Fantasy Baseball 2019 Rankings for Each Position and Latest Mock Draft

John HealyContributor IMarch 21, 2019

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 26:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels talks to Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

MLB Opening Day is just one week away, which also means it is time for fantasy baseball season to commence. 

Fantasy baseball is a long season, and a bad draft could make it seem even longer. 

While the first round of the draft should garner everybody an All-Star, it is knowing the depth at each position and filling out a complete roster that will guide you to a fantasy baseball championship. 

Here's how things shape out as we enter the 2019 season:

            

10-Team 1st-Round Fantasy Mock Draft

1. Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels

2. Mookie Betts, OF, Boston Red Sox

3. J.D. Martinez, OF, Boston Red Sox

4. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Colorado Rockies

5. Jose Ramirez, 2B/3B, Cleveland Indians

6. Christian Yelich, OF, Milwaukee Brewers

7. Bryce Harper, OF, Philadelphia Phillies

8. Max Scherzer, SP, Washington Nationals

9. Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets

10. Jose Altuve, 2B, Houston Astros  

      

First Baseman Rankings

1. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

2. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

3. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs

4. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals

5. Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies

6. Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers

7. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

8. Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies

9. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox

10. Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers

First base is a fairly deep position in a 10-team league, with several players, such as Merrifield, Hoskins, Bellinger and Murphy, with eligibility at other positions.

Murphy is perhaps the most intriguing player on the list. 

The soon-to-be 34-year-old came back down to earth last season, splitting time with the Nationals and Cubs, hitting .299/.336/.454 with 12 home runs and 42 RBI.

Yet Murphy now heads to Colorado, where the Rockies will have him play at first base and also where the ball happens to fly out of the ballpark. He may just be able to churn out a 20-home run, 60-RBI season playing in the hitter-friendly altitude levels of Coors Field. 

Second Baseman Rankings

1. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

2. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros

3. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

4. Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals

5. Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves

6. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

7. Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies

8. Jonathan Villar, Baltimore Orioles

9. Adalberto Mondesi, Kansas City Royals

10. Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds

Second base is filled with some rising stars in the group, such as Gleyber Torres, Adalberto Mondesi and Ozzie Albies. 

Torres finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting last year but was bothered by a sore shoulder that may have hindered some of his performance. The 22-year-old hopes to build off hitting 24 home runs with 77 RBI with an on-base percentage of .340. 

Mondesi, who also plays shortstop, is just 23 years old and made strides last year, with 14 home runs and 37 RBI in 75 games. Albies, meanwhile, had a breakout season, hitting 24 home runs, 40 doubles and 72 RBI, while he also had 105 runs scored and 14 stolen bases—making him a top-five fantasy second baseman. 

       

Shortstop Rankings

1. Trea Turner, Washington Nationals

2. Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians

3. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

4. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

5. Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies

6. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

7. Carlos Correa, Houston Astros

8. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

9. Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

10. Jean Segura, Philadelphia Phillies

Shortstop is typically thin when it comes to offensive firepower but not this year. The position is loaded, although much of it is due to the fact several players are shortstop-eligible but do not typically play there, such as Bregman, Machado and Torres. 

Machado should be interesting to watch because of his new surroundings. Petco Park is a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and it could result in a dip in power production from Machado, who has been accustomed to playing in the hitter-friendly Camden Yards for much of his career. However, his hit chart from last season suggests there should not be too much of a drop-off. 

Story is also another player to watch. The Rockies shortstop had a career year in 2018 with his first All-Star season, hitting 37 home runs and 108 RBI.

The 26-year-old has always displayed power since entering the league in 2016, but he also had 27 stolen bases last year. The combination of speed and power gives him a definitive boost in fantasy value. 

      

Third Baseman Rankings

1. Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies

2. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians

3. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros

4. Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs

5. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres

6. Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs

7. Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals

8. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

9. Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds

10. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays

Third base is probably the deepest position in the infield. Just think of some players who just missed cracking the top 10—Miguel Andujar, Matt Chapman, Justin Turner and Josh Donaldson, to name a few. Heck, the top seven players are all capable of putting together an MVP-caliber season. 

Which brings us to Guerrero. The son of the Hall of Fame outfielder Vladimir Guerrero became a viral sensation last summer with his power stroke and enters the season as the No. 1 prospect in MLB. Yet, the question is when will we see Guerrero Jr. this season? 

Guerrero was reassigned to minor league camp already after suffering a strained oblique that will keep him out for at least three weeks. If he produces the way he did last year at the minor-league level, though, he will surely find himself on the major-league roster at some point, making him worthy of stashing on your bench. 

      

Catcher Rankings

1. J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies

2. Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees

3. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

4. Yasmani Grandal, Milwaukee Brewers

5. Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs

6. Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals

7. Wilson Ramos, New York Mets

8. Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays

9. Danny Jensen, Toronto Blue Jays

10. Welington Castillo, Chicago White Sox

It is hard to find a good fantasy catcher as it is the most top-heavy position to draft. Even the players at the top are questionable, too. 

Sanchez had a disappointing 2018 season, hitting a putrid .186/.291/.406 slash line with 18 home runs and 53 RBI. It is a far cry from the 33 home runs, 90 RBI and .278/.345/.531 slash line from 2017.

The 26-year-old still ranks high, though, because the potential power he brings to the plate is greater than any other catcher in the majors. 

      

Outfield Rankings

1. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

2. Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox

3. J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox

4. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers

5. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves

6. Aaron Judge, New York Yankees

7. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

8. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees

9. Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

10. Starling Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates

There are myriad talented outfielders to choose from, and most of the top 10 will likely be off the table by the end of the third round, so it may be a wise decision to take one if you can within that time frame.

Of course, there are plenty of other outfielders to choose from beyond this list who are certainly capable. 

If it is an under-the-radar outfielder you are looking for, Victor Robles is worth keeping an eye on. The Nationals' 21-year-old was injured all last season but is a potential National League Rookie of the Year candidate waiting to break through the same way Acuna did last season. 

Starting Pitcher Rankings

1. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

2. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets

3. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

4. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros

5. Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

6. Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays

7. Aaron Nola, Philadelphia Phillies

8. Gerrit Cole, Houston Astros

9. Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians

10. Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets

It is quite a different starting pitcher rankings than what many fans are used to seeing. In particular, Clayton Kershaw does not crack the top 10. The Los Angeles Dodger is no longer the perennial ace of the NL as he will begin the season on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. 

Kershaw's teammate, Walker Buehler, may even be worth drafting ahead of the three-time Cy Young Award winner. 

Buehler, 24, had a breakout rookie season last year, going 8-5 with a 2.62 ERA and striking out 151 batters in 137.1 innings pitched, which garnered a third-place finish in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.

The Dodgers have taken their time bringing Buehler up to speed this season, having him pitch in his first spring training game this week. 

         

Relief Pitcher Rankings

1. Kenley Jansen, Los Angeles Dodgers

2. Edwin Diaz, New York Mets

3. Blake Treinen, Oakland Athletics

4. Aroldis Chapman, New York Yankees

5. Brad Hand, Cleveland Indians

6. Roberto Osuna, Houston Astros

7. Felipe Vazquez, Pittsburgh Pirates

8. Kirby Yates, San Diego Padres

9. Sean Doolittle, Washington Nationals

10. Craig Kimbrel, Free Agent

The big question mark here is what to make of Kimbrel. The free agent would normally top this list if he was with a team, but with a week to go, we still do not know if Kimbrel would even be ready to start the season with a major league team. 

Kimbrel was most recently reported as speaking with the Brewers, but the two sides do not remain close on a deal, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

It will be interesting to see how Diaz fares with a new team in a new environment. The 24-year-old had a league-leading 57 saves with the Mariners last year, and the Mets have significantly improved their roster, which should help create the necessary save opportunities for Diaz. 

     

Stats via Baseball Reference  

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