Who would’ve thought little D.J. LeMahieu would be the best free agent signing of the past decade? Yeah, I said it! Mainly because I have an awful memory and suffer from extreme recency bias! He’s definitely the best signing of this preseason though. He’s 3 HRs away from setting a new career-high, already has a new career-high in RBI and is again leading his league in batting average as he did with the Rockies in 2016. His disappointing, injury-plagued 2018 caused his stock to dip a bit, but Brian Cashman is looking like a genius again for this signing. And oh yea, not that it matters to us, but he’s playing Gold Glove defense again at both 2B and 3B. Does defense matter to you? Do you use any defensive stats in any of your leagues?
|4||Ronald Acuna Jr.||OF||ATL||8||4|
Acuna already has a 20/20 season with 30/30 looking easily attainable at this point. He could potentially go 100/30/85/100/30/.290 and still not win the NL MVP. What is this? The mid 1990’s?!
Betts isn’t in MVP contention this year (it’s Trout’s award to lose again,) but he has turned it on in July: 61 ABs, 22 runs, 2 HRs, 10 RBI, 2 SB, .426 AVG. He’ll fall short of last year’s 30/30 season, but 25/20 ain’t bad.
Moving down to make room for Mookie Betts in the top-10 again is Josh Bell. In Bell’s last 61 ABs, he still has 5 HRs and 15 RBI, but hopefully that .197 AVG isn’t a sign of things to come for the rest of this season.
|30||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SS||SD||37||7|
Here’s the deal folks — Machado was hitting .238 with 10 HRs at the end of June 11th. He fell accordingly in my rankings. Was he maybe pushing too hard to impress the Padre faithful? Who knows? What we do know is in the 30 games since he’s dropped 15 HRs and 33 RBI with a .331 AVG. Safe to say he’s back — unfortunately he’s more Arenado now than 2015 Machado when it comes to speed.
Laureano was a sleeper darling heading into 2019 after hitting 19 HRs and stealing 18 bases between 112 AAA and MLB games in 2018. I’ll admit that Laureano slipped off my top-100 radar when he had only a .243 AVG/.666 OPS through his first 51 games. It’s hard to track 100 hitters every week! Well in the 48 games since he has a .333 AVG and a 1.060 OPS with 15 HRs and 9 SBs. If these gains stay, he could be top 25 by season’s end.
While Ramon Laureano has been off my radar for a few weeks — Santana has been off my radar for a few years, so excuse me for forgetting him in my rankings. All it took for Santana to reemerge was a new/old re-change of scenery — huh? Back in Cleveland, he’s hitting for the best average and OPS of his career and has reignited his career.
I don’t know what to do with Santana. After his first month, I launched him up the rankings. Then, his next month he plummeted. Since May 19th he’s been a solid performer — but not as good as he was to start the season. The SBs, unfortunately, seem like they’ll be coming few and far between — but I’m still liking his overall profile. Just not as sky-high as I projected him to begin the season.
- Mar 20 – Apr 15: 79 ABs, 12 runs, 4 HRs, 24 RBI, 3 SBs, .977 OPS.
- Apr 16 – May 17: 103 ABs, 10 runs, 4 HRs, 13 RBI, 1 SB, .686 OPS.
- May 19 – June 15: 99 ABs, 15 runs 5 HRs, 12 RBI, 1 SB, .817 OPS.
- Jun 16 – Jul 20: 102 ABs, 19 runs, 6 HRs, 15 RBI, 1 SB, .838 OPS.
|86||Vlad Guerrero Jr.||3B||TOR||86||0|
|95||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||2B/SS/OF||TOR||95||0|
The biggest surprise to me in Ohtani’s profile are the SBs. In Japan he hit for a solid average and decent power, but never stole more than 7 bases. Over a full, healthy season could Ohtani be a 20/20 threat? 20 HRs, 20 SBs, and a 20 game winner next season? Man this guy is fun to watch. How could anyone else win MVP if he pulls that off?
I was originally reluctant to rank Hiura due to the Brewers front office — but I think my fears have officially been put to bed. Since his second call-up he’s started in 19 consecutive games and hit: 12/4/14/5 /.370 while taking over the Brewers second-base gig. His .434 BABIP is inflating that average a little bit — but the kid was a .317 hitter in 222 minor league games. The interesting numbers to watch will be his speed and power numbers. Yes, he had 19 HRs in 57 AAA games this season, but that was in the PCL. I think he could settle in at a 20/20 threat — never really 30/30.
Wait a minute — who the hell is that at the bottom of these rankings?! How did he get there?! Here’s the deal — in February when I made my preseason rankings I had Jose Ramirez at #3 overall. By June 10th he had fallen completely off my rankings. Due to his 2018, I’m giving him a lot of slack and big second-chance here. In his last month, Ramirez has actually been playing pretty well: 81 ABs, 18 runs, 4 HRs, 17 RBI, 3 SB, .321 AVG, .944 OPS. Ramirez owners must be anointed as saints for their patience and should be rewarded in the second-half.