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.
|10||Ronald Acuna Jr.||OF||ATL||10||0|
“Mike Trout at #5?! You’re the worst ranker of all time.” That’s probably true — but that’s not why. Of the top 5 players above — Trout is last in runs, HRs, RBI, batting average and second to last in stolen bases. Yes, I know he’s still Mike Trout. Yes, he’ll still probably end up at the top of this list come October. However, right now I want to give credit where it is due and recognize the fantastic performances by the 4 guys ahead of him.
Mondesi’s 6 HRs aren’t great — but he’s still putting up solid run production numbers with 35 runs and 42 RBI. He’s also leading the league by 6 SBs. For the 10th time this season I’ll tell you: I was dead wrong about Mondesi.
Really not a lot of shake-ups here. I brought Springer down because we don’t yet have a timeline on his return just yet.
A pair of third basemen vault into the top 30 in Rafael Devers and Eugenio Suarez. Devers makes the leap because of his solid across the board 5×5 production (40/8/32/7/.324) and Suarez is tied for 3rd in HRs and RBI among third basemen. This is about the highest I think Suarez will linger, but Devers could continue to soar higher with his power/speed numbers and lineup production.
Abreu finds himself making gains since he’s tied for 2nd in the league with 50 RBI. However, what’s keeping him from moving higher is that among the top-10 RBI leaders — he has the least runs with only 28.
Soto struggled slightly on his return from the injured list — but in his last 14 games, he has turned it the heck on: 53 AB, 15 runs, 4 HR, 14 RBI with a .472 average. Bryce whom?!
Manny Machado. How much is $300 million worth to you? 27 runs? 9 HRs? 1 SB? a .259 AVG? Was Machado just a product of Camden Yards?
Max Muncy started off the year with a ho-hum April: 11/5/17/.247 calling into doubt his out-of-nowhere breakout 2018. May has seen a return to Max Power: 23/7/18/.302. 4 months of this production could lead to a 40 HR season for Muncy. (Which if you look at his last 365 days: 95/40/95/.274 — is a definite possibility.)
As opposed to Muncy who’s had a fantastic last 365 days — here’s Albies numbers: 88/17/61/12/.258. The runs are nice — the moderate power/speed is okay — but .258 is disappointing. Albies lost his spot in the Braves lineup due to an extremely disappointing May: 8/1/12/1/.239.
I don’t want to believe in Joc Pederson’s numbers so far (38/17/31/.274,) but his May ratios actually improved from the first month of the season so he’s left me no choice. Pederson was a top 10 prospect before the 2015 season and now finally seems to be living up that ranking. Perhaps the most impressive thing about his career high average is that it’s coming on the back of a .248 BABIP.
|70||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||SD||66||-4|
Villar’s last 6 games have helped him move up in my rankings a bit. In those 20 ABs he has 7 runs, 10 hits, 2 HRs, 5 RBI and 2 SB. You’d have to believe in a decent lineup his line would be even better, but Trey Mancini’s .273 AVG and 20 RBI with men on base and Renato Nunez’s .260 AVG with 26 RBI really aren’t too terrible. It’s just everyone else around them who are struggling.
|71||Vlad Guerrero Jr.||3B||TOR||67||-4|
Four guys in this range (Pence, Choo, Gordon, and Braun) actually were in the league when Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s dad was still in the league. All four of them are exceeding expectations this year. I have Pence and Gordon in my TGFBI league and have actually ridden them to a high of 20th overall ranking this week.
Speaking of Vlad he’s produced just as many multi-hit games as he has 0-fers which is the perfect demonstration of the debut year for a rookie regardless of how high they are ranked. Vlad’s contact skills and potential still keep him high in my rankings and hopefully, he can quickly adjust as pitchers start pitching him differently.
I don’t want to see Garcia on this list any more than you do, but his May has been fantastic: 89 ABs, 16/6/15/4/.360/1.037 OPS. His .351 BABIP makes me a little nervous to believe this is for real — but this isn’t about my opinions — these are just the numbers. Wait, what? This is about my opinions?! Well, he belongs here anyway.
|91||Dwight Smith Jr.||OF||BAL||93||2|
“Jose Ramirez is still here?! What is wrong with you?!” Well, J-Ram played 4 games since last week’s rankings and actually didn’t embarrass himself. In 14 ABs he had 6 hits (4 doubles) with 3 runs, 2 RBI, and 2 SB and a 3:4 K/BB ratio. Alright, alright — I see you, I see you.