Over the past few weeks, Yasmani Grandal has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball. Despite being a pinch-hitter who sometimes wears the wrong helmet, he has been hitting .345 with a .392 wOBA over his last 30 days. Part of that has to do with an unsustainable .409 BABIP during that span, but most of it has to do with Grandal being locked in and being more aggressive at the plate. While he has a history of being frustrating to fantasy owners who aren’t utilizing him in OPS or OBP leagues, Hot Yasmani has been very different this season.

Regular Yasmani is a patient hitter who posts OBPs 100 points higher than a mediocre AVG, who walks 15% of the time and strikes out 25% of the time. He can hit home runs but hurts AVG in standard leagues. Last season, he rewarded fantasy owners with 27 home runs, which is great, especially at the catcher position. But, again, he hit just .228, struck out 25.4% of the time, and recorded just 86 hits. That means a third of his hits went for home runs. With 116 strikeouts and 62 walks, it also means that he either struck out or walked 50% of the time. Other than the home runs (which, again, are great to get at the catcher spot), those numbers are fine for OBP/OPS leagues but are not ideal for your standard leagues.

Hot Yasmani, 2017 Yasmani, is a different story. Hot Yasmani has no time for patience at the plate. He wants to eat. HY’s BB% over the last 30 days is less than 6%, and it’s below 10% on the year. He already has 42 hits and is on pace for well over 100 for the first time in his career. He his hitting around .300 after hitting below .235 the last four seasons. The home runs are down, for now, but he is making up for it with career marks in nearly every other offensive category (except walks, of course). I included HY in this week’s Top 100 because he is no longer just posting good numbers for a catcher; he’s one of the hottest hitters not named Charles Cobb Blackmon (full name, look it up) right now.

Now, for a few guys who are not so hot right now…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As I was rummaging through player statistics looking for some bit of data that would help both me and my eight loyal readers, for some reason I began to wonder if it would be possible to add a team to an existing points league right now using only players that went largely undrafted in the majority of leagues to fill my starting lineup. I’m defining “largely undrafted” as any player with an average draft position of 220 or greater. It escapes me as to how I arrived at the 220 number, but I think it’s safe to say that anyone drafted at that point wasn’t really a player the drafting team intended to bank its success upon. So the rules are simple, I construct a starting lineup of 16 players (10 batters, 4 starting pitchers and 2 relievers) using only players with an ADP greater than 219. These players do not need to be on the waiver wire. I am allowed to take them from their current teams. Without this clause, said exercise would be futile because, at this point, all waiver wire gems have already been snatched up.

For those of you that thought draft season was over, guess again.

Without further ado, let’s draft our expansion team…

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It’s gotta be tough having the same name as a famous person. You’re some how indirectly responsible for whatever they’re doing, or have ever done. I can relate, for mine is the same as world renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren. Well, at least his government name. So perhaps that’s my bias when rooting for Astros outfield prospect Derek Fisher. I feel his pain… While sharing a name with the former Lakers point guard turned homewrecker isn’t what it used to be. He’s got to be sick to death of silly puns like my title, Amirite?  Celebrity names aside, Fisher has been one of the best performers in the minors this season. He’s in the midst of a 16 game hitting streak, that’s seen him slash .394/.429/.712 with 5 homers, and 2 steals. An Astros outfield that once seemed so hard to crack doesn’t seem so insurmountable. Make no mistake that last statement has as much to do with Fisher, as it does anyone else’s lack of production. Since first being promoted to AAA on August 7th of last season, Fisher’s numbers are eye-popping. Over his first 52 AAA games the outfielder is slashing .309/.373/.547 with 13 homers, 9 steals, and a 8.3% walk rate. That’s not to say there aren’t some flaws, he’s always struck out around 25% of the time, and he’s not the most efficient basestealer either. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he struckout over 25% of the time in the majors, and saw his steal totals capped around 10-12 per season. But that’s not why I’m excited, it’s the fact that Fisher seems to be getting better. Following a roughish start to 2016 in AA, Fisher was promoted to Fresno as a challenge last season, and he rose to the occasion. I think he can be a very ownable outfielder in 12 team mixed leagues, if he finds himself seeing a majority of the starts in Houston this summer. Expect a .270ish average 20+ home run pop, and some steals mixed in. He’s an exciting player, and one that should be owned in all leagues with prospects or minor leagues of any kind. Here’s who else is making noise in the MiLB.

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Greetings and salutations!  The Collector here once again welcoming you to a amazing Wednesday slate over on FanDuel.  We have quite a few pitchers to use today, but I’m going to focus on my boy Yu Darvish at $11,200.  He’s one of my favorite pitchers in the game right now, as I love his stuff and wish/hope he’d stay healthy.  Darvish’s K/9 is down a bit this year, but I expect it to start rise back to his career norm and this is the start it begins to do so.  Today he gets the really good San Diego Padres… San Diego let AJ Griffin get a complete game shut out yesterday, that’s how good they are. This seems very easy to me and even though it’ll be popular, I think you need to go with Darvish today.

Now on to the picks…

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

True story, I told Cougs that I had the hots for Maria Conchita Alonso, and she was like, “You know the woman who walks her Yorkie off leash in the neighborhood that Ted always tries to hump?”  I answered in the affirmative.  I hate people who have their dogs off leash.  It’s like people who bring their dog into the supermarket.  I love dogs, but I don’t need Arfer Woofruff licking my bottle of Kombucha.  Any hoo!  As you likely figured, the woman with her Yorkie off leash is Maria Conchita Alonso, and she’s no longer hot because she can’t follow the rules!  So, guys and five girl readers, Yonder Alonso has nine homers.  Quite the change from a guy who used to be Hither Alonso.  Okay, Imma let Fangraphs Database finish about launch angle and exit velocity, but Yonder Alonso is the greatest 1st baseman waiver wire pick up right now.  Yonder Alonso had two homers on Saturday and added his ninth on Sunday, and I’d grab him everywhere.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday, Josh Harrison hit two homers (3, 4), raising his average to .313 and hitting near-.350 in the last week.  He’s hitting like two-thousand against lefties, so the Hitter-Tron was all over him yesterday, like it’s all over grease spots with its dipstick.  Hitter-Tron is a horny robot!  You think the Hitter-Tron will ever meet up with the lonely AF Stream-o-Nator?  They seem like a match made in heaven like popcorn and chicken, Kim and Kanye or Oprah and Gayle.  On a larger, more general note, on our Hitter-Tron (and Stream-o-Nator) we have the ownership numbers for our RCL leagues (12-team mixed), and Harrison is owned in 89% of leagues, so, this brings me to my long-drawn-out question, how in Jane Goodall’s understated-sexiness is Harrison only owned in 25% of ESPN leagues?  Honestly, seriously, awkward sentence introly, I don’t think ESPN updates their ownership numbers on the reg (not short for Reginald).  Guys and five gals, this is exposing some large widespread conspiracy.  Maybe we should check in with Gregory in ESPN’s “Fantasy Ownership” Department.  Gregory, what do you think? “Mike Trout just fell to 99.3% owned.”  All righty then.  If Harrison is unowned in your league, you should fix that, if for no other reason, so we can see if Gregory updates the numbers.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wait, what? The Mariners got Jean Segura AND Mitch Haniger for the continually underachieving Tai Walker? The same Haniger who’s third in offensive WAR in the AL (through Friday), first in the AL in runs scored with 16, leading the AL in times on base, fourth in the clubhouse in jersey-chaser takedowns, and first in my heart for being part of the heist that was the Taijuan Walker trade. Coming off a year where he masta-donged 25 and 94 with a .321 BA in AA/AAA last year, the D-Bags felt the urge to dump another diamond in the rough, a la Max Scherzer. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that trade all those year ago. I couldn’t believe at the time and couldn’t believe they weren’t making a bigger deal about it.

I may be going too far as I’m a Walker fan, but Haniger clearly has All-star capabilities and hitting in this loaded lineup is going to keep him relevant all season long. Much unlike myself, it’s really easy to be a fan of this dude.

Here’s what else intrigued me this past week… Take heed!

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We’ve reached the end of the line for Cole Hamels‘ viability.  It happens to everyone.  Robert De Niro went from Meet the Fockers, a respectable comedic turn as Rex Reed likely said, to total garbage.  Maybe Hamels throws a couple of good games here and there, just as De Niro might have a scene or two here and there after the Fockers.  Silver Linings Playbook wasn’t all bad, but if you’re going to see a movie because of De Niro, you’re about to sit through crap that he did for money.  Hamels is heading out there with a 6-ish K/9 and starring in Last Vegas.  His xFIP and velocity look like Dirty Grandpa.  Hamels’ walk rate is still not right and you’ve walked into the wrong theater and now you’re watching The Intern and a grandmother is standing in front of the exit telling you to sit back down.  I want out!!!  Please God!!!  I would attempt to sell Hamels before it’s too late.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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Yesterday (but really every time he pitches), Chris Sale went 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 baserunners, 13 Ks, ERA down to 0.91, and yet another no decision.  Elias Sports Bureau said, “Chris Sale had his 4th start in last five seasons on Thursday with 8 IP, 10+ Ks, 0 ER without getting win; no one else has more than one.  Also, there’s 16 different vending machines in our company to choose from, but only one has M&M’s and Drake’s Apple Fruit Pie for 50 Cent that elicits Snickers with the wrappers.”  God, what a bunch of nerds!  Not like us fantasy baseball cool kids!  I wanna tent the Elias Sports Bureau office, fart in there and leave.  Seriously, that’s what I want.  I need a wish genie, up in here!  Up in here!  So, Chris Sale is flippin’ awesome once again, and nothing can stop him except a rock vs. his scissors.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Amir Garrett, or as he’s commonly referred to as, Muslim Mrs. Garrett, took Natalie, Jo, Blair, Tootie and that little white kid, who no one remembers, to school last night.  Muslim Mrs. Garrett was like, “Listen, child, I’m your boss while you’re in this park and I’m going to rule over you with sweet motherly affection, but an iron fist like you get from a male Gulag prisoner.”  Yesterday, he straight dazzled — 7 IP, 2 ER, 8 baserunners, 12 Ks, ERA at 1.83.  MMG is so out of nowhere I feel like we need to start at the beginning.  He was born– Okay, flash forward Lost-style and they’re off the island and Garrett is a former basketball player, so his age isn’t as old as it seems for his development level.  I think because of that he could also sneak up on people.  His control gets wonky at times, and he doesn’t read as a strikeout pitcher, but there he was doing just that last night.  He could surprise some people, but A) Reds and their ballpark. B) Rookie.  C) There’s no C.  To take this back to 80’s sitcoms, there could be some Boners along the way through Growing Pains, but I’d grab him if you feel like Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, or can just handle the risk.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?