2. Troy Tulowitzki
Although he no longer sports a mullet, Tulowitzki still seems to know how to play the game of baseball pretty well. Owners who drafted him late in the first or early second round knew they’d be getting a potential MVP at a position of scarcity, the only question with Tulo is whether his body will hold up over the course of the season.
So far the Rockies have been very careful with Tulo making sure he gets a day off every once in awhile and leaves the game if it gets out of hand one way or the other. Expect this trend to continue and embrace it. Tulo wil likely lose 50 plate attempts this year from the cautious approach, but if the Rockies are in the hunt come October Tulo will play more. And fantasy owners will be rewarded.
Tulowitzki is, naturally, the number one ranked fantasy shortstop in the league right now with an absurd .376 batting average, 24 runs scored, seven homers, and 22 RBIs – in 26 games. He’s walking on 18 percent of his plate appearances – up from 11 percent last year. He’s striking out less this year (12 percent down from nearly 17 percent last year) and his wRC+ of 225 is unsustainable and inhuman.
Tulowitzki’s BABIP will see a negative regression at some point (.373 currently) and the same goes for his HR/FB rate of 29.2 percent. But even with some regression, this might be the best overall player in baseball so take that with a grain of salt. It all comes down to health.
“Just please no more Tulo-nicked-skis…”
1. Charlie Blackmon
So Beard. Much wow. Simply put, this is the fantasy MVP so far, folks. This guy went undrafted in every standard league and a lot of 12 team leagues. Heck, this guy was fighting for a job on his own team in Spring Training. For savvy fantasy owners who picked up – or even drafted – Chuck Nazty, congratulations. Not only is he a great follow on Twitter, turns out he’s a great hitter too.
Blackmon’s batting .379 in 27 games with 22 runs, five home runs, 18 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He’s not only the No. 1 ranked fantasy outfielder – he’s the No. 1 ranked player in the entire sport according to ESPN’s player rater contributing heavily in all counting categories.
He’s walking more, striking out less, and hitting .365 on balls he puts in play. His wRC+ is a ridiculous 180 and he’s hitting nearly twice as many homers per fly ball as last year at 16 percent – by far a career high. His ground ball percentage is up too contributing to the batting average.
Blackmon is connecting more on pitches both inside and outside the strike zone, but is swinging at less pitches outside the strike zone. He’s crushing both lefties and righties at .417 and .366 respectively. His OPS is 1.046.
One thing to watch though is his playing time. Currently Blackmon only has 24 at bats against lefties compared to 71 at bats against righties. He’s certainly making the case for more playing time, but it looks as if Walt Weiss is going to keep playing the matchups which will curb Blackmon’s upside.
He’ll still score a lot of runs and steal close to 20 bases though. It’s just the home runs and RBIs that likely won’t sustain. But enjoy it while it lasts fantasy ballers, and sell high if you can.
“Keep calm and beard on.”