Believe it or not, the end of the season is less than two weeks away. As you put the finishing touches on what’s hopefully been a successful fantasy year, you’re likely looking for a few hot players to grab off the wire to help you make that final push in your fantasy playoffs or claim all the roto categories you can.
Today we have three players we’ll dive into to see if their recent hot streaks are here to stay over the season’s final days, and perhaps if we should trust their production as we look forward to the 2024 season.
In the course of just about six weeks, Suzuki has totally changed the tenor of his season. Through August 7th, Suzuki had a season-long slash line of .249/.327/.388, just a 96 wRC+. That’s a disappointing result from a player many expected to see take a step forward in his sophomore campaign.
Since August 7th, Suzuki’s hit .343/.396/.679, good for a .440 wOBA and 181 wRC+. Those are some of the best numbers in the game over that stretch. In terms of wRC+ – just the red-hot bats of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Julio Rodríguez ,and Marcell Ozuna have been better.
As you can imagine, after Suzuki’s recent torrid stretch his season-long numbers are much improved. He’s bettered each of his triple-slash line stats compared to his rookie season and bumped up both his wOBA and wRC+ slightly. He’s up to a .275/.346/.470 line with a .348 wOBA and 119 wRC+.
Typically we’re left digging and digging trying to find what changed for a player in this situation, but for Suzuki, it may be somewhat simple. When he was mired in a lengthy slump, Cubs’ manager David Ross decided to pull him from the starting lineup for a four-day stretch, allowing Suzuki to take a breather and reset. In hindsight, it sounds like Suzuki agrees it was the right decision: “I feel like I was able to think about the approach. Even things that are not affiliated with baseball. I was just trying to reset my feelings, my mental state. And I think that’s why I’m doing pretty well right now.”
Suzuki’s clearly excelled since that mental reset, and both his plate discipline and batted ball skills show a clear difference.