How Do We Stack Up? MHB & Co. vs. ESPN Top 10 Projections

The time has come – ESPN fantasy baseball is open. Along with ESPN’s first 2015 prerank/projection list for draft day.

—-> Check out the MHB & Co. full Top 10 projection breakdown here.

This is their projected Top 10 players for fantasy baseball in 2015:

ESPN Top 10 Fantasy Baseball ProjectionsI don’t have any huge qualms with this 10. I totally expected Kershaw to be included within the Top 10, but Felix clawing his way in is a bit of a surprise.

On the flip side, of the 4 contributors who participated in MHB’s Top 10 projection breakdown, I had Miguel Cabrera the lowest on my list at 6. ESPN doesn’t even have him in the Top 10 (he’s actually 11 on their list)… Which might lend to say that I’m not too far off base with my thoughts on Cabrera.

Let’s see how we compare!

Name, Position (Age entering 2015 season)
Clark Meshey Matt Riggleman Doug Nilsen Matt Horn
Mike Trout, OF (23) Mike Trout, OF (23) Clayton Kershaw, SP (27) Mike Trout, OF (23)
Andrew McCutchen, OF (28) Andrew McCutchen, OF (28) Miguel Cabrera, 1B (32) Clayton Kershaw, SP (27)
Miguel Cabrera, 1B (32) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (27) Mike Trout, OF (23) Andrew McCutchen, OF (28)
Giancarlo Stanton, OF (25) Miguel Cabrera, 1B (32) Robinson Cano, 2B (32) Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (27)
Paul Goldschmidt, 1B (27) Jose Bautista, OF (34) Jose Bautista, OF (34) Jose Abreu, 1B (28)
Clayton Kershaw, SP (27) Giancarlo Stanton, OF (25) Carlos Gomez, OF (29) Miguel Cabrera, 1B (32)
Troy Tulowitzki, SS (30) Edwin Encarnacion, 1B (32) Troy Tulowitzki, SS (30) Troy Tulowitzki, SS (30)
Yasiel Puig, OF (24) Clayton Kershaw, SP (27) Adrian Beltre, 3B (36) Edwin Encarnacion, 1B (32)
Jose Bautista, OF (34) Jose Altuve, 2B (24) Giancarlo Stanton, OF (25) Carlos Gomez, OF (29)
Victor Martinez, 1B (36) Jose Abreu, 1B (28) Jonathan Lucroy, C (28) Jacoby Ellsbury, OF (31)
Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers NLCS Game 3

Puig: No Top 10 or bat flips for you!

ESPN matched 6 names on Clark’s list with:

  • Trout
  • McCutchen
  • Stanton
  • Goldschmidt
  • Kershaw
  • Bautista

8 names with Riggleman’s projections:

  • Trout
  • McCutchen
  • Goldschmidt
  • Bautista
  • Stanton
  • Encarnacion
  • Kershaw
  • Abreu
Jonathan-Lucroy

Lucroy: We’re talkin’ about baseball here aren’t we?

5 names with Mr. Nilsen:

  • Kershaw
  • Trout
  • Bautista
  • Gomez
  • Stanton

And 7 names from my projections:

  • Trout
  • Kershaw
  • McCutchen
  • Goldschmidt
  • Abreu
  • Encarnacion
  • Gomez

Of the 4 of us, I was the only one to have all 5 of my projected Top 5 to be included by ESPN in their Top 10 thanks to Miguel Cabrera’s omission. If you read the post from September (and the stuff in the comment section), I was so very close to including Bautista instead of Ellsbury in my Top 10. Which would have tied me with Rigg for the most hits comparing with ESPN. So congrats to Mr. Riggleman for getting his horseshoes (or hand grenades) the closest. It was his birthday yesterday, after all… Again – Happy 3-2 to ya!

Here’s the interesting part…

This is the list the players not included in ESPN’s Top 10 that each of us thought should be there. Along with ESPN’s current prerank for those players. Thought it would be fun to get a gauge of how loco we are, or how loco ESPN is… Lol!!

Jacoby-Ellsbury-Yankees

Ellsburied? Aging speedster.. I can see why he isn’t preranked Top 20.

ESPN ranks (in parenthesis) from highest to lowest of players MHB & Co. thought were Top 10 deserving:

  • Miguel Cabrera (11)
  • Robinson Cano (12)
  • Troy Tulowitzki (14)
  • Yasiel Puig (16)
  • Adrian Beltre (17)
  • Jose Altuve (19)
  • Jacoby Ellsbury (25)
  • Victor Martinez (58)
  • Jonathon Lucroy (74)

I think injuries and age (elder statesman or youth) can be attributed to all of these dudes, and why they land where they landed on ESPN’s 2015 preranks. Especially with V-Mart. When Clark included him on his list, he wasn’t hurt. So he didn’t need a surgery. And no speculation on how he might bounce back was even a real thought.

Which leaves Ellsbury and Lucroy as the only other dudes on our lists that ESPN excluded from their Top 20.

Not bad guys… not bad.

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5 thoughts on “How Do We Stack Up? MHB & Co. vs. ESPN Top 10 Projections

  1. It’s hard to argue with their picks except that ESPN’s list doesn’t account for positional scarcity as much as I think it should. Edwin Encarnacion and Goldschmidt put up great numbers, but in a 16 team league if you end up with the 12th best 1B, you’re still probably getting 75% of their stats. I mean statistically overall it says I had the 7th best 1B last season in Adrian Gonzalez and he led the league in RBI…it’s deep. If you have the 12th best SS you won’t even get half of Tulo’s stats.

    BTW, when is the draft order draft? I need to start my planning! 🙂

    • The draft order draft is quite in order yet, lol.

      I hear what you’re saying about A-Gon… he may have led the league in RBI, but in our league RBI doesn’t really stretch the way a HR does.

      aka dude can get a hit, which counts towards OBP and potentially an RBI in 1 AB.
      another dude can get a hit that goes over the fence and it counts towards OBP, R, HR, and RBI

      Goldy and E5 are most likely to be example B 15 to 20 more times than A-Gon.

  2. I’m not arguing that Encarnacion or Goldy are not better. I’m just saying that 1B is super loaded. LaRoche finished 12th in the league in HR’s for a 1B last year. He was 8 HR’s behind Encarnacion. but had only 6 fewer RBI’s and a better OBP. It’s so deep that using a top 8 pick on a 1B in this post peak-Pujols world just doesn’t seem smart to me. Nobody’s hitting 50+ HR’s anymore.

    That said, all you Columbians should draft 1B in the first round, I’ll take whoever is left at that position in the 8th round and get Kershaw and a primo OF for my first two rounds with all those 1B picks leaving solid guys all over the place. That would pretty much make this season off to a great start. Deal?

    • Gotta remember Encarn missed 4ish weeks too.. so the counting numbers may be similiar with LaRoche… but the potential impact isn’t.

      The 1B’s aren’t in the Top 10 because they’re 1B’s.. they’re there because the consensus is that they are the biggest impact bats in the Majors.

      You keep on saying about how deep 1B is… but you’re neglecting to acknowledge that SP is and will ALWAYS WILL BE the deepest position in fantasy baseball.

      (BTW I ranked Kershaw 2nd overall on my list… I’m showing the respect for his dominance.)

      There will always be that one pitcher who is among the top 10.. right now it’s Kershaw. Three years ago it was Verlander… 15 years ago it was probably Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez… but there is PLENTY of depth at SP aside from those guys. Especially in recent years in MLB – with the amount of runs being scored is lessening by the season.

      Though.. just a little side note… I think it’s funny that we’re all trying to “prove” what the best way to assemble a fantasy team is. There are obviously multiple approaches/different schools of thought.

      I appreciate the fantasy chatter.

  3. In a league where CG counts as much as runs scored, it’s not quite as deep. You need a whole lineup that score a lot of runs to win that category, you just need 1-2 of the top SP’s to win CG’s. But I will concede that there are a lot of theories and no “right way” to build a team.

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