Fantasy Baseball Category Targets: Week 19

by Kenyatta Storin | @KenyattaStorin | Featured Writer
Aug 11, 2017

Aaron Hicks returned from the DL this week

Often when we’re scouring the waiver wire, we’re looking for players to bolster a particular category, rather than the next trendy up-and-comer. Looking for stolen bases? Home runs? ERA and WHIP?

I’ve got you covered. I present to you Week 19’s fantasy baseball 5×5 category targets. For this exercise, I’ll be using ESPN ownership percentages. Stats are accurate entering Friday’s contests.

View your league’s top available players with My Playbook >>

Batting Average

Cesar Hernandez (2B – PHI): 40.5%
Scouring for batting average on the waiver wire is often difficult, but Hernandez is starting to look like he fits the bill. Since returning from the DL on July 17th he’s hit .322 over 106 plate appearances. Going back to the start of 2016, he has a fine .293 average. Playing for the lowly Philadelphia Phillies might limit his counting stats, and he has little in the way of power, but batting leadoff should make him a serviceable source of runs, and he can nab you a stolen base here and there. His 12 stolen bases mark the third straight season with double-digit swiped bags.

Home Runs

Rhys Hoskins (1B – PHI): 14.1%
Randal Grichuk (OF – STL): 18.9%
Hoskins is one of the latest hot call-ups in the league, making his major league debut for the Phillies on Thursday. Slashing .284/.385/.581 with 29 home runs in Triple-A, to go along with 38 bombs in Double-A last year, it’s that immense power that makes him an exciting fantasy prospect. He’s also shown nice plate discipline, with a 15.8% strikeout rate and 13.5% walk rate. A first baseman by trade, he’ll be manning left field on most nights for the club, which should make him outfield eligible in short order.

Grichuk remains a drain on the ol’ batting average (.233) but always has tantalizing power given his career .234 ISO and 39.8% hard-hit rate. With Stephen Piscotty getting demoted to the minors, Grichuk should get regular playing time the rest of the way. He has 14 dingers in 313 plate appearances.

RBIs

Dexter Fowler (OF – STL): 40.5%
Fowler returned from the DL this week and has batted cleanup the past two nights, which could be an encouraging sign for his RBI opportunities. An increased fly-ball rate (39.3%) and hard-hit rate (36.2%) has lead to 15 long balls, which is already more than he had all of last season and two away from tying his career-high. He has just five stolen bases, but given he’s swiped double-digit bags in eight straight seasons, he ought to be good for a handful more.

Runs

Aaron Hicks (OF – NYY): 36.5%
An early-season surprise, Hicks also returns after a lengthy six-week stay on the DL. Given his .644 career OPS prior to this season, it’s fair to wonder if he can keep up his .283/.390/.502 batting line moving forward. Still, the New York Yankees slotted him back into the two-hole right away, so the run scoring opportunities should be there. Sporting 10 home runs and seven stolen bases, if he can keep up his hitting, he could contribute across the board over the last couple months.

Stolen Bases

Cameron Maybin (OF – LAA): 16.0%
Yet another guy back from the DL this week, Maybin is one of the better stealing mavens available in most leagues and is once again leading off for the Los Angeles Angels. Despite the missed time, he has 25 swiped bags in 79 games, which is tied for fifth in the league with Jose Altuve, who has played in 31 more contests. Like most speedsters, he lacks power but should score plenty of runs given his spot in the order.

Wins

Trevor Bauer (SP – CLE): 39.0%
Although Bauer has an unsightly 4.79 ERA and 1.42 WHIP, he could be turning his 2017 around considering his 1.23 ERA over his last three starts. He also has solid peripherals, given his 3.87 SIERA and 25.6% strikeout rate this year. His modest career numbers might leave you rightfully skeptical, but a strong Cleveland Indians lineup will keep him in line for wins if he maintains his current form.

Strikeouts

Reynaldo Lopez (RP/SP – CWS): 15.7%
Lopez will make his Chicago White Sox debut against the Kansas City Royals on Friday and brings solid Triple-A numbers in a 3.79 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 25.4% strikeout rate. Even though he had a tough go in his first taste of the majors for the Washington Nationals in 2016, with just a 4.91 ERA over 44 innings, there’s strikeout potential here, and he’s expected to stick in the rotation the rest of the season. Still just 23 years old, there could be more growing pains on the way, but given the state of fantasy pitching in 2017, you could do worse than take a shot at a top prospect for the home stretch.

ERA and WHIP

Hyun-Jin Ryu (SP – LAD): 47.7%
Ryu has been lights out in three starts since coming off the DL, posting a 0.95 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and 30.3% strikeout rate. While there is uncertainty as to what the Los Angeles Dodgers will do when Clayton Kershaw returns later this month, it’s hard to see them bumping Ryu when he’s playing like this. With a career 3.33 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, Ryu should also net plenty of wins playing for one of the best teams in the league.

Saves

Matt Belisle (RP – MIN): 12.6%
Cam Bedrosian (RP – LAA): 9.4%
If you’re looking for saves, many of the guys from last week are still widely available, but if you need some fresh names, Belisle and Bedrosian could be the ticket. Belisle has converted two saves and looks like the guy in Minnesota, while the Los Angeles Angels sound like they’re moving away from Bud Norris, and Bedrosian got the save on Thursday.


Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher | SoundCloud | Google Play | TuneIn | RSS

Kenyatta Storin is a featured writer with FantasyPros. For more from Kenyatta, check out his archive and follow him @kenyattastorin.


What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
FanDuel photo
Win your first contest
Or we'll credit your entry fee
1David Johnson (ARI)RB
2Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
3Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
4Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
5LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
6Julio Jones (ATL)WR
7Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
8A.J. Green (CIN)WR
9Mike Evans (TB)WR
10Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
 View All Rankings 
11Jordy Nelson (GB)WR
12Jay Ajayi (MIA)RB
13Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
14DeMarco Murray (TEN)RB
15Michael Thomas (NO)WR
16Dez Bryant (DAL)WR
17T.Y. Hilton (IND)WR
18Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
19Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
20Amari Cooper (OAK)WR
21Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
22Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
23Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
24Lamar Miller (HOU)RB
25Isaiah Crowell (CLE)RB
26DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
27Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
28Demaryius Thomas (DEN)WR
29Aaron Rodgers (GB)QB
30Marshawn Lynch (OAK)RB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF,DH
2Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
3Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
4Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
5Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
6Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
7Chris Sale (BOS)SP
8Joey Votto (CIN)1B
9Giancarlo Stanton (MIA)RF
10Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
 View All Rankings 
11Kris Bryant (CHC)1B,3B
12Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
13Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
14Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
15Corey Seager (LAD)SS
16Manny Machado (BAL)3B,SS
17George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
18Daniel Murphy (WSH)1B,2B
19Nelson Cruz (SEA)RF,DH
20Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
21Aaron Judge (NYY)RF,DH
22Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
23Edwin Encarnacion (CLE)1B,DH
24J.D. Martinez (ARI)RF
25Robinson Cano (SEA)2B
26Yu Darvish (LAD)SP
27Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,LF
28Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
29Miguel Cabrera (DET)1B,DH
30Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B,DH
1Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
2James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
3Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
4Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
5Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
6Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
7LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
8Chris Paul (HOU)PG
9Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
10DeMarcus Cousins (NOR)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)PG,SG
12Paul George (OKC)SF,PF
13Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
14Damian Lillard (POR)PG
15John Wall (WAS)PG
16Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
17Paul Millsap (DEN)PF,C
18Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
19Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
20Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
21Kyrie Irving (CLE)PG,SG
22Al Horford (BOS)PF,C
23Victor Oladipo (IND)PG,SG
24Isaiah Thomas (BOS)PG
25C.J. McCollum (POR)PG,SG
26LaMarcus Aldridge (SAS)PF,C
27Brook Lopez (LAL)C
28Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
29Kristaps Porzingis (NYK)PF,C
30Carmelo Anthony (NYK)SF,PF