From today until the end of the Major League Baseball season, Saturday is for looking at the various streaks and trends across the MLB, as well as those fantasy baseball players with rising or falling stock. Who should be your priority waiver wire pickups? Who deserves some of your precious FAAB? Are there any potential fantasy baseball buy low trade candidates? As always, we’ll start by talking about some fantasy baseball risers and fallers, highlighted by one of the most notable prospects for a long time in Major League Baseball, Jasson Dominguez, finally getting the call. Additionally, Marcell Ozuna is having a bounce-back season. On the other hand, fellow notable prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand has had his fair share of lumps at the game’s highest level, and the Miami Marlins have relieved MLB Trade deadline acquisition David Robertson of his closing duties. Let’s take a look at some of the notable hit streaks and current trends across Major League Baseball, as well as fantasy baseball risers and fallers.
|1||Luis Arraez||.350||1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.420||1||Shohei Ohtani||.661|
|2||Corey Seager||.345||2||Freddie Freeman||.414||2||Corey Seager||.655|
|3||Freddie Freeman||.338||3||Shohei Ohtani||.411||3||Mookie Betts||.619|
|T3||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.338||4||Corey Seager||.410||4||Freddie Freeman||.583|
|5||Yandy Diaz||.324||5||Mookie Betts||.409||5||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.580|
|1||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.353||1||Aaron Judge||.465||1||Aaron Judge||62.9%|
|2||Corey Seager||.328||2||Ronald Acuna Jr.||.459||2||Matt Olson||57.7%|
|3||Freddie Freeman||.321||3||Corey Seager||.436||3||Matt Chapman||57.0%|
|4||Luis Arraez||.319||4||Shohei Ohtani||.430||4||Corey Seager||56.0%|
|5||Bo Bichette||.316||5||Yordan Alvarez||.424||T4||Juan Soto||56.0%|
|12||Vladimir Guerrero Jr.. Jr||53||7||15||2||8||2||4||.283/.309/.453|
Fantasy Baseball Risers
Well, the Martian has landed, and his first big league swing resulted in a home run off future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander. His home run had a 100.2 mph exit velocity, and three of the four balls he hit in play were 97 mph or higher! In his four at-bats in that game, the xBA of his batted balls were .400, .370, .930, and .520. The hope is that he can develop his power stroke, and tap into the raw power he possesses, while the blossoming speed at the upper levels of the minors was a pleasant surprise. He has the makings of a potential fantasy superstar, and his home park can help mitigate some of his overall power concerns. He has great plate discipline and those in OBP formats will love his patience at the plate, and he should be posting a very, very respectable OBP. The Yankees should give him plenty of at-bats down the stretch, and he should be owned in essentially all formats.
In a lineup that features Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson, and Austin Riley, among others, don’t overlook Ozuna, especially right now. He’s had a bounce back season at age 32, as his .272 average would be his highest since the shortened 2020 season, and his 32 home runs are approaching his previous career high (37 in 2017). After a lull in July, he came back with a vengeance in August, hitting .358 with nine home runs and 9 doubles in 29 games. He’s making a ton of hard contact, staying in the zone, and a little bit of luck never hurts! Additionally, take a look at the below graph, and look at the bounce back compared to the past years in terms of exit velocity against different types of pitches:
Fantasy Baseball Fallers
Not every prospect is going to come up and dominate right away, no matter how good their numbers in the minors are, and Encarnacion-Strand is just the latest in that list. He was an unstoppable force at Triple-A this year, posting a .637 SLG across 67 games with 20 home runs, 65 runs scored, and 62 RBI. In 42 games with the Reds, he’s slashing .252/.313/.388 with five home runs, five doubles, 15 runs scored, and 19 RBI. Furthermore, his walk rate is nearly nonexistent, and his strikeout rate is up over 30 percent, something he never did in the minors. He could be pressing a bit, which is making him leave the zone more, but a 14.6 percent swinging strike rate and 72.5 percent contact rate wasn’t what we were envisioning when he finally got the call.
There’s still a ton of potential with this young infielder, but temper expectations the rest of the way in 2023, because playing time in the infield could be tough to come by once Jonathan India returns, as there will be a lot of bodies for just a few spots.
The “Tanner Scott for save chances” club lives! Robertson stunk up the joint since being traded to Miami, leaving the team no choice but to resort to other options in the ninth inning. Take a look at the Miami bullpen since Robertson made his first appearance with the team on July 30th:
- David Robertson: 0-4, 7.50 ERA, 5.26 FIP, 9.75 K/9, 13:7 K/BB, 4 SV, 3 BS
- Tanner Scott: 3-1, 0.60 ERA, 2.19 FIP, 8.40 K/9, 14:4 K/BB, 1 SV, 1 BS
- A.J. Puk: 0-1, 2.38 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 14.29 K/9, 18:5 K/BB, 0 SV, 1 BS
Robertson has clearly been the odd man out in terms of production, and with Miami still in the thick of things, they need to ensure the late game is locked down, and that just doesn’t happen with Robertson right now.