I was watching the PCL–International League All-Star game (Psyche! You thought it was going to be about the MLB All Stars; well it is, we’ll get there and Psych was an underrated great show) and took note of a few older All Stars.
1). Casey McGehee still plays! And still spells his last name weird. He was fantasy relevant for a short time in Milwaukee and this season in the PCL he’s got five homers and an OPS of .837 at AAA(and little chance of getting a call-up, but shout out to him anyway).
2). Jesus Montero was also around (hitting 11 homers with an .810 OPS in AAA). Fun fact. He’s got a brother named Jesus Montero. Another fun fact, too many 1B in Toronto in front of him for now, but it is Edwin splitting time at DH and Justin Smoak. So keep an ear to the ground (don’t do that, the ground is dirty) and maybe Jesus rises again (yep, should’ve seen that one coming).
3). The immortal Tuffy Gosewisch, familiar to Diamondback fans only (or at least he should be), who has a .952 OPS in the PCL and a career MLB OPS at .531. It’s certainly true, the PCL is where you want to hit.
4). I’m not a fan of Billy Ripken. Love the F Face baseball card. Not a fan of his announcing nor his appearances on MLB Network. More a fan of Al Leiter who’s pretty decent on MLB Network and the Marlins and Yankees games I’ve watched. While we’re at it can we send Harold Reynolds back to ESPN? Keep Byrnes, who I’m glad they toned down and Smoltz and Pedro (sometimes) with Amsinger and MLB network is good to go. There were a lot of good prospects at the PCL-International All-Star game, but that isn’t my bag, so I’ll refer you here.
There was the MLB All-Star Game with those ugly uniforms, and I get it, they’re based on the Padres seventies uniforms, but still, no. Diarrhea brown is not a good color. Game was fine; I’d take this opportunity to sell the highest on Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez (you’ll see why later). Giancarlo Stanton looked like he could hit 30 homers. And Zach Britton’s sinker is insane. How are hitters supposed to hit this? He’s the All-Star closer on the OPS All-Stars, and for the Starting Pitcher it’s Max Scherzer. K’s are where it’s at.
As for the hitters, we’re going to kiss. No, wait, I don’t know you, that came out wrong. Keeping It Simple, Stupid. That’s what I meant. It’s not weird now, I promise. Let’s agree to move on: Since this is OPS central, we’re going by best OPS thus far. Get ready for the ride.
Catcher: Wilson Ramos is the man with 13 homers and a .913 OPS. He didn’t cost much, if anything at draft time. Cameron Rupp is a guy to look at in the second half, in his last 13 games he has five homers and an .836 OPS in 222 at-bats this season. Catcher hasn’t been all bad this year at all, with eight, yeah EIGHT, catchers with an OPS over .800 with minimum 150 at-bats. That doesn’t include Willson Contreras, JT Realmuto or Yasmani Grandal. If you can get something good for a guy like Salvador Perez, I’d do it. A good catcher is more than likely sitting on the waiver wire.
First Base: Anthony Rizzo was on fire going into the all-star break, and has an OPS of 1.006 along with 21 homers. It’s get better; the best BB% rate of his career at 13.4% along with the lowest K% at 14.5%, his ISO is a juicy .292 (compared to 2015 at .234). Dae-Ho Lee and his .844 OPS along with 12 homers hasn’t hurt your team as a corner man; his 20% K rate should go down as the season progresses and he could hit 8-10 the rest of the way. On the other hand we have Eric Hosmer. He has hit 13 homers and has an OPS at .831 and .177 ISO, is a total sell high name guy. You know the guy in your league who would take him. And then you can add Dae-Ho Lee (and his .221 ISO, better than Hosmer’s eh?).
Second Base: Matt Carpenter narrowly edges out Daniel Murphy .988 to .985 OPS. 11 guys with an OPS over .800 and that doesn’t include Rougned Odor or Brian Dozier or Neil Walker (though how Walker’s hit 15 homers and a paltry .753 OPS is not, how do you say, good).
Shortstop: It’s Manny Machado with a .955 OPS. Manny’s been awesome but Manny forgot how to steal bases this year as he has zero. How hasn’t he just happened into one? Isn’t that a thing? Even the slowest guy gets lucky sometimes, right? Well you know who isn’t(that) slow? Mariekson Didi Gregorius. Why he goes by Didi I have no idea. Mariekson has five steals to go along with a .799 OPS and 11 homers. His ownership is increasing so don’t be the last one in the pool. Which is a good rule. Being last means you have to swim in everyone’s piss. You notice the saying isn’t last one in the ocean, right?
Third Base is the new first base. Seven qualified hitters over .900 OPS and six more with an OPS over .800. Eleven of those guys have more than 15 homers with five over 20 bombs. Josh Donaldson leads the pack with an OPS of 1.017 and 25 homers. That trade for the A’s now relies on Franklin Barreto being a stud, because if he’s not, then dang the A’s got hosed.
Right Field: Carlos Gonzalez has an OPS of .924 a sliver (ow!) better than Mark Trumbo at .923. 28 homers for Trumbo though puts him in the best free agent/late round flier/$1 guy group on the season. Stephen Piscotty has had some ups and downs this season but simply leaving him in the whole first half yielded an OPS of .849 which definitely plays.
Center Field: Who else but Mike Trout? Even when his team stinks Trout rises above. A .991 OPS with 18 homers and 15 steals is why he’s the best player in the majors and fantasy. And that’s all I have to say about that.
Left Field: Kris Bryant, clubbing a homer on his first all-star game pitch, is the best qualifier in Left with an OPS of .962. But he really isn’t a Left Fielder, is he? Well he’s started only 27 games in left and 47 at third, so that’s good enough for me. But if you’re a stickler (and I’m sure if you are you’re a lot of fun at parties) and want to go with an exclusive left fielder then Michael Saunders is your guy. With his .923 OPS he continues to impress and if you drafted him you are a good Razzballer and read this site and if you didn’t, well, that, uh sucks for you, man.
Trout is first among all outfielders; second place is occupied by a surprise guy you’ll never guess…no, seriously, you’ll never guess. Ok, I’ll just tell you. In 157 plate appearances with an OPS 0f .979 it’s…Matt Joyce. Exciting. Unfortunately he’s gotten worse as the season has progressed, starting with an OPS of 1.285 in March and April and has a .796 OPS in July thus far. But that doesn’t mean he’s not valuable. He had a sore quad heading into the break so good thing he took some days off. He’s available in your league and can if you need OPS help, hit up Mr. Joyce.
We’ve also now seen 58 games of Tyler Naquin; he’s produced nine homers with a .965 OPS but with a-going-to-go down .418 BABIP, a 29.5% K rate and a poor 8.0% BB rate. If you have him play him but if you can move him you move him, even in keepers.
Lastly, at DH, I have to apologize to David Ortiz. I’ve never owned him on purpose, always felt the other shoe was going to drop, especially after the steroid era was over; but as it appears Papi is clean and mean and hitting the ball like gosh dang machine. He’s leading the league in OPS with a 1.107 and has 22 homers along with two steals. See, Machado, even Oritz has TWO steals. Can I be the millionth person to ask, why is he retiring? Can I answer that? Well yes, you can, it’s your post. Ortiz is loving the farewell tour, he doesn’t need the money, and maybe, just maybe he wants to get out before he stinks. I could see him return in two seasons and hitting 24 homers with an .850 OPS. Why not?
That’s all for me folks. We have a second have to get/plow/slog/win through. Keep cool this hot weekend and hit up that beach! But not this one! It’s green! Take care of yourselves, Razzballers and Razzballettes.