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.

Though I try to keep my analysis objective, rooted in data and other observable facts, it's inevitable that I'll develop a hang-up about a player from time to time.

Josh Naylor may be such a player. Though once a first-round pick for the Marlins, his earliest years in the majors were a struggle, which led to him being traded twice before finding any measure of success. Even then, he was regarded as a platoon case unlikely to make a substantial Fantasy impact, and when the tide finally began to turn last year, in came an oblique injury to undercut it all.

I regarded him as a fine player in theory, but after having Lucy yank the football away so many times, I didn't trust that theory to become reality. But boy, is it reality now. Naylor's contact is both high quantity and high quality, giving him a Statcast page that's all lit up in red. His expected stats say he's earned every bit of his .321 batting average and .605 slugging percentage so far, and it's not some grand departure from last year, when he was 95th percentile for xBA and 80th percentile.

Still only 26, Naylor is shaping up to be a total stud this year and deserves to be ranked like one. But where does that put him exactly?

First base

  • Naylor was barely a top-15 first baseman for me coming in, ranking behind Spencer Torkelson, Yandy Diaz and Vinnie Pasquantino. Now, he's zoomed past those three as well as Christian Walker and Paul Goldschmidt -- and frankly, Cody Bellinger had better watch his back as well. Naylor is verging on what I view as an impenetrable five at the top of the first base rankings (Freddie Freeman, Matt Olson, Bryce Harper, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero), and that's about as strong of an endorsement as you'll get from me so early in the season.
  • You'll notice I mentioned Goldschmidt as one of the players who slipped behind Naylor, but I didn't stop there with him, also moving him behind Walker and Spencer Steer. It's too early to give up on a guy who was NL MVP the year before last, but I did have him as a preseason bust pick and am seeing the same red flags early on.

Second base

  • A couple weeks ago on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast, I said that I didn't think Jordan Westburg had top-10 potential at second base given how much his home park figured to inhibit his power production, but I'm already having to eat my words because I've run out of players to rank ahead of him. If any one of Zack Gelof, Luis Arraez and Nolan Gorman was pulling his weight, I could have staved off this embarrassment, but alas, I'm hard-pressed to argue they're still the better investments.
  • All right, all right ... I've moved Brice Turang up some more and moved Jose Caballero right along with him since I think the two profile quite similarly -- which is to say they'll provide mostly stolen bases and not much else. They're now 20th and 21st for me in categories leagues and 23rd and 24th in points, where stolen bases are more of a bonus than a requirement. I'm not so bought-in that I'm moving them ahead of players like Thairo Estrada and Bryson Stott, but I'm keeping an open mind.
  • The second base breakout that no one is talking about is Luis Garcia, whose quality of contact puts Turang and Caballeros to shame and who's also stealing bases at a pretty nice clip. He now ranks 29th for me, which may not seem high, but it moves him past both Davis Schneider and Ceddanne Rafaela, who were mild sleeper targets coming in. I'd be willing to move Garcia up another five spots, past Edouard Julien and Brendan Donovan, if the Nationals would play him against left-handers more.

Third base

  • I've moved Elly De La Cruz up to third in categories leagues, ahead of Gunnar Henderson and Rafael Devers, and fifth in points leagues, ahead of just Henderson. His high strikeout rate is more of a hindrance in points leagues and his stolen bases less of a benefit. Of course, if I was fully bought in on everything he's doing, those strikeouts wouldn't much matter. He'd just be the top third baseman in all formats. But you may remember that his first month in the majors last year was similarly impressive before the correction came, and I do take his high strikeout and ground-ball rates as warning signs that what we're seeing now may be just a little too good to be true.
  • Though Jordan Westburg has climbed into my top 10 at second base, he misses the cut here because, well, 10th would be Nolan Arenado. I'm not ready to move him past Fantasy royalty yet. Westburg is a couple spots lower for me in points leagues, where I prefer Max Muncy and Michael Busch for their ability to draw walks.


  • Like at third base, Elly De La Cruz has inched a little bit higher for me here, now trailing only Bobby Witt, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner in categories leagues and those three along with Corey Seager in points. It means he's ahead of Francisco Lindor in both, which I think is a pretty big step toward declaring his superiority. Another couple weeks of these numbers and Turner and Seager are going to slip behind De La Cruz, too.
  • I'm actually pretty intrigued by what we're seeing from Jeremy Pena, who reworked his swing in the offseason and has a much improved strikeout rate and launch angle, but I just can't figure out how to get him any higher than 24th in the rankings. There's already so much pressure to move up Brice Turang, at least in Rotisserie leagues, and then beyond him is Thairo Estrada, who's an established Roto darling even if he's off to a slow start, and Willy Adames, who has more of a track record than Peña and arguably the better numbers so far. I just want the record to show that I see what Peña is doing and wish I could reflect it in the rankings more.


  • Word of Francisco Alvarez's thumb surgery and impending two-month absence drops him all the way to 17th in the catcher rankings, and meeting him there at 18 is Travis d'Arnaud, who's coming off a a four-homer weekend. I don't want to go overboard with d'Arnaud since Sean Murphy (oblique) figures to return sooner than later, but d'Arnaud's strong showing likely ensures a timeshare between the two, which will keep him viable in two-catcher leagues.
  • The Cardinals have made arrangements to keep Ivan Herrera in the lineup alongside Willson Contreras more often than not, which should tell you what they think of his progress as a hitter at age 23. The Statcast readings are looking strong, too. For now, he comes in 21st in my catcher rankings, moving ahead of Shea Langeliers and Tyler Stephenson but remaining behind d'Arnaud, Keibert Ruiz and Ryan Jeffers.


  • The whole 15-25 range at this position feels like it's frozen in time. So many of those players have underachieved so far, Nolan Jones and Wyatt Langford being chief among them, yet their upside is such that I'm not ready to drop them behind any of the mangled mess that follows. You'll just have to bear with me on that, but ultimately, I think it's to your benefit.
  • I may have been too quick to bury Cedric Mullins. He's looking like a power/speed threat again and deserves to rank along side teammate Colton Cowser, moving up about 15 spots in my Rotisserie rankings and 20 spots in Head-to-Head points.
  • Other big risers into that 30-35 range (more like 35-40 in points leagues) include Jarren Duran and Starling Marte, who have basically delivered on their best-case scenarios so far. It's an especially encouraging development for Marte, who spent much of last season injured and looked like he might be finished at age 35.
  • The big loser in the Cardinals' dual-catcher plan might be Jordan Walker, who has been on the bench more lately and hasn't gotten anything going at the plate yet despite strong exit velocity readings. He's down about 15 spots, dropping outside the top 50 and behind names like MJ Melendez, Lars Nootbaar, Sal Frelick and Daulton Varsho.
  • Jesse Winker has climbed into the top 50 in points leagues, where his on-base skills are of the most benefit. He's 66th in categories leagues, trailing stolen base specialists like Jose Siri and Will Benson.
  • Among those climbing into the rosterable range are Wilyer Abreu, Mark Canha and Brenton Doyle, who are all up 25 spots or more. The highest of them is Abreu, who ranks 74th in Rotisserie and 67th in Head-to-Head points.

Starting pitcher

  • There's a change at No. 1, with Zack Wheeler inching ahead of Corbin Burnes for me. The distinction may not be enough to bother, but Burnes' pedestrian strikeout rate is a little worrisome while Wheeler has been strong in every respect.
  • Jared Jones is all the way up to 22nd now, and if I were to downgrade Justin Steele (hamstring) and Framber Valdez (elbow) more for their injuries, Jones would be top 20. I'd be inclined to keep going if not for concerns about the Pirates restricting his workload. It's already a reality, in fact, seeing as they limited him to just 59 pitches during a one-hit effort two turns ago.
  • I can finally rank Garrett Crochet alongside other starting pitchers now that he's made the five starts necessary to gain eligibility at the position. And his initial placement is ... 32nd, just between Justin Verlander and Bailey Ober. His ERA has been skewed by his last couple turns, but his other numbers are ace-like. For what it's worth, Jordan Hicks is now also starting pitcher-eligible and comes in 65th for me.
  • In deference to Jose Berrios' hot start, I've bumped him up about five spots to 32nd, but that's as high as I can go. He has a 4.24 xERA backing up his 0.85 ERA and doesn't appear to be a fundamentally changed pitcher. In the long run, I still think Chris Bassitt and Joe Musgrove will be better.
  • Some of the biggest risers this week can be found in the middle tiers, with Yusei Kikuchi, Ranger Suarez, Nestor Cortes and Aaron Civale all climbing into the top 60. I'm now prioritizing them over pitchers like Gavin Stone, Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, who initially got a leg up for their upside but don't seem like they're going to be delivering on it. Suarez may seem undervalued to you even with the big move up, but I do think regression is coming, particularly with regard to the walk rate.
  • Recent surprises who've entered the rankings for the first time include Albert Suarez (99), Keaton Winn (105) and Mitchell Parker (112).

Relief pitcher

  • Now that we have even more reason to believe Kirby Yates has overtaken Jose Leclerc as Rangers closer, I've rocketed him up 20 spots, ahead of Clay Holmes and Jason Foley. Closing for a team with World Series aspirations tends to be a fruitful endeavor, and I think Yates is plenty capable. Holmes has been fairly combustible in the past, and Foley has to contend with the whims of manager A.J. Hinch. It just seems like the right spot.
  •  With Jhoan Duran and Paul Sewald out on rehab assignments for their oblique injuries, it's time to rocket them up the rankings as well. They're now 15th and 18th for me, at least in categories leagues, which is still a far cry from where they ranked prior to getting injured. I like to leave a little cushion, though, for the possibility of a setback.
  • Only the top 40 relief pitchers are visible on the rankings page, but I will note that breakout Mets reliever Reed Garrett doesn't miss the cut by much, having climbed all the way to 46th. Jeff Hoffman and Griffin Jax have more hope for saves and rank just ahead of him because of it, but if you're primarily looking for ratios help from a reliever, there's no better bet than Garrett right now.