Fantasy Baseball
Top 250 Keeper Rankings

These are my current top 250 keeper rankings. All of this is subject to change by the end of the season or at the beginning of next year depending on how certain players and prospects develop. Just like all my other rankings I will priorities these values to my liking's and although I may have a certain Giancarlo-like bias, I will try to back my rankings with fair and sound reasoning. 

These rankings really reflect my own personal fantasy baseball strategies. "Starting pitching is deep" and "there is little power in the game today" are just a few of my motto's that are clearly reflected in my top 250 keeper rankings. If you want to discuss these players in depth feel free to find me on Twitter @Awies28

#1 In Trout We Trust
I know that I used that line in last week's hitter rankings but it holds even more value in keeper rankings. Trout is only 20 years old and is already being compared to the greatest base stealer of all time, Rickey Henderson. I think those comparisons are fair as he is well on his way to winning multiple MVP's in his career.

#10 Backing Stanton
Before you get mad at me for putting Giancarlo Stanton in my top ten let me ask you this; how many "true" power hitters are in the game today? Maybe 15 or so. Stanton is one of them and at age 22 he has one of the brightest futures in all of baseball. In his 2010 rookie season Stanton played in 100 games, hit 22 home runs and a .259 average to go along with his .248 ISO power rate. The downfall to his rookie campaign was his 31.1% strikeout rate. Entering 2011 he made some adjustments and cut back on the strikeouts (27.6%) and saw his average increase to .262 even though his BABIP fell 16 points. That year he hit 34 home runs in 150 games and had a .275 ISO power rate. Through 82 games this year he has 21 home runs, a .287 ISO power rate and a .290 average. He has also decreased his strikeout rate to 24.8%. If Stanton can continue these positive trends he may contend annually for the home run title and become a yearly MVP candidate.

#14 Future Star, Starlin Castro
When searching for long term shortstop options in my keeper league I had a handful of options to choose from. It came down to Elvis Andrus, Starlin Castro, or Asdrubal Cabrera. I wasn't sold on Cabrera repeating his 2011 numbers and Elvis Andrus is nothing more than a high average, speed guy that has no power. That left me researching Castro and as I dove into the scouting reports I was happy to find many scouts comparing him to Hanley Ramirez. Both of Dominican heritage these two shortstops have a unique style that they bring to the game. Entering this season Castro added 15 pounds to his frame giving hope to keeper league owners that he would challenge 15 home runs this year to go along with what should be 20 plus steals. Like Stanton, Castro is only 22 years old and has a lot of growing to do but with this skill set he should continue to become a star. He is the next Hanley Ramirez in my eyes.

#16 Kershaw The First Ace
I hate ranking pitchers this high because we all know how injuries can set them back. It's a scary thought but every pitch a pitcher throws could be their last. Throwing a baseball is the most strenuous activity you can put on your body because every time you throw, your arm wants to jump out of the socket. Only a pitcher with the right build and proper mechanics can put together long, productive careers (Roy Halladay). Clayton Kershaw not only has a smooth delivery but the Dodgers took every precaution with him while he was in the minors. Now Kershaw ranks as a top 5 pitcher every week in my pitcher rankings but at age 24 he tops all other throwers on my keeper rankings just edging out King Felix. Kershaw has a career 9.23 K/9 rate and a .216 batting average against. What's even more impressive is his ability to keep the ball inside the park as he's currently tied for 9th in home runs allowed per 9 innings, which is better than Jered Weaver, R.A. Dickey and Justin Verlander. I'm basically splitting hairs between Hernandez and Kershaw but when it comes down to it Hernandez has logged 1552.1 career innings compared to the 872.2 innings from the Dodgers lefty. Give me Kershaw over the Venezuelan Ace.

#65 My Top Prospect
It's weird how I start my keeper rankings and then my #1 prospect gets called up. Manny Machado has Alex Rodriguez type size, power and potential but all indications point to him being a slow starter. I am a little biased with this pick as I have been a fan of him since the day he was drafted 3rd overall in 2010.
Although he struggled a bit in Double A but I will not pass on a guy who should challenge a 30/30 season every year and qualify at shortstop for a team that has a lot of other young future stars. I think by 2015 Machado will be an All Star caliber shortstop.

#103 Strikeout Machine Turned Ace
Brandon Morrow came up with the Seattle Mariners as a flamethrower that relied on his overpowering fastball to get hitters out. Once he was shipped to Toronto the Blue Jays began molding the 6' 3" 200 pound pitcher. In Morrow's first two seasons as a member of the Blue Jays he recorded 10.95 and 10.19 strikeout per 9 inning rates. However in both of those seasons, he had poor walk rates which ended up giving him an ERA in the mid 4's. At the beginning of this year it seemed that Morrow had something click in his mechanics. Well, I guess it wasn't so much of a click as it was a lean. Let me explain. Morrow always had a straight up and down leg lift with his front leg (left leg) which would sometimes take away from his control. Once Blue Jays' pitching coach Bruce Walton started to have Morrow swing his left leg behind his plant leg they saw improved command and movement. The slight adjustment made Morrow one of the more dominate pitchers for the first two months this year. Morrow was 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA, 1.00 WHIP before hitting the DL with an oblique injury that still has him out to this day. Morrow will return within a few weeks and look to add to his 67 strikeout (77.2 innings). If he can stay relatively healthy, Morrow will challenge 200 strikeouts every year.

At No. 127 Carl Crawford looks to rebound after an injury plagued start to his Red Sox career. He's only played in 21 games so far in 2012. He played 130 games last season but only hit .255 with 11 home runs.

Throughout the list you will find a number of prospects that I have written about before. Here are the links to some specific prospect articles you may have some interest in:

Mike Olt - Rangers
Starling Marte - Pirates
Justin Turner - Marlins
Lars Anderson and Arodys Vizcaino
Fautino De Los Santos - Brewers
Tommy Joseph - Phillies
May 2012 Prospects to Watch 

Don't forget about No. 163 Brett Anderson, he is expected to make a return from Tommy John surgery later this season. He is only 24 years old and a great buy low candidate.

#188 CC's Right Hand Man
Just like Brett Anderson, Michael Pineda will have a long road to recover from his season ending surgery. Pineda has the physical size you want from an Ace at 6' 7" on the mound and his breaking pitches were nearing elite status prior to his injury. He is only 23 years old but will be 24 when he next takes the mound as a Yankee in 2013.

#207 Was Brandon Beachy Being Serious?
Before having season ending Tommy John surgery Brandon Beachy had a 2.00 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Beachy was dominating as he only allowed 29 walks in 81 innings. In those 81 innings he amassed 68 strikeouts but what's interesting about Beachy is that he started off hot, then hit a wall. Through his first 8 starts the Braves pitcher sported a 5-1 record with a 1.33 ERA. In his next 5 starts he allowed 10 runs in 27 innings and went 0-4. If he was affected by elbow issues in those last 5 starts maybe he has the ability to pitch like he did in the first 8 starts more often. Beachy is a high risk, high reward guy as he goes through the rehab of TJ.  

#228 Pirate's Future Ace
Jameson Taillon has a terrific repertoire of breaking pitches and many scouts, including myself, would consider him ready to be in that Pittsburgh rotation as soon as last month. He currently resides in High A Bradenton as he refines the skills that will make him a complete pitcher.
Give the Pirate's management some credit for being patient with the 6' 6" 20 year old starter. My best bet would be that we see Taillon up at the All Star break in 2013.

#241 Gary Brown
With the acquisition of Hunter Pence one can only imagine the disappointed look on Gary Brown's face. One of the fastest prospects in all of baseball, Brown has shown the ability to hit for average, decent power and a knack for getting on base. Gary Brown has all the makings of a dynamic lead off hitter but with a crowded outfield in the Bay, Brown may have a late arrival. 

Alex Wiesner
August 9th, 2012
Top 250 as of August 9th, 2012
1. Mike Trout Angels
2. Andrew McCutchen Pirates
3. Carlos Gonzalez Rockies 
4. Ryan Braun Brewers
5. Joey Votto Reds
6. Matt Kemp Dodgers
7. Justin Upton Diamondbacks
8. Miguel Cabrera Tigers
9. Robinson Cano Yankees
10. Giancarlo Stanton Marlins
11. Prince Fielder Tigers
12. Troy Tulowitzki Rockies
13. Jay Bruce Reds
14. Starlin Castro Cubs
15. Hanley Ramirez Dodgers
16. Clayton Kershaw Dodgers
17. Felix Hernandez Mariners
18. David Wright Mets
19. Stephen Strasburg Nationals
20. Evan Longoria Rays
21. Madison Bumgarner Giants
22. Elvis Andrus Rangers
23. Justin Verlander Tigers
24. Jered Weaver Angels
25. Dustin Pedroia Red Sox
26. Matt Cain Giants
27. Ian Kinsler Rangers
28. Jason Heyward Braves
29. Brett Lawrie Blue Jays
30. Mark Trumbo Angels
31. Buster Posey Giants
32. Albert Pujols Angels
33. Eric Hosmer Royals
34. Adam Jones Orioles
35. David Price Rays
36. Jose Bautista Blue Jays 
37. Matt Holliday Cardinals
38. Curtis Granderson Yankees
39. Gio Gonzalez Nationals
40. Bryce Harper Nationals
41. Mark Teixeira Yankees
42. Pablo Sandoval Giants
43. Josh Hamilton Rangers
44. Cole Hamels Phillies
45. Adrian Gonzalez Red Sox
46. Billy Butler Royals
47. CC Sabathia Yankees
48. Asdrubal Cabrera Indians
49. Mike Moustakes Royals
50. Jason Kipnis Indians
51. Zack Greinke Angels
52. Michael Bourn Braves
53. Jordan Zimmermann Nationals
54. Matt Wieters Orioles
55. Austin Jackson Tigers
56. Matt Moore Rays
57. Chris Sale White Sox
58. Carlos Santana Indians
59. Matt Latos Reds
60. Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays
61. Desmond Jennings Rays
62. Aroldis Chapman Reds
63. Ian Desmond Nationals
64. Melky Cabrera Giants
65. Manny Machado Orioles
66. Hunter Pence Giants
67. Johnny Cueto Reds
68. Jose Reyes Marlins
69. Joe Mauer Twins
70. Shin-Soo Choo Indians
71. Jacoby Ellsbury Red Sox
72. Freddie Freeman Braves
73. Jose Altuve Astros
74. B.J. Upton Rays
75. Brandon Phillips Reds
76. Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
77. Wil Myers Royals
78. Adrian Beltre Rangers
79. Paul Konerko White Sox
80. Tommy Hanson Braves
81. Craig Kimbrel Braves
82. Colby Rasmus Blue Jays
83. Alex Gordon Royals
84. Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
85. Yoenis Cespedes Athletics
86. Yovani Gallardo Brewers
87. Cliff Lee Phillies
88. Yu Darvish Rangers
89. Adam Wainwright Cardinals
90. Kenley Jansen Dodgers
91. Nelson Cruz Rangers
92. Will Middlebrooks Red Sox
93. David Freese Cardinals
94. Trevor Bauer Diamondbacks
95. Salvador Perez Royals
96. Dustin Ackley Mariners
97. Allen Craig Cardinals
98. Anthony Rizzo Cubs
99. Jesus Montero Mariners
100. Neil Walker Pirates
101. Yadier Molina Cardinals 
102. Matt Garza Cubs
103. Brandon Morrow Blue Jays
104. Jon Lester Red Sox
105. Josh Reddick Athletics
106. James McDonald Pirates
107. Mike Napoli Rangers
108. C.J. Wilson Angels
109. Cameron Maybin Padres
110. Alex Rios White Sox
111. Dexter Fowler Rockies
112. Ike Davis Mets
113. Michael Morse Nationals
114. Martin Prado Braves 
115. Michael Cuddyer Rockies
116. Carlos Beltran Cardinals
117. Danny Espinosa Nationals
118. Ben Zobrist Rays
119. Addison Reed White Sox
120. Jeremy Hellickson Rays
121. Ian Kennedy Diamondbacks
122. Roy Halladay Phillies
123. Dayan Viciedo White Sox
124. Joel Hanrahan Pirates
125. Pedro Alverez Pirates
126. Chase Headley Padres
127. Carl Crawford Red Sox
128. Alejandro De Aza White Sox
129. Brian McCann Braves
130. Jimmy Rollins Phillies
131. Tim Lincecum Giants
132. Dylan Bundy Orioles
133. Jarrod Parker Athletics
134. Drew Storen Nationals
135. Ernesto Frieri Angels
136. Shane Victorino Dodgers
137. Jonathan Papelbon Phillies
138. Trevor Plouffe Twins
139. Corey Hart Brewers
140. Jake Peavy White Sox
141. Jonathan Lucroy Brewers
142. Drew Stubbs Reds
143. Howard Kendrick Angels
144. Ivan Nova Yankees
145. Neftali Feliz Rangers
146. Brett Gardner Yankees
147. Alex Rodriguez Yankees
148. Dan Uggla Braves
149. Derek Holland Rangers
150. Alcides Escobar Royals
151. Nick Markakis Orioles
152. Chris Young Diamondbacks
153. Gordon Beckham White Sox
154. Mike Olt Rangers
155. Johan Santana Mets 
156. Zack Wheeler Mets
157. Jed Lowrie Astros
158. Jason Motte Cardinals
159. Jim Johnson Orioles
160. Josh Johnson Marlins
161. Jemile Weeks Athletics
162. Max Scherzer Tigers
163. Brett Anderson Athletics
164. Delmon Young Tigers
165. Lance Lynn Cardinals
166. Andre Ethier Dodgers
167. Gerrit Cole Pirates
168. Devin Mesoraco Reds
169. Phil Hughes Yankees
170. Julio Teheran Braves
171. Miguel Montero Diamondbacks
172. Kendrys Morales Angels
173. Ben Revere Twins
174. Anibal Sanchez Tigers
175. Aramis Ramirez Brewers
176. Aaron Hill Diamondbacks
177. Josh Willingham Twins
178. Kyle Seager Mariners
179. Rickie Weeks Brewers
180. David Ortiz Red Sox
181. Brandon Belt Giants
182. Huston Street Padres
183. Alexei Ramirez White Sox
184. Tyler Clippard Nationals
185. Yasmani Grandal Padres
186. Matt Joyce Rays
187. J.J. Hardy Orioles
188. Michael Pineda Yankees
189. Lucas Duda Mets
190. Derek Jeter Yankees
191. Ricky Romero Blue Jays
192. Logan Morrison Marlins
193. R.A. Dickey Mets
194. Travis D'arnaud Blue Jays
195. Matt Harrison Rangers
196. Dee Gordon Dodgers
197. Oscar Taveras Cardinals
198. Corey Luebke Padres
199. Wilin Rosario Rockies
200. James Shields Rays
201. Yonder Alonso Padres
202. Taijuan Walker Mariners
203. Zack Cozart Reds
204. Ryan Cook Athletics
205. Erick Aybar Angels
206. Tyler Skaggs Diamondbacks
207. Brandon Beachy Braves
208. Andrelton Simmons Braves
209. Jason Werth Nationals
210. Victor Martinez Tigers
211. Ryan Howard Phillies
212. Daniel Murphy Mets
213. Rafael Soriano Yankees
214. Christian Yelich Marlins
215. Carlos Martinez Cardinals
216. Dan Haren Angels
217. Lonnie Chisenhall Indians
218. Jeff Samardzija Cubs
219. Andrew Bailey Red Sox
220. Chris Perez Indians
221. Justin Masterson Indians
222. Billy Hamilton Reds
223. Shelby Miller Cardinals
224. Derek Norris Athletics
225. Jurickson Profar Rangers
226. David Robertson Yankees
227. Jaime Garcia Cardinals
228. Jameson Taillon Pirates
229. Ubaldo Jimenez Indians
230. Martin Perez Rangers
231. Drew Smyly Tigers
232. Bud Norris Astros
233. Starling Marte Pirates
234. Joe Nathan Rangers
235. Josh Rutledge Rockies
236. Michael Brantley Indians
237. Kelly Johnson Blue Jays
238. Matt Harvey Mets
239. Fernando Rodney Rays
240. Jean Segura Brewers
241. Gary Brown Giants
242. Kevin Youkilis White Sox
243. Nolan Arenado Rockies
244. Adam Dunn White Sox
245. Kolten Wong Cardinals
246. Chase Utley Phillies
247. Lars Anderson Indians
248. Wade Miley Diamondbacks
249. Zach Lee Dodgers
250. Miguel Sano Twins


08/09/2012 23:51

Good stuff, nice to find someone who likes Miguel Sano. Dude's got power

08/13/2012 20:38

Ortiz is pretty low but overall not too bad

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