Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: August 25
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 having the ability to opt out at anytime. The Mets are slated to return to action tonight after missing four games due to Covid and it’s probably only a matter of time before a new team gets hit with it. All of these things are making this whacky season very difficult for us as 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. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Teoscar Hernández , TOR OF – Hernandez is having a breakout campaign, hitting .296 with 10 home runs, 18 RBI, and four stolen bases through 26 games. The home runs are something we have seen before from him, as he hit 26 last year as a part time player, but the uptick in batting average and stolen bases are a new addition to his game. It doesn’t appear to be a fluke either, as you can see in the graph below; he ranks extremely well in just about every stat cast category, including xBA. He is hitting the ball extremely hard, as evidenced by his 99th-percentile hard hit rate and exit velocity. He is batting in the heart of the Blue Jays order and he should continue to provide strong fantasy numbers.
Jake Cronenworth, SD 2B – If you follow my DFS work/content or have talked with me in the MLB DFS chat room than you know I love my boy Cronenworth. He has been too cheap in DFS all year long and he continues to produce. Now that he is playing every day he is someone we can also lock into our seasonal lineups. Through 24 games, he is hitting a ridiculous .347 with three home runs, 12 RBI, 13 runs scored, and a stolen base. I normally don’t provide multiple stat cast snippets in one section of the stock watch, but his are also extremely impressive as you can see below. He’s in the 100th percentile in xBA and 78th percentile or better in every single category… What’s not to love?
Dinelson Lamet , SD SP – Lamet has always been extremely strong in the strikeout department with a career K/9 of 11.8, but it now appears he has put it all together like we have been expecting him to for years. He has battled injuries, but he’s healthy right now and he is dominating opposing lineups. Through six starts, he has a 1.89 ERA, 2.96 FIP, 12.2 K/9, and he leads the league in both WHIP (0.84) and H/9 (4.6). He hasn’t given up more than two runs in any of his starts and he has at least seven strikeouts in all but one of them. Hopefully you have him already, because the price tag to trade for him right now is so high that you’re probably better off not even trying.
Scott Kingery , PHI OF – Kingery had a bit of a breakout season in 2019, hitting .258 with 19 home runs and 15 stolen bases. Many believed that he would build on that heading into 2020 and have a chance of being a great fantasy asset, but he’s been an absolute bust. He is currently hitting .115 with ZERO home runs and ZERO stolen bases through 18 games and he has lost his spot as an everyday player. He currently ranks in the 3rd percentile in both Exit Velocity and Hard Contact rate. That’s almost Jarrod Dyson territory. There is no reason to hold onto Kingery in redraft leagues at this point, even deeper leagues can say their goodbyes (if you haven’t already).
Lance McCullers, HOU SP – I am so happy to see McCullers back and healthy, but the results have been extremely ugly thus far. Not only is he pitching to a 5.74 ERA and 1.31 WHIP through six starts, but his K/9 is just 7.2. We are talking about a guy who had a career K/9 of 10.1 prior to this year starting, so that’s a pretty massive drop-off. Yes, it’s a small sample, but it’s still ugly and concerning. He isn’t getting unlucky either, as you can see in the graph below, the stat cast numbers back up how bad he has been, and not in a good way. I wouldn’t consider dropping him yet, but it’s pretty tough to feel good about putting him in your lineup right now. Wait for better results.
Mike Minor , TEX SP – Minor may have been a great fantasy asset last year out of nowhere, but he’s been abysmal this year. Through six starts, he has a 6.75 ERA, 5.29 FIP, and 1.40 WHIP. His walks are up, he’s giving up more hits, and he’s giving up more home runs. On top of all of that, he has a 0-5 record to this point. I don’t think a pitcher’s record is really at an indication of anything, but in a lot of leagues wins matter and the fact that he has zero through six starts isn’t doing anyone any favors. Keep in mind, his FIP last year was 4.25, so he wasn’t as good as the ERA showed and he was due for regression. And boy has that regression hit hard. Shallow leagues can drop him, while deeper leagues have to hold on and hope for a turnaround.
Stocks to Watch
Ryan Mountcastle , BAL SS – Mountcastle was a top-100 prospect going into both 2018 and 2019 and he is finally up with the big league club this year. He performed very well at AAA last season, hitting .312 with 25 home runs and 83 RBI across 127 games played. He is off to a nice start at the big league level too, going 3-9 with two doubles and three walks through his first three games of action. The Orioles have a nice home ball park for hitting and he has the talent to be a fantasy producer. For now, shallow leagues should just keep an eye on him, while deeper leagues can go ahead and put a flier in on him.