With baseball just around the corner, it is time to start activating our fantasy baseball leagues and preparing for the upcoming year. Here is part two of our top-25 fantasy baseball keeper rankings. This list will help you decide who to keep or trade for this year. It is never too early to start preparing for the upcoming season.
For #1-8 on this list, click here.
Top 25 Fantasy Baseball Keeper Rankings Part 2
9. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Another former top prospect on the list and the second Cub in the top-ten, the young first baseman struggled his first few years but is now coming off two seasons with 30+ home runs. He has become a force and the face of a franchise. 2014 was his breakout year, with eighty-nine runs, twenty-eight doubles, thirty-two home runs, seventy-eight RBI, and five steals. He also hit .286/.386. Rizzo still just twenty-six and improved vastly in 2015, with ten more doubles, twenty-three more RBI, and even twelve more steals while keeping the other stats close to those of 2014. I would not be surprised if his numbers improved again in 2016. (Tier 2)
10. Josh Donaldson, 3B
- This might be the biggest surprise on the list. In many leagues he was the #1 player. The reason I have him so low is because of his strikeouts and age. He struck out 130 and 133 times in each of the last two seasons. He also just turned thirty years old, which is usually when players start to decline. I simply do not trust him to do what he did last year. He had a career year at age twenty-nine, an outlier in baseball. He will hit probably forty home runs again just because he plays in Toronto, but I see what he did his last year in Oakland as a more reasonable stat line to expect for his other numbers. (Tier 3)
11. Jose Altuve, 2B
- Altuve, at age twenty-five, just misses my top ten because he does not give you all the stats. He is good for steals, getting on base, and runs. He has very little power and does drive in many runs. Remember, you want to be decent at every category. He also hit forty doubles last year. He is still young and plays at a weak position. I would try to pair him up with a player like Chris Davis. (Tier 3)
12. Nolan Arenado, 3rd
- The twenty-four year old third baseman from California is coming off a forty-two-homer career year. He also plays in the best hitter’s park in baseball. Arenado has also shown that he can get on base, and has hit the ball his whole career. The only downside is he does not steal a lot of bases. Most people do not realize that this guy had ninety-seven runs, 40+ homers and doubles, and 130 runs batted in. He hit .287 and plays in Colorado. Sign me up. (Tier 3)
13. Jose Abreu, 1B
- The Cuban made an instant impact in the bigs in his first year. He batted .317 with thirty-six home runs and 107 RBI as a rookie. The thing is, he was a twenty-eight years old as rookie; that’s usually when players begin to exit their primes. His numbers dipped last year a little bit, but he should still record thirty home-runs and hit around .290 like he did last year. (Tier 3)
14. A.J. Pollock, OF
- Pollock is coming off a fantasy MVP type of year. He is a five tool player and is the perfect fantasy player to have on your team. However, he is twenty-eight years old now, which is why he lower on the list. He is coming off a 20/39 season with a .315 batting average. A 30/40 year is not out of question for this underrated star. He is coming off a career year, but he has always shown glimpses. If he stays healthy, Pollock is a top-fifteen player. (Tier 3)
15. Clayton Kershaw, SP
- The first pitcher on the list is, of course, Kershaw. No one has been as consistent than this man. He is a guaranteed top-three pitcher every year, which is rare. I hate keeping pitchers, because the top pitchers seem to change every year; plus, they do not play everyday. Kershaw is always a leader in most picking categories, and this year should be no different. (Tier 3)
16. George Springer, OF
- A personal favorite of mine, I will admit I drafted Springer last year. When he was called up, there were scouts saying he had the potential for 40/40 seasons. Last year, he got hurt and only played 102 games, yet still finished with 16/16. He is twenty-six years old and I would predict a 30/30 season from the young outfielder, if he stays healthy. That’s the big question. (Tier 4)
Remember: when picking keepers, think about where your team is going to be. Are they going to contend, or are you rebuilding? If you are rebuilding, then target younger players with higher potential. If you are a contender, then take the top player and forget about age. It is important to establish this before you pick your keepers.