Notable Higher Ranked Players
Mookie Betts: My Rank- 20 ECR- 34
I could have addressed Mookie Betts’ rankings disparity with the second basemen, but I’ll do so here instead. I am completely enamored with Betts. He embarrassed minor league pitching at the Double-A and Triple-A level before making a nearly seamless transition to the majors. His patience at the dish is that of a veteran well beyond Betts’ years, and it comes with a still low-ish strikeout rate of 14.6%. An average north of .300 is probable. Runs will eventually come by the boatload when he claims the leadoff spot, and a dozen homers and 25-to-30 steals are also in the offing. Let others worry about the helium sending him up draft boards while you snatch him up.
Travis Snider: My Rank- 65 ECR- 86
It took a while, but it looks like Travis Snider might be ready to live up to the hype. In 188 plate appearances in the second half last year Snider hit .288 with 9 homers. And for the season his average fly ball and home distance (30.168 feet) was the ninth highest in the majors, according to Baseball Heat Maps. He moves from a ballpark in Pittsburgh that suppresses homers to lefties by 16% to one in Baltimore that amplifies them by 28%. That’s a silly 44% swing in homer ballpark factor. Be bullish on Snider and buy stock in him.
Notable Lower Ranked Players
Mark Trumbo: My Rank- 47 ECR- 33
Mark Trumbo’s calling card is his power, but his batting average is scary. He’s a career .247 hitter who has hit .234 and .235 over the last two years. My biggest knock on Trumbo is his modest or worse production against right-handed pitchers. The statistic wRC+ measures offense in one nice statistic developed by FanGraphs, and while it’s not a fantasy stat in standard leagues, it will illustrate my point. A 100 wRC+ is an exactly average offensive player and every point above or below 100 is one percentage point above or below average. Trumbo posted an 83 wRC+ against right-handed pitchers last year, a 90 wRC+ in 2013 and has a 102 wRC+ against them in his career. It’s also worth noting he’s a prime candidate for getting pulled late in games as a first baseman who’s miscast as an outfielder.
Ben Revere: My Rank- 52 ECR- 37
It’s possible I harbor an anti-speed bias which is impacting Ben Revere’s rank, but my ranking of other speedy players makes me believe that’s not the case. There are two statistics games are drafting Revere for, stolen bases and batting average. A nagging leg injury here or there would be death to Revere’s fantasy value, even if it doesn’t keep him out of the lineup. It’s also concerning that he’s on a Phillies team that should be selling everything that’s not bolted down in their attempts to rebuild. It’s possible a team acquiring Revere could view him as a reserve outfielder, but it’s also possible he could be dealt to a team that won’t allow him to run as often as he has in Philadelphia. All of these considerations factored in my decision to drop him out of the top 50.