2018 Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: July 10
Jon Impemba gives us his breakdown on who's stock is rising and who's is falling during the fantasy baseball season.
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Jonathan Schoop 2B, BAL- It was just a few weeks ago that Schoop found himself in the falling stock portion of this article as his ownership levels were still well over 60-percent despite the fact that he was barely hitting over .200. However, baseball is a funny sport and players can snap out of cold streaks and all of a sudden become the leagues hottest hitter and that is what we have seen from Schoop of late. Over the last seven days Schoop is hitting .438 with two home runs and an OPS of 1.188. His batting average was .197 on July 1st and here we are on July 10th and his average is up to .227. If this is a sign of things to come then Schoop is a must add for the second half of the fantasy baseball season.
Wil Myers OF, SD- Myers had gotten off to a slow start to his season and the power had been lacking but all of that has changed over the past few games which we have seen Myers launch six home runs over his last four games. The six home runs during this stretch bumps his season total to eight on the year to go with a .301 batting average. Myers is owned in about 80-percent of leagues so you will likely need to try and trade for him if you want him on your team.
Stephen Piscotty OF, OAK- Piscotty has homered in three straight games to give him 10 home runs now on the season. Over the last week he is hitting .320 with an OPS of 1.146 which has helped bump his average up to .258 on the season. We saw some solid years from Piscotty in St. Louis and it looks like he may now be settling in with his new team which bodes well for his fantasy owners.
Blake Swihart C, BOS- Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez is going to miss the next six-to-eight weeks after undergoing surgery on a broken finger. While this means more playing time for Sandy León it also now creates more playing time for Swihart. For those who do not know, Swihart was once the top catching prospect in baseball and it wasn't for his defensive abilties rather for his offensive upside. After a solid debut in 2015 which he hit .274 with five home runs over 84 games the Red Sox decided to try him out in the outfield during the 2016 season in an effort to get his bat in the lineup and fill a gaping hole the team had in left field. Unfortunately Swihart suffered a season ending ankle injury just a few games into the outfield experiment and he hasn't been the same player since. Out of minor league options the Red Sox have stuck Swihart on the bench for most of this season but now is a chance for him to rebuild some value and potentially find himself as part of a trade come the deadline. Swihart went 2-for-4 with a double on Tuesday night and should find himself in the lineup upwards of three times a week.
Sonny Gray SP, NYY- Gray finds himself owned in 45-percent of standard leagues which seems just too high for a guy with a 5.85 ERA and a 1.57 WHIP. Over Gray's last three starts alone he has allowed 15 earned runs on 19 hits over 11 innings. I realize Gray has solid road splits this season but at best that makes him a streaming option and not somebody that is owned in almost half of all standard fantasy leagues.
Brandon Nimmo OF, NYM- At one point Nimmo was the best thing going for the Mets but even now he has fallen back to earth. Over the last two weeks Nimmo is hitting a dismal .143 with an OPS of .470. Nimmo's ownership has dipped below 50-percent in standard leagues and that decline figures to continue as his slump extends.
Marwin González UTL, HOU- Gonzalez had a breakout season in 2017, hitting .303 with 67 runs, 23 home runs, 90 RBI, nine stolen bases and an OPS of .907. That production and the fact that he qualified at nearly every position made him a top target towards the second half of fantasy drafts this season. Unfortunately he is in the midsts of one of the worst seasons of his career as he is hitting just .227 with a .661 OPS. Over the last two weeks Gonzalez is hitting just .130 with an OPS of .417. Despite his struggles this season his ownership is still at nearly 60-percent in standard leagues which is really surprising to me.
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J. Gray - SP
Gray (11-8) gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out one over two innings in a loss to the Dodgers on Monday.
This was downright ugly. Joc Pederson led off the home half of the first inning with a home run, and Gray went on to allow five consecutive hits (including another homer) to begin the third before getting the hook. After some initial success upon his return from the minors, Gray has regressed in a major way, posting a 7.54 ERA and 1.72 WHIP while allowing nine long balls in his last five starts (22.2 innings). He gets the Diamondbacks in Arizona and the Nationals at home to close out the regular season.
Added 12:14 pm (EST)
K. Bryant - 3B
Bryant went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a walk Monday in the Cubs' 5-1 win over the Diamondbacks.
The eighth-inning homer was Bryant's first since July 20, though a five-week stay on the disabled list due to a shoulder injury contributed heavily into the drought. Since being activated from the DL on Sept. 1, Bryant has ridden a 33.3 percent line-drive rate (his career rate is 22.1 percent) to a .320 average, but he hasn't been accompanied that stellar mark with much output in other categories. Bryant has managed only six extra-base hits (five doubles and a home run), eight runs, five RBI and no stolen bases in 14 starts on the month.
Added 12:02 pm (EST)
A. Pollock - CF
Pollock went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in the Diamondbacks' 5-1 loss to the Cubs on Monday.
Pollock's ninth-inning blast, his 18th of the season, denied Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks a complete-game shutout. It was still another underwhelming showing from the sputtering Diamondbacks offense, which hasn't been helped by Pollock's downturn in productivity of late. Dating back to Aug. 26, Pollock is hitting just .182 with four extra-base hits and one stolen base over the team's 22 games.
Added 11:53 am (EST)
E. Santana - RP
Santana earned his third relief win Monday, retiring the Royals in order in a 7-6 walk-off victory.
With Keona Kela (fatigue) shut down for the rest of the year, Santana figures to see an uptick in high leverage situations. The righty holds a 2.76 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 20 holds in his first full MLB campaign. Interestingly, he's enjoyed better success against left-handed hitters (.207 BAA) than righties (.254 BAA), though he's surrendered all six of his home runs to lefties. Santana could be in line for a save opportunity or two before season's end, as the Pirates will watch the workload of all their relievers (including closer Felipe Vazquez).
Added 11:52 am (EST)
M. Garver - C
Garver has missed five straight games with a concussion, La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports.
He left Wednesday's game after taking a foul ball off his mask and concussion symptoms surfaced over the weekend. It is unclear if or when Garver will be able to return this season. In the meantime, Willians Astudillo and Chris Gimenez will split time behind the dish.
Added 11:32 am (EST)
Y. Mendez - SP
The Rangers list Mendez as their probable starter for Wednesday's game against the Rays.
Mendez has essentially held a rotation spot since the beginning of September, but after drawing a pair of starts to begin the month, he made his most recent appearance out of the bullpen as a "primary pitcher." Mendez responded well to the relief assignment by spinning five shutout innings in a Sept. 14 win over the Padres and will look to replicate that outing while he heads back to a traditional starting role. Over his three appearances since being recalled from the minors, Mendez has gone 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 10:7 K:BB in 15 innings.
Added 11:30 am (EST)
D. Germán - SP
The Yankees officially recalled German from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday.
German and Justus Sheffield both joined the big club over the weekend after Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's season came to an end, but it wasn't until a few days later before the Yankees made their promotions official. Though the 26-year-old right-hander previously made 13 starts for the Yankees earlier in 2018, he'll likely be ticketed for a long-relief role over the final two weeks of the regular season.
Added 10:36 am (EST)
M. Pérez - SP
Perez allowed one hit and struck out three over 2.2 scoreless innings in Monday's loss to the Rays.
Perez has been successful since the Rangers moved him out of the rotation and into a bullpen role. He has a 2.45 ERA, giving up three runs on seven hits and five walks over 11 innings as a reliever. The left-hander has been scored upon just once in six outings as a reliever. As expected, his velocity is better in shorter stints, and lefty hitters are 0-for-17 against him. Perez didn't like being moved out of the rotation, and despite his success out the bullpen, he hasn't changed his mind. He told Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News that he considers himself a starter. It will be an interesting offseason for the Perez, who will unlikely have his option picked up at $7.5 million, particularly if the Rangers view him as a reliever. If he wants to start, Perez will have to hit the free-agent market where, as a 27-year-old left-hander with flashes of success, he should generate some interest.
Added 10:32 am (EST)