Hey Yoan! There he is! Moncada’s bat is officially awake! Through his first 49 ABs Moncada had 1 HR, 0 SB and a .604 OPS. Since then? 42 ABs, 5 HR, 4 SB and a 1.295 OPS. Here’s my worry — will Moncada continue to be streaky and see a 700 point swing in his OPS every few weeks? Or did he just get off to a slow start?
Didi Gregorius: I have to keep mentioning my man Didi until his performance tells me not to. Didi is currently the highest scorer on ESPN’s player rater and shows no sign of slowing down. When the Yankees acquired Didi as their Jeter replacement I was a fan of Didi from a fielding perspective and saw him as a proper bridge to a Yankee shortstop prospect (at the time Jorge Mateo.) Now, Didi should be serving as an example to all underperforming players on how to completely transform your career. He’s gone from an after-thought, defense first placeholder to the most valuable player on the most important franchise in baseball.
Corey Seager: On the flip side, Corey Seager has struggled out of the gate. Before Opening Day this year you could ask anyone who follows baseball which shortstop they’d rather have on their team (fantasy or real) and the answer would have easily been Seager. Now you have some hesitation, huh?
Gregory Polanco: Two weeks ago Polanco found himself under the “rising” column of this series. Way back then I said, “Polanco’s .239 batting average isn’t fantastic.” Since that time, I’m now going to say “His .213 batting average isn’t acceptable.” He’s only scored 4 runs 1 HR and 1 RBI in that time. However, two weeks ago I also said “Polanco’s career batting average the past three years ranged from .251 to .258.” I still thinks he ends up there, but if not, chalk this up to yet another frustrating year for Polanco owners.
Guys I’m Cyclopsing:
Anthony Rizzo: Going into 2018 Rizzo was the most safely predictable player. His HR totals the past four years have been: 32, 31, 32, 32. His OPS had almost an equally small range: .913, .899, .928, .899. So far through 63 ABs he has 1 HR and a .510 OPS. Again in the last four years, his AB/HR has been 16.4, 18.9, 18.2 and 17.9. This year it’s 63 AB/HR obviously. Something isn’t right. Maybe Rizzo is nursing an injury and trying to be a good christian soldier and play through it? His hard hit percentage is down 5% from his career number. His walk rate is way down, but his strikeout rate isn’t too out of line with his career numbers. His 79% contact rate is only 1 percentage lower than his career. But here’s what I think is going on: that dreaded BABIP is rearing it’s ugly head. .204 this year compared to his career .285 line. Bad luck? Maybe. Maybe Rizzo just needs to summon Jobu to wake up his bats. Could be a good chance to buy low on Rizzo.
Tim Anderson: In the land of SAGNOF, the man with the the highest ADP is king. Of the top six stolen base leaders Anderson’s 228.6 ADP is the highest. In many ten team leagues he even probably went undrafted. It has already been well-documented that Tim Anderson went into this season saying he wanted to steal more bases. But if you couldn’t tell, I live by the Ruff Ryder Anthem motto of “talk is cheap mutha—–.” But Anderson has backed it up with 8 stolen bases. Maybe I should’ve taken that song and Tim Anderson more seriously. “Oh you think it’s funny | then you don’t know me, money.”
Mitch Haniger: Of the top 10 outfielders on the ESPN Player Rater, only one man had an ADP over 70. Only one man had an ADP over 100. Only one man had an ADP over 200. Only one man — okay you get the idea — his ADP was 229. Haniger is going to show up on a lot of league winning rosters this year — if he can stay healthy. Haniger has a fantastic 41.8% hard hit rate and a 47.8% FB rate. Among outfielders, Haniger is in elite company with his 9 HRs. Only player above him? Mike Trout with 10. The three players tied with 8 under him? Mookie Betts, Charlie Blackmon and Bryce Harper. If Haniger keeps this up (and I think he can and will) he’ll be a top-25 pick in 2019.
GREEN: Rising | BLUE: New Additions | RED: Falling
Top 100 Hitters:
Yell at me in the comments about our differing opinions!