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Around the League

Hot Hitter Rundown

by Seth Trachtman
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:09 pm ET

The cliché that the standard fantasy baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint is certainly true, but keeping an eye on the hottest players in the game is still extremely important when making start/bench decisions, making pickups and getting fair value in trades.  It has become even more important recently with the popularity of daily games such as FanDuel growing.

 

It should be noted that short-term production in MLB involves a limited sample size, and should be analyzed and scrutinized for its level of significance, or lack thereof, very closely.  With these factors in mind, the following is a rundown of the hottest hitters over the last seven days according to Rotoworld’s Player Rater.


Mention of players on these lists is a statement of fact that they are playing well for fantasy owners recently, but not necessarily a long-term endorsement of ownership in fantasy leagues, unless otherwise noted.

 

Player Rater numbers cover games for the week of 8/18 - 8/24.

 

Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $150,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night's MLB games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $20,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here's the FanDuel link.

 

Catcher

 

Week Rank Season Rank Player Tm Pos HR RBI SB AVG R VAL
1 2 Buster Posey SF C 2.05 0.45 -0.46 1.75 1.54 5.32
2 11 Brian McCann NYY C 2.05 1.41 -0.46 -0.19 0.44 3.24
3 5 Evan Gattis ATL C 2.05 0.45 -0.46 0.19 0.99 3.22
4 NR Erik Kratz KC C 2.05 0.45 -0.46 0.49 0.44 2.96
5 18 Jarrod Saltalamacchia FLA C 0.72 0.93 -0.46 1.12 0.44 2.74
6 7 Miguel Montero ARZ C 0.72 0.93 -0.46 1.10 -0.11 2.18
7 9 Russell Martin PIT C 0.72 0.45 -0.46 0.85 0.44 1.99
8 32 Nick Hundley BAL C 0.72 -0.51 1.08 0.75 -0.66 1.37
9 20 Travis d'Arnaud NYM C 2.05 -0.03 -0.46 -0.75 0.44 1.24
10 28 Yasmani Grandal SD C 0.72 1.41 -0.46 -0.04 -0.66 0.95

 

It will be tough to satisfy Buster Posey owners given his draft day price, but last week helped.  He led the position by hitting .409-2-3 with five runs, and is just off a 20 home run pace … With four homers in August, Brian McCann is finally coming around.  For all the disappointment this season, McCann has 15 long balls now … Caleb Joseph has garnered most of the attention behind the plate in Baltimore, but Nick Hundley has done his share of damage in his sparse opportunities.  His .385 batting average and one homer in part-time duty allowed him to make the list … The weekly Travis d’Arnaud mention shows just how much progress the youngster has made, now squarely at second catcher status in mixed leagues.  Still, his mention on the list this week describes more about the weak state of the position, as he hit just .200 and launched two homers.

 

First Base

 

Week Rank Season Rank Player Tm Pos HR RBI SB AVG R VAL
1 8 Lucas Duda NYM 1B 6.03 4.29 -0.46 1.09 2.65 13.59
2 3 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 2.05 0.93 1.08 1.21 0.44 5.70
3 1 Jose Abreu CWS 1B 2.05 1.41 -0.46 1.22 0.99 5.21
4 22 Joe Mauer MIN 1B -0.61 2.85 -0.46 0.67 1.54 3.99
5 NR Travis Ishikawa SF 1B 0.72 2.37 -0.46 1.25 -0.11 3.76
6 9 Adrian Gonzalez LA 1B 0.72 1.89 -0.46 0.45 0.99 3.58
7 29 Logan Morrison SEA 1B -0.61 0.45 1.08 1.24 0.44 2.60
8 6 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B -0.61 -0.99 1.08 0.43 2.10 2.01
9 10 Adam LaRoche WAS 1B 0.72 0.45 1.08 -0.75 0.44 1.94
10 NR Matt McBride COL 1B 0.72 0.93 -0.46 0.49 -0.11 1.56

 

The Lucas Duda train keeps chugging along.  Duda is turning into a star for the Mets after a mammoth week hitting .348-5-11 with seven runs scored.  His total of .260-26-76 has put him in the top 10 at the position … Joe Mauer makes the first base top 10 for the second consecutive week, hitting .300 with eight RBI last week.  He has a ways to go to reach the .300 batting average mark, hitting just .277 at this point … Finding a couple starts for the Giants last week, veteran minor league Travis Ishikawa hit .400-1-7 with three multi-RBI games.  We’ve seen enough of Ishikawa over his career to know that the upside is limited, but he’s possibly worth some NL-only consideration with Brandon Belt sidelined with a concussion … Logan Morrison has been a massive disappointment again this season, but hit .389 with one steal last week.  He’s on an eight-game hitting streak at the time of this writing … Kennys Vargas is listed at DH in the Player Rater, but has first base eligibility in some leagues.  He’s coming off a huge week and has done nothing but hit since arriving in the majors, after hitting .281-17-63 at Double-A New Britain earlier this season.  His early all-or-nothing approach is a concern for the batting average, but Vargas has huge power potential and has likely solidified his spot as a regular the rest of the way.

 

Second Base

 

Week Rank Season Rank Player Tm Pos HR RBI SB AVG R VAL
1 4 Ian Kinsler DET 2B 0.72 1.41 2.62 0.40 3.75 8.90
2 5 Brian Dozier MIN 2B -0.61 1.41 1.08 -0.09 2.65 4.43
3 32 Joe Panik SF 2B 0.72 1.41 -0.46 2.13 0.44 4.24
4 9 Neil Walker PIT 2B 0.72 1.89 -0.46 0.97 0.44 3.55
5 NR Javier Baez CHC 2B 3.37 0.93 -0.46 -1.54 0.99 3.29
6 23 Alberto Callaspo OAK 2B 0.72 0.45 -0.46 1.90 -0.11 2.49
7 2 Dee Gordon LA 2B -0.61 -0.03 1.08 1.09 0.44 1.97
8 10 Ben Zobrist TB 2B -0.61 0.45 -0.46 0.43 2.10 1.90
9 13 Jason Kipnis CLE 2B -0.61 -0.51 2.62 0.31 -0.11 1.70
10 15 Omar Infante KC 2B -0.61 1.89 -0.46 0.69 -0.11 1.39

 

Ian Kinsler got to the top of the list with an all-around strong week, hitting .291-1-5 with two steals and nine runs scored.  There was some concern he’d see a continued decline after leaving Texas, and while that has been true with his OBP, Kinsler has really delivered well for fantasy owners with a healthy season to this point … Joe Panik is finally separating himself in the Giants second base merry-go-round.  The youngster hit .435-1-5 last week, putting his batting average above .300 for the season.  It looks like the second base job is his to lose the rest of the way … Young Javier Baez showed his all-or-nothing approach again last week, going just 4-for-27 but launching three homers.  The strength is obviously there, but Baez is looking like a batting average killer in the short term … Alberto Callaspo rarely makes positive fantasy lists these days, but he hit .471-1-3 last week with three multi-hit games.  The contact hitter is playing regularly, but still hasn’t been much of an asset the last three years.

 

Third Base

 

Week Rank Season Rank Player Tm Pos HR RBI SB AVG R VAL
1 15 Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 2.05 3.81 -0.46 1.72 2.10 9.20
2 8 Nolan Arenado COL 3B 2.05 0.45 -0.46 3.31 2.10 7.44
3 16 Martin Prado NYY 3B 0.72 2.37 -0.46 1.87 1.54 6.03
4 14 Pedro Alvarez PIT 3B 2.05 0.93 2.62 -0.57 0.44 5.47
5 23 Justin Turner LA 3B 0.72 0.93 1.08 1.37 0.99 5.09
6 22 Luis Valbuena CHC 3B 2.05 0.45 -0.46 1.34 0.99 4.37
7 2 Anthony Rendon WAS 3B -0.61 -0.03 1.08 0.57 2.65 3.65
8 6 Evan Longoria TB 3B 0.72 1.89 1.08 -0.48 0.44 3.65
9 1 Todd Frazier CIN 3B 2.05 0.45 -0.46 0.30 0.99 3.32
10 5 Kyle Seager SEA 3B 0.72 0.45 -0.46 0.31 1.54 2.56

 

Trevor Plouffe makes the list again, as he continues to be a run producer in the middle of Minnesota’s order.  He hit .367-2-10 with six runs.  Minnesota’s hot hitting lineup continues to give him nice counting stats … Martin Prado is hitting just .267 since joining the Yankees at the trade deadline, but he hit .345 last week and is inching toward double-digit homers … Justin Turner’s bat has played well for manager Don Mattingly this season and fantasy owners alike at third base.  He hit .412-1-4 with one steal last week, and is hitting .313 for the season.  He’s a fair short-term play in mixed leagues with eligibility at shortstop and second base, along with third … Luis Valbuena launched a pair of homers last week, and quietly has a decent .744 OPS for the season.  He’s settled in as Chicago’s starting hot corner, and has some power value with second base eligibility.

 

Shortstop

 

Week Rank Season Rank Player Tm Pos HR RBI SB AVG R VAL
1 3 Ian Desmond WAS SS 0.72 1.89 2.62 -0.21 2.10 7.11
2 7 Erick Aybar ANA SS -0.61 0.45 2.62 2.51 0.44 5.41
3 5 Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 0.72 -0.03 2.62 0.45 1.54 5.30
4 10 Jhonny Peralta STL SS 2.05 1.89 -0.46 0.82 0.99 5.28
5 17 Andrelton Simmons ATL SS 2.05 0.45 1.08 -0.36 0.99 4.21
6 21 Eduardo Escobar MIN SS 0.72 -0.03 -0.46 1.99 1.54 3.75
7 12 Asdrubal Cabrera WAS SS 0.72 1.41 -0.46 0.18 0.99 2.83
8 32 Eugenio Suarez DET SS -0.61 0.45 -0.46 2.67 0.44 2.49
9 24 Alexi Amarista SD SS -0.61 -0.51 2.62 1.10 -0.66 1.94
10 33 Didi Gregorius ARZ SS 2.05 1.41 -0.46 -1.00 -0.11 1.88

 

Ian Desmond makes the list again as what we can call a fantasy specialist, hitting .238-1-6 with two steals last week.  He’s now on pace for a 20/20 season … Jhonny Peralta has answered the bell after the Cardinals gave him a lucrative deal in the offseason, hitting .320-2-6 last week.  He has a very strong .799 OPS and 18 homers for the season as his team’s surprising leader in home runs … Eduardo Escobar has his batting average up to .281 after hitting .393 last week.  It’s a stark contrast to his previous major league time, and has given him some value in AL-only leagues … Eugenio Suarez hasn’t exactly convinced the Tigers that they should bypass Jose Iglesias next season at shortstop, but he’s still performed respectably in his rookie season and couldn’t be much hotter than his .526 batting average last week.

 

Outfield

 

Week Rank Season Rank Player Tm Pos HR RBI SB AVG R VAL
1 27 Starling Marte PIT OF 3.37 0.93 2.62 2.13 2.65 11.70
2 28 Marcell Ozuna FLA OF 3.37 2.85 -0.46 2.66 3.20 11.61
3 47 Dustin Ackley SEA OF 0.72 2.37 2.62 1.88 2.10 9.68
4 21 Jayson Werth WAS OF 0.72 2.37 2.62 2.25 1.54 9.50
5 44 Danny Santana MIN OF 0.72 1.89 1.08 2.34 2.65 8.68
6 6 Justin Upton ATL OF 2.05 4.29 -0.46 1.19 0.99 8.06
7 78 Oswaldo Arcia MIN OF 3.37 2.85 -0.46 -0.37 2.65 8.03
8 12 Hunter Pence SF OF 2.05 1.41 1.08 0.55 2.10 7.18
9 55 Carl Crawford LA OF 0.72 0.45 2.62 1.02 2.10 6.90
10 29 Jason Heyward ATL OF 0.72 2.37 -0.46 2.12 2.10 6.84
11 13 Jacoby Ellsbury NYY OF -0.61 -0.03 5.70 1.75 -0.11 6.69
12 65 Josh Hamilton ANA OF 2.05 2.85 -0.46 0.58 1.54 6.56
13 104 Jordan Schafer MIN OF -0.61 0.93 2.62 0.84 2.10 5.87
14 2 Mike Trout ANA OF 2.05 1.41 -0.46 0.15 2.10 5.24
15 20 Ben Revere PHI OF -0.61 -0.03 4.16 0.69 0.99 5.20
16 122 Arismendy Alcantara CHC OF 0.72 -0.03 2.62 0.55 0.99 4.85
17 15 Yoenis Cespedes BOS OF 0.72 2.37 -0.46 0.70 0.99 4.32
18 54 Steve Pearce BAL OF 2.05 0.45 -0.46 0.82 0.99 3.84
19 22 Denard Span WAS OF -0.61 -0.03 2.62 0.28 1.54 3.81
20 37 Matt Holliday STL OF -0.61 1.89 1.08 0.43 0.99 3.78

 

Known more for his speed than power, Starling Marte was the full package last week hitting .435-3-4 with two steals and seven runs scored.  He’s had a very solid year despite some time missed, but still has his work cut out for him to match last year’s breakout campaign … Marcell Ozuna predictably couldn’t keep up his early-season onslaught, but he’s proving to be streaky with another great week, hitting .478-3-8 with eight runs scored … Danny Santana continues to prove the skeptics, including yours truly, wrong with his hitting.  He hit .378-1-6 with one steal last week, and has increased his batting average to .324 for the year … Santana’s teammate, Oswaldo Arcia, has also found his stroke, hitting .233-3-8 last week.  The young power hitter has seven homers and 20 RBI in August, as he begins to redeem his slow first half … The Twins got a third outfielder on the list in Jordan Schafer, as the speedster has proven to be a keen addition for his fantasy owners with three more steals last week.  He’s hitting .302 since joining the Twins, and has value in all leagues as long as the team is playing him … Steve Pearce has slowed since his big June, but he hit .320-2-3 last week and has a strong .854 OPS this month.  The O’s have gotten the most out of the minor league veteran, and it’s certainly looking like he will stick in the lineup for the foreseeable future.