I really hope the O’Reilly Auto parts jingle is stuck in your head for the rest of the day like it’s been for me since I thought of the title. Damn you Austin Riley. Damn you shitty commercial. Talk about picking up right where he left off in AAA. Austin Riley has sprinted out of the gates in the race for National League Rookie of the Year. He’s got a lot of ground to make up if he’s going to catch Chris Paddack, but he’s certainly giving it the ole Major League try. In 38 plate appearances he has exactly 38 points. For those of you that don’t have a calculator nearby, that’s one point every time he steps into the batters box. And for those of you that are wondering if that’s good, well it’s better than good. As Tony the Tiger often said, it’s grrrrrreat! It’s only been 38 plate appearances, but if it’s any consolation, through 144 plate appearances in Gwinnett he tallied 156 points (1.08 PPPA). If he can come anywhere near close to keeping this up, he’s going to make Atlanta fans and fantasy owners extremely happy. Keep an eye in your rear view mirror Chris Paddack.
If any of you used my spreadsheet to help you draft then you should own Josh Bell. Not because I had him ranked super high, but because of his favorable draft score. Despite an ADP around 210, I had him valued at about 150. That means that if you drafted him any time after pick 150, you were getting value. Of course it becomes a balancing act between not drafting him too soon and making sure you get him. I targeted him in the 15th round. That’s about two rounds ahead of his ADP, but it made sure I got him. I don’t think I need to tell any of you how that move has worked out. Ka-ching. At this point Bell is probably the fantasy MVP. Guys like Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout and George Springer were all early round draft picks and were expected to be at the top of their class. Josh Bell’s 188 points in 201 plate appearances coupled with his ADP propels him to the top of the list.
Anthony Rendon missed some time thanks to an injury, but he too has picked up right where he left off. Only Yelich, Bellinger and Riley have a better PPPA (0.96) than Rendon. He is legitimately giving Nolan Arenado a run for the best 3B. In 62 less at bats he only has two fewer home runs and eight less RBIs. He does have three more strikeouts. However in leagues that ignore strikeouts it doesn’t matter. Rendon’s biggest flaw is his propensity for getting/being hurt.
Speaking of 3B, Tommy La Stella has taken the fantasy world by storm. For a player that went undrafted he might be the top waiver wire pickup of the season. If I’m being honest I really haven’t researched waiver wire pickups in depth to validate that statement. I can say, without hesitation, that La Stella is in the top few. Right now he has second most points among 2B and is a top ten 3B. Only Whit Merrifield has more points at 2B and all of the 3B, except Rendon, have more at bats.
While Willson Contreras (122), Yadier Molina (118) and J.T. Realmuto (117) lead all catchers in fantasy points, it’s been Mitch Garver that has been the most point efficient catcher. He might not have as many home runs and Gary Sanchez (15) with nine, but his 87 points in 91 plate appearances give him a catcher-best PPPA (0.956). As we all know, he’s currently on the shelf with an ankle sprain, but if he can resume what he started, he’s going to find himself on that top list of waiver wire grabs. I’m not sure why, but his name consistently makes me think of Steve Garvey.
Bryce Harper is a clown. With 122 points he’s not even in the top sixty hitters. His 0.549 PPPA is a joke. Max Kepler (136, 0.693) makes Harper look like Brett Gardner. Oh wait, that’s Harper that’s doing that. Gardner has 117 points (0.632 PPPA), but he’s had about twenty less plate appearances.
If possible, buy low on Paul Goldschmidt. I feel like we were in a somewhat similar situation last year and we all know how that ended up.
No More Cespedes For The Rest Of Us. I thought I was being creative and was going to use this as my title, but that was only until I Googled it to see if it was original. Sadly it was not. I always like to come up with something of my own so I buried it near the end of this post. The only reason I bring it up is because the day Cespedes fractured his ankle that was all I heard about. It was all over Twitter and there was a big read banner on top of mlb.com for more than half the day. Then the big news is that he had season ending surgery. Season ending! When exactly did his season begin??? He’s played zero games this year, played 38 last season and 81 in 2017. Cespedes hasn’t been fantasy relevant since Rob Stark was still the King of the North.
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