We have officially passed the month mark into the 2016 Fantasy Baseball season and for me, now is the time to really look at players performance and take it into account for the Rest of Season Fantasy Baseball Top 250 Rankings.
Quite a few surprises have occurred, both good and bad, in this first month. Examples of both are Trevor Story (good), Dallas Kuechel (bad)
If you have been following my rankings through the first month you know that I have not made many adjustments from my preseason rankings. Aside from the injuries, suspensions and depth chart changes, I always feel like there is little reason to significantly move players up or down the rankings based off a small sample size.
Think about it. Almost every player goes through a slump or a hot stretch during the season. Why would I over-react to it just because it happened in the first couple of weeks in April.
However now that we have a full month under our belt, things have changed quite a bit in my rankings. Even if it is just a slump, it has been prolonged enough that it is worrisome. On the other side if it is just a hot streak, it has been long enough that it has my attention.
Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles
The biggest mover up the ranks for hitters is Mark Trumbo. To start the season I was a bit reluctant to believe in him after two straight sub-par seasons when he played in Arizona and Seattle.
Now Trumbo is proving me and a lot of people wrong as he has gotten off to a hot start batting .337 with six home runs, 19 RBI and 13 runs. Of course the batting average is not going to stay this high, but there is no reason the power can not. I think a 35 home run and 100 RBI in the confines of Camden Yards is very possible for him.
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B/OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
I quickly jumped off the Harrison boat after last season he sputtered to a four home run, 28 RBI and 10 steal season.
This season he is off to a great start and looks way more like the 2014 Josh Harrison when he hit .315, 13 home runs, 77 runs, 52 RBI and 18 steals, than he does the 2015 Josh Harrison.
Perhaps the power is not going to return as he only has one home run on the season, but the rest of the counting numbers can easily be matched. I like Harrison the rest of the way at this point and his position eligibility makes him even more valuable.
Drew Smyly, SP, Tampa Bay Rays
Smyly has been a one of the best pitchers this season, if you ignore win-loss records.
His 10.64 K/9 rate is phenomenal, and the 41 strikeouts puts him tied for fifth this season, behind Kershaw, Price, Bumgarner and Syndergaard. That is pretty good company.
There may be some slight regression coming in the ERA and WHIP departments, but his strikeout rate is going to keep him plenty valuable all season.
Rich Hill, SP, Oakland Athletics
At the ripe age of 36, Rich Hill is looking like the best Rich Hill we have ever seen. He has a ridiculous 11.53 K/9 rate, and even though he has always been a bit of a strikeout pitcher, but nobody expected this. In fact he is the player tied with Smyly for fifth in strikeouts.
His FIP and xFIP backup his 2.42 ERA, so there is not much reason to think he can’t continue dominating like he is this early season.
Biggest worry for him is health. He has not pitched more than 50 major league innings when he did it in 2009 for the Baltimore Orioles.
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
I did not drop him too much, but Cutch is off to a very sluggish start. Yes he has five home runs, but three of those came just a few nights ago in Colorado. If you remove that game from his season so far he has hit .206, two home runs, five RBI and scored 14 runs. He doesn’t really run anymore, so that is only hurting his value even more.
I wasn’t going to drop him in my rankings, because he got off to a an even worse start last season, but he did mention that his knee is “cranky”. The Pirates and Cutch say it isn’t anything to worry about. However that mixed with a slow start have me inching toward the alarm button.
Kevin Pillar, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
I loved, loved, loved Pillar entering the season. I legitimately thought he had the best chance be this seasons version of A.J. Pollock, OK, maybe A.J. Pollock light.
That of course was when he was sitting atop the powerful Blue Jays lineup. Now after a poor start he has been moved down the lineup and that is not good for his fantasy value moving forward.
Not only will he be running less, only two steals so far on the season, but he will see less at bats, which will hurt the rest of his counting numbers.
I still like his potential, but he needs to find his way back to the top of the lineup to climb back up the rankings, which will likely take an injury to Michael Saunders to happen.
Kendrys Morales, DH, Kansas City Royals
Kendrys Morales, what happened to you? You have always been consistently good, with the exception of the 2014 and 2010 when you played just 148 games combined.
So where did this .226, two home run, eight RBI and six run start come from? I do not know, but he has plummeted down my rankings and will need to do some big things to find his way back up where he was.
Zack Greinke, SP, Arizona Diamondbacks
I knew the move to Arizona wasn’t going to be great for Greinke, but I did not expect it to be this bad.
A 5.50 ERA is surprising enough, but the 1.46 WHIP and declining strikeout rate is probably the most surprising and worrisome.
I still believe Greinke will have a very successful season, but it won’t be quite as successful as everybody expected. This is why he moves down my rankings to the 50th best player overall.
Fantasy Baseball Top 250 Rankings
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