We’ve finally made it to September, and if you’re reading this post, that probably means that you’re still in contention or are looking to play spoiler to the guy who brags about how great his team is on draft day. At this point of the season, it probably wouldn’t be particularly useful to read 1,000 words on Dexter Fowler (and really, would it ever?), so we’re going to switch up the format over the next few weeks and take a quick look at some players who might help you bring home that fantasy title (as well as a few who won’t). This week, we’ll focus on hitters, and next week will be pitchers. Sound good? Dig it.
Here are a few hitters to consider adding/dropping over the next few weeks (with ESPN ownership %):
• Franklin Gutierrez (18%): Admit it – you forgot that the big FraGu was still even playing, didn’t you? It would be understandable if you did. Gutierrez has only played in 81 games since the 2012 season, and missed 2014 completely due to health issues. The 32-year-old has come back with a vengeance this season though, producing a .315/.366/.646 triple slash with 11 homers, 21 runs, and 30 RBIs in 44 games (142 plate appearances), with most of those numbers coming in the last month (.362/.421/.783 w/ 8 HR, 16 R, 22 RBI). The notorious lefty masher (1.062 OPS vs LHP in 2015; .843 career) is scheduled to face 6 lefties in his next 11 games, and looks to be an everyday player now that Austin Jackson has been shipped off to Chicago. Could be a nice asset down the stretch. BULL.
• Ryan Zimmerman (82%): Who’s been the hottest hitter in MLB over the last two weeks outside of Edwin Encarnacion, Joey Votto, and Yoenis Cespedes? Didn’t you see the name at the start of this blurb? It’s the ever-disappointing Zimmerman, of course. He certainly hasn’t disappointed recently though. Over the last two weeks, he has the 2nd highest ISO (.533) in MLB and his 7 homers is tied with E5 for the 2nd most in MLB. His .311 batting average over that span has even been a bit unlucky if anything (.233 BABIP). I guess the shoulder is feeling good. Based on his current ownership percentage, Zimmerman is a longshot to be available, but he was floating around in a couple of my leagues recently, so there is a chance. BULL.
• The Yasmanis (Yasmanii?): The last month hasn’t been kind to either Yasmani Grandal (61.7%) or Yasmany Tomas (35.6%). Just how bad has it been? When sorting for players who made a minimum of 60 PA with a K% of at least 28% an ISO of less than .120 over the last 30 days, here are the results:
Wieters missed the first couple of months of this season due to injury, and he hasn’t looked right all year long. Sands looks to be a platooning journeyman in the John Mayberry mold. Hunter is doing his best Julio Franco impression, i.e., choosing to play until he’s wheeled off of the field.
Which leaves the Yasmanis. Both have suffered through health and playing time issues recently, and when they have played, they’ve struck out at alarming clips and haven’t hit for power at all. In shallow formats, it’s time to cut ’em loose if you haven’t already done so. BEAR.
• Danny Valencia (22.6%) and C.J. Cron (5.5%): It’s pretty easy to lump these guys together since they’re both right-handed power hitters who play in the AL West. Both of them have been hot recently as well. Over the last 30 days, Valencia has posted a .302/.351/.547 triple slash with 5 homers, 14 runs, and 18 RBIs, while Cron has gone .301/.344/.506 with 4 homers, 10 runs, 13 RBIs, and 2 steals. Either would make a fine corner infidel for your fake team over the next month, and Valencia should have OF eligibility to boot in most formats. BULL.