Each week we identify seven hitters who are rostered in fewer than 15% of fantasy baseball leagues who should be on your radar. For the most part, the players included in this article are best suited for inclusion in deeper leagues (12 teams or more). However, with the multitude of injuries creating holes in fantasy baseball rosters, you may need to eventually rely on some of the players referenced in this article in order to field a complete and competitive fantasy lineup. We reference Fantasy Pros’ roster percentages (as of Sunday afternoon) in this article.
Daulton Varsho, C/OF, AZ, (14%)
With the Diamondbacks expected to try to move any player that they can before the MLB trade deadline expires on July 30th, if Daulton Varsho doesn’t end up getting traded, he should continue to see regular playing time for the rest of the season. Varsho, who is eligible at catcher and outfield in most league formats, has been swinging a hot bat. Over his last eight games, he’s batting .400 with four HR, 10 RBI, eight R, and a pair of SB. It’s a small sample size but Varsho has improved his plate discipline during his recent hot streak. Up until July 10th, he was striking out 26.1% of the time. Since then he’s cut his strikeout rate to 17.2%. It’s not often that you’ll get the opportunity to add a player who has 20 stolen base potential and catcher eligibility this late in the season, but if Varsho continues to cut down on his strikeouts he could be a difference-maker for fantasy managers playing in deep leagues.
Greg Allen, OF, NYY, (7%)
Greg Allen may have a limited shelf life depending on how active the Yanks’ are leading up to the MLB trade deadline and how quickly Yankees players return from the IL. However, benching Allen once their starters return from the IL might not be such an easy decision for the Yanks. He’s earned a spot on the Bronx Bombers’ roster by helping to jump-start the Yankees offense since he made his season debut on July 16th. In the eight games leading up to Sunday’s action, Allen had a .393 OBP and scored five runs. His biggest asset has been his speed. He’s quick enough to be able to take an extra base when necessary and Allen has stolen four bases without getting caught so far this season.
José Iglesias, SS, LAA, (7%)
José Iglesias can provide middle infield depth for fantasy managers who play in deep fantasy baseball leagues. He’s been quietly mashing the ball of late. In his last 20 games, Iglesias has posted a .364/.395/.545 triple-slash and has 11 R, two HR, and 10 RBI during that time span as well.
Adam Engel, OF, CHW, (4%)
Adam Engel is another outfielder who can be used as a cheap source of stolen bases who is likely widely available in most fantasy leagues. Since being activated from the IL on July 7th, Engel has played in nine games and he’s posted a .342 OBP with 6 RS, and 2 SB. While you’re not looking to roster Engel for his home run production, his five HR in just 61 ABs this season is his second-highest total in his five-year big-league career. In addition, his 15.7% strikeout rate is the lowest of his career, well below his 29.3% rate.
Ji-Man Choi, 1B, TB, (3%)
Injuries have limited Ji-Man Choi to just 46 games this season, but when he’s been in the Rays’ lineup he’s been effective. Entering Sunday’s action, Choi has a .270/.383/.454 triple-slash on the season and in his last 19 games he’s batting .308 with four HR and 16 RBI.
Rougned Odor, 2B, NYY, (3%)
Rougned Odor’s overall season-long stats (.226/294/.439) might seem pedestrian, but due to the high number of injuries the Yanks have had to deal with of late he’s been playing every day and putting up some rather good numbers. In the nine games he’s started since July 16th, Odor has batted .286, hit two HR, and driven in nine runs. With DJ LeMahieu filling in at first base for the injured Luke Voit and Chris Gittens, Odor should continue to be featured in the Yanks’ everyday lineup at playing second base for the short term.
Bradley Zimmer, OF, CLE, (2%)
Bradley Zimmer is yet another outfielder who is widely available in fantasy leagues who has stolen base potential. He stole 18 bases in just 101 games for the Cleveland franchise back in 2017. Zimmer has been on a bit of a tear lately, hitting .333 with two HR, six R, and two SB in his last 11 games. You can ride Zimmer in deeper leagues while he’s swinging a hot bat, but be aware that his 35.3% K rate and way above average .408 BABIP might combine to lead to some late-season regression for the Cleveland outfielder.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter and @justinparadisdesigns on Instagram)