Of course, this could all fall apart and he could get hurt again, but as long as he can stay on the field he should play, especially with the state of the Mariners’ outfield. Both Kyle Lewis (demoted) and Kelenic (for some reason still not demoted) haven’t translated their minor league success, and the M’s still are in contention, so even if it’s at DH, his bat will be relied upon, though given his history of fragility I wouldn’t count on many SBs. I think there is a fair shot he hits .280 with 10 moonshots though, and in all leagues that makes Han worth ponying up for a Millenium FAABcon.
The baddest man in the whole town is Big Bad MVP-ROY Brown. Okay, he’s not quite MVP and also a sophomore, but I’d argue at least one of the past two years playing for Oakland should count as minor leagues. Brown has continued to be one of the quietest breakouts of the season, hitting a fantastic .378/.451/.889 with 7 HRs and 1 SB over 45 AB (51 PA) over the past 3 weeks, making him one of the hottest hitters over that stretch. However, it still often gets overlooked due to the bad batting average and even worse OBP, as his 17 HR and 8 SB are still overshadowed by his gross .238 AVG and .295 OBP. But we should focus on the undershadow.
For one, he has been the hottest (non-fluke) hitter in baseball with the biggest xwOBA improvement over his last 50 PA, with a fantastic .486 mark over that span after a .249 xwOBA over the previous 50 PA. I noted back on my Buy & Sell from June 30th that Statcast thinks he deserves better than his current batting average and slugging, and he’s trended closer to his xBA of .267 and xSLG of .476. Although he’s cooled off the unexpected stolen base frenzy, nowadays he’s looking a lot like a slower version of Adolis Garcia, with the current hotness and dual eligibility making up for it. Also note that Brown is finally drawing walks and whiffing less, with a 6/9 BB/K over the past 3 weeks, giving hope that he could be a true late-blooming stud. Add in 10-team AVG leagues though OBP leagues can stream and hope the newfound patience is more than a blip.
The sky is blue, the earth is round, and Segura provides underrated value at middle infield. Two of three of those are true if you’re a fantasy baseball flat-earther. Prior to his injury, Segura was making everyone quite happy (aside from opposing pitchers), and after a long layoff has taken liftoff, hitting .385 with 1 HR and 1 SB in 13 AB this week. That raises his season line to .283 with 7 HR and 9 SB in just 180 AB, which is approximately half the total at-bats of most other players so it’s easy to do the irresponsible mental math extrapolation.
Segura is hitting the ball hard while making great contact this year, rocking what would be a career-best 44% HardHit%, as well as a studly 94% Z-Contact% that is his best in years. While his supporting cast is not nearly as fearsome as it had seemed to be in April, he’s a great bet to continue scoring lots of runs while contributing across the board, despite not being one of the flashier options. The stolen base in his return is a good sign he’s not done running, so you should run to pick him up because his half-life on the wire is as unstable as Seguranium-238.
Sure, he didn’t charge out of the gates like gangbusters but don’t make Vinnie a thing of the Pastquantino. He’s in some ways resembled Alejandro Kirk with his combination of good barrel rate, low K rate, and low chase rate. Of course, many have looked past it given his season line of .237/.325/.385 with 5 HR in 154 PA, but Italian Breakfast will soon be taking pitchers to lunch, and hitting grand salamis.
While many minor league sluggers don’t bring real raw power, Vinnie P. has brought the boomstick with an excellent 113 mph maxEV, which suggests his current 9% Barrel% has additional upside, especially given his healthy launch angle of 12 and elite HardHit% of 50%. The quality of contact is in part thanks to his quantity of contact with a strong 92% Z-Contact% and an 86% overall Contact% which suggests he can maintain his current 15% Contact%. Lots of people are hoping for a return to form for Joey Votto, but I think currently Vinnie is looking far more Vottoian. Sure, the rest of the team is bad, but at least that gives him job security and perhaps more walks for OBP leaguers. Add in all 12-team OBP formats and deeper 12-team AVG formats.
He may always seem on the shelf or short a few buttons, but you should hold on to your Haggerty Ann Doll. The older he gets the better, as he’s now hitting an excellent .325 with 3 HR and 5 SB in 100 AB. It’s not the first year that he’s enticed with his excellent speed combined with decent pop, but I think this year we may be seeing the best version.
For one, he’s had a massive jump in his raw power, hitting a MaxEV of 109 mph, which is 2 mph better than his previous best of 107 mph. While it could have been a fluke as his hard-hit rate and barrel rate are in line or worse than previous years, given the small sample I’m still hopeful more power is coming soon. Even more important though is that his historically mediocre contact has improved substantially, with a career-best (though still not great) 75% Contact% and 12% SwStr%. That’s enough to get on base enough to get continued playing time, especially since his speed should allow for high BABIP. The M’s have been playing him regularly as of late, and I don’t think Dylan Moore’s return is going to affect his PT much provided he keeps hitting. Ride Haggrid’s flying motorcycle in all 15-team formats and hope he’ll take you to HogWAR.
Okay fine, I’m guessing you noticed, but it seems many overrated his “surging” Triple-A numbers, which were often bandied about despite the fact that his strikeout rate was still high, and the production wasn’t better than previous minor league stints. Of course, he’s 23 and still regarded as a top prospect, but it seems he’s still broken in the majors after returning and hitting just .083/.083/.208 with 1 HR and 1 SB in 24 AB. The sample is still quite small, but the 0/9 BB/K over those 24 doesn’t inspire any confidence, and while the power and speed are apparent, I think the batting average floor is as bottomless as the rhymes from hip-hippopotamus… Those crickets you hear are from the fielders when he’s up. Some will wait longer for a turnaround, but in redrafts, it’s probably time to cut in all 12-team and even 15-team formats that don’t have a bench.
Although Hosmer may be day-to-day with an injury, it seems the Red Sox have other options who can spell at 1B, including my favorite Christian Arroyo and Enrique when he returns. Dalbec is likely looking at a platoon situation as a best-case scenario or pinch hitter, though given the presence of Triston Casas on the farm, it would not surprise me if his Red Sox tenure is nearing a rapid end. I believe there was a 90s song that went, “Soy un perdedor, I’m a loser baby, so why don’t you cut me in all formats” written by DalBeck.
Feature image by Michael Packard (@CollectingPack on Twitter) / Photography by David J. Griffin & Kiyoshi Mio / Icon Sportswire