Top 204 for 2014: Revised

Late last year I posted my early top 204 for 2014, but I’ve had several requests for an update to this list.  Considering some of the trades that have gone down over the past few months, the free agent signings, Tanaka jumping ship to play stateside, along with several young players jobs becoming clearer I figured what the hell.  I’m sure we will have a consolidated top 200 list for the site once we are done posting our updated rankings for 2014, but in the meantime here’s my top 204 for 2014.

As always, feel free to disagree in the comments section below.  Enjoy.

Rank Player Position Rank Player Position
1 Miguel Cabrera  1-3B 49 Craig Kimbrel  RP
2 Mike Trout  OF 50 Jose Fernandez  SP
3 Andrew McCutchen  OF 51 Jean Segura  SS
4 Paul Goldschmidt  1B 52 Shin-Soo Choo  OF
5 Carlos Gonzalez  OF 53 Kyle Seager  3B
6 Robinson Cano  2B 54 David Price  SP
7 Clayton Kershaw  SP 55 Josh Donaldson  3B
8 Adam Jones  OF 56 Allen Craig  1B
9 Troy Tulowitzki  SS 57 Max Scherzer  SP
10 Ryan Braun  OF 58 Ian Kinsler  2B
11 Jacoby Ellsbury  OF 59 Chris Sale  SP
12 Edwin Encarnacion  1B 60 Eric Hosmer  1B
13 Prince Fielder  1B 61 Hunter Pence  OF
14 Joey Votto  1B 62 Wil Myers  OF
15 Dustin Pedroia  2B 63 Aroldis Chapman  RP
16 Chris Davis  1B 64 Adrian Gonzalez  1B
17 Adrian Beltre  3B 65 Joe Mauer  C-1B
18 Freddie Freeman  1B 66 Yoenis Cespedes  OF
19 Yu Darvish  SP 67 Starling Marte  OF
20 Ian Desmond  SS 68 Cole Hamels  SP
21 Bryce Harper  OF 69 Pablo Sandoval  3B
22 Hanley Ramirez  SS 70 Jason Heyward  OF
23 Evan Longoria  3B 71 Pedro Alvarez  3B
24 Adam Wainwright  SP 72 Aaron Hill  2B
25 David Wright  3B 73 Ben Zobrist  2B-SS
26 Jay Bruce  OF 74 Mat Latos  SP
27 Jason Kipnis  2B 75 Mark Trumbo  1B
28 Jose Reyes  SS 76 Brandon Phillips  2B
29 Matt Kemp  OF 77 Kenley Jansen  RP
30 Jose Bautista  OF 78 Gio Gonzalez  SP
31 Felix Hernandez  SP 79 Domonic Brown  OF
32 Giancarlo Stanton  OF 80 Matt Adams  1B
33 Justin Upton  OF 81 Matt Cain  SP
34 Cliff Lee  SP 82 Mike Minor  SP
35 Carlos Gomez  OF 83 Alex Gordon  OF
36 Yasiel Puig  OF 84 Brian McCann  C
37 Masahiro Tanaka  SP 85 Anibal Sanchez  SP
38 Albert Pujols  1B 86 Homer Bailey  SP
39 Stephen Strasburg  SP 87 Jordan Zimmerman  SP
40 Ryan Zimmerman  3b 88 Wilin Rosario  C
41 Buster Posey  C 89 B.J. Upton  OF
42 Matt Holliday  OF 90 Greg Holland  RP
43 Justin Verlander  SP 91 Billy Butler  1B-DH
44 Manny Machado  3B 92 Glen Perkins  RP
45 Alex Rios  OF 93 J.J. Hardy  SS
46 Elvis Andrus  SS 94 David Ortiz  DH
47 Madison Bumgarner  SP 95 Zack Greinkie  SP
48 Matt Carpenter  2-3B 96 Hisashi Iwakuma  SP

The 96 players cover the first 8 rounds for a 12 team league.  For the most part the names have stayed the same but have switched places.  Masahiro Tanaka was absent on my first go around but joins the top 50.  Brian McCann moved up the rankings due to his Yankee’s signing and Mauer moves up as well with the move to first (although catcher is where his value lies).  Just like before it’s mostly established players here as the first 7 rounds are the foundation to your team.  Players like Gerrit Cole & Xander Bogaerts have high upside and nobody would fault you for choosing one of them in rounds early, but just be sure not to load up on too many prospects because you don’t win a fantasy league for the team with the most upside.  You should be looking for players with an established track record whose numbers you can rely on.

Rank Player Position Rank Player Position
97 Jedd Gyorko  2-3B 151 Brandon Moss  1B
98 Jayson Werth  OF 152 C.J. Wilson  SP
99 Carlos Beltran  OF 153 Fernando Rodney  RP
100 Billy Hamilton  OF 154 Michael Bourne  OF
101 Trevor Rosenthal  RP 155 Andrew Cashner  SP
102 Johnny Cueto  SP 156 Alejandro De Aza  OF
103 Martin Prado  2-3B 157 Jonathan Papelbon  RP
104 Koji Uehara  RP 158 Salvador Perez  C
105 Curtis Granderson  OF 159 Ryan Howard  1B
106 Shelby Miller  SP 160 Taijuan Walker  SP
107 Jose Altuve  2B 161 Brad Miller  SS
108 Jonathan Lucroy  C 162 Khris Davis  OF
109 Starlin Castro  SS 163 Jake Peavy  SP
110 James Shields  SP 164 Sergio Romo  RP
111 Josh Hamilton  OF 165 Chase Utley  2B
112 Gerrit Cole  SP 166 Lance Lynn  SP
113 Michael Wacha  SP 167 Torii Hunter  OF
114 Yadier Molina  C 168 Casey Janssen  RP
115 Shane Victorino  OF 169 Yovani Gallardo  SP
116 Carlos Santana  C 170 Wilson Ramos  C
117 Daniel Murphy  2B 171 Leonys Martin  OF
118 Rafael Soriano  RP 172 R.A. Dickey  SP
119 Nelson Cruz  OF 173 Will Middlebrooks  3B
120 Matt Moore  SP 174 Everth Cabrera  SS
121 Desmond Jennings  OF 175 Norichika Aoki  OF
122 George Springer  OF 176 Howie Kendrick  2B
123 Addison Reed  RP 177 Dexter Fowler  OF
124 C.C. Sabathia  SP 178 Francisco Liriano  SP
125 Joe Nathan  RP 179 Tommy Hunter  OF
126 Alexei Ramirez  SS 180 Travis d’Arnaud  C
127 Alex Cobb  SP 181 A.J. Pollock  OF
128 Julio Teheran  SP 182 Jered Weaver  SP
129 Michael Cuddyer  OF 183 Ben Revere  OF
130 A.J. Burnett  SP 184 A.J. Griffin  SP
131 Hyun-Jin Ryu  SP 185 Tony Cingrani  SP
132 Kole Calhoun  OF 186 Anthony Rendon  2B
133 Todd Frazier  3B 187 Michael Brantley  OF
134 Alfonso Soriano  OF 188 Jim Johnson  RP
135 Miguel Montero  C 189 Kendrys Morales  1B
136 Xander Bogaerts  SS 190 Nolan Arenado  3B
137 Nick Swisher  1B 191 Zack Wheeler  SP
138 Jason Grilli  RP 192 Brandon Belt  1B
139 Hiroki Kuroda  SP 193 Steve Cishek  RP
140 Asdrubal Cabrera  SS 194 Brian Dozier  2B
141 Christian Yelich  OF 195 Mike Napoli  1B
142 Corey Hart  OF 196 Grant Balfour  RP
143 David Robertson  RP 197 Anthony Rizzo  1B
144 Jon Lester  SP 198 Ernesto Frieri  RP
145 Jason Castro  C 199 Chris Johnson  3B
146 Austin Jackson  OF 200 Matt Wieters  C
147 Clay Buchholz  SP 201 Archie Bradley  SP
148 Jose Abreu  1B 202 Yan Gomez  C
149 Doug Fister  SP 203 Tim Lincecum  SP
150 Aramis Ramirez  3B 204 Bobby Parnel  RP

Picks 97  through 204 covers rounds 9 through 17 for a 12 team league.  These are the rounds you should start taking a chance on the prospects I talked about above.  Cole & Bogaerts are still listed here, and a few new prospects have made their way onto my list as well.  Taijuan Walker looks to have the inside track to a starting job which moves him up, and while no announcement has been made regarding George Springer he has zero competition standing in his way.  Also Jose Abreu was moved up my first base rankings so he now makes an appearance here as well, and the same goes for Khris Davis who now has a clear path to playing time now that Norichika Aoki has been traded.

Speaking of Aoki, he is another new addition to my top 204 along with Brandon Belt, Brandon Moss, Brian Dozier, Brad Miller.  Tommy Hunter, Fernando Rodney and Grant Balfour also get a ranking as the closer roles for several teams are starting to take shape.  Unfortunately with the new additions there had to be some cuts made.  Carl Crawford (163) and Jimmy Rollins (167) were the highest ranked players to drop off the board, all the rest of the players to lose their spots were ranked 175 and lower.  Adam Eaton may have a shot at a full-time job with his new team but isn’t ranked high with me (read more about Eaton here).  Tim Lincecum, Jeff Samardija, Ervin Santana, Jhouly Chacin, John Lackey, Justin Masterson, Bobby Parnel & Huston Street may be worthy pitchers/closers to own, but not good enough IMO to make the top 204.  Brett Gardner & Will Venable are both good fourth outfielders and you may believe they deserve a spot over guys like Ben Revere or Michael Brantley, and if that’s the case you can slide them up as you see fit.

A quick edit on 3/17, with Brandon Beachy, Chris Medlen, Jarrod Parker and Patrick Corbin done for the year, they have been removed.  All other players were moved up in the rankings and Archie Bradley, Yan Gomez, Tim Lincecum & Bobby Parnel were added to the end of the rankings.  No other changes are planned at this time until the season gets under way.

No rankings list is perfect.  We all have our favorites and sleepers and think they deserve to be ranked higher.  This list is not the end all be all of lists, it’s just a guide for you to work with.  Like I said with Gardner & Venable, if you think a player deserves to be moved up then make an adjustment.  If you think so and so is ranked too high, knock him down a few pegs.  And if I left someone off you think deserves a spot, go ahead and add him.  That is what everyone should be doing with their rankings in the first place, adjust them to make them your own; otherwise it would make for a boring draft if you didn’t.

Positional Rankings for the 2014 season by the entire Assembly

C – 1B – 2B3BSSOFSPRP Top 200

Jim Finch

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The self proclaimed Grand High Exhausted Mystic Ruler of Fantasy Baseball. While I am not related to Jennie or Sidd Finch, I will attempt to uphold the integrity of the Finch family name as it relates to baseball.

20 thoughts on “Top 204 for 2014: Revised”

  1. That optimistic BJ Upton will find his stroke? He’s still available in the 12th round of my 14 team, 10 keeper salary league – should I snag him? I only have 23M left and we play with previous years salaries, so BJ is around 13M. That’s a huge chunk of change, but if you’re that high on him than I definitely respect your opinion. Right now I have Cespedes in left, Ellsbury in center, and Myers and Stanton for RF and our only UTIL spot. Let me know what you think and thanks for the list!!!

    1. In a 14 team league, round 12 would be a good value for him. For $13 dollars though, with your remaining budget, even I would pass on him. You’ve got 4 very good outfielders as it is so spending that money on B.J. wouldn’t be recommended in your case. Mind you I don’t think the price tag is bad for him (maybe a dollar or two more than I would like), you just don’t need him here.

  2. Since you mentioned it specifically, I’ve gotta ask. I’m in a 10-team, 10-keeper league that uses QS instead of Wins, and Total Bases instead of AVG. I am locked in with Hosmer, Carpenter, Alvarez, McCutchen, Bruce, Alex Gordon, J-Zimmermann, and Medlen with 8 of my keepers. With that roster, am I making a mistake by keeping Cole and Bogaerts with my last two picks? Bogaerts may only go 65/15/70/10 but I could see quite a few extra base hits from him playing in Fenway, and I’ve yet to hear a negative regarding his potential….

    1. In my 12 team 8 keeper league I set a rule for myself. My first 6 keepers are established low risk players that I can depend on (overall that would cover most of the players you’ve already listed). My final two picks can be used one of two ways, either on two more established players like my current list of players or on a few high ceiling guys that may not work out but could be fantasy gold in the future.

      You’ve got a nice core with those 8 players, so keeping Bogaerts and Cole is in no way a mistake. Both guys are blue chip players with big upside, and while they may not breakout this year they both have the potential to be future stars. I would consider drafting a shortstop and or third baseman to play over Bogaerts to cover myself (better safe than sorry), but I wouldn’t hesitate in keeping either player.

      1. Thanks for the feedback. I should have mentioned my other potential keeper at SS is Andrus. I kept Andrus the previous year, drafted Simmons to back him up, and scooped Bogaerts around the All-Star break and ended up with a surplus at SS going in to this year. Still go Bogaerts, over Andrus? Since you threw out drafting a SS, maybe I’m better off keeping Andrus and Bogaerts, throw Medlen back, and go SP with my first pick….?

        1. That is exactly what I was going to suggest before I finished reading this. Medlen is good, but in a 10 team league there should be a surplus of pitchers available in rounds 11-13 since most owners value hitters over pitching. And if you get that feeling during the season that Bogaerts looks like he can be the man, you’ve got a nice trade chip in Elvis.

    2. Listen to Jim here, kingforaday151. I’d give exactly the same advice. You have a solid core of keepers, so gamble on the long-term upside of two top, touted, young players.

  3. No love for Danny Salazar? I understand we have only seen a small sample of his stuff but it looks electric! I feel like if your willing to trust Gallardo and his velocity drop to have a resurgence, you would go out on a limb on this kid too.

    1. Josh, I’d probably agree with you. I have never trusted Gallardo because he never had the entire ace package, and he’s only gotten worse. Salazar is a big risk, but there’s certainly more upside to him than Gallardo. I suppose it depends on whether you need/want more IP (Gallardo safer bet) or the risk/reward pick (Salazar).

    2. Our starting pitchers rankings come out next Friday, but Salazar is only 10 spots below Gallardo on my rankings. I agree he does have electric stuff and could very well outperform his ADP this year, but I’d like to see a little more before I move him up anymore. I like Salazar, but he hasn’t earned my love yet 🙂 He came in at 211 if I extended my rankings a few more.

      1. Salazar has to earn your love, but Tanaka gets to jump into the top 50. I like him too but what’s your thinking behind that?

        1. Levo, one of the concerns with Salazar is that his stamina may not hold up. If he often can’t get out of the 5th inning, there’s a bit less value there — his upside of 200 strikeouts, as well as the likelihood of netting wins for 5×5 leagues, obviously is affected by his innings.

          Tanaka obviously throws for a lot of innings — too many, for some people! Slightly less spectacular K/9 can be mitigated by someone who can reach 200 IP with solid ERA and WHIP as well.

        2. The big difference is their numbers. Look at what Tanaka has done the past 7 years in Japan. http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/profile.asp?P=masahiro-tanaka-1 Granted Japanese numbers don’t always translate, but if any pitcher here in the states were to put up those numbers over the course of several years in AAA he would be on the top of everybodies wish list.

          Then there is the durability issue where Tanaka will be able to go 200 innings this year as were Salazar toped out at 134 last year. He missed a good portion of 2010 and all of 2011 (sans a few starts at the end) and they babied him in 2012 following Tommy John surgery.

          Last year was his Salazar’s first full test and he looked good, but with only 2 months in the majors (1 good – 1 not so good) and given his lack of pedigree (7th best prospect for the Indians going into 2013), forgive me of being a little hesitant. Someone like Gerrit Cole was ranked above almost all other pitchers in the minors for a reason, Salazar has never reached that level of praise (and neither has Sonny Gray who many like and I ranked 7 spots below Salazar).

          And I just looked at the ADP on mock draft central to see if I was alone in my thinking. Salazar is currently going off the board at 236 (I had him at 211). As for some of other names I mentioned, Sonny Gray is going at 225 and Gerrit Cole is going at 132 (I had him at 112). Tanaka is listed at 121 so you can accuse me of giving him the Jose Fernandez treatment and ranking him too high, but as for Salazar, the drafters seem to agree.

          1. With all that said, I can not fault anyone that wants to move Salazar up their rankings as he could be as good or better than any pitcher ranked below 150.

  4. Thank you guys so much for your feedback. I completely agree with his lack of pitching deep into games along with the small sample size. I’m a big lover of those high risk/reward guys and it often leaves me unsatisfied.

    As for the talk on tanaka, I’m a fan. I think the stuff is there for him to be good. He has excellent movement on his pitches. His biggest weakness is pitching in Yankee Stadium. Thanks for the great rankings!

    1. Yankee stadium can be a weakness, but it doesn’t have to be. Last year Hiroki Kuroda had a home ERA and WHIP of 2.35 & 1.02, and Ivan Nova’s were 2.44 & 1.16. Evan Sabathia’s ERA was 1.5 points lower at home. Depending on the pitcher, sometimes the home park doesn’t matter, just ask Mat Latos who went from pitching at Petco to the Great American Ballpark.

      1. Agreed, Jim. And the common thread with the guys you mention is a higher than normal ground ball rate. Kuroda is sometimes over 50% GB, as is Nova. Latos sits at 45-46%, which isn’t quite a ground ball profile, but he certainly isn’t a fly ball SP, which would be problematic in GAB.

  5. I have to ask your opinion on this one… 14 team keeper league…I’m having a tough time picking my keepers this year.
    Keep four players, Ellsbury, Bautista, Sale, Davis, Scherzer, and McCann. Thanks!

    1. Monday our top 200 site rankings come out, so I’m going to recommend you wait a few days and repost your question on there. Maybe with all of our rankings together you might have a clearer picture then just looking at mine. Plus, when you ask, please specify if it’s H2H, roto, or points, that will make a big difference in the response (and is it a 1 or 2 catcher league). Blindly I would say Ellsbury, Davis, Bautista & Sale.

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