As we head into the final third of the 2021 MLB season with the trade deadline just five days away, there are some interesting players available based both on positional and categorical needs. Including tonight we have 10 FAAB runs to go to manage our fantasy rosters for the final 10 weeks of the season. Let’s get to it!
Austin Nola (85% TGFBI, 32% Yahoo) – I have mentioned both guys listed here in recent weeks as they prepared to return from the IL, but in many leagues it’s really difficult to roster a catcher not in your starting lineup, so they are both still available in some places, especially in shallower and single-catcher leagues. Nola, a career .262 hitter with 18 HR, 70 RBI, and 65R in 518 PA, has great plate discipline for any hitter, let alone a catcher, so his contact and on-base skills will lead to nice run and RBI numbers in the potent Padres lineup. He hit .303 with a homerun in 11 rehab games at AAA.
Alejandro Kirk (59%, 5%) – With Danny Jansen hitting the IL as Kirk returns, only Reese McGuire and his recent 5 for 36 streak stands in the way of plate appearances for Kirk. He went 1 for 3 in his return Friday evening and is back in the lineup Sunday after Saturday evening off. Like Nola, Kirk has great plate discipline and on-base skills and will contribute in all offensive categories excluding stolen bases.
LaMonte Wade Jr./strong> (71%, 4%) – OF – Tommy La Stella’s return may throw a wrench here, but it’s going to be difficult for the Giants to keep Wade out of the lineup vs righties often with his .341 OBP, .531 SLG and 10 HR in just 166 PA. He’s leading off most days, the Giants are scoring runs, and he’s even chipped in 3 SB. He’s 0 for 20 this season and 0 for 34 in his career vs lefties, so he’s a strong side platoon guy —we’re used to that by now with Giants. They face three lefties this week (two of three the first half of week for NFBC formats) which should keep the bidding low this evening.
Hunter Dozier (93%, 15%) – 3B, 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.” That is from this article three weeks ago. Dozier has been in the lineup every game since the break going 11 for 29 (.379) with two doubles and a triple. The Royals play seven, six, six, seven, and seven games the next five weeks.
Rougned Odor (24%, 3%) – Odor is an everyday player for the Yankees and has hit in the three or four spot in all but one game since the break. He’s 17 for his last 56 (.304) with 4 HR, 13 RBI, and 11 R in that span. Derek Carty’s The Bat X ROS projections of 6 HR, 14 RBI, and 13 R prorate to a 40 HR, 100 RBI, 90 R guy over a full season. I can stomach the projected .227 BA for that production. (Make that 5 HR!)
Mauricio Dubón (46%, 2%) – 2B, SS, OF – As mentioned with Wade Jr., the Giants have become one of the premier teams in the league when it comes to playing platoon matchups – great baseball strategy, horribly frustrating for fantasy managers. But with three of six games this week vs lefty starters (two of three Mon-Thu), it does make their guys like Dubón and his multi position eligibility viable in leagues where we’re looking for a fill-in, especially for the run and RBI categories.
José Iglesias (54%, 6%) – Iglesias did not qualify for the batting title last season, but he led all hitters with at least 100 PA with a .373 BA in 150 PA. He’s back to his old tricks over the past four weeks going 27 for 73 (.370) with 2 HR and 2 SB hitting in the middle third of the Angels’ lineup. His defense keeps him on the field daily, and the Angels have a seven-game week.
Derek Hill (5%, 0%) – Only the Dodgers and Nationals have scored more runs than the Tigers over the past month. Yes, you read that correctly. Only four teams have stolen more bases over that stretch, and Hill’s 6 SB in 15 G account for 37.5% of those thefts by the Tigers. There may be a bit of pop here as well as he had 4 HR in 137 PA at AAA this season and 14 HR in 526 PA at AA in 2019. Hill was a first round draft pick in 2014 and is still just 25 years old, so hopefully the K% that has plagued his minor league career in the past was vastly improved upon at the 2020 alternate site. It’s only been 40 PA but at 20% thus far with a 17.5% BB% as well, I’m very intrigued. The Tigers have seven games this week as well.
Brent Rooker (0%, 0%) – Rooker is 4 for 37 to begin his 2021 MLB season, but was mashing at AAA with 19 HR in 265 PA and may be looking at an everyday job in Minnesota with the departure of Nelson Cruz and Alex Kirilloff out for the season with a broken wrist. He’s another high K% risk, but the HR and RBI will be there if he can even keep it to a manageable 30% or less. (Like Odor, he’s hitting HR as I’m typing!)
Touki Toussaint (0%, 21%) – Toussaint’s 2021 debut could not have went much better – 6.2 IP with 3 H, 2 BB, 1 ER, and 5 K. The strikeouts have always been there for the 16th overall pick as an 18-year-old in 2014, but so have the free passes. He had 4 BB over 12 IP in his final two AAA starts and the two vs the Padres this past Tuesday, so there is room for optimism. There are some tough matchups ahead (Milwaukee and Washington the next two weekends), but if he looks good vs the Phillies today I’ll start him with confidence vs the Brewers this week.
Blake Treinen (56%, 23%) – In spite of Kenley Jansen’s 22nd save of the season Saturday evening I’m still not convinced he keeps the job the rest of the way. His 27.1% K% is the lowest of his career and is 16.3% BB% the highest and well over double his career average. His previous lowest K%-BB% was 22.5% in 2018 and currently sits at 10.8% through 39.1 IP. The Dodgers went away from him in the postseason and now find themselves in a tighter regular season race than they’ve experienced in a few years. I’m stashing Treinen where I have the room and he’s available.
Shane Baz (N/A, 12%) – The Olympic gold medal game is slated for Aug. 7, so Baz is probably three to four weeks away from an appearance with the Rays. However, with the trade of Rich Hill and the tight AL East race with the Red Sox, I expect Baz to be in Tampa’s plans down the stretch. He’s combined for 55.2 IP at AA and AAA this season with a 2.26 ERA, 82 K, and just 10 BB. He’s not eligible to be added in NFBC leagues until he debuts, but where available grab him now before he hits the world stage beginning Friday in Tokyo.
As always good luck tonight and enjoy the games!
Photo from David Dennis/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)