It’s all about who’s hot and who’s not – plain and simple. Production is all that matters, something I’ve repeated many times over the past month and will continue to do so until the season ends. It doesn’t matter if the numbers are supported by metrics or it’s good old fashion luck. Anyone that is doing well now needs your attention. If you need a quick boost over the final weeks of the season you might want to give serious thought to the players below if they are available.
If you have a question on a player, who to pick up or even who to drop for a waiver wire pickup, feel free to ask in the comment section below or hit me up on twitter @TheJimFinch. Good luck to all those still playing.
* ownership rates under 50% on Yahoo and ESPN – CBS & Fantrax may be higher due to more keeper leagues.
Luke Voit: Yankees
Voit was a recommendation last week, and given what’s at stake you’re bound to see a number of repeats over the coming weeks. I addressed his ability to hit the ball so don’t give much though into the slight drop in average this past week. He hit 3 more homers this week (two at Oakland) giving him 8 over 74 at bats. Even if you don’t believe in the power, even if you believe it is just luck, there is a very good chance that luck will carry through the next three weeks.
Ryan O’Hearn: Royals
The Royals rookie second baseman has 20+ home run pop, reaching that total in each of the past three minor league seasons and currently sitting at 20 this year between Triple-A and the majors. He is a career .270 hitter with strikeout issues so average will never be his strong suit, but he can go on the occasional streak – like now. Over the past two weeks O’Hearn is batting .324 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI, 3 HR and 8 RBI in the past seven days. The Royals are still tinkering with where he fits into the lineup, but as long as the power continues you’ll see him batting between 4th and 7th – meaning solid counting stats. I see O’Hearn as an add for larger leagues, but he can also be an option for 12-team leagues with limited CI help on waivers.
Johan Camargo: Braves
He is still under 50% owners yet filling up the stat sheet on a weekly basis. This past week he went 10 for 28 with 3 home runs and 5 each in runs and RBI. His solid production makes him an option at both CI and MI. With the Braves fending off the Phillies in the NL East you can bet Camargo will be in there nightly which makes him a terrific bench option at the very least.
Tyler White: Astros
I’ve been harping on how good White has been for a while now. Well, this past week he finally let me down going 5 for 26 with zero home runs. Some owners may panic, but I think it’s just a little speed bump and fully expect him to bounce back. Once Houston finished with Boston they’re off to Detroit where I expect the turnaround to begin. Hold on to White and add him if you see a big first game against the Tigers.
Ahmed Rosario: Mets
He has had a typical rookie showing, batting .257 with 7 home runs and 18 steals. However, unless you’ve paid close attention to his recent work you missed the fact he hit .286 in August with 3 home runs, 7 steals, 16 RBI and 21 runs scored. He has been especially hot over the last two weeks batting .380 with 4 steals and 8 runs scored and 8 multi-hit games. Most contending teams are set at shortstop, but maybe you can use an upgrade at middle infield. With the Mets looking to 2019 Rosario should be in there most nights so he isn’t the kind of player you need to worry about being rested down the stretch.
Joey Wendle: Rays
I recommended Wendle last week based on his .300+ average in July and August, speed, and solid counting stats. Since then he has continue to exceed in the batting average department, but with the exception of a handful of runs this past week he hasn’t contributed much. Even so, he’s still hitting the ball well – that’s the important thing. As long as he is hitting the run, RBI and SB numbers can easily bounce back. Plus don’t forget he can be a MI, CI or OF option which is a novelty to have for when your starters are given the occasional day off. He’s still an add for me.
Franmil Reyes: Padres
Reyes has done enough to potentially secure a spot on the team next season, swatting 15 home runs over 186 at bats. For those that know nothing about his minor league numbers, Franmil hit 16 home runs while batting .324 in Triple-A to earn a promotion, and he increased his home run total from 16 to 25 from High-A to Double-A between 2016 and 2017. He is batting .258 for the season, but .342 over the past two weeks with 6 home runs, 3 of those in the past week. He does much better on the road, but the power plays both home and away and against lefties and righties. The Padres are currently on the road if you need a little incentive.
Hunter Renfroe: Padres
August was a strong month, batting .302 with 9 home runs, 27 RBI and 13 runs scored. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to push his ownership above 40% on either Yahoo or ESPN. So far in September Renfroe is 7 for 24 with 4 home runs – sadly all solo shots. Those that were expecting him to turn into a pumpkin will have to keep waiting. Renfroe appears to be on a mission to finish the season strong, and if his September is anything like August you’ll want some stock.
Stephen Piscotty: Athletics
Hopefully you took a gamble on Piscotty last week because his ownership rate just passed the 50% mark. He added another 4 home runs and 10 RBI the past week giving him 7 home runs and 19 RBI over the past three weeks along with an average well north of .300. The only real chance from last week is Piscotty has been moved up a notch, batting 5th and occasionally 6th so more run and RBI opportunities. If he is still available this may be your last chance to get him.
Ramon Laureano: Athletics
The batting average is almost at .300, a pair of home runs gives him 5 for the season in under 100 at bats, he can steal the occasional bag, he plays regularly, and best of all the A’s have been experimenting with Laureano in the leadoff role. That could mean a big boost in run production. Laureano is slowing growing on me as an under the radar type that can give you a little in each category. I see him as a solid OF4 for the rest of the season, but he does have OF3 upside so you might get more than you paid for. This is a solid consolation prize if you missed out on Piscotty.
Billy McKinney: Blue Jays
I had my doubt about McKinney hitting .351 with 3 homers in his first two weeks, but he has not slowed down much batting .333 with another home run and 3 RBI in his third week in the majors. He still sits on occasion which does lower his value, and as I said last week the lack of a track record makes me question what he is doing. However, as I said in the intro, production is all that matters now; how he is doing it is irrelevant. McKinney is an option for leagues that play four or more outfielder, but I think you may find better on waivers in 12-team formats.
Kevin Kiermaier: Rays
It’s only a one week outburst, but one week can turn into two and so on – this may be the beginning of something or maybe it’s just a blip. Over the past seven days Kiermaier went 9 for 19 with 3 home runs, 7 RBI, and 5 runs scored. He has 9 steals on the year and stole 16 or more in the previous three seasons so he can contribute there, plus he has 10 or more home runs a year since his debut so this power binge isn’t necessarily out of nowhere. And we’ve seen him hit far better than the .212 he is showing right now. He came into the season like a lamb, but maybe this will jump-start things so he can go out like a lion. I’m not sure I would add him, but one or two more hot days and I’ll change my tune. Monitor his progress closely.
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