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The RotoWire 200: July Update

Jeff Erickson

Jeff Erickson is a co-founder of RotoWire and the only two-time winner of Baseball Writer of the Year from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He's also in the FSWA Hall of Fame. He roots for the Reds, Bengals, Red Wings, Pacers and Northwestern University (the real NU).

The RotoWire 200
July Update

This might be my last midseason overall ranking of players. I'm not entirely convinced that the exercise will be useful another month from now, when so much of trading is dependent on the standings and individual needs, rather than pure value of the player. You tell me in the comments - would an August update help you? Once again, this list presumes a 5x5, 12-team mixed league that starts two catchers and does not have an innings-cap. You'll note less of a positional scarcity component here - it's still there at the top, but less so once we hid the middle tiers. I'm setting these rankings as if I were drafting anew today - anything that the player has already done, through Friday, would not count in such a hypothetical league.

1. Jose Bautista, 3B/OF - In most leagues the move back to third base doesn't change his present value, but it certainly doesn't hurt his future value.
2. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
4. Matt Kemp, OF
5. Ryan Braun, OF - Two players in a row who have an injury or just came back from an injury. This is admittedly optimistic, perhaps for all three players.
6. Troy Tulowitzki, SS - Will this recent quad injury linger? Will it prevent him from running in the second half? I'd still take him over any other shortstop and try to trade for him from those that are wary of the injury.
7. Hanley Ramirez, SS
8. Joey Votto, 1B
9. Robinson Cano, 2B
10. Prince Fielder, 1B
11. Mark Teixeira, 1B
12. Roy Halladay, P
13. Albert Pujols, 1B - Miracle healing powers? Or came back too soon? Or maybe it's both? I don't really know what to expect, but given the nature of the injury, it might take awhile before the power fully returns.
14. Justin Verlander, P
15. Curtis Granderson, OF - Instinctively I should be telling people to sell high, but he's had real skill growth, hitting better against lefties. Debate him in the comments please - I'd love to hear other input.
16. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
17. Justin Upton, OF
18. Rickie Weeks, 2B
19. Ryan Howard, 1B - Howard's slugging percentage is slightly down again this year.
20. Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B
21. Andrew McCutchen, OF
22. Clayton Kershaw, P
23. Carlos Gonzalez, OF - CarGo came back from his wrist injury Friday night - as you've heard us say before, be wary of wrist injuries and what they do to a player's power.
24. Dustin Pedroia, 2B - After having his peace-of-mind examination on his knee, Pedroia has been on fire.
25. Josh Hamilton, OF
26. Matt Holliday, OF
27. Paul Konerko, 1B
28. Tim Lincecum, P
29. Cliff Lee, P
30. Brian McCann, C
31. Ian Kinsler, 2B
32. Nelson Cruz, OF
33. Jay Bruce, OF
34. Hunter Pence, OF
35. Jered Weaver, P
36. Victor Martinez, C
37. Chase Utley, 2B - I'm surprised that Utley already has six stolen bases.
38. Adrian Beltre, 3B
39. Brandon Phillips, 2B
40. Lance Berkman, 1B/OF - Back in the outfield with Pujols returning early. On merit, he should be higher, but I think he's still an injury risk.
41. Cole Hamels, P
42. CC Sabathia, P
43. Dan Haren, P
44. Zack Greinke, P - The K's are already there - other good stuff should follow.
45. Evan Longoria, 3B - Longoria has attempted just two steals this year, after running 20 times last season. He recently acknowledged an ongoing foot injury, which might be a factor the rest of the season.
46. Jose Reyes, SS - I'd put him in the top five but for this recent hamstring injury. But now, you have to worry both about his return date and what sort of player he'll be after he returns.
47. Felix Hernandez, P
48. Mike Stanton, OF - Stanton's eye problems have exacerbated an already shaky contact rate.
49. B.J. Upton, OF
50. Jimmy Rollins, SS
51. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B - I still have some concerns about the abdominal injury lingering, otherwise he'd go closer to his original ranking.
52. Carlos Santana, C
53. David Price, P
54. James Shields, P
55. Chris Young, OF
56. Drew Stubbs, OF
57. Colby Rasmus, OF
58. Andre Ethier, OF
59. Michael Bourn, OF
60. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
61. Aramis Ramirez, 3B - Ramirez has rewarded those who remained patient or traded when the power wasn't yet there.
62. Stephen Drew, SS
63. Elvis Andrus, SS
64. Mariano Rivera, P
65. Jon Lester, P - The Red Sox are hoping that Lester will miss no more than 2-to-3 starts because of his lat strain.
66. Heath Bell, P
67. Brian Wilson, P
68. Craig Kimbrell, P
69. Ben Zobrist, 2B/OF
70. Tommy Hanson, P
71. Josh Beckett, P
72. Michael Young, 3B
73. Carlos Beltran, OF
74. Ichiro Suzuki, OF
75. Alex Gordon, OF - "Excruciating patience" (Ron Shandler term) pays off.
76. David Ortiz, DH
77. Michael Pineda, P - The Mariners have said that they won't shut down Pineda due to an innings count.
78. Adam Lind, 1B
79. Ubaldo Jimenez, P
80. Shaun Marcum, P
81. Jonathan Papelbon, P
82. Starlin Castro, SS
83. Alexei Ramirez, SS
84. Francisco Rodriguez, P
85. Neftali Feliz, P
86. Jayson Werth, OF - Another guy who could be a decent buy-low, health permitting.
87. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
88. Michael Morse, 1B/OF
89. Carlos Pena, 1B
90. Brett Gardner, OF
91. Carlos Quentin, OF
92. Miguel Montero, C
93. Dan Uggla, 2B - This just in - I remain stubborn.
94. Matt Cain, P
95. Carl Crawford, OF - Crawford (hamstring) will start his rehab assignment after the All-Star break.
96. Shane Victorino, OF - Just hit the DL before the All-Star break with a thumb injury.
97. David Wright, 3B - Not yet ready to return from the DL after the All-Star break.
98. Howie Kendrick, 2B/OF
99. Nick Swisher, OF
100. Carlos Marmol, P
101. J.J. Hardy, SS - How bad does this trade look for the Twins?
102. Adam Jones, OF
103. Mat Latos, P - There's a chance he'll be a second-half monster.
104. Chris Carpenter, P - Watch out - he's rounding into form.
105. Jair Jurrjens, P - Is he a sell-high because of his low strikeout rate? What would you accept for him?
106. Yovani Gallardo, P
107. Chad Billingsley, P
108. Nick Markakis, OF
109. Jason Heyward, OF
110. Ricky Romero, P
111. Jaime Garcia, P
112. Danny Espinosa, 2B
113. Huston Street, P
114. Joakim Soria, P
115. Billy Butler, 1B
116. Gio Gonzalez, P
117. Adam Dunn, 1B - I still want to trade for Dunn in leagues where I don't already have him. But at the same time, yes, it's time for a downgrade.
118. Mitch Moreland, 1B
119. Alex Rodriguez, 3B - Torn meniscus in his knee - may need surgery.
120. Joel Hanrahan, P - Striking out fewer despite throwing harder, but relying more on his fastball than last year, and that's resulting in fewer walks.
121. Drew Storen, P
122. Erick Aybar, SS
123. John Axford, P
124. Andrew Bailey
125. Jordan Zimmermann, P
126. Matt Joyce, OF
127. Logan Morrison, OF
128. Michael Brantley, OF
129. Neil Walker, 2B
130. Jose Valverde, P
131. Martin Prado, 2B/3B/OF - Could come off the DL shortly after the All-Star break.
132. Gaby Sanchez, 1B
133. Eric Hosmer, 1B
134. Tim Hudson, P
135. Jhonny Peralta, SS/3B
136. Ian Kennedy, P
137. Mike Napoli, C
138. Yunel Escobar, SS
139. Max Scherzer, P
140. Bobby Abreu, OF
141. Corey Hart, OF
142. Johnny Cueto, P - Another player I was wrong about - I thought the drop in strikeouts boded ill, but the opposite has been true.
143. Seth Smith, OF
144. Travis Hafner, DH
145. Alexi Ogando, P
146. Kelly Johnson, 2B
147. Francisco Liriano, P
148. Joe Mauer, C - Still looking for his first homer. Would you take the chance on him bouncing back over the second half? I don't know - the leg injury still scares me.
149. Dan Hudson, P
150. Vladimir Guerrero, DH
151. Colby Lewis, P
152. Coco Crisp, OF
153. Michael Cuddyer, OF/1B - Worked his way back into the list after dropping out last time. Qualifies at four positions (1B, 2B, 3B, OF) in the Yahoo game.
154. Grady Sizemore, OF
155. Trevor Cahill, P
156. Ryan Dempster, P
157. Derek Jeter, SS
158. Alex Avila, C
159. Brandon Morrow, P
160. J.P. Arencibia, C
161. Torii Hunter, OF
162. Madison Bumgarner, P
163. Matt Wieters, C
164. Matt Garza, P
165. Melky Cabrera, OF - Shouldn't you have dropped out by now?
166. Geovany Soto, C
167. Ian Desmond, SS
168. Mark Trumbo, 1B
169. Wandy Rodriguez, P
170. Fernando Salas, P
171. Mark Reynolds, 3B
172. Alfonso Soriano, OF
173. Chris Perez, P
174. Jeremy Hellickson, P
175. Juan Pierre, OF
176. Anibal Sanchez, P
177. Ty Wigginton, 1B, 2B, 3B
178. Ricky Nolasco, P
179. Aubrey Huff, 1B
180. Chris Iannetta, C
181. Leo Nunez, P
182. Jeff Francoeur, OF - Had a messy month of June, but he's still running.
183. Francisco Cordero, P
184. Placido Polanco, 3B
185. Rafael Furcal, SS
186. Todd Helton, 1B
187. Brandon League, P
188. Sergio Santos, P
189. Kyle Farnsworth, P
190. Bud Norris, P
191. Hiroki Kuroda, P
192. Chase Headley, 3B - Gets absolutely crushed by Petco, but check out his road splits.
193. Homer Bailey, P
194. Austin Jackson, OF
195. Cameron Maybin, OF
196. J.J. Putz, P - On the DL with an elbow injury, hopes to return when first eligible on July 16. David Hernandez has already provided five saves since Putz went on the DL.
197. Alexis Rios, OF
198. Jonny Venters, P - It's rare that a non-closer reliever makes this list, but Venters has been just that good.
199. Brennan Boesch, OF
200. Travis Snider, OF


Jair Jurrjens
Joel Hanrahan
Johnny Cueto
Fernando Salas
Alex Avila
Jonny Venters
Brandon League
Sergio Santos
Todd Helton
Danny Espinosa
Michael Cuddyer
Brennan Boesch
Ian Kennedy
Kyle Farnsworth
Yunel Escobar
Mark Trumbo
Chase Headley
Travis Snider
Mike Napoli
Ty Wigginton

Dropping Out (in no particular order):

Shin-Soo Choo, OF
Brandon Belt, 1B
Pedro Alvarez, 3B
Jed Lowrie, 2B/SS/3B
Mike Aviles, 2B/3B
Chone Figgins, 2B
Dexter Fowler, OF
Brian Matusz, P
Jonathan Sanchez, P
Kurt Suzuki, C
Ike Davis, 1B
Casey McGehee, 3B
Justin Morneau, 1B
Jason Kubel, OF
Brett Anderson, P
Roy Oswalt, P
Josh Johnson, P
Buster Posey, C
Clay Buchholz, P
Russell Martin