After a few weeks off, I’ve shown up just in time for Fantasy Baseball squeaky bum time, with Rotisserie Leagues set to head into the final month, and Head-to-Head leagues almost at playoff season. So I’ve returned to give you some of my favourite free agents to look out for who can hopefully give you that final boost you need.
Byron Buxton, OF, Minnesota Twins
Now bear with me here, as Byron Buxton (or Bust-on as he was occasionally referred to) was the laughing stock of baseball over the first month of the season when many of us fantasy players probably could’ve done better than he did, hitting just .147 with over a strikeout a game, 1 RBI and just 2 Extra Base Hits. However since the turn of the calendar to August, he’s hitting a pretty robust .333 with 4 HRs, 13 RBI and 6 SBs actually providing a really well rounded stat line. He’s also been rpmoted to hitting 3rd in the lineup recently too which should see him getting plenty of counting stat opportunities.
Lucas Giolito, SP, Chicago White Sox
When the Washington Nationals traded away prized prospect Giolito (along with Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning) for Adam Eaton, many in the industry were slightly surprised they would give up such a previously highly regarded prospect. Although Giolito’s prospect star has faded this season, he still flashes the stuff that saw him ranked as the top[ pitching prospect in baseball. Although he didn’t start well, lately he’s turned it on with a 1.74 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP over his last five starts. On a rebuilding White Sox team, he’s going to get plenty of leash to work and should keep his spot in the rotation the rest of the way. If he lives up to the previous hype, he could be a difference maker in fantasy.
Rhys Hoskins, 1B/LF, Philadelphia Phillies
As my Phillie’s friend, Ryan (@whiterosephilly for those on Twitter) keeps reminding me; Rhys Hoskins has been a while coming and boy has he been worth the wait lately. After a brief 1 for 13 stumble out of the gate, he’s tearing it up with 7 HRs and 16 RBIs in just 14 games; that’s 81 HRs over a full 162 game season for maths lovers. Obviously this pace won’t keep up the rest of the way, but he’s raked in the Minors with 29 HRs before earning his callup to the Majors, so there’s no reason that he can’t at least double his total over the season’s remaining weeks. And with nothing to play for, the Phillies will let him work through any struggles to. Be like Ryan, pick up Hoskins immediately.
Deeper League Finds
We have an interesting scenario in our Deeper League Finds this week, with one player I had only heard of when checking some of the past few weeks stats; and another player seemingly infamous with Bat Flips and Nerds, and also a test to see if Tom/John actually read my posts before they go out…
Juan Minaya, RP, Chicago White Sox
Saves are saves in the fantasy world, no matter how they come, and with the White Sox trading habits this season, maybe Minaya is the next to be dealt away during their rebuild. But for now, he’s worth rostering in deeper formats where Saves aren’t exactly the easiest to come by. This is usually where I’d dazzle you with some great stats recently, or how under the radar he is to be in this section. But really there isn’t. He’s gotten the last 4 White Sox save opportunities from a bullpen that’s had it’s heart, soul and everything in-between ripped out of it.
Pablo Sandoval, 3B, San Francisco Giants
I can’t wait to get completely ridiculed for this pick, but now that Kung Fu Panda has gone back to the Giants, it may be time to keep an eye on him in fantasy land again. In 17 games back with by the bay, he’s hitting .274 with 9 Rs to go along with it. Obviously the Slugging and RBIs aren’t quite there yet, but he is hitting in the bottom third of a weak lineup right now. If he keeps getting hits then the Bruce Bochy will have no choice but to bump him up a little bit and get him going with some more of those precious counting stats. The lack of Power is the most concerning part so far, but if his Slugging pct. normalises to his career average then we should start to see him improving in that department too.