Please see our player page for AJ Pollock 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.

Camp is starting up and it’s weird out there folks.  Split squad positionless scrimmages, Covid tests, opt outs….baseball is back!?!  This whole thing feels like the Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout from Saved By the Bell…”I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so…..scared”.

First round of Covid testing is coming back and there’s plenty of interesting names that have tested positive: Jesus Luzardo, Eduardo Rodriguez, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Hector Neris, DJ Lemahieu, Tommy Pham, Scott Kingery, Mitch Keller, Ryan O’Hearn, Salvador Perez, and Kole Calhoun are notable confirmed positives.

Of these, most fall into the “asymptomatic” category and should return to the team soon (hopefully).  Hector Neris was already around Phillies camp this week, and Joey Gallo already has one negative test under his belt.  He should be good to go soon.

The most serious case looks to be Freddie Freemen.  The Braves are being candid about exactly what Freeman is going through, but they’re not expecting him back to camp any time soon.

There’s several other guys who are missing from camp still with no given reason why.  Some teams are releasing positive tests, some teams aren’t stating what’s keeping players away but letting us read between the lines.  This list includes: Aaron Nola (who was seen around Phillies camp earlier this week similar to Neris), Yonny Chirinos, Juan Soto, Kenley Jansen, Gavin Lux, AJ Pollock, Tony Gonsolin, Yordan Alvarez, Jose Urquidy, and Josh James.  The Astros, as well as some other teams, have had issues with their testing in terms of getting results quickly, so that may be holding up the ‘Stros players, but these are all guys to keep an eye on.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

And another one! That’s right, to the dozen(s) of you out there still reading this, Kyle Lewis did it again Friday night going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and his sixth home run. Lewis now has six dingers through his first 10 games as a pro, making him just the fourth player (Aristides Aquino, Trevor Story and Dino Restelli are the other three) to accomplish this. He’s now slashing .325/.349/.850 on the year with 10 runs scored and 12 RBI. He’s got three doubles to go with his six jacks, and yeah, that will help your fantasy team, people! Ignore the fact that he’s struck out in 40% of his at bats, and ignore the dreadful Double-A stats, dude’s got a .525 ISO! The 20.6% swinging strike rate, or the 58.3% contact rate in the minors? Ignore that too! If you want a reason not to BUY Kyle Lewis I suggest checking out Son’s awesome post where he really breaks down some of the advanced stats we saw from Lewis at AA. But like I said, I’m going to ignore all that and focus on the fact that he is hitting all the beisbols right now and he’s hitting them over the fence. He will have plenty of time this offseason to come back down to Earth to be the below-average Mariners prospect he is clearly destined to be, but right now Kyle is hotter than a JLo striptease set to Fiona Apple’s “Criminal.” And trust me that’s about as hot as it gets. I’d add Lewis everywhere on every team for the final week and pray he can fight off the regression fairies another 7 days and keep hitting home runs into the cheap seats. He was a BUY and he’s the most exciting player to come out of a week of Seattle baseball since Domingo Santana in the first week of 2019. Start with a bang, end with a bang, and play like absolute garbage in between. You do you, Seattle! In the meantime, I’m going to pick up Kyle Lewis.

Here’s what else I saw Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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Will we get a pair of 30/30 seasons this year? Ronald Acuna is already there and could legitimately push for 40/40.  This is Starling Marte’s, (OF: $4,200) age 30 season so it seems fitting that he should join the club. If he wants to complete his quest, he sits at 23/24, he better put in some work today. That should be all the motivation he needs to help out your team. He’s coming on strong and Coors is just the place to keep it going.

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Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Little Chris Archer sat under an arch–er watching a high pop fly. He stuck out his thumb until it went numb and said, “Onto the IL go I!” Early reports are that he won’t miss more than 1 or 2 starts with this thumb injury. Replacement: Spencer Turnbull (3.6%) is someone you should be keeping an eye on right now. He’s made 5 starts so far and hasn’t allowed more than 3 ERs in any of them. Included in that is a recent 11 inning scoreless streak. I don’t know about you, but I like to give the fringey starting pitchers on my roster audition days to see if they’ll stick around or find themselves back in the waiver heap. Turnbull’s most recent start was an audition day and I think he passed. Last night he threw 6 innings with 5 baserunners, only 1 ER and 5 K’s. I’d say he passed his audition and needs to be on your rotation especially since he’s facing the Royals next — a team he struck out 10 times and held to 2 ERs back in early April.

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Death, taxes, and A.J. Pollock headed to the Disabled List Injured List. Different name, same game for Pollock this season unfortunately. He will be getting an exploratory procedure on his right elbow to determine the severity of an infection. This is the same elbow he had surgeries on in 2010 and then again in 2016, where he missed nearly the entire year. So certainly not an ideal situation for him and the Dodgers to be dealing with.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Grey Albright threw two innings on opening day. Sweat, and other mysterious bodily fluids, dripped from Grey’s brow; he was gassed. Albright didn’t wait for Rudy to call to the pen, Grey signaled himself for the lefty, Donkey Teeth, to enter the fold. Fantasy Master Lothario is still knocking some of the spring rust off, just like Chis Sale, so you’re stuck with Donkey Teeth telling you tales of Paul Goldschmidt’s monster 4-for-5 night with 3 homers & 5 RBIs in only the second game of his Cardinals career. Truth be told, Dan Pants will be back to take over this column next Friday, since Friday is slinging night for Grey, Cougs, and Donkey Teeth. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

That’s the question that’s been on my brain as I worked on these rankings the past few weeks. I’m not over the past 10 years, not for next year, not for the next 10 years — right now — is Mike Trout still the #1 hitter this year? Even with a lengthy DL stint, Trout is still one of the top players in the league and is close to surpassing all of his numbers from last year’s (also) injury shrunken season (88 runs/31 HRs/2 SBs in 116 games so far this year vs. 92/33/22 in 114 games last year.) But while he missed 19 games in August this year, three players have kept chugging right along and putting up phenomenal numbers. Let’s take a look at these three challengers for the crown.

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The 10 HR/8 SB/.302 AVG player we saw from AJ Pollock over the first month or so of the season is a top-20 player if that pace continues for a full season. However we know how this story goes, since May 4th (yes I know there was an injury in there because OF COURSE there was) Pollock has 184 ABs with only 6 HRs and 2 SBs with a .261 AVG. However, I keep him on these rankings because peak Pollock is a 20/40 threat. The only problem is peak Pollock is a pretty preposterous proposition. Whatever is hurting him this time seems to be limiting him on the base paths which is limiting you in your standings. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m going to do something a little different this week. I wanted to do a fun little experiment to show how tricky it can be to rank 100 hitters every week. It can be tough to decide which statistic is more valuable in standard 5×5 leagues while also taking into account: age, injury history, lineup, previous performance, home stadium, position eligibility, splits, etc.

Please, blog, may I have some more?