Preps Talk

Fantasy baseball outfielder rankings

Fantasy baseball outfielder rankings

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

1. Mike Trout, Angels
NOTE: A Top-5 draft pick next year, easy.
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
NOTE: Front-runner in MVP discussion.
4. Matt Kemp, Dodgers
5. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
6. Adam Jones, Orioles
7. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
NOTE: How many teams can logically afford and fit him?
8. Mark Trumbo, Angels
9. Matt Holliday, Cardinals
10. Alex Rios, White Sox
NOTE: Nifty comeback with little fanfare.
11. Allen Craig, Cardinals
12. Curtis Granderson, Yankees
13. Josh Willingham, Twins
NOTE: Target Field isn't so bad for righty power.
14. Michael Bourn, Braves
15. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
16. Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
17. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians
18. Austin Jackson, Tigers
19. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
NOTE: Pop returned in first week back.
20. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
21. Desmond Jennings, Rays
NOTE: Head clearer, swing back to normal.
22. Nelson Cruz, Rangers
23. Carl Crawford, Red Sox
NOTE: Beware, not 100 percent healthy.
24. Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks
25. Jay Bruce, Reds
NOTE: Plateau years are frustrating.
26. Ben Zobrist, Rays
NOTE: Should have shortstop eligibility soon in many leagues.
27. Shane Victorino, Dodgers
28. Ben Revere, Twins
29. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics
NOTE: Debut better than many expected.
30. Jason Heyward, Braves
31. Michael Morse, Nationals
32. Andre Ethier, Dodgers
33. Martin Prado, Braves
NOTE: Not a sexy pick, but quietly contributes.
34. Nick Markakis, Orioles
35. Hunter Pence, Giants
36. Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
37. Rajai Davis, Blue Jays
NOTE: Much better in roto than in real life.
38. Garrett Jones, Pirates
NOTE: Mashes righties, struggles otherwise.
39. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
40. Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
41. Carlos Gomez, Brewers
42. Alex Gordon, Royals
43. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks
NOTE: Hasn't looked healthy all year.
44. Josh Reddick, Athletics
45. Corey Hart, Brewers
46. Trevor Plouffe, Twins
NOTE: How quickly will thumb recover?
47. Torii Hunter, Angels
48. Alejandro De Aza, White Sox
49. Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays
50. Drew Stubbs, Reds
51. Michael Brantley, Indians
52. Nick Swisher, Yankees
53. B.J. Upton, Rays
NOTE: Desperately needs a change of scenery.
54. Dexter Fowler, Rockies
NOTE: Always seems capable of more.
55. Ryan Ludwick, Reds
56. Jon Jay, Cardinals
NOTE: Handy glove really helps, too.
57. Starling Marte, Pirates
58. Carlos Lee, Marlins
NOTE: Could be moved in waiver deal.
59. Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees
60. Juan Pierre, Phillies
61. Cody Ross, Red Sox
NOTE: Speciality player, but park fits.
62. Coco Crisp, Athletics
63. Cameron Maybin, Padres
64. Travis Snider, Pirates
65. Emilio Bonifacio, Marlins
NOTE: One-trick pony but it's a neat trick.
66. Lorenzo Cain, Royals
67. Raul Ibanez, Yankees
68. Angel Pagan, Giants
69. Carlos Quentin, Padres
70. Bryce Harper, Nationals
NOTE: Numbers have collapsed in second half.
71. Chris Young, Diamondbacks
72. Domonic Brown, Phillies
73. Howie Kendrick, Angels
74. Justin Maxwell, Astros
NOTE: Small-market bat makes good.
75. Matt Joyce, Rays
76. Norichika Aoki, Brewers
77. Dayan Viciedo, White Sox
78. Jayson Werth, Nationals
NOTE: Stay grounded off a major injury.
79. Justin Ruggiano, Marlins
80. Eric Young, Rockies
NOTE: Electric run, but will Jim Tracy stay the course?
81. Denard Span, Twins
82. David Murphy, Rangers
83. Will Venable, Padres
84. Chris Davis, Orioles
85. Jordany Valdespin, Mets
NOTE: Tremendous athlete, deserves bigger 2013 role.
86. Delmon Young, Tigers
87. Brandon Belt, Giants
88. Tyler Colvin, Rockies
89. Andy Dirks, Tigers
NOTE: Sweet swing but not a big power source.
90. Yonder Alonso, Padres
NOTE: Line drive bat, but how much power develops?
91. Brennan Boesch, Tigers
92. Mitch Moreland, Rangers
93. John Mayberry, Phillies
94. David DeJesus, Cubs
95. Scott Hairston, Mets
96. Steve Lombardozzi, Nationals
NOTE: Where does he play when everyone is healthy?
97. Seth Smith, Athletics
98. Lance Berkman, Cardinals
NOTE: Nothing guaranteed here.
99. Michael Saunders, Mariners
100. Andres Torres, Mets
101. Jarrod Dyson, Royals
102. Anthony Gose, Blue Jays
103. Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
104. Nyjer Morgan, Brewers
105. Quintin Berry, Tigers
106. Brett Jackson, Cubs
NOTE: Holes in his swing, a project.
107. Steve Pearce, Astros
108. Alexi Amarista, Padres
109. Gregor Blanco, Giants
110. Jeff Francoeur, Royals
NOTE: Obviously the contract was a mistake.
111. Moises Sierra, Blue Jays
112. Andruw Jones, Yankees
113. Chris Denorfia, Padres
114. Jonny Gomes, Athletics
115. Vernon Wells, Angels
116. Brian Bogusevic, Astros

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

brand_new_lites.jpg

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.