by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
We are about a month into the season so there have obviously been changes to our preseason rankings. Who has shown signs of improving? Who has struggled and thus has a cloudier outlook? Let’s take a look at how things currently stand (Note: The number in parenthesis represents the player’s ranking in our final draft guide update):
1. Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs (3)
2. Nolan Arenado – Colorado Rockies (1)
3. Manny Machado – Baltimore Orioles (4)
4. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals (5)
5. Kyle Seager – Seattle Mariners (8)
6. Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians (13)
7. Anthony Rendon – Washington Nationals (6)
8. Justin Turner – Los Angeles Dodgers (11)
9. Todd Frazier – Chicago White Sox (7)
10. Evan Longoria – Tampa Bay Rays (12)
11. Eugenio Suarez – Cincinnati Reds (15)
12. Alex Bregman – Houston Astros (10)
13. Jake Lamb – Arizona Diamondbacks (NR)
14. Maikel Franco – Philadelphia Phillies (NR)
15. Jonathan Villar – Milwaukee Brewers (9)
Currently on the DL:
- Josh Donaldson – Toronto Blue Jays (2)
- Adrian Beltre – Texas Rangers (14)
- While it feels like Matt Carpenter has been a bit of a disappointment, he’s shown that there’s power in his bat (4 HR). There also is significant upside in his average (.243), as he’s suffered from bad luck (.275 BABIP despite a 27.3% line drive rate) and is showing a terrific command of the strike zone (6.9% SwStr%, 17.8% O-Swing%). His positional flexibility makes buying low nearly impossible, but he should continue to be viewed as one of the best.
- Yes it was just one big game, but Anthony Rendon’s breakout performance shows just how quickly a player can flip his season. Look for him to continue to build on the performance, though obviously not at that level, and watch him produce in a deep Washington lineup giving him the potential to pile up the counting stats.
- Justin Turner isn’t a .387 hitter, but even when his .427 BABIP starts to fall the increased power (2.9% HR/FB) and strike zone command (5.7% SwStr%) will help him maintain a solid average. Throw in the impending power breakout and there’s a lot to like.
- Jake Lamb has struck out a ton this season (29.2%), and while his 10.5% SwStr% is elevated it doesn’t justify quite that high of a mark. He’s also flashed power (5 HR) and hit the ball hard (23.1% line drive rate). Remember he was one of the better options in the league in the first half last season before falling off a cliff, so the potential is there.
- While Maikel Franco has been bad, a 12.5% strikeout rate, 25.9% line drive rate and .195 BABIP all indicate significant upside. Considering he has 4 HR and 21 RBI on the season, there’s a lot to like.
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||April 26|
|Second Base||May 1|
|Third Base||May 4|