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Intro

This continues to be one of the more interesting seasons as we approach the end of April that I can remember. Between the calamity of keeping up with baseball injuries, coaching my son’s tee ball team, and watching Shogun, I find myself struggling to find time to take a deep breath and retreat into my inner quiet place. An eightfold fence if you will. What I want to talk about today is a pseudo deep dive rolled into the outfield update. Let’s talk about Esteury Ruiz. I assure you though, he is anything but peaceful waters and I’m a hot little potato that Kotsay at the moment is deploying him mostly against LHP in a shot-side platoon. A deep rage boils over inside me with this garbage timeshare.

We all saw how he was sent down to minors and just raked. Then, towards the end of last week Esteury hit a massive homerun in his first at-bat after being recalled, smoking it to the tune of 109.8 mph off the bat. Let’s just say it got my attention. You do a little digging and you see that he showed up to camp a bit more bulked up this season. Okay, now we’re talking—the speed demon added some get-me-over-the-fence strength. But not just that, his hitting looks and feels different. Check this out:

First, if that’s not “ball don’t lie” vibes, I don’t know what is. That homer was directly aimed at the front office. Esteury Ruiz has become Enmity Ruiz. But more than just full of spite, he appears to be a man on a mission. His plate presence just feels different. He looks like he’s commanding the zone with a lot more confidence. And after some digging, I discovered that he made some hitting adjustments.

He’s standing a little taller in the box now, less bent over. His base looks stronger and more cemented. More balanced. And perhaps the most obvious his chest/back is less constricted and more straight and firm which allows him get better rotational torque rather than competing with himself. What he was doing before allowed him to make contact but it prevented him from driving the ball with more power. It now seems like he’s trying to actively correct it.

And even more important still… he appears to be improving his plate discipline. Last year in nearly 500 plate appearances (at-bats + walks) Esteury Ruiz only collected 20 walks with 5 HR. In the very small sample of his 21 MLB plate appearances this season, he already has 3 BB (2 back-to-back last night) to go with 2 HR. If he can raise his OBP from the .309 in 2023 to somewhere in the .325+ range that would be a boon to his value in the form of runs. If this approach change sticks we’re looking at maybe 10-12 HR (like he flashed in the minors a earlier in his career) and 70 SB, yes please and thank you. The one barrier is that silly playing time. I grabbed him everywhere I could as I expect him to take the lion’s share of PT eventually. He seems to be putting it all together: power, speed, and plate discipline.

League Notes

Christian Yelich – was placed on the IL after feeling some tightness in his back. Me too bro. He’s elgible to come off the IL today (Tuesday) but there’s no indication out of MIL that he will return after the minimum. He always has battled back issues, and judging from past experience, his average stay on the IL due to this been roughly 16 days.  So I’d make sure to have your roster plans set to weather the rest of this week without him. I expect Blake Perkins to continue being the main beneficiary (at least) for one more week.

Tyler O’Neill – our favorite Canadian is coming off the IL finally to continue his fight against AL pitchers.

Aaron Judge – should be added to the IL, yikes.

Mike Trout – really out here trying to turn back the clock? He has 8 HR and 5 SB, Incredible stuff. It’s just a shame he doesn’t get any support. Wash just finally started making sense with the top 4 of the lineup this week. He probably won’t get the 5-6-7 hitters figured out until the All-star Break, but I digress. If Trout keeps this up he’ll play himself onto the IL.

Andy Pages – was called up to play a near-everyday role in the outfield for the Dodgers. I want just about anyone in the Dodgers’ lineup. There’s plenty to like about him and I’d also grab him where still possible for some easy counting stats.

Bryan De La Cruz – is on a tear. He is hitting the ball extremely hard at the moment, so enjoy the ride while you can. I see some regression in his future with a high K%, Chase% among other things.

Colton Cowser – now has 6 HR, 3 SB in the month of April. Outstanding. It’s so nice to see teams give good players PT regardless of age/contract.

Ryan O’Hearn – has continued where he left off last year attempting to prove to everyone that miracles do exist. It’s not every day you see a true, bonafide late-career breakout after age 30. Is this it? Still undecided, but looks to be trending that way. So far his K-rate is down, he’s driving the ball to center, and he’s hunting fastballs. So far everything under the hood looks pretty legit. He should be rostered until further notice.

Starling Marte – that Marte Zombino season appears to be in full swing now. So glad I rolled the dice with a couple teams. He looked healthy in winter ball, and has carried over those good vibes to this season. Believe it.

Mitch Haniger – continues to show himself as a early season glass cannon. He’ll probably get injured at some point, but he has a career of high-level hitting in April and then disappearing until after August. So for now, keep rolling or sell him before the clock strikes 12.

Lars Nootbaar – has been hitting well and collecting counters since rejoining the roster. I like him for some nice combo numbers in that lineup moving forward.

Davis Schneider – Schneider SZN is in full effect, do not panic. Please put all trays and chairs in the upright locked position and move towards the waiver wire in an orderly fashion.

Brent Rooker – He’s hitting homers in limited use, and somehow feels like he’s due for a hot streak.

The Board

If you need to brush-up on my board’s value system, refer to the preseason post here.

# Name Team POS Tier CW$
1 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL OF 1 16.58
2 Mookie Betts LAD 2B/SS/OF 1 12.85
3 Juan Soto NYY OF 1 11.72
4 Kyle Tucker HOU OF 1 11.24
5 Fernando Tatis Jr. SD OF 1 10.91
6 Julio Rodriguez SEA OF 1 10.59
7 Yordan Alvarez HOU OF 1 10.09
8 Corbin Carroll ARI OF 1 10.03
9 Mike Trout LAA OF 1 8.04
10 Aaron Judge NYY OF 1 8.02
11 Adolis Garcia TEX OF 1 7.53
12 Michael Harris II ATL OF 1 7.52
13 Cody Bellinger CHC 1B/OF 1 6.53
14 Spencer Steer CIN 1B/3B/ OF 1 5.86
15 Randy Arozarena TB OF 1 5.82
16 Christian Yelich MIL OF 1 5.11
17 Teoscar Hernandez LAD OF 1 5.11
18 Kyle Schwarber PHI OF 1 5.06
19 Jazz Chisholm Jr. MIA OF 2 4.87
20 Tyler O’Neill BOS OF 2 4.31
21 Jarren Duran BOS OF 2 4.26
22 Jackson Chourio MIL OF 2 4.14
23 Lane Thomas WSH OF 2 4.14
24 Taylor Ward LAA OF 2 4.06
25 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ARI OF 2 4.00
26 Bryan Reynolds PIT OF 2 3.92
27 Anthony Santander BAL OF 2 3.84
28 Steven Kwan CLE OF 2 3.76
29 Seiya Suzuki CHC OF 3 3.46
30 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF 3 3.22
31 Cedric Mullins BAL OF 3 3.06
32 Evan Carter TEX OF 3 3.04
33 Jorge Soler SF OF 3 3.01
34 Starling Marte NYM OF 3 3.00
35 Ian Happ CHC OF 3 2.96
36 Riley Greene DET OF 3 2.93
37 Christopher Morel CHC 3B/OF 3 2.91
38 Luis Robert Jr. CHW OF 3 2.86
39 Masataka Yoshida BOS OF 3 2.77
40 Daulton Varsho TOR OF 3 2.69
41 Wyatt Langford TEX OF 3 2.68
42 Jung Hoo Lee SF OF 4 2.00
43 Bryan De La Cruz MIA OF 4 1.86
44 Kerry Carpenter DET OF 4 1.83
45 Jordan Walker STL OF 4 1.82
46 James Outman LAD OF 4 1.82
47 Giancarlo Stanton NYY OF 4 1.60
48 George Springer TOR OF 4 1.50
49 Colton Cowser BAL OF 4 1.25
50 Jake Fraley CIN OF 4 1.10
51 Nelson Velazquez KC OF 4 1.09
52 MJ Melendez KC OF 4 1.09
53 Ryan O’Hearn BAL 1B/OF 4 1.07
54 Esteury Ruiz OAK OF 5 0.99
55 Jose Siri TB OF 5 0.93
56 Will Benson CIN OF 5 0.90
57 Nolan Jones COL OF 5 0.84
58 Jack Suwinski PIT OF 5 0.84
59 Michael Conforto SF OF 5 0.79
60 Lars Nootbaar STL OF 5 0.62
61 Sal Frelick MIL OF 5 0.54
62 Luis Rengifo LAA 2B/SS/ 3B/OF 5 0.31
63 Nick Castellanos PHI OF 5 0.21
64 Brendan Donovan STL 2B/OF 5 0.17
65 Brandon Marsh PHI OF 5 0.05
66 Brent Rooker OAK OF 5 0.04
67 Mitch Haniger SEA OF 5 0.01
68 Oswaldo Cabrera NYY 3B/OF 5 0.00
69 Brenton Doyle COL OF 5 -0.04
70 Jeff McNeil NYM 2B/OF 5 -0.12
71 Jackson Merrill SD SS/OF 5 -0.13
72 Jarred Kelenic ATL OF 5 -0.14
73 Chas McCormick HOU OF 5 -0.16
74 Charlie Blackmon COL OF 5 -0.20
75 Wilyer Abreu BOS OF 5 -0.30
76 Kris Bryant COL OF 5 -0.34
77 Andy Pages LAD OF 5 -0.36
78 Connor Joe PIT 1B/OF 5 -0.45
79 Byron Buxton MIN OF 5 -0.51
80 Max Kepler MIN OF 5 -0.54
81 Alex Kirilloff MIN 1B/OF 5 -0.61
82 Davis Schneider TOR 2B/OF 5 -0.66
83 Alex Verdugo NYY OF 5 -0.67
84 Leody Taveras TEX OF 5 -0.70
85 Jurickson Profar SD OF 5 -0.73
86 LaMonte Wade Jr. SF 1B/OF 5 -0.81
87 Joc Pederson ARI OF 5 -0.84
88 Ceddanne Rafaela BOS OF 5 -0.86
89 Mark Canha DET OF 5 -0.88
90 Andrew Benintendi CHW OF 5 -0.88
91 Henry Davis PIT C/OF 5 -0.97
92 Harrison Bader NYM OF 5 -1.11
93 Edward Olivares PIT OF 5 -1.19
94 Tyler Freeman CLE 3B/OF 5 -1.20
95 Johan Rojas PHI OF 5 -1.20
96 Ezequiel Duran TEX SS/3B/ OF 5 -1.39
97 Alek Thomas ARI OF 5 -1.41
98 Jesse Winker WSH OF 5 -1.58
99 Willi Castro MIN SS/3B/ OF 5 -1.59
100 Hunter Renfroe KC OF 5 -1.59

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. If your team is starving for steals, it doesn’t matter if Soler is worth more than Ruiz, your roster needs Ruiz more. Simple as that. 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.

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Daddy
Daddy
23 days ago

Outman is ranked pretty high here… seems hard to justify with the amount of at-bats he receives?

Stumanji!
Stumanji!
24 days ago

Every time I look at Jazz’s player card, I do a double take. How is he only owned in 62% of ESPN leagues? Do I own the wrong Jazz Chisolm? I mean he’s not a superstar but I’ll take him all day every day as my 4th OF.

mattdips
mattdips
24 days ago

Thanks Coolwhip! Shallow h2h keeper league, keep up to 3 years.
I have Springer, Langford, Duran. J Lowe sitting there on waivers.

Where will Lowe rank when he returns to the Rays lineup? And would you drop any of those OFs to grab him?

Chhh
Chhh
24 days ago

Two words for you:

Joey Loperfido.

Houston is skuttling and getting almost 0 production from 1B and Loper is destroying balls in AAA. He also has OF eligibility. Seems to me that when the Super 2 gets cut off, Loper is going to be in Houston.

Foxman
Foxman
24 days ago

CW
I trust Oakland to figure this out, quoting nobody ever.
Ruiz has certainly proven he’s an asset for fantasy baseball, but the same can’t be said for Wyatt Langford…..yet.
I want to believe that his first home run will get him going, but curious to hear your thoughts on the young man’s cold start.

It Burnes when I Imanaga
24 days ago

Yahoo, 10 team, 5×5 roto, daily lineups, seasonal 162 games played limit at offensive positions, 1500 innings pitched limit.

Current lineup:
Yanier
Nolan Jones
Westburg
Ke’Bryan
Bogaerts
IF – Steer
4 OF – Julio Rodriguez, Arozarena, Nimmo, Chourio
Util – K. Carpenter
BN – Albies (IL)
IL – Burger
NA – Jr. Caminero

2 SP – Skubal, Singer
2 RP – Hader, Philips
3 P – Suarez, Neris, Payamps
BN – Burnes, Imanaga, EdCab, Lodolo, Bryce Miller, Lugo, Keller
IL – deGrom, Buehler, Fairbanks
NA – Skenes

Was just offered Bryan Reynolds for my Robert Suarez.

Im currently in 4th, he is in 7th.
Im first in W and ERA, second in WHIP, 3rd in saves and Ks.
2nd in SB, dead last in HR and AVG9th in runs, middle of the pack in RBI.

Trade analyzer has Reynolds with a bit more value, but is he going to add enough to my team to make up for the elite closer production from Suarez?

Worth trying to get more? He is looking for a closer.

It Burnes when I Imanaga
Reply to  Coolwhip
24 days ago

I didn’t think it made sense…thanks!
His roster:
Salvy
Naylor
Hoerner
Machado
Lindor
IF – Turang
Schwarber, Judge, Lane Thomas, BryRey
Util – Tucker
BN – Hoo Lee, Oneil Cruz, hoskins, Elias Diaz, Chapman

2SP Weathers. Stroman
2RP King, Pepiot
3 P Mason Miller, J. Adam, Ryne Stanek
Bn – Stroman, S. Gray, Castillo,
IL – Darvish, Woo

Anything that does make sense to trade for?
Suarez for Machado unreasonable?
Other thoughts?

Thanks!

Hutch
Hutch
25 days ago

Tyler Freeman or Davis Schneider? Pages on Waivers…my only move is to drop Jordan Beck!

Don't be a Hader
Don't be a Hader
25 days ago

Based on Tiers, you like W. Benson, basically a platoon bat, over Nootbar, a 3-hole everyday player?

James Bishop
James Bishop
25 days ago

I know this is bottom feeding, but I’ve got Will Brennan rostered in a deep dynasty league, and Andrew Benintendi is available. I see some potential for a power-speed combo with Brennan, and I like the park. Any reason I should consider dropping him for Benintendi, who you have ranked while Brennan is not?

Braves123
Braves123
25 days ago

Esteury Ruiz is finally starting against a righty today. Is it a wait and see approach still and see if he gets consistent playing time or can we scoop him up now. Current of’s are Bryan reynolds, Tyler O’Neil, arozarena, and Varsho.

Braves123
Braves123
Reply to  Coolwhip
24 days ago

We don’t have a dh spot in our league but we have a utility which is occupied by Busch and bohm along with the four of’s. We can start one 3rd baseman, 3 of, one utility. Vlad is my first baseman.

Dong Show
Dong Show
25 days ago

I feel like I already know the answer to this, but the hell does one do with Buxton (this is a dynasty league)? He’s FINALLY healthy, but just not doing a damn thing. The whole reason you were appealing Bux, was because what would happen IF you stayed healthy! haha.

Jay
Jay
25 days ago

Why do you have outman so high? I want to hold onto him but he sits too often and outside one week he isn’t doing much against righties either.

Chucky
Chucky
25 days ago

30 games from now, if Carroll is still stinking up the joint, will you then drop him in your rankings? It hasn’t been a pretty beginning

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
25 days ago

Hi Coolwhip

Would appreciate your analysis of my OF.
Also, how do you decide who to start? I have a real problem on who to start. I do use the RAZZ dollars to decide. Any help on the appropriate criteria would be appreciated

LF: Lourdes Gurriel
CF: Jarran Durran (both LF andCF)
RF: Starling Marte

Bench: Chris Mullins (CF)
BDLG (LF and RF)
Ryan O’hearn who can play 1B

Do you see a need to upgrade?

thanks!

Martin

martinrostoker
martinrostoker
Reply to  Coolwhip
25 days ago

Great advice- I am in a daily league. does that change any of your thoughts?

really appreciate all this help!