Year after year, Kole Calhoun (3-5% FAAB) continues to be an excellent replacement in fantasy leagues. This week we witnessed a significant loss in Aaron Judge, and necessary moves must occur to recreate some of that stat-line. With 9 HR in July alone, Calhoun could be one of the better power producers available for the rest of the season. All of the Statcast data suggests that his year has been extremely unlucky. His overall Barrel% is higher than ever, the BABIP is ready to jump back up, and the Hard Hit% is on par with his career rate. If your team is losing outfielders, pay a little bit extra to get the consistency that Calhoun brings to the table. July was a massive month for him, look for that to continue as his numbers should continue to bounce back more towards the norm.
I recommended Gurriel Jr. way back before his big league promotion late-April. Seeing him play in Hartford earlier in the season sold me on a utility infielder who’s greatest asset is a highly capable bat. The barrel control for this Blue Jay infielder continues to impress. Gurriel is barreling 10% of his contact in his 2018 debut. After a scorching July, in which he hit .409 with 4 HR in 16 games, it is time to roster Gurriel in all leagues. Pay extra where you need high upside despite the possibility of a low floor. I believe the power is a legitimate tool with this 24-year-old and he could close out the season producing serious fantasy numbers.
Williams is an easy add in every league where he is available. This former Phillies prospect is tooled up in all the ways you love to see in a fantasy stud. The best part about his profile this season is the declining K%, the rising BB%, and continued power that has consistently adjusted in his first full season. His speed hasn’t been as much a part of his game as dynasty league stashers would have hoped, but he should steal at least a couple more bases to close out the year. Overall the profile brings a decent average, slightly above-average power, and speed potential to make him coveted in fantasy situations. Up the ante in leagues where you need more high upside and low floor, similar to the Gurriel situation.
On the surface, Givens looks like a subpar middle reliever who should not be sitting on a fantasy roster this late in the season. However, looking at the Orioles situation, it would seem to make sense that Brad Brach will soon follow Zach Britton out of town, and onto a contender. If that is the case, Givens would be the next one in line for the 9th inning in Baltimore. There are plenty of guys that may get a shot for some saves to end the year, but not many that are as talented as Givens. He piles up the strikeouts, possesses the ability to go multiple innings, limits home runs, and is getting extremely unlucky with BABIP. The only chain that needs to break here is Brach moving out of the closer role via trade, and you will have a budget closer to end the fantasy season.
Seeing the debut successes of Juan Soto, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and others makes me think it is time to stash Jimenez. Rostering prospects is always a combination of “Do I have an extra roster space to use for a couple of weeks?” and “How much upside does my team need to make a run?” These are important questions to ask when looking at a guy like Eloy while placing FAAB bids. The ceiling could be double-digit homers in a month with gaudy counting stats and a great batting average. This player carries a very polished bat that could provide high ceiling with a decent floor as well, even in his debut. If your team needs a ton of talent to sprint to the finish, get Jimenez now hoping that the promotion comes sooner rather than later. He is currently raking in AAA, hitting .367 while cutting his K% nearly in half. It is rare you see players completely dominate a promotion to a higher level, but this guy is performing like a madman.
Lonely ONLY-League Targets (STASH EDITION)
If you have room on your roster this week, or even if you don’t, find one spot to go out and stash someone for the final stretch of the season.
Prospects like Eloy Jimenez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and even Victor Robles, coming back from injury, should be excellent stashes for multiple reasons. Robles has exceptional speed with huge batting average upside and some power. Plus, we all know the legend of Vlad Jr. and he now sits in AAA waiting to don the Toronto blue at some point this season.