Fantasy Baseball Category Analysis: Didi Gregorius, Brandon Nimmo, Chad Green
With the All-Star break finally upon us, it’s now or never time to start making up ground in the standings. For those categories that you are heavily trailing in, a few solid additions can often boost your totals enough to move up significantly in the rankings.
However, before you look to trade away any marquee players, turn your attention to the waiver wire, where there are more than a few players who have been overlooked. Continuing with my weekly series, I’ve uncovered 11 players who are rostered in less than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues, who can help you in at least one of the major categories right now. Most of these guys will help in more ways than one, with their main contributions coming in the category under which they are listed.
This week’s piece features multiple players who have recently returned from a lengthy absence due to injury. The fantasy community is notoriously slow to add these players back into their lineups, so take advantage and grab them now. They won’t be ignored forever, however, so make haste when adding these players!
Didi Gregorius (SS – PHI): 48%
Didi is back, and he’s hitting dingers. Gregorius has been on the shelf for a good part of the season due to a right elbow injury but has since returned to the Phillies’ lineup. In his first game back, he hit a home run and then crushed another one two days later. The numbers haven’t been there for the slugging shortstop this season, but it’s only a matter of time for the consistent veteran to get back to his career norms. Add him now where he was dropped, and look forward to a solid second half.
Akil Baddoo (OF – DET): 33%
While the streaky rookie has had his ups and downs, the stolen base attempts have come in abundance, especially of late. In just under 200 at-bats this season, Akil has swiped 13 bags on 15 attempts and is eight of 10 over his last 25 games. He hasn’t hit a home run since the end of May but did raise his average by nearly 40 points and has been scoring runs in bunches.
After breaking onto the scene and crushing four home runs in his first six Major League games, Baddoo has seemingly changed his approach and has become more of a get-on-base and score-by-any-means-possible type. Back In April, the free-swinging Baddoo struck out 29 times while only earning two free passes. The results were a .222 average, albeit with four home runs, four doubles, and three triples over 66 plate appearances.
In May, however, the change started to become apparent. Baddoo’s output shifted to 14 walks and 17 strikeouts with a .256 average but with only one homer in 58 plate appearances. Then over this last month, Baddoo became an on-base machine. He hit .348 while continuing to walk and only struck out 13 times over 76 plate appearances. He didn’t hit a single home run, but he did score 11 times and stole five bags on seven attempts. His triple-slash line was a stellar .348/.434/.455 for the month of June.
While the electrifying Baddoo may not hit more than a handful of home runs, he should continue to rack up the stolen bases (three already this month) and will help you in the run-scoring departments as well. As long as he is getting on base, the speedy center fielder is worthy of a roster spot in all formats.
Avisail Garcia (OF – MIL): 45%
Did you guys not take heed when I suggested Garcia last week for RBIs? He only went four for six and drove in five runs the next day! In fairness, Garcia has struggled a bit with a hamstring injury leading to days off now and then, but the hulking right fielder is, without question, the Brewers’ cleanup hitter of choice. Now that the Brew Crew are finally hitting look for Garcia to improve upon his already 51 RBIs. He also clubbed 15 home runs in the first half. Add him now before he goes on another RBI barrage.
Brandon Nimmo (OF – NYM): 32%
Brandon Nimmo has returned to the Mets’ lineup after sitting out exactly two months. Since his return, the on-base specialist has scored five runs in five games. With Nimmo reaching base over 40 percent of the time, it’s a no-brainer that the Mets’ leadoff hitter is going to score a hefty amount of runs. Nimmo is somewhat a forgotten man in fantasy leagues this season. Take advantage of the situation and add the Mets’ center fielder and his impressive stat line (.330/.422/.443) now if you lack in runs or batting average.
Joey Votto (1B – CIN): 35%
Joey Votto wants to play in October this year. With only three playoff games under his belt since 2012, Votto is doing all he can to turn back the clock and help his team earn a ticket back in. Since returning from the IL (due to a broken thumb), Votto has produced a .293 batting average to go along with six home runs and 22 runs batted in (99 AB’s). He continues to take his free passes but has upped his quality of contact and is swinging more often, leading to the increase in average.
The veteran first baseman regularly bats fourth behind two of the best hitters in baseball this year, which will continue to aid his RBI totals. He recently knocked in his 1,000th run and belted his 300th home run. Take a chance on the always entertaining Votto and expect a solid second half of what is hopefully meaningful baseball in Cincinnati.
Chad Green (SP/RP – NYY): 39%
Green may not be a starter, but he’ll still significantly lower your ERA with the number of innings he throws. He is on pace to throw nearly 90 innings, and with Chapman going through some well-documented struggles, it could be Green who earns more than a few saves for the boys in pinstripes (he earned the Yankees’ latest save). He’ll also obtain the occasional win and will continue to earn you more than a strikeout per inning. Plus, he has looked even nastier of late, striking out nine over his last 4.1 innings.
Whether it’s ERA or saves or just about any other pitching category you need, Green can help. Add him ASAP.
Logan Gilbert (SP – SEA): 42%
Gilbert is the Mariners’ top pitching prospect, and for a good reason. The lanky right-hander shut down the Yankees over nearly seven perfect innings in his latest start, lowering his WHIP to an impressive 1.10. The former first-rounder’s pin-point control has translated well to the big leagues, where he has given up only 10 walks over nine starts. His K/BB ratio is an outstanding 4.5, and he has only allowed five home runs. Gilbert’s passable ERA of 4.10 is a bit inflated for someone who doesn’t give up a lot of homers, walks, and a .226 opponent batting average. Seattle may limit his innings down the stretch, but he should be rostered in all leagues for now.
Ranger Suarez (RP – PHI): 24%
Last Friday, Suarez was called upon to protect a two-run lead in the ninth against the Padres, and unlike many of his teammates, he was actually able to hold onto it. There hasn’t been a save opportunity since, but Joe Girardi and company may have found someone they can finally count on. It has been a revolving door of late in Philadelphia at the closer position, but looking at Suarez numbers, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher as to why it took so long for them to give him a chance.
Suarez has registered a 0.83 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP over 32.2 innings. The leftie’s hard-breaking sinker and changeup combination has held batters to nearly a .100 average and is just as brutal to righties as it is to lefties. He doesn’t walk a lot of hitters and averages a strikeout per inning. Add Suarez now to boost your saves.
Anthony Bender (RP – MIA): 13%
Bender is another reliever putting up ridiculous numbers. After opening his career with 21.1 scoreless innings, Bender finally allowed two runs against the Phillies and another one Wednesday night against the Dodgers. He has earned a save and a win in his last two outings and has struck out 14 in his last six innings. With Yimi Garcia blowing up the other night, it’s anyone’s guess who will earn the next save in Miami, but even in a setup role, Bender deserves rostering.
Cole Irvin (SP – OAK): 42%
Cole Irvin is still being ignored because of his low strikeout totals. His 6.50 K/9 aside, Irvin is one of just a handful of pitchers to reach 100 innings over the first half of the season. Pitching late into games and maintaining a respectable 3.56 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP allows Irvin to earn the victory more often than not. Oakland’s bullpen is always a stalwart, helping secure Irvin’s leads. Pick up the sinkerball specialist now for his next start against Texas.
Tylor Megill (SP – NYM): 8%
Megill was called upon to fill in for the injured Mets’ starters, and he didn’t disappoint. After opening against Atlanta and striking out four over four and a third innings of work, the Mets’ rookie right-hander struck out eight over just five innings of work in a repeat matchup against the Braves. The six-foot-seven Megill most recently shut down the hot-hitting Brewers over five innings, striking out seven.
To start his career, the towing Megill owns an 11.93 K/9 and a 3.77 ERA. His xFIP is even more impressive at 3.47. He K’d well over a batter an inning throughout his short minor league career and should be a strong candidate to hold down a job in the Mets’ starting rotation for the remainder of the season. Megill has the Pirates on tap, a matchup you don’t want to miss out on. Add Megill now before the rest of the fantasy world catches on.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy baseball, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Baseball Tools as you navigate your season. From our Lineup Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy baseball season.
Austin Lowell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Austin, check out his archive.