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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There were many big movers and shakers in the Top 100 this week perhaps none bigger this year (and maybe the past few years) than Josh Bell. Bell has slapped a hit in all but 9 of his 42 games so far this season. In 15 May games alone he’s hitting .383 with 12 runs, 6 HRs, and 18 RBI. (Writer update: since I started writing this, Bell has crushed another 2 HRs and 4 RBI tonight!) Bell keeps this up and he could be in top 20-25 territory.

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Yea, yea, yea. I accidentally left two Stephen Piscotty’s in my Top 100 two weeks in a row. What had happened was: The first week was just a good ol’ fashioned screw-up. On my rankings spreadsheet my process for moving a player is to copy their row, delete their row and insert their row in their new ranking location. Grey and Jay were gracious enough to fix it after week 5 by replacing Piscotty on the website — but ya boy didn’t delete him in his own rankings spreadsheet. To make a long story short (“TOO LATE!”) there will be four Stephen Piscotties scattered through this Top 100. You pick which one fits best for your world view.

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I’ve never been that high on Corey Seager. Back in February I only had him ranked 52nd on this list. Back then I said, “A 25-HR bat with a .300 average? That’s not bad — but boy if he could even just manage 10 stolen bases I’d like him more.” Seager owners are probably begging for a 20 HR bat with a .250 average at this point. Long term? I think he’ll be more Corey Seager 2016 than Kyle Seager 2018. I still worry about that power cap and complete lack of speed though.

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There hasn’t been a  #1 ranked hitter in my rankings besides Mike Trout since he went down with an injury at the beginning of August 2018. His replacement, Mookie Betts was in the thick of his AL MVP/World Series campaign and the difference between them wasn’t that vast anyway.

This year, the 2018 NL MVP who everyone was sure was going to regress has done just the opposite and started off even hotter than anyone anticipated. Christian Yelich has tied Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez with 14 HRs to begin the season. To top both of those jabronis, Yelich has also stolen 6 bases. Just to whet the appetites of Yelich owners — A-Rod went on to win the AL MVP that season while Pujols was the runner-up in his season. Yes, I know that Cody Bellinger is beating Yelich in some statistical categories already this season, but forgive me if I believe more in Yelich’s .350 AVG right now over Bellinger’s .420.

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Have you not heard yet? The hottest goss (I promise no Avengers spoilers) is that the Los Angeles Angels will call up top prospect slash future OC-heartthrob Griffin Canning to start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. What a Friday for the rooks! We got Vlad, Kieboom, and Rengifo all in one night, and now Griffin Canning. It’s almost like a symbolic passing of the torch with all these young guys arriving this week. New replacing old, etc. And no, that was not an Endgame spoiler. Leave me alone, nerds! I haven’t even seen it yet you bought all the tickets! Normally, I’d save the prospect posts for Mike or Grey, but I don’t want you dear readers and even dearer web crawling robots missing out on another sexy call up this weekend. So let’s talk about Griffin Canning. Sounds like a very dangerous game or the new coolest extreme sport they might play at Hogwarts. Griffin’s got a 0.56 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 17/2 K/BB ratio through his first three starts at AAA Salt Lake Bees (bzzz), which to be fair, looks a whole lot better than anything the Angels starters have been doing over the past four weeks. Canning features four solid pitches including his mid-90s fastball and a real nasty curve. His past struggles have all been related to his command but he’s thrown 66% of his pitches for strikes so far this year and the 3.3 BB% indicates he may have figured things out. Griffin doesn’t necessarily profile as an top end ace, but he could be a solid back of the rotation starter and help your fantasy team immediately. Rookie pitchers may be my kryptonite (not a spoiler), but what are you waiting for? The prospect sweepstakes has begun and Griffin Canning is worth a flier in all leagues. The Angels think he’s got the stuff to help them win right now and methinks he could do the same for you.

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

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I’m starting a new feature for this column — Jose Ramirez Watch! The mood is tense! No one is losing more value than Ramirez right now. In a lot of leagues he was a top-10 pick and right now he isn’t even justifying a top-100 pick. It’s still early for him — but his owners have to be disappointed.

Last Week: 14 | This Week: 25

Last 7 days: 5/22, 6 runs, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 SB, 227 AVG

Another disappointing week for J-Ram, however, it is better than the previous week when he went 2 for 25. Baby steps? Here’s what I said to a commenter in last week’s top 100 column:

“JRam wasn’t hitting over .250 until April 24th last year.He’s got a higher hard contact rate so far this season (yay!) but also a higher soft contact rate (boo!) His BABIP is only .167 after last year’s 252. I’d obviously hold and wait until May 1. I think he’ll be fine — not 2018 foooiinnneee — but 2019 fine.”

Let’s see where his average sits later this week…

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