2022 Fantasy Baseball Rankings (NL)
Expert Consensus Ranking (46 of 46 Experts) -
|Rank||Player (Team, Position)||Overall||Notes|
|1||Freddie Freeman (LAD - 1B)||6||6.0||‐||
It seems odd that Freeman has topped 100 RBI only twice in his career, but he should have little problem getting there now that he'll be batting third for the Dodgers, with Mookie Betts and Trea Turner setting the table for him. Freeman has batted at least .295 every year since 2016. He's not a pure slugger, but his line-drive power should produce 25-35 home runs. He'll even throw in a handful of stolen bases. Now that he's landed in a strong lineup, invest with confidence.
|2||Matt Olson (ATL - 1B)||14||13.0||-1.0||
The Braves' new slugger posted career highs across the board last season - 39 HRs, 111, RBI, 101 runs and a .271 BA - and as he enters his age-28 season, he should be in his prime. The elite power is here to stay, and after batting .195 in the shortened 2020 season, Olson made huge strides in his contact rate (80%) last year and batted a very respectable .271. Going from Oakland to the Braves' friendlier ballpark could spike his HR total. Olson is a worthy power anchor.
|3||Pete Alonso (NYM - 1B,DH)||21||21.0||‐||
A classic power-hitting first baseman, Alonso is most likely going to deliver 40 HR, 100 RBI and should cross the plate close to 100 times. He's a plug-and-play option. Some managers like to punt on first base until later in the draft, but if you want to secure your power numbers late in the fourth round or early in the fifth, Alonso is a rock-solid choice.
|4||Paul Goldschmidt (STL - 1B,DH)||18||22.0||+4.0||
Eventually, Father Time will catch up with the Cardinals slugger. But not this year. If your rival fantasy managers fade Goldy because of his age, take advantage. He can ho-hum his way to 95/30/100/.300, with five to eight stolen bases as a bonus. Goldschmidt will be taken after Austin Riley in most drafts but could easily end up with better numbers at the end of the year.
|5||Austin Riley (ATL - 1B,3B)||24||20.0||-4.0||
Riley's value swings wildly depending on whether you play in an OBP league or a BA league. In the former, he's a four category stud. In the latter, he's a slightly overvalued three category asset. The young slugger should continue to get better, but reaching last year's ceiling may not be realistic. Kim Kardashian has a better chance of winning an Oscar for Best Actress than Riley does of equaling his 2021 second-half .397 BABIP. That said, while you don't want to reach for him based on his RBI numbers last year, the 3B position isn't as deep as usual, so Riley isn't a bad pick in the fifth or sixth round.
|6||Kris Bryant (COL - 1B,3B,CF,DH,LF,RF)||27||31.0||+4.0||
He hasn't turned into the superstar we thought he was going to become, but he's still got power and will still knock in runs, and now he'll be doing his mashing at Coors Field. Bryant might not have been worth a top-100 selection if he landed in a bad spot, but going to the Rockies gives him a significant value boost.
|7||J.T. Realmuto (PHI - C,1B)||38||28.0||-10.0||
Some of us still want to think of the 28-year-old Realmuto, who was the best catcher in baseball. But he's entering his age-31 season and is likely on the downside of his career. Catchers tend to fall off precipitously after age 30, so Realmuto will have to stave off Father Time. Double-digit steals from the catcher slot are always a bonus for fantasy managers, but Realmuto is no longer a catcher for whom you should reach. The Phillies' lineup is full of holes and won't provide much support outside of Bryce Harper. However, the universal DH rule adds to Realmuto's value. He'll get more at bats and more rest for his legs. He's still a great option at catcher. Just don't reach.
|8||Kyle Schwarber (PHI - 1B,DH,LF)||46||46.0||‐||
Schwarber was really, really good in 2020. He ranked in the top 10% of the league in barrel rate, average and maximum exit velocity, hard-hit rate, walk percentage, and wOBA. He also batted a career-best .266, probably because he swung at far fewer pitches outside the strike zone than he ever had before. He'll now bat near or at the top of a strong Phillies lineup in a park that should only accentuate Schwarber's raw power. If Schwarber can hold the gains he saw last year - being more selective, hitting more line drives, etc. - then he should be in for perhaps his best season to date.
|9||Max Muncy (LAD - 1B,2B,3B,DH)||47||62.0||+15.0||
Muncy had a fantastic 2021 season with 36 homers, making it his third straight full season in which he reached the 35-homer plateau. But he tore the UCL in his elbow late in the year and missed the playoffs, and the fantasy baseball world has been holding its collective breath hoping that he'll be able to be ready for Opening Day this year. All signs - and Dave Roberts's comments - point to Muncy being available, and the addition of the DH to the National League can only help his cause. But although a torn UCL isn't nearly the same injury for a position player that it is for a pitcher, Muncy will still likely see some limitations and need some time off this year. Expect his usual excellent production, but knock off 10-20 games from his usual output.
|10||Rhys Hoskins (PHI - 1B)||50||57.0||+7.0||
Hoskins traded off some walks for some additional power last year, as he consistently made harder contact than he ever had before in his career. His 91.2 MPH average exit velocity and 112.2 MPH maximum exit velocity were both career highs, and his 17% barrel rate ranked in the top 6% of baseball. The only real problem for Hoskins, aside from his .240-ish batting average, is his difficulty staying healthy. He was limited to just 107 games last year because of an abdominal injury and he missed about a third of 2020's shortened season. The talent is there - he'll hit plenty of home runs and he'll likely bat in front of Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto. Just bank on closer to 120 games rather than a full season.
|11||C.J. Cron (COL - 1B,DH)||51||56.0||+5.0||
Sometimes, things work out just the way fantasy managers expect them to. Cron became a prime sleeper when he signed with Colorado, and fantasy managers hoped that he could maintain his strong power numbers while letting Coors Field positively impact his batting average. That's exactly what happened, as Cron hit 28 home runs with a career-best .281 average. He also upped his walk rate significantly to 11%, which resulted in both a career-best OBP (.375) and run scored total (70). It's unclear if his gains in plate discipline are sustainable, but it's hard to find too many reasons to doubt his performance so long as he remains in Colorado. He's a fine low-end first base option or a prime target for your corner infield spot.
|12||Joey Votto (CIN - 1B,DH)||53||55.0||+2.0||
You don't often see a rebound season like Votto put up last year, and it was glorious. After three years of minimal power, Votto exploded for 36 home runs and a .563 slugging percentage. His Statcast page is a joy to look at - he was among he leaders in hard-hit rate, barrel percentage, exit velocity - and all greatly improved from his last few seasons. Yes, he struck out at a career-worst clip nd his batting average isn't ever going to approach .300 again, but that's just nitpicking. The bigger worry for Votto at this point is the total lack of protection in the Reds lineup, as Cincinnati has traded the vast majority of its decent offensive pieces. But that might prevent a buying opportunity for fantasy managers if Votto's ADP slips too far.
|13||Jake Cronenworth (SD - 1B,2B,SS)||55||54.0||-1.0||
Cronenworth quietly had a very solid season for the Padres, totaling 21 home runs and exactly an .800 OPS. He's not an exciting player - he doesn't have a ton of power or speed and his batting average won't wow you. But he'll bat second for the Padres this year and so you can expect him to challenge the 94 runs scored he totaled last season. He also struck out just 14% of the time last year, which ranked in the top 10% in MLB, so he's unlikely to endure prolonged slumps, and consistent production goes further in today's fantasy landscape than it used to. Add to that his multi-position eligibility and Cronenworth makes an ideal part of any fantasy team, particularly one with daily lineup changes.
|14||Tyler Stephenson (CIN - C,1B)||84||80.0||-4.0||
With Tucker Barnhart out of town, Stephenson will get his shot as the primary catcher for the Reds. He was extremely productive last year with a .797 OPS and 10 home runs in just 102 games, all while batting .286. Don't expect him to continue with his pace, as catchers often get overexposed when they take on more playing time. But he'll bat in the middle of the Cincinnati lineup, and when you're looking for a backstop who won't cost you anything but should give you fairly reliable production for the position, Stephenson is your guy.
|15||Eduardo Escobar (NYM - 1B,2B,3B)||90||84.0||-6.0||
Escobar rarely gets much love from fantasy managers, probably because everything under the hood doesn't usually support his numbers. He almost always outperforms his expected statistics, and he offers no help in batting average or steals. But he does have plenty of pop (53 homers over his last two full seasons, at least 21 in each of his last four), and he's been a plus in runs scored and RBI despite playing on mediocre teams. He'll now be the everyday third baseman for the Mets, so managers can enjoy his dual eligibility, and his placement in the middle of a strong lineup should keep all his counting stats afloat. There's not a ton of upside with Escobar, but there's a high floor.
|16||Mike Moustakas (CIN - 1B,3B,DH)||106||146.0||+40.0|
|17||Rowdy Tellez (MIL - 1B,DH)||112||160.0||+48.0|
|18||Darin Ruf (NYM - 1B,DH,LF,RF)||153||166.0||+13.0|
|19||Christian Walker (ARI - 1B,DH)||147||197.0||+50.0|
|20||Connor Joe (COL - 1B,DH,LF,RF)||135||154.0||+19.0|
|21||LaMonte Wade Jr. (SF - 1B,DH,LF,RF)||170||171.0||+1.0|
|22||Seth Beer (ARI - 1B,DH)||143||193.0||+50.0|
|23||Carlos Santana (PIT - 1B,DH)||154||115.0||-39.0|
|24||Keston Hiura (MIL - 1B,2B,DH)||138||153.0||+15.0|
|25||James McCann (NYM - C,1B)||160||152.0||-8.0|
|26||Patrick Wisdom (CHC - 1B,3B,LF,RF)||131||128.0||-3.0|
|27||Garrett Cooper (MIA - 1B,DH,RF)||151||206.0||+55.0|
|28||Pavin Smith (ARI - 1B,CF,DH,LF,RF)||171||136.0||-35.0|
|29||Wilmer Flores (SF - 1B,2B,3B,DH)||195||150.0||-45.0|
|30||Matt Vierling (PHI - 1B,3B,CF,LF,RF)||210||205.0||-5.0|
|31||Michael Chavis (PIT - 1B,2B,3B,DH) MiLB||216||246.0||+30.0|
|32||Ji-Man Choi (PIT - 1B,DH)||234||245.0||+11.0|
|33||Juan Yepez (STL - 1B,3B,DH,LF,RF)||250||232.0||-18.0|
|34||Daniel Vogelbach (NYM - 1B,DH)||327||267.0||-60.0|
|35||Darick Hall (PHI - 1B,DH) MiLB|
|36||Mike Brosseau (MIL - 1B,2B,3B)||320||268.0||-52.0|
|37||Mason Martin (PIT - 1B,LF) MiLB||369|
|38||Taylor Jones (SF - 1B,LF) MiLB||377|
|39||John Nogowski (WSH - 1B) MiLB||378||225.0||-153.0|
|40||Jake Noll (WSH - 1B,2B,3B) MiLB||409|
|41||Erik Gonzalez (MIA - 1B,3B,SS) MiLB||411|
|42||Josh Ockimey (PHI - 1B) MiLB|