Loading scores...
Draft Strategy

Draft Guide Preview: Abusing the Default Ranks

by Rotoworld Staff

With Opening Day less than a month away, there's no time like the present to start cramming for your fantasy baseball drafts. And there's no better resource to help guide you to another championship than our 2019 MLB Draft Guide. This year's edition is as jam packed as ever with over 1,500 player profiles, customizable projections, rankings, positional tiers and a ton of exclusive columns. 

One of those columns is Abusing the Default Rankings, where our experts examine the default pre-draft rankings from Yahoo and ESPN to uncover potential sleepers, busts, and late-round values in mixed leagues. Here's a small sampling of what you can get in the full online Draft Guide.

Yahoo Rankings

Where the buzz guys are ranked: 

41. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
121. Eloy Jimenez
172. Yusei Kikuchi
178. Byron Buxton
264. Jesus Luzardo
284. Chris Paddack
291. Garrett Hampson
305. Pete Alonso 
331. Brad Peacock
343. Matt Strahm
747. Trevor Richards
1133. Kyle Wright
1540. Tyler O’Neill 
1579. Lewis Brinson
1620. Ryan McMahon
1689. Christin Stewart

Expectations for Vlad Jr. are very high, even if he’s not likely to contribute at the major league level in April … In fact, with Vlad’s oblique injury, it’s possible Jimenez could arrive even sooner, so he looks like a nice value here … Kikuchi is being selected in the mid-to-late rounds of mixed league drafts, though the Mariners figure to handle him with care during his first year in the states … Buxton is putting up some strong numbers this spring after a rough 2018 and the price will at least be reasonable this year … Luzardo and Paddack are arguably the two most exciting prospect pitchers in camp this spring … Hampson brings interesting speed potential to the table as he battles McMahon for the starting second base job with the Rockies … Alonso still isn’t a sure thing to make the Opening Day roster with the Mets, but his power should play right away … Josh James could eventually find his way to the Astros’ rotation, but Peacock is showing why he was a valuable fantasy starter just two years ago … Strahm could be poised to take off as a full-time member of the Padres’ rotation while Wright is making a case to win the fifth starter job in Atlanta … Richards quietly notched 130 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings as a rookie last season … O’Neill, Brinson, and Stewart are all young outfielders worth watching.

ESPN Rankings

Players listed lower overall than expected:

15. Ronald Acuna
23. Aaron Judge
36. Andrew Benintendi
73. Daniel Murphy
81. J.T. Realmuto
89. Yasiel Puig
101. Adalberto Mondesi
103. Matt Chapman
112. Zack Wheeler
113. Josh Donaldson
119. Victor Robles
137. Chris Archer
146. Jose Leclerc
157. Yu Darvish
161. Max Muncy
169. Corey Knebel

Coming off a monster second half, Acuna should already be established as a first-round selection and might be pushing for top-three status this time next year … With his wrist fully healed, Judge is capable of delivering top-10 overall value this year … Benintendi is already a valuable five-category contributor, but he likely hasn’t reached his ceiling yet … If healthy, Murphy could be primed for his best season to date while calling Coors Field home … Again, Realmuto isn’t getting much credit for his monster 2018 and the possibility that he could improve upon those numbers in a loaded lineup in Philadelphia … Puig has never looked like a better pick than spending his walk year in hitter-friendly Cincinnati … Mondesi’s ranking might be the most surprising of all. While he has some bust potential due to his mega-aggressive approach, the speed gives him a safe floor and he’s already proven that he’s not a zero in the power department … Names like Chapman and Donaldson show that you can wait on third base … Robles is listed lower here than in Yahoo, increasing his appeal … The same goes for Archer, Darvish, and Knebel … Darvish is a bit of a wild card at this point, but there’s huge profit potential at this price and little downside if things go south once again … There’s a 27-pick spread between Yahoo’s ranking of Wheeler and where ESPN has him … Leclerc is a top-10 closer for me right now … Even if you don’t expect Muncy to duplicate what he did last year, he might not have to in order to justify this price. It also helps that he’s eligible in multiple spots.

For the rest of this columns, and everything else in the Draft Guide, you can purchase here! Take advantage of our package deals and gain access to our MLB Season Pass and MLB DFS Toolkit products as well!

Rotoworld Staff