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2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

RotoWire's fantasy baseball rankings for the 2018 MLB season.

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Player stats shown are 2018 projections. Click headings to sort.
2018 MLB Player Outlooks
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Mike Trout 
Los Angeles Angels  OF     #1 Overall

2018 Proj:   156 G   548 AB   .308 AVG  39 HR  97 RBI  26 SB  119 R  

For the first time in his career, Trout required a stint on the DL in 2017 after he tore the UCL in his left thumb in late May. He missed 39 games as a result of the injury, but showed no lingering effects of the ailment after returning to the lineup following the All-Star break. Over his final 67 games, Trout hit .285/.429/.552, with 17 homers, 36 RBI, 12 steals, and a 58:48 BB:K in 301 plate appearances, a pace that would have made him a 40-homer, 30-steal player over a full 162-game season. The per-game production was once again at an MVP level, and it's hard to believe that he's still just 26 years old. Thanks to a late-season deal for Justin Upton, the Angels' supporting cast around Trout was upgraded, and his run-production numbers could tick up slightly in 2018 as a result. Even if he's no longer the unanimous choice as the No. 1 overall pick in drafts, he's still on the short list of players in the conversation.

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Nolan Arenado 
Colorado Rockies  3B     #2 Overall

2018 Proj:   159 G   612 AB   .302 AVG  40 HR  135 RBI  2 SB  105 R  

For the third consecutive season, Arenado finished as a top-six fantasy earner among hitters. He's averaging 40 homers and 131 RBI over the past three years, and his batting average has seen steady growth as Arenado has learned to be more patient (9.1 percent walk rate last season) and work the ball the other way when he has to. There was a notable dip against right-handers in 2017, with his OPS against righties falling more than 100 points to .843, but his bounce-back against lefties more than made up for it. He remains a Gold Glove defender at third base, so he's on the field everyday, plus he's productive away from Coors Field (.283/.355/.531 on the road last season). Arenado makes consistent contact, is just entering his age-27 campaign and his home park gives him an excellent floor for fantasy production. Thinking Arenado won't return first-round value again seems silly at this point.

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Charlie Blackmon 
Colorado Rockies  OF     #3 Overall

2018 Proj:   154 G   617 AB   .323 AVG  31 HR  89 RBI  17 SB  121 R  

Blackmon's fourth full season with the Rockies was his best yet, as he established new career-highs in nearly every meaningful offensive category while becoming the fourth Colorado player in the last five seasons to capture the National League batting title. With another step forward in power, Blackmon's stolen-base output dropped slightly, and his lower success rate (14-for-24, 58.3 percent) could lead to fewer green lights in the future. Other than the declining efficiency on the basepaths, he's proven to be a very good player in an excellent situation. Over the past two seasons, he's shown significant improvement against lefties, topping out with a .952 OPS against southpaws in 2017. Blackmon was extremely productive at home last season, posting a .391/.466/.733 line at Coors Field, improving his home OPS by 300 points from 2016, and topping his road OPS (.784) by 455 points. Expecting a repeat is unfair, but he was nearly a top-five player with his 2016 numbers, so he'll likely be among the first 10-12 players off the board in 2018.

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Paul Goldschmidt 
Arizona Diamondbacks  1B     #4 Overall

2018 Proj:   157 G   567 AB   .302 AVG  32 HR  110 RBI  23 SB  111 R  

Only Charlie Blackmon, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Judge outearned Goldschmidt last season. The overall numbers picked up where 2015 left off after the slight power hiccup in 2016. The only thing that has held Goldschmidt back in recent years was the broken hand that ended his season in early August of 2014. As long as Goldschmidt is on the field, especially when he is at home, the production is a first-round lock. The numbers are consistent across the board and where other hitters suffer volatility from year to year -- you can practically pencil in a $35-plus season for Goldschmidt and see what happens in the stolen-base department. Eventually, the bonus speed from the first-base position is going to wane, but as long as he has an aggressive manager that lets him run, Goldschmidt should at least get to double digits for a couple more seasons.

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Jose Altuve 
Houston Astros  2B     #5 Overall

2018 Proj:   156 G   615 AB   .337 AVG  23 HR  84 RBI  31 SB  106 R  

Altuve proved that his 2016 power surge wasn't a fluke, matching his home-run total (24) from the previous year and setting new career bests with his entire slash line (.346/.410/.547) while also improving his success rate on the basepaths (32-for-38, 84.2 percent). For the fourth consecutive season, he led the American League in hits, despite his lowest total of plate appearances since 2012. A perennial All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner, Altuve has played at an elite level annually since 2014, when fantasy owners were enthralled by his ability as a 50-steal contributor. An early-season spike in strikeouts in April was offset by three straight months with a K% under 10 percent, and while his season rate was up from 9.8 to 12.7 percent, whiffs are simply not an issue for him. As part of a Houston core that figures to remain intact for at least another two years, Altuve is positioned to once again make another run at being the best player in the game -- both in the American League and in fantasy.

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Kris Bryant 
Chicago Cubs  3B     #18 Overall

2018 Proj:   154 G   569 AB   .295 AVG  33 HR  91 RBI  8 SB  115 R  

At a glance, the reigning NL MVP had a disappointing season in 2017 -- his home-run total fell from 39 to 29, and he drove in just 73 runs after racking 102 RBI in 2016. A closer look reveals signs of improvement in the underlying numbers, however, as Bryant struck out a career-low 19.2 percent of the time while drawing walks at a career-high 14.3 percent clip. While his RBI output was lighter than expected, Bryant racked up 111 runs scored, finishing eighth in MLB in 2017 after he cracked the top-five in 2016. He spent more time in the No. 2 spot in the batting order last season, which paired with the Cubs' lack of an OBP machine in the leadoff spot following the departure of Dexter Fowler, reduced his opportunities to drive in runs. The slight drop in power should slightly deflate Bryant's price at the draft table this spring, but there's no compelling reason to think that he can't be one of the most productive hitters in the league in 2018.

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Josh Donaldson 
Toronto Blue Jays  3B     #19 Overall

2018 Proj:   148 G   549 AB   .281 AVG  39 HR  101 RBI  4 SB  102 R  

While most of Toronto’s bats languished in 2017, Donaldson only noticed a minor dip in performance once he shook off an early-season calf injury, which cost him about six weeks. After struggling initially upon his return, Donaldson found his swing in the second half, ranking fifth in baseball with a 160 wRC+ after the All-Star break while swatting 24 home runs and reaching base at a .386 clip. The lack of production around Donaldson still proved costly, however, particularly in the runs category, where his total dropped from 122 in 2016 to 65 in 2017. The Blue Jays’ aging offensive nucleus makes it unlikely that Donaldson will hit the lofty heights in runs and RBI he reached in 2015 and 2016, but the 32-year-old remains one of the game’s premier power bats, even in an era of rising home-run outputs. So long as he avoids another extended DL stint, Donaldson makes for a dependable building block in the early stages of drafts, though his team context probably takes him out of the first- or second-round conversation.

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