It doesn’t take long for us to waver. For some — really, Mike Trout — little has changed, as expectations are met. For others, a short leash is applied, courtesy of a slow start. Of course, such shifts in thinking are clearly over-reactions, but the purpose of ranking players is exactly to put such snap judgements to good use.
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The two-week point of the season is a reasonable enough time to allow players to establish some sort of rhythm. Terrible Opening Day starts by Jeff Samardzija and Masahiro Tanaka have since been erased in the games that followed, while basically everyone on the Astros continues a combined downward spiral. In addition, baseball’s most awaited prospect — Chicago’s Kris Bryant — has officially made his Major League Baseball debut, marking the last of the ‘obvious April’ call-ups.
The biggest moves upwards came in the form of players like Corey Kluber and Dallas Keuchel, both coming off stellar seasons — for Kluber, it earned him the American League Cy Young award — proving that 2014 was no fluke. In addition, players like David Price and Adrian Gonzalez — both already expected to perform well — found ways to somehow exceed their projections to date.
Then there’s Yasmany Tomas and Javier Baez, both expected to be big contributors this season, only to spend much of the first few weeks in the Minor Leagues — Tomas has since been recalled, but remains little more than a bench option in Arizona’s Major League club. Pitchers like Jon Lester and nearly everyone on the Nationals starting staff have yet to put it all together, and suffer respective dips. In Washington’s case, shortstop Ian Desmond and his ‘error every game’ mentality have proven to be deadly for the team’s staff, even though many of their runs go unearned.
Below are the MLB Fantasy Player Rankings as of Week 3, 2015: