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RotoWire Roundtable: Latest 350 (Part 2)

Michael Rusignola

Michael Rusignola

Michael Rusignola has been covering fantasy baseball for RotoWire since 1998. He roots for the NY Mets and SF Giants, his two hometown teams.


Welcome to the second edition of the RotoWire Roundtable. This month, we added a new ranker - welcome Kevin Payne! Since our February update, there have been significant injury updates, closer battles and even a suspension reversal. The goal of the March update is to help you refine your draft day strategy. Below you will see our rankers' consolidated top-350 players.

These rankings were assembled for 12-team, 5x5 mixed leagues that start two catchers per team (thus there is a positional scarcity component added for catchers). We used five rankers: Jeff Erickson, Derek VanRiper, Michael Rusignola, Bernie Pleskoff and Kevin Payne. The rankings were provided completely blinded - none of the rankers saw any of the other rankings before the publication of this article. For more background on how to use these rankings, see the introduction to last month's update.

Upgrades since February

First, we'll go through a couple of players who have been upgraded since our February update.

- Ryan Braun (OF) - March Rank: 3; February Rank: 46.
- Jhoulys Chacin (SP) - March Rank: 196; February Rank: 314.
- Javy Guerra (CL) - March Rank: 274; February Rank: 348.
- Lucas Duda (OF) - March Rank: 197; February Rank: 261.
- Luke Hochevar (SP) - March Rank: 273; February Rank: 333.
- Justin Smoak (1B) - March Rank: 261; February Rank: 327.
- Jason Kubel (OF) - March Rank: 177; February Rank: 228.
- Jordan Zimmermann (SP) - March Rank: 133; February Rank: 168.
- Brandon Belt (1B) - March Rank: 215; February Rank: 265.
- Yu Darvish (SP) - March Rank: 83; February Rank: 109.

Those who drafted Ryan Braun in the fourth round a month ago are happy their optimism was rewarded. Ever since Braun won his appeal, he has been going in the top-5, peaking out in some cases as high as number one (we put him in the 3-6 range). Our rankers appear to have had a change of heart on Jhoulys Chacin since February:  Chacin's high strikeout and groundball rates should play well in Coors as he continues to mature. Javy Guerra will open the season as the Dodgers' closer (hence the uptick in his rankings) but he remains a risky play. Look for more growth from Lucas Duda. The starting right field job will be his come Opening Day, and he should find himself hitting near Ike Davis in the heart of the Mets' lineup. Former top pick Luke Hochevar had good second-half numbers in 2011, and is in a good park to take advantage of any possible breakout.

Justin Smoak was on a 30 HR, 100 RBI pace through 65 games last season before injuries and illness caught up to him. First base really thins out quickly and Smoak has the pedigree to impress if it all clicks. Jason Kubel will be playing in an outstanding hitter's park, and the increase in playing time he is expecting to see will only elevate his value. Jordan Zimmermann should see the strikeout rate inch up this year, and with the addition of Gio Gonzalez, he should have more favorable matchups pitching against most other teams' #3. Given how desperate the Giants were to score runs last year, Brandon Belt wasn't given a fair shake in 2011. He'll get more opportunities to play this season, and that should translate into bankable numbers. Yu Darvish brings the best arsenal of any pitcher we've seen come over from Asia and there's reason to think that he'll rack up a ton of strikeouts and wins, with the added advantage of hitters having little information about him in his first year. The Rangers know pitching and they know Japan (see: Lewis, Colby).

Downgrades since February

Here are the players who have seen their ranking fall since February.

- Chris Perez (CL) - March Rank: 264; February Rank: 217.
- Matt Capps (CL) - March Rank: 324; February Rank: 272.
- Tim Hudson (SP) - March Rank: 168; February Rank: 132.
- Stephen Drew (SS) - March Rank: 221; February Rank: 178.
- Roy Oswalt (SP) - March Rank: NR; February Rank: 224.
- Nick Markakis (OF) - March Rank: 135; February Rank: 107.
- Torii Hunter (OF) - March Rank: 188; February Rank: 156.

Chris Perez has not pitched yet this spring and his back issues could linger on into the season. Matt Capps's high ERA and low strikeout rate continue to hurt him in the rankings when compared to other, more steady closers. Tim Hudson has just started throwing off the mound, his first work since coming off back surgery. While he has an unofficial return date of May 1, there's a lot that needs to happen between now and then for that to become a reality. Speaking of injuries, the news over the past few weeks for Stephen Drew hasn't been very optimistic, and now there are reports that he won't be ready for Opening Day. It's hard to imagine that once Drew returns he'll play every game and with that concern comes a bigger drop in his value. Roy Oswalt still may sign at some point this season but he isn't going to sign now. His agent is comparing Oswalt's situation to Pedro Martinez's in 2009, where Pedro only pitched 45 innings. A lot of Nick Markakis's value lies in his reliability - both in terms of repeatable batting average and in durability. Both of those factors are in question this year. He might be back by Opening Day, but he's at risk to miss more time during the first month of the season. Torii Hunter is in the final year of a five-year contract, and with cheaper, younger and talented players waiting in the wings, he may be squeezed out of some playing time. He is not a reliable source of stolen bases any longer, having been caught more times than he's been successful on the basepaths in each of the last two seasons.

And on with...

The List (Pt. 2 - 176-350); (Part 1 - 1-176)

Rank Name Position Jeff DVR Michael Bernie Kevin  Median Feb Rank
176 Alexi Ogando SP 321 345 157 177 181 181.0 167
177 Jason Kubel OF 269 161 244 143 182 182.0 228
178 Scott Baker SP 154 265 183 175 195 183.0 195
179 Brian Wilson CL 157 183 169 305 192 183.0 160
180 David Freese 3B 184 156 210 129 219 184.0 204
181 Mike Moustakas 3B 188 171 224 173 216 188.0 164
182 Kelly Johnson 2B 182 154 203 188 258 188.0 174
183 Max Scherzer SP 131 149 207 192 189 189.0 162
184 Wilson Ramos 204 181 190 241 188 190.0 208
185 Austin Jackson OF 191 207 139 311 141 191.0 163
186 Hiroki Kuroda SP 163 215 179 191 NR 191.0 171
187 Joe Nathan CL 158 168 192 295 231 192.0 191
188 Torii Hunter OF 178 192 118 200 NR 192.0 156
189 Jeremy Hellickson SP 193 142 198 198 155 193.0 177
190 Jordan Walden CL 170 201 215 183 193 193.0 197
191 Emilio Bonifacio OF 194 210 227 142 146 194.0 192
192 Jhonny Peralta SS 201 191 238 153 194 194.0 184
193 Dustin Ackley 2B 195 172 232 146 210 195.0 215
194 Sergio Santos CL 169 205 195 184 213 195.0 183
195 Ryan Roberts 2B 196 159 219 266 186 196.0 198
196 Jhoulys Chacin SP 187 196 218 NR 172 196.0 314
197 Lucas Duda OF 198 175 158 271 220 198.0 261
198 Dexter Fowler OF 215 160 191 239 200 200.0 229
199 Jesus Montero DH 206 202 299 102 157 202.0 188
200 Andrew Bailey CL 186 198 202 208 227 202.0 187
201 Mark Trumbo 1B 202 243 231 101 203 203.0 216
202 Trevor Cahill SP 153 150 208 207 205 205.0 172
203 Heath Bell CL 185 206 236 300 199 206.0 194
204 Bud Norris SP 174 163 256 286 209 209.0 231
205 Clay Buchholz SP 243 176 258 210 208 210.0 205
206 Carlos Marmol CL 165 223 211 218 169 211.0 203
207 Ian Desmond SS 211 295 252 157 196 211.0 223
208 John Danks SP 203 179 239 212 225 212.0 201
209 Michael Brantley OF 212 233 164 282 178 212.0 213
210 R.A. Dickey SP 255 247 201 197 212 212.0 190
211 Jason Bay OF 213 218 178 228 191 213.0 207
212 Chad Billingsley SP 217 213 329 211 197 213.0 209
213 Vance Worley SP 239 164 214 206 214 214.0 180
214 Aaron Hill 2B 214 228 243 187 190 214.0 214
215 Brandon Belt 1B 216 115 216 345 187 216.0 265
216 Alex Rios OF 227 217 176 346 176 217.0 211
217 Edwin Jackson SP 207 178 326 245 217 217.0 219
218 Nolan Reimold OF 219 219 171 337 183 219.0 210
219 Melky Cabrera OF 190 220 114 232 232 220.0 199
220 Ted Lilly SP 218 211 220 NR 222 220.0 226
221 Stephen Drew SS 221 216 300 151 308 221.0 178
222 Marco Scutaro SS 222 241 170 152 241 222.0 200
223 Grant Balfour CL 224 224 181 326 290 224.0 196
224 Miguel Olivo 225 NR 200 257 221 225.0 225
225 Edwin Encarnacion 3B 238 189 246 221 226 226.0 206
226 James Loney 1B 228 318 188 220 230 228.0 221
227 Salvador Perez 258 300 229 172 229 229.0 220
228 Yoenis Cespedes OF 179 229 142 NR 257 229.0 218
229 Kyle Farnsworth CL 200 237 230 216 233 230.0 222
230 Jair Jurrjens SP 233 232 257 178 235 233.0 234
231 John Buck 226 249 193 258 234 234.0 232
232 Russell Martin 247 234 277 219 202 234.0 233
233 Justin Morneau 1B 285 188 309 237 206 237.0 236
234 Carlos Quentin OF 240 250 281 205 223 240.0 230
235 Frank Francisco CL 234 240 241 328 218 240.0 249
236 Gavin Floyd SP 208 231 263 242 263 242.0 237
237 Mark Buehrle SP 209 315 301 243 201 243.0 270
238 Jeff Francoeur OF 180 244 127 253 NR 244.0 202
239 Matt Thornton CL 244 238 221 327 256 244.0 240
240 Kurt Suzuki 236 269 226 314 246 246.0 255
241 Jonathan Lucroy 246 245 237 342 260 246.0 256
242 Jonny Venters STP 277 340 212 209 247 247.0 243
243 Geovany Soto 248 208 255 323 237 248.0 238
244 Kendrys Morales 1B 286 286 209 Abst 211 248.5 266
245 Chase Headley 3B 249 297 253 190 240 249.0 250
246 Ryan Dempster SP 231 195 NR 292 249 249.0 257
247 Jed Lowrie SS 268 242 250 347 184 250.0 262
248 Jose Tabata OF 281 266 235 229 251 251.0 259
249 Dayan Viciedo OF 271 252 213 251 278 252.0 248
250 Ricky Nolasco SP 232 194 NR 291 252 252.0 258
251 Jim Johnson CL 223 254 225 350 259 254.0 235
252 Alfonso Soriano OF 325 275 248 235 254 254.0 251
253 Ben Revere OF 299 227 311 256 239 256.0 268
254 J.D. Martinez OF 259 258 162 255 266 258.0 254
255 Adam Dunn 1B 307 186 259 334 166 259.0 307
256 Chipper Jones 3B 319 209 297 230 261 261.0 242
257 Lorenzo Cain OF 262 302 156 NR 171 262.0 253
258 Mike Trout OF 263 226 308 240 264 263.0 246
259 Tim Stauffer SP 264 261 261 320 NR 264.0 260
260 Shaun Marcum SP 265 260 271 287 242 265.0 244
261 Justin Smoak 1B NR 155 NR 265 250 265.0 327
262 Yunel Escobar SS 272 222 266 156 276 266.0 241
263 Alcides Escobar SS 289 267 330 223 207 267.0 267
264 Chris Perez CL 189 331 199 NR 267 267.0 217
265 Daniel Bard SP 251 293 289 247 269 269.0 245
266 Chris Iannetta 257 270 293 NR 224 270.0 269
267 Tyler Clippard STP 279 NR 189 249 272 272.0 264
268 Rafael Furcal SS 261 279 273 172 277 273.0 252
269 Neftali Feliz SP 230 306 302 179 273 273.0 239
270 Eric Thames OF 336 271 274 126 330 274.0 279
271 Mitch Moreland 1B NR 236 344 238 274 274.0 274
272 John Mayberry OF 349 274 275 NR 243 275.0 301
273 Luke Hochevar SP 220 276 334 NR 244 276.0 333
274 Javy Guerra CL 276 NR NR 215 236 276.0 348
275 Justin Masterson SP 210 277 316 284 198 277.0 273
276 Joel Peralta STP 278 NR 267 217 315 278.0 247
277 Jerry Sands OF 260 259 278 NR 292 278.0 286
278 Denard Span OF 300 303 270 280 271 280.0 281
279 Scott Rolen 3B NR 248 349 182 280 280.0 290
280 Zack Cozart SS 250 349 280 NR 270 280.0 334
281 Bryan LaHair OF 267 NR 180 NR 281 281.0 328
282 Mike Carp 1B 287 283 245 340 275 283.0 285
283 Mat Gamel 1B 284 305 283 273 287 284.0 294
284 Adam LaRoche 1B NR 285 347 222 283 285.0 306
285 Ryan Doumit 288 NR 304 171 279 288.0 283
286 A.J. Pierzynski 270 NR 262 NR 288 288.0 288
287 Johan Santana SP 312 290 337 261 204 290.0 291
288 David Robertson STP 280 341 217 290 311 290.0 277
289 Vinnie Pestano STP 291 323 282 301 262 291.0 330
290 Travis Snider OF NR 287 291 NR 289 291.0 343
291 Daniel Murphy 2B 338 204 295 322 265 295.0 289
292 Jonathon Niese SP 242 193 350 NR 295 295.0 312
293 Addison Reed STP 254 316 296 296 305 296.0 297
294 Lonnie Chisenhall 3B 229 296 249 NR 321 296.0 287
295 Ryan Vogelsong SP 296 NR 314 199 291 296.0 275
296 Mike Minor SP 253 212 NR NR 296 296.0 320
297 Francisco Rodriguez STP 297 NR 284 NR 293 297.0 341
298 Mike Adams STP 298 342 205 233 300 298.0 263
299 Erik Bedard SP 293 294 310 NR 298 298.0 299
300 Danny Valencia 3B 305 268 265 308 299 299.0 276
301 Carlos Ruiz 301 299 294 275 317 299.0 282
302 Allen Craig OF 322 329 206 202 301 301.0 271
303 Jarrod Saltalamacchia 283 301 312 NR 285 301.0 311
304 Brett Myers CL 302 239 NR NR 248 302.0 NR
305 Homer Bailey SP 274 288 NR NR 302 302.0 346
306 Chris Heisey OF 337 273 303 NR 268 303.0 318
307 Bobby Abreu OF 308 328 223 274 304 304.0 280
308 Johnny Giavotella 2B 340 282 340 279 306 306.0 304
309 Luke Scott OF 333 346 307 272 286 307.0 302
310 Joaquin Benoit STP NR NR 242 250 309 309.0 317
311 Brent Morel 3B 290 330 288 339 310 310.0 332
312 Jonathan Sanchez SP 275 311 NR NR 282 311.0 298
313 Mike Aviles 2B NR 281 333 147 312 312.0 295
314 Marlon Byrd OF 282 320 196 NR 313 313.0 293
315 Bryce Harper OF 313 225 NR NR 294 313.0 347
316 Sergio Romo STP 320 317 234 297 314 314.0 313
317 Francisco Liriano SP 315 264 NR 321 297 315.0 331
318 Cliff Pennington SS 303 NR 315 309 NR 315.0 296
319 Phil Hughes SP 316 292 324 NR 303 316.0 325
320 Wilson Betemit 3B NR 319 233 310 318 318.0 303
321 Greg Holland STP 318 NR 268 302 NR 318.0 350
322 Garrett Jones 1B 330 NR 305 299 319 319.0 310
323 Devin Mesoraco 304 272 NR 348 320 320.0 321
324 Matt Capps CL 245 253 321 331 322 321.0 272
325 Josh Reddick OF 324 322 254 268 NR 322.0 292
326 Ivan Nova SP 266 NR 341 132 323 323.0 326
327 Andres Torres OF 323 347 306 312 327 323.0 309
328 David Murphy OF NR NR 279 283 324 324.0 337
329 Omar Infante 2B 335 326 272 155 325 325.0 284
330 Jake Peavy SP 346 263 NR 294 326 326.0 315
331 Ramon Hernandez 328 332 323 236 NR 328.0 319
332 Josh Tomlin SP 310 NR 328 262 338 328.0 305
333 Nick Hundley 327 NR 335 259 328 328.0 324
334 Ty Wigginton 3B 331 NR 320 318 331 331.0 316
335 Aubrey Huff 1B 332 NR 285 298 337 332.0 308
336 David DeJesus OF NR NR 290 252 332 332.0 336
337 Chris Parmelee 1B NR 325 NR 332 329 332.0 322
338 Sean Rodriguez 2B 334 256 NR NR 255 334.0 329
339 James McDonald SP 241 313 NR NR 334 334.0 340
340 Alejandro de Aza OF 342 NR 251 336 245 336.0 338
341 Cody Ross OF NR 289 336 NR 341 341.0 335
342 Edinson Volquez SP NR 314 NR 341 336 341.0 NR
343 Matt Harrison SP NR 310 NR 289 344 344.0 345
344 Todd Helton 1B NR 298 NR 227 345 345.0 342
345 Josh Collmenter SP 347 NR 276 NR 307 347.0 323
346 Henderson Alvarez SP 295 NR 331 NR 347 347.0 NR
347 Alfredo Aceves SP 294 348 240 NR NR 348.0 339
348 Alex Presley OF 350 NR 287 NR 348 350.0 NR
349 Jesus Guzman 1B NR NR 338 168 NR 391.5 NR
350 Jose Altuve 2B NR NR NR 170 343 391.5 NR



NR = Not Ranked
Abst = Abstained from Ranking


Players with the same median were ranked secondarily by their average ranking. Players who were not ranked were assigned a ranking of 391.5 (the midpoint between 351 and 432, the total number of ranked players) for the purpose of computing the median and average.