Early 2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

by Bobby Sylvester | @bobbyfantasypro | Featured Writer
Oct 17, 2017

Trea Turner just might be the best fantasy baseball asset

The MLB playoffs are underway and we’ve got four great teams in the championship series, but it is never too early to take a peek at what we will be dealing with next season. Today, I’ll give you my up to date top 250 fantasy baseball players for next season. Within each tier, I’ll give you a note on a player who’s ranking might surprise you and why I’ve got them ranked as I do.

226 to 250

Rank Player Pos Team Age
250 Kurt Suzuki C FA 34
249 Jack Flaherty SP STL 22
248 Mike Clevinger SP CLE 27
247 Alex Avila C FA 31
246 Reynaldo Lopez SP CWS 24
245 Jonathan Lucroy C FA 31
244 Rick Porcello SP BOS 29
243 Avisail Garcia OF CWS 26
242 Tyler Glasnow SP PIT 24
241 Randal Grichuk OF STL 26
240 Sean Manaea SP OAK 26
239 Lewis Brinson OF MIL 23
238 Evan Gattis C HOU 31
237 Marcus Semien SS OAK 27
236 Travis d’Arnaud C NYM 29
235 Teoscar Hernandez OF TOR 24
234 C.J Cron 1B LAA 28
233 Brent Honeywell SP TB 22
232 Carl Edwards RP CHC 26
231 Todd Frazier 3B FA 32
230 Yasmani Grandal C LAD 29
229 Clint Frazier OF NYY 23
228 Wilson Ramos C TB 30
227 Yonder Alonso 1B FA 30
226 Eddie Rosario OF MIN 26

 
–Keep an eye on Teoscar Hernandez as a potential breakout asset next season. He performed admirably in 88 big league at bats with a .602 slugging percentage, but it is what he did in the minors as an overlooked prospect that should raise your eyebrows. In his last two seasons, he has swatted 28 homers and swiped 50 bags with a .286 batting average in 212 games. That is prorated to 21 HR, 38 SB over 162 games, and while we can’t expect him to carry over the same level of production, even a 20% hit would give him a season similar to Byron Buxton and Whit Merrifield who will be drafted in the top 120 picks.

201-225

Rank Player Pos Team Age
225 Hanley Ramirez DH BOS 34
224 Jose Peraza 2B/SS CIN 23
223 Luiz Gohara SP ATL 21
222 Kenta Maeda SP LAD 29
221 Yuli Gurriel 1B HOU 33
220 Shin-Soo Choo OF TEX 35
219 Dellin Betances RP NYY 30
218 Jose Bautista OF TOR 37
217 Sean Doolittle RP WSH 31
216 David Peralta OF ARI 30
215 Dustin Pedroia 2B BOS 34
214 Addison Russell SS CHC 24
213 Kelvin Herrera RP KC 28
212 Ian Kinsler 2B DET 35
211 Yadier Molina C STL 35
210 Jason Kipnis 2B CLE 30
209 Jameson Taillon SP PIT 26
208 Archie Bradley RP ARI 25
207 Jeimer Candelario 3B DET 34
206 Stephen Piscotty OF STL 27
205 Eugenio Suarez 3B CIN 26
204 Mark Reynolds 1B FA 34
203 Greg Holland RP COL 32
202 Chad Green RP NYY 26
201 Alex Colome RP TB 29

 
–It is hard to believe that a 6’3″ lefty who has touched 100 MPH was able to go overlooked as a minor league prospect, but he was somehow barely scratching the top 100 in most lists when he made his debut as a 20-year-old despite carrying a 2.62 ERA and 147 Ks in just 123 innings this season. Luiz Gohara didn’t finish the season well, but he is the ultimate late-round lottery ticket for next season.

176 to 200

Rank Player Pos Team Age
200 Zack Godley SP ARI 27
199 Jacob Faria SP TB 24
198 Brad Hand RP SD 28
197 Mark Melancon RP SF 33
196 Kolten Wong 2B STL 27
195 Blake Snell SP TB 25
194 Bradley Zimmer OF CLE 25
193 Matt Kemp OF ATL 33
192 Starlin Castro 2B NYY 28
191 Odubel Herrera OF PHI 26
190 J.T Realmuto C MIA 27
189 Mark Trumbo OF BAL 32
188 Max Kepler OF MIN 25
187 Jon Gray SP COL 26
186 Manuel Margot OF SD 23
185 Taijuan Walker SP ARI 25
184 Arodys Vizcaino RP ATL 27
183 Yasmaniy Tomas OF ARI 27
182 Brad Peacock SP/RP HOU 30
181 Dexter Fowler OF STL 32
180 Hector Neris RP PHI 28
179 Jeurys Familia RP NYM 28
178 Kevin Kiermaier OF TB 27
177 Adam Duvall OF CIN 29
176 Yasiel Puig OF LAD 27

 
–Before being shut down for the season, Yasmany Tomas was less than mediocre for the Diamondbacks with a .241 BA, 8 homers and 32 RBI in 47 games. That happens sometimes to even the best players (just ask Anthony Rizzo and Manny Machado), and especially when one is suffering through an injury like Tomas. What most will forget before drafts, however, is that the Diamondbacks’ slugger turned into a star to close the 2016 season with a .294 BA, 18 HR and 49 RBI in the second-half, which if prorated to a full season, would give him 46 homers and 124 RBI, which with his .290+ BA would make him one of the game’s top fantasy assets. Granted, maintaining that for a full season is difficult, but he certainly has substantial potential.

151 to 175

Rank Player Pos Team Age
175 Brett Gardner OF NYY 34
174 Lance Lynn SP FA 30
173 Raisel Iglesias RP CIN 28
172 Johnny Cueto SP SF 32
171 Andrelton Simmons SS LAA 28
170 Jesse Winker OF CIN 24
169 Michael Conforto OF NYM 25
168 Jimmy Nelson SP MIL 28
167 Evan Longoria 3B TB 32
166 Josh Reddick OF HOU 31
165 Paul DeJong 2B/SS STL 24
164 Andrew Miller RP CLE 32
163 Lucas Giolito SP CWS 23
162 Carlos Gonzalez OF FA 32
161 Mike Zunino C SEA 27
160 Eduardo Rodriguez SP BOS 24
159 Cole Hamels SP TEX 34
158 Trey Mancini OF/1B BAL 26
157 Justin Bour 1B MIA 29
156 Michael Fulmer SP DET 25
155 Dylan Bundy SP BAL 25
154 Ken Giles RP HOU 27
153 Masahiro Tanaka SP NYY 29
152 Alex Reyes SP STL 23
151 Carlos Rodon SP CWS 25

 
–Lucas Giolito deserves special mention for having a Syndergaard-like ceiling, but plenty of people will be on him. Jesse Winker is the player who will slip under the radar despite being a former top 40 prospect then proceeding to rake in the majors after his debut. In 47 games, he batted .298/.375/.529, which if extended to a full season, compares favorably to George Springer and Andrew McCutchen. Now, he won’t steal more than a handful of bases, but even without it, he is likely to be vastly overlooked.

126 to 150

Rank Player Pos Team Age
150 David Price SP BOS 32
149 Kyle Schwarber OF CHC 25
148 Luis Castillo SP CIN 25
147 Corey Dickerson OF TB 28
146 Cody Allen RP CLE 29
145 Eric Thames 1B/OF MIL 31
144 Ender Inciarte OF ATL 27
143 Corey Knebel RP MIL 26
142 Dinelson Lamet SP SD 25
141 Nicholas Castellanos 3B DET 26
140 Ian Happ OF/2B CHC 23
139 Zach Britton RP BAL 30
138 Jeff Samardzija SP SF 33
137 Chris Davis 1B BAL 32
136 Ryan Zimmerman 1B WSH 33
135 Salvador Perez C KC 27
134 Wade Davis RP FA 32
133 Steven Souza Jr. OF TB 28
132 Adam Eaton OF WSH 29
131 Whit Merrifield 2B KC 29
130 Josh Bell 1B PIT 25
129 Kyle Hendricks SP CHC 28
128 Greg Bird 1B NYY 25
127 Didi Gregorius SS NYY 28
126 Felipe Rivero RP PIT 26

 
–This is a little sneak preview at my favorite player to target in drafts next year. Dinelson Lamet’s ADP will be around 190 to undrafted, but I can assure you the experts throughout the industry will be all over him. After shredding the minor leagues (11.5 K/9, 3.23 ERA), he was called up and showed flashes of brilliance, but mostly struggled. Then, he stopped throwing his changeup and utilized his sinker to death. Wouldn’t you believe it, dominance followed. He strung together a 10-start run where he struck out 66 hitters in 59 innings with just a 2.44 ERA. The kid is oozing with breakout stuff.

101 to 125

Rank Player Pos Team Age
125 Danny Salazar SP CLE 28
124 Drew Pomeranz SP BOS 29
123 Marwin Gonzalez Many HOU 29
122 Trevor Bauer SP CLE 27
121 Nomar Mazara OF TEX 22
120 Sonny Gray SP NYY 28
119 Trevor Story SS COL 25
118 Gerrit Cole SP PIT 27
117 Jose Quintana SP CHC 29
116 Jon Lester SP CHC 34
115 Kyle Seager 3B SEA 30
114 Roberto Osuna RP TOR 23
113 Edwin Diaz RP SEA 24
112 Carlos Santana 1B FA 31
111 Gio Gonzalez SP WSH 32
110 Danny Duffy SP KC 29
109 Ian Desmond OF/1B COL 32
108 Jose Berrios SP MIN 23
107 Travis Shaw 3B MIL 27
106 Gregory Polanco OF PIT 26
105 DJ LeMahieu 2B COL 29
104 Jake Lamb 3B ARI 27
103 Lorenzo Cain OF FA 31
102 Jake Arrieta SP FA 32
101 Jay Bruce OF FA 30

 
–Everyone and their grandma knew Danny Salazar had front of the rotation stuff, but he had a rough first half thanks to a sore shoulder in June. When he came back, he was as good as ever, placing second in baseball with 12.8 K/9 over the second half and a 3.00 ERA. There is plenty of risk if you draft him, but the upside is that of a Cy Young winner, and I don’t throw that term around lightly.

76 to 100

Rank Player Pos Team Age
100 Dallas Keuchel SP HOU 30
99 Aroldis Chapman RP NYY 30
98 Marcus Stroman SP TOR 26
97 Kevin Gausman SP BAL 27
96 Adrian Beltre 3B TEX 38
95 Craig Kimbrel RP BOS 29
94 Adam Jones OF BAL 32
93 Jean Segura SS SEA 28
92 Javier Baez 2B/SS CHC 25
91 Luke Weaver SP STL 24
90 Joey Gallo 3B/1B TEX 24
89 Kenley Jansen RP LAD 30
88 Justin Smoak 1B TOR 31
87 Yoan Moncada 2B CWS 22
86 Chris Taylor OF/2B LAD 27
85 Lance McCullers Jr. SP HOU 24
84 Matt Carpenter 1B STL 32
83 Khris Davis OF OAK 30
82 James Paxton SP SEA 29
81 Eduardo Nunez Many FA 30
80 Rougned Odor 2B TEX 24
79 Ryan Braun OF MIL 34
78 Justin Turner 3B LAD 33
77 Rafael Devers 3B BOS 21
76 Miguel Cabrera 1B DET 34

 
–Statcast has a metric used as a method to determine a player’s luck. called xwOBA-wOBA. Miguel Cabrera had his worst season ever, but it wasn’t because he is “done”. Rather, he continued to crush the ball. Sure, he took a step backward, but please consider that his xwOBA-wOBA was a whopping 0.060. Second through 4th place were all between 0.032 and 0.036, so his lack of luck was unprecedented. Sure, the metric isn’t perfect because it doesn’t account for shifts or speed, but with that sort of distinction between first and second, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize he is due for significant positive regression.

51 to 75

Rank Player Pos Team Age
75 Rich Hill SP LAD 38
74 Aaron Nola SP PHI 24
73 Andrew McCutchen OF PIT 31
72 Xander Bogaerts SS BOS 25
71 Domingo Santana OF MIL 25
70 Mike Moustakas 3B FA 29
69 Nelson Cruz DH SEA 37
68 Byron Buxton OF MIN 24
67 Alex Wood SP LAD 27
66 Buster Posey C/1B SF 31
65 A.J. Pollock OF ARI 30
64 Rhys Hoskins OF/1B PHI 25
63 Matt Olson 1B OAK 24
62 Wil Myers 1B SD 27
61 Robinson Cano 2B SEA 35
60 Eric Hosmer 1B FA 28
59 Yoenis Cespedes OF NYM 32
58 Carlos Martinez SP STL 26
57 Robbie Ray SP ARI 26
56 Edwin Encarnacion 1B CLE 35
55 Chris Archer SP TB 29
54 Anthony Rendon 3B WSH 27
53 Jonathan Schoop 2B BAL 26
52 Justin Upton OF LAA 30
51 Willson Contreras C CHC 25

 
–Last season, Willson Contreras started slow to the point he was considered a bust. With that slow start coupled with his injury, many will forget the few weeks when everyone realized he was a breakout star. The young catcher, who was a previous top prospect, batted .305/.407/.586 in the second half and it was by no means a fluke, as he is a former top prospect who also tore up the minors. The batted ball stats suggest he is the real deal, and with few quality catchers on the market, you should be willing to spend up to acquire him.

26 to 50

Rank Player Pos Team Age
50 Carlos Carrasco SP CLE 31
49 Alex Bregman 3B/SS HOU 23
48 Billy Hamilton OF CIN 27
47 Christian Yelich OF MIA 26
46 Zack Greinke SP ARI 34
45 Luis Severino SP NYY 24
44 Daniel Murphy 2B WSH 32
43 Miguel Sano 3B MIN 24
42 Tommy Pham OF STL 30
41 Dee Gordon 2B MIA 29
40 Jacob deGrom SP NYM 29
39 Jose Abreu 1B CWS 31
38 Andrew Benintendi OF BOS 23
37 Justin Verlander SP HOU 35
36 Yu Darvish SP FA 31
35 Brian Dozier 2B MIN 30
34 Elvis Andrus SS TEX 29
33 Starling Marte OF PIT 29
32 Gary Sanchez C NYY 25
31 Marcell Ozuna OF MIA 27
30 Francisco Lindor SS CLE 24
29 Josh Donaldson 3B TOR 32
28 George Springer OF HOU 28
27 Noah Syndergaard SP NYM 25
26 Stephen Strasburg SP WSH 29

 
–It is worth mentioning that if Shohei Otani were on the list, and he likely will be in a few months, he would rank between Springer and Donaldson. The player I’ve highlighted, however, is last year’s #1 overall prospect before his promotion. Alex Bregman was lousy to begin the season, with rumors that he would be sent back down to the minors. Then, he proceeded to go nuts, with a .990 OPS in July and August. He closed the year batting .315 in the second-half, which if prorated, would also come to 25 HR and 20 SB. Seeing that he has yet to come close to his ceiling, he is an excellent investment.

1 to 25

Rank Player Pos Team Age
25 Corey Seager SS LAD 23
24 Madison Bumgarner SP SF 28
23 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF LAD 22
22 Aaron Judge OF NYY 25
21 Anthony Rizzo 1B CHC 28
20 Jose Ramirez 3B/2B CLE 25
19 J.D Martinez OF FA 30
18 Chris Sale SP BOS 28
17 Freddie Freeman 1B ATL 28
16 Joey Votto 1B CIN 34
15 Clayton Kershaw SP LAD 30
14 Kris Bryant 3B CHC 26
13 Max Scherzer SP WAS 33
12 Manny Machado 3B BAL 25
11 Corey Kluber SP CLE 31
10 Carlos Correa SS HOU 23
9 Mookie Betts OF BOS 25
8 Giancarlo Stanton OF MIA 28
7 Charlie Blackmon OF COL 31
6 Bryce Harper OF WSH 25
5 Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI 30
4 Trea Turner SS WSH 24
3 Nolan Arenado 3B COL 26
2 Mike Trout OF LAA 26
1 Jose Altuve 2B HOU 27

 
Trea Turner has played 171 MLB games over the past two seasons and compiled 24 homers, 79 steals and 128 runs over that time with a .309 batting average. You can say what you want about his BABIP, but when you have speed to burn like Turner, BABIP virtually goes out the window. The kid is still just 24 years old, so his best years should still be ahead of him. If we get the privilege of seeing a full season, he just might pull a 1985 Rickey Henderson (24 HR, 80 SB, 146 R, .314 BA) which is arguably among the best seasons in fantasy baseball history. He is worthy of consideration at 1.1, but might even last into the second round.

Thanks for reading!

Bobby Sylvester is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Bobby, check out his archive and follow him @BobbyFantasyPro.


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