(NOTE: THIS POST WAS RELEASED EARLY THIS WEEK ON OUR PATREON. IT’S $10/MONTH)
It’s September call-up season, or SZN if you’re crazy hip. Down like a clown. Fresher than def. Only MLB scaled back the number of call-ups a team can do to make it less obvious teams were manipulating time. (That’s why I think, at least.) So, I debated Corbin Carroll, Gunnar Henderson, or Josh Jung for the lede vs. Keston Hiura. Guess which one I went with. Go ahead, I’ll give you five guesses, if you can’t get it, just be lucky you haven’t accidentally suffocated yourself in your own drool. Any hoo! Time for some pictures! Who doesn’t like pictures? First two pictures are Keston Hiura in 2020 and the 2nd two pictures are Keston Hiura in 2022.
You, “Ooh! Fun! Like one of those games where you have to figure out the difference between two pictures only this one is figuring out the difference between the top two pictures and the bottom two. Oh! I know! That’s a different pitcher! Clever, because it’s two different ‘pictures,’ so you made it different pitchers! You can’t get me! So, if you have no other picture games for me, I’m gonna take a nap…” And, with that, you remove your two glass eyes and place them in two glasses of water. You, “Hope I don’t drink them.” Okay, so what you might’ve missed is Hiura’s 2022 stance is much more closed, and his giant leg kick is reduced. He went from stepping over a dwarf to tip-toeing into the room. For all hitters — all hitters — Keston Hiura has the best OPS vs. righties when sorting by only 90 plate appearances. That’s insane. He has a better OPS (1.120) than Aaron Judge, Yordan Alvarez, Juan Soto, Bryce Harper– EVERYONE! That’s crazy. His slugging percentage vs. righties is .704, which also leads the league. He’s also apparently hanging out too much with Pollock and can’t hit lefties, which is very odd for a righty, but you just switch him out when he faces those that use the weird scissors. Not exactly a fresh-faced call-up, but you can see why I wanted to highlight Keston Hiura with those pictures. Places glass eyes back in head, “Oh! Those are Keston Hiura?” Anyway, here’s some more players to Buy or Sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Cal Raleigh – There’s an old saying in Tennessee…It’s a saying in Texas, I’m sure it’s in Tennessee too. It goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…I won’t get fooled into drafting a top catcher again.” Hope you heed these wise words always. In one small personal anecdotal way, in my RCL league, I’ve had Sean Murphy, and dropped him for Alejandro Kirk. They are currently bouncing between fifth and sixth for catchers on the Player Rater for the season. Cal Raleigh, sitting around 12th overall. That means at the end of August you can still pick up the 12th best catcher in 12-team leagues.
Christian Bethancourt – Tampa Bayth Rayth have done ith again with Bethancourt! (Not really, but he has been hot.)
Albert Pujols – “We’re here for the Cardinals’ final regular season game, and it’s the 9th inning. Albert Pujols is stuck on 699 homers and the Pirates are going to the pen to face him. Looks like they’re bringing in their recent signing, coming out of retirement, it’s Brad Lidge.”
Christian Arroyo – Went to look at our 30-day Player Rater to see how well Arroyo was doing, expecting to get floored. Literally, bracing myself like I was walking into a wave pool. …And, yeah, he’s been fine. Not as good as I thought, but maybe better than you might expect.
Ramon Urias – People paved the road before you, so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable about wanting Ram-Urias in fantasy.
Luis Rengifo – If you were to prorate his last month out — “If you were to give out candy to every single child on earth, you’d need Halloween to be sixteen years long.” Mr. Prorater, you’re so dumb. — Rengifo would be a 24/12/.280 hitter next year in six months.
Nico Hoerner – All of these guys have been hot, but some in different categories than others. Hoerner’s been mostly a steals guy, recently. Doing a terrible Austin Powers, “Does that make you Hoerner, baby? Yeah!”
Bryson Stott – “Siri, use B-Stott in a sentence.” “A Bees’ tot is called a babe-bee.” “Siri, I don’t think that’s true.” “Then ask Alexa, you jerkoff!”
Gunnar Henderson – I absolutely will go over Gunnar in detail if he’s called up (he’s a better Bobby Witt Jr.), but I have my suspicions he won’t be called up. We shall see. Here’s some more of my thoughts:
Josh Jung – Another guy who I will absolutely go over if he’s called up, and Jung actually feels like he might be. The problem with September call-ups now is not only are the teams not expanding as much, but I wonder if the stipulation put into the last CBA is actually holding back some call-ups. They put in there that a guy who starts the year with the club and wins the Rookie of the Year (or simply top three in voting) leads to an extra draft pick, so teams might want to hold guys down at this point for next year. Though, as long as they don’t exceed rookie eligibility I think they’re fine. Anyway, if I had to rank the rookies for who might actually be called up, I’d go Jung, Carroll, then Gunnar. BDon and I talk more about this on this week’s podcast.
Elehuris Montero – Anyone in Coors is interesting, so don’t take this the wrong way, but I looked at Montero’s peripherals to see how well he was doing and I laughed for 17 minutes at how awful he’s doing under-the-hood. Lucky, we play this fantasy game of ours above the hood. Like I play above the rim (on a Fisher Price basketball rim).
Brett Baty – As also discussed this week on the podcast, but in the final 100 or so at-bats any player can be as good as any other player. Do I like Baty more than, say, Garrett Stone? Yes, long-term, but short-term, Harold Ramirez might be better than both, or not. Hedging is the fantasy baseball ‘pert kink.
Jake Fraley – I drafted him in an NL-Only league, and, well, I’m not doing great in that league, but Fraley would’ve helped a lot if he would’ve done the shizz he’s been doing in the last week-plus over the whole year! Yes, his good play is still making mad.
Ben Gamel – Spinning the dreidel, and it lands, “Hey, it’s Gamel!” Pull back to reveal I’ve taped a picture of Gamel on a dreidel for no apparent reason other than it’s what good Jews do, is that an issue?
Harold Ramirez – Top 50 on the 7-day Player Rater is nothing to sneeze about, unless you’re allergic to fantasy value, which is an odd thing to be allergic to. Is that a genetic thing? How are you with dairy?
Corbin Carroll – Same story as Jung, Gunnar and others. If you didn’t know that, you are literally skipping around this post and not reading it. C’mon, bro!
Lars Nootbaar – “Have you checked by the candied almonds?” That’s the sweet woman at Sprouts after I asked her about picking up Lars Nootbaar.
Oscar Gonzalez – Been so hot recently, more like Oscar the no slouch! Amiright?! High five me! No? Okay, prolly right choice.
Garrett Stone – Already gave you my Garrett Stone fantasy. It was met with the fanfare of a viking funeral.
Sam Haggerty – *pounds a shot of Sammy Hagar’s tequila, In Halen* Sammy Haggerty for steals! Woohoo! *vomits and falls over a chair*
Corey Dickerson – He’s filming his own 30 for 30, because he’s got 30 hits in his last 30 at-bats, hey oh!
Felix Bautista – Usually try to keep these fresh by not repeating myself — And that’s me quoting me! Hot schmotato alert! Any hoo! — but I do want to point out again how much I already want Felix for next year. He’s so good, guys and five girl readers.
Alexis Diaz – There’s some decent closers available late in the year. The problem is their teams suck giant yak balls.
Rafael Montero – Will be filling in for Pressly, so now fat Tom Hanks has to manage him too?
Jason Adam – A closer’s name should be like Bruce Sutter! Rollie Fingers! Mariano Rivera! Jason Adam is not a closer’s name, it’s someone picking up their kids at daycare and telling the teacher which kids are theirs to bring out.
Tommy Edman – Big Cards’ lineup shakeup recently. Pujols playing 1st; DeJong moved to shortstop; Lars Nootbar moved to aisle seven by the Wheat Thins and Teddy Grahams; Edman moved to the dog house. As someone who has Tommy Edman in a few leagues, homeboy no longer plays regularly, and it sucks, but what sucks more is watching your season drift away because of some weird allegiance to a guy who was good in April. Remember, these are drops, not “Sells.” They’re only listed as Sells because, Buy/Drop makes no sense, and one thing I always do is make sense. If you need steals, then you hold like your life depends on it.
C.J. Cron – He hasn’t been good since the 1st half, and the only chance he has to produce runs is if someone gets possessive with Cron’s.
Ty France – Since France tweaked his wrist last month, his numbers have been as formidable as the French military. Now he has a calf injury. If this is as good as it baguettes for France, I’m opting for the hoagie roll and finding a new hero. If this is a keeper league, then I wouldn’t trade France for a makeover to “look more like a character on House of the Dragon” but I would go to our Fantasy Baseball Trade Analyzer and explore options.