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Fantasy Baseball 2014: Updating the Top 150 Big Board, Week 4

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Fantasy Baseball 2014: Updating the Top 150 Big Board, Week 4
Brett Davis/USA Today

With the 2014 baseball season going full tilt, the fantasy version of the sport needs all kinds of attention. Like, every-week attention—lest we fickle owners get frustrated and cranky, and that just isn't good for anyone.

With that in mind, it's time for the weekly update of the Big Board. Now that games are underway and fantasy drafts are over, the focus shifts toward evaluating players' values based on the remainder of the season.

Think of it as your security blanket in an otherwise insecure world.

Below is a ranking of the top 150 players from now until the end of September. With opinions and circumstances changing since the last iteration, including player performances, transactions and injuries, a refreshing is in order.

Before getting to that, though, some housekeeping is needed, as this lengthy list of the top talents comes with a few key qualifications. First, everything is based on 10- or 12-team mixed leagues with standard 5x5 rotisserie scoring for hitters (BA, R, HR, RBI, SB) and pitchers (W, ERA, WHIP, K, SV).

Second, lineup construction accounts for 22 active-roster positions, consisting of: one each for catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, corner infield, middle infield and utility, along with five outfielders and nine pitchers.

And third, to be eligible at a particular position, players must have played at least 20 games there in 2013 or or 10 games in 2014.

With that out of the way, get ready to count down, starting with No. 150 and working all the way to No. 1.

 

Ins and Outs, On the Bubble, Risers and Fallers

This time around, only two players (J.J. Hardy and Francisco Liriano) fell off the Big Board.

The two newbies replacing them?

  • Charlie Blackmon, who's spent the better part of April leading the majors in hitting while also notching five homers and seven steals
  • Martin Perez, who is carrying a 26-inning scoreless streak

David Zalubowski
Charlie Blackmon, who's still leading the majors in hitting, joins the Big Board for the first time.

Because you're probably wondering about some players just outside the top 150, that list includes:

  • Liriano, Tony Cingrani, Brian Dozier, Brandon Moss, Dee Gordon, Jed Lowrie, Nolan Arenado, Brett Lawrie, Lance Lynn, Angel Pagan, Kyle Seager, Coco Crisp, Chris Tillman and yes, MLB saves leader Francisco Rodriguez

Keep in mind: When a few players at the same position are coupled or bunched together—like David Robertson, Rafael Soriano and Joe Nathan, or Wilin Rosario and Salvador Perez—it means they're more or less in the same boat, with no clear favorite at the moment. That can and will change as more information, news, injuries and performance come to light. But for now, when players are grouped, consider their value to your team based more on specific category need than overall ranking placement.

This week, some of the biggest risers are:

  • Jose Abreu (No. 64 to 40), Josh Donaldson (101 to 65); Carlos Beltran (105 to 73); Nelson Cruz (135 to 72); Anthony Rendon (95 to 75); Sonny Gray (119 to 94); Yordano Ventura (137 to 112); and Alex Wood (138 to 113)

Meanwhile, big fallers include:

  • Chris Sale (No. 30 to 55); Matt Carpenter (46 to 88); Mark Trumbo (57 to 126); Allen Craig (72 to 93); Starling Marte (86 to 128); Pablo Sandoval (100 to 134); Salvador Perez (110 to 135); and Wilin Rosario (114 to 136)

Starting next week, the right-most column marked "+/-" on the Big Board will indicate a player who rose or fell in the rankings by at least 20 spots in either direction from the past edition.

 

Bleacher Report's Top 150 Big Board
RANK PLAYER TEAM POSITION(S) +/-
150 David Robertson Yankees RP
149 Rafael Soriano Nationals RP
148 Joe Nathan Tigers RP
147 Mat Latos Reds SP
146 Alex Cobb Rays SP
145 Martin Perez Rangers SP
144 Starlin Castro Cubs SS
143 Domonic Brown Phillies OF
142 Alexei Ramirez White Sox SS
141 Andrelton Simmons Braves SS
140 Michael Pineda Yankees SP
139 Zack Wheeler Mets SP
138 Yovani Gallardo Brewers SP
137 Charlie Blackmon Rockies OF
136 Wilin Rosario Rockies C
135 Salvador Perez Royals C
134 Pablo Sandoval Giants 3B
133 Melky Cabrera Blue Jays OF
132 Aramis Ramirez Brewes 3B
131 Billy Butler Royals UTIL
130 Shane Victorino Red Sox OF
129 Desmond Jennings Rays OF
128 Starling Marte Pirates OF
127 George Springer Astros OF
126 Mark Trumbo Diamondbacks 1B/OF
125 Matt Adams Cardinals 1B
124 Brandon Phillips Reds 2B
123 Doug Fister Nationals SP
122 Chris Archer Rays SP
121 Ervin Santana Braves SP
120 Matt Wieters Orioles C
119 Anibal Sanchez Tigers SP
118 Shelby Miller Cardinals SP
117 Austin Jackson Tigers OF
116 Billy Hamilton Reds OF
115 Josh Hamilton Angels OF
114 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals 3B
113 Alex Wood Braves SP
112 Yordano Ventura Royals SP
111 Hisashi Iwakuma Mariners SP
110 Martin Prado Diamondbacks 2B/3B/OF
109 Koji Uehara Red Sox RP
108 Glen Perkins Twins RP
107 Aroldis Chapman Reds RP
106 Michael Cuddyer Rockies OF
105 Xander Bogaerts Red Sox SS
104 Jean Segura Brewers SS
103 Jose Altuve Astros 2B
102 Ben Zobrist Rays 2B/SS/OF
101 Alex Gordon Royals OF
100 Victor Martinez Tigers UTIL
99 Mike Minor Braves SP
98 Jonathan Lucroy Brewers C
97 Jeff Samardzija Cubs SP
96 Chase Utley Phillies 2B
95 Andrew Cashner Padres SP
94 Sonny Gray Athletics SP
93 Allen Craig Cardinals 1B/OF
92 Pedro Alvarez Pirates 3B
91 Brian McCann Yankees C
90 Carlos Santana Indians C/1B/3B
89 Trevor Rosenthal Cardinals RP
88 Matt Carpenter Cardinals 2B/3B
87 Greg Holland Royals RP
86 Kenley Jansen Dodgers RP
85 Matt Kemp Dodgers OF
84 Matt Cain Giants SP
83 Mike Napoli Red Sox 1B
82 Johnny Cueto Reds SP
81 Michael Wacha Cardinals SP
80 Hyun-Jin Ryu Dodgers SP
79 Manny Machado Orioles 3B
78 Jose Reyes Blue Jays SS
77 Jason Heyward Braves OF
76 Everth Cabrera Padres SS
75 Anthony Rendon Nationals 2B/3B
74 Jayson Werth Nationals OF
73 Carlos Beltran Yankees OF
72 Nelson Cruz Orioles OF
71 Craig Kimbrel Braves RP
70 Anthony Rizzo Cubs 1B
69 Cole Hamels Phillies SP
68 Julio Teheran Braves SP
67 Alex Rios Rangers OF
66 Elvis Andrus Rangers SS
65 Josh Donaldson Athletics 3B
64 Gerrit Cole Pirates SP
63 Jon Lester Red Sox SP
62 Yadier Molina Cardinals C
61 Joe Mauer Twins C/1B
60 Ian Kinsler Tigers 2B
59 Hunter Pence Giants OF
58 Buster Posey Giants C
57 Homer Bailey Reds SP
56 Brandon Belt Giants 1B
55 Chris Sale White Sox SP
54 Matt Holliday Cardinals OF
53 Yoenis Cespedes Athletics OF
52 Jordan Zimmermann Nationals SP
51 James Shields Royals SP
50 Yasiel Puig Dodgers OF
49 Wil Myers Rays OF
48 David Ortiz Red Sox UTIL
47 Eric Hosmer Royals 1B
46 Ian Desmond Nationals SS
45 Jay Bruce Reds OF
44 Gio Gonzalez Nationals SP
43 Masahiro Tanaka Yankees SP
42 Zack Greinke Dodgers SP
41 Justin Upton Braves OF
40 Jose Abreu White Sox 1B
39 Shin-Soo Choo Rangers OF
38 Dustin Pedroia Red Sox 2B
37 Madison Bumgarner Giants SP
36 David Wright Mets 3B
35 Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers 1B
34 Albert Pujols Angels 1B
33 Clayton Kershaw Dodgers SP
32 Bryce Harper Nationals OF
31 Ryan Braun Brewers OF
30 David Price Rays SP
29 Max Scherzer Tigers SP
28 Justin Verlander Tigers SP
27 Cliff Lee Phillies SP
26 Stephen Strasburg Nationals SP
25 Jason Kipnis Indians 2B
24 Jose Bautista Blue Jays OF
23 Jose Fernandez Marlins SP
22 Felix Hernandez Mariners SP
21 Adam Wainwright Cardinals SP
20 Yu Darvish Rangers SP
19 Adrian Beltre Rangers 3B
18 Jacoby Ellsbury Yankees OF
17 Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays 1B
16 Prince Fielder Rangers 1B
15 Hanley Ramirez Dodgers SS
14 Troy Tulowitzki Rockies SS
13 Joey Votto Reds 1B
12 Chris Davis Orioles 1B
11 Carlos Gonzalez Rockies OF
10 Adam Jones Orioles OF
9 Evan Longoria Rays 3B
8 Robinson Cano Mariners 2B
7 Freddie Freeman Braves 1B
6 Giancarlo Stanton Marlins OF
5 Carlos Gomez Brewers OF
4 Andrew McCutchen Pirates OF
3 Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 1B
2 Miguel Cabrera Tigers 1B/3B
1 Mike Trout Angels OF

Author

Now that the season is nearly a full month in and most MLB teams and starting players have tallied about 25 games played, there's enough of a sample size to start to evaluate players more thoroughly.

Because this is still the very early stages, however, even one big/bad game or a  series can make a player's stats—and stock—increase or decrease noticeably. In other words, don't get too caught up in crazy-good performances by unknowns or has-beens; nor should you fret too much over a proven stud who's still struggling. A lot still can change in a game or three.

Elaine Thompson
If this were fantasy football and Robinson Cano were your first-round RB, you wouldn't trade him away after two or three games.

For some perspective, think of where we are in the fantasy baseball season in fantasy football terms: Once April is done and teams have played about 30 games, that will be the fantasy football equivalent of roughly three weeks. If your first-round running back or second-round wide receiver were slumping through three games, you might be frustrated or even mad, but you wouldn't just go dropping or trading them away, would you?

Don't go taking such drastic measures in fantasy baseball, either.

  

This is the continuation of a writer-reader collaboration that's intended to take your opinions and perspectives into account, so let 'er rip in the comments below. Which rankings do you disagree with and why? Which players not included absolutely need to be on the Top 150 Big Board, and which ones would you kick to the curb? How's the top 10? The top 25?

To talk baseball or fantasy baseball, check in with me on Twitter: @JayCat11.

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