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). The pickings are getting slim, however, with injuries and COVID-19 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.
Leody Taveras, OF, TEX, (14%)
Leody Taveras is a former Rangers top prospect who has struggled in his young big-league career, but seems to be coming around of late. His superior defense may convince the Rangers to give him a longer look before finally giving up on him and he’ll probably have a chance at winning a starting job next spring. For now, with the Rangers just playing out the string and Taveras in the middle of a mini hot streak, he will likely continue to see regular playing time. In his last five games heading into Sunday’s action Taveras is batting .368 with two HR and three SB. If he continues to rake at the plate Taveras might be someone who can help your AL-only fantasy team down the stretch.
Harold Castro, 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF, DET (4%)
Harold Castro is eligible at every fantasy infield position except pitcher and catcher and is also outfield eligible as well. He’s been crushing the ball lately, posting a .389/.405/.667 triple slash in his last 13 games. Castro can provide your fantasy team a bit of depth in the final few weeks of the season and is a much better hitter against right-handed pitching (.298 BA), as compared to his production against left-handed pitching (.200 BA).
Niko Goodrum, 1B/2B/SS/OF, DET, (3%)
The 2021 season has been a tough one for Niko Goodrum, but he was recently activated from the IL (groin strain) and has some pop in his bat and 12 stolen bases on the season. In a 15-team league, he should at least be on your watch list. Like Castro, he is also eligible at several defensive positions.
Lane Thomas, OF, STL (1%)
Lane Thomas has turned his 2021 season around since joining the Nationals. In his first 32 games of the season with the Cardinals, Thomas batted just .104, but he’s been batting leadoff for the Nats and it seems to be agreeing with him. In his first 18 games with the Nationals, he’s compiled a .323/.403/.532 triple slash and scored 10 runs while driving in nine. In comparison to his early-season at-bats with the Cardinals, Thomas has been slightly more aggressive at the plate, but at the same time, he’s improved his plate discipline, dropping his K rate from 29.3% to 22.2%.
Khris Davis, DH, OAK, (1%)
We featured Khris Davis in this column earlier this year and while he’s had a miserable season thus far, he’s back “home” playing for the Oakland A’s. He’s batting .375 in a tiny, eight-AB sample size with the A’s this time around, but he did hit 158 home runs with a .495 SLG and .811 OPS in his first 617 games with the franchise. When Davis was first featured in this column we mentioned that power hitters tend to hit home runs in bunches. Keep an eye on Davis. He’s back playing in familiar territory and seems to be getting regular at-bats. That could mean trouble for opposing pitchers moving forward.
Matt Vierling, 1B/OF, PHI, (<1%)
Matt Vierling is a Phillies prospect who has a good power and speed combination. He was recalled by the Phillies from their Triple-A affiliate on August 31st and has enjoyed good success at the plate since then. Entering Sunday’s action, he has a .474/.500/.684 triple slash in 10 games this season. He might be best utilized by DFS fantasy players who are looking for an inexpensive option when setting up a daily lineup. He is especially effective against left-handed pitching.
Max Schrock, 2B/3B, CIN, (<1%)
Max Schrock is another young hitter who should be on your watch list. He recently made some adjustments to his batting stance, and it’s helped his overall production. With Jesse Winker on the IL and Shogo Akiyama and Aristides Aquino struggling at the plate, Schrock saw increased playing time starting in late August. While he’s had good production, Schrock is not getting enough consistent playing time right now to warrant you picking him up off the waiver wire unless you play in a very deep league. It’s unlikely, but there’s a small chance that could change in the coming weeks.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter and @justinparadisdesigns on Instagram)