Batter’s Box: Uncle John’s Band
Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire
Miguel Cabrera is out for the season with a biceps injury, which is undoubtedly a huge problem for a number of fantasy teams. But if you recently lost Cabrera (or if you’re just looking for a worthwhile waiver pickup), take a look at John Hicks, who’s slashing .301/.339/.472 on the year so far, including yesterday’s 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI performance. More than likely, Hicks is going to be playing full time in place of Cabrera, and he’s been really solid this year. Now, Hicks’ .301 average is a bit inflated given his .381 BABIP and .264 xAVG, however I do believe that he can hit for a decent average with some good power, especially considering he’s got a 40.3% hard-hit rate on the year. And the added bonus? Hicks is eligible at the catcher position in most leagues. I don’t necessarily think Hicks is a must-add in 10-team leagues, but I think he’s worth a look in 12-team and deeper leagues. He’s available in 74% of leagues.
Let’s take a look at some of the other performances from yesterday’s games:
Didi Gregorius (SS, New York Yankees) – 3-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Didi’s been struggling a bit this season but has been picking things up lately, slashing .317/.391/.537 over the past two weeks. He’s going to get better, he’s got a .241 BABIP which I’m sure will improve.
Yangervis Solarte (SS/2B/3B, Toronto Blue Jays) – 3-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Solarte is capable of having one of these games any time out, his power has been excellent this year—amping up his ISO to a career-high .218.
Brian Dozier (2B, Minnesota Twins) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Dozier’s been difficult to own lately, but remember that last year, he slashed .304/.394/.591 in the second half—he’s capable of turning it on in a big way pretty quickly.
Freddie Galvis (SS, San Diego Padres) – 5-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 4 RBI. A seriously good game from Galvis who’s been fairly mediocre this year. I don’t expect him to hit a whole lot better than he’s hitting now, but he’s got enough of a power/speed combo that makes him worth a look in deeper leagues.
Nolan Arenado (3B, Colorado Rockies) – 3-4, 1 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI. Nolan Arenado is amazing—more at 11.
Ian Desmond (1B/OF, Colorado Rockies) – 3-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Ian Desmond is so frustrating. A .218 ISO? Awesome. On pace for a 20/20 season? Fantastic. A .203 average? Uh…. A .269 OBP? Well…..no, that’s not great. I have to believe that his .218 BABIP is going to get better, and I know how enticing that power/speed combo is. Personally, I want to own him if I have the roster flexibility to either wait til the average picks up, or take the hit in batting average. But yea, I just don’t know what to do with him.
Jurickson Profar (OF/SS, Texas Rangers) – 1-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. I really want Profar to succeed, and he’s been alright lately, but I’m still really concerned about the fact that he’s got a 22.8% soft-contact rate. He’s really only worth a look in really deep leagues.
Hernan Perez (3B/2B/OF, Milwaukee Brewers) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Perez has been pretty meh this year, though he is hitting .300 over the past two weeks (with a .286 OBP somehow). Between his mediocre play and inconsistent playing time, he’s not worth a look.
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Milwaukee Brewers) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. It looks like the Brewers are still giving Aguilar playing time, which is awesome. He’s still available in 37% of leagues and warrants a pickup if he keeps getting consistent playing time.
Evan Gattis (C, Houston Astros) – 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI. I hope you didn’t hop off the Evan Gattis train when he was struggling, cause he’s been awesome lately, slashing .301/.351/.711 over the past month.
Albert Almora Jr. (OF, Chicago Cubs) – 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI. Almora has quietly been hitting pretty well, slashing .353/.387/.459 over the past month. It’s been somewhat empty, as it’s come without a single home run and just one stolen base, but he’s also gotten 14 runs. If you need an average boost, he’s worth a look in deep leagues.
Addison Russell (SS, Chicago Cubs) – 3-4, 3 R, 1 RBI. Fun fact—Addison Russell is slashing .338/.390/.423 over the past month. There haven’t been a ton of home runs and stolen bases, but he’s been solid and is available in 69% of leagues if you need middle infield help.
Anthony Rizzo (1B, Chicago Cubs) – 3-3, 1 R, 1 SB. Hopefully you didn’t sell low on Rizzo, cause he’s been slashing .319/.404/.553 over the past month. Welcome back, Anthony Rizzo.
Ian Kinsler (2B, Los Angeles Angels) – 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. I’ve really liked the idea of an Ian Kinsler bounceback this year. It hasn’t quite happened yet, though he has had a .357 ISO over the past two weeks. Still, he’s got a .206 BABIP and I expect that to improve.
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 3-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI. Good lord Paul Goldschmidt, what a month. That’s a .354/.434/.768 slashline over the last month. That’s insane. I hope you didn’t sell low on him.
Daniel Descalso (2B/3B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks) – 2-2, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI. Descalso has been hitting .316/.397/.596 over the past month and doesn’t seem like he’s going to slow down. He’s available in 80% of leagues and his positional eligibility makes him worth a look at least while the hot streak is alive.
Pablo Sandoval (3B/1B, San Francisco Giants) – 2-3, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI. The Panda is back! Or is he? I mean, he’s got a 42.5% hard-hit rate, which is great, but his .281 average comes with a .354 BABIP that I don’t expect to stick.