In this space, Scott White will highlight some of the more notable changes to his rest-of-season rankings. You'll find said rankings here and are urged to bookmark them if you haven't already. There's no better resource for gauging player value throughout the long season.

There's no getting around how bad Julio Rodriguez has been so far. He's batting .206, has yet to hit a home run and is striking out nearly a 35 percent rate. Why, it's almost as bad as when he hit .204 through 44 games last year or .206 through 20 games the year before.

Keeping things in perspective is critical for maintaining year-long rankings because the year is indeed long. This early-season slump hasn't even lasted as long as the ones Rodriguez endured the past two years, and yet in both cases, his final numbers were good enough to get him drafted in the first round the following year.

Of course, even without reference to his own personal history, I'd still know better than to downgrade Rodriguez at this point. As I wrote elsewhere, performance is notoriously inconsistent in baseball. It take 162 games to sort things out, and we're not even one-eighth of the way there. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that nothing we've seen so far is particularly meaningful, so to sell a player of his stature short over so inconsequential of a sample is about the most self-destructive thing you could do.

But on the other hand, there are some players of a similar stature who ranked just behind him coming into the year. It's not like Rodriguez was a slam-dunk top-five pick, with no one else being in the conversation. Might it make sense, then, to move him behind one or two of the others?


  • OK, so I've moved Rodriguez down a couple spots, to sixth in my outfield rankings. Corbin Carroll went with him, down to seventh (it's reversed in points leagues). It's not so much because of their cold starts as their cold starts in conjunction with everything Mookie Betts, Kyle Tucker, Fernando Tatis and Juan Soto have done so far. The line between Rodriguez, Carroll and those others was pretty thin to begin with, so if given the choice, why not shed that 5 percent worry for someone who's entirely worry-free? Truth is you probably won't have the choice, and even if you did, you may be counting on the stolen base advantage that Rodriguez and Carroll have over those others. A downgrade of this sort feels less like actionable advice than bookkeeping, but at least you have some insight into the thinking.
  • Now that Adolis Garcia has taken to running again (his nine steals last year were more the exception than the rule), I'd be hard-pressed to rank Randy Arozarena ahead of him still, so I've gone ahead and made that switch. I've also moved Garcia ahead of Cody Bellinger in Rotisserie leagues, though Bellinger remains ahead in Head-to-Head points because of his low strikeout rate.
  • I've dropped Jackson Chourio behind Teoscar Hernandez and Evan Carter in both scoring formats (preferring Hernandez in Rotisserie and Carter in Head-to-Head points). He's done OK statistically, but the exit velocities have been dreadful so far, giving me reason to doubt whether he's really a finished product at age 20. Meanwhile, Hernandez and Carter get such a boost from batting in the Dodgers and Rangers lineups, respectively that Chourio might have trouble surpassing them even in a best-case scenario. It's a better-safe-than-sorry move for me.
  • Colton Cowser has climbed into my top 30 following a breakthrough week that seems to have secured him an everyday job in the Orioles lineup. Taylor Ward has been putting up big numbers as well and is now in my top 35. The gap may be small, but the distinction is significant. The names directly ahead of Cowser are Nick Castellanos and George Springer, stalwarts who are unlikely to shift in the rankings much regardless of what ups and downs come their way. The names directly ahead of Ward are Riley Greene and Christopher Morel, interesting players who lack the sort of track record that would root them to that spot. It's meant to signify that Cowser could be on the verge of something greater while Ward is more likely just the early standout among a highly elastic group.


  • It's tempting to move William Contreras ahead of Adley Rutschman given that he's been far and away the best catcher so far, but of course, no one is this good. For the integrity of the rankings, it's best not to get swept away by every hot streak.
  • I have, however, dropped J.T. Realmuto to fifth in both scoring formats. It seemed like he was barely hanging on to a top-three spot to begin with. Moving Will Smith ahead of him was an easy enough call, but I can safely say that Yainer Diaz has answered whatever questions I had about him coming into the season -- and then some.
  • Mitch Garver is 33 and new to being a full-time DH, so I can't say with complete confidence that this isn't the end for him. I suspect that at some point, he'll go on the sort of home run tear that necessitates a move back up the rankings, but when the alternatives are of a quality as high as Francisco Alvarez, Willson Contreras, Luis Campusano and Logan O'Hoppe, it seems foolish to dig my heels in. So instead of seventh, Garver is now 13th in my catcher rankings.

First base

  • I'm not quite ready to move Paul Goldshmidt down even though some of the red flags from the second half -- the inflated strikeout rate, the reduced exit velocity -- are still there. Sure, I'd like to take a victory lap for my preseason bust call, but I don't want to sell the eventual Hall-of-Famer short. After all, he was the NL MVP just two years ago, and we're barely three weeks into this season. Triston Casas, Christian Walker and Spencer Steer are all lurking, though.
  • I'm not totally convinced that I actually wanted to move Josh Naylor ahead of Vinnie Pasquantino, who seems to be coming around after a slow start to the season, but the truth is that that they profile similarly. Naylor is the one setting the world on fire now, so I'd be playing favorites by keeping Pasquantino ahead.

Second base

  • Nico Hoerner is now behind Ha-seong Kim, and Zack Gelof is now behind Andres Gimenez. I wouldn't consider either move to be a seismic one, but I'm safeguarding against a potential bust outcome for both Hoerner (who may run less batting in the lower third of the lineup) and Gelof (who may be too prone to strikeouts).
  • The bigger move belongs to Jordan Westburg, who's up from about 30th to 14th, most notably moving ahead of Bryson Stott. I've more than once expressed my concerns about Camden Yards' deep left field fence suppressing Westburg's power output, but he doesn't have to be a 30-homer man to be a second baseman of consequence in Fantasy. And so far, he's been highly consequential, delivering some of the highest exit velocity readings of any hitter. (For what it's worth, he's now 18th in my third base rankings).
  • Jackson Holliday has picked up second base eligibility, and his initial placement is 11th, just behind Gelof -- with plenty of room to rise from there, of course. It's telling how much higher he ranks here than at shortstop (16th). Ceddanne Rafaela has also picked up second base eligibility and comes in at 29.

Third base

  • Michael Busch's big breakthrough moves him all the way up to 11th at a position that has taken some lumps already this season. I prefer him to the man who he once seemed destined to replace in Los Angeles, Max Muncy, and I'm taking him over Ke'Bryan Hayes and Christopher Morel as well. Busch comes in only 16th at first base, though it's a closer call between him and players like Spencer Torkelson and Christian Encarnacion-Strand.
  • Noelvi Marte begins the slow climb back up the rankings as we get further into his 80-game suspension, now coming in at 31st. His return likely won't be too far behind Royce Lewis' and Josh Jung's, though you obviously can't stash him on the IL in the meantime.


  • While moving Julio Rodriguez down a couple spots in the outfield rankings is mostly bookkeeping, moving Oneil Cruz down a couple spots at shortstop has real meaning to it. The upside is still considerable, with a 30-homer, 15-steal outcome remaining very much on the table, but much of our optimism for him was rooted in the belief that he had overcome the strikeout issues from his rookie season. They've instead been worse than ever, with a rate approaching 40 percent, so as much as it pains me, I'm comfortable moving Cruz behind Bo Bichette and C.J. Abrams.
  • A week ago, I explained why I wasn't ready to move Anthony Volpe ahead of Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson. Now, I'm totally in and have in fact also moved him ahead of Ha-seong Kim and Nico Hoerner. It's not like he's any less of a base-stealer than those two, after all. So what changed? The exit velocities that were lagging early on have now caught up to the production, and Volpe has also moved into the leadoff spot, batting ahead of Juan Soto and Aaron Judge. By all accounts, the swing change he made this offseason appears to be a smashing success.
  • I was slow to get Blaze Alexander in the rankings, but he's now 33rd, behind Orlando Arcia.

Starting pitcher

  • Tarik Skubal is up to fifth now because, honestly, what do Tyler Glasnow and Yoshinobu Yamamoto have on him? Glasnow has major durability questions. Yamamoto has been a little less than advertised so far. Skubal gives me the most confidence of the three going forward.
  • I've moved Justin Steele and Framber Valdez back inside the top 25 because I feel like I may have overcompensated for their injuries earlier (ranking injured players is tough). Both are back to throwing already and seem likely to return within the next two weeks, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Why pretend like I prefer Chris Bassitt and Tanner Bibee to them?
  • Likewise, Max Scherzer is on the verge of climbing back into my top 40 on account of him potentially coming off the IL in early May. That's only a couple weeks away, and while Scherzer isn't what he once was at 39, he still mostly resembled an ace last year, particularly with regard to strikeouts. He was an afterthought in drafts, but he shouldn't be anymore.
  • Nick Lodolo is up to 45th after striking out 10 in his long-awaited return to the mound. MacKenzie Gore is up to 51st after his own double digit-strikeout performance. It feels too low for both, given how bullish I am on them, but any higher puts them in the Scherzer-Justin Verlander-Gerrit Cole-Walker Buehler range, which feels shortsighted. I'm tempted to move Shota Imanaga and Cristian Javier down more, seeing as I have both as sell-high candidates, and I'm not sure I've quite downgraded Carlos Rodon enough either.
  • The single biggest adjustment to my starting pitcher rankings this week was moving Ranger Suarez up about 35 spots, to 68th. You might say that's still too low, particularly on the heels of his complete game shutout against the Rockies (note the matchup), but track record has to count for something, right? If these early-season control gains stick, then perhaps he can emerge as something more, but for now, I think he's at home alongside other stable mid-rotation guys like Yusei Kikuchi and Aaron Civale.
  • The second-biggest adjustment to my starting pitcher rankings was moving Edward Cabrera up 20 spots, to 73rd, coming off his 10-strikeout season debut against the Giants. Clearly, there's upside for him to climb even higher, but he has a history of fakeouts on account of his poor fastball command and may be back in the doghouse soon enough. I'd take him over Kyle Harrison, Luis Gil and Hunter Brown at this point, though.

Relief pitcher

  • Craig Kimbrel has been nails for the Orioles so far, striking out nearly two batters per inning without issuing a single walk. He's had some shaky stretches over the past three years, but the overall numbers have been stellar. His job security seems especially high now, too, closing out games for one of the best teams in baseball. I've moved him all the way up to seventh (eighth in points leagues), ahead David Bednar, Alexis Diaz  and Pete Fairbanks, all of whom have given us something to worry about so far.
  • With Mariners manager Scott Servais repeatedly bringing in Andres Munoz for the highest-leverage situation, regardless of whether it's in the ninth, we have to adjust our expectations vis-a-vis his save total. And that adjustment for me means moving him behind Ryan Helsley and Robert Suarez in the rankings. Jose Alvarado's usage has been even more confounding, which is why I've moved him behind Kevin Ginkel, Kyle Finnegan and James McArthur.
  • Abner Uribe has dropped out of my top 40 with Brewers manager Pat Murphy seemingly shying away from using him in the ninth inning. He's basically on equal footing with Joel Payamps now. The same is true for Jose Leclerc and Kirby Yates since I honestly have no clue where the Rangers go from here. It wouldn't surprise me if one of the two flies up the rankings next week, though.