Brian, Rankings, Third Base

Brian’s Top 15 Third Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14

I don’t really feel like adding any obnoxious intro for these guys. So enjoy the video and the rankings.

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Brian, Projections, Rankings, Second Base

Brian’s Top-13 Second Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14

Robinson Cano might be shipwrecked in Seattle for years.

Robinson Cano might be shipwrecked in Seattle for years.

With less than a week before Opening Day in San Diego between the Padres and Dodgers, we release our second basemen rankings and projections. In the coming days, there will be rankings and projections for third, shortstop, outfield, starting and relief pitching. Check back here throughout the week for those. Here are the rankings for second base. [Note: Jurickson Profar has been struck out due to a 2-3 month stint on the DL].

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Brian, First Base, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top-24 First Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14

"Yeah, it's this big."

“Yeah, it’s this big.”

First base continues to be one of the deepest positions in fantasy. Food for thought: 14 of the men on this list of 24 ended the year ranked in Yahoo!’s top-100 players. In drafts this year, 15 of these guys are going top-100. There’s no excuse to not have a serviceable first baseman in 2014.

Here’s something else to think about: Albert Pujols’ ADP this year is 47.4. Albert freakin’ Pujols. Going in the 4th-5th round. Don’t get me wrong, the man who talks to photocopiers in ESPN commercials hasn’t been his usual self the past few seasons, but he’s Albert Pujols. Talk about potential value.

Potential busts at the position: Chris Davis (ADP: 8.1), Joey Votto (15.8), and Allen Craig (57.0). I have no doubt in my mind that Davis’ power is legit, but because of what he was just two seasons ago, I still have icky feelings. I’ve never been a Votto fan, so maybe I’m biased here, but when we’re celebrating a player who hit 24 HR with 74 RBI the year before, it makes me want to break things. And Craig is just a walking injury and if you’re a really good roulette player, go ahead, take a spin.

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Brian, Catcher, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top 16 Catcher Rankings and Projections for ’14

Jon Heder stars as Buster Posey in the drama "Catching: Life on My Knees"

Jon Heder stars as Buster Posey in the drama “Catching: Life on My Knees”

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be doing rankings this year, but here I am, on a Sunday morning (with plenty of actual work to be doing) thinking about baseball, watching baseball, and projecting baseball. Like every year, I begin with the men behind the plate, not because they’re an integral part of fantasy, but because they’re the generals of the infield; everything has to go through these squatting men.

There are probably 2-3 catchers I would entertain taking in the top-100 (entertain, not necessarily enact). Outside of the top three, all backstops are created equal. I know I’ve said this many times before–in conversation, on message boards, and right here on Rotoballs, but–do not waste a mid-round pick on a catcher (unless you’re in a league that requires two catchers). As my projections will show, the difference between Carlos Santana and Jarrod Saltalamacchia is negligible.

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Brian, Projections, Rankings

The Two Month Report Card

Sagres, Portugal...The End of the World.

Sagres, Portugal…The End of the World.

On a clear morning, you can go out to the California coast and peer off the cliffs at the extending horizon that both seems to go on forever and have a clear, definitive ending line. You can imagine you’re back in Sagres, Portugal in the 1400s, standing on a cliff that they call “The End of the World.” You can imagine you’re an explorer, making predictions on whether the Earth was round and the ocean extended forever, or flat and ended in a tragically steep waterfall.

When making any kind of prediction, there is always the risk of being wrong, in fact, you’re likely going to wrong more often than right. A prediction, like the future, is uncertain, it’s the unknown. So when I set out to make my preseason fantasy baseball projections, I know going into it failure isn’t just a possibility, it’s a certainty.

The following are some projections that I had right…and wrong, dead wrong. For each position, I chose one player who I was correct on and one player who I was incorrect on. You can view all of my projections in our Rankings ’13 section. Included with each player are their “On Pace Stats” (as of May 30th).


Correct Pick Brian’s Preseason Projections On Pace Stats
Wilin Rosario 62, 24, 65, 3, .260 64, 28, 83, 9, .268
Incorrect Pick Brian’s Preseason Projections On Pace Stats
Miguel Montero 65, 17, 90, 1, .290 49, 9, 46, 0, .190

First Base

Correct Pick Brian’s Preseason Projections On Pace Stats
Edwin Encarnacion 84, 24, 96, 10, .266 93, 42, 135, 6, .264
Incorrect Pick Brian’s Preseason Projections On Pace Stats
Paul Goldschmidt 81, 27, 88, 15, .280 104, 37, 125, 12, .337

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Awards, Brian, Butler, Jared, Rankings, Shorty, Thaller, Wooden

Pre-Season Award Show 2013!

These awards have no correlation with fantasy.

Going back to look at last year, all of us were homers and picked Yonder Alonso to win the NL Rookie of the Year. How wrong we were. We were equally wrong when Matt Moore and Yoenis Cespedes were picked to win the AL ROY. We never said these predictions were any good. Predictions are like…well…let’s just say everyone has one and they stink. In fact, the only correct prediction made last year by our team was calling Miguel Cabrera the AL Most Valuable Player by Jared Cothren. Bravo, Jared. Bravo.

Here is this year’s list. Just don’t bet your life on it.

RotoBrian Jared Butler Shorty SD Wooden Thaller
NL ROY Jedd Gyorko Shelby Miller Oscar Taveras Julio Teheran Jedd Gyorko Shelby Miller
AL ROY Wil Myers Wil Myers Wil Myers Wil Myers Wil Myers Wil Myers
NL CY Cole Hamels Stephen Strasburg Clayton Kershaw Clayton Kersahw Cole Hamels Stephen Strasburg
AL CY Justin Verlander Felix Hernandez Justin Verlander Felix Hernandez Felix Hernandez Justin Verlander
NL MVP Ryan Braun Andrew McCutchen Joey Votto Joey Votto Justin Upton Matt Kemp
AL MVP Miguel Cabrera Miguel Cabrera Mike Trout Evan Longoria Miguel Cabrera Prince Fielder
Brian, Closers, Rankings, Relievers

Brian’s Top 30 Closer Rankings and Projections for ’13

Craig Kimbrel is head of the class.

Relief pitchers are often thought of as the “kickers” of baseball, and there is a reason for this theory. For one, there are 30 closers in the league (maybe even more if you count “by committee” bullpens). If you’re in a 10 team league, there will be a throng of closers to be had, even into the late rounds (not every closer will be owned by the end of the draft). Closers also only (really) fulfill one stat category (Saves), which means if you draft a closer with one of your top 10 picks, you’re going to be losing out on a lot of other categories.

That being said, I like to own one of the more renown closers as to avoid the headache of “chasing saves.” I won’t ever go out and draft the best closer, or the second best for that matter, but I like to have a guy on my team who is going to get me at least 30 saves and won’t be in jeopardy of losing his job.

There’s a reason I leave these rankings until last: without fail, every year, one or two closers lose their starting gigs in spring training due to injury or ineptitude. Already Chris Perez and Grant Balfour have injuries. Guys like Jonathan Broxton, Brandon League, and Ernesto Frieri don’t have solid ground beneath them and could begin the season as eighth inning hurlers. The reason most leagues hold their drafts at the end of March is to avoid wasting picks on dead end closers.

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