2020 Fantasy Baseball Rankings Analysis 191-200: The case for and against Draft Day targets

The 2020 Fantasy baseball draft prep season is here, and this year’s player pool might take some getting used to. Starting pitchers are going earlier than ever in early drafts, and stolen bases are more valuable than ever, which means if you haven’t been paying attention, you could be surprised by how drafts are unfolding right now.

We’re here to help you get acclimated. We’ve got our position previews and tiers elsewhere, but if you really want to start your Fantasy baseball prep right, this is the place to begin: With our breakdown of the top-200 players for 2020, based on CBS Fantasy baseball expert Scott White’s rankings. Scott White and Chris Towers have broken down every player in the list, giving you the case for drafting them and the case against, so you can make up your own mind on whether you want them on your team.

We’re going through No. 191-200 here, solidly in the bargain bin portion of your draft. And you can find the rest right here: 1-10 | 11-20 | 21-30 | 31-40 | 41-50 | 51-60 | 61-70 | 71-80 | 81-90 | 91-100 | 101-110 | 111-120 | 121-130 | 131-140 | 141-150 | 151-160 | 161-170 | 171-180 | 181-190 | 191-200

The Case For/The Case Against

No. 191-200

The Case For: Adell is exactly the kind of prospect Fantasy players salivate over. He’s incredibly toolsy, with the potential to be a legitimate five-category contributor in the same way Fernando Tatis was last year. Addell struggled in his first taste of Triple-A last season but has had an OPS in the .890 range with 24 homers and 17 steals (two CS) in just 123 games between High-A and Double-A, in case you’re wondering what kind of ceiling we’re dealing with here. Adell will be invited to spring training, and we’ll likely see him sometime this summer.

The Case Against: Adell has some swing and miss to his game, and he struck out 72 times between 51 games at Triple-A and in the Arizona Fall League. There could be some development left to do before he’s ready for major-league pitching. Add in the risk inherent with any young player, and it’s entirely possible Adell struggles, even if he does eventually become a star. The cost is pretty cheap right now, but it could end up being a wasted pick. –Chris Towers

The Case For: As hard as it may be to believe, Vazquez’s 2019 might have been for real. He improved his underlying skill set pretty much across the board, most notably with a 38.5% hard-hit rate, by far the best of his career. He stuck out a bit more, but you’ll happily take that trade-off if it results in Vazquez being a Fantasy-relevant catcher again.      

The Case Against: It’s hard to overstate just how big of an outlier Vazquez’s performance in 2019 was. A hitter with a .089 ISO in the majors (and a whopping .123 in the minors) before last season turned in a .201 ISO overnight as a 28-year-old. The underlying numbers largely back it up, but skepticism is always going to be warranted when we’re talking about this kind of improvement from one year to the next. If Vazquez can’t maintain those gains, he’s probably not Fantasy relevant. –Chris Towers

The Case For: Narvaez was a popular sleeper this time last year, and he largely lived up to expectations. He doesn’t have a ton of raw power, but he makes the most of what he has with a fly-ball and pull-oriented swing that led to a career-high in homers in T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Now he gets to play his home games in Miller Park, one of the best hitting parks in the game. 2019 could be the floor.       

The Case Against: When I say Narvaez doesn’t have a ton of raw power, I mean it. He ranked in the eighth percentile in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate last season, and his average home run traveled just 385 feet. He’s a decent contact bat, but the calling card here is the 25-homer upside, and there could be a very slim margin for error with his profile. Miller Park will help, but if he regresses even a little bit, Narvaez could be a non-factor for Fantasy. –Chris Towers

The Case For: A year ago at this time, Colome was one of several White Sox closer candidates, but he took the job and ran with it, giving manager Rick Renteria a nice security blanket for that most pivotal of innings. It made it three years in four with 30-plus saves for Colome. Job security is everything at relief pitcher. Who’s line for saves, and who’s most likely to stay that way? Those are the two most pertinent questions this time of year, and with regard to Colome, the answer to both is a favorable one.

The Case Against: But is he actually fit for closing? What does he excel at? He isn’t a great strike-thrower. He had less than a strikeout per inning last year — which is rare among all relievers, much less closers. He gives up hard contact, too. He’s fortunate most of it is on the ground, but still, his expected stats suggest he deserved worse than he got last year. The White Sox may not have any obvious alternatives, but they’ll be looking for one if things unravel. –Scott White

The Case For: Robles’ wasn’t the Angels’ first or even second choice for saves entering last year, but he was the one who calmed the waters when he got his chance in the closer role. And he seems … adequate enough for the task, collecting more than a strikeout per inning with good control. New manager Joe Maddon has already said he sees no need to make a change there, which is more assurance than most ninth-inning candidates get these days. It’s also worth noting Robles had a 1.52 ERA over the final four months last year, spanning 44 appearances.

The Case Against: While Robles may be adequate, he’s not exemplary, and usually the relievers who last as closers are among the very best at pitching an inning at a time. He had good home run luck last year, which helps explain the 3.54 SIERA and 3.89 xFIP, and because he doesn’t have a history as a closer or even an effective big-league reliever, a bad week could be enough to cost him his job.  –Scott White

The Case For: Voit’s first season as the Yankees regular first baseman went swimmingly for the three months he was healthy. He took his walks, maintained the high-BABIP profile that made him such an interesting find late in 2018 and of course put plenty of balls in the bleachers, both at home and away. In all, he had a .280 batting average, .393 on-base percentage, 17 homers and .901 OPS when he first went on the IL with a strained abdominal in late June. It was ultimately revealed to be a sports hernia, which ultimately required surgery, so everything he did after that was under false pretenses. He was either playing through pain or rushing to make it back from the procedure for the playoff push.       

The Case Against: Maybe his poor finish was as simple as that. Maybe there was more to it. But no matter what theory you subscribe to, there’s all the more reason to doubt Voit at a time when the Yankees have no shortage of first base alternatives. Miguel Andujar, who was always miscast as a third baseman, is working his way back from a torn labrum in his shoulder and looking for a place to play. Mike Ford is a year younger than Voit and offers an even more impressive batted-ball profile. Voit may still get the first crack, but he no longer has a stranglehold on the position. -Scott White

The Case For: Though it’s starting to look like that 2017 season when he hit 20 homers was the outlier, but it was nice to see Andrus bounce back in a big way in stolen bases after an injury-marred 2018. He didn’t do much else, but it was still enough to be a top-12 shortstop and top-75 player overall. The overall package may not blow you away, but he consistently finishes as a top-12 shortstop and never gets drafted like one.

The Case Against: Andrus will be 31 in 2020, and it’s fair to wonder when he might stop running. He’s never been a particularly efficient base stealer, and if that falls off, the overall profile probably isn’t enough to make up for it. There are shortstops being drafted after him with more upside, too, so it’s a tough profile to bet on. –Chris Towers

The Case For: The A’s showed a lot of faith in Murphy late last season, as he started 13 of the team’s final 19 games during the middle of a playoff chase. That alone represents a strong vote of confidence, without even getting into the fact that he hit .266 with 22 homers, 95 RBI and 103 runs in 155 games between Double-A and Triple-A in his career. Murphy figures to get plenty of playing time and has the potential to be a top-five catcher if he stays healthy.      

The Case Against: That “if he stays healthy” bit applies to every catcher, but especially to Murphy, who has never played more than 98 games in a season. There’s plenty of potential in the bat, but he’s unproven and has been injury prone in the past, which makes him tough to rely on. –Chris Towers

The Case For: Gregorius is one of those players who tends to confound the advanced metric systems because he does a great job of maximizing his swing. His career wOBA is .323 while his expected wOBA is just .296, and he has outperformed his underlying batted-ball tendencies in every season for which we have tracking. You can say that’s just because of the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, but his career OPS is actually very close at Yankee Stadium to his road OPS, so it doesn’t seem like that explains it. This might be a case where we can take the numbers at face value, and Gregorius was well on his way to his fourth 20-homer season in a row after returning from Tommy John surgery.       

The Case Against: It is worth noting that while Gregorius’ overall production wasn’t necessarily weighted toward Yankee Stadium, he did hit half of his career homers in just 39.1% of his career games, so there was certainly some home cooking benefit there for him. Citizen’s Bank Park is a nice place to hit, but it’s no Yankee Stadium, especially for a player with Gregorius’ profile, so the home run ceiling is lower. With how deep shortstop is, Gregorius may not stand out there if he’s not a 30-homer threat. –Chris Towers

The Case For: Even in an environment where everyone hits for power, Pederson’s 36 homers in 514 plate appearances stood out in 2019. It might be frustrating to have to deal with Pederson’s inconsistent playing time, but the Dodgers’ willingness to play him at first base shows a commitment to getting his bat in the lineup, at least against right-handed pitching. If Pederson falls to this point in a daily-lineup league especially, he could be a cheat code, because you know he’s going to generate home runs.       

The Case Against: Of course, not all of you play in daily lineup leagues, and Pederson can be a frustrating play in weekly leagues. He’s a liability in batting average and tends to hit his home runs in bunches, making it so you’re unlikely to stick with him from week to week anyway. In fact, it’s possible he could slump badly enough that the Dodgers themselves phase him out. They did almost trade him to the Angels this offseason, after all. -Chris Towers and Scott White

So which sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which undervalued first baseman can help you win a championship? Visit SportsLine now to get rankings for every single position, all from the model that called Kenta Maeda’s huge breakout last season, and find out.

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