It’s the final week of August, and as usual in our deep league world, if your fantasy team has slipped out of contention, unfortunately, there’s probably not much you can do about it. It still might not be a bad time to check out who is available in your league as we head into the final full month of the season, both in case you can improve your team now and also as a sneak preview for the future. Some of the guys who are suddenly getting regular playing time may fade back into free agent or minor league depth obscurity by next season, but why not keep an eye on as many of the new faces as possible in case any of them prove to be fantasy relevant on some level in 2023? For now, we’ll do our normal thing that we do here and take a look at a few players who’ve had an ownership increase and/or been playing more regularly (or just better) of late that may be of interest to those of us in NL-only, AL-only and other deep leagues.

NL

Stone Garrett. Garrett has emerged as an outfield option for the Diamondbacks over the last week, and with 6 hits in his first 15 at bats he’s already turning a deep league head or two.  He’s a former Marlin farmhand who was out of baseball altogether for part of the messed-up 2020 season, but his 2022 minor league numbers are about as impressive as it gets: in 389 at bats, he hit .275 (.332 OBP) with 28 homers, 95 RBI, and 15 stolen bases. If any part of that power/speed combo can translate to the majors to close out the year, Garrett could be helpful in more than just the deepest leagues.

Rodolfo Castro. Castro is a 23 year old infielder for the Pirates who’s played second, third, and short since he was recalled on August 9th. He’s batting just .238 (.306 OBP) but has been providing just enough in terms of stats to keep him in the deep-league conversation, with 9 runs scored, 3 homers, 7 RBI, and 4 steals. He’s basically been playing every day as Pittsburgh limps to the finish of a predictably dreadful season, so if you’re looking for one of those better-than-nothing options to fill out a deep league roster he may fit the bill.

Brandon Hughes. The Cubs bullpen situation is muddy at best these days, but I felt Hughes deserved a shout out given how well he’s pitched of late and the fact that he appears to be a co-closer at worst, on a team that has been playing surprisingly well for a few weeks now. I was surprised to see he’s just 6% owned in CBS leagues; I grabbed him in a couple of mixed leagues recently and he’s been a solid pick-up. In the last two weeks, he has 3 saves plus a win and a hold, with a 1.93 ERA/0.64 WHIP, plus he’s been racking up the Ks (he has 55 in 42 total innings on the year now). Who knows what the back end of the bullpen will look like heading into 2023, but I’ll be keeping a proverbial eye on Hughes in the meantime.

AL

Victor Reyes. I’ve had Reyes rostered in a draft and hold league or two all season, and I have yet to get him into my lineup at the right time. Granted there haven’t been many ‘right times’ this year, as he has a grand total of one homer and 2 steals on the year (65 games/215 at bats). In the last 10 days, though, he’s 13 for his last 34 (.382) and has both of those stolen bases I mentioned over that period. Even on a disappointing Tigers team, he could provide some deep league assistance and a few counting stats over the next few weeks.

Franchy Cordero. Cordero has made almost zero impact at the major league level for the Red Sox this year, but with Eric Hosmer hurt, he’s gotten a few starts this week and has already contributed offensively with two homers. Cordero has felt like the quintessential Quad-A player for a while now, but anyone needing deep-league offensive help may want to give him a try in case this is the time he finally is able to carry the power/speed combo he’s shown in his minor league career (he now has 70 homers and 120 SBs in 2612 career MILB at bats) over to his time with the big club.

Mike Ford. Not only is Ford listed as 0% owned, the CBS site identifies him as a first baseman for the Atlanta Braves, despite the fact that he was recalled by the Angels on Thursday with Jared Walsh now out of commission. Ford is a longshot to contribute much given his .192 career average (in 123 games over four years) as he’s now bounced to his fifth MLB team. The one thing that stands out is his 17 homers over that time, so if you are incredibly desperate for a little late-season pop in the deepest of leagues Ford could be a Hail Mary play. (As I write this on Thursday, I see Ford is not only in the starting lineup, he’s batting cleanup… the Angels are A MESS, kids!)

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Luvdarooks
5 months ago

Hi Laura what are the chances that you think Pepeo will be a fixture and the dodger starting rotation next year… Today is a deep clean pic but what about the near tomorrow

Luvdarooks
Reply to  Luvdarooks
5 months ago

Pepiot

Jimmy
Jimmy
5 months ago

Just traded Jose Miranda for Trevor Rogers in my 13 team dynasty 5×5…do you think Rogers re-discovers his mojo? Thank you!