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.
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.
Joey Votto – Joey 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.