After some tweaks and adjustments, the final HVaC pre-season rankings are ready for prime time. These will be updated on a weekly basis to take into account actual performance against projections for the rest of the season. The goal will be to provide you with the tools you need to make the adjustments to your rosters. While this may not necessarily look at everything on an overall value scale, it should provide some context as to who can help that may still be available out on the waiver wire.
Some thoughts on the final numbers:
- Though Ryan Braun will now be available all season, his projections still put him as just the sixth best outfielder. He comes in just behind Andrew McCutchen. The major downfalls for Braun come in the expectations. Adjustments to the lineup likely mean lower numbers in the key power categories and little belief he can blow out a category the way he did last season. Overall, Braun is still a top-40 player in head-to-head formats, but there are others that would help an owner out more.
- Jose Bautista overtakes Miguel Cabrera in the final numbers. Bautistaâ€™s Third Base eligibility that comes at the start of the season gives him the nod as that position is truly thin. When Cabrera gains it later this month he will jump back ahead based on better average, runs, and RBI projections. Just keep that in mind.
- Interesting to see Jesus Montero hop inside the top-20 in the final rendition. Montero has some risk simply because he has not played enough and there is no track record. With projections that see his numbers rivaling those of Buster Posey, Montero could be a far cheaper alternative given his ADP. The key for owners is that he needs to gain eligibility as a catcher in some formats. Without it, he has to drop pretty far down the list.
- The continued injury problems for Chase Utley put him on the fringe of the top-20â€¦Second Basemen. With only 392 projected at-bats and no true timetable for a successful return, Utley becomes a major concern for those relying on him as a regular. The most interesting names inside the top-10 continue to be Jason Kipnis and Neil Walker in my mind. Both are going very low in drafts but could produce .275/15/80/80. Big difference makers in this format.
- The pitchers still see Clayton Kershaw as the top starter available and Craig Kimbrel as the top closer. Kershaw is one of two projected 20-game winners and is a top-three option in other categories. The Atlanta closer is looking towards 38 saves while ranking inside the top-15 of all pitchers.
- Stephen Strasburg has taken a decent fall given the news of potential inning limitations. That limitation drives down all the corresponding numbers such as wins and strikeouts while taking a hit on the way he can impact WHIP and ERA. Strasburg could still easily put up 175 strikeouts to go with strong overall numbers, but the question has to remain if he will be available to an owner down the stretch. In head-to-head with a need to win every week, that could very well be a problem.
- Just outside of the top-50: Hunter Pence, Shin-Soo Choo, Kevin Youkilis, Carlos Santana, and Emilio Bonifacio.
Hereâ€™s how the top-50 look: