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Hot Hitter Rundown

Hot Hitter Rundown: August 12

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: August 12, 2019, 11:21 am 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 5-11.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups on Yahoo!, DraftKings and FanDuel with our DFS Toolkit!

Catcher

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

J.T. Realmuto

PHI

C

-0.74628

-0.17067

4.86560

-0.28867

0.66223

4.32

#2

Francisco Mejia

SD

C

1.05078

-0.17067

-0.39451

2.90715

0.66223

4.05

#3

Wilson Ramos

NYM

C

1.05078

0.66527

-0.39451

1.05637

0.66223

3.04

#4

Austin Romine

NYY

C

1.05078

0.66527

-0.39451

0.81544

0.19660

2.33

#5

Carson Kelly

ARZ

C

1.05078

0.66527

-0.39451

0.70690

0.19660

2.23

#6

Kyle Higashioka

NYY

C

1.05078

1.08324

-0.39451

0.35743

-0.26903

1.83

#7

Tucker Barnhart

CIN

C

1.05078

0.24730

-0.39451

0.20912

0.66223

1.77

#8

James McCann

CWS

C

-0.74628

1.08324

-0.39451

1.18082

0.19660

1.32

#9

Christian Vazquez

BOS

C

0.15225

0.66527

-0.39451

0.20116

0.66223

1.29

#10

Mike Zunino

TB

C

1.05078

1.08324

-0.39451

-0.51369

-0.26903

.96

J.T. Realmuto followed a nice little power stretch with a week in which he stole three bases, which was enough to put him in the top spot here even though he did little else. The catcher’s steals dropped off last season, but he’s a good athlete who has traditionally chipped in in the speed department more than most at the position … Francisco Mejia is the Padres’ primary catcher at this point and he’s been a beast at the plate so far in August, going 15-for-25 (.600) with a couple home runs and a stolen base. He’s started six of 10 games this month and has multiple hits in every one of his starts. The talented backstop has also crept up in the Padres’ batting order, mostly hitting sixth of late after being stuck in the bottom third of the lineup previously. It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Mejia this season, but with his offensive upside there are few better fantasy bets at the catcher position going down the stretch … Carson Kelly got off to a terrible start in April this season, but since the beginning of May the youngster is sporting an even 1.000 OPS and all 16 of his home runs (over 211 plate appearances) have come during that span. He’s also playing more and more but showing no signs of wearing down, having put up a 1.111 OPS with five long balls across his last 12 contests. The 25-year-old is sporting an above-average hard-hit rate (42.5 percent) along with an 11.2 percent walk rate and just an 18.8 percent strikeout rate. It would be nice if he weren’t cemented into the No. 8 spot in the Diamondbacks’ lineup, but it’s hard to complain about anything we’re getting from Kelly …

First Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Yuli Gurriel

HOU

1B

1.94930

4.00902

1.35886

1.80305

2.05912

11.18

#2

Freddie Freeman

ATL

1B

1.94930

2.75512

-0.39451

2.39346

2.52475

9.23

#3

Pete Alonso

NYM

1B

2.84783

1.91918

-0.39451

0.44210

0.66223

5.48

#4

Sam Travis

BOS

1B

1.94930

1.91918

-0.39451

0.46596

1.12786

5.07

#5

Jose Abreu

CWS

1B

0.15225

1.50121

-0.39451

2.51791

0.66223

4.44

#6

Carlos Santana

CLE

1B

0.15225

1.91918

-0.39451

0.44210

1.59349

3.71

#7

Paul Goldschmidt

STL

1B

0.15225

0.66527

1.35886

0.56655

0.66223

3.41

#8

Josh Bell

PIT

1B

1.05078

0.66527

-0.39451

0.70690

1.12786

3.16

#9

Eric Thames

MLW

1B

0.15225

0.66527

-0.39451

0.45801

0.66223

1.54

#10

Anthony Rizzo

CHC

1B

-0.74628

-0.17067

1.35886

0.57450

0.19660

1.21

Among Yuli Gurriel’s four starts last week, he managed to squeeze in a two-homer game, an eight-RBI game and a four-hit game. Yep, that will work. Gurriel’s average home run distance this season is just 390 feet, which ranks outside the top-300 in baseball. However, while he’s had his fair share of fence-scrapers, his 14.9 percent HR/FB rate is hardly egregious, and in this offensive environment it’s hard to confidently predict regression … It feels like I haven’t discussed Freddie Freeman much in this space this season. Perhaps I’ve taken his greatness for granted. Sorry, Freddie. Anyway, after a down July (for his standards, anyway) in which he had an .817 OPS, Freeman has come out of the gates in August with a 1.122 OPS, four dingers and 13 RBI in his first 11 tilts. The first baseman’s 43.5 percent hard-hit rate and 90.5 mph exit velocity fall under the good-not-great category, but his xBA (.290), xSLG (.554) and xwOBA (.398) are all elite … Pete Alonso actually hadn’t contributed much at the beginning of the surprising run the Mets have been on, but then last week he went out and homered in four straight games. With 38 long balls, the rookie is just three away from the team’s single-season home run record (set by Todd Hundley and Carlos Beltran). Alonso is batting just .186 with a 32.5 percent strikeout rate so far in the second half, and his average has really fluctuated month-to-month. The power hasn’t, though …

Second Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Ozzie Albies

ATL

2B

1.94930

1.91918

1.35886

3.85499

3.45600

12.54

#2

Starlin Castro

MIA

2B

1.05078

2.75512

-0.39451

3.36516

1.12786

7.90

#3

Jonathan Villar

BAL

2B

0.15225

0.24730

3.11223

2.40141

1.59349

7.51

#4

Jose Altuve

HOU

2B

1.05078

1.50121

-0.39451

1.18082

2.52475

5.86

#5

Eric Sogard

TB

2B

0.15225

-0.58864

3.11223

0.94784

0.19660

3.82

#6

Keston Hiura

MLW

2B

1.94930

1.08324

-0.39451

-0.17217

1.12786

3.59

#7

DJ LeMahieu

NYY

2B

0.15225

1.08324

-0.39451

0.92397

0.66223

2.43

#8

Luis Arraez

MIN

2B

-0.74628

1.50121

-0.39451

0.81544

0.19660

1.37

#9

Luis Urias

SD

2B

-0.74628

0.24730

-0.39451

0.45801

1.59349

1.16

#10

Scooter Gennett

SF

2B

0.15225

-0.17067

-0.39451

0.57450

0.19660

.36

Ozzie Albies has been on quite a run since mid-June, a 54-game stretch during which he’s put up a sparkling .341/.383/.623 batting line with 11 home runs and seven stolen bases. He was moved from the No. 6 spot up to the No. 2 spot in the Braves’ batting order after Nick Markakis (wrist) got hurt and over the last 13 contests is sporting a 1.244 OPS with three dingers. Albies continues to absolutely obliterate left-handed pitching (.407/.424/.717), but unlike last season he is holding his own versus righties (.267/.336/.444) … Many assumed that Starling Castro would be dealt at the trade deadline, but the Marlins hung on to him and he’s since batted .378/.391/.667 with three homers and 11 RBI in his first 11 games this month. He’s a particularly ridiculous 13-for-23 (.565) across his last five tilts. The team has been using Castro at third base following the promotion of Isan Diaz, which has meant Brian Anderson being jettisoned out to right field … Luis Arraez’s unexpected emergence for the Twins this season has meant a bench role lately for Jonathan Schoop. Arraez’s counting stats are severely lacking, as he doesn’t run and has managed just two homers in 202 plate appearances. However, his elite contact skills has meant an average no lower than .321 in any of his first four months …

Third Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Gio Urshela

NYY

3B

3.74636

3.17309

-0.39451

1.91954

2.52475

10.97

#2

Jose Ramirez

CLE

3B

1.05078

1.91918

3.11223

1.17287

1.59349

8.85

#3

Hunter Dozier

KC

3B

2.84783

1.91918

-0.39451

1.29731

2.52475

8.19

#4

Alex Bregman

HOU

3B

0.15225

1.91918

-0.39451

1.92750

3.45600

7.06

#5

Brian Anderson

MIA

3B

1.94930

1.50121

-0.39451

1.65474

2.05912

6.77

#6

Jon Berti

MIA

3B

-0.74628

0.24730

3.11223

1.53825

1.59349

5.74

#7

Anthony Rendon

WAS

3B

0.15225

1.08324

1.35886

1.54620

1.59349

5.73

#8

Kris Bryant

CHC

3B

1.05078

1.91918

-0.39451

1.53825

1.12786

5.24

#9

Eugenio Suarez

CIN

3B

2.84783

0.66527

-0.39451

0.20116

1.59349

4.91

#10

Justin Turner

LA

3B

1.05078

1.08324

1.35886

0.69099

0.66223

4.85

Gio Urshela’s storybook season looked like it might be headed for a downturn when his OPS dipped to .682 in June, but he’s since roared back with a 1.041 OPS in July and a 1.547 OPS so far in August. The third baseman had back-to-back two-homer games last week and has gone deep six times and driven in 12 runs across his last six contests. Statcast says that the breakout has been largely legitimate, as Urshela’s xBA (.311), xSLG (.531) and xwOBA (.380) are all pretty close to his actual numbers in those categories … Hunter Dozier batted just .237/.327/.430 with five home runs over 35 games after returning from his chest injury, as it was starting to look like his early-season breakout might have been a bit of a mirage. But, alas, Dozier has been a monster again in August, notching his third multi-homer game of the month already on Sunday. The 27-year-old’s exit velocity (92.4 mph) ranks in the 96th percentile this season, and he’s cut way down on his strikeouts (22.3 percent) while at the same time significantly upped his walk rate (10.9 percent) … Jon Berti is a 29-year-old journeyman who is in his third organization since the beginning of last season, but that doesn’t mean the speedster is incapable of helping out fantasy owners. Berti’s sprint speed ranks in the 98th percentile in baseball, and he’s used it to swipe five bags without being caught during his brief time in the majors this season. He’s also taken over as the Marlins’ shortstop and leadoff hitter with Miguel Rojas (hamstring) going down. Berti is mostly a speed-only play, but he could be useful even if it’s just for the short term and he also has multi-position eligibility …

Shortstop

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Fernando Tatis Jr.

SD

SS

1.94930

1.91918

3.11223

0.31765

1.12786

8.43

#2

Trea Turner

WAS

SS

0.15225

-0.58864

4.86560

0.56655

2.05912

7.05

#3

Carlos Correa

HOU

SS

1.94930

2.75512

-0.39451

1.18082

1.12786

6.62

#4

Bo Bichette

TOR

SS

1.05078

0.66527

1.35886

0.92397

1.12786

5.13

#5

Javier Baez

CHC

SS

1.05078

1.91918

-0.39451

0.80748

1.12786

4.51

#6

Tim Anderson

CWS

SS

-0.74628

-1.00661

1.35886

3.25663

1.59349

4.46

#7

Trevor Story

COL

SS

0.15225

0.24730

3.11223

0.19321

0.19660

3.90

#8

Jordy Mercer

DET

SS

1.05078

1.08324

-0.39451

1.67065

0.19660

3.61

#9

Marcus Semien

OAK

SS

1.05078

0.24730

-0.39451

-0.17217

1.12786

1.86

#10

Amed Rosario

NYM

SS

0.15225

-0.58864

1.35886

0.06876

0.19660

1.19

With an elevated strikeout rate (28.9 percent), pedestrian exit velocity (89.5 mph) and unsustainable BABIP, it was a pretty easy call to predict some regression for Fernando Tatis Jr. It hasn’t really come, though, with the wunderkind last week following a stretch of three straight games with a homer with a two-steal game. He’s on pace for a 30-homer, 20-steal season even after missing over a month with a hamstring injury. A special player, this kid is … Carlos Correa has tried to make up for lost time after missing two months with a fractured rib, as he’s posted a 1.060 OPS with six bombs and 18 RBI over 14 games since being activated. He went deep in back-to-back tilts over the weekend. Correa’s exit velocity (89.6 mph) this season is nothing to write home about, but his xBA (.295), xSLG (.536) and xwOBA (.392) all rank in the 93rd percentile or higher … Speaking of coming back strong from injury, after missing over a month of action with an ankle ailment, Tim Anderson has returned to bat .360 over his first 12 games back from the injured list. The counting stats haven’t been there with just one homer and one steal during that span, but we don’t really need to worry about Anderson in those areas …

Outfield

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Ronald Acuna

ATL

OF

4.64489

3.17309

4.86560

2.50995

4.38726

19.58

#2

Mike Tauchman

NYY

OF

3.74636

3.17309

3.11223

1.91159

2.05912

14.00

#3

Aristides Aquino

CIN

OF

4.64489

3.59105

-0.39451

2.65031

2.52475

13.02

#4

Ian Happ

CHC

OF

2.84783

3.17309

-0.39451

1.54620

1.59349

8.77

#5

Juan Soto

WAS

OF

1.94930

1.50121

3.11223

1.06433

1.12786

8.75

#6

Nicholas Castellanos

CHC

OF

2.84783

1.08324

-0.39451

2.14457

2.99038

8.67

#7

Michael Conforto

NYM

OF

1.94930

2.33715

1.35886

0.93988

1.12786

7.71

#8

Kevin Pillar

SF

OF

1.05078

1.08324

1.35886

1.78714

2.05912

7.34

#9

J.D. Davis

NYM

OF

1.94930

1.08324

-0.39451

1.79509

2.52475

6.96

#10

Adam Eaton

WAS

OF

-0.74628

-1.00661

4.86560

1.42971

2.05912

6.60

Ronald Acuna has already gone deep eight times in August, driving in 15 runs, scoring 15 runs and stealing three bases along the way. He’s leading the National League with his 28 stolen bases, and only Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and Pete Alonso have hit more home runs on the Senior Circuit. Acuna is trying to become just the fifth player ever to join the 40-40 club, and it’s legitimately within reach with the 21-year-old on a 45-homer, 38-steal pace. He’s good. He’s very, very good … Mike Tauchman’s first few stints in the big leagues were forgettable, but he’s been on quite a run since his recall in late June, posting an absurd .407/.474/.802 batting line with eight home runs, 27 RBI, 23 runs scored and four stolen bases across 28 contests. While 11 of Tauchman’s 12 home runs have come against right-handers, he’s sporting a ridiculous 1.164 OPS versus lefties. Yankees manager Aaron Boone refusing to move Tauchman up in the order has been frustrating, but with Aaron Hicks (elbow) and Giancarlo Stanton’s (knee) returns not imminent, Tauchman looks like he’ll remain in the lineup for a while longer … “The Punisher” has arrived and he’s been trained to destroy baseballs. Aristides Aquino revamped his swing before this season and it’s helped the 25-year-old go from suspect to prospect, as he put up a .992 OPS with 28 homers at Triple-A Louisville before an incredible run with the Reds that’s seen him slug seven long balls in his first 10 games. Aquino has fanned at a 29.4 percent clip and he struck out quite a bit in the minors, too. There is sure to be an adjustment period coming for the young slugger, but Aquino’s power certainly looks legitimate … The shine that Ian Happ had when he first arrived in the majors a couple years ago has faded, and he had to wait until late July this season to see his first action in the majors. However, he showed last week that there’s still talent there, popping four home runs and driving in 10 runs. Strikeouts are likely to continue to be a problem for Happ, and he’s not assured playing time if/when he slumps (he went just 3-for-17 in his first nine games prior to last week). That said, the 25-year-old is certainly worth a roll of the dice …

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