Many Scoresheet leagues are on the precipice of making keeper decisions. For those who may have missed it earlier, we’ve put together a guide to keepers for your reference or dismissal, whichever you prefer.
As some public and private leagues do not require keeper lists to be submitted yet, we’ll be joining our fantasy compatriots across the positional ranks once again. Outfielders in Scoresheet have a tendency to be overvalued, as there are generally more good outfielders available in the middle or even towards the end of the draft than there are acceptable middle infielders. On the other hand, the position is stronger at the top than it’s been in years, and you may be looking to bundle some players together to trade up.
As always, these rankings have been developed for a standard Scoresheet league, which is a continuing keeper league with 13 keepers, and up to two crossovers.
4. Mookie Betts (10)
In mock drafts and in some leagues, Betts has been going even higher than this ranking. Amazingly, we’ve found yet another fantasy baseball format for Mookie fans to take over.
5. Michael Brantley (11)
As with many of the other 2014 breakout outfielders, we believe to a large degree. Even if the power isn’t back for an encore, Brantley should be a solid defensive corner OF or playable centerfielder with a strong batting line.
6. Ben Zobrist (14)
This ranking is for his ability to play shortstop. Playing him in the outfield seems dangerously counterproductive.
10. Oswaldo Arcia (25)
Arcia is much more than a borderline keeper, which we’ve seen tossed around occasionally, but his poor defense in Scoresheet (and life) is unlikely to improve, keeping him from being a true sleeper in this format. Enjoy him in Roto.
11. Steve Pearce (28)
12. J.D. Martinez (30)
We don’t think anyone can really tell you what to expect from Pearce or Martinez this year. The most likely scenario leaves them as contributors to a continuing league roster, and the variability means that they belong on teams hoping for wider-variance outcomes. Pearce’s ability to not be an inveterate hacker makes for a little separation in the rankings.
17. Shin-Soo Choo (41)
Choo is likely flying under the radar a little bit as a bounce-back candidate. A risky pick, to be sure, but it may be worth pinging his owner if they’re experiencing something of a roster crunch around the keeper deadline.
18. Lorenzo Cain (44)
19. Michael Saunders (45)
Well, we think he’s a keeper, at any rate. He’ll never make enough contact to shoot too far up this list, but his first year out of Safeco and being jerked around is likely going to go much better for him.
24. Josh Reddick (51)
Reddick could be a center fielder on your team. We were surprised, too. There’s enough here to make him a keeper, and even to rank him ahead of…
25. Nelson Cruz (52)
We’re not seriously expecting anyone to not keep Nelson Cruz after his 2014, but Scoresheet is not a great format for his talents. Moving to Safeco, he’s now a short-side platoon hitter with on base issues who may no longer have the apparent power to compensate, and shouldn’t play in the field for most teams. It’s not a promising profile, as the reigning home run champ or not.
28. Brandon Moss (57)
Moss should be ranked higher on projection alone, we’re discounting pretty significantly due to fear of debilitating injury.
29. Leonys Martin (59)
Below the Keeper Line
Michael Bourn has been a solid centerfield option for a while, but he doesn’t stand out defensively and the bat receded. Josh Hamilton’s preseason injury was the final straw for us, even if it hurts to cut your former MVP. Carlos Beltran has been a longtime favorite, but is probably a decent fourth outfielder on your team at this point. We’ve also liked Seth Smith in a number of his stops, but Safeco is a rough place to land, and he may be more interesting once you know what your team needs in the draft. Kevin Kiermaier is young and on a team that respects him, but his Scoresheet defense will never match his real life value.
4. Bryce Harper (5)
We suspect this order may be marginally controversial, although it’s mostly an academic exercise. Harper still has the highest ceiling, but in this rarefied air of talent, we’re more concerned about the relative bust potential, which could set your team back for half a decade.
9. Starling Marte (15)
Marte has turned into a better hitter than we would have expected. The hidden benefit of his propensity to be hit by pitches helps his on base percentage stay in the acceptable range.
10. Carlos Gonzalez (16)
Gonzalez’ relative ranking is probably contingent almost entirely on how much time you think he’ll be spending in Denver over the next calendar year or two. The wrong kind of trade buries him in these rankings.
11. Justin Upton (19)
12. Matt Kemp (21)
A coincidence, really. These teammates obviously take a hit in Petco, but our general feeling is that their perceived value may have bounced below even this point. Upton is especially interesting, as his time in San Diego isn’t guaranteed to last.
19. Wil Myers (31)
The third member of the Padres’ new outfield, Myers falls behind in value for now, seemingly settling in as a solid non-superstar who lacks upside. A full season at center, especially if the defensive ratings don’t end up abysmal, will give him a boost in 2016.
20. Khris Davis (35)
21. Jay Bruce (36)
The ghost of Wil Myers future. Great American Ball Park is still a boost, but he’s closer to being a non-keeper than he is to being a true asset at the position.
22. Hunter Pence (37)
23. Gregory Polanco (38)
Young and a keeper, but if you’re contending, you shouldn’t just assume that you have a right fielder this year.
29. Charlie Blackmon (56)
Is it possible to sell? There’s a decent chance he gets squeezed out of Colorado, and Blackmon outside of Coors is a late-teens pick.
Below the Keeper Line
Juan Lagares will give you roughly a .12-point boost in defense, once you put him in center, which is probably not enough to make up for his bat. Nick Markakis isn’t an NL keeper at any rate, but is likely going to make someone sad in the early draft. Billy Hamilton is an inexplicable keeper choice to us; albeit one that will be made in a number of leagues. Michael Cuddyer is Coors alight.