There are those who would call for Yordan Alvarez to be a top-50 player already. With 27 combined HRs this season and 78! 78! 78! RBI in 60 games between AAA and the big leagues — I get that. I’m just a little hesitant due to his playing time. When George Springer comes back and the rest of the Astros get healthy will he stay up? I hope so because he is crushing the ball right now — but he has minor league options left and is still only a 22-year-old kid. Age is just a number though as this kid’s potential has MVP written all over it in one of the best lineups in baseball.

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Super Duper!

Mitch Haniger, OF, Oh God: *Vomits uncontrollably* *Still* Replacement: Who does this white bread Garrett Cooper (7.2%) kid think he is anyway? Well dating back to May 15th he has 28 hits, 19 runs, 5 HRs, 16 RBI in 86 ABs. He’s firmly entrenched as the Marlins #2 hitter right now and is really making the most of it. He’s not some spring chicken either — he’s a 28-year-old career minor leaguer who has always had a solid hit tool hitting .305 AVG/.371 OBP across 1,640 minor league ABs. He has 15-20 HR power, absolutely no speed (think: negative stolen bases somehow,) but he’s a great fill-in option who isn’t going to kill your ratios.

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Well, I did it. I removed Jose Ramirez from my top 100 hitters rankings. He played another 5 games and only managed 2 hits. 2 runs? Sure. 4 RBI? Sure. 1 SB? Sure. But when he is hurting you this bad he is permanently in the limbo that is ranking #101. I am fully prepared to rocket him up the rankings if he turns it around — but right now? He is the wonderful 101.

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After the worst start of his year (4+ IP, 7 ER) Matt Strahm was placed on the DL with a rib strain. This seems to be a minor injury and might just be an easy, smart way to manage his innings. The most innings he’s thrown in a single season was 102 way back in 2016. Last year he threw 61.1 innings and he’s already sitting at 60.1 this year. Ruh-roh. The Padres are only 2.5 games back in the NL Wild Card so managing the innings of Strahm, Cal Quantrill, Chris Paddack, and Dinelson Lamet is going to be key for their playoff hopes. Replacement: The award for most unlikely, unexpected and unbelievable late-career resurgence has to go to Anibal Sanchez (6.6%.) The 35-year-old, 14 year veteran inexplicably and probably accidentally had one of the best seasons of his career last year with a 2.83 ERA and 1.083 WHIP (lowest of his career!) In his first 5 starts of the season Sanchez returned to the rotten pumpkin we knew him as: 27 IP, 18 ER (6.00 ERA.) However, things have improved in his 6 most recent starts. He’s allowed only 7 ERs in 21.2 IP (2.91 ERA.)

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Last week here’s what I said about Austin Riley: “A lot of people were calling for Austin Riley to make his rankings debut after hitting 5 HRs in his first 9 games, but I’m a little wary of rookies. Especially rookies who have a 15:2 K/BB ratio in their last 33 ABs. Pitchers are already starting to figure him out.”

Well, another 3 games played since last week’s rankings and he’s crushed another 2 HRs — however — with another 3 Ks. In his 15 games played so far he’s only not struck out in 2 games. Riley was a top 30 prospect heading into this season and so far the power potential (three 19+ HR seasons in the minors) is showing up, but so is the strikeout potential (8 consecutive minor league seasons with a 20+% K/rate.)  Look, he’s 22. He can crush, but he can also miss. I’ve put him at 99 for now — one spot above Jose Ramirez — and I’ll be watching his progress.

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#100. One hundred. Benjamin Franklin. C-note. One hunnit (RIP Nipsey Hussle.) That’s where you’ll find Jose Ramirez this week. Last week he was sitting at a no-so-nice #69 and he had another awful week: 6 games, 20 ABs, 4 hits, 0 runs, 0 HRs, 0 RBI, 0 SB. Sorry Ramirez fans — his season line: 193 ABs, 17 runs, 4 HRs, 15 RBI, 12 SBs, .197 is not a top-100 player anymore. However, this might be a perfect buy low opportunity since Ramirez is an avid Razzballer and doesn’t want to find himself missing from the most controversial column on the site.

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But so far he’s made me wanna roll my windows down and snoooooooze. Nelson Cruz wasn’t doing what we all drafted him to do anyway so maybe this rest will do him a body good. He’s designated to only hit 7 HRs and 22 RBI? Not on my team! Cruz is saying he’ll be back on May 24th when eligible. I say take all the time you need and remember who you are and become what you are supposed to be. Replacement: Albert Almora (3.2%) has been on a tear in his last 15 games. In 53 ABs he’s got 12 runs, 3 HR, 7 RBI with a .340 AVG. Almora has always had a solid average, but just never gets enough starts to improve. He’s never been a high HR guy, never been a huge SB guy — just average and the runs and RBI that sometimes come with that. Maybe if he starts getting more starts he can develop either more power or speed.

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There were many big movers and shakers in the Top 100 this week perhaps none bigger this year (and maybe the past few years) than Josh Bell. Bell has slapped a hit in all but 9 of his 42 games so far this season. In 15 May games alone he’s hitting .383 with 12 runs, 6 HRs, and 18 RBI. (Writer update: since I started writing this, Bell has crushed another 2 HRs and 4 RBI tonight!) Bell keeps this up and he could be in top 20-25 territory.

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After missing all of April and then some, Miguel Andujar (3B, Shoulder) apparently returned prematurely for 34 disappointing ABs and is now back on the DL with his shoulder MRI not looking any better than his last MRI. I’m thinking the Yankees bite the bullet and put Miggy Andy under the knife especially with the emergence of… Replacement: DA GAWD GIO URSHELA (6.9%.) I hate naming the obvious same-team injury replacement, but I can’t help myself this week. It seems like for every Javier Vazquez, Carl Pavano and Kevin Brown there is a Gio Urshela — a guy who thrives under the big city lights of NYC. Can he keep this up? A career .270 hitter batting .341? Yea and monkeys might fly out of my butt. But is he due for a ROS amount of ABs behind a slowly healthy Yankees lineup? Definitely. He’s also hitting a 4th best in the league 7.9% soft contact rate — tied with a young slugger named J.D. Martinez. He’s not hitting a lot of fly balls (26.3% — would be bottom 20 if he was eligible) but is hitting a fair amount of lasers (28.9% — would be 12th best if he were eligible.) He’s probably going to cap out at 10-15 HRs this year, but with a good place in the Yankees lineup, he could get a fair amount of runs and a sneaky solid amount of RBI.

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