White Sox

Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Ranks - 921

Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Ranks - 921

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com Contributor

The following players qualify at outfielder in standard fantasy leagues. Rankings are based on a 5x5 scoring system (batting average, runs, home runs, RBIs, stolen bases).
                            
1. Mike Trout, Angels     NOTE: No offense Miggy, but Trout's the MVP.
2. Ryan Braun, Brewers     
3. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates     
4. Josh Hamilton, Rangers     
5. Alex Rios, White Sox     
6. Adam Jones, Orioles     
7. Matt Holliday, Cardinals     
8. B.J. Upton, Rays     NOTE: Team is done, but he's driving for next paycheck.
9. Jason Heyward, Braves     
10. Michael Bourn, Braves     
11. Curtis Granderson, Yankees     NOTE: A three-category guy this year.
12. Austin Jackson, Tigers     
13. Angel Pagan, Giants     NOTE: Most underrated player in baseball?
14. Allen Craig, Cardinals     
15. Josh Willingham, Twins     
16. Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins     NOTE: Knees are tricky, but pop is ridiculous.
17. Jay Bruce, Reds     
18. Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics     
19. Matt Kemp, Dodgers     
20. Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies    NOTE: Might be done for year.      
21. Carlos Beltran, Cardinals     
22. Martin Prado, Braves     
23. Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers    NOTE: Not as much fun from up close.      
24. Norichika Aoki, Brewers     
25. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks     NOTE: Has the thumb been right all year?

26. Alex Gordon, Royals     
27. Carlos Gomez, Brewers     
28. Corey Hart, Brewers     
29. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs     NOTE: Much better season than many realize.
30. Ben Zobrist, Rays     
31. Nelson Cruz, Rangers     
32. Shin-Soo Choo, Indians     
33. Josh Reddick, Athletics     NOTE: Average cratering in second half.
34. Andre Ethier, Dodgers     
35. Torii Hunter, Angels     
36. Hunter Pence, Giants     
37. Ichiro Suzuki, Yankees     
38. Desmond Jennings, Rays     
39. Alejandro De Aza, White Sox     NOTE: Underrated spark to their offense.
40. Shane Victorino, Dodgers     
41. Bryce Harper, Nationals     
42. Jason Kubel, Diamondbacks     
43. Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox     
44. Juan Pierre, Phillies     
45. David Murphy, Rangers     
46. Coco Crisp, Athletics     
47. Dexter Fowler, Rockies     
48. Garrett Jones, Pirates     
49. Ryan Ludwick, Reds     
50. Ben Revere, Twins     
51. Cody Ross, Red Sox     NOTE: Perfect swing for Fenway.
52. Justin Ruggiano, Marlins     
53. Jon Jay, Cardinals     NOTE: Defense needed; they're weak on corner.
54. DeWayne Wise, White Sox     
55. Nate McLouth, Orioles     NOTE: Don't laugh, Buck trusts him.
56. Mark Trumbo, Angels     NOTE: Bad habits back in second half.
57. Nick Swisher, Yankees     
58. Jayson Werth, Nationals    NOTE: No pop yet, but average is nice.      
59. Tyler Colvin, Rockies     
60. Drew Stubbs, Reds     NOTE: Trouble with the slider.
61. Michael Brantley, Indians     
62. Howie Kendrick, Angels     
63. Will Venable, Padres     
64. Dayan Viciedo, White Sox     
65. Jonny Gomes, Athletics     
66. John Mayberry, Phillies     NOTE: Cashing in late on pedigree.     
67. Rajai Davis, Blue Jays     NOTE: A speed play, that's it.
68. Michael Saunders, Mariners     
69. Denard Span, Twins     
70. Carlos Lee, Marlins     NOTE: Makes contact but zero pop.
71. Brandon Belt, Giants     
72. Matt Joyce, Rays     
73. Justin Maxwell, Astros     NOTE: An underrated, ownable Astro.
74. Brandon Moss, Athletics     
75. Cameron Maybin, Padres     
76. Delmon Young, Tigers     
77. Colby Rasmus, Blue Jays     NOTE: Is the grow-up season ever coming?
78. Trevor Plouffe, Twins     
79. Seth Smith, Athletics     
80. Michael Morse, Nationals     
81. Chris Denorfia, Padres    NOTE: A terrific play against lefties.      
82. Yonder Alonso, Padres     
83. Mitch Moreland, Rangers     
84. Jarrod Dyson, Royals     
85. Jeff Francoeur, Royals     NOTE: At least you're not paying him.
86. Scott Hairston, Mets     
87. David DeJesus, Cubs     
88. Gregor Blanco, Giants     
89. Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks     
90. Brennan Boesch, Tigers     
91. Roger Bernadina, Nationals     
92. Jesus Guzman, Padres     
93. Tyler Greene, Astros     
94. Donovan Solano, Marlins     NOTE: Utility grab, will run freely.
95. Tony Campana, Cubs     
96. Darin Mastroianni, Twins     
97. Steve Lombardozzi, Nationals     
98. Ty Wigginton, Phillies     

With Michael Kopech out for the year, should the White Sox try to bring James Shields back for 2019?

With Michael Kopech out for the year, should the White Sox try to bring James Shields back for 2019?

Michael Kopech's recovery from Tommy John surgery put an unanticipated item on this offseason's to-do list for Rick Hahn's front office: The White Sox now need to fill a 2019 rotation spot that was supposed to belong to Kopech.

There are numerous ways to fill that hole in the rotation, though are any more attractive, perhaps, than simply bringing James Shields back for another season on the South Side?

Shields' third year in a White Sox uniform has undoubtedly been his best. After he posted a 5.60 ERA and allowed a combined 67 home runs during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the 13-year major league veteran has done impressive work this season. After six innings of two-run ball Thursday night in Cleveland, Shields has a 4.48 ERA in 2018.

Of course, that's not a number that will have fans picketing Guaranteed Rate Field if the White Sox opt to move on from Shields this winter. But don't let that one figure overshadow how reliable Shields has been during the campaign. Thursday night marked his 19th quality start of the season, and he ranks in the top 10 in baseball in innings pitched.

Detractors have some statistical ammunition, too, however. Shields is one of three White Sox starting pitchers ranking in the top 10 in the game in walks (74 after three on Thursday), and his 33 home runs allowed are the second most in baseball (back-to-back jacks by the Indians accounted for pair of runs he gave up Thursday).

But Shields, it should be noted, has plenty of value independent of the kind of numbers he's posted during his White Sox tenure. He is a veteran mentor to the team's young pitchers. That includes Lucas Giolito, whose locker has been next to Shields' all season — or rather it was until Kopech became Shields' new locker buddy when the organization's No. 1 pitching prospect got his promotion to the big leagues. That placement, by the way, was Shields' request. While Kopech will be in recovery mode during the 2019 season, bringing Shields back would allow him to continue to help Giolito and act as a resource for Kopech.

This team is young and will continue to be young next season. Having a few reliable veterans around to guide the youngsters is a valuable thing.

Plenty, though, might not be sold on the idea, a reasonable reaction as the team moves toward contention mode and might need to free up spots in a rotation that could soon star some of the young arms developing in the minor leagues. But what are the alternatives for plugging Kopech's empty spot in the 2019 rotation? And if Shields doesn't come back, that makes two holes that need filling.

There isn't a wealth of major league ready options within the organization. Dylan Covey has a 5.33 ERA after his 19 starts this season. At the Triple-A level, Spencer Adams and Jordan Guerrero would figure to be the next-best options. Adams had a 3.19 ERA in 15 starts at Charlotte, and Guerrero had a 3.46 ERA in 12 starts. Though it's possible the White Sox could want them to receive some more conditioning in Triple-A. Jordan Stephens' 4.71 ERA in 21 starts and Carson Fulmer, who was moved to the bullpen after getting sent down to Charlotte earlier this season, are less appealing options.

Of course, the White Sox could go outside the organization, and that would seem to be the most likely course of action. But whether that's via free agency or a trade, wouldn't the still-rebuilding White Sox rather do that once than twice? And while there's nothing to say that the White Sox can't spend big this offseason with a loaded free-agent class, is the time right to do so? Does spending big this winter line up with the timeline of this rebuilding effort? In simpler terms: Would signing a pair of free-agent starting pitchers be the kind of win-now moves that Hahn has tried to avoid during this rebuild?

The most attractive free-agent options include the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin and Charlie Morton. But those big names could be looking for instant contention or a gigantic contract that could put the White Sox out of the running. Going lower down the wish list, you'll see names like Chris Tillman, Wade Miley, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Anibal Sanchez, Jeremy Hellickson, J.A. Happ, Garrett Richards, Nathan Eovaldi, Tyson Ross and Gio Gonzalez.

It's quite possible that even with Shields brought back, the White Sox will need to sign one of those guys. Here's the question: Are two of those guys — and the contracts they'll command — better than one of them and Shields?

Another thing to think about: With Kopech on the mend until spring 2020, how close could the White Sox get to contention by the time he returns? And if the team has reached the contention stage, could they afford any growing pains that Kopech could have during his first full season in the majors? Remember that Kopech's first start in 2020 will be just his fifth big league start. That could affect the approach the White Sox take this offseason, perhaps hoping to acquire a pitcher who could be around for a while — not just as a bridge to Kopech but as a safety net for him, as well.

So does a Shields return make sense? Given that the White Sox might still be playing the waiting game next season, having a reliable arm to save the bullpen and a veteran presence to help the still-developing young pitchers could be an attractive option this offseason.

Bears have 6 players ranked in Top 5 by Pro Football Focus through 2 games

Bears have 6 players ranked in Top 5 by Pro Football Focus through 2 games

The Bears are off to their best start since 2014, and the team seems to be playing well together through two games of the season.

The offense is finding creative ways to put points on the board early, and the defense has emerged as one of the top units in the league so far. It’s only resulted in one win, but Chicago seems to be on the right track for more success this season.

The analysts over at Pro Football Focus like what they’ve seen, and their grades are high on a number of individual Bears players. Six of them rank in the top five of their respective positions so far this season.

Khalil Mack, Kyle Long and Charles Leno are all the second highest-graded players among their peers, Jordan Howard has the third-highest grade for a running back, Akiem Hicks is tied for fourth among defensive linemen, and Pat O’Donnell is the fifth-ranked punter.

Just missing the cut is Bryce Callahan, who currently ranks sixth among cornerbacks with an 81.8 overall grade. As a whole the Bears have PFF’s highest-graded defense, while the offense ranks 21st.

It’s clear the team has had a lot of individual success on both sides of the ball, and the next step is converting that into team success with more wins on Sundays.