Pat Summitt, 1952-2016:

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 7/7-7/13.

Catcher

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 4 Salvador Perez KC C 0.65 2.19 -0.42 0.04 1.40 3.85
2 30 Travis d'Arnaud NYM C 0.65 0.34 -0.42 0.40 1.40 2.36
3 20 Alex Avila DET C 0.65 1.27 -0.42 -0.06 0.87 2.30
4 NR Christian Vazquez BOS C -0.58 1.27 -0.42 1.02 0.34 1.63
5 14 Russell Martin PIT C 0.65 1.27 -0.42 0.17 -0.19 1.48
6 7 Yan Gomes CLE C 1.88 0.80 -0.42 -0.89 -0.19 1.19
7 29 Carlos Corporan HOU C -0.58 0.34 -0.42 1.01 0.34 0.69
8 10 Kurt Suzuki MIN C -0.58 0.34 -0.42 0.99 0.34 0.67
9 16 Chris Iannetta ANA C -0.58 -0.58 -0.42 0.79 0.87 0.08
10 12 Brian McCann NYY C -0.58 -0.58 -0.42 1.79 -0.19 0.02

Yet another overall weak showing from catchers allows some lower-tier names to get involved this week.  On the other hand, Royals catcher Salvador Perez has been on the upper tier all season, and his one homer, seven RBI and five run week allowed him to lead the charge at the position … Travis d’Arnaud makes the list for the second straight week, which is a welcome sight for his owners.  It’s still a limited sample size, but d’Arnaud is playing like a mixed league starter catcher, hitting .292-1-3 with five runs last week … Alex Avila is having another disappointing season, on pace for more than 150 strikeouts.  Apparently, he’s just not the .295 hitter we saw in 2011, but he’s well on pace for double-digit homers for the third time in four years after launching his seventh last week … Astros backup Carlos Corporan has shown some flashes of offense over the last two seasons, and he had a nice week with Jason Castro nursing injuries, hitting .400 on the week.  If Castro is healthy, Corporan still has little value beyond a second catcher in AL-only leagues … Brian McCann is a bust to this point, though he’s at least cracked the top 12 overall catchers this season after a good week of hitting .393.  The optimists hope he can have a huge July for the second year in a row, after hitting .337-6-17 last July.

First Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 16 Eric Hosmer KC 1B 1.88 1.27 -0.42 2.38 2.45 7.56
2 4 Albert Pujols ANA 1B 0.65 2.19 -0.42 2.02 2.45 6.89
3 27 Nick Swisher CLE 1B 3.11 2.19 -0.42 0.61 1.40 6.89
4 1 Jose Abreu CWS 1B 1.88 0.80 0.95 2.73 0.34 6.70
5 6 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B 3.11 0.80 -0.42 0.25 1.93 5.67
6 10 Matt Adams STL 1B 1.88 2.19 -0.42 0.97 0.34 4.96
7 12 Mark Teixeira NYY 1B 1.88 1.27 0.95 -0.31 0.34 4.12
8 7 Brandon Moss OAK 1B 1.88 0.80 -0.42 -0.42 0.87 2.71
9 36 Jon Singleton HOU 1B 0.65 1.27 -0.42 0.05 0.87 2.41
10 14 Lucas Duda NYM 1B 0.65 1.27 -0.42 0.52 0.34 2.35

Owning Eric Hosmer has been a practice in patience for much of this season, but he’s really starting to come on for fantasy owners.  He hit .444-2-5 with seven runs scored in a big week, and is now hitting .426 this month.  This could be your last chance to buy low … Albert Pujols also continues to rake, hitting .400-1-7 with seven runs last week.  He’s been one of July’s hottest hitters, hitting .373-4-15 for the month … The streaky power of Nick Swisher has arrived, with three bombs last week.  For all his struggles this season, it’s worth remembering that Swisher has hit 20-plus homers in nine consecutive seasons … Jon Singleton has been going through some growing pains since his arrival to Houston, but he showed signs of adjustment last week with a respectable .261-1-5 line.  His horrendous strikeout rate to this point is still well worth noting, fanning nearly 37 percent of the time.  That rate needs to come down quickly for fantasy owners to trust him.

Second Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 17 Kolten Wong STL 2B 4.34 2.19 3.68 0.40 1.93 12.54
2 8 Chase Utley PHI 2B 1.88 1.73 2.31 1.56 1.40 8.89
3 4 Brian Dozier MIN 2B 1.88 1.73 0.95 0.96 1.93 7.44
4 16 Jason Kipnis CLE 2B -0.58 -0.58 6.42 0.15 0.87 6.27
5 NR Arismendy Alcantara CHC 2B 0.65 1.27 0.95 1.45 1.93 6.24
6 10 Scooter Gennett MLW 2B 0.65 1.27 0.95 1.09 1.40 5.35
7 1 Jose Altuve HOU 2B -0.58 -0.58 3.68 0.63 1.93 5.07
8 5 Robinson Cano SEA 2B 0.65 1.73 -0.42 3.20 -0.19 4.97
9 3 Ian Kinsler DET 2B -0.58 1.73 0.95 0.75 0.87 3.71
10 9 Neil Walker PIT 2B 1.88 1.27 -0.42 0.04 0.87 3.63

Leadoff-type hitters often hit homers in bunches, and that’s apparently the case for Kolten Wong.  Back from a shoulder injury, Wong has hit five of his six homers since coming off the DL on July 6.  Obviously, this rate of power won’t continue from the 5-9 hitter, but fantasy owners enjoyed the week.  It’s not improbable that Wong would develop into a double-digit home run hitter soon, but he never hit more than 10 homers in a season as a minor leaguer … Chase Utley was great last week, hitting two homers and swiping two bases.  Utley’s solid production has come as a result of uncommonly good health for the veteran, as he managed to play 91 games before the break.  He’s averaged only 108 games played over his last four seasons, so maybe this is an opportunity to sell high … Brian Dozier became more of a household name via the Home Run Derby, but he’s already developed into a great player for fantasy owners.  He finishes the first half fourth among second basemen, on a pace just short of 30/30 … Fantasy waiver wires have been busy with the name of Arismendy Alcantara, apparently the Cubs’ new second baseman.  Alcantara hasn’t been as publicized as some of the team’s other prospects, but he’s a solid prospect in his own right as a career .284 minor league hitter with double-digit home run power and four seasons of 20-plus steals.  The Cubs have no reason not to run with him the rest of the way if he’s performing … The Summer of Jose continues, as Jose Altuve swiped three more bases last week and has 41 at the break.  It remains to be seen if the Astros will pull Altuve out of the leadoff spot when Dexter Fowler returns, but the second baseman has certainly performed well atop the order.

Third Base

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 15 Conor Gillaspie CWS 3B 3.11 1.27 -0.42 2.40 2.98 9.34
2 7 David Wright NYM 3B 1.88 2.19 -0.42 2.15 1.93 7.73
3 18 Chris Johnson ATL 3B 3.11 2.65 -0.42 0.28 1.93 7.54
4 3 Adrian Beltre TEX 3B 1.88 1.27 -0.42 1.44 1.40 5.56
5 24 Manny Machado BAL 3B 1.88 0.34 -0.42 2.75 0.87 5.42
6 1 Todd Frazier CIN 3B 1.88 1.73 0.95 0.37 0.34 5.27
7 9 Pedro Alvarez PIT 3B 1.88 1.27 0.95 -0.31 0.87 4.65
8 2 Anthony Rendon WAS 3B 0.65 0.34 -0.42 1.09 2.45 4.12
9 14 Brock Holt BOS 3B 0.65 0.34 -0.42 2.13 1.40 4.09
10 29 Chase Headley SD 3B 0.65 0.80 0.95 0.49 0.87 3.76

Conor Gillaspie wasn’t even guaranteed regular at-bats entering spring training, with the White Sox wanting to give Marcus Semien a long look.  Gillaspie easily outperformed Semien and finishes the first half in the top 15 among hot corners after hitting .526-3-5 with eight runs scored last week.  He’s fulfilling his projection as a high average, Bill Mueller-like performer, and has done more than enough to hang onto the third base job the rest of the way … Fantasy owners can appreciate David Wright gutting it out through shoulder pain, and it didn’t stop him from having a big week hitting .440-2-7 with six runs.  It’s difficult to say that his current low home run total is a result of the shoulder, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if that is the culprit … Chris Johnson has been a huge disappointment, but he managed to double his home run total last week by hitting .280-3-8 with six runs scored.  The Braves and fantasy owners have reason to be concerned about a 11/95 BB/K ratio, but Johnson could be a waiver claim for the desperate … Manny Machado continued his hot hitting after returning from his five-game suspension, hitting .550-2-3 last week.  He’s now hitting .484 in July, and finally starting to deliver on the price paid by fantasy owners with a batting average than has increased 31 points this month … The Brock Holt whirlwind continues, after he hit .394 last week.  The Red Sox are apparently planning to go young the rest of the way, and Holt’s versatility (playing seven different positions this season) should allow him to remain in the lineup when Will Middlebrooks returns from injury soon … Chase Headley at least did something for his trade and free agent value last week, hitting .290-1-4.  That line probably isn’t enough to convince mixed-league owners that he should be activated, but maybe a possible change of scenery later this month via trade will get him going.  It’s at least worth remembering that he hit .308-23-73 after the break in 2012.

Shortstop

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 4 Jimmy Rollins PHI SS 3.11 2.19 3.68 0.16 1.93 11.07
2 7 Jose Reyes TOR SS 0.65 1.27 -0.42 2.38 0.87 4.74
3 1 Troy Tulowitzki COL SS 3.11 1.27 -0.42 0.40 0.34 4.69
4 12 Jhonny Peralta STL SS 0.65 1.27 -0.42 1.68 0.87 4.05
5 24 Eduardo Escobar MIN SS 0.65 0.34 -0.42 0.40 1.40 2.36
6 11 Asdrubal Cabrera CLE SS -0.58 0.80 0.95 0.61 0.34 2.13
7 6 Ian Desmond WAS SS 0.65 0.80 0.95 -0.18 -0.19 2.03
8 14 Andrelton Simmons ATL SS -0.58 -0.58 -0.42 0.27 2.98 1.66
9 18 Jed Lowrie OAK SS -0.58 -0.12 -0.42 1.91 0.87 1.66
10 5 Erick Aybar ANA SS -0.58 1.73 -0.42 0.73 -0.19 1.27

Philadelphia’s all-time hits king Jimmy Rollins had a huge fantasy week, hitting .269-3-7 with six runs and three steals.  He’s already made significant progress rebounding from last season, so maybe the controversy in spring training regarding his play did him some good … Coors Field was just what the doctor ordered for Eduardo Escobar, who turned around a light-hitting week with three consecutive multi-hit games.  Escobar still hasn’t done enough offensively to convince the Twins he should be their long-term shortstop … As a pending free agent, Asdrubal Cabrera is likely headed elsewhere after this season with top Indians prospect Francisco Lindor waiting at Double-A.  Cabrera has been inconsistent, and is on a pace not much better than last season.  He did hit .300 last week, allowing him to make the list, and his counting stats have made him starter-worthy in most mixed leagues … Jed Lowrie has been similarly disappointing at shortstop, hitting a paltry .239-4-34 in the first half after a great 2013 season.  The A’s shortstop goes into the break on a nine-game hitting streak, and his batting average has increased 22 points during that streak.

Outfield

Week RankSeason RankPlayerTmPosHRRBISBAVGRVAL
1 84 Chris Coghlan CHC OF 3.11 3.12 2.31 2.84 2.98 14.36
2 2 Andrew McCutchen PIT OF 4.34 2.19 2.31 0.85 3.51 13.21
3 16 Jayson Werth WAS OF 4.34 3.58 -0.42 0.05 2.98 10.53
4 8 Billy Hamilton CIN OF -0.58 2.65 3.68 2.37 1.93 10.05
5 6 Charlie Blackmon COL OF 1.88 1.27 2.31 2.74 1.40 9.60
6 1 Mike Trout ANA OF 1.88 3.58 -0.42 1.08 2.45 8.57
7 77 Sam Fuld MIN OF 0.65 0.80 3.68 1.93 1.40 8.47
8 7 Carlos Gomez MLW OF 0.65 0.34 3.68 1.32 1.93 7.93
9 71 Kevin Kiermaier TB OF 0.65 2.19 0.95 2.16 0.87 6.82
10 37 Jason Heyward ATL OF -0.58 0.80 2.31 2.02 1.93 6.48
11 32 J.D. Martinez DET OF 0.65 1.27 -0.42 2.74 1.93 6.16
12 4 Michael Brantley CLE OF 1.88 1.73 -0.42 1.08 1.40 5.67
13 35 Drew Stubbs COL OF 3.11 1.27 0.95 -0.17 0.34 5.50
14 30 Torii Hunter DET OF 0.65 1.73 0.95 0.75 1.40 5.47
15 20 Rajai Davis DET OF -0.58 0.34 2.31 2.30 0.87 5.24
16 34 Curtis Granderson NYM OF 1.88 0.34 0.95 0.15 1.40 4.71
17 41 Lorenzo Cain KC OF -0.58 -1.04 5.05 0.39 0.87 4.68
18 64 Jarrod Dyson KC OF -0.58 -0.12 5.05 0.41 -0.19 4.58
19 103 Chris Heisey CIN OF 0.65 -0.12 0.95 1.47 1.40 4.34
20 39 Jay Bruce CIN OF 1.88 2.19 -0.42 -0.20 0.87 4.32

There are several blasts from the past on this week’s outfield list, led by former Rookie of the Year Chris Coghlan.  Coghlan hasn’t been the same since hurting his knee in his sophomore season, but he performed splendidly with regular playing time last week.  The veteran hit .452-3-9 with eight runs and two stolen bases.  It remains to be seen if Coghlan will maintain playing time the rest of the way, but the Cubs certainly aren’t about to bench him while he’s hot … Billy Hamilton capped off a roller coaster first half with a great final week, hitting .419 with three steals.  It was difficult to imagine Hamilton hitting .285 at the break when he finished April hitting just .245, but he’s gotten progressively better and more comfortable in the majors since the beginning of the season … It’s fitting that breakout outfielder Charlie Blackmon would perform well in the last week of his first half, hitting .500-2-5 with two steals with a full slate of games at Coors Field.  The return of Carlos Gonzalez apparently won’t cut into his playing time while it will for Drew Stubbs, though fantasy owners would still be well advised to play Blackmon selectively as a .354-11-36 hitter at home and .248-3-16 on the road this season … Sam Fuld heads into the break on a six-game hitting streak, finding enough playing time to hit .407-2-6 with eight runs and three steals last week.  The playing time seems very unlikely to stick with Fuld’s past ineptitude at the plate, but the Twins have certainly done worse in center field this season … Kevin Kiermaier has been a strong contributor as a regular for the Rays, and hit .476-1-7 with one steal last week.  The Rays are starting to get healthier, but still have more than enough room to get him at-bats while he’s hitting … Reds manager Bryan Price’s love of Skip Schumaker has prevented Chris Heisey from finding many at-bats in the first half, not that Heisey has done anything to be deserving.  He did hit .421 in the time he played last week, and it’s not a coincidence that he found playing time with Schumaker on the 7-day concussion DL.  Heisey has usually held value when he’s been on the field regularly during his career, but it doesn’t look like that scenario is in the cards anytime soon.

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