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Fantasy Baseball 2015: B/R's 1st Top 150 Big Board as Spring Approaches

Jason Catania@@JayCat11MLB Lead WriterFebruary 12, 2015

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

With the 2015 baseball season nearing—pitchers and catchers report next week!—the fantasy version of the sport needs all kinds of attention. Like, right now. Because we fantasy folk can be an insecure lot, and we'll spend the next few weeks poring over names, statistics and information to prepare for drafts.

With that in mind, it's time to focus on stacking up players based on their value going forward. That's where the first Big Board of the year comes into play.

Below is a fantasy ranking of the top 150 players from now through draft season—and, in theory, through the end of September.

With opinions and circumstances changing oh-so-much over the offseason, thanks to various player performances, transactions and injuries, a complete, one-stop-shopping rundown is a good place to start.

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

In a world where even Clayton Kershaw needs a hug every once in a while, we fantasy owners need as much help as we can get.
In a world where even Clayton Kershaw needs a hug every once in a while, we fantasy owners need as much help as we can get.Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

Before getting to that, though, some housekeeping is in order, as this lengthy list of the top talents comes with a few key qualifications.

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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 2014 or 10 games in 2015 (or be projected to play there regularly).

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

Bleacher Report's Top 150 Big Board
RANKPLAYERTEAMPOSITIONPREVIOUS
150Adam EatonWhite SoxOF
149Phil HughesTwinsSP
148Leonys MartinRangersOF
147Charlie BlackmonRockiesOF
146Joc PedersonDodgersOF
145Anibal SanchezTigersSP
144Yordano VenturaRoyalsSP
143Andrew CashnerPadresSP
142Denard SpanNationalsOF
141Brett GardnerYankeesOF
140Jayson WerthNationalsOF
139Neil WalkerPirates2B
138Starlin CastroCubsSS
137Doug FisterNationalsSP
136Carlos CarrascoIndiansSP/RP
135Gio GonzalezNationalsSP
134Yasmany TomasDiamondbacks3B/OF
133Manny MachadoOrioles3B
132Melky CabreraWhite SoxOF
131Koji UeharaRed SoxRP
130Huston StreetAngelsRP
129Mark MelanconPiratesRP
128Cody AllenIndiansRP
127Drew StorenNationalsRP
126Howie KendrickDodgers2B
125Evan GattisAstrosC/OF
124Wil MyersPadresOF
123Kolten WongCardinals2B
122Brian McCannYankeesC
121Daniel MurphyMets2B
120Masahiro TanakaYankeesSP
119Garrett RichardsAngelsSP
118Jhonny PeraltaCardinalsSS
117Xander BogaertsRed Sox3B/SS
116Kris BryantCubs3B
115Alex GordonRoyalsOF
114Kole CalhounAngelsOF
113Rusney CastilloRed SoxOF
112Tyson RossPadresSP
111Hisashi IwakumaMarinersSP
110Alexei RamirezWhite SoxSS
109Jimmy RollinsDodgersSS
108Alex WoodBravesSP/RP
107Chris ArcherRaysSP
106Zack WheelerMetsSP
105Marcus StromanBlue JaysSP
104Gerrit ColePiratesSP
103Jake ArrietaCubsSP
102Jacob deGromMetsSP
101Jose QuintanaWhite SoxSP
100Lance LynnCardinalsSP
99Gregory PolancoPiratesOF
98Mookie BettsRed SoxOF
97Jorge SolerCubsOF
96Marcell OzunaMarlinsOF
95J.D. MartinezTigersOF
94Alex CobbRaysSP
93David WrightMets3B
92Ryan ZimmermanNationals1B/3B/OF
91Pablo SandovalRed Sox3B
90Matt CarpenterCardinals3B
89Nelson CruzMarinersOF
88Shin-Soo ChooRangersOF
87Matt HollidayCardinalsOF
86Jay BruceRedsOF
85Yan GomesIndiansC
84Devin MesoracoRedsC
83Dellin BetancesYankeesRP
82David RobertsonWhite SoxRP
81Trevor RosenthalCardinalsRP
80Matt HarveyMetsSP
79Jonathan LucroyBrewersC
78James ShieldsPadresSP
77Sonny GrayAthleticsSP
76Greg HollandRoyalsRP
75Kenley JansenDodgersRP
74Jeff SamardzijaWhite SoxSP
73Prince FielderRangers1B
72Jason HeywardCardinalsOF
71David OrtizRed SoxUTIL
70Albert PujolsAngels1B
69Dee GordonMarlins2B
68Billy HamiltonRedsOF
67Yoenis CespedesTigersOF
66Carlos SantanaIndians1B/3B
65Chris DavisOrioles1B/3B
64Joey VottoReds1B
63Julio TeheranBravesSP
62Aroldis ChapmanRedsRP
61Craig KimbrelBravesRP
60Buster PoseyGiantsC/1B
59Starling MartePiratesOF
58Ryan BraunBrewersOF
57Brian DozierTwins2B
56Jason KipnisIndians2B
55Dustin PedroiaRed Sox2B
54Matt KempPadresOF
53Carlos GonzalezRockiesOF
52Christian YelichMarlinsOF
51George SpringerAstrosOF
50Todd FrazierReds1B/3B
49Nolan ArenadoRockies3B
48Evan LongoriaRays3B
47Ian KinslerTigers2B
46Corey DickersonRockiesOF
45Freddie FreemanBraves1B
44Cole HamelsPhilliesSP
43Adam WainwrightCardinalsSP
42Victor MartinezTigers1B
41Jon LesterCubsSP
40Zack GreinkeDodgersSP
39Johnny CuetoRedsSP
38Yu DarvishRangersSP
37Kyle SeagerMariners3B
36Hunter PenceGiantsOF
35Jose ReyesBlue JaysSS
34Adrian GonzalezDodgers1B
33Jordan ZimmermannNationalsSP
32Madison BumgarnerGiantsSP
31Jacoby EllsburyYankeesOF
30Justin UptonPadresOF
29Hanley RamirezRed SoxSS/OF
28Bryce HarperNationalsOF
27Josh DonaldsonBlue Jays3B
26Ian DesmondNationalsSS
25Chris SaleWhite SoxSP
24Corey KluberIndiansSP
23David PriceTigersSP
22Stephen StrasburgNationalsSP
21Max ScherzerNationalsSP
20Michael BrantleyIndiansOF
19Felix HernandezMarinersSP
18Adrian BeltreRangers3B
17Troy TulowitzkiRockiesSS
16Adam JonesOriolesOF
15Anthony RizzoCubs1B
14Yasiel PuigDodgersOF
13Jose AltuveAstros2B
12Anthony Rendon Nationals2B/3B
11Robinson CanoMariners2B
10Edwin EncarnacionBlue Jays1B
9Jose BautistaBlue JaysOF
8Clayton KershawDodgersSP
7Miguel CabreraTigers1B
6Jose AbreuWhite Sox1B
5Carlos GomezBrewersOF
4Paul GoldschmidtDiamondbacks1B
3Giancarlo StantonMarlinsOF
2Andrew McCutchenPiratesOF
1Mike TroutAngelsOF
Author

Ins and Outs

Now that the initial Big Board for the 2015 fantasy baseball season has been established, this is the section in future rankings where we'll review the players who jumped on/off the board from the previous iteration.

While those who drop out receive a brief write-up explaining the decision, those who join the mix will get the same treatment, along with the added benefit of being highlighted.

Adam Eaton might be No. 150 on the initial Big Board, but he's far from Mr. Irrelevant in fantasy.
Adam Eaton might be No. 150 on the initial Big Board, but he's far from Mr. Irrelevant in fantasy.Mark Duncan/Associated Press

 

On the Bubble

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

  • Sal Perez, Yadier Molina, Justin Morneau, Eric Hosmer, Brandon Belt, Adam LaRoche, Lucas Duda, Mark Trumbo, Jedd Gyorko, Pedro Alvarez, Aramis Ramirez, Nick Castellanos, Josh Harrison, Elvis Andrus, Ben Zobrist, Javier Baez, Jung-ho Kang, Oswaldo Arcia, Khris Davis, Avisail Garcia, Ben Revere, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Matt Cain, Homer Bailey, Drew Smyly, Michael Wacha, Kevin Gausman, Steve Cishek, Fernando Rodney, Jonathan Papelbon

Keep in mind: When a few players at the same position are bunched together—like outfielders J.D. Martinez, Marcell Ozuna, Jorge Soler, Mookie Betts, Gregory Polanco—it means they're more or less in the same boat, with no clear-cut favorite at the moment.

That can and will change as more information, news, injuries and performances come to light. After all, it's not even spring yet, and camps across Arizona and Florida are just getting underway. But for now, when players are grouped, consider their value to your team based more on specific category need than overall ranking.

For now, J.D. Martinez is in the same boat as fellow outfielders Marcell Ozuna, Jorge Soler, Mookie Betts and Gregory Polanco.
For now, J.D. Martinez is in the same boat as fellow outfielders Marcell Ozuna, Jorge Soler, Mookie Betts and Gregory Polanco.Carlos Osorio/Associated Press/Associated Press

 

Risers and Fallers

Similar to the "Ins and Outs" portion above, this segment of the board will be updated each time, focusing on players who rose or fell in the rankings by more than 10 spots in either direction.

This is indicated on the table in the right-most column marked "Previous." Similar to the new additions, players who see their value improve by that margin are highlighted.

No wonder Mike is smiling: Baseball is just about back.
No wonder Mike is smiling: Baseball is just about back.Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

 

Wrapping Up

Are you ready?

This is our time. Spring training is here, and owners everywhere will consume all the fantasy-related content they can cram into their craniums as players settle into new teams and new roles.

It might feel early to start getting reacquainted with your passion for America's (fantasy) pastime, but the longer you put things off, the more you'll have to catch up later—and the further ahead you'll be letting your competition get.

Now that you've perused the board and digested the players projected to be the 150 best, get ready for plenty more fantasy filings to start rolling out, starting with position rankings.

Next week brings the top 20 catchers, top 25 first basemen and top 25 second basemen, and we'll go from there.

Are you ready? Maybe not yet, but don't worry: You will be.

Statistics are accurate through the 2014 season and come from MLB.comBaseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs.com, except where otherwise noted.

Need more fantasy baseball help? Have a comment about the rankings? Come pepper me with your thoughts and questions on Twitter today at 2 p.m. ET: @JayCat11 

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