So you found a second girl willing to touch your wood? Nice work! Now let’s focus on what really matters: your fantasy baseball erection. No, don’t look down! Focus! I’m talking about erecting your fantasy squad. Did I lose the five girl readers again? I always scare them off so quickly.
If you recall “Hold on Loosely – Part One”, we discussed not only the failings of your love life, but also some of last year’s surprise players who went undrafted in a majority of leagues. As June approaches we now have a large enough sample on our hands (that’s what she said!) to begin speculating which late round draft picks/free agents could help most in erecting your fantasy powerhouse.
In part one I brought forth the theory that elite offensive statistics are becoming more attainable via the waiver wire now than ever before. The chart below highlights some of this season’s surprise hitters drafted with an NFBC ADP of 300 or later.
|Hitter||2018 Current Razzball Player Rater Ranking (Hitters)||2018 NFBC ADP|
I like the majority of this list to continue vastly outperforming their draft day stock, but the regression fairies always get to a couple of these guys. For fantasy erection purposes, you should always consult your Fantasy Master Lothario after 2 months. That said, there are a few of the above names Donkey trusts a little more than the others on this list:
Brandon Belt—Surprisingly he’s still never hit 20 home runs in a season, but last year he was on pace for 25+ homers before his season was derailed by a concussion. This year, he’s destroying baseballs with an incredible hard hit rate of 47% and the 4th most barrels in the majors (24) behind only Mookie, Just Dong & Joey Gallo. Buyer beware: Belt has always been somewhat of a streaky hitter and a bit injury prone. Grey says Belt hits 4 homers in 4 days and then disappears for weeks, but what if this time he accidentally hits 40 homers in 40 days? This could be the season he hits 30+ with a .280+ average. Cust kayin’.
CJ Cron – This guy spent most of his prime years locked in Scosiapath’s dungeon. He hasn’t wasted any time after his escape, hitting 11 homers with a .272 average through his first 46 games with the Rays. The truth is, nothing much about his stat line or peripherals is different from years past. The clear difference is the consistent playing time. I’m not expecting 40 home runs, but a low 30s homer season with a .260-.270 average seems well within his reach.
Kevin Pillar – His early season success can be attributed to increasing the angle of his dangle, I mean launch angle. From 2015-2017 Pillar had an average launch angle of around 12 degrees; Pillar has increased this number all the way to 15.5 degrees through the first 49 games of 2018. He’s benefited with corresponding increases to both his hard hit rate and line drive rate. If Pillar can keep getting it up, his balls I mean, then we’re looking at an easy career year.
Matt Adams – One item you’ll notice in common with all the guys I’m highlighting is they’re all hitting the ball extremely hard. One item that separates Adams a bit from the other names is a vastly improved walk rate, up to 12.5% this season which is roughly double his career average. Big City did have an amazing June last year, but even during that stretch the walk rate was just under 9% and he wasn’t hitting as many line drives as he is right now. If this improved approach and consistent playing time continue, my fantasy teams will be very stiff. By the way, is Viagra a banned substance?
Jesus Aguilar – Jesus is another guy currently mashing the ball, and you might be surprised to find out he actually hit the ball equally as hard last season. Like Pillar, he’s benefited greatly from an increased launch angle. The big question here is whether Jesus will be persecuted by the Brewers once Thames and Braun return. If he continues to perform miracles with his wood, the Pharisees in Milwaukee will have no choice but to find him regular at bats. Keep the Prince of Pop on your team to see if he makes the streets run red with the blood of the non-believers.
With about 75% of the season remaining, there will be more surprise hitters to come out of the woodwork; keep a close eye out for rumblings of prospect call ups. If your league allows it, continue diligently churning your roster as your competitors become lethargic. Remember, don’t suffocate that second girl who’s willing to touch your wood; you never know when a third or fourth girl might come along. Churn that roster all season and Hold on Loosely!
Written by Donkey Teeth. @donkeyteeth87 on Twitter. Co-Host of Ditka, Sausage, and Fantasy Sports Podcast hosted by LennyMelnickFantasySports.com