Bobby Sylvester’s Top 400 Second-Half Fantasy Baseball Rankings

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Jul 14, 2017

Where does Manny Machado rank for the second half?

Every month, I’m posting my updated top 400 rest of the season rankings. You can think of it as a waiver wire tool or a trade guide, use it however you’d like. Today, I’ll respond to some of the more controversial rankings preemptively, but if you have any further questions or disagreements, don’t hesitate to let me know on twitter @bobbyfantasypro.

Manny Machado is talented, but how can you keep him in your top 15?

There is an all encompassing stat called weighted on-base average, or wOBA. With advanced metrics like statcast, we can now use the data to show what a players wOBA should be so we can seperate the luck from the skill. Machado currently has a .319 wOBA, his xwOBA is a whopping .355. Nobody in baseball, not Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton has hit the ball over 102 MPH more times than Machado this season. He has somehow managed to get out 57% of the time he hit the ball that hard which is unheard of. Machado is every bit as good as he was when he was dominating as a 20 to 23-year-old, perhaps even better, but the mainstream stats just haven’t displayed that. Yet.

Sure, Alex Avila has been hot, but a top 4 catcher, really?

I’m going to give you four superstars to compare. The rankings listed below are of all 246 players with at least 200 plate appearances this season:

Superstar Hard-Hit% HH% Rank Line Drive% LD% Rank Avg Exit Velo xVelo Rank BB% BB% Rank K%
Player A 46.0% #9 18.8% #165 90.1 #44 11.3% #55 29.1%
Player B 46.4% #8 20.4% #116 93.9 #2 12.8% #35 34.8%
Player C 49.0% #4 24.5% #27 96.2 #1 16.7% #4 29.8%
Player D 55.7% #1 29.2% #1 92.9 #4 17.2% #3 29.5%

Player A is Cody Bellinger
Player B is Miguel Sano
Player C is Aaron Judge
Player D is Alex Avila (yeah, the clear best of the bunch)

They all have high k-rates, high BB-rates and all mash baseballs so Avila fits perfectly in with this group. Do I expect it to keep up? Absolutely not, but even with a big step back, his stats should STILL improve from the already terrific first half numbers we saw.

We don’t know how Carlos Rodon will come back, why is he ranked so high?

Rodon has always had injury problems, which is part of the reason he went from being the clear-cut #1 overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft down to #3. He has ace stuff with a wipeout slider and we finally saw him piecing it together in the second half last season as a 23-year-old. Throughout the minors, he was a top 20 prospect and he always struck out 11.7 per 9 IP or more, so there is no reason to think his sudden dominance last year was a fluke. Granted, he is having some command issues, as would be expected from a long recovery, but his stuff looks sharp and should continue to improve over the reaminder of the season.

Luke Weaver doesn’t even have a job but somehow appears in your top 250?

Two days ago, Weaver was sent back down to the minors. He was looking strong out of the bullpen, but the starting rotation is his future, and perhaps sooner than later. Last season as a 22-year-old, he struck out 11.1 batters per 9 innings in the Bigs. This is a prospect with a sparkling 1.81 ERA and 1.05 WHIP during his 253 minor leagues innings pitched. He is more polished than any other prospect and ready to dominate from the get-go as soon as a rotation spot opens up, which is bound to happen eventually.

Who is this Rhys Hoskins that you’d rather own than guys like Pujols and Schwarber?

The Phillies are loaded at Triple-A this season with Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, Jorge Alfaro, J.P. Crawford and Nick Williams (who was just called up). Hoskins could be next and is the best bet of the group to hit well in the Majors this season. He is a big first baseman who swatted 38 homers last season and is well on his way to doing the same this year to go along with his .965 OPS. He should be batting in the middle of the Phillies order within a couple of weeks, and I’d certainly rather own him than a career .210 hitter like Schwarber who has no position and isn’t guarunteed playing time.

Without further ado, here is the full list. Enjoy!

What's your take? Leave a comment

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16Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
17Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
18Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
19George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
20Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
21Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
22Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
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24Yu Darvish (FA)SP
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
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25CJ McCollum (POR)PG,SG
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