Well, the Twitter poll ended in a tie this week, so we’ll call it a dealer’s choice! It’s time to talk batting average, and finding some guys that are red-hot now, or are showing signs of a looming breakout. There’s a nice mix in the article this week, as some players below are hitting below or right near the Mendoza line. Also, be sure to check out the honorable mentions at the end of the article, because they have significant value as well in many formats. The fantasy baseball season continues to truck along, and by this point of the season, we have a good idea of what our team is shaping up to be. If you’re like me, some teams aren’t exactly hitting with great consistency, so we need some batting average “fluffers” to get things back on track or as we wait for studs to get healthy.

Without further ado….

Danny Jansen , TOR C – In deeper formats or two catcher leagues, Jansen is likely owned, especially after his recent hot streak. He’s still hitting below the Mendoza line for the 2019 season on the whole, but over the past week, he’s hitting over .316 with an OPS north of 1.000.  He’s barreling the ball more and in terms of average exit velocity, he’s hitting break pitches with more authority. From the rolling graph below, courtesy of Baseball Savant, you will see that Jansen is on a little run that is actually the best of his career to date.


With his batting average taking a sharp swing upwards, it’s no surprise that his expected batting average is higher as well. Additionally, take it as further validation that his hot streak isn’t fluky. Maintaining a solid batting average in the bigs is hard enough, and throw in the fact that Jansen is the team’s backstop makes it even harder. Again, he may be owned in your league, which at that case, he’s an intriguing buy-low candidate. If he’s available, scoop him up immediately.

J.D. Davis , NYM 3B – Robinson Cano has hit the disabled list, but that’s not the factoid that gives Davis further validation. Simultaneously, the New York Baseball Metropolitans placed Jeff McNeil on the disabled list as well. Davis has been a positive part of the Mets lineup on the offensive side of the ball, but a liability on the defensive side. At the very least, the injury to McNeil, and I guess in some fashion Cano as well, gives Davis at least a couple of weeks to create a more intense stranglehold on his starting spot. Davis xBA mark ranks in the 94th percentile of Major League Baseball and his hard hit rate comes in at the 90th percentile. However, deploying Davis in your lineup needs to come with some thought, considering his .212 batting average on the season against southpaws pales in comparison to his .312 clip against right-handers. He’s striking out more and walking less in May compared to March and April, which certainly casts some long-term negativity on his fantasy outlook, but he’s making harder contact and maintaining a steady fly ball rate. While his main fantasy asset will be his power, he can be a positive in terms of batting average as well.

Kendrys Morales , NYY DH – Morales is hitting just .203 on the season, and .167 over the last handful of days, but he’s in a good lineup, and with the rash of injuries the Yankees are experiencing, he’s locked into at least semi-regular playing time for the foreseeable future. He will likely take a seat when Gary Sánchez or another regular needs a day at the DH spot, but when all the currently healthy Bronx Bombers are at their normal positions, the Yankees are committed to using Morales in the DH spot. Albeit a small sample size, there are some encouraging things that we’ve seen from the veteran slugger. Compared to his time in Oakland to start the season, Morales has posted a higher walk rate while cutting his strikeout rate nearly in half. Additionally, his ISO is vastly improved, and despite a BABIP being 63 points lower with his new club than out west, his batting average is just four points lower. Morales may be hitting just .203 on the season, but his xBA is .281 and to further validate this, his .229 BABIP this season is well below his .292 career mark and he’s making the same amount of hard contact! Things will turn around sooner rather than later, ladies and gentlemen. Don’t miss out.

Christin Stewart , DET OF – In a recent interview with The Detroit News, Stewart indirectly stated feels like he’s getting close to breaking out of his current slump. I can buy into that a bit, considering he’s starting to make harder contact. The graph below may not look all that impressive, but it does showcase that he’s on a slight run of hitting with increased exit velocity. Additionally, the second chart shows the sweet spot percentage, and after a pretty sharp dip in percentage, it’s trending back upwards.

His strikeout rate is still higher than we would like, but if your league values OBP, then his double-digit walk rate certainly helps give him some extra value. Stewart gained some steam during draft season, and while he hasn’t quite panned out yet, adding him now might be a keen move, because his ownership will shoot up in the coming days or weeks. Additionally, in leagues that operate under a FAAB system, you’ll want to get him on the cheap, rather than when he figures it out.

Honorable Mention: Elias Díaz , Hanser Alberto , Albert Almora Jr.