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Fantasy Baseball Today

Rankings Review: Josh Harrison and Brock Holt become shortstops

By Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer

Players like Danny Santana have added depth to the shortstop position. (USATSI)
Players like Danny Santana have added depth to the shortstop position. (USATSI)

Another week, another overhaul of the rest-of-season rankings. Let's take a look at the ever-changing player landscape:

  • Remember back on May 10 when Carlos Santana was hitting .136 and caller after caller on Fantasy Baseball Today pleaded with us to let them drop him (as if we run their teams or something)? He's basically been Anthony Rizzo since, batting .274 with 17 home runs and a .913 OPS in 277 at-bats. He's closing in on Jonathan Lucroy for the top spot in the catcher rankings as a result, so at least in Head-to-Head points leagues, elevating him past Buster Posey isn't too much of a stretch.
  • While Santana needed 1 1/2 months to come around, Wilin Rosario has gotten 4 1/2 and still hasn't. At least Santana gives you walks when he's struggling. Dropping Rosario out of the top 12 was long overdue.
  • Time to get Yadier Molina back on your radar. He's been cleared to swing a bat, which is a pretty big step coming back from thumb surgery, and as tight as the race is for both the NL Central title and the wild card, you can assume the Cardinals won't dilly-dally. I cautiously moved him up to 18th at the position, but in any league where he was dropped, he deserves to be owned again.
  • The transformation of Adam LaRoche is one of the most overlooked developments in Fantasy this season. Though players typically regress in their mid-30s, one area where they're known to improve is plate discipline, and LaRoche is no exception. With 12 walks so far in August, he's on pace for 86 this season, making him something like the Alex Gordon of first basemen. That may even understate both his power and plate discipline, but it's how he deserves to be valued.
  • Ranking Chris Carter is tricky because everyone knows he's not as good as he's shown the last six weeks. But are you dropping him for Mike Napoli right now? Yeah, me neither.
  • You may drop him for Michael Cuddyer, though. I understand he's been banged up all year, but he hit for the cycle in his second game back from the DL and is batting .331 with a .919 OPS since the start of 2013. That pretty much says it all.
  • Welcome to Allen Craig territory, Chris Davis. With six weeks to go, you're just not worth the trouble anymore, not even as a corner infielder.
  • This is the week all my patience runs out, apparently. Dustin Pedroia is batting .360 (31 for 86) in his last 21 games, but it's such a high percentage of singles -- and with so few stolen bases in between -- that I'm not sure what I'm waiting for anymore. I was hoping he'd streak into more than just Matt Carpenter-like numbers.
  • Who plays five positions and has the name of a rock star? Why, Brock Holt, of course. He just gained eligibility at second base and shortstop in the last week and immediately becomes startable at the latter, checking in at 15th there in my Head-to-Head rankings (his preferred format). If depth is in any way a concern in your league, though, I'd say he's even more valuable than that.
  • Holt wasn't even the most notable player to become eligible at shortstop in the last week. Josh Harrison, who had already become a mainstay in Fantasy with his confirmation as an everyday player a couple weeks ago, is now the stuff of legends. Since May 18, which is about the time his playing time increased, he's the No. 1 shortstop-eligible player in Head-to-Head points leagues. For serious. I'm only able to slot him sixth at the position, but considering Hanley Ramirez is on the DL, you could make the case for him being in the top five.
  • Between the additions of Harrison and Holt, the arrival of Javier Baez, the emergence of Danny Santana and the return of Yangervis Solarte, we've seen something of a changing of the guard at shortstop in recent weeks. Players like Xander Bogaerts, Eugenio Suarez, Jean Segura and Andrelton Simmons don't even register anymore. Even in a league that uses a middle infield spot, I was happy to cut them loose at the lineup deadline Monday.
  • In case you've forgotten, Jose Reyes is really good. I had.
  • Even though Ryan Braun's per-game production is still up to snuff, the truth is a large percentage of his production came early in the season. Since the beginning of June, he has hit .249 with a .737 OPS, putting him in a different category from Michael Brantley, Nelson Cruz and Melky Cabrera.
  • Kind of like with Shin-Soo Choo, I get the feeling we're just spinning our wheels with Josh Hamilton and Alex Rios this time of year. Which isn't to say they're done as Fantasy contributors, but if I'm setting my lineup today, I'm starting Denard Span and Corey Dickerson over them. The rankings now reflect that.
  • Michael Morse is batting .500 (14 for 28) with a home run in his last nine games. Given the kind of player he was in April, it could be the start of something special. But outfield is so jammed up at 45-70 that I couldn't bring myself to move him up more than a couple spots. He's worthy of more distinction than that.
  • Just outside that 45-70 range is Avisail Garcia, but he has the upside to leapfrog the entire group before season's end. Again, worthy of the distinction.
  • No need to do anything reckless and rank him where he was at the start of the year, but Mike Minor is back in my top 35 at starting pitcher. I'm buying the narrative of him changing his grips.
  • Jesse Hahn is running out of steam, and it won't be long now before the Padres pull the plug on him completely. This time of year, that's deserving of a 30-spot drop in the rankings.
  • So is C.J. Wilson's recent performance.
  • Why doesn't Sean Doolittle get more saves? Pitching for that team as it's currently constructed, it defies all comprehension, which is why he remains in my top 10 at relief pitcher. I did move Kenley Jansen ahead of him, though.
  • Shaky closers Trevor Rosenthal, Rafael Soriano and Steve Cishek all dropped several spots, making midseason converts Zach Britton, Mark Melancon and Cody Allen more prominent. For what it's worth, I don't think any of Rosenthal, Soriano and Cishek lose their jobs, but in leagues where you start only two relievers, I'd look to bench them right now.
  • Welcome to the top 40, Wade Davis and Pat Neshek. That's only in Rotisserie leagues, mind you. You own them for their ratios -- specifically, ERA and WHIP -- not their totals. This time of year, if you can pick up some ground in those two categories, middle relievers like them should be more of a priority off the waiver wire.
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