Updated 2012 Rankings

Hey guys,

Because our most recent 2012 position-by position rankings came all the way back in September, we here at the 411 felt it was absolutely necessary to provide an update, with the Ryan Braun suspension having the most obvious effect. So here it is. And let us know what you think. Disagree with any of these? We want to hear from you!



1. Brian McCann

2. Mike Napoli

3. Carlos Santana

4. Miguel Montero

5. Alex Avila

6. Buster Posey

7. Joe Mauer

8. Matt Wieters

9. Russell Martin

10. Yadier Molina

Honorable Mentions: Geovany Soto, J.P. Arencibia, Wilson Ramos

                                                                                                                                                     FIRST BASE

1. Albert Pujols

2. Miguel Cabrera

3. Adrian Gonzalez

4. Joey Votto

5. Prince Fielder

6. Mark Teixeira

7. Eric Hosmer

8. Paul Konerko

9. Lance Berkman

10. Michael Morse

Honorable Mention: Freddie Freeman

                                                                                                                                                SECOND BASE

1. Robinson Cano

2. Dustin Pedroia

3. Ian Kinsler

4. Dan Uggla

5. Chase Utley

6. Ben Zobrist

7. Rickie Weeks

8. Brandon Phillips

9. Howard Kendrick

10. Dustin Ackley

Honorable Mentions: Neil Walker, Danny Espinosa


1. Troy Tulowitzki

2. Jose Reyes

3. Hanley Ramirez

4. Asdrubal Cabrera

5. Starlin Castro

6. Jimmy Rollins

7. Elvis Andrus

8. Alexei Ramirez

9. J.J. Hardy

10. Jhonny Peralta

Honorable Mentions: Derek Jeter, Erick Aybar

                                                                                                                                                   THIRD BASE

1. Jose Bautista

2. Evan Longoria

3. David Wright

4. Adrian Beltre

5. Ryan Zimmerman

6. Brett Lawrie

7. Michael Young

8. Alex Rodriguez

9. Aramis Ramirez

10. Pablo Sandoval

Honorable Mention: Mark Reynolds


1. Matt Kemp

2. Jacoby Ellsbury

3. Justin Upton

4. Carlos Gonzalez

5. Curtis Granderson

6. Andrew McCutchen

7. Mike Stanton

8. Hunter Pence

9. Matt Holliday

10. Carl Crawford

11. Jay Bruce

12. Josh Hamilton

13. Nelson Cruz

14. Desmond Jennings

15. Alex Gordon

Honorable Mentions: Shane Victorino, Shin-Soo Choo, Michael Bourn

                                                                                                                                         STARTING PITCHER

1. Justin Verlander

2. Clayton Kershaw

3. Roy Halladay

4. Tim Lincecum

5. Cliff Lee

6. CC Sabathia

7. Jered Weaver

8. Felix Hernandez

9. Cole Hamels

10. Dan Haren

11. David Price

12. Matt Cain

13. Jon Lester

14. Zack Greinke

15. Ricky Romero

Honorable Mentions: Yovani Gallardo, Ian Kennedy, James Shields

                                                                                                                                                 RELIEF PITCHER

1. Craig Kimbrel

2. Mariano Rivera

3. Jonathan Papelbon

4. John Axford

5. Heath Bell

6. Drew Storen

7. Jose Valverde

8. Brian Wilson

9. Joel Hanrahan

10. J.J. Putz

Honorable Mentions: Andrew Bailey, Joakim Soria, Ryan Madson, Jordan Walden


Thanks. I knew I could count on you guys to keep us updated.

Where do you guys have Youkilis ranked at third base? How far out if the top ten? Thanks

No Ryan Braun ranked at all?

Dan and Damon,

Here’s Siano’s take on Braun and Youkilis:

Braun was 17th OF eligible player taken in experts mock from a few weeks ago so he is an honorable mention and as Cory states on twitter his plus replacement value OF equals late 2nd or early third round value. He is right outside the top 15 but does have plenty of upside there.

Youkilis hasn’t played more than 140 games since 2008 which makes him on the outside looking in.

CORY ON BRAUN: I’d also add that there’s still uncertainty about Braun’s availability for 2012, and the level at which he’ll produce, so we have to devalue him on those factors too.

Thanks for the early rankings!

Trade question: 12-team mixed keeper league

(Kemp + Teixeira) or (Granderson + Fielder)

which side of this deal do you prefer?

Brad from Cupertino


I’d take Kemp/Tex. I think Granderson could be a bit of a disappointment this year considering his rather high HR/FB rate last season and his still very high strikeout rate. To me, Kemp is a much safer option. Duplicating his ’11 production will be tough but worst case scenario is he hits .280 with 30 homers and 25 steals. As for the first basemen, it’s close but I actually prefer Tex. I think he’ll improve his AVG to at least the .270 range and we all know he’s a lock for 30-100. A move to a team like Seattle or even Washington could hurt Prince’s counting stats.


Um – Joe Mauer is the best Hitting catcher in baseball. Why is he ranked so low ?


Injury concerns (especially factoring in the wear and tear of playing his position) and a complete loss of power since his MVP ’09 season. If he doesn’t bat over .300 (he hit .287 last year) he doesn’t quite belong ahead of a Montero or Avila. There’s definitely upside in drafting him as the #8 catcher, but there’s risk in treating him like a top-5 guy.


Is it too early for keeper questions? I don’t care, I’m asking anyways! My league keeps 9 (and up to 5 minor league players). I’ve got 11 guys I’d like to keep.

Which 9 would you keep out of Tulowitzki, Ellsbury, Halladay, Pedroia, Kershaw, McCutchen, Ryan Zimmerman, Holliday, Utley, Youkilis, and Ryan Howard?

My minors players that may be relevant next year are Moustakas, Mesoraco and Brett Jackson.

This is a weekly head to head category league with standard hitting categories plus OBP and standard pitching categories plus Holds and Batting Average Against. Thanks


I’d keep the first 9 guys you listed. We still don’t know when Howard will come back and how productive he’ll be upon his return, so he’s a risky choice. Youk is tempting considering that he plays at the not so deep 3B position but you already have a top-notch 3B in Zim. Your one major weakness now is at 1B, so that’s something you should try to address immediately in the draft. I’m actually not opposed to the idea of re-drafting Howard along with a stopgap guy and hope for a May return for Ryan. I wouldn’t keep Howard though at the expense of one of your other options.


Hey 911,

I have a keeper question for a 12 Team Roto Mix League
I need to keep 3. (minimum 1 Batter and 1 Pitcher)
I will have the 3rd pick of the draft.
Here are the options:
Alex Avila – Rd 12
Melky Cabrera – Rd 15
Dee Gordon – Rd 14
McCaan – Rd 4
Andrew McCutchen – Rd 4
Prado – Rd 11
Beachy – Rd 12
Neftali Feliz – Rd 13
Hellikson – Rd 13
Marcum – Rd 12
Shields – Rd 10
CJ Wilson – Rd 13

I personally like:
McCutchen, Beachy and Hellikson



I’d actually go McCutchen, Beachy, Shields. I’m a Hellickson fan and 13th round is obviously great value for him. But I think 10th round for Shields is better value. I’m a bit concerned about Hellickson’s lack of strikeouts and his peripheral numbers suggest that a significant ERA hike could be in order…not to mention the AL East factor.


U guys have great rankings except u missed Waino… The plush 5 rd plus pick…too bad I’m from Stl and will have to get em mid 3rd!


Talk about a reach! I like Wainwright as a value pick but do you really want to pay 2010 price for him? The other thing I’m noticing in early mock drafts is that everyone is so high on him that he’s actually not going at much of a discount. So the bottom line is that I personally might not own him in any leagues!


Hey 911,
I have a keeper question for a 12 Team Roto Mix League
I need to keep 3. (minimum 1 Batter and 1 Pitcher)
I will have the 3rd pick of the draft.
Here are the options:
Alex Avila – Rd 12
Melky Cabrera – Rd 15
Dee Gordon – Rd 14
McCaan – Rd 4
Andrew McCutchen – Rd 4
Prado – Rd 11
Beachy – Rd 12
Neftali Feliz – Rd 13
Hellikson – Rd 13
Marcum – Rd 12
Shields – Rd 10
CJ Wilson – Rd 13
I personally like:
McCutchen, Beachy and Hellikson


after my last question about what need to adress first in my draft i did a little looking at other teams and their possible keepers. i am now thinking beltre may be available as well as greinke and mauer. would you still go after the elite closer first or go for one of these guys with a 6th round selection?remember we keep 5 to start so i already have
pujols,tulo,arod,mccutchen and weaver. We use
a IF slot thats why i was thinking beltre. thanks again. DMENZ


I’d still prefer the elite closer, and Beltre’s become more of an injury-prone player of late. But the bottom line is that it’s impossible to predict what will happen in any draft, and ultimately you’ll need to make decisions on the fly, so be flexible!


20 team keeper, we keep 10 from year to year, dollar values are what mlb.com states, but if you protect them from year to year, then you must give them $5 raise each year you do that.

$250 cap

Here are my guaranteed keepers:

Cano – $31

Pujols – $47

Butler – $25

Latos – $11

H. Bell – $20

B. McCarthy – $6

Now I would like to deal Butler and Bell as I feel I will have to pay them more than they are worth. Same with Rollins at $28. Now I have Walker at $11 but already have Cano, so have to deal him. Jimenez at $21, and Choo at $22, I think I need to deal too.

My borderline guys are guys like Jesus Guzman($1), Drew Pomeranz ($1), Kenly Jansen,($1), Bud Norris($1), and Tim Stauffer ($2)

Will Jansen be closing in LA, and is he worth a keep?

I am currently trying to trade Butler and Jimenez for Hamels with a pick upgrade for him

And Rollins for Cruz and a pick upgrade for him.

Thanks in advance for the help…you guys always have the real in-depth info that I seem to miss.



I totally agree that Butler and Bell are overpriced (especially Butler) and like what you’re doing in terms of trying to deal them for talent upgrades. 21 bucks for Ubaldo is a little too expensive as well. Jansen for a buck is a must-keep in my opinion. Even if he doesn’t open the year as the Dodgers’ closer, I can see him saving games sooner rather than later. He has elite closer stuff and was exceptional down the stretch last season. I’d also hold onto Norris for $1.


Looking forward to a new season!

I have a question about my team in a 12-team, 4-keeper, H2H Most Categories league (standard categories; SVHD replaces SV). There is an extra C, LF/CF/RF/OF instead of the normal 5 OF, and 5 SP/3 RP/P instead of 9 P.

I am keeping Ryan Braun, Joey Votto, Curtis Granderson, and CC Sabathia. This league allows draft pick trading, and by trading away some non-keepers, I’ve managed to gain an extra 2nd round pick (normally 6th including keeper rounds), 4th (8th), and 8th (12th) while losing a 14th (18th). One of the owners in my league is going to keep Ian Kinsler, but is willing to trade him for picks, but only after the draft begins. My question is, would you trade the 1st, 2nd, and 4th (5th, 6th, and 8th) round picks necessary to get Kinsler? After doing that, I would end up with Braun, Votto, Granderson, Sabathia, Kinsler through five rounds and one pick in every round after that except an extra pick in the 12th and no pick in the 18th.

Thanks for any help!


It’s a steep price to pay for Kinsler, but the fact that you have those extra picks in the 2nd and 4th definitely softens the blow. I’d make the trade. After all, you acquired those picks for a reason, and turning them into a 2B who is always a 30/30 threat isn’t bad at all.


What kind of numbers are you expecting from Yonder Alonzo this yr? I have him and Billy Butler at 1st and need to trade one in my keeper league. I would like to trade Butler what would you expect in return?


While Alonso’s numbers (particularly homers) will probably take a hit due to his move to San Diego, I’m still excited about his potential as an everyday player. I think a .300 AVG is a real possibility. I’m not much of a Butler fan, so I’d be more inclined to deal him in a keeper league. That said, I’d probably trade the player who can net me the better return depending on your needs. But on face value I’ll take Alonso’s upside over Butler, a known commodity whose lack of consistent power production at a HR heavy position is disturbing. Maybe Butler is the better player in 2012, but long-term I like Alonso.


Now that he is in the MLB what is yall’s draft day strategy on Yu Darvish?

Are there any other new international player new to the MLB that we should look out for on draft day?

Hey 411,

Pitchers and catchers report very soon! Can’t wait for baseball again.

I’m in a 5×5 roto league and we can keep (4 hitters and 2 pitchers) or (3 hitters and 3 pitchers.)

My hitters to choose from are : Votto, Longoria, J Upton, D Wright, Granderson

My pitchers to choose from are : Gallardo, Haren, Pineda

There is no limit to how many years you can keep them.

Thanks for your help

As always,


I’d go with Votto, Longoria, Upton, Granderson, Gallardo, Haren. I’m really down on Wright and am also a bit concerned about Pineda pitching in the AL East in a hitter-friendly park. Gallardo and Haren are safer bets in my mind.



Check out Siano’s MLB.com article on Darvish for an in-depth look:


A portion of today’s podcast will also be devoted to Darvish. We’ll send out a tweet once the podcast becomes available.


Hi Hey what do you think will be Jesus Montero’s value for the upcoming fantasy season now that he is in Seattle with the probability that he will get full time at bats?

20 team dynasty H2H; 6×6 w/OPS & Holds; 22 ML keepers, 15-man farm

Definite Keepers (19):

1B – Matt LaPorta (CLE)
2B – Reid Brignac (TB)
3B – Danny Valencia (MIN)
RF – Shin-Soo Choo (CLE)
CF – Shane Victorino (PHI)
LF – Matt Holliday (STL)
LF – Travis Snider (TOR)
LF – Nolan Reimold (BAL)

SP – Jered Weaver (LAA)
SP – Adam Wainwright (STL)
SP – Trevor Cahill (OAK)
SP – Daniel Duffy (KC)
SP – Jordan Lyles (HOU)
SP – Anibal Sanchez (FLA)
RP – Jason Motte (STL)
RP – John Axford (MIL)
RP – Frank Francisco (TOR)
RP – Aaron Crow (KC
RP – Rex Brothers (COL) (FARM-ELIGIBLE)

Possible Keepers:

C – Kurt Suzuki (OAK)
1B – Brandon Allen (OAK)
CF – Jordan Schafer (ATL)

SP – Paul Maholm (PIT)
SP – Garrett Richards (LAA) (FARM-ELIGIBLE)
RP – Fautino De Los Santos (OAK) (FARM-ELIGIBLE)
RP – Steve Cishek (FLA)

Farm Club:
1 – Britton, Drake (0 IPs – SP – BOS)
2 – Cowart, Kaleb (0 Abs – 3B – LAA)
3 – Franklin, Nick (0 Abs – SS – Sea)
4 – Hicks, Aaron (0 Abs – OF – MIN)
5 – McNutt, Trey (0 IPs – SP – CHC)
6 – Mitchell, Jared (0 Abs – OF – CWS)
7 – Pimentel, Guillermo (0 Abs – OF – SEA)
8 – Rizzo, Anthony (128 Abs – 1B – SD)
9 – Salcedo, Edward (0 Abs – SS/3B – Atl)
10 – Sale, Josh (0 Abs – OF – TB)
11 – Segura, Jean (0 Abs – 2B/SS – LAA)
12 – Singleton, Jonathan (0 Abs – 1B – Hou)
13 – Tejeda, Oscar (0 Abs – 2B – BOS)
14 – Turner, Jacob (12 IPs – SP – DET)
15 –

I’m in major rebuilding mode this season, so I’m doing my best to stock upside and potential. This is my roster at the current point in time. I have decided on 19 of my 22 keepers, so I have 3 more ML keepers to select.

It should be noted that I have four farm-eligible players on my ML roster: Brothers, Richards, Miley and de Los Santos. Rizzo is 2 AB away from losing farm eligibility, so I might as well promote him to the majors now and demote someone (Richards/Brothers).

Of the three remaining keepers, I am leaning towards Suzuki, Allen and Schafer, with de Los Santos and Richards being sent to the farm, releasing Britton to make room.

What are your thoughts? What would you do at this point?

Couple other questions:
* A manager said he would move Jason Bourgeois for a 3rd round pick (I have 3 picks in the first round, so this pick is useless to me). I would probably keep Bourgeois over Schafer as he has more value and could probably be moved around midseason to someone looking for speed.
* A manager said he would move Enny Romero for either Salcedo or Brothers. I’m trying to talk the price down, but I do like Romero and see him as a breakout candidate this season.


Agreed on your keeper picks and I do like the Bourgeois trade. Both he and Schafer can steal bases but I’m a lot more confident in Bourgeois’ ability to get to first base! He might not play every day but he’ll play enough to make a significant SB impact, and in such a deep league that’s really all you can ask for.


I can keep up to 9 in a 14 team head to head league. No more than two per position except SP and OF. Who do I keep?
C-Miguel Montero
1B- Billy Butler
2B-Danny Espinosa
3B-Wilson Betemit
SS-Ian Desmond
OF-Delmon Young
1B/2B/OF-Howie Kendrick
OF-Carl Crawford
OF-Desmond Jennings
SP-Ian Kennedy
SP-Chad Billingsley
RP-Chris Perez
RP-Drew Storen
RP-Chris Sale
RP-Ryan Madson
C-Jarrod Saltalamacchia
OF-David DeJesus
2B-Chase Utley
OF-Nyjer Morgan
3B-Chase Headley
SS-Stephen Drew
SP-Hiroki Kuroda


My 9: Jennings, Crawford, Utley, Kennedy, Montero, Storen, Madson, Kendrick, Butler.


Hey 411,
I’m in a 14 team keeper league, it’s a standard H2H league, and we are able to keep 8 players. Right now my keepers are Pujols, Pedroia, Crawford, Bruce, Lester, Price, Cain and Wainwright. I have Jesus Montero in the catchers spot right now. Last year I traded Posey for Cain and Gio Gonzalez. At which time I picked up Montero to be my catcher moving forward. My Concern going forward, since Montero is now a Mariner and decreases his value in my mind, is that since majority of teams like to keep their hitting instead of their pitching is would you try and move a pitcher for picks and or potential upgrade in hitting or simply leave my keepers as is?


Well, it looks like you wouldn’t be able to keep Montero anyway under the current arrangement and, as of now at least, he’s not a top-8 round player. I like Montero a lot but I’m always up for keeper upgrades. So if you can package him and say Wainwright for a stud hitter, I’d definitely consider it. Using four of your eight keeper spots on pitchers is a little too much in my opinion as one of our main philosophies here at the 411 is to stress hitting as pitching is a lot more unpredictable from year to year. Look into making at least one (and maybe even two) moves where you’re either packaging two pitchers or one hitter and one pitcher in order to upgrade at one of the hitting positions.


@Alan, assuming Montero catches enough to earn eligibility this year, he should easily be top-10 at the position, even if he hits “only” .260 with 20 homers. If he overcomes the tough ballpark and weak surrounding lineup, he could even up as high as Top-5.

Hey 411,

Im in a 5 x 5 league and we are allowed to keep 2 players. Not sure which two to keep I have Cano, Kershaw and Jose Reyes.
Thanks im leaning towards Cano and Reyes what are your thoughts?


Yup. Tough to let Kershaw go but you’ve gotta go with the two hitters. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to get Kershaw back in the draft.


in a 9X9 12 team keeper


i can keep up to 5 players…and if i picked them up as FA’s they will be drafted at the end of the draft….your thoughts

Berkman (20)


A lot of good choices here. Hosmer and Lawrie are definites. My other three would be Haren, Axford and Sandoval, though Walden over Sandoval is tempting. 3B is such a shallow position and I’m a little worried about Walden considering his sporadic bouts of wildness last year.


hi 411,

just curious, will there be composite projections posted this pre-season?

Thanks for all the top notch stuff!!



Yes! Cory’s working on them and they will be posted on the blog very soon.


NL only 5×5. I can retain up to 12, $260 cap., keeper league. Whom would you retain?

Pitching: Beachy 1, Garcia 4, Leake 4, Chacin 10, Minor 6, Vogelsong 1, Naverson 1

Batting: Maybin 17, R. Weeks 18, Davis 26, Mayberry 1, Presley 8, J.D. Martinez 3, Mesocaro 1, Posey 30, Barney 1, Greene(STL) 1, E. Cabrera 1, Nelson 1

I am leaning towards the first 6 in each category.

Thanks in advance.


Agreed on the pitchers, though Chacin for 10 isn’t much of a bargain. He’s borderline in my mind. As for the hitters, agreed on all but Davis. Even in an NL-only league, 26 is way too much for him. I wouldn’t spend more than around 18. Don’t feel the need to keep 12 as in this case you’re better off spending that extra money elsewhere.


Any reason Ike Davis isn’t in the top ten?

I am in an auction keeper league. I have Ian Kinsler and Jesus Montero for the same price… who do you keep?

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