Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Combine Thoughts

Article by @agreatcall

Deep draft, especially at D-Line, WR, CB, and Safety

I love the Honey Badger, and his 4.4 did nothing in my opinion but to make him even more of a great value pick in round 3.

There are NO good quarterbacks in this draft. If Geno Smith is the number one QB, that's a problem.

With Brady signing his extension yesterday, makes even more sense for the Pats to trade backup Ryan Mallett. If they can get a second rd pick, should be a done deal. If Mallett was in this draft he'd be the #1 QB taken. Makes sense for teams in the market for a QB to look to acquire Mallett.

Since the NFL has gone away from the running game, it seems logical that the draft dictates that too, maybe one RB goes in round one (Lacy-Alabama).

Three Left Tackles are going to go top ten.

Manti Te'o isn't going in round 1. Slow two down linebackers aren't worthy of a first round pick.

The SEC as a whole produces both the best athletes and the best football players.

I enjoy the new slot receiver position, quick and fast little guys are always exciting. It's funny that the Wes Welker was the originator, now everyone is looking for the new breed (ie quicker and faster than Welker). And there are few potential good one's in this year's draft.

If I ran a forty yard dash today at full speed, there is a huge chance that I would hurt myself.

Find it interesting that the jets are now openly listening to trade offers for Revis. Trade their best player then totally rebuild I guess.

Top 10 ShortStop Rankings

Article by Jeremy McCabe
SportsWiseGuy Writer

    This next position is a little tricky. Elite shortstops who can not only field at a Gold Glove caliber level, but hit at an elite level are one of the most valuable players on the field.  Along with every other position in fantasy baseball, shortstop has its couple of elite ones, but then the list grows thin. This list of shortstops won’t be comprised of players like Ben Zobrist or Hanley Ramirez, because first off I already put both of them on lists, and two, I wouldn’t consider either of them shortstops. So let us begin.

10- Jimmy Rollins
    This former MVP is in his decline, but at the age of 34, that is expected. Jimmy Rollins is still a vital part of the Phillies 2013 infield and lineup. He has played over 154 games in nine of his twelve big league seasons. Rollins is still a valuable shortstop at his age. He has ten seasons of over 30 stolen bases, and four of those seasons he stole over 40. Jimmy is only a career .270 hitter, and last year he hit a very poor .250, but he can still be productive by being the table setter an scoring runs for the Phils. He has scored over 80 runs in ten of his major league seasons, and has six career 100+ run seasons. For a top of the lineup guy like Jimmy is, his stolen base and run numbers are consistent and that is why Jimmy is valuable. He has never hit over .300, so if you are looking for a good average this is not your guy, but Jimmy is still a solid fantasy pick.

9-J.J. Hardy
    2012 Gold Glove winner J.J. Hardy is finally poised to have a breakout season. The eight-year pro has only played over 150 games in two seasons, but he is a very serviceable shortstop in any fantasy league. He is a shortstop with power and that is rare for a position in which you don’t expect to get a lot of homeruns from. He has hit over 22 homeruns in four seasons and in 2011 had a career high 30. Hardy will not get you any steals. I can guarantee you that. He hasn’t even had an attempt the last two seasons and only has six career stolen bases in his eight seasons. But Hardy is a guy who can drive in runs and even hit a couple out for you. He’s worth a pick later in your draft if you have slept on shortstop.

8-Alcidis Escobar
    Escobar was a very underrated shortstop last season. In his second season with the Royals, Alcidis had career highs in every offensive category except runs. He has had at least 26 stolen bases in both years in Kansas City. He has played in at least 155 games in both seasons and with another 600 at-bat season, he will look to extend his career highs. Escobar is a man you can get in the later rounds, but would be an absolute steal to whoever takes him. If you are looking for homeruns from your shortstop this is not your guy. 14 career homeruns is what this shortstop has in 4 big league seasons. He actually has more career triples (26) than homeruns. Alcidis will kill his opponents with his legs and has the chance to be a very good fantasy shortstop this season.

7- Asdrubal Cabrera
    In 2011, this shortstop had a career year hitting 25 homeruns and driving in 92. Cabrera has the ability to have a very productive season under new manager Terry Francona. The career.279 hitter has only played in 150+ games once, in his six big league seasons. Asdrubal does not possess the speed fellow AL Central rival Alcidis Escobar has, but he has stolen 17 bases twice in his career, which is his career high. Cabrera can do a little bit of everything. He can score runs, hit homeruns, split the gaps for extra base hits, and get on base. With the Indians adding the likes of Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher to a lineup that already features Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana, Asdrubal will be in prime position to boost his stats for fantasy owners everywhere.

6- Ian Desmond
    Last season’s Silver Slugger winner Ian Desmond makes the list. The Nationals shortstop had a breakout season last year and is looking to help the Nats claim another NL East title. He has hit at least 27 doubles in each of his three big league seasons. Last year he set career highs in runs, hits, homeruns, RBIs, doubles, average, OBP, and Slugging. He also has stolen at least 17 bases in each of his three seasons, which includes consecutive seasons in 11’ and 12’ of 20+. The Nationals are a forced to be reckoned with. Wherever Desmond hits in the lineup he will produce. If he hits sixth like he did last year, he will drive in runs and that will help anyone who is interested in taking him.

5-Derek Jeter
    If you have read my articles before you would know that I am a huge Mets fan. Saying that, I respect the captain of the Yankees more than anybody else in the league. I could go on and on and about all the hardware he has won. Rookie of the Year in 96’, five-time Gold Glover, five-time Sliver Slugger, and 2000 World Series MVP. This 17-year vet has played every season with the Bronx Bombers, but you probably knew that already. This career .313 hitter is coming off a horrible injury in which he suffered in the playoffs, but I think he will have a huge season in his 18th year. Wow. 18. He’s had 13 seasons of 180+ hits, and another 13 years of scoring over 100 runs. I have no doubt in my mind that the captain will be either leading off or hitting second for the Yankees come opening day. He absolutely deserves to be on anybody’s fantasy tram this season. One underrated aspect of Derek’s game is his speed, his nine steals last year was a career low and his only season in his career in which he didn’t steal at least 11. That’s impressive. As a Mets fan, I would welcome Jeter with open arms on my fantasy team this season.

4-Elvis Andrus
    Elvis Andrus is a great top of the lineup shortstop on still a great Texas Ranger lineup. He has scored 85+ runs in each of the last three seasons. In 2012, he set career highs in hits (180), doubles (31), triples (9), RBIs (62), average and OBP. He has stolen at least 20 bases in all of his four major league seasons, and has had at least 32 in three of those. Elvis is still 24 and is just about to enter the prime of his career. Yes, the Texas Ranger lineup took a hit with the loss of Hamilton, Young, and Napoli, but it still is a problem to deal with for every pitching staff. Elvis can give you everything except power in the upcoming season. He is deserving of a top 5 spot on this list, and I would be more than happy to have him on my team this season.

3-Starlin Castro
    Starlin is the face of a very mediocre Chicago Cubs team. At the age of 22, Starlin is already one of the game’s best shortstops. He has had a very successful start to his major league career. He has hit over .300 in his first two seasons, and last year he hit .283. He has over 29 doubles in each of his three seasons and has two consecutive seasons over 20+ stolen bases. In 2012, he set career highs in homeruns, RBIs, triples, and stolen bases. He also played in all 162 games last season. With Anthony Rizzo hitting behind Castro, I am expecting huge things from the young shortstop. The only downside to Castro’s game is his fielding. He has had at least 27 errors in each of his three seasons, but this is fantasy baseball, and in most leagues, errors don’t mean squat. Starlin will have a nice season this year, and by nice, I mean top 3 shortstop rank nice.

2-Troy Tulowitzki
    This two-time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner resides in the best hitter’s park in the majors. Tulo left a lot of fantasy owners disappointed last season when he got hurt and only finished with 47 games played on the year. But this shortstop will be back with vengeance in 2013. Yes, he has only played in over 150 games twice in his six seasons, but he is elite. He has four seasons in which he has scored more than 80 runs, five seasons in which he has hit over 24 doubles, and four seasons driving in at least 90. Tulo has the power too, hitting 30+ homeruns on two separate occasions. What helps with Troy’s situation other than playing at Coors Field is the fact is has a rare talent in Carlos Gonzalez hitting in front of him. Cargo and Tulo have the potential to be an elite 3-4 duo. If you are looking to lock down the shortstop position early in your fantasy drafts, Tulowitzki is the right man for the job.

1-Jose Reyes
    Some people may have flip-flopped Reyes and Tulo, but in my eyes, Jose is the best shortstop in the majors. Reyes had a great season last season, and I am expecting a career year from the All-Star shortstop. He is the lead-off man to one of the greatest lineups in the big-leagues and that will make him an elite fantasy player this season. This career .291 hitter is dynamic with the bat and his legs. He has seven seasons of scoring 80 or more runs, and seven seasons recording 30+ steals, including a 60 and 64 stolen base season and a 78 steal season! Reyes has also never struck out 100 times in a season, which speaks to his in-play ability. He has seven seasons of over 10 triples and on the astro-turf I expect the balls to bounce all over the place. Jose is a rare player with rare talent. I would love to have him on my team this year, and you all should love to have him too.    

RotoBaller Rankings: 2013 Second Base Rankings with ADP Comparison

Article by

Second base is an intriguing position going in to the 2013 season. There are some consistent performers at the top, some aging veterans with serious question marks in the middle, and a bunch of possible sleepers/rebound candidates for the later rounds of your draft. Really, it's fairly thin though, and the jump from tier 2 to tier 3 represents a substantial increase in risk. Let's dive in to the RotoBaller rankings and break it down a little more:

TIER 1: Cano is just an absolute beast. If you have an opportunity to grab him after pick #3, do it. TIER 2: I really think Pedroia is going to bring a full season of the Laser Show to Red Sox Nation. His second-half 2012 pace projects out to 20 HR and 30 SB. If he's healthy after his off-season pinky surgery, look for him to easily return second-round value at a thin position. Bid with confidence as long as his bill of health is clean. Brandon Phillips is the very picture of fantasy consistency, coming in just under 20 HR and .275-.290 range in BA. Barring injury, there's no reason not to expect about the same. Be wary of any skills erosion due to aging, as he is entering his age-31 season. That said, any slowdown could be offset by the infusion of Shin-Soo Choo at the top and and an extra month of a healthy Votto behind him in the Reds lineup. With Aaron hill, you can bank on the power - but the BA? Much less so. If HR/FB% stays up, though, that means a lot fewer fly-ball outs. I think you can confidently grab him, but be cognizant of the BA, and celebrate if he can top .280. Be sure to also check out RotoBaller's deeper analysis on Aaron Hill. TIER 3: Health and production are the key factors with this group. If Utley can stay upright, he will produce, but you should probably expect him to sit about as often as a veteran catcher, if not more. RotoBaller's analysis of Jason Kipnis doubts that he can reproduce his 2012 luck, but he could still return good value...provided he drops far below his current ADP. Rickie Weeks could be an intriguing option for a bounce-back, especially considering his 2012 second half, but you'll have to balance the intrigue of power/speed against both injury concerns and the painful memory of prolonged slump. Those latter considerations might lead other owners to pass on Weeks, but I would certainly take the chance if he's still around in the 12th round. TIER 4: The later tiers are much more volatile based on playing time, and in tier 4, the PT will depend on production, pure and simple. Uggla looks like an example of the classic aging slugger who should probably be coming off the bench. First his BA dipped in 2011, and then his power production followed suit in 2012. Stay away, though he could be an intriguing MI option if he starts hot. Infante, on the other hand, could pleasantly reproduce his 2012 season, though he will be challenged to hit for that kind of power in Detroit. Still, for some decent pop and speed upside, he's a serviceable option as a late-draft play. To round out the discussion of former Braves here, notice that Kelly Johnson can't hit lefties, and he really can't hit righties that well either, so improving the BA is going to be a challenge. He's also on a three-year power decline. Avoid him. TIER 5: Again, there's some volatility here based on playing time, but this is where the sleeper action lies. Tyler Green, for example, could be an absolute monster if he can earn 75+% of the 2B ABs in Houston, which could happen only if he can figure out RHP. There aren't necessarily any indications that he will, but keep an eye on that in the first half and be ready to pounce on this intriguing power/speed combo should he show signs of growth. For super-cheap speed, Chris Getz is a perennial waiver-wire guy who you can slot in if you need a SB boost. He likely won't contribute much else, though. Keep an eye on Gordon Beckham. The one-time top prospect is pretty much fighting to prove that he really is a major-league caliber player, and maybe that can light a fire under him. His BABIP was very low in 2012, so you can expect some upward regression in BA. The dimensions of U.S. Cellular could work in his favor - if he could just develop a little more power, he could be an intriguing player, possibly an early-May waiver-wire snag. All in all, second base is kind of a tough position to draft for, since the relative values of the players largely depend on where the other managers are willing to draft a given player or some of the guys ahead of him. In most of my mocks to this point, I've been grabbing one of those tier-3 guys and one of the tier-5 guys, usually around the 12th and 22nd rounds, respectively.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings: Third Basemen

Article by Anthony Cavalcante

Elite Players

1. Miguel Cabrera 

Miguel Cabrera is not only the best 3rd baseman in fantasy baseball, but he’s also the best player. Coming off of an MVP season while winning the triple crown, Cabrera will try to duplicate his amazing numbers, and who’s to say he can’t? He puts up similar numbers every year. Cabrera consistently hits above .320 with 30+ homers and 100 RBIs, and he can do so much more than that. He easily should be the first player off the boards and if someone is dumb and doesn’t take him first, then congratulations, you just got the best player in fantasy baseball.

Very Good Players

2. Adrian Beltre 

I don’t know how it happened, but Beltre became one of the best third basemen the past few seasons. He’s almost a guarantee to hit 30 homers. 100 RBIs, and a .300 batting average. That’s good enough to make him one of the first 3rd basemen off the board on draft day.

3. David Wright 

Wright hasn’t been playing up to his ability during the past few seasons. He has proved that he’s good enough to hit for a very high average, as well as hit 30+ homers and drive in 100+ runs. He also could steal 20 bases. He still has been playing great, but not as good as he could. After Cabrera, he’s as good as anyone at third. Take him and hope that he plays his best. Either way, he’s a top 5 option.

4. Evan Longoria 

Longoria is a tremendous player. He was injured last season so his value is going to fall, but he’ll bounce back. He should hit around 30 homers and 100 RBIs with a decent batting average. He’s no longer a first round pick, but he’s still a top 5 option at 3rd base.

5. Hanley Ramirez 

Hanley used to be the easy choice for first player drafted in fantasy baseball. After one injury plagued season and one off year, his value has greatly fallen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bounces back this year, though. If after the top 4 3rd basemen are off the board Hanley is still there, don’t hesitate to draft him. He could still put up first round numbers. He’s even more valuable at shortstop, which he is once again eligible at. 

Good Players

6. Ryan Zimmerman 

I always thought of Zimmerman as a poor man’s David Wright. He puts up similar numbers, but he doesn’t get as much credit for it. Since his value is lower than guys like Wright and Longoria, wait until they are gone to draft him. But don’t be surprised if he plays just as well. 

7. Aramis Ramirez 

Ramirez is a model of consistency. He’s going to hit .300 with 25+ homers and 100 RBIs. He’s a great player and sometimes doesn’t get the credit for it. Take advantage of that and draft Ramirez as your stating 3rd basemen after the better options are off the board.

Decent Players

8. Chase Headley 

Headley shocked the world last season hitting .286 with 31 homers and 115 RBIs. He even stole 17 bases. I’m not sure if he will repeat those numbers, but it looks like Headley is becoming a pretty good hitter. He’s good enough to be a starter, but there are around 7 guys that should be taken first.

9. Pedro Alvarez 

Alvarez is a good young 3rd basemen that hits for power. He broke out last season with 30 homers and 85 RBIs. He should be able to improve in both aspects, as well as batting average this year. Third base is typically a strong position though, so there are better options available. 

10. Pablo Sandoval 

Sandoval, when healthy, is going to hit for a very high average, and hit around 20 homers or more. Those number don’t blow you away, but its good enough to make him a solid starter in most leagues. 

11. David Freese 

Freese is a decent option out there at 3rd. He hits for a pretty good average and he can hit around 20 homers a year. He’s not going to be the best player on your team, but he’s a pretty good option.

OK Players

12. Wes Middlebrooks 

Middlebrooks had a pretty good rookie year last season. He displayed his power over limited at bats and this time, he has the chance to do it over the course of a full season. He could hit 25+ which would make him a good option at 3rd. He could also have a sophomore slump. I wouldn’t take the risk on him since there’s so many other options but if you decide to, you may be greatly rewarded.

13. Trevor Plouffe 

Plouffe hit 24 homers in his first year starting but he didn’t play the entire season. He could’ve hit 30+ if he did, and he intends to do that this year. Plouffe will probably go undrafted in most leagues but if you’re in need of a third basemen at the end of the draft, he’s your guy.

14. Kyle Seager 

Seager hit 20 homers last season and he should be able to improve on that. Much like Plouffe, he’s going to fall, but he has power. If no one is left, take him. He wouldn’t be too much of a liability at 3rd.

15. Mike Moustakas

Moustakas hit 20 homers last year, and could potentially hit more this season. He’s not a great option at third, but because he has power, he wouldn’t be too bad. Try to draft someone better.


Manny Machado

Machado was one of the best prospects coming into the season last year. He was pretty impressive hitting 7 homers in just 191 at bats. He is listed as the starting 3rd basemen for the Orioles this season and should be able to put up pretty good numbers as a starter. He has great power. Take a chance on him if you don’t have a great 3rd basemen, or pick him up if he starts to play well.

2013 Fantasy Baseball Position Rankings: Shortstops

Article by Anthony Cavalcante

Great Players

1. Troy Tulowitzki

Tulo was injured last year, but now he’s healthy. When he’s playing, he’s the best shortstop in fantasy baseball. He will hit around .300 and can hit 30+ homers. He also scores and drives in a lot of runs. He’s not a first round pick, but he’s definitely the number 1 shortstop.

Very Good Players

2. Jose Reyes

Reyes is a great player. He steals a lot of bases, scores a lot of runs, hits for good average, and can even hit a good amount of homers. He used to be a 1st round pick, but he’s falling lower than that now. He still has the upside to be as good as almost anyone fantasy wise. Take him in the early rounds, and hope that he performs like a 1st rounder.

3. Hanley Ramirez

Hanley used to be the easy choice for first player drafted in fantasy baseball. After one injury plagued season and one off year, his value has greatly fallen. I wouldn’t be surprised if he bounces back this year, though. At the weak shortstop position, he’s still a top 3 option, but he has the ability to be number 1. He’s slightly more valuable at shortstop than he is a 3rd base, but he should be a starter at either position. Take him around the same time as Reyes.

Good Players

4. Jimmy Rollins

As hard as it is to believe, Rollins is still one of the best options at shortstop. He still steals a lot of bases, and he hits a lot of home runs. Yes, he’s getting older, but when he’s on the field, he still performs. He isn’t as good as the top 3 options, but he’s the next best.

5. Ian Desmond

Desmond is one of the best options at shortstop. He hits for a good batting average, steals a lot of bases, and hits a lot of home runs. He’s still young, so he can improve in all of those categories. He is a top 5 option at short. 

6. Ben Zobrist

Zobrist is a pretty good option at either second or short. Both are weak positions, and he’s eligible at both. He hits 20+ homers a year which is good enough to make him a solid starter at either position.

Decent Players

7. Elvis Andrus 

Andrus is a good choice as your starting shortstop. He hits for a high average, scores a lot of runs, and steals a ton of bases. Shortstop is a very think position so Andrus may end up top 5.

8. Starlin Castro

Castro is a good player. He hits for a high average, steals a lot of bases, and even has some pop in his bat. He’s good enough to be a starter. Take him after the better options are off the board.

9. Danny Espinosa

Danny Espinosa is a pretty good option at either second base or shortstop. He hits around 20 homers a year and steals 20 bases as well. He should be able to improve on both of those things as well as bring up his batting average. You should be happy if you can grab him late as your starting second baseman or shortstop.

10. Derek Jeter

Jeter hits for a high batting average and has some power, but he isn’t the greatest option at shortstop. He’s good enough to be a starter, but he doesn’t have much upside. In fact, he could let his age finally catch up to him and play horribly. Assuming that doesn’t happen, Jeter will hit at least .300 and hit 10-20 homers which makes him a solid option at short.

11. Alexei Ramirez

Alexei is usually a pretty good shortstop. He has a good combination of speed and power. His power numbers weren’t really there last year, but they should be back. He’s in around the same category as Jeter. 

OK Players

12. Asdrubal Cabrera
Cabrera isn’t that great, but he does have some power. He can hit 20+ homers which at the weak shortstop position, is hard to come by. There are still better options out there though, and you should try to take one of them.

13. JJ Hardy

Hardy is only on this list because of his power. He should be able to get 20+. He’s similar to Cabrera. It’s not that bad if you end up with him, but try for better.

14. Alcides Escobar

Escobar is only on this list because he has speed. He can swipe a lot of bases, and he could hit around .290 as well. Much like Hardy and Cabrera, only take him if you have to. You could do better.

15. Stephen Drew

Drew used to be a good shortstop. He was able to maintain a pretty good batting average and hit 15, sometimes even 20, home runs. He’s been injured the last few years, but he’s now the starting shortstop in Boston. Maybe he could bounce back.


Hiroyuki Nakajima

Nakajima is playing is his 1st season in the major leagues after playing in Japan his whole life. He will be the starting shortstop in Oakland. He was pretty good in Japan and hopes to be just as good in the major leagues. Nobody knows how good he will be here, but he could end up surprising people.

2013 Fantasy Baseball Position Rankings: Outfielders

Elite Players

1. Mike Trout

In Trout’s first full season, he was simply amazing. He hit .326 with 30 homers, 83 RBIs, 129 runs, and 49 steals. It gets better. Trout didn’t play in most of April, which means he didn’t play as many games as he could’ve. It gets better. Trout is now used to the MLB and should be able to IMPROVE on last year’s performance. It gets better. The Angels just added Josh Hamilton to their lineup which already included Pujols and Trumbo. Trout is arguably the best fantasy hitter coming into the 2013 season. I prefer Cabrera, who is more of a sure thing since Trout is still young, but you can’t go wrong with either.

2. Ryan Braun

Braun is arguably the best fantasy option available. He does it all. He hits for a high average, has tremendous power, always scores and drives in 100+ runs, and he even steals 30+ bases. Braun has the full package and will be taken as one of the first few picks on draft day.

3. Matt Kemp

Kemp is one of the best players in fantasy. He had an amazing season in 2011 hitting .324 with 39 homers, 40 stolen bases, 115 runs scored, and 126 RBIs. He couldn’t repeat those numbers last year because of injuries. But Kemp is back now and should be able to duplicate his 2011 numbers. He even has a much better lineup now. He’s one of the best outfielders and will be gone in the 1st round.

4. Josh Hamilton

Hamilton crushed 43 homers last season and drove in 128 runners. He also scored 103 runs and hit .285. That’s an amazing season. His batting average numbers are usually better too. He is now in a better lineup, which should benefit Hamilton even more. He’s one of the top options in all of fantasy baseball and should be taken as your 1st outfielder during the 1st few rounds.

Great Players

5. Jose Bautista 

Bautista is a good option as your first outfielder. In just 332 at bats, Bautista hit 27 homers and drove in 65 runs. He has proved that, when healthy, he can hit 40+ homers and even hit for a high average. Take Bautista as your number 1 outfielder early in the draft.

6. Andrew McCutchen 

McCutchen had a great season last year. He hit .327 with 31 homers, 20 stolen bases, 96 RBIs, and 107 runs scored. He was great in every aspect and should be just as good, or maybe even better, for the upcoming season. He’s a good option as your number 1 outfielder.

7. Giancarlo Stanton 

Stanton is one of the best young hitters in the game. He hit 37 homers last season while maintaining a .290 batting average. He could improve to 40+ homers this season, and maybe even bring hit average to over .300. He still has a lot more upside in him, and he’s already one of the best. He’s a good choice as your 1st outfielder.

Very Good Players

8. Carlos Gonzalez 

Gonzalez is a great all around player. He hits for a high average, gets 20+ steals and homers a year, and gets 85+ runs and RBIs a year. He’s hit 30+ homers before, but he’s been more in the 20s range in recent years. However, Gonzalez is entering his prime this year at age 27, and he could bring his power numbers back up. This makes him a great option as a number 2 outfielder, and not a bad option as your number 1.

9. Justin Upton 

Upton is a very good hitter. However, he’s pretty inconsistent. Just when you think he reached his potential of being a great all around hitter, he has an off-year. However, his off-years aren’t too bad. It’s worth the risk drafting him early because if he has one of his great years, than he’ll be one of the best players on your team. He’s still a starter during his off-years, however. Let’s assume we’ll see the good Justin Upton this year, which makes him a great option as your second outfielder, and a pretty good option as your first.

10. Jacoby Ellsbury 

Ellsbury is coming off an injury ridden season in which he only had 303 at bats. The season before that, he hit .321 with 32 homers, 39 stolen bases, 105 RBIs, and 119 runs scored. It’s possible for him to do that again since he already did it, but he probably won’t be that good this year. Still, he should be almost that good, which makes him a great option as a number 2 outfielder, and a nice option as your number 1 as well.

11. Adam Jones 

Jones broke out last season hitting .287 with 32 homers, 82 RBIs, 103 runs, and 16 stolen bases. He’s still developing as a hitter, which means that Jones should improve on that this year. Take him early in the draft. He’s a great option as your number 2 outfielder, and a pretty good option as your number 1.

12. Curtis Granderson 

Granderson has 40+ homer power which he has proved over the past couple of seasons. However, he does not hit for a high average at all. He makes up for it with his homers, and he also scores a lot and drives in many runs. He used to steal a lot of bases too, but last year he only stole 10. He should be able to return to the 20+ mark though, which makes him a great option as your second outfielder, and not a bad option as your first.

13. Matt Holliday 

Holliday is a great player. He hits for high average and very good power. He can hit over .300 and over 30 homers consistently, which makes him a very good number 2 outfielder, and not a bad option as your first. He’s been falling in drafts, maybe because of his age, but don’t be scared to take him. He’s still very good.

Good Players

14 Alex Rios 

Rios was very good last season. He hit .304 with 25 homers, 91 RBIs, 93 runs, and 23 stolen bases. He should be able to put up around the same numbers this year, which makes him a nice option as your number 2 outfielder.

15. Michael Bourn 

Bourn is a solid number 2 outfielder. He steals 40+ bases a year which is an amazing feat. He also scores a lot of runs and hits for a decent average. He doesn’t really have power, but his steals make up for it, which makes him a pretty good option on draft day.

16. BJ Upton 

Upton is a pretty good player. While he isn’t too great of a hitter for average, he still has good power and speed. He can hit 30 homers and steal 30 bases, while driving in and scoring about 80 runs. That’s good enough to make him a nice number 2 outfielder.

17. Hunter Pence 

Pence is a solid option as your number 2 outfielder. He hits around .285 with 25 homers and drives in and scores around 90 runs. He even steals between 10-20 bases usually. All of this adds up to a pretty good outfielder. Take him in the middle rounds.

18. Mark Trumbo 

Trumbo was pretty good last season. He hit .268 with 32 homers and 95 RBIs. It’s obvious that Trumbo is a great hitter for power and could hit even more homers this year. Being in a lineup with Trout, Pujols, and Hamilton will also help his numbers. He’s a solid option in the outfield or at 1st base.

19. Jay Bruce 

Bruce is a very good power hitter and keeps getting better at it. He hit 32 homers in 2011 and 34 in 2012. He’s only 25, so he is still improving and could hit 35, maybe even 40 this season. He only hits around .250, but his power makes up for it which makes him a solid option as your number 2 outfielder.

20. Bryce Harper 

Athough Harper wasn’t as good as Mike Trout was last year, he was still very good. He’s one of the most highly touted hitting prospects in baseball history and he could breakout this season. If not, what he did last year was good enough to be a fantasy starter anyway. But if he breaks out, he could be as good as anyone. Take him as your number 2 outfielder and hope that he breaks out.

21. Jason Heyward 

Heyward proved his hype to be true last season while hitting 27 homers and stealing 21 bases. He should be even better this season, which makes him a solid option as your number 2 outfielder. He’s very young, but he also has proved himself to be worth the hype.

22. Yoenis Cespedes 

Cespedes was good during his rookie season in Oakland. He hit .304 with 23 homers, 70 runs, 82 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases in just 487 at bats. He should improve if he remains healthy over the course of a whole season. Cespedes is good in all aspects and is a good option as a number 2 outfielder on draft day.

23. Melky Cabrera 

Melky doesn’t blow you away in any one category, but he does a little of everything. Well, he did hit .346 last year, but he missed the end of the season after being suspended due to taking PEDs. His batting average was probably a fluke, but he still can hit .300 with 15-20 homers and stolen bases, 90+ runs, and 80+ RBIs. He’s also part of an amazing lineup in a hitters park. He’s a good option as your number 2 outfielder.

24. Carlos Beltran 

Beltran is a good player. He hit 32 homers last season and drove in 97 runs. Although he is getting older, he proved that he can still hit a lot of homers. His average dipped a little bit but it should go back up this season. He’s a solid number 2 outfielder.

25. Andre Ethier 

Ethier is good enough to hit for a fairly high average and 20+ homers, and he has the potential to do even more. The Dodgers lineup is vastly improved with Crawford, Gonzalez, and Hanley all entering it for a full season. Don’t forget about Matt Kemp either. If he hits his usual .290 with 20 homers, he’s a good number 2 outfielder. But if he hits 30+ homers like he has done before, he will be a steal this late in the draft.

Decent Players

26. Carl Crawford

Carl Crawford hasn’t been healthy the past few years, but he is healthy for this season. He has an amazing lineup behind him and that should help him greatly. If he could remain healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that he can return back to old form. Take him as a number 3 outfielder, but he should perform like a number 2, maybe even a number 1.

27. Desmond Jennings 

Jennings is a pretty good option as your 3rd outfielder. Although he hasn’t hit for average in the major leagues his one and a half seasons, he has always been known for his batting average in the minors. Maybe this is the year he will breakout and bring his average up to .300. That means more runs and stolen bases. He also has some pop in his bat which makes him more valuable. Take him during the middle-to-late rounds.

28. Shin-Soo Choo 

For some reason, Choo was projected as a top outfielder 2 years ago. He ended up getting injured and only having 313 at bats, in which he wasn’t that great. He was healthy in 2012, but he was nothing special. He hit .283, with 16 homers and stole 21 bases. I think he could improve in all those aspects a little, but he’s not as good as was was projected to be before the 2011 season. He’s a good option as a number 3 outfielder.

29. Austin Jackson 

Jackson was pretty good last year. He hit .300 with 16 homers, 12 stolen bases, 103 runs, and 66 RBIs. He missed some time last year so he should get more at bats. He should be able to hit 20+ homers and steal 20+ bases, while scoring a lot of runs, maintaining a high batting average, and even driving in a nice amount of runs. He’s in a great lineup and he’d be a good option as a number 3 outfielder.

30. Allen Craig 

Craig surprised a lot of people last year by hitting 22 homers and 92 RBIs with a .307 batting average. He missed the beginning of the season too. I expect around the same numbers from Craig. Maybe 25 homers. He’s a decent option as a number 3 outfielder.

31.Shane Victorino 

Victorino is a pretty good outfielder. He is very fast, which means he steals a lot of bases and scores a lot of runs. He also has some pop, which helps as well. He’s a pretty good option as a number 3 outfielder.

32. Michael Morse 

Morse was very good in 2011 hitting .303 with 31 homers. He was expected to be even better in 2012, but he suffered many injuries. When he did play, he still played well. His value is a lot lower now, but he could still put up his 2011 numbers in Seattle next year. He’s a good option as a number 3 outfielder.

33. Chris Davis 

Davis hit 33 home runs last season. I definitely think that’s possible for him to do again. He should also be able to bring his batting average up. Davis is a great hitter for power and finally proved it. He’s probably gonna be taken as a first basemen, but as an outfielder, he’d be a solid number 3.

34. Josh Willingham

Willingham slugged 35 homers last year for a career high. While I don’t think he will reach that many homers this season, it still can’t be ignored. He should hit high 20s/low 30s in home runs, which makes him not a bad option as your 3rd outfielder.

35. Nelson Cruz 

Cruz is a good player. He hasn’t been too consistent, but he has the ability to hit great for both power and average. If he does so on the same year, he could be a very good player. If he only does 1 great and 1 decent, he’s still pretty good. If he does both decent, he’s not that bad. Take him as a number 3 outfielder, and hope that he can combine his power and average numbers.

OK Players

36. Tori Hunter 

Hunter isn’t too bad of an option as your last outfielder. He can hit 20+ homers, score and drive in 80+ runs, steal a few bases, and hit for a solid batting average. He doesn’t have too much upside anymore, but he’s still a pretty solid player.

37. Nick Swisher 

I’m not a big fan of Swisher, but he consistently puts up pretty good stats. He’s good for around a .270 average, 20-25 homers, and 80-90 RBIs. That’s not too bad. He’s an OK option as your number 3 outfielder.

38. Jason Kubel 

Kubel hit a career high 30 home runs last season. No one ever doubted that Kubel had serious power hitting ability. He should get even more at bats this season, which means more home runs. He’s an OK option as your 3rd outfielder.

39. Josh Reddick 

Reddick is another one of those young power hitters. He hits a lot of homers, 32 last year, which means he also should drive in a lot of runs, 85 last year, but that’s really all he does. He could improve his power numbers since he’s still young, which makes him an OK option as your 3rd outfielder.

40. Alfonso Soriano 

Soriano has proven that he is a great power hitter. He displayed his power hitting ability yet again last year by slugging 32 homers and driving in 108 runs. This makes him a solid option as your 3rd outfielder.

41. Corey Hart 

Hart can hit for power, which makes him a viable option on draft day. He hit 30 homers last year, and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t do it again. He’d be an OK option as your 3rd outfielder.

42. Ben Zobrist 

Zobrist is good for a decent batting average, 20 homers, 15 steals, and pretty good RBI and runs scored numbers. He’s not your best bet as an outfielder though. However, he is a good option at second base or shortstop, so draft him there.

43. Alex Gordon

Gordon isn’t the player he was hyped up to be and sadly he never will be. However, he can still hit for a high average and slug about 20 homers while doing it, which makes him a pretty good option as a number 3 outfielder.

44. Nick Markakis 

Markakis hasn’t played up to his ability during the last few years. Last season, he had an excuse since he was injured. If he could remain healthy, he could bounce back and play as well as he used to. Take him as your number 3 outfielder and maybe he’ll perform like a great number 2 like he used to.

45. Ichiro Suzuki 

Ichiro hit .283 with 9 homers and stole 29 bases last season. However, he was a lot better during his time with the Yankees than he was with the Mariners. In 67 games in New York, Ichiro hit .322 with 5 homers and 14 steals. Over the course, of a full season, those are pretty good numbers. He’s an OK option as your number 3 outfielder.


Wil Myers

Myers may not start in the majors, but he will definitely end up there, probably soon. He hits for both average and power and is the number 4 prospect in the league according to Baseball America. It’s only a matter of time before he gets to the majors and he is hoping to become this year’s Mike Trout. Either take him at the end of your draft, or keep an eye on him to find out when the Rays are promoting him.

Oscar Taveras

Taveras is another prospect that hits for both average and power. He’s only in AA however, so he may not be playing baseball in the majors as early as Myers is. But he should show up in 2013. Grab him when he is promoted, he could wind up being a great addition to your team.

Billy Hamilton

Although Hamilton was a shortstop, he will most likely play in the outfield when he makes the majors. He could make the majors out of spring training, but he’ll likely get some playing time in AAA first. He stole 155 bases in the minors last year, breaking a record. He gets on base frequently and steals it better than anyone. Keep an eye on him, because he should be able to make an immediate impact when he’s in the majors.

RotoBaller Rankings: 2013 Shortstop Rankings with ADP Comparison

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Shortstop. Ah yes, good ‘ole Shortstop. Has to be one of the least fun positions in all of fantasy baseball. Year-in and year-out, the only thing you can count on out of your SS, with few exceptions, is consistent across-the-board yawn-inducing stats. After you get past the first nine or ten, the options always start to look plain putrid. However in 2013, there is something unique about SS. It has, finally, passed the “most putrid position” torch to… 2B. Not that this says anything about the quality of shortstops available for drafting (they are still pretty “meh”)– it really just means that between injuries and guys falling off the planet, second base has sunk to lows previously unseen by any position but catchers!
But I digress. Before we get into the tiers, let’s talk a bit about SS strategy. It’s a tricky position to draft: a productive SS can be fantasy gold if you don’t need to pay much on draft day, but a bottom-of-the-barrel SS is almost worse than having no one there at all! I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the picture.
Consider the end-of-season ranks of the top 14 SSs last year: 45, 60, 52, 59, 67, 85, 102, 124, 131, 188, 212, 216, 241, 357. After the first handful, that’s a very steep slope, at the bottom of which you encounter a sheer cliff. The bad ones are borderline horrific fantasy players, so owning them will put you at a serious disadvantage compared to other managers’ better options. It’s enough to make you think you should grab a top guy, right? But investing big-time draft capital on these guys means you’re passing on much better overall OF and CI players.
So what to do? The answer is simple and comes in two parts. First, recognize that you can only predict so much, especially with players as all over the map as the 2013 crop of shortstops is. Don’t get too crazy about your SS projections– it’s not gonna make or break your league. Second, grab a solid middle-of-the-road shortstop, hold on, and hope for the best. Oh, and if they end up crapping the bed in the first month you shouldn’t feel so bad about it since you didn’t pay too much– just grab a hot waiver-wire commodity! Anyone who drafted Jeter, Desmond, or Rollins in 2012 followed this strategy. Anyone who picked up Marco Scutaro followed this strategy. All those folks managed to get high-end production from their SS position without paying much, if anything. And THAT is always what you want to look for: guys who will outperform their draft position.
SS is also a position where you can find cheap SB / BA / R guys later in the draft, if you’ve already filled out your other positions with productive guys. Think Eric Aybar or Alcides Escobar. It’s another option to consider, but usually requires some planning to identify guys you want to target in the later rounds. Remember, you don’t want to get stuck with that completely scrubby SS. With all that said, let’s get into the tiers and current ADPs, and we’ll help you identify some of the best values, sleepers and biggest potential busts at shortstop. Here are the RotoBaller rankings for SS:

Tier 1: I’ll be straightforward: unless these guys fall to the fourth round, I will not own them, anywhere, ever, no chance. It’s just not worth the high price tag. I’d rather own a Josh Hamilton or an Evan Longoria or a David Wright than Tulo, Reyes or Hanley. And those guys are being taken in the same ballpark on draft day. Hypothetically, if all these guys play reasonably well and stay reasonably healthy, any one of them could finish first in the SS ranks. But all of them could easily finish where they did last year: ranked 52, 67, and 847 (although Tulo is probably a good bet to beat that performance!).
Tier 2: Usually, we have to get to tier 3 or 4 to start seeing some nice bargains, but since shortstop is so shallow, we can find some in tier 2. Starlin Castro is definitely NOT a bargain at pick #37, and while he does have the chance to bring his game to a new level and beat that ADP, it’s hard to justify taking him here. In this tier, Rollins and Desmond are where it’s at. Both can be prone to the extended slump, which can be frustrating, but you’re looking at two guys who almost went 25-25 last year, and can definitely come just as close this year. They’re being drafted in the 8th and 9th rounds on average and that’s a good value for solid SS production. Considering they produced 4th-5th round value last year, there is nice potential for return here. Zobrist is another guy in this tier who can get you nice production, and while his current ADP makes him less desirable than Rollins or Desmond, his 2B/SS/OF eligibility makes him a very solid pick as well.
Tier 3: I’m a Yankee fan, so I’ve gotta start with Jeter. It seems like every year people are predicting his demise, and every year he is proving them wrong. Last year he was the second-best shortstop in fantasy baseball, ranked 50th overall. He’s turning 39 this year, but the correct response to that is: “Who cares?” Jeter isn’t being drafted until the 12th / 13th round on average, but I think you can draft him in the 9th or 10th with confidence. Frankly, all the guys in this tier are going fairly late, and they could all provide nice return. I don’t see any of them completely flopping. Aybar could be a real sneaky pick if he gets off to a hot start: hitting behind Trout and in front of Hamilton and Pujols could be the best lineup spot in all of baseball. Escobar broke out last year very nicely, and if he continues on an upward trend he could find himself in tier 2 by mid-year. Read RotoBaller’s deeper analysis on Alcides Escobar for more on what to expect from him this year.
Tier 4: Bringing up the rear is tier 4. It’s similar to tier 3 in that all these guys are going extremely low, but different from tier 3 in that many of these guys might do the fantasy baseball equivalent of a 50-foot belly-flop. Rutledge has BIG sleeper potential. Scutaro could be solid again, but could just as easily stink it up. Cabrera will be good for cheap steals which is never a bad thing from your SS. Same with Segura, but Cabrera is the preferred choice at RotoBaller. Ramirez always seems to benefit from some name-brand value, but don’t bother with him. J.J. Hardy can give you some cheap power and Cozart can give you a whole lotta “meh” with a nice side of “Why the F did I draft this guy?” Rounding out the tier is Andrelton Simmons who’s slated to bat leadoff for a very solid Braves offense. If he gets off to a hot start, a line of 280-10-60-80-20 could be within reach. Think Starlin Castro light, at a fraction of the cost.
All in all, be careful when picking your shortstop: pay too much for a top guy, and you may sacrifice other top players at 1B or OF whose gaudy numbers you can bank on. Don’t pay enough for a SS, and you’re stuck with fantasy trash. So that middle tier is where all of the draft-day value lies. I would try to get a solid tier-2 or -3 guy, and stay away from the tier-1 pricey studs and tier-4 junky players. Good luck and let us know what you think!