True story, I was minding my own business in my backyard recently — mowing the lawn, wiping my brow with the bottom of my shredded Hulk-a-Mania t-shirt, sipping a real super cheap beer. Just being at one with the sun that Al Gore hasn’t yet taken from us, and bronzing my calfs because they look better bronze, when I got to thinking. Not super deep thinking like if I were a sushi chef, I’d make a maki roll with hamburger and Doritos and call it an “Eye roll.” Just surface level thinking, and it hit me. How rare is it that a guy is top five for fantasy value on our Player Rater and he doesn’t have one insanely huge game all year to warrant a lede. That was the case with Paul Goldschmidt, before yesterday. Then, as they say, Au Shizz went shizzy all up in Rizzy’s hizzy — 3-for-4, 4 runs, 6 RBIs and his 23rd, 24th and 25th homers, and now hitting .320 on the year. This should finally put him on top of the Player Rater for the first time all year, after sniffing the Judge’s robe for the first three months of the season, in the number two slot. And there were people who didn’t want to draft him in the top three spots in the preseason. Haha, oops. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Now that we are a few weeks into the second half, we are able to take a look at players and their rest of season rankings a little differently. For starters, we can see how players are starting the second half. Even though it is only a few days off (or not off, for those who participate in the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game) and is not even technically the real halfway point of the season, the All-Star break seems to hit the reset button for some players.
Some players get off to a hot start in the second half and ride the wave for a hot August and September, while others seem to lose their momentum and start off ice cold. You could write a book on the different explanations and theories about why it happens or whether or not the Home Run Derby messes up your swing or the All-Star Game schedule itself is exhausting, but we all know as fantasy owners that we have to really pay attention to our squads coming out of the break.
Players who had unreal, otherworldly breakout first halves like Aaron Judge have come back to earth a little bit, while players we had come to rely on in previous years who had disappointing first halves like Christian Yelich have gotten hot. If those disappointing players don’t get off to a good start to the second half, though, we have to make the tough decision about whether or not it is time to move on.
And that is the other way we have to look at these rankings, with time in mind. Depending on your league and format, you probably have roughly two months left in your season and about a month and a half or less until the playoffs in leagues that have them. Carlos Gonzalez is the 600th ranked player in Razzball’s year-to-date player rater, but he is still owned in 93% of RCLs and 67% of ESPN leagues as apparently, Razznation is still waiting for CarGo to turn back into the hitter he has shown he is over the year.
And while Gonzalez has been somewhat better in the second half and has sown signs of life, at some point time is going to run out. I gave up on him weeks ago and have not looked back. In the leagues where I had him I am in first or second place and am clawing to either stay there or overtake the top team, and I just don’t have any more time to wait on him. Granted, I gave up on him when it looked like he wasn’t going to have regular playing time anymore, and that is no longer the case since the Rockies can’t stay healthy, but I don’t regret the decision. Even after showing he can still hit a little in the second half, he still only has a 0.02 PR15. That isn’t enough to make me regret the decision or convince me he is going to get hot.
For Gonzalez this season, his Hard%, FB%, and HR/FB% are all down, while his AVG, OBP, and SLG are all well below his career averages. Most troubling to me is the SLG, which is currently sitting at .341. It would not be surprising to find out that he has been playing through injuries all season because 1. He is pretty much always injured and 2. These numbers are awful. You know I love creating these graphs, so check out this one:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Between trade deadline deals and prospect call-ups, I am so super jacked right now, I could jackhammer a road with my excitement! Is it weird that I’m picturing a mural of Giancarlo on the ground while I jackhammer said road with my excitement? “Hey, move that traffic cone! Giancarlo’s birthmark is further down and to the right!” That’s me directing city workers as they put my Giancarlo mural on my block. So, with Dexter Fowler hitting the DL with a forearm strain, the Card called up Harrison Bader. I’m kicking myself for going Willie Calhoun over Harrison Bader two weeks ago in NL-Only FAAB. Real bad call by me. Now, I got Willie Calhoun, who sounds like someone in Alcatraz, and I’m kicking rocks. Why do we care? Bader has 19 HRs, 9 SBs and a .297 average in Triple-A, and Prospector Ralph put him 36th overall on his top 100 fantasy baseball prospect list. I attempted to add him everywhere, even in ESPN leagues where he’s not in their system yet. Oops, guess they didn’t see him coming. Apparently, they don’t put the ESP in ESPN. Bader’s overall profile looks to be a 20-ish homers, 12ish steals, .275-ish average. His -ish looks Fowler-ish, and I’m chicken-lickin’. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Last week, we added Tommy Pham and his pal (unconfirmed) Marwin Gonzalez to the realm of the 100. This week, we’re feeling so good that we’re moving them on up the rankings. Pham has the second best PR15 (ESPN leagues) right now (13.01), behind only the respected Coors Field masher Nolan Arenado. Marwin, while he has a respectable 5.26 PR15 that is good for 34th overall, is moving up because he suddenly has an inside track to playing time.
Someone ask Grey if I get any bonus points for running it back on players in back-to-back weeks AND rolling with a double player reference headline. I was going to go with a Gregory Polanco reference but decided Matt Adams was both more ridiculous and had the added bonus of allowing me to use former teammates (kind of). More bonus points? Let me know what Grey says.
As for Carlos Correa, well, you guys know already, right? I’m dropping him from the Top 100 because he is going to miss most of the rest of the season. He could potentially return and help you for fantasy playoffs or the last couple weeks, but we won’t know for sure for a few more weeks. This IS good news for Marwin Gonzalez, who I focused on last week, as there is suddenly another opening in the lineup for him. Obviously, hold Correa for now, but I’m dropping him from the ranks of the beloved and pouring out some Coors Light for him.
I never thought there would be a week where I would be adding Matt Adams and removing Carlos Correa. 2017 is bumming me out, but I promise to make it one full article without mentioning Super Balls (this doesn’t count!). Screw it, let’s add Steven Souza, too. He’s got 20 home runs to go with a .272 average, .239 ISO, an increased Hard%, and what looks to be an increased approach at the plate. He has been on the fringe, but I managed to make room for him this week. I give up, 2017. You hear me? I give up! You win!
Anyway, here are some other notes on the additions and subtractions for this week…Please, blog, may I have some more?
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!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Matt Grace picked up his 2nd save in as many games on Saturday for the Nationals, and Ben Zobrist’s wife started to work on a song titled, “Saving Grace,” and requested Ben’s trade to Washington. Then, first thing on Sunday, the Nats traded for Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle, and Saving Grace became a B-side for “Halleberrylujah, A Catwoman Licks Herself (Rated PG).” When asked if the trade makes his team better, the Nats’ GM said, “That’s right,” and, “I’m Mike Rizzo.” Picture this: Dusty and Rizzo looking at a book called, “Baseball Strategy.” Rizzo looks at Dusty, and Dusty says, “I got the baseball part,” and Rizzo nods his head. Finally, Rizzo chimes in, “I don’t know the 2nd word and I don’t think it’s worth investigating.” Dusty agrees, and that’s the Nationals. So, who will close between Madson and Doolittle? Your guess = my guess. I’d want to say Madson, but it could be either, both or neither as they trade for David Robertson or someone else. By the time the calendar turns to August, the Nationals might have five closers from teams not in the pennant chase. Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It’s the dead of summer and there is nothing better to do here in Tampa other than go to the beach. It’s forbidden to wear jeans during the months of July and August as the temperature rarely dips below 90 degrees. Earlier this week there was a shark attack in the Miami area where a guy was bit on both legs. However, today I’m receiving alerts that there will be a shark attack in the San Diego area. Today Jeff Samardzija takes the mound against Padres in San Diego. This will likely be a favorite just because he is going up against the Padres and that seems to be the trend with every DFS player. Shark has not been impressive at all this season. His home/away splits are not impressive in regards to ERA. One stat that he has consistently maintained is his 9.69 k/9. I think Shark is a must play today given the pitcher friendly park and pitcher friendly lineup.
New to FantasyDraft ? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well be sure to read our content and subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays. Just remember to sign up through us before jumping into the fray. It’s how we know you care!Please, blog, may I have some more?
Aaron Judge baffles me. Is he a beefy version of early 2000s Richie Sexson, or he is something more legit? No offense to early 2000s Richie, of course. His (we’re back to Judge, now) numbers in the minors (albeit a relatively small sample size of) suggest more of the former, but his 2017 insists on the latter. Strikeouts aside, he seems to have combined a complete and nearly flawless approach at the plate with a compact swing and elite power. In March, we weren’t even sure if he was going to be the everyday right fielder for the Yankees. Now, he is a lock to win Rookie of the Year, the clear favorite to win MVP, and could very well win the Triple Crown.
He has 30 home runs to only 13 doubles (big boy has three triples, too), which means nothing except that when he connects he CONNECTS. Lifting power, my friends. The fly ball revolution is upon us, and only 50 years after Ted Williams told us all about it. And with Judge’s superhuman power, a willingness and ability to drive (and lift) the ball to the opposite field, a right field porch in Yankee Stadium that is a few feet behind first base (roughly), and juiced baseballs that are leaving parks like they’re golf balls, what is a popup behind second base for most batters is a home run to the upper deck in right field for Judge. That was a very long sentence. Let’s pause to catch our breath here.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome, prematurely balding men and five women who are married to prematurely balding men and decided if you can’t beat them, join them! Make yourself comfortable, this is gonna be a long post. Here, enjoy some coffee. Oops, you just drank rat poison. Don’t worry, it can’t be worse than owning Matt Harvey in the 1st half. Oh, you owned him and that’s why you drank the poison! Now, I’m following! Hey, I’m supposed to be leading! Before we get into the top 100 for the 2nd half of 2017 fantasy baseball, let’s just be glad our 18-year-old selves can’t see us now, we’d get beat up! But our twelve-year-old selves would think we’re the coolest! So, as with all of the other 2017 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade that outfielder for that 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Bryce Harper number two on the top 100 list for the second half of 2017 and he could pull a–Well, we won’t even mention an injury with Bryce. Why soil a good thing, ya know? This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Mike Trout did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because, well, Mike Trout. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2017. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what players will do. It’s like that camera from The Twilight Zone. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2017:Please, blog, may I have some more?
First Mike Trout and now our beloved Trea Turner (and a bunch in between, but we’ll focus on baseball’s young heartthrobs for the time being). The baseball Gods are clearly punishing us all for the use of juiced baseballs this season. Major League Baseball has denied any kind of change in the balls despite some mounting evidence, but I bet it is something that gets looked at and adjusted in the offseason. Which leads me to wonder whether this will be something we will be talking about come March…Please, blog, may I have some more?