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Hot Hitter Rundown

Hot Hitter Rundown: August 19

by Ryan Boyer
Updated On: August 19, 2019, 2:06 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 August 12-18.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups on Yahoo!, DraftKings and FanDuel with our DFS Toolkit!

Catcher

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

James McCann

CWS

C

1.01039

3.28562

-0.38276

1.90289

2.00317

7.82

#2

J.T. Realmuto

PHI

C

2.78535

2.49672

-0.38276

1.77642

1.05788

7.73

#3

Will Smith

LA

C

1.89787

0.91892

-0.38276

0.76174

2.00317

5.20

#4

Tom Murphy

SEA

C

1.89787

0.52448

1.64919

0.91292

0.11260

5.10

#5

Gary Sanchez

NYY

C

1.01039

1.31337

-0.38276

0.71231

0.11260

2.77

#6

Danny Jansen

TOR

C

1.01039

0.52448

-0.38276

0.98997

0.58524

2.73

#7

Yasmani Grandal

MLW

C

0.12292

0.13003

1.64919

0.83878

-0.36005

2.38

#8

Kurt Suzuki

WAS

C

0.12292

0.52448

-0.38276

0.86350

0.58524

1.71

#9

Tucker Barnhart

CIN

C

0.12292

0.52448

-0.38276

0.96525

0.11260

1.34

#10

Mitch Garver

MIN

C

1.01039

0.91892

-0.38276

-0.47827

0.11260

1.18

After a stunningly-great first three months of the season, James McCann tanked in July with a .520 OPS and ugly 35/3 K/BB ratio. However, he’s come roaring back to life in August with a 1.054 OPS and 16 RBI over 15 games, aided by a pair of grand slams last week. McCann now has a career-high 14 home runs even as his flyball rate (32.2 percent) has dipped to a four-year low. Thanks, juiced ball … Since being summoned from the minors to replace Austin Barnes late last month, Will Smith has posted a robust .352/.422/.870 batting line with seven home runs and 22 RBI over 17 contests. He’s even batted third some lately for the Dodgers, including in two of his last three starts. Perhaps the 33.3 percent HR/FB rate will drop, but Smith is an extreme flyball hitter (51.7 percent) who’s hitting the ball very hard (46.6 percent hard-hit rate) … It seems fitting that the Rockies released Chris Iannetta the same week that Tom Murphy had another nice week as he continues his mini-breakout season. The Rockies never gave Murphy a real chance, but he’s shown this year that his power plays at the big league level, going deep three times in two starts last week to push his total for the season to 13 bombs. Murphy and Omar Narvaez have combined for 30 long balls for the Mariners this season …

First Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Carlos Santana

CLE

1B

2.78535

2.10227

-0.38276

2.48582

2.94846

9.94

#2

Pete Alonso

NYM

1B

1.01039

2.89117

-0.38276

2.61229

1.05788

7.19

#3

Eric Hosmer

SD

1B

0.12292

0.52448

-0.38276

2.61229

1.05788

3.93

#4

Jose Abreu

CWS

1B

1.01039

1.31337

-0.38276

0.43465

1.53053

3.91

#5

Matt Olson

OAK

1B

1.01039

2.10227

-0.38276

0.68760

0.11260

3.53

#6

Yuli Gurriel

HOU

1B

1.01039

0.91892

-0.38276

0.91583

0.58524

3.05

#7

Austin Nola

SEA

1B

1.01039

0.13003

-0.38276

1.67466

0.58524

3.02

#8

Brandon Belt

SF

1B

1.01039

2.10227

-0.38276

-0.25004

0.11260

2.59

#9

Matt Adams

WAS

1B

1.01039

0.91892

-0.38276

-0.12357

1.05788

2.48

#10

Eric Thames

MLW

1B

0.12292

0.52448

1.64919

0.38232

-0.83269

1.85

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t expect Carlos Santana to keep this up. The crazy offensive environment that we’re in certainly helps, but Santana is also sporting a 91.7 mph exit velocity that’s in the top nine percent of the league while still maintaining his always-elite plate discipline. The 33-year-old has gone deep five times over his last eight games while driving in 13 runs over that span … Although he hit just one home run, Eric Hosmer is coming off a week in which he went 12-for-25 at the dish to raise his average on the season to .290. Having only 18 home runs from your first baseman this deep into a record-breaking home run season for the league certainly isn’t ideal, yet Hosmer has still managed to be a top-10 fantasy producer at the position. He’s on pact for just the second 100-RBI season of his career … After launching a pair over the boards last week, Matt Adams is up to 19 long balls on the season over just 273 plate appearances. His 15.7 percent barrel rate ranks in the top three percent of the league and his 44.6 percent hard-hit rate is his highest during the Statcast era, which has helped him to overcome a strikeout rate that’s spiked to 32.6 percent. Ryan Zimmerman (foot) is due back soon, so Adams’ playing time figures to be cut back …

Second Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Ryan McMahon

COL

2B

3.67282

2.10227

1.64919

0.71231

1.05788

9.19

#2

Wilmer Flores

ARZ

2B

2.78535

1.70782

-0.38276

3.24465

1.05788

8.41

#3

DJ LeMahieu

NYY

2B

1.89787

1.31337

-0.38276

2.00465

1.53053

6.36

#4

Keston Hiura

MLW

2B

-0.76456

0.13003

1.64919

1.90289

1.53053

4.45

#5

Max Muncy

LA

2B

1.89787

2.49672

-0.38276

-0.25004

0.58524

4.35

#6

Jonathan Villar

BAL

2B

-0.76456

-0.26442

3.68113

0.81407

0.58524

4.05

#7

Kolten Wong

STL

2B

0.12292

-0.26442

1.64919

1.69937

0.58524

3.79

#8

Jose Altuve

HOU

2B

1.01039

0.13003

1.64919

-0.67888

1.53053

3.64

#9

Hanser Alberto

BAL

2B

0.12292

0.52448

-0.38276

1.52347

1.53053

3.32

#10

Luis Urias

SD

2B

0.12292

2.49672

-0.38276

0.83878

0.11260

3.19

Ryan McMahon certainly took advantage of the Rockies’ homestand last week, going 7-for-21 with five dingers, eight RBI and a stolen base over six games. Colorado is either on the road all week or at home all week for the next four weeks, so if you have the roster flexibility to swap in and out secondary guys like McMahon as needed, that’s certainly a viable strategy. McMahon has put up a .940 OPS at home this season versus a .679 OPS on the road … What a week for Wilmer Flores, who went 12-for-20 at the plate while tripling his home run total for the season with four bombs. He even batted second on Saturday and first on Sunday for the Diamondbacks. Flores has often done the bulk of his damage against left-handers, and that’s been no different this year with a 1.007 OPS and all six of his home runs coming off southpaws … Kolten Wong has rebounded from a rough May and June to post a .933 OPS since the beginning of July. He’s also up to 16 stolen bases on the season while being caught only twice. Unfortunately, while Wong’s .360 on-base percentage easily leads the Cardinals, he has remained stuck toward the bottom of the lineup, severely curtailing his counting stats upside …

Third Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Rafael Devers

BOS

3B

1.89787

3.28562

-0.38276

4.28405

2.00317

11.09

#2

Kyle Seager

SEA

3B

3.67282

3.28562

-0.38276

1.29524

2.00317

9.87

#3

Matt Chapman

OAK

3B

2.78535

0.91892

-0.38276

1.77642

2.47581

7.57

#4

Jose Ramirez

CLE

3B

2.78535

2.89117

-0.38276

0.94054

0.58524

6.82

#5

Josh Donaldson

ATL

3B

1.89787

0.91892

-0.38276

2.15583

1.53053

6.12

#6

Miguel Sano

MIN

3B

1.89787

0.52448

-0.38276

0.45937

3.42110

5.92

#7

Mike Moustakas

MLW

3B

1.89787

2.10227

-0.38276

1.29524

0.58524

5.50

#8

Justin Turner

LA

3B

1.89787

0.52448

-0.38276

2.38406

1.05788

5.48

#9

Gio Urshela

NYY

3B

0.12292

0.91892

-0.38276

3.27227

1.53053

5.46

#10

Alex Bregman

HOU

3B

1.01039

2.49672

-0.38276

1.31996

0.11260

4.56

Kyle Seager began last week with the first three-homer game of his career and he finished it by going deep in back-to-back contests. The third baseman has raised his OPS over 100 points this month from .691 to a more respectable .793 and seven of his 16 dingers have come in August. It’s resulted in a move up to the Mariners’ cleanup spot after he finished July as the team’s No. 8 hitter. Seager has been a pretty borderline mixed league option in fantasy leagues the last couple years, but feel free to use him while he’s on a roll … Matt Chapman was in the midst of an awful four-week stretch before he posted back-to-back two-homer games last week. He’s now just one dinger shy of reaching the 30-homer plateau for the first time. Both Chapman’s exit velocity (92.5 mph) and hard-hit rate (48.7 percent) rank in the top five percent of the league, and he’s managed that while also upping his walk rate (10.4 percent) and cutting his strikeout rate (20.7 percent) … Miguel Sano went deep three more times last week and has been batting second for the first-place Twins of late. Following a re-tooling of his swing in late June, Sano is sporting a 1.023 OPS across his last 44 tilts. He’s also seen his strikeout rate go from an embarrassing 42.1 percent to a much more acceptable 29.1 percent. Only Aaron Judge boasts a higher hard-hit rate this season than Sano’s 57.1 percent mark …

Shortstop

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Gleyber Torres

NYY

SS

4.56030

3.28562

-0.38276

0.89112

3.42110

11.78

#2

Nick Ahmed

ARZ

SS

2.78535

3.28562

-0.38276

2.00465

1.05788

8.75

#3

Trea Turner

WAS

SS

1.01039

2.49672

1.64919

0.91583

2.47581

8.55

#4

Trevor Story

COL

SS

1.01039

0.91892

1.64919

2.51054

1.53053

7.62

#5

Xander Bogaerts

BOS

SS

1.01039

1.70782

1.64919

1.87818

0.58524

6.83

#6

Amed Rosario

NYM

SS

-0.76456

0.91892

1.64919

3.06875

1.53053

6.40

#7

Didi Gregorius

NYY

SS

1.89787

1.70782

-0.38276

-0.17299

1.53053

4.58

#8

Jose Iglesias

CIN

SS

-0.76456

0.52448

1.64919

1.87818

1.05788

4.35

#9

Corey Seager

LA

SS

1.89787

1.31337

-0.38276

-0.14828

0.58524

3.27

#10

Tim Anderson

CWS

SS

-0.76456

0.13003

-0.38276

1.97993

2.00317

2.97

Naturally, Gleyber Torres is going to top this list for a week when he played the Orioles four times. Torres went deep three times in those four games and then followed that up with three more bombs in the four-game set with the Indians. After homering just once in July, Torres already has nine dingers and 17 RBI over 15 August contests. Torres’ Statcast data this season is underwhelming, but he’s cut down significantly on his strikeouts (20.4 percent) while remaining a flyball hitter in a great home park and elite lineup … Nick Ahmed has certainly discovered his power stroke of late, banging out five home runs while driving in 13 across his previous eight contests. The slick-fielding shortstop has now tied his career high with 16 dingers and with an OPS+ of 103 is on pace to be an above-average offensive player for the first time in his career … After putting up a .707 OPS in his first three months of the season, Amed Rosario has posted a shiny .934 OPS since the beginning of July while ascending to the top of the Mets’ batting order. The counting stats haven’t been there with just three homers and five steals (while being caught five times). However, Rosario has taken impressive strides in his contact rate, cutting his strikeout rate down to 14.1 percent during the aforementioned stretch. The wheels are there with a sprint speed that ranks in the 94th percentile, so hopefully Rosario can improve his technique to allow him to take off as a base stealer …

Outfield

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Starling Marte

PIT

OF

0.12292

-0.65887

7.74501

2.61229

1.05788

10.88

#2

Victor Robles

WAS

OF

0.12292

0.91892

3.68113

2.61229

2.47581

9.81

#3

Bryce Harper

PHI

OF

2.78535

2.89117

1.64919

0.71231

1.53053

9.57

#4

Juan Soto

WAS

OF

2.78535

1.31337

3.68113

-0.02181

1.53053

9.29

#5

Cody Bellinger

LA

OF

2.78535

2.10227

1.64919

0.68760

1.53053

8.75

#6

Adam Eaton

WAS

OF

1.89787

2.49672

-0.38276

1.80113

2.47581

8.29

#7

Marwin Gonzalez

MIN

OF

0.12292

2.49672

-0.38276

2.96700

1.53053

6.73

#8

Mike Yastrzemski

SF

OF

2.78535

1.70782

-0.38276

1.19348

1.05788

6.36

#9

Mike Trout

LAA

OF

1.01039

0.52448

1.64919

0.48408

2.47581

6.14

#10

Mallex Smith

SEA

OF

-0.76456

0.13003

5.71307

1.21820

-0.36005

5.94

There have certainly been discouraging aspects of Victor Robles’ first full major league season. His plate discipline has been worse than expected with a 23.9 percent strikeout rate and just a 5.6 percent walk rate. His exit velocity sits at just 80.8 mph, which is among the worst in baseball. He’s also been caught stealing a National League-high seven times. Still, Robles’ 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases have been enough to nearly make him a top-20 fantasy outfielder, and that’s less than what you paid for him in the spring … Bryce Harper’s insane walk-off grand slam was one of four dingers he had last week and one of eight bombs he’s already hit in 18 tilts this month. A disappointing season? Sure, Harper’s .866 OPS, while well above average, is lower than expected. That said, he’s currently on a 34-homer, 118-RBI, 98-run, nine-steal pace. Not bad … The stolen base department is not an area in which fantasy owners were counting on much production from Juan Soto. However, with six steals without being caught over his last 21 games, Soto is now a surprising 12-for-13 on stolen base attempts this season. He’s also gone deep 11 times during that span while posting a 1.162 OPS. Did I mention that he doesn’t turn 21 until October? … Mike Yastrzemski has never really been considered much of a prospect, but he finally got a shot in the majors at 28 (he’ll turn 29 later this week) and has banged out 16 home runs over 274 plate appearances for the Giants, including 11 already in the second half. The 16 bombs is more than he’d ever hit in a minor league season, and he has 28 overall this year when you combine his numbers between Triple-A and the majors. That said, Yastrzemski’s Statcast data and plate discipline are pedestrian and he’s still a left-handed hitter playing at Oracle Park …

Ryan Boyer

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