FanPost

Top 60 for Fantasy Baseball - AL Only

I really only follow the AL closely and that's why I'm doing this one. For a Fantasy list, I weigh a few things more heavily than other lists:

1. Major league readiness and likelihood of immediate impact

2. Contribution in fantasy-relevant categories (no defense)

3. High-level upside (e.g. an Aaron Sanchez type will be rated than Jake Odorizzi type)

4. Preference for position players over pitchers, and wariness of pitchers in general.

Without further ado, here we go:

1. Byron Buxton - Mike-Trout like upside makes him too hard to pass up

2. Xander Bogaerts - even with future position questions, combination of power and bat bodes well

3. Miguel Sano - Wouldn't be surprised to see initial struggle, but 40 HR pop is 40 HR pop.

4. Carlos Correa - Still far away, but could be a superstar shortstop offensively.

5. Addison Russell - Don't think he's too far away, and the bat should make him a top-tier SS in little time.

6. Taijuan Walker - Looks like he could be a true ace or strong #2, with good likelihood of reaching it.

7. George Springer - Still flawed as a hitter, but I like the Mike Cameron comp, and that still has value. And he could surprise and still be better than that.

8. Dylan Bundy - The ace upside is hard to pass up, but still some hurdles to cross before I can rank him higher.

9. Kevin Gausman - He's healthier, yeah, but I still see him as more of a borderline-ace or strong #2 type than a true ace like Bundy can be.

10. Kyle Zimmer - I'm going with the experts on this one… the shoulder stiffness is a concern but it seems many believe in some ace level upside here.

11. Gary Sanchez - I think his rankings have suffered in part due to SNTS… I've even seen Alfaro ranked higher, which I think is ridiculous considering their K/BB. Still think Sanchez will be a top-10 catcher in a few years and isn't done improving his game.

12. Clint Frazier - Seems like a promising power bat, maybe has Jay Bruce upside if everything pans out, which is plenty valuable. Still a good amount of risk though.

13. Mark Appel - Still some questions, but I think he has a strong enough combo of stuff, makeup and major league readiness to be a top-of-the-line arm.

14. Alex Meyer - I'm buying the hype on him. If he can stay healthy, I think he can be every bit as good as Appel if not better.

15. Francisco Lindor - Obviously a better real-life prospect than for fantasy, but he does have speed and there may yet be 5-10 homer power in that bat yet… he's still really young and Goldstein believed in his power upside. But even as an Elvis Andrus - type, that's nothing to scoff at in fantasy.

16. Yordano Ventura - I'm still a bit of a Ventura skeptic, despite his awesome stuff. I think he does possess ace upside but the command issues could limit his durability and immediate impact compared to Appel.

17. Nick Castellanos - I don't think he'll quite live up to his loftier batting average and power projections, but he can still be an average to above average guy. Has a high floor, but he doesn't excite me much.

18. Mookie Betts - Surprised to see him as just an honorable mention on John's list. It's rare to see a young prospect with such a combination on power, speed, bat, and on-base skills.

19. Rougned Odor - A year and a half younger than Betts and at a higher level, but I think his speed will tail off at higher levels and lacks the on-base skills. But his profile at this point is similar to a young Robbie Cano, so there's still plenty of promise here.

20. Jonathan Singleton - I think the likelihood he reaches his upside is waning, but there are few true power bats in the minors right now and he's still close enough to get a chance soon.

21. Garin Cecchini - His plate discipline bodes well for his future, and I think overall will hit for a better AVG than Castellanos but the power remains the question mark. I still believe more pop will arrive. But if it doesn't, he might be one of those better-in-real-life players.

22. Marcus Stroman - I think the height and suspension issues both get overplayed, and I still see him as a top-notch arm and think he'll be the type of pitcher who has immediate success.

23. Mike Foltynewicz - The promise is great, but I'd like to see the improvements last into this year before getting TOO excited. Could be a great strikeout guy though… maybe a Shark 2.0.

24. Aaron Sanchez - At this point the real valuable hitters are off the board so it's better to gamble on a high upside arm. He clearly has the awesome stuff, and if it ever clicks he can be an ace or a #2.

25. Jackie Bradley Jr. - Should be all-around pretty good, with some pop, some average, and good speed. But his calling card, his defense, won't do you much good, and especially if you're not in a league with differentiated OF spots (e.g. LF, CF, RF) his likely production is rather replaceable.

26. James Paxton - Unsure which James Paxton is the real one, the guy we saw at the end of last year or the one we saw for most of last year. Probably somewhere in between… May be a #3 starter but I still think he can be a #2 if things shake out right, in a good ballpark for his skill set.

27. Jorge Alfaro - He has power (and the park for it). He has speed (for a catcher). He has youth. And he has the arm to stick at the position. His fantasy upside is considerable but I consider his K rate (122 Ks in 404 ABs) a considerable red flag that some people are overlooking. Still has time to improve it, though.

28. Lance McCullers, Jr. - Definitely has high-level upside, but has some command issues, is still pretty far away and some say he profiles better for the bullpen. We will see, I suppose.

29. Kohl Stewart - Seems very far away as a high-school arm, but he could always pull a Dylan Bundy and rocket through the system. His upside probably isn't THAT high, but Minnesota's also a great pitcher's park, so he may be one of those guys well worth the wait.

30. Josmil Pinto - Admittedly, he has a good amount of helium right now due to his high-BABIP majors stint, but I still think he'll overtake the job at catcher and be at least league average offensively with good average decent pop for the position.

31. Michael Choice - I still believe in his raw power, but losing faith in his ability to translate it to in-game power at higher levels. Still, looks like he'll have an opportunity in Texas, which is much more favorable than Oakland in seeing him blossom. Could just platoon this year but could win a job if he blossoms.

32. Marcus Semien - Not a favorite of the scouts, but it's hard to argue with the stats from last season (although his K/BB in his small majors stint puts a damper on it). If he can stick at Shortstop, his combination of average and speed could make him quite valuable, and I think he'll find ABs somehow in 2014.

33. Raul Adalberto Mondesi - A long-term upside gamble in fantasy, but few have true star upside here and Raul does have it. Major league timetable depends on production, but future is promising.

34. Matt Davidson - I've heard Mark Reynolds comps thrown around, but I think that overrates his power and speed and underrates his K rate which shouldn't be THAT bad. Could be like Dominguez offensively with more Ks but better OBP, but still some potential for better than that.

35. Eddie Rosario - Would have rated higher if not for the suspension. His power/avg combo is still intriguing from the 2B position, though the upside seemed higher a year or two ago. But he'll arrive in the majors soon, though Dozier is a bigger obstacle now than he was at this time last year.

36. Henry Owens - I still see him as more of a mid-rotation arm, which wouldn't be all that exciting, but there are some who see his upside as higher than that, and his stock is rising fast.

37. Jonathan Schoop - I still will always call him "Shoop" even if he asks me to stop. He will probably overtake the 2B job sometime this year, and should have good pop for the position even if his contributions are more limited elsewhere.

38. D.J. Peterson - Probably qualifies as one of those "better in fantasy players" as there are questions about his defense. But I think he'll fast track to the majors and have good pop. Hope he keeps the K rate down though.

38. Mason Williams - Last year was an unmitigated disaster, but I still think people are overcorrecting after the lost year. He may have some maturity issues but he's no Elijah Dukes. His offensive upside is still similar to Jackie Bradley (worse defense though) and I think it's too soon to write him off, though I'll monitor closely.

39. Anthony Ranaudo - I'd rather take an upside arm with health issues at this point than a guy without that upside. I still don't know even if healthy if he really has more than #3 upside, but he may, and that still has value here.

40. Max Stassi - Was looking at his big moment to shine before fate took the form of a ball that hit him in the face. He's lost his prospect luster, but he's still on the cusp of MLB playing time and would have good pop behind the dish. I think the Stros might look at dealing Castro which would give him the starting role.

41. Hunter Dozier - This may be too low, since I like a lot of things about him, mostly his plate discipline, but he was playing rather old for his level (not his fault though). Could be a good all-around hitter and move up lists next year.

42. Allen Webster - In his favor is that he's close to the majors, and has high upside due to his knockout stuff. But I really don't trust his control… it was terribad in small sample, but even in the minors it's never been good. He's running out of time before he becomes another Daniel Cabrera, so I hope it happens this year.

43. Taylor Guerrieri - Would have rated much higher pre-injury, though I haven't been as bullish on him as some others. But if he comes back healthy, he has more upside than other pitchers around here on the list.

44. Miguel Almonte - Perhaps I'm rating him too low here… he's far away but has been shooting up the ranks fast after his dominant end of season. But even so, I don't see ace upside here or anything.

45. Michael Ohlman - Bad at defense, but projection systems and scouts agree he has a good bat, and he can have sneaky value in leagues that give him catcher eligibility. Only question is when he'll break through, or if he'll get stuck in Ryan Lavarnwayville.

46. Trevor Bauer - Funny that he's so close, yet at the same time it seems like he's so far away. I still hope he can keep his head on straight and figure it out, because I think the talent is there to be a #2 starter still. But I just don't know if it'll happen.

47. Greg Bird - I think he's the Rodney Dangerfield of prospects… he gets no respect! He deserves more though for what he did in his first full season. Especially as a patient lefty slugger in the Yankees park, he could shine if he gets the chance once he gets some experience and current Yankees go to IHOP for their senior specials.

48. Hak-Ju Lee - If and when he's healthy, his high-speed and average combo makes him a potentially valuable SS even if his pop is limited. Want to see how health effects his once-elite speed though.

49. Joey Gallo - Do you feel lucky, punk? It's probably clear I'm not a believer, even a casual fan can tell you his swing is noisier than a frat house party. Dat power upside tho. This one's for the dreamers.

50. Bubba Starling - He still has star-level tools, and he's still young enough that I wouldn't yet label him as a bust. You're gambling on upside here, after all. He still lowered his K rate and shows enough glimpses for hope for unrepentant optimists.

51. Blake Swihart - Left off John's list entirely, but I still think there's some potential upside here. I think the power is better than he showed last year… but probably tops out at 10 HR upside. Still he's a catcher and has some AVG and speed so he could be serviceable. But some overrate him. Maybe I am overrating him, too.

52. Aaron Hicks - His time's running out, but his botched stint in the majors had a luck factor as well, and still showed power and speed. Might need a change of scenery to get his chance though.

53. Delino DeShields - Speed is his real calling card, and it would have looked nicer at 2B than OF. Still, a Michael Bourn lite has value if you need stolen bases in the worst way.

54. Max Muncy - Showed some real power and contact early on and tailed off later on. But I still like his skill set despite relative lack of prospect pedigree. Could become a quad-A guy though.

55. Erik Johnson - I really think he's probably a #3 and not a #2, but hey, he has a job, and his floor/upside is still higher than a guy like Odorizzi. Even with the bad ballpark, this may be too low.

56. Jose Berrios - Upside is kinda-sorta high, still rather far away, good park for pitchers on a patient team though.

57. Hunter Harvey - Has a pretty high ceiling, but still has a lot to prove. Not a great pitcher's park.

58. Courtney Hawkins - Betting on tools and a big turnaround here, since obviously last year was embarrassing but he was aggressively pushed.

59. Mitch Nay - Sure, I'll take a high-upside yet far away bat this late on the list. Could move faster than other rookie ball guys at least. I prefer a power/average bat to a toolsy infielder in fantasy, and they're a rarer commodity.

60. Taylor Lindsey - Could have some value as a power-first second baseman, though his overall profile doesn't excite me all that much. But the floor at least seems pretty high.

Honorable mentions

Franklin Barreto

Domingo Santana

Daniel Norris

Rafael DePaula

Tyler Naquin

Matt Barnes

Edward Jagielo

C.J. Cron

Sean Manaea

Eduardo Rodriguez

Jake Odorizzi

Slade Heathcott

Nick Williams

Danny Hultzen

Billy Burns

I kind of did this off the top of my head, so it's quite possible that I forgot to include some guys I like. There's definitely a good balance of upside and major-league ready talent here, and I think the pool of prospects is thinner at the top after the first 5 or so names are off the board, but it's very deep thereafter.

This is my first time doing one of these in a few years, so let me know your thoughts!

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