What’s up party people, hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend with the promise of baseball soon. We’ve been through some things, haven’t we? Not sure how this year’s July 4th BBQ will go down with social distancing, but could work out a bit (ever so slightly) in your favor. No one will be able to stand close enough to the grill to criticize your searing technique. That’s gotta count for something! Back at the end of February in the before times of the long-long ago, I gave you my pre-Spring Training first look at the Top 75 Outfielders for 2020 Fantasy Baseball. The world has since been torn asunder and we weren’t sure there was going to be any baseball season, let alone civilization. We screwed up the chocolate factory and the whole thing had to be washed and sterilized. Then, so shines a good deed in a weary world. We had a wonderful debate between owners and players about how to fund this season, for those who took a nap (or 80 in between), allow me to recap it for you:
Owners: No ABC, now DEF?
— Coolwhip?? (@CoolwhipRB) June 23, 2020
Owners: okay how about ABC?
Manfred: zzzz pic.twitter.com/yjZoIg3sYc
— Coolwhip?? (@CoolwhipRB) June 23, 2020
And that’s me quoting me, on twitter. Now that we’re caught up, let’s talk outfielders. A lot has changed over that time frame as some guys that were injured and due to miss time got better, Stanton *cough*, so though he was down the list earlier now he’s back up due to how long the hiatus was. Some that were fine got sick, Charlie Blackmon and Scott Kingery (likely). Some were injured and are still injured. Some are healthy and don’t want to get sick. And somehow Yasiel Puig still doesn’t have a job, yet feels closer to it. Hooray! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together—mass hysteria!
Here are some other outfielders I want to highlight for fantasy baseball in these wacky times:
Alex Verdugo – When we last left him he was reportedly dealing with a stress fracture in his back. And he’s back, not his back… err his back is back… him and his back are back to feeling back right as the season makes its way back. I think. You know what I mean! Don’t you? Chris Berman does! Anywho, Verdugo looks primed to be a solid contributor in this 60-game sprint as he should contribute both some power and speed while hitting for a plus average. That’s a big deal. With only 60 games, average won’t have much time to normalize so it’s good to have multi-cat guys that won’t stab your ratios in the back.
Victor Robles – I moved him up due to the mixed skills and the 20/30 season he nearly had which becomes so much more important this year. Those 28 steals were buoyed by 16 that came after the ASB being caught only 3 times in 70 games. Those types of wheels will take you places in a hurry. He is a young phenom I could see producing similar value to Starling Marte that likely came 3-4 rounds later. Damn! That little seal was right after all.
Austin Meadows – Last season before being injured Meadows put on show. In my post on April Powers Part 2, he was easily a top 20 player putting up a wRC+ of 186 and 193 in April and May respectively. Will he do it again this season? The first 2 months were magical for this Meadow, you could say the hills were alive with the music of his bat and could be again with the heat of summer now in play.
Charlie Blackmon – That’s a no from me, dog. His dual-threat appeal was already evaporating faster than the Purell bottle I left in my car. Now there’s a good chance he misses time thanks to COVID. A dark day for the Blackmon household, stuck in quarantine like a prisoner in his own home. Stay away Chuck! It puts the Purell on its skin or else it gets the hose again!
Joey Gallo – So he could totally be healthy by now. What concerns me is the opposite effect of Verdugo. Gallo won’t steal you any bases and on his way to being relevant with HRs he could have a regressive dip in average that could tank you in a hurry without much time combat it. So in an effort to win 1 category you just lost 3. You’re gonna have a bad time; you should have french-fried when you pizza’d.
Shin-Soo Choo – I’d keep an eye out for the Seoul Train. Historically he has always come out of the gate pretty strong and same with ending it. In a short season, there’s no middle to get worn down in, especially since he’s about to turn 38. I can’t quite decide yet if I’m in on him or out. In my commenter league, I was able to get him pretty cheap so I guess it’s all aboard–just hope I don’t see Ozzie.
Trent Grisham – He should probably be with “the Ins,” but the short season has me a little more on the fence. We all know there’s plenty to like: between AA and AAA last year his K/BB ratio was nearly 1/1, hit his way to .300 with .603 SLG, and collected 26 HR with 12 SB to boot. He likely won’t hit .300 on the big stage with Steamer projecting him to hit .246 this year; but, all he has to do is find a little hot streak and that could balloon to .270 and could pitch in 10 HR and 6 SB with it. Steals are about opportunity, and Grisham gets on base with a healthy walkrate of 15.2% in the upper levels. Trent is quite the Treat.
Sam Hilliard – My love for Sam is coming back thanks to Ian Desmond’s devotion to his family. He has done more for Sam’s career than Bud Black ever will. And I’m here for that, I just hope Buddy doesn’t notice (or do I?) ARGHHH!
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||ATL||OF||0|
|12||Ketel Marte||ARI||2B/SS/ OF||0|
|32||Hunter Dozier||KC||1B/3B/ OF||4|
|33||Cavan Biggio||TOR||1B/2B/ OF||-4|
|35||Jeff McNeil||NYM||2B/3B/ OF||-3|
|37||Danny Santana||TEX||1B/2B/ SS/3B/ OF||5|
|38||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||TOR||2B/OF||3|
|40||Whit Merrifield||KC||1B/2B/ OF||-9|
|44||Tommy Edman||STL||2B/3B/ OF||5|
|47||Brandon Lowe||TB||1B/2B/ OF||-2|
|49||Ian Happ||CHC||1B/2B/ 3B/OF||-1|
|56||Scott Kingery||PHI||2B/SS/ 3B/OF||-17|
|62||Austin Riley||ATL||1B/3B/ OF||9|
|63||Garrett Hampson||COL||2B/SS/ OF||1|
You can follow me on twitter @CoolwhipRB.