Top 300 head-to-head rankings: 51-100

There was a saying in my household growing up that if you make your bed hard then you are the one that’s going to have to lie in it. Saturday, I completed my first expert draft of the year, and the results weren’t pretty.

First of all, the league consisted of bloggers and writers from several reputable sites like Fantasy Pros 911, Fantasy Baseball Sherpas, Fantasy 411 and more. It was an NL-Only, roto, auction draft—the classic “expert” settings.

During this draft, I found myself getting way too cheap and forced to confront the ever-present danger of inflation late in the draft. My pitching is good, but I left myself without a closer, an elite bat and speed. Here is my roster:

C B.Posey
1B C. Pena
2B N. Walker
3B C. Jones
SS I. Desmond
MI D. Espinosa
CI J. Lopez
OF A. Ethier
OF A. Soriano
OF W. Venable
OF C. Ross
DH M. Morse
B Y. Alonso
B B. Belt
B W. Ramos
B A. Craig

P R. Halladay
P D. Hudson
P Y. Gallardo
P J. Chacin
P J. Zimmermann
P J. Jurrjens
P A. Chapman
P H. Bailey
P Y. Maya

I had trouble following my own advice: always spend to get the players you like. Rankings are important, but you must always be true to your strategies. Understanding the player pool is one thing, but as I learned this weekend, you must be a risk taker and push your drafting agenda on others, not the other way around. Finding the way to combine these rankings with your league settings and your own personal flair is the way to fantasy stardom.

Furthermore, here’s the 51-100 Head-to-Head rankings:

51. Ian Kinsler 	95	22	71	26	0.280					
52. David Price							17	190	0	3.02	1.19
53. Clayton Kershaw						13	204	0	2.94	1.21
54. Justin Verlander						16	220	0	3.41	1.24
55. Ichiro Suzuki	82	8	45	37	0.321					
56. Jimmy Rollins	88	16	68	30	0.270					
57. CC Sabathia							18	200	0	3.26	1.21
58. Carlos Santana	75	24	78	9	0.280					
59. Alex Rios		80	20	80	25	0.277					
60. Ubaldo Jimenez						17	198	0	3.50	1.26
61. B.J. Upton		81	25	71	27	0.269					
62. Francisco Liriano						16	195	0	2.85	1.16
63. Max Scherzer						15	201	0	3.23	1.20
64. Yovani Gallardo						19	211	0	3.59	1.27
65. Brandon Phillips	82	20	79	20	0.279					
66. Adrian Beltre	78	23	82	6	0.286					
67. Mike Stanton	75	34	84	9	0.267					
68. Stephen Drew	77	23	80	10	0.281		
69. Mat Latos							12	193	0	3.02	1.24			
70. Alexei Ramirez	82	18	70	21	0.280					
71. Hunter Pence	76	27	76	22	0.281	
72. Jered Weaver						14	210	0	3.10	1.25
73. Matt Cain							14	178	0	3.21	1.23			
74. Pedro Alvarez	69	30	75	3	0.262				
75. Rickie Weeks	90	24	64	12	0.270					
76. Delmon Young	77	20	86	6	0.291					
77. Paul Konerko	73	32	83	2	0.279					
78. Mark Reynolds	71	31	81	10	0.254					
79. Derek Jeter		95	16	60	14	0.289					
80. Colby Rasmus	87	21	66	15	0.275					
81. Curtis Granderson	84	26	65	18	0.267	
82. Dan Haren							15	215	0	3.61	1.29
83. Cole Hamels							13	195	0	3.36	1.29			
84. Rafael Furcal	80	9	59	29	0.296					
86. Wandy Rodriguez						13	194	0	3.47	1.22
87. Michael Young	85	19	88	7	0.285					
88. Nick Markakis	90	19	85	8	0.297					
89. Vladimir Guerrero	83	24	91	4	0.275					
90. Corey Hart		82	25	87	8	0.272					
91. Chris B. Young	85	27	85	5	0.259					
92. Aramis Ramirez	69	25	85	1	0.274					
93. Shane Victorino	94	11	64	32	0.280					
94. Carlos Pena		72	38	100	3	0.240					
95. Chris Carpenter						14	169	0	3.08	1.18
96. Joakim Soria						4	78	42	2.10	1.05
97. Ben Zobrist		79	13	80	20	0.264					
98. Adam Jones		80	19	70	13	0.287					
99. Carlos Marmol						6	104	40	2.54	1.27
100. Dan Hudson							14	189	0	2.98	1.17

Points of Interest (Discord):

Ian Kinsler: My apologies to Kinsler. When I made this list I hadn’t given him the credit he deserves. Brought to my attention in last week’s run of 1-50, I realized that I owed more to Kinsler than a 51 player ranking. He is absolutely pounding the fastball-laced pitching in Arizona, as he already has four spring training home runs.

Reader Dan brought to my attention that, when healthy, Kinsler provides a lot of value. I have agreed he should be bumped from this bottom tier. In a revised ranking, he should fit somewhere in the Justin Morneau range of upper 30s to low 40s. Again, I am sorry, Ian, but you must stay healthy to achieve anything.

Stephen Drew: His second half has captured my imagination of what could happen if he has really regained his ’08 form. I believe he has every chance to put up 20-plus home runs and near a .300 batting average.

He has speed that no one other than the Baseball Forecasters knows exists. He’s got all the tools to step into the company of the Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins tier.

Daniel Hudson: Hudson is one pitcher that all the writers at THT are in love with, and for good reason. Coming over in the Edwin Jackson deal, the trade afforded Hudson the chance to show the world what he could do with an opportunity.

Looking back, I’m quite sure the White Sox would not have let this future ace go for the immediate impact of Jackson. Hudson was able to keep the ball in the park at Chase Field, something few other pitchers are able to do. He could have been a little lucky, but he has all the tools to be the best pitcher in the desert.

Colby Rasmus over Corey Hart: We all love the commentaries that spring up in spring training of newfound health, weight loss/gain, or revamped approaches. It’s regurgitated and spewed about over every player. In Rasmus’ case, I will take exception.

Rasmus has had trouble recognizing his role, not only as a player, but also as a Cardinal in general. Some have even questioned his dedication to St. Louis. This offseason has seemingly been a time of reflection for Rasmus. He will have to discover his drive to compete for the Cardinals if he is to be of any relevance in 2011. I believe he does. I think Rasmus even has a better chance of equaling Hart’s 2010 numbers than Hart does.

Mark Reynolds: Every baseball expert—fantasy or not—will tell you that power, rather than speed, is becoming more of a premium, and Reynolds will offer power. He’s only 27 years old, so the deteriorating batting average and record-breaking strikeout numbers could correct themselves a little. I imagine he’ll continue his free-swinging ways, but the scenery in Baltimore might be more conducive to an increase in runs and RBI.

In order for this ranking to hold merit, Reynolds must show an ability to make contact. I believe he will improve to somewhere between 2009 and 2010, which would be a decent stat line for the depleted third base player pool. Naturally, avoid him in strikeout leagues.

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Chris Carpenter: His rotation mate is lost, and the Cardinals’ season is in jeopardy. Is Carpenter going to be healthy the entire year? For Pujols’ future as a Cardinal’s sake, let’s hope so.

Carpenter is a great “real-life” pitcher. As for fantasy, he no longer strikes out a lot of batters. He’s good for around a 3.00 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP, but how many wins can he gather in 2011? Will he even be healthy enough to post another 200-plus inning season? Chances are solid this 35 year old will be a good pitcher, but is he good enough to still be considered a top 10 pitcher? I say no.

Joakim Soria: So Soria is my top closer going into 2011. His ability to succeed on a team that has lacked success is rather remarkable. He locates his low-90s fastball with ease, and he couples that with a biting slider. His FIP is sub 3.00, and his groundball percentage rose to the elite levels of 48 percent.

He’s not going to be a 100-strikeout closer, but he’ll hold his own in the 70-80 whiff range. His only weakness is the Royals, who will even be improving as the injection of youth begins. Oh, let’s also not forget about his second half line of 21 saves, 1.06 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Plus, he’s just 26.

Since draft days are approaching faster and faster, next week’s installment of the Top 300 will be numbers 101-200. As always, I enjoy rankings fodder as much I enjoy making the rankings, so feel free to bring your opinions to the comments section.

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Only 5 SBs projected for Chris Young?

Ben Pritchett
Ben Pritchett

Nice catch. That was my typo. It should read 25 stolen bases. Thanks for keeping me in check.

Ben Pritchett
Ben Pritchett

@Scott(Sherpa)- The pleasure was mine, Scott. My wife has been spending all my money lately, and I guess I just took out my revenge at the auction. I’ll show her.

@Justin- Again these are optomistic projections for the most part. I like B.J. Upton alot more than I have in past years, mainly due to his age and his 18 homer season last year. I don’t see many other options for the Rays to score runs other than maybe Sean Rodriguez.

Ben Pritchett
Ben Pritchett

@James Dickson- Although I did each Brewer projection independent of the other Brewer, I could still see how Braun/Fielder’s RBI total could outperform the RUN totals of just Weeks/Hart. Know that Fielder will be driving in Braun all season, and Braun also has Carlos Gomez at the bottom of the order that could get the benefit of a few of Braun’s RBIs.

I also may have inflated the numbers of Braun/Fielder to show my love for what they can do in 2011 together and independently.

Ben Pritchett
Ben Pritchett

@J in PA- You get a THT balloon. I guess in the excel conversion we lost number 85.

85. Pablo Sandoval  
R-88   HR-19   RBI-81   SB-3   AVG-0.300

Sorry J. I will try to have all the rankings (corrected) and the excel file by next Monday. I didn’t realize there was demand for the rankings.

Scott Swanay
Scott Swanay

Hi Ben,

Nice write-up, and good drafting (bidding?) with you Sat. night.  If it’s any consolation to you, I was also kicking myself for being a cheap bastard after the auction.  Have never left $7 on the table before (even after overpaying for a bunch of stiffs at the end because I sat on my money early on).  Lesson learned – good luck this season!

Scott (The Sherpa)


Could we get an excel version of the rankings so far?


Sorry I didn’t read the post right above mine saying that you were working on the excel sheet.

Thanks for these rankings, I am just trying to set up my keeper league draft prep right now and these rankings are awesome.


If BJ Upton hits .269 with 25 HR’s I would be ecstatic!  You have to figure 35 – 40 steals from him as well.  Top 10 OF’er this year if he can do it.  So far this spring 0 so’s in 17 ab’s an encouraging sign.

James Dickson
James Dickson

What I don’t get is how you have Braun/Fielder combining for 250rbi or so while you have Weeks/Hart (the guys hitting in front of Braun/Fielder presumably) combining for around 170R.

Seems inconsistent to me

J in PA
J in PA

WHERE IS PLAYER No. 85?  Why are we skipping players?

And when will the rest of the Top 300 be released?  Hopefully not every 10 days.  We can’t wait that long!!!