It’s only appropriate to start with the man this article Happ-ens to be named after. In his 16 games since being called up by the Cubs, Ian Happ (OF/3B, 9.8% owned in ESPN) has slashed .300/.391/.650. He has recorded 4 homers and 2 doubles while scoring 9 runs and knocking in 11. Perhaps most importantly, Happ has struck out just 10 times through his 46 PA. That comes out to a 21.7% K rate, so the “just” may seem a little generous. Which it is. But when you consider he struck out in 36.1% of his 462 PA last season, the 21.7% seems much more bearable.

Time will tell if his strikeouts will creep back up as he records more at-bats, but Happ is someone worth taking a shot on. Though he has always been known for striking out at a high rate, he also has continued to walk at a very healthy rate. His 13% walk rate is right in line with his 12.5% mark, and he gets a slight boost in OBP leagues. Though a limited sample size and impossible to remain so high, Happ’s .350 ISO, .425 wOBA, and 164 wRC+ are certainly encouraging. He hits in one of baseball’s best lineups, so there should be plenty of opportunities to generate runs for Happ. He could be a great addition to fantasy squads looking to add a bat down the stretch.

Steamer ROS: .233/.328/.426 with 4 HR, 11 R, 12 RBI, and 1 SB through 95 PA (23 GP)

 

Willie Calhoun – OF, Rangers (13.8% owned)

It seems Willie has been freed. In 40 games at the big league level this year, Calhoun has slashed .274/.316/.555 through 155 PA. Willie has cracked 10 home runs and 7 doubles, while driving in 26 runs and scoring another 26. He certainly doesn’t walk a ton (5.2%) and the strike outs could be improved upon (19.4%), but he has looked like a real solid hitter this year. His swinging strike rate of just 7.4% is an encouraging sign that he is able to cut down on that K rate. He has had some great contact with the ball, making hard contact 39.7% of the time with an average exit velo of 90.2 MPH. Since his most recent call up on July 26th, Calhoun has slashed .269/.321/.673 with 5 home runs, 4 doubles, and 13 runs batted in. He has been showcasing his power, as evidenced by his .404 ISO and .399 wOBA. Willie has found himself in the cleanup spot a lot lately, which will allow him to continue knocking in runs. Calhoun should be a viable hitting option to close out the year.

Steamer ROS: .268/.327/.455 with 4 HR, 13 R, 14 RBI through 104 PA (25 GP)

 

J.D. Davis – OF/3B, Mets (21% owned) 

I know, I know. I’ve written about him before. And his ownership is starting to climb up, but he’s still available in nearly 80% of ESPN leagues. He has been one of the most underrated hitters this season, and a big reason the Mets are in the Wild Card race. Through 312 PA this year, Davis is slashing .307/.372/.521 with 14 home runs and 16 doubles. He has knocked in 38 runs, while scoring 43 in his 101 games of action. His 136 wRC+ are tied for 25th most among all big leaguers with at least 300 PA. His .353 BABIP would typically suggest that his average is due to drop from its current .307 mark, which is likely will. However, based off the contact he’s made his xBA is actually .319, and is in the top 1% of the league.

We’ve visited them before, but J.D’s Statcast metrics are incredible and back his great numbers from 2019. If you’ve watched him play, you can tell he hits the ball extremely hard, and the metrics back it. His hard hit rate of 49.8% ranks in the top 4% of the league, and his average exit velocity of 92.2 MPH is in the top 6% of MLB hitters. J.D.’s xBA (.319), xSLG (.537), and xWOBA (.394) also all rank in the top 7% of the league. He may see a dip in his batting average, but you can expect him to be a solid hitter across the board to finish off the season.

Steamer ROS: .261/.325/.450 with 5 HR, 14 R, 15 RBI, and 1 SB through 118 PA (28 GP)

 
  1. Gary Strasberg says:
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    I would note that Smoaked was also high on Statcast metrics and is a quad at best. The metrics were also high on Iannetta(aaa), David frozen and Alex avilalalallala…

    • Yost

      Yost says:
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      This is very true. The metrics definitely don’t tell the full picture, and many who look appealing according to them don’t pan out. However, J.D.’s .307 average and 14 homers through 312 PA and some awesome metrics to back it looks promising

      • Gary Strasberg says:
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        He definitely hits the ball hard. I think 85% playing time is necessary for timing.

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