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

Jason CataniaMLB Lead WriterApril 27, 2014

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

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

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
RANKPLAYERTEAMPOSITION(S)+/-
150David RobertsonYankeesRP
149Rafael SorianoNationalsRP
148Joe NathanTigersRP
147Mat LatosRedsSP
146Alex CobbRaysSP
145Martin PerezRangersSP
144Starlin CastroCubsSS
143Domonic Brown PhilliesOF
142Alexei RamirezWhite SoxSS
141Andrelton SimmonsBravesSS
140Michael PinedaYankeesSP
139Zack WheelerMetsSP
138Yovani GallardoBrewersSP
137Charlie BlackmonRockiesOF
136Wilin RosarioRockiesC
135Salvador PerezRoyalsC
134Pablo SandovalGiants3B
133Melky CabreraBlue JaysOF
132Aramis RamirezBrewes3B
131Billy ButlerRoyalsUTIL
130Shane VictorinoRed SoxOF
129Desmond JenningsRaysOF
128Starling MartePiratesOF
127George SpringerAstrosOF
126Mark TrumboDiamondbacks1B/OF
125Matt AdamsCardinals1B
124Brandon PhillipsReds2B
123Doug FisterNationalsSP
122Chris ArcherRaysSP
121Ervin SantanaBravesSP
120Matt WietersOriolesC
119Anibal SanchezTigersSP
118Shelby MillerCardinalsSP
117Austin JacksonTigersOF
116Billy HamiltonRedsOF
115Josh HamiltonAngelsOF
114Ryan ZimmermanNationals3B
113Alex WoodBravesSP
112Yordano VenturaRoyalsSP
111Hisashi IwakumaMarinersSP
110Martin PradoDiamondbacks2B/3B/OF
109Koji UeharaRed SoxRP
108Glen PerkinsTwinsRP
107Aroldis ChapmanRedsRP
106Michael CuddyerRockiesOF
105Xander BogaertsRed SoxSS
104Jean SeguraBrewersSS
103Jose AltuveAstros2B
102Ben ZobristRays2B/SS/OF
101Alex GordonRoyalsOF
100Victor MartinezTigersUTIL
99Mike MinorBravesSP
98Jonathan LucroyBrewersC
97Jeff SamardzijaCubsSP
96Chase UtleyPhillies2B
95Andrew CashnerPadresSP
94Sonny GrayAthleticsSP
93Allen CraigCardinals1B/OF
92Pedro AlvarezPirates3B
91Brian McCannYankeesC
90Carlos SantanaIndiansC/1B/3B
89Trevor RosenthalCardinalsRP
88Matt CarpenterCardinals2B/3B
87Greg HollandRoyalsRP
86Kenley JansenDodgersRP
85Matt KempDodgersOF
84Matt CainGiantsSP
83Mike NapoliRed Sox1B
82Johnny CuetoRedsSP
81Michael WachaCardinalsSP
80Hyun-Jin RyuDodgersSP
79Manny MachadoOrioles3B
78Jose ReyesBlue JaysSS
77Jason HeywardBravesOF
76Everth CabreraPadresSS
75Anthony RendonNationals2B/3B
74Jayson WerthNationalsOF
73Carlos BeltranYankeesOF
72Nelson CruzOriolesOF
71Craig KimbrelBravesRP
70Anthony RizzoCubs1B
69Cole HamelsPhilliesSP
68Julio TeheranBravesSP
67Alex RiosRangersOF
66Elvis AndrusRangersSS
65Josh DonaldsonAthletics3B
64Gerrit ColePiratesSP
63Jon LesterRed SoxSP
62Yadier MolinaCardinalsC
61Joe MauerTwinsC/1B
60Ian KinslerTigers2B
59Hunter PenceGiantsOF
58Buster PoseyGiantsC
57Homer BaileyRedsSP
56Brandon BeltGiants1B
55Chris SaleWhite SoxSP
54Matt HollidayCardinalsOF
53Yoenis CespedesAthleticsOF
52Jordan ZimmermannNationalsSP
51James ShieldsRoyalsSP
50Yasiel PuigDodgersOF
49Wil MyersRaysOF
48David OrtizRed SoxUTIL
47Eric HosmerRoyals1B
46Ian DesmondNationalsSS
45Jay BruceRedsOF
44Gio GonzalezNationalsSP
43Masahiro TanakaYankeesSP
42Zack GreinkeDodgersSP
41Justin UptonBravesOF
40Jose AbreuWhite Sox1B
39Shin-Soo ChooRangersOF
38Dustin PedroiaRed Sox2B
37Madison BumgarnerGiantsSP
36David WrightMets3B
35Adrian GonzalezDodgers1B
34Albert PujolsAngels1B
33Clayton KershawDodgersSP
32Bryce HarperNationalsOF
31Ryan BraunBrewersOF
30David PriceRaysSP
29Max ScherzerTigersSP
28Justin VerlanderTigersSP
27Cliff LeePhilliesSP
26Stephen StrasburgNationalsSP
25Jason KipnisIndians2B
24Jose BautistaBlue JaysOF
23Jose FernandezMarlinsSP
22Felix HernandezMarinersSP
21Adam WainwrightCardinalsSP
20Yu DarvishRangersSP
19Adrian BeltreRangers3B
18Jacoby EllsburyYankeesOF
17Edwin EncarnacionBlue Jays1B
16Prince FielderRangers1B
15Hanley RamirezDodgersSS
14Troy TulowitzkiRockiesSS
13Joey VottoReds1B
12Chris DavisOrioles1B
11Carlos GonzalezRockiesOF
10Adam JonesOriolesOF
9Evan LongoriaRays3B
8Robinson CanoMariners2B
7Freddie FreemanBraves1B
6Giancarlo StantonMarlinsOF
5Carlos GomezBrewersOF
4Andrew McCutchenPiratesOF
3Paul GoldschmidtDiamondbacks1B
2Miguel CabreraTigers1B/3B
1Mike TroutAngelsOF
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.

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

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.