Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: August 11
Justin Vreeland surveys the fantasy baseball world and examines whose stock is rising and whose is falling.
This season has been a complete mess, with constant PPDs due to COVID-19 and players like Cain, Cespedes, and Stroman opting out seemingly out of nowhere. When was the last time St. Louis played? It feels like it’s been months. It’s making things very difficult for us fantasy managers, but all we can do is work around it to the best of our abilities. The Stock Watch and Waiver Wire report will be more important than ever this year with the constant issues that we have to work around. This is a short season and we have to be more proactive with moves than we have in the past. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Michael Conforto , NYM OF – Conforto is off to a great start this year, hitting .310 with three home runs, two steals, and eight RBI. More importantly that the hot start though, he has found early success against left-handed pitching. He was lousy against lefties last year, posting a .241/.316/.385 slash line. His struggles against lefties cost him a little bit of playing time and also kept him from having a monster season. Though it’s only a small sample thus far, he is crushing left-handed pitching, hitting .308 with a ridiculous .731 slash and ALL THREE of his home runs. Also worth noting is that his early success against lefties has him slotted in as the Mets cleanup hitter on a daily basis, where as last year he would hit cleanup against righties and 6th or 7th against lefties. If he can continue to be successful against lefties, we could see a full breakout for Conforto that launches him into being a top-50 caliber fantasy asset.
Zach Plesac , CLE SP – News broke that Plesac was apparently acting a fool and not following guidelines, but the guy has been lights-out on the field this year. He has made three starts and given up just 12 hits and three runs across 21 innings of work while striking out 24. His ERA currently sits at 1.29 while his WHIP is a very impressive 0.67. The even brighter sign for the 25-year old right-hander though is his 10.3 K/9 to this point. He posted a nice 3.81 ERA as a rookie last year, but it came with a lousy 6.8 K/9, so while he probably won’t sustain his current strikeout rate, it’s a positive sign thus far. He is worth owning in any league, though it might not be a bad time to sell high on him.
Rafael Montero , TEX RP – Montero looks like he will be the Rangers closer for the remainder of the season. He earned a saved in his season debut on August 7th and then picked up another save the very next day. Both outings were perfect (no walks or hits) and he struck out two across his two innings of work. Montero was once a promising prospect in the Mets organization as a starting pitcher, but it never worked out; however, he seems to have found his niche as a reliever with Texas. Across 29.0 innings of work in 2019, he posted a 2.48 ERA and struck out 34 batters while logging a 0.97 WHIP. By now, he’s probably not available in your fantasy league, but he’s not a bad target to buy-high on as I think the price will only increase.
Mitch Garver , MIN C – Garver was not someone I was high on coming into the year and that looks like the right call right now as he is hitting .094 with one home run and two RBI across 32 at-bat while striking out 15 times. That’s a horrible strikeout rate and he also has zero doubles on the season. To make matters worse, the Twins have been giving him some off days due to his big struggles at the dish. In a short season it’s hard to keep holding on to someone like this and hoping they will breakout of it. 12-plus team leagues should probably give it a bit longer, but I am not against those in 8-10-team leagues moving on.
Evan White , SEA 1B – White was a popular sleeper first base choice for best ball leagues and deep seasonal leagues, but the rookie has gotten off to a very rough start. He is currently hitting .105 with a .193 SLG. He does have a home run, but he also has 27 strikeouts in 57 at-bats! That is not a good sign and it’s the type of thing that could get him sent to Seattle’s alternate camp if it continues. He’s got to start hitting the ball. On top of the poor start, he’s even fallen far down the Mariners batting card and is now hitting seventh. At this point, he can be dropped in any league that isn’t a dynasty league.
Matthew Boyd , DET SP – Probably the most beloved 5.00 ERA pitcher in the fantasy industry (not by me though). He saw plenty of love for his strikeout upside coming into the season, but he continues to get slammed; through 14.2 innings pitched he’s given 23 hits and 15 earned runs while striking out 13. So basically, to make a long story short, he has sucked in every possible way so far. To make things even worse, his last two starts have come against bottom-dwelling offenses in the Royals and Pirates, but he has gotten shelled nonetheless. Just take a look at his very impressive (sarcasm) chart below. I would not own this guy in anything lower than a 15-team league.
Stocks to Watch
Andrés Giménez , NYM SS – Gimenez is starting on an everyday basis for the Mets right now and the your prospect is playing very well, hitting .333 with three stolen bases and five runs scored through 33 at-bats. He’s a scrappy little player who likely won’t do much outside of batting average and stolen bases, but stolen bases are hard to find on the wire. He currently ranks in the 95th percentile or better in strikeout percentage, whiff percentage, and spring speed. Keep in mind, he stole 28 bags at AA last year and stole 38 bags the year before that. He has speed and the Mets are letting him run.