Today will be our first release of our fantasy baseball rankings. Every sunday the Team at MLB Mayhem will conduct a mock draft and release rankings. The format of the mock, and the position that’s ranked will change. Now it’s extremely early in the off-season and I don’t want to bore you with stats that are still to fresh in your head or a click away. As the off-season progresses and players sign, get traded, or released our rankings will inevitably change. The plan will be to release every position and circle back through throughout this lengthy off-season.
April is still 5 months away, but the prep work for the perfect team can start at any point after the Fantasy Baseball Championship. For most of us it becomes football season but for those too dedicated to watch other sports then here you go. To begin, our rankings will be based on leagues that play H2H categories. Down the road we will present rankings based on different formats. I am going to give you my top 50 and below I will pick 5 players that if I were drafting today I would want to target.
|1||Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers||21||Carlos Martinez – Cardinals||41||Marco Estrada – Blue Jays|
|2||Max Scherzer – Nationals||22||Kyle Hendricks – Cubs||42||Jake Odorizzi – Rays|
|3||Madison Bumgarner – Giants||23||Julio Teheran – Braves||43||Lance McCullers – Astros|
|4||Noah Syndergaard – Mets||24||Cole Hamels – Rangers||44||Alex Reyes – Cardinals|
|5||Chris Sale – White Sox||25||Danny Duffy – Royals||45||Jon Gray – Rockies|
|6||Corey Kluber – Indians||26||Carlos Carrasco – Indians||46||Kevin Gausman – Orioles|
|7||Justin Verlander – Tigers||27||Steven Matz – Mets||47||Marcus Stroman – Blue Jays|
|8||Yu Darvish – Rangers||28||Michael Fulmer – Tigers||48||Jameson Taillon – Pirates|
|9||Jon Lester – Cubs||29||Danny Salazar – Indians||49||Michael Pineda – Yankees|
|10||Johnny Cueto – Giants||30||Zack Greinke – Diamondbacks||50||Robbie Ray – Diamondbacks|
|11||Jake Arrieta – Cubs||31||Gerrit Cole – Pirates|
|12||Masahiro Tanaka – Yankees||32||Dallas Keuchel – Astros|
|13||Rick Porcello – Red Sox||33||Kenta Maeda – Dodgers|
|14||David Price – Red Sox||34||J.A. Happ – Blue Jays|
|15||Steven Strasburg – Nationals||35||Matt Shoemaker – Angels|
|16||Rich Hill – F/A||36||Aaron Nola – Phillies|
|17||Aaron Sanchez – Blue Jays||37||Drew Pomeranz – Red Sox|
|18||Jose Quintana – White Sox||38||Felix Hernandez – Mariners|
|19||Chris Archer – Rays||39||Matt Harvey – Mets|
|20||Jacob DeGrom – Mets||40||Tanner Roark – Nationals|
Chris Archer – Tampa Bay Rays – 19th overall
Chris Archer is one of overall favorite players. I like the way he mentally prepares for games, and his overall work ethic. It will be very interesting this off-season to see if he stays or goes. Tampa has been rumored to have Archer on the market. Grabbing him near the 20’s is a extremely great opportunity. He will provide you with great strikeouts week in and week out. Best case he is traded from Tampa and allowed to go more innings into games. Through he is the one Tampa trusts most and have shown in the past to let him get more innings in. He had a rough-ish season last year, but youth is on his side.
Danny Salazar – Cleveland Indians – 29th overall.
Like Archer, Salazar has the potential to be an ace on a staff. Now I wouldn’t suggest going that direction, but I believe there is enough pitching that if you went offense hard, Salazar is the guy I would for sure get. His k-rate has been outstanding since he burst onto the scene. I think the rest is still on its way, but if he controls his pitches better and stays healthy he is someone I could see easily becoming a top 10 pitcher. Not just this year, but years to come as well.
Aaron Nola – Philadelphia Phillies – 36th overall
Nola has been on the front of the Phillies rebuild plan. The Phillies have made a choice. They have a bunch of young talent and Nola leads this group. I think once he gets going he could easily remain in the top 15-20 overall, and eventually land in the top 10. He already does a lot of things very well, it’s just a matter of growth and determination. You won’t be disappointed taking Nola as your 3 or 4th pitcher.
Matt Harvey – New York Mets – 39th overall
Like fellow Mayhem writer, Rhys, I believe this guy could be top 10 or top 100. Really depends on how he responds the off-season and how far back he is. If he regains a glimmer of his previous form then I will be on board. Being close to the 40’s means someone will get a bargain with this guy. Hindsight if he does not rebound the pick slot you took him won’t hurt you as bad as he did to fantasy players all over last year. Don’t give up, but don’t reach.
Robbie Ray – Arizona Diamondbacks – 50th overall
I had a hard time narrowing down the last 10 on my top 50. I left about 14 names out, and there were probably even more I didn’t even consider. I worked with Ray last year, and it eventually turned into K’s. K’s, k’s, k’s. That what this guy gives you and plenty of it. Build your rotation around guys who have solid E.R.A’s, and WHIP and then take a chance on this guy as your 4th or 5th starter. If you are lucky enough to get him as a bench player then I would say that’s the most ideal situation. I believe the hype on this guy will only continue to blossom as the off-season rolls on. His k-rate was tops in the league with Yu Darvish last season. Ray is one of my most targeted players for this season. With that k-rate if he can slim down some of the peripherals then I think he could make the biggest jump heading into next season. Worse case is he doesn’t improve in the ERA, or WHIP categories and just helps fill your strikeout category year round.