Fantasy Baseball Risers & Fallers: Jean Segura, Brendan Rodgers, Brandon Lowe (2022)
We have made it another week through the MLB season, and there have been some great performances and some rough performances. This weekly column will help highlight some hot and cold players or risers and fallers for fantasy purposes. Some players are already rostered in many places, so trades may be in order, and other players may be widely available, making a potential waiver wire claim in the cards. So this week, I am highlighting some lesser rostered players on the rise and some heavily rostered players that are falling over the past weeks. So let’s see some of the risers and fallers for fantasy baseball Week 6 (5/9-5/15).
Segura is heating up in a big way. He hit safely in all six games this past week with three home runs and three stolen bases. Segura was mashing with a barrel rate of 17% and a hard-hit rate near 60%. He was highly productive when putting the ball in play, but he also walked around 15% of the time. If we have to find a downside, Segura was chasing nearly 40% of the time out of the zone. Constantly swinging out of the zone often rarely lead to continued success.
The chasing is fixable, so let’s focus on the positives. First, Segura has six home runs on the season with four stolen bases. He always showcased double-digit power and speed potential, and Segura’s early-season success makes 15/15 possible. Lastly, Segura is once again hitting for average as well. After Sunday, he is hitting .309 on the season, which has always been one of Segura’s best skills. It was a massive week for Segura, but the production should not be pushed aside as he is in for a big year, especially batting fifth and playing every day for the Phillies.
Paul DeJong was demoted earlier this week, and that is when Donovan was inserted into the Cardinals’ starting lineup as the primary shortstop with some occasional action at third base. Donavan hit safely in four of six games for an average of over .400. He racked up five extra-base hits, including four doubles. A walk rate over 20% was most impressive, with a strikeout rate under 20%. Unfortunately, Donovan was locked in with a barrel rate over 10% and a hard-hit rate over 60%. For now, Donovan is worth a flier, but Edmundo Sosa is supposed to get some run at SS, and you never know what the team will do if Donovan hits a slight slump.
It has been a slow start to the season for Stephenson, but things may be turning around. In his first four games this week, Stephenson hit safely in four of five starts. He hit .409 with four extra-base hits, a .273 ISO, and 203 wRC+. Stephenson had a 47% hard-hit rate which was great but still struck out too much with a 31.8% strikeout rate. After the last couple of solid weeks, Stephenson is now hitting .324 and could be breaking out as many thought he may during draft season.
Sheets was mashing in his prime matchups this past week. Sheets hit safely in all four games with three home runs and a 13.3% walk rate. In addition, sheets barreled the ball 30% of the time with a 50% hard-hit rate. It has been a slow start to the season, but Sheets now has four home runs and a .232 average. He mainly plays against RHP, and this upcoming week, the White Sox face seven RHP in their eight games. Sheets is worth rolling with when the schedule lines up beautifully like this.
After a slow start to the season, Rodgers is heating up. This past week, Rodgers hit safely in his four games played, with eight hits and a .444 batting average. He racked up four extra-base hits, including a home run, and most impressively, only struck out 5.6% of the time. Rodgers was putting the ball in play a lot, and that’s always great when he was barreling the ball 17.6% of the time with a 58.8% hard-hit rate. In May, Rodgers is hitting .370 with two home runs, and hopefully, that means a large finish to the season is upon us.
To say Lowe has been struggling may be an understatement. This past week, he hit safely in three of four games for a .250 batting average and three extra-base hits, but I am still very concerned. Lowe only played in four games, and he still struck out over 31% of the time. Lowe is now hitting .212 on the season with a horrible approach at the plate. He has an O-Swing of 36.2%, a contact rate of only 66.5%, and an SwStr of 18.3%. There are a lot of holes in Lowe’s swing right now, and the poor results are falling right in line.
Sanchez was one of the first Risers of the season, and now he has joined the Fallers list. His hot start was great, but this past week has been more in line with his current production. Sanchez hit safely in two of six games this past week for a .091 average and no extra-base hits. He struck out 33.3% of the time to go with a .258 OPS and -13 wRC+. Sanchez had an O-Swing of nearly 40% with a 63.8% contact rate and 16.8% SwStr. Unfortunately, Sanchez is returning to his previous strikeout form, which will destroy his fantasy value once again.
In recent weeks Suarez was giving some hope with some power and an ok batting average, but this past week should remind many why Suarez is a fantasy drain. He hit safely in three of six games but only hit .200 with no extra-base hits and a 41.7% strikeout rate. If Suarez is not hitting for power, many strikeouts will lead to a dreadful batting average. Only roster Suarez in weeks where the matchups are outstanding.
Reynolds has been a horrible start, only hitting .209 with four home runs. This past week was even worse. Reynolds hit safely in two games and went hitless over the last four. He hit .143 with a near 21% strikeout rate. Reynolds still walks over 10% of the time, which is excellent, but the increased strikeout rate and lack of batting average make it tough to continue rostering Reynolds for much longer.
I had high hopes for the Candy Man this season, and so far, not so good. He is hitting .200 on the season and this past week followed that trend as he hit .200 with hits in three of seven games. The average was not great, there was no power, and he was barreling the ball 4.5% of the time. The results were not great, but there are underlying metrics like a low strikeout rate, reasonable hard-hit rates, and solid contact rates. Candelario is tough to judge, making a sit for now and a cut in shallow leagues, but overall, I would try and show a little more patience if you can this season.
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