What did you miss this past week of the Fantasy Baseball season? Well, the Yankees have talent just oozing out of every corner, two outfielders have people asking questions and two surprising pitchers have many contemplating pickups.
Miguel Andujar Dominating
As if the Yankees needed more excitement or players crushing it at the plate, the young Andujar has been on fire. Andujar is hitting .316 with three home runs, nine runs and 11 RBI is just 14 games and tied the Yankees record for consecutive games with an extra base hit at seven. Why did the Yankees ever hesitate with him, and should he be owned in every league?
The first answer is, I have no idea. Neil Walker is replacement value at this point of his career and Ronald Torreyes never held a candle to Torres. As for the second question, the answer is 100-percent, yes… even in 10-team leagues. Will Andujar hit 25 home runs and bat .315 all year? No. But, Andujar does have great plate discipline, never carrying a K% higher than 17.3 percent. His .326 BABIP isn’t beyond his ability, and Andujar makes quality contact more often than not.
On the downside, Andujar’s highest ISO in the minors was .191, and it sits at .333. Andujar will top out around 20 home runs, but in the Yankees lineup, that means around 55-65 Runs and RBI (each) for the rest of the season. That’s must-own production in all formats, especially with a nice average.
David Dahl is Back
Surprise, surprise, Carlos Gonzalez hit the DL and Gerardo Parra is serving his suspension. If you remember last year’s preseason hype, you’re likely wondering if you should pick up Dahl everywhere. Unlike Andujar, Dahl isn’t a must-own player. First off, Dahl hasn’t been able to capitalize on that hype and potential we saw in his 2016 debut. Injuries have derailed his career, and Dahl has failed to recapture his pre-injury production. Second, Dahl doesn’t have an everyday role locked into place. Parra will return from suspension, Ian Desmond and Ryan McMahon are still sharing time at first base when Desmond isn’t in the outfield and CarGo could return from the DL as soon as eligible. Dahl is a fine upside stash in 12-teamers if you have a decently-sized bench or empty spot, and in 15-team leagues, he’s a good grab due to the waiver thinness, but he’s more speculation than potential at this point.
Teoscar Hernandez Looks like the Real Deal
Sure, Hernandez’s .391 BABIP and .400 ISO are going to drop, but even so, Hernandez is still a bona fide Fantasy Baseball asset. Hernandez has 20/20 plus ability and can hit in the mid-.200s. Sure, we’d be more excited to see Hernandez with an average closer to what he’s hitting now (.343), but if you’re getting a player with 20/25 over a full season with the 70-plus Runs and RBI, you’ll forgive the middling average. The main concern with Hernandez is his strikeout percentage, which has been in the 20s for the majority of his minor league career. Paul Sporer drew comparisons to Cody Bellinger during the recent On Target podcast below (subscribe and 5-stars because you love me!), and while he doesn’t have Bellinger’s power, the comp isn’t far off. That’s obviously a player to get excited about in all leagues.
Tyson Ross is Back to Pre-Surgery Form
We still don’t have a large sample on pitchers returning from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome surgery, as Jaime Garcia was the best-case scenario previously and Matt Harvey is proof of the potential downside. Ross has been terrific this season after looking Harvey-like, even worse, last year. As with Garcia, this procedure takes more than a year to recover from completely, if ever. So is Ross back? Mostly…
Ross has a 2.81 ERA with a 23.5 K% (16.7 SOBB) and 1.01 WHIP. That’s in line with Ross’ best season in 2014. While that’s exciting, he has been somewhat lucky with a .250 BABIP and 74.4 LOB%. Ross’ career norms for those are .308 and 70.3. The BABIP is significantly lower while the strand rate isn’t far from the norm. Since it’s mostly BABIP and Ross is keeping the walks and home runs down, his xFIP and FIP are only up at 3.25/3.26. If Ross happens to be available in your league (still just 58 percent owned in CBS), add him and enjoy the feel-good story and results… obviously, just be smart and avoid the poor matchups though… like on the road in Colorado.
Chad Bettis is Succeeding in Colorado
To keep this one simple… and he’s not going to continue that success. Bettis has a 2.40 ERA, and that’s after his sub-par outing against the Padres. Many grabbed him for the two-start week against those Padres and the Marlins, but the two-start appeal is the only appeal Bettis brings. His FIP and xFIP are nearly double the ERA (4.44/4.62), as Bettis has an unsustainable .229 BABIP and 87.7 LOB%. Bettis has a poor 6.7 SOBB thanks to a low level of strikeouts and mediocre control, plus a low SwStr% and F-Strike% with a high Hard%. Bettis is fool’s gold outside of tempting matchups and when they come in a two-start week.
Main Image Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens