Ryan Boyer

Hot Hitter Rundown

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Hot Hitter Rundown

Monday, May 14, 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 May 7-13.

 

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Catcher

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Willson Contreras
CHC
C
2.54413
4.05792
1.18134
2.63170
1.85405
1.96996
14.24
#2
Salvador Perez
KC
C
2.54413
3.22450
-0.42547
0.45306
1.85405
-0.50590
7.14
#3
Luke Maile
TOR
C
1.45071
1.14096
-0.42547
0.99459
-0.16959
0.80390
3.80
#4
Chance Sisco
BAL
C
0.35729
0.72425
1.18134
0.35208
0.84223
-0.09938
3.36
#5
Yasmani Grandal
LA
C
1.45071
0.30754
-0.42547
0.34225
0.33632
1.08118
3.09
#6
Welington Castillo
CWS
C
1.45071
0.72425
-0.42547
0.60319
0.33632
0.37513
3.06
#7
Martin Maldonado
LAA
C
-0.73614
-0.52587
-0.42547
2.40025
-0.16959
2.01442
2.56
#8
Tucker Barnhart
CIN
C
-0.73614
0.30754
-0.42547
1.99902
-0.16959
1.48199
2.46
#9
Max Stassi
HOU
C
0.35729
-0.10917
-0.42547
1.37617
0.33632
0.87088
2.41
#10
Mike Zunino
SEA
C
1.45071
0.72425
-0.42547
0.46289
-0.16959
0.09589
2.14

 

Willson Contreras was universally viewed as a top-three fantasy catcher during draft season, but he hadn’t been doing anything to justify that lofty perch – at least until the last few days. Contreras put up a monster two-homer, seven-RBI effort on Friday and followed it up with another dinger and three more RBI Saturday. His modest five-game hitting streak came to an end Sunday, but he managed to chip in with his first stolen base of the season. Contreras has batted cleanup for the Cubs in each of the last two games and his fantasy owners now look primed to cash in … All of the mileage on his legs figures to catch up to (no pun intended) Salvador Perez eventually, and he did begin the season on the disabled list with a knee injury (although he hurt himself while carrying luggage). However, Perez smacked a home run in his first game back from the DL last month and has popped four more over his last 10 contests. The 28-year-old is only going to help in two categories, but his power has been money in the bank and that’s not something to take for granted at catcher … Chance Sisco started three days in a row last week for just the second time this season and he got a hit in all three games, homered and drove in four runs. He now has 18 starts to Caleb Joseph’s 23 starts this season. Joseph has the edge on Sisco defensively, but he’s been truly horrendous at the plate in 2018. We should see a changing of the guard here eventually with the Orioles going nowhere this season, and Sisco has the offensive upside to help in fantasy leagues …

 

First Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Carlos Santana
PHI
1B
3.63755
4.89133
-0.42547
0.83463
1.85405
0.27536
11.07
#2
Anthony Rizzo
CHC
1B
1.45071
2.80779
1.18134
1.23587
2.35996
1.73155
10.77
#3
Freddie Freeman
ATL
1B
2.54413
1.55767
-0.42547
2.38059
1.34814
2.19050
9.60
#4
Ryon Healy
SEA
1B
1.45071
0.72425
-0.42547
1.47714
2.86587
1.15998
7.25
#5
Joey Votto
CIN
1B
0.35729
0.72425
1.18134
0.32259
1.34814
1.38324
5.32
#6
Josh Bell
PIT
1B
0.35729
0.72425
-0.42547
0.85429
1.85405
1.08118
4.45
#7
Justin Bour
MIA
1B
1.45071
1.55767
-0.42547
-0.42090
0.33632
1.43030
3.93
#8
Hanley Ramirez
BOS
1B
2.54413
1.97438
-0.42547
-0.31009
0.33632
-0.66792
3.45
#9
Lucas Duda
KC
1B
0.35729
0.72425
-0.42547
0.96510
0.84223
0.71216
3.18
#10
Adrian Gonzalez
NYM
1B
1.45071
0.30754
-0.42547
0.72382
0.33632
0.66846
3.06

 

All of the batted ball data has pointed toward some positive regression for Carlos Santana, and it’s finally started to come. Santana went deep four times this past week and he drove in a whopping 14 runs over six games. The big week suddenly has him on pace for what would be the first 100-RBI season of his career. Santana has been batting fifth lately but could be moved back up to the No. 2 spot soon now that he’s heating up … Anthony Rizzo had a forgettable April to say the least. He made his first ever trip to the disabled list due to a nagging back issue and didn’t have a single extra-base hit during a 17-game stretch. The real Anthony Rizzo has reappeared in May, though, as he’s sporting a 1.141 OPS and has already homered five times and driven in 14 runs … Like Rizzo, Josh Bell has righted the ship this month following a slow April. The Pirates’ first baseman has put up a 1.044 OPS so far in May, and two of his three dingers have come over his last six tilts. Bell still hits more balls on the ground than we’d like, which caps his power potential, but his batting eye remains excellent and he’s been cemented into the cleanup spot in the Pittsburgh lineup … Justin Bour has drawn two walks in each of his last five starts and he’s homered four times already over 12 May contests. The soon-to-be 30-year-old could be in line for his first 30-homer season if he can manage to stay healthy …

 

Second Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Scooter Gennett
CIN
2B
3.63755
3.22450
-0.42547
3.78625
2.35996
2.85458
15.44
#2
Jonathan Schoop
BAL
2B
1.45071
2.80779
-0.42547
0.56386
1.85405
-0.16467
6.09
#3
Javier Baez
CHC
2B
0.35729
1.97438
2.78816
0.07148
0.84223
-0.81956
5.21
#4
Whit Merrifield
KC
2B
-0.73614
-0.52587
2.78816
1.73808
-0.16959
1.88431
4.98
#5
Brian Dozier
MIN
2B
1.45071
1.14096
-0.42547
1.34667
0.33632
0.84179
4.69
#6
Alen Hanson
SF
2B
1.45071
0.72425
1.18134
0.08131
0.33632
0.22468
4.00
#7
Ozzie Albies
ATL
2B
1.45071
1.55767
2.78816
-1.09291
0.84223
-1.58323
3.96
#8
Cesar Hernandez
PHI
2B
0.35729
-0.10917
2.78816
-0.57103
1.34814
-0.02353
3.79
#9
Robinson Cano
SEA
2B
0.35729
1.14096
-0.42547
0.58352
0.84223
0.25333
2.75
#10
Pete Kozma
DET
2B
0.35729
0.72425
-0.42547
0.61302
0.33632
0.21445
1.82

 

Scooter Gennett looked like an easy drop in mixed leagues earlier this month, as he wasn’t hitting for power after last year’s breakout and then came down with a shoulder injury that required an MRI. However, he suddenly rediscovered his power stroke upon returning to the lineup, going deep in four straight games while piling up 13 hits over his last 22 at-bats. Gennett is back hitting cleanup for the Reds after being dropped to the No. 6 spot briefly and is looking mixed league-worthy again … Whit Merrifield was just 1-for-3 on stolen base attempts through his first 21 games this season, but he’s a perfect 8-for-8 across 16 contests since then, which includes a three-steal game. The 29-year-old is also batting .423 over his current seven-game hitting streak. The bad news is Merrifield has been dropped from leadoff to the No. 6 spot in the Royals’ lineup, but he should find himself back at the top of the order soon enough if he stays hot … Brian Dozier was batting just .225/.287/.384 entering the weekend series against the Angels, but he reeled off eight hits – including a pair of home runs – over 15 at-bats in the four games versus the Halos, driving in five runs in the process. Dozier hasn’t stolen a base in his last 23 games, so it would be nice to see him get things going on the basepaths …

 

Third Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Kris Bryant
CHC
3B
2.54413
1.55767
-0.42547
0.97493
4.38360
2.05954
11.09
#2
Jose Ramirez
CLE
3B
2.54413
1.55767
4.39497
0.46289
1.34814
0.65836
10.97
#3
Kyle Seager
SEA
3B
2.54413
2.39108
-0.42547
0.45306
1.85405
0.80812
7.62
#4
Eugenio Suarez
CIN
3B
1.45071
2.39108
-0.42547
1.33684
1.85405
0.44161
7.05
#5
Travis Shaw
MLW
3B
2.54413
1.97438
-0.42547
0.83463
1.34814
-0.04184
6.23
#6
Danny Valencia
BAL
3B
1.45071
1.55767
-0.42547
1.49680
0.84223
0.68551
5.61
#7
Mike Moustakas
KC
3B
1.45071
1.55767
-0.42547
0.83463
0.84223
0.27536
4.54
#8
Alex Bregman
HOU
3B
0.35729
0.30754
-0.42547
0.84446
0.84223
1.61000
3.54
#9
Anthony Rendon
WAS
3B
1.45071
0.72425
-0.42547
0.07148
0.84223
0.52354
3.19
#10
Matt Duffy
TB
3B
0.35729
0.30754
-0.42547
1.10540
-0.16959
0.96896
2.14

 

Kris Bryant hit just two bombs in April, but he’s already swatted five out of the yard in May and now sits second in the National League behind Freddie Freeman with his .999 OPS. It’s been interesting to watch Bryant’s evolution as a hitter. After leading the NL with 199 strikeouts in his rookie season in 2015, he’s really worked to cut down on his whiffs and they’ve dropped significantly each year, from 30.6 percent to 22 percent to 19.2 percent all the way down to 15.6 percent so far in 2018. A more contact-oriented approach seemed to result in fewer hard-hit balls for Bryant in 2017, but his hard-hit rate this year is back up to a career-high 42 percent … Jose Ramirez had just three hits over his first 35 at-bats this season while the Indians seemed to play every one of their games in freezing temperatures, rain or both. Since then he’s batting .348 with 11 longballs, 23 RBI and five stolen bases across 28 tilts. Ramirez has been the most valuable third baseman in fantasy over the last 30 days and it hasn’t been close … Alex Bregman got off to a slow start last season before finishing strong, and it’s been a little rocky for him in the early going again this year aside from the plate discipline department. Two of the 24-year-old’s three home runs this season have come over his last seven games, but he has just three multi-hit efforts over his last 17 tries and his average hasn’t been at the .270 mark since he went 1-for-3 on Opening Day. The good news is Bregman has been back up in the No. 2 spot in the lineup each of the last two games after he hit fifth or sixth in 21 of the previous 22 contests …

 

Shortstop

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Francisco Lindor
CLE
SS
3.63755
1.14096
-0.42547
3.53515
2.86587
3.18951
13.94
#2
Manny Machado
BAL
SS
3.63755
3.64121
-0.42547
1.59778
2.86587
1.43932
12.76
#3
Trevor Story
COL
SS
2.54413
3.64121
-0.42547
1.10540
1.34814
1.44301
9.66
#4
Trea Turner
WAS
SS
2.54413
0.30754
1.18134
-0.18946
2.86587
1.00423
7.71
#5
Jose Iglesias
DET
SS
1.45071
1.14096
-0.42547
0.85429
1.34814
1.04369
5.41
#6
Jean Segura
SEA
SS
-0.73614
0.30754
2.78816
1.34667
0.33632
0.44329
4.49
#7
Addison Russell
CHC
SS
0.35729
0.72425
-0.42547
0.46289
1.34814
1.53333
4.00
#8
Marcus Semien
OAK
SS
-0.73614
0.72425
1.18134
1.08574
0.84223
0.73169
3.83
#9
Carlos Correa
HOU
SS
1.45071
0.72425
-0.42547
-0.16979
0.84223
0.70630
3.13
#10
Miguel Rojas
MIA
SS
0.35729
0.72425
-0.42547
1.34667
-0.16959
1.01826
2.85

 

This was a really tough list to climb, as a host of shortstops had monster showings this past week. Francisco Lindor’s performance over the last couple weeks has been legendary. During his current 14-game hitting streak, the Indians’ shortstop is batting .476 with eight home runs and 15 RBI. He has multiple hits in 10 of those 14 contests, as he’s raised his OPS a whopping 303 points from .709 to 1.012 over that span. The only “complaint” is that he hasn’t stolen any bases over the stretch, but hey, it’s harder to swipe bags when all you do is get extra-base hits … Manny Machado has done his best to keep up with Lindor by going 11-for-25 with four dingers and 13 RBI across his last six games. The impending free agent already has four multi-homer games this season and is tied for the major league lead with 13 bombs and leads everyone with 38 RBI. Wait, it gets better. Machado has also nearly doubled his career walk rate with a 12.7 percent mark this season, and he’s matched that number by striking out in only 12.7 percent of his plate appearances … Trevor Story went deep three times during the Rockies’ homestand and is now up to 10 home runs and 32 RBI on the season. He’s also a perfect 7-for-7 on stolen base attempts this season, already matching his steals total from last year. Story is still swinging and missing a bunch and his whiff rate has actually been up even higher at 36.2 percent over his last 11 games even as he’s been really productive. The strikeouts hurt his average and upside, but there’s still a lot to like here …

 

Outfield

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Odubel Herrera
PHI
OF
2.54413
2.80779
1.18134
2.64153
2.35996
2.91782
14.45
#2
Ender Inciarte
ATL
OF
1.45071
1.55767
6.00178
1.47714
0.84223
1.15998
12.49
#3
Aaron Judge
NYY
OF
2.54413
4.05792
-0.42547
1.60761
2.35996
2.34190
12.49
#4
Justin Upton
LAA
OF
3.63755
3.22450
-0.42547
1.34667
1.34814
1.01826
10.15
#5
Mookie Betts
BOS
OF
-0.73614
-0.52587
6.00178
1.72825
1.85405
1.80647
10.13
#6
Giancarlo Stanton
NYY
OF
2.54413
1.97438
1.18134
1.60761
0.84223
1.76333
9.91
#7
Trey Mancini
BAL
OF
2.54413
1.55767
-0.42547
1.33684
2.86587
1.16491
9.04
#8
Starling Marte
PIT
OF
0.35729
0.30754
2.78816
2.25012
1.34814
1.39918
8.45
#9
Michael Brantley
CLE
OF
1.45071
3.22450
-0.42547
0.97493
2.35996
0.83095
8.42
#10
George Springer
HOU
OF
0.35729
1.14096
-0.42547
2.78183
1.34814
2.59744
7.80

 

Odubel Herrera’s on-base streak stands at 41 games, covering every one he’s played this season and a few dating back to last year. He’s sporting a blistering .519 average across his last eight tilts and comfortably leads the NL in average at .360. It’s fair to question Herrera’s upside for fantasy purposes since he’s not running nearly as often as he did a couple years ago (he stole just eight bases in 2017 and is one pace for eight again in 2018), but his early pace points to a career-best power season … Justin Upton doesn’t do consistency. It’s just something we’ve come to expect from him. However, when he’s hot he’s often scorching hot. That’s been the case so far in May, as the 30-year-old is batting .314/.368/.706 with six longballs and a whopping 18 RBI over 12 games this month. The hot streak has Upton on pace for a second straight 100-RBI, 100-run season, not to mention what would be his first 40-homer campaign … Speaking of power, Starling Marte’s three dingers over his last eight games and six already on the season have been encouraging after he hit just seven in his PED-shortened 2017 and nine in 2016. He also remains one of the better speed bets in the game, as he’s one of just six players so far to reach double digits in steals. Marte has found a home in the No. 3 spot in the Pirates’ batting order with Andrew McCutchen out of town … Michael Brantley had never hit a grand slam in his long career coming into this month, but he’s belted a pair of them in May and has four bombs, 19 RBI and a 1.107 OPS over his last 15 games. Health will continue to be a question mark for the veteran outfielder, but Brantley has proven he can still hit when on the field with a .308/.360/.476 batting line since the beginning of last season …



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



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