I’m starting a new feature for this column — Jose Ramirez Watch! The mood is tense! No one is losing more value than Ramirez right now. In a lot of leagues he was a top-10 pick and right now he isn’t even justifying a top-100 pick. It’s still early for him — but his owners have to be disappointed.
Another disappointing week for J-Ram, however, it is better than the previous week when he went 2 for 25. Baby steps? Here’s what I said to a commenter in last week’s top 100 column:
“JRam wasn’t hitting over .250 until April 24th last year.He’s got a higher hard contact rate so far this season (yay!) but also a higher soft contact rate (boo!) His BABIP is only .167 after last year’s 252. I’d obviously hold and wait until May 1. I think he’ll be fine — not 2018 foooiinnneee — but 2019 fine.”
Tax Day is here! That means we start having some real conversations about who is letting us down so far. Still — it’s only week three of the fantasy season so some patience needs to be exercised — but there are some buying/selling opportunities out there…
It’s the most glorious weekend of the year — Wrestlemania weekend! You know what that means: wrestling themed blurbs!
On the Double Turn…
Two players in my pre-season top-5 are trending in opposite directions, but I don’t start freaking out too much until tax day. A lot of experts were calling for Jose Ramirez and Christian Yelich to regress from their MVP-caliber seasons last year. Well Yelich came out swinging an angry stick hitting a homerun in four straight games to start the season leaving him ranked third on the Razzball Player Rater so far. He’s reached base successfully in every game so far and is on his way to competing for the MVP again in 2019. Jose Ramirez? Not so much. For some players we like to point out how they’re “continuing their hot hitting from the end of 2018.” Ramirez is doing the opposite. He ended 2018 with a 40 game slump hitting .166 with a .597 OPS. He also only hit .231/.646 in the minors. His BABIP is currently sitting at .150, he only has 3 strikeouts to 2 walks and he’s hitting a higher percentage of fly balls from 2018 (small sample size) so maybe he’s just getting a bit unlucky in the early going. However, it’s enough to make me flip these two in the rankings.
How about that Gleyber Torres schmohawk post now? Grey’s a genius! Who happens to need an online dictionary to spell ‘genius.’ Why is that bad? Are you some kinda of elitist who memorizes werd spelings? Look at me, I’m a werd nord! Dur! I hate you! And Gleyber Torres. Why is everything going opposite world on me so far? I do fantasy baseball to relieve stress so why did I throw my computer out the window and am typing from a nearby bush? Yo, I’m so bush league! Get it? No? Me either, tee bee aitch. So, Gleyber Torres (4-for-4, 4 RBIs and his 1st two homers of the year) did the mollywhop dance on the O’s’ (not confusing apostrophes) pitching. Of course, Gleyber did! I’d stream any hitter against the Orioles, except maybe Chris Davis in a split squad game. Yo, Chris Davis, you wearing Opti-Grab glasses? Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
I’m not going to overreact to 20 at-bats. I will not do it. That being said, if you’re in a league with me — every one of my players is a bum and is on the block. Starting next week we’ll start to see some moving and shaking, but this list is mostly a refresher from the pre-season. There are really only six “fallers” this week and they’re all injury related. I’ll be writing more about them in my injury column which drops on Wednesday, but here’s who slipping, tumbling, sinking, fumbling:
Domingo Santana (1-for-5 with a grand slam) is already in beast mode. That beast is a dingo, emphasis on ding, as in dinger, and you can’t spell Domingo without dong, but this dingo eats dongs not babies, and I’ve got smoke coming out my ears….We have real baseball! Then, tomorrow we won’t have real baseball again for a week. MLB is so crackers it’s staying at the Ritz by the water, Cheez-it, Mary and Joseph! “Happy Opening Day two days later,” said the Time Zone to the Baseball Fan. I can’t wait to see how Mike Fiers (3 IP, 5 ER) and Marco Gonzales (6 IP, 3 ER, 8 baserunners, 4 Ks) react to pitching in a game, then taking a 56-hour plane flight home to pitch again in a week. Their combined 89 MPH fastballs are gonna have some jet lag. Hopefully, their elbows won’t. The Stream-o-Nator wasn’t thrilled with either pitcher, and neither was great. Yes, the Stream-o-Nator is back! The only real takeaway I have from these games is the A’s are at least thinking similarly to me, and that Ramon Laureano (0-for-5, 3 Ks) is the best man for the A’s leadoff job. I’ll toast to that! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday for fantasy baseball:
Well the first for-sure, definite, 100% confirmed, future Yankee free agent signing has signed with the Padres. And this kid is now every Yankee fan:
That was definitely me back in the early 90’s when my favorite player was Don Mattingly (because he lead the league in having a walrus mustache just like my Dad. Runner up: Dennis Eckersley.) Like all Yankee fans and the bandwagon Yankee fans, I then went through the arrogant highs of the late-90’s dynasty. Followed by the dark, lonely era of the Aughts which turned me into the bitter, jaded fan who grew sick and tired of the high-spending, future-sacrificing ways of the overpaid Yankees that I am today. My writer photo above is a sarcastic response to the Yankee fans who never grew out of the dynasty era and still yell “COUNT DA RINGS BRO! DEREK JETAHHH BABBYY!!!” Despite the Yankees only winning one championship in the last 19 years. But there is now a light at the end of that tunnel! Five of the players in the Yankees starting lineup are home grown players! Our ace came up through our own developmental system and wasn’t just plucked from some poor, small market, podunk team like the Reds! Our bullpen is TERRIFYING!
The eyes of Yankee Nation are set on only one thing: adding another championship ring to the trophy case. The team, fans and front office will accept nothing less. Right now, many experts have the Bombers tabbed as the World Series favorite — we’ll see how that all shakes out in October. I talked to Callen Elslager from the Fantasy Life Blog who just had his 2019 Yankees Team Preview published. Here are his thoughts on a few key questions the 2019 Bronx Bombers are facing:
Categories, eligibility and speed. These are the things that dictate where I rank hitters. Categories: A guy who contributes in all 5 categories is going to be ranked higher than someone who contributes in only 4 — even if those 4 categories are elite. That’s why I’m a bit lower on J.D. Martinez and Nolan Arenado compare to other people. Eligibility: obviously guys with multiple position eligibility or a shallower position will be ranked higher than say an outfielder. “Then why aren’t you higher on catchers?” Because after the top-2 catchers they’re basically all the same and likely to miss time. Speed: the most elusive of 5×5 categories. If you can give me at least 10 steals I’m going to give you a boost in my rankings. That’s why I’m higher on someone like Tommy Pham than others. If Trea Turner gets the 75-80 stolen base attempts that the Nationals want him to get then he has the chance to end the season as a top-3 player.
Hey, guys and five girls, we’re (I’re) back! Today’s 2019 fantasy baseball rankings tackle your favorite (I’m guessing!), the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball. Last year, this post had Cain, Acuña, Merrifield, Mazara, Gallo, Pollock, McCutchen, Pham and Domingo Santana. Well, at least Acuña was able to hightail it outta here! Those who don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to repeat them. Or is it, ‘Those whom don’t learn?’ Meh, whatever! As always, my projections are noted for each player and where I see tiers starting and stopping. Also, all of Rudy’s hitter projections are under that easy-to-click link. Anyway, here’s the top 40 outfielders for 2019 fantasy baseball:
As I’m working on my pre-season top 100 hitters column each week I sometimes like to ask my friends for their thoughts as a barometer for who I might be too high or too low on. As a fun experiment I start with my #1 and #2 ranked players and whoever they voted was better was locked into their ranking — and whoever lost would face the next ranked player.
For example: “Mike Trout or Mookie Betts?” Unanimously Trout.
“Betts or Jose Ramirez?” 4 votes Betts, 1 for Ramirez.
“Ramirez or Francisco Lindor?” 4 for Lindor, again — 1 for Ramirez.
For the most part players rarely lasted more than 2-3 match-ups before they won and were given their consensus ranking. However, there was one player who lasted 8 match-ups (meaning an 8 ranking difference between my top 100 and the group consensus top 100) and that man was…