2020 Fantasy Baseball Top 50 Draft Rankings: Who Should Go No. 1 Overall?

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Yes! It’s that time of the year again! Fantasy baseball draft season!

As an expert on fantasy sports, I have decided to put together a list of rankings for the best players to take in your upcoming draft, or drafts. Altogether, I have complied a list of 15 players to consider taking as your first overall pick, followed by the rest of my top 50.

What pitcher is going to go first in the top round? What is the forecast for the top-notch outfield corps of Ronald Acuna Jr., Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich? As far as rookies are concerned, are there any that are worthy of being one of your top selections?

I offer you my rankings, analysis and who I would select as my top pick at each position to give you my ultimate fantasy baseball dream team of 2020.

Alright, folks! Let’s get right into it!

2020 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings

1. Ronald Acuna Jr. | LF, CF, RF | Atlanta Braves

Last season, Ronald Acuna Jr. would begin the campaign as the cleanup hitter of the Atlanta Braves, but would appear to be a bit more productive placed first in the batting lineup. Why this is such a major impact on the fantasy side of things is because of Acuna’s ability to steal bases, and how much more effective he is at stealing from the leadoff position. He’s certainly a guaranteed top-three pick on everybody’s draft board, but if you ask me, he’s my top selection.

2. Mike Trout | CF | Los Angeles Angels

Mike Trout won the 2019 American League MVP, and it’s the third time that he has won the award along with the 2014 and 2016 seasons. On the voting ballots, Trout would take 17 of the 30 first place votes — Alex Bregman would receive the last 13 remaining. Like Acuna, Trout will also be a guaranteed top-three pick, and should be considered as your top overall. However, I have him second behind Ronald Acuna Jr. for productivity purposes.

3. Christian Yelich | RF | Milwaukee Brewers

We all know the kind of numbers that Christian Yelich can put up, so the biggest focus on Yelich here in the spring is all about his health. Yelich would tell the media that if the first game of the Major League Baseball season was tomorrow, he would be ready to go. Not only is this fantastic news for the Milwaukee Brewers, but it’s also a delight for fantasy owners. The fractured kneecap that he would suffer near the end of last season was rough, but it appears that Yelich will be ready to go for the new campaign.

4. Cody Bellinger | 1B, CF, RF | Los Angeles Dodgers

Everything is sitting pretty in Cody Bellinger’s career at the moment, entering spring training off of the 2019 season where he would be awarded the 2019 National League MVP. Entering arbitration, he would settle for a one-year, $11.5 million deal, which breaks the record for any first-year player that is eligible for arbitration. Bellinger was absolutely elite in 2019, putting up a stat line of .305/.406/.629 with a total of 47 home runs and 115 RBI’s — he would also add 121 runs and 15 stolen bases to the equation. He would record those incredible numbers in 156 games. Bellinger is a guarantee to go in the top five, and me personally, I have him fourth overall.

5. Francisco Lindor | SS | Cleveland Indians

To avoid arbitration, Francisco Lindor and the Cleveland Indians would agree on a one-year, $17.5 million deal, and it was expected to happen after recent reports. Not only is this good news for Lindor and Cleveland, but this also makes fantasy players happy as well, especially considering this keeps Lindor with a very potent Indians’ offensive attack. Also, if you’re wondering, Lindor will also be under Cleveland’s control in the 2021 season as well before he tests free agency. Lindor is good to go to be drafted, so take him if you have the opportunity.

6. Mookie Betts | CF, RF | Los Angeles Dodgers

With the acquisition of Mookie Betts, the Los Angeles Dodgers have decided to place him as the main leadoff hitter in their lineup. For fantasy owners, this is some of the best news that you can get regarding Betts, and that’s because he has a great opportunity to lead the entire league in plate appearances. And as a result, Betts’ fantasy value remains sky-high. Also, last season, he would lead Major League Baseball with a total of 135 runs racked up. With all of that being said, don’t worry about Betts changing teams, he’ll still be productive as ever, and even though I have him ranked sixth on my list, he can still be considered a strong top-five selection in your draft.

7. Trevor Story | SS | Colorado Rockies

All of the uncertainty for Trevor Story is now gone, and that’s because the Colorado Rockies bought out his last two years of arbitration with a two-year, $27.5 million deal. What this means is that he will not be a free agent until 2021, and he has no pressure on him as far as a contract year is concerned. With this being the case, Story should perform stress-free and put up some quality numbers, per usual. Some fantasy experts have him going a little bit later, but I’ll take him at the seventh spot.

8. Gerrit Cole | SP | New York Yankees

Simply put, Gerrit Cole was absolutely incredibly last season. No, he was insanely incredible. From his first year with the Houston Astros, he has consistently built on his numbers, lowering each his ERA, WHIP and the amount of walks that he’s given up. On top of that, he was ferocious with a superior amount of 326 strikeouts. With the New York Yankees, however, it is possible that Cole could suffer a bit of a decline, but nothing too drastic: His innings may be limited, and that’s because of two reasons. The first is because of the long-term contract that they have with Cole, and the second is because of how great New York’s bullpen is. Another thing to consider as well is the drastic difference between the AL East and AL West with both of the hitting and the ballparks. Still though, I wouldn’t worry too much. Both of his slider and fastball are incredible, and he should certainly be the first pitcher on your draft board.

9. Trea Turner | SS | Washington Nationals

In Sunday’s Spring Training game against the Houston Astros, Trea Turner would hit in the leadoff spot in the batting lineup, however, the Washington Nationals are considering putting him at third for the season. If that does take place, the Nats will then move Victor Robles into that position. I still have Turner in my top 10, but I do advise you to pay attention to where he’ll be sat at, because if he does bat third in the lineup, this could possibly bring down his rate of stolen bases. So before you draft Turner, make sure you keep that in mind.

10. Jacob deGrom | SP | New York Mets

Gerrit Cole may be the first pitcher on my draft board, but Jacob deGrom definitely makes his case to be taken first over Cole, and that’s mainly because of winning two Cy Young Awards in a row. And not just that, but you could even make the argument that deGrom is a safer pick than Cole with Cole now with the New York Yankees. Also for two consecutive seasons, he has had a sub-2.50 ERA, as well as a sub-1.00 WHIP, and also 200 strikeouts. On top of that, he also has three consecutive campaigns with at least 200 innings pitched. Despite those epic numbers, however, deGrom has an issue with racking up wins — in the last two years, he has only collected 21 total. However, that may change this season with how the New York Mets have revamped their bullpen. With this being the case, there’s every reason to believe that deGrom can once again accomplish a 15-win season, something that he did back in 2017. Between Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom, either one of them can be the top pitcher on your draft board, so you can’t really lose either way. I just prefer to side with the New York Yankee.

11. Justin Verlander | SP | Houston Astros

Justin Verlander enters the season aged at 37 years old, and that’s about the only negative that you could point out about Verlander, the fact that he’s getting older. Other than that, there are zero complaints on this superstar pitcher. Ever since becoming a member of the Astros two years ago, he’s put up nothing but elite numbers since then, averaging a 2.55 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over that time. Also, the veteran has massive consistency throughout his career, pitching at least 200 innings in 12 of his past 13 campaigns. Plain and simple, you could honestly say that Justin Verlander is still the top-notch pitcher in the game today. Like Gerrit Cole and Jacob deGrom, you could also select Verlander as your No. 1 pitcher. However, fair warning if you do decide to wait like me: Don’t let him go past third overall in terms of pitchers, because you’ll miss out on the elites, for sure, after that. It’s a gamble if you wait, but well worth the risk.

12. Max Scherzer | SP | Washington Nationals

Max Scherzer was mighty productive for the Washington Nationals last season, collecting a 2.92 ERA with a total of 143 strikeouts, and doing this in 172 1./3 innings pitched. However, Scherzer is aging at 35 years old, and was dealing with back injuries throughout 2019, and then would be suffering from a neck injury in the postseason. Coming into the 2020 season, it appears that Scherzer is healthy and ready to go, but just keep in mind that durability is becoming an issue.

13. Nolan Arenado | 3B | Colorado Rockies

It’s about to be an interesting season for the Colorado Rockies, particularly with their situation with Nolan Arenado. According to MLB.com, Arenado feels disrespected by Colorado’s front office for all of the consistent trade rumors that took place over the offseason. “There’s a lot of disrespect from people there that I don’t want to be a part of. You can quote that.” Those words were spoken by Arenado through a text message. Needless to say, the trade rumors have made Arenado quite angry, however, he may just have to deal with it. The opt out in his current deal can be exercised after the 2021 season, so it’s going to make it a bit difficult for the Rockies to ship him off elsewhere. With that being said, Arenado could restructure his contract to get rid of the opt out if he’s truly that unhappy, so we’ll see what happens.

14. Juan Soto | LF | Washington Nationals

Here at the beginning of Spring Training, Juan Soto has put in work in the middle of the Washington Nationals lineup, and it’s even got some people talking about a possible MVP season from Soto. If he does put up some solid numbers and follows through strong to close out the campaign, it could certainly happen. Last season, he put up 34 homeruns, 110 RBIs, 110 runs and he also collected a .282 batting average and 12 steals. Only time will tell if he can put up better numbers than that this season.

15. Fernando Tatis Jr. | SS | San Diego Padres

There’s been rumors that Fernando Tatis Jr. could move from the shortstop position to center field, but it appears that may be all it is: Rumors. The general manager of the San Diego Padres, A.J. Preller, even said himself that they have no plans whatsoever of switching his position. In 2019, Preller would have a pretty successful campaign at shortstop with some of the plays that he made, but he would also struggle with regular routine plays — probably more than he should have. Even then though, it’s way too early to give up on the 21-year-old when it comes to shortstop, especially when he has shown some highlights there. As a rookie in 2019, Tatis Jr. would secure 22 home runs and 16 stolen bases, and only doing it in 84 games. For the most part, he’s a second-rounder, and I wouldn’t mind having him on my roster.

Top 50: Rest of the Rankings

  • 16. Walker Buehler | SP | Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 17. Freddie Freeman | 1B | Atlanta Braves
  • 18. Jose Ramirez | 3B | Cleveland Indians
  • 19. Alex Bregman | 3B, SS | Houston Astros
  • 20. J.D. Martinez | LF, RF | Boston Red Sox
  • 21. Jack Flaherty | SP | St. Louis Cardinals
  • 22. Anthony Rendon | 3B | Los Angeles Angels
  • 23. Gleyber Torres | 2B, SS | New York Yankees
  • 24. Pete Alonso | 1B | New York Mets
  • 25. Javier Baez | SS } Chicago Cubs
  • 26. Bryce Harper | RF | Philadelphia Phillies
  • 27. Blake Snell | SP | Tampa Bay Rays
  • 28. Starling Marte | CF | Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 29. Stephen Strasburg | SP | Washington Nationals
  • 30. Rafael Devers | 3B | Boston Red Sox
  • 31. Shane Bieber | SP | Cleveland Indians
  • 32. Xander Bogaerts | SS | Boston Red Sox
  • 33. Chris Sale | SP | Boston Red Sox
  • 34. Jose Altuve | 2B | Houston Astros
  • 35. Yordan Alvarez | LF | Houston Astros
  • 36. Austin Meadows | LF, RF | Tampa Bay Rays
  • 37. Ozzie Albies | 2B | Atlanta Braves
  • 38. Aaron Judge | RF | New York Yankees
  • 39. Adalberto Mondesi | SS | Kansas City Chiefs
  • 40. Charlie Blackmon | RF | Colorado Rockies
  • 41. Kris Bryant | 3B, LF, RF | Chicago Cubs
  • 42. George Springer | CF, RF | Houston Astros
  • 43. Giancarlo Stanton | LF | New York Yankees
  • 44. Clayton Kershaw | SP | Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 45. Whit Merrifield | 2B, CF, RF | Kansas City Royals
  • 46. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. | 3B | Toronto Blue Jays
  • 47. Ketel Marte | 2B, SS, CF | Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 48. Aaron Nola | SP | Philadelphia Phillies
  • 49. Luis Castillo | SP | Cincinnati Reds
  • 50. Yu Darvish | SP | Chicago Cubs

Andrew Powell’s Dream Team

  • C: J.T. Realmuto | Philadelphia Phillies
  • 1B: Cody Bellinger | Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 2B: Gleyber Torres | New York Yankees
  • 3B: Nolan Arenado | Colorado Rockies
  • SS: Francisco Lindor | Cleveland Indians
  • OF: Ronald Acuna Jr. | Atlanta Braves
  • OF: Mike Trout | Los Angeles Angels
  • OF: Christian Yelich | Milwaukee Brewers
  • P: Gerrit Cole | New York Yankees
  • P: Jacob deGrom | New York Mets
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Andrew Powell / Author

Andrew Powell has been working with The Sports Geek since November 2018 providing analysis and predictions in both the realms of sports and politics. Studying journalism through the University of Michigan, Powell's experience in sports includes tenures at mainstream newspapers The Williamsport Sun-Gazette and The Lock Haven Express, and he would also be affiliated with FOX Sports Radio 1340 AM in Hopewell, Virginia. In politics, it would include a stint with Mad World News and multiple with the Republican Party. From the Super Bowl to The Kentucky Derby to President Donald Trump's hair, Powell has you covered at The Sports Geek.