Fantasy Football 2014:

Hot Hitter Rundown

Rotoworld

The cliché that the standard fantasy baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint is certainly true, but keeping an eye on the hottest players in the game is still extremely important when making start/bench decisions, making pickups, and getting fair value in trades.  It has become even more important recently with the popularity of daily games such as FanDuel growing.

It should be noted that short-term production in MLB involves a limited sample size, and should be analyzed and scrutinized for its level of significance, or lack thereof, very closely.  With these factors in mind, the following is a rundown of the hottest hitters over the last seven days according to Rotoworld’s Player Rater.

Mention of players on these lists is a statement of fact that they are playing well for fantasy owners recently, but not necessarily a long-term endorsement of ownership in fantasy leagues, unless otherwise noted.

Player Rater numbers and review cover games for the week of 6/30-7/6.

Catcher

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 NR Robinson Chirinos TEX C 2.25 1.07 -0.47 0.35 0.53 3.73
2 18 Jarrod Saltalamacchia FLA C 2.25 2.68 -0.47 -0.97 -0.06 3.42
3 8 Yan Gomes CLE C 0.80 1.07 -0.47 0.35 1.11 2.87
4 38 Caleb Joseph BAL C 0.80 1.61 -0.47 0.23 0.53 2.70
5 36 Nick Hundley BAL C 0.80 0.54 -0.47 0.36 0.53 1.75
6 2 Devin Mesoraco CIN C 0.80 0.00 -0.47 1.32 -0.06 1.59
7 15 Russell Martin PIT C -0.65 0.54 -0.47 1.32 0.53 1.26
8 27 Yasmani Grandal SD C 0.80 0.00 -0.47 0.35 0.53 1.21
9 12 Mike Zunino SEA C 0.80 1.61 -0.47 -1.33 0.53 1.13
10 11 Kurt Suzuki MIN C -0.65 0.00 -0.47 1.67 0.53 1.08

Robinson Chirinos is likely a popular add after hitting two homers last week.  He’s showing strong power this season as an all-or-nothing hitter, fanning 45 times in 191 plate appearances.  The minor league veteran hit as many as 18 homers in a season before reaching the majors, but his playing time should be short-lived with Geovany Soto’s return around the corner … Jarrod Saltalamacchia cracks the list for the second consecutive week after hitting a pair of homers.  He was quite a slow starter, but approaches the All-Star break with nine homers and a respectable .745 OPS …The Orioles’ catching tandem of Caleb Joseph and Nick Hundley is also making their presence felt, with Joseph hitting .278-1-5 last week and Hundley hitting .333-1-3.  Hundley is the more proven offensive commodity, but he’s not playing enough for mixed league consideration yet … Russell Martin stands well short of a double-digit home run pace, but his .280 batting average has held some value for two-catcher mixed leagues.  He hit .412 for the Pirates last week … The formerly ice-cold Yasmani Grandal is starting to wake up again, hitting .294-1-2 last week.  He’s still been very frustrating after a good April, apparently not seeing the ball well with 52 strikeouts in 64 games.  Now with a batting average above the Mendoza Line, perhaps he can get back to second catcher consideration in fantasy leagues.

First Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 5 Albert Pujols ANA 1B 3.70 3.21 1.17 1.31 2.87 12.27
2 1 Paul Goldschmidt ARZ 1B 0.80 1.61 1.17 2.64 1.70 7.92
3 4 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B 0.80 1.07 -0.47 0.11 3.46 4.97
4 7 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B -0.65 2.14 -0.47 0.83 1.70 3.55
5 3 Jose Abreu CWS 1B 2.25 1.61 -0.47 -0.25 -0.06 3.08
6 6 Brandon Moss OAK 1B 0.80 0.54 -0.47 1.20 0.53 2.59
7 10 Adrian Gonzalez LA 1B 0.80 2.14 -0.47 0.11 -0.06 2.52
8 35 Jeff Baker FLA 1B -0.65 1.07 -0.47 2.16 -0.06 2.05
9 2 Edwin Encarnacion TOR 1B 0.80 1.61 -0.47 0.11 -0.06 1.99
10 21 Eric Hosmer KC 1B -0.65 0.00 1.17 1.43 -0.65 1.31

Albert Pujols resembled the Cardinals version last week, hitting .345-3-8 with seven runs and one steal.  It’s good to see that he’s still healthy at this point in the second, and now well on his usual 30 home run and 100 RBI pace … The king of all fantasy first basemen, Paul Goldschmidt, hit .500 last week for the lowly Diamondbacks.  While some of his teammates are bound to be moved this month, Goldschmidt certainly isn’t going anywhere and remains near his tremendous 2013 fantasy pace … Brandon Moss and Edwin Encarnacion managed to make the top 10 despite suffering injuries.  The news surrounding Moss’ ankle is far more favorable than Encarnacion’s quad, but even Moss’ short absence wreaked havoc on fantasy lineups … Platoon powerhouse Jeff Baker is having a disappointing year, but he’s especially hot now, hitting .700 with four RBI last week … Any Eric Hosmer sighting is a positive for his frustrated fantasy owners.  It’s not much, but we can take his .375 average and two RBI last week as progress.

Second Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 5 Robinson Cano SEA 2B 0.80 2.14 2.82 0.95 2.29 9.00
2 7 Howie Kendrick ANA 2B -0.65 2.68 -0.47 2.16 1.70 5.41
3 2 Dee Gordon LA 2B -0.65 -1.07 2.82 1.67 1.70 4.48
4 3 Ian Kinsler DET 2B 0.80 0.54 1.17 -0.01 1.70 4.20
5 20 Sean Rodriguez TB 2B 0.80 1.61 -0.47 2.28 -0.06 4.16
6 28 Logan Forsythe TB 2B 0.80 1.07 -0.47 0.71 1.70 3.81
7 18 Brian Roberts NYY 2B 0.80 0.00 -0.47 1.55 1.11 3.00
8 15 Ben Zobrist TB 2B -0.65 0.54 -0.47 1.67 0.53 1.62
9 32 Ed Lucas FLA 2B -0.65 0.00 1.17 0.35 0.53 1.40
10 33 Steve Tolleson TOR 2B 0.80 -0.53 1.17 0.60 -0.65 1.39

Robinson Cano’s power has been a huge disappointment with only six homers, but he fared well last week for fantasy owners by hitting .333-1-6 with six runs and two steals.  The rest of his fantasy stats remain intact, so hopefully his power will pick up in Safeco Field after the break … Sean Rodriguez was huge in his part-time role last week, hitting .615-1-5.  He’s been a fine AL-only play to this point as a result of his eight homers and 29 RBI, and additional playing time is possible in the second half if the Rays become sellers … Fellow Ray Logan Forsythe has also been hot, making the list for the second straight week.  He’s forced Joe Maddon to keep him in the lineup, hitting .308-1-4 with five runs last week.  We can’t expect for much in the long term based on his history, but Forsythe could be a short-term fill-in for fantasy owners while he’s hot … Ed Lucas has taken over at second base, in the right place at the right time given Miami’s myriad of second base injuries.  The upside is quite limited for the minor league veteran, but his .280 batting average was enough to get him in the top 10.

Third Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 2 Anthony Rendon WAS 3B -0.65 1.07 2.82 0.47 3.46 7.17
2 30 Mike Moustakas KC 3B 2.25 2.14 -0.47 1.32 1.70 6.94
3 26 David Freese ANA 3B 2.25 2.14 -0.47 2.04 0.53 6.49
4 4 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 2.25 1.07 -0.47 1.19 1.70 5.75
5 8 Casey McGehee FLA 3B -0.65 1.61 -0.47 2.40 1.70 4.58
6 7 Evan Longoria TB 3B 0.80 0.54 1.17 0.35 0.53 3.39
7 20 Trevor Plouffe MIN 3B 0.80 1.07 -0.47 0.47 1.11 2.98
8 1 Todd Frazier CIN 3B -0.65 -0.53 2.82 1.07 -0.06 2.65
9 38 Ryan Flaherty BAL 3B 0.80 0.00 -0.47 1.32 0.53 2.18
10 5 Kyle Seager SEA 3B 0.80 1.07 -0.47 -0.13 0.53 1.80

The Moose is loose!  The streaky Moustakas hit .412-2-6 with five runs scored last week, adding some hope that he’s finally broken out of his slump.  While Moustakas did improve in June, his .707 OPS for that month wasn’t exactly an asset for the Royals.  He could still be a sneaky flier in fantasy leagues … Along with former Cardinal Albert Pujols, David Freese came alive last week by hitting .533-2-6.  Granted, the White Sox and Astros pitching staffs aren’t exactly the toughest matchups, but Freese is at least garnering some fantasy consideration again … The Twins have been begging for offensive production, especially with Joe Mauer sidelined, and Trevor Plouffe was able to return from a rib injury and deliver by hitting .286-1-4 last week.  He’s still not much more than an AL-only power option, however … Flaherty did a nice job filling in at third base for the O’s during Manny Machado’s suspension, going 6-for-13.  As poorly as Jonathan Schoop has performed at the plate, Flaherty could be in line for a few more at-bats than usual as Baltimore’s second baseman.

Shortstop

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 5 Ian Desmond WAS SS 0.80 2.68 1.17 1.68 0.53 6.85
2 18 Andrelton Simmons ATL SS -0.65 2.68 1.17 2.40 1.11 6.71
3 6 Erick Aybar ANA SS -0.65 0.00 4.46 -0.38 1.70 5.14
4 16 Derek Jeter NYY SS -0.65 1.07 4.46 -0.01 -0.06 4.81
5 19 J.J. Hardy BAL SS 0.80 2.14 -0.47 0.47 1.11 4.05
6 32 Marwin Gonzalez HOU SS 2.25 0.54 -0.47 0.71 0.53 3.56
7 20 Jordy Mercer PIT SS -0.65 1.61 -0.47 2.76 -0.06 3.19
8 12 Jhonny Peralta STL SS 2.25 0.54 -0.47 -0.13 -0.06 2.13
9 4 Starlin Castro CHC SS -0.65 1.07 1.17 0.95 -0.65 1.90
10 3 Hanley Ramirez LA SS -0.65 0.00 1.17 0.24 1.11 1.88

Fantasy owners often focus too much on how players start the season.  Despite Ian Desmond’s dreadfully slow start, he’s performed well in the power department and was great last week hitting .409-1-7.  Desmond’s career-worst strikeout rate remains a great concern for his batting average, but the rest of the numbers have been helpful … Andrelton Simmons rewarded patient owners by hitting .458-0-7 with four runs and one steal last week.  He’s on a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games, though he’s been out of the picture in mixed leagues with his power outage … We’re bound to get a full serving of Derek Jeter during All-Star Week, and he showed some of his old speed last week with three steals.  The strong week doubled his total for the season, showing just how far he has fallen … J.J. Hardy’s lack of power has been one of the first half’s biggest disappointments, as he only hit his second long ball of the season last week.  This isn’t the first time Hardy has struggled to hit for power in his career, as he struggled in 2009-10, but his streak of three straight 20 home run seasons is in serious doubt … Marwin Gonzalez is making good on his regular playing time with Jonathan Villar out of the picture, launching two homers last week.  It should be noted that Gonzalez only has 10 homers in 525 career major league at-bats and only 17 long balls in more than 2,000 at-bats as a minor leaguer.

Outfield

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 42 Steve Pearce BAL OF 3.70 3.74 2.82 1.19 3.46 14.92
2 26 Jayson Werth WAS OF 2.25 3.74 -0.47 1.92 2.87 10.32
3 3 Nelson Cruz BAL OF 2.25 1.61 2.82 1.31 1.70 9.69
4 6 Adam Jones BAL OF 2.25 1.61 1.17 2.16 1.11 8.30
5 97 Justin Ruggiano CHC OF 2.25 2.68 -0.47 2.64 1.11 8.21
6 28 George Springer HOU OF 2.25 1.61 4.46 -1.22 0.53 7.63
7 5 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF 0.80 2.14 1.17 2.40 1.11 7.63
8 30 Christian Yelich FLA OF 0.80 1.61 1.17 1.43 2.29 7.30
9 39 J.D. Martinez DET OF 3.70 2.14 -0.47 1.31 0.53 7.21
10 59 James Jones SEA OF -0.65 0.00 4.46 0.71 2.29 6.82
11 86 Nate Schierholtz CHC OF 2.25 1.07 1.17 1.08 1.11 6.69
12 36 Torii Hunter DET OF 2.25 3.21 -0.47 1.55 -0.06 6.48
13 44 Kole Calhoun ANA OF 2.25 0.54 -0.47 1.80 2.29 6.40
14 13 Jacoby Ellsbury NYY OF 0.80 2.14 2.82 0.23 -0.06 5.93
15 35 Desmond Jennings TB OF 0.80 0.54 -0.47 2.15 2.87 5.90
16 37 Curtis Granderson NYM OF 2.25 1.61 -0.47 0.71 1.70 5.80
17 23 Rajai Davis DET OF 0.80 2.14 1.17 0.83 0.53 5.48
18 4 Michael Brantley CLE OF 0.80 1.07 1.17 1.31 1.11 5.47
19 104 Eduardo Nunez MIN OF 0.80 0.54 1.17 1.20 1.70 5.41
20 18 Marlon Byrd PHI OF 3.70 1.07 -0.47 -0.01 1.11 5.41

Where did this Steve Pearce guy come from?  The minor league veteran has gotten his share of major league opportunities prior to this season and failed, but his fortune is finally changing this season.  He was easily the best player in fantasy baseball last week, hitting .333-3-9 with eight runs and two steals.  He has forced Buck Showalter to keep his name in the lineup card.  His past major league struggles should make owners skeptical, though he wouldn’t be the first highly productive minor league veteran to start clicking around age 30 (see Brandon Moss, Garrett Jones, Casey McGehee, etc.) … Jayson Werth has shown the streakiness to carry a team in the past, and he carried some fantasy squads last week hitting .450-2-9 with seven runs.  His current power production is still well below his normal numbers, but fantasy owners should be encouraged by his career .863 OPS in the second half – nearly 60 points higher than his first half OPS … Justin Ruggiano caught fire with four multi-hit games, hitting .500-2-7 with four runs scored.  The Cubs would likely be happy to trade him this month if they can get anything in return, and Ruggiano is helping his cause.  Fantasy owners should ride out the streak while they can … Fellow Cub Nate Schierholtz is in the same boat as Ruggiano, though he’s been a far greater disappointment after a career year in 2013.  Schierholtz is starting to come alive now, hitting .368-2-4 with one steal last week.  He was a streaky hitter last season, so he’s not the worst pickup if you’re desperate … George Springer hit just .154 last week, but his two homers and three steals put him on the radar.  Springer has only five steals so far, but he swiped 45 bases in the minors last season … Back from the DL, Eduardo Nunez found the top 20 despite inconsistent playing time, as he hit .389 with one homer and one steal.  The Twins have plenty of ways to find Nunez playing time if he’s hitting, but he’s never been much more than cheap speed for AL-only owners.

Instantly join a new league.

League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Aug 27 9:00 am
View Comments (7)