(Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)
Allow me to humblebrag for a second. Back in the preseason of 2015, I had read some pretty interesting literature that called for a big step forward from Rockies’ youngster Nolan Arenado. The more I read, the more I bought into the hype, and in the 12th round of my keeper league that year, I bought in. Well, I don’t need to tell you how that’s worked out for me, but I will. I now own one of the top annual studs in fantasy baseball. I tell you all this to convince you of my awesomeness, sure, but also to ask…what’s your fantasy success story? What hype train did you jump on early that has paid dividends?
*Nick Skypes in and explains we need actual fantasy analysis*
Ok, ok…taters gonna tate as Arenado put up a line of 2-5, R, HR, 4 RBI last night. He’s currently leading the National League in dongs, he’s top 4 in runs scored and RBI, and he’s on pace for his 3rd 40 HR season in the last 4 years. What’s more amazing is that he’s also added some elite plate discipline to his already impressive profile this year, and he’s now in the top 10 for OBP in the NL as well. It’s hard to top what he’s done in his career to this point, but this may be one of his best all-around fantasy seasons yet. We don’t usually lead with such obvious luminaries as Arenado, but you gotta give the devil his due. You keep doing you, Nolan.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from Monday:
Matt Carpenter (1B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals) – 3-4, 2 RBI, BB. Did you know he’s now second in the NL in HR? I know…he didn’t jack a dong in this one, but this is a guy who finished April with a .155 average we’re talking about. Anyways, his line is now at a remarkable 67 R/25 HR/55 RBI, and he has 6 HR in the second half alone. Yes, I trust him to hit 35 HR this season.
Robinson Chirinos (C, Texas Rangers) – 3-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB, SB. If we all try, we can get the hashtag “CatchersWhoSwipe” to take off. More like #CatchersWhoSwipe, amirite? I’ll show myself out. I’m back. Contrary to popular belief, this was NOT Chirinos’ first steal of the year. No sir. It was his second. Also, this swipe motivated to “go deep” on his speed profile. Ok, in reality, all I did was look at his steals column on FanGraphs for the first time. Holy moly, did you know he stole 19 bags in Single-A in 2006? #CatchersWhoSwipe!!!
Travis Shaw (2B/3B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-4, R, RBI, BB. The Brewers’ new second baseman (holla if you need just 1 game for 2B eligibility!) had himself a decent night at the plate with a trio of singles and a walk, which has nothing to do with how awkward he’s probably going to be manning second for the Crew. Anyways, Shaw’s production has slowed a bit since June 1st, and since that point, he has a line of 17 R/7 HR/24 RBI. All of those numbers are nearly cut in half from the production he amassed over the first two months of the season. Take that arbitrary stat for what it’s worth.
Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers) – 2-5, R, 3B, 2B. He’s been crushing it lately slashing .306/.353/.468 over the last two weeks. This also makes it an 11-game hit streak as he continues to convince us he’s fully healthy. I expect him to be in vintage Andrus form the rest of the season as he continues to heat up.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-6, R, 2B. I read something this past week to the effect of, “Asdrubal is happy to be in Philly.” It may as well have said, “Asdrubal is thrilled to have escaped the sinking ship that is the Mets.” I would feel the same. This was his first…and second…hit as a Phillie, and it should be the first of many. It looks like he will be hitting 5th in this lineup, and while 2nd would be tastier, there’s still going to be fantasy goodness to be had.
Johan Camargo (SS/3B, Atlanta Braves) – 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI. There were rumors that Adrian Beltre would be heading to Atlanta to bump Camargo out, and while that makes me feel for the person, I can’t say I’d be mad about that. Beltre may not have a lot left in the tank, but I think he’d find a new gear if he was thrust into a pennant race. Anyways, Camargo hasn’t been bad in NL-only leagues, but I think there are probably higher upside options on the waiver wire.
Mark Canha (1B/OF, Oakland Athletics) – 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI. This was actually his 14th dong on the year, and believe it or not, he needs just 3 more to set a new career-high. He doesn’t get regular playing time as a 4th outfielder for the A’s, but he’s definitely been productive when he’s out there. I recommend him for AL-only leagues especially if you can platoon him with another option.
Shin-Soo Choo (OF, Texas Rangers) – 2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI. This makes it 20 dongs on the year to go with his 61 runs scored and 51 RBI as he’s putting together a quietly fantastic year. People underestimate how good he is when he’s fully healthy. Also, Choo is an OBP stud who’s taken a step forward in that category as he currently has a career-best 14.5% walk rate. He’s been performing like a top 20 OF in OBP formats all season.
Mitchell Garver (C, Minnesota Twins) – 2-4, R, 2B, RBI. I don’t remember which staff member said it, but it was said Garver belongs in Boston. Can you imagine? “Hey…GAHVAH!!! Hit a hom-mah like No-Mah!!!” I’ll probably get some hate mail from our readers, but it’s totally worth it for that lame joke. Anyways, Garver hasn’t racked up the counting stats, but he’s produced a slash of .329/.406/.518 over his last 30 games.
Jedd Gyorko (2B/3B, St. Louis Cardinals) – 2-3, R, HR, RBI, BB. This was just his 8th dong of the year, and it looks like he will fall short of 20 HR for the first time since 2015. He isn’t racking up the playing time even in St. Louis, so you know things aren’t going his way. Don’t worry, he’s still rocking that signature 20%+ strikeout rate.
Garrett Hampson (2B, Colorado Rockies) – 2-3, BB, SB. This was actually his first swipe of his career! Congrats, buddy! DJ LeMahieu’s replacement is known for the speed, and in the minors this year, he had a combined 33 steals before his promotion. I don’t recommend him outside of NL-only leagues or mixed if you desperately need every last steal. Also, I doubt he stays up once DJ returns.
Odubel Herrera (OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-4, 2B, 2 BB. He is currently on pace to finish with 25 HR, which would be a career-best mark. There’s not much to say about Herrera as he’s been perfectly adaquate this season. Truly a pretty vanilla player with a vanilla profile, but he provides pop in a solid lineup. That’s about all the nice things I can find to say about him.
Rhys Hoskins (1B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies) – 2-5, 2 2B, BB. He’s been on fire the last two weeks slashing .295/.386/.721 with 7 dongs. He’s hitting in the heart of a competitve lineup, and he has the potential to be a top 20 player in fantasy the rest of the way.
Jon Jay (OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-4, 2 R, 3B, BB. He’s 100% the random guy who always does well when I write this article. We all have that guy. 4 of his last 6 games have been of the multi-hit variety, so there seems to be a mini-hot streak blooming here. He’s an excellent option in NL-only or deeper mixed leagues hitting atop the Diamondbacks’ lineup.
Nick Martini (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, R, 2B, RBI. He prefers to be shaken not stirred. I apologize for that last joke. Alcohol is not funny. Anyways, Martini has found his way to the top of the A’s lineup recently after a 7-year “career” in the minors. I don’t trust him to produce much of anything but Bob Melvin certainly seems to want to get his bat in the lineup lately. He’s a name to simply monitor for now in AL-only leagues.
Eduardo Nunez (3B/SS, Boston Red Sox) – 2-5, R, 3B, RBI, SB. He’s been hot over his last week slashing .370/.414/.593, but this was just his first swipe in his last 30 games. Ouch. It’s been a rough go of it so far for Nunez, and I’ll need to see more nights like this before I consider adding him.
Stephen Piscotty (OF, Oakland Athletics) – 2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. This continues what has been over a month of hot hitting for Piscotty, and that makes it 9 dongs in his last 30 games. He took a step back in his game last year (for obvious reasons I think), but the power profile has returned to 2016 levels. That was also a year where he bashed 22 HR and had us all dreaming big for 2017. I will happily continue to ride this streak out in most formats.
Jose Ramirez (3B, Cleveland Indians) – 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB, SB. Taters gonna tate! And swipers gonna swipe! Jose Ramirez is now tied with Just Dong for the AL lead in HR, and his 25 swipes are 2nd in the AL only to Dee Gordon. Ramirez is a stud. Next.
Miguel Sano (3B/DH, Minnesota Twins) – 2-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB. This was just his third game back with the big league club, and he had gone 0-7 previous before last night. I have all kinds of concerns with him moving forward, and he’s a “roster if you dare” type. I do not dare, and I will be leaving him on the wire.
Ronald Acuna (OF, Atlanta Braves) – 1-4, R, HR, RBI. The youngster is now officially into double digit dongs with his 10th of the year. He’s only batting .236 over the last two weeks as he continues to adjust to the big league game. We can’t all be Juan Soto, after all.
Marcell Ozuna (OF, St. Louis Cardinals) – 1-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB. Maybe…just maybe…he’s starting to pull himself out of what feels like a season-long slump. This makes a 6-game hit streak, and he’s cranked a dinger in each of his last 3 games. If you held on this long, the wait may finally be over. Maybe…
They were talking on the sunday night broadcast that Marcell Ozuna has been eating Matt Carpenter’s special homerun salsa, so you can basically count on an MVP-level second half from him.