The date was July 6, 2018. My debut with Razzball. Before that date, I was just a home-league fantasy expert with literally zero published articles when Mattruss gave me a shot at writing DFS. I’ve been honored to have just the opportunity to be affiliated with Razzball. Hell, my first official baseball card was created in my Razzball likeness (also my perfect form). But today, I announce my retirement. Hanging up the ole writing pants. What will I do with all my free time? Oh, you mean the hours of 10-11:30 pm when I finally had time to create content? I’ll reclaim my sleep. I’ve thought about picking back up Call of Duty, but I’m not sure that my fragile 38-year old ego can handle a 10-year old sh!tting on me. Perhaps I’ll pick up a book and read. But god, that sounds terrible. Enough about me, let’s get to baseball. Just like last week with third base, the list will be the top 25 for the rest of this season, but we’ll also do a look back at the biggest risers (wink) and fallers.

Rank Player Position Team +/- Original Rank
1 Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. 1B Blue Jays    –    8
2 Freddie Freeman 1B Braves    –    1
3 Jose Abreu 1B White Sox   +1    3
4 Paul Goldschmidt 1B Cardinals   +2    7
5 Pete Alonso 1B Mets   -2    5
6 Matt Olson 1B Athletics   -1    9
7 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B Dodgers    –    10
8 DJ LeMahieu 1B/2B/3B Yankees   +2    4
9 Joey Votto 1B Reds    –    NR
10 Luke Voit 1B Yankees   +1    6
11 Anthony Rizzo 1B Yankees   +2    11
12 Kris Bryant 1B/3B/OF Giants   -4   NR
13 Jared Walsh 1B/OF Angels   +6   21
14 J.T. Realmuto C/1B Phillies   NR   NR
15 Yuli Gurriel 1B Astros    –   22
16 Ryan Mountcastle 1B/OF Orioles   NR   19
17 Frank Schwindel 1B Cubs   NR   NR
18 C.J. Cron 1B Rockies   -2   NR
19 Ryan McMahon 1B/2B/3B Rockies   -2   NR
20 Josh Bell 1B Nationals   -2   12
21 Lourdes Gurriel 1B/OF Blue Jays   NR   NR
22 Ty France 1B/2B Mariners    –   NR
23 Jeimer Candelario 1B/3B Tigers   NR   NR
24 Nate Lowe 1B Rangers   NR   NR
25 Bobby Dalbec 1B Red Sox   NR   24

Before we talk about the booms/busts from the season, let’s briefly touch on a couple of the movers. I removed Trey Mancini from this list because he popped up as DTD with oblique soreness. If it comes out that he’s fine, he’d land around the 15 spot. I just don’t know why the Orioles would risk it, which is why I dropped him off the list. J.T. Realmuto and Lourdes Gurriel gained first base eligibility. That explains why they weren’t previously ranked.

The two big movers are Ryan Mountcastle and Frank Schwindel. Mountcastle was left off the last list because he was DTD with concussion symptoms. Since his return on August 17th, Mountcastle has crushed six homers and has an OPS of .943. As for Schwindel – the Schwinmeister, Schwinaramma, riding down the street on his Schwinn making all the ladies go Schwing – he’s super hot, mashing 11 homers while batting over .340 in 41 games. Schwindel is aggressive at the plate, which causes both his strikeouts and walks to remain low. My biggest concern is that you’re reliant on BABIP with that type of approach at the plate. Ride the streak while it’s here.

Looking back at the original rankings, I had just one player in the top 12 stink it up – Cody Bellinger. For reference, I missed on three third basemen in the top 12. I had Bellinger ranked second in my initial ranks and held on too long. Seriously, all of my teams with Bellinger pooped the bed because I was too stubborn. He had a mini resurgence in August, but if back to his stinky ways, batting just .105 over the last two weeks. After being scorned so hard on Bellinger, I’m not even sure where I’d expect to draft him next year.

There were three players that shot up this list – Joey Votto, Jared Walsh, and Yuli Gurriel. Let’s start with Votto. Thank god I wasn’t alone on an island in being out on the Reds’ first basemen, as he has an ADP of 251. What changed for Votto at the age of 38 that caused a resurgence? Well, the change actually started in 2020, when Votto started being more aggressive at the plate. In his previous seasons, he showed that he could draw a walk, but in 2020 and continuing in 2021, he used that knowledge of the strike zone to start driving pitches. Here’s the thing, Votto’s not the type of player that I want to reach on in his age-39 season. So unless he’s getting a senior discount, I’m not likely to have Votto on my teams next year.

The “Armchair QB” talk about Gurriel heading into the season was doubts caused by how much the banging trashcan helped the Astros’ slugger. While experts were giving a pass to the likes of Alex Bregman and George Springer, Gurriel was lasting on draft boards into the 200s. This year, he’s shown an increase in his walk rate, while keeping his strikeouts down, but what hasn’t returned is the power that he flashed in the 2019 season. If the power is going to remain absent, Gurriel becomes the type of player that I need to scheme for in a draft. In other words, if you’re light on power, I’m not looking to Gurriel. I’d be looking for a Jesus Aguilar.

Finally, we get to Jared Walsh, the legit, young breakout. Like Votto and Gurriel, Walsh was being drafted in the 200s, but maybe this is a player that more analysts should’ve been on. In 2020, Walsh mashed 11 homers in just 32 games. While that’s an aggressive pace, that could’ve been written off to small sample size, we should’ve noticed the 14% strikeout rate. This wasn’t a player that swung for the fences with every swing. It was a player that showed great plate discipline for a rookie. Heading into next year, I’ll be looking to draft Walsh towards the back-end of the top 100.

Goodnight and good luck.

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1 year ago

Your ratings always gave me a different perspective.Thanks for the help.

1 year ago

You’ll be missed always, not your picture tho, it scares me

1 year ago

Sorry to see you go, it’s been a great run!