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2017 Fantasy Baseball Rankings

RotoWire's fantasy baseball rankings for the 2017 MLB season.

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Player stats shown are 2017 projections. Click headings to sort.
2017 MLB Player Outlooks
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Mike Trout 
Los Angeles Angels  OF     #1 Overall

2017 Proj:   158 G   567 AB   .307 AVG  34 HR  99 RBI  21 SB  115 R  

It's possible we haven't seen Trout's best season yet. Granted, this can be said of all 25-year-old players but no others have been putting up MVP-caliber campaigns since they were 20, winning in 2014 and again in 2016. Most impressive is that Trout's strikeout and walk rates have improved each of the last two years, further cementing the league's best floor. The concern over dwindling steals was assuaged last season as Trout swiped 30 for the first time since 2013. His power dropped, but when 29 homers is a disappointment, the bar is set high. The outfielder is a lock for over 100 runs, averaging 116 the past five seasons while a threat to drive home 100 teammates. Others are legitimately in the conversation but pegging Trout with the first overall pick or spending top auction dollars is absolutely warranted. No one else has the combination of his super-high floor...with upside.

2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1
Mookie Betts 
Boston Red Sox  OF     #2 Overall

2017 Proj:   153 G   633 AB   .311 AVG  25 HR  106 RBI  22 SB  112 R  

The 24-year-old with the slight frame slashed .318/.363/.534/.897 last season -- all career highs -- and cleared the 30-homer mark for the first time in his career. He finished four steals shy of being a 30-30 player, a mark he's likely to threaten in 2017. Betts collected many accolades as a result -- second in the MVP voting, a first-time All-Star, a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger. The forecasts for Betts had him hitting for power, but 31 homers was not in the tarot cards. Unlike his previous season, there were no down periods; Betts hit .266 in April and warmed up as the weather did, hitting .368 in July and .378 in August. It was during those warm-weather months that manager John Farrell dropped him from leadoff to third and fourth in the order, where his bat drove in 39 runs in 48 games. The Red Sox will miss David Ortiz, but Betts has emerged as an unlikely middle-of-the-order presence.

3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1
Clayton Kershaw 
Los Angeles Dodgers  SP     #3 Overall

2017 Proj:   30 G   210 IP   19 W  0 SV  248 K  2.14 ERA  0.86 WHIP  

Despite missing two months with a back injury -- specifically, a herniated disc -- Kershaw finished as the No. 6 pitcher last season in terms of earned 5x5 fantasy value. He was more dominant than ever when on the mound, posting an otherworldly 172:11 K:BB in 149 innings (65:2 K:BB in May). His 15.3 percent swinging-strike rate would have tied Max Scherzer as the best among qualifiers had he logged enough innings to qualify, and Kershaw's command and control reached unprecedented levels as he shaved his walk rate to just two percent. There were no noticeable lingering effects from the back injury upon his return in September (0.86 ERA) and he looked plenty strong into late October as he carried the Dodgers on said back to the NLCS. Entering his age-29 season, Kershaw still looks very much in his prime and remains worthy of a first-round pick, if not top-five overall.

4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1
Nolan Arenado 
Colorado Rockies  3B     #4 Overall

2017 Proj:   158 G   610 AB   .290 AVG  42 HR  117 RBI  1 SB  107 R  

Arenado managed to one-up himself yet again and at just 25 years old, it seems like sky's the limit. The All-Star smashed a league-leading 41 home runs, drove in 133 runs and even reached the century mark in runs scored. He managed to cut down on his strikeouts and draw twice as many walks as he did the previous season. As one would imagine, the third baseman's numbers were better at Coors Field than away from it (1.030 OPS at home vs. .832 OPS on the road), but 16 home runs, 48 RBI and 48 runs scored away from Denver is certainly nothing to scoff at. The Gold Glover is a lock to be a first-round draft pick. Even if doesn't replicate his 2016 campaign to a tee, Arenado will be a highly valuable asset in 2017 and for years to come.

5 4 2 2 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 1
Kris Bryant 
Chicago Cubs  3B/OF     #5 Overall

2017 Proj:   157 G   595 AB   .291 AVG  37 HR  107 RBI  11 SB  114 R  

If there were any doubts about Bryant's ability to ascend to MVP levels of production following an impressive debut in 2015, the uncertainty was erased by the performance in his sophomore campaign. Bryant trimmed the fat from his 30.6 percent strikeout rate as a rookie to 22.0 percent last season, pushing his batting average up 17 points by swinging-and-missing less often, and by making contact on pitches outside the strike zone at an increased rate. It's hard to believe, but Bryant's raw power could push his home-run total even higher, though the pitcher-friendly tendencies of Wrigley Field are on the short list of things working again him (22 of his 39 homers came on the road). In addition to his step forward at the plate, Bryant's defense at third base has improved to the point where he's become an asset with the glove, quelling concerns about a full-time move to another corner spot for the foreseeable future.

55 45 11 11 1 1 11 8 9 8 18 3
Kenley Jansen 
Los Angeles Dodgers  RP     #55 Overall

2017 Proj:   68 G   65 IP   4 W  43 SV  91 K  2.35 ERA  0.82 WHIP  

In his walk year, Jansen posted career bests in saves (47), ERA (1.83) and WHIP (0.67). Batters were simply unable to properly square up the 29-year-old's cutter, which was regularly hitting the mid-90s by season's end. That isn't a new development, as Jansen's career low strikeout rate in the majors is 37.6 percent from his rookie year in 2010. His K-BB% (37.1 percent) and FIP (1.44) both ranked second among qualified relievers last season, solidifying his place in the very highest tier of MLB bullpen arms. The new development is he showed an ability to last multiple innings in a game during the playoffs, a la Andrew Miller, throwing 20.1 innings across seven postseason games. Jansen remained where he was comfortable, signing a five-year $80 million deal with the Dodgers this offseason, making his outlook pretty straight forward. He will remain one of the top closers on the board as long as his skills remain constant.

58 47 12 11 2 1 12 9 10 8 18 4
Seung Hwan Oh 
St. Louis Cardinals  RP     #58 Overall

2017 Proj:   71 G   75 IP   5 W  41 SV  92 K  2.28 ERA  0.96 WHIP  

Heading into the 2016 campaign, Oh was a 33-year-old rookie and St. Louis' oldest reliever. He'd been a fantastic player in Korea, but there were still questions about how his game would translate to the MLB. It didn't take long for Oh to put any doubts to rest, as he held a 1.59 ERA and .159 opponent batting average heading into the All-Star break. By the end of the year, Oh stood as the fantasy darling of the Cardinals' bullpen and had put together a 1.92 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 32.9 percent strikeout rate while walking less than six percent of the batters he faced. With a fastball that averages 92.8 mph, Oh doesn't overwhelm batters with power and frequently relies on his slider, which he uses over 31 percent of the time. Looking at 2017, Oh will begin the season as the Cards' closer and likely command a top-10 closer price at the draft table.

60 48 13 11 3 1 12 9 10 8 19 4
Aroldis Chapman 
New York Yankees  RP     #60 Overall

2017 Proj:   65 G   65 IP   4 W  40 SV  106 K  1.80 ERA  0.98 WHIP  

Chapman missed 30 games due to suspension at the outset of 2016 following a domestic violence incident at his home during the offseason. He recorded his first save as a Yankee in his second appearance with the club in early May and proceeded to reel off a stretch with 44 strikeouts in 31.1 innings before he was shipped to the Cubs in July. Chapman immediately became the preferred ninth-inning option in Chicago, and his dominance with the Cubs included a 1.01 ERA and 0.82 WHIP to go with a 46:10 K:BB over 26.2 innings. Despite the time lost with his suspension, Chapman piled up 36 saves in 39 chances, while posting ratios in the neighborhood of his previous career-bests with the Reds in 2012. Now 29, Chapman still lights up the radar gun with triple-digit velocity, while keeping hitters off-balance with his high-80s slider. After returning to the Yankees via free agency, Chapman will be among the first closers off the board on draft day.

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