- David Schoenfield, SweetSpot blogger
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The ESPN Fantasy staff has published its mid-May rankings -- their top 250 players for the rest of the season.
It's always interesting to see the different opinions. Everybody agrees on guys like Miguel Cabrera and Ryan Braun, but here are some guys where the rankings differ or have changed from preseason projections:
Bryce Harper (14th overall, up from No. 36 preseason): Our guy Eric Karabell has him the highest at No. 9 while his lowest ranking was 26th. I'm in line with Eric here, although he hasn't run yet (one stolen base) and needs to stay away from walls.
Stephen Strasburg (32nd overall, down from No. No 23): Wild variance in opinion, as he was as high as 22nd and as low as 73. Strikeout rate is down nearly two per nine innings from last year and left-handers have a .357 OBP against him. Somewhere in the 30s seems right to me.
Shin-Soo Choo (33rd overall, up from No. 75): As high as 18th, as low as 53rd (that's Karabell). He's helped carry my team to first-place in the one auction league I joined this year with all the ESPN fantasy gurus (shameless self-promotion), but I can't say he's going to hit .322/.465/.589 all season. Still, his power is playing up in that bandbox. The concern is he still can't hit lefties (.159) and you're not going to hit .322 when you can hit one side of pitchers.
Matt Kemp (18th overall, down from No. 6): The fantasy guys are expecting his power to come back (one home run so far). My concern: In his big 2011 season, he basically had two strikeouts for every walk; this year, it nearly 4-to-1.
Albert Pujols (25th overall, down from No. 7): He's hitting .248/.328/.418 with six home runs and 23 RBIs, so the fantasy guys expect a big bounce moving forward to rank him 25th. I'm not so sure. Yes, he'll get his RBIs hitting behind Mike Trout, but you have to be worried about a DL stint at some point and he's not going to give you those few stolen bases he always gets.
Matt Harvey (55th overall, up from No. 160): Thought he'd be a little higher, but I guess he may not win many games with the Mets' offense behind him.
Jean Segura (87th overall, up from No. 276): Hitting .349 and leads the NL with 13 steals. Obviously, if he comes close to that he'll be better than 87th, but keep in mind he always had trouble staying healthy in the minors.
Hisashi Iwakuma (134th overall, up from No. 243): He's not this good, but he is good, with that devastating split-fingered. His track record goes back to when he joined the Seattle rotation last July. With eight walks in nine starts, that WHIP will remain low even as his BABIP regresses to more normal levels.
Shelby Miller (135th overall, up from No. 261): Unlike Harvey, he'll get better run support. But will the Cardinals limit his innings?
The ESPN Fantasy staff has published its mid-May rankings -- their top 250 players for the rest of the season.It's always interesting to see the different opinions.