The best leaders walk in a room and everyone knows their presence. Without even being aware of why sometimes, the attention magnetically focuses towards them. It’s like gravity. Leadership gravity. And in order to have it there is normally a glimmer of gregariousness written into the fabric of the leader; everyone’s thankful that they are exactly where they are. In baseball it’s seen in the locker room: they walk in, everyone feels it; they say a word, everyone listens; they’re at their plate, everybody watches.

The Creeper of the Week for Week 17…he doesn’t have that. Haha, a little bait and switch there for ya. Nope, I don’t peg him as the leadership gravity type, but he followed perhaps one of the greatest leaders with it in baseball history: Derek Jeter. For all his overhyped meh of fantasy baseball, you can’t argue The Captain’s leadership presence on the Yankees, and the lack of it now that he’s gone. I’d venture to say one element the Yanks have felt since Jetah hung em up is the black hole manning the field at shortstop; however, in his stead we find a player becoming so gregarious due to his rise as a hitter that he even decided to make his last name a play on that word…

  • Didi Gregorius, SS (36% owned) – Alright, so I’m cheating on the 20% threshold a little this week, but I want to take the time to highlight someone who snuck into the Second Half Top 100 last week. Quick, name for me the shortstops with the most total bases over the past 30 days. Any guesses from the top down? You won’t get too far before seeing Gregorius on this list, because only Ian Desmond had more than him in that span (56 to 53). At a position that’s really top heavy, Didi is relatively unowned because of his track record and his perceived lack of pop. However, a deeper dive into his stats shows that he’s driving the ball well this season. Really well. Especially lately. In July he has a .317/.359/.583 slash line. Even more recent? He laced extra base hits in four of his previous ten games. While none of them have gone for HR, he could still easily top 15 HR on the year. Let’s give him a healthy projection to finish the season with a line of: ..290/75/15/70/10. That’s more than ownable, and firmly plants Gregorius (quit auto-correcting me!) as a bona fide replacement to the one and only DJ2. And at 26 years old there’s still room for his gregariousness to rise further.

Now, enough creepin’…Here are the Top 100 Hitters for Week 17!

Note: These rankings are considered ROS trade value.

RED = Falling
GREEN = Rising
BLUE = New to the 100

Rank Name Pos Team
1 Mike Trout OF LAA
2 Jose Altuve 2B HOU
3 Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARI
4 Mookie Betts OF BOS
5 Manny Machado 3B/SS BAL
6 Bryce Harper OF WAS
7 Josh Donaldson 3B TOR
8 Anthony Rizzo 1B CHC
9 Edwin Encarnacion 1B TOR
10 Nolan Arenado 3B COL
11 Kris Bryant 3B/OF CHC
12 David Ortiz DH BOS
13 Ian Desmond SS/OF TEX
14 Carlos Gonzalez OF COL
15 Xander Bogaerts SS BOS
16 Robinson Cano 2B SEA
17 Charlie Blackmon OF COL
18 Giancarlo Stanton OF MIA
19 Chris Davis 1B/OF BAL
20 Starling Marte OF PIT
21 Nelson Cruz OF SEA
22 Corey Seager SS LAD
23 George Springer OF HOU
24 Yoenis Cespedes OF NYM
25 Miguel Cabrera 1B DET
26 Carlos Correa SS HOU
27 Eric Hosmer 1B KC
28 Adam Jones OF BAL
29 Daniel Murphy 2B/3B WAS
30 Francisco Lindor SS CLE
31 Wil Myers 1B/OF SD
32 Joey Votto 1B CIN
33 Ian Kinsler 2B DET
34 Jose Bautista OF TOR
35 Mark Trumbo OF BAL
36 Gregory Polanco OF PIT
37 Kyle Seager 3B SEA
38 Jackie Bradley Jr. OF BOS
39 Rougned Odor 2B TEX
40 Jay Bruce OF CIN
41 Melvin Upton, Jr. OF SD
42 Jonathan Schoop 2B BAL
43 Eduardo Nunez SS/3B MIN
44 Victor Martinez DH DET
45 Jonathan Villar SS MIL
46 Jose Abreu 1B CWS
47 Buster Posey C/1B SF
48 Jake Lamb 3B ARI
49 Brian Dozier 2B MIN
50 Marcell Ozuna OF MIA
51 Miguel Sano OF MIN
52 Freddie Freeman 1B ATL
53 Lorenzo Cain OF KC
54 Ryan Braun OF MIL
55 Ben Zobrist 2B/OF CHC
56 Andrew McCutchen OF PIT
57 J.D. Martinez OF DET
58 Jason Kipnis 2B CLE
59 Trevor Story SS COL
60 Brandon Belt 1B SF
61 Evan Longoria 3B TB
62 Carlos Beltran OF NYY
63 Michael Saunders OF TB
64 Maikel Franco 3B PHI
65 Albert Pujols 1B LAA
66 DJ LeMahieu 2B COL
67 Christian Yelich OF MIA
68 Matt Kemp OF SD
69 Hunter Pence OF SF
70 Adrian Beltre 3B TEX
71 Dee Gordon 2B MIA
72 Dustin Pedroia 2B BOS
73 Billy Hamilton OF CIN
74 Troy Tulowitzki SS TOR
75 Khris Davis OF OAK
76 Adam Duvall OF CIN
77 Odubel Herrera OF PHI
78 Logan Forsythe 1B/2B TB
79 Justin Turner 3B LAD
80 Todd Frazier 3B CWS
81 Nick Castellanos 3B DET
82 Carlos Santana 1B CLE
83 Stephen Piscotty OF STL
84 Wilson Ramos C WAS
85 Jonathan Lucroy C MIL
86 Salvador Perez C KC
87 Alex Bregman SS HOU
88 Danny Espinosa 2B/SS WAS
89 Mike Napoli 1B CLE
90 Rajai Davis OF CLE
91 Tyler Naquin OF CLE
92 Didi Gregorius SS NYY
93 Kendrys Morales DH KC
94 Aledmys Diaz SS STL
95 Evan Gattis C HOU
96 Willson Contreras C CHC
97 Dexter Fowler OF CHC
98 Kevin Kiermaier OF TB
99 Jurickson Profar 1B/2B/3B TEX
100 Yasiel Puig OF LAD

Dropped from Rankings: Michael Brantley (88), Shin-Soo Choo (90)

  • No big risers this week, as we’re only 7 days removed from the first run of the Second Half refresh rankings. However, the cooling off of Freeman, Sano and Ozuna bring them down, because the trend’s been south since before the break. I was probably a little drunk from the Corey Seager kool-aid coming into the break to rank him so high. This is most likely a more accurate value gauge. I would drop Espinosa for Bregman, so he drops. And Puig hangs on by a thread.
  • Newcomers to the list are Tyler Naquin, one of the most added players of the past week and receiver of Grey’s preseason honorable mention late round flier that he owns nowhere (haha!), and Jurickson Profar, who was gifted his own glorious intro to one of these entries. Paquin’s power surge is mirroring what we see from Jake Lamb this year, so get on board now to see if it sticks like Lamb’s chops are. As for Profar, with the injuries to the Rangers lineup he’s guaranteed the one thing he never had earlier in the year: at bats. With positional eligibility out his ass and plate appearances coming at least six times a week, he holds a lot of value moving forward.
  • If I’m targeting one hitter that’s more on the unbecoming (that would be non-gregarious…) side, I may target Naquin’s teammate, Rajai Davis. He’ll platoon some in Cleveland which is so…Cleveland, a.k.a. sucky, but at this point in the season he brings unique value. With only 6 weeks until H2H playoffs and less than 10 left for Roto leagues the standings are really taking shape. If you’re scrambling for late points ad see potential points to grab in SB, Davis is one of three players that harnesses the ability to make up a lot of ground fast. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that within a week he steals 7 bases, and before the year’s done he’s topped 45. Add that top his sneaky power numbers (something the other two speedster options: Dee Gordon and Billy Hamilton don’t possess) and Davis emerges as a great under-the-radar addition, especially with Brantley looking like he may still miss significant time.

DROP THOSE COMMENTS! I want to know do you agree? Disagree? Who did I miss?

Good luck in Week 17, and check back at the start of next week for ol’ Peyton Manning!

  1. Bill says:

    Matt Carpenter looks to be on rehab later this week or early next week. When he returns, where is he? 20s? 30s?

    Also Ben Zobrist is batting .194 since June 1. One. Ninety. Four. For 2 months. *if I were Joe Maddon wishful thinking* Zobrist should only play to give Baez and Russell breathers as needed.

    • @Bill: I’d slot Carpenter into the 40-50 range most likely. I want to see him return to previous form after that injury.

      As for Zobrist, haha, well done with the phonetics. He ain’t sitting, and I’ll tandem your dreaming…Id love to win a World Series as a Manager!!! Also, I think Zobrist turns it back around.

  2. Splendid Sphincter says:

    Thoughts on Lester and Taillon for DeGrom and Trea Turner? I’m getting Lester
    Standard 10 team 5×5 keeper league

    • B the Esq. says:

      @Splendid Sphincter: Very context dependent, in my mind. How many keepers from year to year, costs for the keepers, etc. Also, very position need specific. Getting 2 SPs, one veteran and one rookie for a young SP and one of the top SS prospects out there. Could be great, could be less than great depending on team needs, keeper rules, etc.

    • @Splendid Sphincter: Gotta agree with B to the Ezzo on this one: the context really matters. Can you spell those out more?

      In a vacuum for this year alone, it’s mainly a question of how much value does Glasnow bring vs Turner. If we can all agree deGrom is over Lester, then the need for SP and lack of need at SB must be enough to cover the gap. Again, pure vacuum, give me the Lester side, only because I believe the Pirates will trot out Taillon rest of the way.

  3. B the Esq. says:

    Andrew McCutcheon…….I have a very strong urge to just drop him and be done…..

    Anyone talk me out of the drop? He was one of my 10 keepers coming into the year and has obviously disappointed like it was his job. With Bregman being activated, I have Cutch sitting on the bench.

    I feel like I would rather stash a SP prospect (De Leon maybe) grab a current SP that I can get something more out of…..


    • @B the Esq.: I wouldn’t cut bait. Yes, he’s disappointed all. effing. year. long. But…he’s not Prince Fielder, Justin Upton or Jason Heyward; we expected first round value here. Grey actually pointed out in a podcast two weeks ago that Cutch’s power numbers haven’t disappeared while his average has. I’m not saying it’s all bad luck, but he brings too much AND still has a lot of upside he could fill. Trade for $.60 on the $1? Sure. But I wouldn’t cut him until they bring Meadows up and he starts losing ABs.

  4. M says:

    How high are you on David Dahl making a fantasy impact ROS?

    • @M: I think nearly every hitter in Coors could have major impact, haha. He’s a great flier with upside, but if Parra comes back soon his at bats could dwindle. I’d say he’s a better option for next year than a burgeoning add for this year in anything smaller than 12 team standard.

  5. Scissor Sale says:

    Which trade makes more sense, in a vacuum?

    Ozuna for Kyle Hendricks
    Franco, Edwin Diaz for Kyle Hendricks
    Franco, Ozuna , Edwin Diaz for Lester or Verlander
    Franco for Shoe

    • B the Esq. says:

      @Scissor Sale: Franco for the Cobbler straight up works for me.

      I would also do the 3 for Lester at this point, but would trade for Shoemaker in that deal if I could.

      • Scissor Sale says:

        @B the Esq.: You think Shoe would be able to match or exceed Franco’s for ROS? I’m trying to add a reliable pitcher without spending too much.
        I feel like those 3 for Lester, could be too much, in a point league.

        • @Scissor Sale: Scissor Me Timbers…Id go with deal #1. If you read my Teo-Start article you’ll see that Hendricks is basically the exact same SP as Jake Arrieta this year. Combine that with the down trend of Ozuna since Mid June and it makes sense. I also really like Shoemaker, too. A lot. And much more than Franco. Do 1 and 4 and pick up the hot bat at each spot.

  6. chris says:

    in a h2h points league, would you start segura or bregman?

    I just have trouble choosing the prospect of what bregman can do over the solid but not amazing points ive been getting from segura.

    • B the Esq. says:

      @chris: If you’ve got Bregman I say you start him. Or try to trade him today before he plays a game and see what other prospect lovers might give for him now that he is called up officially.

    • @chris: Segura’s showing he can consistently rack up hits through the year. Finally. Since you have the luxury of Segura’s .300 bat this entire year, I’d still start him until Bregman proves he’s worth starting. Remember AJ Reed? Yeah, that didn’t work. What is Bregman does the same, a la Mike Trout the year before he broke in. Unless he Correa 2015’s you, go with Jean for now.

      • CMUTimmah says:

        @[email protected]: Agree with [email protected], however, there is a big difference between Bregman and Reed… Reed wasn’t hitting in the minors this season…. Bregman was… while being moved around the diamond to get him ready for the MLB.

        Segura is a must start until Bregman proves it. If anything, you should be looking at your Util spot or anywhere else you could plug Bregman and see if there’s an option to boost your lineup elsewhere.

        It’s a nice problem to have though… but if you can fetch Segura like value for Bregman and upgrade elsewhere… I’d jump all over that. You just got a player for free, so if you don’t have a glaring need at a position he fits into, turn him into the round peg you need for your round hole…

  7. Ed says:

    I have Corey Seager and Alex Bregman, as well as a pretty suspect trio of OF’ers. Was offered this trade, would love a 2nd opinion:

    I give: Corey Seager and Cole Hamels
    I get: Adam Jones and Stephen Strasburg

    Naturally, I like the SP improvement but what do you think of the other part of the deal? I’d be putting a lot of trust into Bregman, which may (2015 Correa) or may not (2011 Trout) pan out. Thanks so much!

    • @Ed: HA!!! Without reading your comment I completely just used the EXACT SAME REFERENCES in the reply above yours! Well done, sir.

      I would actually consider this. Yes, it’s a lot of stock in Bregman, but it’s the time of year where he most likely ain’t goin back down. And even if he does, the overall lineup value of Jones’ stats ROS should be right there with Seager, yet the SP upgrade to Strasburg is a big deal. I’d do it with a lot of trust in the rook, but also knowing I’m improving in two other roster spots.

      It’s tough, but gimme Jones/Stras

  8. hondo says:

    Bregman 87,Didi 92.Who do you like going forward? I snagged Bregman off waivers when his owner gave up the day before the legitimate callup announcement came.I’ve got Javy floating around,so I need to move someone.Bregman has the buzz,and Didi is steady,so I’m leaning towards moving Bregman.Thoughts?If you think Bregman is the guy,don”t hold back.

    • B the Esq. says:

      @hondo: As of today you will probably be able to get more from Bregman, but he will also probably be the best of the 3 players you mentioned.

      Depends on what you need/what you can get. I would keep Bregman and see how the hype plays out, but if you can get a haul for him in trade, go for it.

    • @hondo: Yep, agree with above…get the most value you can. You’re in a win win, so find the team with the weakest SS and deal whichever player they like best. Maximize your return by playing his preferences.

      Jose ranks represent trade value, and for Bregman a lot of it is driven by the ceiling. He’s higher than Didi because his ceiling is a full tier (if not more) above Double Di’s

  9. Dave says:

    You sure like to hate on Todd Frazier as you routinely rank him around 80. I just don’t get it, he is 2nd in baseball in HRs. His season line so far is 56/28/64/7/.210. Is there anyone that would really turn down those counting stats for Lorenzo Cain (39/8/39/6/.290) or Freddie Freeman (49/17/36/3/.275), who you rank in the 50s? I get that a .210 average isn’t good, but he’s still mathematically ranked as a top 25 fantasy hitter so far in spite of that.

    • @Dave: Understand the reasoning of the stats, but I rank him here more towards projection his second half value. His power is driving the counting stars, which is great, but if he repeats last year’s second half he’ll be borderline droppable. It totally disappeared. I fear through trade chatter, the ChiSox sucking and potential memories of last year that Frazier will be half his pre-AS Break production.

      For me, give me the more assured options in Freeman or Cain (even though bro hate currently quite volatile) to Frazier.

  10. Larry says:

    No Hanley?

    Is AJ reed an overpay for Nunez in a keeper?

    • @Larry: Nope, no HanRam. Take the recent 3HR game away and he’s still under 10 on the season. He’s a fringe option and could subjectively sneak into other people’s 100. For me, give me all the other names first.

      And no. Give me Nunez over Reed in a sleeper spot.

  11. MarvPesos

    John says:

    10tm H2H keeper(keep 12), 25 moves max (no streaming)
    My OFs:
    LF – Trumbo
    CF – Blackmon
    FR – Braun
    Until – McCutch
    BN – Hanley
    M. Kemp was dropped 2 weeks ago and is on waivers, I was going to swap him for Hanley but then Hanley has been picking things up. Thoughts?
    Thanks in advance

    • @John: Gimme Kemp over Hanley. And if absolutely nothing else you improved your asset and got a better trade chip.

  12. Mark says:

    Surprised Hanley did not make the cut. Surely he is better than Puig!

    • @Mark: I’m just tired of Hanley’s meh all year. Mentioned him in the comments above this one, but I’d rather give it another week for the potential ceiling of Puig than rely upon Hanley. Next week? Could easily be different.

  13. Diamond Joe says:

    Hey [email protected],
    Is it time to start thinking about Hunter Pence? He was dropped in my league. If he looks good in his rehab starts will he inch up your ranks or is 70 about where he lives?

    • @Diamond Joe: Get him. Stash him. Pour yourself a beer. Enjoy it. Celebrate your victory…you just pulled a great hitter out of the waiver wire bin.

      Yes, love what he can bring. For now he’s 69 (heh), but with a strong first week even he could climb quickly.

  14. Can Profar steal bags anymore?

    Doesn’t seem to be even attempting to.

    Also, any projections for him next year for HR and SB totals?

    • @[email protected]: I won’t even pretend to know why he isn’t running. He should be, and still seems fully capable of doing so. I’d imagine with 550 ABs Profar could slash .290/85/12/60/15. And that may be conservative.

  15. Raj says:

    Aledmys Diaz is behind the likes of Didi Gregorius?

    • @Raj: He should probably be a little ahead. While he cooled a little pre all star break, Diaz has been as hot as ever the past two weeks. Glad he’s keeping it up!

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