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.
Bobby Dalbec, 1B, BOS, (14%)
We featured Bobby Dalbec in this column earlier this season and since then he’s had his ups and downs. However, he has shown some steady improvement of late, batting .333/.417/.730 with six HR and 23 RBI over his last 24 games. His uptick in productivity can be tied to his increased plate discipline. In Dalbec’s first 82 games of the season, he had a 38% K rate, but in his next 24 games, he lowered his strikeout rate to 25%. If you play in leagues that allow daily lineup adjustments, please note that Dalbec is a much better hitter against left-handed pitching (.271 BAA) as opposed to his stats when facing right-handed pitchers (.211 BA with a .272 OBP).
Andy Ibáñez, 1B/2B/3B, TEX, (9%)
Keep an eye on Andy Ibáñez’s progress as he was kept out of the Rangers’ lineup due to hamstring tightness on Sunday, but if he’s healthy he is someone that could help add depth to your fantasy baseball team down the stretch. Ibáñez is another hot-hitting, seasoned Rangers prospect who has a very good hit tool. In his last 12 games, Ibáñez is batting .477 and has two HR with six runs scored and six RBI. He has a .289/.355/.455 career minor league triple-slash and despite possessing a power bat, he doesn’t strike out much. DFS players and fantasy managers who play in leagues that allow daily lineup changes should note that he’s a much better hitter against left-handed pitching (.316 BAA) compared to when he bats against right-handed pitching (.226 BAA).
Colin Moran, 1B/2B/3B, PIT, (8%)
Before Colin Moran was forced to miss a little over a month of the season due to a hand fracture, he had been one of the Pirates’ most productive hitters. Although his power numbers aren’t what you’d expect from a hitter batting in the middle of a big-league lineup, he has compiled a .302/.343/.476 triple-slash in his first 20 games since being reinstated from the IL. Avoid starting him against left-handed pitching (.204 BAA); however, he has enjoyed good success against right-handed pitching this season (.313/.361/.458).
Keibert Ruiz, C, WAS, (5%)
We’ve already featured Nationals catchers Riley Adams and Tres Barrera in this column, but Keibert Ruiz, who will be making his debut this week, is a tremendous talent who the Nationals hope can be their catcher of the future. Ruiz has is a high-contact hitter who has been considered one of baseball’s top prospects over the past few years. He was a big part of the package that the Nationals received back in the trade that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers. He has a career minor league .301/.356/.453 triple-slash and while Ruiz’s path to a permanent major league job with the Dodgers was blocked by Will Smith, he should have an opportunity to compete for the Nationals’ everyday catcher job in the spring.
Edmundo Sosa, SS, STL, (1%)
Edmundo Sosa is a versatile player who has spent most of his time playing shortstop and second base this season, however, he’s also filled in at third base and even made an appearance in the outfield for the Cardinals this season. He’s a valuable fielder but he also has some offensive skills to speak of. Entering Sunday’s action, Sosa has compiled a .276 BA and .356 OBP in his first 89 games of the season. He’s really come on of late, batting .388 with two HR, 10 RBI, and 11 runs scored in his last 20 games entering Sunday’s action. Sosa has displayed some surprising pop in his minor league career, slugging 12 and 17 home runs during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, respectively. With Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong struggling to keep his batting average over the Mendoza line, Sosa could continue to see regular playing time moving forward.
Emmanuel Rivera, 1B/3B, KC, (1%)
Emmanuel Rivera has taken over as the Royals’ everyday starting third baseman since early August. While he hasn’t put up the type of power numbers that fantasy managers expect from their corner infielders, he’s done a good job of scoring runs and getting on base. Entering Sunday’s action, Rivera has a .305 BA and a .359 OBP and has scored 10 runs and he’s stolen two bases in his last 17 games. Rivera should continue to see regular playing time and could continue to hit for a decent batting average, but his overall production may be limited since he often bats at the bottom of the Royals lineup.
Michael Chavis, 1B/3B, PIT, (1%)
Michael Chavis got off to a hot start to his big-league career with the Red Sox back during the 2019 season with 18 home runs in 95 games. However, his inability to make consistent contact has caused him to struggle at the plate and he was unable to secure regular playing time with the Bosox. Chavis does have underlying talent and it has resurfaced since he was traded to the Pirates. In Chavis’ first 31 games of the season with the Red Sox, he batted .190 and had a 39% K rate. He’s only appeared in six games for the Pirates but during that brief time he’s only struck out 18.2% of the time, and he’s batted .364 with a .955 OPS. Chavis needs to continue to improve in order to earn consistent playing time with the Bucs, but the fact that he’s made some progress on cutting down on his swings and misses is encouraging.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter and @justinparadisdesigns on Instagram)