While looking at the top OPS guys over the past two weeks top A’s prospect Matt Chapman stood out; his 1.190 OPS ranks 12th, his ISO is #1 at .571 and he’s doing this with a .227 BABIP. Chapman hit 23 homers at A+ ball in 2015 and 36 homers between AA and AAA in 2016; this season he hit 16 homers in AAA before his call-up. Based on his minors numbers he could even steal about five bases a season.
But there are reasons he’s only owned in 2% of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues even after hitting home runs in three straight games this past week. Chapman is hitting .205 with a 36% strikeout rate on the season; his minor league strikeout numbers were between 22.8%-30.9% which isn’t good. He looks to be following in Joey Gallo’s footsteps (and Gallo is another guy who needs to be owned in OPS leagues. Less so in AVG leagues especially with all the power hitters this season available with better averages). Chapman has been hitting 8th in the A’s lineup lately so those Runs and RBI opportunities aren’t going to be plentiful but figure once they move Yonder Alonso (which the A’s should to do and may have already done by the time this goes up) Chapman rises in the lineup.
Another plus: Chapman is a great defender so should continue to play every day. His A’s are home against the Twins and then a four game split with the crosstown Giants. Obviously with that low ownership number you don’t have to run and grab him, but definitely keep an eye on him because if he hits two homers in the next two games we’re going to see one of those 27% jumps in ownership in a day…
Top OPS past 14 days (min 30 ABs as of this writing):
Harper is in the zone…but watching him on Wednesday get ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the eighth inning of a 2-2 game with runners at 1st and 3rd is just plain disappointing. Even more odd was that he bitched about strike one but didn’t get ejected then; rather he struck out and then got booted after yelling at the ump. Harper is so good yet so easy to rile up. You have a friend like that, right? I do, and thus assume everyone does. Next time you see them tell them they’re like Bryce Harper and don’t tell them why. Let them be happy…until they start to wonder why.
Chris Taylor, Mr. Utility Knife, is owned in a lot of leagues (80% Yahoo! and 72% ESPN) but I’m more surprised by the fact that he’s not owned in the 90% and up (and I knew you were interested in what surprised me, eh?). Taylor has 12 homers and steals on the season; he’s going to finish 20/20 easy now that he’s starting in left field and batting leadoff. Rendon overcame a slow start to post a respectable season line of 52/20/66/5/1.006 thus far; I’m just glad he’s healthy and producing. Herrera continues to ebb and flow his way through the season and as such his ownership does the same (now it’s up to 41% in ESPN so go get him in those leagues, he has to be better than your number five OF; 53% owned in Yahoo!). He’s going to finish with solid numbers and get drafted as such next year and he’s going to be dropped two weeks in. Mark it down.
Blackmon is joined by his teammates Nolan Arenado (#7, 1.218 OPS), Gerardo Parra (#10, 1.201), and Trevor Story (#24, 1.061 OPS) in the top 25; So, do you think the Rockies were at home most of the past two weeks? Ding ding ding! Lesson? Play Rockies when they are at home, got it. Moving on, let’s peek in on #8 Didi Gregorius shall we? Didi has a line of 8/5/8/0/1.206 and an ownership of 65% in Yahoo! and 69% of ESPN; he should be gone in competitive leagues but I’m here to enforce (and then reinforce) that in keeper leagues, especially OPS style ones, he should be a target. With 20 homers albeit with a .751 OPS last season, he was a flier in most leagues but now he has an OPS over .850 on the season with 16 homers in only 300 ABs. Didi was even was nice enough to hit a homer while I wrote this.
Weekly Josh Bell and Ryon Healy update: Talking about guys who ebb and flow; both these guys have had major ups and downs in their first full seasons, and weirdly enough usually not at the same time (which, if you could combine their hot streaks, would make one helluva first baseman). Right now Josh Bell is on his game with a line of 6/2/11/0/.935 the past two weeks as he continues to improve; he’s been hitting either 4th or 5th in the lineup (swapping with David Freese) behind McCutchen. His ownership still is low in ESPN at 31% (but he only has 1B eligibility there); In Yahoo! Bell is is up to 45% and if you need some OF help there look his way. Healy has been ice cold the past two weeks and he’s riding the bench on my team however I’m not cutting him unless there’s a real good guy out there.
More fun stats: Healy is tied for the worst ISO at .000 with a bunch of “decent” guys; Manuel Margot, Mitch Haniger, Nomar Mazara, Alex Avila and…Joey Votto. Over his last 12 games he has 1 RBI and a .128 average. Did Votto swap his career normally awesome second half with his great first half this season? I don’t buy it but maybe his owner can’t stand a slump so it’s a time to buy.
Highest K%? It’s Eric Thames, at 44.40%. Damn. That’s not good. Props to those that traded him early on for a good return (much more than those who moved Aaron Judge, right? His ex-owners most certainly hope so). Speaking of Judge he has cooled over the last couple weeks with a line of 5/2/7/0/.657, although a 21% walk rate still has him looking good. A guy who should come crashing down once the league adjusts is the Cardinals Paul DeJong. DeJong has a 6/4/9/0/.780 OPS to go with a 40% K rate with zero walks. So be ready to jump ship quick (I guess the quick is implied, since who jumps ship slowly? If the ship is sinking, I’m jumping as fast as I can). Speaking of ships, now is the time that you deboard the SS OPS Razzball. Hope you enjoyed the trip!