It had to happen eventually.
The first two weeks of the MLB season went by without any impact players being forced out of action for long amounts of time. Sure there we some injuries that put big-name players on the 10-day DL, and also there were some long-term injuries for lesser players, but we hadn’t had that first big one.
Well, the baseball gods decided that two weeks was enough. Almost immediately after last weeks 2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings article was through the editing process and ready to be published (and before the article was actually published), it was announced that Starling Marte had been suspended for 80 games due to the usage of performance enhancing drugs.
Then, on Friday, April 21 Madison Bumgarner got in a dirt bike accident and suffered injuries that could keep him out upwards of two months. To antasy owners, these two absences will sting a little bit extra due to the fact that each player had quite a bit of accountability in their respective incident. Either way, they are each phenomenal players in their own right and both baseball and Fantasy owners will miss watching them play while they are out.
Now, before we get into this weeks 2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings, lets go over some players (other than the two mentioned above) who have had their stock change in this past week.
2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings
Eric Thames, 1B, Milwaukee Brewers
After raking in the Korean Baseball Organization, Eric Thames decided to give the MLB another shot. He was considered as a high upside pick this year due to his production in the KBO league. Yet he carried risk due to his lack of success in his last MLB stint. I had mixed feelings on Thames, but still nabbed him in a couple of leagues. Anyone who believed in the upside is being rewarded right now.
Thames is currently slashing a ridiculous .373/.379/.881 with eight home runs, 14 RBI and 20 runs scored through 71 plate appearances. While he has to cool down eventually, I am fully sold on his ability to produce at the Major League level, and he should prove to be a very valuable player for Fantasy owners this season.
Eugenio Suarez, 3B, Cincinnati Reds
Suarez is a player who fell way under the radar in drafts this season. He quietly had a very good season last year, and was coming into the year as a young player with plenty of job security for the rebuilding Reds. They hoped that he could become their true third baseman of the future. So far, so good on this season for Suarez. He is slashing .367/.441/.773 with five home runs, 12 RBI and 14 runs scored through 68 plate appearances.
While the slash line will come down, and especially his average due to his .400 BABIP, he still could be a solid producer in that category. Although he only batted .248 last season, he hit .280 in the 2015 season in 372 at-bats. All in all, we could be looking at a guy who hits 25 home runs this year with a good amount of RBI and runs scored. In a Reds lineup featuring Joey Votto, Billy Hamilton and Jose Peraza, his BA should be in the.260-.270 range. Make sure Suarez isn’t on the waiver wire in your league, as he could climb his way even further up these rankings as he proves that his breakout is for real.
Mark Melancon, RP, San Francisco Giants
As a Giants fan, I was thrilled when we got Mark Melancon, a lock-down ninth inning guy. As a Fantasy player, I was thrilled to be able to have a chance to pick a great closer on a great team who plays in many close games. So far, however, things have not gone to plan. First off, Melancon hasn’t been amazing. While he has only pitched 4.2 innings, he is 3-for-4 on save chances with a 1.93 WHIP. I am not very worried about Melancon as a pitcher though. I am now worried about the Giants.
Following an embarrassing loss to the Rockies on Sunday, April 23, the Giants have the second-worst record in baseball (sorry Blue Jays). As a result of this, Melancon hasn’t been given as many save opportunities as expected in the early going.
With Madison Bumgarner now out for 2-plus months, the Giants morale might be at an all-time low in the dynasty era. While the Giants should be able to bounce-back somewhat and not be the worst team in the National League, I wouldn’t expect a playoff run, especially without even-year-magic on their side, and that would certainly effect Melancon.
2017 Rest-Of-The-Season Rankings
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