While the 2015 version of the Boston Red Sox has been a complete disaster for the most part, one redeeming element of this year’s team has been the surprising play of rookie Travis Shaw (+37.4%), who was the most added player in fantasy baseball over the past week. Entering yesterday’s play, he’s been one of MLB’s best offensive players in the 2nd half of this season, producing 16 runs, 6 homers, 13 RBI, and a .386/.431/.738 triple slash line in 72 plate appearances. Those numbers are especially surprising when considering his mediocre minor league results since being promoted to AAA in 2014 (.256/.319/.395 in 158 games). The upcoming slate doesn’t look too promising for him either, as the 25-year-old left-handed slugger faces Jose Quintana and Chris Sale over the next two days before heading to Citi Field to face the Mets over the weekend, where he’ll likely cede first base duties to David Ortiz for a game or two due to the lack of a DH for that series. In Shawshank terms, Shaw seems to be most similar to Tommy – the young, charismatic inmate who gets transferred to that prison and provides a spark before being unceremoniously snuffed out by the warden and the head guard. Like any hot schmotato, ride the streak while you can but have a backup plan ready for when the wheels fall off.
Here are a couple of other significant adds and drops in fantasy baseball over the past week:
Odubel Herrera – 47.8% owned (+9.8%)
Speaking of impressive 2nd halves, Herrera has been white-hot since the All-Star break while amassing 24 runs, 2 homers, 10 RBI, 5 steals, and a .355/.398/.491 triple slash across 118 plate appearances. Depending on your league format, he’s likely to carry middle infield eligibility in addition to his OF eligibility despite only appearing in the outfield for the Phillies this season. While his plate discipline still leaves something to be desired, his BB% (3.2% to 5.7%) and K% (24.5% to 18.7%) have improved significantly from the 1st half of the season, and he seems to be entrenched at the top of the batting order, hitting either 2nd or 3rd in each start since July 31st. Herrera has struggled against left-handed pitching this season (.259/.304/.365 in 93 PA), but he’s done just enough against southpaws to remain in the everyday lineup. That’s not likely to change going forward due to his quality defensive play and the Phillies lack of depth to competently replace him in those situations. The batting average is likely to drop some (.427 2nd half BABIP, .373 BABIP for the season), but Herrera should be a solid middle infidel over the next few weeks. TREASURE.
Welington Castillo – 29.9% owned (-10.8%)
I know, I know. Who really wants to read about catchers, especially one who’s been mentioned several times on this very site over the past few weeks? That recent 1 for 24 stretch is the likely cause of the drop in ownership percentage, and it’s usually a good idea to move on quickly from a slumping catcher, especially in one catcher leagues. However, take a look at Castillo’s numbers since playing his first game as a Diamondback on June 5th:
• 54 G, 48 GS, 206 PA, 28 R, 15 HR, 36 RBI, .276/.354/.586
Here’s what that per-game production looks like when extrapolated across a full season:
• 144 GS, 618 PA, 84 R, 46 HR, 108 RBI
Looks kinda like a catcher-eligible Giancarlo Stanton, except he’s actually healthy (sorry Stanton owners). If that’s not enough for you, Arizona plays 22 games over the next 23 days, including 15 at home in the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and 4 at Coors Field in Colorado. Those of you who are still starting slumping catchers like Stephen Vogt, Russell Martin, or Yasmani Grandal might want to consider making the switch if Castillo’s available. TREASURE.