Fantasy baseball rankings will help you put the best players on the field. Welcome, all Major League Baseball fantasy players! The best 6 months of the year lie ahead.
This article will provide players that fit into 4 different categories to be considered when drafting. Mr. Consistent is designated for players to be counted on with minimal doubt or stress when selecting. A repeat performance is for players who far outperformed their prior history and face the challenge of backing it up for a second season. High upside and flyer picks can be the difference between a middle-of-the-pack squad and hoisting the trophy.
Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2019
Please note that all stats are from the 2018 season. A player with a solid 3-year average of performance will be graded higher than a player with a shorter track record. Players are listed at their primary position, but some may have multi-positional eligibility because they move around the diamond on defense.
Depending on the league, a player needs to play 5-20 games at a position to become fantasy eligible at that spot. Consider multi-position a huge bonus, as it will make your roster alignments much easier to manage throughout the season.
First Baseman: Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Mr. Consistent – Paul Goldschmidt St. Louis Cardinals: .290 BA. 33 HR. 83 RBI. 95 runs scored
One of the more underrated players in baseball despite year-over-year spectacular numbers, Goldschmidt will now be doing his offensive damage on a bigger baseball stage for the St. Louis Cardinals after being traded in the offseason. His incredible steal totals for a first baseman have been declining with age but don’t hesitate to lock Goldschmidt onto your roster from the mid-second round.
Mr. Consistent – Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds: .284 BA. 12 HR. 67 RBI. 145 games played
Votto’s picture appears next to the word consistent in Webster’s dictionary. Joey has led the league in on-base percentage 7 in the last 9 seasons. Let that soak in. Wow. This was despite being injured last year and having his “worst” season since his rookie year. A revamped Reds lineup should give him more RBI opportunities than he’s ever had to go with a sure bounce back in his power numbers.
Repeat Performance? – Jesus Aguilar Milwaukee Brewers: .274 BA. 35 HR. 108 RBI. 80 runs scored
Jesus’ 2017 was solid but did not indicate future stardom. Then he came out and was a main cog in the Brewers, winning the Central Division while socking 35 home runs. Lean towards under drafting Aguilar, as it will be difficult to repeat his fantastic past season.
High Upside – Matt Olson Oakland Athletics: .247 BA. 29 HR. 84 RBI
Olson burst onto the scene in his rookie year in 59 games showing excellent power. 2018 was evident that pitchers adjusted to his swing but still showed good pop for a surprising playoff Athletics squad. The former 1st round pick could be a terrific high-ceiling late-round pick.
Worth a Flyer – Luke Voit New York Yankees: .322 BA. 15 HR. 47 games played
Voit exploded on the New York scene last season with an incredible power display in only 47 total games. The Yankees have a ton of infield talent, and Voit will face playing time competition from Greg Bird. Still, if he starts the year the way he ended it, the starting job will be all his, all the while batting in arguably the best lineup in the majors for RBI opportunities.
Second Baseman: Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Mr. Consistent – Jose Altuve Houston Astros: .316 BA. 17 steals. 13 HR. 84 runs scored. 137 games
Don’t let Altuve’s diminutive 5’6” stature distract from the elite production he has accrued in the past 5 seasons in Houston. In addition to taking home the 2017 MVP trophy, Jose Altuve leads the majors in hits for 4 years in a row and batting average for two. His steals numbers are in decline but expect elite production on all other fronts as a 2nd round fantasy pick.
Mr. Consistent – Robinson Cano New York Mets: .303 BA. 10 HR. 50 RBI. 80 games played
The next best bet to reach 3,000 career hits behind Miguel Cabrera, Cano had a legacy-altering drug suspension applied last season, limiting him to 80 games played. The trade to the big apple playing for the Mets should allow him great RBI opportunities. Count on 25ish HR with .295ish BA.
Repeat Performance? – Ozzie Albies Atlanta Braves: .261 BA. 24 HR. 72 RBI. 105 runs scored
Part of the young talented Atlanta core, Albies provided a little bit of everything last year. He should run more this season as he grows more comfortable with the league while already having established terrific home run numbers for a second baseman. He scored over 100 runs and may add to that in 2019.
High Upside – Yoan Moncada Chicago White Sox: .235 BA. 12 steals. 17 HR. 217 strikeouts.
The former #1 overall prospect and headliner in the Red Sox Chris Sale trade, Moncada did not live up to his talent level in 2018. He led the MLB with 217 strikeouts which is excellent in points league formats. However, his sharp batting eye and stolen base potential make Yoan a potential 20/20 player, which every fantasy league in the universe would openly welcome. Also will pick up 3B eligibility.
Worth a Flyer – Jonathan Villar Baltimore Orioles: .260 BA. 35 steals. 14 HR. 46 RBI. 141 games played
As a Milwaukee Brewer, Villar burst onto the scene in 2016 with an MLB-leading 62 steals, only to stumble mightily in 2017 and the first half of last season. A change of scenery might be all Jonathan needed, as he was above average for the Orioles in the second half. He has the speed potential to finish top 5 overall in steals and a high run-scoring total hitting atop the Orioles lineup.
Mr. Consistent – Francisco Lindor Cleveland Indians: .277 BA. 25 steals. 38 HR. 129 runs scored
The top-ranked shortstop from last season, Lindor is entering his age 26 seasons with sky-high expectations. Serving as the exuberant heart of the Indians, Francisco has finished in the top 10 of MVP voting three seasons in a row. The only thing that can slow him down is a calf strain suffered in spring training that may delay his first game of the season.
Mr. Consistent – Carlos Correa Houston Astros: .239 BA. 15 HR. 65 RBI. 110 games played
Although Correa has not had a true MVP-type season, he most likely would, if not for injuries that greatly hampered his past year. It’s a stretch to call him Mr. Consistent without the year-after-year results, but as Carlos enters his age 25 seasons, the former #1 overall pick’s floor is amongst the highest in baseball. Don’t hesitate to snatch Correa any time after the second round.
Repeat Performance? – Trevor Story Colorado Rockies: .291 BA. 27 steals. 37 HR. 108 RBI
The story had a monster year and finished as the second-best shortstop in fantasy last year. His consistency should be examined before making a first-round pick on him, though, as his 2018 season was mediocrely preceded by an outstanding rookie in 2016. Playing in high-altitude Coors field is always a plus.
High Upside – Tim Anderson Chicago White Sox: .40 BA. 26 steals. 20 HR. 77 runs scored.
Playing for a last-place team, Anderson did not get the national recognition his numbers warranted. One of only 10 MLB players to achieve the 20/20 club last season, it was evident he grew more and more comfortable with pitcher’s approaches as the season progressed. A top 5 fantasy shortstop season is within reach.
Worth a Flyer – Gleyber Torres New York Yankees: .271 BA. 24 HR. 77 RBI. 123 games played
The main headliner in the Aroldis Chapman Cubs trade, Torres has long been considered a special talent. He had an incredible age 21 seasons and showed the bright lights of the big city would not be a factor. With shortstop Didi Gregorious missing the first few months of the season, Torres should earn shortstop designation and then slide back to second base bumping his value. Huge power and RBI opportunities.
Third Basemen: Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Mr. Consistent – Nolen Arenado Colorado Rockies: .297 BA. 38 HR. 110 RBI. 104 runs scored
Realizing they have an all-time third baseman on their hands, the Rockies locked in Arenado to a sparkling 8 year $260 million extension. Don’t expect any drop-off from the consistent stud. Nolan’s talents warrant a top 5 selection.
Mr. Consistent – Manny Machado San Diego Padres: .297 BA. 37 HR. 107 RBI. 84 runs scored
The finally signed free agent star will be taking his talents to Southern California. Machado checks out all offensive boxes minus steals and should be targeted anywhere from the 10th pick on.
Repeat Performance? – Eugenio Suarez Cincinnati Reds: .283 BA. 34 HR. 104 RBI. 79 runs scored
The little-known Suarez had a fantastic year for Cincy. With the addition of Yasiel Puig and a bounce back from Joey Votto, it’s high odds Eugenio can match or exceed his breakout 2018 season as he has more protection through the lineup.
High Upside – Josh Donaldson Atlanta Braves: .246 BA. 8 HR. 23 RBI. 52 games played
The former MVP has battled injuries the past two seasons combining to play just 165 games. There may not be a more competitive player in baseball, so motivation is not a question. Add in that Donaldson has something to prove and is joining an elite Braves offense with hopes to match his stellar numbers of years past.
Worth a Flyer – Rafael Devers Boston Red Sox: .240 BA. 21 HR. 66 RBI. 121 games played
Still only 22 years old, Devers could not live up to unfairly high expectations last year. A terrific bet to grow into his talent as the Red Sox has lightened the pressure by winning the World Series.
Mr. Consistent – Mike Trout Los Angeles Angels: .312 BA. 24 steals. 39 HR. 101 runs scored
Ok, Mr. Trout is at the top of nearly all fantasy baseball rankings. The no-doubt, top player in fantasy, keep your fingers crossed when the draft order randomizer starts to ping that it selects your squad to pick first. Trout has not only been far and away the best player in baseball since his rookie year in 2012 but is carving a path towards GOAT status.
Mr. Consistent – Charlie Blackmon Colorado Rockies: .291 BA. 12 steals. 29 HR. 119 runs scored
A strong multi-category contributor, Blackmon can be counted on to provide another stellar year. He is especially great at scoring runs, leading the league for the past two seasons. Although he is slowing down just a tad with age, any draft slot beginning in the third round should yield a strong return.
Repeat Performance? – Rhys Hoskins Philadelphia Phillies: .246 BA. 34 HR. 96 RBI. 89 runs scored
After just missing the 100 RBI threshold last season, ZiPS projections have pegged Hoskins to lead the National League this season with 113. That is strongly based on Rhys moving from batting second in the order last year to fourth, now hitting behind the on-base machine Bryce Harper.
High Upside – Juan Soto Washington Nationals: .292 BA. 22 HR. 70 RBI. 77 runs scored
Speaking of ZiPS projections, Soto has shattered standard expectations for a player in his age 20 seasons. He is being pegged to tie the national league lead with 36 home runs. If he gets anywhere close to that production Nationals, fans will quickly have their old right fielders’ memory fade to black.
Worth a Flyer – David Dahl Colorado Rockies: .273 BA. 16 HR. 48 RBI. 77 games played
After his midseason call-up, the former 10th overall pick showed a great batter’s eye and a high potential for a breakout 2019 season. Hitting in Coors is an added boost, along with the ability to grab the full-time left fielder job for a full season worth of at-bats.
Starting Pitchers: Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Mr. Consistent – Max Scherzer Washington Nationals: 2.53 ERA. 18 wins. 091 WHIP. 220.2 IP. 300 SO
A complete beast and the first pitcher took off the board. The past 3 seasons have resulted in two CY Youngs and one second-place finish. Take Scherzer anywhere after the 5th pick to lead your staff.
Mr. Consistent – Justin Verlander Houston Astros: 2.52 ERA. 16 wins. .90 WHIP. 214 IP. 290 SO
An ageless wonder, Verlander has cemented his Hall of Fame status with two stellar past seasons in Houston, topped with a bow by winning the World Series. His 2.52 ERA was the second-best of his 14-year career. A pitcher that can shoulder large workloads is invaluable in fantasy, and Verlander has thrown three straight 200+ IP seasons. A terrific third-round target to cement your pitching staff.
Repeat Performance? – Patrick Corbin Washington Nationals: 3.15 ERA. 11 wins. 1.05 WHIP. 200 IP 246 SO
The prize free-agent pitching signing is joining a Nationals staff that could set historic numbers. Corbin had a minimal track record of success before last season and will face immense pressure to live up to his 6-year $140 million deal. Be wary of over-drafting, as most pitchers struggle in their first year with a new team after signing mammoth deals.
High Upside – Yu Darvish Chicago Cubs: 4.95 ERA. 1 win. 1.42 WHIP. 49 SO. 40 IP
Limited to just 40 innings before being shut down with a forearm issue, Darvish will come into 2019 with major motivation to live up to his massive contract signed with the Cubs. Darvish offers elite strikeouts when healthy, and a contending roster should be in line for a high win total.
Worth a Flyer – Carlos Rodon Chicago White Sox: 4.18 ERA. 6 wins. 1.26 WHIP. 120 IP. 90 SO
Typical 3rd overall draft picks expect being a staff ace. Rodon has not gotten the chance to show that ability due to a myriad of injuries. He was able to get a solid innings base last year, and Sox fans are hoping this is the season the talent and production meeting.
Mr. Consistent – Kenley Jansen Los Angeles Dodgers: 3.01 ERA. 38 SV. .99 WHIP. 82 SO. 71.2 IP
The undisputed closer for the Dodgers, Jansen, can be counted for fantastic results each season. Even with a down 2018 by his standards, Jansen has averaged 41.5 saves over the last five seasons. With a career that saves a total of 268 at age 30, Jansen is on target to finish his career amongst the all-time greats. With an extremely talented Dodgers team creating numerous save opportunities, expect Kenley to be amongst the best closers in fantasy by the season’s end.
Mr. Consistent – Craig Kimbrel Free Agent: 2.74 ERA. 42 SV. .99 WHIP. 96 SO. 62.1 IP
The top closer in baseball over the past 9 seasons, Kimbrel owns an elite strikeout rate and ERA. The only question is where he will be conducting his 9th-inning shutdowns. Still, a pending free agent, be wary of over-drafting Craig if he still is unsigned at the time of the fantasy draft as former relievers such as Greg Holland, that have held out in the past, have struggled to get into pitching form.
Repeat Performance? – Blake Treinen Oakland Athletics: .78 ERA. .38 SV. 83 WHIP 100 SO. 80.1 IP
Treinen had a season for the ages and was one of the main catalysts in getting the Athletics into the postseason. He cut his second-best season ERA into a third and finished 6th in the Cy Young voting as a closer by virtue of a nasty 98 mph sinker. With how fickle bullpen arms can be year to year, though, avoid over-drafting Treinen. Anywhere after the 7-8th round should be appropriate.
High Upside – Cody Allen Los Angeles Angels: 4.70 ERA. 27 SV. 1.35 WHIP. 80 SO. 67 IP
The normally reliable former Indians closer had his first truly subpar year in his 7th professional year. Signing a 1 year $8.5 million deal with the Angels, Allen has a terrific opportunity to be the lead closer and has a statistical track record that should return to the mean in 2019. He has averaged 29.5 saves over the past 5 seasons with above-average strikeouts.
Worth a Flyer – Matt Barnes Boston Red Sox: 3.65 ERA. 1.26 WHIP. 96 SO. 61.2 IP.
With the World Series-winning closer, Craig Kimbrel looking for a new team, the winningest team in Red Sox history will turn to a fresh face in the 9th inning. Look for Barnes to take the job with ample save opportunities.
Catchers: Fantasy Baseball Rankings
Mr. Consistent – Yadier Molina St. Louis Cardinals: .261 BA. 20 HR. 74 RBI. 123 games played
The gold standard for innings caught each season, Molina somehow has been trending upward offensively the past three seasons. In his 15th season, Yadier’s 20 home runs are the second-best of his career. Anywhere from the 9th round on should provide solid value. This was one of those fantasy baseball rankings that was easy to make.
Mr. Consistent – Buster Posey San Francisco Giants: .284 BA. 5 HR. 41 RBI. 105 games played
The surefire Hall of Famer enters 2019 with a team mandate of reduced innings caught behind the plate after his worst offensive season was caused/ended early by hip surgery. This should be a boon to Posey as he will get to rest his body when playing first base on off days and see an uptick in his offensive numbers. Don’t expect big power numbers, but Posey is always a great source for batting average and RBIs from the catcher position.
Repeat Performance? – Gary Sanchez New York Yankees: .186 BA. 18 HR. 53 RBI. 89 games played
The unquestioned highest power potential at catcher, Sanchez has a career-defining season ahead of him. Luckily for fantasy, defense doesn’t matter, as his poor performance may lead to fewer starts behind the plate. Either way, tee Sanchez up for a low batting average and major power.
High Upside – Willson Contreras Chicago Cubs: .249 BA. 10 HR. 54 RBI. 138 games played
Coming off a monster 2017, expectations were for Contreras to be on the shortlist of national league MVP ballots. His offensive numbers never came close to that. He did, however, lead baseball in innings caught and is expected to have a similar workload which boosts his fantasy value. The power and batting eye, coupled with hitting in the NL’s best lineup, could have the late-round pick, Contreras, lifting your fantasy team to a championship.
Worth a Flyer – Francisco Mejía San Diego Padres: N/A only 20 major league games
One of the top catching prospects in the minors, expect Mejia to get his shot at solidifying a starting position on a young and talented Padres team. Francisco will be battling for catcher duties with Austin Hedges out of the gate but has the talent to make this late-round pick a diamond in the rough.
Good luck to all teams this season.
By Nik Ebert
Nik, Sports Feel Good Stories’ fantasy baseball expert is a lifelong Chicago resident and loves all things sports, but Fantasy Baseball is his favorite. He can often be found rambling on about random stats and stories to any ears that will listen.
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