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RotoAuthority Retrospective: Position Rankings -- Hitters

By the time you read this, the real playoffs will be ready to start and you'll be ready to join the Pirates bandwagon or something like that. I will. Or maybe you'll be so morose about the way your own team missed playoffs again (three years in a row...ugh, now I know how real Pirates fans felt), and want to delve into some fantasy post-mortem. Whether you missed your league title by the thinnest of margins or imploded in April, it's always good to take a look at what went wrong...and what didn't.

Today, we'll examine RotoAuthority's position rankings and see how things went. I'm not going to reproduce all the lists here, for the sake of my space and your time, but I will be linking to each article before I hit up the highlights. And the lowlights. Today's article will focus on hitters; we'll take on pitchers in a couple days.

As a proxy for other rankings you could have looked at, I may reference the Yahoo! preseason rankings.

Outfielders

Hits

Matt Kemp certainly wasn't the seventh-best OF...but where else did you see him ranked outside the 1st round?

If you took Adam Jones in the 2nd, you didn't regret it.

Matt Holliday and Shin-Soo Choo didn't disappoint in the 3rd, while Carlos Beltran stayed healthy enough to live up to his spot in the rankings (22nd).

Alfonso Soriano did pretty good for you if he was the 37th OF taken in your draft.

Colby Rasmus and Brandon Moss were our best bench suggestions.

Misses

We'll skip the usual guys that everyone missed, and skip right to Josh Willingham, who we ranked with the 6th-7th round guys.

We missed the other direction with Hunter Pence (33rd OF), who you probably didn't get if you followed our advice. Nelson Cruz (34th) would have been an even worse call, if we hadn't mentioned "that PED thing." In that same round, you probably missed out on Shane Victorino (36th) and his resurgence. 

Carlos Gomez was starting to get trendy when we wrote this up, but we didn't quite buy it, ranking him 49th. Um...hopefully you drafted targeted him before that.

Catchers

Hits

We weren't miles ahead of everyone else on Wilin Rosario and Mike Napoli, but did place them over the still-very-good Victor Martinez, and the awful Miguel Montero. (Here I give myself a half-hearted pat on the back.)

Jonathan Lucroy was a pretty good call at 10th catcher.

Though we caught some comment-flack for it, we were duly unimpressed with Russell Martin (pitch-framing and postseason heroics notwithstanding).

Misses

We could have gone a little higher on V-Mart, and pairing Jesus Montero in a tier with Brian McCann is just embarrassing.

Of all the wild stabs in the dark we took, none were at Jason Castro or Evan Gattis, which could have made us look like geniuses.

First Basemen

Hits

Did you grab Edwin Encarnacion in the 2nd round? Feel some trepidation? That one worked out okay.

Taking David Ortiz over the majority of first basemen would have really worked out.

Ranking Ike Davis as low as 22nd wasn't nearly low enough...but it was better than the ranking plenty of other outlets gave him.

This is doubling on the same guy, but Brandon Moss was a pretty good 30th first baseman.

Misses

Congratulations if you didn't miss on Albert Pujols and Billy Butler. We were also high on Anthony Rizzo, while too low on Paul Goldschmidt.

Mark Teixeira and Paul Konerko made us look bad in the 7th or 8th rounds, while Lance Berkman made us look bad if you drafted him at all.

Second Base

Hits

We were sort of ahead of the crowd on Jose Altuve, I guess. This one wasn't RA's signature position.

Misses

Well...you can start with Aaron Hill and Ben Zobrist (4th and 5th), and go right to Danny Espinosa, Rickie Weeks, and Dan Uggla (9th, 10th, and 11th).

In all fairness, it's pretty tough to come out looking smart when a whole position seems to take a step back. Expect second base to be even drier in 2014 than it was going into this season.

Third Basemen

Hits

Even in a partial season, Hanley Ramirez justified his number five slot on our list. I'm sure we downgraded him after the injury, but even if you didn't, you weren't really unsatisfied. He's back.

Pedro Alvarez and Manny Machado overperformed even our expectations, but ours were higher than most, and hopefully encouraged you to draft aggressively.

I'll give us a little credit for including Matt Carpenter and Josh Donaldson in our top 30...and by us, I mean someone else on our team besides me....

Misses

We pretty much missed on everyone ranked from 6th-11th: Aramis Ramirez, Chase Headley, Brett Lawrie, Pablo Sandoval, Will Middlebrooks, and Todd Frazier all brought disappointment to their fantasy teams. Just a couple picks later, David Freese did the same. At some point I mentioned third base's "stronger middle class" than the other infield positions, and that's who these guys represent. Ouch. Not just for us, but for the entire position.

Shortstops

Hits

We suggested reaching for Ian Desmond--aren't you glad you did?

We were actually a little low on J.J Hardy, but hopefully still higher than mainstream. Those 25 homers paid dividends in plenty of leagues.

Everth Cabrera might have gotten suspended to end the season...but not before racking up nearly a million 37 steals in less than 400 AB.

Misses

Big misses for us on the whole, Elvis Andrus = Alcides Escobar equation. Andrus was much better than our 11th rank, and Escobar was much, much worse. Guess who ended up on my teams?

Jose Reyes was a disappointment at the top end of the rankings, but he had the virtue of not killing you as badly as others (looking at you, Starlin Castro).

Danny Espinosa gets to suck the life out of this set of rankings too, while Jimmy Rollins and Derek Jeter don't make things look any better.

Overall

There's a lot of fantasy information out there, and it's sometimes a mess to sort through. Each prediction system will have its hits and misses. The best recommendation I (or any other honest commentator) can give is to get your info from more than one source and take advantage of their mutual predictions.

Not that that would have saved you from drafting Starlin Castro.

Check us out in a couple days for the pitching segment of this narrative and the wrap-up of RA's 2013 coverage. 




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