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Around the League

Hot Hitter Rundown

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

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 August 21-27.

 

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
Gary Sanchez
NYY
C
3.29478
3.30031
-0.47547
1.46341
1.85683
9.44
#2
Roberto Perez
CLE
C
1.28036
2.00936
-0.47547
1.71421
-0.22824
4.30
#3
Yadier Molina
STL
C
0.27315
1.14873
-0.47547
0.85224
0.29303
2.09
#4
Welington Castillo
BAL
C
1.28036
0.28809
-0.47547
0.48578
0.29303
1.87
#5
J.T. Realmuto
MIA
C
1.28036
1.57904
-0.47547
-0.74387
-0.22824
1.41
#6
Chris Iannetta
ARZ
C
0.27315
-0.57254
-0.47547
1.34410
0.81430
1.38
#7
Matt Wieters
WAS
C
0.27315
0.28809
-0.47547
-0.12905
1.33557
1.29
#8
Alex Avila
CHC
C
-0.73407
0.28809
-0.47547
0.85345
1.33557
1.27
#9
Tucker Barnhart
CIN
C
-0.73407
0.28809
2.67062
-0.00365
-1.27077
.95
#10
Yan Gomes
CLE
C
0.27315
0.71841
-0.47547
0.11810
0.29303
.93

 

Welington Castillo has blasted four over the boards over his last 11 games and he’s sporting a .969 OPS with six home runs since the All-Star break. Even with a couple disabled list stints mixed in, the 30-year-old has produced a top-10 fantasy catcher season in his first full year in the American League … He’s seen his average dip from .303 down to .281, but J.T. Realmuto has already matched his total from the first half with eight longballs. The Marlins’ backstop is hitting just .143 over his last 10 games, but three of his six base knocks have left the yard … No Diamondbacks catcher is in the top-25 for fantasy value this season, which isn’t a surprise with the three-headed “monster” they employ, but Chris Iannetta has quietly had a nice little resurgent year. His OPS (.815) is over .800 for the first time since his Rockies days, and he’s cranked four homers over his last 13 games. He’s even been batting second lately when the D’Backs are facing a left-hander … Alex Avila was really slumping before the Cubs acquired him from the Tigers, but he’s picked things back up with the Northsiders with an .874 OPS and three dingers this month. He’s started 10 of 16 games since Willson Contreras (hamstring) went down. Contreras is likely still a couple weeks away from a return …

 

First Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Anthony Rizzo
CHC
1B
1.28036
2.43968
-0.47547
1.71056
2.89937
7.85
#2
Paul Goldschmidt
ARZ
1B
1.28036
2.43968
1.09758
0.72806
0.81430
6.36
#3
Tommy Joseph
PHI
1B
2.28757
1.57904
-0.47547
0.48213
0.81430
4.69
#4
Mitch Moreland
BOS
1B
2.28757
1.14873
-0.47547
0.48456
0.81430
4.26
#5
Luis Valbuena
LAA
1B
1.28036
2.43968
-0.47547
0.48456
-0.22824
3.50
#6
Yonder Alonso
SEA
1B
0.27315
0.71841
-0.47547
0.48456
1.85683
2.86
#7
Adam Lind
WAS
1B
1.28036
1.14873
-0.47547
0.48456
0.29303
2.73
#8
Eric Hosmer
KC
1B
0.27315
1.14873
-0.47547
1.95649
-0.22824
2.67
#9
Josh Bell
PIT
1B
0.27315
0.71841
-0.47547
1.34166
0.81430
2.67
#10
Joe Mauer
MIN
1B
-0.73407
-1.00286
-0.47547
1.82987
2.89937
2.52

 

Tommy Joseph is doing his best not to be overshadowed by Rhys Hoskins. It’s not working, of course, given the utterly ridiculous run Hoskins is on, but Joseph did have a 1.000 OPS with three home runs this past week. Will it be enough to keep him off the bench once Odubel Herrera (hamstring) and Aaron Altherr (hamstring) return? It’s doubtful … After going 1-for-14 to start his stint with the Mariners, Yonder Alonso has batted .356 (16-for-45) with a pair of home runs and nine RBI over 13 games since. He’s sitting against lefties, but Alonso has been batting second behind Jean Segura and ahead of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz versus righties. It’s a great spot to be, even if Safeco Field saps some power … With the Nationals’ outfield wrecked by injury and Ryan Zimmerman dealing with some bumps and bruises, Adam Lind has started nine of the last 12 games and 16 of 25 contests this month. Lind hasn’t been overly productive this month as a whole, but he has six hits – including a pair of homers – over his last 11 at-bats. With a .304/.358/.507 batting line and 11 dingers over 243 plate appearances, Lind has been an incredibly productive part-timer in 2017. He’s playable and mixed leagues right now with the playing time boost … Joe Mauer is rather quietly hitting a robust .435/.458/.580 over his last 17 games to push his line for the season to .296/.377/.405. The reason it’s been quiet is that he has just one home run over that stretch, and he’s driven in only one run over his last 14 contests. While Mauer is putting together his best season in four years, he just doesn’t provide enough in the way of counting stats to help you much in standard leagues …

 

Second Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Yolmer Sanchez
CWS
2B
2.28757
2.86999
-0.47547
1.83109
0.81430
7.33
#2
Kolten Wong
STL
2B
1.28036
0.28809
2.67062
1.46463
1.33557
7.04
#3
Brian Dozier
MIN
2B
0.27315
0.71841
4.24366
0.11323
0.81430
6.16
#4
Whit Merrifield
KC
2B
0.27315
-0.14222
4.24366
0.85102
0.81430
6.04
#5
Jonathan Schoop
BAL
2B
1.28036
2.00936
-0.47547
1.21870
1.85683
5.89
#6
Dee Gordon
MIA
2B
-0.73407
-1.00286
4.24366
0.60509
2.37810
5.49
#7
Ozzie Albies
ATL
2B
-0.73407
0.28809
1.09758
2.20120
1.85683
4.71
#8
Cesar Hernandez
PHI
2B
0.27315
0.71841
-0.47547
1.34166
1.33557
3.19
#9
Josh Harrison
PIT
2B
1.28036
1.14873
-0.47547
-0.13148
1.33557
3.16
#10
Jed Lowrie
OAK
2B
1.28036
1.57904
-0.47547
-0.12905
0.81430
3.07

 

Yolmer Sanchez should’ve been going by his original name this whole time. He’s started each of the last 13 games for the White Sox – including three times in the No. 2 spot in the lineup – and batted .313/.370/.521 with three homers over that stretch. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see the success continuing. Sanchez isn’t a guy who’s ever really hit for power, and while he has speed, he’s been an atrocious 5-for-13 in stolen base attempts this season … Kolten Wong continues to have a quietly excellent campaign and he’s finally starting to put up some counting stats to go with his rate stats. The second baseman is sporting a shiny 1.037 OPS in August, with three home runs, 18 RBI and three stolen bases. He has two homers over his last three games, which is double the number he had for the season coming into this month. Wong had been stuck in the No. 8 spot in the Cardinals’ order for most of 2017, but lately he’s getting more chances to hit higher in the lineup … Ozzie Albies’ comfort level in the majors appears to be growing, as he’s hit .395/.452/.711 with nine runs and two steals over his last 10 games. I suspected when Albies was promoted that stolen bases would be his primary means of fantasy production for this season, so it’s a little disappointing that he’s attempted only two steals even with a respectable .330 on-base percentage. However, as mentioned both of the attempts came over the last 10 games after he didn’t try any in his first 14 contests. I think we’ll start to see him run more now …

 

Third Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Eugenio Suarez
CIN
3B
2.28757
1.57904
-0.47547
1.09817
2.89937
7.39
#2
Adrian Beltre
TEX
3B
2.28757
3.30031
-0.47547
1.09573
0.81430
7.02
#3
Tommy La Stella
CHC
3B
2.28757
2.43968
-0.47547
1.34531
0.29303
5.89
#4
Alex Bregman
HOU
3B
0.27315
0.28809
1.09758
1.83109
0.81430
4.30
#5
Anthony Rendon
WAS
3B
-0.73407
0.28809
2.67062
1.09695
0.81430
4.14
#6
Manny Machado
BAL
3B
1.28036
0.71841
1.09758
-0.37620
1.33557
4.06
#7
Josh Donaldson
TOR
3B
2.28757
1.57904
-0.47547
-0.62091
0.81430
3.58
#8
Matt Chapman
OAK
3B
0.27315
0.28809
-0.47547
1.58759
0.81430
2.49
#9
Eduardo Nunez
BOS
3B
1.28036
2.00936
-0.47547
-0.62213
0.29303
2.49
#10
Chase Headley
NYY
3B
0.27315
1.14873
1.09758
-0.74144
0.29303
2.07

 

There have been peaks and valleys of production with Eugenio Suarez this season, but thankfully he’s in the midst of one of his peaks. The 26-year-old has put up a .329/.476/.709 batting line with eight home runs in August and has boasted a 19/22 K/BB ratio during that stretch. He’s already walked 22 more times than he did last season and has done so in 105 fewer plate appearances. With newfound patience at the plate and a shot at 30 home runs, it’s been an overlooked-but-notable breakout for Suarez … Tommy La Stella might have a regular job at this point if he was on just about any other team. “3 a.m.” got three starts this past week and in them went 6-for-11 with three taters and eight RBI. We just can’t count on the playing time here, though. La Stella has been optioned to the minors on three occasions this season and has started only seven of 20 games since his latest recall … Alex Bregman has officially earned shortstop eligibility for next season, and he’s also batted second for the Astros each of the last 10 games. The 23-year-old finished June with a .731 OPS, but he’s got that number up to .846 after batting .335/.404/.609 with eight homers and eight steals over the last two months … Matt Chapman is sporting a 31.8 percent strikeout rate in the majors so far, but he’s also got a solid 9.0 percent walk rate and has clubbed 10 homers across 201 plate appearances. His .244 average is more likely to go down than up, but the A’s no doubt have to be pleased with Chapman’s power and defense to this point …

 

Shortstop

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Jorge Polanco
MIN
SS
3.29478
3.73063
1.09758
1.46220
1.85683
11.44
#2
Francisco Lindor
CLE
SS
3.29478
2.00936
1.09758
1.34166
1.85683
9.60
#3
Freddy Galvis
PHI
SS
-0.73407
0.71841
4.24366
-0.25323
1.85683
5.83
#4
Jose Iglesias
DET
SS
0.27315
2.00936
1.09758
1.95649
-0.22824
5.11
#5
Andrelton Simmons
LAA
SS
0.27315
0.28809
2.67062
-0.37620
1.85683
4.71
#6
Wilmer Difo
WAS
SS
-0.73407
0.28809
2.67062
0.97277
1.33557
4.53
#7
Marcus Semien
OAK
SS
-0.73407
1.14873
2.67062
0.60752
0.81430
4.51
#8
Tim Beckham
BAL
SS
0.27315
1.14873
1.09758
0.23620
1.33557
4.09
#9
Amed Rosario
NYM
SS
1.28036
0.71841
1.09758
0.11445
-0.22824
2.98
#10
Xander Bogaerts
BOS
SS
0.27315
0.71841
-0.47547
0.48334
1.85683
2.86

 

Jorge Polanco came into this past week with a .639 OPS and three home runs on the season, so it’s safe to say him homering in four straight games wasn’t on anyone’s radar. The hot streak earned him a move up in the Twins’ lineup, as he’s batted second or third in five of the last six contests and he hit fifth in the other one. Polanco doesn’t hit the ball hard, but he makes enough contact to hit for a good-enough average and he has a shot at a 10/10 season in his first full year in the majors after turning just 24 last month … It’s been a breakout season for Francisco Lindor from a power perspective. The 23-year-old has walloped five home runs over his last eight games, giving him 24 on the campaign. That’s already nine more than he belted last season and a total that leads all shortstops (Carlos Correa would probably have a clear edge had he not gotten hurt, but still). Lindor’s average has fallen precipitously in 2017 even as his contact rate remains elite and he’s hitting the ball harder than ever.  That .277 BABIP will normalize … A .247 average and 28/2 K/BB ratio leaves a lot to be desired with Amed Rosario, but four home runs and four stolen bases so far in his first month in the majors will play. There are obviously going to be bumps in the road with the 21-year-old, but he never struck out much in the minors so I expect that part of his game to improve as he settles in …

 

Outfield

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Byron Buxton
MIN
OF
4.30199
3.30031
2.67062
1.33923
3.42064
15.03
#2
Rhys Hoskins
PHI
OF
5.30920
5.45189
-0.47547
1.70934
2.37810
14.37
#3
Giancarlo Stanton
MIA
OF
4.30199
3.73063
-0.47547
2.81238
2.89937
13.27
#4
Marcell Ozuna
MIA
OF
3.29478
2.86999
1.09758
1.34166
1.85683
10.46
#5
Christian Yelich
MIA
OF
1.28036
1.57904
1.09758
0.97277
2.89937
7.83
#6
Corey Dickerson
TB
OF
2.28757
0.71841
-0.47547
2.69185
1.85683
7.08
#7
J.D. Martinez
ARZ
OF
3.29478
2.43968
-0.47547
-0.25323
1.33557
6.34
#8
Trey Mancini
BAL
OF
0.27315
2.43968
-0.47547
2.56888
0.81430
5.62
#9
Kevin Kiermaier
TB
OF
1.28036
2.00936
1.09758
0.48213
0.29303
5.16
#10
Adam Jones
BAL
OF
1.28036
0.71841
-0.47547
1.34166
1.85683
4.72

 

Not only did Byron Buxton have his first career three-homer game Sunday (or two-homer game), but he also added a single and a stolen base. He’s the first Twin in history to hit three homers and steal a base in the same game and just the fifth ever in the American League to accomplish the feat. After sporting a hideous .552 OPS for the first three months of the season, Buxton is batting .344/.386/.617 with nine longballs and 11 steals over 37 games since the beginning of July. He’s also cut his strikeout rate down to 23.1 percent over that span after it was at 31.9 percent through June. The 23-year-old has batted third or fifth in eight of the last nine games and hit sixth in the other contest … Rhys Hoskins homered every day the Phillies had a game this past week, failing to go deep only in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Marlins. Yet, he still wasn’t the top fantasy outfielder. How about stealing some bases, Rhys! You bum! In all seriousness, it’s truly incredible what Hoskins has done so far, not only with the record-breaking 11 homers over his first 18 games, but also with the 13/11 K/BB ratio. He’s going to slow down (obviously), but Hoskins hit for a ton of power, didn’t strike out and drew a bunch of walks in the minors, too … Tough competition on the outfield leaderboard this past week, eh? Giancarlo Stanton slugged five more home runs last week and also batted .448. He has an incomprehensible 29 bombs over his last 46 games to put him at an even 50 on the season, as he’s the first National Leaguer to reach the plateau since Prince Fielder did it in 2007. He needs 10 dingers over the Marlins’ final 33 contests to become the sixth player in baseball history to hit 60 homers …

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