Top Multi-Position Players (2020 Fantasy Baseball)
When finding oneself stuck deciding between two or more players to select at any given point of a fantasy baseball draft, it is time to quickly begin mentally scanning through the ancillary benefits that might give one player an edge over another. One of the factors to take into account is the advantage that eligibility at multiple positions can provide. Of players that feature positional versatility, the following 10 are leaving draft boards fastest according to FantasyPros’ aggregate MLB ADP rankings at the time of writing,
Cody Bellinger (1B/OF – LAD): FP No. 4 / ADP 4.4
Bellinger is the cream of the crop as far as players that can man more than one position for fantasy lineups. Do not expect to see the defending NL MVP outside the top five of drafts this year. He is the total package now that 2019 saw his batting average jump out of the .260s to up above .300 largely due to trimming an impressive 7.5 percentage points off his K-rate from 2018.
Alex Bregman (SS/3B – HOU): FP No. 9 / ADP 11.2
It’s impossible, really, to know how the fallout from the Astros’ cheating scandal will impact the offensive production of Bregman and the rest of the Houston lineup. In any event, Bregman is a top-notch force in the box coming off of a season that saw him finish barely behind Mike Trout in AL MVP balloting. His draft stock is understandably volatile right now, and if the opportunity comes to get him outisde the first round, take it.
Gleyber Torres (2B/SS – NYY): FP No. 30 / ADP 30.4
Torres can slot in at either middle-infield spot and provide big-time stats. The 23-year-old slugger actually saw a slight uptick in batting average from .271 to .278 year-over-year despite a 25-point drop in BABIP. That could mean a boost in that category is coming to go along with the 35-40 homers he proved himself capable of last season. In the Yankees’ lineup, 100 RBI and 100 runs seem like a given if Torres can stay healthy.
Ketel Marte (2B/SS/OF – ARI): FP No. 44 / ADP 45.6
Arguably the breakout of all breakouts in 2019, it is difficult to imagine Marte repeating his .329/.389/.592 slash line and 32 home runs. That is not to say that he will not get close, however. Marte was hitting the ball with far more authority last year than he had before in his career, and though his .342 BABIP figures to drop a bit, he should still provide great production. With bats like Starling Marte and Eduardo Escobar in support, Marte is in a great situation in the Arizona lineup.
Whit Merrifield (2B/OF – KC): FP No. 47 / ADP 49.2
The bad: Merrifield’s steals went from 45 in 2018 down to 20 last year. The good: the versatile 31-year-old hit over .300 for the second straight year, scored a career-high 105 runs, and smacked 67 extra-base hits. He is not in a stellar lineup by any stretch, but if he remains as durable as he has been, Merrifield’s counting stats will be there. He has missed only four of the Royals’ 324 games over the last two seasons.
Kris Bryant (3B/ OF – CHC): FP No. 48 / ADP 49.4
Is the reported idea of Bryant being the Cubs’ main leadoff man in 2020 good or bad for his fantasy prospects? Well, 2019 saw the three-time All-Star spend the majority of his time in the two hole and much of the rest in the three spot, driving in only 77 runs but scoring a whopping 108. A similar output may be in store this year, and there’s really nothing wrong with that given Bryant’s solid power and steady batting average. He is worthy of his top-50 status.
Manny Machado (SS/3B – SD): FP No. 49 / ADP 52.2
Coming in right behind Bryant at the moment, Machado seems to be gaining steam around the industry as a prime “bouncback” candidate. It’s not like his 2019 was terrible, but relative to his track record and 2019 draft position, his .796 OPS and 85 RBI across 156 games left much to be desired. Machado’s supporting cast should be improved in 2020, and he has demonstrated first-round fantasy ability before.
Jonathan Villar (2B/SS – MIA): FP No. 56 / ADP 55.2
Reports of Villar being tried out in centerfield this spring only add to the appeal here. The switch-hitting speedster delivered 40 steals, 24 home runs, and 111 runs for fantasy owners in 2019, all while playing for a dismal, 54-win club. The Marlins are not expected to be great in 2020, but their lineup should be better than that of the Orioles last season.
D.J. LeMahieu (1B/2B/3B – NYY): FP No. 61 / ADP 61.4
Naturally, it took getting out of Coors Field for LeMahieu to take his offensive game to a whole new level. All sarcasm aside, due to various injured teammates, the 31-year-old infielder was forced into more action than many probably thought he’d get when the 2019 season began, and all LeMahieu did was set career highs in homers, RBI, and runs en route to finishing fourth for the AL MVP award. Skepticism about whether he can match his 26 long balls and 102 RBI is warranted, but LeMahieu should be a strong asset to any fantasy roster.
Max Muncy (1B/2B/3B – LAD): FP No. 74 / ADP 76.4
Muncy broke out big time in 2018. Then, he silenced the doubters with a second consecutive 35-homer effort in 2019. Muncy has hit just a combined .256 across the last two seasons, but that has come alongside a .927 OPS and .289 ISO. He will be right in the thick of arguably the deepest lineup in the game in 2020.
Best of the Rest: