We’ve reached the All Star break. That’s a little more than halfway through the fantasy baseball year. Since there was no real baseball yet this week, we’re going with a Closer Report/SAGNOF mash up. Bullets are freestyle and rankings are below. Tiers are HR Derby themed with some of my favorite moments in Derby history…
- The All Star break also serves as a time for teams to take stock of where they stand and consider whether the should be trade deadline buyers or sellers. The interest in Will Smith is heating up. That means there’s a stash opportunity. Pick your favorite between Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, or Reyes Moronta. There’s something in my gut telling me Moronta might be the guy long term.
- Greg Holland and Craig Kimbrel both gave their owners a bit of solace going into the break with a save each just prior. Holland is the shakier own with the Diamondbacks minimally invested in him. Let’s see what a few days off do for two aging arms.
- Grey told you to roster Liam Hendricks. I told you not to drop him. Hope you listened because, surprise, rushing Treinen back was probably a mistake and it’s showing. Treinen may never be a guy cut out for the solo closer mantle. He’s likely an elite fireman with multi-inning capability.
- The top of the stolen base leaderboard isn’t particularly surprising with Adalberto Mondesi and Mallex Smith at the top. It gets interesting from there. Christian Yelich is third, Elvis Andrus is fourth, and Jose Ramirez is fifth. They’re likely matchup based with pockets of steals coming in the first half. It’s an interesting top 5 nonetheless.
- Right behind them in sixth is Kevin Kiermaier. If you’re after steals, check the wire for him. He’s been a popular add but could be there. KK gives you some of everything.
- Joey Wendle, another Ray, is right behind him. Wendle’s had about the worst injury luck you can have. He’s back now and sporting a solid .257/.341/.371 with 3 steals in the last two weeks. His playing time has some risk with Brandon Lowe’s return. Wendle can play all over the diamond, though.
Ken Griffey Jr., 1994
This was the official I’m here to stay moment of a game changer. It was his follow up to leaving the yard in ’93 and finishing second. The swagger. The swing. The backward hat. Children still haven’t recovered.
- Kirby Yates (Craig Stammen, Trey Wingenter)
- Felipe Vazquez (Kyle Crick)
- Kenley Jansen (Pedro Baez)
- Aroldis Chapman (Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton)
- Josh Hader (Junior Guerra, Jeremy Jeffress)
- Edwin Diaz (Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman)
- Brad Hand (Nick Wittgren, Adam Cimber)
- Roberto Osuna (Ryan Pressly, Hector Rondon)
Josh Hamilton, 2008
This one’s more about his 28 first round homers. It was the shining moment in Hamilton’s baseball redemption. Once in a while baseball gives us a real feel good.
- Will Smith (Tony Watson, Sam Dyson)
- Shane Greene (Joe Jimenez)
- Craig Kimbrel (Steve Cishek Pedro Strop)
- Liam Hendricks / Blake Treinen (Lou Trivino)
- Alex Colome (Kelvin Herrera)
- Hector Neris (Jose Alvarez, IL: David Robertson)
- Taylor Rogers (Blake Parker, Trevor May)
- Sean Doolittle / Fernando Rodney (Wander Suero)
Bobby Abreu, 2005
Who cares if you ruin your back and your swing for eternal glory? I’m being told the derby actually counts for nothing and this was peak Abreu selfishness. Alright then.
- Luke Jackson (A.J. Minter, Anthony Swarzak)
- Emilio Pagan / Colin Poche (IL: Deigo Castillo)
- Carlos Martinez (John Gant, Andrew Miller)
- Ken Giles (Joe Biagini, Daniel Hudson)
- Raisel Iglesias (Michael Lorenzon, David Hernandez)
- Shawn Kelley (Chris Martin, Jose Leclerc)
- Hansel Robles / Ty Buttrey (Cam Bedrosian)
- Greg Holland (Archie Bradley, Yoshihisa Hirano)
Yoenis Cespedes, 2014
Less of an indictment of Yo and more on the format and field itself. He only had to beat Todd Frazier’s lone home run in the finals after Frazier advanced on a 1-0 semifinal win. This took something we all enjoy and drug it through the mud.
- Wade Davis / Scott Oberg
- Ian Kennedy (Jake Diekman, Wily Peralta)
- Matt Barnes / Brandon Workman / IL: Nathan Eovaldi
- Sergio Romo (Adam Conley, Nick Anderson)
- Mychal Givens / Miguel Castro / Richard Bleier
- Anthony Bass / Roenis Elias (IL: Hunter Strickland)