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Ryan Boyer

Hot Hitter Rundown

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Hot Hitter Rundown

Monday, September 10, 2018


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You should always have the big picture in mind when it comes to your season-long fantasy baseball leagues. Putting too much stock in a small sample size might cause you to make a decision that hurts you in the long run. That said, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taking stock of what’s happened in the immediate past. It can be useful when it comes to weekly or especially daily lineup decisions, waiver wire considerations, tracking who might be coming into more playing time, etc.

 

The Rotoworld Player Rater is a handy tool that’s among the extensive offerings in Season Pass. Each week, I’ll be using the Player Rater to look at the hottest hitters, position by position, over the last week, and providing commentary.

 

*The following data is based on 5x5 Roto scoring and covers games played from September 3-9.

 

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Catcher

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Kurt Suzuki
ATL
C
2.73082
2.00987
-0.42162
0.65573
0.48261
0.17040
5.63
#2
Willians Astudillo
MIN
C
1.59905
0.49230
-0.42162
0.89273
-0.08525
0.59133
3.07
#3
J.T. Realmuto
MIA
C
1.59905
-0.01356
-0.42162
0.35815
0.48261
0.72824
2.73
#4
Chris Iannetta
COL
C
0.46727
-0.51942
-0.42162
1.34919
0.48261
1.30724
2.67
#5
Francisco Mejia
SD
C
1.59905
0.99815
-0.42162
0.19927
0.48261
-0.23446
2.62
#6
Victor Caratini
CHC
C
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
0.63554
0.48261
0.12780
2.29
#7
Yadier Molina
STL
C
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
0.61535
-0.08525
0.55403
2.13
#8
Nick Ciuffo
TB
C
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
0.49685
-0.08525
0.42415
1.88
#9
Roberto Perez
CLE
C
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
0.17908
-0.08525
0.48477
1.62
#10
Austin Hedges
SD
C
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
0.35815
-0.65312
0.14911
.90

 

Kurt Suzuki made four starts last week, homering in three of them and driving in a run in all four (he also drove in an additional run off the bench). Just one of those dingers came off a southpaw, but he’s crushing lefties for the second year in a row with a .506 slugging percentage and .836 OPS after an absurd 1.191 OPS last season. Suzuki’s 39.6 percent hard-hit rate in 2018 is easily the highest mark of his career … Willans Astudillo has developed a bit of a cult following because of his unique profile and stocky build. He’s started to produce lately, too, with home runs in three of his last four starts, including a walk-off two-run blast Sunday versus the Royals. Unfortunately, Astudillo just isn’t playing much, with two starts last week and two the week before that. Perhaps that will change now that he’s heating up, but for now he’s best off left on the waiver wire … Francisco Mejia made quite a first impression in his first start with the Padres last Thursday, going deep twice and driving in four runs. It earned him a move from the No. 7 spot to the No. 2 spot Friday, but he was then on the bench Saturday and Sunday in favor of Austin Hedges. The two backstops will continue to split playing time evenly in the final weeks, limiting Mejia’s upside. However, with the bar at catcher being so low, Mejia is easily worth owning in two-catcher leagues and deeper one-catcher formats even with a less than ideal playing time situation …

 

First Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Eric Hosmer
SD
1B
2.73082
2.00987
-0.42162
0.53723
2.75407
0.68516
8.30
#2
Paul Goldschmidt
ARZ
1B
1.59905
0.99815
-0.42162
1.54846
2.18621
2.16820
8.08
#3
Carlos Santana
PHI
1B
2.73082
1.50401
-0.42162
1.13238
1.61834
1.05112
7.62
#4
Yuli Gurriel
HOU
1B
1.59905
2.00987
-0.42162
0.97350
1.61834
0.23430
6.01
#5
Joey Votto
CIN
1B
1.59905
2.51573
-0.42162
0.69612
-0.08525
1.52143
5.83
#6
Rowdy Tellez
TOR
1B
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
2.10323
0.48261
1.52415
5.15
#7
Ryan O'Hearn
KC
1B
1.59905
0.99815
-0.42162
1.09200
-0.08525
1.67543
4.86
#8
Freddie Freeman
ATL
1B
0.46727
-0.01356
1.28778
0.99369
1.05048
0.90740
4.69
#9
Anthony Rizzo
CHC
1B
0.46727
0.49230
-0.42162
1.52827
0.48261
1.77399
4.32
#10
Luke Voit
NYY
1B
1.59905
0.49230
-0.42162
0.83481
0.48261
0.24496
3.23

 

Apparently a trip to Great American Ball Park was just what the doctor ordered for Eric Hosmer. The first baseman had been in an 8-for-53 (.151) slump over his previous 14 contests before going deep in three straight games over the weekend. Hosmer’s season is going to be a disappointment even if he has a strong finishing kick. He’s taken his groundball-hitting ways to another level this season with a 59.7 percent rate that’s the second-highest mark in the majors behind Ian DesmondCarlos Santana is in the midst of an 11-game hitting streak and has homered in three of his last five tilts and five of his last 13 contests. He’s also started three of the last four games at third base and has played there five times overall this season, putting him halfway to gaining eligibility there in Yahoo leagues. However, he might not get there with Maikel Franco (wrist) on the mend … Rowdy Tellez is off to an 8-for-18 start at the dish with the Blue Jays and has started four straight games, including the last three in the No. 5 spot in the lineup. His playing time has come at the expense of both Kendrys Morales and Justin Smoak. Tellez isn’t going to start versus lefties and will have to stay hot in order to remain in the lineup against righties. The 23-year-old’s prospect status has taken a dip the last couple years, but he has enough bat to be relevant in deep leagues while he’s playing … Ryan O’Hearn has popped nine longballs over his first 109 major league plate appearances, which included his first two-homer game at the beginning of last week. The hot start has meant him batting in the heart of the Royals’ order. O’Hearn has never been considered much of a prospect even though he’s hit for power and drawn walks consistently in the minors. Those two skills have carried over so far in the majors and he’s also sporting a blistering 50 percent hard-hit rate …

 

Second Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Jonathan Villar
BAL
2B
0.46727
1.50401
4.70658
2.12342
1.05048
1.93614
11.79
#2
DJ LeMahieu
COL
2B
0.46727
0.99815
1.28778
2.42100
1.61834
2.13090
8.92
#3
Adam Frazier
PIT
2B
0.46727
0.49230
-0.42162
2.24192
2.18621
1.67543
6.64
#4
David Fletcher
LAA
2B
-0.66450
-0.01356
1.28778
1.56865
2.75407
1.09316
6.03
#5
Jeff McNeil
NYM
2B
-0.66450
-0.01356
-0.42162
2.55969
2.18621
2.02415
5.67
#6
Niko Goodrum
DET
2B
0.46727
-0.51942
2.99718
0.51704
1.05048
1.03498
5.55
#7
Jason Kipnis
CLE
2B
0.46727
2.51573
1.28778
0.25985
0.48261
0.24496
5.26
#8
Asdrubal Cabrera
PHI
2B
1.59905
2.00987
-0.42162
0.83481
0.48261
0.56845
5.07
#9
Cesar Hernandez
PHI
2B
-0.66450
2.00987
1.28778
1.82584
-1.22098
1.76013
5.00
#10
Alen Hanson
SF
2B
1.59905
0.49230
1.28778
0.77423
-0.08525
0.29296
4.36

 

David Fletcher has settled in as the Angels’ everyday second baseman and hasn’t batted lower than second in their lineup in nearly a month. The 24-year-old is batting .323 over his last 24 games, but he hasn’t gone deep and has just two steals over that stretch. The lack of power is no surprise, but Fletcher could swipe a few bags and hit for a decent-enough average to continue being relevant in AL-only formats … He hasn’t been showing a lot of extra-base pop, but Jeff McNeil is sporting a robust .421 average across his last 22 tilts. He’s locked down the Mets’ second base gig during that span. McNeil was a .311 hitter in the minors and his ability to avoid strikeouts has carried over to the majors with just 15 whiffs over his first 164 plate appearances. I’m not sure what he’ll offer in the way of counting stats, but the average doesn’t look fluky … The Indians went out and acquired Josh Donaldson in part because of Jason Kipnis’ disappointing campaign, but Kipnis is hitting the ball as well as he has all season of late with a .348/.404/.696 line, four home runs, 15 RBI and two stolen bases over his last 13 contests. He’ll be making the move out to center field soon with Donaldson set to be activated Tuesday and will probably play a little less than he’s used to … Alen Hanson hasn’t played as much this month as I thought he might, but he’s made the most of his four starts with a couple dingers and a stolen base. He has the ability to be an asset in the steals department down the stretch if he can get a little more playing time …

 

Third Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Alex Bregman
HOU
3B
2.73082
3.52744
-0.42162
2.83707
2.18621
3.09520
13.96
#2
Adrian Beltre
TEX
3B
3.86259
2.51573
-0.42162
2.12342
1.61834
1.68473
11.38
#3
Johan Camargo
ATL
3B
2.73082
1.50401
-0.42162
1.29127
2.18621
1.89083
9.18
#4
Anthony Rendon
WAS
3B
0.46727
1.50401
1.28778
2.00492
2.18621
1.43335
8.88
#5
Justin Turner
LA
3B
1.59905
0.49230
-0.42162
1.27108
1.61834
1.19325
5.75
#6
Jeimer Candelario
DET
3B
1.59905
0.99815
-0.42162
0.99369
1.61834
0.90740
5.70
#7
Renato Nunez
BAL
3B
1.59905
0.49230
-0.42162
0.97350
1.05048
0.05850
3.75
#8
David Freese
LA
3B
0.46727
0.49230
-0.42162
1.34919
0.48261
1.30724
3.68
#9
Matt Chapman
OAK
3B
-0.66450
2.00987
-0.42162
0.69612
0.48261
0.41790
2.52
#10
Matt Duffy
TB
3B
-0.66450
1.50401
-0.42162
0.53723
0.48261
0.96206
2.40

 

Alex Bregman has sat at the top of this list two weeks in a row and he ranked sixth in each of the two weeks prior to that. Over the last 30 days, only Ronald Acuna has produced more fantasy value among hitters. Since the beginning of June, Bregman has batted an utterly ridiculous .323/.415/.655 with 25 home runs, 31 doubles, 74 RBI, 70 runs and four stolen bases across 84 games. He’s played his way into first-round consideration in fantasy leagues next year, especially since he will retain shortstop eligibility … It wasn’t that long ago that it looked like a recurring hamstring issue would effectively end Adrian Beltre’s season. The injury has been part of the season he’s been used in the designated hitter spot rather than third base more lately, but it certainly doesn’t appear to have affected him at the plate this month, as Beltre is sporting a 1.324 OPS with five home runs and eight RBI over his first eight games. The 39-year-old nearly doubled his season home run total during the span. Beltre is suddenly worth owning again in mixed leagues … Jeimer Candelario got off to an excellent start this season with a .275/.367/.526 batting line and eight home runs over his first two months. He’s had a rough go of it since then with a .202/.286/.342 line, watching his strikeout rate go from 22.4 percent to 28 percent. Candelario has remained the Tigers’ leadoff hitter over the last month despite his struggles, and he responded with back-to-back three-hit games with a home run over the weekend, with one of those longballs being a walk-off shot against flamethrower Jordan Hicks … The Orioles have given Renato Nunez an opportunity since the beginning of August to be their regular third baseman and he’s done a solid-enough job with a .274/.348/.427 line and four home runs during that stretch. Two of the bombs came last week and he also had three multi-hit efforts. However, the 24-year-old has regressed in the power department this season after back-to-back 30-homer seasons in the minors in 2016 and 2017, and he’s posted an embarrassing 26.7 percent hard-hit rate so far in the majors …

 

Shortstop

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Trevor Story
COL
SS
4.99436
3.52744
4.70658
0.69612
1.61834
0.08684
15.63
#2
Francisco Lindor
CLE
SS
4.99436
2.51573
1.28778
1.17277
2.75407
0.51722
13.24
#3
Xander Bogaerts
BOS
SS
1.59905
2.51573
-0.42162
2.97577
-0.08525
2.85013
9.43
#4
Trea Turner
WAS
SS
0.46727
1.50401
2.99718
-0.01754
2.75407
0.97517
8.68
#5
Jose Peraza
CIN
SS
0.46727
2.00987
-0.42162
2.28231
1.05048
1.44959
6.84
#6
Adalberto Mondesi
KC
SS
0.46727
-0.01356
2.99718
0.67592
1.61834
0.53266
6.28
#7
Andrelton Simmons
LAA
SS
1.59905
1.50401
1.28778
0.97350
0.48261
0.40247
6.25
#8
Aledmys Diaz
TOR
SS
0.46727
2.00987
-0.42162
1.84604
0.48261
1.19325
5.58
#9
Amed Rosario
NYM
SS
-0.66450
-1.02528
1.28778
2.12342
1.61834
1.93614
5.28
#10
Yairo Munoz
STL
SS
1.59905
0.49230
-0.42162
0.67592
1.61834
0.65253
4.62

 

Trevor Story has sat at the top of this list two weeks running as the 25-year-old continues to build upon his incredible season. He had a two-homer game and a three-homer game last week and has tallied three multi-homer efforts since the beginning of August. Story has a shot at a 30-30 season if he can swipe five bags the rest of the way. He’s 12-for-13 in stolen base attempts since August 1, so it’s a real possibility … Xander Bogaerts has gone deep in two of his last three contests and is sporting a .339/.422/.574 line with five home runs and 28 RBI across 33 tilts since the start of August. He’s already tied his career high in home runs (21) and set new career highs in doubles (41) and RBI (93). The only downer is that Bogaerts is running less after that part of his game trended up the last few years. It’s possible the fractured ankle he suffered back in April prevented him from running more. Four of his six steals this season have come since August 7 … Jose Peraza has given his fantasy owners a boost in the power department, just as everyone predicted. While he still has twice as many stolen bases (20) as homers (10) this season, Peraza has five longballs versus three steals so far in the second half. His hard-hit rate (29 percent) remains pedestrian, but the shortstop has upped his flyball rate to 37.9 percent this season after he entered 2018 with a career 30.9 percent flyball rate …

 

Outfield

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Kevin Kiermaier
TB
OF
2.73082
2.00987
-0.42162
3.84830
3.32194
3.13515
14.62
#2
Charlie Blackmon
COL
OF
2.73082
0.99815
2.99718
1.70735
2.75407
1.24297
12.43
#3
Bryce Harper
WAS
OF
1.59905
2.51573
1.28778
1.80565
2.18621
2.88634
12.28
#4
Marcell Ozuna
STL
OF
4.99436
2.00987
-0.42162
2.14361
2.18621
0.98014
11.89
#5
Mike Trout
LAA
OF
1.59905
1.50401
1.28778
2.95557
1.05048
3.11120
11.51
#6
Ronald Acuna
ATL
OF
1.59905
0.49230
4.70658
0.28004
2.75407
1.64380
11.48
#7
Mallex Smith
TB
OF
-0.66450
1.50401
6.41598
0.85500
1.61834
0.76225
10.49
#8
Tommy Pham
TB
OF
0.46727
0.99815
1.28778
1.38958
1.61834
1.65469
7.42
#9
Jay Bruce
NYM
OF
1.59905
0.99815
-0.42162
1.09200
2.18621
1.46195
6.92
#10
Brandon Nimmo
NYM
OF
0.46727
0.99815
-0.42162
1.80565
1.61834
2.17964
6.65

 

In the better-late-than-never category, Kevin Kiermaier has finally shown signs of life this month, going 13-for-25 (.520) with three home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored so far in September. Injuries have again been an issue for the outfielder this season, but he looks to be healthy now and should be scooped back up in fantasy leagues where he’s available … Marcell Ozuna and the Cardinals have both indicated that his shoulder problem this season was only affecting his throwing and not his hitting. However, after receiving a cortisone shot and a week and a half of rest, Ozuna has returned to slug five home runs over his seven games since being activated, which included his first two multi-homer efforts of the season. He’s obviously capable of being a difference-maker for fantasy owners down the stretch if the shoulder can hold up … Much of the attention given to Ronald Acuna’s second-half surge has revolved around his power, which is understandable considering he leads the National League with 18 dingers since the All-Star break. However, he’s also shown off his wheels with 12 second-half steals, including a theft in each of his last three games. I will be fascinated to see how high Acuna goes in drafts next spring … It’s been a lost season for Jay Bruce, who has been plagued by injury and ineffectiveness. However, he just concluded a nice showing last week with a 1.241 OPS and a couple home runs. More than half of Bruce’s starts since he returned from the disabled list last month have come at first base, and it’s looking like he could be the Mets’ full-time first baseman next season depending on how Yoenis Cespedes’ (heel) recovery goes and what the club does this offseason …



Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.
Email :Ryan Boyer



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