Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 6/7

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: Adley Rutschman.

Rutschman is once again hitting for a high average due to a combination of more continued quality xwOBA and xwOBAcon numbers and having another low strikeout rate this season.

But he’s also seen an uptick in barrels, something that’s helping not only with the quality of contact numbers but also his power production.

The catcher’s previous career highs for barrel rate, total barrels, and home runs sit at 7.5%, 37 and 20 respectively. All of those metrics came in 2023 in 687 plate appearances and 492 batted ball events.

So far this season he’s collected 16 barrels to go along with an 8.7% barrel rate, and has half of his home run tally from last year in 447 fewer plate appearances and 308 fewer batted ball events.

Hitting in the top half of an elite Baltimore lineup certainly doesn’t hurt his potential to rack up RBI and runs scored either. Add it all up and you have a player capable of finishing the year as fantasy baseball’s best catcher. He has that kind of ceiling, and it’d be no small feat either considering the year Will Smith is having and the potentially historic campaign William Contreras is in the midst of.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Nick Gonzales.

Gonzales got off to a slow start in his first season in the Majors. The 25-year-old hit just .209 with a .268 on-base percentage, two home runs, a 28.1% strikeout rate, a 64 wRC+, and only three barrels in 128 plate appearances last season. Admittedly, it was a smaller sample size, but it wasn’t an ideal start.

Fast forward to 2024 and things have changed dramatically for Gonzales’ production.

We’re still dealing with another smaller sample size (this one at 87 plate appearances) but there are a number of things to like about what Gonzales has done so far. The .308 average and the .360 on-base percentage are certainly good. So too are a pair of stolen bases. But the most significant development here is that the middle infielder has more than doubled his barrel total (he has eight so far, good for a 13.6% barrel rate on 59 batted ball events) in nearly 40 fewer plate appearances. All the while cutting his strikeout rate down to 24.1% as well.

Realistically speaking, his rostered rate should be much higher, more in the 40% range at the very least. If you have a need at either second base or shortstop (both positions where Gonzales is eligible in fantasy leagues) he makes for an ideal addition in either 12-team leagues or more deeper leagues. In the former, he’d be more of a short-term option with the potential for more, while in the latter he looks like a quality option for the remainder of the season.


On-Base Percentage (OBP)





Of Note: Jurickson Profar.

Profar has been excellent for the Padres this season, batting .325 with a .421 on-base percentage, eight home runs, and a pair of stolen bases in his first 247 plate appearances in 2024.

The veteran has turned in quality real-life and fantasy seasons before, but he’s never been this productive. Naturally, that might lead some to think this is a fluke.

It really hasn’t been.

Profar is sustaining a walk rate (13.0%) that is both extremely high and incredibly close to his similarly strong strikeout rate (14.2%). With decidedly above-average chase rate and whiff rate marks, Profar is making contact at an elite rate, something that will only help his overall production.

Furthermore, he’s making all that contact while also making more quality contact. Profar’s previous career high in terms of xwOBAcon was .341 back in 2019. He has a very real chance to beat that number by at least .040 by the end of the season. Also of note, his 6.3% barrel rate is just percentage points shy of his previous career-best barrel rate, which was 6.5% (also) in 2019.

Add in a place in a quality San Diego lineup and Profar ticks all the boxes in terms of having the ability to sustain this hot start.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Edmundo Sosa.

Edmundo Sosa has been excellent this season, both for the Phillies and for fantasy managers, as a starting shortstop option while Trea Turner has been on the injured list.

Sosa is batting .304 with a .373 on-base percentage, four home runs, 13 total extra-base hits, a .272 ISO, and a pair of stolen bases in his first 103 plate appearances for the National League East club this season.

A .407  BABIP might be tipping the scales a bit where the production is concerned but Sosa has also supplied a 12.5% barrel rate and a 48.4% hard-hit rate on the season. In short, it’s not all entirely unsustainable, even if the BABIP comes down to earth a little bit.

The most pressing question, really, is where does Sosa play when Turner returns? Or, more specifically, how often does Sosa play? Philadelphia has Bryce Harper entrenched at first base and Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott in the midst of breakout seasons. Sosa could see a bit more time at shortstop once Turner returns if the Phillies opt to ease the veteran back into starting full-time, but otherwise, it’s fair to wonder how consistent Sosa’s role will be after that.

For now, fantasy managers should enjoy the production while Turner remains on the injured list. Those with Turner also on their roster should be fine, but for fantasy managers who have started Sosa without having previously drafted or traded for Turner, it might be time to start looking for contingency options at shortstop.


Home Runs (HR)





Of Note: Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton is striking out now more than ever. If the season ended on Monday morning, it would’ve marked his highest strikeout rate in a season (he’s also sporting his lowest walk rate in a full season). Still, the decidedly above-average power is back after a down year in 2023. Or, at least a down year relative to the elite power numbers he’s posted in past seasons.

Stanton hit 24 home runs to go along with a .229 ISO and a 15.7% barrel rate in 415 plate appearances last year. This year, his ISO and barrel rates are up to .256 and 18.8% respectively to go along with 14 home runs. In actuality, his 18.8% barrel rate would be the best barrel rate Stanton has logged in a season since he posted a 24.1% barrel rate in 318 plate appearances in 2015.

Want another fun fact regarding Stanton’s underlying stats this year? He’s at 25 total barrels already through two months after collecting 39 in 415 plate appearances last season. A 30 to 40 home run season could be on the cards.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Nolan Gorman.

One of the best trade options for those looking for middle infield help, Gorman has overcome a slow start to go on a tear since the calendar flipped to May. From May 1 through Sunday he was hitting .260 with a .372 on-base percentage, seven home runs, a pair of stolen bases, a 22.5% barrel rate, and a 37.5% hard-hit rate. Strikeouts – he punched out 38.4% of the time during that span – might continue to be a regular cast member in his stat line, but Gorman’s elite power potential more than makes up for it.


Runs Scored (R)




Of Note: Ketel Marte.

If you thought Ketel Marte’s 2023 season was good, one that re-established him as one of the best fantasy options at second base, wait until you delve into his 2024 numbers, because Marte might be fantasy baseball’s best second baseman not named Mookie Betts.

The Diamondbacks slugger is quietly having a career year, with a real shot at establishing new personal bests in all of the following categories: xBA, xSLG, xwOBA, xwOBAcon, hard-hit rate, and barrel rate. Overall, he’s hitting .270 with a .330 on-base percentage, 12 home runs, and a stolen base. However, with an 11.7% barrel rate, a 54.8% hard-hit rate, and an xwOBA not tremendously far away from .400, the average and on-base percentage as a pair probably don’t tell the whole story.

Marte, it should be noted, has never finished with a double-digit barrel rate in a season, even in 2019 when he collected 32 home runs in 628 plate appearances for the Diamondbacks.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Willi Castro.

Castro’s underlying and quality of contact metrics won’t overwhelm or jump off the page. In fact, most of his quality of contact numbers are below league average at the moment. However, he continues to do enough from a batting average and counting-stat standpoint to provide useful fantasy production for fantasy managers in deeper leagues. He’s hitting .260 this season with a .335 on-base percentage, four home runs, and seven stolen bases through his first 224 plate appearances.

Castro performed similarly below-average quality of contact metrics last season to log nine home runs, a career-high 33 stolen bases, and a .257 average in 409 plate appearances. With Edouard Julien having been optioned to Triple-A, Castro should see somewhat of an uptick in playing time at second base, which shouldn’t hurt his ability to accumulate counting stats.







Of Note: Teoscar Hernández.

Here’s a list for you, different from the one above and different from the ones below.

Willy Adames.

Freddie Freeman.

Okay, so it’s a shorter list and barely qualifies as such, but it’s the list of players in the Majors with more plate appearances with runners in scoring position than Teoscar Hernández this season. Adames and Freeman. That’s it.

With 12 home runs, a 13.5% barrel rate, and a 50.0% hard-hit rate, Hernandez should continue to thrive in the Dodgers’ stacked lineup. His .255 average and .323 on-base percentage might not jump off the page, but the pairing of his quality of contact numbers and the counting stat opportunities in Los Angeles’ lineup give Hernandez one of the higher fantasy ceilings among position players.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Davis Schneider.

Similar to Brandon Pfaadt (more on him later), Schneider might be one of the more undervalued fantasy players in the sport right now. He probably has a bit more fantasy value and upside in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring, but the 25-year-old is hitting .245 on the season with a .349 on-base percentage, seven home runs, three stolen bases, and a 12.2% walk rate, a 14.3% barrel rate and a 26.5% strikeout rate in his first 185 plate appearances this season.

That he’s continued to log a high barrel rate after last season – when it was 17.8% in 141 Major League plate appearances – has been crucial for his fantasy value. What’s been similarly crucial has been his ascension to the top of the Blue Jays lineup as the team’s leadoff hitter in recent weeks. Toronto has struggled to score runs at times this season, but hitting ahead of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the rest of the heart of the Blue Jays’ order should only help raise Schneider’s already high fantasy ceiling.

And he’s also sporting fantasy eligibility at both second base and in the outfield. At this rate, he has a very real chance to be one of the best waiver wire additions of the season, right up there with Garrett Crochet, Jared Jones, Jurickson Profar, Brent Rooker, and Jack Flaherty.


Stolen Bases (SB)





Of Note: Elly De La Cruz.

Elly De La Cruz only added one stolen base to his season-long tally last week, but he remains far and away baseball’s top stolen base option. He’s amassed 32 of them already, a number that already has him tied for the 36th-most in a season by a position player this century. The 32 stolen bases are also more than the respective totals of nine different teams so far. Also, did I mention it’s still early June?

The tally for the most stolen bases in a season this century is 78, and only three players have even gotten within eight of that mark in the last 24 years. De La Cruz has a real shot to do that. And oh yeah, he’s also logged nine home runs and a 10.9% barrel rate so far. If you drafted De La Cruz anywhere around (or after) his 23.49 ADP (per NFBC data) there’s a fairly decent chance you’re near the top of your fantasy league standings at the moment.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Richie Palacios.

Regardless of league size or scoring format, the Tampa Bay RaysRichie Palacios makes for the ideal fantasy utility option to bring off the bench. Hitting .262 with a .355 on-base percentage and an 11.5% walk rate, Palacios brings an interesting mix of positional versatility (he’s eligible at both second base and in the outfield in fantasy) as well as power and speed production, with four home runs and nine stolen bases so far.

The 27-year-old isn’t starting or playing much against left-handed pitching, but as a bench option for fantasy managers, the fact that he isn’t starting every single game isn’t as much of an issue as if he were playing every day for the Rays.

Still, even in games in which he hasn’t started, Palacios has made a number of pinch-hitting or pinch-running appearances lately, adding a bit to the foundation of his fantasy floor from an opportunities standpoint.




Strikeouts (K)





Of Note: Luis Castillo.

Hey, remember Luis Castillo’s slow start? Remember that? That distant thing of the past?

Because that’s what it’s sort of turning into.

After allowing 12 runs in his first three starts spanning 15.2 innings, Castillo owns a 2.01 ERA and a 3.74 FIP in 62.2 innings, with 63 strikeouts compared to just 18 walks and eight home runs allowed.

And despite pitching for a Mariners team that has struggled to score runs at times this season and sits in the bottom five in the league in scoring, Castillo logged five pitcher wins during that span. His FIP could probably be a bit lower but he looks like he’s back to being a frontline fantasy starting pitcher.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Reid Detmers.

Detmers is probably better than his bloated 6.14 ERA would indicate, what with an even 10.00 strikeouts per nine frames and a 4.35 FIP. However, he’s struggled mightily in recent weeks, both with allowing barrels and walks. These are two things that his ability to accumulate strikeouts could necessarily overcome when looking at his ERA and FIP.

Since April 22, the right-hander struck out 40 batters in 40.1 innings but also allowed 51 hits, 40 earned runs, 20 walks, 14 barrels, and 10 home runs. Recently optioned to the minors by the Angels, he’s someone to keep an eye on for fantasy managers in deeper leagues if he can bounce back a bit – both in the minors and should he be recalled to the Majors – given the strikeout upside.







Of Note: Austin Gomber.

Based purely on the home venue, finding consistent fantasy success with Colorado Rockies pitchers can be a tricky proposition. And while Gomber has logged a 3.06 ERA so far in 11 starts and 61.2 innings of work, he’s also done so while logging a favorable .236 BABIP and a 5.04 FIP.

With similar home (5.06) and road (5.02) FIP splits, this isn’t a situation either where fantasy managers can simply deploy Gomber in the right matchups or at the right venues. With a 17.1% strikeout rate and a 9.5% barrel rate against, now might be the time to consider trade offers for Gomber if he’s on your fantasy team.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Ben Lively.

Lively’s 2.84 ERA through his first 50.2 innings is probably a smidgen unsustainable. A 3.96 FIP and 3.58 xERA suggest any sort of statistical regression won’t be too severe. However, there’s a valid concern with the ERA potentially rising considering the right-hander is sporting just a 22.2% chase rate, a 20.2% whiff rate, a 31.4% ground ball rate, and an 8.6% barrel rate.

So, in short, he might not be an addition to bank on for the rest of the fantasy season. Though that might be a slightly different sentiment in leagues with 15 or more teams, where the hurler is more of a priority addition. Still, as a bit of an extended-duration streaming option, Lively is very much worth a look in the next few weeks. Assuming Cleveland’s rotation continues unchanged without interruption, his next three starts come at Miami, at Toronto, and home to Toronto. Miami has scored the second-fewest runs in the league entering the week while Toronto wasn’t too far ahead, with the sixth-fewest runs scored in baseball.


Wins (W)





Of Note: Ranger Suárez.

Arguably fantasy baseball’s best-starting pitcher so far this year, Suarez will have a chance to add to his league-leading win tally on Saturday against the Mets. However, his next two starts aren’t nearly as pitcher-friendly on paper.

Assuming the Phillies’ rotation continues unchanged and without any interruptions, Suarez’s next two scheduled starts after that will come in Baltimore and at home against San Diego. You’re probably still starting him based on how excellent he’s been, but the chances for wins in those matchups aren’t going to be as high as others.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Jared Koenig.

The 30-year-old Koenig has largely been a solid relief option for the Brewers this season, pitching to a 2.13 ERA and a 3.65 FIP in 18 appearances spanning 25.1 innings of work. The left-hander has added 20 strikeouts in the process compared to just six walks and a pair of home runs allowed.

Outside of the pitcher wins, he has just one hold and no saves, and is fifth in the Brewers’ bullpen in high-leverage appearances. Still, Pat Murphy and the company have started utilizing the reliever as an opener as of late, which means starting pitcher eligibility in some formats isn’t tremendously far off (assuming the trend continues).

For managers in leagues with specific starting slots for starters and relievers, Koenig (once he attains starting pitcher eligibility) represents a quality option to potentially add a few wins while keeping ERA and WHIP totals down on days when there aren’t starters scheduled to throw and thus occupy the starting pitcher slots.


Quality Starts (QS)





Of Note: Jake Irvin.

A key component in Irvin’s success this season has been limiting mistakes, with just a 4.4% walk rate and surrendering 0.78 home runs per nine innings. He’s also been excellent as of late, striking out 16 batters in his last 12 innings (spanning two starts) and limiting Cleveland and Atlanta to a combined seven hits, three walks, and two earned runs. He’s certainly worth a look as more than just a streaming option this season, but it’s worth noting that the right-hander’s next four scheduled starts aren’t the best for fantasy purposes. Because for as well as he’s done lately, the hurler is still posting just a 22.1% whiff rate while allowing batters to log a 9.5% barrel rate and a 43.0% hard-hit rate against him.

Assuming Washington’s rotation continues unchanged and without interruption, Irvin’s next four outings will be at home against Atlanta (second in barrel rate since May 1), away to Detroit (eighth in runs scored since May 1), home to Arizona, and away to San Diego (third in wRC+ since May 1). The Arizona one might be the only surefire start there considering the Diamondbacks rank in the bottom third of the league in runs scored, on-base percentage, and wRC+ since the start of May.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Brandon Pfaadt.

Arguably one of the most underrated starting pitchers in fantasy baseball at the moment, Brandon Pfaadt’s FIP (3.09) sits nearly a run and a half lower than his actual ERA (4.32). While that’s not the only reason for optimism, it is one of the key bits here.

What is perhaps just as promising is that the 25-year-old has been excellent at limiting mistakes so far. Both his walk and barrel rate sit at an identical 4.7%.

Overall, he’s struck out 23.7% of batters.

And, as it happens, the positive regression could be coming in the next month. At least, it would appear that way on paper. Pfaadt’s next four starts are at home against the Angels, on the road in Washington against the Nationals, and then two straight home starts versus the Twins and A’s respectively. It’s almost an inverse of Irvin’s upcoming slate of games, with one matchup to avoid in Minnesota (a team that has outscored all but 11 teams this season) and three promising outings lined up against teams who rank in the bottom half of the league in run scoring this season.


Saves (SV)





Of Note: Jordan Romano (and as a result, Yimi García).

Romano was recently placed on the 15-day injured list on June 1 due to right elbow inflammation. That would seem to open up save chances for Yimi García (who logged a save on Sunday) but it’s worth noting that Garcia has struggled with walks at times. The 33-year-old owns a 13.6% walk rate since April 28, and he’s also allowed an earned run in two of his last four appearances. Statistically speaking, they might be outliers for a player with a 33.7% strikeout rate, a 37.1% chase rate, and a 29.7% whiff rate on the season – not to mention a 1.57 ERA and a 2.22 FIP.

Either way, it’s a closer situation worth monitoring as long as Romano is on the injured list. Garcia has certainly found some success this season, but he’s also Toronto’s best reliever by far in 2024.

Just two other Blue Jays relief pitchers even have a positive fWAR. Both of those pitchers – Nate Pearson and Bowden Francis – are the only two relief pitchers, regardless of any innings threshold, with a FIP below 4.00. Francis, for context, has made three appearances spanning 6.1 innings as of Sunday.

In other words, if Garcia is used earlier in games in higher-leverage spots, this bullpen could be thrown into even more disarray from a fantasy standpoint.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Carlos Estévez.

After an initial strong start, one that included an average of a strikeout per inning, a 2.57 ERA, a 1.13 FIP, and four saves in seven appearances, Carlos Estévez’s season in numbers is a bit of a tale of two seasons.

After that start, the veteran pitched to a 6.30 ERA and a 5.53 FIP in his next 10 innings. He still logged four saves in that span, mind you, but he also blew a pair of save chances and allowed hitters to post a 13.3% barrel rate and a 46.7% hard-hit rate against him.

With the Angels entering the week 17 games below .500 at 21-38, Estevez likely won’t have an overabundance of save chances to help offset either unideal surface-level or underlying metrics from a fantasy upside standpoint (think Kyle Finnegan in Washington). If that’s the case, now might be the time to see if there’s a closer-needy team in your league who might be willing to surrender a bit too much (relatively speaking) for Estevez and then replace his saves production via waivers with another reliever on this list like Jeff Hoffman or Reed Garrett.







Of Note: Joe Ryan.

Ryan has once again been excellent in terms of limiting walks, with a 3.9% walk rate that is both equal parts elite and notably lower than his strong 5.1% walk rate last season. Ryan is also giving up similar overall quality contact, with his xwOBA and xwOBAcon against this season (.283 and .368 respectively) down a bit from last year’s numbers (.291 and .386 respectively).

It is worth noting that after finishing in the 34th percentile in barrel rate last year with an 8.7% metric and 38 total barrels allowed, Ryan is already up to 21 total barrels and a 10.7% barrel rate.

His home runs per nine-inning rate is actually down .040 from last year, but this is still something to monitor moving forward.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Spencer Turnbull.

At this point, you’re stashing Spencer Turnbull ahead of a potential return to the rotation sometime this season. After all, opposing batters hit just .148 off Turnbull as a starter, while the right-handed former Detroit Tigers hurler pitched to a 3.23 FIP, a 28.3% strikeout rate, and a 7.9% walk rate as a member of the Phillies’ rotation.

And while he’s struggled a bit from a surface-level standpoint where his reliever splits are concerned, what with a 5.25 ERA, a .429 slugging percentage, and a .332 wOBA against in 12 innings out of the bullpen, Turnbull has also been the victim of a .371 BABIP as a reliever. Elsewhere, he’s logged a 2.80 FIP since switching to the bullpen, to go along with a 25% strikeout rate and just a 3.8% walk rate.

It’s a tiny sample size to be sure, but the right-hander should be fine, both as a reliever and ideally as a starter at some point again this season. He’s still worth stashing on fantasy benches and should provide solid fantasy production where WHIP and ERA are concerned – with a few strikeouts mixed in – until he returns to the rotation.


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.

One response to “Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 6/7”

  1. Justin R says:

    Pepiot in WHIP?

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