Fantasy MLB: Mid-Season Keeper Report

By Michael Jokinen          7/24/13


(Is Mike Trout the best keeper in all the land? I dunno about your fantasy league, but he is in mine)



Yeah, yeah, I know we’re technically over the halfway point (are we at like 60% ??) but “mid-season” has a better ring to it than “two-thirds” does.  In any event, I’ve made it no secret that I’m a fantasy junkie.  I’ve also made it no secret that I’m in a keeper league.  And I love keepers.  I covet them.  Every year we’re allowed to keep seven players from our end-of-season rosters, and tack on +$5 to their price for next year’s salary – meaning you couldn’t indefinitely keep Mike Trout for $10, he’d go up $5 every year.  I always make it my business to get the best keepers in my league.  Gotta’ get that cream of the crop, evolve or die.


There are ten teams in my league, and it’s surprisingly hard to contend unless your keeper harvest is top three or so.  Great keepers give a tremendous leg up on the competition.  That’s why I’ve always made it a necessity to get the best ones.  This is the league’s ninth year, and by my count, I’ve had the best keeper corps in all but one season.  To do this, you’ve constantly got to keep your finger on the pulse of the league.  Obviously, you can’t just compare players in a vacuum.  Is Miguel Cabrera a better fantasy asset than Manny Machado?  Undoubtedly.  But what about a $60 Miguel Cabrera versus a $4 Manny Machado?  Now that’s a tough call.  Cabrera still provides superior short-term value, but he’s got zero keeper value while his $60 really puts a hurting on your salary cap (yes, we have in-season salary considerations).  Meanwhile, a $4 Manny Machado is a blue-chip keeper.  These considerations are always being weighed.  Often, keeper value is merely a means to an end – if I’ve already procured my seven keepers (remember, that’s how many we’re allowed) I’ll trade off surplus keepers to bolster my roster for this year’s pennant run.  Keeper value is the number one currency in my league, and if leveraged right, can yield an absolute king’s ransom in trades.

All that said, I’ve compiled power rankings of the best keepers in my league.  I know you don’t care about my league or my team at all, but glancing at these rankings is still a good tool to help you with your own keeper dilemmas.  As is often the case in auctions, owners draft top heavy in my league – the stars typically go for a disproportionate amount.  That’s why guys like Clayton Kershaw ($28) and Carlos Gonzalez ($30) still grade highly on my list despite their hefty price tags, because they’d go for around $50 each in next year’s draft.  If certain players’ prices look surprisingly low, it’s probably because they were keepers from years previous, so they’re still cost-controlled.  Well, enough of my preamble.  Have a look.  I’m sure your opinions will differ from mine.  Let me know where you disagree or any general thoughts at all.  I’ve bolded the keepers on my team so you can see where I’m at.  There are 70 annual keepers, 10 teams and 7 keepers apiece, so I’ve only extended my power rankings to cover the top 30 – just the really good ones – for the purposes of this exercise.  These Keeper Ranks are based on value for 2014, and to a lesser extent, for 2015 and beyond.  Upside matters.  So does track record.  Position/age/injury risk/ceiling/floor … all that crap, it’s taken into account.  Bon appetit!



1.) OF, Mike Trout – $15

2.) SS, Jean Segura – $2

3.) 1B, Chris Davis – $5

4.) OF, Bryce Harper – $13

5.) 2B, Robinson Cano – $25

6.) SP, Matt Harvey – $10

7.) SP, Steven Strasburg – $12

8.) SP, Adam Wainwright – $12

9.) SP, Chris Sale – $13

10.) 3B, Manny Machado – $4

11.) C, Buster Posey – $16

12.) 2B, Jason Kipnis – $8

13.) 1B/3B, Edwin Encarnacion – $15

14.) OF, Giancarlo Stanton – $16

15.) SP, Shelby Miller – $9

16.) OF, Carlos Gonzalez – $30

17.) SP, Clayton Kershaw – $28

18.) OF, Domonic Brown – $1

19.) C, Yadier Molina – $6

20.) 1B, Paul Goldschmidt – $25

21.) OF, Andrew McCutchen – $22

22.) OF, Yasiel Puig – $10

23.) OF, Carlos Gomez – $8

24.) SS, Troy Tulowitzki – $31

25.) SP, Yu Darvish – $24

26.) SP, Max Scherzer – $20

27.) OF, Yoenis Cespedes – $6

28.) 3B, Adrian Beltre – $25

29.) OF, Jay Bruce – $16

30.) SP, Clay Buchholz – $3


HONORABLE MENTION (alphabetical): OF, Jose Bautista – $25 … RP, Aroldis Chapman – $6 … 1B/OF, Allen Craig – $16 … SP, Jose Fernandez – $10 … OF, Starling Marte – $15 … SP, Mike Minor – $3 … SP, David Price – $18 … OF, Alex Rios – $6 … SP, Hyun-Jin Ryu – $5 … OF, Justin Upton – $23



Posted on July 24, 2013, in 2017, Fantasy, MLB. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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