Fantasy Baseball Category Power Rankings 7/5

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 as of Monday. 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: Luis Rengifo.

Rengifo vaults to the top of the leaderboard here after being unranked last week largely due to him having enough plate appearances to qualify.

The versatile infielder and outfielder is batting .317 with a .362 on-base percentage, six home runs, and 21 stolen bases for the Angels this season. What’s more, he’s been hitting second for much of the last few months for the Halos. Rengifo isn’t making too much loud contact this year, with just a 2.9% barrel rate and a 34.4% hard-hit rate, but his ability to make contact at a high rate (with a 13.4% strikeout rate) should ensure his batting average stays reasonably high moving forward.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Jose Miranda.

Miranda showed plenty of promise as a rookie in 2022, hitting .268 with a .325 on-base percentage, a 117 wRC+, 15 home runs, and a stolen base in 483 plate appearances, striking out just 18.8% of the time in the process.

However, the infielder struggled mightily in 2023, batting just .211 and seeing his wRC+ drop to 57 and his xwOBA finish at .281.

The 26-year-old’s xwOBA has never finished above the .340 mark, something that would still be true if the 2024 season were to end today, and he’s never been one to log high barrel rates. However, Miranda is striking out just 14.1% of the time this year, a number that, should it continue, should only benefit him in terms of batting average, RBI, and runs scored production in the Twins’ suddenly resurgent lineup.


On-Base Percentage (OBP)





Of Note: Carlos Correa.

In Carlos Correa’s first two seasons in Minnesota, he didn’t quite deliver on the elite fantasy upside he showed in Houston.

The veteran hit .291 with a .366 on-base percentage and 22 home runs in 590 plate appearances in 2022 but didn’t have the strong runs scored (70) or RBI (64) numbers to pair with them.

Last year, he had a down year at the dish, batting just .230 with a .312 on-base percentage, the lowest wRC+ (96) that he’s posted in a full season, and just 18 home runs in 580 plate appearances.

This season has been a decidedly different story.

The batting average (.311) and on-base percentage (.380) are there, and he’s also accumulated 43 runs scored and 40 RBI (not to mention nine home runs) in his first 275 plate appearances this year.

The 29-year-old is on track to have his best runs scored and RBI totals since 2021, and as long as the batting average and on-base percentage keep up, he has the potential to finish the year as a top 50 overall player in fantasy.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: LaMonte Wade Jr.

Back from a stint on the injured list, LaMonte Wade Jr. is arguably having his best season at the plate in the Majors, which is saying something for a player who topped a 117 wRC+ and a .340 xwOBA in two of the last three seasons, including last year when the numbers finished at 122 and .363 respectively.

Sporting a 161 wRC+ and a 19.3% walk rate so far, Wade Jr. is a must-add in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring. And in standard scoring leagues too for that matter. He’s hitting .326 with a .434 BABIP so far, and while the BABIP might not stay in that vicinity all season, his strikeout rate is just 22.2% and the outfielder’s wOBA and xwOBA are both hovering around the .400 mark.

He’s also locked into regular plate appearances (against right-handed pitching) near the top of the Giants lineup, which certainly doesn’t hurt either. In fact, the first baseman and outfielder has logged the bulk of his plate appearances batting second this season, arguably the most fantasy-friendly spot in a lineup.


Home Runs (HR)





Of Note: Rafael Devers.

With so many third basemen with impact fantasy seasons in their past having relative down years in 2024, where fantasy scoring is considered, it’s been encouraging to see Devers have such a strong year.

His 11.4% walk rate would be a career-high if the season ended today, and the veteran has added a .285 average, a .367 on-base percentage, 18 home runs, a stolen base, 49 runs scored and 45 RBI to go along with 90th percentile or better rankings in xwOBA, xSLG, barrel rate, and hard-hit rate.

If you drafted the veteran within the draft’s first few rounds, you probably have zero regrets at this point, and shouldn’t for the remainder of the season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Rhys Hoskins.

Hoskins probably wouldn’t qualify for this list were it not for an injured list stint earlier in the year that likely had a hand in his rostered rate falling. With a .229 average and a 25.8% strikeout rate in his first 252 plate appearances and a career .240 average, Hoskins probably isn’t going to contribute above-average numbers in that category. But, with 11 home runs and a 12.8% barrel rate so far, he seems poised to once again top 20 home runs in a season, particularly playing half of his games at American Family Field.

Furthermore, with a 10.7% walk rate, he probably has a bit higher of a fantasy ceiling in leagues where on-base percentage is part of the scoring. Either way, the slugger is well worth an add for fantasy managers. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t qualify for this list next week or any week for the rest of the season.


Runs Scored (R)





Of Note: Players Batting Second.

Generally speaking, you’d prefer most or all of your team’s fantasy hitters to bat in the top half of a lineup. At worst the top five. But really, the ideal spot for a hitter, fantasy-wise, might be batting second. That way they get plenty of run-scoring and RBI chances.

Case in point, five of the top 10 players in terms of most plate appearances batting second this season show up on this particular leaderboard. And four of the fiveBobby Witt Jr., Juan Soto, William Contreras, and Shohei Ohtani, with Elly De La Cruz being the only exceptionhave collected at least 50 RBI as well. Of course, those players’ ability as hitters obviously plays a significant part in that too, but opportunity is a key secondary factor.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Daulton Varsho.

Varsho doesn’t quite have the same fantasy value as he did when he was eligible at catcher, but the Blue Jays outfielder has done a solid job of providing counting stat production this season for the American League East franchise, collecting 11 home runs and eight stolen bases in his first 284 plate appearances through the end of June.

With a .199 average and a .278 on-base percentage, plus a .237 BABIP, he’s likely due for some positive regression moving forward, just don’t expect too much, what with a 29.4% hard-hit rate and a 6.7% barrel rate.

The biggest thing to keep an eye on the rest of the season with Varsho is what the Blue Jays lineup might look like. If Toronto trades away some of its other veterans and the outfielder (who is further away from free agency than some of his teammates) isn’t dealt, he could be batting in a significantly weakened lineup in the season’s second half.







Of Note: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Guerrero Jr. is already hitting like a league winner, or more specifically, someone who looks poised to finish the year within the top 50 (or much better) overall players. For the year, the slugger is batting .297 with a .376 on-base percentage, 13 home runs, and a pair of stolen bases in 364 plate appearances, adding 50 RBI and 40 runs scored in the process.

He’s been particularly good as of late, with a .318 average, eight home runs, just 15 strikeouts, a 173 wRC+ (!), and a .290 ISO in 114 June plate appearances.

He’s also played twice at third base this season, which is perhaps the most crucial bit of info here.

With Austin Riley, Manny Machado, Alex Bregman, and Yandy Díaz all having varying degrees of down years and Max Muncy on the 60-day injured list, the potential of Guerrero Jr. gaining third base eligibility in fantasy would have serious implications, not just for this year, but for 2025 as well as the infielder would likely keep that eligibility (if he were to get it) heading into next season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Carlos Santana.

Carlos Santana just continues to hit and get on base.

The veteran is batting .365 with a .431 on-base percentage in 58 plate appearances since June 16, adding a pair of home runs, eight runs scored, five RBI, and a stolen base.

Overall, he’s sporting a 142 wRC+, eight home runs, two stolen bases, decidedly similar strikeout (13.7%) and walk (9.6%) rates, as well as a .203 ISO in 197 plate appearances since the start of May.

And oh yeah, he’s batting .288 with a .360 on-base percentage during that span.

Perhaps most crucially, he’s moved from routinely batting in the lower third or lower half of the Twins lineup to consistently hitting in the middle of the Minnesota order.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the nature of Santana’s fine form at the plate, the Twins have scored the eighth-most runs in the league since the start of May.


Stolen Bases (SB)





Of Note: Christian Yelich.

Here comes the stolen base production for Yelich.

The fantasy start stole 29 bases last season, the second-most of his career. He finished the month of June with three stolen bases in his last four games and four stolen bases in his last 11.

Now up to 18 stolen bases on the season, Yelich is also hitting .321 with a .399 on-base percentage and eight home runs. And while the power production could certainly be better, his place batting third has afforded him the opportunities to log 36 RBI and 34 runs so far.

Furthermore, even with just a 5.8% barrel rate, Yelich should have no trouble reaching or surpassing the 19 home runs he hit in 2023 at this rate.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Dairon Blanco.

Blanco is probably only an option in leagues with 15 or more teams or deeper American League-only formats. But, he’s been excellent at making an impact on the bases, with 17 stolen bases on the season in 49 games and 85 plate appearances.

The only trick is, for leagues with limited windows to make lineup changes, finding days when Blanco starts. As someone who isn’t starting regularly for the Royals, it impacts his fantasy upside considerably.

The outfielder, who is sporting a .300 xwOBAcon and a 5.4% barrel rate this season, is a bit like Jared Young in that he isn’t going to provide above-average in a number of other fantasy categories, but unlike Young, he isn’t getting the regular starts to be a fantasy starter. If he was, he’d probably be a starting option in 14-team leagues, or even in the odd 12-team formats for those looking to win with stolen bases. He has that kind of potential on the base paths.




Strikeouts (K)





Of Note: Early-Season Waiver Wire Additions.

Many of the players on this list were probably selected reasonably early in drafts this spring. Tyler Glasnow? Definitely. Freddy Peralta? You bet. What about Zack Wheeler? Him too.

Garrett Crochet, Jack Flaherty, and Seth Lugo probably didn’t draw the same, high ADP designation, but all three have been excellent this year in providing outsized fantasy production. There’s likely many a contending fantasy team that has one, two, or all three of the latter trio on their roster.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Andrew Heaney.

Fact of note: Andrew Heaney gave up six runs in 3.2 innings in his second start of the season, one that came against the Houston Astros on April 8.

Ok, so “fact of note” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it’s not exactly a “fun fact” either. What is fun, however, is the fact that since that outing, Heaney is sporting a 3.66 ERA and a 3.87 FIP in 76.1 innings. He’s struck out 76 batters in that span while giving up just 19 walks and 11 home runs.

The veteran has given up more than three runs in an outing just once during that span and looks like a dependable fantasy option moving forward. Want another fun fact? He’s reached the six-inning mark six times in his 14 outings since April 13.

What’s more, Heaney also has the added bonus of being eligible both as a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher, providing extra fantasy versatility for fantasy managers who wish to flood their relief pitcher slots with starters in order to pick up gains in strikeouts, wins, and WHIP production.







Of Note: Erick Fedde.

Many will be watching to see if the Chicago White Sox actually do end up trading Garrett Crochet, a move that would raise an already sky-high fantasy ceiling for the starter even more so.

But, whether or not Fedde is another veteran the White Sox trade is very much worth watching as well. While he doesn’t boast the high strikeout rates of his teammate, Fedde has been more than good enough (with a 3.23 ERA and a 3.58 FIP in his first 100.1 innings) that it isn’t hard to imagine him being a borderline top-25 pitcher the rest of the way if he’s traded to a team that can supply him with a steady stream of pitcher win opportunities.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Injured Pitchers.

There are a handful of injured starters making the list here. Kyle Bradish, who is out for the year due to needing Tommy John surgery, is probably going to be a fixture on this list as his rostered rate dwindles and dwindles. But, of the other injured starters here, Schmidt might be the best stash candidate among them, though Williams and Turnbull are certainly worth a look in that regard as well.

The Yankees starter is sporting a 2.52 ERA, a 3.52 FIP, five pitcher wins, and 67 strikeouts (against 20 walks and six home runs allowed) in 60.2 innings for the New York-based club this season.

If you have the injured list space or a deep bench, these are the types of zero-risk waiver wire additions that could pay significant dividends down the road.


Wins (W)





Of Note: Luis Gil.

After being one of baseball’s best pitchers through much of the first half of the season, Luis Gil has hit a bit of a stumbling block where his numbers are concerned.

The 26-year-old has allowed 12 earned runs in his last two starts, spanning 6.0 total innings. During that span, he’s also been tagged for 12 hits, six walks, and a pair of home runs while striking out just three batters.

The big question now is whether this is a blip on the radar and an outlier or more of a sign of an uneven second half on the horizon. Either way, it might be better to move Gil out of fantasy starting lineups for the time being,  particularly in Roto leagues, just until he’s back on form.

And it’s worth noting that it could very well be a blip on the radar Gil allowed 12 barrels all season prior to those two aforementioned starts. In those two outings, which came against Baltimore and the Mets, it should be noted, that he surrendered a fourth of the total barrels he’d previously given up all season.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Reed Garrett.

Garrett has been mentioned in this column before. And while he remains one of the league’s best ancillary save options for fantasy managers due to his elite bat-missing metrics and an ability to limit barrels at an above-average rate, the 31-year-old is very much worth an add this week as a temporary closing option for Roto league managers with Edwin Diaz still suspended.


Quality Starts (QS)





Of Note: Luis Castillo.

Overall, Luis Castillo’s season-long 3.87 ERA and 3.85 FIP look fairly reasonable. Good, in fact. But his season has been up and down in places. Castillo allowed 12 earned runs in his first 15.2 innings, then gave up just 14 earned runs in his next 62.2 innings.

More recently he’s allowed four runs or more in three of his last five outings, while also reaching six or more innings pitched in a start just once in that span having previously accomplished the feat in nine of his 13 outings.

Maybe this was to be a bit expected. After all, in that 62.2 inning stretch where Castillo allowed just 14 earned runs, good for a 2.01 ERA, his FIP sat at 3.77. It’s certainly not the time to panic with Castillo, or even to trade him away (unless you’re getting the better player) but we may have reached the point (for this season) where he isn’t a surefire start every time out for fantasy managers.



Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi has undoubtedly struggled as of late, this much is true.

After a strong start to the year in which the veteran allowed more than three earned runs in a start just once in his first 10 times through the rotation, he’s allowed four or more runs in six of his last eight starts. Not ideal.

In that span, Kikuchi has logged a 7.12 ERA, a 5.27 FIP, and a 14.1% (!) barrel rate in 30.1 innings. His home runs per nine-inning rate during that span? 2.37.

That eight-start stretch included a pair of outings in early June in which the left-hander limited the Brewers and Orioles to a combined seven hits, five walks, and one earned run in 11 innings. He won those outings, but even if the Blue Jays trade him (and a number of other veterans) this month, a move to a contending team wouldn’t necessarily mean instant fantasy success. Now might be the time to consider trading away the veteran.


Saves (SV)





Of Note: Carlos Estévez.

One of the best short-term trade targets, Estevez has quietly not allowed a run in his last 11 innings, pitching to a 1.34 FIP in that span with nine saves and a pitcher win in 11 outings. If the Angels end up trading him and other veterans at the trade deadline, that’d obviously change his season-long fantasy outlook. But in a way, that uncertainty might help fantasy managers looking for a short-term influx of saves in acquiring Estevez for perhaps less than they would’ve had to surrender in a deal if say the Angels were leading their division by 20 games.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Ryne Stanek.

So much for Andrés Muñoz seeing all the save chances. Stanek has siphoned off seven saves so far this season in his first campaign in Seattle. Munoz still seems like the top option, what with 13 saves, 11.73 strikeouts per nine innings, and a 2.71 FIP, but Stanek has been quietly solid as well.

The veteran owns a 3.78 ERA and a 3.34 FIP in 33.1 innings while striking out 9.72 batters per nine frames and allowing 2.97 walks and 0.81 home runs per nine innings. It’ll be interesting to see how (or if) his role changes once Gregory Santos enters the fray in the Mariners bullpen, but for now, Stanek belongs in the same fantasy category as the likes of Jeff Hoffman and Griffin Jax in that he’s a secondary saves option seeing enough ninth-inning chances to justify a roster spot in most all fantasy formats.







Of Note: Jake Irvin.

Irvin hasn’t overwhelmed with strikeouts like some on this list, logging 86 strikeouts in 98 innings for the Washington Nationals this season. By the same token, that number hasn’t been abysmally low either, and when paired with the right-hander’s ability to limit mistakes (pitching to a 5.9% walk rate and surrendering only 0.92 home runs per nine frames) it’s helped establish a fantasy floor of a solid, dependable rotation option in leagues with 12 or more teams.

It also doesn’t hurt that Irvin has reeled off six pitcher wins so far for the Nats. Regardless of whether Washington trades away veterans or not at the deadline this summer, keep Irvin firmly on your fantasy rosters.


Rostered in 50% or Fewer Leagues



Of Note: Taj Bradley.

Of all the pitchers with a rostered rate under 50% in this column, the whole entirety of it, Bradley might be the most underrated. Or rather, the one who needs to be rostered in significantly more leagues starting yesterday basically.

That he’s allowed batters to log a 14.1% barrel rate and an 8.8% walk rate against him certainly isn’t ideal but Bradley has been so good at missing bats that he’s significantly lessened the blow of those kinds of numbers on his run-prevention metrics.

Bradley has logged 72 strikeouts in 55.1 innings, posting an excellent 31.6% strikeout rate in the process to go along with a 28.9% whiff rate and a 30.7% chase rate. All three of his non-four-seamer offerings (a split-finger offering, a cutter, and a curveball) are sporting a whiff rate of 33.3% or better.

Overall, Bradley is sporting a 3.42 ERA, a 4.05 FIP, and a 4.35 xERA in 55.1 innings. At worst, the strikeouts and solid run-prevention numbers give him a fantasy floor of a quality rotation option in 12-team leagues. If he can limit the barrels, walks, and quality contact (including a .448 xwOBAcon) the starter’s fantasy ceiling could approach that of a league winner.



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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