Fantasy baseball rest-of-season rankings – Biggest positional surprises

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Welcome to June baseball! It has been a few weeks since the latest roto rankings update so, for today, it seemed like a good idea to go position-by-position with relevant (we hope) thoughts about who is moving up and down. So many names are on the move and fantasy baseball managers might be quite surprised at some of the changes at the top of the positions and with depth choices as well.

Catcher

Arizona Diamondbacks leadoff option Daulton Varsho is tops at this position on the Player Rater — despite stealing a relatively disappointing three bases — and third in points formats. Varsho scores runs and when combined with intriguing pop and the likelihood of double-digit steals, and the struggles of some bigger name catchers like Salvador Perez and J.T. Realmuto, he jumps to the top of the catcher ranks. Five catchers make a top tier, and the younger brother of one of those catchers (William Contreras) crashes the top 10. Don’t worry about rookie Adley Rutschman, who is on the most dropped list, but remains top 10 here. He will hit. Yasmani Grandal might not.

First base

Veterans Paul Goldschmidt and Pete Alonso look like legit MVP candidates and fantasy managers looking to sell high might be making a mistake. These guys force their way into my top 25. Seeing that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hasn’t hit for a month makes a potential change leading the position possible soon. Josh Bell, Rowdy Tellez and Trey Mancini are among those moving on up here, while Brandon Belt just cannot stay on the field, Eric Hosmer could not outhit his BABIP and Bobby Dalbec seems unlikely to hit another 25 home runs. Oh, and learn the name Vinnie Pasquantino.

Second base

Tommy Edman is the big mover because he keeps on stealing bases and he is on pace for about 130 runs scored. Oh, that is quite a bit. Edman slides into the top 50 and gives off a Whit Merrifield vibe. Merrifield is having a brutal season, but Edman, who also does not hit baseballs particularly hard, runs past him. Nolan Gorman — so many Cardinals! — is another high riser. Kolten Wong — a former Cardinal — is reliable. Reliable Jean Segura — not a former Cardinal — is the big faller, as his busted finger might keep him out months.

Shortstop

Fallers are the big story here, led by Toronto’s Bo Bichette, who looks nothing like the fellow who approached 30/30 last season while hitting for average and scoring a ton of runs. Bichette slides out of the top 30. Tim Anderson and Wander Franco are hurt, and we might have overrated Franco — at least for fantasy — to start with. With Javier Baez, now outside the top 100, we knew the batting average risk and he has stolen nary a base. There is some good news at short; Jeremy Pena continues to look special, and moves past the man he replaced in Houston, Carlos Correa. Dansby Swanson is hitting No. 2 in the lineup and stealing bases. Kyle Farmer faces enough lefties to offer full-season value.

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Kyle Farmer has found success against left-handed pitching this season and fantasy managers are finally starting to notice.

Third base

Well, we have stars Manny Machado and Jose Ramirez at this position, and there is nothing wrong with Rafael Devers and Nolan Arenado, but after that, depth is a problem. Ramirez retains his No. 1 overall spot and Machado continues his rise into the top five, but injured Anthony Rendon and struggler Matt Chapman leave the top 100. Ryan McMahon isn’t even hitting that much in Denver. Justin Turner looks done. Alec Bohm hit a ground ball while you read this. Managers are adding Luis Guillorme and Brendan Donovan (moving up). Third base is a problem.

Outfield

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hit 39 home runs in a healthy 2021 season and he is well on his way to gliding past that mark. The Player Rater front-runner crashes our top 10 here. Mookie Betts is also doing a nice MVP impersonation and rises back into the top five. Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez is a top-10 fantasy outfielder over the past month, leads the league in steals and moves way up into the top 50. Nick Castellanos and Teoscar Hernandez leave the top 50. As for Christian Yelich and Cody Bellinger, former NL MVPs, well, good luck. It is not going well.

Starting pitcher

Speaking of the Yankees, how is lefty Nestor Cortes the No. 8 starting pitcher on our full season Rater? Well, he is, and Cortes was pretty great last season as well. I don’t see how fantasy managers can’t buy in at this point. Cortes is among many high-rising starting pitchers, as he forces his way into the top 25. Yeah, hard to believe. Meanwhile, Justin Verlander leads pitchers on the Rater and moves to No. 3 here, while Joe Musgrove is top 10. Brandon Woodruff is not. Shane McClanahan and Pablo Lopez are top 20. Robbie Ray and Freddy Peralta are not, and Max Scherzer leaves the top 100 due to injury, though he will be back. Tyler Anderson, Martin Perez and Jameson Taillon move up, and Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Flexen and Zack Greinke do not.

Relief pitcher

Things move quickly among relievers, because nobody can predict wins and saves for these fellows. Still, Pirates right-hander David Bednar is the No. 4 reliever on the full-season Rater and obviously deserves more respect in the fantasy community. He swiftly rises into the top 10 here, while Yankees fill-in closer Clay Holmes is close. Other movers in the good direction include Emilio Pagan, Gregory Soto and — yes — Jorge Lopez. What a year so far!



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