Please see our player page for Mitch Haniger 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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“Lower the koozie a little bit.  No, a little bit more.  Okay, now spray some mist on the outside of the can to make it look like it’s sweating.  Now rub your finger from the D in Dr. to the R in Pepper.  This is romance!  For me!”  That’s me explaining to Cougs how I want her to seduce me with a visual metaphor of Juan Soto.  Or as I like to call him, Sexy Dr. Pepper.  Last night he hit two more homers (2-for-3, 4 RBIs) and now has five homers on the year, hitting .344 since his call-up and he’s only 19 years old.  *puts handkerchief to head, faints*  He was the first 19-year-old to homer at a Yankee Stadium since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989.  He is the fifth youngest major leaguer with a two-homer game (Mel Ott, Danny Murphy (not that one), Griffey, Andruw Jones).  He is the third youngest major leaguer to show up at Yankee Stadium and say, “A concession guy offered his wife to me for sex.” (Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich)  Not to put the hype too much to eleven, but he is blowing away what Bryce and Trout did when they were both 19 years old.  19-year-olds who hit a home run in the last 40 years:  Soto, Bryce, Trout, Justin Upton, Andruw, Griffey and Juan Gonzalez.  Betting on a 19-year-old to fail who is already up in the majors succeeding is betting the Don’t Pass line, and no one likes that guy.  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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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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Did you hear about this Joc working overtime?  He was too uptight!  Take it, Highlights, it it yours!  One guy whose completely uptight in the forbidden Fruit of the Looms is Joc Pederson.  Yesterday, he went 3-for-5, 3 runs, 3 RBIs with his 5th and 6th homer.  That gives him five homers this week.  Yabba dabba drool!  “So, I was hoping to buy a screw in this hardware store, but I’m having lustly feelings about a Joc.  Will you serve me?”  That’s me walking into a hardware store in Tennessee.  Some of my hotter buys — buys I make while wearing a thong — are owned in more than 50% of leagues — Rendon, Desmond, etc. — but Joc is pretty sexy if he’s going right and available in a multitude of leagues.  By the by, someone who changes attitudes frequently has a multitude.  The royal we are talking about a guy in my Joc who could sneak into a 30+ homer, 7-steal season, and he’s not even hitting for a bad average this season (.272).  Giddy up on this Joc!  And that’s not the first time I’ve said that!  Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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Coming into this season Yu Darvish owners had a lot to be excited about with his off season signing with the Chicago Cubs. With the Cubs potent offense averaging 5.07 runs per game in 2017 and Darvish’s career 3.41 ERA coming into this year, he was set to get all the run support he’d need to prosper. Unfortunately even with a career K/9 of 11.04, Darvish’s 2018 season has been a disappointment. Even though he’s still striking out at least 11 batters per nine, he’s only averaging 9.38 points per start over his eight starts. For comparison, Miles Mikolas is averaging 19.09 points per start. Darvish is currently on the disabled list with inflammation in his right triceps which I’m sure owners are hoping will explain his less than stellar start to 2018. In the meantime, let’s take a look at some other players that are not living up to our preseason expectations.

I’m going to go out on a short limb (think Jim Abbott) and say that if you were able to exit this year’s draft with the following starting lineup that you’d be awfully excited for the coming season.

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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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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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