I want to start off by welcoming back any who read my articles in April and apologizing for falling off the map. After a few weeks of posting nearly every day I was getting set up for advertisements on the site. I crunched the numbers and realized it would be nearly impossible to make my articles worthwhile as anything more then a hobby. Recently, some new technology has given me the opportunity to dive back in. It is still going to be mostly a hobby, but at least there will be some financial incentive to keep the site updated with new content coming in.
(I’m so excited)
My goal for the “Way Too Early” series will be to build up to a top 100 by the end of the playoffs. I will do 1-2 updates a week over the course of October until we get to 100. Followed by some “Way Too Early” positional rankings to start November. During the off-season I will work on updating the lists and keeping an eye out for interesting news and articles to break down.
For the gamblers; I’ll be making regular posts and tweets about my plays for the playoffs. I bet on every game in last years playoffs and plan to do the same this year.
On to the RANKINGS! My rankings are for Standard 5×5 Category.
1. Mike Trout, OF, LAA
This one is easy. Standout in all 5 categories. Trout is coming off his best per game season of his already near HOF career.
2. Jose Altuve, 2B, HOU
After the chosen one you can go many different routes. With the death of the SB, I tend to move up studs that still steal. Altuve has a ++ speed and BA in a great lineup and all of that at 2B.
3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, ARI
Another instance of SB’s bolstering value. Goldy has average power for a 1B in the top 25 but he is a stat sheet stuffer offering elite R+RBI production and will likely finish top 5 in SB’s from everyone taken in the top 25. (behind only Trout, Altuve, Turner, and Betts)
4. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, MIA
Stanton started off a little slow this year as he changed his approach to make better contact. Obviously the changes worked while he avoided injury and he racked up 59 HR’s. His AVG is low for a top 25 guy but the ++ R/HR/RBI totals more then make up for it. I’m sold on him back as a top 5 pick.
5. Bryce Harper, OF, WAS
This is the toughest spot of the top 10 because I could see every one of the next 6 going here depending on your preferences. Everyone is down on Bryce after a string of injuries but his upside is just too high. He missed roughly 25% more games then usual this year and still finished around the top 20-25 depending on your leagues scoring. I could see going with others here if you aren’t much of a gambler.
6. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
+ or ++ in R/HR/RBI/AVG at a premium position. Only 23 and plays in a great lineup. Injuries suppressed the numbers this year but we are looking forward, not back. Still a bit more of a gamble then a couple guys below him on the list, but his upside and position make the risk worth it.
7. Nolan Arenado, 3B, COL
Who would think that a guy who averages 105/40/130 R/HR/RBI with a 300 BA over the course of 3 years would be boring? Not to mention the guy is only 26! If I was feeling a bit iffy about Stanton, Harper, or Correa’s track records this is the safe pick. From my top 4-10 Arenado is simultaneously the most likely to finish in the top 10 but least likely to finish #1.
8. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC
I’m not entirely sure why the fantasy world is so down on Bryant going forward. A slight dip in power and RBI production, yet he improved both his BB% and K%. He made some changes to his approach before the season and he improved nearly every month as those changes took effect. I look forward to snagging him at a discount next year.
9. Aaron Judge, OF, NYY
Weird things happen when you hit the ball as hard as Judge does. I know the kid has no track record and you will show me his massive slump after the ASB as proof of someone that is overrated. What I see is a guy who has overcame two massive slumps at the major league level and managed to put together one of the greatest rookie seasons of all time. Will he slump again? Yeah, probably. His size means things can get out of whack in a hurry but he has already shown he can come out of those strong. Combine that with prodigious power and I’m looking forward to “overdrafting” this beast.
10. Charlie Blackmon, OF, COL
When looking at the guys around this spot (Betts, Votto, Machado, Turner, Kershaw, Scherzer) it’s clear that Blackmon is the last guy that really excites me and checks all the boxes. I don’t really care for Betts or Turner despite their SB’s, not sold on their bats. Kershaw and Scherzer scare me this early, though some guy in your draft will take them here. Votto is like the slower older version of Blackmon, and will likely finish behind him in every category except RBI next year. Machado is going around here and has that upside I like, but even a great campaign from him would only have him beating Blackmon in HR and RBI. My only hesitation on Blackmon is that he’s coming off his best season at 31 and was a little lucky with HR’s this year. Despite the fact I have him at 10, if you took him at 4 in a draft I’d just nod my head because I completely understand it.