Don’t you wish you just had a do-over sometimes? Like, when you’re gearing up for your draft, wouldn’t it be nice to know that Noah Syndergaard was this good, or that David Ortiz was going to play like he’s in his prime instead of playing like he’s going to retire after this year?
A heads up would have been nice about Dee Gordon’s suspension, or A.J. Pollock fracturing his elbow again. Unfortunately, for the vast majority, the only way you get a do-over is in DFS. If you’re in a season-long league, you have to take advantage of the waiver wire or trades to improve your team if you had a bad draft.
But, what if we could draft again today? All of the players are in the pool, how would it differ from just a couple of months ago? Well, let’s take a look, shall we?
I’m going with 12-team 5×5 traditional category settings to give a happy medium for the points and roto players out there.
- Bryce Harper – Too many walks? Yeah, we say that like it’s a bad thing. The more he gets on base, the more it helps his owners – period. If Ben Revere and Anthony Rendon get their act together, it’s going to be harder and harder to walk Mr. Harper, especially if Dusty Baker uses Daniel Murphy in the cleanup spot.
- Clayton Kershaw – The hot trend during draft season was to load up on pitching early. Fantasy baseball analysts were finally coming around … until it didn’t work so well, at least for now. But one thing remains, Clayton Kershaw is a good pitcher. Scorching hot take, I know. For as good as some of the other top pitchers have been, they aren’t in and likely won’t be in Kershaw’s tier. He’s as safe and productive as a first-round pick can come.
- Mike Trout – “I’m going to run more this year.” LOL. He has three stolen bases, but does everything else you could want for a first-round pick. Could make the argument that he could go No. 1 or No. 2 overall still.
- Manny Machado – The lack of stolen bases worries me, but I’m being picky. Machado is a stud, and gaining shortstop eligibility only moves him up the rankings. Like Trout, he could go No. 1 overall, and I wouldn’t bat an eye at it.
- Paul Goldschmidt – Yes, he’s off to a slow start, but let’s not act like he’s Troy Tulowitzki or Justin Upton. He’s going to be fine, still. I debated moving Jose Altuve above Goldschmidt, but if we are drafting today, I like Goldschmidt’s rest-of-season outlook more.
- Jose Altuve – Unbelievable. We knew he was good, but he just gets better. Prior to the season, Altuve was a high second-rounder, with his teammate Carlos Correa going above him. Yeah, that’s not happening anymore. He obviously won’t maintain his power pace, but 25 homers seem like a lock at this point.
- Josh Donaldson – Donaldson came out of the gate swinging, but he’s cooled down over the past few weeks. It’s not all on him, though, as the Blue Jays, in general, have lacked that offensive punch that we saw last year. He’s still a stud.
- Nolan Arenado – You could make an argument that Arenado should be higher, but having him eighth is no slight. Playing half of his games in Colorado only increases his value, but he’d be a first-round pick even if he played in Oakland.
- Anthony Rizzo – The only fear I have is that Rizzo is going to get hurt one of these times when he gets hit by a pitch. Yeah, I can live with that fear.
- Giancarlo Stanton – The Phillies made Stanton look silly during their recent series, but when he gets hot, look out.
- Chris Sale – He’s not striking out as many people as you’d like, and he’s not throwing as hard on purpose. To me, Sale it the clear No. 2 pitcher, even if he had a hot start like this last season and cooled down a bit down the stretch.
- Carlos Correa – He went through a homerless slump after his red-hot opening series, but it seems like he’s locked in again, providing value in all five offensive categories at a premium position.
- Andrew McCutchen – Yet another slow April, but that’s OK, because McCutchen has snapped out of his funk. He should provide close to first-round numbers going forward on an underrated offense.
- Jake Arrieta – I feel like there doesn’t need to be any analysis here. His strikeout rate is lower and his velocity is a tick lower than last year, but you feel confident that he’s going to provide ace-type numbers no matter when he pitches. Could make a case for him as the No. 2 pitcher.
- Robinson Cano – We wrote him off too soon, no? He was dealing with a stomach issue and the death of his Grandfather last year. He looks like the Cano of old again.
- Miguel Cabrera – The power will come. Cabrera has still shown that he can hit with the best of them. Just wait until Upton gets into a hot streak (hopefully?).
- Kris Bryant – I’d like to see the stolen base numbers return, but he’s still on a 30-homer pace. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he hit 40 still.
- Mookie Betts – I turned down a Stanton for Betts trade. He’s No. 6 on ESPN’s player rater right now, and he hasn’t even gotten really hot yet. Much like Correa, he offers value across the board.
- Jose Bautista – He’s off to a slow start, but I’m not worried about him yet.
- Madison Bumgarner – So much for that foot issue, huh? Also, the buy-low window is closed on MadBum, but if the Cubs light him up Sunday night, it could open up a tad.
- Max Scherzer – The 20-strikeout performance was remarkable. As for the rest of the season, he’s been more like Max Shellzer.
- Jose Abreu – Another first baseman that I think is safe for 30 home runs. He hasn’t gotten hot yet, but he’s still providing value right now.
- Rougned Odor – A little high? Maybe, but I’m afraid if I rank him lower that I might receive a right hook to the jaw.
- Starling Marte – Going into the season, I used Pollock and Betts as a comp for Marte, yet it still seems that he’s underrated.
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