Fantasy Baseball Consensus Rankings Analysis (2020)
Every year, FantasyPros produces a consensus pre-draft ranking derived from a collection of the best fantasy rankers in the industry.
Included in our widget is each player’s highest and lowest ranking, as well as their ADP, standard deviation, and average draft position.
This consensus list is the manuscript from which I craft my draft strategy each season, and it is without a doubt one of the most broad-scope draft research tools around.
As with any ranking, I occasionally come across players that strike me as overvalued or undervalued. I’ve included a few of these players below, as well as one other situation managers should monitor throughout this prolonged offseason.
Fernando Tatis Jr. (SS – SD): No. 21 ECR, 21 ADP
Tatis Jr. has been a favorite bust candidate in the fantasy baseball community this offseason. Many analysts have cited his unusually high .410 BABIP in 2019, which contributed to an inflated .317 batting average. Adding to the concern was his 29.6% strikeout rate, which ranked fourth-worst among shortstops with at least 250 plate appearances, and his 87.5 MPH average exit velocity, which ranked 30th. While still an excellent young player who should produce across several different categories, I can’t rank him ahead of Anthony Rendon (No. 22), who has a proven track record of success.
Marcus Semien (SS – OAK): No. 71 ECR, 79 ADP
Known more for his glove than his bat in recent seasons, Semien broke out in a big way in 2019, batting .285/.369/.522 with 33 home runs. His performance earned him a third-place finish in AL MVP award voting, but I don’t like him nearly as much as lower-ranked infielders Josh Donaldson (No. 75) and Carlos Correa (No. 93). Of all the players on this list, Semien struck me as the biggest beneficiary in the year of the juiced ball. His Statcast numbers fall more in line with Dansby Swanson (No. 239) than they do stalwart power-hitting shortstops Trevor Story (No. 7) and Javier Baez (No. 28). Semien was a well-above-average offensive shortstop in 2019 and should be acknowledged for it, but I’d still like to see larger sample sizes before drafting him this high.
Alex Bregman (SS/3B – HOU): No. 16 ECR, 13 ADP
I realize a lot of people don’t like Bregman, as he’s been one of the most recognizable faces in a Houston Astros cheating scandal that shook the baseball world this offseason. Still, he’s coming off a three-season run in which he averaged 156 games played while providing cross-category support to fantasy lineups. Since 2017, he has scored more runs than any other third basemen and ranks fifth with a 150 wRC+. He seems to be getting better each year and has maintained a strong strikeout rate of 12%, the lowest by a wide margin among players who hit 40 home runs in 2019. Bregman’s positional versatility is a major boost for me. I’d draft him ahead of Jose Ramirez, who’s ranked No. 15 on the ECR.
Corey Kluber (SP – TEX): No. 94 ECR, 95 ADP
Kluber’s 2019 campaign ended after only seven starts, as the veteran ace suffered a broken pitching arm from a line drive off the bat of Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson. The freak injury was apparently enough for people to jump off this two-time Cy Young Award winner’s bandwagon, as he ranks 27th among pitchers on our consensus list heading into 2020.
Here's the play of Corey Kluber getting hit in the arm by a line drive. Kluber has left the game and we will pass along any updates. pic.twitter.com/WE55U3p9sU
— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) May 2, 2019
From 2014-2018, only Max Scherzer (No. 13) pitched more innings than Kluber, and his bWAR trailed only Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw (No. 39) among starting pitchers. I understand concerns regarding his increased hard-hit rate in 2018 (I’m considering his 2019 numbers a wash). Yet if the hard-hit rate is the true culprit behind his low ranking, I’d point to Patrick Corbin (No. 47) and Zack Greinke (No. 60), each of whom placed significantly higher on this list despite being hit harder than Kluber in his last full season.
Monitor the Situation
Chris Sale (SP – BOS): No. 104 ECR, 83 ADP
Sale has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the past eight seasons, but he pitched to career worsts in ERA (4.40) and WHIP (1.09) last season. If the draft started today, I’d steer clear of Sale entirely, especially at his ADP. With that said, the Red Sox sought three different opinions on Sale’s elbow and opted not to have him undergo Tommy John surgery, which provides at least some room for optimism. He could be a lottery-ticket steal if he continues to fall in drafts, or a major disappointment if he regains his value and succumbs to elbow issues early in the season.