There are just over three weeks left in the regular season.  The real and fantasy trade deadlines have passed.  Did the trade deadline give us much movement in the top 50 middle infielders for the rest of the 2020 fantasy baseball season?  At my extremely unofficial count, we saw 4 notable middle infielders move at the deadline.  A quick breakdown of the impact to their production the rest of the season:

  • Ty France
    • There will be increased playing time for somebody who put up a .399/.477/.770 line in AAA during 2019. I know it was at El Paso in the PCL, but any chance to give this guy consistent playing time is worth it and it sounds like Seattle has been targeting France for some time.
  • Tommy La Stella
    • La Stella has been a solid contributor this year and was an all-star last year. He joins a team that is going to be playoff bound and has much more to be playing for as the season rounds out.  Boasting a league leading strikeout rate, he has some deeper league appeal
  • Franklin Barreto
    • Barreto once was a key part of the Josh Donaldson trade, so things haven’t quite panned out for the once top prospect. While he has a change of scenario moving to Los Angeles, there is not much to see here.
  • Jonathan Villar
    • We will get to him a bit more in a minute but let me simply say I am not enamored by this change for Villar.

So what does the rest of the season hold?  Well personally, I am hoping for more Matt Chapman at shortstop like we saw on August 29th when he started at short and gave us the hardest hit (115.9 mph) home run by a shortstop since 2015.  I can dream…

3 Up!

Cavan Biggio – Should there be a rule about highlighting the same player in columns back to back?  I didn’t check, so I assume there isn’t.  Biggio’s 2019 was highlighted by his extreme passivity at the plate carrying a K% near 30% and BB% over 16%.  While both have dropped in 2020, Biggio’s K% is just above 20% showing real improvement.  While he is never going to lead the league in average, he is on a 27 hr/18 sb pace across 162 games.  That will play.

Ian Happ – Speaking of highlighting players, let us talk about Ian Happ again!  Happ has taken the playing time opportunity in Chicago and has not stopped hitting.  Some of his key metrics against the rest of the league:

  • Hard Hit Rate – 96th percentile
  • Exit Velocity – 88th percentile
  • xSLG – 88th percentile
  • xBA – 82nd percentile

Batting average is always going to be a concern for Happ, but he seems to be making strides in that area giving him a solid profile just missing a little speed.  Enjoy the ride now that he does not have Maddon holding him back, just don’t be surprised when he slows down a little as there will be some power regression on that 37% HR/FB%.

Brandon Lowe – As the season was looming earlier this year, I was fading Brandon Lowe hard, but he just keeps producing.  Like Biggio and Happ, he is not going to be the type of guy you rely on for batting average help.  However, he has dropped his K rate by 10 points while barreling the ball better than anybody in the league.  I still think there will be ebbs and flows with his profile, but we can’t ignore him any longer.

3 Down!

Gleyber Torres – This is another guy who had real question marks coming into the season.  Unlike Lowe, he has done little if anything to assuage those concerns.  Here is a quick quote from that post: “When he was facing Baltimore he hit .394/.467/1.045, but merely .263/.318/.465 against the rest of the league.  I know he hits in a great lineup and has room for development at his young age.  However, he is essentially a three-category contributor with some extra Yankee glow.”  Torres is sitting at .231/.341/.295 in 2020 doing his best Pedro Cerrano impersonation on breaking pitches which the league is feeding him 41% of the time.

Jonathan Villar – Villar heads north to Canada (or really Buffalo) and many are seeing this as a plus for his fantasy profile.  Unfortunately playing time will be harder to come by when Bo Bichette returns, and he should not be a top of the lineup fixture like he was in Miami.  Villar does provide speed, but he is doing nothing to help your team across the rest of our key categories.

Adalberto Mondesi – Not much to say here.  If you bought in, you knew Mondesi was a high risk/high reward player.  If he is not on base, then there is nothing he can do with his speed.  Mondesi has not had a hit in more than a week and has found himself on the bench for the first time all season recently.  Only one batter in the league has a wRC+ below 20 this year…and you guessed it that is Mondesi.  There were warning signs coming into the year, the only question was if you listened.

3 To Watch! 

Elvis Andrus – Why in the world did Andrus move up 2 spots in the rankings when he is hitting a lowly .186/.247/.279?  For one, Andrus has been terribly unlucky this year with a .203 babip while hitting the ball arguably harder than he has in his entire career.  Now, it is not all roses, but Andrus is not as bad as his numbers indicate.  If somebody dropped him, give him a look as it would not be a surprise to see him pick it up over the last month of the season.

Dylan MooreDylan Moore has an extremely boring profile across the board.  But that means he has a low cost of admission and he does provide solid contributions in each of the 5 categories that we care about.  Moore is the kind of guy that can quietly put up a 15/15 year and help you win your league if he can keep it up.  I am not fully buying him yet, but I continue to be pleasantly surprised with his growth.

Jose Garcia – Recently called up by the Reds, Garcia has a very intriguing profile with a balance of patience at the plate, efficient speed and developing power.  Garcia spent 2019 at High-A Daytona which is in the notoriously pitcher friendly FSL.  All he did was post a 131 wRC+ while stealing 15 bases across 104 games.  For the reds to bring him up with no seasoning in AA/AAA, they must see something as well.  I do not know that he is going to burst on the scene, but this is a guy the Reds invested $5 million in during the 2016 international signing period.

Enough talking, let us get into the rankings.  With just under one month left in the season, here are the middle infield rankings for the rest of the year:

Rank Name Position Team Change
1 Fernando Tatis Jr. SS SD 1
2 Trevor Story SS COL -1
3 Francisco Lindor SS CLE
4 Trea Turner SS WSH
5 Ketel Marte 2B, SS, OF ARI
6 Whit Merrifield 1B, 2B, OF KC 3
7 Xander Bogaerts SS BOS 1
8 Alex Bregman 3B, SS HOU -2
9 Bo Bichette SS TOR 7
10 Cavan Biggio 1B, 2B, OF TOR 7
11 DJ LeMahieu 1B, 2B, 3B NYY 1
12 Keston Hiura 2B MIL -5
13 Manny Machado 3B, SS SD 7
14 Dansby Swanson SS ATL 10
15 Ozzie Albies 2B ATL -4
16 Javier Baez SS CHC -6
17 Max Muncy 1B, 2B, 3B LAD 2
18 Marcus Semien SS OAK -3
19 Tim Anderson SS CWS 8
20 Carlos Correa SS HOU 2
21 Jose Altuve 2B HOU -8
22 Corey Seager SS LAD 4
23 Ian Happ 1B, 2B, 3B, OF CHC 8
24 Brandon Lowe 1B, 2B, OF TB 14
25 Nick Solak 2B, 3B, OF TEX 4
26 Jeff McNeil 2B, 3B, OF NYM -5
27 Mike Moustakas 2B, 3B CIN -4
28 Jorge Polanco SS MIN
29 Gleyber Torres 2B, SS NYY -15
30 Tommy Edman 2B, 3B, OF STL 2
31 Elvis Andrus SS TEX 2
32 Gavin Lux 2B LAD 14
33 Garrett Hampson 2B, SS, OF COL 2
34 Didi Gregorius SS PHI 3
35 Adalberto Mondesi SS KC -17
36 Eduardo Escobar 2B, 3B ARI -11
37 Cesar Hernandez 2B CLE 2
38 Paul DeJong SS STL 2
39 David Fletcher 2B, 3B, SS, OF LAA 2
40 Howie Kendrick 1B, 2B, 3B WSH 3
41 Lourdes Gurriel Jr. 2B, OF TOR -5
42 Jake Cronenworth 1B, SS SD 6
43 Jon Berti 3B, SS, OF MIA NR
44 Jean Segura SS PHI 1
45 Hanser Alberto 2B, 3B BAL NR
46 Kolten Wong 2B STL 1
47 Robinson Cano 2B NYM NR
48 Jonathan Schoop 2B MIN NR
49 Brad Miller 2B, 3B, OF STL NR
50 Nick Ahmed SS ARI NR

 

 
  1. scoboticus says:
    (link)

    I’m looking to upgrade my SS in a keeper league using Gore as trade bait.
    What do you think about this trade in a keeper league:
    I get Story, Archie Bradley, German Marquez
    I give Correa, Verdugo and Gore

    • Jeremy Brewer

      Jeremy Brewer says:
      (link)

      Seeing as I can’t use the reply button. See my comment just posted!

  2. Jeremy Brewer

    Jeremy Brewer says:
    (link)

    I prefer the side getting Story. In a keeper league, I almost always want to bring in that top talent and build around those few key pieces. I am very high on Gore and relatively low on Bradley and Marquez. That being said, I would jump on locking in a first rounder for years.

  3. Chris says:
    (link)

    Tommy Edman hasn’t been looking great. Little power with contact, and while he has some speed, he keeps getting caught stealing. Given the lackluster offense around him, feeling pretty down on him right now.

    • Jeremy Brewer

      Jeremy Brewer says:
      (link)

      You are absolutely right. Edman moves up two spots this edition, but that was more due to guys dropping past him rather than his doing. He was penalized a number of spots in the prior version due to the layoff for the Cardinals.

      The overall profile has remained relatively consistent compared to last year, except he simply isn’t making solid contact this year. I am giving a bit of a pass after the long layoff, but if you move him to the bench I won’t argue.

  4. ChristopherA says:
    (link)

    I think Willy Adames is worthy of consideration. He still strikes out a lot, but he’s hitting the ball hard, getting on-base, and the numbers have been there this season.

    • Jeremy Brewer

      Jeremy Brewer says:
      (link)

      Adames line definitely brings him into consideration, but there is nothing to see here. He has regressed in strikeout rate, has nearly a 25% infield fly rate, increases his soft hit % and then a .450 Babip!!

      He might be in the 50-60, range but I am staying for away.

  5. Lil Jon says:
    (link)

    Lowe 0 for his last 19, 3 for his last 40, maybe you should’ve taken the victory lap instead of moving him up!

    • Jeremy Brewer

      Jeremy Brewer says:
      (link)

      Haha, there was a reason for the ebb and flow in his breakdown. He has been cold as of late, but I was so low already that I still owed a correction of some sort.

      Last guy I was low on and corrected was Mondesi…maybe you are on to something here…

  6. Bterry says:
    (link)

    You dropped Villar put of the top 50?

    • Jeremy Brewer

      Jeremy Brewer says:
      (link)

      Yes sir I did. I just don’t like the Toronto landing spot for Villar at all. I see him as a part time player that hasn’t been playing too well.

      Now if Bichette isn’t back from the IL soon giving Villar more playing time, I should have kept him in the 35-40 range.

      I could be right or very wrong on this one, but I didn’t stay on the fence!

      • Bterry says:
        (link)

        I feel like he would be in the 35-45 range in the worst case scenario where he gets like 5-10 ab’s a week and a few pinch running opportunities. Guy was a top 50 overall player coming into the year in most rankings. Def not in the fence here tho. Villar be gone.

      • Bterry says:
        (link)

        As of now tho, i wouldn’t trade him for at least 30 names on this top 50 list. I dont think Bichette is coming back soon tho.

        • Jeremy Brewer

          Jeremy Brewer says:
          (link)

          That is one of my favorite ways to looI at rankings. Would I trade A for B? I will see you in two weeks when I must eat my words on this one! I welcome you back to gloat in the comments.

  7. Jimmy H. says:
    (link)

    Where do you have Ty France ranked?

  8. Jimmy H. says:
    (link)

    Where do you have Ty France ranked?

    • Jeremy Brewer

      Jeremy Brewer says:
      (link)

      I have France just outside the top 50. I want to see him getting the playing time before I move him up too much. I would say the mid 30s – mid 50s is a lot closer than it was earlier in the season.

      • TIM C says:
        (link)

        I have Flores but the Giants only play 5 this week. Our league has the final 4 Teams now left for playoffs and I’m one of them. Looking for who would help me with the most points at 2nd base.

  9. Tim C says:
    (link)

    I need to pick one up this week. Edman, Taylor or France.

Comments are closed.