(Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire)
Every Tuesday from now until the end of the season, we will be taking a look at players with under 15% ownership that should be on your radar in deep leagues. The majority of fantasy baseball leagues are mixed leagues with 10-12 teams, however we know many of you play in 18-20 team leagues and/or AL/NL only formats. This column is for you all.
A handful of players with playing time opportunities highlight the list this week, including a few familiar names from fantasy years past.
Tyler Austin, 1B/DH, MIN (1.8% owned)
Since joining the Twins on August 11, Austin has slashed a blistering .391/.423/.783 in seven games. Clearly his .462 BABIP is unsustainable, but Austin has started at first base or DH in nearly every game since coming to Minnesota. With six weeks left in another lost season for the Twins, Austin should get plenty of playing time going forward. He’s a great source of power in AL-only leagues and deeper mixed formats.
Melky Cabrera, OF, CLE (2.8% owned)
Since August 11, Melky has hit a tidy .310 with three home runs and 12 RBI. He has played his way into an everyday role in RF for the Tribe, thanks primarily to injuries and ineffectiveness around him. The return of Lonnie Chisenhall or Tyler Naquin could push him into a bench role, but for now Cabrera is worth riding while he is hot.
David Dahl, OF, COL (7.8% owned)
David Dahl is back, and since his return he has started 11 out of 13 games and slashed a quietly excellent .279/.367/.488 with two home runs and three steals. Dahl’s walk rate is 12.2% on the month, and his line drive rate (33.3%) and hard hit rate (40.0%) have been outstanding. Grab him while he’s hot.
Lucas Giolito, SP, CWS (9.2% owned)
Unbeknownst to many, Giolito has actually posted a quality start in six of his last eight outings. That’s thanks to better command of his curveball and a slight uptick in his fastball velocity. Giolito still sports an unsightly 6.15 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP, but he’s worth a look down the stretch in deeper formats where he may have been dropped early on.
Trevor Hildenberger, RP, MIN (7.5% owned)
If you need saves, Trevor Hildenberger is the guy to own in Minnesota. He hasn’t been the cleanest closer in the game (4.48 ERA, 8.50 K/9) but at this stage of the season, saves are saves. And Hildenberger should get a handful of opportunities as the season draws to a close.
Pablo Lopez, SP, MIA (1.2% owned)
Lopez starts tonight against the Yankees, which may not be the best time to pick him up. However, he sits at No. 87 on The List thanks to his command of the zone and sneaky strikeout potential. His 1.17 WHIP is strong, and his high ground ball rate and tendency to induce soft contact could keep him productive through the rest of 2018.