Fantasy baseball corner players rankings

Fantasy baseball corner players rankings

By Michael Salfino contributor

1. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
2. David Wright, Mets
NOTE: Might be NL's best player.
3. Adrian Beltre, Rangers
4. Albert Pujols, Angels
NOTE: Not back to old levels, but a star again.
5. Mark Trumbo, Angels
6. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
NOTE: The second-half push is here.
7. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
NOTE: Breakout started late in 2011.
8. Paul Konerko, White Sox
9. Prince Fielder, Tigers
10. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
11. Joey Votto, Reds
NOTE: Should be back in a month.
12. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
NOTE: Enigma, could use change of scenery.
13. Billy Butler, Royals
14. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
15. David Ortiz, Red Sox
16. Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays
17. Pablo Sandoval, Giants
NOTE: How much power will park allow?
18. Allen Craig, Cardinals
19. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
NOTE: How healthy is the shoulder?
20. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
21. Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
22. David Freese, Cardinals
23. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
24. Nick Swisher, Yankees
25. Evan Longoria, Rays
26. Mike Moustakas, Royals
NOTE: Might get to stardom before Hosmer.
27. Adam Dunn, White Sox
NOTE: Low average is more acceptable these days.
28. Freddie Freeman, Braves
29. Martin Prado, Braves
30. Eric Hosmer, Royals
31. Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
NOTE: Cortisone shot perked up the shoulder.
32. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
33. Michael Morse, Nationals
34. Ike Davis, Mets
35. Trevor Plouffe, Twins
NOTE: Always had pop in his profile.
36. Ryan Howard, Phillies
NOTE: Don't expect a miracle here.
37. Corey Hart, Brewers
38. Logan Morrison, Marlins
39. Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
40. Justin Morneau, Twins
NOTE: Hasn't hit a lick on the road, or against lefties.
41. Garrett Jones, Pirates
42. Kevin Youkilis, White Sox
NOTE: Bat has perked up in Windy City.
43. Chase Headley, Padres
44. Tyler Colvin, Rockies
45. Will Middlebrooks, Red Sox
46. Howie Kendrick, Angels
47. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
48. Carlos Lee, Marlins
NOTE: Still makes good contact, but pop is gone.
49. Casey McGehee, Pirates
50. Adam LaRoche, Nationals
51. Adam Lind, Blue Jays
NOTE: He's been handy since the recall.
52. Michael Young, Rangers
53. Mike Aviles, Red Sox
54. Kendrys Morales, Angels
55. Jim Thome, Orioles
NOTE: Still a good bet for final two months.
56. Todd Frazier, Reds
57. Chris Davis, Orioles
58. Chipper Jones, Braves
59. Yonder Alonso, Padres
NOTE: Gap power, not many over the fence.
60. Lucas Duda, Mets
61. Kyle Seager, Mariners
62. Bryan LaHair, Cubs
NOTE: Contact problems are exposing him.
63. Chris Carter, Athletics
64. Daniel Murphy, Mets
65. Carlos Pena, Rays
66. Casey Kotchman, Indians
67. Jed Lowrie, Astros
NOTE: Weak lineup really misses his stick.
68. Brandon Belt, Giants
69. Brandon Moss, Athletics
70. Mark Reynolds, Orioles
71. Jordan Pacheco, Rockies
NOTE: Nice average but not much power.
72. Luke Scott, Rays
73. Jeff Keppinger, Rays
NOTE: A typical Ray, versatile and sneaky.
74. Justin Smoak, Mariners
75. Ryan Roberts, Diamondbacks
76. Wilson Betemit, Orioles
77. Jerry Hairston, Dodgers
NOTE: Don't laugh, the Dodgers need him.
78. Tyler Moore, Nationals
79. Scott Rolen, Reds
80. Chris Johnson, Astros
81. Ty Wigginton, Phillies
NOTE: Needed less with big names back.
82. Brandon Inge, Athletics
83. Juan Rivera, Dodgers
84. Sean Rodriguez, Rays
85. Placido Polanco, Phillies
86. James Loney, Dodgers
87. John Mayberry, Phillies
88. Alberto Callaspo, Angels
89. Todd Helton, Rockies
NOTE: Might be the end of the line.
90. Jose Lopez, Indians

Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?


Bears Talk Podcast: What's next for Bears at QB after Brian Hoyer suffers broken arm?

Lance Briggs, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down where the Bears go at QB following Brian Hoyer’s injury and evaluate the defense’s gutsy performance on Thursday night against the Packers despite numerous injuries. Plus, a look at the big picture and who can help the Bears down the road.

Check out the latest edition of the Bears Talk Podcast here:

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

Anthony Rizzo/Javier Baez antics show how this Cubs team doesn’t feel the same weight of history

LOS ANGELES – Within minutes of the last out on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, ESPN’s @SportsCenter account sent out a photo of Moises Alou at the Wrigley Field wall to more than 30 million Twitter followers: “The last time the Cubs were up 3-2 in an NLCS was Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS vs. the Marlins. Most remember it as ‘the Bartman Game.’”

As Kerry Wood once said: “Irrelevant, dude.”
Look, the Cubs still need to find a way to beat either Clayton Kershaw or Rich Hill this weekend, with Kenley Jansen resting and waiting for the multiple-inning saves. The obligatory description for Kershaw is “the best pitcher on the planet.” Hill’s lefty curveball – and “the perceptual velocity” of his fastball – freezes hitters. Jansen has a mystical cutter reminiscent of the great Mariano Rivera. The top-heavy part of this Los Angeles playoff pitching staff has held the Cubs to zero runs in 16.1 innings.

But until proven otherwise, forget about this idea of a Cubs team weighed down by the history of a franchise that hasn’t played in the World Series since 1945.

Just look at Javier Baez getting in Anthony Rizzo’s airspace during Game 5, the human-highlight-film second baseman standing right next to the All-Star first baseman as he caught a Kike Hernandez pop-up for the second out of the third inning.

It didn’t matter that this was a 1-0 game and MVP-ballot players Justin Turner and Corey Seager were coming up. This is what the 2016 Cubs do. Rizzo caught the ball, quickly flipped it underhand and it bounced off Baez’s chest – in front of a sellout crowd of 54,449 and a national Fox Sports 1 audience.

“We always mess around,” Rizzo said at his locker inside a tight clubhouse jammed with media after an 8-4 win. “So I’m screaming: ‘Javy! Javy! I got it! I got it, Javy, I got it!’

“And usually he’ll yell at me: ‘Don’t miss it!’ Or I’ll yell at him: ‘Don’t miss it!’

“We do that a lot. If it’s a pop-up to him, I’ll go right behind him. It’s just little ways of slowing the game down and having fun, too.”

Rizzo is a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman for a team that led the majors in defensive efficiency this year. As a super-utility guy, Baez got credit for 11 defensive runs saved in 383 innings at second base, or one less than co-leaders Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler, who each did it in almost 1,300 innings.

“Sometimes when I call (Rizzo) off to get a fly ball, he starts talking to me,” Baez said. “I tell him: ‘Hey, you can do whatever you want. Just don’t move my head. You can touch me if you want. Just don’t move my head.’

“And I told him to be ready for it, because I was going to do the same thing. You just got to be focused on the fly ball. No matter what’s happening around you, you just got to catch it.”

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

This isn’t about Bartman. It’s about a group of young, confident players who are growing up together and absolutely expect to be in this position. It’s manager Joe Maddon designing “Embrace The Target” T-shirts and telling them to show up to the ballpark whenever they want and then blow off batting practice.

“For sure, we’re relaxed,” said Baez, who’s gone viral during these playoffs, the rest of the country witnessing his amazing instincts and flashy personality. “I’m relaxed when I play defense.”

The thing is, Rizzo and Baez could be playing next to each other for the next five years, the same way Kris Bryant and Addison Russell will be anchoring the left side of the infield.

This is how Rizzo introduced Russell to The Show when a natural shortstop tried to learn second base on the fly last year and track pop-ups in front of 40,000 people: “Hey, watch out for that skateboard behind you! Don’t trip!”

“Oh yeah, we yell at each other all the time,” Rizzo said. “It’s just one of those things where you got to stay loose.”