Bobby Sylvester’s Infielder Rankings (Fantasy Baseball)
We are only a few weeks into the season, but fantasy rankings have changed substantially in that small amount of time. This season, I’ll be providing updates to my ranks every Friday with outfielders coming next week, pitchers the following week then overall rankings, dynasty rankings and prospect rankings mixed in as well. Today, however, I’ll be taking a look at the five infield positions. We’ll get to the rankings in a moment, but first I’ll tell you about four players I am especially bullish on the rest of the season compared to their consensus rankings.
Omar Narvaez (C #10 – SEA)
I can’t say I bought into Narvaez this preseason. After all, his career minor league OPS was under .700. With that said, he has always hit for average and seems to be developing a little power now into his late-20s as catchers sometimes do. The Mariners have him playing every day and he continues to hit. In fact, over his past 340 at-bats, he has 12 homers, 37 RBIs and a .274 batting average. That may not seem like much but at a full season, it would make him a top-five fantasy catcher most years. I won’t say I’m banking on that continuing but he has done enough to move into the top 10 of my catcher rankings.
Ryan McMahon (2B #17 – COL)
After opening up the season with a .200 batting average and just 1 RBI in 7 games, disappointed fantasy owners panicked and dropped McMahon when he was sent to the 10-day IL for a minor elbow issue. He is now available in over 80% of leagues but that won’t last long since he knocked two bombs in his first game back from the IL. In fact, it was only his second game in Coors this season so it should have been no surprise that he wasn’t tearing it up from the get-go. McMahon should provide similar numbers to the Coors-version of Corey Dickerson but with multi-position eligibility.
Miguel Sano (3B #23 – MIN)
Just 13 months ago, we thought of Sano as the 24-year-old all-star with an .844 career OPS but hasn’t been able to stay healthy. He knocked 38 homers and 102 RBIs per 162 games with a decent .254 batting average. One rough season where he ballooned to 260+ pounds, somehow made everyone lose interest though. Folks, he is younger than Rhys Hoskins! There is plenty of time for him to straighten his career out and bounceback to all-star production. Apparently, he was in great shape prior to his fluke injury and when he comes back in mere weeks, we might see a top 30 fantasy hitter come out of nowhere. He is still available in the majority of leagues.
Niko Goodrum (SS #23 – DET)
I laugh at the thought of telling myself four weeks ago that I’d have 100% ownership of Goodrum. That is where we are, however, and that is baseball. Goodrum has been a quality hitter with a .265 BA, 6 RBI and 6 runs but his underlying metrics suggest he has been (ready for this?), a .982 OPS. He has been destroying baseballs but the stats haven’t quite caught up, as is often the case in a small 63 PA sample-size. He is currently hitting the ball hard in 54% of his batted ball events which tops J.D. Martinez and Mike Trout. Goodrum hit 16 dingers last year with 12 steals in a shortened season so don’t be shocked if it jumps to 25 and 15 with a .270 BA this year.