Here’s a look at what the fantasy baseball sites think about the White Sox position players going into the season.
Yes, it’s that time of year again where you sit in front of your computer picking your teams. No, I’m not talking about your busted brackets, I’m talking about your fantasy baseball drafts and how it affects your drafting of White Sox players for this season.
While everyone doesn’t play fantasy baseball, it has become a worldwide phenomenon over the past decade. I admit, as a baseball junkie, I have my share of teams on various sites. For those of you that do play, you’re already aware of some of the details. For those that don’t, I won’t get into too much detail and bore you with how drafts work, trades, etc. I’m specifically going to go over only our current White Sox players. So, here goes:
The basic concept of fantasy baseball (or any fantasy sport really), is how well or bad you think that a player will perform over the course of the season. These various fantasy sites also have their player rankings that you can base your draft order on. For this article, I’ve gathered the projections from two different sites, ESPN and Fantrax. Let’s take a look at how they rate White Sox position players for this season.
Jose Abreu– ranked 76th overall on ESPN and 84th overall on Fantrax. He was rated as the no.7 ranked first baseman at ESPN and ninth at Fantrax. Here’s a look at his projections:
ESPN: .284 avg .839 OPS 27 HR’s 95 RBI
Fantrax: .287 avg. .845 OPS 27 HR’s 99 RBI
Very similar numbers. And I think we would all be pretty happy with those numbers for the season.
Tim Anderson – It may seem surprising that Anderson ranks ahead of Jimenez but remember these are purely projections and Jimenez hasn’t proven anything yet. Anderson ranked 109th overall at ESPN and 114th at Fantrax. His position player ranking is 15th at ESPN and 14th at Fantrax.
ESPN: .249 avg. .689 OPS 18 HR 21 SB 25BB
Fantrax: .258 avg .733 OPS 22HR 28 SB 32BB
Fantrax thinks a little more of Anderson than ESPN but still very similar numbers. My belief is that Anderson will be closer to the 30/30 guy he’s saying he can be. While I don’t expect his batting average to be any better than the fantasy projections show, hopefully, he can improve his walk rate.
Eloy Jimenez – Jimenez and fantasy are an interesting challenge for everyone as he has no prior numbers to compare to. He is ranked, though, as the 132nd best fantasy player in ESPN and 135th at Fantrax. As outfield only rankings go, he’s 42nd and 34th, respectively.
ESPN: .293 avg. .840 OPS 25 HR 78 RBI
Fantrax: .285 avg .844 OPS 28 HR 80 RBI
Again, Fantrax has his numbers just a tad higher but overall very much the same. If at the end of the year, Jimenez’s numbers, are as shown above, I think, as Sox fans, we’d be pretty happy. I, personally feel that he’ll hit over 30 home runs, providing he stays healthy, but, the other numbers seem to be fair.
Yoan Moncada – Both sites still have him listed as a second baseman so his position ranking isn’t relevant at the moment. However, that doesn’t change his overall ranking. Here, ESPN has Moncada at 136 while Fantrax has him at 187.
ESPN: .242 avg .748 OPS 21 HR 65 RBI 219 K
Fantrax: .242 avg .751 OPS 19 HR 70 RBI 207K
It’s unsettling that both sites project Moncada to still have over 200 strikeouts this season. If he is to become an above average or even an elite player, those numbers have to come down. The Sox have worked with him extensively on that during the offseason and he has shown the propensity to swing at pitches earlier in the count.
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I don’t see him reaching 200 K’s this year. Maybe it’s hope, but I see that number at least down to 175 or less. Still too big a number but better. I also believe he’s going to have that breakout season we all expect he can have, so I would rank him a little higher.
So, as a White Sox fan playing fantasy baseball, should you draft your favorite team’s players? Can you be successful with a lineup featuring a few White Sox players? Yes, but as with gambling, always go with your head and not your heart. If you can get Anderson or Abreu in later rounds, then you may have a steal on your hands.
Jimenez will be gone around round 4 or 5 of your draft, but (sorry non-fantasy players) in salary cap leagues, he is extremely cheap and should be jumped on as early as the 2nd or 3rd round. Moncada can be had as late as 6th or 7th rounds in your draft.
Just as on ESPN and MLB.tv, the White Sox don’t get a lot of national attention in fantasy drafts. So, keep your eye on these four and if you can get them in later rounds, you may very well get your White Sox players on your team and beat your rivals.
However, as a Sox fan, be careful not to get too White Sox heavy with your fantasy team. So, enjoy your fantasy teams, Sox fans. Just remember my one rule of thumb. I cannot and will not draft Cubs players! Can you imagine having to root for one of those guys on your team? That’s blasphemous!!! Good Luck!!