Welcome back to Perception Vs. Reality. This is the time of week that we take a look at players on the player rater and judge if they are friend or foe. Actually, baseball players are about the best friends to us that we could ever have. They are there for us almost every day. A couple of times a week, they even give us a reason to stare at our phones in the middle of our meaningless jobs (no offense to people who have meaningful jobs). There are always box scores to look at in the morning if you don’t want to stay awake for the west coast games.

There are the funny players like Bartolo Colon that make us giggle every time he jiggles his belly or swings for the fences. There are the trolls like Trevor Bauer who give us something to talk about on twitter. Our out of town baseball friends like Vlad Guerrero Jr. who we can’t wait to make it to the big leagues. Let’s get into the friends of the player rater heading into June.

First Base

Jesus Aguilar – “He’s Jesus in a bottle, he’s gonna hit it a long ways.” These were the original lyrics to “Genie in a Bottle” by his distant cousin Christina Aguilera (spelling slightly different, superstardom the same) before the record label made her change the lyrics to relate to more teenage girls who weren’t as into Venezuelan little league baseball as she was. She always knew that he had this type of season in him, even as we over looked him. Jesus hit two long balls last weekend while hitting in the sweet spot of the Milwaukee Brewer’s lineup. He’s currently ranked at #72 on the player rater.

Third Base

Kris BryantKris Bryant is currently 69th on the player rater. No lady in her right mind would ever 69 with Kris Bryant because she wouldn’t be able to see his beautiful eyes. Kris isn’t hitting for the power that we’d expect from the perfect sculpture of a human being that we took late in the first round or early in the second but he is still hitting .290 and will continue to acquire runs and rbis. I assume Kris still hits 30 home runs this year. As the weather continues to heat up in Chicago, he should continue to climb up the player rater.


Nick CastellanosNick Castellanos comes in at #76 on the player rater but his batting average to this point seems like quite the asset. He’s never hit over .285 but he could be making a huge leap in this category in his 6th year in the majors. It stinks that the Tigers offense won’t allow him to rack up rbis and runs but his 26 home runs from last seasons break out campaign could lead to an argument of a power surge on the horizon.

Nomar MazaraNomar Mazara is not the most exciting fantasy name but he always brings the production. Last year, he quietly batted in 101 rbis for the Rangers and this year, it seems that he’s had slightly more pop in his bat when it comes to leaving the yard in the early going. In his first two seasons, he hit 20 home runs apiece, and this year he only already has 12, putting him on pace for more than 30. Mazara is neither going to hurt or help you in the batting average category, but he has the potential to be a big two category contributor. He sits at #46 on the player rater.

Second Base

Whit Merrifield – I haven’t written about Whit Merrifield’s value so far this season. So far, he’s been a cheaper version of Trea Turner for the second base position. After all, he is only a couple of stolen bases and home runs behind Turner but with a better batting average. Everything will even out as the season continues. Turner plays for a much better offense so he’s going to score more runs, but at this point who’s to say that Turner will steal a lot more bases. I also like that Merrifield has increase his walk rate.


  1. Jason says:

    Good write up!
    My money is on Merrifield being traded by the deadline to a better offense. He’s a top 50 hitter in most leagues and in my points League he’s a solid number 39.
    I traded Jed Lowery, whom I picked up on waivers after a fast start, and could spare minor leaguer Estevan Florial for Merrifield, giving me much needed depth for my infield. I was surprised he didn’t ask for more from me… I have Trammell, J Sanchez, J Adell, Soto, Robert, and Y Alvarez in my minor OF, which is what he was looking for.
    Merrifield was a no brained for me.

    • MB

      MB says:

      @Jason: dang, yeah that’s a nice snag. And thank you!

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