Please see our player page for Didi Gregorius 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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All gravy as us Italians-Americans say. New York Yankees rookie flamethrower slash phenom slash spot starter Jonathan Loaisiga made his major league debut Friday night pitching five strong shutout innings, giving up just three hits, four walks and striking out six for his first MLB vicky in ever. Called up from Double-A Trenton Johnny was 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 58/4 K/BB ratio through 45 innings. If that K/BB just made your eyes pop like mine did, it’s because the four walks he issued last night in his debut are the same number he’s walked all season in AA. Perhaps some of the struggles he had with his control Friday night were more nerves or jitters and less indicators of what’s to come from Loaisiga. Despite the four free passes, he was excellent out of the gate, Johnny Lasagna layered on the cheese, striking out four in the first two innings with his real pretty mid-90s fastball mixed in with his slider (17 swings and misses induced) and was helped out by a couple double plays. He hit some trouble in the fourth, but managed to pitch his way out of a sticky bases-loaded two-out situation by striking out Christian Arroyo. Yankee fans are calling him “Johnny Lasagna” because he’s a-spicy meatballs-a! Mama mia!  Rays manager Kevin Cash called him Little Riviera. That seems a bit over-the-top as well. Either way, I am calling him a player to watch after that performance. Lil’ Jon is telling you to Get Loaisiga, but Jon always jumps the gun on these rookie pitchers. Loaisiga’s first major league stint might be a short one, but I could see him sticking around for another start or two while Masahiro Tanaka is still on the DL and much like this whole Yankees team, his future is very bright. He lines up for another home start next week versus the red-hot Mariners, and I could see streaming him there and for the short term. Add him or no, Johnny Lasagna is not just Garfield’s new favorite player, he’s a name fantasy baseballers are going to hear a lot going forward. He was a BUY and he’s worth a grab for the upside alone, the layers of cheese and pasta are all just bonus.

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

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*life flashing before eyes right before death* Wow, that’s a lot times I picked up and dropped Chase Anderson.   Is it weird I can understand where Mike Tyson was coming from when he said he wanted to eat Lennox Lewis’ children?  Some of these players — Sonny Gray, Jon Gray, Chase Anderson — come to mind that make me want to eat someone’s children.  Not really (yes, really).  Why couldn’t Chase Anderson do this when he was on my team?!  *lines tacks up on desk, slams head down*  I’m okay!  *blood dripping from forehead like Abdullah the Butcher*  I can’t see!  *screaming at intern*  Getmeahandiwipesoicansee–Okay, I can see again.  I’m still seeing blood though.  Yesterday, Chase Anderson went 7 IP, 0 ER, 1 hit, 2 walks, 6 Ks, ERA at 4.13.  The peripherals are still not there for Anderson — 6.1 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 5.17 xFIP — so I won’t be going back in on him.  That doesn’t mean it won’t make me think about salt and peppering some kids if he pitches well again.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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During the slow Monday, when there was five games on the docket, and half of them were Yankees, I started thinking about some either/or’s.  Though maybe because I was listening to Elliott Smith — that guy was uplifting!  Luis Severino was out doing his norm — 8 IP, 1 ER, 4 baserunners, 10 Ks, ERA at 2.20 and 0.93 WHIP with peripherals that are just as gorge — 10.7 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 2.83 xFIP.  First either/or for you, wait for it, here it comes, follow the arrow –> Next year, Luis Severino or Kershaw?  Is it even close?  Don’t think it is.  Okay, next either/or, Luis Severino or every pitcher not named Max Scherzer?  Maybe, maybe not.  There’s pitchers with better peripherals than Severino right now — Scherzer, deGrom, Cole, Corbin, Kluber and Syndergaard.  Throwing the two Mets out because they’re injury risks; Corbin and Cole don’t have the track record; semicolons are fun.  That leaves us with Scherzer, Kluber and Severino.  So, three’s company, and Severino is Joyce DeWitt.  Come and knock on my door!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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Juan Soto & Austin Meadows: Two of the league’s highest touted minor leaguers, Juan Soto and Austin Meadows, were called up within days of each other this past week. Soto obviously was the biggest shocker as he is only 19 years old and had only played eight games in Double-A. Austin Meadows, however, was a bit more of a realistic call up as he is 23 and has been on the call-up radar for over a year now. Prospect lovers are going to freak out that I don’t have them ranked (yet!) in this column. Well the problem is they’re just a bit unknown. There are already reports that Meadows is going to go go back down as soon as Starling Marte is healthy again, despite Meadows crushing the ball in his first 29 ABs (6 runs, 13 hits, 3 HR, 2 SB, .448 AVG.) And Soto also has minor league options left on his contract so with Bryce Harper, Matt Adams and Michael Taylor still on the big league roster and Adam Eaton so slowly, but surely coming back soon — Soto might not be a Nat for long. Where would they rank if they were both given starting jobs for the rest of the season? Well despite the Soto surprise and hype — I like Meadows more. He was looking like a bat that might develop into a 20/20 hitter. His star has definitely dimmed since he was ranked as the #6 prospect before the 2017 season — but the potential is still there. Soto would only be ranked lower because of his age. It’s rare for a 19 year old with barely over 500 plate appearances to make the majors and positively contribute to their team. That’s why the minors exist in general. “Enough jibber and jabber — where Kerry, where?!” Due to their uncertainties I’d start them in the 70 to 80 range with a lot of upward mobility.

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Batters that are consistent week after week are much more enjoyable to have on your roster than those with frequent hot and cold spells. Sure a player putting up 50 points in a week can almost single handedly earn you a win, but the three weeks prior where he didn’t break single digits can be extremely frustrating. Especially when such a cold spell leads you to bench said player on the week he finally breaks out for 50 points. As Grey would say “sonofabench”. Byron Buxton punched me in the nuts with one of those last year. In years past Jay Bruce is a hitter that often fell into this category.

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Howie Kendrick is out for multiple 10-day DLs with a ruptured Achilles injury.  Look at it this way, if Achilles couldn’t come right back from an Achilles injury, how would Kendrick?  He can’t, he’s out for the year.  Enter stage left, Juan Soto.  True story, as I was listening to Prospector Ralph and Lance Broetc. discuss the top 25 prospects for fantasy baseball (clickbait!), every time Ralph would say Juan Soto I’d think he was asking Lance if he wanted soda.  I kept wanting to say, just give him a Dr. Pepper and stop asking if he’s thirsty!  I don’t drink Soto, because it makes me burp, but I’ll tell you what?  I’ve found a special appreciation for La Croix.  Give me flavored seltzer or give me death, as Alan Hale Jr. once said.  Any hoo!  Love, love, lurve what the Nats did.  If you have a guy that’s going to be a superstar?  You call him up!  H to the hockey sticks with an E in between!  If the Blue Jays don’t call up Vlad soon, I will call them the BJs for the rest of eternity.  Ralph has gone over Juan Soto so many times, that it’s silly to reiterate.  Literally, he just wrote a Juan Soto fantasy.  If you’re really lazy and you have wheels on your barcalounger so you can get around, the most succinct is Soto could be a 35/12/.300 hitter during his peak and is 19 years old with extra fizz.  You can expect this year something similar to Bryce Harper’s rookie year — 20/15/.270.  If your eyes don’t bug out on that, you’ve lost feeling in your eyes.  Get them checked.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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I rarely like to make too many movements in the Top 20 or so players, but this week I thought it was necessary. Last week saw me drop Paul Goldschmidt from 8th down to 21st and this week he tumbles a bit further down to 24. In the 4 games since my last top 100 article Goldy has gone 2 for 16 with two measly singles. He can get hot in a minute and rocket back up to the top 10 — but right now it’s disrespectful to the other players to place him in the top 10.

Jose Altuve’s slight fall is going to make a lot of people angry, but he’s just not doing enough with the bat or on the base paths to warrant a top 10 placement. I see the average over .300 but 2 HRs and 2 SBs isn’t cutting it. Just as a heads up — if you have a frustrated owner in your league who is willing to accept your offer of Jonathan Schoop and an OF2/OF3 for Altuve — make the offer now. Altuve is an avid Razzball reader and will be out to prove me wrong!

Two little Indians jumped up in my rankings: Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They are ranked 6th and 5th respectively on ESPN’s Player Rater and earned their boost. A commenter last week pointed out how much better Lindor was performing than Carlos Correa and I that message was received loud and clear. Correa has been more lauded than Lindor, but I can’t deny Lindor is out-performing Correa so far this year. Ramirez on the other hand has statistics that compare favorably to fantasy baseball Gawd Mike Trout. Ramirez only has 6 less runs, the same amount of HRs, 5 more Rbi, 2 less steals and a higher average (even if only by .006.) With second and third base eligibility that screams top 10 talent to me. Soon.

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