tyler Duffey SP #N/A 497 497
133 14 Seth Lugo SP #N/A 498 498
 

Starting Pitcher Rankings Analysis: May

50 percent of the preseason Tier One guys are on the DL, with Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard both out for the foreseeable future. Yu Darvish takes a small step forward into the bottom of the tier, but Jacob deGrom is the real mover and shaker here. He’s leapt from No. 14 to No. 5 here, though two of his three May starts haven’t gone so hot. Still, only one of them was a real clunker (May 3, five walks and five earned against the Braves) and he bounced back from that to strike out 11 Giants in a quality start. Heck, he won that game against Atlanta. He’s just 2-1 through eight starts, but owns an absurd 12.39 K/9 that leads the National League and his 3.16 SIERA ranks inside the top 10 as well. His K’s are no fluke either, as his 15.3 percent swinging-strike rate trails only Danny Salazar, Chris Sale and Max Scherzer. Those guys can bring the electricity. Buy in to the stuff and hope the Mets can support him. Dallas Keuchel, eh? He skyrockets to No. 18 from No. 39 here thanks to a perfect, MLB-leading 7-0 record with the third-best ERA out of qualified starters (1.84). He also leads the league in innings as of May 17 with 63 2/3 frames under his belt, which just makes him all the more sweeter for those of you in points leagues. Sure, his 7.63 K/9 won’t win anything on its own but it’s more than serviceable enough to go along with his league-leading 66.9 percent ground-ball rate. He seems to have regained his ability to just relentlessly snipe the edges of the strike zone and leave hitters with nothing good to hit while still limiting walks (1.98 BB/9,) so it’s hard to ignore this. Aaron Sanchez drops from No. 23 to No. 37 thanks to gaining a bit of a Rich Hill vibe to him with Blister: The Sequel popping up far too often. It doesn’t help that when he’s been on the mound he’s surviving on some luck rather than skill, as his 4.77 FIP/4.40 xFIP/4.62 SIERA are pretty ugly with a relatively-low 43.6 percent ground-ball rate thus far (54.4 percent in ’16.) Yes, 18 1/3 innings where he hasn’t even been healthy for all of them make for an incredible tilted sample size to analyze, but there’s no questioning that his stock takes a hit regardless. He also made some real value with his 15-2 record last season, and Toronto needs to get their bats back in order before we can see Sanchez getting enough support for serious wins in ’17. Ervin Santana only sits at No. 56 (for good reason,) though I’ve still got him nearly 100 slots higher than Kyle. I hate/am astounded by his peripherals as well, but his turnaround began in the middle of 2016 and he’s got the seventh-best ERA over the last calendar year (2.88) and seems to be channeling his early-2010s form when he habitually outpitched his underlying metrics. However, he never posted rates like these: .128 BABIP, 98.4 percent strand rate, 25.9 percent soft-contact rate, 52.5 percent pull rate. What that says is he’s getting lucky, but is also inducing terrible contact and batters are out in front of a lot of his offerings. It’s not an ideal (or sustainable) path to success, but he’s not going to suddenly become a pumpkin either. Other notable risers are types like Luis Severino, Ivan Nova, Lance Lynn, Eduardo Rodriguez, Alex Wood and Andrew Triggs. I would put Wood higher today now that I feel more secure about his slot in the rotation, though I fear the Dodgers will place him on the DL with some minor injury as they continue to utilize their pitching depth to conserve innings. I guess that comes off as accusatory -- just calling it as I see it, and it’s smart baseball by them with their roster. And I would boost Nate Karns up a ton today as well, toward the SP50 range. Matt Garza, Ariel Miranda and even Wade Miley would draw a small bump up from that last group as well.  

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Updated May Rankings and Tiers: Outfield (OF)

The comedian Lewis Black has a fantastic bit about the dumbest thing he’s ever heard in his life. After relaying the thing in question, he cautions the audience, “Don’t think about that sentence for more than three minutes, or blood will shoot out your nose.” This is more or less how it felt trying to make heads or tails of 2017’s weird and wild first month and produce updated rankings. It’s why, unlike my esteemed colleague Nick Mariano, I went only 300 players deep as opposed to 500. Had I pressed on, it might have broken my brain. All of which is to say, if you disagree strongly with any particular ranking, know that there’s a decent chance you could talk me into adjusting mine. The sheer number of injuries and surprise performances (in both directions) made putting this update together a stiff challenge. Nick finished up the infield with a look at shortstop yesterday, so today we'll be talking outfielders. You can find our full, updated rankings here. Note that they’re based on a standard 12-teamer, so you should make adjustment based on your specific league settings. Tiers, auction values, prospects, news and more. It's all free.  

2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Outfield (May Updates)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Mike Trout OF 1 1 1
2 1 Bryce Harper OF 4 2 3
3 1 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 2 7 4.5
4 2 Mookie Betts OF 6 3 4.5
5 2 Trea Turner 2B/OF 14 9 11.5
6 2 A.J. Pollock OF 24 11 17.5
7 2 Charlie Blackmon OF 27 18 22.5
8 2 Nelson Cruz OF 26 21 23.5
9 2 Ryan Braun OF 22 28 25
10 2 George Springer OF 33 25 29
11 2 Yoenis Cespedes OF 30 31 30.5
12 3 Giancarlo Stanton OF 25 39 32
13 3 J.D. Martinez OF 29 37 33
14 3 Carlos Gonzalez OF 39 41 40
15 3 Khris Davis OF 40 44 42
16 3 Christian Yelich OF 43 45 44
17 3 Justin Upton OF 53 64 58.5
18 3 Kyle Schwarber C/OF 42 77 59.5
19 3 Aaron Judge OF 70 54 62
20 3 Jose Ramirez 3B/OF 80 46 63
21 3 Matt Kemp OF 83 50 66.5
22 4 Ian Desmond OF 88 51 69.5
23 4 Gregory Polanco OF 73 78 75.5
24 4 Adam Jones OF 82 84 83
25 4 Andrew McCutchen OF 68 119 93.5
26 4 Marcell Ozuna OF 76 112 94
27 4 Stephen Piscotty OF 91 104 97.5
28 4 Odubel Herrera OF 78 118 98
29 4 Michael Brantley OF 136 73 104.5
30 5 Billy Hamilton OF 109 114 111.5
31 5 Andrew Benintendi OF 132 103 117.5
32 5 Mark Trumbo OF 151 90 120.5
33 5 Lorenzo Cain OF 119 126 122.5
34 5 Chris Owings SS/OF 79 168 123.5
35 5 David Dahl OF 111 156 133.5
36 5 Adam Duvall OF 140 129 134.5
37 5 Joc Pederson OF 112 166 139
38 5 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF 138 143 140.5
39 5 Jackie Bradley OF 115 180 147.5
40 5 Matt Holliday 1B/OF 173 124 148.5
41 5 Jose Bautista OF 105 198 151.5
42 5 Domingo Santana OF 160 146 153
43 6 David Peralta OF 135 172 153.5
44 6 Nomar Mazara OF 152 164 158
45 6 Dexter Fowler OF 133 192 162.5
46 6 Kole Calhoun OF 130 195 162.5
47 6 Jay Bruce OF 194 137 165.5
48 6 Carlos Beltran OF 153 194 173.5
49 6 Yasmany Tomas OF 205 147 176
50 6 Corey Dickerson OF 187 167 177
51 6 Michael Conforto OF 155 202 178.5
52 6 Mitch Haniger OF 217 142 179.5
53 6 Kevin Kiermaier OF 218 158 188
54 6 Carlos Gomez OF 199 187 193
55 7 Hunter Pence OF 179 223 201
56 7 Randal Grichuk OF 197 211 204
57 7 Ender Inciarte OF 189 229 209
58 7 Steven Souza OF 167 279 223
59 7 Scott Schebler OF 215 235 225
60 7 Jose Peraza SS/OF 202 258 230
61 7 Melky Cabrera OF 227 239 233
62 7 Keon Broxton OF 228 248 238
63 7 Jason Heyward OF 238 242 240
64 7 Brandon Drury 3B/OF 242 238 240
65 7 Rajai Davis OF 258 224 241
66 7 Hunter Renfroe OF 254 241 247.5
67 7 Brett Gardner OF 255 244 249.5
68 7 Manuel Margot OF 175 325 250
69 8 Jayson Werth OF 213 288 250.5
70 8 Max Kepler OF 225 280 252.5
71 8 Starling Marte OF 177 334 255.5
72 8 Shin-Soo Choo OF 280 234 257
73 8 Kevin Pillar OF #N/A 261 261
74 8 Jacoby Ellsbury OF 240 290 265
75 8 Joshua Bell 1B/OF 266 #N/A 266
76 8 Byron Buxton OF 300 233 266.5
77 8 Yasiel Puig OF 239 311 275
78 8 Aaron Altherr OF 253 308 280.5
79 8 Curtis Granderson OF 229 337 283
80 8 Brandon Moss OF 292 291 291.5
81 8 Gerardo Parra OF 293 295 294
82 8 Jarrod Dyson OF 281 314 297.5
83 8 Avisail Garcia OF #N/A 301 301
84 8 Robbie Grossman OF #N/A 309 309
85 8 Hernan Perez 3B/OF 243 378 310.5
86 9 Josh Reddick OF 278 349 313.5
87 9 Jorge Soler OF #N/A 335 335
88 9 Alex Gordon OF 277 401 339
89 9 Nick Markakis OF #N/A 339 339
90 9 Cameron Maybin OF #N/A 366 366
91 9 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF #N/A 371 371
92 9 Danny Valencia 1B/3B/OF #N/A 374 374
93 9 Denard Span OF #N/A 377 377
94 9 Michael Saunders OF #N/A 385 385
95 9 Seth Smith OF #N/A 387 387
96 9 Andrew Toles OF #N/A 388 388
97 9 Delino DeShields OF #N/A 389 389
98 9 Travis Jankowski OF #N/A 390 390
99 9 Lonnie Chisenhall OF #N/A 392 392
100 9 Enrique Hernandez OF #N/A 395 395
101 9 Jon Jay OF #N/A 396 396
102 9 Ben Revere OF #N/A 408 408
103 9 Leonys Martin OF #N/A 412 412
104 9 Tyler Naquin OF #N/A 413 413
105 10 Roman Quinn OF #N/A 416 416
106 10 Mallex Smith OF #N/A 417 417
107 10 Alex Dickerson OF #N/A 423 423
108 10 Brett Eibner OF #N/A 424 424
109 10 Trayce Thompson OF #N/A 428 428
110 10 Colby Rasmus OF #N/A 432 432
111 10 Brandon Nimmo OF #N/A 434 434
112 10 Brandon Guyer OF #N/A 435 435
113 10 Melvin Upton Jr. OF #N/A 437 437
114 10 Hyun-soo Kim OF #N/A 446 446
115 10 Jefry Marte 1B/OF #N/A 449 449
116 10 Jeremy Hazelbaker OF #N/A 453 453
117 10 Abraham Almonte OF #N/A 454 454
118 11 Chris Young OF #N/A 457 457
119 11 Franklin Gutierrez OF #N/A 460 460
120 11 Andre Ethier OF #N/A 464 464
121 11 Ezequiel Carrera OF #N/A 470 470
122 11 Eddie Rosario OF #N/A 486 486
123 11 Ryan Rua OF #N/A 489 489
124 11 Jabari Blash OF #N/A 490 490
125 11 Albert Almora OF #N/A 500 500
 

Outfield Rankings Analysis: May

There's been some minor reshuffling in the top three tiers, but for the most part, it's the same players involved. The notable exception, of course, is Aaron Judge. The rookie has slowed down a bit recently with just one home run in his last eight games, but he still leads MLB with 14 bombs. It's worth noting that even with that (relative) drought, his HR/FB% remains close to 50 percent. Given that only one player has ever finished a season with a HR/FB% above 35 percent, it's fair to expect a comedown. Additionally, Judge's elevated strikeout rate will make it tough for him to continue hitting for a high average. Still, he's been much more impressive than any of us expected in 2017. Moving into the middle tiers, there are some notable risers. Marcell Ozuna has looked more like the elite hitter from the first half of last season than the middling bat of the second half, lending credence to the idea that injury derailed his breakout campaign. Speaking of injury rebounds, Michael Brantley appears to be fully recovered from the shoulder problems that ruined his 2016. Chris Owings is finally cashing in on the promise he showed before his own shoulder issues a couple of years ago, offering opportunistic fantasy owners a blend of power and speed with the added bonus of shortstop eligibility. Jay Bruce is proving he still has something left in the tank, though he'll need to avoid a third straight second-half collapse. Teammate Michael Conforto has taken advantage of the Mets' ever-lengthening list of players on the disabled list and made himself impossible to bench. The most pronounced drop - outside of the suspended Starling Marte -  belongs to Jose Bautista, who fell from 20th to outside the top 40 outfielders thanks to Nick's pessimistic ranking. The veteran has smacked four homers in May, including three in the past week. Reports of his demise may have been greatly exaggerated. Jackie Bradley Jr. has always been a streaky hitter, and he's been ice-cold to start 2017. In hindsight, my preseason valuation was overly optimistic...though it doesn't look nearly as awful as my bold prediction that Byron Buxton would put up a 20/40 season. There's three-quarters of the season left to play, but that one's already DOA. Can't win 'em all. A few quick hits to close things out:
  • Matt Holliday validated my faith in a rebound, and I failed to give him as much of a bump in this update as I should have. Go ahead and swap him with Bradley in my rankings.
  • Mark Trumbo has been even worse than I expected, but he's due for some positive regression. There's no way he ends the season with single-digit HR/FB%.
  • Aaron Altherr deserves a lot more love than he got here, and I regret not pushing him harder as a sleeper this offseason.
  • Kevin Pillar was my most glaring omission.
 

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2017 Prospects: Top 30 Impact Rookies for Fantasy Leagues (Week 7)

Hello everyone, and welcome to my weekly Top-30 Fantasy Rankings for Impact Rookies! In this series, I will be going over the top prospects in baseball and discussing which ones figure to have an impact for the rest of this fantasy baseball season. I was happy to have to do a little re-ordering of my prospect list given the news on Tuesday that Bradley Zimmer would be promoted to the majors. I’ve been high on his upside for a while, and have been looking forward to seeing his first taste of major-league action. But of course, he was not the only prospect promoted since last week. The Cubs called up both Ian Happ and Jeimer Candelario, and in a surprising move, both have remained on the MLB roster. Amir Garrett was called up by the Reds after a brief week down in the minors, and Jose Berrios has now likely solidified himself in Minnesota’s rotation. So for those of you who read my recently promoted prospects article (I hope that’s all of you), be prepared for a packed list this week of high impact prospects.  

Top MLB Prospects - Fantasy Baseball Power Rankings

To be clear, this list is not the top 30 prospects in baseball. This is a list of the top 30 prospects who are likely going to rise to the major leagues and provide fantasy baseball value this season. The qualifications are simple: a player must not be on an active roster, they must have a clear path to the majors, and while they may have played in seasons prior to 2016, they must still have rookie eligibility. If a player is moved to the active roster of their team, they will be removed from this power rankings list and replaced.   1. Yoan Moncada (2B/3B, CWS, AAA) Stats: 157 PA, .331/.401/.504, 6 HR, 10 SB, 10.8% BB rate, 27.4% K rate ETA: Early June Moncada continues to stand out as the strongest prospect in baseball, and his promotion could be coming any day now. Firstly though, over his past 17 games, he is slashing .371/.430/.500 with a pair of homers and six stolen bases. He is clicking on all cylinders right now, and his promotion could be just around the corner. Why do I say that? Well according to MLB Trade Rumors, Moncada’s free agency year has officially been pushed back to 2023. White Sox GM Rick Hahn said his promotion is not imminent, but who really knows. All you all need to know is that he will be up at some point in the near future, and will prove to be a true force for fantasy owners making a playoff push. 2. Lewis Brinson (OF, MIL, AAA) Stats: 122 PA, .327/.402/.510, 4 HR, 5 SB, 9.8% BB rate, 23.0% K rate ETA: Mid-June The big question with Brinson has always been: will he improve his walk rates? They’ve never been great, but last season at Triple-A, they were awful (2.2 percent). It seems like Brinson is starting to answer that question. Since the start of May, Brinson has walked 15.5 percent of the time with nine walks total. To put that in perspective, he had three walks in the month of April. Brinson appears to be improving in all facets of the game, and has clearly demonstrated he is ready for the majors. And with Keon Broxton appearing to be nearing the end of his recent hot streak (47.6 percent strikeout rate and .238 average since May 11), there could be a spot for Brinson to start by the middle of June. 3. Austin Meadows (OF, PIT, AAA) Stats: 141 PA, .219/.284/.297, 1 HR, 5 SB, 7.8% BB rate, 16.3% K rate ETA: Mid-June Speaking of guys making improvements lately, Meadows is starting to rebound after an awful start. Over the past week, Meadows is batting .320 and has only one strikeout and three walks in 28 plate appearances. There is no doubt he has the talent, the only thing in doubt is whether or not Meadows can stay healthy and produce at Triple-A, two things he has not done thus far in his professional career. But with the Pirates likely mired in a rebuilding year following the suspension of Starling Marte, it appears Andrew McCutchen will be dealt at the deadline, leaving an opening for Meadows in the outfield even after Marte returns. And with his power/speed combination, Meadows could be a real fantasy force to be reckoned with. 4. Tom Murphy (C, COL, DL) Stats: NA ETA: Early June/Mid-June Murphy is slowly but surely getting closer to a return. He is out of his soft cast now, and has started participating in baseball activities. Manager Bud Black said, “(Murphy’s) getting closer to partaking in legit batting practice.” At this point, Murphy is likely in line for a rehab assignment, but his power upside at the catcher position is worth the wait. 5. Franklin Barreto (2B/SS, OAK, AAA) Stats: 157 PA, .317/.365/.493, 5 HR, 3 SB, 6.4% BB rate, 27.4% K rate ETA: Mid-June Barreto has cooled off of late, no longer possessing such eye-popping fantasy numbers, but he still has so much fantasy promise. Since the start of May, Barreto is only slashing .271/.306/.390 with a home run and two stolen bases. But what has been promising of late has been the reduction of strikeouts. His season rate is 27.4 percent, but since May, that rate has been lowered to only 19.4 percent. And while the walks aren’t really there for him (4.8 percent), scouts don’t believe Barreto will ever be a guy with a high walk rate. What scouts do see, is a guy who will provide both stolen bases and some home runs, providing plenty of value as a middle-infielder. 7. Rhys Hoskins (1B, PHI, AAA) Stats: 143 PA, .336/.427/.639, 9 HR, 0 SB, 13.3% BB rate, 17.5% K rate ETA: Early July The good news: Hoskins continues to play really well. The bad news: Tommy Joseph is hitting his stride now. Since the month of May began, Joseph is slashing .400/.512/.886 with four home runs. Now granted, he’s been helped out by a .455 BABIP, and I personally don’t buy into him being better than Hoskins at this point. But even the illusion of Joseph being back to normal is probably enough to keep Hoskins down a bit longer. Make no mistake, Hoskins will get his chance to shine at some point this season. It’s just a question now of when that will be, and for now, it appears his time may be pushed back. 7. A.J. Reed (1B, HOU, AAA) Stats: 152 PA, .273/.388/.438, 4 HR, 0 SB, 15.8% BB rate, 27.6% K rate ETA: Late June Reed has continued to mash this season, but the key number is that strikeout rate. He appeared to be making strides in that area towards the end of April, but he still has a ways to go. It is promising though, that since April 28, his strikeout rate is only 23.5 percent while his walk rate and batting average have stayed high (14.7 percent and .328, respectively). He has the power to produce at the MLB level, he just needs to find a way to make enough contact to channel that power. 8. Amed Rosario (SS, NYM, AAA) Stats: 162 PA, .361/.401/.510, 3 HR, 8 SB, 6.2% BB rate, 13.6% K rate ETA: Mid-June The Mets need all the help they can get. They recently had to place Asdrubal Cabrera on the 10-day DL, are five games under .500, have seen Jose Reyes slide back into a May funk (.209 average since May 1) and honestly need some distraction from this train wreck of a season. Rosario could be that distraction, and it seems like he eventually will be. He is not the most exciting fantasy prospect (no matter how much I’m sure some people want him to be), but he will provide a ton of hits and swipe some bags. Owners and Mets fans at this point will probably just have to wait until after his Super Two deadline for Rosario to receive the promotion. 9. Lucas Sims (SP, ATL, AAA) Stats: 41.2 IP, 2.16 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 26.6% K rate, 5.7% BB rate, 6.7% HR/FB, .170 AVG ETA: Late May Sims has had a rough go of the minors thus far, but he has for sure figured it out this season. He is walking batters at the lowest rate of his professional career, and has still managed to keep the strikeouts a coming. He does not have the prospect shine he once had after being drafted 21st overall in 2012, but he would be a valuable pitching asset for owners with his ability to generate plenty of swings and misses. And let’s face it, it won’t take much to crack Atlanta’s rotation, so expect him to be up in the majors sooner rather than later. 10. Brandon Woodruff (SP, MIL, AAA) Stats: 39.0 IP, 2.77 ERA, 4.00 FIP, 21.7% K rate, 5.7% BB rate, 6.7% HR/FB, .222 ETA: Early June Woodruff is not quite the strikeout pitcher Sims is, but he will be valuable enough in his own way. Woodruff will still get some swings and misses, but more than anything else, he will specialize in eating innings for owners. He pitches more to contact, and has shown little trouble with the upper levels of the minors. The Brewers rotation has been a mess this season and Woodruff has seemingly been the only pitcher of their’s performing well in the minors. Like Sims, expect him up sooner rather than later. 11. Yandy Diaz (3B, CLE, AAA) Stats: 55 PA, .395/.509/.558, 1 HR, 0 SB, 20.0% BB rate, 7.3% K rate ETA: Early June Diaz was up in the majors for a bit last week, and promptly sent back down. Like the guy just below him on this list, he has not been given a chance to receive a more permanent stay in the majors. However, I believe his time will come before Dan Vogelbach’s. Diaz is versatile in what positions he can play, but he has absolutely knocked the cover off the ball at Triple-A. Though he lacks power or speed, he will rack up a ton of hits in the majors and be an OBP asset in many leagues. 12. Dan Vogelbach (1B, SEA, AAA) Stats: 105 PA, .287/.400/.471, 4 HR, 1 SB, 15.2% BB rate, 19.0% K rate ETA: Early July I feel really bad for Vogelbach because this guy deserves to be in the majors, but every time he gets there, he is quickly sent back down. Sure, his numbers in the bigs aren’t great, but it’s tough to find consistency at the plate when there’s no consistency of opposing play. At some point, I believe he will be called up for good. He’s just too good at the plate. When that is though, remains somewhat of a mystery. Given the possibility the Mariners are too concerned with service time, the beginning of July seems a likely time for him to receive a more permanent promotion. 13. Jacob Faria (SP, TB, AAA) Stats: 41.1 IP, 3.92 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 34.4% K rate, 9.4% BB rate, 18.8% HR/FB, .235 AVG ETA: Late June With Blake Snell recently optioned to the minors to work on his command, there is an opening in the Rays rotation for a new, young face. And Faria looks like just the face. Faria trails only Wilmer Font for most strikeouts in the minors this season, and has been making strides with improving his command. Though he is still no Greg Maddux out there on the mound, he’s probably proven enough to warrant a promotion to the majors. If he can bring that ridiculous strikeout rate to the majors, he could prove quite valuable in many fantasy leagues. 14. Zack Burdi (RP, CWS, AAA) Stats: 14.2 IP, 1.84 ERA, 1.65 FIP, 36.9% K rate, 7.7% BB rate, 0.0% HR/FB, .175 AVG ETA: Mid-June Relievers are not always prime fantasy assets, but they become assets once they enter a closer’s role. And a closer’s role is just something Burdi has been seemingly destined for. He throws incredibly hard, and misses bats at an incredible rate. What appears to be the plan for him is for his debut to come after his Super Two deadline, at which point he will work on becoming adjusted to the majors before David Robertson is traded. Now whether Burdi takes over the closer’s role at that point is still unknown, but owners have to be aware that his name is likely to come up in that impending conversation. 15. Luke Weaver (SP, STL, AAA) Stats: 22.0 IP, 0.41 ERA, 2.74 FIP, 25.3% K rate, 1.3% BB rate, 5.3% HR/FB, .189 AVG ETA: Early July In three starts back from the disabled list, Weaver has allowed just one run over 20 innings of work. He has also only walked one batter and struck out 18. If it not for the fact the Cardinals’ rotation has been excellent this season, he’d be the top pitching prospect on this list. As it is, he needs an injury to crack the rotation right now. But the Cardinals always seem to get hurt, and if anyone does, Weaver is the kind of guy who might take a rotation spot and hold onto it for a while. 16. Derek Fisher (OF, HOU, AAA) Stats: 159 PA, .326/.392/.567, 8 HR, 5 SB, 8.8% BB rate, 24.5% K rate ETA: Mid-July The Astros outfield continues to perform, leaving some doubt that Fisher might be making a major impact this season. But there’s another avenue where he could find playing time. A trade. The Astros could use a rotation upgrade, and Fisher’s hot start to this season could make him an enticing trade piece. And there are a lot of teams out there that could use a guy like Fisher in their everyday lineup. Should he get a chance to start, his power/speed combination and improved contact rates could make him a valuable fantasy starter. 17. Ronald Guzman (1B, TEX, AAA) Stats: 155 PA, .340/.400/.511, 5 HR, 1 SB, 7.7% BB rate, 17.4% K rate ETA: Early July Two guys heading in opposite directions: Ronald Guzman and Mike Napoli. Since April 30, Guzman: .351/.393/.544 with two homers, 6.6 percent walk rate and 16.4 percent strikeout rate; Napoli: .196/.222/.471 with four homers, 3.7 percent walk rate and 33.3 percent strikeout rate. Napoli is proving inadequate at first base, and the Rangers need all the help they can get if they are going to catch up to Houston. Guzman is that help, and with his new-found power, he could actually start to fit the first baseman mold. Throw in the consistently high on-base percentage, and you have a potentially exciting fantasy baseball prospect. 18. Tyler Beede (SP, SF, AAA) Stats: 36.2 IP, 3.68 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 16.8% K rate, 9.0% BB rate, 7.7% HR/FB, .262 AVG ETA: Late May As long as Ty Blach struggles, Beede’s name will come up as a potential replacement in the near future. Beede is no strikeout artist, but he knows how to locate and he knows how to eat innings. If Mike Leake can have value in fantasy leagues, I’m sure Beede can be valuable as well. Once the Giants are tired of watching Blach struggle every five days, Beede will get the call up, and at this point, it seems like it may be before the start of this summer. 19. Tyler O’Neill (OF, SEA, AAA) Stats: 142 PA, .211/.275/.367, 3 HR, 4 SB, 8.5% BB rate, 27.5% K rate ETA: Early August Don’t look now, but O’Neill is starting to put things together. Since May 3, he is slashing .316/.341/.447. Though his plate discipline numbers over that timespan still leave a bit to be desired, he is making baby steps towards regaining a spot on the Mariners’ outfield depth chart. Unfortunately for him, seemingly everyone who takes a spot in the outfield for Seattle seems to catch fire (Mitch Haniger, now Ben Gamel). O’Neill will really have to get things going again to have a meaningful fantasy season in 2017. 20. Reynaldo Lopez (SP, CWS, AAA) Stats: 38.0 IP, 3.55 ERA, 4.60 FIP, 23.5% K rate, 11.5% BB rate, 11.4% HR/FB, .228 AVG ETA: Mid-June It’s long been said that the first White Sox pitching prospect to step up and perform has a job in Chicago waiting for them. Well, Lopez is starting to perform. Over his last three starts spanning 17.2 innings, Lopez has a 2.04 ERA and 2.55 FIP with a 23.9 percent strikeout rate and 8.5 percent walk rate. If he keeps pitching like this, he’ll be in the majors in no time. And with his strikeout upside, he certainly brings enough fantasy intrigue to warrant a look in most leagues. 21. Nick Burdi (RP, MIN, AAA) Stats: 13.2 IP, 0.66 ERA, 2.22 FIP, 36.7% K rate, 8.2% BB rate, 9.1% HR/FB, .133 AVG ETA: Mid-June 22. Patrick Weigel (SP, ATL, AAA) Stats: 44.1 IP, 3.05 ERA, 2.66 FIP, 23.9% K rate, 6.7% BB rate, 4.7% HR/FB, .235 AVG ETA: Early August 23. Andrew Stevenson (OF, WAS, AAA) Stats: 145 PA, .275/.340/.328, 0 HR, 1 SB, 9.0% BB rate, 24.1% K rate ETA: Early August 24. Jesse Winker (OF, CIN, AAA) Stats: 141 PA, .298/.383/.372, 1 HR, 0 SB, 12.1% BB rate, 12.8% K rate ETA: Early August 25. Casey Gillaspie (1B, TB, AAA) Stats: 146 PA, .203/.267/.346, 4 HR, 1 SB, 8.2% BB rate, 21.9% K rate ETA: Late July/Early August 26. Josh Hader (SP, MIL, AAA) Stats: 40.2 IP, 4.20 ERA, 6.62 FIP, 21.1% K rate, 14.0% BB rate, 20.0% HR/FB, .211 AVG ETA: Late July/Early August 27. Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B, SF, AAA) Stats: 139 PA, .303/.324/.447, 2 HR, 2 SB, 3.6% BB rate, 19.4% K rate ETA: Early August 28. Yohander Mendez (SP, TEX, AAA) Stats: 43.1 IP, 3.12 ERA, 5.52 FIP, 21.0% K rate, 10.8% BB rate, 20.0% HR/FB, .182 AVG ETA: Early August 29. Eric Skoglund (SP, KC, AAA) Stats: 33.0 IP, 4.91 ERA, 3.88 FIP, 18.9% K rate, 7.4% BB rate, 5.4% HR/FB, .294 AVG ETA: Early August 30. Lucas Giolito (SP, CWS, AAA) Stats: 34.1 IP, 6.55 ERA, 5.76 FIP, 23.1% K rate, 12.2% BB rate, 21.9% HR/FB, .269 AVG ETA: Early August  

MLB Rookie Rankings

1. Aaron Judge (OF, NYY) 2. Cody Bellinger (OF, LAD) 3. Andrew Benintendi (OF, BOS) 4. Manuel Margot (OF, SD) 5. Jose Berrios (SP, MIN) 6. Josh Bell (1B/OF, PIT, AAA) 7. Ian Happ (2B/OF, CHC) 8. Trey Mancini (1B, BAL) 9. Hunter Renfroe (OF, SD) 10. Ben Gamel (OF, SEA) 11. Jeimer Candelario (3B, CHC) 12. German Marquez (SP, COL) 13. Amir Garrett (SP, CIN) 14. Jharel Cotton (SP, OAK) 15. Jordan Montgomery (SP, NYY) 16. Mitch Haniger (OF, SEA) 17. Kyle Freeland (SP, COL) 18. Antonio Senzatela (SP, COL) 19. Dansby Swanson (SS, ATL) 20. Carl Edwards Jr. (RP, CHC)

Updated May Rankings and Tiers: Shortstop

The time for chalking things up to “just April shenanigans” has come and gone, and we here at RotoBaller felt that it was time for a rankings update with roughly 20 percent of the season in the books. Kyle Bishop and I felt that the world needed to know what we thought after a month-plus of baseball, with this being the result after much hair-pulling and wondering what alternate reality we had slipped into. Shortstop has provided us with some nice early returns on some big investments in the early rounds, but also buyer's remorse for those who paid up for Trevor Story. While Jonathan Villar's average may be tanking, at least he's hitting homers and stealing bases. There's been quite a bit of moving and shaking here, so let's see what we've got to talk about. Remember, we’re not here to overreact, simply to reassess. Check out all of our updated rankings. Adjust your league size, and export your rankings. Tiers, auction values, prospects, news and more. It's all free.  

2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Shortstops (May Updates)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Manny Machado SS/3B 8 15 11.5
2 1 Trea Turner SS/2B/OF 14 9 11.5
3 1 Corey Seager SS 17 19 18
4 1 Francisco Lindor SS 19 17 18
5 1 Carlos Correa SS 20 22 21
6 2 Trevor Story SS 34 29 31.5
7 2 Jonathan VIllar SS/3B 35 34 34.5
8 2 Xander Bogaerts SS 46 40 43
9 2 Addison Russell SS 84 82 83
10 3 Jean Segura 2B/SS 81 100 90.5
11 3 Aledmys Diaz SS 102 113 107.5
12 3 Chris Owings SS/OF 79 168 123.5
13 3 Brad Miller SS 216 117 166.5
14 3 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B 206 140 173
15 4 Didi Gregorius SS 234 157 195.5
16 4 Brandon Crawford SS 196 200 198
17 4 Dansby Swanson SS 171 226 198.5
18 4 Asdrubal Cabrera SS #N/A 204 204
19 4 Troy Tulowitzki SS 214 196 205
20 5 Elvis Andrus SS 230 189 209.5
21 5 Jose Peraza SS/OF 202 258 230
22 5 Tim Anderson SS 294 232 263
23 5 Zack Cozart SS 261 274 267.5
24 5 Jorge Polanco SS 285 304 294.5
25 6 Freddy Galvis SS #N/A 298 298
26 6 Jose Reyes SS/3B #N/A 303 303
27 6 Orlando Arcia SS #N/A 312 312
28 6 Javier Baez 2B/SS #N/A 315 315
29 6 Tyler Saladino 2B/SS #N/A 321 321
30 6 Matt Duffy SS/3B #N/A 326 326
31 7 Alcides Escobar SS #N/A 367 367
32 7 Jose Iglesias SS #N/A 414 414
33 7 Marcus Semien SS #N/A 415 415
34 7 Tim Beckham SS #N/A 438 438
35 7 Danny Espinosa SS #N/A 445 445
36 7 Andrelton Simmons SS #N/A 448 448
37 7 Adeiny Hechavarria SS #N/A 450 450
38 8 Stephen Drew SS #N/A 458 458
39 8 J.J. Hardy SS #N/A 459 459
40 8 Alexi Amarista SS #N/A 463 463
41 8 Jordy Mercer SS #N/A 468 468
42 8 Greg Garcia 2B/SS/3B #N/A 485 485
43 8 Jurickson Profar SS/3B #N/A 488 488
 

Shortstop Rankings Analysis: May

Xander Bogaerts falls out of Tier One here thanks to a powerless opening to 2017. The obvious and fair counterpoint is that he’s hitting .339 with five steals and is still on pace for roughly 90 runs and 55 RBI, but a step back to his 10-12 homer days is enough to bump him down in today’s shortstop landscape. It’d be one thing if he was just riding a flat-lined HR/FB rate despite strong batted-ball metrics, but his fly-ball rate has tumbled 14 percent to a career-low 20.9 clip while grounders are at an all-time high (58.2 percent). With an uncomfortably high 25.5 percent soft-contact rate to boot, he slips here. Taking his spot in the top tier is Francisco Lindor, who has pretty much done the opposite of Bogaerts and traded in some of his average for a big power boost thus far. His nine homers are already three-fifths of the way toward his 15 long balls from 2016 thanks to an eight-percent jump in hard-hit rate and an insane 17-percent spike in fly-ball rate. While his April (.309, seven homers) was much better than his May thus far (.226, two homers), his .233 BABIP on the month should rise. If he ends the season with 20 homers, double-digit steals, nearly 100 runs and 70 RBI with an average around .290 then we’ll call this a win. Dansby Swanson’s bat took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and has yet to be found. I have him as barely startable in 20-teamers right now, and even then I’d likely rather have him on the bench for some short-term band-aid. After triple slashing .302/.361/.442 last season, he’s put up a paltry .184/.262/.248 line in 2017 with a 2.5 percent jump in swinging-strike rate, a five-percent drop in zone-contact rate and a hard-hit rate that has fallen six percent. We know he’s better than this, but that would be true of anyone getting paid to play the game. He’s extremely young and this is his first real slump, so it may take a while to shake off. The fantasy upside really isn’t there to slog it out with him if you can help it. Didi Gregorius is back and you should be fairly excited, or at least intrigued. While he’s only gone yard once in his first 15 games of 2017, he’s hitting a crisp .297 and has 10 RBI from his usual sixth spot in the order. While the 27-year-old’s early batted-ball metrics aren’t promising when it comes to regaining his power stroke from ’16, he also didn’t show any signs of a real power surge then until June. You want fantasy assets in Yankee Stadium, just like in Coors Field, Chase Field and Miller Park. These are the four highest-ranked parks for run-scoring per ESPN’s Park Factors for a reason. That whole Jose Peraza hype train thing hasn’t really panned out, as he’s fallen from No. 11 to No. 20 in this round of rankings -- though it’s worth noting the two of us were not the optimists on our preseason ranking board. The 23-year-old’s .243 average is the crux of his tumble, as he’s now just another cheap speed option that offers little else. He won’t tally any serious counting stats and isn’t hitting any homers, so he needs to produce a healthy average alongside the eight steals to really be a viable start. It’s hard to feel hopeful when you look at his 35.2% soft-contact rate -- way up from 19.4 percent in ’16 -- but at least it’s about five percent lower in May than it was in April. Still, he’s also hitting more flies in May, meaning he’s doing what Billy Hamilton did wrong for a while in not letting his legs work for him by hitting grounders. The speed is still there and his bat should come around, but this is more than just a fluky bad start. Also, I love Chris Owings. I really do, but I just can’t get as excited about him as Kyle (top 80, damn that’s love) since I just can’t buy into the power holding up. This has been somewhat validated by May thus far, as he’s hit just one homer with three RBI (and stolen only one base) at the halfway point of the month. His .326 average is still sharp, though, and hopefully some pop returns before the humidor gets installed and makes things less fun in Arizona.  

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Updated May Rankings and Tiers: Third Base (3B)

The comedian Lewis Black has a fantastic bit about the dumbest thing he’s ever heard in his life. After relaying the thing in question, he cautions the audience, “Don’t think about that sentence for more than three minutes, or blood will shoot out your nose.” This is more or less how it felt trying to make heads or tails of 2017’s weird and wild first month and produce updated rankings. It’s why, unlike my esteemed colleague Nick Mariano, I went only 300 players deep as opposed to 500. Had I pressed on, it might have broken my brain. All of which is to say, if you disagree strongly with any particular ranking, know that there’s a decent chance you could talk me into adjusting mine. The sheer number of injuries and surprise performances (in both directions) made putting this update together a stiff challenge. Nick covered the keystone yesterday, and today I'll be looking at the hot corner. You can find our full, updated rankings here. Note that they’re based on a standard 12-teamer, so you should make adjustment based on your specific league settings. Tiers, auction values, prospects, news and more. It's all free.  

2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: Third Base (May Updates)

Ranking Tier Player Position Kyle Nick Composite
1 1 Nolan Arenado 3B 3 4 3.5
2 1 Kris Bryant 3B/OF 2 7 4.5
3 1 Manny Machado SS/3B 8 15 11.5
4 1 Josh Donaldson 3B 11 13 12
5 2 Jonathan VIllar SS/3B 35 34 34.5
6 2 Kyle Seager 3B 36 53 44.5
7 2 Justin Turner 3B 41 76 58.5
8 2 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 47 75 61
9 3 Jose Ramirez 3B/OF 80 46 63
10 3 Adrian Beltre 3B 63 74 68.5
11 3 Jake Lamb 3B 58 83 70.5
12 3 Anthony Rendon 3B 77 66 71.5
13 3 Miguel Sano 3B 67 87 77
14 3 Todd Frazier 3B 87 72 79.5
15 3 Evan Longoria 3B 72 88 80
16 4 Alex Bregman 3B 99 120 109.5
17 4 Mike Moustakas 3B 107 148 127.5
18 4 Maikel Franco 3B 181 151 166
19 4 Travis Shaw 1B/3B 193 150 171.5
20 4 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B 206 140 173
21 4 Nick Castellanos 3B 226 130 178
22 4 Eugenio Suarez 3B 162 209 185.5
23 4 Yangervis Solarte 3B 231 179 205
24 4 Joey Gallo 3B 223 214 218.5
25 4 Ryon Healy 3B 211 263 237
26 5 Brandon Drury 3B/OF 242 238 240
27 5 Mark Reynolds 3B #N/A 260 260
28 5 Jung-ho Kang 3B 270 #N/A 270
29 5 Jedd Gyorko 2B/3B 265 296 280.5
30 5 Chase Headley 3B #N/A 285 285
31 5 Pablo Sandoval 3B #N/A 302 302
32 5 Jose Reyes SS/3B #N/A 303 303
33 5 Yulieski Gurriel 3B 248 361 304.5
34 5 Martin Prado 3B 296 318 307
35 6 Yoan Moncada 3B #N/A 307 307
36 6 Hernan Perez 3B/OF 243 378 310.5
37 6 David Freese 1B/3B #N/A 316 316
38 6 Yunel Escobar 3B #N/A 320 320
39 6 Matt Duffy SS/3B #N/A 326 326
40 6 Jhonny Peralta 3B #N/A 352 352
41 6 Danny Valencia 1B/3B/OF #N/A 374 374
42 6 Adonis Garcia 3B #N/A 375 375
43 6 Wilmer Flores 1B/3B #N/A 404 404
44 6 Luis Valbuena 1B/3B #N/A 431 431
45 6 Greg Garcia 2B/SS/3B #N/A 485 485
46 6 Jurickson Profar SS/3B #N/A 488 488
 

Third Base Rankings Analysis: May

Our top six from the preseason holds steady, with the exception of Nolan Arenado and Kris Bryant flip-flopping at the top. Let's be real, though - you're not complaining about having either guy on your roster. One player you might be losing patience with is Jonathan Villar, but both Nick and myself urge you to stay the course. Despite his struggles at the plate, he's still giving fantasy owners the pop and speed that made him such a hot commodity in drafts. There remains 20/50 potential here, though it may come with a .250 average. There's plenty of movement in our valuations outside the top tier, though. Jose Ramirez cracks the top 10 after flashing surprising pop, though he's slumped so far in May. Justin Turner jumps from 12th to seventh, despite having just one home run to his name so far. He's hitting ropes again this year, and more of them will start clearing the fence soon enough. Jake Lamb and Miguel Sano both get a modest bump, which makes me feel both great and terrible. Great, because I championed both players over the winter; terrible, because I only managed to snag a single share of each in 2017. Every action requires an equal and opposite reaction, so obviously we've had some players drop in the rankings as well. Evan Longoria and Anthony Rendon fell out of the top 10 after slow starts, though Rendon's incredible performance on April 30 likely soothed any ill will his owners had built up toward him. Assuming they started him, anyway. Adrian Beltre went from "won't need a disabled list stint" to "might not be back until June," after having Rich Hill's blister surgically grafted onto his calf (at least, that's my theory). Joey Gallo has filled in for him admirably, though Nick and I are both still giving him some side-eye. Alex Bregman and Todd Frazier get dinged a few spots each for their early struggles, though we still have them in the vicinity of the top 100 players ROS. Third base is stacked, y'all. A few quick hits to close things out:
  • Not buying Mark Reynolds. Sorry not sorry.
  • I feel like the deluge of injuries this year just underlines the value of a guy like Kyle Seager, who so rarely misses time. The slow start was par for the course, and you can expect much better days ahead.
  • I should have ranked Mike Moustakas lower. The eight homers are great, but he's striking out a lot more than usual and rocking a sub-.300 OBP.
  • Keep Jung Ho Kang on your watch list just in case his visa issues get ironed out.
 

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