Fantasy Baseball 2012: Top 25 Fantasy Players 25 and Under


Getting some inspiration from an article over at Hardball Times, Ray and I have put together our rankings of players who are 25 years or younger. These rankings are best viewed for dynasty leagues, as we have prepared them on the assumption of performance both in 2012 and going forward. As with their article, these rankings are for a standard 5x5 roto mixed league and all players ranked were born after 1/12/1986. You can find our lists below, and my thoughts after the jump.

Rank

Jason

Ray

1

Justin Upton

Justin Upton

2

Mike Stanton

Mike Stanton

3

Clayton Kershaw

Bryce Harper

4

Felix Hernandez

Andrew McCutchen

5

Stephen Strasburg

Clayton Kershaw

6

Brett Lawrie

Felix Hernandez

7

Andrew McCutchen

Eric Hosmer

8

Bryce Harper

Brett Lawrie

9

Mike Trout

Stephen Strasburg

10

Starlin Castro

Carlos Santana

11

Matt Moore

Matt Moore

12

Carlos Santana

Desmond Jennings

13

Eric Hosmer

Jay Bruce

14

Jay Bruce

Mike Trout

15

Desmond Jennings

Jesus Montero

16

Jesus Montero

Jason Heyward

17

Dustin Ackley

Starlin Castro

18

Jason Heyward

Matt Wieters

19

Yu Darvish

Buster Posey

20

Buster Posey

Madison Bumgarner

21

Pablo Sandoval

Yu Darvish

22

Logan Morrison

Logan Morrison

23

Craig Kimbrel

Pablo Sandoval

24

Elvis Andrus

Mat Latos

25

Freddie Freeman

Dustin Ackley

26

Ike Davis

Dee Gordon

  • Not a huge surprise here that #1 and #2 are Justin Upton and Mike Stanton. Upton is still just 24 years old, so he'll likely be at the top of this list again next year. What's not to like about a potential 30-30 outfielder who keeps getting better? Add to that a potential 50 homer bat that could be there as soon as this season, and it's an easy top 2.
  • Likely one of the biggest disagreements between myself and Ray on this list is Bryce Harper. I could very well be eating my words at this time next year, but I think Harper does not make the team out of Spring Training and may not be up until near the end of the season. He is probably very close to ready right now, but I have to imagine that the Nationals' minor league affiliates will have a coronary if he doesn't spend some more time in AA and AAA so they can cash in on his popularity. For me, the only thing keeping him from the #3 spot is the fact that I think you won't get much from him this season.
  • Another big difference is on Angels' OF Mike Trout. I think that the new staff in Anaheim is going to find a way to rid themselves of at least one of their excess outfielders, and get Trout legitimate playing time as soon as this year.
  • Starlin Castro also appears to be a bit of a lightning rod at the moment, and not just for his problems off the diamond. I think that of the group of young shortstops who fit the qualification (Castro, Elvis Andrus, Dee Gordon, Alcides Escobar), Castro has the highest ceiling for offensive production. I think we honestly could see Castro post a 15 HR, 30-35 SB, .300 season within the next 3.
  • I ranked the only reliever on either list, as I think Kimbrel is going to be the closer in Atlanta for many years. If he stays healthy (which is of course a huge caveat), I think he'll be good for 40+ saves, and 100+ strikeouts every year.

Let us know your thoughts - Are one (or both) of us insane? Is there someone you think should have been in our top 25 that was ignored? Let us hear it both here in the comments or via Twitter. You can follow me at @jasonsbaseball, and Ray at @faketeams.

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