As the weather warms, baseball’s top hitters are beginning to heat up. The sun’s rays may shine brightly but the Tampa Bay Rays are shining brighter. The Rays lead all teams in HR so far this summer with 101 through 2 months; that’s more than triple the last-place Guardians and nearly as much as the bottom 3 teams combined. Hahaha. As Adam Smith said in his book The Theory of Moral Sentiments, “There is no happiness which equals the feeling of being truly loved by one’s fellow creatures or rostering the platoon of Luke Raley and Jose Siri on your fantasy team.” For us degenerates, that feeling of being loved often comes in the form of a monster home run by Christopher Morel as he is on pace for 60 HR, hahaha. Who knows – maybe he will continue to light up the summer sky just as brightly as the sun’s rays, or at least Tampa’s.
No stranger to the idea of regression Smith said, “The man who is conscious to himself that he has exactly observed those measures of conduct which experience informs him are generally agreeable, reflects with satisfaction on the propriety of his own behavior.” In other words, the best hitters in the game who stay true to themselves will get hot during the summer and their discipline will shine through their regressed BABIP. And with home runs already up around the league, this summer is bound to be a blast. Simultaneously, you don’t need all “good” hitters, just some Stars, a few Rays, and a few hot hitters. That’s the Morel of this story.
Christopher Morel – Over the last 2 weeks, Morel has hit .299 with 9 HR and 15 RBI… he went on an insane run of blasting 9 home runs in 12 games. He’s cooled off a bit recently, going 2 for his last 18 ABs with zero HR and zero counting stats. As I said in the last post, this was coming, but you are so far ahead in value at this point, you might as well wait out the cold spell and see if the heat reignites him.
Jorge Soler – Is anyone loving summer more than Soler? Unavoidable pun: Soler powered! 8 HR and 15 RBI over the last 2 weeks. Sizzling. The bouncy balls have helped him find his 40 HR power again.
Julio Rodriguez – Finally warming up after a cool spring, hitting .340 with 3 HR and 2 SB, including 20+ runs and RBI. This is what you paid for.
Jack Suwinski – Last Top 100 post I told you, “He’s got a lot of swing and miss, so he could be a streaky hitter all season. I’m keeping my eye on him. If he randomly has a multi-hit game it could be the start of another run.” Little did I know that his multi-hit games forthcoming would be multi-homer games. In the last week he’s had 2 multi-homer games twice, added a SB, and vaulted up the ranks again. He and Morel are cut from the same cloth.
Marcell Ozuna – Remember way back when, OZUNAmania, those were good times. Remember when he hit balls and not women? Seems like he doing more of the former now, and hopefully, none of the latter. He’s hitting .340 for 3 home runs in the last 2 weeks.
Michael Conforto – Does he qualify as a Zombino yet? Feels like he should be. 3 HR and 10 RBI while hitting .357 over the last 2 weeks. Seems like the summer air agrees with him. Warm, dry climates are good for the elderly. Intern just told me he’s only 30… wow, feels like he should be 36.
Jose Siri – Hitting .282 with 5 HR and 2 SB over the last 2 weeks as the weather has warmed up, and get ready. As I said at the beginning of the year, they thought they could get more power out of his swing when they acquired him. And since the Rays can’t do anything wrong with position players this year, I think he’s gonna pop off this summer.
Luke Raley – See what I said above. Raley already has 10 HR on the season, and since they attempt more steals than any other team under the new rules (why doesn’t everyone else try more?) of course he would have 6 SB over the last 2 weeks. I’ve joked around with several people but I absolutely mean it, this season is a competition to see how many Rays hitters you can roster. All-Stars and All-Rays is a winning strategy.
Willi Castro – A faceless man that’s been hot lately. 3 HR and 7 SB hitting over .300, yes you should be rostering him.
Akil Baddoo – Our favorite Rule-5 pick is back in the majors and swinging a hot bat. His struggles against LHP are well-documented; but, that shouldn’t stop you from riding his hot bat right now. Over the next week they are only slated to face one LHP. Yabba-dabba-baddoo!
Seiya Suzuki – Healthy again and hitting for power. Batting .342 with 4 HR over the last 2 weeks. Agree with Grey’s sentiment and my preseason assessment of him last year, when healthy he’s a solid producer.
Jake McCarthy – Recalled. 2-4 2 RBI, 2 SB last night, and 3 for 11 with 3 SB since rejoining the roster. You know what to do (if you haven’t already).
Lourdes Gurriel Jr – Hot Gurriel Summer. It took a bit for him to get going, but now he’s cooking with gas. Over the last 30 days he’s batting .368 with 8 HR, and 3 HR over the last 2 weeks. He’s back.
Rougned Odor – Has been piling up stats in the middle of the Padres lineup. Just when you are ready to forget about someone, they find a way… 3 HR, 2 SB, 10 RBI, batting .292 over the last week, and getting (seemingly) everyday ABs. Worth noting, he’s not OF eligible yet outside of Yahoo, but only needs 2 more starts.
Taylor Ward – Without a doubt he has struggled so far. Seems his biggest problem has been plate discipline which was hallmark of his last year. As of now, he’s losing a lot of playing time to Moniak. Worth noting Moniak is a LHB and profiles well for the Angels need of LHB even with Jared Walsh back on the roster. Neto’s defensive excellence has made Rengifo an afterthought and benchwarmer, so Moniak will likely fill the role of token Lefty not-named Ohtani for now.
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||OF||1||14.68|
|11||Fernando Tatis Jr.||SD||SS/OF||1||7.18|
|13||Luis Robert Jr.||CHW||OF||1||6.70|
|24||Jazz Chisholm Jr.||MIA||2B/OF||2||4.27|
|25||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||ARI||OF||2||4.20|
|58||Ji Hwan Bae||PIT||2B/OF||4||1.72|
|64||Bryan De La Cruz||MIA||OF||4||1.44|
|69||Michael Harris II||ATL||OF||4||1.02|
|70||LaMonte Wade Jr.||SF||1B/OF||4||1.01|
As always, the individual ranks (and to a degree the dollars) don’t really matter, what’s important are the tiers, and more important than that—your roster construction. Any outfielder not listed, consider them tier 5.
If you want more Coolwhip to top off your baseball experience, fantasy or otherwise, you can follow me on Twitter: @CoolwhipRB.