Last week there was an unfortunate hiatus from the Top 100 Hitters column as I was deep in the woods of Central New Jersey for my annual camping trip. Does Central Jersey exist? I was there — so I guess so.

I took a lot of time going player by player on these rankings so there are a lot of shake-ups in the rankings. I took a real close look at everyone’s numbers and tried my best to compare players 1 to 1 to see who I preferred. It can get rough comparing two players side by side. Do you prefer Player A with 60 runs, 5 HRs, 30 RBI, 20 SBs and a .285 average? Or Player B with 45 runs, 20 HRs, 50 RBI, 0 SB and a .245 AVG? In the end, unfortunately for this column — beauty is in the eye of the beholder — and I don’t mean the amazing MS-DOS dungeon crawler from 1991. Beauty is also in your roster construction — Player A might be really useful to you if you’ve got a bunch of slow-footed boobies out there.

 

Rising:

  • #32, Shin-Soo Choo, TEX, OF: A Choo? Here? The last time Choo didn’t reach base in a game was May 12th. The last time Choo didn’t reach base in a game was May 12th. THE LAST TIME CHOO DIDN’T REACH BASE IN A GAME WAS MAY 12TH! He’s still a long ways away from reaching Ted Williams record of 84 games in a row, but I need to stop disrespecting Shin-Soo and strap a rocket to him.
  • #46, Tim Anderson, CHW, SS: I fell in love with Tim Anderson in the first 15 games of the season when he stole 8 bases and hit 3 HRs as a cheap speed source and a little pop. I fell out of love with Tim Anderson when he stole 2 bases and hit 1 HR over his next 15 games. I hated Tim Anderson over his next 15 games when he stole 1 base, hit 3 HRs and hit only .204. I started to like Tim Anderson again over his next 15 games when he hit 4 HRs and stole 2 bases and hit 273. Now, looking back over the whole season I’m glad Tim Anderson and I stayed friends as his 13 HR/20 SB/.251 AVG season really doesn’t look that bad. You’re going to hate him for two weeks and then adore him for two weeks and that’s just who Tim Anderson is. But when we look back at a 25/25/.245 season you’ll be pretty happy. 
  • #48, Max Muncy, LAD, 1B/3B: Muncy really must’ve stepped in it every single time he walked out of his house this pre-season. It feels like we’re all waiting for the luck to run out, but then you look and see he has 7 HRs in his last 13 games with a 1:1 K/BB ratio. He’s got a spicy 46.8% hard contact rate paired with a 45.7% flyball rate and a lot of this seems sustainable. Everyone is prone to slumps and I’m sure Muncy will be no different — especially with less than 500 major league at bats under his helmet. Pitchers might start to figure him out slightly — but if he can keep making solid fly ball contact — he could easily top 30 HRs — he’s already two-thirds of the way there.

 

Falling:

  • #56, Jose Abreu, CHW, 1B: Abreu, like Whit Merrifield, really started to slip in my rankings as I did my head-to-head comparisons. He’s still on pace for 80+ runs for the 4th time in his 5 seasons and 100+ RBI in his 5th consecutive season, but the 12 HRs and .262 AVG are way off his career averages of 31 and .301. Abreu’s .293 BABIP is the lowest of his career and off his career number of .330. His batted ball profile across the board is almost identical from his previous seasons so you have to wonder if bad luck is just causing his slight statistical decline. I’m thinking he’ll bounce in the second-half.
  • #81, Eric Hosmer, SD, 1B: I’ve been keeping Hosmer relatively high in my rankings due to his relatively reliable 20+ HR, solid average production. But it’s a whole new ballgame this year for Hosmer. Hosmer’s 20.9% HR/FB isn’t too far off from his 21.4% in 2016 or 22.5% in 2017, but his 60.8% ground ball rate is the highest of his career. This number is especially annoying when you realize that his hard contact percentage is the highest of his career. Hosmer won’t be making the All-Star game this year so you have to hope he takes the week to head home to Plantation, Florida to work on getting some loft on his swings.
  • #88, Whit Merrifield, KC, 2B/OF: This one is going to get me a lot of flack, but hear me out. I see the 16 stolen bases. I see the .290 average. But that’s all I see. His 28 RBI on the season has him ranked 164th overall. Yes, I know he’s a lead-off hitter, but then his 36 runs have him ranked 121 overall. It’s not his fault, his lineup stinks, but 64 runs+RBI is less runs than some players have total (or total RBI.)

Top 100 Hitters

RANK NAME TEAM POSITION LAST WEEK
1 Mike Trout LAA OF 1
2 Mookie Betts BOS OF 2
3 Jose Ramirez CLE 2B/3B 3
4 Francisco Lindor CLE SS 5
5 J.D. Martinez BOS OF 8
6 Manny Machado BAL 3B 7
7 Nolan Arenado COL 3B 4
8 Jose Altuve HOU 2B 6
9 Aaron Judge NYY OF 10
10 Charlie Blackmon COL OF 9
11 Paul Goldschmidt ARI 1B 12
12 Trea Turner WAS SS 14
13 Andrew Benintendi BOS OF 16
14 Jean Segura SEA SS 17
15 Javier Baez CHC SS/2B 27
16 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B 11
17 Giancarlo Stanton NYY OF 18
18 Alex Bregman HOU SS/3B 25
19 Eugenio Suarez CIN 3B 34
20 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF 30
21 Eddie Rosario MIN OF 26
22 Mitch Haniger SEA OF 28
23 Ozzie Albies ATL 2B 29
24 Bryce Harper WAS OF 13
25 Starling Marte PIT OF 32
26 Trevor Story COL SS 35
27 Christian Yelich MIL OF 19
28 Lorenzo Cain MIL OF 24
29 Carlos Correa HOU SS 23
30 George Springer HOU OF 15
31 Scooter Gennett CIN 2B 45
32 Shin-Soo Choo TEX OF 56
33 Nelson Cruz SEA DH 36
34 Joey Votto CIN 1B 22
35 Khris Davis OAK OF 31
36 Jesus Aguilar MIL 1B 69
37 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 20
38 Kris Bryant CHC 3B 21
39 Xander Bogaerts BOS SS 39
40 Tommy Pham STL OF 40
41 Brandon Belt SF OF 42
42 Edwin Encarnacion CLE 1B 44
43 Didi Gregorius NYY SS 46
44 Nick Markakis ATL OF 75
45 Ender Inciarte ATL OF 49
46 Tim Anderson CWS SS 91
47 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B/OF 57
48 Max Muncy LAD 1B/3B 73
49 Justin Upton ARI OF 33
50 Matt Kemp LAD OF 59
51 Nicholas Castellanos DET 3B/OF 61
52 AJ Pollock ARI OF 95
53 Michael Brantley CLE OF 53
54 Aaron Hicks NYY OF NR
55 Nomar Mazara TEX OF 43
56 Jose Abreu CHW 1B 37
57 Mike Moustakas KC 3B 51
58 Travis Shaw MIL 3B 50
59 Anthony Rendon WAS 3B 54
60 Cesar Hernandez PHI 2B 55
61 Brian Dozier MIN 2B 52
62 Odubel Herrera PHI OF 86
63 Daniel Murphy WAS 2B 38
64 Elvis Andrus TEX SS NR
65 Dee Gordon SEA 2B/OF 48
66 Juan Soto WAS OF 82
67 Jose Martinez STL 1B 58
68 Joey Gallo TEX 3B/1B 62
69 D.J. LeMahieu COL 2B 64
70 Ronald Acuna ATL OF 83
71 Adam Eaton WAS OF 41
72 Chris Taylor LAD 2B/OF/SS 66
73 Yoan Moncada CWS 2B 85
74 Gleyber Torres NYY 2B/SS 67
75 Wil Myers SD 1B/OF 68
76 JT Realmuto MIA C 70
77 Matt Olson OAK 1B 71
78 Evan Gattis HOU C 98
79 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF 87
80 Carlos Santana PHI 1B 72
81 Eric Hosmer SD 1B 60
82 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 74
83 Ian Desmond COL 1B/OF 76
84 Jed Lowrie OAK 2B 96
85 Asdrubal Cabrera NYM 2B/SS/3B 105
86 Eduardo Escobar MIN 3B/SS 77
87 Andrew McCutchen SF OF 79
88 Whit Merrifield KC 2B 47
89 Yoenis Cespedes NYM OF 65
90 Josh Donaldson TOR 3B 63
91 Kyle Schwarber CHC OF 88
92 David Peralta ARI OF 89
93 Justin Smoak TOR 1B 90
94 Yangervis Solarte TOR 2B/SS/3B 92
95 Gary Sanchez NYY C 78
96 Andrelton Simmons LAA SS 93
97 Brett Gardner NYY OF 94
98 Marcell Ozuna STL OF 80
99 Rafael Devers BOS 3B NR
100 Brian Anderson MIA 3B/OF NR

 

Fighting for 100 (Unranked)

Willson Contreras, Gregory Polanco, Brian Anderson, Jose Peraza, Brandon Crawford, Michael Taylor, Mitch Moreland, Jesse Winker, Ben Zobrist

 

 

   
  1. Mike says:
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    Why Cain over Springer/Cruz?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Mike: I think Cain is superior in runs, stolen bases and average and Springer has been slumping pretty hard lately.

  2. Bryan McDonald says:
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    Where do you think Benentendi goes in drafts next year?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Bryan McDonald: If he can go 100/25/100/25/.290 he deserves to be in the first round. I’d say pick 5-10

  3. Chucky says:
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    Bryant and Rizzo mid 30’s? What have they done to deserve that, or are you just banking on the old adage that they’ve done it before, so they HAVE to do it again? Frankly, I’m not seeing much from either. Who knows what shape Bryant is in to begin with. And as long as Rizzo just keeps on pounding ground outs into the shift, we probably aren’t going to see much more either.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Chucky: I wish I knew how to quit them. I still think by the end of the season they’ll earn back their typical value and have huge second-halfs. They’re too good not to.

  4. Kruk_Ain't_An_Athlete says:
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    Rank these dudes for my 5×5 OBP weekly roto, please.

    Souza, Reddick, Heyward, Healy, and Villar.
    I can wait on Souza another week if I want to wait. Should I?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Kruk_Ain’t_An_Athlete:
      I’d go Heyward, Souza, Reddick, Healy, Villar.
      If you can wait on Souza to see how he’s doing — I’ll do it.

  5. Rene De La Torre says:
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    What do you think of this trade…

    I give Scooter Gennett, Edwin Encarnacion and Eddie Rosario

    Receive, Nolan Arenado and Lorenzo Cain.

    Thanks.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Rene De La Torre: I like the players you have already. Unless you are REALLY hurting at third and stolen bases.

      • Rene De La Torre says:
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        Thanks

  6. Cheap Trout says:
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    Yuli Gurriel deserves a slot. Late start coming back from the hamate surgery, but 1.026 OPS since June 9 and batting 4th in a top lineup.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Cheap Trout: I hear you — but I need more than 6 HR/3 SB.

  7. A says:
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    JD is 2.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @A: Give me the 5 categories of Betts/Lindor/Ramirez over JD’s 4.

  8. Mike Trout deserves his spot. He is unparalleled and I can safely say that no player can equal his greatness.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @PlayerSX: I wrote a few weeks ago how impressed I was with Lindor/Ramirez’s MVP seasons……but they’re still not even as statistically good as Trout. I wish people were appreciating/debating Trout’s greatness as much as they do LeBron’s.
      That’ll REALLY piss off the old school sports fans.
      Who do you think is the best comparison for Trout?

      • Reed Smith says:
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        @Kerry Klug: couple of possible comparisons for trout from past times:

        Griffey
        Pujols first 10 years
        Mays
        Mantle

        Today, there’s none better in the game IMO

        • Reed Smith says:
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          @Reed Smith: Gehrig could also be in the list.

  9. jiggy nits says:
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    weird NL only 5×5 with BB instead of R for hitters

    need walks real bad. neither of these dudes on your top 100

    my corey dickerson for his ian happ?

    thanks!!

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @jiggy nits: Corey Dickerson was in my top 10 a few weeks ago — if you are desperate for walks then yea, I’d make that trade for Happ.

  10. Balls In Play says:
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    What’s Avisail Garcia gotta do to crack this list??? Except maybe stay healthy.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Balls In Play: haha yea, avoid injury and avoid having another month like he had in April: .233/.250/.315

  11. Mike says:
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    Would you deal Jed Lowrie and Foltynewicz to get Lorenzo Cain?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Mike: Yea I definitely like that trade if you need OF and can survive the pitching hit.

  12. MALARKY says:
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    Was Kyle Tucker not considered or is it that he doesn’t crack your top 100? If he does, where would you place him?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @MALARKY: I try not to overreact to players with 0 major league ABs. AJ Reed is proof that you can kill it in the minors and look lost at the big league level.
      So far 1 for 10 — doesn’t mean he’ll be awful his whole career — but I don’t want to displace someone who has already been hitting.

  13. OnMyWayUpToMarylaaand says:
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    Daaaaamn Javy Baez at 15? Wow thats interesting. Would you mind expanding a little on your feelings there? Are you not concerned about his crazy K%? Whats changed for him this year to make him such a better hitter?

    Thanks.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @OnMyWayUpToMarylaaand: Of course —

      He’s on pace for a 30/30 100/100 season and is hitting .292 right now. Even if his average dropped to .273 like he’s had the past 2 seasons I’d still consider him a first/second round pick for 2019.
      His 24% K/rate is actually GOOD (for him) and if he can continue to bring that down he’ll only improve his value. Boy I wish he walked more — but I guess that’s part of what makes him one of the most exciting players in baseball — he didn’t come here to NOT swing.
      As for what he’s doing it’s hard to say the .341 BABIP is right on par with his last 2 seasons, his hard contact rate is up a bit (37.1% from 32.4%,) his contact rate on pitches in the strike zone is significantly up (81.5% from 72.6%) so maybe he’s just seeing the ball better and getting hard contact on the ball which has lead to an increased batting average.
      People forget that Javier Baez was the next big thing in the minors not too long ago — it took him a few years to get here and people might’ve soured on him since he wasn’t Ryne Sandberg right away. But he’s only 25 — he could still be getting better.

  14. Fogimon says:
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    Cespedes just staying on because of what?? I thought DL players were removed from the list.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Fogimon: DLed players stay on for now, but the longer they stay on the DL the further they’ll fall.
      I honestly think Cespedes is milking this injury because would you want to play for the Mets right now?

  15. Dan says:
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    Trade thought : i give correa and abreau and get stanton ,odubal herrera, david murphy.

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Dan: That’s a pretty fair trade — you’re buying low on Murphy’s potential second-half and while I’m the biggest advocate for Correa — he seems to be injury prone and not stealing bases anymore so he’s a 4 category guy who will miss 20-30 games per year.

  16. sam says:
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    should I trade Kluber and Time anderson for Bauer, scooter gennet, and N. Castelanous in a 14 man 5 player Keeper league?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @sam: If you can get someone your leaguemate to accept that trade sure — I personally like the Bauer/Scooter/Castellanos side more. Yes, you’re losing the SBs from Anderson, but you’ll be making huge gains in batting average.
      And the “drop” from Kluber to Bauer is really nothing — they’re both great. More K’s from Bauer, slightly better ratios and performance consistency from Kluber.

  17. Matt G, says:
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    12-team 5×5 league w/ OBP and QS instead of BA and Saves, with the following starters:
    C: Buster Posey
    1B: Hoskins
    2B: Merrifield
    3B: Arenado
    SS: Trea Turner
    OF1: Khris Davis
    OF2: Rosario
    OF3: Brantley/Mazara
    UTIL: Eugenio Suarez/Max Muncy
    SP’s: Kluber, Newcomb, Manaea, Wood, and Taillon
    RP’s: Cody Allen, Brandon Morrow, Britton, Blake Parker, Giles

    A league member has possibly the most ridiculous middle INF I have ever seen in a 12-team H2H fantasy baseball league. He has Goldy, Jose Ramirez, Machado, Lindor, and Dozier. He’s trying to get Arenado from me, and you can tell I have a bunch of studs at the keystone. Would you trade Arenado for Machado and a closer, or would you try and get more like Machado and JRam?

    Appreciate your advice as always.
    -Matt

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Matt G,: He’d never trade Arenado for Machado and JRam unless you throw in a top 15 OF as well.
      Arenado and Machado are not so different for me rankings wise but with Trea Turner at short you don’t really need Machado at short. I’d see who has a solid 2B or OF option so you can upgrade there. or SP. After Kluber your starting rotation thins out in my opinion.

      • Matt G. says:
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        @Kerry Klug: Thanks! I just talked to him, and he’s willing to trade Machado and Dozier for Merrifield and Arenado. Would you do that trade? I’m essentially banking on Machado getting traded to a contender in a good hitter’s park..

      • Matt G. says:
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        @Kerry Klug: Thanks! He offered me Machado and Dozier for Arenado and Merrifield. Would you do that trade? I’m essentially banking on Machado getting traded and Dozier getting hot.

        • Kerry Klug

          Kerry Klug says:
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          @Matt G.: I do like Dozier more than merrifield and think Dozier is going to have the best bounce-back second-half of anyone.

  18. Balke says:
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    Currently streaming a SS and have plenty of OF. Sending JD for Lindor sound like a good idea?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Balke: Yea definitely — might want to check your trade partners team though. If he doesn’t have a solid back-up SS it’ll be a quick no. If so — if you have a Marcus Semien you can throw in or something to complete the deal — do it.

  19. Mr.Sweat Necklace says:
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    Yuli should be on this list. Did I miss him?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @Mr.Sweat Necklace: Someone else asked about Yuli above and here’s what I said: ” I hear you — but I need more than 6 HR/3 SB.”

  20. TJvera says:
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    Kerry Klug, looking at your Keeper rankings you have Noah Syn at 25, does that rank still stand? Or has he fallen?

    • Kerry Klug

      Kerry Klug says:
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      @TJvera: He’s slipped for right now into the 40s — but the dude is still going to be only 26 next year and has elite stuff. You just have to hope his health is more Max Scherzer than Clayton Kershaw.

      • TJvera says:
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        @Kerry Klug:

        Asking cause i got offered him for Yelich, Victor Robles & Sixto Sanchez, my team has the best hitting in the league its a 16 team h2h my current OF is J.D Martinez, Nelson Cruz, Choo, Juan Soto, Jose Martinez also have Alex Kirilof in the minors, we roster 50 minors players in total so replacement for minors is fairly easy. I am considering it cause it would allow me to put Alex Kirilof and Kierboom at the NA spots and pick up some more pitching depth like Andrew Suarez & Enyel de los Santos. My best SP currently is Stripling I’m running RP heavy so i think throwing Stripling + Noah every week plus whatever my RP get helps me win almost every week.

        • Kerry Klug

          Kerry Klug says:
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          @TJvera: That is a LOT to lose for just Thor especially because of the pedigree of Robles and Sixto . But it looks like you’re desperate for starting pitching so I can see why you’re looking for Thor.
          My other issue is that your OF is a little old — Cruz and Choo — how many more quality years do they have? Robles if he lives up to his potential could help you for another decade.
          I’m not sold this trade is great for you long term . But if you are 100% committed to win now then you can go for it.

          • TJvera says:
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            @Kerry Klug:

            Managed to get the deal done without Robles, so just Thor for Yelich & Sanchez which seems a bit better. Pretty excited. Thanks for the reply!

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