After being a Fantasy dog for three and half months of the season, Mitch Garver flashed over his last four games (8-for-18 with three runs, one HR, and six RBI). His minor league resume in 2017 at AAA (.291 over 320 at-bats with 17 HRs and 45 RBI) points a possible surge going forward. Only a week-to-week play in deep leagues if he continues to produce power.
With Gary Sanchez out until at least until late August, Austin Romine should receive the majority at-bat at catcher for the Yankees. His success over his first 134 at-bats projected over 450 at-bats would deliver 64 runs, 20 HRs, and 97 RBI. Viable fill in at C2 in deep leagues.
The Pirates placed Josh Bell on the DL with an oblique issue, which will create a bump in at-bats for David Freese. Over his last two starts, Freese has four hits over five at-bats with two runs, two HRs, and seven RBI. Freese tends to have ground ball swing, but his success over 170 at-bats (.288 with seven HRs and 32 RBI) points to strength a short-term cover in all formats.
Wilmer Flores continues to get full-time at-bats for the Mets while remaining in the free agent pool in shallow leagues. Over his last 100 at-bats, Flores hit .291 with 15 runs, five HRs, and 18 RBI with only seven Ks. New York traded away Asdrubal Cabrera and lost Yoenis Cespedes for the season, which is a go sign for starting stats going forward.
Jeff McNeil should have an excellent shot of getting starting at-bats at second base with the Mets with Asdrubal Cabrera traded to the Phillies. McNeil’s bat made a huge step forward at AA and AAA in 2018 leading to 19 HRs, 71 RBI, and six SBs over 339 at-bats while hitting .342 with an excellent BB:K rate (36:42). His overall minor league resume points to more speed and strength in batting average with much less power.
There has been a lot of excitement in Lourdes Gurriel’s swing over the last ten games. Gurriel has two hits or more in ten straight games leading to 22 hits over his previous 45 at-bats with seven runs, three HRs, and seven RBI. The Blue Jays moved him to second in the batting order, which helps his counting stats in runs and RBI. Lourdes is getting better with more explosiveness in his swing. Possible fun ride going forward.
Josh Harrison started to play better over his last four games (5-for-16) with five runs, two HRs, and five RBI. Josh is well behind pace in power (6) and steals (3) over his first 257 at-bats, which may lead to a nice run over the last two months of the season.
David Fletcher has been on fire of his last seven games (13-for-27 with six runs and four RBI) heading into Saturday night. His bat produced a high average over 254 at-bats at AAA in 2018 (.350 with 55 runs, six HRs, 37 RBI, and seven SBs). Interesting player, but his minimal upside in power and speed lead to him being more of specialty play for a team chasing batting average.
For a Fantasy owner chasing speed and runs, Amed Rosario could be your ticket to more Fantasy points. He’s going to get an extended look batting leadoff, and his bat looks ready to handle the situation. Over his last seven games, Rosario hit .267 with six runs, four RBI, and two SBs. In 2017 at AAA, Amed hit .328 over 393 at-bats at AAA with 66 runs, seven HRs, 58 RBI, and 19 SBs.
After a 22 games trip back to AAA (.341 with 16 runs, two HRs, eight RBI, and two SBs over 85 at-bats), Orlando Arcia should regain the full-time starting job at short for the Brewers. His combination of power (15) and SBs (14) over 506 at-bats should help a Fantasy team with a weakness at middle infield.
Nick Williams has 11 hits over his last 30 at-bats with three runs, three HRs, and five RBI. He’s started the last 11 games for the Phillies, which should continue with his current path. Williams is a better play in deep leagues due to slot in the batting order and some risk in runs and batting average.
The Dodgers won’t give Joc Pederson starting at-bats against lefties, which pushes his value to only deep leagues. Over his last seven games, Pederson hit .429 with seven runs, one HR, and three RBI while batting leadoff on most nights. His greatest growth in 2018 is his decline in Ks (47 over 259 at-bats). Viable play when starting all games vs. right-hand pitching.
With each injury in the outfield in Cleveland, Melky Cabrera has a better opportunity for starting at-bats. Both Bradley Zimmer and Lonnie Chisenhall are out for the season plus Tyler Naquin landed on the DL with a hip issue. Before Saturday, Melky had a seven-game hitting streak (9-for-25) with minimal production (only two runs). Cabrera may surprise as an injury replacement in deep leagues.
Jalen Beeks should get an extended look in the starting rotation for Tampa after being traded from the Red Sox. Beeks pitched great at AAA in 2018 (2.89 ERA and 117 Ks over 87 innings), but he’s struggled in his three games so far in the majors (17 runs and 28 baserunners over 9.2 innings) after Tampa hung him out to dry on Saturday (eight runs and 11 baserunners over 3.1 innings). Jalen needs some seasoning, but his arm does have upside once he turns in a couple of quality outings.
Erasmo Ramirez pitched well in his first two rehab starts at AAA in July (no runs and one hit over five innings with no walks and six Ks). He only threw 33 pitches in his last outing on July 25th, which puts him at least two more outing away from being able to pitch 5+ innings. The free pool remains weak in deep leagues making Ramirez a viable buy and hold if your roster has an opening on the bench.
Over his last seven starts at AAA, Michael Kopech has a 2.68 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 53 Ks over 37 innings. His overall ERA (4.26) and WHIP (1.36) remains below expected value, but Kopech does have 135 Ks in 99 innings. With Reynaldo Lopez blowing up in his last three starts (18 runs, 29 baserunners, and eight HRs over 17 innings), Michael is getting closer to a major league look.