Hot Hitter Rundown: May 20

Ryan Boyer
Rotoworld

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.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

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 May 13-19.

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

1.43966

2.84892

-0.35363

0.65312

-0.12970

4.46

#2

Jason Castro

MIN

C

1.43966

1.40108

-0.35363

-0.44311

1.98781

4.03

#3

Jorge Alfaro

MIA

C

0.33874

0.43586

1.32371

0.99070

-0.12970

2.96

#4

Jonathan Lucroy

LAA

C

0.33874

1.40108

-0.35363

0.86417

0.39967

2.65

#5

Willson Contreras

CHC

C

0.33874

1.40108

-0.35363

1.81287

-0.65908

2.54

#6

Danny Jansen

TOR

C

1.43966

0.91847

-0.35363

0.46359

-0.12970

2.34

#7

Roberto Perez

CLE

C

0.33874

-0.04675

-0.35363

0.33706

1.98781

2.26

#8

Josh Phegley

OAK

C

0.33874

0.91847

-0.35363

1.26476

-0.12970

2.04

#9

J.T. Realmuto

PHI

C

0.33874

0.43586

-0.35363

0.63212

0.92905

1.98

#10

Christian Vazquez

BOS

C

0.33874

-0.04675

-0.35363

2.59305

-0.65908

1.87

Mitch Garver unfortunately went down with an ankle injury last week, but Jason Castro picked up the slack with two homers, five RBI and six runs scored over his last three games. The Twins have gotten an insane amount of production from their catchers this season with a 1.118 OPS. As for Castro, the batted ball data for him looks very good. He’s second in baseball with a 16.4 percent barrel/PA rate, his flyball rate has skyrocketed to 46.7 percent and he’s also cut his strikeout rate drastically to 21.9 percent while upping his walk rate to 15.1 percent. The track record is lacking, but Castro is showing enough encouraging signs that he looks like a viable option while Garver is out … I had honestly kind of written off Jonathan Lucroy as a fantasy option coming into this season, but he’s showed lately that he might have a little juice left in his bat with six long balls, 14 RBI and 14 runs scored across his last 18 contests. His hard-hit rate (39 percent), exit velocity (89.1 mph) and barrel rate (5.6 percent) are all up, although none of those numbers stand out compared to other hitters. I suspect we’re looking at a hot streak that won’t last, but Lucroy is certainly worth rostering with the catcher bar so low … Finally, some signs of life from Danny Jansen, as he homered in back-to-back games over the weekend. Of course, those were his first two dingers of the season and he was in a 1-for-24 stretch at the plate prior to those two contests. It’s hard to have confidence that Jansen is turning it around given how awful he’s been previously, but he’s a catcher with some upside who’s probably available on your waiver wire, so it’s worth taking a shot …

First Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Josh Bell

PIT

1B

3.64151

3.81414

-0.35363

2.38199

1.98781

11.47

#2

Freddie Freeman

ATL

1B

3.64151

1.88370

-0.35363

1.83387

1.98781

8.99

#3

C.J. Cron

MIN

1B

2.54059

1.88370

-0.35363

1.20123

3.04656

8.32

#4

Carlos Santana

CLE

1B

1.43966

2.36631

-0.35363

1.03270

1.45843

5.94

#5

Logan Forsythe

TEX

1B

-0.76218

1.88370

-0.35363

2.33999

1.98781

5.10

#6

Edwin Encarnacion

SEA

1B

0.33874

1.40108

-0.35363

1.83387

0.92905

4.15

#7

Mark Canha

OAK

1B

2.54059

1.40108

-0.35363

-0.31659

0.39967

3.67

#8

Matt Olson

OAK

1B

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

-0.29558

0.92905

2.16

#9

Luke Voit

NYY

1B

0.33874

0.91847

-0.35363

1.28576

-0.12970

2.06

#10

Max Muncy

LA

1B

0.33874

-0.52936

-0.35363

0.61112

0.92905

1.00

Freddie Freeman missed a couple games with the flu, but he looks healthy now, having homered in each of his last four games. Freeman’s barrel rate dropped significantly down to 9.3 percent last season but is back up to a career-high 17.3 percent this year. His flyball rate (32.2 percent) remains down, though, as he’s been much more fortunate from a HR/FB perspective (23.9 percent) … Logan Forsythe totally dropped off the map after an awful two-year stretch from 2017-18, and he didn’t get off to a good start with the Rangers this season. That’s changed over his last 20 games, however, as he’s sporting a 1.112 OPS with three long balls and 18 RBI in that span. Forsythe has played all over the infield for Texas, most recently filling in at shortstop for the injured Elvis Andrus (hamstring), and he was up in the No. 2 spot in the batting order for them Sunday. There’s not much upside here, but the positional versatility is nice … While his .732 OPS is lacking, Matt Olson hitting three home runs in 50 plate appearances since coming back from hamate bone surgery is fairly encouraging since it’s an operation that can often sap a player’s power. His hard-hit rate this season is also sitting at 53.6 percent, which would be a career high …

Second Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Rougned Odor

TEX

2B

2.54059

2.84892

-0.35363

0.52659

1.98781

7.55

#2

Mike Moustakas

MLW

2B

1.43966

0.91847

1.32371

0.67412

2.51719

6.87

#3

Jason Kipnis

CLE

2B

1.43966

2.36631

-0.35363

0.65312

1.45843

5.56

#4

Tommy La Stella

LAA

2B

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

2.90910

0.92905

5.36

#5

Aledmys Diaz

HOU

2B

1.43966

0.91847

-0.35363

1.37029

0.92905

4.30

#6

Jonathan Schoop

MIN

2B

1.43966

2.36631

-0.35363

0.27353

0.39967

4.13

#7

Brandon Lowe

TB

2B

1.43966

1.40108

-0.35363

0.61112

0.39967

3.50

#8

Ryan McMahon

COL

2B

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

1.49682

0.39967

3.42

#9

Whit Merrifield

KC

2B

-0.76218

0.43586

-0.35363

1.05370

1.98781

2.36

#10

Michael Chavis

BOS

2B

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

0.90617

-0.12970

2.30

Just when you’re about ready to give up on Rougned Odor, he has a week with a 1.053 OPS, three home runs and eight RBI. Such is life on the Roogie roller coaster. Odor has been able to maintain the improved walk rate that he showed last season, but he’s also seen his strikeout rate spike to 34.1 percent. He’ll still probably have some good counting stats in the end if you can stomach the ups and downs … Indians manager Terry Francona decided to move Jason Kipnis up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order on May 5 even though the second baseman had just a .468 OPS at the time. The skipper has been rewarded with an .837 OPS in 13 games since then, which included a two-homer showing (his first two bombs of the season) last week. I’m not optimistic that he’ll keep it up, but as long as Kipnis is batting second he has a chance to be relevant. He is running a tad more this season, which helps … We got a couple more home runs last week from Tommy La Stella, who went 12-for-27 at the plate against the Twins and Royals. With 11 dingers on the season, the 30-year-old has already more than doubled his career total. La Stella is hitting a few more balls in the air in 2019 (33.9 percent flyball rate), but it’s not a drastic change. I think we’ve undoubtedly already seen the best he has to offer from a power perspective, but La Stella is built to hit for average with an insanely low 6.9 strikeout rate and he’ll score a good number of runs as long as he continues to bat leadoff versus right-handers …

Third Base

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Eduardo Escobar

ARZ

3B

2.54059

3.81414

-0.35363

0.80065

2.51719

9.32

#2

Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

TOR

3B

3.64151

3.33153

-0.35363

1.03270

1.45843

9.11

#3

Anthony Rendon

WAS

3B

1.43966

2.36631

-0.35363

2.36099

3.04656

8.86

#4

Kris Bryant

CHC

3B

2.54059

1.88370

-0.35363

1.45429

1.45843

6.98

#5

Pablo Sandoval

SF

3B

2.54059

1.40108

-0.35363

1.11723

0.39967

5.10

#6

Yoan Moncada

CWS

3B

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

1.53882

0.92905

3.99

#7

Alex Bregman

HOU

3B

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

-0.27458

2.51719

3.76

#8

Marwin Gonzalez

MIN

3B

0.33874

-0.04675

-0.35363

1.30676

1.98781

3.23

#9

Ehire Adrianza

MIN

3B

0.33874

0.91847

-0.35363

1.11723

0.92905

2.95

#10

Howie Kendrick

WAS

3B

0.33874

0.91847

-0.35363

1.15923

0.39967

2.46

Eduardo Escobar hit three more over the boards this past week, bringing his home run total for the season to 10. Not bad for a guy who sported a .637 OPS with just one long ball in his first 20 games this season. The 30-year-old’s OPS is sitting at 1.071 across his last 26 tilts and only six players have gone deep more than Escobar over that span … Vladito! After putting up a disappointing .146/.222/.171 batting line through his first 11 games with the Blue Jays, Guerrero Jr. has hit .370/.469/.852 with his first four major league homers to go along with nine RBI across his last eight contests. He also has a 2/5 K/BB ratio over the latter stretch and boasts a 11.7 percent walk rate and 16.9 percent strikeout rate so far in the big leagues. Additionally, Vlad Jr. has posted a 91.6 mph exit velocity and 47.3 percent hard-hit rate, so making solid contact has not been an issue. Yep, he’s going to be just fine … It’s probably fair to push concerns about Kris Bryant’s power aside at this point. The 27-year-old had a three-homer game last week and has now gone deep eight times while driving in 17 runs across his last 14 contests. Bryant’s exit velocity (89.1 mph) and hard-hit rate (37.2 percent) are right around league-average, but his wOBA (.410) and xwOBA (.408) are virtually identical and he continues to take strides with his plate discipline with a 15.1 percent walk rate and 17.1 percent strikeout rate … Pablo Sandoval has gone on a surprising power binge lately, belting four home runs across his last four games to bring his OPS for the season to an even 1.000. Sandoval wasn’t in the lineup Saturday or Sunday after starting each of the previous five games, but he came off the bench with pinch-hit homers in both contests. His 11.6 percent barrel/PA ranks 14th in baseball …

Shortstop

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Jean Segura

PHI

SS

1.43966

0.91847

1.32371

2.25546

1.98781

7.93

#2

Adalberto Mondesi

KC

SS

-0.76218

0.91847

6.35575

1.30676

-0.12970

7.69

#3

Jorge Polanco

MIN

SS

0.33874

0.91847

1.32371

3.05663

1.98781

7.63

#4

Francisco Lindor

CLE

SS

0.33874

0.91847

3.00106

1.30676

1.45843

7.02

#5

Paul DeJong

STL

SS

0.33874

2.36631

1.32371

0.90617

0.92905

5.86

#6

Gleyber Torres

NYY

SS

2.54059

0.91847

-0.35363

1.15923

0.92905

5.19

#7

Carlos Correa

HOU

SS

1.43966

1.88370

-0.35363

0.52659

0.92905

4.43

#8

Ronny Rodriguez

DET

SS

0.33874

0.43586

1.32371

0.25253

-0.12970

2.22

#9

Xander Bogaerts

BOS

SS

-0.76218

-0.04675

1.32371

1.41229

-0.12970

1.80

#10

Freddy Galvis

TOR

SS

0.33874

0.91847

-0.35363

0.25253

0.39967

1.56

Worries about Jean Segura’s stolen base exploits taking a downturn under new manager Gabe Kapler have proven to be legitimate, as the shortstop is just 2-for-3 on stolen base attempts this season. However, Segura has still been plenty productive with the bat and boasts a .366/.409/.561 line with a couple dingers during his current 10-game hitting streak. He’s locked into the No. 2 spot in the Phillies’ batting order ahead of Bryce Harper and Rhys HoskinsJorge Polanco went 4-for-5 at the dish on Sunday, giving him his fourth game this season with at least 4+ hits. He has seven 3+ hit games. The only disappointment with Polanco so far has been how little he’s run, although he did pick up his first stolen base of the season last week … Speaking of stolen bases, Francisco Lindor has picked up his running of late by pilfering four bags over his last 11 tilts (he had just one stolen base in his first 15 games). I had some concern that he might not run much initially since he was coming back from a pair of leg injuries, and while those worries proved to be valid out of the gate, it’s certainly been encouraging to see Lindor running free lately … Gleyber Torres’ OPS had dipped to .684 back on April 25, but he’s posted a robust 1.043 OPS in 18 games since then while hitting half of his eight home runs. The 22-year-old’s lowly five percent walk rate is a disappointment, as Torres hasn’t come close to showing the same patience at the plate in the majors to this point that he did in the minors …

Outfield

Rank

Player

Tm

Pos

HR

RBI

SB

AVG

R

VAL

#1

Jarrod Dyson

ARZ

OF

-0.76218

-0.04675

8.03309

0.33706

2.51719

10.08

#2

Christian Yelich

MLW

OF

2.54059

0.91847

3.00106

0.27353

2.51719

9.25

#3

Byron Buxton

MIN

OF

2.54059

4.29675

-0.35363

0.40006

1.98781

8.87

#4

Ryan Braun

MLW

OF

0.33874

2.36631

1.32371

1.96040

2.51719

8.51

#5

Ronald Acuna

ATL

OF

0.33874

1.88370

3.00106

0.65312

1.98781

7.86

#6

Willie Calhoun

TEX

OF

1.43966

2.36631

-0.35363

2.61405

1.45843

7.52

#7

Cody Bellinger

LA

OF

2.54059

1.88370

-0.35363

1.41229

1.45843

6.94

#8

Lorenzo Cain

MLW

OF

-0.76218

-0.04675

3.00106

2.25546

1.98781

6.44

#9

Joey Gallo

TEX

OF

0.33874

0.91847

1.32371

2.23446

1.45843

6.27

#10

Albert Almora

CHC

OF

1.43966

0.43586

-0.35363

1.68635

2.51719

5.73

Speedster Jarrod Dyson has already stolen nine bases without being caught in May. Former teammate Adalberto Mondesi also has nine steals this month, but no one else in baseball has more than five. Dyson’s batted ball data has been predictably feeble, but he’s displayed an impressive eye at the plate in 2019 with a 14.5 percent walk rate. The 34-year-old has been hitting leadoff consistently for the Diamondbacks against righties, giving him a shot at plenty of fantasy value even with his limited skill set … Byron Buxton doesn’t have any steals over his last nine contests, which would normally spell doom for his fantasy prospects. However, the 25-year-old has posted a 1.160 OPS with three homers and 12 RBI during that stretch. The surface-level numbers haven’t been eye-popping to this point, but Buxton has shown notable improvement across the board with his barrel rate (9.4 percent), hard-hit rate (42.5 percent), exit velocity (91.5 mph), launch angle (21.2 degrees), strikeout rate (23.2 percent) and walk rate (7.7 percent) … The Braves have moved Ronald Acuna back to the leadoff spot where he had so much success last season and fantasy owners have been excited to see him attempt three stolen bases (with two of them being successful) in his first nine games at the top of the order. He attempted only two steals in his first 37 games while serving as the club’s cleanup hitter. Acuna is going to be successful no matter where he hits in the batting order, but his best path to fantasy stardom is probably as the leadoff man … Willie Calhoun was summoned from the minors last week and homered in his first two games back with the Rangers, going 10-for-21 at the dish in five tilts. Calhoun’s previous struggles in the majors and the team having other left field and designated hitter options gives you pause, but he’s a 24-year-old former top prospect with a great minor league track record …

What to Read Next

Back