RankingsMay 30, 2012


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Top 50 Countdown: May 30, 2012 - 14 comments

By James Dee

Ever since Yahoo starting hosting fantasy baseball, I can remember fondly clicking through the fantasy articles, using them judiciously to craft my rankings and evaluate my teams and trades alike. Since the Cafe opened, I have used the information Yahoo provides very little, but one item I would always go back to was Brandon Funston’s Big Board. Every week, or whenever Funston felt like doing some work, he ranked the top 50 fantasy players, with little blurbs about each player and indicators of whether the player was moving up or down the list, and where they ranked the previous week. In 2012, Funston has not updated the Big Board since the pre-season, so it seemed only fitting that the Cafe take over this task as well.

For this week, there are four rankers, who all graciously submitted their Boards. SaltyDog, JFG, Ender, and NikkiSix all put some solid time and effort into crafting a top 50, and NikkiSix even commented on all 50 of his top 50. You’ll see that some of the blurbs on the final list are the same ones that Nikki used himself. To craft the list, I simply converted the four lists into one, taking into account my own top 50, and drew up the list to my liking. For the most part, the list follows the collaboration of the four lists; I simply tweaked it here and there where it seemed appropriate. Without further ado, the first Top 50 Countdown of the 2012 Fantasy Baseball season.

RankLast WeekPlayerPositionTeam
50n/aJosh ReddickOFOAK
Love it or hate it, Reddick is on the list. His spot is hardly guaranteed, but you have to tip your cap to the first two months of production.
49n/aCliff LeeSPPHI
Hard to gauge his value right now, but he hasn’t done enough to fall off the list, yet.
48n/aCraig KimbrelRPATL
Closers on top 50? Unheard of! But with the way things have gone for closers this season, you have to appreciate Kimbrel more than usual.
47n/aCC SabathiaSPNYY
Hard to place him among the pitchers on this list, but I think this is where he belongs. Easy wins keep him afloat even in tough times.
46n/aMelky CabreraOFSF
Melky’s starting to get people to believe. His power isn’t overwhelming, but he hits enough HRs with his SBs, runs and average to be an incredible value.
45n/aNelson CruzOFTEX
Cruz has struggled, but his eight-RBI performance reminded everyone how good he can be. This could wind up being his lowest rank of the entire year.
44n/aDavid PriceSPTB
Price is a stud who keeps getting better each year. He has settled into the top 10 pitchers, and could be there for 10 more years.
43n/aMark Teixeira1BNYY
Tex makes the list solely on the strength of previous seasons. I’m crossing my fingers he’s off this list next time.
42n/aAndre EthierOFLAD
It looks like his RBI total will be well over 100 this season, and he’s playing even better in May than he did in April. — NikkiSix
41n/aMatt CainSPSF
There is some debate as to who the best pitcher on the Giants is, but I’ll take Cain every time. Consistent across the board, Cain is a solid ace.
40n/aBrandon BeachySPATL
Not producing the strikeouts that most people expected, but he’s pitching like an ace every time he goes out there. — NikkiSix
39n/aZach GreinkeSPMIL
Greinke is infuriating to own, but he has as much talent as any pitcher in the game. At least you can always count on the Ks.
38n/aCarlos BeltranOFSTL
Is the resurgence real? Can he keep this pace up all year? Replacing Albert Pujols isn’t easy, but Beltran has exceeded every expectation. — NikkiSix
37n/aJay BruceOFCIN
Jay Bruce hits home runs. I like guys that hit home runs.
36n/aGio GonzalezSPWAS
My personal favorite, Gio is finally getting noticed now that he’s out of Oakland and into DC. Can you imagine the hype if he was a Yankee?
35n/aHunter PenceOFPHI
More HR and consistency everywhere else is the name of the game. His average can rebound a bit, and this guy is here to stay.
34n/aJose ReyesSSMIA
Many people aren’t huge fans of Reyes, myself included. He is going to have to pick it up across the board to stay in this spot, or on the list at all.
33n/aEdwin Encarnacion1B/3BTOR
Batting average is suffering in May, but the power is still coming, and E5 is finally going to have that career year we’ve all been waiting for. — NikkiSix
32n/aStephen StrasburgSPWAS
Strasburg was one of the toughest to place on the board with questions abound, but one thing not in question is his talent.
31n/aPaul Konerko1BCHW
Underrated? Not on the big board. Konerko tucks nicely into the 31st spot on the big board, safely in and more likely to move up than down.
30n/aStarlin CastroSSCHC
Castro is one of the best young players in the game. If he were on another team, he could be a top 20 player with potential for more.
29n/aFelix HernandezSPSEA
He’s had a recent rough patch but is still a true No. 1 starter for any fantasy team. — NikkiSix
28n/aAdrian Beltre3BTEX
Seems to miss a few games every year due to injury, but when he’s in, he’s a stud. — NikkiSix
27n/aDustin Pedroia2BBOS
A consistent middle infielder who offers something in every category and is on one of the best offenses in baseball. — NikkiSix
26n/aMichael BournOFATL
Bourn has hit five HRs now this season, more than doubling his career total. Add in his elite SB numbers and you have a top fantasy performer.
25n/aAdam JonesOFBAL
Adam Jones starts this list at No. 25, but the sky is the limit for this young man. Watch him climb this list as the season moves along.
24n/aJered WeaverSPLAA
Starting to settle in to an annual top-five pitcher, his division and offense should help keep him swimming in wins and good numbers if healthy.
23n/aMatt HollidayOFSTL
Got off to a slow start but is proving his worth over the last month. Always a top 10 outfielder when healthy. — NikkiSix
22n/aCole HamelsSPPHI
K/9 and wins are as high as ever to add to the stellar ERA/WHIP. — NikkiSix
21n/aAdrian Gonzalez1BBOS
Steady performer in a bit of a down year. He should end up with nice numbers, but he is a little below the elite now.
20n/aPrince Fielder1BDET
Sometimes switching leagues takes a bit to get used to. (Pujols anyone?) Prince will get there.
19n/aGiancarlo StantonOFMIA
Stanton does what he does, and no one ranked him too far from 20th. He’s a rock.
18n/aAndrew McCutchenOFPIT
Pittsburgh keeps his fame in check, but no one can hold down his 5×5 production; the guy gets it done.
17n/aDavid Wright3BNYM
Some ranked him high, some quite a bit lower, but the fact remains he is a great hitter that has been producing for years.
16n/aIan Kinsler2BTEX
Leadoff man on the best offense in baseball. He should lead the league in runs and go 20/30. — NikkiSix
15n/aJustin UptonOFARI
One ranker didn’t believe in J-Up, but I doubt he falls below this rank the rest of the season; he’s too good.
14n/aCurtis GrandersonOFNYY
Could have been much higher but got buried in one ranking. Reliable for HR/R/RBI, but Avg and lack of SB keep him in check
13n/aClayton KershawSPLAD
Only below the next two hitters because top pitchers are plentiful this year.
12n/aRobinson Cano2BNYY
Just below Hanley, another elite hitter with a slow start that has found his stroke recently.
11n/aHanley RamirezSS,3BMIA
Hanley/Cano/Kershaw all ranked nearly identical, Hanley gets the nod with his proven track record.
10n/aJose Bautista3B,OFTOR
Started off miserably slow, but with E5 mashing behind him, Bautista is seeing more good pitches and hitting them out of the park.
9n/aTroy TulowitzkiSSCOL
Tulo is starting to hit a bit more now, and once that second half rolls around, he is an elite performer.
8n/aJustin VerlanderSPDET
Picking up where he left off last year proving he’s the best pitcher in baseball. — NikkiSix
7n/aJoey Votto1BCIN
Basically Braun-lite, Votto just keeps producing his top notch numbers each season.
6n/aAlbert Pujols1BLAA
Probably the most difficult guy to rank, because he could be back to No. 1 within a week if he continues his hot streak.
5n/aCarlos GonzalezOFCOL
Incredible 5×5 production and half his games at Coors Field earn him a spot ahead of King Albert.
4n/aJosh HamiltonOFTEX
Hottest hitter in the majors this year, and couldn’t ask for a better situation. — NikkiSix
3n/aMiguel Cabrera1B,3BDET
As reliable as they come, and is right on track to put out another stellar season. — NikkiSix
2n/aMatt KempOFLAD
Could easily move back to No. 1 once he returns from the DL. Only the injury kept him from being No. 1 now.
1n/aRyan BraunOFMIL
Gets the nod at No. 1 based on consistency and reliable five-category production.

Here are the next guys up for spot on the Countdown in two weeks:

David Ortiz, B.J. Upton, Dan Haren, Rafael Furcal, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Santana, Tim Lincecum, Ben Zobrist, Adam Dunn, Brandon Phillips, Shane Victorino, Elvis Andrus, Dan Uggla, Matt Wieters, Madison Bumgarner, Jake Peavy and Mike Napoli.

Before you have a heart attack, we didn’t forget these guys; we’re just waiting out their injuries or ailments:

Roy Halladay, Evan Longoria, Jacoby Ellsbury, Pablo Sandoval.

Thanks again to those who ranked, and especially NikkiSix for all the comments. I’ll probably be doing this every 10 to 14 days, so players will have enough time to warrant moving around. Next time it would be great to have more rankers, so don’t be shy!

I can’t forget about SaltyDog, who is basically doing a lot of the math for this article while being an ideas guy for me to bounce things off. His contribution is invaluable, and I couldn’t have done this without him.

 
James is a 23-year-old accountant who spends most weekdays from 4-10 watching/tracking baseball and trolling the Cafe. He is also a golfer who is struggling to cope with the 110 degree heat in Las Vegas. If you ever come out here and want to hit the links or play some poker just let him know, and he is always game for a little side action. You can find James posting on the cafe as rjforlife.
 
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14 Responses to “Top 50 Countdown: May 30, 2012”

  1. User avatar Mookie4ever says:

    Very nice but I notice no love for catchers. No Yadier or Ruiz?

    ReplyReply
  2. User avatar rjforlife says:

    Not even a single vote for any catcher except Napoli got one, if he even counts as a catcher. These guys must play in single catcher leagues.

    ReplyReply
  3. Ender says:

    Even in a 2 C league they are a suckers play in the first 3 rounds, just too many injuries and too inconsistent. In a 14 team league that means I would pretty much never rate one in the top 42. I think I put Napoli on my list in the high 40s just because he plays in Texas and it is heating up.

    ReplyReply
  4. User avatar Saltydog says:

    Google Doc for the rankings can be found here:

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ajd86xZPnhxJdGFGZm5JUHhJVXVTQjN6eTVVOVpPSlE

    ReplyReply
  5. User avatar J35J says:

    I don’t have the hot hands Reddick, Melky or Edwin in my top 50. There are a few other guys in here that I don’t have either…I only have like 4-5 SP in my top 50 and no RP so I have some other guys in their spots instead. Nice job though!

    ReplyReply
  6. User avatar rjforlife says:

    J- We are gonna do another in about 2 weeks, so I’d love to have your list for that one to create even more contrast between the lists.

    ReplyReply
  7. User avatar jfg says:

    There was more than one catcher vote, I gave Santana and Wieters a spot and Mauer and Posey received a vote as well. Everybody seems to have a different opinion on who the elite catcher is from here on out since no catcher has been great as of yet except for Wieters hot start.

    ReplyReply
  8. thatguy27 says:

    How can Kimbrel make it but not Chapman? Chapman is a man among boys, the most dominant pitcher in the majors right now.

    ReplyReply
  9. User avatar Saltydog says:

    Kimbrel has about 3 years of reliability, Chapman’s had a dominant two months.

    If he continues the trend he may climb up the ranks.

    Check out the google doc and you can see if any other closers were even considered.

    ReplyReply
  10. User avatar NikkiSixx says:

    I would absolutely put a catcher in the top 50 if I thought any were fitting of that spot right now. I almost put Ruiz on my list but I can’t say he is a guy I would go out and acquire right now, I don’t trust him for the future just yet. Wieters wou have definitely made the list if it wasn’t for his recent slump.

    I have a few closers on the bubble, but none made my top 50 just yet. That doesn’t mean I won’t have one up on my next list. Now that Chapman had the closer role to himself he just has to continue pitching the way he’s been and he will rise on my board in no time. I had a lot of fun making my list :)

    I was the one who had Granderson lower on my board. I love the home runs, but of he isn’t stealing bases that drops his value a considerable amount for me. If he starts running more, he will be back in the top 25 in no time.

    ReplyReply
  11. User avatar Thursday says:

    Thank goodness that this is back. However, it should go 1-50 as opposed to 50-1. Hard to read 50-1 for me for some reason.

    ReplyReply
  12. thatguy27 says:

    I actually like the 50-1 setup. But if it bothers you, why not just start at the bottom and work your way up?

    ReplyReply
  13. User avatar daullaz says:

    I like it, too. I kind of want to record it as a podcast and treat it like Casey Kasem’s countdown each week.

    ReplyReply
  14. User avatar ayebatter says:

    Nice job !!

    I personally don’t care if it reads top to bottom or bottom to top, but could you make it so it reads right to left for our Chinese overlords.

    ReplyReply

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