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MLB Week 14 FAAB Insights

A holiday weekend look at some FAAB possibilities for this evening

Welcome back to another FAABulous Sunday on this holiday weekend! Enjoy the festivities, but don’t forget to get your bids in! I mentioned a few weeks back that I’d be transitioning to grouping players by categories rather than position, but I have yet to do that for one simple reason. The injuries continue to pile up at a historic rate. So while we should definitely be looking to improve and maintain by categorical needs, I feel there are so many situations where we need players at certain positions. Let’s get right to some players that may be available, by position, but with categorical needs in mind.

 

Catcher

 

Elias Díaz (22% TGFBI, 4% Yahoo) – This is rough as we most likely won’t see another week like Díaz is having – .444 BA, 4 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R through Saturday – for the rest of the season. However, it’s summertime in Colorado, so he is appealing at home in 15-team, two-catcher leagues. As someone who likes to pick on the Rockies’ hitters with pitching matchups when they’re on the road – they’re 29-17 at home but a dismal 6-31 on the road – catcher is the one position I could stomach starting a Colorado hitter in scoring periods with both home and away matchups.

Tyler Stephenson (100% TGFBI, 15% Yahoo) – 1B – If you look at season-long numbers, Stephenson and Tucker Barnhart have an even split of PA. However, since June 1, Stephenson has begun to take over a bit with an 84 to 66 advantage. In that time, he’s fourth among catchers in BA (min 50 PA), 14th in HR, 14th in RBI, and fifth in R. The Reds get to feast on Royals pitching early this week before heading to Milwaukee for four games and begin the second half with nine home games at Great American Smallpark.

 

First Base

 

Garrett Cooper (76% TGFBI, 7% Yahoo) – OF – We’ve talked about Cooper here fairly recently, but it appears he was let go in some spots during his most recent IL stint. He’s hit the ground running going 10 for 25 with 2 HR in his first seven games back. He’s cemented his spot in the three-hole in the Marlins’ lineup, a valuable spot even for a low-scoring team.

Gavin Sheets (0% TGFBI, 7% Yahoo) – Adam Howe (@EightyGrade) and myself were privileged to be joined by Paul Sporer (@sporer) on this morning’s episode of On the Wire (@OnTheWirePod), and he brought Sheets up on more than one occasion – for good reason. Sheets has begun his big league career going 6 for 18 with 2 HR and 8 RBI in his first five games and has moved to the two-spot in the lineup (and he’s there again today!) with José Abreu protecting him the past two nights. As Paul mentioned, while the single-digit K% won’t continue, anything close to his minor league K% and BB% will go a long way as he develops his 70-grade raw power to game situations. Oh! And the White Sox play half of their games at summertime Camden Yards this week!

 

Second Base

 

Enrique Hernández (90% TGFBI, 21% Yahoo) – OF – As long as Hernández continues to lead off for the potent Boston offense, he’s a great source of runs with nice 20 HR power and a decent .240+ BA. Over the past four weeks, he’s 23 for 83 (.277) with 5 HR, 15 RBI, and 13 R.

Jace Peterson (0% TGFBI, 11% Yahoo) – 1B, OF – This is a deep league play for those with injury issues in need of some counting stats. Like Hernández, Peterson is in what has become a high-scoring lineup nearly every day. He’s always walked a lot, and his 21.3 K% is right in line with his career numbers. With Kolten Wong back to the IL, he should remain in the lineup most days and produce a handful of HR and SB, but really help in the RBI and R categories.

 

Third Base

 

Hunter Dozier (90% TGFBI, 14% Yahoo) – 1B, OF – Why is a guy hitting .168 with just 7 HR and 1 SB in 246 PA at the halfway point of the season 90% rostered in TGFBI, 93% in NFBC Main Events, and even 65% in 12-team Online Championships? He’s hitting the ball hard (75th percentile HH%, 89th percentile MaxEV, 71st percentile AvgEV), with a Barrel% right in line with his career numbers, a K% not much higher than his career rate, 82nd percentile sprint speed… aaaaand a .212 BABIP. Better results are coming. In fact, The Bat X projections, which include the Statcast numbers, give him a .240 BA with 12 HR, 38 RBI, 36 R, and 2 SB the rest of the way.

 

Short Stop

 

Didi Gregorius (100% TGFBI, 46% Yahoo) – Gregorious returned to the Phillies lineup on Friday after being on the IL since May 12. He’s universally rostered in 15-teamers, but available in a little over half of shallower leagues. He had 22 RBI through the first 26 games of the season while hitting .258 with 4 HR. It really appears the elbow issues that sidelined him for nearly two months have led to his higher than usual K%, so if he’s truly healthy he’s a nice middle infield option in those shallower leagues going forward. As with Dozier, the projections like him for the second half with double-digit HR, a 75 RBI/70 R pace, and about a .250 BA.

 

Outfield

 

Oscar Mercado (2% TGFBI, 0% Yahoo) – I really liked Mercado coming into the 2020 season after his .269 BA with 15 HR, 54 RBI, 70 R, and 15 SB in just 115 games in 2019. I still believe his hand/wrist issues were a major contributor to his disappointing season and demotion. He was only hitting .216 at AAA to start 2021, but with a .327 OBP, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 29 R, and 9 SB in 45 games. The most impressive AAA numbers were his 11.3 BB% and 15.8K%. He’s striking out at a much higher rate since his call-up, but if (yes, it’s a big if) he can get that figured out he’ll be a steal as many have given up on that possibility.

Austin Hays (100% TGFBI, 12% Yahoo) – Summertime Camden! Hays is heating up along with the temperature going 14 for his last 34 with a couple of HR. Baltimore is at home for six games this week, three vs left-handed starters who Hays is hitting .359 against this season. He’s universally rostered in 15-teamers, but being a bit overlooked in shallower leagues.

Taylor Trammell (39% TGFBI, 3% Yahoo) – Similar to Keston Hiura last week, this is a case of getting a guy for a minimum bid that many were much more excited about a few weeks ago. He absolutely has to bring down the 41.7 K%, but he’s still 23 years old and was much better in the minors. I’m not running him out there this week, but in leagues I have a spot I’m placing a minimum bid to see what he looks like coming out of the break.

 

Pitcher

 

Ryan Weathers (66% TGFBI, 31% Yahoo) – Colorado on the road! That’s the play with the first matchup of the week coming against a banged-up Washington offense. It’s that simple for me here.

Scott Barlow (39% TGFBI, 19% Yahoo) – This has been a nightmare of a situation all season long, and it doesn’t help that the Royals have multiple long losing streaks. But here’s my thought. Barlow, who many have thought to be the Royals’ best reliever for two seasons now, was finally given save opportunities on back-to-back days with Greg Holland pitching the eighth each time. Barlow becomes arbitration-eligible next season, so why would a team not in contention allow him to bolster his arbitration case? To also bolster his trade value. He may be the guy for the next few opportunities… if there are any.

Mike Mayers (7% TGFBI, 4% Yahoo) – Keep an eye on the Angels for the next couple of weeks. Unlike other situations where we expect the current closer to be traded but have little confidence in identifying the next guy up; if LA decides they’re out of contention and lets Raisel Iglesias go via trade, I am confident Mayers will be the closer for the Angels the rest of the way.

 

Another Holiday Weekend

 

I really hope everyone is having a fantastic holiday weekend. We’ve discussed this a ton in recent weeks, but don’t forget to slip away for a bit and get your bids in for this evening! Many will. Take advantage of it.

One more thing. I am off of my Riley Smith vs the Rockies this week. Yes, the first Rockies road game after a homestand is still my favorite matchup in baseball! However, it now appears he may get a second start vs the Dodgers later in the week. I’m not taking that chance. Good luck tonight and enjoy the games!

 

Photo from Marshall Dunlap | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)

Kevin Hasting

Kevin is a life-long KC Royals fan who resides with his amazing wife and daughter in Abilene, TX. He has been playing fantasy baseball for over 20 years, cohosts the On the Wire weekly FAAB podcast with Adam Howe on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and was the 2020 TGFBI overall champion.

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