Ryan Boyer

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Hot Hitter Rundown

Monday, September 25, 2017


Follow @Rotoworld_BB and @RyanPBoyer on Twitter.

 

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 18-24.

 

Editor’s Note: Win a FREE trip to the World Series plus cash prizes!

 

Catcher

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Kurt Suzuki
ATL
C
2.72378
1.34417
-0.42666
1.71989
0.51959
5.88
#2
Travis d'Arnaud
NYM
C
2.72378
2.25015
-0.42666
0.61223
0.51959
5.68
#3
Chris Iannetta
ARZ
C
1.59425
2.70314
-0.42666
0.04380
-0.06178
3.85
#4
Wilson Ramos
TB
C
0.46473
2.25015
-0.42666
1.98951
-0.64316
3.63
#5
Salvador Perez
KC
C
0.46473
1.34417
-0.42666
1.46488
0.51959
3.37
#6
Yan Gomes
CLE
C
1.59425
0.89117
-0.42666
1.00205
-0.06178
3.00
#7
Russell Martin
TOR
C
0.46473
2.25015
-0.42666
0.46282
-0.06178
2.69
#8
Austin Hedges
SD
C
0.46473
-0.46781
1.15504
1.30087
-0.06178
2.39
#9
Yadier Molina
STL
C
0.46473
2.25015
-0.42666
0.05840
-0.06178
2.28
#10
J.T. Realmuto
MIA
C
0.46473
-0.46781
-0.42666
1.03125
1.68234
2.28

 

Kurt Suzuki celebrated his one-year contract extension with the Braves with a three-homer week that included his third multi-homer contest of the season. Suzuki turns 34 in a little over a week but out of nowhere has had the best offensive season of his career, slugging 18 bombs over just 291 plate appearances … Travis d’Arnaud has been trying to salvage his season with a monster September that’s seen him post a 1.025 OPS with five home runs. He’s been hitting fourth or fifth regularly in the Mets’ depleted lineup, as he’s turned into a mixed league-worthy backstop here down the stretch … Wilson Ramos took some time to get going after making his way back from major knee surgery, which isn’t a surprise. He’s been awfully good for the last six weeks, though, batting a robust .357/.388/.602 with seven longballs and 18 RBI over 29 games. The Rays are still smartly giving him plenty of days off, but he should be ready for a regular workload next season and is someone I’ll probably be eyeing for my fantasy teams … Russell Martin has a home run and has driven in eight runs over seven games since returning from a month-long absence with a strained oblique. However, he’s still yet to catch full games in back-to-back days since being activated …

 

First Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Justin Bour
MIA
1B
3.85330
4.06212
-0.42666
1.47947
1.68234
10.65
#2
Paul Goldschmidt
ARZ
1B
0.46473
1.34417
1.15504
0.35721
2.26372
5.58
#3
Matt Carpenter
STL
1B
1.59425
-0.01481
-0.42666
1.71989
2.26372
5.14
#4
Adam Lind
WAS
1B
1.59425
2.25015
-0.42666
0.86725
0.51959
4.80
#5
Matt Olson
OAK
1B
2.72378
1.34417
-0.42666
-0.48084
1.10097
4.26
#6
Efren Navarro
DET
1B
1.59425
-0.01481
-0.42666
0.74704
1.68234
3.58
#7
Greg Bird
NYY
1B
0.46473
1.34417
-0.42666
0.61223
1.10097
3.10
#8
Wil Myers
SD
1B
0.46473
-0.01481
-0.42666
0.77624
2.26372
3.06
#9
Chris Davis
BAL
1B
0.46473
0.89117
1.15504
-0.04721
0.51959
2.98
#10
Cody Bellinger
LA
1B
0.46473
1.79716
-0.42666
0.50662
0.51959
2.86

 

Justin Bour had a stretch this past week where he homered in four consecutive games, and he’s now batting .340/.413/.623 with 15 RBI across 14 tilts since returning from an oblique injury. Bour would’ve cruised to 30+ home runs this season had he been able to stay healthy … It’s hard to overstate the remarkable power run that Matt Olson has been on. He’s had a stretch this month where he went deep nine times in 12 games, and he’s now homered 13 times in 22 contests in September. Since taking over the Athletics’ first base job, the 23-year-old has clubbed 20 over the boards across 41 games. Over half of his hits during that stretch have been home runs. Now to be a bit of a wet blanket: Olson is batting only .196/.302/.457 versus lefties, so he certainly has some work to do with that part of his game … Greg Bird’s production since returning from the disabled list has been hit-or-miss, but he’s hit lately with a 1.097 OPS, three dingers and nine RBI over his last seven games. It’s going to be interesting to see where his ADP winds up next spring … Cody Bellinger has admitted that his goal coming into the season was to be a September call-up. Well, this past week he broke the National League rookie home run record with his 39th bomb. Remember, this is a guy who didn’t make his season debut until April 25, and he also made a trip to the disabled list this year with an ankle injury. Bellinger has six contests left to get the one homer he needs to reach 40 …

 

Second Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Whit Merrifield
KC
2B
0.46473
1.34417
4.31844
1.47947
1.10097
8.71
#2
Ian Kinsler
DET
2B
3.85330
2.25015
-0.42666
0.37181
1.68234
7.73
#3
Dee Gordon
MIA
2B
-0.66479
1.34417
2.73674
1.89850
2.26372
7.58
#4
Yoan Moncada
CWS
2B
1.59425
0.89117
1.15504
0.77624
2.84509
7.26
#5
Brian Dozier
MIN
2B
0.46473
-0.01481
1.15504
0.79083
3.42647
5.82
#6
Jed Lowrie
OAK
2B
0.46473
4.06212
-0.42666
1.04585
0.51959
5.67
#7
Scooter Gennett
CIN
2B
1.59425
1.79716
-0.42666
1.06045
0.51959
4.54
#8
Brad Miller
TB
2B
0.46473
1.34417
-0.42666
0.61223
1.68234
3.68
#9
Jose Altuve
HOU
2B
0.46473
0.43818
1.15504
0.74704
0.51959
3.32
#10
Cesar Hernandez
PHI
2B
-0.66479
-0.92080
-0.42666
2.13892
2.84509
2.97

 

With three more stolen bases this past week, Whit Merrifield moved into the American League lead with his 33 pilfers on the season. He’s only been caught five times, as the 28-year-old has been very efficient as a base stealer both in the majors and minors the last three years. Merrifield doesn’t draw walks, and it’s fair to question how real his power breakout was this season. However, he rarely strikes out and his stolen base chops are there. Merrifield no doubt will head into 2018 locked in as the Royals’ leadoff hitter … After topping this list the previous week, Yoan Moncada held steady at No. 4 with another nice showing this past week. He slugged two more taters and stole a base and now has five homers and two steals to go along with a .909 OPS in September. The strong close to the season is obviously very encouraging as we look forward to Moncada’s 2018 prospects, as is the fact that he’s been cemented in as the No. 2 hitter for the White Sox … Brian Dozier was never going to be able to duplicate what he did over the final four months of last season, and he got off to another slow start this year with a rough April. However, since the beginning of May the 30-year-old is sporting a healthy .265/.354/.499 batting line with 30 home runs, 79 RBI, 87 runs and 11 stolen bases. Nineteen of those 30 dingers have come since the All-Star break … Jed Lowrie has, rather quietly, had arguably the best full-season showing of his career. Only Jose Ramirez (51) has hit more doubles than the A’s second baseman’s 47 this season. The problem for fantasy purposes is that Lowrie doesn’t stand out at all in one area, and it’s hard to get excited going into 2018 for a guy who will be 34 and has a lengthy injury history …

 

Third Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Jose Ramirez
CLE
3B
1.59425
1.79716
1.15504
1.86930
0.51959
6.94
#2
Christian Villanueva
SD
3B
2.72378
1.79716
-0.42666
0.89644
1.10097
6.09
#3
Rafael Devers
BOS
3B
1.59425
1.34417
-0.42666
2.28833
0.51959
5.32
#4
Nicholas Castellanos
DET
3B
1.59425
0.89117
1.15504
1.62888
-0.06178
5.21
#5
Kris Bryant
CHC
3B
0.46473
1.34417
-0.42666
1.58509
1.10097
4.07
#6
Alex Bregman
HOU
3B
0.46473
0.43818
1.15504
0.19320
1.10097
3.35
#7
Eduardo Escobar
MIN
3B
0.46473
1.79716
-0.42666
-0.72126
1.68234
2.80
#8
Jake Lamb
ARZ
3B
0.46473
-0.46781
-0.42666
0.34261
1.10097
1.01
#9
Adrian Beltre
TEX
3B
0.46473
-0.46781
-0.42666
0.91104
0.51959
1.00
#10
Manny Machado
BAL
3B
0.46473
0.89117
-0.42666
0.10219
-0.06178
.97

 

Christian Villanueva has made quite a first impression since the Padres promoted him a week ago, popping three home runs and driving in six runs. He’s gone deep in three of his four starts, perhaps earning a longer look at third base in the final week. Villanueva missed all of 2016 after fracturing his fibula, but he’s shown no ill effects in 2017 with a nice showing in the hitter-friendly PCL and now starting well with the Padres. The 26-year-old is certainly worth a look in NL-only formats … Rafael Devers is heating back up for the Red Sox, going 9-for-20 at the dish this past week while homering in two of three games over the weekend in Cincinnati. The rookie had been on a 28-game homerless streak prior to the showing in Cincy, but he looks safe to use in mixed leagues again … You could say that he’s been a disappointment from a fantasy perspective because of a fluky 30-RBI drop, but Kris Bryant has essentially repeated last year’s MVP season with a virtually identical OPS (.939 in 2016, .944 in 2017) and OPS+ (146 in 2016, 143 in 2017). He’s hitting .395/.472/.698 with three longballs and 13 RBI over his last 11 games …

 

Shortstop

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Jorge Polanco
MIN
SS
0.46473
0.89117
4.31844
2.45233
1.68234
9.81
#2
Trea Turner
WAS
SS
1.59425
0.89117
2.73674
0.91104
1.68234
7.82
#3
Jose Reyes
NYM
SS
0.46473
0.43818
4.31844
1.61428
0.51959
7.36
#4
Marcus Semien
OAK
SS
0.46473
0.89117
1.15504
1.33007
2.26372
6.10
#5
Francisco Lindor
CLE
SS
2.72378
1.79716
-0.42666
-0.46624
2.26372
5.89
#6
Tim Anderson
CWS
SS
0.46473
-0.01481
2.73674
0.91104
1.68234
5.78
#7
Zack Cozart
CIN
SS
0.46473
-0.01481
1.15504
0.92564
0.51959
3.05
#8
Ryan Goins
TOR
SS
0.46473
1.34417
-0.42666
0.74704
0.51959
2.65
#9
Xander Bogaerts
BOS
SS
0.46473
-0.46781
-0.42666
-0.19662
2.84509
2.22
#10
Miguel Rojas
MIA
SS
0.46473
-0.01481
-0.42666
0.32801
1.68234
2.03

 

Trea Turner has swiped seven bags (without being caught) over 24 games since returning from the disabled list. The young speedster is up to 42 stolen bases on the season (while being caught just six times) even as he’s played in just 92 games. The 24-year-old has pilfered 77 bases over 192 career games, or one every 2.49 contests. For comparison’s sake, Billy Hamilton has stolen one base for every 2.2 games he’s played and Dee Gordon one for every 2.57 games he’s played … The lineup the Mets are throwing out there these days is pretty brutal, but Jose Reyes has managed to thrive down the stretch. The 34-year-old is batting .346/.429/.567 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases over his last 28 games. Among shortstops, only Francisco Lindor has provided more fantasy value over the last 30 days than Reyes … Zack Cozart’s 12 percent walk rate this season is more than double what his career rate was coming into 2017 (5.3 percent), and he’s done it while maintaining an elite strikeout rate (15.4 percent) and hitting more flyballs than ever (42.5 percent). His hard-hit rate (31.3 percent) remains quite low, though, even though it’s also a career high. I’d feel better about Cozart being able to retain some of his breakout gains next season if he re-signs with the Reds or goes to another hitter-friendly ballpark …

 

Outfield

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Aaron Judge
NYY
OF
4.98282
3.15614
-0.42666
2.15352
2.26372
12.13
#2
Dexter Fowler
STL
OF
1.59425
2.70314
2.73674
1.61428
2.26372
10.91
#3
Giancarlo Stanton
MIA
OF
2.72378
4.96811
-0.42666
1.33007
2.26372
10.86
#4
Marcell Ozuna
MIA
OF
2.72378
2.25015
-0.42666
2.84216
2.26372
9.65
#5
Starling Marte
PIT
OF
0.46473
1.34417
4.31844
2.13892
0.51959
8.79
#6
Tommy Pham
STL
OF
0.46473
1.34417
2.73674
1.61428
1.68234
7.84
#7
Justin Upton
LAA
OF
3.85330
1.34417
1.15504
0.08759
1.10097
7.54
#8
J.D. Martinez
ARZ
OF
2.72378
2.25015
-0.42666
1.19526
1.68234
7.42
#9
Domingo Santana
MLW
OF
2.72378
0.43818
2.73674
0.20780
1.10097
7.21
#10
Hunter Renfroe
SD
OF
3.85330
2.70314
-0.42666
-0.21122
1.10097
7.02

 

Much has been made about Aaron Judge’s post-All-Star break (and post-Home Run Derby) slump, and it’s true that he put up a lowly .690 OPS from the start of the second half to the end of August. However, his 1.267 OPS so far in September is his best in any month, and on Sunday he had his third two-homer game already this month. Judge needs one more longball to tie and two more to break Mark McGwire’s rookie home run record … Dexter Fowler has been banged up this season fairly often with a variety of ailments, but he’s rather sneakily had the best power season of his career with a career-high .494 slugging percentage and 18 home runs. Since returning to action after missing a week with a bruised knee, Fowler has posted a 1.231 OPS with three home runs, 11 RBI and two stolen bases over eight tilts … Giancarlo Stanton is heating back up just in time to make a run at 60 home runs. The slugger has cranked three out of the park while driving in a whopping 13 runs across his previous six games, and he now needs three more bombs in the final week to get to 60. Considering that he has three games at Coors Field and four against the Braves, he’s certainly got a shot … Justin Upton is batting .276/.389/.632 with seven home runs over 90 plate appearances since joining the Angels. All seven of those bombs have come across his last 11 games after he went homerless in his first 10 contests with the Halos … Hunter Renfroe homered in his first plate appearance after being recalled last week and then had a three-homer game two days after that. He also went hitless in his other three contests, and that’s simply the kind of inconsistency you have to expect from this all-or-nothing slugger. Still, Renfroe is a worthy add in fantasy leagues in hopes that he can blast a few out of the yard down the stretch …



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



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