If you got the title props for being a Dr. Henry McCoy fan and I salute you (even though he’s my least favorite X-Man, but that’s a topic for another day and another site). On that note, here’s hoping everybody had a good Fourth of July. I know I enjoyed the extra long weekend and I’m all for making the Fourth a minimum three-day weekend, and if possible, four. The only day we should never allow the Fourth to be celebrated on is a Wednesday. I think we can all come together as a country and get that done, I mean, who doesn’t think America deserves four days to celebrate it’s greatness, right? Anyhoo, last week’s lede, Josh Reddick, is number one in OPS for the past two weeks as of this writing (just wanted to remind myself that results sometimes do happen quickly and a hat tip to my friend and leaguemate for suggesting him – I thought he did so because he was on his team but nooooo…so I added him and have been reaping the benefits…thanks!).
There were not as many firework injuries on the news this year in my area, just some kids got hurt cause they held onto some too long, but they didn’t lose limbs, so what’s the big deal? I’m fine with watching them and can appreciate a good show when it’s convenient. At baseball games, sure, it’s cool to hear the bombs bursting in air when a home run is hit or at the end of a win (or even a loss, because then at least little kids have a reason for staying the whole game). I doubt the players care much though I want to imagine that for at least one big leaguer they remind him of a time in his childhood when all was right and good with the world and he got to eat hot dogs and play with sparklers and kiss that cute neighbor and catch fireflies and watch his drunk uncle blow off his thumb and eat corn on the cob and run in the grass barefoot and you get the idea. That’s what I wish for on July the Fourth.
Since the All-Star Game is nearly upon us, it’s time to look at our OPS Stars for the first half (in a post in two halves and this is the first half of the season so it’s the…first fourth?) We’re also going to look at the guys with the biggest disparity between his OPS and AVG, BABIP, among other things. Let’s get ready to rumble! (though before we do I think my biggest surprise while watching the Manny Pacquiao-versus-Australian guy fight the other night was that the “Let’s get ready to rumble” guy was still alive; I swore I read he died a while ago, you know, in case you were wondering):
Second Base: Daniel Murphy leads with a .970 OPS which isn’t surprising as he has 26 doubles to go along with his 14 homers; more surprising is Jose Ramirez is tied with Murphy. Ramirez has been on a tear lately, up to a 59/15/42/9 line and entering fantasy stardom. Yahoo! has him as the number two second baseman behind Altuve but comparing stat lines here’s Altuve: 55/12/44/16/.935; I’d take Ramirez’s line, but between the three you can’t go wrong.
Scooter Gennett has the third highest OPS with a .969 OPS while also possessing the largest OPS-AVG disparity (.314 AVG). He is owned in 64% of Yahoo!(3B & OF elig.) and 54% of ESPN(OF) leagues; well worth the add if he’s out there. More intriguing number two (that’s what I call pooping in a museum) is Ian Happ. Happ is hitting only .264 but has a sweet .904 OPS to go with his 12 homers. If the Cubs stick with him, and it’s looking like they are, he’s a OPS keeper for years to come. ESPN ownership right at 50% with Yahoo! a shade under at 48% and he qualifies at OF.
Leading second base in homers is the pair of Jonathan Schoop and Robinson Cano. Schoop has been hidden a bit by most of the rest of the Orioles being terrible but he’s put up a good first half with a line of 47/17/52/0/.897. Cano already has 60 RBIs and is putting in another solid season; in the preseason I said I wasn’t going to be ageist against him any more and he’s paid off this season so far.
First Base: First base is just packed full of OPS Monsters this season; Wil Myers has an .804 OPS, worse than 27 other first basemen. Leading would be the newest third baseman of the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman, owner of a 1.189 OPS; alas he’s only played 38 games. So our real numero uno is Joey Votto with a 1.039 OPS thus far followed by Paul Goldschmidt with a 1.022. Following them is a group of undrafted (or late drafted) players that just speaks to how much power there is this season: Marwin Gonzalez, Ryan Zimmerman, Cody Bellinger, Justin Smoak, Yonder Alonso, Eric Thames, Logan Morrison. “Don’t need a big-time first baseman this year,” I’m telling my past self (I hope he listens).
Thames and his .248 AVG puts him near the top of the OPS-AVG disparity matrix (doesn’t that sound cooler?) and he’s going to be the Adam “way better in OPS leagues” Dunn next year (I was going to say Mark Reynolds, but Reynolds has a .285 AVG this year! That’s crazy, though it’s with a .354 BABIP, so will normalize at some point). Thames’ .271 BABIP seems low so he may get that AVG up to .275 by season’s end.
Two other guys with low BABIPs stand out: Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo. Rizzo has a .259 AVG, an .894 OPS and a .244 BABIP. One of those numbers really doesn’t jive, and it’s the last one. That has to go up, bringing his OPS with it; he’s still a quality trade target for me. Gallo has a stinky .191 AVG but only a .228 BABIP while maintaining an .812 OPS; he has 21 homers and if you need second half power his average should get somewhat better. He;s owned in only 32% of ESPN and 41% of Yahoo! leagues.
Catcher: Alex Avila leads in OPS (.992) and difference of OPS-AVG disparity (.308). But a .308 AVG is still pretty good and I’m looking for some guy you’d drop in an average league, a really stinky average; how does .226 strike ya? Look and see, it’s Rangers backstop Robinson Chirinos with his 12 homers; the most he’s ever had in a single season was 15, so I doubt he gets many more, but in limited use (36 games) he has an OPS of .886;he’s good for the tenth-best OPS catcher in Yahoo! leagues (though I don’t know anyone outside of two catcher AL-only OPS leagues he’d be owned in).
Salvador Perez leads all Catchers with 17 homers but Gary Sanchez will pass him soon; he’s at 13 in 53 games and 30 is within reach if he stays healthy. Needing power to win it? I’d trade for him. In the season of power there are 11 catchers with an OPS over .800 and none are Yasmani Grandal (though he has a .798) Evan Gattis, Willson Contreras, Mike Zunino, Brian or James McCann. This season, catcher is only a suck upon your OPS if you want it to be. Figure I’d end part one with Catchers, so if you made it through, bless you and keep sacred the July Fourth holiday week!