Bobby Sylvester’s 2019 Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Fantasy football is in the rearview mirror which means baseball season is right around the corner. We’ll have loads of content rolled out in the next few months, but things must, of course, begin with rankings. Today, I’ll give you my top 250 along with positional rankings. There will be plenty changing as more players sign and we get more information on injuries, but as of now, this is how I would draft my teams. This list is also dynamic, so as I make tweaks every week, you’ll see those update on this page. We’ll get to the rankings in a moment, but first I’ll tell you about four players I am especially bullish on this season.
Walker Buehler (#41 vs ECR #55)
For those who simply look at last year’s numbers and assess a second-year player’s prospect status, I’d say Buehler is rightly so a mid-fifth round pick. It is the way he finished his season, however, that has me believing in him enough to reach at least one round to get him this season. Only Jacob deGrom had a better ERA with as many innings as Buehler’s 2.03. Likewise, his 92 Ks in those 80 innings were more than Corey Kluber, Clayton Kershaw and Noah Syndergaard among many other aces. In case that wasn’t enough, Buehler was also second behind only deGrom with his 0.88 WHIP. Piece it all together and you’ve got one of the best pitchers in baseball already.
J.T. Realmuto (#50 vs ECR #77)
It took me one season of buying into the narrative that you can wait on catcher to realize it’s total crap. Good luck finding someone who will even hit .250 with 55 runs after the seventeenth round. Wait a second, I wrote that wrong. Good luck finding one after the seventh round. Realmuto was the only catcher in baseball with a batting average over .241 and over 55 runs scored. It was ugly out there. Not only did he do that, but he batted .277 with 74 runs, 74 RBIs and 21 homers. Reach for him or pay the price. It is also worth noting that he did that damage in the worst park for right-handed batters and it seems likely he will be dealt in the coming weeks.
A.J. Pollock (#54 vs ECR #74)
There is no doubt that Pollock has had some injury struggles throughout his career, but they have been of the flukey sort rather than consistent soft tissue issues. Even if he were just expected for 400 at-bats again, however, I’d still be reaching for him this year. Up until his injury last year, he was the number one player in fantasy baseball. Not number one outfielder, number one overall! His pro-rated full-season pace at that point was 44 homers, 32 stolen bases, 132 RBIs and 92 runs with a .293 batting average. While we can’t expect that, he does obviously offer a ridiculous ceiling for a sixth-round pick.
Jonathan Villar (#83 vs ECR #114)
Much like Pollock above, we’ve seen Villar be a tremendous fantasy player at times. Back in 2016, he returned first-round value with 19 homers, 62 steals, 92 runs, 63 RBIs and a .285 batting average. That’s the ceiling, and you may think there is no chance he returns to it, but to close the season we saw that spark again. After the all-star break, his pro-rated pace was 53 steals, 20 homers, 70 runs and 60 RBIs. Not quite the first round value from 2016. but not too far off either. I’m drafting him in the middle of drafts as a high risk, high reward middle infielder.
ADP – Average Draft Position