After a weekend off, we return with our daily recap of the previous day’s top fantasy baseball stats.
It was a day of limited action and generally speaking, it belonged to the hitters, who take up all four of our countdown spots.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Stats MVP
Giancarlo Stanton — Miami Marlins
Giancarlo Stanton: June 16
What kind of season is Stanton looking at if this pace continues?
117 runs, 45 homers, 131 RBI, 12 steals, and a .301 average. If he gets anywhere near that, he’ll be our MVP a few more times and may end up as the NL MVP. He’s been around for a while but is only 24 and is finally staying healthy and putting everything together.
I also wouldn’t be looking for a sell high deal here. If you get a great one, at least think it over, but this pace is sustainable.
Daily Fantasy Baseball Stats Honorable Mentions
1. Omar Infante — Kansas City Royals
Omar Infante: June 16
Yet another hitter and team to take advantage of a slumping Justin Verlander. Seriously, folks, it’s time to trade this guy for what you can get. I thought the Royals might be a time he’d bolster his trade value against. Not to be.
As for Infante, his day unfortunately didn’t help many fantasy players, which is why it was easy to rank Stanton ahead of him. He doesn’t normally hit for much power but if you find yourself in a bind due to an injury or bad slump, you could do worse for a short term fix, especially if you’ve got enough power around him.
2. Kyle Seager — Seattle Mariners
Kyle Seager: June 16
Like Stanton, Seager was an across-the-board contributor on Monday and on a day with a shortened schedule, it’s hard to do that and stay off of the daily recap.
Seager’s been a little inconsistent of late, but he’s red-hot right now and has raised his batting average 18 points over the last three games. That’s getting it done.
3. Donnie Murphy — Texas Rangers
Donnie Murphy: June 16
If only Murphy was owned in a few more leagues, he might have gotten a higher spot. Still, he made life miserable for Drew Pomeranz and a great, hot, Oakland pitching staff.
I don’t know that Murphy will appear here a lot more, as he just doesn’t get enough playing time. But, while this game was in Oakland, as the Texas summer gets going, going, and going some more, we’ll be seeing plenty of Texas hitters and not too many pitchers. Then again, they do have Yu Darvish.
I woke up Monday morning, looked at my phone only to see the news that Tony Gwynn had passed away. I had to read it about three times on my phone and check it on my actual computer before I believed it. The news was just too shocking to be true and like everyone, I wish it wasn’t.
If you haven’t already, you’re certainly likely to see a lot of well deserved tributes to Gwynn over the next few days. Most of those will likely come from people that covered him, played with and/or against him, other people that knew him, and of course, Padres fans. I don’t fit into any of those groups.
But growing up during his prime as a fan of the Giants in the Bay Area, I did see an awful lot of Gwynn growing up. In 1998, I took a family vacation to San Diego. As a part of that trip, I went with my parents, my uncle, and one of my cousins to see the Padres play the Cardinals with hopes of seeing Mark McGwire hit a home run in his historic season. Sitting in the hotel elevator heading out for the game, my uncle looked at my cousin — who was then only nine — and said, “Danny, I know seeing McGwire is going to be fun. But we’re also going to see Tony Gwynn, who’s one of the best hitters of all time.”
As 13-year-old who’d been going to games since I was not even two months old, I was certainly well aware of how great Tony Gwynn was at that point of my life, but that stuck with me. When I think about that game now, I think of that over the home run that McGwire did hit that day.
I saw McGwire hit several home runs in his career, including that one in 1998. I saw Barry Bonds hit multiple home runs, several of those were in 2001. Yet when I get old and gray, I’ll be telling my grand kids that I saw Gwynn before I ever talk about Bonds or McGwire.
Many of the players people my age watched have had their accomplishments cheapened by PED use (confirmed or suspected), carried a generally unpleasant attitude for a lot of their careers, or both. Generally when a great athlete dies, his negatives aren’t ignored in the tributes, they’re just spun into positives. When it comes to Gwynn, I haven’t heard anything that can even be described as a backhanded compliment yet. In a world where it’s not hard to find negativity, I can only figure that it means the negatives just didn’t exist.
That made me think of one of my favorite poems, Alumnus Football by Grantland Rice. You’ve probably heard the final lines before, but they’re incredibly fitting in this situation.
For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name,
He writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the Game.
My sincerest condolences go out not only to the friends and family of Gwynn, but to baseball fans everywhere — specifically Padres fans. This is a tremendous blow for people everywhere as by all accounts, a genuinely good man is no longer here.
Tony Gwynn played “the Game”, every game, the right way. Rest in Peace.