As we move into fantasy playoff season, I will start focusing on how recent player trends and performances should affect keeper values, though I will continue to highlight a few under owned players who can still help you in pursuit of a title as well.
Read on to see what recent performances you should be aware of as you make roster decisions for the rest of the way. As always, if you have a player you would like profiled or have a question about, feel free to post in the comment section or reach out to me on Twitter @hedenson18 with that or any other questions.
Sano is someone with a rising keeper/trade value for me, something I would not have thought possible when the Twins demoted him back in June. The past 14 days have seen Sano slash .295/.380/.568 with three home runs and ten RBI’s, making him look much more like the hitter we expected when the season began.
He has improved his LD% during this stretch (21.4%) and has supported his recent power barrage with jumps in both his Pull% (39.3% last two weeks, 38.3% in 2018) and Hard% (57.1% last two weeks, 45% in 2018) rates. His 32% K% during this stretch reflects a 6% improvement on his season marks, and while that is still an extremely elevated rate, it would represent the lowest K% of his career if he can keep that going. He has also managed to cut his SwStr% (11.5% last two weeks, 14.8% in 2018) and his O-Swing% has improved as well (27.3% last two weeks, 30.6% in 2018).
Sano has also been walking more recently, posting a 12% BB% (9.5% in 2018) and in general looks to be in a better place at the plate than he was in June. Obviously, his production over the past two weeks is not enough to erase several seasons of mid-30’s K%’s and the other issues that caused his demotion earlier this season. However, I will continue to watch Sano to see if these changes take, and if they do he makes for an exciting potential acquisition that could payoff in seasons to come.
Moving to the Twin cities has been positive so far for Forsythe, seeing him hit .458/.509/.542 with 8 RBI’s, 8 Runs and 1 SB over the past two weeks. That slash line is supported by a stout .550 BABIP, which while inflated, has been helped along by improvements to his batted ball profile (30% LD%) and contact rates (12.5% Soft%, 45% Med%, 42.5% Hard%) that should help him keep producing at a solid level despite the coming correction.
Power has not been part of the equation for Forsythe since slamming 20 home runs in 2016, and despite his recent hot streak, he only has two home runs on the season. His Hard% (42.5%) during these past two weeks is up 6% compared to his season numbers, but he has been hitting fewer fly balls (20% FB% last two weeks, 34.9% FB% in 2018) and his pull rate has dropped 5% as well (32.5% Pull% last two weeks, 37.5% in 2018).
Forsythe is an interesting veteran bat to bet on if you need a boost leading up to the playoffs, and is widely available in most leagues (17% Fantrax, 3% Yahoo).
Beeks has been very consistent over his last three starts as a Ray, tossing 5 innings in each effort and setting a career high with eight batters mowed down in his most recent outing against the Yankees. 26.8% of batters have walked away shaking their heads against Beeks over the past two weeks, something attributable to jumps in both his SwStr% (15.5%) and O-Swing% (33.1%) during this run.
The velocity on his fastball has been a tick higher lately (92.3 vFA compared with 91.6 vFA on the season) and this pitch has specifically seen a rise in effectiveness since his move to the Rays (36% Whiff% August; 6.3% Whiff% July; 15% Whiff% June). Obviously this is a lot to pull from 15 innings and 24-IP overall, but Beeks has been interesting lately, and is an arm to watch given his low ownership rates (11% Fantrax, 1% Yahoo).
Rodon has been dealing lately, posting a 1.69 ERA in five starts over the past month. He has failed to go past the 7th inning only once in that period, and has a two start streak of tossing 8 innings. Going long in games is nothing new this season for Rodon, as he has only had three outings where he tossed fewer than 5 innings. Strikeouts have not been a big part of this recent success, with only 20.9% of batters going down on strikes, continuing a trend we have seen so far in 2018.
Rodon’s K% for the season (19.9%) is much lower than previous levels displayed (23.5% in 2016; 25.6% in 2017) and he has also seen a dip in his overall SwStr% (9.7% in 2018, 10.3% in 2017) though this has improved a bit lately (11% SwStr% last month). His control has been much better than last season, coming in closer to what we saw in 2016 (2.95 BB/9 in 2016, 4.02 BB/9 in 2017, 3.25 BB/9 in 2018).
Rodon has been a bit fortunate over the past month, limiting hitters to a paltry .191 BABIP and stranding runners at a slightly elevated 79.8% rate. He should see a bit of regression in both of these areas, pushing his performance more in line with advanced estimations of his 1.69 ERA (3.16 FIP, 4.53 xFIP, 4.46 SIERA). His performance in 2018 has been somewhat inflated (2.69 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 4.84 xFIP, 4.61 SIERA) and despite his recent success, his value will be limited moving forward unless he can improve his strikeout levels.
Jean, Jean, The Hitting Machine has been in an extended funk since an out of this world start to the season, hitting only .267/.297/.353 since July 1st. He has hit three home runs in this period, but has only been successful in three stolen base attempts over that same timeframe (7 attempts). For the past month his line has been a bit better (.280/.305/.360) but his LD% has cratered (12.5% last month, 19.6% in 2018).
His FB% has jumped 10% as well, but that increase has occurred alongside dips in both his Hard% (22.2% Hard% last month, 27.3% Hard% in 2018) and Pull% (35.6 Pull% last month, 37.9 Pull% in 2018) limiting any benefit to that change in his batted ball profile. His overall numbers are still strong (.314/.343/.437 with 9 HR and 17 SB) but Segura is someone I could see selling in keeper leagues as you look towards next season. Look at Segura compared to other SS with similar power/speed profiles:
While he does compare favorably in some ways to a higher end option like Turner (Runs, RBI, AVG) his production levels more closely mimic lower options like Semien, and all of these players are more successful on the bases than Segura.
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