I rarely like to make too many movements in the Top 20 or so players, but this week I thought it was necessary. Last week saw me drop Paul Goldschmidt from 8th down to 21st and this week he tumbles a bit further down to 24. In the 4 games since my last top 100 article Goldy has gone 2 for 16 with two measly singles. He can get hot in a minute and rocket back up to the top 10 — but right now it’s disrespectful to the other players to place him in the top 10.
Jose Altuve’s slight fall is going to make a lot of people angry, but he’s just not doing enough with the bat or on the base paths to warrant a top 10 placement. I see the average over .300 but 2 HRs and 2 SBs isn’t cutting it. Just as a heads up — if you have a frustrated owner in your league who is willing to accept your offer of Jonathan Schoop and an OF2/OF3 for Altuve — make the offer now. Altuve is an avid Razzball reader and will be out to prove me wrong!
Two little Indians jumped up in my rankings: Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. They are ranked 6th and 5th respectively on ESPN’s Player Rater and earned their boost. A commenter last week pointed out how much better Lindor was performing than Carlos Correa and I that message was received loud and clear. Correa has been more lauded than Lindor, but I can’t deny Lindor is out-performing Correa so far this year. Ramirez on the other hand has statistics that compare favorably to fantasy baseball Gawd Mike Trout. Ramirez only has 6 less runs, the same amount of HRs, 5 more Rbi, 2 less steals and a higher average (even if only by .006.) With second and third base eligibility that screams top 10 talent to me. Soon.
Is this it? Is the fall-off that was foretold? A 36 year old hitting 40 HRs? That’s against God’s will! Well maybe. Cruz’s hard and medium contact rates are almost identical from last year, he’s hitting less line drives, but almost the same amount of fly balls. The only difference I see is that he’s pulling the ball more than he ever has in his career — but even that isn’t too huge of a difference. It seems to me like our old friend BABIP seems to be showing his face again. Cruz’s .247 BABIP as of right now is the lowest of his career since 2006. There should be some regression to Cruz’s mean coming — but until then — he falls a bit.
Buxton wasn’t on last week’s ranking due to his injury, but he started week 1 at number 43 on my top 100 list. I want Buxton to be in the top 10 of this list and hope one year he can get there — but he doesn’t seem capable just yet. He’s hitting 44% of his balls on the ground this year, but with his speed you’d think it wouldn’t matter too much. But he’s just not hitting the ball with much authority. He’s only got a 26.2% hard contact rate on the year. I’m a Buxton believer — you don’t get drafted that early and ranked that high for nothing — but he’s a mess right now unfortunately. Maybe he’ll have another second-half surge. I know this sounds random and is completely unscientific — but to me it always seems like Buxton is swinging a bat that weighs more than he does. He’s a slight 189 pounds and he’s swinging a tree branch up there that it looks like he has no control over.
Belt’s doing it — he’s really doing it! Since his debut in 2011 every single one of was saying “this is the year Belt breaks out!” But now it’s real — it’s really really real! Surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly if you’re fed up with Belt’s breakout teases) he’s already more than halfway to surpassing his career high HR total of 18 with 10 after homering in four straight games this week. If he keeps up this pace and doesn’t get hit by any pitches or line drives from his own teammates — he could have over 35 HRs and find a place as a top 10 first basemen finally. Not bad for a guy who everyone apparently had given up on as evidenced by his 225 ADP.
“Finishes with 100+ runs, 15 HR, 60 RBI, 30 SB, .300 AVG, .375 OBP and heads into 2019 as the second best second basemen….but then gets injured in May 2019 and misses all of next season. You asked for bold!” At the quarter-way point of the season — I have to say my bold prediction for 2018 seems on track! With 41 games played C-Hern has 30 runs, 5 HR, 14 RBI, 8 SB, a .271 AVG and a .384 OBP. He is actually third on ESPN’s Player Rater behind Jose Ramirez (who won’t have 2B eligibility next year) and Ozzie Albies. The only thing I hope doesn’t come true is the May 2019 injury part!
GREEN: Rising | BLUE: New Additions | RED: Falling
Top 100 Hitters
You might notice that it looks like many guys got boosts from their rankings last week — but that’s only due to players being removed from the rankings due to DL stints.