2019 Fantasy Baseball: Center Field Steamer Projection Rankings

“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today. Put me coach I’m ready to play. Look at me I can be center field.” — John Fogerty

It is probably no coincidence that center field has arguably the best player in the game today. Go back to when we were children and there were three positions you wanted to play. In some instances you played all three. We’ve already covered shortstops, so now we come to center field.

We’ve already covered the three year rankings and as we have seen, that leaves out any number of young players. So, we are looking at the Steamer projections for the six main categories. These are guesses as well and probably not as accurate as what we have seen, but we must take a look at some young players to give a full picture of the position.

Mike Trout– Los Angeles Angels

Projection: .300, 37 HR, 112 Runs, 100 RBI, 19 SB, 117 BB

Bill James once said of Babe Ruth that no player evaluation system could be legitimate if it didn’t have him as the top player of all-time. Well, the same could be said for modern projection systems and Mike Trout. Of course, that is hyperbole, but while he is in his prime it is also true.

Charlie Blackmon– Colorado Rockies

Projection: .287, 27 HR, 105 Runs, 79 RBI, 13 SB, 56 BB

The trick is not in ranking players, but in determining the distance between two particular players. Trout is head and shoulders above everyone else. Blackmon is also head and shoulders in front of the next man.

George Springer– Houston Astros

Projection: .263, 26 HR, 95 Runs, 75 RBI, 8 SB, 71 BB

Springer was the World Series MVP in 2017 and had another productive postseason last year. It is easy to get carried and extrapolate postseason performance moving forward. You are almost always better off taking a player for what he has done in the regular season.

Lorenzo Cain– Milwaukee Brewers

Projection: .284, 15 HR, 86 Runs, 59 RBI, 22 SB, 59 BB

It’s too bad that WAR isn’t a category. Cain is a gifted defender on top of being a very good offensive player. He isn’t elite in either category, but when you are very good in both you are an elite performer. It’s too bad they don’t count the defense.

Starling Marte– Pittsburgh Pirates

Projection: .282, 17 HR, 79 Runs, 71 RBI, 34 SB, 35 BB

If you are playing in a standard 5×5 format then Marte is a very good play. He gives you a little bit of everything. In more advanced formats his inability to steal first base is problematic, so you can plan accordingly.

Aaron Hicks– New York Yankees

Projection: .248, 22 HR, 80 Runs, 70 RBI, 10 SB, 76 BB

Hicks came of age last season after bouncing around for several seasons. It almost reminds you of David Ortiz. Both players came from Minnesota where they did not realize their full potential. Of course, Hicks isn’t quite as good offensively, but might be of similar value overall.

A.J. Pollock– Los Angeles Dodgers

Projection: .252, 19 HR, 70 Runs, 62 RBI, 15 SB, 41 BB

There is much talk about the economic downturn in the game. He signed a four year and 50 million dollar deal with an option for ten million in a fifth season. This is all for a guy that has played in more than 113 games once since 2013.

Victor Robles– Washington Nationals

Projection: .274, 12 HR, 69 Runs, 59 RBI, 27 SB, 38 BB

Every season brings a new phenom in the fantasy landscape. There are a few if we include guys like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. it could be a very exciting season for fantasy baseball players. He is the main reason why the Nats aren’t going all in on Bryce Harper.

Odubel Herrera– Philadelphia Phillies

Projection: .267, 18 HR, 66 Runs, 69 RBI, 8 SB, 44 BB

Herrera doesn’t do anything particularly well, but he doesn’t have any major weaknesses either. He is the kind of boat that rises with the tide. The Phillies will be better next season and he should be too.

Mallex Smith– Seattle Mariners

Projection: .263, 6 HR, 78 Runs, 50 RBI, 40 SB, 54 BB

This was another shrewd trade by the Mariners. Mike Zunino is a below average catcher and they were able to get Smith for him. He won’t make anyone forget Mike Trout, but he is definitely above average.

Ender Inciarte– Atlanta Braves

Projection: .274, 9 HR, 67 Runs, 58 RBI, 23 SB, 46 BB

It is ironic that both Inciarte and Andrelton Simmons were in the same organization, but briefly so. They are essentially the same player at different positions. Inciarte plays because of his defense just like Simmons.

Jackie Bradley– Boston Red Sox

Projection: .248, 15 HR, 65 Runs, 63 RBI, 11 SB, 49 BB

Bradley is another version of Springer. He had a brilliant postseason which would lead some to think he has turned the corner as a player. He may be better this season, but it has little to do with last postseason.

Ramon Laureno– Oakland Athletics

Projection: .252, 16 HR, 69 Runs, 56 RBI, 17 SB, 46 BB

There are the halves and the have nots. While the A’s continue to be a have not they have to put some unproven guys in some key spots. Laureno showed some in the last couple of months of 2018 and could be an under the radar pick this season.

Chris Taylor– Los Angeles Dodgers

Projection: .248, 13 HR, 64 Runs, 61 RBI, 11 SB, 52 BB

The Dodgers have quite a few players that can play a number of positions. Taylor is penciled in as the second baseman next season, but both Enrique Hernandez and Max Muncy can play there as well. Taylor can play all three outfield spots in addition to second base.

Harrison Bader– St. Louis Cardinals

Projection: .245, 17 HR, 59 Runs, 62 RBI, 14 SB, 38 BB

Bader is ultimately the reason why the Cards traded Tommy Pham. Like Inciarte and Kevin Kiermaier, he is mainly there for his fielding. Depending on where he hits in the order he could be an interesting late round pick.

Adam Jones– Free Agent

Projection: .266, 18 HR, 62 Runs, 63 RBI, 4 SB, 25 BB

Jones is really not a center fielder anymore. He may not even be an every day player depending on who gets him. It’s the ultimate gut check moment for him. Do you sign with an also ran and play every day or sign with a contender and play part-time.

Byron Buxton– Minnesota Twins

Projection: .244, 15 HR, 59 Runs, 54 RBI, 18 SB, 33 BB

It’s hard to put an entire division race on one guy, but Buxton is the most important guy on the Twins. He was the number two overall pick in the same draft that saw Carlos Correa go to the Astros. There were many then that thought he was more talented. If he can harness that talent he could be huge.

Scott Schebler– Cincinnati Reds

Projection: .240, 19 HR, 53 Runs, 62 RBI, 4 SB, 37 BB

Schebler has some upside, but he also comes with tremendous risk. He may not be the center fielder in Cincinnati. They have Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, and others in line to compete with him. He’s produced more than they have, so he might get the first crack at the spot.

Kevin Kiermaier– Tampa Bay Rays

Projection: .238, 13 HR, 57 Runs, 50 RBI, 15 SB, 38 BB

If only we could count defensive runs saved. Kiermaier will play because they will want his glove in the lineup as often as possible. Last year was a disaster, but he was passable in seasons past. So maybe he will be again.

Billy Hamilton– Kansas City Royals

Projection: .241, 5 HR, 57 Runs, 41 RBI, 36 SB, 41 BB

Someone dig up Whitey Herzog. The Royals will likely steal more than 200 bases this season if everyone is healthy. The Royals will still likely lose more than 100 games, but they will be entertaining while they do it.

2019 Fantasy Baseball: Left Field Steamer Projection Rankings

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. We can rank outfielders as a whole group or we can break them down position by position. It may seem counterintuitive, but it is easier to break them down by position and then adjust back to the generic than to do the reverse, so we are looking at left fielders first.

Theoretically speaking, each position should be relatively equal, but it doesn’t turn out that way. Left field is weaker than the other two spots for one reason or another. We are ranking them by their projection in the six categories (walks are the sixth category).

Juan Soto– Washington Nationals

Projection: .292, 26 HR, 84 Runs, 85 RBI, 6 SB, 82 BB

2019 might turn out to be the best outfield in franchise history for the Nationals and it will be without Bryce Harper. Soto and Victor Robles will be the reason why. The key for Soto is the patience he brings to the plate. It adds to his power and ability to hit for average.

Ronald Acuna– Atlanta Braves

Projection: .279, 28 HR, 95 Runs, 77 RBI, 24 SB, 56 BB

It was a battle back and forth between Acuna and Soto for the top spot in the Rookie of the Year race. It makes perfect sense that it would be that way in fantasy. Soto wins in six categories while Acuna wins in five.

Andrew Benintendi– Boston Red Sox

Projection: .286, 18 HR, 98 Runs, 74 RBI, 18 SB, 69 BB

Benintendi does a little bit of everything and as such has more value than the numbers immediately show. He also plays for the best offense in baseball. That counts for something when it comes to the counting statistics.

Joey Gallo– Texas Rangers

Projection: .225, 40 HR, 86 Runs, 98 RBI, 6 SB, 81 BB

We’ve talked at length about chasing single categories. How about when a single category chases you away. Sure, the batting average is horrendous and if you are playing total points the strikeouts will kill you. In five or six category leagues he is still worth it.

Marcell Ozuna– St. Louis Cardinals

Projection: .288, 26 HR, 75 Runs, 89 RBI, 2 SB, 45 BB

Ozuna had one magical season in 2017, but the rest of them have looked like this. Leave it to the Marlins to trade him after his one great season and they still didn’t get much for him. Adding Goldschmidt may help a little, but this is probably who Ozuna is.

Eddie Rosario– Minnesota Twins

Projection: .277, 24 HR, 77 Runs, 83 RBI, 8 SB, 33 BB

A team that added C.J. Cron, Nelson Cruz, and Jonathan Schoop will have to rely on the holdovers getting better. For most, that is Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano. However, watching Rosario take another step forward might be more realistic.

Justin Upton– Los Angeles Angels

Projection: .243, 27 HR, 75 Runs. 84 RBI, 7 SB, 61 BB

Billy Eppler is the Ken Williams of the 2010s. He keeps trying to add that one key piece for a team that needs four or five. Upton is taking up a lot of money and he’s good, but he’s just not good enough. That describes most of the supporting cast for Mike Trout.

Khris Davis– Oakland Athletics

Projection: .240, 38 HR, 86 Runs, 102 RBI, 1 SB, 62 BB

Davis’ spot depends largely on whether you are playing left field specific or generic outfield. He suffers with batting average and stolen bases. Only four left fielders are projected to steal ten or more bases, so his output has to be seen in that context. Compared to other outfield spots that is very low. So, plan accordingly.

Kyle Schwarber– Chicago Cubs

Projection: .241, 28 HR, 69 Runs, 76 RBI, 4 SB, 74 BB

Sooner or later you come to accept players as they are. Schwarber looked like a better hitter than this early on, but he is what he is. He is an average outfielder defensively a little bit better than average offensively. Overall, that makes him pretty solid.

Michael Conforto– New York Mets

Projection: .244, 25 HR, 70 Runs, 75 RBI, 4 SB, 70 BB

Yoenis Cespedes would likely be a top five left fielder if he were healthy. He is a name to watch as he could come back at some point this season. Conforto is not nearly as sexy, but he puts up numbers when given opportunities.

Ryan Braun–Milwaukee Brewers

Projection: .265, 22 HR, 63 Runs, 70 RBI, 11 SB, 41 BB

Supposedly, Braun is altering his swing to work on his launch angle. That’s fancy talk for saying he is trying to hit more fly balls and therefore more home runs. It’s an interesting turn in a career that has seen a number of turns.

David Peralta–Arizona Diamondbacks

Projection: .281, 18 HR, 67 Runs, 62 RBI, 4 SB, 42 BB

Peralta hit 30+ home runs last year, so it is a bit of a surprise to see them knock Peralta down a bit. I guess they are going with overall career norms and he has had trouble staying on the field in the past. I suppose two consecutive healthy seasons is too much to bank on.

Shin-Soo Choo– Texas Rangers

Projection: .254, 17 HR, 73 Runs, 55 RBI, 6 SB, 67 BB

Money changes the perception of things and sometimes for the worse. For the most part, Choo has been a very good hitter. He’s been a crummy fielder, but when healthy he is always good with the bat. He is being paid as if he is a great player. He isn’t but that really hasn’t changed.

David Dahl– Colorado Rockies

Projection: .270, 18 HR, 59 Runs, 64 RBI, 9 SB, 33 BB

Dahl is ready to produce, but he never has been able to stay on the field. He is in a perfect ballpark and a perfect situation. He doesn’t have to produce big numbers because they already have four or five guys that do. He just needs to stay healthy.

Michael Brantley–Houston Astros

Projection: .282, 14 HR, 66 Runs, 61 RBI, 8 SB, 40 BB

If you are playing in a total points universe, he jumps up the rankings. If you are playing on a per game basis he might even be top five. The Astros will limit his exposure to lefties, so he isn’t a great bet on a full season basis, but if you can make daily lineup changes he could be an appealing platoon option.

Trey Mancini– Baltimore Orioles

Projection: .261, 23 HR, 68 Runs, 77 RBI, 1 SB, 41 BB

Mancini is an example of an NBA phenomenom. Even bad teams have to have someone that produces runs. Even if that player isn’t good himself, he will produce runs. He might not be around when the Orioles are good again, but that won’t be for another few seasons.

Tommy Pham– Tampa Bay Rays

Projection: .255, 16 HR, 60 Runs, 53 RBI, 13 SB, 56 BB

The Rays play platoons more aggresively than any team in baseball. It worked enough to get them 90 wins even with a mediocre roster. However, it doesn’t exactly help with fantasy value for guys like Pham. It’s the main reason you haven’t seen a ton or Rays players on this list.

Domingo Santana– Seattle Mariners

Projection: .237, 18 HR, 59 Runs, 60 RBI, 6 SB, 60 BB

There was a lot not to like in the Mariners offseason, but picking up Santana was a stroke of brilliance. He could easily be a 20 HR and 10 SB guy when it is all said and done and they got him for next to nothing.

Corey Dickerson– Pittsburgh Pirates

Projection: .275, 17 HR, 57 Runs, 60 RBI, 5 SB, 25 BB

Dickerson has had a few fascinating chapters in his career. His Pittsburgh chapter has been fun to watch. He is a maximum effort guy and never met a pitch he didn’t like. It makes him a very flawed player, but a very entertaining player to watch.

Brett Gardner– New York Yankees

Projection: .245, 9 HR, 48 Runs, 37 RBI, 9 SB, 39 BB

Gardner has forged himself a nice career. He is still an above average defender, but he used to be a great one. All told, he is a below average offensive player at this point, but he used to be a good one. He probably has one more season as a semi-regular before he gets relegated to the bench.

2019 Fantasy Baseball: Shortstop Steamer Projection Rankings

Shortstops aren’t as deep as they have been in the past, but there are some intriguing new names that could burst on the scene this year. Those names almost certainly didn’t make our last list. You have to put up at least a couple of seasons worth of performance to make those list.

So, we move to projection numbers. We use Steamer because everyone has a Steamer projection and they are about as good as any other. That is to say that they are a decent predictor. We use them to make sure we account for younger players and for where a player is going. Sometimes they are off and we acknowledge that. The best thing to do is combine the past three seasons with future projections.

Francisco Lindor– Cleveland Indians

Projection: .286, 30 HR, 103 Runs, 90 RBI, 20 SB, 62 BB

Lindor has elevated himself to a fantasy first rounder. He came up as a good offensive player and a great fielder. Now, he is a great hitter and great fielder. With all of the big time contracts people are throwing around it makes you wonder how much he would be worth on the open market.

Manny Machado– Free Agent

Projection: .288, 32 HR, 87 Runs, 94 RBI, 8 SB, 57 BB

Machado doesn’t know what position he is going to play much less where he is going. He could wind up at third or at short. He probably is a better baseball value at third because of the Gold Glove defense, but obviously short it a better fantasy value play.

Trevor Story— Colorado Rockies

Projection: .271, 30 HR, 84 Runs, 95 RBI, 18 SB, 49 BB

With Daniel Murphy in tow, the Rockies offense stands as one of the more underrated offenses in the NL at any elevation. Story is heavy on the strikeouts, so you have to make sure you study up on your format before making your final rankings list.

Trea Turner– Washington Nationals

Projection: .287, 17 HR, 92 Runs, 66 RBI, 39 SB, 53 BB

Turner finally has tuened in a healthy season last year and delivered on the promise he showed back in 2016. He led the NL in steals last year as as much as people love steals he ought to shoot up the rankings.

Xander Bogaerts– Boston Red Sox

Projection: .286, 19 HR, 80 Runs, 82 RBI, 9 SB, 54 BB

Bogaerts will be a free agent after the season. Like Machado, he will enter free agency at age 26. Will he fetch 150 million? 200 million? A lot of it depends on what he does this season. So, is he a guy that rises to the occasion or he is a guy that shrinks under pressure.

Corey Seager– Los Angeles Dodgers

Projection: .284, 23 HR, 90 Runs, 74 RBI, 4 SB, 61 BB

People put way too much credence in what happened last year. With all of the big names around him in the rankings it is easy to forget about Seager. He is one of the best young shortstops in the game and he will show it again this season.

Javier Baez– Chicago Cubs

Projection: .269, 28 HR, 78 Runs, 93 RBI, 16 SB, 32 BB

Baez was the runner up in the MVP race last season. If you are playing in a standard 5×5 format he immediately jumps into the top five. He is a few extra walks away from superstardom. He will also play plenty of second base, so he is also eligible there.

Carlos Correa– Houston Astros

Projection: .265, 22 HR, 74 Runs, 78 RBI, 4 SB, 64 BB

Take someone six foot four and give them back trouble and its enough to scare anyone off. He is a talented as anyone above him on this list. If you could bank on 600 healthy plate appearances you can bank on him being top five.

Jorge Polanco– Minnesota Twins

Projection: .272, 14 HR, 79 Runs, 64 RBI, 15 SB, 48 BB

The Twins are a fascinating team moving forward. In many ways, they may be a model for the future. They keep adding guys to one or two year deals. When they don’t work out they just go in another direction. Polanco got busted for PEDs, but he came back and produced like he had before.

Jean Segura– Philadelphia Phillies

Projection: .284, 13 HR, 74 Runs, 60 RBI, 19 SB, 34 BB

Much like Baez, he moves up the list if you are playing in a standard 5×5 league. If you prefer a few extra steals you might even elevate him above Polanco now. After all, these numbers are just a guess.

Marcus Semien– Oakland Athletics

Projection: .251, 18 HR, 70 Runs, 67 RBI, 12 SB, 53 BB

Semien is one of those guys that gives you a little bit of everything. If you decide to punt shortstop on draft day you could do a whole lot worse.

Adalberto Mondesi– Kansas City Royals

Projection: .253, 22 HR, 76 Runs, 73 RBI, 43 SB, 31

How do we even begin to handicap this? He came up after multiple cups of coffee and finally produced a .276/.306/.498 slash line with 32 steals in almost half a season’s worth of at bats. The batted ball data and plate discipline issues point to regression. How much regression is the key question.

Jose Peraza– Cincinnati Reds

Projection: .281, 11 HR, 69 Runs, 61 RBI, 21 SB, 29 BB

Peraza put up 14 HR and 23 stolen bases last season. For now, he has the Reds shortstop job. Nick Senzel looks like the shortstop of the future, but they will give him a shot at center field next season. Ten plus home runs and 20 plus stolen bases is nice to have on a fantasy bench.

Lourdes Gurriel– Toronto Blue Jays

Projection: .266, 19 HR, 72 Runs, 65 RBI, 7 SB, 24 BB

There was one magical day last summer where Yuli and Lourdes both hit two home runs on the same day. The Blue Jays brought in Freddy Galvis to be his caddy, but I can’t imagine why they would want to waste at bats on him.

Andrelton Simmons– Los Angeles Angels

Projection: .277, 11 HR, 65 Runs, 63 RBI, 10 SB, 39 BB

Much like Matt Chapman in the last article, Simmons is one of those guys that you wished there would be a fantasy category for defensive runs saved. He is basically this generation’s Ozzie Smith. He’s solid offensively, but that plays up big time with his defense in real baseball. In fake baseball not so much.

Tim Anderson– Chicago White Sox

Projection: .252, 16 HR, 62 Runs, 64 RBI, 20 SB, 25 BB

Anderson has been up a couple of seasons and we know his modus operandi. He will hit the occasional dinger and steal the occasional base. That’s good. He won’t draw walks. That’s bad. There’s a reason the White Sox have been sniffing around Machado.

Paul Dejong– St. Louis Cardinals

Projection: .254, 22 HR, 62 Runs, 73 RBI, 2 SB, 24 BB

Where the Cardinals hit Dejong could make a lot of difference. If they put him in the lineup near Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt the lack of patience may not kill him. The smart play would be to put him down in the order though.

Willy Adames– Tampa Bay Rays

Projection: .248, 13 HR, 61 Runs, 59 RBI, 10 SB, 56 BB

The third of our young shortstops also came up last year and looks to be the Rays regular shortstop next season. They can mix and match guys with the best of them, so we aren’t as confident that he will get a full complement of at bats.

Brandon Crawford– San Francisco Giants

Projection: .255, 13 HR, 54 Runs, 60 RBI, 5 SB, 47 BB

I’ve always liked Crawford. He doesn’t do anything really well, but he doesn’t have any major weaknesses either. He is a testament to the value of an average player. Sure, average doesn’t sound good until you’ve experienced replacement level performance.

Elvis Andrus– Texas Rangers

Projection: .266, 9 HR, 58 Runs, 55 RBI, 11 SB, 37

Andrus had a huge 2017 season and then he spent a good portion of 2018 on the shelf. 2017 may have been a mirage. The numbers above represent what he has done for much of his career. Of course, he doesn’t have the speed he once did and that is while he has tumbled down the list.

2019 Fantasy Baseball: Third Base Steamer Projection Rankings

Third base and right field are the deepest positions on the fantasy diamond. It’s hard to explain why that is the case. Unfortunately, when you get to the point where you have this much depth, you get some considerable anger when someone’s guy is ranked lower than they think he should be.

The three year rankings do that for guys that haven’t played three seasons. So, we look at the projection data as a counterbalance. We are looking at the Steamer projections for the six main offensive categories. Again, we take these with a grain of salt.

Jose Ramirez– Cleveland Indians

Projection: .284, 27 HR, 93 Runs, 97 RBI, 23 SB, 77 BB

Ramirez has done it two seasons in a row and he was better last year than the season before. Yes, the Indians have less than they did before, but Ramirez is also eligible at second base. I’m not sure if he’s a first round pick given all that has happened, but you could do a lot worse.

Kris Bryant– Chicago Cubs

Projection: .275, 28 HR, 93 Runs, 86 RBI, 6 SB, 79 BB

Bryant has tumbled into the 30s in ADP. He was the former NL MVP and has multiple position flexibility. 2018 was a down season to be sure, but this guy is an elite player. He could end up being a bargain if he lasts until the third or fourth round in most standard 12 player leagues.

Nolan Arenado– Colorado Rockies

Projection: .286, 36 HR, 96 Runs, 106 RBI, 3 SB, 62 BB

I try to stay true to ideology. The key difference between Arenado and Bryant is patience and a little extra speed on the part of Bryant. The multi-positional flexibility is also a factor. Arenado just spits out runs and RBI by the bushel, so you can flip flop them if you wish.

Alex Bregman– Houston Astros

Projection: .279, 25 HR, 95 Runs, 89 RBI, 10 SB, 73 BB

Both Bregman and Bryant were number two overall picks. It would be interesting to flip flop them. After all, the Astros could have taken Bryant instead of Mark Appel. They may have won out here. Bregman is also eligible at short in most formats.

Eugenio Suarez– Cincinnati Reds

Projection: .257, 28 HR, 80 Runs, 90 RBI, 4 SB, 70 BB

The Reds are one of the deepest offenses in the National League. That includes teams like the Dodgers and Cubs. Suarez has quietly improved in each of the past three seasons. I’m not sure if he has another step in him, but even if he doesn’t he’s turned into a very underrated player.

Anthony Rendon– Washington Nationals

Projection: .287, 21 HR, 80 Runs, 80 RBI, 4 SB, 65 BB

Rendon will likely be the next 100+ million dollar guy coming out of Washington. This shows how deep third base is. Some will drop him once Harper signs elsewhere, but there are still plenty of hitters to drive in in Washington.

Matt Chapman– Oakland Athletics

Projection: .249, 28 HR, 84 Runs, 85 RBI, 4 SB, 60 BB

I wish they included fielding runs as a category. Chapman is definitely a top five overall third baseman in terms of absolute value, but as a hitter he doesn’t have the batting average to compete with the guys above him. He will draw walks though, so he’s a good bet in six category leagues.

Matt Carpenter– St. Louis Cardinals

Projection: .251, 25 HR, 96 Runs, 69 RBI, 4 SB, 98 BB

Carpenter is also eligible at first base. Usually that would be worse, but third base is deeper than first these days. There was a brief time in August when Carpenter looked like the NL MVP last season. Now, he’s ranked eighth. That’s how deep this spot is.

Travis Shaw– Milwaukee Brewers

Projection: .249, 27 HR, 72 Runs, 83 RBI, 5 SB, 64 BB

Shaw could be eligible at second base in some leagues and if the Brewers bring Mike Moustakas back he could move there permanently. Shaw is definitely a step below the top eight guys. This is similar to the index when we look at the gap between players.

Josh Donaldson– Atlanta Braves

Projection: .257, 25 HR, 75 Runs, 75 RBI, 3 SB, 74 BB

Every fantasy champion must roll the dice every once in awhile. Donaldson is a top five talent even at a deep third base position. The key will be health. Most projection systems are looking at 500 or so plate appearances. If he goes north of 600 he could be a stud.

Mike Moustakas– Free Agent

Projection: .257, 28 HR, 70 Runs, 83 RBI, 3 SB, 43 BB

Poor Mike Moustakas. He has to wait for the Manny Machado sweepstakes to sort itself out before the losers turn to Moustakas. A return to Milwaukee actually makes sense and in that lineup he could put up really good numbers. Stay tuned.

Justin Turner– Los Angeles Dodgers

Projection: .286, 18 HR, 71 Runs, 68 RBI, 3 SB, 52 BB

Turner missed almost half of last season. Projecting playing time is a dicey issue across the board. Does one season with a significant injury affect future durability. Maybe. I tend to think he will be back to 600 PA, so he will outproduce this in all likelihood.

Miguel Sano– Minnesota Twins

Projection: .237, 28 HR, 72 Runs, 80 RBI, 1 SB, 64 BB

Sano may be a scumbag. What does this have to do with the numbers? Well, he spent a good portion of last season with an abuse allegation hanging over his head. It was a huge step back on the diamond. Maybe being “cleared” lifts the cloud. He’s a borderline regular. I’m not sure that’s enough to overlook the fact that he might be a scumbag.

Rafael Devers– Boston Red Sox

Projection: .271, 21 HR, 63 Runs, 71 RBI, 5 SB, 38 BB

Devers is a good counterpoint to Sano. Devers plays in the best lineup in the American League and he is getting better. Whether he takes two steps forward or just one remains to be seen. The key for him will be whether he can take a few walks here and there.

Miguel Andujar– New York Yankees

Projection: .279, 23 HR, 69 Runs, 78 RBI, 3 SB, 28 BB

Andujar was worth -25 DRS last year as a third baseman. That might explain why the Yankees seemed eager to replace him this offseason. Fielding matters because it effects how often he gets on the field. With D.J. LeMahieu in tow, he might find itsef on the bench more often this season.

Kyle Seager– Seattle Mariners

Projection: .241, 22 HR, 66 Runs, 74 RBI, 3 SB, 48 BB

Seager used to be banked for 25 home runs and 90 RBI a season. The Mariners are going into tank mode and he took a steo back last season. Whether he returns to form or not, he isn’t likely to drive in all of those runs.

Jake Lamb– Arizona Diamondbacks

Projection: .245, 17 HR, 55 Runs, 58 RBI, 4 SB, 57 BB

Last season was a lost season for Lamb, but a move to first base might help him stay on the field long enough to produce some decent numbers again. At any other position he would be a definite top 15 guy, but third base is as deep as ever.

Eduardo Escobar– Arizona Diamondbacks

Projection: .252, 15 HR, 55 Runs, 59 RBI, 4 SB, 39 BB

Formats matter. Escobar is a doubles machine. Doubles don’t count any extra in standard leagues, but in total points leagues it makes him an intriguing play. The Dbacks are tanking, so it will be hard for him to put up secondary numbers.

Matt Duffy– Tampa Bay Rays

Projection: .271, 5 HR, 33 Runs, 29 RBI, 6 SB, 22 BB

This is all about projecting playing time. Betting on any Rays player is rough because they mix and match so much. If Duffy gets 500 plate appearances he is a decent add for a fantasy bench. He may also be eligible at shortstop.

Zack Cozart– Los Angeles Angels

Projection: .243, 15 HR, 63 Runs, 55 RBI, 3 SB, 45 BB

Cozart had a lost season last year, but there is no reason to expect him to suffer through more injuries this season. If he goes back to career norms he is a decent bench option. He could even get some games in at short if Andrelton Simmons gets hurt.

2019 Fantasy Baseball: Second Base Steamer Projection Rankings

Second base is actually one of the deeper positions in fantasy baseball. That could clearly be seen in the market this past winter as well. Like with catchers and first basemen, we get to deal with the tension between past results and future expectations. Some younger players were hurt because they had not put up enough numbers to beat out lesser players. Here, we get to see them move up the charts.

In our projection series we are using the six primary offensive categories to rank players (walks are the sixth category). The best course of action is probably to combine the two somehow. Projections are an inexact science due to all of the factors that are out of the player’s control. So, we do the best we can.

Jose Altuve—Houston Astros

Projection: .303, 17 HR, 89 Runs, 78 RBI, 17 SB, 54 BB

ESPN or the MLB Network did one of those lists that get you through the hot stove season where they listed players under 30 that look like Hall of Famers. They somehow left Altuve off the list. In Houston, the debate is already raging between Craig Biggio and Altuve for the top spot at second base. He played with a broken bone in his leg last season. He should be 100 percent again this season.

Ozzie Albies—Atlanta Braves

Projection: .273, 18 HR, 76 Runs, 72 RBI, 15 SB, 40 BB

Albies looks like a younger version of Altuve. Altuve grew when he learned to take the occasional walk. Albies doesn’t have Altuve’s freakish hit tool, but he has power and speed to burn. He also plays in a lineup that is considerably better than it was last year. If he learns to take a few more pitches he could be dangerous.

Gleyber Torres—New York Yankees

Projection: .257, 21 HR, 67 Runs, 71 RBI, 8 SB, 49 BB

As exciting as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are, every team sees their fortunes rise and fall with their best young players. Miguel Andujar and Torres drove the Yankees to a 100 win season. Whether either are as good this season remains to be seen. Young players always take a step forward or a step back. They are rarely ever the same.

Yoan Moncada—Chicago White Sox

Projection: .236, 19 HR, 77 Runs, 63 RBI, 16 SB, 69 BB

Moncada struck out more than 200 times last season. Yet, he also had a healthy walk rate. Add in the power and speed and you have a fascinating package. Something will give in 2019. Either he will make more contact and take the next step as a player or he will take his first steps out of the league.

Daniel Murphy—Colorado Rockies

Projection: .306, 18 HR, 66 Runs, 70 RBI, 3 SB, 35 BB

People trash the Rockies because they haven’t done much this offseason, but this move was a stroke of genius. Murphy might not be much of a second baseman anymore, but he just might be the second or third best hitter on the Rockies. That’s saying something for a team with Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon.

Scooter Gennett—Cincinnati Reds

Projection: .262, 18 HR, 67 Runs, 72 RBI, 4 SB, 37 BB

The J.T. Realmuto saga has become its own soap opera with pitfalls and cliff hangers at every step. The Reds are supposedly in. Let’s assume he goes there. I dare you to find a hole in their lineup. Gennett could be a trade candidate depending on how their season goes, but I can’t imagine him doing any better anywhere else.

Robinson Cano—New York Mets

Projection: .277, 19 HR, 63 Runs, 67 RBI, 1 SB, 40 BB

Often when we throw things into a computer we don’t allow for context. I’m sure each projection system saw fewer PA last season and somehow spit out a lower number again. Cano has been a durable player over the years and likely will be again. I’d have to think he will produce better than this.

Whit Merrifield—Kansas City Royals

Projection: .275, 10 HR, 66 Runs, 48 RBI, 25 SB, 37 BB

The market has put players in a hard spot. You can keep getting paid peanuts from season to season and then cash in when you become a free agency or accept a lesser long-term deal in order to get security. If my employer came to me with a five-year contract I’d be hard pressed to say no. That’s even if I were leaving some money on the table.

Rougned Odor—Texas Rangers

Projection: .249, 22 HR, 63 Runs, 68 RBI, 13 SB, 33 BB

Odor actually started to draw a few more walks towards the end of last season. If that continues he could be a viable six category guy. As it stands, he just doesn’t steal first base often enough to be a top-tier guy. Who knows, if he finds himself at around 40 or 50 walks he could be something special.

Cesar Hernandez—Philadelphia Phillies

Projection: .256, 9 HR, 67 Runs, 47 RBI, 14 SB, 70 BB

When we get here we start to have a frank discussion about the difference between real value and fantasy value. Hernandez is a valuable player in real life. He gets on base and fields his position competently. In fantasy he doesn’t hit enough dingers or steal enough bases to be elite. Add in a pedestrian average and most people will just pass him by.

Brian Dozier—Washington Nationals

Projection: .242, 18 HR, 63 Runs, 54 RBI, 9 SB, 49 BB

These numbers sure do feel low. This was a guy that was hitting 30 home runs and stealing 20 bases a season until last season. As usually happens, he revealed that he was injured for part of last season. He signed a one year contract to rebuild his value. I’d bet the over here.

Jurickson Profar—Oakland Athletics

Projection: .259, 13 HR, 58 Runs, 55 RBI, 6 SB, 44 BB

Necessity is the mother of invention. The A’s are about as good as anyone in recognizing value. Profar was the number one prospect in baseball a few years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that he stuck. If he were a free agent he might be an eight figure guy annually. For now, he is under club control. 

Ian Happ—Chicago Cubs

Projection: .232, 16 HR, 48 Runs, 49 RBI, 7 SB, 50 BB

The Cubs are a team screaming for the DH. They have Happ penciled in center field for the moment, but he is naturally a second baseman. They have Ben Zobrist there. Zobrist can play everywhere and Happ is flexible too. When Addison Russell comes back it will be interesting to see how the pieces fit together.

Jason Kipnis—Cleveland Indians

Projection: .248, 13 HR, 58 Runs, 54 RBI, 6 SB, 44 BB

There was a day when Kipnis lived in the top ten at second base. Maybe it’s the pitching or maybe he just isn’t the guy he used to be. Either way, he is likely to take another step back as the Indians lineup is not nearly as deep as it used to be.

Dee Gordon—Seattle Mariners

Projection: .275, 3 HR, 60 Runs, 41 RBI, 30 SB, 18 BB

Stolen bases are fantasy baseball’s heroin. Fantasy players chase the dragon and it never seems to get them the high they were hoping for. Like the drug, speedsters always seem to regress over time (at least in terms of SB). You look up one day at a guy that steals 20 or 30 bases and does little else.

Jed Lowrie—New York Mets

Projection: .242, 13 HR, 54 Runs, 52 RBI, 1 SB, 52 BB

Lowrie certainly cashed in on a career season this year. He will be the Mets third baseman and should gain multiple position eligibility during the season. That makes him a viable bench piece, but if you or the Mets are banking on last season’s numbers you are looking in the wrong place.

Starlin Castro—Miami Marlins

Projection: .266, 12 HR, 52 Runs, 55 RBI, 4 SB, 31 BB

Castro will wind up on a Hall of Fame ballot someday. Let that sink in for a minute. He is the kind of player that rises and falls with the tide. He is on the worst team in the National League, so it’s low tide. They’d love to deal him, but I’m hard pressed to figure what contender would actually want him.

Ian Kinsler—San Diego Padres

Projection: .246, 12 HR, 50 Runs, 41 RBI, 11 SB, 34 BB

Kinsler will wind up on that same HOF ballot and he deserves some votes. However, there is nothing as dangerous as the memory of a good player. Kinsler has aged a lot more gracefully than some guys, but the signs of age are there. The Padres hope to get a useful season or two, but there isn’t much left in the tank.

Ben Zobrist—Chicago Cubs

Projection: .268, 8 HR, 46 Runs, 45 RBI, 3 SB, 45 BB

I make no bones about the fact that I have had a man crush on Zobrist for years. He plays nearly every position well and he gets on base. He has value on a fantasy bench, but there is no denying that he will have a hard time getting in the lineup consistently. There has been talk of dealing him and if that happens he could see an uptick in value.

Dustin Pedroia—Boston Red Sox

Projection: .272, 7 HR, 46 Runs, 42 RBI, 4 SB, 38 BB

It’s takes imagination and multiple dimensional thinking to be a good fantasy sports player. The element of time is crucial. There are players that won’t be effective for six months, but they might be effective for three or four. The trick is knowing which guys to draft and stash and which ones to wait on the waiver wire. 

2019 Fantasy Baseball: First Base Steamer Projection Rankings

We return from our detour through the index to look at the rankings for first basemen. These rankings are based on the Steamer projections in the six primary categories. Projections are never perfect because they are based on a number of factors that are impossible to predict accurately. Batted ball luck, durability, and actual ability is difficult to predict.

Yet, looking at them is still instructive because the younger players were invariably hurt by the three-year outlook we went with earlier. So, take these rankings for what they are worth. Like with the index, the real story is not in the absolute rankings, but the distance between one guy and the next.

Anthony Rizzo—Chicago Cubs

Projection: .281, 29 HR, 92 Runs, 90 RBI, 7 SB, 76 BB

A part of Rizzo’s charm is that he gives you a little bit of everything. There is someone that does each skill a little better, but he gives you the combination. He also happens to be on one of the most talented teams in baseball. We might say the Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, or Astros are better, but that’s still a pretty short list.

Freddie Freeman—Atlanta Braves

Projection: .287, 26 HR, 89 Runs, 90 RBI, 8 SB, 78 BB

Freeman is moving up in the world a lot like the Braves are. They aren’t quite to the same level as the Dodgers and Cubs, but they are the defending NL East champs and you could argue they are even better. Of course, so are the Mets, Phillies, and Nats. 

Paul Goldschmidt—St. Louis Cardinals

Projection: .277, 27 HR, 92 Runs, 87 RBI, 11 SB, 92 BB

You could argue for Goldy as the top first baseman and wouldn’t argue too strenuously. Projecting runs and RBI is a fool’s errand. Even projecting stolen bases is hard. So, you leave yourself with the other numbers and he’s right there in all of them. Like Rizzo, he gives you a little of everything.

Rhys Hoskins—Philadelphia Phillies

Projection: .249, 35 HR, 87 Runs, 95 RBI, 5 SB, 80 BB

Funny how we pay so much attention to new faces in new places, but the best guys are usually the guys that are already there. As of this writing, neither Bryce Harper nor Manny Machado have agreed to a deal. Either may wind up in Philly and that would certainly change the perception, but Hoskins still might be the top bat in town.

Joey Votto—Cincinnati Reds

Projection: .278, 21 HR, 87 Runs, 78 RBI, 3 SB, 108 BB

Votto is the best first baseman in terms of pure offensive production, but most of those numbers don’t show up on a fantasy stat sheet. The rumor mill had the Reds adding J.T. Realmuto and if that happened you would have to take them seriously in the NL Central. I’m not sure how much that affects Votto though.

Cody Bellinger—Los Angeles Dodgers

Projection: .267, 30 HR, 80 Runs, 89 RBI, 4 SB, 67 BB

Bellinger has multiple position flexibility (as does Rhys Hoskins) and there is some doubt as to whether he will wind up at first or in the outfield. I’d bet on both. Either way, he is a flawed offensive player, but there is enough protection around him to give him some cover. The added flexibility will help throughout the year.

Matt Olson—Oakland Athletics

Projection: .244, 32 HR, 81 Runs, 90 RBI, 2 SB, 70 BB

The first AL first sacker is a relative newcomer. All positions go through ebs and flows like that. Like some of the guys above him, he is a flawed offensive player, but he is a gifted defender and he plays for a team without many other options. That has a way of boosting his plate appearances.

Jose Abreu—Chicago White Sox

Projection: .280, 27 HR, 77 Runs, 89 RBI, 2 SB, 40 BB

When you put a free swinger on a young team you see diminished returns. Pitchers know they can get him to chase, so he won’t be quite as good as when he first played for the Sox. There is always the chance he could move to a contender in a trade and if that happens we could see a slight uptick in performance.

Eric Hosmer—San Diego Padres

Projection: .265, 22 HR, 76 Runs, 75 RBI, 6 SB, 65 BB

Hosmer is a throwback to the old days of free agency. A fool and his money are soon parted. Yes, there are some really smart people working for the Padres, but either they were out of the room when that decision was made or their voices weren’t heard. He isn’t as bad as he was a year ago though.

Miguel Cabrera—Detroit Tigers

Projection: .283, 21 HR, 69 Runs, 74 RBI, 1 SB, 62 BB

There is a huge debate going in and around the game about the effects of toxic contracts. Make no mistake, Cabrera has a toxic contract. Still, is that as much of a barrier to spending as some contend? If healthy, Cabrera is still a top ten first baseman and if that is the case then he is still worth something.

Brandon Belt—San Francisco Giants

Projection: .253, 18 HR, 69 Runs, 66 RBI, 4 SB, 76 BB

Is Belt really a starting quality fantasy first baseman? That might be more of a philosophical question. If you could guarantee 600 plate appearances the answer is a resounding yes. Of course, that also assumes you are playing in a walks/OBP league. There might be too many caveats there.

Max Muncy—Los Angeles Dodgers

Projection: .236, 23 HR, 70 Runs, 69 RBI, 3 SB, 72 BB

Muncy might become eligible at second base this year. The Dodgers have a group of players capable of moving around the diamond. It makes them a better bet than the Cubs or anyone in the NL East moving forward. Muncy is likely to take a step backwards this season at the plate, so that hurts his value some.

Carlos Santana—Cleveland Indians

Projection: .251, 20 HR, 70 Runs, 66 RBI, 3 SB, 70 BB

Santana is clearly a better player than Yonder Alonso. Maybe if he had been in Cleveland last year they would have made it to the ALCS. Given how thoroughly the Astros kicked them that might be farfetched. Cleveland still has Jose Ramirez and Francisco Lindor, so they aren’t terrible, but they are a much thinner group this time around.

Jesus Aguilar—Milwaukee Brewers

Projection: .242, 27 HR, 69 Runs, 81 RBI, 1 SB, 52 BB

Most projection systems have a regression to the mean model. So, players like Aguilar have to prove themselves before getting the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes this pessimism makes sense and sometimes it’s just a hedging of bets. Take a look at his batted ball data if you like, but this feels like a “prove it” kind of projection.

Justin Smoak—Toronto Blue Jays

Projection: .239, 25 HR, 71 Runs, 77 RBI, 1 SB, 69 BB

There’s a reason why Steamer and other projections systems do what they do. Smoak and Logan Morrison were the toasts of 2017. Smoak took a step back and Morrison turned into a pumpkin. This feels right, but there is also the possibility that Smoak could join a contender via trade, so stay tuned.

Josh Bell—Pittsburgh Pirates

Projection: .270, 15 HR, 58 Runs, 60 RBI, 4 SB, 59 BB

Fans can make themselves wondering when a player will take the next step. Sometimes they never do. Pirates fans have been waiting for Bell to develop a little more power. This year might be the year. Maybe it happens in 2020. He’s not a bad guy to have around even if it never happens. You just have to accurately peg his value.

Kendrys Morales—Toronto Blue Jays

Projection: .249, 21 HR, 57 Runs, 62 RBI, 2 SB, 42 BB

The knee injury that derailed his career as a star didn’t completely kill him. Morales still has value in deeper leagues where he also qualifies at first base. In some leagues he will only qualify in the utility spot. He’s not good enough to stick there. Like in real baseball, there are fewer and fewer spots for pure DHs.

Edwin Encarnacion—Seattle Mariners

Projection: .238, 24 HR, 60 Runs, 68 RBI, 1 SB, 57 BB

It’s hard to fathom someone going from 100+ RBI a season to 68 overnight. I don’t buy that personally, but the Mariners are also in rebuilding mode. Maybe he gets dealt before Opening Day and these numbers change. I have to think he is good for 80 RBI just by virtue of the fact that he is who he is. I’d adjust accordingly.

Ryan Zimmerman—Washington Nationals

Projection: .263, 19 HR, 51 Runs, 62 RBI, 2 SB, 34 BB

We all know that person at work. Everyone feels for him or her because something is going on in their life that just keeps them from being at their best. Then, you realize that there always seems to be something going on. Emergencies cease to be emergencies when they are always happening. Freak injuries cease to be freak injuries when they always seem to be happening. It’s hard to call someone fragile when you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes. Maybe unlucky instead?

Ian Desmond—Colorado Rockies

Projection: .268, 14 HR, 47 Runs, 49 RBI, 12 SB, 30 BB

Desmond gets the nod over C.J. Cron because he potentially has multiple position flexibility. Cron may actually put up slightly better numbers, but when you have the thin air of Colorado and multiple position potential that has to count for something. He also gives us some speed that we don’t normally have at the position. 

The perception of the Hall of Fame vote

Occasionally, we get a cautionary tale in real time. Lance Berkman fell off the Hall of Fame ballot this year with less than five percent of the vote. Bobby Abreu will be on the ballot next year and many are already predicting the same fate for him. The Hall of Fame voting process is about many things, but the least of it may be actual value. To prove it, we will compare Berkman and Abreu to Hall of Fame outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.

Guerrero was voted in in 2018 with over 90 percent of the vote. It was only his second time on the ballot. His career and Abreu’s career overlapped exactly while Berkman came up a few seasons later. So, we will evaluate these three on four tests. The first one is the index itself. We will also look at advanced offensive metrics, fielding metrics, and finally we will look at how each performed in the MVP voting. We should always keep in mind that none of these tests prove anything. Heck, even if we take them in concert it doesn’t prove anything. What we are looking for is in how close they are in actual value.

Hall of Fame Index Test

Career Value

 bWARfWARWS/5Total
Vladimir Guerrero59.454.364.8178.5
Bobby Abreu60.059.671.2190.8
Lance Berkman52.156.062.6170.7

Keep in mind that we are looking for gaps in data. We put Guerrero on top because we are supposed to think he is the best of the three. That didn’t turn out to be the case according to the career value numbers. The largest gap is actually between Abreu and the other two. The thing is that these numbers aren’t designed to prove one is more fit than another. Actually, they show quite the contrary. Either all three should be in or all three should be out. If you had to pick one based only on what you see above then you would surmise that Abreu would actually be the second ballot Hall of Famer.

Yet, we shouldn’t affirm that Guerrero was a mistake. There is nothing here to suggest that. The point is that players like Berkman and Abreu deserve far more consideration than what they got or what they are likely to get. As anyone that has been following the index knows, we can’t really say anything until we see the peak value numbers.

Peak Value

 bWARfWARWS/5TotalIndex
Vladimir Guerrero52.650.152.4155.1333.6
Bobby Abreu48.952.352.2153.4344.2
Lance Berkman46.349.451.8147.5318.2

When we look at the peak value numbers we realize how similar these players really were in value. Unfortunately for Abreu and Berkman, that is where the similarities stopped. Guerrero had a cannon for an arm and could hit home runs off of his shoes. Berkman and Abreu were not nearly as gifted in the traditional sense, but both players brought secondary talent to the game. They got on base and they did it a lot. They were in many instances just as valuable defensively without the highlight reel plays.

The totals indicate all three players are equally defensible as Hall of Famers. They are also equally defensible as being on the outside looking in. Where the problem lies is when one gets a ton of support and the other two do not. However, we can’t say anything until moving on to the other tests.

The Offensive Test

 OPS+RbaserOW%wRC+wOBABPO
Vlad Guerrero140-3.665136.390.891
Bobby Abreu12816.662129.378.866
Lance Berkman144-23.719144.400.983

It has been awhile since we have used these numbers, so a reintroduction is in order. OPS+, wRC+, and wOBA are from the same family of statistics. Essentially, it compares a player with the league average and adjusts accordingly. They are all slightly different. OPS+ obviously takes only OBP and SLG and weights it while adjusting for the home ballpark. wRC+ is the same except it does include some elements of base running. Weighted on base average is the same concept except it converts the numbers into a number that resembles OBP.

Offensive winning percentage assumes all nine hitters hit like that player and then calculates a winning percentage assuming an average pitching staff. Bases per out is a particularly valuable metric. Essentially, outs are the blood currency of the sport. So, you want to produce as many bases as you can through slugging, walking, and getting hits.

We bring all this up to give these numbers some context. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Berkman was a better hitter than either of the other two. He may not have done it quite as long as they did, but he was certainly better while he did it. So, why did he get less than five percent of the vote again?

The Fielding Test

 RfieldDWARUZRDWSTZGG
Vladimir Guerrero7-10.010.828.61
Bobby Abreu-8-11.1-30.737.71
Lance Berkman-15-11.0-27.328.91

This one is a little harder to read because they did not play the same position. Berkman spent considerable time in all three outfield positions in addition to first base. Abreu played both left and right field while Guerrero spent almost all of his time in right field. Since DWAR and win shares measure against the replacement level player you could see why Berkman would come out looking better given his time in center field. That being said, Guerrero appears to be the better fielder here, but by how much realistically?

The MVP Test

 Top 25Top 10Top 5MVPPoints
Vlad Guerrero623137
Bobby Abreu70007
Lance Berkman024026

For those not up with the quick math, top 25 finishes are awarded one point, top ten finishes three points, top five finishes five points, and MVP awards are given ten points. We have to keep in mind that these scores don’t mean that Guerrero was better than the other two. It just means he was perceived to be better than the other two. This is where we get to the second part of the MVP test. That is where we compare their MVP voting totals to their rankings in single season bWAR.

 Top 10Top 5MVPPoints
Vlad Guerrero22016
Bobby Abreu50015
Lance Berkman22016

This turned out differently didn’t it? So, by actual production these three were actually very close. That is where the value numbers turned out as well. However Guerrero arrived at his reputation, that reputation got him in more than his actual production. I won’t begrudge him his spot, but it is clear that Berkman got the shaft and early indications are that Abreu probably will as well.