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2017 has been a weird season for baseball. Not only are baseballs leaving ballparks like super balls, but players like Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison are winning fantasy leagues for people. Before the season started, I never thought I would be writing those names on this website. Now, I write them every week (Okay, usually I just have to copy/paste).

While doing some research over the All-Star break, I found more than a dozen players who had already hit more home runs in the first half of 2017 than they ever had in any other full season. That wasn’t even really what I was looking for. I just kept finding more and more of them. One of those players, as you may have guessed because of the title of this article and the number of professional baseball players named Marwin, is Marwin Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is a player I have been keeping an eye on all year and is someone commenters have been asking about a lot lately. Until recently, he still wasn’t playing every day and was moving all over the field. When he did play, though, he was mashing. Son wrote about him in his Bear or Bull series last week, and I recommend going and giving that a read. I’ll wait here while you do.

Like Son goes over in his piece, the biggest difference for Gonzalez this season has been his approach at the plate. His BB% is way up, his K% is way down, and his O-Swing% is down. That all indicates an improved approach at the plate. For proof, here’s a chart!

Marwin Gonzalez’s Plate Discipline

Season O-Swing% Z-Swing% Swing% SwStr%
2012 32.1 % 58.1 % 43.9 % 6.0 %
2013 37.1 % 60.6 % 47.7 % 7.8 %
2014 35.1 % 61.3 % 46.5 % 8.2 %
2015 36.4 % 66.5 % 50.0 % 11.2 %
2016 35.7 % 65.1 % 48.4 % 12.0 %
2017 28.6 % 59.0 % 41.2 % 7.8 %
Total 34.3 % 62.5 % 46.7 % 9.4 %

So, we get it. He has been great this season when given a chance to play. Now, let’s take a look at what we can expect in the second half. At first glance, the first area you would expect to see some regression is BABIP, where he currently boasts a .346 mark. But here’s the thing. Gonzalez has posted an above-average BABIP for pretty much his entire career. More chart proof, please!

The BABIP is up more this year than in the past, but it would not be at all surprising to see him continue to post a BABIP above the league average. Despite the high BABIP, his hard contact percentage is down and his soft contact percentage is up. His, HR/FB percentage, though, is all the way up to 25.4%. For comparison, the league average for HR/FB% is 13.7% while Aaron Judge is up near 40%.

Season HR/FB Soft% Med% Hard%
2013 8.0 % 23.3 % 50.0 % 26.7 %
2014 9.0 % 17.7 % 55.4 % 26.8 %
2015 13.8 % 19.5 % 48.7 % 31.8 %
2016 11.6 % 14.7 % 52.0 % 33.2 %
2017 25.4 % 18.2 % 51.4 % 30.4 %
Total 12.6 % 18.0 % 52.4 % 29.6 %

As we have already talked about a bit, the thing that really jumps out about Gonzalez this year is the power. His .272 ISO is more than 120 points above his career average, and that is despite posting a batting average that is more than 50 points higher than his career average. Even for playing with super balls, those numbers are pretty incredible. The guess here is that those numbers come down at least a little bit in the second half.

I am adding Marwin Gonzalez to the Top 100, but I am doing so begrudgingly. Maybe it is just the cynic in me, and maybe it just takes me longer to warm up to players who have already established themselves, or maybe I’m just a jerk. That being said, 2017 has been so weird that who knows anymore. Maybe he’ll win MVP.

Now, a few things worry me about M-Gon in the second half. Some general regression is, of course, at the top of the list. The next is probably playing time. He has been playing more the last few weeks, but he is still a super utility player who doesn’t have an everyday spot on the field or in the lineup. Even if they continue to ride his hot bat, you know that in weekly leagues he is still going to sit at least once or twice, and he is one slump away from sitting 3-4 times a week.

With a juiced lineup on the field in Houston and juiced baseballs all over the play, though, maybe Gonzalez can be one of the guys who gets his chance and turns into a stud. But that lineup in Houston also works against him. The Astros don’t really have a weak spot in their lineup right now and have another pretty talented bat in Evan Gattis that doesn’t have an everyday spot in the lineup. And if that were not enough, they have prospects like Derek Fisher who are ready to step in and contribute. M-Gon doesn’t exactly have any long-term lineup security.

One thing super utility players who are hitting well usually do when they start to play every day: stop hitting. So, while it is fun to project short term success into a full season of production, many times these players are utility players for a reason.

Now, for the rest of the Top 100. Not too many changes here since I just overhauled the list on Wednesday for the second half, and there have only been a few games since then.

Note: These rankings are considered ROS Trade Value

Mike Maher’s Top 100 Hitters

(Rankings based on 12-team Roto. GREEN = player rising. RED = player dropping. BLUE = new to the 100.)

Rank Name Team Pos
1 Mike Trout LAA OF
2 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B
3 Bryce Harper WSH OF
4 Nolan Arenado COL 3B
5 Daniel Murphy WSH 1B/2B
6 Jose Altuve HOU 2B
7 Aaron Judge NYY OF
8 Kris Bryant CHC 3B/OF
9 Mookie Betts BOS OF
10 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B
11 Joey Votto CIN 1B
12 Charlie Blackmon COL OF
13 George Springer HOU OF
14 Carlos Correa HOU SS
15 Giancarlo Stanton MIA OF
16 Corey Seager LAD SS
17 Nelson Cruz SEA OF
18 Francisco Lindor CLE SS
19 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B
20 Jose Ramirez CLE 3B/OF
21 Robinson Cano SEA 2B
22 J.D. Martinez DET OF
23 Marcell Ozuna MIA OF
24 Manny Machado BAL 3B/SS
25 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B
26 Jean Segura SEA 2B/SS
27 Miguel Sano MIN 3B/OF
28 Dee Gordon MIA 2B
29 Jake Lamb ARI 3B
30 Edwin Encarnacion CLE 1B
31 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B
32 Ryan Braun MIL OF
33 Wil Myers SD 1B/OF
34 Justin Turner LAD 3B
35 Anthony Rendon WSH 3B
36 Yoenis Cespedes NYM OF
37 Khris Davis OAK OF
38 Brian Dozier MIN 2B
39 Jose Abreu CWS 1B
40 Billy Hamilton CIN OF
41 Adam Duvall CIN OF
42 Ryan Zimmerman WAS 1B
43 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS
44 Eric Thames MIL 1B/OF
45 Justin Upton DET OF
46 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF
47 Kyle Seager SEA 3B
48 Matt Kemp ATL OF
49 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B
50 Matt Carpenter STL 1B/2B/3B
51 Gary Sanchez NYY C
52 Rougned Odor TEX 2B
53 Chris Owings ARI 2B/SS
54 Ian Desmond COL OF
55 A.J. Pollock ARI OF
56 Corey Dickerson TB OF
57 Lorenzo Cain KC OF
58 Christian Yelich MIA OF
59 Jedd Gyorko STL 2B/3B/SS
60 Elvis Andrus TEX SS
61 Scott Schebler CIN OF
62 Buster Posey SF C/1B
63 Starling Marte PIT OF
64 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF
65 Michael Conforto NYM OF
66 Jay Bruce NYM OF
67 Eric Hosmer KC 1B
68 Ian Kinsler DET 2B
69 Mitch Haniger SEA OF
70 Salvador Perez KC C
71 Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B
72 Travis Shaw MIL 1B/3B
73 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B
74 Avisail Garcia CHW OF
75 Mike Moustakas KC 3B
76 Carlos Gomez TEX OF
77 Mark Trumbo BAL OF
78 Justin Smoak TOR 1B
79 Ian Happ CHC 2B/OF
80 Evan Longoria TB 3B
81 Ryon Healy OAK 1B/3B
82 Adam Jones BAL OF
83 Michael Brantley CLE OF
84 Mark Reynolds COL 1B
85 Brett Gardner NYY OF
86 Eugenio Suarez CIN 3B
87 Yonder Alonso OAK 1B
88 Domingo Santana MIL OF
89 Logan Morrison TB 1B
90 Justin Bour MIA 1B
91 Keon Broxton MIL OF
92 Starlin Castro NYY 2B
93 Carlos Santana CLE 1B
94 Eduardo Nunez SF 3B/SS/OF
95 Jonathan Villar MIL 2B/3B/SS
96 Hanley Ramirez BOS 1B
97 Trevor Story COL SS
98 Jose Bautista TOR OF
99 Ender Inciarte ATL OF
100 Marwin Gonzalez HOU 1B/3B/OF

The Honorable Mentions (Next Five In…)

Rank Name Team Pos
101 Cameron Maybin LAA OF
102 Tommy Pham STL OF
103 David Peralta ARI OF
104 Chris Taylor LAD 3B/2B/OF
105 Josh Harrison PIT 2B/3B

Dropped from the rankings: DJ LeMahieu, Kendrys Morales

As always, disagree with anything here? Have any questions or comments? Want to tell Mike how great he is or how much you agree with him? Want relationship or investment advice?

DROP THOSE COMMENTS!

 

If you want to talk fantasy baseball or football or have players you want Mike to feature, hit him up on Twitter at @mikeMaher or post a comment below!

 
  1. Damien says:
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    nice write up Mike –
    I actually have a pitcher question, let me know what you think. I normally leave 1-2 slots open to stream pitchers, however I’ve ended up with the following rotation & think I should hold for now:

    SP: Darvish, CMart, Manaea, Nelson, Paxton, Tanaka
    RP: E. Diaz, Britton, Kintzler, Bud Norris

    would you agree with holding?
    thanks!

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Damien:

      Yeah, that is solid. The only one who scares me is Tanaka

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @mikeMaher:

        And thanks, btw. Forgot that part.

  2. Bill says:
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    Not believing the Yuli hype? I have 0 shares but he’s killing it. Also, Tommy Pham is very polarizing in the ‘pert world. I love his category juice.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Bill:

      He’s been good. Just not Top 100 ROS for me yet. We’ll see.

      And yeah, the good thing about Pham is he can give you a little bit of pop and a little bit of speed the rest of the way.

  3. lwomack58 says:
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    Someone dropped Zimmermann and Smoak. Worth picking up on of them.

    I would have to drop Reddick, Reynolds, S. Castro, or Polanco to add one of them. Thanks

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @lwomack58:

      Not sure why anyone would drop either of those guys right now, so yeah, I would. I think you could lose Castro and/or Polanco

  4. Steve says:
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    Um, yea I’ll take Josh Reddick (the #3 hitter most nights in the best offense in baseball) over a lot of the backend of the top 100.

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Steve:

      Fair enough. Unfortunately, in the time it took me to reply to this Reddick went back on the disabled list.

      Just kidding, but would that surprise you?

      • Steve says:
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        @mikeMaher:

        Nope – but let’s not pretend that there aren’t a slew of injury-prone hitters on the list above. Right now, Reddick belongs.

  5. Son

    Son says:
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    Good stuff Mike. Appreciate the shoutout

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Son:

      Thanks!

  6. Wacha Wacha says:
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    Who would you drop between Maybin, pham, and c davis in obp league? I see Davis recently fell out of the top 100 and for good reason but it’s still hard to let go. What do you think?

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Wacha Wacha:

      Depends on your team/needs but in OBP probably Pham

  7. croth4 says:
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    14 team H2H OBP
    Would you rather own Bryant or Arenado? Bryant has better OBP and Arenado better RBI and TB

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @croth4:

      Arenado but I would be happy with either one

  8. Chris says:
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    Hi Mike,

    In a keeper league, would you trade Machado to get Judge?

    Thanks,

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Chris:

      I probably wouldn’t

  9. Chris says:
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    Can you rank desmond, haniger, bradley, bergman for rest if season in points league. All about power. Not speed. . Need 2 outfielders and bench. Jose ramirez gives me some flexibility.

  10. mikeMaher

    mikeMaher says:
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    Desmond, Haniger, Bregman, Bradley

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yo, Mike, where you at?

      • mikeMaher

        mikeMaher says:
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        @Grey:

        :::looks around:::

  11. lwomack58 says:
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    Do you think it’s time to move on from Mancini.
    Available are Parra, Castellanos, Simmons, Margot, Chisenhall(on DL), Haniger, Puig, O. Herrera and Bregman

    Thanks

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @lwomack58:

      I like Haniger’s upside the most, but he has to stay healthy

  12. Lee says:
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    10 teams h2h using OPS. I have all my guys on top 100 now except catcher. Who would you say the 3 weakest links are to sit on regular basis. Looking at your list, I’d be benching Trumbo, Smoak and Healy, but since my league is OPS want to see if your opinion changes. Thanks!

    C McCann
    1 Freeman
    2 Odor
    3 Rendon
    SS Marwin
    OF Betts
    OF SPRINGER
    OF judge
    CI one of k seager or Smoak
    Mi Castro
    U Cruz
    U one of Marte , trumbo, Healy or CI above not used at CI
    3 bench not in U
    DL trea turner (Marwin to bench)

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Lee:

      For that team, I think I would leave Smoak in and bench Castro. Watching him over the weekend, he is clearly playing with a bad hammy, which makes me nervous. Though I guess you might not be able to since it looks like you need Castro at MI.

      If that is the case, then yeah, Trumbo, Smoak, and Healy. That is a really nice lineup.

  13. Luvdarooks says:
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    Have Altherr on the DL
    So who to pick up in the meantime? Could be two tree weeks right ?
    5×5 OBP
    Tapia
    J Aguilar
    Sierra
    K Marte
    Freese
    Goodwin

    • mikeMaher

      mikeMaher says:
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      @Luvdarooks:

      I would say Tapia but he is losing at bats now. I think I would roll the dice on Goodwin.

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