It took a minute to get back here, but here we are. So much to talk about it. Where to begin, how about the home run chase? Aaron Judge is continuing his one-man wrecking crew. Easily the most home runs over the last month at 13, Kyle Schwarber has been sorta close at 10 but his slash line is much less impressive. Everyone else is bringing up the rear at 7 or less. It’s hilarious.

This trade deadline had everything! The Juan Soto Sweepstakes unfolded in an interesting yet kinda predictable way, really, only 4-5 teams even had a better’s shot at him, and 3 teams had a realistic shot. Soto, now a Padre, fortifies a lineup that really only needed one more good hitter to really be dangerous after Tatis comes back (could be rehabbing this weekend). And not only did they land the big fish, they also swiped Josh Bell and Brandon Drury. Wow. Now they are able to push Cronenworth down the lineup and it has nothing to do with him personally. They deep fam. The lineup they rolled out there last night was Profar, Soto, Machado, Bell, Crow, Drury, Alfaro, Grisham, Kim… and once Tatis comes back, whew, forget about it. Enough swooning about the team… the players!

Juan Soto – So yeah, his value increases quite a bit. I’m old enough to remember when he was competing for a batting title and leading the league in RBIs. The man has out-worldly plate discipline and eyes for reading pitches. And just thinking of the trio of Tatis, Soto, and Machado together gives me the feels. Juan Soto is back in good graces for production, and no reason to think plenty of runs and rbis won’t be coming down the pipe.

Josh Bell – Grey already hit on this some, so I’ll give you the short version. Josh Bell has become the hitter Hosmer wishes he still was. The homers haven’t been as plentiful for Bell but he has cut his K% down and is still driving the ball well. His HR/FB% is a bit below his career average despite his profile remaining very similar. A binge of homers on the way? I wouldn’t be surprised, and coming in an environment for more counting stats is tasty.

Brandon Drury – Still hitting. Last time we met here, I had this to say about him: “Drury is easily in the midst of his best season to date at age 29 (shocker! younger than I thought he was). So far he is posting career bests in nearly all statistical categories: avgEV, maxEV, Hardhit%, xBA, and xSLG… and his 2nd best BB%” Most of those things are still close to career highs but the standout in his profile is an 11.2% barrel rate. What’s more, he hasn’t targeted just one pitch as he’s hitting both fastballs and change-ups well; despite getting picked on by sliders, he’s still muscled 4 of them over the fence.

Cedric Mullins – This has not been the follow-up campaign everyone had hoped for. Turns out when you start making a name for yourself, the league notices. Since 2020 he’s gone from seeing just 8% sliders now up to 16%. And he’s definitely struggled against that pitch the most. This year his barrel% and hardhit% have cratered, and thus, his SLG and HR production has as well.

Whit Merrifield – I am not sure yet what to make of the trade to Toronto. Like befuddled. Sounds like the GM had no plan yet as to whether he’d get vaxxed or exempt to play home games. Absolutely bananas, it’s like they did zero homework. Assuming he can play, the move looks good for his value putting him in a lineup he can hide in and probably get a few more fastballs. He probably slots in at 2B and takes some ABs from infielder Espino. Runs to be had.

Julio Rodriguez / Mike Trout – These 2 have injuries of unknown significance. Trout is now diagnosed with a chronic back condition so no telling how much longer it takes for the inflammation to subside. Not nearly as bad as the chronic back pain Shohei is gonna have the rest of the season carrying the team to every win they can muster like last year, ugh I a drink. Likewise, JRod was struck on the hand by a pitch and, while the X-Ray came back negative, there’s no news yet on how long he’ll be out. They are laying at least 5 days before they do anything about it.

Ian Happ – Surprisingly, he was one of the “lucky” players who did not get moved. Ian has had a nice rebound season this year. And though he’s benefited from a little luck in AVG, he’s also been cheated out of some home run power. There could be a slight correction coming as we finish the season.

Andrew Benintendi – Another vax mystery. Could he travel to play the division rival? No one knows yet. That aside, his value definitely rose going from Kaufman Stadium (one of the worst) to Yankeeland. If he sticks at the top of the lineup, oh baby. (1 leadoff, 1 5-hole).

Michael Harris II – He has been a nice surprise. I wanted to see him come the other way in the Iglesias deal, but, sigh. After vaulting through the minors he came on the scene and has shown both power and speed. What’s concerning so far is the 3.7% walk rate and the 25% K rate. His nice average so far with that split looks like it should fall soon, but if he continues as a 5-ish tool contributor it’s worth the risk.

Steven Kwan – After a blazing hot start, he’s cooled off some but continues to provide hits and runs. An interesting wrinkle that has developed over the last few weeks: steals. What if I told you he has more steals than Starling Marte and Leody Taveras since July 15? A 70-hit tool plus speed? LFG!

Matt Carpenter / Luis Rengifo – Two guys that have come out of nowhere to be relevant down the stretch. Carp for his power, has rediscovered his power and owns a ridiculous .473 ISO over his 42 games of action. That absolutely cannot be sustainable I don’t care how magnificent his stache is. The good news is he’s cut his K-rate and is driving the ball as good as he ever has. The 34.9% HR/FB rate is definitely going to come down as he’s never had a season above 20%.  Rengifo on the other hand looks every bit the better hitter than when we last saw him, and continued growth at that. He’s cut his K% by 4 for 2 years running now: 24, 20, now 16. And in turn with better contact, his SLG has grown accordingly too.

Jose Siri – He’s not on here (yet), because who knows what the Rays will do (yet); BUT, as Itch and I were talking about the trade… the Rays definitely have a type they like for CF, and Siri fits that to a T. We could certainly see him getting everyday-ish ABs there and the staff coaching him up to contribute in the 5(ish) tool variety. Hey Siri, remind me to claim you off waivers.

The Board

Rank Name Team POS CWT CW$
1 Aaron Judge NYY OF 1 11.03
2 Juan Soto SD OF 1 8.54
3 Ronald Acuna Jr. ATL OF 1 7.90
4 Yordan Alvarez HOU OF 1 7.59
5 Mookie Betts LAD 2B/OF 1 7.39
6 Kyle Tucker HOU OF 1 6.52
7 Luis Robert CHW OF 1 6.34
8 Teoscar Hernandez TOR OF 1 6.30
9 Starling Marte NYM OF 1 5.91
10 Byron Buxton MIN OF 1 5.50
11 Eloy Jimenez CHW OF 2 4.76
12 George Springer TOR OF 2 4.70
13 Seiya Suzuki CHC OF 2 4.69
14 Randy Arozarena TB OF 2 4.63
15 Kyle Schwarber PHI 1B/OF 2 4.61
16 Hunter Renfroe MIL OF 2 4.39
17 Adolis Garcia TEX OF 2 3.72
18 Julio Rodriguez SEA OF 2 3.65
19 Mike Trout LAA OF 2 3.59
20 Ketel Marte ARI 2B/OF 3 3.50
21 Giancarlo Stanton NYY OF 3 3.49
22 Whit Merrifield TOR 2B/OF 3 3.21
23 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. TOR 1B/OF 3 2.96
24 Brandon Drury SD 2B/3B/OF 3 2.95
25 Brandon Lowe TB 2B/OF 3 2.85
26 Cedric Mullins BAL OF 3 2.83
27 Amed Rosario CLE SS/OF 3 2.74
28 Josh Bell SD 1B/OF 3 2.70
29 Daulton Varsho ARI C/OF 3 2.68
30 Nick Castellanos PHI OF 3 2.66
31 Christian Yelich MIL OF 3 2.56
32 Anthony Santander BAL OF 3 2.55
33 Matt Carpenter NYY 1B/2B/3B/OF 3 2.53
34 Luis Rengifo LAA 2B/SS/3B/OF 3 2.52
35 Ryan Mountcastle BAL 1B/OF 3 2.52
36 Ramon Laureano OAK OF 3 2.51
37 Andrew Vaughn LAA OF 4 2.35
38 Tommy Edman STL 2B/SS/OF 4 2.24
39 Charlie Blackmon COL OF 4 2.19
40 Josh Rojas ARI 2B/SS/3B/OF 4 2.16
41 Brandon Nimmo NYM OF 4 2.14
42 Ian Happ CHC OF 4 2.12
43 J.D. Martinez BOS OF 4 2.11
44 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B/OF 4 2.10
45 Alex Verdugo BOS OF 4 2.06
46 Bryan Reynolds PIT OF 4 1.88
47 Dylan Carlson STL OF 4 1.83
48 Andrew Benintendi NYY OF 4 1.78
49 Christopher Morel CHC 2B/OF 4 1.73
50 Michael Harris II ATL OF 4 1.63
51 Tyler O’Neill STL OF 4 1.53
52 Josh Naylor CLE 1B/OF 4 1.53
53 Steven Kwan CLE OF 4 1.51
54 Trent Grisham SD OF 4 1.49
55 Avisail Garcia MIA OF 4 1.46
56 Jared Walsh LAA 1B/OF 4 1.34
57 Marcell Ozuna ATL OF 4 1.28
58 Kris Bryant COL 1B/3B/OF 4 1.27
59 Gavin Lux LAD 2B/SS/OF 4 1.21
60 Jake McCarthy ARI OF 4 1.18
61 Randal Grichuk COL OF 4 1.09
62 Andrew McCutchen MIL OF 5 0.96
63 Austin Slater SF OF 5 0.94
64 Eddie Rosario ATL OF 5 0.73
65 Seth Brown OAK 1B/OF 4 0.68
66 Austin Hays BAL OF 5 0.54
67 Raimel Tapia TOR OF 5 0.50
68 Mark Canha NYM OF 5 0.43
69 Joey Gallo LAD OF 5 0.38
70 Aledmys Diaz HOU 1B/2B/ SS/3B/OF 5 0.35
71 AJ Pollock CHW OF 5 0.32
72 Jesse Winker SEA OF 5 0.28
73 Jurickson Profar SD 1B/2B/OF 5 0.19
74 Riley Greene DET OF 5 0.14
75 Patrick Wisdom CHC 1B/3B/OF 5 0.08
76 Luis Arraez MIN 1B/2B/3B/OF 5 0.06
77 Jorge Mateo BAL 2B/SS/OF 5 0.05
78 Adam Frazier SEA 2B/OF 5 0.05
79 Tommy Pham BOS OF 5 0.03
80 Myles Straw CLE OF 5 -0.05
81 Jesus Sanchez MIA OF 5 -0.16
82 Taylor Ward LAA OF 5 -0.23
83 Eric Haase DET C/OF 5 -0.26
84 Alek Thomas ARI OF 5 -0.26
85 Jeff McNeil NYM 2B/OF 5 -0.30
86 Leody Taveras TEX OF 5 -0.48
87 Trey Mancini HOU 1B/OF 5 -0.52
88 Aaron Hicks NYY OF 5 -0.57
89 Victor Robles WSH OF 5 -0.59
90 Connor Joe COL 1B/OF 5 -0.65
91 Brandon Marsh PHI OF 5 -0.72
92 Mike Yastrzemski SF OF 5 -0.82
93 Chad Pinder OAK 2B/SS/OF 5 -0.83
94 Josh Harrison CHW 2B/SS/3B/OF 5 -0.85
95 Thairo Estrada SF 2B/SS/OF 5 -0.87
96 Jorge Alfaro SD C/OF 5 -0.87
97 Hunter Dozier KC 1B/3B/OF 5 -0.88
98 Trayce Thompson LAD OF 5 -0.91
99 Nick Senzel CIN 2B/OF 5 -0.96
100 David Peralta TB OF 5 -0.97

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 now—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.

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4 days ago

Bryan Reynolds is way too low

5 days ago

thoughts on where Harper fits in? Nootbaar?