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2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (44 of 45 Experts) -

Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Marcus Semien (TEX - 2B,SS) 18 14.0 -4.0
Semien's 45 HRs last season were the most ever by a second baseman. His monster 2021 performance also included 115 runs, 102 RBI and 15 stolen bases. A 48% flyball rate makes Semien a launch angle darling and suggests that he'll keep clearing the fences. He's been a prolific run scorer for the last four seasons. On the other hand, there's some batting average risk here, and Semien probably maxed out his SB potential last year. He's going from a loaded Blue Jays lineup to a sketchy Rangers lineup, and Semien will turn 32 in September. Last year's numbers will make him irresistible to some investors, but a drop-off in value may be imminent.
2 Whit Merrifield (KC - 2B,RF) 20 16.0 -4.0
This late bloomer has been fantasy gold for the last five years. Merrifield stole 40 bases last season at age 32. Durability is a big plus: Merrifield hasn't missed a game in the last three years. But there are some worrisome signs of slippage. His line drive rate has been steadily dropping over the last few seasons, and he hit only two home runs last season from July 1 on. Merrifield has been a terrific value for years, but it's possible he'll be slightly overpriced in 2022 drafts.
3 Jose Altuve (HOU - 2B) 28 28.0
After a forgettable short season in 2020, Altuve tied a career high with 31 home runs last year, scored a career-high 117 runs and had 83 RBI despite hitting in the leadoff spot. The peripherals suggest that Altuve's 2021 HR total was somewhat fluky and park-aided. Altuve used to be good for 30+ stolen bases a season, but he's had 11 SBs in his last two full seasons combined. The days of .300 batting averages may be gone, too. Altuve has been below .300 in each of the last three seasons and has batted .277 over that span. We should at least be able to count on a lot of runs with Altuve batting at the top of a stacked lineup, but the ceiling here isn't what it used to be. Exercise caution as Altuve enters his age-32 season.
4 Javier Baez (DET - 2B,SS) 34 34.0
The free-swinging middle infielder signed a six-year, $140 million contract with the Tigers. Baez led the NL with 184 strikeouts last year but also belted 31 homers, had 87 RBI and 80 runs, and batted a respectable .265. This is a strange, volatile skill set, but Baez can usually be counted on to provide help with the counting stats. He won't hurt you in leagues that use batting average, but his unwillingness to take a walk becomes a liability in OBP leagues.
5 Brandon Lowe (TB - 2B,LF,RF) IL10 36 35.0 -1.0
In 2021, Lowe became a full-time player for the first time in his career and responded with 39 HRs, 99 RBI and 97 runs. He batted only .247 last year and struck out 167 times in 615 plate appearances. Lowe has also struggled against lefties throughout his career. But Lowe's first-half/second-half splits were eye-opening. He was batting .208 at the All-Star break; Lowe batted .292 after the break and dramatically reduced his strikeout rate without sacrificing any power. If the second-half adjustments stick, Lowe might actually be able to improve upon his breakout season.
6 Jorge Polanco (MIN - 2B,SS) 41 41.0
Polanco enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2021, batting .269 with 33 HRs, 98 RBI, 97 runs and 11 SBs. He went nuclear after the All-Star break, batting .287 with 21 homers. Could it be that Polanco feels less pressure as a second baseman than as a shortstop, and his hitting has benefitted as a result? Polanco has always been a line drive machine, so even if the power gains don't stick (and there's a good chance they won't), he should still deliver a healthy batting average. Dual 2B-SS eligibility is a plus. Polanco is a worthy investment, but don't pay for a full repeat of the power.
7 DJ LeMahieu (NYY - 1B,2B,3B) 70 61.0 -9.0
LeMahieu seems like the poster child for the effect of the juiced ball. After drastically increasing his home run power over the previous few seasons, he hit just 10 home runs last year and his slugging percentage dropped to .362. LeMahieu had offseason surgery to repair a hernia, so perhaps his injury was bothering him longer than he let on and is responsible for his down year. But it's equally possible that at 33 years old, and without the juiced ball, LeMahieu just isn't as valuable a fantasy commodity as he used to be. Chances are, at the very least, that the days of a .300-plus batting average are gone, and now with likely low-teens home run potential, LeMahieu is more of a late-round pick whose main value is his position flexibility.
8 Ty France (SEA - 1B,2B,3B,DH) 80 69.0 -11.0
Other than an awful May, during which he battled through a wrist injury and hit just .190, France had an outstanding 2021 season. He batted .291 overall and struck out just 16.3% of the time, all while putting up passable counting stats. There's a hard cap on France's value - he doesn't have a ton of power, he has no speed, and his expected stats say that he's due for a batting average correction. But absent an injury, there's pretty much no chance of the bottom dropping out, and he makes an ideal corner infielder who you can leave in your lineup without much concern.
9 Gleyber Torres (NYY - 2B,SS) 79 85.0 +6.0
Forget about ever seeing Torres come close to the 38 home runs he hit in 2019. His power has come crashing back down to earth over the past two years, along with his batting average. He did rebound a bit in the second half, hitting .289 with six home runs and eight steals, but when those are the numbers that force you to have hope for his fantasy production, things aren't in great shape. He'll still bat in an outstanding lineup so his counting stats should have somewhat of a floor, but he's now an option you settle for, rather than target.
10 Jonathan Schoop (DET - 1B,2B,DH) 109 114.0 +5.0
Schoop is rarely talked about during prep season, but he has hit at least 21 home runs in each of his last five full seasons. That doesn't sound overly impressive, but that level of consistency in power from a second baseman is unusual and impressive. As usual, Schop was again among the league leaders in maximum exit velocity (117.1 MPH, a career high), and his hard hit rate was nearly five percentage points higher than his career average. The Tigers' lineup should be stronger this year with the addition of Javier Baez, and considering that Schoop is just 30 years old and has shown no signs of decline, there's every reason to expect his boring but stealthily productive numbers once again.
11 Kike Hernandez (BOS - 2B,CF) 114 108.0 -6.0
Hernandez had an extremely solid year batting atop the Red Sox lineup, hitting 20 home runs and tallying 84 runs scored. Very little about his underlying batted ball data and overall metrics were different - he just stayed healthy and became an everyday player. His batting average won't help you and he offers nothing in the stolen base category. But he should be a major asset in runs scored and contribute in homers and RBI. With the addition of Trevor Story, he'll likely be the everyday center fielder, but he'll retain his second base eligibility from last year, further strengthening his value. Hernandez won't win you your league, but he's the type of player you can leave in your lineup all year long.
12 Andres Gimenez (CLE - 2B,SS) 148 166.0 +18.0
13 Adam Frazier (SEA - 2B,LF) 173 151.0 -22.0
14 David Fletcher (LAA - 2B,SS) IL10 174 155.0 -19.0
15 Jorge Mateo (BAL - 2B,SS,CF) 190 222.0 +32.0
16 Abraham Toro (SEA - 2B,3B,DH) 183 174.0 -9.0
17 Nick Solak (TEX - 2B,DH,LF) 177 235.0 +58.0
18 Luis Arraez (MIN - 1B,2B,3B,LF) 182 161.0 -21.0
19 Tony Kemp (OAK - 2B,LF) 210 227.0 +17.0
20 Josh Harrison (CWS - 2B,3B,SS,LF) 213 182.0 -31.0
21 Vidal Brujan (TB - 2B,RF) 203 198.0 -5.0
22 Andy Ibanez (TEX - 1B,2B,3B,DH) 204 309.0 +105.0
23 Brad Miller (TEX - 1B,2B,3B,LF,RF) 245 287.0 +42.0
24 Rougned Odor (BAL - 2B,3B) 233 233.0
25 Ramon Urias (BAL - 2B,3B,SS) 257 271.0 +14.0
26 Willi Castro (DET - 2B,SS,LF) 371 276.0 -95.0
27 Dylan Moore (SEA - 2B,3B,LF,RF) 290 195.0 -95.0
28 Leury Garcia (CWS - 2B,3B,SS,LF,CF,RF) 268 201.0 -67.0
29 Chad Pinder (OAK - 2B,LF,RF) 286 320.0 +34.0
30 Tyler Wade (LAA - 2B,3B,SS,CF) 292 225.0 -67.0
31 Jed Lowrie (OAK - 2B,DH) 356 342.0 -14.0
32 Sheldon Neuse (OAK - 1B,2B,3B) 353 397.0 +44.0
33 Nick Gordon (MIN - 2B,SS,LF,CF) 364 324.0 -40.0
34 Niko Goodrum (HOU - 2B,SS,LF) MiLB 385 326.0 -59.0
35 Jack Lopez (DET - 2B) MiLB 559    
36 Aledmys Diaz (HOU - 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF) 432 215.0 -217.0
37 Mauricio Dubon (HOU - 2B,3B,SS,CF) 493 341.0 -152.0
38 Christian Arroyo (BOS - 2B,RF) 442 238.0 -204.0
39 Marwin Gonzalez (NYY - 1B,2B,3B,SS,LF) 480 214.0 -266.0
40 Matt Duffy (LAA - 1B,2B,3B)   247.0  
41 Harold Castro (DET - 1B,2B,3B,SS) 490 392.0 -98.0
42 Owen Miller (CLE - 1B,2B) 485 408.0 -77.0
43 Shed Long Jr. (BAL - 2B,LF) MiLB 484    
44 Matt Carpenter (TEX - 1B,2B) MiLB 487 236.0 -251.0
45 Jack Mayfield (LAA - 2B,3B,SS) MiLB 495    
46 Jose Rojas (LAA - 2B,3B,RF) IL10 502 259.0 -243.0
47 Isaac Paredes (TB - 2B,3B) 499 359.0 -140.0
48 Danny Mendick (CWS - 2B,SS,RF) MiLB 504    
49 Jose Peraza (NYY - 2B,3B) MiLB 532    
50 Ernie Clement (CLE - 2B,3B) 515    
51 Jahmai Jones (BAL - 2B) MiLB 509    
52 Oswaldo Cabrera (NYY - 2B,SS) MiLB 543    
53 Jonathan Arauz (BOS - 2B,SS) MiLB 524    
54 Michael Stefanic (LAA - 2B) MiLB 554    
55 Richard Palacios (CLE - 2B) 529    
56 Otto Lopez (TOR - 2B,SS) MiLB 517 244.0 -273.0
57 Kody Clemens (DET - 2B) MiLB 564    
58 Yolmer Sanchez (BOS - 2B,3B) MiLB 553    
59 Jonathan Aranda (TB - 1B,2B) MiLB 558    
60 Kean Wong (LAA - 2B) MiLB 555    
61 Ivan Castillo (KC - 2B,3B) MiLB 556    
62 Clay Dungan (KC - 2B,SS) MiLB 557    
63 Logan Warmoth (TOR - 2B,SS) MiLB 563    
64 Alex De Goti (HOU - 2B) MiLB 565