Revised rankings of top stars vary wildly
To answer your first question, yes, colleague Nate Ravitz and I really do believe that the best player in fantasy baseball plays right field for the Toronto Blue Jays, not first base for the St. Louis Cardinals. Jose Bautista isn't merely hitting home runs, he's hitting a third more home runs than anyone else in baseball over the past calendar year. He's also hitting .370, taking walks and looking every bit as legitimate as a slumping Albert Pujols, if not more so. I dropped Pujols all the way down to No. 2. I know, with all this talk this week of players being dropped in the order, how will he overcome this slight?
So, the question must be asked, and I must answer it in a way I really never thought I would: If someone offers you Bautista for Pujols in a vacuum, you should accept. That's what our mid-May rankings show, in a way. I don't know anyone who is actually redrafting today, but if I got offered a trade, I could simply look at my rankings, and/or the staff ones, and get a better idea what might be reasonable. And it might surprise you. Based on my rankings, I would deal Pujols for Bautista, would move Alex Rodriguez for Drew Stubbs and would send Jason Heyward (whom I like) for Lance Berkman (whom I also really like). You should always explore the trades you want, and don't be surprised if your potential trade partner really does value Berkman over Heyward, or vice versa.
The difference in opinion among the nine ranking staff members on certain players was certainly palpable, and interesting. I haven't asked the others why they ranked the way they did, and perhaps they don't even know. I apparently didn't like Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Neil Walker very much in the rankings, but basically that's just in relation to others. I'm not off his bandwagon, so to speak.
Here are some of the top players -- and really good ones, not Aaron Hill and Brandon Beachy at the back end of the top 250, where opinion was all over the map -- a mix that features some intriguingly widely spread opinions, and we must start at the top.
For Eric's thoughts on players whose midseason rankings vary wildly, including Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez and Josh Hamilton, you must be an ESPN Insider!
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