If you’re looking to finish the first half of the 2024 MLB season strong, you need to check in with the Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch and see which players are rising and falling in value.




The MLB All-Star break is nearly here, and your fantasy baseball trade deadline is rapidly approaching. You can continue to sift through the fantasy baseball waiver wire options and see if you can find yourself a diamond in the rough, but it might suit your team needs better to work out some fantasy baseball trades. Nothing outlandish – oftentimes, people think they need to target the elite players and that’s not always best. Sometimes a minor tweak deal is all you need to jumpstart your team.

You can also think about trading away a struggling superstar. If you’ve been hit with a rash of MLB injuries, it may be time to fill in some roster holes. There are a number of superstars still struggling through the first half of this season and while yes, they could be explosive in the second half, finding a trade partner who is willing to tank the rest of their season for a high-quality keeper can be a tremendous help to carry you into the winner’s circle. 

Let’s get to it with a little ‘3 Up, 3 Down’.



Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Risers

Steven Kwan, OF Cleveland Guardians

It’s difficult to imagine we are looking at a guy who is hitting close to .400 on the season with a 1.020 OPS but ranks near the bottom in barrel-rate, hard-hit percentage and exit velocity, but here is Kwan doing just that. He’s never been a huge target in fantasy baseball because he doesn’t hit for power and is good for maybe 20 steals in an era when guys are stealing more than ever. 

But here in his age-26 season, we’re seeing an uptick across the board and it’s actually believable. Since returning from an injury that saw him miss most of May, Kwan, Kwan went on a 14-game hit streak and has now hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games. His plate discipline has been fantastic, drawing more walks than striking out and he’s even hitting for some power. His seven home runs this season already represent a career high. 

While I assume the .400 BABIP and .182 ISO will drop, Kwan should be able to maintain strong batting average and OBP numbers. Those will help build up his runs scored and let’s face it, anything you get in home runs and RBI from this point on is just gravy.

Jonathan India, 2B Cincinnati Reds

I’ve always been a big fan of India, but injuries and streakiness have made him a tough one to roster since that amazing rookie campaign. But we’re all about striking while the iron is hot and India is currently riding a six-game hit streak in which he is slashing .478/.520/.783 with four doubles, one home run and two RBI. He leads off against lefties, bats in the six-hole against righties and should continue to boost your stats here in the first half.

The Reds upcoming schedule has them heading to St. Louis and then New York to face the Yankees, but after that, Cincinnati closes out the first half of the season with a 10-game homestand at Great American Smallpark. And that homestand comes against the Tigers, Rockies and Marlins. He’s already hitting .270 with a .347 wOBA at home this season and those numbers match up perfectly with his career norm. Well, he hasn’t matched that .163 ISO at home just yet, but you know that’s coming. 

Aroldis Chapman, RP Pittsburgh Pirates

Say what you want about Chapman. You don’t like the personality? Fine. You don’t think he’s got the same stuff as he once had? Maybe. But saves are saves in the realm of fantasy baseball and with David Bednar on the injured list with an oblique strain, Chapman is expected to serve as the Pirates closer until he returns, which may not be until after the All-Star break.

Chapman may not be hitting triple-digits on the gun anymore, but he’s certainly coming close. His fastball velocity sits around 97-98mph and he is throwing his 98mph sinker more than ever. Mixing that with an 86mph slider, he is able to keep hitters both off-balance and guessing at what’s coming next. Maybe he walks a few more guys here in his age-36 season, but overall, he remains a dominant force in the ninth inning for a competitive team.




Fantasy Baseball Stock Watch: Fallers

Julio Rodriguez, OF Seattle Mariners

OK, so here is who I was talking about in the introduction above. I love Julio Rodriguez. His first two seasons were nothing short of spectacular, but this third year has been tough to take. Even the 16 stolen bases are disappointing when you look at the overall product versus where you drafted him and what your expectations were of him. 

The problem is that I have a tough time seeing him work his way out of this and if someone in your league is ready to dole out a king’s ransom to get him, it’s a move you may have to make if you're in contention this year. First and foremost, the strikeouts are up and the walks are down. Nothing too crazy, but the plate discipline is off. Then we have this .257 average which is not being driven down by BABIP. In fact, his BABIP is at .341, right alongside his career norm. 

But there’s no power (.083 ISO), he’s mashing almost half his batted balls into the dirt, he’s swinging at everything, and he can’t seem to put the barrel on the ball like he’s done in previous years. He’s 4-for-27 (.148) over his last seven games with no extra-base hits, no runs scored and no RBI. He also hasn’t recorded a stolen base in his last 11 games.  If trading JRod fills your roster holes with quality players (not superstars, just quality players), then make that move if you think you can win it all this year.

Jo Adell, OF Los Angeles Angels

Is it time to move on from Adell? I think it might be. The 25-year-old, former first-round pick was dynamic through the first month of the season, batting .316 with four home runs, 11 RBI and five stolen bases. He struggled with the batting average in May, but powered up with seven homers, 16 RBI and another three steals. But the wheels have seemingly fallen off the wagon as he bats .111 through 20 games in June with just one home run and six RBI.

The idea of this just being a down month for Adell is plausible, but at this stage of his development, the rising strikeout rate – 33-percent in May and now 34.8-percent in June – makes it extremely difficult to trust him. You could say the Angels are going to keep running him out there every day since they have no other offensive assets anymore, but with no extra base hits in his last 10 games, it’s difficult to see them leaving him in as an everyday guy. Not when he’s about as close to an automatic out as you can get.

Jordan Hicks, SP San Francisco Giants

If you happen to catch my latest article in the New York Post, then this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to you. The focus was on selling high on Garrett Crochet, but I made mention of Hicks towards the end as the crux of my argument was built on an innings cap. Hicks has already thrown 80.2 innings, the most he’s thrown since he was in the lower levels of the minor leagues in 2017. Whether the Giants are competitive or not, they’re going to have to shut him down or his arm is going to fall off.

We’ve even seen signs of it already. He got blasted by his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals, for five runs (two home runs) over just four innings and he’s now allowed 14 earned runs over his last five starts (22.2 innings). Walks are up, strikeouts are down and this guy hasn’t pitched beyond 5.1 innings in any outing since April 27. Might not be a great selling opportunity right now but get what you can for him and be happy.