March is just one short month away, which means it’s almost time to start drafting your fantasy baseball teams. The 2015 RotoWire Fantasy Baseball Guide is getting sent out in the coming days and it includes everything necessary to prepare for draft season. Prospect rankings are flooding the internet as well, making this one of the more enjoyable times of the year.
I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute to the RotoWire Roundtable this year, where five of our best baseball minds rank their top 350 players for 2015, with the five lists then getting compiled into one master list. This is a big hit on the website, as it represents the opinions of five baseball experts, with checks and balances built in. For instance, I think Mookie Betts is a top 60 player this year, but such a stance will get reeled in because my colleagues will (presumably) be less bullish on Betts, and he will probably settle in somewhere in the 75-100 range in the composite rankings. This is more useful to the user, because it offers a realistic range where a player will get drafted in most leagues, and biases in every direction get muffled in favor of a clearer picture.
I might write about Betts sometime in this space before the season, but it was easy to rank him where I did. Right now, however, I want to focus on Freddie Freeman, who has been a nightmare for me to rank.
We have the Braves’ first baseman ranked sixth at his position, and his current NFBC ADP is 37.
What kind of player will you get if you take Freeman at the end of the third round or the beginning of the fourth round? Three prominent projection systems weigh in:
PECOTA: .278 BA, 20 HR, 75 runs, 82 RBI, two steals, 636 plate appearances
STEAMER: .284 BA, 24 HR, 80 runs, 83 RBI, three steals, 650 plate appearances
ZiPS: .286 BA, 22 HR, 97 runs, 91 RBI, three steals, 669 plate appearances