Welcome back to Buy & Sell – the final week! Honestly, this comes close to DFS so you can make some crazy moves! In one league, I’m starting Salvador Pérez at my Utility slot over Christian Yelich! Be bold! Maybe not “I’m going to drop Fernando Tatís Jr.” bold, but be ready to cut big names and look super closely at matchups for a crucial edge. Which I’m assuming you’re still looking for if you’re reading this, even though I was crushed by the undefeated Rick Graham in the Pitcher List Legacy League H2H Semifinals. On to the list!
Alec Bohm (3B, Philadelphia Phillies)
Given his prospect sheen and his incredible performance, the fact he’s still available in 60% of leagues is an abohmination. He’s done everything you can ask for from the injury-riddled hot corner position, hitting .331/.389/.496 with four homers since his call-up, and hitting .369 with three of those tates over the past three weeks. Statcast largely backs his performance with a .305 xBA and .522 xSLG, and he’s hitting in the heart of a potent Phillies lineup. He manages to keep a manageable 20% K% rate to support his excellent 51% Hard%, and he could unlock even more power if he can increase his launch angle. I expect him to hit like a top-five third baseman the rest of the way and should be started in all leagues, especially batting average formats.
Brandon Nimmo (OF, New York Mets)
His bat has unlocked The Secret of NIMH-O. He’s on a tear hitting .474/.545/.947 this past week with two homers, raising his season line to an excellent .282/.405/.506 with a stolen base in 174 PA, making him above average in AVG formats and an absolute godsend in OBP formats. While he hasn’t been as active on the basepaths, he is an excellent source of runs, a category that is often overlooked in fantasy, and it’s criminal that he’s still only rostered in 24% of leagues. He’s a must-own in 15-team AVG formats and a stream in 12-team, and a must-own in all 10-team OBP formats.
Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, Miami Marlins)
Don’t just leave him lying there, get your Cooper Scooper. I’ve wanted to write about him for two straight weeks due to a huge disparity in his Statcast expected stats and his actual stats, but now his bat has actually heated up. Okay, well he’s hit .296 with two homers in the past week, so he’s not on fire and the statcast disparity is still substantial, but I don’t get it… how does he have a .337 xBA and .613 xSLG?! It’s not so easy to explain, but his swinging strike rate did go down to 8%, and his Barrel% of 13% and Hard% of 42% are above average and an improvement from last year. With his dual eligibility, I think he’s an underrated add for 15-team and most 12-team AVG formats, and he’s widely available at just 10% rostered.
Nate Lowe (1B, Tampa Bay Rays)
It’s never too late for Nate the Great who Fate Delayed. While he has been somewhat inexplicably blocked much of last year and this season as well, a slew of Rays injuries has finally given him regular playing time. He’s made the most of it, hitting .316 with three HR, seven R, 10 RBI and a stolen base over the past two weeks. It’s possible his upside is overrated by some as he’s always been older for a prospect, and he only had one truly impressive season in the minors, but he definitely has power with solid average as evidenced by his 10 homers with a .261/.335/.462 in 199 AB in the majors. While I’m in the minority in thinking Cooper is the better player to own, Lowe is a fine add in 15-team formats and as a corner infielder in deeper 12-team formats.
Dan Vogelbach (1B, Milwaukee Brewers)
The Vogons have arrived. Few have noticed that the hulking journeyman has hit an out-of-this-world .471/.500/1.059 with three HR, six R and nine RBI this past week. That’s likely because it’s hidden inside a forgettable .215/.330/.409 slash with five HR in 93 PA. I still think bad luck may have played some role as his .246 xBA and .439 xSLG are better, though I think his lack of speed may play a role in his Statcast underperformance. Still, he’s an underrated source of OBP, and he’s a very valuable player to own when hot. Stream in 15-team OBP, though I’d be willing to also play the hot hand in 15-team AVG and 12-team OBP in place of a straggler like Anthony Rizzo. Remember what I said. Be BOLD.
Bobby Dalbec (1B, Boston Red Sox)
So I wrote him up as a sell a few weeks ago, saying he couldn’t possibly succeed with his high strikeout approach. Well it looks like I struck out here. He’s incredibly hit .262/.328/.639 with seven HR in just 61 AB, despite striking out in 32 of those ABs. So really, he’s hit a home run nearly every three times he puts the ball in play. It’s completely unsustainable long-term, but with less than a week to go, he can hit you much-needed taters. So roll the dice on him if you’re hurting for homers in 15-teamers.
Andrew Knapp (C, Philadelphia Phillies)
Knapp has hit well enough to make the Phillies okay with Realmuto needing a little more time on the mend. Of course, Realmuto himself would much rather make a fast return to pad his free agent resume, but with the Phils in playoff contention, Knapp will likely benefit from the situation. Knapp has quietly been one of the best backup catchers in baseball this year, hitting .321/.443/.482 with one HR, seven R and 11 RBI in 56 ABs. Statcast supports his career-best year, which has largely been a result of an improved 17% walk rate and 21% strikeout rate. He also hit a triple this week which is always fun to watch a catcher pull off. Keep riding him in NL-only and two-catcher formats for now, and don’t immediately drop if JT returns… it’s possible Realmuto will play at DH to accelerate his return, which means more precious Knapptime.
Isaac Paredes (3B, Detroit Tigers)
It’s likely most have moved on from the 21-year-old second baseman/shortstop after his call-up was completely overshadowed by a surging Willi Castro and he fell into a slump. But Isaac has prevented himself from being sacrificed with a solid week, hitting .313/.356/.438 this past week. Sure, that came with no power, but I at least like that he only struck out twice this week, and he is riding a seven-game hit streak. By which I mean he has exactly one hit per game; it’s not a “hits” streak. Still, he’s playing every day and I believe he’s worth starting in AL-only formats if you want batting average.
Kyle Schwarber (OF, Chicago Cubs)
He had a big early run, but lately he’s been Schworrible. His decline in rolling wOBA over the last 50 PA is only .296 after a .440 mark in his previous 50 PA, and his getting removed for a sloppy defensive play is a sign that the team is getting fed up with him. He’s hitting a paltry .061/.225/.061 with no extra base hits over the past two weeks, and his batting average is down to .190 on the year. Yet he’s still rostered in 74% of leagues, whereas the far superior Adam Duvall is still only at 68%. In 10-team formats and 12-team AVG formats, heed the cry, “Lose the Schwarb, Lone Star!”
Ramon Laureano (OF, Oakland Athletics)
Laureano has been just mediocre enough that you probably didn’t notice much how bad he’s been. Which in some ways, is even worse. He’s hit just .189/.302/.336 with no HR in 53 AB the past two weeks, and is one of the biggest rolling xwoBA decliners, down to a xwoba of .306 from a .451 mark the previous 50 PA. He also has hardly provided any benefit on the basepaths with just one stolen base (one caught stealing), nullifying one of his largest sources of fantasy value. If you need power/speed, you’re much better off with Chris Taylor or Manuel Margot. Give the Ramon the Blitzkrieg bop off your roster in 12-team and 15-team OBP, at the very least.
Colin Moran (2B/3B, Pittsburgh Pirates)
Moran has come a long way down from his brief early season foray as the MLB home run leader. Those who look longingly at his strong 92 mph exit velocity, 14% Barrel/BBE and solid .265 xBA and .502 xSLG may have held on hoping for better days ahead. But the reality is most of that was remnants of his July production, and his rolling 50PAxwOBA is just .236, down .185 from his previous .421 mark in his 50 prior PA. Not to mention, he’ll be up against the Dodgers and Indians excellent rotations. Cut in 15-team formats, since with so many better options, holding him would just be moranic.
Mike Tauchman (OF, New York Yankees)
Yahoo informs me that five percent of leagues (most are 12-team) are still rostering Tauchman. I haven’t the slightest idea why. He’s hit just .138 with no homers or stolen bases in 29 AB the past three weeks, and his six stolen bases from earlier in the season can’t help you now. Now with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton back, he’ll get even less playing time. So in all leagues tell Tauchie to take a walkie.
Photo by Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire