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MLB 1B Leaders in wRC+
**1) Brandon Belt – 167**
2) Freddie Freeman – 166
3) Joey Votto – 138
4) Eric Hosmer – 137
9) Cody Bellinger – 118
16) Paul Goldschmidt – 99
21) Anthony Rizzo – 89
— Ahmed Fareed (@FareedNBCS) May 16, 2018
- Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants: Belt has never hit more than 18 HRs in a MLB season. Well, he already has eight bombs in 39 games this year, which puts him on a pace to possibly reach the 30-HR plateau. Will he get there? Probably not, but he does seem to be in the middle of a career season in HRs and RBI, and even his AVG is the highest we have seen since 2013. He still screams sell high to me if I can find someone who believes this will continue.
- Mark Trumbo, Baltimore Orioles: Trumbo missed the beginning of the season due to a quadriceps injury but has returned with a vengeance, batting .327 in 13 games. He only has one HR in those games, but sometimes the power is the last thing to return to a hitter after an absence. The most important skill for me is his batting eye and that seems to be there. Trumbo will hit his share of HRs and he could be a solid source of power that may still be available on your waiver wire.
- Jorge Soler, Kansas City Royals: Are we finally seeing the breakout season for Soler? I want to believe, I truly do, but this is the same player who batted .144 in 35 games last season and .238 in 86 games the year before. Still, he’s an OF and there is never enough of those. The problem is there is little doubt that is AVG will drop from it’s current .316 perch and playing his home games in KC will limit his power potential. I’m selling if the price is right.
- Matt Adams, Washington Nationals: Adams has seven HRs in his last 14 games but has also gone six games without a long ball and his batting .208 in his last seven games. So, which player do you think he is? Perhaps a combination of both. The bigger question might be what happens once Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy return from injuries. The Nats seem to have quite a few DH/LF types and Adams is a defensive liability no matter where you play him. If he gets on another hot streak, I would move him ASAP.
- Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians: Sure, coming into the season there was legitimate worry about Brantley and his shoulder. When healthy, Brantley produces. A 20 HR, 15 SB season, and a .300-plus AVG is certainly not out of the question, but how many games will he play? When does the injury happen? There is certainly risk here, but I’m a believer. I’ll deal with the injury if and when it happens.
- Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: Yes, we all know that his current AVG is .232, we don’t need everyone to keep reminding us. Could he be feeling the pressure of his free agent status? Sure, but the problem likely lies in that he is chasing pitches he normally wouldn’t as opposing teams/pitchers have seemingly decided to not let him beat them. What are you going to do? If some owner doesn’t have the patience to ride it out, you should pounce.
- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals: Carpenter has been terrible this season. He is currently batting .140. He only has three hits in his last 14 games. He’s batting .128 over his last 30 games. The Cardinals finally dropped him to seventh in the batting order Wednesday, but that is unlikely to solve the problem. What will? Dropping him from your Fantasy roster.
- Starlin Castro, Miami Marlins: Castro is on this list because one has to wonder if he will be on the Mariners’ radar after the 80-game suspension to Robinson Cano. It always seemed unlikely that Castro would finish the season with Miami after being acquired by the club in the GiancarloStanton Castro does have value and that would increase if he is dealt to a better team, but he is slumping now so if a deal is to happen, the sooner the better.
- Aaron Hicks, New York Yankees: How much longer will manager Aaron Boone have patience with Hicks? Sure, at 6’1”, 202 lbs., with a rocket for an arm and the ability to bat from both sides of the plate, he does look the part of a Major League ballplayer, but he has failed in the past and may be doing so again. The Yankees recalled Clint Frazier Frazier has missed all the season so far due to a concussion but is healthy now and was tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A. Frazier is still considered to be a top prospect for the Yankees and if he starts to hit, it could be at the expense of Hicks.
- Yu Darvish, Chicago Cubs: Are the Cubs already regretting the long-term contract they doled out to Darvish this off-season? It’s a small sample size, but in seven starts this season Darvish has only gone six innings twice, both versus Milwaukee. He’s dealt with the flu and then had to leave his start early Tuesday due to cramping in his calf. I’ll preach patience here, but the concern level is rising.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.
Mark Trumbo Featured Image: (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)