It’s been a few weeks since I ranked the top 100 fantasy hitters and a lot has changed! Stranger Things season 3 has dropped, Josh Bell broke the record for most extra-base hits in the first half of an NL season, my wife had our first child, and Giancarlo Stanton got injured and hit the DL! Only one of those is the real reason I haven’t written an article in a while and yea, maybe I took Stanton getting hurt too personally.

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Guess it’s Twin Day. Don’t look now but Minnesota is actually putting together a very fine season, currently holding a 9 game lead in the AL Central.  Max Kepler (OF: $4,100) and CJ Cron (1B: $3,400) have been a big part of that. Kepler is rolling in June and already has 6 bombs. Let’s watch for him keep it going today. The hits just keep on coming for Cron and at this point I think we have to accept that it’s legit. As long as he keeps proving himself don’t let yourself forget about him. You need this power in your life. You could certainly do far worse that get these Twins in your lineups.

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There are those who would call for Yordan Alvarez to be a top-50 player already. With 27 combined HRs this season and 78! 78! 78! RBI in 60 games between AAA and the big leagues — I get that. I’m just a little hesitant due to his playing time. When George Springer comes back and the rest of the Astros get healthy will he stay up? I hope so because he is crushing the ball right now — but he has minor league options left and is still only a 22-year-old kid. Age is just a number though as this kid’s potential has MVP written all over it in one of the best lineups in baseball.

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Well, I did it. I removed Jose Ramirez from my top 100 hitters rankings. He played another 5 games and only managed 2 hits. 2 runs? Sure. 4 RBI? Sure. 1 SB? Sure. But when he is hurting you this bad he is permanently in the limbo that is ranking #101. I am fully prepared to rocket him up the rankings if he turns it around — but right now? He is the wonderful 101.

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Last week here’s what I said about Austin Riley: “A lot of people were calling for Austin Riley to make his rankings debut after hitting 5 HRs in his first 9 games, but I’m a little wary of rookies. Especially rookies who have a 15:2 K/BB ratio in their last 33 ABs. Pitchers are already starting to figure him out.”

Well, another 3 games played since last week’s rankings and he’s crushed another 2 HRs — however — with another 3 Ks. In his 15 games played so far he’s only not struck out in 2 games. Riley was a top 30 prospect heading into this season and so far the power potential (three 19+ HR seasons in the minors) is showing up, but so is the strikeout potential (8 consecutive minor league seasons with a 20+% K/rate.)  Look, he’s 22. He can crush, but he can also miss. I’ve put him at 99 for now — one spot above Jose Ramirez — and I’ll be watching his progress.

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#100. One hundred. Benjamin Franklin. C-note. One hunnit (RIP Nipsey Hussle.) That’s where you’ll find Jose Ramirez this week. Last week he was sitting at a no-so-nice #69 and he had another awful week: 6 games, 20 ABs, 4 hits, 0 runs, 0 HRs, 0 RBI, 0 SB. Sorry Ramirez fans — his season line: 193 ABs, 17 runs, 4 HRs, 15 RBI, 12 SBs, .197 is not a top-100 player anymore. However, this might be a perfect buy low opportunity since Ramirez is an avid Razzballer and doesn’t want to find himself missing from the most controversial column on the site.

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Happy Mother’s Day to us all! Whether we are momful or momless, hopefully we have a good Snell and Odor in our FanDuel DFS kitchen today. And hopefully we have awesome food in our after brunch bellies, as well.

If you are momful, and scrambling for a quick way to make a routine brunch extra special for mom, try adding sweet cream and fresh fruit to your french toast or pancakes, rather than relying on syrup and butter.

For the sweet cream, the key is to whisk the heavy cream in an ice cold metal bowl, so put that large metal bowl in the freezer straight away.

Take your coffee grinder and grind two tablespoons of sugar with a healthy pinch of cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Do not overdo the nutmeg and don’t worry too much about residual coffee grounds in your sweet cream, or sugar in your future coffee grounds. This process pulverizes the sugar and incorporates the spices, creating a more flavorful powdered sugar to sweeten the whipped cream.

Take your metal bowl and whisk the pint of heavy cream, adding the pulverized sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract as you start to see the cream stiffen. Continue whisking only until peaks in the cream can be formed and hold the shape. Put this all over brunch; on fruit, pancakes, french toast, in coffee, on faces. It’s all good.

And that’s all there is to it. You’ve made something very simple that adds a certain appeal to the meal you don’t ordinarily get. Special for mom, how nice.

Now that brunch is extra special let’s see if we can’t make this main slate extra special, too, shall we?

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This is about the guys you forgot existed or hopefully most guys in your league are not looking for. The goal is to snipe these guys on the waiver wire or late in your draft. In dynasty formats, it is crucial to find the value guys late after all the big-name prospects are taken. Your dynasty farm system can help you in many ways with trades and mid-season call-ups. Hopefully this helps you find some gems where people are not looking. Keep in mind ALL these players are looking at call-ups this year…

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Not a lot of us saw this major league breakout coming from Jesus Aguilar. We were all expecting an awkward OF & 1B battle in Milwaukee between Eric Thames and Ryan Braun. Then here comes Jesus walking on the waters of Lake Michigan from Cleveland to Milwaukee to become an All-Star with the Brew Crew (he should be — stay tuned.) Maybe we all should’ve seen this coming — in 655 minor league at-bats in 2016 Aguilar hit 40 HR and 114 RBI. The average was only .261, but in the Indians minor league system he has some high average seasons (2011: .288; 2013: .291; 2014: .304.) Aguilar has already dropped his strikeout rate from 30% to 24.6% and if that number continues to go down while his contact rate continues to climb — Jesus’s ascension could continue.

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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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