Up front, it’s important to note that the things a person following fantasy baseball might care most about with respect to player performance does not always match what a fan of a particular team might care most about. So, then, just because a player or a set of players is a valuable fantasy target does not necessarily mean they’ll be winning actual MLB games.
Usually, however, there’s a correlation between quality fantasy players and quality additions to the actual big league team for which those players play. Further more, because fantasy baseball is such a big deal these days, projections in the fantasy space tend to be particularly interesting, as they dispassionately distill a ton of information to try and discern – with actual future stakes – just how good a variety of players are going to be in an upcoming season.
That is all to say, I still find fantasy rankings – like the ones just released by FanGraphs – to be interesting. And, admittedly, I find them all the more interesting when I see a bunch of Chicago Cubs players near the top.
So, if you’re into fantasy baseball, feel free to check out the FanGraphs article through the fantasy lens, and may it help you have success in the upcoming season.
If you, however, are just into baseball baseball, you can still take comfort in knowing that six Cubs players show up in the first 51 overall players on the FanGraphs list, including three of the top 16:
13. Kris Bryant
16. Kyle Schwarber
30. Jake Arrieta
41. Jason Heyward
51. Jon Lester
That’s just a ton of talent concentrated at the top – the next Cubs player, Ben Zobrist, shows up at 143* – and it underscores, albeit from a different angle, how loaded this Cubs team could be in 2016. John Lackey comes in at 160, by the way, followed soon after by Miguel Montero, Kyle Hendricks, Hector Rondon, and Jason Hammel. I don’t know much about anything, but Addison Russell at 337 sounds like a steal to me.
It’s fun to scroll around the list and see where various players show up (the Cardinals don’t even appear until 86, with Yadier Molina, and then there’s a run of them in the 90 to 120 range).
*(Which is actually still rather high, when you consider that he’s seventh on the Cubs list, and there are 30 teams in baseball.)