Obviously when we change the format of our leagues the rankings need to be altered. One of the popular changes going to day is the move away from AVG and towards OBP as a league category. So who rises and who falls?
As with AVG formats, here are a few things to remember as you review the rankings (and if you want to see even deeper rankings, make sure to order our 2019 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide that includes a Top 30 for OBP formats, by clicking here):
- A player being ranked #3 doesn’t mean you should draft him in that spot. In most cases you shouldn’t have to, it just shows the potential value that he holds.
- These rankings are based on our projections and expected production for 2019.
Who are the names we should trust? Who should be ignored? Let’s dive in and take a look:
- Jose Altuve – Houston Astros
- Javier Baez – Chicago Cubs
- Whit Merrifield – Kansas City Royals
- Travis Shaw – Milwaukee Brewers
- Ozzie Albies – Atlanta Braves
- Yoan Moncada – Chicago White Sox
- Gleyber Torres – New York Yankees
- Rougned Odor – Texas Rangers
- Daniel Murphy – Colorado Rockies
- Jonathan Villar – Baltimore Orioles
- Brian Dozier – Washington Nationals
- Scooter Gennett – Cincinnati Reds
- Robinson Cano – New York Mets
- Dee Gordon – Seattle Mariners
- Ketel Marte – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Even if he will hold eligibility for just 2019 (though if rumors are true he could become the permanent 2B in Milwaukee, at least until Keston Hiura is deemed ready), Travis Shaw is always going to be an intriguing option. In OBP formats he’s even more impressive as he’s seen his walk rate rise from 8.1% in ’16 to 9.9% to last year’s 13.3%. He continues to improve his approach, with an 8.2% SwStr% and 28.8% O-Swing%, and pairing that with 30+ HR is going to make for an impressive player (think around a .350ish OBP, as he has for the past two seasons).
- Ozzie Albies is one player who falls with the change in format. He’s still going to be one of the better options, bringing power and speed, but last year’s struggles to draw a walk (5.3%) as he consistently chases outside the strike zone (38.2% O-Swing%) is going to continue to loom large (6.3% walk rate in 411 AB at Triple-A in ’17 shows it’s not just a rookie concern).
- While Yoan Moncada is one of our favorite “sleepers” at the position in all formats, his appeal is that much better in OBP formats. He brings both power and speed (17 HR/12 SB last season), and while the strikeout rate is a concern (though he showed improvement as ’18 progressed, including a 22.5% O-Swing% in the second half) he’s consistently proven that he can draw a walk (10.8% for his career). Any improvement in his strikeout rate is going to lead to a significantly better OBP. For more on Moncada and why he’s a breakout candidate, especially in OBP formats, click here.
- It was a disappointing season for Brian Dozier (.215 with 21 HR and 12 SB), though he moves to Washington where he should have a good opportunity to rebuild his value. As it is he’s produced walk rates of 11.1% in each of the past two seasons, so with his power/speed and the potential to improve on his .240 BABIP will go a long way. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking him.
- Based on his age it is easy to discredit Robinson Cano, but that’s a mistake you don’t want to make in the short-term. To find out why there’s still value, especially in 2019, click here.
Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball