Tehol was enjoying Shark Week while Miguel Sano was bashing mammoth home runs a while back. Appropriately, he gave the Dominican-born Sano the fantastic nickname, “Great White.” I’ve got to say, I have been inspired by this since, and I’m determined to make it stick. I will dedicate my life to getting this nickname uttered by a nationally televised broadcast team. Okay, nicknames aside now, let’s talk about Mr. Sano. Aaron Gleeman, a Rotoworld Senior Editor and Minnesotan, has been posting an onslaught of wonderful OPS statporn related to Sano. Here’s a sampling…
Best OPS by 22-year-old right-handed hitter since 1950:
Top OPS in Twins history through first 40 games:
Most homers in Twins history through 39 career games:
Long story short, The Great White has emerged from the depths and is a force to be reckoned with. Sano’s OPS over the past two weeks is 10th best in baseball, with a 1.030. He has also launched 5 homers and is tied with David Ortiz for the most RBI (15) during this period. I guarantee you, if Sano were left-handed, we’d be hearing lazy Big Papi comparisons (big bodied Dominican sluggers who came up with the Twins). Swinging from the right-hand side of the plate, I’ve got a better comparison for him (that may be more in line with Sano’s skill set, anyhow) … Edwin Encarnacion. The more recent variety of Edwin, the one that bashes 35 home runs with a batting average around .270. I think that is what we may see from Sano in 2016. What do you guys think of this comparison?
The aforementioned Big Papi has continued his own dominance, topping the OPS charts over the past two weeks himself, sitting well ahead of the pack at 1.429. A commenter mentioned last week that David Ortiz has been and still is in the never ending twilight of his career, and I can’t agree more. We all keep thinking he is going to go away, but he keeps on going. Okay, what are the chances Ortiz finds his way into Cooperstown? If it weren’t for the PED stuff, wouldn’t he be a lock (500 homers right around the corner)?
Eric Hosmer has been a perpetual disappointment for me in fantasy leagues. Each year I trust him and each year he repays my trust with a tease of greatness followed by maddening inconsistency. I thought we were headed for a repeat of the trend this year, but Hosmer has actually performed surprisingly well – and very steadily. Hosmer’s OPS by month: April .892, May .876, June .624, July 1.005, August .905. Aside from a dip in June, that is some very respectable production for OPS leagues. On the season, Hosmer’s OBP is 64 points higher than last year. His OPS is 155 points higher than last year. He should set career highs in RBI, possibly batting average, and runs scored. I was a fan of Grey’s unofficial Sano polls in the daily recaps, so here’s one of my own. Who would you rather own in 2016, Hosmer or Freddie Freeman?
I promised to write about a couple of lesser owned guys that may be worth snatching up in OPS formats for the playoff push. Here are a couple of guys to keep in mind.
Asdrubal Cabrera in Tampa has been killing it. For the last month, he has an OPS of 1.069 and is only owned in 41.1% of ESPN leagues. He is eligible at 2B and SS and could be a nice plug-in play while he is schmotatoing.
If you need help at corner infield, Greg Bird (owned in 12.1% of ESPN leagues) is interesting. He is one of the Yankees top prospects and is currently filling in for a sidelined Mark Teixeira. Bird hit his first two home runs in Minnesota on Wednesday and could be a decent source of power if Teixeira should miss more time. The word is Tex should be back early next week, but in deeper formats, I’d speculate on Bird for now.
Marcell Ozuna has finally returned for Miami. Ozuna Matata was an OPS league darling in the preseason but pretty quickly fell out of favor. Ozuna had been crushing in AAA New Orleans (granted, it is in the hitting friendly Pacific Coast League). He hit 5 homers for a .937 OPS across 33 games. Now back in the big leagues, Ozuna has hit home runs in back to back games, including a combo meal last night (HR/SB). An .886 OPS in the games since his call-up from AAA is a welcome addition to most OPS rosters. He is widely available, too. Grab him!
I’ve written on Chris Coghlan before this year, but the Cogh in the Machine continues to produce admirably. He has a .842 OPS over the past month, flashing some nice power while picking up the occasional stolen base. He is routinely slotted into the 3-hole in the ridiculously talented Cubs lineup. I don’t know if his placement in the lineup makes the most sense for Chicago, but Maddon’s madness is our gain in fantasy leagues. Hitting third will give Coghlan plenty of run scoring and RBI opportunities. Plus, Big Magoo labeled him a Bull in yesterday’s Bear or Bull. Coghlan is available in about 90% of leagues. I’d give him a go.
One last guy to consider is Domingo Santana. Santana is a deep-league/NL-only consideration for now. I wrote about Santana when the Astros called him up earlier in the year. He did fine in his cup ‘o joe with Houston this year, hitting .256 with 2 HR and 2 SB in 14 games. His OPS was a measly .771. Given the sample size, we can’t draw much from that data. He was traded to Milwaukee in the Carlos Gomez deal and was just called up from AAA this morning. Santana has been great this year, hitting .333/.426/.573 with 18 homers and 77 RBI in AAA (for both Fresno and Colorado Springs). He has struck out a ton, with 108 strikeouts across his 95 minor league games in 2015. Still, Santana is a top-100 prospect and is just 22 years old, so there’s upside here. If he can find his way into some regular at bats, I could see him having some definite Maas appeal.