Fetch Fraley

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By this time of the fantasy season, those in 5x5 Roto leagues should have a good idea which categories they’re set in and also the ones where they could use some help. We’re here to lend a hand with the latter. All of the players listed below are widely available in your standard 12-teamer and are capable of providing a boost.

AVG

Odubel Herrera, OF, Phillies

Herrera’s career looked like it might be over after a domestic violence suspension in July of 2019. He had struggled mightily at the plate prior to the suspension with just a .629 OPS over 39 games. However, the Phillies were desperate for production from center field and promoted Herrera in late April. He’s not only taken hold of the center field job but also the leadoff spot. In 11 games since being elevated to the top of Philly’s batting order, Herrera sports a .347/.373/.571 batting line with two homers, six RBI, one stolen base and 12 runs scored. He’s struck out at just a 13.7 percent clip over that span and has a 16.9 percent strikeout rate for the season, which would easily be a career low. You also don’t have to worry about platoon issues with Herrera, as he’s never really had splits and has fared better against lefties this season. Herrera is currently rostered in fewer than 30 percent of Yahoo leagues, which seems low. As an added bonus, he’s been generously gifted second base eligibility on that platform.

HR

Bobby Bradley, 1B/DH, Indians

The Indians finally jettisoned Jake Bauers, which cleared a spot in the lineup for Bradley. Power has never been in question for the 25-year-old. In his five full minor league seasons, Bradley has averaged 27.8 home runs, topping out at 33 bombs in 2019 in his lone full year at Triple-A Columbus. He had popped nine homers in his first 26 contests for Columbus when the Tribe promoted him, and he’s hit two more in four starts for the Indians while going 8-for-18 at the dish. Bradley has holes in his game. He’s going to strike out a bunch and he’s not going to hit for average. He’s capable of getting hot and going on a power binge, though, and this week the Indians have seven games against the Orioles and Pirates. Those are pitching staffs you want to attack. Bradley is currently rostered in just eight percent of Yahoo leagues.

RBI

Miguel Andujar, 3B/OF, Yankees

The shine has certainly faded from Andujar since his excellent American League Rookie of the Year runner-up showing back in 2018, as he’s battled the injury bug and hasn’t been productive in the chances he’s been given the last couple years. The Yankees’ offense has been surprisingly inept and has dealt with some injuries, though, which has led to Andujar getting another chance. He’s taken advantage of late, clubbing five home runs and driving in six across his last 11 tilts. Andujar has been inching his way up the Yanks’ batting order and was in the No. 6 spot Sunday. The plate discipline remains poor, but Andujar should continue to hit for power and have RBI opportunities as long as the Yankees keep running him out there. They’ve shown a preference to him over Clint Frazier of late. Andujar remains available in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues.

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SB

Jake Fraley, OF, Mariners

The Mariners have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to young outfield talent, but Fraley wasn’t at or near the top of that list. However, he’s made the most of his recent opportunity, to say the least, putting up a .994 OPS with four homers, 14 RBI and 11 runs scored while going 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts over his first 18 contests this season. And yes, while Fraley’s upside might not compare to Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic or Taylor Trammell, it’s not as if he totally came out of nowhere. This is a guy who posted a .910 OPS with 19 long balls and 22 steals in 2019 between Double- and Triple-A. Fraley is currently rostered in fewer than 10 percent of Yahoo leagues.

R

Amed Rosario, SS/OF, Indians

On-base percentage isn’t usually Rosario’s forte. He does have a career-high 7.2 percent walk rate this season, though, and he’s coupled it with a career-low 18.7 percent strikeout rate. The Indians have propped him up at the No. 2 spot in their batting order for each of his last 17 games, and he’s posted a robust .385/.429/.554 batting line over that stretch, hitting two homers, driving in 10 runs and scoring another 14 runs. Rosario has been even better than that over his current seven-game hitting streak, going 14-for-31 with eight runs scored. Andres Gimenez looked like the more interesting get for the Indians in the Francisco Lindor trade, but he’s been demoted and Rosario seems to be finding his stride. He’s currently rostered in 39 percent of Yahoo leagues.

W

Tucker Davidson, SP, Braves

Yes, in the wins section I’m recommending a guy who’s literally never won a major league game. That hasn’t been Davidson’s fault, of course. He’s pitched well enough to win any or all of his three starts for the Braves this season, posting a quality start last month before back-to-back scoreless outings in his last two trips to the hill. Davidson was in line to pick up his first major league win his last time out against the Phillies before Will Smith served up a two-out, two-run, walk-off homer to Luke Williams. In addition to holding a 1.53 ERA in three starts, Davidson has gone at least 5 2/3 innings in each outing, which, of course, gives him a better shot at a W. The 25-year-old will face the Red Sox on Tuesday before getting the reeling Cardinals over the weekend. The Red Sox matchup isn’t ideal for the southpaw, but their offense is more middle-of-the-pack versus lefties. Davidson is rostered in just 21 percent of Yahoo leagues.

ERA

Collin McHugh, SP/RP, Rays

McHugh’s tenure with the Rays got off to a rocky start as he struggled big time in April. However, since returning from a back injury in early May he’s been one of their best arms, giving up just one run while boasting a 31/6 K/BB ratio over 18 innings. It doesn’t look like a fluke, either. Just take a gander at McHugh’s Baseball Savant page and you’ll see a lot of red. It’s true that McHugh isn’t going to impact your ERA as much as a traditional starter would, but he looks like a great ratio stabilizer and will give you plenty of bang for your strikeout buck, as well. The soon-to-be 34-year-old is currently rostered in just two percent of Yahoo leagues.

WHIP

Zach Davies, SP, Cubs

Much like McHugh, Davies wishes he could forget what happened during the first month with his new team. However, also like McHugh, he’s really turned things around since then. In nine starts since the beginning of May, Davies has posted a 1.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 29/18 K/BB ratio over 48 1/3 innings. In his last two outings, the right-hander is unscored upon across 12 2/3 frames, and he’s permitted a total of just three hits in those outings. If you need strikeouts, you’re best off looking elsewhere. But, when Davies is at his best (and he clearly has been lately) he throws strikes and puts up good ratios. For his next matchup, Davies gets the offensively-challenged Marlins. He’s available in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues.

K

Patrick Sandoval, SP, Angels

Quick, guess which pitcher has induced the most swinging strikes in a game this season. It’s got to be Jacob deGrom, right? Guess again. Corbin Burnes? Tyler Glasnow? Nope. Nope. It’s Sandoval, who had a whopping 32 whiffs in his June 6 start versus the Mariners as he also piled up 10 strikeouts with just one walk. Not only was it the highest swinging strike total in baseball this season, it was the highest by any Angels pitcher since the pitch-tracking era began in 2008. And the second-highest total wasn’t close. In five starts since moving into the Angels’ rotation, Sandoval holds a 2.77 ERA and 23/8 K/BB ratio over 26 innings. The southpaw is not without risk, of course, having posted a 5.33 ERA coming into this season and a 5.71 mark in his last year in the minors. Sandoval has always been a bat-misser, though. He’s also throwing harder this season and is throwing more and more changeups, a pitch which so far in 2021 has produced a ridiculous 58.9 percent whiff rate. Sandoval is available in nearly 90 percent of Yahoo leagues.

SV

Jose Cisnero, RP, Tigers

It had looked like Michael Fulmer might have a shot to run away with the Tigers’ closer gig, but he landed on the injured list a week ago with a shoulder injury and doesn’t appear close to returning. Gregory Soto has been a high-leverage reliever for Detroit and leads the team with five saves. However, each of the last two save opportunities have gone to Cisnero, who has allowed just one earned run over his last 14 appearances. The 32-year-old has had an interesting career, as there was a four-year period where he pitched in the Mexican League, winter ball and independent ball. He’s been effective since latching on with the Tigers, though, holding a 3.36 ERA and 69/20 K/BB ratio over 56 1/3 frames since 2020. The Tigers aren’t good and Soto and eventually Fulmer could also be in the mix for saves, but Cisnero is worth a look if you’re in a deeper league. He’s rostered in just 11 percent of Yahoo leagues.