Another week, another seven days of fantasy baseball disappointment and injury frustration… at least for those Corey Kluber and A.J. Pollock owners out there.  The good news with these two one-time fantasy studs, if there is any, is that sadly, they cannot really do more damage out of your lineup than they were doing while they were active in 2019.  Losing someone you drafted early gets more devastating the deeper the league is, and sometimes you just have to hope other owners are dealing with as much bad luck as you are.  For now, let’s move right on to looking at some players that may be on the radar for those of us in NL-only, AL-only, and other deep leagues.

NL

Luke Jackson/Jacob Webb. Another week has gone by without the Braves calling the Craig Kimbrel hotline, despite another A.J. Minter meltdown or two.  Jackson is pitching well – and most likely completely over his head – and has one save after cleaning up a recent Minter mess against Colorado.  Webb, meanwhile, is probably more intriguing:  he’s fresh up from the minors, where he has 210 Ks in 170 career innings, and where he had 18 saves in 2018.  He’s already gotten one in the majors and hasn’t allowed a run in 7 innings, so he’s someone to watch, particularly in keeper leagues.

David Bote.  Bote won’t be supplanting Kris Bryant as the Cubs third baseman, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t happy to fill in when Bryant needs a day off, which may happen more often than Bryant owners would like.  Bote has 3 homers, including 2 in one game, so if things continue as they’ve been going, he could be relevant in very deep leagues throughout 2019.

Bryan Reynolds.  Is he as good as his .414 average in the 29 at bats he’s had for the Pirates would suggest?  No, but he’s scorching hot right now, and could continue to see playing time in the Pirates’ outfield, especially given that they don’t exactly tend to be the healthiest group of fellows in the majors.  It doesn’t sound like Lonnie Chisenhall is very close to returning, and one would think Melky Cabrera has to cool off eventually, so if Reynolds can keep hitting he could stick with the big club for a while.

Raimel Tapia.  Tapia is certainly owned in the deepest leagues, but it might be time to at least consider him in slightly shallower formats. After looking absolutely lost at the plate to begin the season, something seems to have clicked for him and he now has 4 homers on the season and has his average up to .286.  Even though there isn’t room for him to start every day, if he keeps hitting he could play enough to be a nice deep-league asset.

AL

Luis Rengifo.  I don’t know much about Rengifo, which is kind of weird since I own him in an AL-only keeper league, but I did notice that he’s a middle infielder who’s been called up and is playing some for the Angels. It seems like a situation worth monitoring.  Hmm, his minor league stats tell me that he hit .299 (.399 OBP) last year with 41 steals over 3 levels… now I’m actually intrigued.

Logan Forsythe.  Forsythe is hitting .275 and is currently on pace to score 72 runs, hit 17 homers, and have 78 RBI.  It doesn’t seem likely that will come to fruition seeing as he had 8 total homers over the last two years combined, but it may be worth keeping an eye on the situation.  He’s already played 1B, 2B, 3B, and SS for the Rangers this year, and has even thrown in one steal for your fantasy baseball enjoyment.

Sam Gaviglio.  He’s not picking up stray saves or anything (though he does have two wins), so Gaviglio’s deep-league fantasy value is just coming from really, really good pitching.  In 19 innings out of the bullpen for Toronto, his ERA stands at under 1, his WHIP is 0.58, and he’s provided 20 Ks.

Ronny Rodriguez. Rodriguez has only played 9 games for the Tigers (3 at 2B, 6 at SS), but he’s provided a nice amount of value in those 9 games:  he’s hitting .303 with 7 runs, 2 homers, 5 RBI, and a steal.  For a 1% owned, super deep-league player, so far you could do a lot worse.

  1. papasmurf says:
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    Based on what do you think L Jackson is pitching over his head?

    Swstr% is 13% and FB is 95+, both better than last year. BABIP is almost .300, not some fluky low mark.

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      I was really just going off of his minor league numbers (4.23 ERA/1.42 WHIP in 614 innings). Though it should be noted that much of that was as a starter, and he could definitely be one of the many pitchers who become much more effective in a relief role. He also wouldn’t be the first guy to blossom at the right time and outperform his minor league numbers in the majors. And one other thing while we’re at it — I never like to discount the emotional aspect of performance. In his save against the Rockies, he came in in an extremely difficult situation, 2 on and 1 out and had to face Arenado I think… he looked terrified at first, but you have to think converting that save was an absolutely huge confidence-builder. At any rate, I hope he finds a way to keep it up, as I do own him on a couple of teams!

  2. Buster Douglas says:
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    QS instead of Ws, who do prefer, Fiers, Anibal Sanchez or Mahle?

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Of those three, I think Mahle has earned a shot — hopefully his 7 walks vs. 33 Ks in 33 innings are one sign that he could continue to be serviceable without completely destroying your ratios.

  3. Thomas Cox says:
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    Thank you for sound advice on Jacob Webb. Please keep this great column going!

    • Laura Holt

      Laura Holt says:
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      Thanks for reading! It will be really interesting to see whether or not Webb is able to make a positive impact in the majors this year — he’s been pretty under the radar, but I always like to keep an eye on guys that were getting saves in the minors; you never know!

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