Welcome back to Perception Vs. Reality where we take a weekly look at the player rater and find out who is hot on the diamond. We’ve talked a lot over the past month and a half about hot starts but we haven’t really dug into who started slow, but is creeping up the board. I think that’s what we will do this week. As the hot starters like Didi and Haniger begin to slow down, some high draft picks are really picking up steam so let’s get into some of those names.

Second and Third Base

Jose Ramirez – After a very slow first couple of weeks to start off the season, the 25 year old is now playing like himself. Ramirez has already made his way up to #11 on the player rater. Through 15 days this month, he already has 6 home runs, 6 doubles, and 4 steals to go along with a .333 batting average. Per Matt Modica (who is a great twitter follow), he is one of 8 players with double digit home runs and at least 5 steals.

Third Base and Outfield

Kris Bryant – Kris has been getting on base all season but the power has only recently found his bat as far as this season goes. After two home runs in Mar/Apr, he already has hit 6 over the past 15 days. April is a tough month to play half of your games (give or take) at Wrigley Field. It’s cold and on days that the wind is blowing in towards home plate, it makes it tough for even the most excellent humans such as Kris Bryant to perform. He’s made his way up to #60 on the player rater so he still has a long way to go.

Outfield

Michael Brantley – Brantley didn’t even start slow according to his ADP. You’ve already gotten more than you paid for at this point and you are playing with house money. He’s #69 (nice) on the player rater due in large part to an uptick in runs and rbis this month. In fact in the month of May, he is averaging more than 1 RBI per game. The days of double digit steals are behind him at 31 years old, but maybe, just maybe 15-20 home runs is still in the bag. Even if it’s not, he plays in a great offense to rack up stats in the other categories, especially if he can maintain a +.300 batting average.

First Base

Joey VottoJoey Votto didn’t hit his first home run until April 24th and that started a streak of four straight games of him leaving the yard. His batting average is sitting at .291 and he still has a great OBP of over .400 so he is still trying to avoid the inevitable decline that comes with age. He still has a ways to go to live up to his universal ADP this season.

Anthony Rizzo – As a Cub’s fan, I’m used to seeing bad streaks at the plate from the star first baseman. Rizzo is historically an up and down hitter against left handed pitching and this season on the road, he only has one hit against left handed pitching. Rizzo is always a guy that climbs his way out of slumps and ends up near the top of his position when it is all said and done. After hitting .149 through April with only 1 home run. Rizzo has turned it around and is hitting .310 in the month of May. He also has the pop back in his bat. He has five home runs over the past two weeks. He currently has climbed his way into the top 175 of the player rater.

   
  1. Chucky says:
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    I know Odor missed a month of the season with a hamstring and has yet to get his timing back. Not sure if I’m prepared to alibi the slow start along with the hammy. Seriously beginning to wonder if 2017 isn’t who Odor really is. Right now it looks like Odor’s ceiling. He looks dazed and confused in the batters box. Thoughts?

    • LenFuego says:
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      @Chucky: I blame it on Anthony Iapoce, the Rangers hitting coach.

      He has just about every player in the Rangers lineup opening with a giant open stance, then doing a giant moving leg lift to the hitting position, and then striding forward while the ball is coming at them. I fail to see how moving your head and body that much during the pitch does not negatively affect your ability to judge what type of pitch is coming, whether it will be a strike and where to swing at it.

      Seriously, it is like every guy in that lineup that does it — and can you think of a major league lineup which is more chock full of guys failing to live up to their potential?

  2. MB

    MB says:
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    @Chucky: you’re not going to catch me defending Odor after last season. I play in a lot of OBP leagues so I tend to avoid him. That being said once he does get his timing there’s still time for him to hit 20-25 home runs by year’s end. A slight positive, his walk rate is higher than it historically has been. But yeah he’s always going to be a rollercoaster ride.

    • Chucky says:
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      Having said that, do you see anything in this kid Goodrun, or wait for the more consistent Harrison?

      • MB

        MB says:
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        @Chucky: goodrum is a good place holder for now while the Tigers have a bunch of injuries and I like that he hit cleanup yesterday

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