Fantasy Baseball The Week That Was: September 2
Glenn Colton takes an in-depth look at the past week of the MLB season and goes over how everything turned out for fantasy baseball owners.
Emmanuel Clase, RP Tex: He struck out two, to close out a shutout of the Yankees on Monday. While it was not a save situation, it is instructive that manager Chris Woodward called on Clase to close it out on the big stage at Yankee Stadium. Why? Because he has the stuff to close and his manager knows it. Clase’s stuff is filthy with a fastball that averages over 99 MPH and a slider that sits at 91 (yes, 91 – approximately 4 MPH above Aroldis Chapman ’s). Oh, and if that is not good enough, how about adding in a swinging-strike rate above 13-percent and a ground ball rate over 60-percent? Yep, Clase has those. If you need Ks, some cheap saves and perhaps a vulture win or two, the Texas heater should be top of your list. [Note – we put our money where our mouths are and spend 29 of a remaining 61 to roster Clase in Tout Wars AL].
Hanser Alberto , INF Bal: Alberto just does not get enough love. Yes, he is playing in baseball purgatory in Baltimore this year (great city; great fans; terrible team in 2019). Monday, Alberto went 2-for-5 with a run, RBI, and a home run. On the year, Alberto is hitting a sweet .323. Yep, .323. Coming into Monday’s contest, Alberto had posted over a .360 average and higher than a 1.000 OPS over the last three weeks. If you need production in September, I bet Alberto is overlooked in many of your leagues. He shouldn’t be and you shouldn’t wait to pounce.
Josh Rojas, OF Ari: Remember a couple of weeks ago, we told you Rojas could be a key piece to winning a fantasy title? Remember how he did not fly high after that column? Well, he is soaring now. Rojas went 4-for-5 with a home run Monday and is eight for his last 18 (which is a pretty darn good .444). My bet is that those in the “what have you done for me lately” crowd cut bait. Take advantage. A 42-percent hard-hit rate and 29-percent line drive rate says the bat is real.
Aristedes Aquino, OF Cin: Aquino continues to re-write the record books. He went yard again Monday, giving him 15 homers and 32 RBI in just 31 games. Yeah, I know this is dishonest math but that is a full-season pace of 76 home runs and over 160 RBI – numbers that give you a sense of how rarified the air is around Aquino. Nothing to do here as he has to be 100-percent owned but these kind of numbers deserve as much cyber-ink as possible. Just wow.
Nate Lowe , 1B TB: Lowe returned to the big leagues Sunday and promptly went yard. Frankly, I have no idea what the Rays were doing calling him up and sending him down and doing so again. But he is in the show now and IF IF IF he plays most every day, he will hit. .929 OPS in Triple-A and .921 OPS through Sunday in the show. Hopefully, the Rays will run him out there. If they do, you should too.
Finally, the moment you have been waiting for (sort of) -- Schultz says: “There is a prevailing mood in certain portions of the roto-universe that 2020 will be a time for cathartic change. Have no fear, Schultz is not about to get political and offer himself up for Overlord censorship. Rather, Schultz wants to talk to those people that have judged 2019 poorly and are looking ahead for the next season. If you're in a complete redraft league, time for you to move on, Schultz wishes to talk to the men (and women) who play in the enlightened realm of the keeper leagues.
Since 2019 is simply something to keep you occupied during the days where you aren't obsessing over your fantasy football team, let's not concern ourselves with what might actually happen in September. In that sense, let us look westward to Oakland, where there may finally be a there, there as the A's pitching staff is about to get an infusion of potential.
After finally looking like he would fulfill his promise in 2018, Sean Manaea exited stage right (or left, Schultz never knows acting perspectives) with a wonky shoulder and went under the knife. While his return has been slow and his brilliance sporadic, his latest minor league outing where he struck out 12 in 7 innings has emboldened that As to return the talented lefty to their rotation. As he's pitching after the Schultz Says deadline, this will either seem like tommyrot or oracular genius - either way, Manaea should be on your keeper radar for 2020.
September should also see the major league flourishing of two other A's youngster that have had prospect hounds salivating for months. A.J. Puk 's first three relief appearances surely gave no sign of the fact that he will someday be a dominant starter. Finally recovered from Tommy John surgery, Puk is throwing hard and will spend the final weeks of the season adapting to the big leagues. Similarly, Jesús Luzardo , also recovering from shoulder surgery (and yes, you might want to start comparing the As' pitching coaches to those masterminds that oversaw the Pulsipher/Wilson/Isringhausen implosion in Queens), has apparently mastered the minors and will get the call soon. There isn't another pitching prospect as hyped as Luzardo coming to the big show in September, so he is definitely worth a flyer.”
Response: Manaea did something special Sunday – he made Schultz look really smart! Nice work by both Sean and Schultz!