It’s nice to feel good about a call now and then. This week’s most added player was Austin Jackson (+42%). He was one of the first players in this column to get the “treasure” label back in early June when he was one of the most dropped. Back then I said, “It looks a little bleak now, but I still think Jackson gets to double digit homers and 20 steals by the end of this season. I’m not going crazy over him, and if you have better options please start them. However, he’s not a straight drop for a hot schmotato and it might be wise to inquire with a Jackson owner before the buy-low window closes.” And that’s me quo-, you get it. I’m not so sure about the homers and steals, but Jackson’s hitting for average and accumulating counting stats.
The 27-year-old outfielder has been starting regularly and leading off for the Tigers. In July, he’s hitting .351 with a .385 OBP, 18 runs scored and ten runs batted in. Should he continue to lead off, Jackson will be a nice source of runs scored from this point forward. Steamer projects him for another four homers and five steals. I think he could easily pass that steals mark with the Tigers being more aggressive this season.
Here are this week’s other big adds and drops for 2014 fantasy baseball…
Jacob deGrom – 70% owned (+35%)
deGrom has been a pleasant surprise since I don’t remember much chatter about him in the preseason. Honestly, the Mets are setting up a nice little rotation for 2015. There’s a lot to like here. Friendly ballpark, some lackluster NL east opponents down the stretch, a nice strikeout rate (8.6 per 9), and he doesn’t give up a lot of homers (0.5 per 9). I’m not sure if a lot of teams have actually stopped paying attention to their wires yet, but deGrom needs to be owned in 12-team mixed leagues. He’s more than a streamer at this point. Over his last four starts (27.1 innings) he’s allowed zero homers, two earned runs, and has struck out 30 batters. 30 batters! What fantasy rotation wouldn’t want a string of four starts like that? With an upcoming August schedule that includes a bunch of games against the Phillies, Cubs, Braves, and Nats deGrom should continue to see success this month. All four of those teams are in the bottom third of baseball with a wRC+ of 91 or lower against RHP. The Braves, Phils, and Cubs rank 26th, 27th, and 29th respectively. After that stretch, an innings limit could come into play, but for now…TREASURE.
Yordano Ventura – 58% owned (-20%)
This is the second time he’s appearing in this column so maybe I just have an affinity for him, but I still think Ventura is an easy arm to own in 12-teamers. He had a major clunker in Boston giving up six earned runs, but Boston is a tough draw at home. The lack of strikeouts was the concern when he first came off the disabled list, but he has 15 strikeouts over his last 17.1 innings pitched. He still gets the pitching friendly home ballpark and the injury doesn’tseem to be an issue. An innings limit shouldn’t be a worry either as he’s expected to throw between 180-200 this season. So while these last couple of starts have seen him give up a few runs, the strikeouts have returned. I’d actually be comfortable with him as my SP3/SP4 moving forward in 12-teamers. Certainly he doesn’t deserve to be unloaded at a 20% clip. TREASURE. AGAIN.