I usually do this over the All-Star break, but time didn’t allow for it last week. So here now are my very, very preliminary 2020 player rankings. I’ve done my best to list players where they’ll be eligible next year, and the free agents-to-be are listed without teams. Players with options for next year are still listed with their current teams if those options have a legitimate chance of being exercised. Those players are noted with asterisks.
Along with the position rankings is a top 300 list for 2020. Click to see other preliminary 2020 rankings:
Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups on Yahoo!, DraftKings and FanDuel with our DFS Toolkit!.
2020 First Baseman and Designated Hitter Rankings
|1 DH||Yordan Alvarez||Astros||206 OF||20 OF|
|5||Rhys Hoskins||Phillies||17 OF||16 OF|
|2 DH||Khris Davis||Athletics||1 DH||3 DH|
|3 DH||Shohei Ohtani||Angels||3 DH||1 DH|
|8||Daniel Murphy||Rockies||3 2B||4 2B|
|4 DH||Nelson Cruz||Twins*||2 DH||2 DH|
|21||Eric Thames||Brewers*||77 OF||60 OF|
|5 DH||Renato Nunez||Orioles||34 3B||23 3B|
|23||Garrett Cooper||Marlins||129 OF||75 OF|
|26||Rowdy Tellez||Blue Jays||30||20|
|30||Ryan Mountcastle||Orioles||50 3B||34 3B|
|6 DH||Mark Trumbo||5 DH||4 DH|
|33||Ji-Man Choi||Rays||6 DH||31|
|34||A.J. Reed||White Sox||48||NR|
|43||David Freese||40 3B||42 3B|
|45||Neil Walker||39 2B||43 2B|
- I’ve sprinkled in the designated hitters here. One of the tough calls initially was just how aggressive to be with Yordan Alvarez. Through 23 games, his major league numbers are pretty much an exact match for what he was doing in Triple-A. It’s still way too early to think of him as a true .300 hitter, but the power isn’t going anywhere. The other question was whether to list him as an outfielder; I use 20-game eligibility, so he still needs to play 14 more games in the field.
- Shohei Ohtani would probably slot just ahead of Anthony Rizzo here if the Angels announced he was giving up pitching. Since that’s probably not happening and his hitting schedule will be managed next year, he’s considerably lower.
- Nate Lowe is several spots higher here than he would have been a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other youngsters who look like great bets for 2020. Ryan Mountcastle will surely get a long look in Baltimore at some point, but plate discipline figures to hold him back. I’m interested in seeing what A.J. Reed does in Chicago; there hasn’t been anything encouraging about his performance the last couple of years, but he looked like a significant talent at one point and it’s understandable that four years in Triple-A would wear him down. Evan White has a chance to be a solid bat for Seattle, though probably not an exciting one for fantasy purposes anytime soon.
- Soon to be replacing Reed for Houston’s Triple-A affiliate is Seth Beer, who has hit .324/.421/.574 between high-A and Double-A this year. He could follow the Alvarez path and break into Houston’s lineup next June.