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Around the League

Hot Hitter Rundown

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Follow @Rotoworld_BB and @RyanPBoyer on Twitter.

 

You should always have the big picture in mind when it comes to your season-long fantasy baseball leagues. Putting too much stock in a small sample size might cause you to make a decision that hurts you in the long run. That said, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taking stock of what’s happened in the immediate past. It can be useful when it comes to weekly or especially daily lineup decisions, waiver wire considerations, tracking who might be coming into more playing time, etc.

 

The Rotoworld Player Rater is a handy tool that’s among the extensive offerings in Season Pass. Each week, I’ll be using the Player Rater to look at the hottest hitters, position by position, over the last week, and providing commentary.

 

*The following data is based on 5x5 Roto scoring and covers games played from July 3-July 9.

 

Editor’s Note: Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Baseball: Get in the game and create or join a league today.


 

Catcher

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Russell Martin
TOR
C
1.50979
0.30260
-0.40089
1.58814
2.27336
5.27
#2
Evan Gattis
HOU
C
1.50979
2.03801
-0.40089
0.79196
1.27937
5.22
#3
J.T. Realmuto
MIA
C
0.38219
-0.13125
1.08989
2.26997
0.78238
4.39
#4
Salvador Perez
KC
C
1.50979
1.60416
-0.40089
0.33460
-0.21160
2.84
#5
Francisco Cervelli
PIT
C
0.38219
1.60416
-0.40089
-0.00562
0.28539
1.87
#6
Austin Hedges
SD
C
1.50979
0.73646
-0.40089
-0.11855
-0.21160
1.52
#7
Kurt Suzuki
ATL
C
0.38219
0.30260
-0.40089
0.68043
0.28539
1.25
#8
Stephen Vogt
MLW
C
1.50979
0.30260
-0.40089
-0.34583
-0.21160
.85
#9
Wilson Ramos
TB
C
0.38219
0.73646
-0.40089
0.22307
-0.21160
.73
#10
Nick Hundley
SF
C
0.38219
-0.13125
-0.40089
0.90771
-0.21160
.55

 

Russell Martin appears pretty locked into the No. 2 spot in the Blue Jays’ batting order at this point, which is a great spot to be even though their offense is underperforming as a whole. Martin isn’t going to hit for average and he’s somehow managed to drive in only 19 runs so far, but he’s still among the best at the position as far as on-base percentage goes and is on a nearly 20-homer pace again … Evan Gattis has had an interesting season. If you drafted him, you did so for his power and were just going to accept his other shortcomings. While he has slugged three dingers already in July, he’s certainly been a disappointment so far in the power department overall. However, Gattis’ strikeout rate has plummeted to 13.9 percent, which is a huge drop from last year’s 25.5 percent mark and his career 21.6 percent rate. Unsurprisingly, more contact has led to a much better average (.284). Fantasy owners would like to see a blend of the two, and Gattis has started to give it to them of late with a .348 average and four homers in his last 11 games … J.T. Realmuto continues to be one of the more underrated catchers in the game (with apologies to Yadier Molina, he should be in the All-Star Game). The 26-year-old has been playing some of his best ball heading into the break, hitting .441/.457/.588 with one homer and one steal over his last seven games. Realmuto isn’t going to overwhelm you with counting stats, but he’s the best bet at the position other than Buster Posey for average and he also chips in with some stolen bases …

 

First Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Freddie Freeman
ATL
1B
1.50979
2.47187
-0.40089
1.58674
1.77637
6.94
#2
Joey Votto
CIN
1B
2.63739
2.90572
-0.40089
0.44753
1.27937
6.87
#3
Jesus Aguilar
MLW
1B
1.50979
2.90572
-0.40089
1.24792
0.78238
6.04
#4
Luke Voit
STL
1B
2.63739
2.47187
-0.40089
0.44613
0.78238
5.94
#5
Yonder Alonso
OAK
1B
2.63739
1.17031
-0.40089
-0.23711
1.77637
4.95
#6
Justin Bour
MIA
1B
1.50979
1.60416
-0.40089
0.90209
0.78238
4.40
#7
Josh Bell
PIT
1B
0.38219
1.60416
-0.40089
1.01643
1.77637
4.38
#8
Eric Hosmer
KC
1B
0.38219
0.73646
-0.40089
2.27138
1.27937
4.27
#9
Eric Thames
MLW
1B
1.50979
-0.13125
-0.40089
0.56468
1.27937
2.82
#10
Yulieski Gurriel
HOU
1B
0.38219
1.17031
-0.40089
1.13218
0.28539
2.57

 

Those who might be worried how Freddie Freeman would look at the plate after coming back from a fractured wrist, worry no more. Freeman missed seven weeks of action and played only two rehab games, but I think the great John Schuerholz quote on George Brett applies to Freeman in that he “could roll out of bed on Christmas morning and hit a line drive.” The Braves’ first baseman is 10-for-26 (.385) with a couple homers and eight RBI over six contests since returning to action … I’ve gotten a lot of questions the last few days about whether to pick up Jesus Aguilar in a standard mixed league. It’s true that he’s been very productive for the upstart Brewers while Eric Thames has leveled off after a brilliant start. However, Aguilar still looks to be on the short side of a platoon and I think the Brew Crew would be best served to continue using him how they have been and not overexpose him. Yes, six of Aguilar’s nine longballs have come off of righties, but he’s hitting just .255 with a .325 OBP against them, whereas he’s sporting a blistering .367/.418/.617 line versus lefties … Luke Voit has been a cool story with the Cardinals as a late-round draft pick who is from St. Louis and went to a local college and has now made it up to the majors and is producing. The hulking slugger has popped three homers and driven in eight over his last seven games, as he’s been drawing regular starts at first base while the Cards shift Matt Carpenter over to second. Voit is 26 and has never been considered much of a prospect, but he’s hit really well the last couple seasons in the minors and it’s encouraging that his strikeout rate in the majors so far is just 17.1 percent (it was 17.8 percent in the minors, as he makes a lot of contact for a guy whose best attribute is his power). It’s hard to envision everyday at-bats for Voit once Kolten Wong (triceps) returns after the All-Star break, but perhaps St. Louis can clear room with a trade …

 

Second Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Jose Altuve
HOU
2B
1.50979
3.33957
2.58067
4.09064
3.26735
14.79
#2
Scooter Gennett
CIN
2B
2.63739
1.17031
1.08989
1.35879
1.77637
8.03
#3
Paul DeJong
STL
2B
2.63739
0.73646
-0.40089
2.72392
2.27336
7.97
#4
Dee Gordon
MIA
2B
-0.74541
-0.99895
4.07145
2.03660
3.26735
7.63
#5
Rougned Odor
TEX
2B
2.63739
1.17031
-0.40089
0.67464
2.27336
6.35
#6
Dustin Pedroia
BOS
2B
1.50979
2.90572
-0.40089
1.46832
0.28539
5.77
#7
Whit Merrifield
KC
2B
0.38219
-0.13125
4.07145
-0.23809
0.78238
4.87
#8
Daniel Murphy
WAS
2B
-0.74541
2.90572
-0.40089
1.92707
0.28539
3.97
#9
Jonathan Schoop
BAL
2B
1.50979
0.30260
-0.40089
0.78576
0.78238
2.98
#10
DJ LeMahieu
COL
2B
0.38219
0.30260
-0.40089
0.90480
0.78238
1.97

 

Paul DeJong is listed at second base here because that’s still where he’s played the most this season, but he looks to have settled in as the Cardinals’ regular shortstop following Aledmys Diaz’s demotion to the minors. DeJong had a series for the ages against the Mets over the weekend, going 9-for-12 with three home runs and four doubles as the Cards took two of three. The former fourth-round pick now has nine taters over his first 133 plate appearances in the big leagues. DeJong’s power is for real, as he smashed 22 homers last season and has already matched that total this year between the majors and minors. However, he’s also sporting a 38/4 K/BB ratio in the majors and had a rather pedestrian .267/.289/.474 line prior to his exploits over the weekend. I think DeJong could continue to be useful in deep leagues with his pop and multi-position eligibility, and he looks to have some leash with Diaz struggling at Triple-A (.510 OPS), but there will definitely be some rough patches … Rougned Odor was in a 3-for-37 stretch late last month which dropped his season batting line to an ugly .205/.244/.371. It was looking like the Rangers might be best served in sending him to the minors for a bit to clear his head. However, the fiery second baseman has since reeled off an 11-game stretch where he’s batting .333/.381/.744 with five home runs, nine RBI and two stolen bases.  Odor’s .220 average isn’t going to help you win any fantasy league titles, but he enters the All-Star break on pace for 31 homers, 74 RBI, 87 runs and 17 steals. You’d probably have signed up for that before the season … DJ LeMahieu’s average was sitting at .275 after a June 9 game against the Cubs. Since then he’s batted a robust .391/.424/.457 over his last 23 contests to push his batting mark to .307 heading into the All-Star break. LeMahieu has just four dingers and four thefts at the break, and his 47 runs is relatively disappointing for a guy who’s predominantly hit second for the Rockies. That said, I fully expect the runs and the average to be there in the end, and those are often the two categories that are overlooked by fantasy owners obsessed with finding the sexy power/speed guy …

 

Third Base

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Travis Shaw
MLW
3B
1.50979
1.60416
-0.40089
1.36086
2.77035
6.84
#2
Jose Ramirez
CLE
3B
1.50979
1.60416
1.08989
1.92976
0.28539
6.42
#3
Alex Bregman
HOU
3B
-0.74541
-0.56510
2.58067
1.47380
3.26735
6.01
#4
Kris Bryant
CHC
3B
1.50979
1.60416
-0.40089
1.01924
2.27336
6.01
#5
Nolan Arenado
COL
3B
1.50979
2.47187
-0.40089
1.01784
0.78238
5.38
#6
Manny Machado
BAL
3B
1.50979
1.60416
-0.40089
1.47099
0.78238
4.97
#7
Mike Moustakas
KC
3B
2.63739
1.17031
-0.40089
0.22026
1.27937
4.91
#8
Justin Turner
LA
3B
2.63739
1.60416
-0.40089
0.45034
0.28539
4.58
#9
Adrian Beltre
TEX
3B
1.50979
1.17031
-0.40089
0.79056
1.27937
4.35
#10
Jedd Gyorko
STL
3B
0.38219
1.17031
1.08989
0.90630
0.28539
3.83

 

Travis Shaw just keeps chugging along. The All-Star snub drove in four of the Brewers’ five runs in their win Sunday over the Yankees and has put up a 1.326 OPS with five longballs and 14 RBI across his last 12 contests. Shaw has actually bucked the trend this season and has been hitting way fewer flyballs, but he’s still got a 30+ homer pace thanks in part to his hitter-friendly environment (although he’s actually hit more homers on the road). The 27-year-old’s .333 BABIP points to some batting average regression, but with his hard-hit rate way up and both his walk and strikeout rates slightly improved, I don’t think Shaw’s average will be falling off a cliff. You think the Red Sox want to undo that trade? … We’re still waiting for Alex Bregman to string together a sustained run, but he did have a 9-for-23 (.391) week that included nine runs and a pair of stolen bases. He’s still hitting just .256, and his 27 RBI is an embarrassing total for a guy that’s part of an offensive juggernaut (even if he’s stuck in the No. 8 spot). But, Bregman is at least entering the break on a 15-homer, 15-steal pace, so I guess it could be worse? … Mike Moustakas entered July just one home run shy of a new career high, and he’s easily surpassed that total now after clubbing four bombs over his first seven games this month. “Moose” is walking less than ever (4.6 percent), but he continues to have an excellent contact rate for a power hitter (17 percent whiff rate) and his 46.9 percent flyball rate is his best mark since his first full season back in 2012 … Moustakas’ fellow Final Vote winner, Justin Turner, is not only hitting a blistering .377, he’s also really upped his power production of late with eight blasts over his last 19 games. Of players with at least 250 plate appearances, only Turner, Joey Votto, Anthony Rizzo, Anthony Rendon, Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia have accumulated more walks than strikeouts …

 

Shortstops

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
Carlos Correa
HOU
SS
2.63739
2.03801
-0.40089
1.47520
1.77637
7.53
#2
Freddy Galvis
PHI
SS
2.63739
1.60416
1.08989
0.10451
0.78238
6.22
#3
Jean Segura
SEA
SS
0.38219
0.73646
1.08989
2.49725
1.27937
5.99
#4
Pat Valaika
COL
SS
1.50979
2.47187
-0.40089
0.67903
-0.21160
4.05
#5
Troy Tulowitzki
TOR
SS
1.50979
1.17031
-0.40089
1.35946
0.28539
3.92
#6
Brandon Crawford
SF
SS
1.50979
2.03801
-0.40089
-0.69167
0.78238
3.24
#7
Wilmer Difo
WAS
SS
-0.74541
-0.56510
1.08989
2.04691
1.27937
3.11
#8
Francisco Lindor
CLE
SS
-0.74541
1.17031
1.08989
0.56047
0.78238
2.86
#9
Tim Anderson
CWS
SS
1.50979
0.73646
-0.40089
-0.35005
0.78238
2.28
#10
J.T. Riddle
MIA
SS
-0.74541
1.60416
-0.40089
1.47239
0.28539
2.22

 

Carlos Correa has still yet to even attempt a stolen base this season, which is certainly a bummer for those of you in Roto leagues. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that his fantasy owners are still pretty pleased with his production, however. Correa has already equaled last season’s home run total of 20, and he heads into the All-Star break on pace for 118 RBI and 113 runs scored. The 22-year-old has a pair of two-homer games over the past two weeks, including one on Sunday as part of a four-hit, five-RBI day … Speaking of two-homer days, Freddy Galvis also had one of those Sunday, putting him at an even 10 bombs for the first half. Galvis has consistently posted poor OBPs, but that hasn’t stopped Phillies manager Pete Mackanin from batting the shortstop second each of the last 17 contests. The 27-year-old continues to be an underrated source of pop and speed at the position and he’s going to score more runs while hitting second even if he shouldn’t be there … A Troy Tulowitzki sighting! All the injuries over the years seem to have caught up with Tulo, as his bat just isn’t nearly as quick as it used to be. He’s certainly still capable of spurts of production, though, especially in the power department. The Toronto shortstop put up a 1.025 OPS over the past week, and five of his seven home runs this season have come over his last 15 games … Since Trea Turner (wrist) went down, Stephen Drew and Wilmer Difo have each received five starts apiece at shortstop for the Nationals. While Drew has gone 3-for-20 with a 7/2 K/BB over that stretch, Difo is 9-for-17 with a 1/7 K/BB ratio and one stolen base. Difo has even batted second a couple times over that stretch. The fantasy appeal here is minimal as long as the two are splitting up playing time, but if Difo continues to trend upward he could have deep league relevance. The 25-year-old can run (although he hasn’t done a ton of it at the major league level so far) …

 

Outfield

 

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
VAL
#1
George Springer
HOU
OF
2.63739
2.90572
2.58067
3.86654
4.75833
16.75
#2
Giancarlo Stanton
MIA
OF
4.89258
2.47187
-0.40089
1.81401
3.26735
12.04
#3
Charlie Blackmon
COL
OF
2.63739
0.30260
4.07145
1.81401
2.27336
11.10
#4
Tommy Pham
STL
OF
0.38219
2.03801
2.58067
1.81542
1.77637
8.59
#5
Domingo Santana
MLW
OF
0.38219
1.60416
1.08989
2.04270
2.77035
7.89
#6
Billy Hamilton
CIN
OF
-0.74541
0.30260
7.05301
0.21885
0.78238
7.61
#7
Andrew McCutchen
PIT
OF
2.63739
0.30260
-0.40089
2.15563
2.77035
7.47
#8
Marwin Gonzalez
HOU
OF
1.50979
2.47187
1.08989
0.21885
1.27937
6.57
#9
Andrew Benintendi
BOS
OF
1.50979
2.90572
-0.40089
0.90350
1.27937
6.20
#10
Byron Buxton
MIN
OF
0.38219
-0.13125
2.58067
1.47380
1.77637
6.08

 

The most important numbers Giancarlo Stanton has put up this season are 86 (games) and 369 (plate appearances). He has started 82 of the Marlins’ 87 games so far, and when he stays on the field, the dude swats homers. Stanton’s 26 longballs are tied for the National League lead, and five of them came over the last week as he had a pair of two-homer games. In other words, he’s ready for Monday’s Home Run Derby … Tommy Pham has been consistently aggressive on the bases since his promotion at the beginning of May. It’s led to some mistakes, whether it’s been him getting caught stealing or picked off. But, fantasy owners will take 11 steals over 59 games, especially when it’s coming along with 11 homers and a .299 average. I’d like to see Pham hit the ball in the air more, as his 22.1 percent flyball rate ranks 241st out of 246 players with at least 200 plate appearances. That said, he’s looking like a legit power/speed threat and appears entrenched in the No. 2 spot in the Cardinals’ batting order in between Matt Carpenter and Dexter FowlerDomingo Santana seems to get lost in the shuffle sometimes when it comes to the Brewers’ surprise season, but that shouldn’t be the case. The 24-year-old had an ugly .599 OPS with just two home runs over his first 21 games this season, but since then he’s hit .325/.415/.545 with 13 taters, 45 RBI, 45 runs and six steals over 65 games. Santana is hitting .469 so far in July and has batted either second or third in five of his last seven contests. My one gripe with Santana is that, like Pham, he hits a lot of balls on the ground, as his 27.2 percent flyball rate ranks 152nd among 165 qualifiers and matches his career rate … We haven’t seen Byron Buxton really even flirt with this list much, let alone appear on it, so I should probably highlight him when I can. Buxton went 9-for-19 (.474) with a home run and two stolen bases over his last five games. Unfortunately, that nice little run was preceded by a 4-for-37 (.108) stretch. Buxton has only been caught once in 17 stolen base attempts this season and would be a threat to lead the league in steals if he could get on base enough, but that just hasn’t happened …

Ryan Boyer

Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for NBC Sports Edge. He can also be found on Twitter.