Greetings, deep-leaguers, let’s get right to it this week — it’s hot, we’re tired, and paying close attention to fantasy baseball is starting to feel like a bit of a chore rather than the most fun thing on the planet. If you are grinding it out and frustrated in a league or two, just think about how sad you’ll be this winter when there are no box scores to check and players to disappoint you!
Last week we looked at players aimed at ultra-deep leagues — we’ll continue to search for those 5%-or-less-owned guys, as always, and also dial it back a bit and throw in some players of the medium-deep variety this week (in the 10 – 20% owned range in CBS leagues). With that being said, you know the drill: here are a smattering of players that may be of interest to those in AL-only, NL-only, or other deep leagues.
Brandon Lowe. Lowe is off to an 0 for 7 start to his major league career after being called up to help fill in for the injured Daniel Robertson for the Rays, so there’s still time to get in on the ground floor. Lowe is just 24 and sped through the minors pretty quickly, and was having quite the season in triple A: .297 average/.391 OBP with 22 homers and 8 steals. We’l see if he can translate any of that success as a Durham Bull to real-life baseball.
Ramon Laureano. He’s just 2% owned, so a true deep-leaguer. Laureano is 24 and made his major league debut for the A’s this week, and so far so good as he’s 4 for his first 12 with a run, an RBI, and a steal. When you combine his 2016 and 2017 minor league numbers, he swiped 67 bases over that time, so may be worth keeping an eye on if he keeps finding himself in the starting lineup. Since we’re talking about extra-deep leagues now, let’s also mention Nick Martini, who has been finding some playing time in the A’s outfield as well. He’s cooled off a bit lately, but overall is hitting .286 with 9 runs scored and 8 RBI over 24 games.
Blaine Hardy. He’s been both a reliever and a starter for the Tigers, and has been good at both: for the year, he now has a 3.25 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, with 51 strikeouts to 18 walks in 69 1/3 innings (and he also has 4 wins and a save). I’m writing this before finding out how he fares against the Angels on Wednesday, but his next matchup is the White Sox, and he could definitely provide some fantasy value as long as he’s in the rotation and putting up numbers anything close to what he’s been doing thus far.
Alex Cobb. Cobb just squeaks under this week’s ownership threshold, and probably isn’t worth your time seeing that he’s been a bad pitcher on a bad team this year. But I’m including him anyway, just in case he’s turned a corner and has gotten it together as we approach the last quarter of the season. He has four quality starts in his last five attempts, and has lowered his ERA over a point in that time. If the matchup’s right, he might be worth a stream or two.
Aledmys Diaz. If you’re in need of a middle infielder (and Diaz also qualifies as third in most leagues), Diaz has been playing awfully well for an under 20%-owned player: he’s batting .381 over the last week or so, with 3 homers and a stolen base. If he can keep the (relative) hot streak going, he could certainly be serviceable in deeper leagues.
Franmil Reyes. Feels like it’s time to mention our old friend Franmil again. It’s been awfully difficult to keep track of the Padres outfield situation due to injuries, promotions, demotions, and the general malaise one tends to feel when thinking about the Padres, but Reyes is up and in the mix again. He’s now hitting .255 on the year, which is way higher than I thought he’d get after watching him batting when he was first called up, and he has 8 homers in 40 games. In the two games he’s played since this latest recall, he has 5 hits including a homer in each game, 12 total bases, and 4 RBI, so perhaps he’s come seriously ready to play this time.
Pablo Lopez. It’s been hard not to notice the Marlins’ Lopez if you’re in a deep NL-only league desperately searching for starting pitching, as he’s had a couple of very nice starts in a row (1 earned run in 6 innings at Philadelphia and 2 earned in 7 against St. Louis). He doesn’t strike a ton of guys out, so his numbers (especially his WHIP, which is now at 1.13; his ERA is 4.32) are likely to get worse before they get better — but he’s someone to keep an eye on if you really need an extra start or three.
Dakota Hudson. Hudson has thrown seven scoreless innings out of the Cardinals’ bullpen since being recalled and his ownership percentage has risen up to 13%. If Carlos Martinez’s injury issues linger and Austin Gomber doesn’t make an immediate splash in the rotation, it seems like Hudson could get a shot. Even if it he does get a chance, expectations should be tempered — he has just 202 strikeouts in 277 2/3 career minor league innings, and it’s not like those scoreless innings can go on forever.
Seung-Hwan Oh. Wade Davis and Adam Ottavino have both had several shaky outings of late, but the Rockies’ trade-deadline acquisition keeps rolling right along. In 53 innings, he has 58 Ks and 11 walks, with an ERA of 2.38 and a WHIP of 0.98 (and that was before a scoreless appearance on Wednesday). Since Davis presumably has an extra-long leash and Ottavino is still in the way, Oh may never find a path to saves, but he’s pitching well enough to be of value in certain leagues even without them.
Ryan Madson. Madson may not have Oh’s good-looking numbers this season, but he does suddenly have a potentially clear path to some saves and is still just 12% owned. With Sean Doolittle and Kelvin Herrera on the DL, and Brandon Kintzler and Shawn Kelley shipped out of Washington, Madson is one of the last men standing in the Nats bullpen. While we are having this chat, might as well throw Justin Miller‘s name out there, remind everyone that the Nationals also just signed Greg Holland, and also recalled Koda Glover. Glover’s career has been a bit of an injury-plagued disaster, but don’t forget that as recently as spring of 2017, many folks were looking at him as the Nationals closer of the possibly-not-too-distant future.