2014 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings

Jan 24

2014 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings

The 2014 Fantasy shortstop rankings are quite different than they were about 10 or so years ago, when players like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Miguel Tejada were fighting for the top spot. Shortstop is a position which has long been considered scarce. Don’t get me wrong — it is still scarce, but some nice young players are developing, making the player pool deeper. No longer will you have the top five to choose from and then throw darts, as you hope for the best the rest of the way. I am not saying it isn’t a concern, but there are younger, riskier options, with plenty of upside this year who could help some teams willing to wait and take the risk. 2014 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings (*denotes players who may be eligible for multiple positions in 2014) RANKPlayer, Team 1Hanley Ramirez, L.A. Dodgers 2Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies 3Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals 4Jose Reyes, Toronto Blue Jays 5Jean Segura, Milwaukee Brewers 6Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers 7Ben Zobrist*, Tampa Bay Rays 8J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Orioles 9Everth Cabrera, San Diego Padres 10Xander Bogaerts*, Boston Red Sox 11Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs 12Andeltron Simmons, Atlanta Braves 13Brad Miller*, Seattle Mariners 14Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies 15Jurickson Profar*, Texas Rangers 16Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox 17Jed Lowrie*, Oakland Athletics 18Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians 19Erick Aybar, L.A. Angels 20Jhonny Peralta, St. Louis Cardinals 21Derek Jeter, N.Y. Yankees 22Stephen Drew, Free Agent 23Didi Gregorious, Arizona Diamondbacks 24Jonathan Villar, Houston Astros 25Alcides Escobar, Kansas City Royals 26Jordy Mercer, Pittsburgh Pirates 27Jose Iglesias, Detroit Tigers 28Yunel Escobar, Tampa Bay Rays 29Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds 30Adeiny Hechavarria, Miami Marlins 31Brandon Crawford, San Francisco Giants 32Rafael Furcal*, Miami Marlins 33Pedro Florimon, Minnesota Twins 34Chris Owings, Arizona Diamondbacks 35Mike Aviles*, Cleveland Indians 36Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs 37Dee Gordon*, L.A. Dodgers 38Daniel Descalso, St. Louis Cardinals 39Eduardo Nunez, N.Y. Yankees 40Macier Itzuris*, Toronto Blue Jays 2014 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings: Alphabetical Analysis Elvis Andrus, Texas: Andrus’ average and OBP dipped a tad in 2013, but his counting stats remained stable, except for one. Andrus was cut loose on the base-paths last season after a disappointing 2012 and doubled his stolen base totals. No reason to see a dramatic change this year with a potent lineup surrounding him....

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2014 Baltimore Orioles Preview: Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30

Jan 23

2014 Baltimore Orioles Preview: Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30

In 2012, the Orioles had baseball’s most unlikely playoff run.  In 2013, they didn’t have as much success, but they did have a handful of Fantasy Baseball studs at the plate. Also, last season, for first time since Mike Mussina sported an Orioles cap, they had a legitimate front-end-of-a-rotation-type pitcher in Chris Tillman. This past offseason, the O’s traded the two-time reigning AL saves leader in Jim Johnson to Oakland, while opting not to sign another proven closer and fill their void from within. You can find the rest of the “Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30 Team Previews” here, as they’ll be posted over the next couple weeks. Projected 2014 Baltimore Orioles’ “Go-To” Lineup Nick Markakis, RF Ryan Flaherty, 3B Chris Davis, 1B Adam Jones, CF Matt Wieters, C J.J. Hardy Nolan Reimold, DH David Lough, LF Jemile Weeks, 2B Projected Pitchers SP1 Chris Tillman SP2 Wei-Yin Chen SP3 Bud Norris SP4 Miguel Gonzalez SP5 Kevin Gausman LHP Zach Britton Set-Up Man: Darren O’Day Closer: Tommy Hunter Fantasy Studs: Chris Davis, Adam Jones, Manny Machado Davis’ propensity for the long ball, Machado’s gap power and ability to make contact (only 113 strikeouts in 667 at bats), and Adam Jones’ four-category contributions (HR, RBI, AVG, and SB) will see these guys go off the boards in the first two to three rounds in most leagues. Even Machado’s injury will keep owners from letting him fall too far in the draft (the latest news is that he is 6-8 weeks ahead of schedule and if he were to play in Spring Training games by March 15, Opening Day is a possibility). Breakout Candidates: Kevin Gausman and Chris Tillman Many experts are putting a lot of stock in hopes that Kevin Gausman will blossom from his top prospect status into a Fantasy stud. While I do expect him to improve on his 2013 season (3-5, 5.66 ERA in 20 appearances, 5 starts), it is Chris Tillman that I expect to take the next step and push himself closer to the upper tiers of starting pitching. Bust Candidates: Chris Davis, Manny Machado So while I expect Tillman to move up in owner’s draft positions for next year, there are a few I can see taking...

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: Catcher Rankings

Jan 23

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Catcher Rankings

The 2014 Catcher Rankings might not be the sexiest place to start our season rankings for each position, but then again, I think chunky Christina Aguilera looks better than the skinny version. So what do I know about sexy!?! Many of you that know me know that I’m a huge fan of the catchers position. It was my position of choice in high school, and I always had soft spot for the guys behind the mask (catchers, not umpires). I feel they’re underappreciated in the baseball world, even though they’re the only position player that faces the entire field of play. He also has to learn all three facets of the game (pitching, hitting and defense) to become effective at his position. And in the Fantasy Baseball world, people are showing even less appreciation for the position by having one-catcher Rotisserie leagues. I’m totally fine with the one-catcher Head-to-Head leagues, since there are only nine offensive positions to begin with (with a DH). But in Rotisserie play, you have 14 hitters (or 13 if you’re in one of those crazy one-catcher leagues). I hate that we’re minimizing a position in Fantasy that is such a pivotal position in the game. So take catchers seriously! 2014 Catcher Rankings RANKPlayer, Team 1Buster Posey, San Francisco 2Carlos Santana, Cleveland 3Joe Mauer, Minnesota 4Yadier Molina, St. Louis 5Jonathan Lucroy, Minnesota 6Wilin Rosario, Colorado 7Salvador Perez, Kansas City 8Matt Wieters, Baltimore 9Brian McCann, N.Y. Yankees 10Wilson Ramos, Washington 11Evan Gattis, Atlanta 12Miguel Montero, Arizona 13A.J. Pierzynski, Boston 14Jason Castro, Houston 15Alex Avila, Detroit 16Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Miami 17Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati 18Russell Martin, Pittsburgh 19Yan Gomes, Cleveland 20Mike Zunino, Seattle 21Dioner Navarro, Toronto 22Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia 23Travis D'Arnaud, N.Y. Mets 24A.J. Ellis, L.A. Dodgers 25Ryan Doumit, Atlanta 26Welington Castillo, Chicago Cubs 28John Jaso, Oakland 29Josmil Pinto, Minnesota 30J.P. Arencibia, Toronto 31Chris Iannetta, L.A. Angels 32Ryan Hanigan, Tampa Bay 33Tyler Flowers, Chicago White Sox 34Geovany Soto, Texas 35Jesus Montero, Seattle 27Yasmani Grandal, San Diego 36Max Stassi, Houston 37Nick Hundley, San Diego 38Hank Conger, L.A. Angels 39Derek Norris, Oakland 40Josh Phegley, Chicago White Sox 2014 Catcher Rankings: Alphabetical Analysis J.P. Arencibia, Texas: While you have to love a catcher that can poke 20 homers (Matt Wieters is the...

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2014 Texas Rangers Preview: Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30

Jan 22

2014 Texas Rangers Preview: Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30

Welcome to the 2014 Texas Rangers Preview! Last year could only be described as a disappointment for Texas Rangers’ Fantasy Baseball fans, as they went from No. 1 in team batting in 2012 to No. 8 last year. However, not all was lost as Yu Darvish finished as the AL runner-up in the Cy Young voting and Adrian Beltre continued to be a top-five producer at third base. After a busy offseason, highlighted by the additions of Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo, along with full-time production from Jurickson Profar — things are looking up again in Arlington. You can find the rest of the “Fantasy Baseball 30-for-30 Team Previews” here, as they’ll be posted over the next couple weeks. Projected 2014 Texas Rangers “Go-To” Lineup Shin-Soo Choo, LF Elvis Andrus, SS Prince Fielder, 1B Adrian Beltre, 3B Alex Rios, RF Mitch Moreland, DH Geovany Soto, C Jurickson Profar, 2B Leonys Martin, CF Projected Pitchers: SP1 Yu Darvish RHP SP2 Derek Holland LHP SP3 Matt Harrison LHP SP4 Alexi Ogando RHP SP5 Colby Lewis RHP P Nick Tepesch  RHP P Martin Perez LHP Setup man: Joakim Soria RHP Closer: Neftali Feliz RHP Fantasy Stud(s): Prince Fielder, Shin Soo Choo The biggest question in my 2014 Texas Rangers Preview is, how will the move to Arlington effect the two new guys? Let’s start with Fielder. I really do want to believe that Fielder’s move to Texas will reignite him, but I just don’t see a huge return to dominance for the big man. As noted by Chad Young, moving to the Ballpark at Arlington may not have a great impact on Fielder’s power production. As far as counting stats, he goes from playing for the No. 2 overall run-scoring team in 2013 to the possible No. 1 overall lineup, so I don’t see a lot of change in production there either. I could see him hitting 30 long balls and driving in 100-plus runs and hitting .280. As for Choo, in his age 31 season, he put up the best OBP of his career in 2013 to go with 721 PAs, and he managed to squeeze in 21 HR and 20 SB. Can he actually get to 700-plus PAs next year? Only...

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: Second Basemen Rankings

Jan 19

2014 Fantasy Baseball: Second Basemen Rankings

Sure, I know what you are thinking when you read 2014 Fantasy Baseball: Second Basemen Rankings. “Seriously? This early?” Well, sure it may seem early, but in many cases it’s not. I am personally drafting in three leagues right now! So, last week when I was scraping my car in record time because it was -32 below here in beautiful Minnesota, I obviously was thinking “I am going to do it. I am ranking Jason Kipnis second in my second basemen rankings!” Bottom line, it is NEVER too early, and rankings always change, but for Fantasy addicts like myself, the Fantasy Season is year round. Be sure to keep on reading DavidGonos.com for more positional rankings, prospect rankings and profiles coming soon. With that, I give you my 2014 Second Basemen Rankings … so far. 2014 Second Basemen Rankings (*) behind players’ name denotes multi-position eligibility RANKPlayer, Team 1Robinson Cano, Seattle 2Jason Kipnis, Cleveland 3Dustin Pedroia, Boston 4Matt Carpenter, St. Louis 5Jedd Gyorko, San Diego 6Ian Kinsler, Detroit 7Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay 8Jose Altuve, Houston 9Aaron Hill, Arizona 10Chase Utley, Philadelphia 11Martin Prado*, Arizona 12Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati 13Brian Dozier, Minnesota 14Anthony Rendon, Washington 15Neil Walker, Pittsburgh 16Kolten Wong, St. Louis 17Jurickson Profar*, Texas 18Marco Scutaro*, San Francisco 19Jed Lowrie*, Oakland 20Kelly Johnson*, N.Y. Yankees 21Daniel Murphy, N.Y. Mets 22Omar Infante, Kansas City 23Dan Uggla, Atlanta 24Alexander Guerrero, L.A. Dodgers 25Howie Kendrick, L.A. Angels 26Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore 27Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox 28Josh Rutledge*, Colorado 29Emilio Bonifacio*, Kansas City 30Brian Roberts, N.Y. Yankees 31Nick Franklin, Seattle 32Jordy Mercer, Pittsburgh 33Alberto Callaspo*, Oakland 34Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee 35Scooter Gennett, Milwaukee 36Eric Sogaard, Oakland 37Jemile Weeks, Baltimore 38Grant Green, L.A. Angels 39D.J. Lemahieu, Colorado 40Tommy Stella, Atlanta Alphabetical Fantasy Analysis Jose Altuve, Houston: You may only think of speed when you see Altuve, and you aren’t wrong. His ability to get on base and contend for league lead in steals alone lift his value. Gordon Beckham, Chicago White Sox: Tempts me and so many every year, but now I am done. His power, and all counting totals sank, except for his batting average. I don’t trust him. If you end up with him as your starter — look to trade and quick! Emilio Bonifacio, Kansas City: Will likely...

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2014 Fantasy Profiles: Prospect Nick Castellanos

Jan 18

2014 Fantasy Profiles: Prospect Nick Castellanos

This is the first in an ongoing series of 2014 Profiles. I will be looking closer at MLB’s top propects who will have a real Fantasy impact on the 2014 season. We are starting with Tigers’ top prospect Nick Castellanos. Enjoy, and feel free to comment below, or even request more Prospects as well.  There is always excitement when a prospect, especially a top prospect in an organization gets the call, or is expected to start the season in the majors. The Detroit Tigers’ recent trade of Prince Fielder allowed the Tigers to move Miguel Cabrera back to first base, and left an opening at third for super prospect Nick Castellanos to play his natural position. Castellanos is expected to be the Opening Day third baseman, and should provide more than adequate defensive abilities at the hot-corner for the Tigers. Drafted 44th Overall in 2010 by Detroit, many have been anticipating to see him in the majors. This season, the wait is over. Prospect Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Age: 22, Ht: 6’4″, Wt: 210 lbs Bats/Throws: Right-Handed What We’ve Seen So Far Castellanos has a quick and easy swing, which helps him stay in the .270-.300 average range, and has room to grow into a 20-25 HR player. Actually, he is close to those numbers already, but with his first year in the majors, it may take some time to keep up. He can, however, hit the ball to all areas of the field, and this should help stabilize his batting average. YRABRHHRRBISBAVGOBPSLG 2013 DET1815000.278.278.278 2013 AAA5958114718764.276.343.450 Castellanos is better defensively at his natural position third base, and he will play there in 2014. This is great news as young players tend to perform better initially when they are comfortable in the field. He is not the speediest of players, but his other counting categories should help carry him into a top-tier third baseman down the road. Castellanos played in 11 games for the Tigers late last season, and held his own for them. His minor league line was comparable to what he put up in that short sample, which should be a good sign for his first full season in the majors. His power surge and 37 doubles in Toledo...

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Closer Busts: Top 38 Relievers by Steamer & Oliver Projections

Jan 06

Closer Busts: Top 38 Relievers by Steamer & Oliver Projections

This post will wrap up our series on 2014 Fantasy Baseball busts. We’ve looked at outfielders, infielders, starting pitchers, and now we will examine closer busts. As a supplement to this discussion we will look at the velocity loss leaders from 2013 at the end of the post. More so than any other position in Fantasy Baseball, a closers’ value is based primarily on opportunity. The best middle relief pitcher is not as valuable as the worst closer; saves are all that matter. As long as a pitcher gets the opportunity to pitch in the ninth inning, he can be a valuable Fantasy asset. Ask Shawn Chacon about his 2004 season, and he’ll be able to attest. That said I’ve chosen to rank any pitcher that has a likely possibility to close in 2014 (i.e. Jake McGee), and all closers that were ranked in the top 132 pitchers for last year’s final roto ranks (i.e. Edward Mujica). (If you read the previous two articles you can skip the next two paragraphs, which describe how we define a bust.) To ascribe an analytic value to how we quantify a bust, we will look at a player’s 2013 roto value and a hybrid of their Steamer and Oliver projections. Bust: Our formula for a bust will be a player’s projected 2014 roto value—this forecasted value will be composed of an average between a player’s Steamer and Oliver projections—minus their 2013 roto value. (Values will be calculated for a 12-team 5×5 roto league) Steamer & Oliver Closer Ranks PlayerProjected tzSCR2013 tzSCRDIFF Kevin Gregg-8.79-2.09-6.70 Edward Mujica-6.05-0.62-5.43 Chris Perez-7.25-2.49-4.77 Jose Veras-6.84-2.20-4.64 Fernando Rodney-4.92-0.54-4.37 Heath Bell-6.63-2.74-3.89 Brandon League-7.71-4.28-3.44 Joaquin Benoit-3.31-0.11-3.20 Rex Brothers-4.60-1.45-3.15 Joe Nathan0.002.30-2.30 Jason Grilli-3.25-1.03-2.22 Tom Wilhelmsen-5.62-3.53-2.09 Steve Cishek-0.270.29-0.56 Koji Uehara2.042.47-0.43 Rafael Soriano-1.09-0.70-0.39 Greg Holland2.242.56-0.32 Jim Henderson-0.57-0.33-0.24 Sergio Romo0.240.240.00 Casey Janssen-0.17-0.300.13 Addison Reed0.14-0.100.24 Huston Street-0.70-0.970.27 Craig Kimbrel3.463.070.39 Grant Balfour-0.24-0.710.47 Bobby Parnell-0.32-0.900.58 Glen Perkins1.170.380.80 Jonathan Papelbon0.34-0.751.09 Kenley Jansen2.841.741.10 Mark Melancon0.92-0.251.17 Ernesto Frieri0.51-0.861.37 Aroldis Chapman2.731.221.51 Danny Farquhar0.53-3.093.61 Trevor Rosenthal2.36 Jake McGee0.76 David Robertson0.67 Tommy Hunter0.31 Nate Jones-0.35 John Axford-0.84 LaTroy Hawkins-1.98 *Rosenthal, McGee, Robertson, Hunter, Jones, Axford, and Hawkins did not finish in the top 132 pitchers from last year so their is no 2013 rank for them, but I thought it would be helpful to look a their...

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