Fantasy Fix for 6/15: Who to Target and Avoid

As we get further into the season, the sample sizes of players has become a little more realistic. For those who say that players will correct themselves and hit “to the back of the baseball card.” That is the case for some players, while others actually breakout or stay in funks all season. Based on the “norms” of players, this should help you decide who to trade or sell high, who to target, and who to avoid like the plague.

Who to Target

Frazier has struggled, but he is still mashing and is a player to target.
Frazier has struggled, but he is still mashing and is a player to target. Courtesy: CBS Sports

Todd Frazier, 3B, Chicago White Sox

Frazier is sporting a pretty dreadful .206/.301/.466 line over 272 plate appearances. His average is driven down by his .185 BABIP, worst among qualified batters in MLB. If you’ve owned Frazier before, you know that the batting average isn’t what makes him valuable, but that number should certainly increase over the rest of the season, especially as Chicago heats up and the ball flies out of U.S. Cellular. Additionally, Frazier’s 19 bombs are 2nd in MLB and he has a .261 ISO and the highest walk rate of his career (11.4%). It should be a good summer for the Toddfather.

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

You should have probably targeted Arenado at the top of your draft, but, if you can deal for him, you need to find a way to get him on your team. He is tied for most homers in baseball after his shot on Wednesday afternoon and the 25-year-old could see additional growth over his 42 home run/130-RBI 2015 season. How is that possible? Well, his .260 BABIP is bound to increase closer to his career .287, and Arenado is striking out at the lowest rate of his career (10.5%) and walking at the highest rate of his career (10.5%). With Carlos Gonzalez slugging alongside him, at least until the trade deadline, the sky continues to be the limit for this young star.

Wacha looks pumped about being on this list. Courtesy: Washington Times
Wacha looks pumped about being on this list.
Courtesy: Washington Times

Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

Wacha may fly under the radar because he won’t strikeout 200 batters per season in fantasy leagues, but he will win games (#killthewin) and post solid ERA and WHIP numbers. At least, that has been the case prior to this season. There’s nothing to say that he can’t get back on track. With a 2-6 record, 4.91 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, Wacha has many owners frustrated. However, his 3.48 FIP says that he can get things back on track. The fact that he plays on a perennial contender may help, but the Cardinals aren’t really the class of the NL Central any longer with the Cubs 9.5 games up going into Wednesday’s games. Grab Wacha from someone who is selling low and reap the benefits of reading my website. Thank me later.

Dallas Keuchel, LHP, Houston Astros

Last season’s AL Cy Young winner has struggled thus far, going 3-9 with a 5.54 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. He leads MLB in hits allowed and earned runs. It’s hard to say that he can improve on that line, but it appears that he may be able to do so. He does have a 3.82 FIP and he is still striking out a little over eight per nine innings; however, he’ll need to get his walks down in order for his overall numbers to improve. The Astros are still very good, despite their 31-35 record, and you don’t win 20 games and a Cy Young without some skills. Trust in his beard and abilities.

Players to Avoid

Call me a #hater if you want, but that BABIP makes Marte someone I wouldn't trust. Courtesy: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Call me a #hater if you want, but that BABIP makes Marte someone I wouldn’t trust.
Courtesy: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Starling Marte, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates

Marte is having an excellent season, hitting a robust .335/.376/.502, with 26 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases. At the age of 27, he is in the midst of the “Bill James prime” and has always been a gifted athlete; however, he hasn’t always been this lucky. Marte has a .416 BABIP, 56 points higher than his already impressive .360 career BABIP. He could certainly be “breaking out”, but this type of elevated statistic isn’t easy to keep up with all season. If you’re in a one-year re-draft, you may want to cash him in at this peak value.

Doug Fister, RHP, Houston Astros

Fister’s success is a feel-good story after battling through injuries and ineffectiveness in 2015 for the Nationals. The 32-year-old has a 7-3 record to go along with his 3.26 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He’s back to his old self, like when he won 30 games over the 2013 and 2014 seasons, right? Wrong. His 4.75 FIP, 81.8 left on base percentage, .254 BABIP allowed, and career worst walk rate, scream regression. He has proven peripherals wrong for a number of years, due to his low strikeout totals, but he would need to prove it for another month before I’m buying. If you have him, sell high.

Walker has so much potential, but that is all that he has right now. Courtesy: Seattle Times
Walker has so much potential, but that is all that he has right now.
Courtesy: Seattle Times

Taijuan Walker, RHP, Seattle Mariners

Walker still has a lot of prospect hype surrounding him, but, at some point, the results need to catch up to that potential. To this point, the 3.69 ERA and 1.15 WHIP have hidden some ugly numbers for the 23-year-old. The 4.61 FIP is what screams regression, while the 18.4% FB:HR rate is terrifying as we enter the warmer months, especially when you consider the teams in the AL West and the way the ball flies out of those parks in the summer. Over his last seven starts, Walker is 1-4 with a 5.12 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, allowing a whopping 11 homers in 38.2 innings. His solid overall numbers are the result of his first six starts – when he was 2-2 with a 1.97 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, which he allowed just three home runs over 32 innings. He may be injured or the league made an adjustment. Either way, Walker isn’t as good as his statistics show right now – unless you can store him on your bench while he figures it out – if he ever does.

Advertisements

A Part of Me Died Today

No Crying
No matter how hard this may be…

Since 2001, I was a part of something bigger. I spent each night piecing together the puzzle. I spent hours of personal time scouring through the statistics of nobody minor league baseball players, hoping that I was “finding” someone a bit more special than another sleeper. I spent years getting to know a group of men who lived across the country, wasting their time in the same way, and they became my best friends. So goes the life of a fantasy baseball player in a keeper league, but, today, that life died.

You see, after over 25 years of service, the site that housed this addiction for me and my buddies suddenly disappeared – six days before the season – without warning. It wouldn’t be a big deal, it shouldn’t be, had it not meant so much more than just a hobby. My best man, my cousin, was in the league with me, as was my best friend, a man I have only been around three times in the 10 years that I’ve known him. The game brought us together, a brotherhood and fraternity of geekiness that is unmatched by…anything.

This too shall pass
This too shall pass

With less than a week before the season, the group of men who played a game about a game were left scattered, frantically searching for a new way to fill the statistical nerd desires that can’t be filled by real-life baseball, beer, or even our better half (sorry, honey). Yes, fantasy sports continue to become bigger than life, and while many people find comfort in fantasy football, it took a special group of people to love fantasy baseball the way that this group did, discussing signings and the happenings of baseball in the middle of an NFL season, even while major networks were cramming football down our throats.

Dynasty baseball leagues are different than the typical nerdy behavior of fantasy geeks. You can’t be taken seriously unless you’re as active as A.J. Preller was in San Diego this past winter. You need to be on your game all of the time, as even your friends will take advantage of you when a championship or an elite minor league player are at stake.

So, after 14 offseasons of effort, building, manipulating a roster and other human beings with a fake team, real players, and real relationships, it is all gone. I’ll find solace in the fact that there are other options, but you can’t replace years of lost effort and the people who become a family.

Fantasy Baseball’s Fabulous First Half Figures

With the All-Star break starting after Sunday’s action, there are some baseball fans who are feeling like a train ran over them, weeping at the thought of discussing their fantasy baseball teams due to horrific production, numerous injuries, and running their squads with their hearts instead of their heads – sitting in last place. The cellar isn’t so bad until all of the wine is gone, but some of us have players to thank for tremendous starts to the 2014 fantasy baseball season. Not all of us can have Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, Felix Hernandez, and Troy Tulowitzki, so these are the players who are helping to separate the contenders from the pretenders in the first half of the season:

Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2014 ★ 24 HOU 91 410 380 47 128 27 2 2 27 41 23 28 .337 .376 .434 .810 165
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

Altuve is having a career year, on pace for over 220 hits and 70 stolen bases. In an era of huge swing and miss on the offensive side of the game, Altuve lacks patience but makes consistent contact, putting the ball in play to utilize his speed. He leads MLB with his 128 hits, with 20 of those coming on infield hits. With Jon Singleton and George Springer joining him in Houston this season, a glimpse into the Astros’ future is upon us.

 

Indians OF Michael Brantley
Indians OF Michael Brantley

Michael Brantley, LF, Cleveland Indians

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2014 ★ 27 CLE 88 382 343 62 112 22 1 14 62 10 30 31 .327 .387 .519 .906 178
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

“Dr. Smooth” has already eclipsed his previous career-high in home runs (10 in 2013) this season, and will easily surpass his career bests in several other categories, and if that wasn’t enough, he is tied for the MLB lead in outfield assists (10, though he has negative defensive value). You likely don’t earn anything for those throws, but Branley’s bat has kept an up-and-down Indians club in the AL Central race all season. His career contact rates suggest that this breakout is legit – not bad for the player to be named later in the C.C. Sabathia deal, huh?

Dee Gordon, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2014 ★ 26 LAD 89 384 351 51 104 14 9 2 25 42 27 56 .296 .348 .405 .753 142
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

To think that Gordon was “in the mix” for the second base job this spring after the Dodgers signed Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero seems absurd when looking at his offensive impact this season. The speedster has obviously assisted fantasy players with the league-leading 42 stolen bases, but getting on base (formerly a problem) has allowed him to be driven in by Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, and the other Dodger hitters. Sometime you just need a long-term look to show what you have. The Dodgers committed to him, and Gordon is rewarding many people so far this season.

Billy Hamilton, CF, Cincinnati Reds

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2014 23 CIN 88 348 323 45 92 18 6 5 38 37 16 63 .285 .318 .424 .742 137
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

I wasn’t much of a believer in Hamilton given his struggles in Triple-A last season, but he has certainly proven me wrong. While he isn’t leading the league in steals, he has certainly given the Reds an dynamic defender in center and a threat to score at will. The power is just icing on the cake for fantasy owners. His recent tear (.344/.375/.574 over the last 15 games) has not only increased his numbers, they have helped put the Reds back in contention in the NL Central.

Charlie Blackmon, OF, Colorado Rockies

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2014 ★ 27 COL 91 373 341 52 101 17 1 14 50 16 21 46 .296 .343 .475 .818 162
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

Blackmon is an All-Star. He barely had a grasp on the starting left field job when spring training started, so that is about all that you need to know; however, I will share his home and road splits because I’m not so sure his value is legitimate unless you play him during long home stands –

Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
Home 46 42 199 180 37 61 10 1 11 34 10 13 22 .339 .394 .589 .983 106
Away 45 37 174 161 15 40 7 0 3 16 6 8 24 .248 .285 .348 .633 56
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

 

Cincinnati Reds 3B Todd Frazier
Cincinnati Reds 3B Todd Frazier

Todd Frazier, 3B, Cincinnati Reds

Year Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2014 ★ 28 CIN 92 390 353 55 102 17 1 17 48 13 31 79 .289 .351 .487 .839 172
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

Todd Frazier is the second most valuable third baseman in baseball in 2014 (based on WAR, 3.5), ahead of the likes of Evan Longoria, David Wright, and Adrian Beltre. He’s hitting for power, he’s running, and, the best part, nothing in his numbers truly suggest a regression. With the hot months ahead of us and Great American Ballpark being a notoriously friendly environment, we could easily see 30 home runs and 100 RBI next to his name at the end of the season.

Garrett Richards, RHP, Los Angeles Angels

Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO FIP WHIP H9
2014 26 LAA AL 11 2 2.55 19 0 0 123.1 88 35 35 4 43 127 2.68 1.062 6.4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming after Richards had one of the top fastball velocities in baseball in 2013. After all, if you consider that his average fastball was 94.8 mph in 2013, he would have ranked in the top four in baseball behind Matt Harvey, Stephen Strasburg, and Jose Fernandez. Good company. Better results.

Alfredo Simon, RHP, Cincinnati Reds

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO FIP WHIP H9
2014 33 CIN 12 3 2.70 18 0 0 116.2 94 36 35 14 28 75 4.32 1.046 7.3
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

Simon is leading MLB in the all important WIN. Ugh…the win…well, it still matters in fantasy. The FIP suggests he could see regression, but the bigger question is the number of innings he will log, as his career-high for innings was in 2011 when he reached 115.2 for Baltimore. He will likely spend some time in the Reds’ bullpen to limit those down the stretch, or a burnout is likely.

 

A's LHP Scott Kazmir
A’s LHP Scott Kazmir

Scott Kazmir, LHP, Oakland Athletics

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO FIP WHIP H9
2014 ★ 30 OAK 11 3 2.38 19 1 0 117.1 88 33 31 10 27 108 3.18 0.980 6.8
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

His career was nearly over in 2011 due to shoulder issues, he missed all of 2012 and then the solid return in Cleveland was special…but this is incredible. Kazmir deserves this success after overcoming so many obstacles, and the A’s look intelligent, as always, in their wise investment – as do fantasy owners.

Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Miami Marlins

Year Age Tm W L ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO FIP WHIP H9
2014 24 MIA 6 4 2.63 19 3 3 120.0 129 43 35 7 22 73 3.34 1.258 9.7
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2014.

Alvarez has a heavy fastball that he can’t blow by many, but it manages to keep the ball on the ground and in the park. That has helped him take a big step forward in his production on the mound this season. At 24, he is a strong dynasty option. He really knows how to pitch and his command will keep him relevant if and when he loses his velocity.

When Fantasy Baseball Goes Wrong

FernandezRemember when you gambled on Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez in your starting rotation earlier this spring? Well, congratulations to you and your number one seed in the fantasy baseball playoffs, and I hope you enjoyed your first round exit against the lowest seeded team in the playoffs.

It seems like every year that the top teams are taken out by the lower seeds, just like catching the yearly No.12 seed in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament taking out the No.5 seed. Even teams that were riding another near-Triple Crown season out of Miguel Cabrera are now probably thinking about who they are going to be keeping this winter after the Detroit Tigers’ slugger has battled an abdominal strain while missing 11 games since late July, costing his owners victories and a title.

Whether you play in a one-year league, a dynasty league, a points league, or a standard roto-league, you’ve probably been the recipient of the late season luck or the suffering owner of another 2011-Boston Red Sox-esque collapse for your fake team.

It truly isn’t an avoidable situation.

How were you supposed to know that Brewers shortstop Jean Segura was going to crash so hard that owning Ronny Cedeno may have been a better option? Seriously…the last 28 days:

Segura:

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB BAbip sOPS+
2013 Totals 145 619 584 74 173 20 10 12 49 44 12 25 83 .296 .331 .426 .757 249 .328 111
Last 28 days 22 94 88 7 21 2 1 0 5 7 5 5 11 .239 .280 .284 .564 25 .273 59
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/19/2013.

Cedeno:

Split G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB BAbip sOPS+
2013 Totals 84 269 247 24 64 8 3 3 21 4 4 13 68 .259 .300 .352 .653 87 .345 83
Last 28 days 22 82 75 10 26 2 1 2 9 1 3 6 15 .347 .395 .480 .875 36 .414 144
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/19/2013.

It doesn’t stop there, however.

Allen Craig‘s injuries have limited him to a .738 OPS in the second half when he has been on the field, while Brandon Belt (.922) and Brandon Moss (.989) have not only outproduced Craig, but they’ve bettered Chris Davis (.871), Prince Fielder (.840), and Joey Votto (.908) since the All-Star break.

PhillipsKhris Davis, the 25-year-old rookie outfielder for the Brewers who took the spot of Ryan Braun after his suspension, is just as likely to be carrying a team running towards a championship as Pirates’ superstar, and possible NL MVP, Andrew McCutchen. Will Venable has outproduced Jose Bautista, Kole Calhoun and Junior Lake have provided more punch than Jacoby Ellsbury and Alex Rios, and Billy Hamilton may be stealing a title right now while Brandon Phillips takes a face to the sphincter and a slump to the playoffs (a .421 OPS over the last two weeks).

It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Fantasy baseball is a long season, just like the real thing. One can never truly prepare for the out-of-nowhere injuries, but if you thought that Harvey, Fernandez, or any other innings-limit candidate pitchers were going to help you, Bill Engvall has a sign for you on his redneck comedy tour.

What can you do to overcome these situations next season?

Assume that the solid young arm won’t help you in September and sell him off early?

Puig2Any small sample size that seems unreasonable probably is, so don’t assume that Yasiel Puig is a better player than Mike Trout.

Rely on veterans who have been through 162-game seasons before, who may be less likely to break down after August.

Have enough depth to cope with injuries and slumps – don’t deal it for spare parts near the trade deadline to get you over the proverbial “hump”.

Know that no matter what you do…it’s probably wrong. Luck plays a huge role in the No.8 seed knocking off the No.1 seed, and even if it isn’t every season that the upset occurs, it is just as likely to happen than not. If your league doesn’t give point values to the No.1 seed as a “home-field advantage” concept, they start off with the same likelihood of winning in the first round as the team that just snuck in.

Fair or not, you’re probably screwed. Just move on to fantasy football and figure out that Dolphins’ running back Lamar Miller and Bengals’ running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis will probably be defeating your Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady-stacked lineup next weekend. You’re living a fantasy. Deal with it.

Fantasy Baseball S.O.S.

reyesIf you’re like me, you may as well give up right about now. Sure, we’re only in the third week of the Major League Baseball 2013 season, but injuries are destroying my fake hopes and dreams for my fake teams right now. I play in a dynasty league at Ultimate Fantasy Sports (ultimatefs.com, still teams available if you want a challenge), where you have a 25-man roster and 7 minor league spots. You can also have up to 10 players on your disabled list, which is nice for stashing players coming off of surgeries. Regardless, this is where I am right now for my two teams that matter the most to me:

Courtesy: Dayton Daily News
Courtesy: Dayton Daily News

Team One

Starting pitchers (start five): Jered Weaver, Johnny Cueto, Roy Halladay, C.J. Wilson, Ryan Dempster, Jeremy Hellickson, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Roberto Hernandez;

Relief pitcher (start one, make it a closer): Aroldis Chapman;

Catchers (start two, one of them is a backup): Carlos Santana and Wilson Ramos

Corner Infielders (start one 1B, one 3B, and one 1B/3B): Ike Davis, Pablo Sandoval, Lyle Overbay, Adam Dunn, Chris Johnson

Middle Infielders (start one 2B, one SS, and one 2B/SS): Brandon Phillips, Ben Zobrist, Yunel Escobar, Gordon Beckham

Outfielders (one LF, one CF, one RF, two backups): Jason Kubel, Dexter Fowler, Jose Bautista, Carl Crawford, Denard Span, Michael Saunders

Utility (start one as a DH and one backup DH), where I have Dunn at DH and Johnson as my backup DH right now.

With this club, Weaver could be out for two months, Cueto just left his start Saturday with tricep soreness, Ramos pulled his hamstring and will miss a couple of weeks, Beckham broke his hamate bone and is out for two months, Kubel is out with a strained left quadricep, and Saunders is out with a sprained right shoulder. Add in Halladay’s ineffectiveness, Bautista and Crawford coming back from serious injuries, and Jimenez and Hernandez being terrible options, and you have a looming disaster.

Moore1Team Two

Starting pitchers (start five): Jordan Zimmerman, Matt Moore, Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Tom Milone, Josh Beckett, Edinson Volquez, Jhoulys Chacin, and Matt Harrison;

Relief pitcher (start one, make it a closer): Jim Johnson;

Catchers (start two, one of them is a backup): J.P. Arencibia and Kurt Suzuki

Corner Infielders (start one 1B, one 3B, and one 1B/3B): Joey Votto, Manny Machado, Brandon Belt, and Lyle Overbay;

Middle Infielders (start one 2B, one SS, and one 2B/SS): Brandon Phillips, Asdrubal Cabrera, Yunel Escobar, and Mark Ellis;

Outfielders (one LF, one CF, one RF, two backups): Andy Dirks, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, Carlos Gomez, Franklin Gutierrez, Ryan Ludwick, and Avisail Garcia;

Utility (start one as a DH and one backup DH), where I have David Ortiz on the disabled list and Travis Hafner at backup, with Belt manning the starting DH spot right now.

Harrison is out with a back issue and the Ludwick injury was about as big for my team as it was to the Reds, as my LF options were so weak. I knew Ortiz and his heels would be an issue this season, while I hoped that Garcia would win a spot on the Tigers opening day roster after a solid showing late in 2012 before he had heel issues, as well. This is my first year with this team and I was focused on getting some solid young players. During the spring, Belt looked like a steal, and I feel like Machado could become a superstar. I gambled on Fowler in both leagues and it has paid off to this point, and I traded for Votto in this league because of the homer in me (Go Reds!).

Nah, nah, ne, boo, boo...what are you going to do?

Needless to say, injuries have been absolutely awful for a lot of fantasy baseball teams this season. While you can draft depth, it is nearly impossible to overcome significant injuries in any fantasy sport format. Dynasty leagues make those injuries hurt a bit longer because someone out there is the proud owner of Alex Rodriguez, rather than just waiting to draft him late in a one-year league draft; however, the list of injuries seems to be getting out of control right now. Look at the players on each team’s disabled list (as of Saturday, 4/13):

Arizona Diamondbacks: Jason Kubel, Didi Gregorius, Willie Bloomquist, Adam Eaton, Daniel Hudson;

Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman, Cristian Martinez, Jonny Venters, Brandon Beachy, Paul Janish, Brian McCann;

Baltimore Orioles: Brian Roberts, Wilson Betemit, Steve Johnson, Tsuyoshi Wada;

Boston Red Sox: John Lackey, Craig Breslow, Franklin Morales, David Ortiz, Ryan Kalish;

Chicago Cubs: Kyuji Fujikawa, Scott Baker, Darwin Barney, Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Garza, Ian Stewart;

Chicago White Sox: Gordon Beckham, John Danks, Leyson Septimo;

Cincinnati Reds: Sean Marshall, Ryan Ludwick, Nick Massett;

Cleveland Indians: Lou Marson, Scott Kazmir, Frank Herrmann, Blake Wood, Josh Tomlin;

Colorado Rockies: Edwar Cabrera;

Detroit Tigers: Avisail Garcia;

Houston Astros: Travis Blackley, Josh Fields, Alex White, Fernando Martinez;

Kansas City Royals: Danny Duffy, Felipe Paulino;

Los Angeles Angels: Kevin Jepsen, Erick Aybar, Jered Weaver, Ryan Madson, Andrew Taylor;

Los Angeles Dodgers: Zack Greinke, Ted Lilly, Scott Elbert, Hanley Ramirez;

Miami Marlins: Casey Kotchman, Jose Ceda, Logan Morrison, Alfredo Silverio, Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, Joe Mahoney, Jeff Mathis;

Milwaukee Brewers: Chris Narveson, Aramis Ramirez, Mark Rogers, Jeff Bianchi, Taylor Green, Corey Hart, Mat Gamel;

Minnesota Twins: Cole De Vries, Tim Wood;

New York Mets: Frank Francisco, Shaun Marcum, Jenrry Mejia, Johan Santana;

New York Yankees: Cesar Cabral, Curtis Granderson, Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Michael Pineda, Alex Rodriguez;

Oakland Athletics: Yoenis Cespedes, Scott Sizemore, Hiroyuki Nakajima, Adam Rosales, Fernando Rodriguez;

Philadelphia Phillies: Delmon Young;

Pittsburgh Pirates: Brandon Inge, Jeff Karstens, Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton, Chase d’Arnaud;

San Diego Padres: Casey Kelly, Cory Luebke, Logan Forsythe, James Darnell, Chase Headley, Joe Wieland;

San Francisco Giants: Tony Abreu, Brett Pill, Eric Surkamp;

Seattle Mariners: Michael Saunders, Josh Kinney;

St. Louis Cardinals: Rafael Furcal, Jason Motte, Chris Carpenter;

Tampa Bay Rays: Juan Carlos Oviedo, Jeff Niemann, Luke Scott;

Texas Rangers: Justin Miller, Matt Harrison, Neftali Feliz, Colby Lewis, Martin Perez, Joakim Soria;

Toronto Blue Jays: Jose Reyes, Dustin McGowan, Drew Hutchison, Brett Lawrie, Michale Schwimer, Kyle Drabek, Luis Perez;

Washington Nationals: Christian Garcia;

weaverThat would be 122 players currently on the disabled list, which is nearly five teams worth of shelved talent. Outside of all of the injured players, you have to add in the struggling players to the frustrations of current fantasy baseball owners. Matt Kemp, Allen Craig, Victor Martinez, Nick Swisher, Pedro Alvarez, Jason Kipnis, Ichiro Suzuki, Giancarlo Stanton, and how about all of those proud Mike Trout owners, not the start you were seeking, out of him or any of the others named, right?

I can’t remember a time where the early season leaders consisted of so few “normal” superstars. Chris Davis and John Buck…enjoy your moment in the sun.

It has truly been a strange start to the 2013 MLB season. Injuries and struggles have a lot to do with thatin the early going, and while it’s easy to wave the white flag, remember that there are only 151 games remaining this year. Suck it up and deal with it…like a Cubs fan does every year.

Top 250: 2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

While I’ve already posted a top 10 fantasy baseball player at each position piece, I figured with drafts getting underway, that a more thorough ranking would be valuable. Here are the top 250 players in fantasy baseball for the 2013 season. (5X5 leagues, All MLB)

  1. Ryan Braun, OF, Brewers
  2. Mike Trout, OF, Angels
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B, Tigers,
  4. Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers
  5. Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates
  6. Robinson Cano, 2B, Yankees
  7. Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Rockies
  8. Prince Fielder, 1B, Tigers
  9. Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
  10. Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels
  11. Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies
  12. Justin Verlander, SP, Tigers
  13. Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers
  14. Giancarlo Stanton, OF, Marlins
  15. Josh Hamilton, OF, Angels
  16. Justin Upton, OF, Braves
  17. Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
  18. David Price, SP, Rays
  19. Stephen Strasburg, SP, Nationals
  20. Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays
  21. Buster Posey, C, Giants
  22. David Wright, 3B, Mets
  23. Felix Hernandez, SP, Mariners
  24. Jose Bautista, OF, Blue Jays
  25. Hanley Ramirez, 3B/SS, Dodgers
  26. Jason Heyward, OF, Braves
  27. Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox
  28. Jay Bruce, OF, Reds
  29. Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers
  30. Cliff Lee, SP, Phillies
  31. Matt Cain, SP, Giants
  32. Jose Reyes, SS, Blue Jays
  33. Cole Hamels, SP, Phillies
  34. Starlin Castro, SS, Cubs
  35. Adam Jones, OF, Orioles
  36. Jered Weaver, SP, Angels
  37. Billy Butler, 1B, Royals
  38. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds
  39. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B, Blue Jays
  40. Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
  41. Gio Gonzalez, SP, Nationals
  42. Yoenis Cespedes, OF, Athletics
  43. B.J. Upton, OF, Braves
  44. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, Dodgers
  45. Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, Rays
  46. Craig Kimbrel, RP, Braves
  47. Matt Holliday, OF, Cardinals
  48. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Nationals
  49. Chase Headley, 3B, Padres
  50. Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals
  51. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox
  52. Yu Darvish, SP, Rangers
  53. Adam Wainwright, SP, Cardinals
  54. Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants
  55. Zack Greinke, SP, Dodgers
  56. Matt Wieters, C, Orioles
  57. Michael Bourn, OF, Indians
  58. R.A. Dickey, SP, Blue Jays
  59. Allen Craig, 1B/OF, Cardinals
  60. Joe Mauer, C, Twins
  61. Brett Lawrie, 3B, Blue Jays
  62. CC Sabathia, SP, Yankees
  63. Johnny Cueto, SP, Reds
  64. Mat Latos, SP, Reds
  65. Chris Sale, SP, White Sox
  66. Austin Jackson, OF, Tigers
  67. Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians
  68. Aaron Hill, 2B, Diamondbacks
  69. Ian Desmond, SS, Nationals
  70. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Diamondbacks
  71. Desmond Jennings, OF, Rays
  72. Jordan Zimmerman, SP, Nationals
  73. Carlos Santana, C, Indians
  74. Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies
  75. Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Brewers
  76. Alex Rios, OF, White Sox
  77. Pablo Sandoval, 3B, Giants
  78. Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies
  79. Shin-Soo Choo, OF, Reds
  80. Aroldis Chapman, SP/RP, Reds
  81. Mark Teixiera, 1B, Yankees
  82. Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Phillies
  83. Jason Motte, RP, Cardinals
  84. Alex Gordon, OF, Royals
  85. Kris Medlen, SP/RP, Braves
  86. Matt Moore, SP, Rays
  87. James Shields, SP, Royals
  88. Yovani Gallardo, SP, Brewers
  89. Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
  90. Curtis Granderson, OF, Yankees (mid-May return leaves some value)
  91. Max Scherzer, SP, Tigers
  92. Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
  93. Victor Martinez, C, Tigers
  94. Martin Prado, 3B/OF, Diamondbacks
  95. Ike Davis, 1B, Mets
  96. Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals
  97. Rafael Soriano, RP, Nationals
  98. Elvis Andrus, SS, Rangers
  99. Fernando Rodney, RP, Rays
  100. Brandon Morrow, SP, Blue Jays
  101. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS, Indians
  102. Melky Cabrera, OF, Blue Jays
  103. Mariano Rivera, RP, Yankees
  104. J.J. Putz, RP, Diamondbacks
  105. Doug Fister, SP, Tigers
  106. David Ortiz, DH, Red Sox
  107. Ian Kennedy, SP, Diamondbacks
  108. Jake Peavy, SP, White Sox
  109. Hunter Pence, OF, Giants
  110. Carlos Gomez, OF, Brewers
  111. Josh Willingham, OF, Twins
  112. Joe Nathan, RP, Rangers
  113. Joel Hanrahan, RP, Red Sox
  114. Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Angels
  115. Josh Johnson, SP, Blue Jays
  116. Hiroki Kuroda, SP, Yankees
  117. Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
  118. Angel Pagan, OF, Giants
  119. Tim Lincecum, SP, Giants
  120. Anibal Sanchez, SP, Tigers
  121. Dan Haren, SP, Nationals
  122. Jonathan Niese, SP, Mets
  123. Shane Victorino, OF, Red Sox
  124. Torii Hunter, OF, Tigers
  125. Erick Aybar, SS, Angels
  126. Neil Walker, 2B, Pirates
  127. John Axford, RP, Brewers
  128. Carl Crawford, OF, Dodgers
  129. Alejandro De Aza, OF, White Sox
  130. Carlos Beltran, OF, Cardinals
  131. David Freese, 3B, Cardinals
  132. Brett Anderson, SP, Athletics
  133. Jim Johnson, RP, Orioles
  134. Danny Espinosa, 2B/SS, Nationals
  135. Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees
  136. Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals
  137. Nelson Cruz, OF, Rangers
  138. Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox
  139. Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels
  140. Ben Revere, OF, Phillies
  141. Denard Span, OF, Nationals
  142. Jon Lester, SP, Red Sox
  143. Addison Reed, RP, White Sox
  144. Huston Street, RP, Padres
  145. Alcides Escobar, SS, Royals
  146. Sergio Romo, RP, Giants
  147. Jeff Samardzija, SP, Cubs
  148. Ryan Dempster, SP, Red Sox
  149. C.J. Wilson, SP, Angels
  150. Greg Holland, RP, Royals
  151. Ryan Howard, 1B, Phillies
  152. Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals
  153. Adam LaRoche, 1B, Nationals
  154. Jason Kubel, OF, Diamondbacks
  155. Rickie Weeks, 2B, Brewers
  156. Wade Miley, SP, Diamondbacks
  157. Andre Ethier, OF, Dodgers
  158. Mike Napoli, C/1B, Red Sox
  159. Chase Utley, 2B, Phillies
  160. Michael Morse, OF, Mariners
  161. Jarrod Parker, SP, Athletics
  162. Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Pirates
  163. J.J. Hardy, SS, Orioles
  164. Homer Bailey, SP, Reds
  165. Matt Harvey, SP, Mets
  166. Jeremy Hellickson, SP, Rays
  167. Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles
  168. Kyle Seager, 3B, Mariners
  169. Dexter Fowler, OF, Rockies
  170. Rafael Betancourt, RP, Rockies
  171. Tim Hudson, SP, Braves
  172. Dan Uggla, 2B, Braves
  173. Miguel Montero, C, Diamondbacks
  174. Josh Reddick, OF, Athletics
  175. Todd Frazier, 1B/3B, Reds
  176. Matt Harrison, SP, Rangers
  177. Jonathan Broxton, RP, Reds
  178. Chris Perez, RP, Indians
  179. Derek Holland, SP, Rangers
  180. Marco Scutaro, 2B/SS, Giants
  181. Wilin Rosario, C, Rockies
  182. Salvador Perez, C, Royals
  183. Derek Jeter, SS, Yankees
  184. Ryan Vogelsong, SP, Giants
  185. Chris Davis, 1B/OF, Orioles
  186. Grant Balfour, RP, Athletics
  187. Mike Minor, SP, Braves
  188. Alexei Ramirez, SS, White Sox
  189. Ichiro Suzuki, OF, Yankees
  190. Alexi Ogando, SP/RP, Rangers
  191. Nick Swisher, 1B/OF, Indians
  192. Tommy Milone, SP, Athletics
  193. Kendrys Morales, 1B/DH, Mariners
  194. Will Middlebrooks, 3B, Red Sox
  195. Colby Rasmus, OF, Blue Jays
  196. Adam Dunn, 1B/DH, White Sox
  197. Alfonso Soriano, OF, Cubs
  198. Phil Hughes, SP, Yankees
  199. Jaime Garcia, SP, Cardinals
  200. Andrelton Simmons, SS, Braves
  201. Jesus Montero, C, Mariners
  202. Jason Grilli, RP, Pirates
  203. Cameron Maybin, OF, Padres
  204. Corey Hart, 1B, Brewers
  205. Norichika Aoki, OF, Brewers
  206. Lance Berkman, 1B/DH, Rangers
  207. Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Yankees
  208. Dayan Viciedo, OF, White Sox
  209. Brandon McCarthy, SP, Diamondbacks
  210. Kenley Jansen, RP, Dodgers
  211. Brandon League, RP, Dodgers
  212. Bobby Parnell, RP, Mets
  213. Michael Cuddyer, 1B/OF, Rockies
  214. Michael Young, 1B/3B, Phillies
  215. A.J. Burnett, SP, Pirates
  216. Jurickson Profar, 2B, Rangers (he should get enough time to have value)
  217. Jayson Werth, OF, Nationals
  218. Trevor Cahill, SP, Diamondbacks
  219. Justin Masterson, SP, Indians
  220. Glen Perkins, RP, Twins
  221. Casey Janssen, RP, Blue Jays
  222. Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, Mariners
  223. Everth Cabrera, SS, Padres
  224. Trevor Plouffe, 3B, Twins
  225. Justin Morneau, 1B, Twins
  226. Tommy Hanson, SP, Angels
  227. James McDonald, SP, Pirates
  228. Josh Beckett, SP, Dodgers
  229. Marco Estrada, SP, Brewers
  230. Jason Vargas, SP, Angels
  231. Zack Cozart, SS, Reds
  232. Mark Reynolds, 1B, Indians
  233. Steve Cishek, RP, Marlins
  234. Daniel Murphy, 2B, Mets
  235. A.J. Pierzynski, C, Rangers
  236. Nick Markakis, OF, Orioles
  237. Garrett Jones, 1B/OF, Pirates
  238. Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP, Dodgers
  239. Wei-Yin Chen, SP, Orioles
  240. Omar Infante, 2B, Tigers
  241. David Murphy, OF, Rangers
  242. Kelly Johnson, 2B, Rays
  243. Dustin Ackley, 2B, Mariners
  244. Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals
  245. Carlos Marmol, RP, Cubs
  246. Kyuji Fujikawa, RP, Cubs
  247. Jon Jay, OF, Cardinals
  248. Brian McCann, C, Braves
  249. Wil Myers, OF, Rays
  250. Jean Segura, SS, Brewers