Who’s Hot, Who’s Not and How to React in Fantasy Baseball
When conducting trade talks, it’s always a good idea to throw hot players into the conversation. Your average owner may not realize that it’s just a hot streak. They just hear a certain player’s name being mentioned repeatedly in the highlights for the last couple of days. This is especially true if that hot player is on their favorite team. There is nothing wrong with playing that up. We all play in home leagues and we all have those player(s) that favor their home team players. Why not use that to your advantage? Listen, it’s hard to make trades. I’ll use whatever ammunition I have to make a deal.
- Wilson Ramos, Tampa Bay Rays: Everyone seems to be talking about a certain team from Florida and if they will trade their All-Star catcher before the end of July. That talk is about J.T. Realmuto, but Ramos should be in this conversation as well. He has 11 HRs and 39 RBI for a team that is offensively challenged, plays in one of the better pitcher’s parks in the majors and isn’t going anywhere this season. Ramos is finally healthy and injury-free and there is little reason to believe his hot hitting will end any time soon.
- Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs: I’ll be honest, I have given up on Heyward. Sure, I have him in a deep keeper league (18 teams, 40-man rosters), but everyone with a heartbeat is owned in that league. Heyward’s numbers at this point this season are better than they have been since his last year in St. Louis (2015). That’s not saying a whole bunch when you consider his AVG is still .269, he only has four HRs, 32 RBI, and hasn’t stolen a base. So exactly how is he helping you?
- David Price, Boston Red Sox: Price has taken an awful lot of grief, mostly deserved during his two-plus seasons in Boston. So yes, the reputation is not a good one, he has an elbow injury that could blow up at any point and has dealt with several other minor arm problems this season, but he’s still 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over his last six starts. Assuming health, yes, I know that is a dangerous assumption, he’s actually someone I would target at this point. We know the wins are going to be there and I’m willing on betting that he makes 30-plus starts this season.
- Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals: It doesn’t seem that long ago when Fantasy owners couldn’t dump Carpenter fast enough. There is a reason I always say I never care what a player has done in the past, I only care what I believe he will do from this point forward. Now, Carpenter is not going to hit .478 like he has over his last seven games or even .380 as he has over his last 14 games, but he’s a must better for your lineup now. But you can sell high on Carpenter for a piece you do need.
- Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers: Muncy could be the definition of a player who will win you a Fantasy championship. He wasn’t on anyone’s Fantasy radar in standard leagues in March. Now, we’re all wondering can he keep this pace up. That pace is 30-plus HRs. I’m tempted to believe he can, but I’d still look to move him. Why? Well, he’s not a plus in any category other than HRs. His AVG is only .259 and only 33 RBIs have come with those HRs. I’ll take a chance that he regresses during the second half and that I can add a player who can help me in more categories. Not to mention that power is easier to find in today’s game than let’s say SBs or AVG.
RotoAudio: Dodgers Hitting Coach Turner Ward on Max Muncy
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: I know what you’re thinking. How can you put a player on this list who is having an MVP season and probably the best player in the game? I just want to point out that since Trout suffered his finger injury he doesn’t have an extra base hit. He’s just not driving the ball right now. We know the injury has kept him from playing the field, but it has also sapped him of his power. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but I always worry about hitters suffering hand, wrist, or finger injuries. This is really just something to chew on. You’re holding onto Trout unless you receive one of those too good to pass up on offers.
- Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore Orioles: Where did the power go for Schoop? He had hit 57 HRs the past two season, but this year only has eight. His average has plummeted to where it’s just about .200. Sure, he plays in a hitter’s paradise, but it’s also for a team that is playing for nothing and possibly the losing is getting to him. You can’t get anything for him in a trade, but I’ll plant him on my bench until if/when he breaks out of this slump.
- Greg Bird, New York Yankees: Bird’s days as a starting 1B for the Yankees may be numbered. On the one hand, his job is safe as the backup 1B for the Yankees, Neil Walker and Tyler Austin, aren’t hitting either and there is also manager Aaron Boone preaching patience. On the other hand, there is the fact that Brandon Drury, who has no business still being at Triple-A, is getting playing time at 1B. Sure the Yankees like to have their backup be extremely versatile, but this is also a shot across the bow at Bird. It’s letting him know he likely only has until the All-Star break to start hitting or face a change in locations with Drury on the way.
- Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals: This one is pretty simple for me. Murphy is still hurt. You can see it when he plays. The Nationals brought him back possibly because the knee is just as good as it’s going to get this season. They will manage his playing time, which means he will likely get 1-2 games off per week. If you own Murphy, I’d put his name on the trade block and hope someone has more faith than I do and will pay a price to acquire him.
- Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies: Everyone and their mother knew that Hoskins would not hit HRs this season at the pace he did last season, still, we weren’t hoping for this big a regression across the board. Hoskins will be fine, but as always with young players, adjustments need to be made and he does seem to be struggling with those adjustments this season. Still, I’m holding onto him.
As always feel free to follow me on Twitter and ask any questions you like, @georgekurtz.