Please see our player page for Adrian Beltre to see projections for today, the next 7 days and rest of season as well as stats and gamelogs designed with the fantasy baseball player in mind.

Slight format change going forward with this column — I’m going to be leaving short term DL candidates near where they were ranked previously. It was become too hard to remember who and when players were coming back. (Yes, I do write the injury column — but I don’t write the healthy column.) This is what happened with Starling Marte — I don’t own any shares of Marte so I didn’t notice his return from DL so he was an unfortunate oversight the past few weeks in these rankings. If someone is looking like they’ll be out for a longer period of time — they might drop a bit more in the rankings or be removed entirely (as is the case with Jorge Soler and his broken foot.) Due to these new additions we’ve got a Top 110 hitters this week with guys like Josh Donaldson, Mookie Betts, Wil Myers, Yoenis Cespedes, Ronald Acuna and others making their surprise reemergence. Next week 10 of these hitters will probably work themselves off this list. Also, as a side effect to these new additions a lot of players will look like they’ve fallen really far in the rankings — again, this should normalize by next week. 

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I can’t deny Brandon Crawford a spot on this list any longer. After a putrid April that saw the month end with his average under .200 — Crawford has turned it on more than any other player in the league. From May 1 to June 28 — a span of 34 games, 127 ABs — Crawford is hitting .425. Say whaaaatt?! Sure, 20 runs, 5 HRs, 25 RBI and 2 SBs as well — but .425 in over 30 games? That easily ranks #1 among qualified hitters over that span. The difference between Crawford and the player with the 3rd ranked average over that period (Jean Segura) is the same difference between Segura and Buster Posey — the hitter with the 20th ranked average. Included in this streak are 18 multi-hit games. Crawford is getting punches in bunches and needs to be owned in more than 65% of leagues.

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Falling:

  • Didi Gregorius, SS, NYY: As a Yankee fan, nothing made me happier than to strap a rocket to Didi’s back and have him climb through these rankings. However, we all should’ve seen this decline coming. Since seeing his batting average peak at .368 with 10 HRs on April 27th — no one has seen a steeper fall-off than Didi. In the 25 game since that date he is hitting .135 with only 1 HR in 104 ABs and just destroying your team’s offensive numbers. I still think there will some course correction in his numbers in the coming weeks. His average and HR total has risen every year over the past three years so he might just be in a prolonged slump right now.
  • Buster Posey, 1B/C, SF: Posey isn’t necessarily having a bad season — he’s still hitting close to .300 — but 3 HR and 19 RBI is definitely not what you want from someone with an ADP of 54.1. A closer look shows that Posey is still hitting the ball with authority — he has a 39% hard hit rate. However, he’s hitting a high percentage of his balls into the ground (47.9%.) If he can start getting under the ball a bit more and turning some of those hard hit grounders into line drives and fly balls — he could reach 15 HRs again. However, as of right now it’s looking like he might see a declining HR total for the 4th season in a row.

 

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True Story Alert!  Justin Bieber used to live about two blocks away from Cougs and I.  Honestly, he might still live there, but I doubt it because I no longer go to the supermarket (block between us) and hear this, “BIEBER, I LOVE YOU.  HERE IS MY VIRGINITY.  LITERALLY TAKE IT FROM ME.  PLEASE!!!”  Also, I no longer have to jostle between TMZ cameramen for my kombucha.  Here’s a story about how he wanted to put a skatepark into his condo.  Dude, LA’s special.  Any hoo!  Yesterday, I was screaming like a 15-year-old girl for Shane Bieber to remove my sexual flower for the first few innings, then he ran into some trouble in the 5th, when it became apparent major league hitters (even the bottom of the Twins’ order; Ryan LaMarre, really?) are not quite who he was blowing away in the minors this year (1.05 ERA, 8.1 K/9, 0.5 BB/9).  He worked consistently down in the strike zone with a 93 MPH fastball, and broke off, uh, breaking stuff off down and outside.  There wasn’t a ton of hard contact until the 6th inning, which was a quick turnaround on a 5th inning, which saw him clearly winded — final line, 5 2/3 IP, 4 ER, 9 baserunners (1 BB), 6 Ks.  I’m interested in him in deeper mixed leagues, but he looks like he will have the usual rookie pitcher lumps.  For what it’s Werth, he’s the 9th best starter on the Prospect-o-Nator, which lists all rookie pitcher projections.  Plus, no reports of this Bieber wanting a skatepark.  That’s good.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This is Rich Hill’s second DL stint of the year already. What were you expecting? Now he’s asking the MLB to allow him to pitch with tape on his finger. He’s also asking around the Dodgers locker room if anyone will pee on his hands. I’d be surprised if either side said yes. Stash or Trash: Sure go ahead stash him — just don’t set up a Google alert for his name or your phone will literally explode with weekly injury updates. He’s going to miss a month this time. Trash in shallow leagues. Fill In: Vince Velasquez (22.8%.) VV is someone who we’ve all been tempted by due to his 10+ K/9 potential. However, that came with a BB/9 over 4 and a HR/9 close to 2 most of his career. He’s been limiting his walks so far this year though — he’s only allowed more than two walks once. He’ll always be prone to getting blown up like his 4 IP/6 ER start against the Braves or his 4.2 IP/4 ER start against the Diamondbacks at the end of April, but if he can limit the walks and keep the ball in the yard slightly less against lesser opponents — he could be a solid matchups play.

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Let’s see, if Tyler O’Neill is Kelly Leak, then Coach Walter Matheny is curmudgeonly happy.  “Lean into the pitch, Whomever is the Cards catcher while Molina and Kelly are out!”  If in this reboot T. O’Neill is playing Kelly, who’s playing the girl’s role on the Cards?  Hmm, only one it could be is Tommy Herr.  Come out of retirement!  By the by, this movie?  Doesn’t hold up at all.  Don’t ever watch it again.  Remember what you can and move on.  Any hoo!  Tyler O’Neill (2-for-4, 4 RBIs, hitting .368) hit yet another homer — his third in three games — and he’s capable of hitting 30 homers.  Not over the whole year, like if we’re backtracking, I mean from today forward.  Not sure if the Cards play him, sometimes Walter Matheny appears drunk, but I would grab O’Neill for power.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Ya know, if you’re gonna get busted for PEDs and be suspended for 80 games, the way to do it is right after fracturing your hand.  It’s like coming down with mono the week of your prom when you have no date.  “Damn, am I gonna miss that?  That is too bad, but I am so drowsy I feel like I have two Forest Whitaker eyes.”  That’s you getting prom-o-mono.  I am more surprised to hear Robinson Cano was busted for PEDs, than I am to learn he had no idea he was taking the illegal substance.  Baseball is currently batting a thousand for denials of PEDs suspensions. MLB players’ denials of taking the illicit substance should get into the Hall of Fame on its first ballot.  Speaking of Hall of Fame, I kinda thought Robinson Cano was headed there.  This will obviously shade a cloud over his entire career, which I do think is a shame.  What’s also a shame, you need to drop him in all leagues.  He’s more or less done for the year.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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James Paxton went from a 16-K game last week to a no hitter.  *genuflects*  We’re not James Worthy.  We’re not James Worthy.  That’s how one genuflects in Los Angeles, by the way.  You seeing someone doing it any other way, report them immediately to the nearest out-of-work actor.  You can find one of those anywhere.  *checks kitchen cupboard*  “Hey, weren’t you a guest star on Boy Meets World?”  So, Canadian boy does good in Canada, with James Paxton throwing the no-no.  Unlike a Canadian pitcher earlier in the day who did a “No! No!” and did bad.  Paxton’s line — 9 IP, 0 ER, zero hits, 3 walks, 7 Ks, ERA at 3.40.  It was almost like something clicked with him and he realized if he strikes out less guys, he can pitch deeper into the game, as he also secured his first complete game.  The no hitter was prolly the highlight though.  Paxton can easily be a top ten starter this year with the asterisk that is always on him, *assuming healthy.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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This one’s a real kick in the Seagers. Right after I brought up the debate of which SS you’d rather own in my Top 100 Hitters article, Corey Seager or Didi Gregorius, the debate was settled for me. This elbow injury was apparently something that Seager battled in the 2017 playoffs and I guess his ulnar finally tapped out. Please, blog, may I have some more?

Please, blog, may I have some more?