Hot Hitter Rundown: April 15

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

Hot Hitter Rundown: April 15

Ryan Boyer highlights and analyzes the hottest hitters 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.

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*The following data is based on 5x5 Roto scoring and covers games played from April 8-14.

Editor’s Note: Stay ahead of the competition from wire to wire with rankings, customizable projections, trade evaluator, exclusive columns and more in our Season Pass. And start using optimized lineups on Yahoo!, DraftKings and FanDuel with our DFS Toolkit!

Catcher

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Yasmani Grandal

MLW

C

2.41002

1.64528

-0.43305

2.61189

1.37862

7.61

#2

Mitch Garver

MIN

C

2.41002

0.31787

-0.43305

2.58521

1.90352

6.78

#3

Josh Phegley

OAK

C

1.36558

2.08775

-0.43305

1.08477

1.37862

5.48

#4

Robinson Chirinos

HOU

C

0.32113

0.31787

-0.43305

0.93417

0.32882

1.47

#5

Yadier Molina

STL

C

0.32113

1.64528

-0.43305

0.06668

-0.19608

1.40

#6

Willson Contreras

CHC

C

1.36558

-0.12460

-0.43305

0.05335

0.32882

1.19

#7

James McCann

CWS

C

0.32113

-0.56707

1.18741

0.28786

-0.19608

1.03

#8

Christian Vazquez

BOS

C

0.32113

0.76034

-0.43305

0.30120

-0.19608

.75

#9

Luke Maile

TOR

C

0.32113

-0.12460

-0.43305

0.78357

-0.19608

.35

#10

Kurt Suzuki

WAS

C

0.32113

0.31787

-0.43305

0.53571

-0.72098

.02

Yasmani Grandal went hitless in his first four games of the season but has since been the offensive force we expected him to be in Milwaukee with a 1.500 OPS and four home runs in April. He’s batted cleanup for the Brew Crew in each of the last two games, something that would enhance his appeal further should it stick … The Twins are rotating three guys at catcher, but Mitch Garver has started three of the last four games behind the plate and gone 8-for-12 with three long balls. He also boasts a 13 percent barrel rate, which ranks 17th in baseball. Garver was better than a league-average hitter last season with a 104 OPS+, and he also had some nice numbers in the minors. There are too many mouths to feed here for now, but Garver and Willians Astudillo are both capable of helping fantasy owners if the playing time breaks their way … Josh Phegley was a nice catching prospect once upon a time but had done very little at the plate in the majors coming into this season. However, the 31-year-old has had a potent bat lately, popping three home runs and driving in at least one run in each of his last six starts. Phegley was platooning with Nick Hundley for the first week of the season but has started six of the last seven contests for the A’s …

First Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Pete Alonso

NYM

1B

2.41002

1.64528

-0.43305

0.45180

1.37862

5.45

#2

Edwin Encarnacion

SEA

1B

1.36558

2.08775

-0.43305

0.20395

0.32882

3.55

#3

Rhys Hoskins

PHI

1B

1.36558

0.31787

-0.43305

-0.04390

1.37862

2.59

#4

Josh Bell

PIT

1B

0.32113

0.76034

-0.43305

0.83691

0.85372

2.34

#5

Justin Bour

LAA

1B

0.32113

0.76034

-0.43305

0.81024

0.85372

2.31

#6

Mitch Moreland

BOS

1B

1.36558

0.31787

-0.43305

0.56239

0.32882

2.14

#7

Yuli Gurriel

HOU

1B

0.32113

1.64528

-0.43305

0.08002

0.32882

1.94

#8

Justin Smoak

TOR

1B

0.32113

0.31787

-0.43305

0.28786

0.85372

1.35

#9

Freddie Freeman

ATL

1B

-0.72331

-0.12460

-0.43305

0.08002

2.42842

1.23

#10

Lucas Duda

KC

1B

0.32113

1.64528

-0.43305

0.28786

-0.72098

1.10

Edwin Encarnacion fell pretty far in drafts this spring as aging power hitters tend to do. But, just like seemingly everyone else on the Mariners’ roster, the 36-year-old is off to a nice start in the power department with four dingers, 12 RBI and a .919 OPS. The M’s arguably have five guys in their regular rotation that should be designated hitters – Encarnacion included – but the three-time All-Star has split his time evenly between DH and first base. Seattle will surely look to trade Encarnacion if they eventually fall out of contention, but he’ll continue to play regularly as long as he’s there and is locked in as their cleanup hitter … Josh Bell closed last season strongly and that’s carried over into this year with a 1.404 OPS, three home runs and eight RBI across his last eight games. We’d love to see Bell loft the ball more to take advantage of the raw power that was apparent when he slugged the second-longest homer (474 feet) of the season on April 7, and his flyball rate is up a tad at 35.7 percent. He also comes in at 39th with a 10.2 percent barrel rate, just behind Aaron Judge and just ahead of Freddie Freeman and Paul GoldschmidtMitch Moreland – you might recall – got off to a fantastic start last season with a .980 OPS through the first two months before he eventually collapsed in the second half while battling a few different leg issues. He’s getting off on the right foot again this year with a 1.148 OPS, four dingers and seven RBI over his last seven tilts. Statcast also likes him, as Moreland boasts a 13.5 percent barrel rate that ranks 14th in baseball. The 33-year-old will continue to sit against lefties in favor of Steve Pearce

Second Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Jose Altuve

HOU

2B

5.54334

3.41516

-0.43305

1.99226

2.95333

13.47

#2

Jurickson Profar

OAK

2B

1.36558

2.97269

2.80786

1.46988

1.90352

10.52

#3

Brandon Lowe

TB

2B

2.41002

2.08775

1.18741

1.48322

1.37862

8.55

#4

Dee Gordon

SEA

2B

0.32113

1.20281

2.80786

1.86833

1.37862

7.58

#5

Mike Moustakas

MLW

2B

2.41002

1.20281

-0.43305

0.71299

2.42842

6.32

#6

Howie Kendrick

WAS

2B

1.36558

0.76034

-0.43305

2.20010

1.37862

5.27

#7

Tommy La Stella

LAA

2B

2.41002

1.64528

-0.43305

0.28786

0.85372

4.76

#8

Jonathan Schoop

MIN

2B

1.36558

1.20281

-0.43305

0.56239

1.37862

4.08

#9

Chris Owings

KC

2B

-0.72331

0.76034

2.80786

0.34121

0.32882

3.51

#10

Brad Miller

CLE

2B

0.32113

0.31787

1.18741

1.33262

0.32882

3.49

Jose Altuve fell off to 13 home runs last season after slugging 24 in each of the previous two campaigns. He seems determined to bounce back in the power department in 2019, as he went deep in five straight games last week (six homers overall) for the scorching-hot Astros. Unlike in years past, the batted ball data has even been Altuve’s friend this year, as he has posted a 45.3 percent hard-hit rate and an 11.4 percent barrel rate that ranks 27th in the league. While this pace is obviously unsustainable, it’s at the very least encouraging that Altuve’s knee problems from last year look to be behind him. Keep an eye on that stolen base production, though. He’s just 1-for-2 so far … Coming into last week, Jurickson Profar had managed just an embarrassing .313 OPS through his first 12 games as an Athletic. Trips to Baltimore and Texas can help you right the ship, though, and that’s what happened with Profar, who went 8-for-21 with two home runs, nine RBI and two stolen bases last week. That Profar has gone 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts already is encouraging. He was a perfect 10-for-10 last season and has the capability to run more … Brandon Lowe has been benched against all but one lefty the Rays have faced thus far, which obviously isn’t ideal. He’s also striking out a lot with a 30.5 percent whiff rate. However, Lowe is crushing righties (1.005 OPS, four home runs) and has been a regular in the cleanup spot. He’s also swiped a couple bases already and boasts a 50 percent hard-hit rate … Howie Kendrick earned a second straight start at second base over the ice-cold Brian Dozier on Sunday. Kendrick got a late start to the season due to a hamstring injury but has reached base in 12 of his first 20 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Dozier has reached base in 10 of 47 plate appearances. Dozier is known as a slow starter and I can’t imagine he’s in danger of losing his job at this point, but it’s a situation to monitor …

Third Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Anthony Rendon

WAS

3B

1.36558

2.53022

-0.43305

1.48322

1.90352

6.85

#2

Josh Donaldson

ATL

3B

1.36558

0.31787

-0.43305

1.73107

2.95333

5.93

#3

Hunter Dozier

KC

3B

1.36558

0.76034

-0.43305

2.25345

1.90352

5.85

#4

Brian Anderson

MIA

3B

1.36558

-0.12460

2.80786

1.20869

-0.19608

5.06

#5

Matt Chapman

OAK

3B

1.36558

1.64528

-0.43305

1.34595

0.85372

4.78

#6

Eugenio Suarez

CIN

3B

1.36558

0.76034

-0.43305

1.58047

-0.19608

3.08

#7

Yoan Moncada

CWS

3B

0.32113

-0.12460

1.18741

0.58906

0.85372

2.83

#8

Eduardo Escobar

ARZ

3B

0.32113

0.76034

-0.43305

0.57572

0.85372

2.08

#9

Jeff McNeil

NYM

3B

-0.72331

1.20281

-0.43305

1.48322

0.32882

1.86

#10

Nolan Arenado

COL

3B

0.32113

0.31787

1.18741

-0.42902

0.32882

1.73

It’s been Anthony Rendon sitting at the top of this list each of the first two weeks. Rendon took an 0-fer on Opening Day but has a hit in all 13 games since, collecting six home runs, eight doubles and 17 RBI along the way. Rendon has always been a flyball hitter but has taken it to another level so far in 2019 with a 52.1 percent flyball rate. He’s also sporting a 47.9 percent hard-hit rate and the fifth-highest barrel rate in baseball at 17.5 percent … Josh Donaldson went his first 13 games as a Brave without driving in a single run, but he went deep in back-to-back games over the weekend and reached base four times in each of those contests. Donaldson’s plate discipline remains elite, and his 59 percent hard-hit rate suggests that he’ll turn it around soon enough (and perhaps he already has) … The strides Matt Chapman has taken as a hitter in his relatively short time in the big leagues has been mighty impressive. His minor league track record and first half-season in the majors pointed to a guy who was going to swing and miss a lot and struggle to hit for a respectable average. However, Chapman cut his strikeout rate down significantly last season to 23.7 percent, and so far this year he’s struck out on just 10.4 percent of his plate appearances. That number is sure to go up some, but Chapman is turning into a well-rounded hitter who could be a four-category beast …

Shortstop

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Adalberto Mondesi

KC

SS

0.32113

1.64528

6.04878

0.98751

0.85372

9.86

#2

Elvis Andrus

TEX

SS

1.36558

2.08775

2.80786

2.47462

0.32882

9.06

#3

Marcus Semien

OAK

SS

1.36558

2.08775

-0.43305

2.25345

2.95333

8.23

#4

Tim Anderson

CWS

SS

0.32113

1.20281

6.04878

0.58906

-0.19608

7.97

#5

Willy Adames

TB

SS

0.32113

0.76034

-0.43305

2.36404

3.47823

6.49

#6

Fernando Tatis Jr.

SD

SS

2.41002

2.08775

-0.43305

1.08477

0.85372

6.00

#7

Freddy Galvis

TOR

SS

1.36558

1.20281

1.18741

1.73107

0.32882

5.82

#8

Paul DeJong

STL

SS

-0.72331

-0.56707

1.18741

2.24011

3.47823

5.62

#9

Xander Bogaerts

BOS

SS

0.32113

1.64528

-0.43305

1.58047

1.90352

5.02

#10

Carlos Correa

HOU

SS

0.32113

0.76034

1.18741

1.46988

0.32882

4.07

I said this spring that I believed Adalberto Mondesi had the widest range of potential outcomes of anyone being drafted in the first five rounds. It’s obviously still very early, but as a top-three shortstop and top-20 hitter, he’s fallen into the upper range of those outcomes so far. Mondesi had a pair of two-steal games last week and he already has four triples, as his speed has been on display thus far. He’s also shown some power with two long balls and a 13.2 percent barrel rate than ranks 15th in baseball. The plate discipline (25 percent strikeout rate, 4.4 percent walk rate) remains poor, but it hasn’t cost Mondesi… yet … Elvis Andrus was essentially being ignored by fantasy owners this spring following an injury-shortened, disappointing 2018 campaign. Those that did bet on a bounce-back are feeling pretty good about their investment so far, especially this past week when Andrus had multiple hits in each game, two dingers, seven RBI and two steals. Andrus has also been top-40 in baseball with an average exit velocity of 92.8 mph … After a brutal 1-for-27 start with a 14/0 K/BB ratio to the season, Willy Adames has put together a current eight-game hitting streak during which he’s sporting a robust .448/.529/.655 batting line and 6/4 K/BB ratio. Being stuck at the bottom of the Rays’ lineup isn’t ideal, but Adames is a good bet for double-digit home runs and perhaps stolen bases, as well … There were concerns about Fernando Tatis Jr.’s ability to make contact as he jumped from Double-A to the big leagues, and those worries have been justified with a 32.8 percent strikeout rate thus far. However, the wunderkind also went deep in back-to-back games over the weekend and now has five bombs already on the year. He batted fifth for the Padres on Sunday, which is the highest he’s been in the order to date …

Outfield

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Austin Meadows

TB

OF

3.45446

4.29588

1.18741

3.38212

1.90352

14.22

#2

Ronald Acuna

ATL

OF

2.41002

2.96938

1.18741

3.38212

2.42842

12.38

#3

Kevin Pillar

SF

OF

3.45446

4.29588

1.18741

-0.16783

1.37862

10.15

#4

Marcell Ozuna

STL

OF

3.45446

2.52721

1.18741

1.20869

1.37862

9.76

#5

Jesse Winker

CIN

OF

3.45446

2.52721

-0.43305

1.33262

2.42842

9.31

#6

Mitch Haniger

SEA

OF

2.41002

2.08505

-0.43305

1.23537

3.47823

8.78

#7

Leonys Martin

CLE

OF

2.41002

0.75855

1.18741

1.97892

1.90352

8.24

#8

Cody Bellinger

LA

OF

1.36558

0.75855

2.80786

1.34595

1.37862

7.66

#9

Nick Markakis

ATL

OF

1.36558

2.08505

-0.43305

1.85499

1.90352

6.78

#10

Manuel Margot

SD

OF

1.36558

1.20071

1.18741

2.11618

0.85372

6.72

Austin Meadows entered last week with just a .738 OPS, but that numbers now sits at 1.170 following a monster showing that included 10 hits, four home runs and a stolen base during a three-game stretch. Meadows is being benched versus lefties but is affixed at the top of the lineup against righties and has put up an excellent 12.5 percent walk rate in the early going. Health has often been an issue for the outfielder, but there’s a reason Meadows is a former top-10 prospect and he’ll turn just 24 in a few weeks … Like Meadows, Ronald Acuna saw a meteoric rise in his OPS this past week, as the number went from .612 to 1.072 for the young outfielder. Acuna was 12-for-22 over six tilts, with three home runs, nine RBI and a stolen base. Perhaps the most important aspect of Acuna’s season so far is his 19.4 percent strikeout rate and 16.4 percent walk rate. Remember, he turned just 21 over the winter … Kevin Pillar is batting just .190 since a trade sent him from the Blue Jays to the Giants, but he’s certainly made those hits count with four dingers and 12 RBI during a six-game stretch last week. Oracle Park obviously isn’t an ideal setting, but Pillar should still be able to provide double-digit home run and stolen base totals … Jesse Winker managed just one single and one walk over his first 26 plate appearances this season. He did his best this past week to right the ship in a hurry, homering in four of five contests while going 7-for-18 with eight RBI. The Reds somehow have not faced a lefty yet this year, and when they do Winker will probably be on the bench. That said, he’s the leadoff man versus righties and that makes him intriguing with his on-base skills and burgeoning power …

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