by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
Keep in mind that these rankings weigh both what players have done, as well as what we expect them to do for the remainder of the season. Considering we are just a week into the season, there isn’t going to be significant changes from our preseason rankings. However, there are changes as situations are not necessarily what we expected.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the rankings (all stats are through Monday, April 14):
1) Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (1)
Thoughts: No matter what, can anyone really be placed in the same category as Cabrera (outside of Mike Trout)?
2) Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays (3)
3) David Wright – New York Mets (4)
4) Josh Donaldson – Oakland A’s (5)
Thoughts: We all know that David Wright no longer has 30+ HR potential (over the past three seasons his HR totals have been 14, 21 and 18), but his value comes from also being able to steal some bases. It’s early, but he’s currently 0-for-2 on the season. It’s worth monitoring, given his age and past injury issues.
5) Pedro Alvarez – Pittsburgh Pirates (10)
6) Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians (NR)
7) Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals (6)
8) Aramis Ramirez – Milwaukee Brewers (8)
9) Xander Bogaerts – Boston Red Sox (14)
10) Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants (16)
11) Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies (12)
12) Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners (9)
13) Brett Lawrie – Toronto Blue Jays (11)
14) Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals (NR)
Thoughts: This is a very big tier, for now, but no one player really separates himself from the rest (and any could rise into Tier 2)… Arenado has tremendous upside potential, but don’t let one big game (2 HR earlier in the year) make you think that he’s actually figured it out quite yet… In the early going Pedro Alvarez is showing a better command of the strike zone, with his strikeouts being down and his walks being up. If that continues his potential value is going to explode… Carlos Santana continues to struggle, but he also shows the underlying numbers to thrive. The question is when will he finally put everything together, but don’t give up hope… Don’t push Matt Carpenter up too high, despite the runs scored, as he owns little power, little speed and has seen his strikeouts rise this season… Pablo Sandoval has been plagued by popups early on, hurting his average, but he’s also hitting the ball hard and at a similar power rate that he did during his top seasons. Don’t overlook him…
15) Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds (20)
16) Chase Headley – San Diego Padres (15)
17) Chris Johnson – Atlanta Braves (17)
18) Nick Castellanos – Detroit Tigers (NR)
19) Cody Asche – Philadelphia Phillies (NR)
20) Martin Prado – Arizona Diamondbacks (18)
Thoughts: Casey McGehee has gotten off to a quick start and appears to be entrenched in the middle of the Marlins lineup. That said, does anyone believe he’s going to continue to thrive? He’s not a major source of power and, even in his breakout campaign, questions have always been there… Will Asche eventually lose time to Maikel Franco? Perhaps, but it’s not like he doesn’t have upside of his own…
Currently on the DL:
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers (2)
A healthy Beltre would be in the second tier and remain at #2 on these rankings, no questions asked.
- Ryan Zimmerman – Washington Nationals (7)
His shoulder injury continue to plague him, and now he’s sidelined with a fractured thumb. Even if the latter injury hadn’t occurred, he would’ve plummeted over the concerns that the shoulder limits him.
- Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles (13)
Manny Machado is closing in on his return, but until he does we have to remain cautious with his ranking. Obviously he’s going to hold significant value once on the field, but when is that going to come. A healthy Machado would be near the top of Tier 3, at worst.
- Will Middlebrooks – Boston Red Sox (19)
He was struggling over his first four games (.231, 1 HR, 1 RBI) and easily could’ve fallen outside of the Top 20 had everyone been healthy thanks to the additions of Anthony Rendon and Carlos Santana to the mix.
Source – Fangraphs