Welcome back to Buy & Sell, where this week’s theme is: playoff time! It’s just a bit too early for September call-ups, and frankly, there’s not much left with all of the prospects who already had their debut, and this may be a tough time for your team with injuries striking key players left and right the past week. But if you’re willing to avoid the flashier leagues, you can still save face with some sneaky production for the stretch run. With that said, on to the list!
He’s bringing back the big guns like Duvallorant. He’s hit an insane .444 with five homers and 11 RBI in 27 AB just in the past week, raising his season line to a studly .276/.337/.593 with 18 HRs and four SBs in just 273 AB. It’s a shame he didn’t have a full healthy season since he was doing so well before the injury made him temporarily lose his mojo. Either way, being this hot and in the heart of a stacked lineup means you need to ride with him in all leagues while he’s healthy and hot. Yes, he’s massively outperforming his Statcast peripherals with a .226 xBA, but it’s already almost September and it’s better to just play the hot hand.
How crazy is it that he’s still available in a majority of shallow leagues? Get it together, y’all. Sure, he’s not as hot as he was before, but he’s a good bet to hit 20 homers by the weekend in under 320 AB (he’s currently at 304 AB). Many are still under the incorrect assumption that he’s a part-time catcher, as he’s actually logged 69 AB over the past three weeks, and hit .304 with 14 RBI and five HRs over that span. I’m also quite intrigued that this past week, in 30 plate appearances, he has only struck out once and drawn four walks.
I advised you to add Willson Contreras (though William Contreras was the hotter add at the time) and Yainer weeks ago in shallow leagues and I hope you listened. I’d also say without hesitation that if you’re still sitting pretty with Adley Rutschman or Sean Murphy with Diaz on your wire, you’re actually sitting ugly until you swap them out with Yainer. I’ll admit he’s not as appealing in OBP formats, but I think you should add him there too as he’s likely to draw more walks while swinging this dangerous lumber.
He may seem like an odd choice to call an add, as he’s seemed fairly cold hitting .174 this week and .213 over the past three weeks. However, he’s exactly the kind of player who hits the wire after these cold spells, and I think he can turn it around right away. For one, he’s hit four dingers over the past three weeks, with two of them coming this week, so he’s still been a solid power producer. Also, he’s managed an impressive 5/5 BB/K over 66 PA in the past three weeks, a strikeout rate of under 8%, so I figured he deserved better. Sure enough, his xwOBA thinks he’s still quite hot, and so now’s the perfect time to buy low before the surface stats catch up, as he’s a perennially underrated accumulator with both power and average. Add now in batting average 12-teamers, though with his eligibility, your team may also find him viable in OBP or 10-team average formats.
I’ve felt a bit foolish falling for him all season, but call me Charlie Brown because, yes, I’m kicking that football once again. That’s because he’s raised his launch angle, fixing the one major thing that’s been holding him back, and it’s paying dividends. He’s playing every day and hitting .414 with three home runs this week, bringing him to a .269 AVG, 11 HRs, and nine SBs on the season. I need you to look past that ho-hum season line though, since it’s not predictive of what he can do in the final month for power and batting average. His xwOBA over his past 50 PA has been dead red and while sadly he’s unlikely to steal many bases or drive in many runs, he’ll be a piping hot corner for your playoffs. Add in 12-team AVG and OBP formats, and consider as a 10-team category streamer.
At least one Meadows can meaningfully contribute to Motown this year. Parker made a splash this spring and faded into the background after his demotion, but he continued to impress with both power and speed while on the farm, hitting .256 but with 19 HR and 19 SB at Triple-A. Granted, neither of those are eye-popping since that was in 517 PA and we tend to expect more eye-popping numbers, but he’s made up for that by hitting the ground running in the majors, hitting .333 with a homer and stolen base in 32 PA.
It’s easy to point to his much worse xBA and 34% K% to say he’s a bust, and you may be right, but I do think his K rate going forward should improve if he can just swing at more strikes in the zone (a relatively easy fix) and his in-zone contact of 85% is solid as is his 93 mph average exit velocity. In 15-team leagues, his regular playing time makes him a viable power/speed upside streamer, assuming you can take on some risk.
I could easily write here about another prospect (Wilyer Abreu and Ceddanne Rafaela come to mind) or an injury return like Michael Brantley, but I’d rather direct you to the DJ in the shadows putting together a mellifluous mashup. Stewart has kept the good times rolling hitting .353 with a homer this week and .333 with five homers over the past two weeks, which is more impressive when you consider that he’s also struck out 14 times in 39 AB over that span. So the downside is quite apparent and reminds me a bit of Mickey Moniak (who I am NOT recommending as a rebound buy, BTW).
The 29-year-old has rocked a 50% HardHit% and a 16% Barrel% and it’s not his first time teasing with this, but he’s getting a better opportunity for playing time than he’s had in the past and is an intriguing option if you need power in a deeper 15-team format with his solid grip on playing time and continued hot hitting.
I get that no sane person wants to take a bite of a cold pizza or a cold canzone, but if you take him now, he can always be reheated. I actually believe he’s been the recipient of some bad luck, which comes at an unfortunate time as the rest of the Mariners lineup has been red-hot. Still, he’s been playing, and one look at his xwOBA shows he still deserves a higher wOBA, as he has a .271 xBA and .484 xSLG which tells a very different story. He’s hitting the ball hard with a 42% HardHit% and keeping strikeouts in check with an 18% K%, so I think you need to add in all deep leagues and as a spec add in 15-team AVG leagues knowing he can zone in and have a big September.
It seems that Lenyn is finally having a revolution. It’s about time, as for a long time he was stallin’ at Triple-A. He’s liberating the ball with three long balls and a .364 AVG in 22 AB this week, as he seems to have finally taken over at the keystone as the White Sox have nothing to lose (and nothing to gain from rolling out the struggling old vets there). His minor league production is probably being ignored too much due to his earlier struggles, as it’s still impressive that he hit .271 with 17 HRs in just 308 PA, and while that does come to just a 96 wRC+, it’s still pretty good for a second baseman who is still just 23.
Given that he’s likely to keep getting run with the White Sox and he has a favorable September schedule as well as a favorable home ballpark, he’s a fine play for those looking for some pop in batting average AL-only formats, and I think he can make a great late-round buy in deeper leagues next year.
Hey Walker, maybe you should try some new kicks, because your batted balls really need some air, Jordan. He has a very bright future just by staying afloat as a 21-year-old with exciting exit velocities, but he’s still not getting enough barrels to make a meaningful shall0w league fantasy impact. That’s mostly because of his launch angle of just eight degrees thanks to a plethora of groundballs, making his debut look somewhat reminiscent of Ke’Bryan Hayes. Of course, given the age relative to the league, I still think Walker will be great in the long term. But for this year, he’s simply not likely to hit enough dingers or steal enough bases to be worth rolling with in any 10-team formats, assuming they are redraft.
Correa no se puede correr (He can’t run, for those who didn’t pass fifth grade Spanish). I made the mistake of assuming he’d be fine and buying low on him, but despite a few brief sputters of offense, it’s been pretty clear from his playing that he’s simply not hitting with the same authority, and given his recent interview saying that playing through plantar fasciitis has been the most painful thing to play through, it comes as no surprise. He’s not doing the team as much of a favor as he thinks by playing hero and not resting it, but he’s really risking killing your fantasy team. Without SBs or OBP, he was pretty dependent on batting average and power to carry you, and I’d much rather roll with a Wilmer Flores type than expect a wounded knight missing a leg to suddenly win the battle, even if he won’t give up.
It seems like Massey is running out of energy because he’s not hitting the ball with any force-y. He had been on a surge in July into early August but the bottom has fallen out, as his .199 xwOBA over his past 50 PA is the fourth biggest drop in 50 PA rolling xwOBA in the MLB. He still is getting the lion’s share of playing time, but with a batting average that is so low, that’s just a damage multiplier for your team’s batting average or OBP, and he doesn’t offer enough power or speed to offset that. He’s the kind of player I’d love if he were traded to Cincy, but his flyballs just don’t have quite enough oomph to make it past the warning track making him a royally frustrating player to roster in 15-team formats.
I decided to add him in here just so that I can have three straight drops that are M&M players. I’m on a diet, y’all. You might think I’m a maniak to call for dropping Moniak as he’s hit .346 with a dinger this week, but he’s showing most of the same signs that several other similar players showed this year before an ugly nosedive, including… Mickey Moniak. He has 10 K and one BB this week in those 26 AB, and with a 35% K%, he really just can’t be trusted, so if you picked him up, flip him now for pretty much anyone else. Moniak’s lousy rolling 50 PA xwOBA agrees with me and implores you not to let yourself let Mickey make you feel Goofy again.
This Moose has been too aggressive, no wonder, it’s because he’s in a rut. Yes, I am confident that you all will understand and appreciate this baseball/biology crossover joke. Even while he was hitting hot, his xwOBA was in a nosedive as he had some good luck but has put up a horrible .164 xwOBA over his past 50 PA, and a downright nauseating .046 this past week. As if the Angels didn’t already have enough problems. With Brandon Drury and Luis Rengifo both hot, his playing time security isn’t so great despite the injury train wreck, and the occasional homer isn’t worth this offensive black hole. If you’re still not moving on in 15-team formats and even deeper leagues, you need to learn to Moustakea hint.
Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)