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2021 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (AL)

Expert Consensus Ranking (57 of 57 Experts) -

Rank Player (Team, Position) Overall Notes
1 Bo Bichette (TOR - DH,SS) 5 6.0 +1.0
Bichette missed about half the season with a knee injury last year, but was productive when he was on the field, batting .301 with an .840 OPS. His 162-game pace was 28 home runs, 100 runs, 128 RBI, and 22 steals, so he was well on his way to earning his lofty draft price. If there was a wart to Bichette's season it was that his walk rate dropped to just 3.9%, one of the worst in the league. But, given that he had just 128 plate appearances, that's likely just the product of a small sample size, since he never walked at less than a 6.6% clip in his career. Batting in a stacked lineup, Bichette should once again put up strong five-category numbers, and should be one of the first shortstops drafted in fantasy leagues again in 2020.
2 Xander Bogaerts (BOS - SS) 7 10.0 +3.0
Bogaerts largely backed up his excellent 2019 season with a strong 2020 campaign. He didn't hit the ball quite as hard and his launch angle dropped, but he did manage to maintain his .300 average and put up a similar home run pace. Two things from last year stand out and probably shouldn't be written off entirely: first, Bogaerts' RBI pace dropped significantly, and considering that the Red Sox lineup went from a relative strength to a weakness, it seems unlikely he'll approach 100 RBI in 2021. Second, after dropping for three consecutive seasons, Bogaerts' steal pace increased to the highest of his career. The drop in RBI and increase in steals may be related, as Bogaerts likely looked to manufacture runs with less help around him. Both trends are worth projecting going forward, and while Bogaerts' value doesn't change much, fantasy managers will likely take the increase in steals going forward.
3 Tim Anderson (CWS - SS) 15 18.0 +3.0
Anderson doesn't seem like he should be that valuable in fantasy. He doesn't have a ton of power, he rarely walks, and his quality of contact is nothing to write home about. But he's hit .335 and .322 the last two seasons, and although both numbers significantly surpass his xBA, it's clear that Anderson is going to be a plus value in that category. He won't excel in any other area, but he will chip in about 20 homers and 15-20 steals which, along with his batting average, makes him an excellent value given that his ADP is always in check.
4 Adalberto Mondesi (KC - 3B,SS) 17 9.0 -8.0
Mondesi will begin the year on the 10-day IL with a strained oblique. When healthy, however, there's no reason to doubt his performance. Even in a shortened year, it was a tale of two seasons for Mondesi. In 35 games in July and August, he batted just .186 with 11 runs, two RBI, no home runs, and eight steals. In his final 24 games, he batted .356 with six home runs, 22 runs scored, 20 RBI, and 16 steals. In the end, Mondesi delivered exactly the type of season that fantasy managers have come to expect, and his 24 steals were eight more than the next highest total. Mondesi won't help in batting average and offers minimal power, but he's an unmatched source of steals. And given that much of his lackluster first month can probably be written off to offseason shoulder surgery, fantasy managers should be able to expect closer to the second-half version of Mondesi rather than the first this year.
5 Alex Bregman (HOU - 3B,SS) 13 11.0 -2.0
2020 was just a bad season for Bregman, plain and simple. He missed time with a hamstring injury, and generally regressed in every major statistical category. Considering that Bregman will be just 27 years old on Opening Day and had batted .291 with 72 home runs combined over the previous two seasons, fantasy managers can probably just throw out most of what they saw from him in 2020. He'll continue to be an upper echelon option at third base and considering his strong walk and strikeout rates, an even better one in points leagues. He's been battling a hamstring issue for most of camp, but as of now, he doesn't look like he'll miss much, if any, time, so draft him accordingly.
6 Gleyber Torres (NYY - 2B,SS) 23 25.0 +2.0
Torres missed some time with quad and hamstring strains last season, but his year was an absolute disaster even without it. He batted just .243 and hit a mere three home runs in 160 plate appearances. The culprit was that he was reportedly out of shape, a byproduct of the long layoff between the original spring training and when baseball resumed months later. There's every reason to buy into the excuse given Torres' track record, especially since he bounced back a bit in September and October with an .842 OPS. Expect more typical numbers from Torres this year, meaning around a .270 average, 30 home runs, and plenty of counting stats. Given his ADP, he's likely to be a bargain this year.
7 Dylan Moore (SEA - 2B,3B,SS,LF,RF) 64 60.0 -4.0
Moore hit .255 with eight home runs and 12 stolen bases in just 38 games last year. Despite not having an abundance of speed, Moore's stolen base prowess is real, as he stole 96 bases over 447 minor league games at a 77% clip and ranked in the 71st percentile in sprint speed last year. And he cut his strikeout rate to a high but manageable 27% last year, and his barrel rate, hard hit percentage, and average exit velocity were all well above average. But Moore has struggled against righties for much of his time in the majors, and despite his success last year, is unlikely to have a long leash with Shed Long waiting in the wings. Moore has upside and multi-position eligibility to go along with his power and speed. Just have a backup plan ready to go.
8 Andres Gimenez (CLE - 2B,3B,SS) 73 73.0
Gimenez was one of the main pieces in the Francisco Lindor/Carlos Carrasco trade, and he looks like he'll be the starting shortstop for Cleveland on Opening Day. There's not a ton of power in his bat, but he has a ton of speed. He ranked in the 94th percentile in sprint speed last season, and stole eight bases in 49 games in 2020 and 28 in 117 games in Triple-A the year before. His ADP is rising as his job security grows, but it's worth it for the steals he will provide.
9 Jorge Polanco (MIN - 2B,SS) 76 101.0 +25.0
Polanco has generally been a bit underrated in his career, but the fantasy community seems to have abandoned him in full after 2020. But there's little reason to do so. Polanco should gain second base eligibility quickly this year, as he moves over to accommodate Andrelton Simmons at shortstop. Polanco's quality of contact isn't great, but he rarely strikes out, doesn't hurt you in batting average, and has enough speed to throw in a handful of steals. With soon-to-be multi-position eligibility, he's an ideal bench candidate.
10 David Fletcher (LAA - 2B,3B,SS,LF) 100 88.0 -12.0
11 Wander Franco (TB - 3B,SS) 130 117.0 -13.0
The consensus No. 1 prospect in all of baseball, Franco received one of the first ever 80-grade hit tools from MLB Pipeline this offseason. A leveled, compact swing combined with "controlled aggression" gives him exceptional control of the strike zone. Franco has a career 83:54 BB:K rate in his minor league career, which is downright absurd. Already a top-30 player in dynasty leagues, the only concern with Franco's redraft value is that he has yet to play above High-A. It's tough to know how much progress he made at the Rays' alternate site last summer but there isn't another prospect who can match his probability of being a productive big league hitter.
12 Elvis Andrus (OAK - SS) 119 145.0 +26.0
13 Willi Castro (DET - 2B,3B,LF,SS) 122 105.0 -17.0
14 Amed Rosario (CLE - CF,SS) 147 173.0 +26.0
15 Myles Straw (CLE - SS,CF) 135 129.0 -6.0
16 Kike Hernandez (BOS - 2B,SS,LF,CF,RF) 144 153.0 +9.0
17 Jose Iglesias (BAL - 2B,DH,SS) 167 160.0 -7.0
18 Isiah Kiner-Falefa (TEX - C,3B,SS) 124 124.0
19 J.P. Crawford (SEA - SS) 171 193.0 +22.0
20 Bobby Witt Jr. (KC - SS) MiLB 204 157.0 -47.0
21 Joey Wendle (TB - 2B,3B,SS) 184 161.0 -23.0
22 Jeter Downs (BOS - SS) 290 238.0 -52.0
23 Nicky Lopez (KC - 2B,SS) 293 270.0 -23.0
24 Austin Martin (MIN - 3B,SS) MiLB   323.0  
25 Royce Lewis (MIN - SS)   276.0  
26 Tyler Wade (LAA - 2B,3B,CF,LF,SS) 351 201.0 -150.0
27 Richie Martin (BAL - SS) 361    
28 Luis Rengifo (LAA - 2B,3B,RF,SS) 364 346.0 -18.0
29 Vimael Machin (OAK - 3B,SS) 373    
30 Tyler Freeman (CLE - SS)   314.0  
31 Lucius Fox (BAL - SS) 379