Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Amed Rosario, Logan Gilbert, Bobby Bradley
We are nearing the halfway point and it’s becoming a desperate hour for many fantasy managers. The injuries continue to mount, while many trustworthy veterans just can’t seem to shake the funk they are in.
Not to worry, as always I have hunted down undervalued players available in nearly 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, who will help turn your season around. The players are broken down into one of the main ten categories, where the bulk of their production will come.
I hope you all jumped on Jonathan Schoop two weeks ago as he has been an absolute force at the dish. He went from rostered in less than 10 percent of leagues, to over 60 in a matter of days. Watching him face off against Corbin Burnes on the last day of May, was all I needed to see, as it was blatantly apparent what was to come.
Schoop is a perfect example of what makes this series so valuable. Similar to Adolis Garcia earlier in the season, it’s important for fantasy managers to grab the potential early before the masses are fully aware. Obviously, not everyone will explode at such a high level, but the few that do, are worth making the immediate switch if your roster allows for it. So don’t wait or you’re sure to miss out!
With that in mind, here are this week’s categorized, undervalued additions.
Amed Rosario (SS/OF – CLE): 50%
No one has been quite as hot with the stick as Amed Rosario lately, outside of maybe Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Over his last 40 at-bats, the Cleveland shortstop has produced 17 hits, good for a .425 batting average, and even scored 10 runs. Since switching from platoon to everyday player, Rosario has hit .351 over 139 ABs for the Indians. He is entrenched in the two-hole for the Tribe and is in a great spot hitting behind Cesar Hernandez and in front of Jose Ramirez. It wasn’t that long ago that Rosario was considered one of the top prospects in baseball and while the power has been lacking, the hits have not. Add Rosario now to boost your average.
Cesar Hernandez (2B – CLE): 17%
Sticking with the top of the Indians’ order, Hernandez is a player that will heavily boost your run-scoring totals. Finally hitting and getting on base like he is capable of, Hernandez has been a run-scoring machine over these last few weeks. He has scored a total of 11 runs in his last eight games and 22 over his last 24 games. With Rosario consistently making solid contact behind him and Jose Ramirez putting up his usual numbers, it’s no surprise Hernandez continues to score at an exciting pace.
His BA has been pretty terrible, but with a career average of .273 and never having hit under .253 over a full season, you have to believe those numbers will continue to climb. The ten home runs come as a nice boon to go along with the 42 runs scored. If your team isn’t scoring runs, add Hernandez now and expect at least another 60 runs.
Dylan Moore (2B/SS/3B/OF – SEA): 50%
Jonathan Villar (2B/SS/3B – NYM): 50%
This one was a toss-up for me but if I had to choose one, I’m just a sucker for Dylan Moore’s upside. We all know Jonathan Villar is capable of putting up some fine numbers across the board, but when the regulars return to the Mets’ lineup, he’ll have a hard time finding everyday at-bats. Villar will always steal bases, especially in the lead-off role, but he hasn’t been a reliable hitter since leaving Baltimore.
Moore on the other hand has been trying to crush the ball too often, leading to a high strikeout rate and far too many lazy fly balls to the outfield. That said, Moore possesses more pop in his bat (12.7 barrel percentage over the last two seasons, Villar’s sits at under five) and is even faster on the base paths (a 13 percent higher sprint speed according to Statcast). Moore also rarely chases balls out of the strike zone, a rare trait for someone who K’s a lot.
Both players are going to steal. Moore has attempted 28 stolen bases over his last 83 games, whereas Villar has attempted 33 of his last 106 games. While those numbers are similar it’s the power potential for Moore and the fact that his average has nowhere to go but up from here that makes him more enticing. Adding players with a bit of a track record at their low point can often reward hefty dividends.
Moore and Villar are rostered in nearly half of all leagues, so if you are in need of steals (who isn’t?) add whichever one is available. And if they’re both un-rostered, I’d go with Moore first if you only have room for one.
C.J. Cron (1B – COL): 33%
You guys gave up on CJ Cron too early! To fantasy managers credit he was awfully cold over the last month leading to his benching for more than a few games. But as of late, Cron has looked like the slugger we all expected he’d be after moving to Colorado. Cron has three home runs over the last four days, with his latest coming against Brewers’ ace, Brandon Woodruff.
Cron has continued to crush lefties like he always has but has been limited to just four homers against righties. The good news is, after hitting just one home run over his previous 27 games, Cron seems to have found his stroke and should be good for another 15-20 homers for the rest of the season. Pick up the 6’4″, 235 lb first baseman if you need help in the home run department.
Bobby Bradley (1B – CLE): 22%
Bradley has given the Indians some much-needed production out of the first base position. After finally moving on from an underachieving Jake Bauers, the club turned to Bradley to fill the role. Since his call-up this year, Bradley has produced a robust .375/.429/.813 slash line and knocked in 11 runs in just ten games. He has lowered his strikeout total to just one every four at-bats and is putting the ball in play with authority. The Indians lineup is firing on all cylinders right now and with an upcoming series against the Pirates and Cubs, I’m looking to add all of their undervalued, hot bats.
Tarik Skubal (SP – DET): 46%
Skubal is still striking out the world and less than half of all fantasy leagues have taken notice. Over his last eight starts, the young left-hander has K’d 63 batters in just 44 innings and hasn’t surrendered more than three runs in any of those games. He has earned the victory in three of his last six contests and has produced a quality start in three of his last four. Skubal has even better stuff than Casey Mize in my opinion and he has finally learned to settle down and control his fastball. I highly doubt he makes this list again, so don’t miss out.
Matt Manning (SP – DET): 17%
Skubal’s teammate and fellow starter, Matt Manning, was recently called up for his first taste of the big leagues. The 6’6″, 19th overall prospect faired well in his opening start lasting five innings while only giving up two runs. Manning’s arrival was always highly anticipated before he got off to such a poor start in Triple-A this season. The surprisingly bad start clouded his future a bit, but he has always struck out a ton of batters and is worth monitoring over his next few starts. Going by upside alone, Manning deserves a speculative add in deeper leagues.
Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA): 39%
The Mariners’ prospect has looked nothing short of fantastic over his last three starts. He shut down a hot Cleveland club, silenced the bats of the Angels, and held Oakland to two runs after seeing them just six days earlier. Gilbert has pitched exceptionally well on the road (2.29 ERA – three starts), and after a rough start to his career, has looked every bit the part of future ace. His WHIP is a low 1.13 for the year even after getting blasted in his second start. Gilbert also averages more than a strikeout per inning. He’ll take on the Rays on Saturday and should be added in most leagues for the contest.
Josh Fleming (SP/RP – TB): 24%
Fleming isn’t flashy by any means, but he continues to get the job done. Pitching for the Rays who love to think outside the box, management has been keen on utilizing Fleming in a long relief role, following their notorious “opener.” He has won more than a few games in this manner and now that Tyler Glasnow has been placed on the 60-day IL, look for Fleming to become a regular in the rotation. He has shown the ability to gobble up innings and pitch deep into games where his 3.20 ERA and 1.03 WHIP will play nicely. The fantastic bullpen the Rays possess will only help secure any leads Fleming turns over. Add the sinker-ball specialist now to help obtain those hard to come by wins.
Jordan Romano (RP – TOR): 55%
The Blue Jays haven’t had a save opportunity in over a week, but with Rafael Dolis losing sensation in his hand, the closer job should fall solely on Romano’s shoulders now. With Julian Merryweather not close to returning, Romano is a prime candidate to accumulate saves. Add him now if he is still available.
Mike Minor (SP – KC): 39%
Minor is limiting base runners. His WHIP currently sits at a paltry 1.15 after allowing only 31 batters to reach base via a hit or walk over his last 30.2 innings. The Royals’ lefty is also striking out hitters at an impressive clip of 26.3 percent. His ERA is a bit inconsistent because of all the long balls he gives up, but he has cut down heavily on his free passes lately so the occasional solo or two-run shot hopefully won’t hurt too much. He is lined up to take on Boston on the 20th. I would leave him on the bench for that one, but after that, he is worth starting in easier match-ups.
Whether you’re new to fantasy baseball or a seasoned pro, our Fantasy Baseball 101: Strategy Tips & Advice page is for you. You can get started with our Sabermetrics Glossary or head to a more advanced strategy – like How to Make Custom Fantasy Baseball Rankings with Microsoft Excel – to learn more.
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.