Analyzing Keepers With Steamer

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is Steamer’s top-rated player for the SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League entering the 2018 season.

You can’t keep everybody. With that said, there were few surprises this year when it came to naming keepers for the 2018 SFRRC Fantasy Baseball League season.

Sure, there are plenty of players with real value available in our March 27 online draft. Position players such as Daniel Murphy, Whit Merrifield, Tommy Pham, Andrew Benintendi, Justin Turner, and Andrew McCutchen can help any fantasy team. There are plenty of bullpen arms available and starters Alex Wood, Gio Gonzalez, and Chase Anderson remain strong options for a fantasy pitching rotation.

To analyze this year’s keepers, I compared them to the value assigned to them from FanGraphs Steamer projections and assigned each player a Z-value through BaseballMonster. I also added the current Yahoo Average Draft Position (ADP) so you can see how the fantasy community values the players. If both Yahoo ADP and Steamer projections identify a player inside the Top 80, they agree with your assessment that you have a “keeper-level” player.

Of course, following the fantasy baseball herd doesn’t necessarily win championships.

My Name is Judge

OF – Aaron Judge – Judge arrived in Yankee Stadium last year and destroyed baseballs. In 678 plate appearances, Judge posted a 1.056 OPS (third highest OPS for players with a minimum of 400 plate appearances) with 114 RBI and 128 runs scored (second most in the league). That led to a final ranking of 20th overall, which would have been higher had Judge not struck out a league-high 208 times. Can Judge repeat that performance? Steamer expects a slight cooling off of Judge’s hot bat. His projections are 601 plate appearances with a .891 OPS, 96 RBI, and 94 runs scored. Steamer has Judge ranked 64th overall. Yahoo ADP: 16

C – Gary Sanchez – In a two catcher league, you can gain a significant position advantage by drafting one of the top two catchers. Sanchez is one of those two catchers. In 529 plate appearances last year, Sanchez posted a .879 OPS with 90 RBI and 79 runs scored. He finished as the league’s 134th-rated player. Steamer has Sanchez ranked 124th entering the season and projects 491 plate appearances with a .856 OPS, 84 RBI and 72 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 24

1B/OF – Cody Bellinger – In 551 plate appearances last year, Bellinger posted a .933 OPS with 97 RBI and 87 runs scored. He ended 2017 as the 74th-ranked player. Steamer expects similar results in 2018. They project 579 plate appearances with a .856 OPS, 97 RBI and 81 runs scored. He’s ranked 67th overall. Yahoo ADP: 28

SP – Madison Bumgarner – It was a lost season for Bumgarner in 2017 when he crashed a dirt bike and spent significant time on the DL. He appeared in just 17 games, earning 12 quality starts with a 3.32 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 8.19 K/9. He finished the season as the league’s 166th rated player. Steamer expects Bumgarner to bounce back, though projections have him falling short of keeper status. He’s projected to make 32 starts with 207 innings pitched, a 3.74 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. Bumgarner is currently ranked 112th. Yahoo ADP: 26

RP – Kenley Jansen – Jansen trailed only Craig Kimbrel in last year’s closer rankings and the Dodger closer finished the season as the league’s 13th ranked player. Jansen made 65 appearances, recording 41 net saves/holds (third highest in the league) with a 1.32 ERA, 0.75 WHIP and 14.36 K/9. He opens 2018 as Steamer’s top-rated closer and he’s ranked eighth overall. Jansen is projected to make 65 appearances with 38 net saves/holds, a 2.77 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and a 12.6 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 40

Let’s Play 2

OF – Mookie Betts – Steamer ranks Betts seventh overall and the second-rated hitter behind Mike Trout. He finished 2017 as the 11th ranked player. In 712 plate appearances, Betts had a .803 OPS, with 101 runs, 102 RBI and 23 net stolen bases. Betts is projected to make 641 plate appearances with a .893 OPS, 103 runs scored and 90 RBI. Yahoo ADP: 8

3B/OF – Kris Bryant – In 670 plate appearances last year, Bryant had a .947 OPS with 73 RBI and 111 runs scored. He ended 2017 as the league’s 37th rated player. Steamer has Bryant ranked 25th entering 2018 and projects 625 plate appearances with a .930 OPS, 94 RBI, and 101 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 13

SS – Corey Seager – Seager finished 2017 as the league’s 129th ranked player. In 616 plate appearances, Seager had a .850 OPS with 77 RBI and 85 runs scored. Steamer expects improvement for Seager in 2018. They have him ranked 63rd overall. He’s projected to have 602 plate appearances with a .850 OPS, 78 RBI and 88 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 31

SP – Corey Kluber – Kluber was the league’s top-rated player last year and opens 2018 as the sixth-rated player by Steamer. In 2017, Kluber pitched 203.2 innings with 22 quality starts (tied for third highest in the league), a 2.25 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 11.7 K/9. He’s projected to start 32 games with 213 innings pitched, a 3.30 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 15

SP – Robbie Ray – Ray had a breakout season in 2017. In 162 innings pitched, Ray earned 16 quality starts with a 2.88 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 12.1 K/9. He finished the season as the league’s 22nd ranked player. Steamer is projecting a virtual repeat for Ray in 2018. He’s ranked 36th overall with a projected 168 innings pitched with a 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 11.2 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 53

Lower Haighters

OF – Giancarlo Stanton – Stanton finished 2017 healthy and was the sixth-rated hitter and third-rated outfielder. With 692 plate appearances, Stanton posted a 1.007 OPS, led the league with 132 RBIs, and scored 123 runs (third most in the league). Steamer ranks him 11th this year and projects 573 plate appearances with a 1.037 OPS, 125 RBI, and 103 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 9

SS – Carlos Correa – Correa played in just 109 games last year but when he was on the field he was very good. In 485 plate appearances, Correa had a .945 OPS with 85 RBI and 82 runs scored. He ended the season ranked 91st  overall. Entering 2018, Steamer ranks Correa 33rd overall and projects 587 plate appearances with a .892 OPS, 94 RBI and 87 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 16

OF – Byron Buxton – Buxton struggled in 2016 and was even demoted to the minors at one point during the season. He did, however, finish strong. In 508 plate appearances Buxton posted a .727 OPS with 51 RBI and 69 runs scored. He also had 28 net stolen bases. Steamer isn’t projecting much growth in 2018. Buxton is expected to post a .760 OPS, 70 RBI, 73 runs scored and 12 net stolen bases. He’s ranked 157th overall. Yahoo ADP: 65

OF – Ronald Acuna – While Acuna is the league’s top prospect, the Lower Haighters are taking a big risk making him one of the team’s five keepers. He’s never had a major league at-bat. Steamer is projecting 104 games for Acuna this season with a .783 OPS, 54 RBI and 48 runs scored. While he’s tearing up the Grapefruit League, there are no guarantees in the majors. Yahoo ADP: 195

SP – Luis Severino – Severino had his best year as a pro in 2017. He pitched 193.1 innings with 21 quality starts, a 2.97 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 10.7 K/9. Severino finished 2017 as the league’s 16th rated player. Steamer ranks Severino 37th overall entering 2018. They project him to throw 188 innings with a 3.59 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 10.2 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 48

JetSetters

1B – Joey Votto – Votto was the top-rated first baseman in 2017 and ranked seventh overall. In 713 plate appearances, Votto posted a 1.031 OPS, drove in 100 runs and scored 106. Steamer expects Votto to finish second among first baseman this year behind Paul Goldschmidt. He’s ranked 21st overall and is projected to make 628 plate appearances with a .953 OPS, 88 RBI, and 94 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 19

2B/3B – Jose Ramirez – Ramirez was sensational in 2017, ending the season ranked eighth overall, second among second baseman and the top-rated third baseman. In 645 plate appearances, Ramirez posted a .957 OPS, with 83 RBI, 107 runs scored and 12 net stolen bases. Steamer projects Ramirez as the league’s 17th rated player and second-rated second baseman. He’s projected to make 628 plate appearances with a .855 OPS, 89 RBI, and 89 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 28

OF – George Springer – In 631 plate appearances last season, Springer had a .888 OPS with 85 RBI and 112 runs scored. He finished 2017 as the league’s 43rd rated player. Steamer projects a repeat in 2018. Springer is rated 40th overall with 596 plate appearances, a .869 OPS, with 83 RBI and 96 runs. Yahoo ADP: 26

C – Willson Contreras – In 429 plate appearances last season, Contreras posted a .854 OPS with 74 RBI and 50 runs scored. He finished 2017 as the league’s 313th ranked player. In 481 plate appearances this year, Steamer is projecting Contreras to post a .809 OPS with 69 RBI and 61 runs scored. He’s currently ranked 241st overall. Yahoo ADP: 70

SP – Zack Greinke – Greinke remains one of the league’s elite starting pitchers. In 2017, Greinke tossed 202.1 innings with 19 quality starts, a 3.20 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 9.5 K/9. He finished the season as the league’s 29th ranked player. Steamer expects Greinke to pitch 203 innings this season with a 3.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. He’s currently ranked 130th overall, a significant drop from last year’s finish. Yahoo ADP: 48

A-Rod’s Mirrors

OF – Bryce Harper – A knee injury in August limited Harper to 111 games in 2017 which capped his value. He finished the season with 495 plate appearances and ranked 52nd overall. Steamer ranks Harper 15th entering 2018 and he’s the fourth-rated outfielder. He’s projected to make 581 plate appearances with a 1.003 OPS, 98 RBI, and 96 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 9

3B – Manny Machado – Machado was healthy in 2017 but didn’t live up to expectations. He finished with 698 plate appearances and a .782 OPS and was ranked 74th overall. He was a keeper-level player, but more was expected. He’s ranked 16th by Steamer entering 2018, a reflection of expectations, and is projected to make 634 plate appearances with a .897 OPS, 104 RBI and 96 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 22

SP – Carlos Carrasco – In 32 starts last year, Carrasco pitched 200 innings with 19 quality starts, a 3.28 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 10.1 K/9. He ended 2017 as the league’s 28th rated player. Steamer ranks Carrasco 49th overall entering 2018. He’s projected to pitch 169 issues over 28 games with a 3.51 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 9.6 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 35

SP – Justin Verlander – In 33 starts last season, Verlander pitched 206 innings and was tied for the league lead with 23 quality starts, a 3.36 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 9.5 K/9. He finished the season as the league’s 49th ranked player. Verlander enters 2018 as the 69th ranked player according to Steamer. He’s projected to pitch 204 innings with a 3.84 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 10 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 35

RP – Craig Kimbrel – Kimbrel was the league’s top-rated closer in 2017 but Steamer ranks him behind Kenley Jansen in this year’s rankings. Last year, he made 69 appearances, recording 32 net saves/holds with a 1.43 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, and 16.4 K/9.  Kimbrel is ranked ninth overall and is projected to make 65 appearances with 33 net saves/holds, a 2.63 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and a 13.8 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 50

Hapamon

OF – Charlie Blackmon – Blackmon is quietly good. In 725 plate appearances last year, Blackmon had a 1.007 OPS with 104 RBI and scored a league-high 137. He finished as the league’s sixth-rated player and top-rated outfielder. Steamer ranks Blackmon 23rd entering 2018 and projects he’ll make 643 plate appearances with a .867 OPS, 80 RBI, and 102 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 9

2B – Dee Gordon – The speedy Gordon finished 2017 with 44 net stolen bases, second only to league-leader Billy Hamilton. He can single-handedly win the category for Hapamon on any given week. In 696 plate appearances, Gordon had a .713 OPS with 114 runs scored and 33 RBI. His ability to score runs and steal bases led to an overall ranking of 18th. Steamer ranks Gordon 52nd entering 2018. They project 635 plate appearances with a .685 OPS, 29 net stolen bases, 49 RBI and 77 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 36

OF – Christian Yelich – Yelich leaves the yawning chasms of Marlin Park and takes his big bat to Miller Park where he’s expected to do damage. Yelich was the league’s 47th rated player last year, amassing 700 plate appearances with a .807 OPS, 81 RBI and 100 runs scored. Steamer ranks Yelich 35th entering 2018 and projects 633 plate appearances with a .876 OPS, 79 RBI and 93 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 53

SP – Clayton Kershaw – Despite being limited to 27 starts, Kershaw earned 20 quality starts with a 2.31 ERA and 0.948 WHIP. That earned him the fifth ranking in the final player standings. Kershaw enters 2018 as Steamer’s top-rated player. He’s projected to toss 190 innings with a 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 10.3 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 5

SP – Yu Darvish – Darvish pitched 186.2 innings in 2017, earning 19 quality starts with a 3.80 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with a 10 K/9. He ended the season ranked 84th overall. Steamer likes Darvish in 2018. He’s ranked 39th and is projected to pitch 173 innings with a 3.64 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 51

Bacon at Mile 11

OF – Mike Trout – Trout played in just 114 games last year but still finished as the league’s 24th ranked player. He made 511 plate appearances and led the league with a 1.071 OPS (minimum 400+ plate appearances), 72 RBI and 92 runs scored. Trout is Steamer’s top-rated hitter and is ranked third overall behind Clayton Kershaw and Chris Sale. He’s projected to make 618 plate appearances with a 1.043 OPS, 106 RBI, and 111 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 1

3B – Nolan Arenado – Arenado finished 2017 as the second-ranked third baseman and the 15th rated player overall. With 680 plate appearances, Arenado posted a .959 OPS with 130 RBI and 100 runs scored. He enters 2018 as the 13th rated player by Steamer and is projected to make 627 plate appearances with .939 OPS, 112 RBI, and 97 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 4

SS – Trea Turner – Turner ranked 65th in 2017 after suffering several injuries and playing in just 98 games. When healthy, he was electric on the bases, finishing with 38 net stolen bases, third most in the league. In 447 plate appearances, Turner posted a .789 OPS with 45 RBI and 75 runs scored. Steamer ranks Turner 12th overall and projects he’ll finish with 610 plate appearances, a .810 OPS, 65 RBI, 94 runs and 32 net stolen bases. Yahoo ADP: 6

1B/2B – Anthony Rizzo – Rizzo was the league’s 18th rated player in 2017 and the third-rated first baseman. In 691 plate appearances last year, Rizzo had a .899 OPS with 109 RBI, 99 runs, and six net stolen bases. This year he gains eligibility at second base, making him even more valuable. Steamer ranks Rizzo 14th heading into 2018 and projects he’ll make 610 plate appearances with a .938 OPS, 101 RBI, and 97 runs. Yahoo ADP: 22

SP – Chris Archer – In 34 starts last season, Archer pitched 201 innings with 20 quality starts, a 4.11 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 11.1 K/9. He finished 2017 as the league’s 117th ranked player. Steamer expects Archer to make a big jump in value this season. They rank him 29th overall and project he’ll make 32 starts with 196 innings pitched with a 3.49 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 10.2 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 66

Stadium Mustard

1B – Edwin Encarnacion – Encarnacion continued to be a productive player in 2017 at age 34. In 673 plate appearances, Encarnacion had a .880 OPS with 107 RBI and 96 runs scored and finished the season ranked 39th overall. Steamer has Encarnacion ranked 47th overall. He’s projected to make 600 plate appearances with a .866 OPS, 99 RBI and 88 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 44

3B – Kyle Seager – In 656 plate appearances last year, Seager posted a .771 OPS with 88 RBI and 72 runs scored. He finished 2017 as the league’s 144th rated player. Steamer is projecting improvement for Seager in 2018. He’s the league’s 80th rated player entering the season and Steamer projects 536 plate appearances with a .805 OPS, 85 RBI and 77 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 117

OF – Ender Inciarte – Inciarte earned keeper status in 2017, finishing the season as the league’s 70th rated player. In 719 plate appearances, Inciarte posted a .759 OPS with 57 RBI and 93 runs scored. He was also valuable on the bases, finishing with 13 net stolen bases. Steamer has Inciarte rated 83rd overall entering 2018 with a projected .731 OPS, 54 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 11 net stolen bases. Yahoo ADP: 127

SP – James Paxton – Paxton tossed 136 innings in 2017, earning 14 quality starts with a 2.97 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 10.3 K/9. Despite DL stints with a strained forearm and strained pectoral muscle, Paxton finished the season as the league’s 58th rated player. Steamer has Paxton ranked 78th overall entering 2018. They are projecting 29 starts with 176 innings pitched with a 3.53 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 9.1 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 82

RP – Andrew Miller – Miller earned 26 net saves/holds in 2017 with a 2.15 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 11.7 K/9. He ended the season as the league’s 31st rated player. Steamer expects Miller to make 65 appearances in 2018 with 13 net saves/holds, a 2.77 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 12.6 K/9. He’s ranked 26th overall. Yahoo ADP: 128

Warning Track Power

OF – J.D. Martinez – A foot injury limited Martinez to 119 games last year. In 493 plate appearances, Martinez posted a 1.066 OPS (second behind only Mike Trout for players with a minimum of 400 plate appearances) with 104 RBI and 85 runs scored. He finished the season as the league’s 40th ranked player. Martinez will enter 2018 as Steamer’s 72nd ranked player. He’s projected to have 530 plate appearances with a .912 OPS, 97 RBI and 80 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 20

3B – Josh Donaldson – Donaldson played in just 113 games last season, making 498 plate appearances with a .928 OPS, 77 RBI, and 64 runs scored. He finished 2017 ranked 196th overall. Expecting a return to health, Steamer projects Donaldson to make 602 plate appearances in 2018 with a .916 OPS, 95 RBI and 96 runs scored. He’s ranked 31st overall. Yahoo ADP: 30

1B – Eric Hosmer – In 673 plate appearances last season, Hosmer posted a .882 OPS with 94 RBI and 98 runs scored. He ended 2017 as the league’s 32nd rated player. Steamer projects a dip in production for 2018. Hosmer enters the season ranked 73rd. He’s projected to have 617 plate appearances with a .832 OPS, 84 RBI, and 75 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 81

SP – Chris Sale – Sale finished 2017 as the league’s third-rated player behind Corey Kluber and Max Scherzer. He pitched a league-high 214.1 innings with a league-leading 23 quality starts, a 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 12.9 K/9. Only Clayton Kershaw is rated higher than Sale by Steamer entering 2018. Boston’s ace is projected to pitch 192 innings with a 3.14 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 11.3 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 13

SP/RP – David Price – Price battled a sore elbow last season and made just 16 starts.  He pitched 74.2 innings with seven quality starts, a 3.37 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 9.1 K/9. He ended the season as the league’s 245th ranked player. Steamer expects Price to remain healthy this season. He’s projected to make 29 starts, pitch 180 innings and post a 3.75 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 9.0 K/9. They have him ranked 110th overall. Yahoo ADP: 113

Home Run 101

2B – Jose Altuve – Altuve was the top-rated second baseman in 2017 and was the fourth-rated player in our league. In 662 plate appearances, he forged a .957 OPS with 112 runs scored (second most in the league), 81 RBI, and 26 net stolen bases. Steamer ranks Altuve as the top-rated infielder this year and has him ranked 10th overall. He’s projected to make 638 plate appearances with a .849 OPS, 84 RBI and 94 runs. Yahoo ADP: 2

1B – Jose Abreu – In 155 games last year, Abreu had 675 plate appearances with a .912 OPS, 102 RBI and 95 runs scored. He finished the season as the league’s 26th rated player.   The White Sox are rebuilding so they could struggle to score runs which is reflected in Steamer’s projections. Abreau is ranked 50th overall. He’s expected to make 600 plate appearances with a .875 OPS, 96 RBI and 82 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 36

SS – Elvis Andrus – Andrus was very good in 2017. He finished the season as the league’s 23rd ranked player with 692 plate appearances, an .806 OPS, 88 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 15 net stolen bases. With Texas in rebuilding mode, Steamer expects a dip in production for Andrus this year. He’s ranked 62nd overall and is projected to have 624 plate appearances with a .749 OPS, 67 RBI, 78 runs scored and 12 net stolen bases. Yahoo ADP: 66

SP – Rich Hill – When Rich Hill is healthy, he can be electric. Keeping him healthy is the hard part. Hill appeared in 25 games last year, pitching 135.2 innings. He earned nine quality starts with a 3.31 ERA and 1.09 WHIP and 12.1 K/9. Despite missing time, he ended 2017 as the league’s 77th-rated player. Steamer projects a repeat of those numbers in 2017. Hill is projected to make 24 starts with 141 innings pitched with a 3.64 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 10.1 K/9. He’s ranked 76th overall. Yahoo ADP: 102

RP – Mychal Givens – In 69 appearances last year, Givens tossed 78.2 innings with 15 net saves/holds, a 2.74 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 10.0 K/9. He ended the season ranked 125th overall. Entering 2018, Steamer has Givens rated 208th overall. He’s projected to make 55 appearances with a 3.93 ERA, 125 WHIP and 10.3 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 239

Midtown Marsupials

2B – Brian Dozier – The veteran second baseman was rock-solid again in 2017, finishing the season as the league’s 36th-ranked player. He made 707 plate appearances with a .853 OPS, 93 RBI, and 106 runs scored. Not surprisingly, Steamer expects a virtual repeat in 2018. Dozier is projected to make 636 plate appearances with a .824 OPS, with 85 RBI and 96 runs scored. Entering 2018, Dozier is ranked 38th overall. Yahoo ADP: 42

3B – Anthony Rendon – In 611 plate appearances last season, Rendon posted a .936 OPS with 100 RBI and 81 runs scored. He ended 2017 as the league’s 34th-ranked player. Entering 2018, Steamer has Rendon ranked 70th overall. They are projecting 564 plate appearances with a .857 OPS, 77 RBI and 78 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 54

SS – Xander Bogaerts – Bogaerts finished 2017 as the league’s 103rd-rated player. In 637 plate appearances, Bogaerts posted a .746 OPS with 62 RBI and 94 runs scored. He also finished the season with 14 net stolen bases. Steamer is projecting a very similar season for Bogaerts in 2018. He’s projected to make 574 plate appearances with a .800 OPS, 72 RBI, 75 runs scored and five net stolen bases. Yahoo ADP: 69

SP – Jacob deGrom – The big right-hander emerged as the Mets ace in 2017, pitching 201.1 innings with a 3.53 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 10.6 K/9 and 21 quality starts. He ended the season as the league’s 42nd rated player. Steamer expects continued growth this season. He’s ranked 24th overall and is projected to pitch 203 innings with a 3.46 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and 10.0 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 35

SP – Carlos Martinez – Martinez had 20 quality starts in 32 appearances last season, posting a 3.64 ERA with a 1.21 WHIP and 9.5 K/9. He finished the season ranked 102nd overall. Steamer projects Martinez to make 32 starts this season with 202 innings pitched, a 3.74 ERA, 1.30 WHIP and 9.0 K/9. He’s expected to finish 2018 ranked 203rd overall. Yahoo ADP: 55

High Cheese

1B/3B – Freddie Freeman – Freeman becomes more valuable this year as he earns third base eligibility. The hard-slugging first baseman was pretty valuable in 2017. He ended the season as the league’s 81st rated player with 516 plate appearances, a .989 OPS, 71 RBI and 84 runs scored. Steamer has Freeman ranked 34th overall entering 2018 and projects 592 plate appearances with a .934 OPS, 92 RBI and 87 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 20

SS – Trevor Story – Is Story primed for a bounce-back season? In 556 plate appearances last year, Story had a .761 OPS with 82 RBI and 68 runs. The problem was his whiff rate. Story struck out 191 times. That left him with a final ranking of 373rd. Steamer is predicting a partial bounce-back. They project 541 plate appearances with a .791 OPS, 79 RBI and 69 runs. He’s only ticketed for 166 strikeouts by Streamer, so that’s improvement. Yahoo ADP: 92

RP – Aroldis Chapman – Chapman wasn’t his dominant self in 2017. He finished the season ranked 169th overall, pitching 50.1 innings with 19 net saves/holds, a 3.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 12.3 K/9. Steamer expects he’ll return to dominance in 2018. He’s ranked 18th overall and is the third-rated closer behind Jansen and Kimbrel. Chapman is projected to make 65 appearances with 29 net saves/holds with a 2.91 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 13.2 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 62

SP – Gerrit Cole – Cole was a workhorse in 2017. He pitched 203 innings but was hit hard at times. He earned 20 quality starts with a 4.25 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with a 8.6 K/9. Cole ended the season ranked 272nd. Streamer doesn’t like the odds of a bounce-back season for Cole. They are predicting 175 innings pitched with a 4.17 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 8.5 ERA. They have Cole ranked 894th. This will be one to watch in 2018. Yahoo ADP: 83

SP – Jon Lester – Lester was another key starter that struggled for High Cheese last year. He pitched 180.2 innings with a 4.33 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He ended 2017 ranked 360th overall. The Patchells are betting the veteran will turn it around in 2018. Steamer, again, is not so sure. They’ve penciled in 195 innings pitched with a 3.92 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. It’s certainly an improvement over last year but it leaves him ranked 260th overall. Yahoo ADP: 105

Marin Menehunes

OF – Marcell Ozuna – In 681 plate appearances last year, Ozuna had a .914 OPS with 124 RBI (third in the league) and 93 runs. It led to a final ranking of 33rd overall. Steamer has Ozuna ranked 53rd overall entering 2018. They are projecting 596 plate appearances with a .879 OPS, 97 RBI and 82 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 63

1B – Wil Myers – In 656 plate appearances last season, Myers posted a .792 OPS with 74 RBI and 80 runs scored. It earned him a pedestrian ranking of 160th overall. That’s disappointing for a talent like Myers. Streamer is a believer in the underlying talent and is predicting a turnaround in 2018. They project 600 plate appearances with a .804 OPS, 81 RBI and 76 runs with nine net stolen bases. While those are similar numbers to 2017, they would earn Myers the 95th ranking overall in the stingy Streamer system. Yahoo ADP: 64

OF – Domingo Santana – Santana was on the verge of earning keeper status (Top 80 overall ranking) in 2017. In 610 plate appearances, Santana had a .875 OPS with 85 RBI, 88 runs scored and 11 net stolen bases. Streamer is projecting a drop in production for 2018. They have Santana with 561 plate appearances, a .828 OPS, 79 RBI, 75 runs, and three net stolen bases for an overall ranking of 163. Yahoo ADP: 81

OF – Lorenzo Cain – Can Cain repeat his 2017 season? He earned keeper status with excellent production over 647 plate appearances. Cain finished the season with 24 net stolen bases, a .809 OPS, 50 RBI and 86 runs scored. That was good enough for a final ranking of 54th overall. Streamer is predicting 578 plate appearances this season with nine net stolen bases, a .784 OPS, 64 RBI and 77 runs scored. Streamer ranks Cain 94th overall. Yahoo ADP: 94

SP – Max Scherzer – The Menehunes have their ace. Scherzer, who finished 2017 as the league’s second-rated player, is Steamer’s third-rated pitcher for 2018 and is rated fourth overall. Last year, Scherzer pitched 200.2 innings with 22 quality starts (tied for third most in the league) a 2.51 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 12.0 K/9. He’s projected by Steamer to make 32 starts in 2018, pitching 207 innings with a 3.39 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 11.2 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 9

The Bulls

OF – Khris Davis – Davis provides thump in the middle of the lineup for the Bulls. In 659 plate appearances last year, Davis had a .859 OPS with 109 RBI and 91 runs scored. The only drag on his production was 195 strikeouts (tied for third most in the league), which left him ranked 105th overall. Streamer expects a repeat performance from Oakland’s big slugger. In 589 plate appearances, Davis is expected to finish with a .827 OPS, 98 RBI, 81 runs scored and 173 strikeouts. Streamer ranks Davis 109th overall. Yahoo ADP: 69

2B – Rougned Odor – There’s a theme developing with the Bulls. A penchant for whiffs at the plate. Those K’s – 162 in all – killed Odor’s overall ranking in 2017. In 655 plate appearances he posted a .647 OPS with nine net stolen bases, 75 RBI and 79 runs scored. He finished 2017 ranked 288th overall. Streamer expects Odor to cut down on the K’s and improve his final ranking in 2018. They are projecting 554 plate appearances with a .780 OPS, just 119 Ks, with 84 RBI and 72 runs scored. He’s ranked 117th overall. Yahoo ADP: 102

SS – Didi Gregorius – Gregorius ended 2017 as the league’s 110th ranked player. In 576 plate appearances he posted a .799 OPS with 87 RBI and 73 runs scored. Streamer projects a similar season in 2018. Hitting fifth in New York’s potent lineup, Gregorius is projected to post a .753 OPS in 553 plate appearances with 73 RBI and 67 runs scored. He’s ranked 142nd overall. Yahoo ADP: 114

SP – Stephen Strasburg – Strasburg finished 2017 as the league’s fifth-rated starting pitcher and was ranked 14th overall. He pitched 175.1 innings with 20 quality starts, a 2.56 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. Steamer expects a near repeat in 2018. Strasburg is ranked 22nd overall and is projected to start 31 games, throw 188 innings with a 3.45 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 10.3 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 24

RP – Roberto Osuna – Osuna emerged as one of the best relief pitchers in baseball last year. In 66 appearances, Osuna earned 27 net saves/holds with a 3.37 ERA, 0.85 WHIP and 11.6 K/9. He ended 2017 as the league’s 72nd ranked player. Steamer is expecting continued growth in 2018. They have Osuna ranked 41st overall. He’s projected to make 65 appearances and earn 31 net saves/holds with a 3.46 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 10.4 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 81

Las Estellas Rojas

OF – Justin Upton – Upton finished 2017 ranked 48th overall after posting a .807 OPS in 700 plate appearances. He had 14 net stolen bases along with 109 RBI and 100 runs scored. Streamer projects a slight regression in 2018. Upton is predicted to have 605 plate appearances with a .809 OPS and five net stolen bases. He’s also projected to drive in 91 runs and score 81 times. He’s ranked 107th overall. Yahoo ADP: 42

OF – Billy Hamilton – Hamilton can win the stolen base category by himself during any given week of the season. That’s an excellent weapon to have on your team. Last year, Hamilton finished with a league-high 46 net stolen bases in 630 plate appearances. He’s not a power hitter, as illustrated by his .627 OPS, but he scored 85 times while driving in 38 runs. Hamilton ended 2017 as the league’s 94th ranked player. Streamer ranks Hamilton 121st overall entering 2018 and projects 32 net stolen bases in 530 plate appearances. Hamilton is expected to post a .644 OPS with 42 RBI and 60 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 68

2B – Robinson Cano – Cano finished 2017 as the league’s 77th ranked player. In 651 plate appearances he had a .790 OPS with 97 RBI and 79 runs scored. Steamer has Cano ranked 57th entering 2018. They project 621 plate appearances with a .810 OPS, 89 RBI and 79 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 59

C – Yadier Molina – How much gas does the 35-year-old Molina have left in the tank? He’s no longer one of the league’s elite offensive catchers. In 551 plate appearances last year he posted a .750 OPS with 82 RBI and 60 runs scored to finish the season ranked 176th overall. Streamer is projecting Molina to run out of gas this season. They predict just 442 plate appearances with a .748 OPS, 54 RBI, and 47 runs scored. They have Molina ranked 825th overall. This one bears watching early in the season. Yahoo ADP: 166

SP – Noah Syndergaard – A lat injury limited “Thor” to just seven starts in 2017 and he finished the season ranked 285th. He pitched just 30.1 innings with four quality starts, a 2.97 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 10.0 K/9. This year, Syndergaard is the league’s fourth-rated pitcher according to Steamer and will anchor the pitching staff for Las Estellas Rojas. He’s projected to make 31 starts, pitch 182 innings with a 3.12 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 10.9 K/9. Yahoo ADP: 31

Wendy Peffercorn

1B – Paul Goldschmidt – Goldschmidt was Wendy Peffercorn’s MVP in 2017, finishing the season ranked ninth overall and the second-rated first baseman behind Joey Votto. In 668 plate appearances, Goldschmidt posted a .966 OPS with 120 RBI and 117 runs scored. Steamer doesn’t expect Goldschmidt to repeat his excellence in 2018 but they do expect him to be very good. He’s ranked 20th overall and is the second-ranked first baseman. Goldschmidt is projected to make 627 plate appearances with a .933 OPS, 93 RBI, and 94 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 8

SS – Francisco Lindor – Lindor ended 2017 as the league’s top-rated shortstop and he finished as the 21st-ranked player overall. He made 721 plate appearances, driving in 89 runs and scoring 99. Steamer ranks Lindor 19th entering 2018 and the second-ranked shortstop behind Trea Turner. He’s projected to make 645 plate appearances with a .852 OPS, with 87 RBI and 97 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 22

OF – Nelson Cruz – Cruz finished 2017 ranked 38th overall and had an excellent season. In 652 plate appearances, he had a .923 OPS with 119 RBI and 91 runs scored. Steamer ranks Cruz 65th entering 2018. They project 585 plate appearances with a .879 OPS, 100 RBI, and 83 runs scored. Yahoo ADP: 38

1B – Ryan Zimmerman – What a bounce-back season for the 33-year-old first baseman. Written off before the season started, Zimmerman posted a .930 OPS with 108 RBI and 90 runs scored over 581 plate appearances. He ended 2017 as the league’s 50th rated player. Streamer expects Zimmerman to give back some plate appearances and OPS, and with it some of his overall ranking. He’s projected for just 469 plate appearances with a .829 OPS, 74 RBI and 61 runs. Zimmerman is ranked 218th overall. Yahoo ADP: 127

RP – Anthony Swarzak – Swarzak was sneaky good in 2017. He earned 25 net saves/holds with a 2.32 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. He ended the season with keeper value, ranked 68th overall. Swarzak is ranked 118th by Streamer entering 2018 but don’t be surprised if he exceeds that projection given the opportunities that exist for Milwaukee relief pitchers. Streamer is projecting just two net saves/holds, which is extremely conservative, to go with a 3.32 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 10.0 K/9. Yahoo ADP: Swarzak isn’t being drafted in many Yahoo leagues because he’s a set-up man and those leagues don’t value excellent relief pitching.

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