It’s Thursday. You know what that means.
Each and every Thursday during the fantasy baseball season, we’ll be doing a stock report, looking at the players who are improving their value on a week-to-week basis.
If there are players you want me to dive into, feel free to tag me on Twitter @MichaelWaterloo.
Now, without any further ado, let’s get to it.
- Weekly Waiver Wire Advice
- Weekly Fantasy Baseball Content
- Dynasty Fantasy Baseball Trade Value Chart
- MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet
Jarred Kelenic may be the poster person for post-hype sleeper this year. Nolan Gorman might be his sidekick. But Lowe should get a nod for supporting actor, as he’s putting his terrible 2022 behind him.
Remember, Lowe had a ton of hype last season – as a lot of rookies do – and he looks like a different player this year. For starters, he’s cut his K% from 33.3 to 19.1, and he’s handling breaking pitches and offspeed offerings a lot better this year than he was last year. He’s struggling against fastballs still, but given his adjustments against secondaries and that the Rays are moving him up in the order, he’s someone I’m OK going after even if the price is high.
I was wrong about Colas in the early going. He’s young and relatively green still, but he’s heavy in the blue in nearly every Statcast metric, and he’s been turned into a platoon bat for the Sox.
He’s struggling to make hard contact, with an average exit velocity of 83.4, which is the second-lowest mark among any hitter in baseball with at least 50 plate appearances. Pitchers have been attacking him more with breaking offerings, which has been the kryptonite for Colas so far this season with a plus-40 Whiff rate.
I’m not sure if we can get much higher on Outman than what he’s done so far, but I don’t know if I’ve written about him once so far this season. Let’s fix that.
Outman has been a revelation for the Dodgers, and besides the high strikeout rate, there’s really not much to not love about his game. The quality of contact metrics look good, and they are backing up the power surge that we are seeing. Six of his seven home runs have been pull-shots, and the majority of his hard-hit balls have come on offerings right over the plate.
But we aren’t punishing a guy for punishing balls that he should, well, punish. Outman doesn’t seem to be a fluke.
Remember how we said Colas had the second-lowest average exit velocity? Well, that’s because Wong has the lowest.
This one hurts, as I’ve been a Wong guy for the last few seasons, but he’s been absolutely brutal for the Mariners and for fantasy managers alike. Aside from not striking out, there’s nothing he’s offering from a fantasy perspective as he’s turned into a platoon bat. However, even those days may be numbered if he doesn’t turn things around quickly.
I put out the question last week to see who people were high or low on, and I got mixed reviews about Melendez. After looking under the hood, I’m more high on him than low.
While the strikeout rate and the average are both absolutely abysmal, Melendez is still making absurdly hard contact. His xBA of .237 isn’t great, but it’s much better than his .178 actual average. He’s hitting .135 against fastballs this season after hitting .247 against them last year, striking out 40 percent of the time. I didn’t draft any Melendez this season because I wasn’t willing to invest that much into a catcher, but I’m expecting some course correction – especially if it’s via cutting down on his in-zone swing-and-miss on the pitch (32.7 percent this year compared to 20.4 last year).
I know that, on the surface, Steele has been good for the Cubs, but I look at it as a sell-high point.
Look, he has a low ERA. I get it. However, I question the true swing-and-miss ability of his fastball and slider – which are his only real pitches. The opposition isn’t doing much against the fastball this year – which is Steele’s main offering – but nothing with the pitch has changed from last year as it has the same shape and has actually decreased in spin.
He can be a fine, serviceable starter for fantasy, but I think some big regression is on the way.