Top 16's for 2016
With less than two weeks to go in the 2015 regular season I wanted to give my Fantasy Baseball readers a short preview of the 2016 Fantasy season.
As you look through these early 2016 rankings keep a close eye on my Shortstops.
There's a ton of questions regarding playing time and star potential among young sluggers like Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager and Addison Russell.
The rankings below are subject to change, but as of today, I feel comfortable with them.
My rankings are based on how I perceive each players current and future value for next season only.
1. Buster Posey SF
2. Brian McCann NYY
3. Kyle Schwarber CHC
4. Salvador Perez KC
5. Travis d'Arnaud NYM
6. Russell Martin TOR
7. Stephen Vogt OAK
8. Jonathan Lucroy MIL
9. Yasmani Grandal LAD
10. Yan Gomes CLE
11. Nick Hundley COL
12. Derek Norris SD
13. Matt Wieters BAL
14. Yadier Molina STL
15. Wilson Ramos WSH
16. J.T. Realmuto MIA
1. Posey has been the best hitting Catcher in baseball over the past four years. Hard to argue against him being my #1 Catcher.
2. McCann has hit at least 20 home runs each of the past eight years. He was a favorite of mine entering the year.
3. The Cubs' young slugger has a great combination of power and patience at the plate. He could hit 30 homers next season.
4. Don't be surprised if Perez hits 25 long balls next season.
5. d'Arnaud is one of baseball's best young hitting Catchers.
6. Russell Martin has really shined in Toronto putting up better numbers than I thought he would entering the year.
7. Vogt's slow second half has me concerned a bit entering 2016.
8. A hamstring injury and concussion ruined Lucroy's 2015 campaign.
9. Grandal will be a terrific pickup next year.
10. An injury plagued season will make Gomes a top sleeper pick in 2016.
11. Hundley hit .355 at Coors' Field this year.
12. A midseason slump (.168 batting average in June) makes Norris' 2015 stats look worse than they really are.
13. If Wieters can stay healthy he'll challenge a 20-homer season in 2016.
14. Molina is clearly on the backside of his prime.
15. Ramos is one of the most underrated hitting Catchers in baseball.
16. Realmuto has a decent combination of power and speed for a Catcher.
1. Paul Goldschmidt ARI
2. Anthony Rizzo CHC
3. Miguel Cabrera DET
4. Edwin Encarnacion TOR
5. Jose Abreu CHW
6. Freddie Freeman ATL
7. Joey Votto CIN
8. Prince Fielder TEX
9. Chris Davis FA
10. Adrian Gonzalez LAD
11. Albert Pujols LAA
12. Buster Posey SF
13. Eric Hosmer KC
14. Mark Teixeira NYY
15. Lucas Duda NYM
16. Brandon Belt SF
1. Goldschmidt is arguably the second best player in baseball behind Mike Trout. He was my #1 First Basemen entering 2015.
2. Rizzo now has back-to-back 30-homer seasons and is turning into a true power hitting First Baseman with the ability to hit for a high average.
3. If healthy, Miggy will compete for his third career MVP award in 2016.
4. Encarnacion has hit at least 34 home runs and driven in at least 98 runs each of the last four seasons (including this year).
5. Abreu is one of the most consistent power hitters in the game today.
6. I'm a fan of Freeman's approach at the plate and his aggressive swing.
7. Votto has proven once again, that if he's healthy, he can be an elite First Baseman in the Fantasy Baseball world.
8. Fielder has to play at least two more games at First Base during the team's final nine games to qualify at First next year.
9. Davis' true value will be determined when he signs his new contract.
10. Hitting in the middle of the Dodgers' lineup will keep Gonzalez among my Top 10 First Basemen entering 2016.
11. Late season reports indicate that Pujols would be on the Disabled List if the Angels weren't in the playoff hunt. That's concerning.
12. His Fantasy value comes from behind the plate.
13. Hosmer could be a breakout power hitter next year.
14. Teixeira hit 31 bombs in 111 games for the Yankees this year.
15. Lucas won't hit for a high average but he's a lock for another 20-homer campaign in 2016.
16. Belt will somehow be a sleeper pick, again, entering next year.
1. Jose Altuve HOU
2. Dee Gordon MIA
3. Jason Kipnis CLE
4. Robinson Cano SEA
5. Brian Dozier MIN
6. Kolten Wong STL
7. Addison Russell CHC
8. Ian Kinsler DET
9. Anthony Rendon WSH
10. Logan Forsythe TB
11. Rougned Odor TEX
12. Howie Kendrick FA
13. DJ LeMahieu COL
14. Wilmer Flores NYM
15. Starlin Castro CHC
16. Brandon Phillips CIN
1. He's only 25 years old.
2. Gordon's bat came alive this year. If he can continue to hit for a high average he'll remain an elite Fantasy Infielder.
3. A 20HR/20SB season is in the near future for Kipnis.
4. Cano is in the back-end of his prime years but he still has solid value.
5. Dozier has the most power of any Second Baseman in the game today.
6. Wong was one of my favorite prospects back in 2013.
7. Russell has huge potential and will qualify at Second Base and Shortstop.
8. Kinsler is a safe, veteran pick with double digit power and speed.
9. 2016 is the last year before Rendon becomes arbitration eligible.
10. Forsythe will also qualify at First Base next year.
11. Odor has major power potential playing in Texas. He'll be on all of my sleeper lists entering next season.
12. Kendrick is just another safe late round pick at this point.
13. As long as he stays in Colorado he'll have some value next season.
14. I had high hopes for Flores entering 2015.
15. A late season hot streak will keep Castro on my watch list entering 2016.
16. I'm expecting regression next year from Phillips.
1. Josh Donaldson TOR
2. Nolan Arenado COL
3. Manny Machado BAL
4. Kris Bryant CHC
5. Todd Frazier CIN
6. Kyle Seager SEA
7. Matt Carpenter STL
8. Adrian Beltre TEX
9. Evan Longoria TB
10. Matt Duffy SF
11. Mike Moustakes KC
12. Jung Ho Kang PIT
13. David Wright NYM
14. Anthony Rendon WSH
15. Justin Turner LAD
16. Maikel Franco PHI
1. Donaldson should be a Top 5 overall pick next year.
2. Arenado far exceeded my 2015 projections.
3. Machado has been a favorite of mine for years now.
4. My top four are interchangeable. Bryant could be an MVP candidate next season if he can continue to dominate.
5. Frazier is still one of the most underrated hitters in baseball today despite having hit 64 home runs since the start of 2014.
6. 20+ home runs in four straight seasons.
7. Carpenter had 25 career home runs entering 2015, as of September 26th he's hit 26 long balls this season alone.
8. It's time to sell high on Beltre in keeper leagues.
9. Longoria has hit at least 20 home runs in seven of his eight pro seasons.
10. Duffy is the real deal.
11. Moose has already posted career highs in home runs, batting average, hits, RBI, OBP and walks this year.
12. Prior to going down with a season ending leg injury, Kang had a .287 average with 15 home runs in just 126 games.
13. Wright actually gains sleeper status due to his back injury this year.
14. 2016 is the last year before Rendon becomes arbitration eligible.
15. A true utility player, Turner is a professional hitter.
16. Franco has elite power but will undoubtedly go through growing pains on a terrible team in Philadelphia next year.
1. Troy Tulowitzki TOR
2. Carlos Correa HOU
3. Ian Desmond FA
4. Jose Reyes COL
5. Xander Bogaerts BOS
6. Brandon Crawford SF
7. Addison Russell CHC
8. Jung Ho Kang PIT
9. Jhonny Peralta STL
10. Francisco Lindor CLE
11. Corey Seager LAD
12. Wilmer Flores NYM
13. Elvis Andrus TEX
14. Starlin Castro CHC
15. Jean Segura MIL
16. Alexei Ramirez CHW
1. If he can enter 2016 healthy he'll be a Top 15 Fantasy pick.
2. It's closer than you think between Tulowitzki and Correa.
3. I think his contract situation slowed him down at the beginning of the 2015 season. He's hit 50 points higher since the All Star break this year.
4. He hit .266 at Rogers Centre and over .320 at Coors Field this year. 2016 could be a monster season for Reyes if he can stay healthy.
5. Bogaerts' ability to hit for a high average and double digit power forces me to make him a Top 5 Shortstop heading into 2016.
6. You can't argue with his power.
7. Russell has huge potential and will qualify at Second Base and Shortstop.
8. Prior to going down with a season ending leg injury, Kang had a .287 average with 15 home runs in just 126 games.
9. Peralta has elite power for a Shortstop despite being one of the oldest players on this list.
10. Lindor has proven he has adequate power and deserves a Top 10 spot.
11. He has major potential if he wins the Shortstop job in LA next Spring.
12. I had high hopes for Flores entering 2015.
13. Andrus has stolen at least 20 bases every year of his career (7 years).
14. A late season hot streak will keep Castro on my watch list entering 2016.
15. Segura's potential to swipe 30+ bases keeps him inside my Top 15.
16. Despite being in the later stages of his career, Ramirez still has the potential to hit double digit home runs again next year.
1. Mike Trout LAA
2. Bryce Harper WSH
3. Giancarlo Stanton MIA
4. Andrew McCutchen PIT
5. Yoenis Cespedes FA
6. Nelson Cruz SEA
7. Kris Bryant CHC
8. Jose Bautista TOR
9. Adam Jones BAL
10. J.D. Martinez DET
11. Starling Marte PIT
12. A.J. Pollock ARI
13. Michael Brantley CLE
14. Charlie Blackmon COL
15. Mookie Betts BOS
16. George Springer HOU
1. He's the best player in baseball.
2. Harper is finally living up to the enormous hype most writers and scouts gave him when he was a kid in Las Vegas.
3. He has the highest power ceiling of any player in the game today.
4. Andrew McCutchen is one of only two players in the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates to hit at least 150 homers and steal 150 or more bases. The other is Barry Bonds.
5. He'll be in line for one of the biggest contracts in baseball this Winter.
6. Cruz is the first person since Miguel Cabrera in 2012-13 to post back-to-back 40+ home run seasons.
7. Bryant has to play in the Outfield at least two more games during the Cubs' final nine games to qualify as an Outfielder next year.
8. Is there anyone in baseball with a more violent/powerful swing?
9. Jones has been one of the most consistent Fantasy players in the game over the past several years.
10. Martinez has hit 60 homers since joining the Tigers back in 2014.
11. He's one of the safest Outfielders in the game.
12. I pegged Pollock as a sleeper entering 2015 but I didn't think he'd explode the way he has this year.
13. Brantley is a five-tool player with high upside.
14. Hard to not make Blackmon a Top 15 Fantasy OF entering 2016.
15. Betts will be a superstar within two years.
16. Springer just beat out Chris Davis and Ryan Braun to make this list.
1. Clayton Kershaw LAD
2. Max Scherzer WSH
3. Zack Greinke LAD
4. Jake Arrieta CHC
5. Felix Hernandez SEA
6. Madison Bumgarner SF
7. David Price FA
8. Dallas Keuchel HOU
9. Chris Archer TB
10. Jacob deGrom NYM
11. Gerrit Cole PIT
12. Chris Sale CHW
13. Sonny Gray OAK
14. Matt Harvey NYM
15. Jose Fernandez MIA
16. Corey Kluber CLE
1. Can you really argue against me here?
2. He's had 230 strikeouts or more each of the last four years.
3. A career year in 2015 should make Greinke a sure-fire Top 3 SP.
4. Jake Arrieta has, arguably, put together the best season by any Chicago Cubs' Pitcher in the history of the franchise.
5. Don't be surprised if Felix falls outside my Top 5 SP in a few months.
6. 2015 is a career year for Bumgarner.
7. It really doesn't matter what team signs him, he'll be an elite Fantasy Pitcher regardless of where he goes.
8. I'm expecting some regression next year.
9. Archer has the potential to lead baseball in strikeouts.
10. deGrom will be a trendy sleeper Cy Young pick next year.
11. Cole was one of my top pitching prospects a few years ago.
12. Sale will finish with the second most strikeouts in baseball this year trailing only Clayton Kershaw.
13. Gray may be the most underrated Pitcher in the game today.
14. Forget the innings' limit and just cut him loose!
15. Fernandez will eventually be the best Pitcher in baseball.
16. Major strikeout potential and an improving offense keeps Kluber in my Top 16 entering 2016. He just beat out Michael Wacha, Masahiro Tanaka, Cole Hamels, Yu Darvish and Carlos Carrasco to make the list.
1. Kenley Jansen LAD
2. Aroldis Chapman CIN
3. Jeurys Familia NYM
4. Trevor Rosenthal STL
5. Andrew Miller NYY
6. Mark Melancon PIT
7. Craig Kimbrel SD
8. David Robertson CHW
9. Brad Boxberger TB
10. Zach Britton BAL
11. Ken Giles PHI
12. Glen Perkins MIN
13. Cody Allen CLE
14. Huston Street LAA
15. Hector Rondon CHC
16. Jonathan Papelbon WSH
1. Jansen has converted 96 of his last 107 save chances.
2. He could find himself dealt this Winter.
3. Pitching behind the Mets' rotation should give Familia the most save opportunities in baseball next year.
4. He's converted at least 45 saves each of the past two years.
5. Although Betances will surely be on his heels again next year, Miller was clearly Yankee Manager Joe Girardi's Closer entering 2015.
6. A lack of strikeouts should keep Melancon outside my Top 5 Closers entering next season.
7. After being touted baseball's best Closer from 2012 to 2014, Kimbrel's rough 2015 campaign has me worried heading into 2016.
8. The White Sox should be better next year.
9. Boxberger was a sleeper pick of mine heading into 2015.
10. Britton's current Lat injury is something worth keeping an eye on this off season. If he looses the Closing job in Baltimore, the team will be forced to bring back Darren O'Day who is a free agent to be.
11. He was my Closer to Watch back in June.
12. Don't be shocked if the Twins move Perkins this Winter.
13. He'd be higher if it wasn't for a slow start this year (11.57 ERA in April).
14. There's always an injury risk with Street.
15. If he remains the Cubs' Closer he'll challenge 45 saves next year.
16. The veteran Closer could be moved this Winter re-opening the door for Drew Storen to take over in Washington - again.