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Category Power Rankings: Introduction/Week 1

Colin Ward gives his power rankings for each fantasy-relevant category.

It’s time, once again, for your season debut of Category Power Rankings!

For those who are unfamiliar, I started this weekly piece at the start of the 2019 season in order to help simplify individual fantasy values for managers during the grind that is the fantasy baseball season.

At the beginning of each fantasy week, I will be ranking players using the standard 5×5 categories (AVG, R, HR, RBI, SB and W, SV, K, ERA, WHIP) as well as on-base percentage (OBP) and quality starts (QS). For each category, I will provide a top 25 overall and a top 10 for players who are widely unowned, roughly 65% owned or less across most platforms, or should be targeted in deeper leagues. The rankings will be based on current and rest-of-season outlook and will take into account a player’s recent success as well as track record as it pertains to a specific category. Other factors will include:

  • Recent changes to a team construction (i.e. lineup changes, trade/signing, etc.)
  • Recent changes to player batting/pitching profile
  • Injury concern
  • “Change of scenery”
  • Strength/weakness of schedule

That being said, let’s get into the lists!

 

Batting Average (AVG)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Trea Turner LAD 2B/SS
2 Tim Anderson CWS SS
3 Juan Soto WSH OF
4 Michael Brantley HOU OF
5 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B
6 Freddie Freeman LAD 1B
7 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS
8 Starling Marte NYM OF
9 Ketel Marte ARZ 2B/OF
10 Bryan Reynolds PIT OF
11 Mike Trout LAA OF
12 Nick Castellanos PHI OF
13 Yordan Alvarez HOU OF
14 Bo Bichette TOR SS
15 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
16 Wander Franco TB 3B/SS
17 Luis Robert CWS OF
18 Corey Seager TEX SS
19 Yuli Gurriel HOU 1B
20 Alex Verdugo BOS OF
21 Justin Turner LAD 3B
22 Luis Arraez MIN 2B/3B/OF
23 Jean Segura PHI 2B
24 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
25 Ty France SEA 1B/2B/3B

 

Off the list: N/A

Fresh off of a new five-year, $76 million extension, Ketel Marte is once again looking like a very good value in fantasy drafts this year. Over his last 279 games, spanning from 2019 to 2021, Marte owns a .318/.374/.543 slash line. While health is obviously always a concern for the 28-year-old, there are few better providers right now within the fantasy landscape when it comes to batting average.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Luis Arraez MIN 2B/3B/OF
2 Jeff McNeil NYM 2B/OF
3 Nick Madrigal CHC 2B
4 David Fletcher LAA 2B/SS
5 Garrett Cooper MIA 1B/OF
6 Adam Frazier SEA 2B/OF
7 José Iglesias COL SS
8 Kolten Wong MIL 2B
9 Frank Schwindel CHC 1B
10 Yandy Díaz TB 1B/3B

 

Off the list: N/A

The addition of the universal DH will benefit a lot of major league talent, and thus, provide us fantasy managers with ample sources of useful bats to add. Garrett Cooper is a guy who should benefit greatly from this league-wide change. When Cooper has played, he has hit. The 30-year-old has batted .282 across the past three seasons, albeit only over 212 games. There is reason to believe he will be seeing a lot more chances to DH as his defense leaves a little to be desired. If that is the case, he could make for a very useful bat in deeper leagues and especially NL-only leagues.

 

Runs (R)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Trea Turner LAD 2B/SS
2 Mookie Betts LAD 2B/OF
3 Juan Soto WSH OF
4 Bo Bichette TOR SS
5 Bryce Harper PHI OF
6 Freddie Freeman LAD 1B
7 Tim Anderson CWS SS
8 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
9 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B
10 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
11 José Ramírez CLE 3B
12 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS
13 George Springer TOR OF
14 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B
15 Nick Castellanos PHI OF
16 Whit Merrifield KC 2B/OF
17 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
18 Wander Franco TB 3B/SS
19 Aaron Judge NYY OF
20 Marcus Semien TEX 2B/SS
21 Ronald Acuña Jr. ATL OF
22 Jonathan India CIN 2B
23 Yordan Alvarez HOU OF
24 Mike Trout LAA OF
25 Starling Marte NYM OF

 

Off the list: N/A

Bo Bichette solidified himself last year as a bonafide fantasy stud. He contributes across all categories but he is most potent in runs. Bichette scored 121 times last year and has a 162-game average of 118 runs over his career dating back to 2019. The 24-year-old shortstop expects to hit in the middle or near the top of one of the best lineups in all of baseball, so expect more of the same.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF
2 Akil Baddoo DET OF
3 Adam Frazier SEA 2B/OF
4 Mark Canha NYM OF
5 Austin Hays BAL OF
6 Spencer Torkelson DET 3B
7 Mike Yastrzemski SF OF
8 Kiké Hernández BOS 2B/OF
9 Cesar Hernandez WSH 2B
10 Myles Straw CLE OF

 

Off the list: N/A

Projected to hit in front of the likes of Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, and Trevor Story, Kiké Hernández should see plenty of run-scoring opportunities. Hernández improved his walk rate substantially last season, so if he can build off of that, he could be looking at some gaudy runs numbers.

 

Home Runs (HR)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Pete Alonso NYM 1B
2 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B
3 Matt Olson ATL 1B
4 Yordan Alvarez HOU OF
5 Aaron Judge NYY OF
6 Shohei Ohtani LAA UT/SP
7 Bryce Harper PHI OF
8 Joey Gallo NYY OF
9 Teoscar Hernández TOR OF
10 Mike Trout LAA OF
11 Giancarlo Stanton NYY OF
12 Max Muncy LAD 1B/2B
13 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
14 Manny Machado SD 3B
15 Nolan Arenado STL 3B
16 Salvador Perez KC C
17 Kyle Schwarber PHI 1B/OF
18 Ronald Acuña Jr. ATL OF
19 Franmil Reyes CLE OF
20 Nick Castellanos PHI OF
21 George Springer TOR OF
22 Freddie Freeman LAD 1B
23 Juan Soto WSH OF
24 Adam Duvall ATL OF
25 Kris Bryant COL 1B/3B/OF

 

Off the list: N/A

I think it is safe to say we know who Kris Bryant is at this point in his career. What we don’t know, however, is who Kris Bryant in Colorado is. This move is very intriguing for fantasy owners as Bryant, while he has not been able to live up to his incredible 2016 MVP year, has put up consistent underlying numbers that suggest this type of move will do wonders for his offensive output. One would assume, health permitting, Bryant should be able to amass 30 HRs while playing half of his games in Coors Field.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Miguel Sanó MIN 1B
2 Randal Grichuk COL OF
3 Bobby Dalbec BOS 1B/3B
4 Patrick Wisdom CHC 1B/3B/OF
5 Mike Zunino TB C
6 Spencer Torkelson DET 3B
7 Mike Yastrzemski SF OF
8 Brandon Belt SF 1B
9 Mike Moustakas CIN 1B/3B
10 Jonathan Schoop DET 1B/2B

 

Off the list: N/A

If you look up the phrase “Industry Darling”, Bobby Dalbec’s picture would be the first result. The 26-year old slugger is coming off of a 25-HR season across only 417 at-bats and it has fantasy owners licking their lips at the potential of what a full season could project. Dalbec will be hitting just behind all of Boston’s big boppers and should see plenty of pitches to hit this year.

 

Runs Batted In (RBI)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Yordan Alvarez HOU OF
2 Rafael Devers BOS 3B
3 José Abreu CWS 1B
4 Matt Olson ATL 1B
5 Teoscar Hernández TOR OF
6 Juan Soto WSH OF
7 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B
8 Nolan Arenado STL 3B
9 Freddie Freeman LAD 1B
10 Kyle Tucker HOU OF
11 Pete Alonso NYM 1B
12 Manny Machado SD 3B
13 J.D. Martinez BOS OF
14 José Ramírez CLE 3B
15 Bryce Harper PHI OF
16 Aaron Judge NYY OF
17 Giancarlo Stanton NYY OF
18 Shohei Ohtani LAA UT/SP
19 Salvador Perez KC C
20 Mike Trout LAA OF
21 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
22 Nick Castellanos PHI OF
23 Eloy Jiménez LAD SS
24 Carlos Correa MIN SS
25 Bo Bichette TOR SS

 

Off the list: N/A

As long as Yordan Alvarez’s knees hold up, he is about as sure of a bet to lead the league in RBI as anyone. His batted ball numbers are elite and he hits smack dab in the middle of what is still a very solid Houston lineup. If you are reading this and have still yet to draft, grabbing Alvarez with your second pick after taking a guy who will steal some bags makes a whole lot of sense.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Jesús Aguilar MIA 1B
2 Randal Grichuk COL OF
3 Eric Hosmer SD 1B
4 Bobby Dalbec BOS 1B/3B
5 Spencer Torkelson DET 3B
6 Jesús Sánchez MIA OF
7 Frank Schwindel CHC 1B
8 Miguel Sanó MIN 1B
9 Nathaniel Lowe TEX 1B
10 Jonathan Schoop DET 1B/2B

 

Off the list: N/A

At the moment, Jesús Sánchez is penciled in to be the Marlins’ everyday centerfielder. Sánchez has always had a good nose for driving in runs dating back to his time in the minors posting a 162-game average of 102 RBI across three minor league seasons. He should provide a solid source of power and speed and could be a steal in terms of value in mixed leagues.

 

Stolen Bases (SB)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Adalberto Mondesi KC 3B/SS
2 Trea Turner LAD 2B/SS
3 Starling Marte NYM OF
4 Whit Merrifield KC 2B/OF
5 José Ramírez CLE 3B
6 Cedric Mullins BAL OF
7 Bo Bichette TOR SS
8 Trevor Story BOS SS
9 Myles Straw CLE OF
10 Jazz Chisholm Jr. MIA 2B/SS
11 Tommy Edman STL 2B/OF
12 Luis Robert CWS OF
13 Tim Anderson CWS SS
14 Shohei Ohtani LAA UT/SP
15 Bobby Witt Jr. KC SS
16 Byron Buxton MIN OF
17 Ronald Acuña Jr. ATL OF
18 Randy Arozarena TB OF
19 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B
20 Akil Baddoo DET OF
21 Jonathan Villar CHC 2B/3B/SS
22 Kyle Tucker HOU OF
23 Francisco Lindor NYM SS
24 Trent Grisham SD OF
25 Mookie Betts LAD 2B/OF

 

Off the list: N/A

Bobby Witt Jr. is one of the most impressive prospects we have ever seen. The 21-year old made a mockery of the AA and AAA-level and is now penciled in as the starting third baseman for the Royals heading into Opening Day. Witt provides numbers across the board and if it is as seamless of a transition into the majors as everyone is anticipating, he has a real shot at a 20/20 season.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Myles Straw CLE OF
2 Akil Baddoo DET OF
3 Jonathan Villar CHC 2B/3B/SS
4 Nicky Lopez KC SS
5 Kolten Wong MIL 2B
6 Isiah Kiner-Falefa NYY SS
7 Raimel Tapia TOR OF
8 Tommy Pham CIN OF
9 Rafael Ortega CHC OF
10 Andrés Giménez CLE 2B/SS

 

Off the list: N/A

Andrés Giménez is looking like he has carved out a starting role in the Cleveland starting lineup heading into Opening Day. The former New York Met enjoyed a very nice season in AAA last year and offers a good amount of stolen base upside. Giménez is probably best suited for deeper roto leagues.

 

On-Base Percentage (OBP)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Juan Soto WSH OF
2 Mike Trout LAA OF
3 Bryce Harper PHI OF
4 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B
5 Freddie Freeman LAD 1B
6 Mookie Betts LAD 2B/OF
7 Alex Bregman HOU 3B
8 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF
9 Aaron Judge NYY OF
10 Yasmani Grandal CWS C/1B
11 Ronald Acuña Jr. ATL OF
12 Max Muncy LAD 1B/2B
13 Matt Olson ATL 1B
14 Anthony Rendon LAA 3B
15 Seiya Suzuki CHC OF
16 Kris Bryant COL 1B/3B/OF
17 Corey Seager TEX SS
18 Bryan Reynolds PIT OF
19 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B
20 Jesse Winker SEA OF
21 Justin Turner LAD 3B
22 Christian Yelich MIL OF
23 Michael Brantley HOU OF
24 Carlos Correa MIN SS
25 Shohei Ohtani LAA UT/SP

 

Off the list: N/A

The Cubs’ newest import, Seiya Suzuki, posted very impressive numbers across nine seasons in Japan. With a career .402 OBP overseas, Suzuki projects to have a keen eye at the dish. There is almost always going to be somewhat of a learning curve for most Japanese players coming to the states, but Suzuki is the type of talent that I would expect the 27-year-old outfielder to produce almost right away.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF
2 Yandy Díaz TB 1B/3B
3 Mark Canha NYM OF
4 Brandon Belt SF 1B
5 Daniel Vogelbach PIT 1B
6 Luis Arraez MIN 2B/3B/OF
7 Tommy Pham CIN OF
8 Nathaniel Lowe TEX 1B
9 Carlos Santana KC 1B
10 Tony Kemp OAK 2B/OF

 

Off the list: N/A

One of the many new acquisitions for the Mets this offseason, Mark Canha figures to be the starting left fielder come April 7th. Canha has a .377 OBP since the start of 2019 and while he is more than likely going to be plugged into the lower third of the New York lineup, his ability to get on base will lengthen this already strong batting order.

 

Wins (W)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Julio Urías LAD SP
2 Gerrit Cole NYY SP
3 Walker Buehler LAD SP
4 Max Scherzer NYM SP
5 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
6 Lucas Giolito CWS SP
7 Max Fried ATL SP
8 Corbin Burnes MIL SP
9 José Berríos TOR SP
10 Shane Bieber CLE SP
11 Zack Wheeler PHI SP
12 Adam Wainwright STL SP
13 Lance Lynn CWS SP
14 Charlie Morton ATL SP
15 Sandy Alcantara MIA SP
16 Brandon Woodruff MIL SP
17 Yu Darvish SD SP
18 Joe Musgrove SD SP
19 Framber Valdez HOU SP
20 Aaron Nola PHI SP
21 Kevin Gausman TOR SP
22 Justin Verlander HOU SP
23 Robbie Ray SEA SP
24 Sean Manaea SD SP
25 Aaron Civale CLE SP

*NOTE: I am leaving Jacob deGrom off of the pitching lists for now due to the uncertainty of his injury and the amount of time he will be missing.

Off the list: N/A

Including Justin Verlander on this list may be a tad optimistic seeing as we have not seen him pitch since the first game of the 2020 season. That being said, the last time we saw Verlander pitch a full season, he posted a 2.58 ERA with 21 wins en route to his second Cy Young Award. The 39-year old righty has been nothing but durable throughout his entire career, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Jordan Montgomery NYY SP
2 Yusei Kikuchi TOR SP
3 Jon Gray TEX SP
4 Steven Matz STL SP
5 Wade Miley CHC SP
6 Marco Gonzales SEA SP
7 Kyle Gibson PHI SP
8 Chris Flexen SEA SP
9 Jameson Taillon NYY SP
10 Zach Eflin PHI SP

 

Off the list: N/A

Steven Matz enjoyed a decent little bounceback season in 2021, racking up 14 victories to the tune of a 3.82 ERA. The veteran lefty will now have the pleasure of pitching with one of the better defenses behind him and will be relied on heavily due to the uncertainty of Jack Flaherty’s shoulder and Adam Wainwright’s age.

 

Earned Run Average (ERA)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Walker Buehler LAD SP
2 Max Scherzer NYM SP
3 Corbin Burnes MIL SP
4 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
5 Gerrit Cole NYY SP
6 Brandon Woodruff MIL SP
7 Shane Bieber CLE SP
8 Julio Urías LAD SP
9 Zack Wheeler PHI SP
10 Robbie Ray SEA SP
11 Carlos Rodón SF SP
12 Lucas Giolito CWS SP
13 Charlie Morton ATL SP
14 Justin Verlander HOU SP
15 Max Fried ATL SP
16 Logan Webb SF SP
17 Sandy Alcantara MIA SP
18 Trevor Rogers MIA SP
19 Mike Clevinger SD SP
20 Shohei Ohtani LAA SP/UT
21 Lance Lynn CWS SP
22 Frankie Montas OAK SP
23 Aaron Nola PHI SP
24 Kevin Gausman TOR SP
25 Freddy Peralta MIL SP

 

Off the list: N/A

From May 11th on, Logan Webb was one of the most dominating pitchers in all of baseball last year. From that point forward, Webb went 10-0 with a 2.40 ERA across 116 innings. The 25-year old has been a very polarizing name in the fantasy community throughout the offseason due to this stretch of starts, and you will have to pay a relatively high price to draft him if you have not drafted yet. 

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Corey Kluber TB SP
2 Joe Ryan MIN SP
3 Jordan Montgomery NYY SP
4 Jameson Taillon NYY SP
5 Hunter Greene CIN SP
6 Michael Pineda DET SP
7 Jon Gray TEX SP
8 Steven Matz STL SP
9 Zack Greinke KC SP
10 Nestor Cortes Jr. NYY SP/RP

 

Off the list: N/A

The time has finally come for Hunter Greene to take his rightful place within the Reds’ starting rotation. The flame-throwing righty has looked excellent in spring and should be owned across all leagues due to his incredible stuff and ability to miss a ton of bats. 

 

Strikeouts (K)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Gerrit Cole NYY SP
2 Max Scherzer NYM SP
3 Corbin Burnes MIL SP
4 Shane Bieber CLE SP
5 Robbie Ray SEA SP
6 Brandon Woodruff MIL SP
7 Lucas Giolito CWS SP
8 Freddy Peralta MIL SP
9 Yu Darvish SD SP
10 Aaron Nola PHI SP
11 Zack Wheeler PHI SP
12 Kevin Gausman TOR SP
13 Dylan Cease CWS SP
14 José Berríos TOR SP
15 Walker Buehler LAD SP
16 Lance Lynn CWS SP
17 Justin Verlander HOU SP
18 Charlie Morton ATL SP
19 Carlos Rodón SF SP
20 Sandy Alcantara MIA SP
21 Joe Musgrove SD SP
22 Shohei Ohtani LAA SP/UT
23 Frankie Montas OAK SP
24 Luis Castillo CIN SP
25 Eduardo Rodríguez DET SP

 

Off the list: N/A

Nobody had a higher K/9 last year than Dylan Cease. The 26-year old punched out 12.3 batters per nine innings which amounted to 226 K’s across 165.2 innings. Cease has always had the swing and miss stuff—it is the control that he lacked—but he took a major step forward last year and is poised for another one this summer.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Josiah Gray WSH SP
2 Hunter Greene CIN SP
3 Tylor Megill NYM SP
4 Jon Gray TEX SP
5 Jameson Taillon NYY SP
6 Corey Kluber TB SP
7 Jordan Montgomery NYY SP
8 Joe Ryan MIN SP
9 Bailey Ober MIN SP
10 Carlos Carrasco ATL SP

 

Off the list: N/A

With the potential long-term injury to Jacob deGrom and a lingering injury to Max Scherzer, the Mets’ rotation is all of a sudden not so fearsome. This gives Tylor Megill even more appeal in deeper leagues due to the Mets having to rely on him to fill a rotation spot and be a dependable arm. Megill showed promise in 2021 and has the type of frame (6’7″, 230 lbs) that is built to be an innings eater.

 

Saves (SV)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Liam Hendriks CWS RP
2 Josh Hader MIL RP
3 Kenley Jansen ATL RP
4 Craig Kimbrel LAD RP
5 Aroldis Chapman NYY RP
6 Raisel Iglesias LAA RP
7 Emmanuel Clase CLE RP
8 Ryan Pressly HOU RP
9 Edwin Díaz NYM RP
10 Jordan Romano TOR RP
11 Giovanny Gallegos STL RP
12 Jake McGee SF RP
13 Scott Barlow KC RP
14 Mark Melancon ARZ RP
15 Taylor Rogers MIN RP
16 Corey Knebel PHI SP/RP
17 Matt Barnes BOS RP
18 Lou Trivino OAK RP
19 Kyle Finnegan WSH RP
20 Dylan Floro MIA RP
21 Camilo Doval SF RP
22 Andrew Kittredge TB SP/RP
23 David Bednar PIT RP
24 Rowan Wick CHC RP
25 Gregory Soto DET RP

 

Off the list: N/A

I do not feel very confident in the second half of this list. I myself have decided to make it a conscious effort to avoid closers altogether this year and fill my RP slots with starters who are eligible at the position. We will see how long it lasts. I have noticed that I am not alone in this sense as a lot of people are tired of the headache of pinpointing who the closers are across the league. If you are shooting for saves, grab the top guys early. This list will more than likely be completely upside down in a couple of weeks.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-Team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Kyle Finnegan WSH RP
2 Dylan Floro MIA RP
3 Andrew Kittredge TB SP/RP
4 Rowan Wick CHC RP
5 Gregory Soto SF RP
6 Joe Barlow TEX RP
7 Paul Sewald SEA RP
8 Drew Steckenrider SEA RP
9 Garrett Whitlock BOS RP
10 Alex Colomé COL RP

 

Off the list: N/A

The Seattle bullpen appears to be a pretty solid one. That being said, the closer role is a little cloudy at the moment. Paul Sewald and Drew Steckenrider are the favorites but there has been no indication one way or another as to who will take the reigns in the ninth. They may very well use a committee but if one falters early, the other should be a must-add pick-up.

 

WHIP (Walks+Hits/Innings Pitched)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Gerrit Cole NYY SP
2 Max Scherzer NYM SP
3 Walker Buehler LAD SP
4 Shane Bieber CLE SP
5 Corbin Burnes MIL SP
6 Clayton Kershaw LAD SP
7 Zack Wheeler PHI SP
8 Brandon Woodruff MIL SP
9 Lucas Giolito CWS SP
10 Lance Lynn CWS SP
11 Yu Darvish SD SP
12 Justin Verlander HOU SP
13 Julio Urías LAD SP
14 Robbie Ray SEA SP
15 Kevin Gausman TOR SP
16 Max Fried ATL SP
17 Carlos Rodón SF SP
18 Joe Musgrove SD SP
19 Charlie Morton ATL SP
20 Aaron Nola PHI SP
21 José Berríos TOR SP
22 Mike Clevinger SD SP
23 John Means BAL SP
24 Freddy Peralta MIL SP
25 Adam Wainwright STL SP

 

Off the list: N/A

John Means enjoyed another nice season in 2021, despite missing some time due to injury. Means’ WHIP should always remain pretty low seeing as he walks next to no one and with the dimensions of Camden Yards being pushed back, that can only help the lefty this year. Means should have no problem paying off his draft day cost.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Joe Ryan MIN SP
2 Michael Pineda DET SP
3 Bailey Ober MIN SP
4 Zach Plesac CLE SP
5 Zack Greinke KC SP
6 Jameson Taillon NYY SP
7 Cal Quantrill CLE SP/RP
8 Carlos Carrasco NYM SP
9 Taijuan Walker NYM SP
10 Nestor Cortes Jr.
NYY SP/RP

 

Off the list: N/A

Joe Ryan is a dark horse to lead the majors in WHIP. The man had a sub-1.00 WHIP in the minors spanning 226 innings. He followed that up with a 0.78 mark last year with the Twins across five starts. He is the rare combination of great strikeout stuff, pinpoint control, and limited hard contact.

 

Quality Starts (QS)

 

Top 25

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Gerrit Cole NYY SP
2 Max Scherzer NYM SP
3 Walker Buehler LAD SP
4 Shane Bieber CLE SP
5 Brandon Woodruff MIL SP
6 Max Fried ATL SP
7 Zack Wheeler PHI SP
8 Lucas Giolito CWS SP
9 Aaron Nola PHI SP
10 Lance Lynn CWS SP
11 Corbin Burnes MIL SP
12 Sandy Alcantara MIA SP
13 Adam Wainwright STL SP
14 Robbie Ray SEA SP
15 José Berríos TOR SP
16 Kevin Gausman TOR SP
17 Frankie Montas OAK SP
18 Yu Darvish SD SP
19 Charlie Morton ATL SP
20 Logan Webb SF SP
21 Justin Verlander HOU SP
22 Germán Márquez COL SP
23 Framber Valdez HOU SP
24 Kyle Hendricks CHC SP
25 Luis Castillo CIN SP

 

Off the list: N/A

Robbie Ray probably won a lot of people their leagues last year. This is due in large part to his massive strikeout numbers, but let’s not forget the quality innings the guy threw. Ol’ tight pants posted 23 quality starts last year which was tied for second in the bigs and only trailed Walker Buehler. Now in Seattle, Ray gets to toe the slab in an even better environment for pitchers so one can only imagine how he follows up his Cy Young 2021 season.

 

Deep League Top 10 (>12-team leagues/65% owned or less)

 

Rank Name Team Position Change
1 Zack Greinke KC SP
2 Kyle Gibson PHI SP
3 Marco Gonzales SEA SP
4 Yusei Kikuchi TOR SP
5 Jameson Taillon NYY SP
6 Jordan Montgomery NYY SP
7 Jon Gray TEX SP
8 Michael Pineda DET SP
9 Jordan Montgomery NYY SP
10 Chris Flexen SEA SP

 

Off the list: N/A

The prodigal son has returned: Zack Greinke is back in Kansas City for his age-38 season. The veteran is coming off probably his worst season since 2016. When you look closer, his numbers are a tad skewed from his final four outings where he posted an 11.74 ERA which rose his season-long mark from 3.41 to 4.16. It could be the beginning of the end for Greinke, but I am willing to bet on him, especially at his severely discounted draft-day price.

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Colin Ward

Colin currently resides in the Buffalo, NY area and studied at SUNY Fredonia earning a degree in Sport Management. He is a former Assistant Athletic Director and Sports Information Director at the collegiate level. Baseball is his passion and he bleeds Pinstripes.

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