In this space, Scott White will highlight some of the more notable changes to his rest-of-season rankings. You'll find said rankings here and are urged to bookmark them if you haven't already. There's no better resource for gauging player value throughout the long season.

We're nearly one-third of the way into this season, and I'm ready to take a wrecking ball to my rankings.

Relatively speaking, anyway. A common complaint is that we here at CBS Sports are too slow to react to changes in player value, but that's kind of the job. Baseball is a sport ruled by sample size, and the rookie mistake would be to treat what's happened over the past few weeks as what will always be. We're supposed to be the voice of reason, drawing on history, providing perspective and preaching caution until we can be reasonably sure that a change that we're seeing is durable.

I'll tell you one that appears to be durable: Hitters are having a really hard time this year. You can measure this in a number of ways, but for me, the two biggest are how often fly balls are leaving the yard (HR/FB) and how often batted balls are becoming hits (BABIP).

The worst year for offense in the past nine was 2022. Back then, there was talk of a "dead ball" relegating all of our preconceptions about Fantasy Baseball to the garbage heap. It was a wild time, but fortunately, last year revealed it to be a blip. The so-called shift ban had something to do with it, causing the league-wide BABIP to reach its highest mark since 2019, but the home run rate also returned to something more familiar.

So that's a brief summation of the past two years. Where does this year stack up? See for yourself.













That's right: This year is trending toward being the worst for offense in darn near a decade. It's true that HR/FB and BABIP tend to improve with each passing month, at least until the temperatures drop again in September, but even if you just compare May to May, what we're seeing now is worse than in 2022.

And you can feel it, right? Pitchers, even the ones with dreadful ratios like Andrew Abbott and Tyler Anderson, can seemingly do no wrong while hitters, even the early-round stalwarts, continue to scuffle. The long-promised correction hasn't come yet, and while I'll reiterate that things will get better during the summer months, I'm losing faith that they'll get back to normal.

In that league context, any hitter who's managed to exceed expectations for this long has a new shine to him, even if some of the usual performance indicators are suspect. This season is shaping up to be far from usual, and as such, there may be variables that we don't know how to account for. There's also a growing feeling that when it comes to hitters, you have to take what you can get and not ask so many questions.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm ready to move Alec Bohm up, among others.

First base

  • I'll begin at first base because I think it'll serve as a better gauge of my feelings toward Bohm. He's ninth now, ahead of Spencer Steer, Vinnie Pasquantino and Yandy Diaz but still behind Vladimir Guerrero, Josh Naylor, Cody Bellinger, Christian Walker and, of course, Matt Olson. Basically, the super studs (Olson, Guerrero) continue to get a pass, and other highly regarded hitters who have more or less lived up expectations so far (Naylor, Bellinger, Walker) deserve to rank ahead as well. But Steer, Pasquantino and Diaz leave some room for doubt, and hey, Bohm is actually performing -- so well that he's actually been the top first baseman in Fantasy so far. The home run total likely won't be impressive (and it hasn't been), but he's inclined toward batting average and is in a prime RBI spot in the Phillies lineup. In a year when home runs are down, maybe that's enough to make him something resembling a stud.
  • OK, so I did downgrade Olson some, but only one spot, putting him behind Bryce Harper. The two were near equals coming into the season, and Harper was the one to get going first. I halfway suspect Olson will outperform Harper the rest of the way, but not by so much that it's worth aggravating people with my stubbornness now.

Second base

  • Bryson Stott has climbed all the way to sixth with his hot hitting of late, putting him just ahead of Ha-seong Kim and Jordan Westburg. That's a really tight trio, though, and part of me thinks Stott should rank last because he still sits against the occasional left-hander. I'm emboldened by how much he's running, though. His 13 stolen bases trail only Brice Turang and Jose Caballero at the position.
  • Speaking of Turang, I've finally moved him into my top 10. While the league-wide BABIP drop this year is certainly curious, one lasting effect of the shift ban seems to be that light-hitting speedsters have a path to Fantasy greatness again, and Turang seems to have cracked the code by putting the ball in the air less and hitting it to all fields. He's basically doing what we hoped Nico Hoerner would do, and it's time to rank him that way.
  • Luis Rengifo is fully on board with new manager Ron Washington's edict to run more, having doubled his career high in stolen bases already, and along with his preexisting contact skills, it's transformed him into a Fantasy standout -- one with quadruple eligibility, no less. This position is where he ranks the highest, slotting in at 15th, between Luis Arraez and Ryan McMahon.

Third base

  • Seeing as it's been a few weeks since I've written this column, I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that I did finally concede to ranking Elly De La Cruz tops at the position. That's true for categories leagues, anyway. He's still behind Jose Ramirez in points leagues for plate discipline reasons. His flaws as a hitter remain evident, but the reason I couldn't join with my colleagues in labeling him a bust candidate this spring is because I figured the stolen bases alone would be enough to sustain him. But I was thinking like 60. He's pacing for more like 90, in which case he could hit .230 and still be an absolute monster.
  • Joseph Ortiz is one of the big risers here now that he's playing close to every day for the Brewers. He and Ryan McMahon are back-to-back here at 19th and 20th while three players separate them at second base. I guess it means that third base is deeper at the top, but there's less to get excited about thereafter.


  • Gunnar Henderson's recent power surge leaves no doubt that he belongs ahead of Francisco Lindor at this position. Lindor will come around, but the two rate similarly for batting average and stolen bases. If Henderson is announcing himself as the superior power hitter, what's left to debate, really?
  • To revisit some of the risers at other positions, Bryson Stott checks in at 10th here, Brice Turang at 14th, and Luis Rengifo at 19th.


  • Between Bo Naylor, Gabriel Moreno, Keibert Ruiz and Henry Davis, catcher has had its share of disappointments this year, and that's not even accounting for injured players like Sean Murphy, Francisco Alvarez and Willson Contreras. It makes it hard to deny the surging Danny Jansen, who's in a timeshare of sorts and has an underwhelming track record, but there's some evidence of a breakout. He's up to 13th for me.
  • Korey Lee and David Fry have emerged as viable second catchers in 15-team leagues, and appropriately, I've added them to my top 30. Fry is barely in there because his at-bats are inconsistent, but seeing as he's also capable of playing left field and first base, his playing-time situation could improve quickly.


  • I did the most blasphemous thing I could think to do and dropped Ronald Acuna to fourth in my outfield rankings ... in Head-to-Head points, that is. The stolen base potential is still too massive to slot him anywhere other than first in Rotisserie and other categories leagues, and for what it's worth, I do think the power will come around. But the microscopic strikeout rate he had last year is looking more like an outlier, which means Mookie Betts, Juan Soto and Kyle Tucker have him beat on the plate discipline front. They've also been among the few hitters absolutely raking so far.
  • Taylor Ward is back up a dozen spots, just behind Tyler O'Neill, for no other reason than because he got hot again. With so little to get excited about at this position and so little hope for improvement in this hitting environment, I should probably just accept that he's a top-30 outfielder.
  • With Evan Carter still struggling to muster anything at the plate and now sitting regularly against left-handers, he's dropped out of my top 36, which has allowed Jurickson Profar into it. The argument for Profar to be higher is along the same lines as Alec Bohm, but the bad taste of a decade of gross production will linger for some time.
  • Esteury Ruiz is hardly getting any playing time for the Athletics, so he's down about 20 spots even in Rotisserie. This puts him behind Jacob Young, who's doing all the things stolen base-wise that we wanted Ruiz to do.
  • Among the outfielders to recently become Fantasy-relevant, Luis Matos has climbed into my top 60, Brenton Doyle and Jonny DeLuca into my top 70, and Jake Meyers and Eddie Rosario into my top 75.

Starting pitcher

  • Ranger Suarez has been far and away the top-performing starting pitcher in Fantasy, but he'd basically have to be mid-90s Greg Maddux to sustain it. I will say that he's beginning to remind me of Justin Steele last year, being a ground-ball pitcher who suddenly develops elite control while striking out batters at a good enough clip, and Steele was maybe the Cy Young favorite right up until September. I'm optimistic enough to make Suarez my highest-ranked pitcher beyond what I consider to be the surefire aces -- and also Paul Skenes, who has him beat on sex appeal. That comes out to 22nd in the rankings.
  • Chris Sale has moved into my top five, leapfrogging 10 pitchers but most notably Luis Castillo and Pablo Lopez. Look, I know he has an injury history, but if I'm giving Tyler Glasnow a pass for his because the immediate impact is so great and there are ample quality pitchers to fall back on in this pitching-saturated environment, then I should probably do the same for Sale. And so now he ranks alongside Glasnow.
  • I've grown impatient with Gerrit Cole's and Max Scherzer's recoveries and less desperate for their return given the starting pitcher surplus. They're down about 10 spots, which serves the dual purpose of elevating Yu Darvish into the top 40. It's a shame I can't do him any more justice, but again, starting pitcher is loaded.
  • Seth Lugo has been Ranger Suarez without the fanfare and deserves some love. Is 51st high enough? Probably not in the eyes of many, but I genuinely would prefer to have any of the pitchers I rank ahead of him.
  • Walks remain a problem for Luis Gil, but he's so good at hit prevention and strikeout accumulation that I'm inclined to take him seriously at this point. He's sort of like a flashier version of Ronel Blanco, and now the rankings reflect it, slotting him in at 59.
  • For some perspective on how hard you should be buying into Alek Manoah and Taj Bradley, they now rank 65th and 66th for me, ahead of Cristopher Sanchez, MacKenzie Gore and Erick Fedde.
  • One of the few major disappointments at starting pitcher, Reid Detmers is now down to 75, ranking alongside fellow disappointments Cristian Javier and Michael King. I don't want to completely bury him, given the upside, but it's purely a stash situation at this point. And how many extra pitchers can you afford to stash, really?
  • We said recently on the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast that Javier Assad and Andrew Abbott would be among the first pitchers to drop out of relevance if the league environment suddenly became more favorable to hitters, and both rank just outside the top 80 for me. In other words, I'm fairly confident that every pitcher in my top 80 is some manner of "good." That's some kind of depth.

Relief pitcher

  • Edwin Diaz's little timeout from closing duties isn't enough to sink him in my rankings, but it is enough to move him behind Josh Hader and Emmanuel Clase. Part of the reason I can't go any further with it is because there are about a dozen closers vying to be the fourth-best in Fantasy. For now, I have Ryan Helsley filling that spot, with Robert Suarez close behind.
  • The vibes are all off for Jhoan Duran, who's served as setup man about as often as he's served as closer since returning from the IL and has also struggled to meet last year's velocities. He's down about 10 spots for me, putting him within range of other struggling closers like David Bednar and Craig Kimbrel.