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2019 Diamond Digest Fantasy Rankings: Dynasty Infield

Introducing Diamond Digest’s inaugural fantasy baseball coverage! We begin our fantasy coverage with our first rankings release: Dynasty infield rankings. We will continue this series with Dynasty rankings for outfield, pitching, and prospects as well as single-season rankings for all positions.

For those who don’t know, dynasty leagues are fantasy leagues that more closely replicate the real transactional nature of the MLB, as your draftees are under contract for multiple years, usually ranging from 3 to 5. Thus, the analysis goes beyond the scope of “Who’s the best catcher in the league right now?” to including “Who will be the best catcher in the league?” As you will see in the rankings, younger players are extremely valuable since future value considerations are included. However, like single-season leagues, players who maintain their rookie status (under 130 AB or 50 IP) are drafted in the minor league portion of the dynasty draft and are excluded from these lists.

To create these rankings, our fantasy team each made individual rankings which were combined using a point system to what is found below. Each player received points based on how many times and how high they appeared in the rankings. Players who ranked first in the individual rankings received 12 points per placement while players that ranked twelfth received one point per placement. These tallies were totaled by position. Taking all this into account, we present the 2019 DD Dynasty Infield Positional Rankings!


Catchers

Voters: 10

RankPlayerPoints
1JT Realmuto, Miami Marlins118
2Gary Sanchez, New York Yankees105
3Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs93
4Yasmani Grandal, Milwaukee Brewers70
5Wilson Ramos, New York Mets69
6Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals64
7Mike Zunino, Tampa Bay Rays54
8Jorge Alfaro, Philadelphia Phillies53
9Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants48
10Tucker Barnhart, Cincinnati Reds31
11Austin Barnes, Los Angeles Dodgers15
12Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates11

Others receiving votes: Omar Narvaez (8), Yadier Molina (6), Wellington Castillo (5), Elias Diaz (2)

There’s no denying that catcher is the weakest position in the majors right now, especially in terms of depth. Getting one of the top catchers on your fantasy team can be the difference between finishing .500 and winning your league. In most point-format leagues, players like Realmuto and Sanchez end the season comparable to a weak starting first baseman, while catchers that are fifth or sixth in position rankings are getting the same total points as your spare outfielder. In a dynasty league, that could wind up costing you dearly for not just one season, but potentially four or five. Given the chance, you should grab a top-of-the-line catcher early, especially in leagues with more than 10 teams. – Mick Callahan


First Basemen

Voters: 8

RankPlayerPoints
1Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves93
2Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers82
3Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies77
4Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs72
5Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals67
6Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds37
T-7Joey Gallo, Texas Rangers32
T-7Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics32
9Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers30
10Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers24
11Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox21
12Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates12

Others receiving votes: Jose Martinez (7), Wil Myers (7), Travis Shaw (6), Luke Voit (1), Jake Bauers (1), Tyler White (1)

The first base position is at somewhat of a crossroads; while Freeman, Bellinger, and Hoskins are solidly established, there is still an intersection between aging stars – Rizzo, Goldschmidt, and Votto – and rising stars – Gallo, Olson, and those mentioned above. The position is top-heavy (the drop in votes from Goldschmidt to Votto is significant), but this is a position where you can wait until later rounds and still be comfortable in a dynasty since there is considerable youth. The choice is between which road to take, namely aging or rising. Freeman, Rizzo, Goldschmidt, and Votto (who would be ranked more highly in an OBP league) are known quantities, assured to help for at least the next two years. Bellinger, Hoskins, Gallo, Olson, and even Bell are more unknown: these young guys are good, as evidenced by their position on this list, but how good for the long run is the question. – Jared Enochs


Second Basemen

Voters: 8

RankPlayerPoints
1Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians95
2Jose Altuve, Houston Astros88
3Ozzie Albies, Atlanta Braves65
T-4Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs62
T-4Whit Merrifield, Kansas City Royals62
6Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees52
7Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds42
8Yoan Moncada, Chicago White Sox37
9Travis Shaw, Milwaukee Brewers25
10Joey Wendle, Tampa Bay Rays14
T-11Jeff McNeil, New York Mets11
T-11Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies11

Others receiving votes: Jurickson Profar (10), Jonathan Villar (6), Chris Taylor (5), Matt Carpenter (2), Rougned Odor (2), Brian Dozier (1)

Beyond the top second basemen who can fill all 5 standard stats, second base is full of skilled players that can be targeted to fill one category. In 2018, there were 8 qualified players at the keystone who hit better than .275. There were 17 who hit more than 10 home runs; 12 stole more than 10 bases. Of those, 10 stole more than 10 bases and hit more than 10 home runs including Altuve, Albies, Baez, Merrifield, Moncada, Hernandez, Villar, Odor, Dozier, and Kinsler. (NOTE: Ramirez and Profar did not qualify at 2B. They look to potentially see time there this year, which is why they are included. Both would have been on the 10/10 HR/SB list.) Thus, we recommend targeting someone to can boost your team’s counting stats. Additionally, there are interesting young names on this list to target for the long-term: Albies, Torres, Moncada, Wendle, and McNeil. They have recently (within the past couple years) graduated from rookie status. While seemingly not as deep as third or short, there are plenty of players to target for now and for the future. -Jared Enochs


Third Basemen

Voters: 8

RankPlayerPoints
1Alex Bregman, Houston Astros90
2Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians87
3Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies78
4Kris Bryant, Chicago Cubs72
5Manny Machado, Free Agent70
6Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds47
7Matt Chapman, Oakland Athletics45
T-8Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees33
T-8Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals33
10Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox24
11Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals17
12Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers4

Other Receiving Votes: Travis Shaw (3), Jeimer Candelario (3), Miguel Sano (1)

Arguably the deepest position in the league, you really can’t go wrong with who you put at third. An argument can be made for any of the top-five to hold the top spot. All five have .300-30-100 potential every single year, but a mixture of age and ability put Alex Bregman at number-one. While all five of those mentioned are high round picks depending on the size of the league, Bregman, who will turn 25 at the end of March, is a first round lock in any dynasty league. There is some drop off after the top five, but the bottom seven are not too shabby and would be great additions in the middle rounds. Of course, if your league has a minor league portion, and you have the first pick in it, there’s very little need to spend a big pick on a third baseman with Vlad Jr. lurking in the shadows. – Adam Koplik


Shortstops

Voters: 8

RankPlayerPoints
1Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians82
2Alex Bregman, Houston Astros78
3Manny Machado, Free Agent74
4Trevor Story, Colorado Rockies65
5Carlos Correa, Houston Astros59
6Corey Seager, Los Angeles Dodgers55
7Trea Turner, Washington Nationals45
8Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox42
9Javier Baez, Chicago Cubs39
10Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees17
11Didi Gregorius, New York Yankees14
12Jose Peraza, Cincinnati Reds10

Others receiving votes: Jean Segura (9), Andrelton Simmons (5), Tim Anderson (3), Amed Rosario (3), Willy Adames (2)

Shortstop is the other position fighting with third base to be the deepest position in the majors. Whether at third base or shortstop, you can’t go wrong if you’re able to grab any of the top 10 guys on the left side of the infield. Even if you don’t happen to get one of the top two or three shortstops, you aren’t entirely out of luck. You still have phenomenal dynasty options with the likes of Turner, Bogaerts, Baez, Torres, and Gregorius. All of the guys on this list have been awesome in recent seasons and most of them are still young enough to maybe have some unrealized potential. There should be no rush in a dynasty draft to draft a shortstop, as even falling out of the top 10 shortstops isn’t a huge loss. – Mick Callahan


Next To Come:
– Dynasty Outfielders and Pitchers
– Dynasty Prospects

Photo Credit: flickr.com

Mick Callahan

I'm a fifth year student in a five-year Electrical Engineering program at RIT in Rochester, NY. Originally from St. Louis, MO. Big Redbirds fan, and a fan of the game as a whole. If you're new to my articles, spoiler alert: I like math. Many of the things I write focus on breaking the game down to the mathematics that explain why and how baseball works the way it does. Yes, I'm a huge nerd.

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