The fantasy baseball season is winding down, and if you are like me, you are constantly looking at your phone and the live scoring. Did Jose Altuve collect that much-needed RBI? Did Ozzie Albies swipe a bag that you have to have in order to overtake your opponent in steals. These next few days and weeks are going to be nerve wracking.
Making things even worse is if you have a player go on the IL or your second baseman is currently mired in a slump. The top players aren’t just sitting there on the waiver wire to be added, so adding the right free agent could be the difference between winning the title and being the best of the losers.
Before we talk about who some of those key free agents may be, let’s look at the rankings, taking into account that they mostly reflect what they have done for the entire season. But I’ll also touch on the players outside the rankings that should be watched or added in the next few days.
|20||Lourdes Gurriel Jr.||TOR||NR|
This is the first tier in which we see some new players in the rankings. In the case of Mookie Betts, he now has eligibility at second base in Yahoo leagues, making him a potent bat to have at that position next year. Betts is not having his typical season, which is why he is only ranked 16th. But as we consider rankings for next season, Betts will be much higher.
I had Lourdes Gurriel Jr. ranked two weeks ago before moving him out to highlight some other players and because he was only a second baseman in Yahoo leagues. But I’m putting that aside this week and moving him back into the rankings because of how hot he has been at the plate. In the last 30 days, Gurriel is slashing .337-.418-.589 with five homers and 28 RBI. In the last two weeks, he has been even better, slashing .340-.419-.698 with 14 runs scored, four homers, and 20 RBI. Somehow he is still available in 11 percent of Yahoo leagues. If you can grab him, do so now.
We’re here to talk about players who can help your team right now. Well, Ian Happ is one of those players. He is rostered in only 73 percent of Yahoo leagues, the only league where he qualifies as a second baseman. While he is not readily available, he would be a good add if on the waiver wire. Over the last month, he has nine homers, 23 RBI, four steals, and 18 runs scored while slashing .351-.406-.722. In the last two weeks, his line is .320-.393-.700 with five home runs, 12 RBI, two steals, and 11 runs scored.
Jean Segura has quietly been producing for the Phillies all season, and he has continued that production over the last month. Owned in only 79 percent of Yahoo leagues, he has a slash line of .293-.354-.491 over the last month with six homers, 15 RBI, and two steals. In ESPN and Fantrax leagues he is owned in more than 95 percent of leagues, so you are out of luck in adding him there. But he is floating around in some Yahoo leagues.
Also new to the rankings is Brendan Rodgers. In 333 at-bats this season, Rodgers doesn’t have mind-popping numbers with 14 homers and 47 RBI to go with a .288-.337-.480 slash line. But over the last month, Rodgers has been producing for the Rockies, and he is owned in only 19 percent of Yahoo leagues and 18 percent of ESPN leagues. Rodgers has a .500 slugging percentage the last four weeks with five homers and 18 RBI. In the last 14 days, he has a nice slash line of .314-.340-.549 with seven runs scored, three homers, and eight RBI. The Rockies also close out the season in two hitter’s parks with a nine-game homestand in Denver and then three games at Arizona.
Others To Watch
Sticking with the Rockies, Garrett Hampson is owned in only 34 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues and has been hitting the ball well. Hampson has not had a great season, slashing 245-.303-.401 with 67 runs scored, 11 homers, 33 RBI and 17 steals. But we don’t care about that. What we care about is his production now, and over the last month, he has 18 runs scored, five home runs, 12 RBI, and three steals while slashing .282-.363-.549. In the last 14 days, he is slashing .293-.370-.585 with nine runs scored, three homers, and eight RBI. Yes, he can suddenly go cold again, but if you are trolling the waiver wire for second basemen right now, it means you have a need to fill. So taking a chance on Hampson could be a wise choice.
Now let’s turn our attention to two players on the Athletics – Josh Harrison and Tony Kemp. Acquired at the trade deadline, Harrison has been outstanding for the A’s. In the last month, he has 18 RBI while slashing .315-.339-.426. He is owned in only 31 percent of Yahoo leagues and 54 percent of ESPN leagues. He is not going to add a lot of home runs to your lineup, but he will help your slash numbers and scored runs.
Kemp, meanwhile, is trying to show he can be a power hitter for Oakland, slashing .328-.431-.508 over the last month with 11 runs scored, two homers and nine RBI. He is basically unowned in Yahoo and ESPN leagues. I would obviously try to target the players previously highlighted first, but Kemp isn’t a bad option if the other players aren’t available.
There is no way Brandon Lowe belongs in the top 5, especially if you are playing standard 5×5 categories. He’s a three category player with a .236 average and no speed. Even in an on-base percentage league, he doesn’t warrant that ranking with a .335 ranking. You clearly are enamored with HR and RBIs but not overall ability.
Look at Trea Turner. He’s balanced in every category with a .317 average, 22 HR, and 30 stolen bases. He clearly is better. There’s no arguing either here. I don’t even have Turner on my team but I know his value is immensely better than Lowe.
Just admit you’re wrong and re-rank them.
How is Turner not at the very least #2?
saw this and thought the very same thing. Now I’m going to blast him.