Seth Trachtman

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Hot Hitter Rundown

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


The cliché that the standard fantasy baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint is certainly true, but keeping an eye on the hottest players in the game is still extremely important when making start/bench decisions, making pickups and getting fair value in trades.  It has become even more important recently with the popularity of daily games such as FanDuel growing.

 

It should be noted that short-term production in MLB involves a limited sample size, and should be analyzed and scrutinized for its level of significance, or lack thereof, very closely.  With these factors in mind, the following is a rundown of the hottest hitters over the last seven days according to Rotoworld’s Player Rater.


Mention of players on these lists is a statement of fact that they are playing well for fantasy owners recently, but not necessarily a long-term endorsement of ownership in fantasy leagues, unless otherwise noted.

 

Player Rater numbers and review cover games for the week of 8/11-8/17.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

 

Catcher

 

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 21 Alex Avila DET C 2.17 0.48 -0.42 1.03 0.51 3.76
2 1 Jonathan Lucroy MLW C 0.76 1.51 -0.42 -0.62 0.51 1.75
3 NR Francisco Cervelli NYY C 0.76 -0.04 1.03 0.64 -0.71 1.69
4 10 Russell Martin PIT C 0.76 0.99 -0.42 -0.37 0.51 1.48
5 11 Kurt Suzuki MIN C 0.76 -0.55 -0.42 0.77 0.51 1.07
6 12 John Jaso OAK C 0.76 -0.55 -0.42 0.14 1.12 1.05
7 6 Evan Gattis ATL C 0.76 0.48 -0.42 0.14 -0.10 0.86
8 22 Travis d'Arnaud NYM C 0.76 -0.55 -0.42 0.39 0.51 0.69
9 28 Yasmani Grandal SD C 0.76 -0.04 -0.42 -0.24 0.51 0.57
10 19 Chris Iannetta ANA C -0.65 -0.04 -0.42 1.02 0.51 0.43

 

Alex Avila doesn’t find himself owned in many mixed leagues at this point, but another strong week could get him a long look in two catcher leagues.  He hit .350-2-3 last week for the faltering Tigers … Jonathan Lucroy continues to be one of the few stalwarts at the catcher position, but even his numbers were not that impressive last week.  He hit just .207 for the week, but a five RBI performance on Sunday put him second in the ranks … John Jaso has quietly been a first catcher in deeper mixed leagues, recovering well from his concussion issues of last year.  Jaso has been above average at the position in nearly every category, though his .267-1-1 week with four runs scored shows just how anemic catchers performed at the plate last week … Travis d’Arnaud continues to make the top 10 each week by doing very little, effectively pushing himself to second catcher status in mixed leagues.  Last week he hit .294 with one bomb.   He has 10 homers in only 81 games this season, a solid pace that could even put him in the first catcher conversation come draft day, 2015.

 

First Base

 

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 10 Adam LaRoche WAS 1B 2.17 2.03 1.03 0.26 1.73 7.23
2 6 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B 0.76 0.99 1.03 1.54 1.73 6.06
3 NR Nate Freiman OAK 1B 3.57 0.99 -0.42 0.26 0.51 4.92
4 22 Joe Mauer MIN 1B 2.17 0.48 -0.42 0.90 0.51 3.64
5 32 Gaby Sanchez PIT 1B 0.76 1.51 -0.42 1.02 0.51 3.38
6 17 Mike Napoli BOS 1B 0.76 0.99 -0.42 0.77 1.12 3.23
7 2 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B -0.65 -0.04 -0.42 1.66 2.35 2.91
8 14 James Loney TB 1B 0.76 1.51 -0.42 0.02 0.51 2.38
9 23 Stephen Vogt OAK 1B 0.76 0.48 -0.42 0.90 0.51 2.23
10 19 Mark Reynolds MLW 1B 2.17 -0.04 -0.42 -0.37 0.51 1.85

 

Adam LaRoche ranks atop the first base list for the second consecutive week.  This time he hit .278-2-6 with five runs scored, and added a rare stolen base.  He’s hit an impressive .311-5-11 in August …  Nate Freiman hasn’t found his way onto many lists of any type this season as a platoon player for the A’s, but his three homers in two games last week could buy him some more playing time for AL-only leagues … Two catcher-eligible players made the list in Joe Mauer and Stephen Vogt.  Mauer is particularly notable returning recently from an oblique injury.  He has been a massive disappointment for owners that expected full-time at-bats and health from a “catcher” playing first base, but a good run down the stretch would be better late than never … Another former catcher, Mike Napoli, has also come on strong recently despite what has been a disappointing year.  He hit .357-1-4 last week, but still only has 15 homers and 44 RBI for the year … Mark Reynolds launched two more homers last week, putting him back near a 30 home run pace for the season.  He has been just as advertised, though his 42 RBI is unlucky given the power.

 

Second Base

 

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 2 Dee Gordon LA 2B -0.65 -1.07 6.85 0.65 2.96 8.74
2 1 Jose Altuve HOU 2B 2.17 2.54 -0.42 2.56 1.73 8.58
3 3 Robinson Cano SEA 2B 2.17 0.99 -0.42 1.28 3.57 7.60
4 20 Jonathan Schoop BAL 2B 3.57 1.51 -0.42 0.90 1.12 6.69
5 27 Jedd Gyorko SD 2B 0.76 2.03 -0.42 1.16 1.12 4.65
6 NR Kristopher Negron CIN 2B 0.76 -0.04 1.03 1.53 1.12 4.41
7 NR Phil Gosselin ATL 2B 0.76 -0.04 1.03 1.02 1.12 3.90
8 8 Howie Kendrick ANA 2B 0.76 0.99 -0.42 0.90 0.51 2.75
9 12 Scooter Gennett MLW 2B -0.65 1.51 -0.42 0.90 0.51 1.86
10 7 Chase Utley PHI 2B -0.65 0.99 -0.42 0.77 0.51 1.22

 

It’s rare to see the top three pretty much hold serve this late in the year, but it is a testament to the consistency of Jose Altuve, Dee Gordon and Robinson Cano this season.  Altuve is back atop all hitters after last week’s .406 batting average … Jedd Gyorko continues to make late-season progress back from a foot injury, hitting .333-1-6 last week and 11 RBI in August.  He’s hitting just .199, but could be an opportune play down the stretch … Kristopher Negron might have bought himself a roster spot through the end of August with his strong play in Brandon Phillips’ stead, though he’s likely to sit the rest of the way with Phillips back … Phil Gosselin made the most of his three starts last week, hitting .375-1-2 with one steal.  He’s nothing more than a part-timer in the short and long term, but could be worthy as an NL-only fill-in for the time being.

 

Third Base

 

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 5 Kyle Seager SEA 3B 0.76 2.03 -0.42 0.65 1.73 4.75
2 7 Matt Carpenter STL 3B 0.76 1.51 -0.42 0.52 2.35 4.72
3 18 Nick Castellanos DET 3B 2.17 2.03 -0.42 0.77 -0.10 4.45
4 6 Evan Longoria TB 3B 0.76 2.54 -0.42 0.53 0.51 3.92
5 2 Josh Donaldson OAK 3B 2.17 0.99 -0.42 0.52 0.51 3.78
6 39 Charlie Culberson COL 3B 0.76 0.99 -0.42 0.90 1.12 3.35
7 10 Nolan Arenado COL 3B 0.76 0.48 -0.42 1.28 1.12 3.23
8 14 Conor Gillaspie CWS 3B 0.76 1.51 -0.42 0.26 0.51 2.63
9 32 Cody Asche PHI 3B 0.76 0.48 -0.42 0.52 0.51 1.85
10 25 Chase Headley NYY 3B -0.65 -0.55 2.49 0.39 -0.10 1.58

 

Kyle Seager got off to a rough start following the break, but his stats were helped by hitting .316-1-6 last week and is still well on his way to a career year … Matt Carpenter has quietly been a solid producer, especially considering that he is eligible at second base in fantasy leagues.  The Cardinals’ leadoff man remains on a 100 run pace, and hit .286-1-5 with six runs scored last week … Nick Castellanos has also quietly put together a nice season, putting himself in the conversation in the lower tier of mixed league corner infielders.  The rookie hit .318-2-6 last week … Charlie Culberson benefitted from injuries ahead of him, hitting .385-1-4 with some games at Coors Field last week.  Manager Walt Weiss likes his utilityman, which is disconcerting given Culberson’s lack of offensive numbers in his major league career … Chase Headley hasn’t helped his free agent stock much, hitting just .253-2-8 in 23 games since joining the Yankees.  He’s fallen off the map in mixed leagues, even in a favorable hitter’s park.

 


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