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RotoWire Roundtable: Latest 350 (Part 1)

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 (Part 1 - 1-175; Part 2 - 176-350)

Rank Name Position Jeff DVR Michael Bernie Kevin  Median Feb Rank
1 Miguel Cabrera 1B 1 2 1 2 2  2.0 1
2 Albert Pujols 1B 2 3 2 3 1  2.0 3
3 Ryan Braun OF 3 6 4 4 5  4.0 46
4 Matt Kemp OF 4 11 3 1 4  4.0 2
5 Jose Bautista 3B 5 1 12 5 3  5.0 4
6 Troy Tulowitzki SS 6 7 10 11 6  7.0 8
7 Joey Votto 1B 8 9 8 7 7  8.0 6
8 Carlos Gonzalez OF 11 5 5 8 13  8.0 5
9 Jacoby Ellsbury OF 10 12 6 6 9  9.0 7
10 Robinson Cano 2B 7 10 9 14 8  9.0 10
11 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 9 13 7 9 14  9.0 9
12 Justin Upton OF 12 4 11 13 11 11.0 11
13 Evan Longoria 3B 13 8 15 20 10 13.0 13
14 Prince Fielder 1B 14 16 16 10 16 16.0 14
15 Clayton Kershaw SP 21 18 14 12 17 17.0 12
16 Dustin Pedroia 2B 15 15 17 21 20 17.0 15
17 Hanley Ramirez SS 16 17 22 24 12 17.0 19
18 Ian Kinsler 2B 17 14 36 31 15 17.0 22
19 Roy Halladay SP 22 20 13 17 18 18.0 16
20 Justin Verlander SP 33 19 21 16 24 21.0 17
21 Curtis Granderson OF 18 31 23 18 22 22.0 18
22 Giancarlo Stanton OF 19 22 33 19 25 22.0 20
23 Mark Teixeira 1B 20 29 35 22 23 23.0 24
24 Jose Reyes SS 24 25 27 15 21 24.0 21
25 Adrian Beltre 3B 26 24 28 23 19 24.0 23
26 Cliff Lee SP 27 26 18 41 26 26.0 25
27 Andrew McCutchen OF 23 21 29 56 29 29.0 27
28 Paul Konerko 1B 40 48 25 29 31 31.0 36
29 David Wright 3B 25 30 34 32 37 32.0 29
30 Alex Gordon OF 30 32 30 39 50 32.0 39
31 Josh Hamilton OF 34 28 24 33 39 33.0 28
32 Hunter Pence OF 39 49 32 27 33 33.0 37
33 Cole Hamels SP 37 27 20 40 35 35.0 26
34 Matt Holliday OF 35 33 26 35 41 35.0 30
35 Starlin Castro SS 29 41 40 36 32 36.0 35
36 Carlos Santana 36 53 38 30 36 36.0 34
37 Felix Hernandez SP 38 38 37 26 28 37.0 32
38 Jay Bruce OF 42 23 39 34 40 39.0 33
39 Brett Lawrie 3B 28 42 19 47 45 42.0 31
40 Tim Lincecum SP 41 46 50 42 27 42.0 44
41 Shin-Soo Choo OF 32 47 31 64 43 43.0 38
42 Desmond Jennings OF 31 43 43 69 46 43.0 43
43 Ryan Zimmerman 3B 43 40 51 58 42 43.0 50
44 CC Sabathia SP 50 37 57 46 38 46.0 42
45 Elvis Andrus SS 46 44 63 44 70 46.0 45
46 Jered Weaver SP 58 56 45 38 47 47.0 40
47 Nelson Cruz OF 47 45 46 75 53 47.0 52
48 Aramis Ramirez 3B 48 52 47 25 55 48.0 51
49 Stephen Strasburg SP 60 50 44 49 34 49.0 49
50 David Price SP 51 35 42 50 51 50.0 41
51 Yovani Gallardo SP 57 36 69 51 49 51.0 48
52 Buster Posey 53 60 58 54 44 54.0 47
53 Eric Hosmer 1B 56 51 54 70 48 54.0 59
54 Michael Cuddyer OF 54 102 41 68 54 54.0 63
55 B.J. Upton OF 49 55 53 117 59 55.0 53
56 Mike Napoli 44 70 59 28 60 59.0 54
57 Brian McCann 45 59 66 43 71 59.0 57
58 Zack Greinke SP 59 34 87 87 30 59.0 69
59 Alex Rodriguez 3B 52 67 62 60 52 60.0 60
60 Jon Lester SP 61 57 75 92 57 61.0 70
61 Dan Haren SP 62 62 64 45 58 62.0 56
62 Pablo Sandoval 3B 63 39 77 53 68 63.0 58
63 Brandon Phillips 2B 65 69 52 37 72 65.0 55
64 Adam Jones OF 70 64 49 74 65 65.0 66
65 Ben Zobrist 2B 64 66 71 67 56 66.0 67
66 Michael Young 3B 68 71 48 52 82 68.0 61
67 Kevin Youkilis 3B 76 68 86 57 69 69.0 71
68 Dan Uggla 2B 67 85 70 82 61 70.0 72
69 Joe Mauer 72 82 55 55 73 72.0 62
70 Michael Bourn OF 55 78 56 78 74 74.0 65
71 Shane Victorino OF 77 91 68 76 63 76.0 75
72 Derek Jeter SS 78 83 60 81 77 78.0 78
73 Miguel Montero 71 81 78 62 100    78.0 74
74 Craig Kimbrel CL 85 103 67 59 79 79.0 64
75 Ichiro Suzuki OF 93 76 76 79 88 79.0 73
76 Matt Wieters 69 80 97 98 66 80.0 84
77 Drew Stubbs OF 73 77 83 123 109 83.0 76
78 C.J. Wilson SP 84 73 99 93 62 84.0 85
79 Carl Crawford OF 94 94 84 65 83 84.0 68
80 Andre Ethier OF 80 84 65 85 118 84.0 80
81 Jayson Werth OF 79 100 82 122 85 85.0 97
82 Rickie Weeks 2B 86 58 88 104 67 86.0 79
83 Yu Darvish SP 112 86 121 86 81 86.0 109
84 Chase Utley 2B 87 79 96 63 90 87.0 77
85 Asdrubal Cabrera SS 88 65 91 106 75 88.0 87
86 Josh Beckett SP 82 112 93 89 80 89.0 100
87 Jemile Weeks 2B 111 132 89 83 76 89.0 92
88 Josh Johnson SP 114 97 61 90 89 90.0 86
89 Dee Gordon SS 103 90 81 95 84 90.0 81
90 Alex Avila 89 89 90 109 113 90.0 94
91 Matt Cain SP 66 110 73 115 91 91.0 99
92 Mat Latos SP 101 88 94 113 92 94.0 89
93 Ricky Romero SP 81 96 107 88 96 96.0 88
94 Adam Wainwright SP 102 75 98 110 78 98.0 82
95 Madison Bumgarner SP 98 72 117 114 64 98.0 102
96 Matt Moore SP 100 74 116 91 98 98.0 95
97 Mike Morse OF 99 106 74 66 110 99.0 83
98 David Ortiz DH 106 98 144 96 99 99.0 108
99 Ian Kennedy SP 116 95 100 112 87 100.0 104
100 Jimmy Rollins SS 105 101 123 99 86 101.0 98
101 John Axford CL 92 127 102 84 108 102.0 90
102 Jason Heyward OF 95 54 105 201 102 102.0 120
103 Brett Gardner OF 104 93 120 225 94 104.0 113
104 Ike Davis 1B 115 105 92 103 128 105.0 101
105 Daniel Hudson SP 74 108 79 133 106 106.0 91
106 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 107 122 103 61 138 107.0 115
107 Howie Kendrick 2B 109 116 112 48 93 109.0 111
108 Lance Berkman 1B 117 104 109 72 115 109.0 105
109 Danny Espinosa 2B 108 109 155 186 104 109.0 137
110 Cameron Maybin OF 129 61 110 231 95 110.0 116
111 Cory Luebke SP 113 111 80 111 111 111.0 110
112 Chris Young OF 110 92 111 203 122 111.0 96
113 Mark Reynolds 3B 75 113 122 100 121 113.0 106
114 Drew Storen CL 96 135 113 121 112 113.0 119
115 Corey Hart OF 130 125 72 97 114 114.0 93
116 James Shields SP 83 63 130 124 116 116.0 103
117 Neil Walker 2B 118 117 104 107 158 117.0 112
118 Matt Garza SP 91 87 119 194 117 117.0 114
119 Mariano Rivera CL 90 121 125 118 97 118.0 117
120 Jonathan Papelbon CL 97 128 115 120 126 120.0 121
121 Brandon Beachy SP 123 107 136 130 101 123.0 125
122 Logan Morrison OF 143 99 124 164 107 124.0 136
123 Michael Pineda SP 126 133 160 116 120 126.0 122
124 Billy Butler DH 128 124 148 73 131 128.0 126
125 Jason Kipnis 2B 138 129 101 150 124 129.0 127
126 Coco Crisp OF 150 140 126 108 129 129.0 118
127 Nick Swisher OF 119 131 85 163 159 131.0 134
128 Carlos Beltran OF 168 126 143 77 132 132.0 128
129 Ryan Madson CL 124 134 138 140 134 134.0 123
130 Alexei Ramirez SS 120 137 135 94 142 135.0 124
131 Gio Gonzalez SP 125 152 184 135 127 135.0 149
132 Freddie Freeman 1B 142 114 137 128 136 136.0 133
133 Jordan Zimmermann SP 136 130 167 176 119 136.0 168
134 Derek Holland SP 122 119 194 193 137 137.0 154
135 Nick Markakis OF 172 138 129 71 150 138.0 107
136 Brandon League CL 137 184 133 139 167 139.0 135
137 Gaby Sanchez 1B 139 203 128 127 174 139.0 138
138 Peter Bourjos OF 127 139 108 226 NR 139.0 131
139 Tommy Hanson SP 144 153 145 134 125 144.0 146
140 J.J. Putz CL 146 144 149 137 135 144.0 130
141 Vernon Wells OF 160 147 95 159 140 147.0 144
142 Jason Motte CL 148 169 146 138 156 148.0 141
143 Rafael Betancourt CL 149 200 147 180 149 149.0 158
144 Yadier Molina 133 182 150 149 161 150.0 143
145 Johnny Cueto SP 121 151 140 162 151 151.0 140
146 Martin Prado OF 183 123 151 148 179 151.0 139
147 Adam Lind 1B 152 185 177 125 145 152.0 173
148 Delmon Young OF 237 246 152 144 148 152.0 179
149 Jaime Garcia SP 145 143 173 244 153 153.0 153
150 Carlos Lee OF 235 148 154 141 173 154.0 142
151 Ubaldo Jimenez SP 155 118 222 213 152 155.0 175
152 Kenley Jansen CL 156 146 134 166 253 156.0 129
153 J.P. Arencibia 132 157 161 167 133 157.0 152
154 Matt Joyce OF 192 158 131 160 130 158.0 150
155 Josh Willingham OF 205 251 141 158 147 158.0 169
156 Erick Aybar SS 159 170 174 80 105 159.0 147
157 Joel Hanrahan CL 147 166 159 181 143 159.0 151
158 J.J. Hardy SS 162 190 187 105 139 162.0 155
159 Jose Valverde CL 167 145 197 119 162 162.0 145
160 Brandon McCarthy SP 135 197 132 174 163 163.0 157
161 Ryan Howard 1B 161 187 163 Abst 164 163.5 185
162 Brandon Morrow SP 164 141 260 196 103 164.0 176
163 Chris Carpenter SP 140 165 186 214 160 165.0 148
164 Colby Rasmus OF 197 136 165 281 123 165.0 165
165 Colby Lewis SP 134 162 166 185 185 166.0 159
166 Huston Street CL 166 199 168 165 154 166.0 166
167 Angel Pagan OF 177 173 106 248 144 173.0 161
168 Tim Hudson SP 173 262 153 161 228 173.0 132
169 Brennan Boesch OF 199 174 172 204 165 174.0 186
170 Anibal Sanchez SP 141 120 175 306 215 175.0 170
171 Doug Fister SP 176 214 182 131 170 176.0 189
172 Ervin Santana SP 175 177 247 195 168 177.0 182
173 Joakim Soria CL 171 167 204 304 177 177.0 193
174 Wandy Rodriguez SP 151 180 185 260 175 180.0 181
175 Carlos Pena 1B 181 235 228 154 180 181.0 212



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.