I’ve put way too much thought and effort into analyzing projections over the years. I’ve been trying to streamline the number of projections and personal adjustments. Even so, I start all my rankings with a set of projections. With a new set of rules for the season, I need to start over. Just in the last few days, both Steamer Projections at FanGraphs and Todd Zola’s projections at Mastersball have been adjusted to the 60-game season. It’s time to make an initial dive through them to see what seems off.

The reason I start with projections is that they save me a ton of time. I don’t need to take into account differences in home ballparks, the strength of competition, surrounding talent, playing time distribution, baseline talent, the player’s baseline talent, and other stuff I haven’t thought of. On top of those changes, I add in my own adjustments to get a final valuation.

With this set of projections, I run them through the league’s Standing Gain Points from The Process to get each player’s contribution. Then, I adjust catchers to the theoretical replacement level (later I will adjust to the market value) and give a boost for multiposition eligibility. These are the valuations I start with and just start investigating what seems off.

Here are some overarching trends I’ve seen.

  • With the season so short, a small change in a projection, like going from 2 SB to 3 SB, can really change a player’s ranking.
  • I’m not sure how much to incorporate multi-position eligibility. I used to give non-catchers a boost, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be more or less valuable in the short season.
  • I have no desire to roster more than one outfielder from the early rounds. I’ve spotted so many values I like later so why fill those spots. The same is true with shortstop. I drafted elite starting pitching in early drafts and might continue so.
  • I expect many of these values to change almost daily as news trickles in on who teams plan on approaching the season. As a rule, most the valuations stay constant with the exception of the NL implementing the DH.
  • I think the lineup position could be even more important with every at-bat mattering. Weekly DFS.

It’s time for the rankings that everyone is going to disagree with and let me know about it. I can’t wait for the punishment.

 

2020 Updated Rankings

 

Rank. Name (Runs, HR, RBI, SB, AVG, ADP)
1. Ronald Acuna Jr. (41, 15, 34, 12, .283, 1.6 ADP)
2. Christian Yelich (39, 13, 38, 8, .308, 2.5 ADP)
3. Mike Trout (42, 15, 37, 6, .298, 2.2 ADP)

Trout as stated that he plans to be with his wife for their son’s birth. I’m worried his playing time projection might be way too high and need to personally drop him.

4. Trea Turner (35, 8, 26, 14, .289, 11.2 ADP)
5. Mookie Betts (42, 11, 31, 7, .286, 6.0 ADP)
6. Bryce Harper (36, 14, 38, 4, .263, 20.1 ADP)

My system pointed to Harper finally getting healthy last season and expects a nice production jump.

7. Cody Bellinger (38, 15, 40, 4, .284, 4.1 ADP)
8. Trevor Story (36, 13, 35, 7, .276, 11.1 ADP)
9. Juan Soto (37, 13, 39, 3, .295, 9.7 ADP)
10. Jose Altuve (35, 9, 30, 4, .3, 36.9 ADP)

I was moving Altuve down from here because I don’t believe in the stolen base projections (just six last season).

11. J.D. Martinez (36, 14, 41, 1, .303, 21.4 ADP)
12. Nolan Arenado (35, 14, 41, 1, .299, 12.6 ADP)
13. Starling Marte (34, 8, 28, 10, .288, 27.2 ADP)
14. Jose Ramirez (32, 11, 35, 8, .273, 16.7 ADP)
15. Alex Bregman (38, 12, 37, 2, .285, 13.7 ADP)
16. George Springer (39, 13, 33, 2, .273, 42.3 ADP)
17. Francisco Lindor (39, 13, 31, 8, .285, 8.4 ADP)

Lindor gets adjusted down in my valuations because his Sprint Speed dropped (28.4 ft/s to 27.5 ft/s). I drop his value just a bit but to the point where he won’t be around for me to draft. That’s fine. I can’t roster every star. I have to be 100% sure on each.

18. Rafael Devers (38, 12, 37, 2, .292, 21.5 ADP)
19. Adalberto Mondesi (27, 7, 25, 15, .251, 43.7 ADP)
20. Freddie Freeman (35, 12, 36, 2, .297, 15.8 ADP)

Devers and Freeman fall because of the low stolen base totals and just one more in their projection would boost them several spots.

21. Luis Robert (27, 9, 27, 7, .265, 8.9 ADP)

I knew Luis Robert would show up too high. My adjustments have shown that top rookies get under projected, so Robert gets a boost. I took him in most of my earlier drafts and swore him off later because I didn’t want all my teams to struggle if he does. With a short season, I’m all in on the possible upside.

22. Whit Merrifield (32, 5, 23, 9, .286, 57.7 ADP)

Merrifield stopped running once the Royals were out of contention last season. With the short season, he might give himself the green light to bump up the steals.

23. Fernando Tatis Jr. (34, 11, 27, 8, .263, 17.7 ADP)
24. Javier Baez (33, 11, 36, 4, .271, 33.2 ADP)
25. Anthony Rizzo (35, 11, 35, 2, .29, 62.1 ADP)
26. Yordan Alvarez (32, 14, 39, 1, .277, 49.8 ADP)
27. Nelson Cruz (31, 14, 39, 1, .283, 73.7 ADP)

I love the value of these two DH’s. It’ll be interesting if their cost drops in the short season.

28. Manny Machado (30, 13, 35, 2, .271, 54.7 ADP)
29. Ozzie Albies (35, 9, 29, 5, .282, 33.4 ADP)
30. Xander Bogaerts (33, 9, 36, 2, .29, 35.5 ADP)
31. Kris Bryant (38, 11, 29, 2, .278, 53.3 ADP)
32. Jonathan Villar (28, 6, 21, 11, .254, 50.4 ADP)
33. Peter Alonso (34, 16, 40, 1, .248, 30.2 ADP)
34. Bo Bichette (33, 8, 25, 8, .27, 52 ADP)
35. Keston Hiura (30, 11, 32, 4, .275, 43.1 ADP)
36. Victor Robles (29, 6, 24, 10, .263, 79.9 ADP)
37. DJ LeMahieu (34, 7, 27, 2, .292, 54.4 ADP)
38. Tim Anderson (31, 8, 26, 7, .276, 94.7 ADP)
39. Jose Abreu (31, 11, 37, 1, .277, 68.3 ADP)
40. Marcell Ozuna (29, 11, 35, 2, .28, 85.5 ADP)

Ozuna does nothing great but projects to help in all categories. Owners hate boring, even production. Sign me up.

41. Marcus Semien (37, 9, 29, 4, .269, 85.7 ADP)
42. Paul Goldschmidt (33, 11, 33, 2, .27, 67.9 ADP)
43. Josh Donaldson (33, 13, 35, 1, .265, 89.2 ADP)
44. Adam Eaton (32, 5, 21, 4, .286, 201.8 ADP)

I have Eaton in every league so far. I know the downside, but top-50 hitter upside an a fraction of the cost.

45. J.T. Realmuto (29, 9, 29, 2, .274, 40.6 ADP)
46. Matt Chapman (36, 13, 34, 1, .256, 89.8 ADP)
47. Anthony Rendon (34, 11, 37, 1, .293, 22.1 ADP)
48. Yuli Gurriel (28, 9, 32, 2, .282, 129.5 ADP)
49. Mike Moustakas (28, 13, 34, 1, .255, 82.6 ADP)
50. Charlie Blackmon (35, 11, 31, 2, .301, 43.8 ADP)
51. Michael Brantley (29, 7, 30, 2, .293, 120.5 ADP)
52. Ketel Marte (33, 9, 30, 3, .294, 35.1 ADP)

Rendon, Blackmon, and Marte all are lower than their ADP because they’re slowing down, so I’m fine not rostering them. They should age faster than projected, so I’ll just stay away.

53. Tommy Pham (29, 8, 24, 6, .274, 87.8 ADP)
54. Jorge Polanco (33, 7, 29, 3, .281, 145.8 ADP)
55. Eloy Jimenez (28, 12, 32, 1, .276, 57.5 ADP)
56. Elvis Andrus (28, 5, 23, 8, .267, 148.5 ADP)
57. Gleyber Torres (31, 12, 34, 2, .272, 27.4 ADP)

Torres’s projection is sh… not good. Maybe it’s because of fewer games against the AL Central and better pitching in the AL East. I’m still coming to grips with it.

58. Eugenio Suarez (29, 13, 34, 1, .26, 72.6 ADP)
59. Corey Seager (28, 8, 29, 1, .277, 134.1 ADP)
60. Eduardo Escobar (29, 10, 34, 1, .26, 107.8 ADP)
61. Carlos Correa (29, 11, 34, 1, .27, 104.2 ADP)
62. Max Muncy (32, 11, 31, 1, .247, 58.2 ADP)

Muncy has a lower number of at-bats compared to those around him.

63. Josh Bell (31, 10, 34, 1, .273, 85.9 ADP)
64. Danny Santana (25, 7, 26, 6, .252, 129.1 ADP)
65. Carlos Santana (33, 11, 32, 1, .258, 127.3 ADP)
66. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27, 9, 33, 1, .29, 61.5 ADP)
67. Jean Segura (28, 5, 23, 4, .288, 188.4 ADP)
68. Mallex Smith (23, 2, 15, 14, .251, 209.6 ADP)
69. Michael Conforto (30, 11, 31, 2, .254, 118.7 ADP)
70. Nicholas Castellanos (29, 10, 30, 1, .278, 88.5 ADP)
71. Byron Buxton (26, 7, 23, 8, .253, 156.8 ADP)
72. Amed Rosario (26, 5, 24, 6, .276, 143 ADP)
73. Shin-Soo Choo (29, 8, 21, 3, .257, 229.4 ADP)
74. Aaron Judge (34, 13, 30, 2, .264, 53.4 ADP)
75. Giancarlo Stanton (31, 15, 35, 1, .264, 64.4 ADP)

A couple of injury-prone Yankees who only provide power plummet in the rankings. The issue with both is the lack of projected playing time. I’d expect the same or even more production from several hitters ranked lower (e.g. Olson, Hoskins, Gallo).

76. Oscar Mercado (28, 6, 21, 8, .255, 123.5 ADP)
77. Ramon Laureano (32, 9, 28, 6, .267, 83.9 ADP)
78. Nick Madrigal (23, 2, 16, 6, .294, 302.3 ADP)

Madrigal is a Mallex Smith clone but in the infield. No power at all so he’ll need to hit for a good average to stay in the majors.

79. Andrew McCutchen (31, 10, 25, 3, .260, 206.9 ADP)
80. Rhys Hoskins (31, 12, 34, 1, .237, 11.8 ADP)
81. Anthony Santander (25, 9, 28, 2, .254, 335.4 ADP)

Santander hits in the heart of a lineup at an offensive home park. While the rest of the team could struggle, he could put up decent numbers.

82. Austin Meadows (31, 11, 31, 5, .278, 37.1 ADP)

I’m going to take a ton of heat for this ranking, but I ding him for slowing down and being a heavy pull hitter.

83. Bryan Reynolds (31, 6, 27, 2, .288, 170.4 ADP)
84. Yoan Moncada (32, 10, 30, 4, .270, 59.8 ADP)
85. Matt Olson (31, 13, 36, 0, .255, 44.4 ADP)

I’ve never been as high as the crowd on Olson since he’s one dimensional. From some work that I’ve not published yet, one-trick ponies do get over-drafted quite often since managers need to balance out their team. Also, some managers just try to accumulate as many home runs as possible and hope the rest of the stats follow.

86. Ryan McMahon (21, 7, 25, 2, .267, 161.6 ADP)
87. Tommy Edman (25, 4, 19, 6, .274, 128.3 ADP)
88. Franmil Reyes (27, 12, 31, 0, .26, 103.7 ADP)
89. Gavin Lux (25, 7, 22, 2, .269, 166.2 ADP)
90. Edwin Encarnacion (28, 12, 33, 1, .243, 148.6 ADP)
91. J.D. Davis (25, 9, 26, 1, .276, 161.4 ADP)
92. Kolten Wong (25, 5, 21, 7, .267, 223.9 ADP)
93. C.J. Cron (25, 11, 31, 1, .263, 202.1 ADP)

The projections have Cron similar to Olson, but going 150 picks later. He’s a great first base fall back option.

94. Joey Gallo (31, 15, 33, 2, .227, 79.9 ADP)
95. Kyle Schwarber (27, 12, 30, 1, .251, 125.3 ADP)
96. Andrew Benintendi (33, 7, 27, 5, .273, 119.9 ADP)
97. Yasmani Grandal (25, 9, 26, 1, .238, 90.4 ADP)
98. Gary Sanchez (24, 11, 28, 1, .238, 75.9 ADP)
99. Miguel Sano (29, 13, 32, 0, .246, 99.6 ADP)
100. Shohei Ohtani (22, 8, 25, 4, .277, 105.7 ADP)
101. Dylan Carlson (22, 6, 18, 4, .261, 259.1 ADP)
102. Jorge Soler (30, 13, 34, 1, .258, 83.7 ADP)
103. Alex Verdugo (23, 5, 22, 3, .296, 231.7 ADP)
104. Brian Anderson (28, 7, 26, 2, .261, 205 ADP)
105. Avisail Garcia (23, 8, 26, 2, .273, 207.2 ADP)
106. Austin Hays (26, 9, 26, 3, .25, 263.9 ADP)
107. Luis Arraez (26, 2, 20, 2, .312, 250.8 ADP)
108. Jeff McNeil (32, 8, 28, 3, .290, 76.3 ADP)

When I was drafting, I kept seeing McNeil go earlier than expected. I think he gets boosted up since he’s dual-position qualified with second base eligibility.

109. Ryan Braun (22, 8, 25, 3, .268, 247.4 ADP)

I’m all over Braun with the DH in the NL.

110. Yasiel Puig (21, 7, 23, 4, .266, 216.8 ADP)
111. Daniel Murphy (23, 6, 25, 1, .291, 256 ADP)
112. Brandon Lowe (27, 9, 26, 3, .246, 187 ADP)

Lowe has found some unexpected playing time. I’ll need to dive a little more into the jump.

113. Randal Grichuk (26, 11, 29, 1, .240, 243.6 ADP)
114. Hunter Dozier (25, 8, 27, 1, .253, 167.8 ADP)
115. Joey Votto (30, 7, 24, 1, .27, 266.2 ADP)
116. Teoscar Hernandez (22, 9, 24, 3, .227, 308.4 ADP)
117. Cavan Biggio (29, 8, 27, 5, .235, 121.5 ADP)
118. Didi Gregorius (26, 8, 29, 2, .251, 200.1 ADP)
119. Max Kepler (32, 10, 28, 1, .253, 132.4 ADP)
120. Cesar Hernandez (25, 4, 21, 4, .276, 265.1 ADP)
121. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (27, 10, 32, 2, .265, 139.5 ADP)
122. Eddie Rosario (29, 10, 34, 2, .279, 89.7 ADP)

He’s one I dinged and since he’s in the flat part of the talent curve, he really drops.

123. Hanser Alberto (22, 4, 21, 1, .289, 377.7 ADP)
124. Scott Kingery (23, 6, 21, 5, .244, 147.9 ADP)
125. Kevin Kiermaier (20, 5, 19, 5, .239, 423.2 ADP)
126. Christian Walker (26, 9, 26, 2, .247, 185.1 ADP)
127. David Peralta (23, 7, 25, 1, .28, 239.6 ADP)
128. Kyle Seager (25, 9, 30, 1, .247, 311.1 ADP)
129. Renato Nunez (25, 10, 30, 1, .242, 256.7 ADP)
130. Willson Contreras (22, 7, 24, 1, .253, 107.7 ADP)
131. Lorenzo Cain (28, 5, 19, 6, .281, 183.1 ADP)
132. Justin Turner (28, 9, 28, 1, .284, 151 ADP)
133. Mike Yastrzemski (28, 8, 24, 2, .247, 302.3 ADP)
134. Nick Senzel (23, 6, 19, 5, .258, 224.5 ADP)
135. Garrett Hampson (18, 3, 13, 7, .271, 205.4 ADP)
136. Corey Dickerson (23, 7, 26, 1, .271, 273.8 ADP)
137. Paul DeJong (30, 11, 31, 2, .248, 171.6 ADP)
138. Nico Hoerner (14, 2, 14, 2, .275, 469.7 ADP)
139. Mark Canha (26, 8, 24, 1, .252, 225.2 ADP)
140. Giovanny Urshela (24, 7, 25, 1, .274, 224.3 ADP)
141. Jorge Alfaro (16, 6, 19, 1, .251, 203.5 ADP)
142. A.J. Pollock (22, 7, 22, 3, .258, 341.6 ADP)
143. Khris Davis (29, 13, 34, 0, .241, 173.3 ADP)
144. Niko Goodrum (24, 5, 21, 4, .242, 252.9 ADP)
145. Christian Vazquez (20, 6, 20, 2, .26, 186.8 ADP)
146. Trent Grisham (23, 6, 22, 3, .258, 312.3 ADP)
147. Travis d’Arnaud (18, 6, 22, 1, .262, 233.6 ADP)
148. Kyle Tucker (22, 8, 23, 5, .245, 170.5 ADP)
149. Michael Chavis (21, 8, 24, 1, .248, 242.3 ADP)
150. Shogo Akiyama (24, 5, 17, 4, .271)
151. Kevin Newman (25, 3, 20, 5, .281, 186.4 ADP)
152. Hunter Renfroe (23, 11, 27, 1, .228, 239 ADP)
153. Wilson Ramos (18, 6, 24, 0, .271, 164.6 ADP)
154. Miguel Andujar (21, 7, 25, 1, .272, 262.5 ADP)
155. Rougned Odor (24, 10, 26, 4, .231, 211.1 ADP)
156. Jonathan Schoop (26, 10, 28, 1, .257, 288.6 ADP)
157. Evan White (20, 6, 20, 1, .247, 335.1 ADP)
158. Wil Myers (21, 7, 21, 5, .234, 282.5 ADP)
159. Mitch Garver (22, 7, 22, 0, .253, 108.2 ADP)
160. Joc Pederson (25, 10, 24, 1, .246, 199.9 ADP)
161. Starlin Castro (24, 7, 26, 1, .28, 220 ADP)
162. Salvador Perez (19, 9, 26, 1, .257, 139 ADP)
163. Will Smith (19, 8, 23, 1, .228, 148.6 ADP)
164. David Dahl (25, 8, 24, 2, .281, 142.2 ADP)

I’m for sure not drafting Dahl. He’s unplayable on the road and against lefties. It’s way too short of a season to have to manage a part time bat.

165. Nomar Mazara (21, 8, 25, 1, .25, 239.3 ADP)
166. Yadier Molina (18, 5, 21, 2, .259, 221.3 ADP)
167. Nick Ahmed (23, 6, 25, 2, .245, 348.4 ADP)
168. Jackie Bradley Jr. (23, 6, 21, 4, .237)
169. Victor Reyes (20, 3, 18, 4, .274, 528.5 ADP)
170. Asdrubal Cabrera (19, 6, 22, 1, .263, 454.6 ADP)
171. Mauricio Dubon (19, 4, 17, 4, .27, 349 ADP)
172. Adam Frazier (25, 3, 20, 2, .275, 564.2 ADP)
173. Nicky Lopez (22, 2, 16, 3, .27, 615.7 ADP)
174. Willy Adames (24, 6, 22, 2, .253, 303.6 ADP)
175. Shed Long (24, 6, 19, 3, .243, 495.3 ADP)
176. Justin Smoak (22, 9, 24, 0, .239, 375.4 ADP)
177. Ian Happ (22, 7, 22, 3, .231, 248.2 ADP)
178. Eric Thames (23, 8, 21, 2, .237, 425.8 ADP)
179. Austin Riley (21, 8, 24, 1, .241, 291.8 ADP)
180. Justin Upton (26, 10, 29, 2, .241, 190.2 ADP)
181. Brandon Nimmo (27, 6, 19, 3, .232, 334.8 ADP)
182. Jon Berti (16, 2, 12, 6, .257, 265.3 ADP)
183. Eric Hosmer (26, 7, 29, 1, .26, 218.3 ADP)
184. Jason Heyward (22, 5, 21, 2, .26, 476.9 ADP)
185. Domingo Santana (20, 6, 21, 2, .252, 286.8 ADP)
186. Albert Pujols (19, 7, 26, 1, .244, 527.3 ADP)
187. Kole Calhoun (27, 8, 25, 1, .244, 294.4 ADP)
188. Nick Solak (24, 7, 23, 2, .262, 284.7 ADP)
189. Todd Frazier (21, 7, 23, 1, .242, 491.4 ADP)
190. Maikel Franco (21, 7, 24, 0, .254, 416.7 ADP)
191. Robinson Cano (21, 6, 22, 0, .272, 373.5 ADP)
192. Jay Bruce (15, 7, 18, 1, .238, 615.3 ADP)
193. Carson Kelly (19, 6, 18, 1, .246, 195.3 ADP)
194. Willie Calhoun (22, 8, 24, 1, .264, 169.1 ADP)

As I’ve previously discussed, I’ll be moving Calhoun up.

195. Tyler O’Neill (20, 8, 21, 2, .234, 475.6 ADP)
196. Tommy La Stella (24, 6, 20, 1, .28, 294.6 ADP)
197. Sam Hilliard (18, 6, 17, 4, .256, 278.6 ADP)
198. Enrique Hernandez (19, 6, 19, 1, .241, 628.7 ADP)
199. Ji-Man Choi (20, 7, 22, 1, .247, 563.1 ADP)
200. Chris Taylor (18, 4, 16, 3, .254, 477.1 ADP)
201. Dansby Swanson (24, 6, 24, 3, .251, 227.7 ADP)
202. Colin Moran (18, 5, 23, 1, .267, 604.7 ADP)
203. Dexter Fowler (21, 6, 20, 3, .232, 653 ADP)
204. David Fletcher (23, 2, 17, 3, .282, 301.3 ADP)
205. Garrett Cooper (17, 5, 18, 0, .273, 447.1 ADP)
206. Alex Gordon (20, 5, 19, 2, .252, 622.5 ADP)
207. Jesse Winker (19, 5, 18, 1, .28, 498.1 ADP)
208. Yoshitomo Tsutsugo (19, 8, 20, 0, .249, N ADP)
209. Miguel Rojas (18, 3, 18, 2, .274, 646.1 ADP)
210. Jake Fraley (16, 4, 17, 4, .243, 549.4 ADP)