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Rounding Third: Updated Top 350

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 350 - Second March Update

This is my latest top 350 for 12-team, mixed-league drafts. These will also be my rankings for our latest Roundtable Rankings when they come out this week. During the season we'll do this once a month during the first half, then one more time after the trade deadline.

If this feature is new to you, here are our standard assumptions: We're looking at a standard 12-team, 5x5 mixed league with trading allowed. To qualify at a position, the player needs 20 games there last year or 10 this year. Our hypothetical league starts two catchers. Typically I value players on 68-32 hitter/pitcher ratio on a hypothetical budget, though auction values don't necessarily perfectly translate to draft values. Where you draft is important, as the decision to pass up one commodity at the draft slot means you'll definitely get a lesser version of that commodity if you have a long wait for your next pick, whereas in an auction you can allocate your budget more to how you see fit.

1. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
2. Ryan Braun, OF - A tiny concession to the BioGenesis issue - he and Miggy's projections were close enough that I'll take the marginally safer player first.
3. Mike Trout, OF
4. Robinson Cano, 2B
5. Andrew McCutchen, OF
6. Matt Kemp, OF
7. Carlos Gonzalez, OF
8. Joey Votto, 1B
9. Albert Pujols, 1B - Dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot; he said that he had been dealing with it for much of his career, however.
10. Jose Bautista, OF - I'm finding myself short on batting average in a few of my drafts - maybe Bautista needs to be moved down a little, and a guy like Votto needs to go up.
11. Giancarlo Stanton, OF
12. Justin Upton, OF
13. Prince Fielder, 1B - I'm seeing Fielder go as high as fifth - I just don't buy it. First the Regression Police came, and now we have the Ministry of Safe. It's encouraging people to pass up way too much upside in the pursuit of what might be in some cases an illusory quality.
14. Clayton Kershaw, P
15. Troy Tulowitzki, SS - So far he's been going at full speed this spring.
16. Bryce Harper, OF
17. Justin Verlander, P
18. Adrian Beltre, 3B
19. Stephen Strasburg, P
20. Buster Posey, C
21. Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
22. Josh Hamilton, OF
23. Jason Heyward, OF - Shoulder turned out to be no big deal.
24. David Wright, 3B - Strained intercostal muscle - uncertain status for Opening Day.
25. Jacoby Ellsbury, OF
26. Jose Reyes, SS
27. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
28. David Price, P
29. Cliff Lee, P
30. Evan Longoria, 3B - With all the other third base injuries, do you bump the likes of Longo and Zimmerman? I'm not adjusting him too much - if for no other reason than his own injury risk.
31. Ian Kinsler, 2B - Kinsler's ankle hasn't been a problem so far this spring.
32. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
33. Jay Bruce, OF
34. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
35. Adam Jones, OF
36. B.J. Upton, OF
37. Allen Craig, 1B/OF
38. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
39. Starlin Castro, SS - Back in action after a hamstring injury kept him out two weeks.
40. Billy Butler, 1B
41. Cole Hamels, P
42. Yadier Molina, C
43. Craig Kimbrel, P
44. Matt Holliday, OF
45. Freddie Freeman, 1B
46. Yu Darvish, P
47. Matt Cain, P
48. Felix Hernandez, P - Made his spring training debut finally over the weekend, peaked at 92 mph.
49. Joe Mauer, C
50. Yoenis Cespedes, OF
51. Carlos Santana, C
52. Brandon Phillips, 2B
53. Jason Kipnis, 2B
54. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
55. Matt Wieters, C
56. Madison Bumgarner, P
57. Adam Wainwright, P
58. Alex Gordon, OF
59. CC Sabathia, P - Small upgrade - elbow looks healthy.
60. Jered Weaver, P - I've been passing him up in drafts - if I don't want him, then I'm obligated to move him down in the rankings.
61. Eric Hosmer, 1B
62. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
63. Miguel Montero, C
64. Wilin Rosario, C
65. Aaron Hill, 2B
66. Gio Gonzalez, P
67. Aroldis Chapman, P - The Reds officially moved back Chapman to the closer role, which bumps up his fantasy value quite a bit, even if it may not have been the best thing for the Reds.
68. Michael Bourn, OF
69. Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF - I'm starting to be more pessimistic about his stolen bases - recently downgraded him from 17 to 11.
70. Johnny Cueto, P
71. Desmond Jennings, OF
72. Kris Medlen, P
73. Melky Cabrera, OF
74. Chris Sale, P
75. Ian Desmond, SS
76. Shin-Soo Choo, OF - Choo has had multiple injuries this spring, but he's still on target to be in the lineup for Opening Day.
77. Jose Altuve, 2B
78. Jimmy Rollins, SS
79. Brett Lawrie, 3B - Fielding ground balls now, but status for Opening Day still up in the air - the Jays have indicated it's still unlikely that he'll be ready.
80. Austin Jackson, OF
81. Ike Davis, 1B
82. Mike Napoli, C
83. Paul Konerko, 1B
84. Alex Rios, OF
85. Curtis Granderson, OF - Fractured right forearm, out until mid-May.
86. Jonathan Papelbon, P
87. Fernando Rodney, P
88. Jordan Zimmermann, P
89. Max Scherzer, P
90. James Shields, P
91. Pablo Sandoval, 3B - Sandoval has nerve damage in his throwing elbow and feels pain when he throws - that's not a good thing for a third baseman.
92. Mariano Rivera, P
93. R.A. Dickey, P
94. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
95. Mat Latos, P - Day-to-day with a sore ankle after getting hit by a comebacker; x-rays were negative.
96. Sergio Romo, P
97. Elvis Andrus, SS
98. Adam LaRoche, 1B
99. Joe Nathan, P
100. Chase Headley, 3B - Out four-to-six weeks with a thumb injury.
101. Hanley Ramirez, SS/3B - Torn ligament in his right thumb. Out eight weeks.
102. Yovani Gallardo, P
103. Jon Lester, P - Strong spring training - projection has been upgraded, but not to his pre-2012 levels.
104. Carlos Beltran, OF - Beltran has a lingering toe injury.
105. Jon Niese, P
106. Ryan Howard, 1B
107. Matt Moore, P
108. Mark Trumbo, OF
109. Josh Willingham, OF
110. Chris Davis, 1B/OF
111. Angel Pagan, OF
112. Nick Swisher, 1B/OF
113. Kyle Seager, 3B
114. Nelson Cruz, OF
115. Jesus Montero, C
116. Dan Haren, P
117. Brandon Morrow, P
118. Roy Halladay, P - Dealing with both an illness that caused him to lose 10 pounds and some velocity issues, perhaps tied to a “dead arm” period, perhaps something more permanent.
119. J.J. Putz, P
120. Shane Victorino, OF
121. Rafael Soriano, P
122. Tom Wilhelmsen, P
123. Greg Holland, P - Holland has dealt with some diminished velocity issues.
124. Rickie Weeks, 2B
125. Chase Utley, 2B
126. Zack Greinke, P - It looks as if Greinke (elbow) will avoid a DL trip and instead start the Dodgers' fourth game of the year.
127. Salvador Perez, C
128. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
129. Justin Morneau, 1B
130. Torii Hunter, OF
131. Hiroki Kuroda, P
132. Ian Kennedy, P
133. Cameron Maybin, OF
134. Hunter Pence, OF - Another "reality test" downgrade - often he's at the top of my queue and I just don't take him.
135. Victor Martinez, C - Martinez might get a few starts in interleague road games behind the plate, but most of the Tigers' games in that format are later in the season.
136. Jonathan Lucroy, C
137. Alfonso Soriano, OF
138. Jayson Werth, OF
139. Martin Prado, 3B/OF - Check your league's position-eligibility rules. In Yahoo's game, he qualifies at 2B and SS too.
140. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
141. Jason Motte, P - Motte has a "mild strain" in his elbow and will begin the year on the DL. Mitchell Boggs will replace him for the time being.
142. John Axford, P
143. Mike Moustakas, 3B
144. Coco Crisp, OF
145. C.J. Wilson, P
146. Josh Reddick, OF
147. Mike Morse, OF
148. Jim Johnson, P
149. Norichika Aoki, OF
150. Tim Hudson, P
151. Alejandro De Aza, OF
152. Kendrys Morales, 1B
153. Josh Johnson, P
154. Dustin Ackley, 2B
155. Howie Kendrick, 2B
156. J.P. Arencibia, C
157. Ryan Vogelsong, P
158. Jeff Samardzija, P
159. Neil Walker, 2B
160. Brett Anderson, P - Returned to action following his trapezius soreness without incindent.
161. Mike Minor, P
162. Andre Ethier, OF
163. Nick Markakis, OF - Markakis still hasn't played in a spring training game since March 1, though he could DH Tuesday.
164. Chris Perez, P - Perez is nearing full strength in his shoulder and could be ready for Opening Day.
165. Adam Dunn, 1B
166. Joel Hanrahan, P
167. Alexei Ramirez, SS
168. Glen Perkins, P
169. Jake Peavy, P
170. Doug Fister, P
171. Alexi Ogando, P
172. Ryan Doumit, C
173. Dexter Fowler, OF
174. Todd Frazier, 1B/3B
175. Dan Uggla, 2B
176. Danny Espinosa, 2B/SS - Downgraded due to lingering concerns about his rotator cuff.
177. Ryan Ludwick, OF
178. Carl Crawford, OF - Contrary to the initial reports following his setback, Crawford might be ready for Opening Day after all.
179. Rafael Betancourt, P
180. Starling Marte, OF
181. Brian McCann, C - McCann was placed on the DL by the Braves to begin the season, which was the expectation all along - no change here.
182. A.J. Pierzynski, C
183. Jarrod Parker, P
184. Homer Bailey, P
185. Michael Saunders, OF
186. Ben Revere, OF
187. Anibal Sanchez, P
188. Matt Harvey, P
189. Jeremy Hellickson, P
190. Alcides Escobar, SS
191. Erick Aybar, SS
192. Brett Gardner, OF
193. Lorenzo Cain, OF
194. Carlos Gomez, OF - This upgrade still probably doesn't get him - heck, in NL Tout Wars on Sunday Tristan Cockcroft from ESPN paid $25 for him as part of a strategy to punt batting average while piling on counting stats. If that's in your comfort zone, by all means, go for it, but this set of rankings isn't here to approximate your draft order. That's what ADP is for.
195. Wade Miley, P
196. Brandon Belt, 1B
197. David Ortiz, DH - The news keeps getting worse - the operative phrase now for the Red Sox is that they hope Ortiz gets on the field "in any capacity" before spring training ends. That's pretty disturbing.
198. Grant Balfour, P - Balfour is already pitching in game action and could be ready for Opening Day.
199. Mark Reynolds, 1B
200. Jason Grilli, P
201. Addison Reed, P
202. Brandon League, P
203. Michael Cuddyer, 1B/OF
204. David Freese, 3B - Freese has a lingering back injury that required an MRI Monday.
205. Michael Young, 1B/3B
206. Derek Jeter, SS - Likely to begin the season on the DL after experiencing recurring soreness in his ankle over the weekend. He hasn't really been able to play in the field without this being a problem, so it may end up being more than a week or two stint, too.
207. Huston Street, P
208. Steve Cishek, P
209. Ernesto Frieri, P - Ryan Madson just now started throwing bullpen sessions - he could be back in late April, but that could be enough time to give Frieri a chance to lock down that closing role.
210. Alex Cobb, P
211. Corey Hart, 1B/OF - Hart remains on target for an early-to-mid May return.
212. Marco Estrada, P - I recently adjusted Estrada's projection to make him a full-time starter, which bumps him higher up - and reflects the high-end of where he's been going in my drafts.
213. Tim Lincecum, P - Lincecum had another poor spring training outing Saturday; I get the notion that if we want to invest in Last Year's Bums that we'll have to deal with some stinky results this time of year, but I'm not willing to invest what it costs in most leagues to take that leap of faith.
214. Ichiro Suzuki, OF
215. Jason Kubel, OF
216. Justin Ruggiano, OF
217. Adam Eaton, OF - Eaton has a sprained UCL in his left elbow and will be out 6-to-8 weeks, though recent reports suggest that estimate might be too pessimistic for his time of absence.
218. A.J. Burnett, P
219. Alex Avila, C
220. Carlos Ruiz, C
221. Brandon Moss, 1B/OF
222. Dayan Viciedo, OF
223. Carlos Quentin, OF - Quentin (knee) has been limited to minor league spring training games so far, but he's set to play at the major league level Tuesday, meaning he should be ready for Opening Day.
224. Matt Harrison, P
225. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
226. Trevor Cahill, P
227. Derek Holland, P
228. Juan Pierre, OF
229. Welington Castillo, C
230. Tyler Flowers, C
231. Lance Lynn, P
232. Wil Myers, OF
233. Garrett Jones, 1B/OF
234. Russell Martin, C
235. Josh Beckett, P
236. Manny Machado, 3B
237. Edwin Jackson, P
238. J.J. Hardy, SS
239. David Murphy, OF
240. Chris Carter, 1B
241. Jean Segura, SS
242. John Jaso, C
243. Justin Smoak, 1B
244. Kenley Jansen, P
245. Matt Joyce, OF
246. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
247. Hisashi Iwakuma, P
248. Wandy Rodriguez, P
249. Ryan Dempster, P
250. Casey Janssen, P - Janssen (shoulder) struck out the side Monday - prior to that there were concerns about his velocity.
251. Michael Brantley, OF
252. Josh Rutledge, SS
253. Jedd Gyorko, 2B - Gyorko won the second base job before Chase Headley's injury - now the only question is whether he'll play at second or third to start the season.
254. Kelly Johnson, 2B
255. Justin Maxwell, OF
256. Zack Cozart, SS
257. Everth Cabrera, SS
258. Gordon Beckham, 2B
259. Lucas Duda, 1B/OF
260. Jeff Francoeur, OF
261. Yonder Alonso, 1B
262. Clay Buchholz, P
263. Wei-Yin Chen, P
264. Phil Hughes, P - The Yankees are targeting an April 7 return for Hughes (back).
265. Kyle Lohse, P - Agreed to terms with the Brewers on Monday.
266. Brandon McCarthy, P
267. Shaun Marcum, P
268. Andrelton Simmons, SS
269. Marco Scutaro, 2B/SS
270. Tommy Milone, P
271. Matt Garza, P - Garza will begin the season on the DL with a strained lat.
272. James McDonald, P
273. Hyun-Jin Ryu, P - Ryu is officially in the rotation as the second starter.
274. Daniel Murphy, 2B
275. Andy Pettitte, P
276. Denard Span, OF
277. Delmon Young, OF
278. Drew Stubbs, OF
279. Jurickson Profar, SS
280. Oscar Taveras, OF
281. Chris Young, OF
282. A.J. Ellis, C
283. Colby Rasmus, OF
284. Chris Johnson, 3B
285. Adam Lind, 1B
286. Lance Berkman, 1B
287. Mark Teixeira, 1B - There's a 30 percent chance that Teixeira's wrist will require season-ending surgery.
288. Ricky Romero, P
289. Kurt Suzuki, C
290. Julio Teheran, P - The rare instance where spring training stats matter - when a young player, particularly a high-pedigree prospect, earns a job.
291. Carlos Marmol, P
292. Jhonny Peralta, SS
293. Peter Bourjos, OF - Bourjos has even more job security with the Vernon Wells trade.
294. Jed Lowrie, SS
295. Aaron Hicks - Officially won the Twins' starting center field job.
296. Will Venable, OF
297. Ross Detwiler, P
298. Matt Carpenter, 1B/3B/OF - Looking passable at second base, plus both Carlos Beltran and David Freese remain banged up.
299. Bobby Parnell, P
300. Paul Maholm, P
301. Omar Infante, 2B
302. Chris Iannetta, C
303. Hiroyuki Nakajima, SS
304. Zach McAllister, P
305. Emilio Bonifacio, OF
306. Kyuji Fujikawa, P
307. Wade Davis, P
308. Nolan Arenado, 3B - Still in the hunt for the starting third base job for the Rockies.
309. Carlos Pena, 1B
310. Brett Myers, P
311. Miguel Gonzalez, P
312. Scott Feldman, P
313. Billy Hamilton, SS - Had a bad spring before getting sent down, looking overmatched. I actually like Profar and Taveras more - their ability to hit isn't in as much doubt, even though Hamilton's fantasy footprint could be bigger because of his stolen base potential.
314. Yasmani Grandal, C
315. Tyler Colvin, 1B/OF
316. Domonic Brown, OF
317. Stephen Drew, SS - Drew's concussion symptoms have lingered, but he started taking infield practice Sunday.
318. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
319. Mike Olt, 3B - Sent down to the minors to begin the season.
320. Mitch Moreland, 1B
321. Edinson Volquez, P
322. Josh Donaldson, 3B
323. Chris Nelson, 3B
324. Chris Tillman, P
325. Shelby Miller, P - Miller officially won the Cardinals' fifth starter job.
326. Mitchell Boggs, P - The Cardinals' temporary closer until Jason Motte returns.
327. Gavin Floyd, P
328. Jordan Pacheco, 3B
329. Christian Yelich, OF - Yelich probably doesn't have Taveras' ceiling, but he might hit the majors sooner.
330. Clayton Richard, P
331. Logan Morrison, 1B/OF - Morrison (knee) is just starting baseball activities - it's unlikely he'll be ready for Opening Day.
332. Travis d'Arnaud, C
333. Al Alburquerque, P
334. Wily Peralta, P - When the Kyle Lohse news first appeared, I was worried that Peralta's job wasn't safe - it's still a concern, but so far I think he'll still remain in the rotation.
335. Mike Fiers, P - Fiers was going to be the fifth starter before Kyle Lohse signed. What happens once Lohse is ready?
336. Jose Veras, P
337. Drew Storen, P
338. Rob Brantly, C
339. Derek Norris, C - It looks as if it won't be a strict platoon between Norris and Jaso, with Norris losing out.
340. Ervin Santana, P
341. Jon Jay, OF
342. Seth Smith, OF
343. Andy Dirks, OF
344. Cody Ross, OF - Ross will begin the year on the DL with his calf strain.
345. Matt Dominguez, 3B
346. Jackie Bradley, OF - Still in the hunt to win the LF job for the Red Sox.
347. Ryan Madson, P - Scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the spring Monday.
348. Robbie Erlin, P
349. Bruce Rondon, P
350. Yunel Escobar, SS

Added: Nolan Arenado, Aaron Hicks, Julio Teheran, Jackie Bradley, Mitchell Boggs, Christian Yelich, Matt Carpenter, Domonic Brown
Dropped Out: Scott Baker, Jonathan Broxton, Trevor Bauer, Johan Santana, Chris Capuano, Cory Luebke, Trevor Plouffe, Bronson Arroyo