Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 5/31

Power rankings for every fantasy-relevant category.

Whether it’s early in the season, the middle of July, or late in the year, it’s always good to know where you stand in your Roto league.

Of course, perusing your league’s standings accomplishes that fairly quickly. However, numbers can often be misleading. Is your team producing at the level it should be as a league leader compared to the vast majority of other Roto leagues?

Are there underperforming players on your team, or available via waivers each week that could help you significantly in specific, or multiple, categories moving forward? This column aims to, and will, answer all those questions on a weekly basis, regardless of league size.

Essentially, it’s an almanac for Roto leagues and NFBC or TGFBI leagues, showing you not only the watermarks your team should be hitting category-wise to be truly elite but also the specific players that will help you get there. What’s more, it’ll also cover the top performers in each category, as well as some under-the-radar options for each metric as well.




A couple of quick notes before we begin. For metrics like ERA, WHIP, batting average, and on-base percentage, only qualified or close to qualified pitchers and hitters (respectively) were considered, especially at this time of year with smaller sample sizes running rampant.

Additionally, all rostered rate numbers are via FantasyPros. Furthermore, in part due to NFBC leagues, all stats (as well as the rostered data) are via the previous week’s Sunday.

All the data in terms of Roto league production is from last year’s numbers.


Where You Should Be Producing In Each Category


Below is data for both 15-team and 12-team Roto leagues from last season and the average statistical totals that each placed team finished with. This is for the entirety of a season. Basically, if you want to do well in these two formats, these are the season-long watermarks to shoot for.

There’s also SGP data for both 15-team and 12-team formats.

Before we get any further, a massive thank you to Pitcher List Director of Data Analytics and Research Kyle Bland for getting a hold of the data.

And now, without further ado, the 15-team data, which comes from 2023 TGFBI leagues:


15-Team Leagues


(Quick reminder, the far left-hand column is where the team finished in the standings.)



And here’s the 15-team, SGP data:



12-Team Leagues



And now for the 12-team, SGP data:



Category Power Rankings


Batting Average (AVG)





Of Note: William Contreras.

Is William Contreras having one of the best fantasy seasons we’ve ever seen from a catcher? He might just be. There’s still a decent bit of the season left to go, but Contreras has been excellent so far both in terms of his surface-level metrics as well as underlying data.

He has a real shot at reaching both 90 RBI and 90 runs scored, which would be only the fourth time this century that a player at his position has accomplished that.

Want more Contreras fun facts? In the Statcast era since 2015, 41 players have equaled or cleared a .370 xwOBA, a .280 xBA, and a .500 xSLG (all marks Contreras is either close to or over) in a single season. Exactly one of them was a catcher. The catcher, for reference, was Gary Sánchez in 2017.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Mauricio Dubón.

With below-average ISO and stolen base marks in each of the last few seasons, the bulk of Mauricio Dubón’s fantasy value has come via his ability to hit for average and provide fantasy depth across the diamond.

To that end, the 29-year-old has continued to do what he does best in terms of hitting for average this season. Despite fairly low xwOBA, hard-hit, and chase rate marks, the veteran is hitting .319 in his first 119 plate appearances. He’s more of an option in standard leagues due to just a 2.5% walk rate and a .336 on-base percentage. Still, he’s striking out just 6.7% of the time and is sporting a mere 16.5% whiff rate.

As long as those types of contact metrics continue, a solid batting average should follow. And with fantasy eligibility at second base, shortstop, and in the outfield, Dubon should continue to be a solid fantasy bench option in deeper leagues with 15 or more teams.


On-Base Percentage (OBP)





Of Note: Luis Arraez.

For most other hitters, doing what Arraez has done so far with the Padres would seem unsustainable and reasonably surprising. Arraez has a .391 batting average and a .418 on-base percentage in his first 91 plate appearances for the club since being acquired in a trade from the Miami Marlins.

But this, after all, is Luis Arraez, who hit .383 in the first half last year and over .400 in both March and April, as well as July – so the unsustainable and reasonably surprising monikers don’t really apply here.

It’s been an ideal start for Arraez – who, perhaps unsurprisingly – has quickly established himself as the leadoff hitter in San Diego for the Padres. Elite batting average, on-base percentage, and run-scoring metrics await.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Joc Pederson.

Like Ryan O’Hearn (more on him in a bit) Pederson is one of the better platoon hitters you’ll find in fantasy baseball. Hitting .303 with a .397 on-base percentage, six home runs, and a stolen base through his first 142 plate appearances this season, strong production is nothing new for the veteran outfielder.

Pederson has topped a .360 xwOBA in each of his last two seasons prior to 2024 and is well-positioned to achieve the feat once again this year.

For much of May (okay, all of May) he’s hit either fifth or third for the Diamondbacks. As of late, it’s been more the latter with a steady run of starts batting third (when he is in the lineup) after Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte. Batting after Marte on a regular basis should lead to even more fantasy success for Pederson considering his teammate is batting .270 on the season but with a .296 BABIP (compared to a .309 career BABIP), a .361 xwOBA and a 54.1% hard-hit rate. In short, more surface-level production is coming.


Home Runs (HR)





Of Note: Ryan Jeffers.

After posting a solid, but not overwhelming 8.3% barrel rate, as well as five home runs, through the end of April, Jeffers has been on a tear in the month of May where barrels are concerned.

He’s only hitting .194 with a .267 on-base percentage and five home runs (plus a stolen base) in his first 75 plate appearances, but the backstop is also sporting an 18.2% barrel rate during that span. More power is on the horizon for the Twins catcher. More production in general should be too. He had just a .205 BABIP through Sunday and, despite the low average, had still contributed a 113 wRC+ and a .299 ISO during that span.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Ryan O’Hearn.

O’Hearn’s elite quality of contact metrics to start the year have cooled off a bit, but he’s still hitting third with regularity in a dangerous Orioles lineup every time he starts.

The caveat here is that those starts only come against right-handed pitching, but platoons can be an effective strategy to deploy for fantasy managers in deeper leagues. Furthermore, O’Hearn’s recent track record of elite contact and place in a similarly elite lineup make him one of the best platoon options in the league.


Runs Scored (R)





Of Note: José Ramírez.

This is not all to say that José Ramírez’s 2024 production is extremely unsustainable and he’s someone to consider trading away. But, it is worth watching what the veteran does in the second half.

Overall, Ramirez is batting .263 with a .316 on-base percentage, 15 home runs, and eight stolen bases in his first 228 plate appearances, with a 9.2% barrel rate and a .361 wOBA.

But, the barrel rate isn’t too overwhelming and Ramirez’s actual xwOBA is down closer to .300. There’s also the fact that, if the season ended today, the veteran’s chase rate would finish above 30% for the first time in his career.

Of course, the third baseman hit .280 with a .355 on-base percentage, 29 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in 691 plate appearances in 2022 despite a collection of uninspiring quality of contact metrics, including a .320 xwOBA, a .331 xwOBAcon, and a 36.9% hard-hit rate, so outperforming those type of metrics isn’t anything new for him. Furthermore, he hasn’t been a threat to reach double digits in terms of barrel rate in either of the last two seasons, so his 2024 showing represents a step up production-wise there.

Still, this is a situation worth monitoring moving forward to see if the surface-level production maintains at this level.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Mike Tauchman.

This is slightly cheating given the name above, but let’s do a bit of a blind resume type of deal here.

You’d probably want a player with a .377 on-base percentage who has scored 30 runs in 191 plate appearances on your fantasy team, right? Especially one who is, more often than not, hitting leadoff ahead of Seiya Suzuki, Cody Bellinger, and Christopher Morel. That’s the type of player you’d want on your team, right?

That player, anti-climatic drumroll please, is Mike Tauchman, who is rostered in far too few leagues. Is criminally under-rostered in fantasy leagues a phrase? Because if it is, it applies to Mike Tauchman.







Of Note: Alec Bohm.

One of two fantasy breakout stars (Bryson Stott being the other) in an already deep Phillies lineup, Bohm is enjoying his best season in the majors, making quality contact at an elite rate and establishing himself as a constant in the heart of the Phillies lineup.

The elite quality of contact numbers certainly helps boost Bohm’s fantasy upside, as do a .315 average and .369 on-base percentage in his first 225 plate appearances. But it’s the hitting in the middle of the Phillies lineup on a regular basis that might move the needle the most fantasy-wise here. If someone in your league doesn’t think Bohm’s breakout is legitimate, now’s the time to work out a trade. Bohm could be a fantasy league winner. In reality, he already sort of is in that he’s significantly impacted the standings of plenty of fantasy leagues nearly two months into the season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Ceddanne Rafaela.

Rafaela has brought some solid counting stats to the table so far this season, collecting 28 RBI, 24 runs scored, seven stolen bases, and five home runs in his first 190 plate appearances. But, his RBI and run-scored production looks a bit unsustainable, even with a .248 BABIP. That’s especially true when you consider he’s hitting just .208 on the season with an xwOBA below .265 and below-average quality of contact and plate discipline metrics across the board.

Most of all, though, Rafaela is doing all of this while mostly hitting eighth or ninth for the Boston Red Sox. Regardless of the kind of quality of contact or plate discipline, hitting ninth on a regular basis just generally isn’t conducive to fantasy success where RBI or runs scored are concerned unless of course that hitter plays for a team like the Dodgers or the Orioles. If Rafaela is on your fantasy team, now might be the time to trade him, even in deeper leagues.


Stolen Bases (SB)





Of Note: Maikel Garcia.

Garcia will, rightfully so, draw headlines for his stolen base totals. But it’s what he’s doing elsewhere that makes him such an underrated fantasy option.

The fact that he’s locked into the leadoff spot in a quality Kansas City lineup ahead of Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, and Salvador Perez –  all of whom have an xwOBA north of .360 –  certainly doesn’t hurt and has helped Garcia score 31 runs so far.

But Garcia has also driven in 33 runs. He is doing more than enough overall in the power depart to pair with his stolen base production, collecting five home runs and 20 total extra-base hits while registering a .152 ISO.

All told the infielder is one of just two players in the sport to log double-digit stolen bases to go along with both 30 or more runs scored and RBI.

The other is Shohei Ohtani.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Jorge Mateo.

There’s definite concern about sustainability in terms of Mateo’s production this year. Not so much in the stolen bases themselves, but more so that Jackson Holliday or Coby Mayo’s eventual arrival could force the veteran infielder from a regular role. There’s also the potential that his BABIP, which is playing nice for the first time in years, drops off at some point, back toward his career norms.

But, and this is the crucial bit, until then, enjoy the production. Stolen base production can often be feast or famine in terms of finding via fantasy waiver wires. And as long as Mateo is starting regularly in Baltimore, he’s worth a look in deeper leagues.




Strikeouts (K)





Of Note: Garrett Crochet.

Crochet continues to put more and more distance between a mid-April stretch in which he allowed 17 runs in 11.2 innings in three starts. Since then, the right-hander has struck out 35.7% of the batters he’s faced while surrendering walks at just a 4.8% rate in 34 innings. And oh yeah, he’s logged a 1.32 ERA and a 2.16 FIP in those 34 innings spanning six starts.

The starter has also accumulated four pitcher wins during the stretch despite pitching for a White Sox team that has struggled mightily to score runs at times this season.

The big question now is, or rather the most notable thing to watch moving forward here is if the White Sox end up trading Crochet like they did with so many other veterans as part of their rebuilding efforts.

Crochet looks like a top-10 or better fantasy starter right now, but pairing him with an elite (or even league-average or simply above-average) lineup in that hypothetical scenario could give him the fantasy upside to sit atop starting pitcher rankings. He’s that good.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Ryan Weathers.

Ryan Weathers‘ breakout season might officially be here. Sure, there’s a gap between his 4.23 FIP and 3.16 ERA, and yes his strikeout totals have been low at times, but there’s more than enough here to suggest the Marlins starter has graduated from simply being a decent streaming option to someone to keep on fantasy rosters moving forward.

The left-hander has allowed just one earned run in his last 21 innings (spanning three starts), striking out 19 batters in that span. Overall, he’s allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once in 11 outings in 2024.

Furthermore, he’s shown quality bat-missing ability at times. Somewhat like Seth Lugo (more on him shortly), Weathers has at times struggled to miss bats while also logging quality strikeout tallies at others.

In Weathers’ 11 starts, he’s struck out at least six batters four times, including a 10-strikeout outing against the Giants on April 16. He’s also struck out four or fewer batters five times, including two starts where he had just one strikeout each. Now, admittedly, both singular strikeout outings were on the road against the Yankees and Atlanta so perhaps there isn’t too much to read into with those two performances. Regardless, there’s more than enough upside to warrant adding Weathers in deeper leagues.







Of Note: Luis Gil.

Luis Gil was featured in this part of last week’s column in the “Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues” portion. And while he thankfully no longer qualifies there due to being added to significantly more fantasy rosters, it’s possible he’s still considerably underrated in fantasy leagues.

Here’s a quick blind resume test.

Pitcher A through Sunday had thrown 59 innings, pitching to a 3.05 ERA, a 3.59 FIP, 68 strikeouts, 10 walks, and 10 home runs allowed. He’d limited batters to a 42.8% hard-hit rate, a 9.2% barrel rate, and posted a 17.9% swinging strike percentage.

Pitcher B through Sunday had thrown 55.1 innings, pitching to a 2.11 ERA, a 2.93 FIP, 70 strikeouts, 29 walks, and three home runs allowed. He’d limited batters to a 28.1% hard-hit rate and a 5.8% barrel rate and posted an 11.7% swinging strike percentage.

Pitcher A is arguably fantasy baseball’s biggest breakout pitcher this season and one who looks like a top-10 option overall moving forward, in Jared Jones.

Pitcher B is Gil.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Andrew Abbott.

Abbott was a pitcher to stay away from in drafts this spring mainly due to the grouping of a 42.5% hard-hit rate, a 9.2% barrel rate, and a 9.6% walk rate on his statistical resume paired with the fact that he pitches half his games at Great American Ballpark.

The amount of hard contact and walks, combined with the ballpark, was just an unideal collection of stats and facts for fantasy purposes, even with the 24-year-old’s 26.1% strikeout rate last year.


Wins (W)





Of Note: Seth Lugo.

What a tale of two seasons it’s been for Seth Lugo.

The veteran hurler has been reasonably consistent from a run-prevention standpoint. Or rather, hasn’t struggled with his ERA and FIP numbers early in his Kansas City tenure. There’s perhaps a bit of good fortune where the BABIP is concerned in helping keep Lugo’s ERA much lower than his FIP, but neither number has crossed the 4.00 mark.

So that hasn’t really changed.

What has changed has been the strikeouts.

In Lugo’s first five starts, he struck out just 31 batters, logging a 2.03 ERA and a 3.84 FIP in the process and turning in pitcher wins in three of five starts. If you’re doing the math at home with the strikeouts, that equates to 4.06 punch-outs per nine frames and only an 11.1% strikeout rate. Lugo never struck out more than four batters in a start and had one outing with just one strikeout.

In his next five starts, the veteran struck out 47 hitters in 41.1 innings while posting a 1.52 ERA and a 2.77 FIP. For those once again doing the math at home, that’s 10.23 strikeouts per nine innings and a 29.7% strikeout rate. In fact, in a masterful, eight-inning outing in Los Angeles against the Angels on May 12., the veteran had nearly as many strikeouts as he did in his first five starts combined (12).


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Reed Garrett.

Garrett, with 90th percentile or better rankings in xERA, whiff rate, barrel rate, and strikeout rate, already looked like one of the league’s best relievers – not to mention one of fantasy’s best with five pitcher wins, four holds, and a pair of saves in 19 appearances. 43 strikeouts in 27 innings don’t exactly hurt either.

However, with Edwin Diaz on the injured list, Garrett should see his fantasy stock rise considerably. He has the Mets’ last save, and while there are other options like Adam Ottavino and Drew Smith, it’s hard to argue with Garrett’s bat-missing ability.


Quality Starts (QS)





Of Note: Logan Webb.

If you’re looking to acquire a steady source of quality starts for your fantasy team, Logan Webb stands out arguably as the most consistent and reliable option. Other fantasy managers certainly won’t be looking to trade him just to trade him, but compared to other names on this list like Tyler Glasnow, Tarik Skubal, and Corbin Burnes, it’s possible Webb’s perceived fantasy trade value might be a bit lower than it actually is.

Webb has been nothing but consistent in the last four seasons, never seeing his ERA (or FIP, astonishingly) rise above 3.25. He’s also accumulated at least 14 quality starts in each of his last three campaigns, including a career-best 24 last season.

The right-hander won’t overwhelm with strikeouts – he has just a lifetime 22.3% strikeout rate – but his elite production in terms of both ERA and quality starts more than makes up for that.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Bailey Falter.

Falter has been excellent at limiting walks so far, logging just a 6.2% walk rate through 10 starts and 58.1 innings pitched. All told he’s posted a 3.55 ERA in that span to go along with the five quality starts. The rest of his statistical resume, which includes both a .199 BABIP, just a 33.1% ground ball rate, and a 4.73 FIP, screams statistical regression.

As long as the hurler continues to stave off that statistical regression and a sudden spike in his season-long ERA with BABIP good fortune and few walks, he’ll have some streaming upside in the right matchups. Three of his next four starts, assuming Pittsbugh’s rotation continues unchanged without any interruptions, prove to be more on the pitcher-friendly side of things, most notably at Toronto, at St. Louis, and home to the Reds. However, with the statistical regression potentially looming in the background, this isn’t a situation without significant risk. Proceed with caution.


Saves (SV)





Of Note: Andrés Muñoz.

In years past, the Seattle Mariners have been one of the league’s best sources for ancillary saves, with the likes of Paul Sewald, Rafael Montero, Munoz himself, and Matt Brash all serving as quality setup options who have recorded useful save totals.

This season has been a bit different.

That might be in part due to Brash and Gregory Santos, two pitchers who could’ve filled late-inning roles, having yet to pitch in the majors this season due to injured list stints. Maybe things would’ve been different in how the Mariners divvied up saves.

But for now, with Brash and Santos sidelined, Munoz has functioned more as the go-to closer with little in the way of ancillary save chances for others.

Through Sunday, Munoz had collected 10 of the Mariners’ 13 saves. Ryne Stanek had two. Taylor Saucedo had just the one. That’s it.

For a pitcher who’s finished in the 99th percentile or better in whiff rate in each of the last two years, it elevates Munoz’s fantasy ceiling to that of a top-five fantasy closer (or better) as long as he’s receiving the lion’s share of the save chances in Seattle.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Trevor Megill, James McArthur, and Griffin Jax.

Quick aside, Megill and McArthur are still rostered in far too few fantasy leagues. These are potential league-winning closers, especially with the struggles of Edwin Diaz, Jordan Romano, and David Bednar this season.

Moving on to Jax, he’s still a viable ancillary saves option in deeper leagues, even with Jhoan Duran’s return. Duran returned on April 30 and has six saves in his first 12 appearances over that span. He also has four of the Twins’ six high-leverage, ninth-inning appearances — no other reliever has more than one.

But, Jax also has a save and a ninth-inning appearance during that span and is one of three different Twins relievers with a save since Duran’s return.

With a 2.53 ERA, a 2.10 FIP, a 0.90 WHIP, and a 33.3% strikeout rate, Jax was on the verge of being a reliever to roster for fantasy managers simply to help with weekly ERA and WHIP tallies — while also adding an influx of strikeouts. However, now with the potential for some additional ancillary saves, he makes for a quality addition in deeper leagues.







Of Note: Sonny Gray.

Sonny Gray was an All-Star in 2023, finished second in the American League Cy Young voting, logged a career-best 5.3 fWAR, and posted career-low run-prevention numbers (including a 2.79 ERA and a 2.80 FIP) while also receiving down-ballot MVP votes last season.

In short, it was a career year.

And yet, quietly, he’s been even better to start 2024.

Some of that may have to do with the Cardinals’ early-season struggles, but Gray has won seven of his nine starts so far while lowering both his ERA (to 2.60) and FIP (to 2.80) from last season.

Elsewhere, he’s also missing bats much more often.

His 11.60 strikeouts per nine innings would be a new career-best in a full season, as would a 32.4% strikeout rate and a 12.9% swinging strike percentage.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gray’s overall CSW% is also the best of his career to date, sitting at 32.6%.

After a career year in 2023, Sonny Gray is only getting better.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Albert Suarez.

Suarez has rotated between being a part of the Orioles’ actual rotation and pitching out of the bullpen. The latter role has included both shorter and longer stints.

Regardless of how long he’s stayed in the game, Suarez has done nothing but get outs, with just a 1.53 ERA and a 2.86 FIP through 29.1 innings. He’s made four starts and has recorded six or more outs on three different occasions from the bullpen. The right-hander might not be a candidate to contribute a lot in the way of pitcher wins, saves, or holds. However, given his ability to soak up innings, Suarez could be a valuable addition in deeper leagues to keep ERA and WHIP numbers down, especially in Roto formats.

Ben Rosener

Ben Rosener is baseball and fantasy baseball writer whose work has previously appeared on the digital pages of Motor City Bengals, Bleacher Report, USA Today, FanSided.com and World Soccer Talk among others. He also writes about fantasy baseball for RotoBaller and the Detroit Tigers for his own Patreon page, Getting You Through the Tigers Rebuild (@Tigers_Rebuild on Twitter). He only refers to himself in the third person for bios.

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