Hot Hitter Rundown

Ryan Boyer
Rotoworld
Ryan Boyer highlights and analyzes the hottest hitters over the past week using Rotoworld's Season Pass Player Rater

Hot Hitter Rundown

Ryan Boyer highlights and analyzes the hottest hitters over the past week using Rotoworld's Season Pass Player Rater

Follow @Rotoworld_BB and @RyanPBoyer on Twitter.

 

You should always have the big picture in mind when it comes to your season-long fantasy baseball leagues. Putting too much stock in a small sample size might cause you to make a decision that hurts you in the long run. That said, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taking stock of what’s happened in the immediate past. It can be useful when it comes to weekly or especially daily lineup decisions, waiver wire considerations, tracking who might be coming into more playing time, etc.

The Rotoworld Player Rater is a handy tool that’s among the extensive offerings in Season Pass. Each week, I’ll be using the Player Rater to look at the hottest hitters, position by position, over the last week, and providing commentary.

*The following data is based on 5x5 Roto scoring and covers games played from June 4-10.

 

Catcher

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Nick Hundley
SF
C
1.58749
1.44336
-0.40371
0.79034
-0.08638
0.44987
3.78
#2
Mike Zunino
SEA
C
1.58749
0.94898
-0.40371
-0.07045
-0.08638
0.03277
2.01
#3
Kevan Smith
CWS
C
-0.67201
-0.03978
-0.40371
1.56755
0.47032
1.02659
1.95
#4
Yan Gomes
CLE
C
1.58749
0.45460
-0.40371
0.42143
-0.08638
-0.02877
1.94
#5
Elias Diaz
PIT
C
0.45774
1.44336
-0.40371
0.40830
-0.08638
-0.05531
1.76
#6
Christian Vazquez
BOS
C
0.45774
-0.03978
-0.40371
0.80347
-0.08638
0.89827
1.63
#7
Chris Iannetta
COL
C
0.45774
0.45460
-0.40371
0.28533
-0.64309
0.76453
.92
#8
Robinson Chirinos
TEX
C
0.45774
-0.03978
-0.40371
-0.20655
0.47032
0.55027
.83
#9
Kurt Suzuki
ATL
C
-0.67201
0.45460
-0.40371
0.91331
-0.64309
0.86507
.51
#10
Salvador Perez
KC
C
1.58749
-0.03978
-0.40371
-0.54920
0.47032
-0.67445
.39

Mike Zunino has taken his fantasy owners on a bumpy ride this season, but they should be used to that from him, right? The good news is last week was one of the smoother parts of the journey with a pair of longballs, giving him 10 now for the season which trails only Gary Sanchez, Yasmani Grandal and Salvador Perez at catcher. Zunino’s strikeout rate is up this season even for him (38.8 percent) and his walk rate has regressed (5.6 percent). Expect more twists and turns. Hang on … Yan Gomes didn’t start Sunday’s game but had to come in after Robert Perez (hand) was hurt and homered in his lone plate appearance, giving him dingers in back-to-back games. Gomes has slugged eight homers over 172 plate appearances this season after clubbing 14 over 383 plate appearances last year and he’s now in line for more playing time with Perez seemingly headed to the disabled list. He’s looking like a worthy second catcher in mixers … Chris Iannetta was quietly one of the most productive catchers in baseball in 2017, so it’s been a bit disappointing that his return to Colorado hasn’t been more fruitful thus far. He did go deep this past week, though, giving him five home runs on the season. Iannetta has started less than 60 percent of the Rockies’ games this season, as Tony Wolters has been playing plenty …

First Base

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Paul Goldschmidt
ARZ
1B
3.84700
4.40963
-0.40371
5.00591
4.36729
4.82741
22.05
#2
Jose Martinez
STL
1B
3.84700
3.42087
-0.40371
3.60072
2.14045
3.62683
16.23
#3
Cody Bellinger
LA
1B
3.84700
1.93774
3.44533
0.95270
2.69716
1.60552
14.49
#4
Freddie Freeman
ATL
1B
2.71725
1.44336
1.52081
1.85288
2.14045
1.26813
10.94
#5
Pablo Sandoval
SF
1B
1.58749
0.94898
-0.40371
1.58068
1.58374
1.45755
6.75
#6
Joey Votto
CIN
1B
-0.67201
0.45460
-0.40371
1.96272
1.58374
3.09231
6.02
#7
Eric Hosmer
SD
1B
1.58749
1.44336
-0.40371
0.82973
1.02703
0.70848
5.19
#8
Ian Desmond
COL
1B
0.45774
0.94898
1.52081
-0.07045
1.02703
0.59920
4.48
#9
Anthony Rizzo
CHC
1B
1.58749
2.43212
-0.40371
0.18862
0.47032
-0.19773
4.08
#10
Jose Abreu
CWS
1B
0.45774
1.93774
-0.40371
0.21488
1.02703
0.29425
3.53

Well, the window to buy low on Paul Goldschmidt is probably closed now. Goldy is coming off an absurd week, having gone 16-for-25 at the dish with back-to-back two-homer games, six doubles, a triple and 11 RBI. His slugging percentage went from .396 all the way up to .509. Sure, the two-homer games were both at Coors Field, but when Goldschmidt is locked in at the plate it hardly matters what venue he’s at … Jose Martinez has been hitting all season, but his home run total had been lacking. It’s not looking so lackluster anymore after the 29-year-old slugged four longballs in a three-game span last week while going 12-for-20 at the dish overall and driving in nine runs. How much power Martinez ultimately provides is still questionable, as he is a groundball hitter sporting a lowly 25.1 percent flyball rate. The good news is he consistently hits the ball hard (40.8 percent hard-hit rate) and rarely strikes out (13.4 percent whiff rate). He’s going to hit for average … A week ago yesterday, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts didn’t outright dismiss the possibility of sending Cody Bellinger down to Triple-A Oklahoma City to work through his struggles. A couple days after that he moved Bellinger down to the No. 7 spot in the batting order. That latter date was the start of four straight games with a home run for the reigning National League Rookie of the Year. He even chipped in with a two-steal contest over the weekend. Bellinger is striking out less this season than he did last year and while his batted ball data isn’t quite as good as it was in 2017, he’s still hitting the ball in the air a ton (44.6 percent) and hitting it hard (37.3 percent). It seemed like only a matter of time before he went on a hot streak like this … What’s this? Pablo Sandoval has actually been useful for the Giants this season? Well, he wasn’t really prior to last week, but Sandoval’s OPS+ is now sitting at 116 after a week in which he went 8-for-20 with a couple bombs. He even batted third on Sunday. Sandoval’s stint as the team’s regular first baseman will come to an end later this week with Brandon Belt (appendicitis) due back, but Kung Fu Panda has shown surprising versatility this year, as he’s made a couple starts at second base and even took some reps at shortstop. With a 41.8 percent hard-hit rate, Sandoval is looking NL-only viable …

Second Base

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Jose Altuve
HOU
2B
0.45774
1.44336
3.44533
2.72680
2.14045
2.44597
12.66
#2
Ian Kinsler
LAA
2B
2.71725
1.44336
-0.40371
0.96583
2.14045
0.74591
7.61
#3
Josh Harrison
PIT
2B
0.45774
0.94898
1.52081
1.96272
0.47032
2.01851
7.38
#4
Alen Hanson
SF
2B
0.45774
1.44336
-0.40371
1.55442
1.58374
1.15344
5.79
#5
Starlin Castro
MIA
2B
-0.67201
-1.02854
1.52081
0.70676
2.69716
1.37071
4.59
#6
Ketel Marte
ARZ
2B
0.45774
1.44336
-0.40371
0.57066
2.14045
0.21796
4.43
#7
Scooter Gennett
CIN
2B
-0.67201
1.93774
-0.40371
0.82973
-0.08638
0.53974
2.15
#8
Cesar Hernandez
PHI
2B
-0.67201
-0.53416
-0.40371
0.32472
1.58374
1.31112
1.61
#9
DJ LeMahieu
COL
2B
0.45774
0.45460
-0.40371
-0.03106
2.14045
-1.16681
1.45
#10
Yoan Moncada
CWS
2B
0.45774
-0.03978
1.52081
-0.78201
1.58374
-1.47844
1.26

We’re still waiting for his power to take off, but Jose Altuve is batting a robust .455 over his last 16 games and six of his 10 stolen bases this season have come over that stretch. His hard-hit rate this season of 39.1 percent would easily be a career high and his flyball rate (30.1 percent) is right at his career average, but his 7.2 percent HR/FB rate is about half what it was over the last two campaigns. Chances are he’s going to start seeing more balls leave the yard soon … Josh Harrison is batting .319/.351/.472 with a couple dingers and a stolen base since returning from the DL three weeks ago. The Pirates shopped him over the winter and it seems likely that they’ll do so again next month now that they’ve faded in the standings. Harrison could easily wind up in a better hitter’s park, but a contender might want him in a super utility role and probably wouldn’t bat him leadoff … Starlin Castro has been virtually the same hitter this season with the Marlins that he was last season with the Yankees, but the concerns about him going to a much worse team in a much worse hitter’s park have proved to be valid, as he’s managed just three homers through his first 64 games. The veteran infielder has managed only one longball over 31 home games this year after he slugged 10 in 57 tilts last year … Ketel Marte has finally shown signs of life at the plate lately with a 1.262 OPS and three home runs over his last 12 games. Marte hasn’t shown splits during his career but this year is hitting .300/.351/.533 versus lefties and .195/.252/.308 against righties. Those splits have meant him sitting a lot in favor of Daniel Descalso when the opposition is throwing a right-hander …

Third Base

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Max Muncy
LA
3B
2.71725
1.44336
1.52081
1.82662
1.58374
2.79215
11.88
#2
Eduardo Escobar
MIN
3B
1.58749
2.92650
-0.40371
2.86290
-0.08638
2.49912
9.39
#3
Miguel Andujar
NYY
3B
1.58749
2.43212
-0.40371
2.22179
0.47032
2.42854
8.74
#4
Alex Bregman
HOU
3B
1.58749
1.93774
-0.40371
0.96583
2.69716
0.74591
7.53
#5
Matt Carpenter
STL
3B
0.45774
-0.03978
-0.40371
1.85288
2.14045
1.81146
5.82
#6
Cory Spangenberg
SD
3B
0.45774
0.94898
1.52081
0.93957
1.02703
0.35571
5.25
#7
Kyle Seager
SEA
3B
2.71725
2.92650
-0.40371
-0.04419
0.47032
-0.92065
4.75
#8
Matt Chapman
OAK
3B
0.45774
-0.03978
-0.40371
1.19864
1.02703
1.82628
4.07
#9
Jake Lamb
ARZ
3B
0.45774
0.94898
1.52081
0.18862
0.47032
0.20706
3.79
#10
Anthony Rendon
WAS
3B
-0.67201
1.44336
-0.40371
0.57066
2.14045
0.52786
3.61

This is the fourth week in a row that Max Muncy has ranked among the top 10 fantasy third basemen. He sits at the top of the list this week after a ridiculous showing that saw him post a 1.615 OPS with three home runs (one in each of the last three games) and a stolen base. Cody Bellinger proving to be an adequate-enough defender in center field has allowed Muncy to see plenty of playing time at first base, and Muncy is also reacquainting himself at second base, a position he’s played sparingly as a pro but one that could conceivably become his regular spot if he keeps hitting like this. The data says what Muncy is doing is legitimate, as he’s retained his excellent plate discipline (16.4 percent walk rate) while also hitting the crap out of the ball (43.8 percent hard-hit rate) … After going through a dreadful 5-for-39 slump across a 10-game stretch in mid- to late-May, Eduardo Escobar has since put together an out-of-this world .413/.449/.957 batting line with five taters and 16 RBI over his last 12 tilts. He’s now on pace for 31 home runs this season, showing that his 21-homer breakout in 2017 was no fluke. Escobar is swinging and missing a bit more this year, but his strikeout rate (22 percent) is hardly worrisome and his flyball (48.3 percent) and hard-hit rates (41.5 percent) have never been better … A big chunk of Miguel Andujar’s extra-base pop has come in the form of doubles, but we’ve seen him start to leave the yard more frequently this month with three longballs and a 1.442 OPS over his first eight games. Andujar is a free-swinger and hits a lot of balls on the ground, so I’m not sure how much of a home run hitter he’s ultimately going to be at this point in his career. Yankee Stadium is certainly a good aid, though …

Shortstop

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Brandon Crawford
SF
SS
1.58749
1.93774
1.52081
3.34165
1.02703
3.53093
12.95
#2
Jean Segura
SEA
SS
0.45774
0.45460
3.44533
1.97585
2.14045
1.69282
10.17
#3
Jurickson Profar
TEX
SS
2.71725
1.93774
1.52081
0.32472
1.58374
0.81664
8.90
#4
Trevor Story
COL
SS
2.71725
1.93774
-0.40371
1.34787
1.02703
0.77574
7.40
#5
Dansby Swanson
ATL
SS
0.45774
0.45460
1.52081
0.46082
2.14045
-0.05532
4.98
#6
Nick Ahmed
ARZ
SS
0.45774
0.94898
-0.40371
0.95270
0.47032
1.12368
3.55
#7
Tim Anderson
CWS
SS
-0.67201
0.94898
1.52081
0.06565
1.02703
0.64407
3.53
#8
Ehire Adrianza
MIN
SS
0.45774
0.45460
-0.40371
0.69363
1.02703
0.94307
3.17
#9
Didi Gregorius
NYY
SS
-0.67201
-1.02854
3.44533
-0.18029
0.47032
0.08977
2.12
#10
Trea Turner
WAS
SS
-0.67201
-0.53416
3.44533
-0.56233
0.47032
-0.54924
1.60

A handful of the Giants’ hitters are past their prime, which means others are going to need to pick up some slack. It’s happened to a certain degree, as Alen Hanson and Gorkys Hernandez have provided an unexpected boost, and Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford are looking at possible career-best years. Over his last 25 contests, Crawford is sporting an absurd .472/.530/.787 batting line with five home runs, 18 RBI and two steals. Unfortunately, while he is hitting the ball harder (38.9 percent hard-hit rate), Crawford’s .401 BABIP points to some major batting average regression coming. Only Nicholas Castellanos and Matt Kemp have put up higher BABIPs … Coming into June, Dansby Swanson had been in a horrendous slide that saw him put up a sickly .521 OPS over a 22-game stretch. However, since the calendar changed he’s posted a .953 OPS with three home runs, seven RBI and a stolen base. That hot streak combined with Ronald Acuna’s (knee) injury has meant a move from the No. 8 spot in the Braves’ lineup to the No. 2 spot. Swanson’s batted ball data so far this month has been great, but he’s still striking out a bunch and looks to be due for a BABIP regression (his is sitting at .354). That, combined with Acuna’s likely return before long, has me skeptical on the shortstop … Didi Gregorius’ drought with the bat has continued this month with a .582 OPS and no extra-base hits. He has gone deep just once over his last 33 games after smacking 10 over the boards in his first 25 contests. However, Gregorius has maintained fantasy viability with a surprising five steals over his last 11 tilts. He’s already got eight pilfers this season, which is a new career high. Before this year the 28-year-old hadn’t been a stolen base threat since A-ball, so it’s hard to see this lasting …

Outfield

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Leonys Martin
DET
OF
1.58749
0.94898
5.36985
0.73302
3.25387
0.64865
12.54
#2
Justin Upton
LAA
OF
2.71725
0.94898
1.52081
2.08569
0.47032
2.53600
10.28
#3
Joc Pederson
LA
OF
3.84700
1.93774
-0.40371
1.18551
1.58374
0.67480
8.83
#4
Ryan Braun
MLW
OF
1.58749
2.43212
-0.40371
1.56755
2.14045
1.02659
8.35
#5
Derek Dietrich
MIA
OF
1.58749
1.93774
-0.40371
2.07256
1.58374
1.53792
8.32
#6
Jesse Winker
CIN
OF
1.58749
1.93774
-0.40371
1.83975
1.02703
2.11464
8.10
#7
George Springer
HOU
OF
0.45774
1.44336
1.52081
1.21177
1.58374
1.55739
7.77
#8
Randal Grichuk
TOR
OF
1.58749
1.44336
-0.40371
1.70365
1.58374
1.59496
7.51
#9
Kevin Pillar
TOR
OF
2.71725
1.93774
-0.40371
1.08880
1.02703
0.26156
6.63
#10
Curtis Granderson
TOR
OF
1.58749
2.43212
-0.40371
1.18551
0.47032
1.21621
6.49

Leonys Martin has put up a 1.026 OPS over his last 13 games and has matched his four home runs with four stolen bases. He’s now belted nine homers and swiped five bags even after missing a couple weeks of action with hamstring issues. Martin has been the Tigers’ regular leadoff hitter against right-handers and that’s unlikely to change unless he’s traded next month to a contender looking for an extra outfielder. He’s a flawed player but one with definite fantasy appeal … Joc Pederson entered June with just one home run on the season, but he’s ripped six out of the park already this month and has even been used in the leadoff spot some lately versus righties. The 26-year-old is certainly worth using in fantasy leagues while he’s hot, but he still can’t hit lefties and his history has shown us that a cold streak is surely around the corner … It’s going to be interesting to see how the Brewers handle playing time with Eric Thames (thumb) due back Monday, as he, Jesus Aguilar, Ryan Braun and new acquisition Brad Miller are all options at first base and Thames and Braun will also play the outfield. Braun had likely been looking at his playing time being cut and still could be, but he had six hits and a two-homer game over the weekend. Frequent days off for Braun might be the best thing for him, anyway, given his propensity for nagging injuries … Jesse Winker has been getting on base at a good clip all year thanks to his excellent batting eye, but the surprising power he showed last season with the Reds has been largely vacant in 2018 until recently. Winker has gone deep twice over his last four games and all three of his bombs this year have come across his previous 13 contests. The 24-year-old is sporting a healthy 42.1 percent hard-hit rate and that combined with his high contact rate should lead to a bump in average. It had better, because that might be the only category Winker has a shot to stand out in … Randal Grichuk is a hitter who has run hot-and-cold throughout his career, and he is in the midst of one of those hot stretches since his return from the DL with a 1.186 OPS and three bombs over eight tilts. His hard-hit rate – which has been a strength for him his whole career – is at 40 percent over those eight games after it sat at a lowly 27.3 percent in April. Grichuk shouldn’t have to worry about playing time on a Blue Jays team going nowhere, especially with Curtis Granderson being an obvious trade candidate. He was surely dropped in plenty of leagues after his abysmal start, but Grichuk should run into his fair share of homers so go ahead and grab him if power is what you need … 

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