Each year, Baseball Press releases their pre-season rankings. We have an innovative ranking system that is based on statistics, injuries, and team performance.
Reggie Von Bartles
The Baseball Press 2013 Pre-Season Rankings
Sunday January 13th, 2013
Our pre-season rankings have been recognized by several across the internet, including FantasyPros, where they ranked us the third most accurate rankings after the 2011 season. In previous years, our rankings have been listed as the standard 1-50, etc - but this year, we are trying a new system that will list players in a tiering system. We hope that this method will provide readers with a better understanding of value.
Unlike most ranking systems, Baseball Press doesn't use a "gut feeling" when ranking players, we use many factors including prior statistics, injuries, term performance, and projected future production.
While we are confident in our forecasting/rankings, it's important to remember that no forecast/ranking method is 100% accurate. If the Baseball Press method was, I wouldn't be here right now, as I would be in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Without further delay, all of the rankings are listed HERE. Simply click the page and then click the position, team, or tier that you want to view.
I won't spend a lot of time reviewing and detailing each player, but I'll give some notes on each position.
Catcher (click the link to go directly to the position)
The catching talent in fantasy baseball leagues continues to be very thin. Unless you're an owner that acquires Buster Posey, you're stuck either reaching in early rounds for a mediocre catcher or stuck with a Russell Martin type in the bottom rounds. Do yourself a favor and don't worry about reaching for a catcher once the top two-to-three are gone - have patience.
I like Salvador Perez again in 2013. Hopefully owners will continue to ignore him because of the fact that he plays on the Kansas City Royals.
First Base (click the link to go directly to the position)
Tier 1 at the first base position is fully stacked. You really can't go wrong with picking Albert Pujols, Joey Votto, or Prince Fielder. Depending on what your team needs are, you will likely favor one over the other.
Despite a "down" season from Adrian Gonzalez, he's still very valuable. Don't be discouraged by an "off" season. The Dodgers are a very talented team.
Paul Konerko continues to prove me wrong, even at the age of 36. He's hit an average of 32 home runs per season over a three year span. As much as I would like to think the projection system would value him lower, the numbers simply don't support it.
As far as "sleeper" pick of the group - Lance Berkman appears to be the favorite to hit in the No. 3 spot of the lineup for the Texas Rangers in 2013. He's not a bad corner infield option for your roster.
Second Base (click the link to go directly to the position)
Robinson Cano is the obvious choice at second based based on his offensive skills across the board (minus stolen bases). However, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler make fine back-up choices if Cano is gone.
The projection system fully expects Rickie Weeks and Dan Uggla to outproduce their awful 2012 numbers. There are always owners that will shy away from drafting players based on one poor season.
Regarding a sleeper, although he's not technically a "sleeper", but rather an underrated player - Neil Walker of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The projection system views him as a .272/.325/.420 hitter with 18 home runs.
Third Base (click the link to go directly to the position)
Just like Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera is in a tier of his own at third base. It's easy to understand if you draft him with the number one pick overall.
After Miggy, there are plenty of solid options at the third base position, including Adrian Beltre, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, and Evan Longoria.
For my sleeper pick at this position, I'll take a chance on Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds. He won't "wow" you with his projected triple-slash line (.251/.323/.450) - but his +20 home run total and home ballpark are reasons enough to take a chance.
Shortstop (click the link to go directly to the position)
As an owner, you either believe Troy Tulowitzki can avoid the disabled list in 2013, or you'll pass him up for injury concerns. There is no in between. Although the team is awful, Coors Field is still a great place to play half of your home games and it's very generous to hitters. However, if the whole durability thing gets you, draft another position you need, and take a chance on someone else in the later rounds.
Ian Desmond had a terrific season in 2012. However, he's a free-swinger and will eventually get himself out at the plate, hurting his overall numbers. In my piece from last August, I discussed his low-walk totals and free-swinging-spirit at the plate. He'll be lucky to hit 20 home runs in 2013.
You will likely want to go with more proven options at shortstop in 2013, but for those looking for a different approach or an AL-only option, I like Hiroyuki Nakajima, who was recently signed by the Oakland Athletics. He's a speed threat and makes great contact at the plate.
Outfield (click the link to go directly to the position)
It's hard to blame someone for going with either Mike Trout or Ryan Braun as their number one overall pick. Each player gives owners great offensive numbers, with Trout offering more stolen bases.
If you're looking for buy-low options, Norichika Aoki and Dexter Fowler make great additions to any team.
As far as sleepers, Ben Revere can steal plenty of bases and Alfonso Soriano is still hitting home runs for the Chicago Cubs.
Starting and relief pitchers are a dime a dozen. You can usually find deals in the later rounds or on the free-agent waiver wire of your league. Personally, I hate pitching statistics, but I'll stop right there - or this could be an all day debate.
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