By Tim Givens
Fantasy Baseball Player Rankings for May 17-23:
1. Miguel Olivo, Colorado Rockies:
Olivo hit a drought from May 1-10th, with his average dropping as low as .228, but recently he’s bounced back with a home run for three consecutive games. As of May 16th, he was ranked second in total home runs in the Catcher department.
2. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins:
His numbers aren’t eye-popping, but Mauer’s average will help any team, in any fantasy baseball format. This week the Twins are on the road, where Mauer statistically hits better.
3. Jorge Posada, New York Yankees:
Posada and the Yankees will be playing this week at home, where Posada performs well, and to make things better, Posada hits a career .296 in the month of May.
4. Ivan Rodriguez, Washington Nationals:
Another big average machine is Pudge, who is still playing exceptionally well. Even though his average has dropped this season from a whopping .400, expect him to keep his average around .300 all year. No worries here.
5. Geovany Soto, Chicago Cubs:
A big relief here for fantasy owners who have Soto. I think he’ll keep up the good numbers all season and nothing to worry about.
1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers:
One word–Domination. Fourth in the MLB in average, ranked first in the American League in RBI’s, and the Tigers will face the Chicago White Sox this week. The White Sox pitching staff has combined for a 4.61 ERA this season, which I expect Cabrera to push that number up.
2.Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins:
I’m going to make this a “2A & 2B” ranking this week with Morneau essentially tied with Cincinnati Reds infielder Joey Votto. Both are playing tremendously well but a slight advantage would go to Morneau simply for his average. At May 16 it was topping at around .366, with multi-hit game efforts in his last five games.
3.Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds:
This guy does it all, and I honestly believe Votto will hit close to 40+ home runs this season. He might even eclipse that mark, but I’m probably getting ahead of myself. I would suggest that you keep this guy if you play in dynasty leagues.
4.James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers:
In terms of potential and expectations, the prior two seasons Loney has been a disappointment in my opinion. 2008 & 2009 were a mere split-image of one another with Loney producing 13 homers and 90 RBI. However, this season looks like all the Loney fantasy owners could finally get their money’s worth (applies to auction league). Expect around 20-24 homeruns if he keeps this pace and shows some serious consistency.
5. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals:
Pujols should probably be cemented in the top 5 1B rankings every week. Don’t worry about Pujols but also pay attention to guys like Kendry Morales, Billy Butler, Garrett Jones if you’re looking for another first basemen.
1. Robinson Cano, New York Yankees:
I am a proud owner of Cano in one of my fantasy leagues and can’t say anything bad about his performance this season. Especially in a positional category where 2nd basemen are very weak at depth, Cano provides you with some serious average and power. This week the Yankees face the Red Sox & Tampa Rays who Cano bats a career .300+ against the division rivals.
2. Kelly Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks:
I don’t believe Johnson’s big season is a fluke at no means. Already with 11 dingers, Johnson should continue this power. Even better news is that the D-Backs travel to LandShark Stadium to face the Florida Marlins in a three game series this week, where Johnson hits a career .319.
3. Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies:
No breaking news here with Utley. Utley leads all 2nd basemen in Runs, and also putting up a .315 average. Keep him in your lineup.
4. Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox:
Pedroia, on May 16th had only struck out three times in the past 10 games is off to a great start this season, and bats .293 against the hated rival New York Yankees, who the Sox will face this week.
5. Ian Stewart, Colorado Rockies:
At first some thought this was just a hot start but Stewart has been consistent. As of May 16th, Stewart 20 RBIs in his last 10 games.
1. Evan Longoria Tampa Bay Rays:
A complete monster so far this season. Longoria is tied for 2nd in the American league with 31 RBIs, also leads all third basemen with 32 Runs.
2.Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals:
You could argue that someone like David Wright or Mark Reynolds should be here but Zimmerman posts a strong .330+ batting average. The month of May has been very pleasing for Zimmerman owners. Since May 6th he batted eight homers, and 23 runs batted in.
3.David Wright, New York Mets:
I would have put Reynolds above Wright but since he’s accumulated over seven stolen bases and combining that with the numbers he puts up then Wright deserves to be in the top if not top 2.
4.Mark Reynolds, Arizona Diamondbacks:
Whenever you have a player like Reynolds who owns the power categories then that really helps out tremendously. His average will hurt you but have patience.
5. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees:
Slowly but surely…this has been a very quiet season for A-Rod thus far. However, he bats a career .311 in the month of May.
1. Hanley Ramirez, Florida Marlins:
He is perennially one of the best fantasy players. No worries here from Hanley.
2. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees:
Even though his average is dropping, he’ll still put up numbers for you in runs/RBIs and will help out with speed.
3. Elvis Andrus, Texas Rangers:
Andrus is a speed machine. Although he has no power, with a position scarcity at SS, you can always use a guy like Andrus.
4. Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies:
Numbers are not jaw-dropping or eye-popping but it’s just good to see that he might return to his 2009 form, rather than be a complete fantasy bust like he was in 2008.
5. Jose Reyes, New York Mets:
Mets manager Jerry Manuel has been making some roster moves as of late, such as sending Oliver Perez to the bullpen, and also moving Reyes back to the leadoff spot. I think Reyes will drastically bounce back and put up some good numbers for you in the near future.
1. Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers:
Los Angeles Dodger Andre Ethier would be at this spot but with the news of his injury, Braun takes the reins. Batting over .330 and producing over 30 runs, Braun will be a All-Star selection.
2. Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers:
Kemp has been a favorite of mine all season, primarily because he 5-tool stats. He should pull his average up close to .300 soon.
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates:
A sleeper prior to the beginning of the 2010 season, McCutchen has been very surprising, and a great treat for fantasy owners. The Pirates will be a home all week, where McCutchen hits a career .325.
4. Vernon Wells, Toronto Blue Jays:
I would give this guy a standing ovation if I could. His hot start has been the perfect way to bounce back after his terrible 2009 performance.
5. Jason Werth, Philadelphia Phillies:
It looks like Werth will repeat his impressive fantasy performance from 2009. Another good note is that the Phillies will be at home all week where Werth hits a career average of .288 at Citizens Bank Park.