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, 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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Brian, Butler, Jared, Rankings, Roto, Rotoballs, Shorty, Thaller, Wooden

Rotoballs Top 100 Players for ’13


So after a grueling process of ranking and re-ranking, we bring you the Top 100 players for 2013 from Rotobrian, SDWooden, Backdoor Jared, Madbank Thaller, Shorty, and Smuggling Plums Butler. These rankings were made with a 5×5 rotisserie league in mind. On the right side of the table are the Composite Ranks. Use the comments section to air your praise or grievances.  -rotobrian

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Brian, Rankings, Starting Pitchers

Brian’s Top 37 Starting Pitcher Rankings and Projections for ’13


"I know more about Morneau than Morneau knows about Morneau...and Morneau knows it."

“I know more about Morneau than Morneau knows about Morneau…and Morneau knows it.”

They say when you’re doing an auction draft, you should spend $180 on hitting, leaving only $80 for pitching. And the reasoning is simple: your hitters play everyday, while your starting pitchers are only going to pitch twice a week at most. In a head-to-head league, where a pitcher is only giving you between 6-15 innings a week, the impact isn’t very significant. Conversely, in a rotisserie league, where you’re compiling numbers all year round, and pitcher stats are valuable due to an innings limit, top-shelf pitchers are a hotter commodity. Regardless of the style of gameplay, there will always be pitching late in a draft. Not listed below are fantasy nuggets  like Dan Haren, Derek Holland, Johan Santana, Kyle Lohse, Lance Lynn, Ryan Vogelsong, and Chris Capuano, all of whom will be available near the end of your draft. Because of this ability to get talent late, you won’t need to get seven or eight of these top-37 pitchers. But it should be noted that ending a draft without at least two to three would be a detriment to your team. Having a few mainstays, a few sure things, is without question, the way you’ll win a championship.

Even after going over my rankings, there are a few players who have questions marks, at least for me.

Last year, the Washington Nationals had Stephen Strasburg on an innings limit, but in 2013 apparently they’re taking off the kid gloves. Word to the wise: he’s still going to be on an innings limit, just a higher one. Don’t kid yourself. I can’t see the executives in D.C. letting their prized youngster throw over 200 innings. But the amount of strikeouts he can get with that many innings will outweigh any ball and chain tied to him.

Another player who I worry about is Chris Sale and his paper thin body. In 2012, Sale threw 192 innings, 121 more than his previous high. The work load increase frightens me. He seems like a DL stint waiting to happen. And throw in a post all-star break ERA of 4.03 and I wonder if I have him ranked too high.

Roll the dice, my friends. Starting pitchers always seem to be the most risky picks.

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