Please see our player page for Jean Segura 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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Sunday marked the end of Matchup #10 for Head-to-Head leagues. Standard H2H regular seasons are typically 20 matchups long, so we have just passed the halfway point of the season! We now have 2 1/2 months of statistics and data to look, and numbers are starting to stabilize. By now you should have a feel for your team and which of your picks have panned out, and those that unfortunately haven’t. Since we just passed the halfway point, I thought it would be appropriate to go through each position and see what the best and worst picks have been thus far in respect to average draft position. I will be factoring in their performance relative to their NFBC ADP, and their production across the standard H2H categories.

I have labeled the best picks as someone who has “Impressed” owners and the worst picks as someone who is leaving their owners “Depressed.” I have kept it to one each per position (except for OF and SP) with some honorable mentions sprinkled in. Of course I will not be able to touch on every player that has impressed or depressed, so feel free to leave some of yours in the comments!

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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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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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I went into the Mike Foltynewicz vs. Red Sox in Fenway matchup a spry, jovial young rascal.  The mischievous imp of Chinese food, the rapscallion.  Then Mike Faultywirewitz went 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 baserunners (3 BBs), 7 Ks, ERA at 2.55, and I aged forty years.  “I was told just the painting of me is supposed to age.”  That’s me trying to get a refund for my Dorian Grey Albright portrait.  The time Finkynewhitch was on the mound was like the three-year span when I lost my fortune investing in Beanie Babies compressed into two hours.  He just loses all semblance of the strike zone out of completely nowhere.  It’s like, “We’re cruising….so cruising…And now I’m throwing five feet outside the strike zone.”  With that said, it’s hard not to be encouraged — his velocity is up to 96 MPH; his K/9 is up to 10.4; he’s got the best xFIP of his career, and his team should provide run support.  He’s also in his third full year when I like to look for starter breakouts.  The only drawback is his command is a mess.  As long as you watch him pitch with cucumbers on your eyes to combat the wrinkles, you’ll be fine.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw this weekend in fantasy baseball:

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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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In the spring of 2018, the Catholic Church summoned Father Carmen Sandiego to the Vatican to give him the job to investigate miracles, supernatural signs and apparitions.  Unfortunately, Father Carmen Sandiego, who wasn’t very good with his GPS, got lost for four days in the Steven Avery car lot in Wisconsin, then ended up in Milwaukee.  When he wandered into the parking lot of Miller Park, and Brewers fans tailgating with MGD and cheese curds, everywhere Father Carmen Sandiego turned he heard about the resurrected Jesus Aguilar, so he chose to investigate.  He found a player who had lowered his strikeout rate 8% from last year, upped his walk rate, cut his soft contact and could be a sneaky 25-homer, .275 guy.  Jesus didn’t appear to him in a vision, he was flesh and blood, like the Lenny & Squiggy cosplayers he also encountered.  However, Father Carmen Sandiego didn’t report back to the Vatican, instead he grabbed Jesus for his fantasy team.  Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:

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It’s late may and another minor league phenom has made it to the majors. Juan Soto made a grand entrance in his second major league at bat and went opposite field for a 422 foot 3-run home run in the second inning in front of the National’s home crowd. What a moment. One day before that, big name prospect in the Pirate’s organization, Austin Meadows, hit his first career home run in front of his home crowd. Although Austin Meadows isn’t a power hitter, he can provide big league value in other ways. Just short of a month ago, Ronald Acuna Jr., made his debut for the Braves with a furious first week. Despite all of the young excitement around the league, there are savvy vets all over the majors that will help you win fantasy baseball championships. Also there is an under-performing potential superstar that I have been wanting to write about for weeks. It’s that time of week again to take a look at the player rater and find some value.

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For all intents and purposes, Jean Segura was a flopapotamus last year, failing to get to any of the previous year’s stats across the board.  That includes the all loving steals category.  He has gone from 33 in 2016, to 22 last year, to already having 11 in just over 200 plate appearances, which is a phenomenal pace for anyone that bought into him a his ADP in draft season.  Eleven steals already leads to a projection of right around 40, and 40 steals is fantastic, as it has only been eclipsed 10 times in the last few years.  Which brings back my old standby statement: that steals are a dying breed except for the select few.  I fully expect that the Mariners, who currently sit top-6 in MLB in steals, to keep the running game as a a major cog now that Robbie Cano isn’t around showing his elite speed.  With Dee Gordon and Segura, the Mariners have a duo of speed that really is unrivaled by other MLB teams.  The past week for Jean has seen his total jump from 5 to 11 steals overall. (Coincidence that Cano isn’t in the lineup that he is taking the base rather than trying to get hit over?  I think not.)  Nothing about that screams coincidence, it would be more of a coincidence for me to casually run into my ex-girlfriend outside the church on her wedding day.  So with a slash line of .414/.419/.655 since the removal of Cano, he looks primed to be an even more of a steal threat moving forward.  That is also a nod for Dee because the re-invention of lineup changes is the way a team plays.  I read that in a fortune cookie just now.  So welcome to SAGNOF day, kinda like Rusev day, but with less Bulgarian influence.

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