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.

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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 September 17-23.

Catcher

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Jorge Alfaro
PHI
C
0.63868
0.98503
1.32351
1.39082
-0.01985
1.21452
5.53
#2
Yadier Molina
STL
C
1.94263
2.92538
-0.38312
0.26038
0.53600
0.15328
5.43
#3
Yan Gomes
CLE
C
0.63868
0.98503
-0.38312
1.81909
0.53600
1.47464
5.07
#4
Danny Jansen
TOR
C
1.94263
1.47011
-0.38312
0.72849
0.53600
0.61469
4.91
#5
Jesus Sucre
TB
C
0.63868
-0.47024
-0.38312
2.09726
0.53600
1.67126
4.09
#6
Aramis Garcia
SF
C
0.63868
0.98503
-0.38312
0.92271
1.09185
0.12626
3.38
#7
Welington Castillo
CWS
C
-0.66528
-0.95533
1.32351
1.54093
0.53600
1.02345
2.80
#8
Omar Narvaez
CWS
C
1.94263
0.01485
-0.38312
0.47238
-0.01985
0.61614
2.64
#9
J.T. Realmuto
MIA
C
-0.66528
0.01485
-0.38312
0.90066
1.09185
1.11496
2.07
#10
Willians Astudillo
MIN
C
-0.66528
1.47011
-0.38312
1.15677
-0.57570
0.55467
1.56

Jorge Alfaro and Wilson Ramos have been splitting starts at catcher for the Phillies and both have been among the highest-scoring fantasy options at the position over the last month. Alfaro slugged his 10th home run last week and also chipped in with a stolen base. That he’s managed to hit .262 this season while striking out at a 36.4 percent clip can be traced back to a .406 BABIP … With a couple longballs last week, Yadier Molina now needs just one more dinger to reach 20 home runs for the second time in his career. This is after the 36-year-old spent a month on the disabled list earlier this season and another week this month due to injury. Molina’s 45 percent hard-hit rate this season is easily the highest mark of his career … It’s been frustrating that Danny Jansen hasn’t received more playing time, but he made the most of what he was given last week, homering in two of his three starts and reaching base three times in the other one. The excellent plate discipline Jansen always had in the minors has carried over at the big league level so far, as he boasts a 9.2 percent walk rate and 14.9 percent strikeout rate …

First Base

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Yuli Gurriel
HOU
1B
3.24658
3.89556
-0.38312
3.08186
3.31524
2.04691
15.20
#2
Freddie Freeman
ATL
1B
1.94263
2.92538
1.32351
3.08186
1.09185
2.55605
12.92
#3
Luke Voit
NYY
1B
4.55053
2.92538
-0.38312
1.30688
2.75940
0.90052
12.06
#4
Rowdy Tellez
TOR
1B
1.94263
2.44029
-0.38312
1.20088
1.64770
0.32287
7.17
#5
Max Muncy
LA
1B
0.63868
2.44029
-0.38312
0.60044
1.64770
1.17972
6.12
#6
Matt Olson
OAK
1B
0.63868
0.49994
-0.38312
0.11027
1.64770
0.94792
3.46
#7
Josh Bell
PIT
1B
0.63868
0.01485
-0.38312
1.73515
-0.57570
1.41948
2.85
#8
Jesus Aguilar
MLW
1B
0.63868
1.47011
-0.38312
0.11027
0.53600
0.11478
2.49
#9
Jose Martinez
STL
1B
-0.66528
0.01485
-0.38312
1.45699
1.09185
0.94530
2.46
#10
Tyler Austin
MIN
1B
-0.66528
1.47011
-0.38312
0.64455
1.09185
-0.21582
1.94

It hasn’t been a great season for Yuli Gurriel, but he’s closing with a nice finishing kick, posting a .352/.382/.620 batting line with five home runs and 20 RBI over 18 games so far in September. He slugged three longballs and drove in 10 runs in the weekend series versus the Angels and was up in the No. 3 spot in the Astros’ lineup Sunday … After it looked for a while like he might be running out of steam, Luke Voit charged back with a monster week last week, going 7-for-19 with four home runs and eight RBI across five contests. He was moved all the way up to the No. 3 spot in the Yankees’ lineup Sunday (granted, it was a lineup missing Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and Didi Gregorius). Voit has started five straight games and 18 of 20 tilts this month. Greg Bird is an afterthought at this point with just two starts in September … Like Voit, Rowdy Tellez has slugged his way into a regular spot in the lineup, as he’s started four straight and six of the last seven for the Blue Jays. He’s sporting an even 1.000 OPS over that stretch with a pair of dingers and seven RBI and has batted fifth in four of his last five starts. Tellez’s emergence has most directly affected Kendrys Morales’ playing time, but it’s led to more days off for Justin Smoak, too … Josh Bell hasn’t offered fantasy owners a whole lot this season, but he has put together a nice run of late, posting a .380/.475/.660 batting line with three dingers and six RBI over his last 14 tilts. He’s been situated in the No. 3 spot in the Pirates’ batting order lately after hitting mostly sixth for a while. Even though he’s hit just 11 home runs this season after slugging 26 last year, Bell’s OPS+ is actually higher in 2018 (114) than it was in 2017 (109) …

Second Base

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Joey Wendle
TB
2B
-0.66528
1.47011
3.03014
3.08186
1.09185
3.55890
11.57
#2
Robinson Cano
SEA
2B
0.63868
2.44029
-0.38312
4.25641
0.53600
3.69153
11.18
#3
Adam Frazier
PIT
2B
1.94263
1.47011
-0.38312
2.35337
1.09185
2.32321
8.80
#4
Daniel Murphy
CHC
2B
1.94263
0.98503
-0.38312
1.84115
2.75940
1.38420
8.53
#5
Javier Baez
CHC
2B
3.24658
2.44029
-0.38312
0.26038
1.09185
0.15328
6.81
#6
Jeff McNeil
NYM
2B
-0.66528
0.01485
1.32351
2.54759
1.09185
2.32781
6.64
#7
Whit Merrifield
KC
2B
-0.66528
-0.47024
3.03014
1.50110
1.64770
1.32930
6.37
#8
Jose Altuve
HOU
2B
0.63868
0.49994
1.32351
0.11027
1.64770
1.18290
5.40
#9
Jonathan Villar
BAL
2B
-0.66528
-0.47024
8.15003
-0.40194
-1.13155
-0.12969
5.35
#10
Kolten Wong
STL
2B
0.63868
1.47011
-0.38312
1.94715
-0.57570
2.00527
5.10

Although he hasn’t homered in over a month, Joey Wendle has still been the third-highest scoring fantasy second baseman over the last 30 days thanks to a .355 average, seven stolen bases, 12 RBI and 16 runs scored. This past week he went a blistering 12-for-26 at the plate. Wendle entered the season without a secure role, but he’s been a top-10 fantasy option at second base and is eligible at four different positions in Yahoo leagues … Because Robinson Cano wouldn’t be eligible to play in the postseason following his PED suspension, the Mariners planned to use him at multiple positions upon his return and mainly keep Dee Gordon at second base. They did move Cano around for a while, but he’s mostly stuck to his familiar spot at second lately as the M’s faded (they were officially eliminated from playoff contention Saturday). Cano has, unsurprisingly, been one of the team’s best hitters since being reinstated with a .321/.375/.507 line over 35 contests, although he’s hit just five homers over that span … How did the other National League playoff contenders let Daniel Murphy get to the Cubs on waivers again? After struggling the previous week, Murphy bounced back by going 8-for-19 with a couple bombs last week. He’s homered six times in 27 games as a Cub, although his RBI output (11) has been relatively limited since he’s batted mostly leadoff …

Third Base

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Anthony Rendon
WAS
3B
1.94263
2.92538
-0.38312
2.39748
1.64770
2.26112
10.79
#2
Travis Shaw
MLW
3B
1.94263
0.98503
-0.38312
1.28482
1.09185
2.16892
7.09
#3
Mike Moustakas
MLW
3B
1.94263
0.98503
1.32351
-0.14584
1.09185
0.14662
5.34
#4
Jedd Gyorko
STL
3B
-0.66528
-0.47024
1.32351
0.90066
2.20355
1.17189
4.46
#5
Adrian Beltre
TEX
3B
1.94263
1.95520
-0.38312
0.23833
0.53600
-0.06684
4.22
#6
Rafael Devers
BOS
3B
1.94263
0.98503
-0.38312
0.23833
1.09185
0.25561
4.13
#7
Renato Nunez
BAL
3B
1.94263
0.49994
-0.38312
0.87860
0.53600
0.35806
3.83
#8
Matt Duffy
TB
3B
-0.66528
0.01485
1.32351
0.41049
1.64770
0.19219
2.92
#9
Johan Camargo
ATL
3B
-0.66528
1.47011
1.32351
-0.01778
-0.01985
0.13996
2.23
#10
Josh Donaldson
CLE
3B
0.63868
0.01485
-0.38312
0.23833
0.53600
0.81640
1.86

It’s the second week in a row at the top of this list for Anthony Rendon, who is an absurd 15-for-31 with three home runs and 12 RBI across his previous eight tilts. Rendon’s walk rate has fallen off a bit this season (although it’s still at a healthy 9.4 percent), but he remains among the toughest in baseball to strike out (14 percent strikeout rate). Of the players with a lower strikeout rate than Rendon this season, only Jose Ramirez, Alex Bregman, Didi Gregorius, Anthony Rizzo and Carlos Santana have hit more home runs … Yes, two Brewers third basemen come in at No. 2 and No. 3 this week, although Travis Shaw hasn’t played the hot corner in a couple weeks as Milwaukee tries to shoehorn him into the lineup at second base. Shaw matched last year’s longball output with his 31st home run Sunday, giving him four dingers over his last 13 games. Mike Moustakas also went deep Sunday and, like Shaw, has homered in two of his last three contests. Meanwhile, the slumping Jonathan Schoop has started just two of the team’s last eight games … He’s yet to go deep, but Jedd Gyorko is 10-for-29 at the plate since returning from a groin injury. Jose Martinez hasn’t started a game at first base in over a month, as the Cardinals have been committed to him in right field, Gyorko at third base and Matt Carpenter at first … Josh Donaldson started three straight games over the weekend, the first time he’s done so as an Indian as Cleveland eases him back into things following a lengthy absence due to a calf injury. He went deep in one of those contests and has now homered twice in 36 plate appearances with the Tribe …

Shortstop

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Trea Turner
WAS
SS
0.63868
1.47011
4.73677
2.11931
3.31524
2.82821
15.11
#2
Freddy Galvis
SD
SS
1.94263
1.47011
-0.38312
2.39748
2.20355
1.49741
9.13
#3
Amed Rosario
NYM
SS
-0.66528
0.01485
6.44340
1.11693
1.64770
0.12392
8.68
#4
Lourdes Gurriel
TOR
SS
3.24658
2.44029
-0.38312
1.22293
0.53600
0.20697
7.27
#5
Adalberto Mondesi
KC
SS
3.24658
0.98503
1.32351
0.30449
1.64770
-0.89823
6.61
#6
Manny Machado
LA
SS
1.94263
2.44029
-0.38312
0.66660
1.64770
0.15995
6.47
#7
Paul DeJong
STL
SS
1.94263
2.44029
-0.38312
1.22293
0.53600
0.20697
5.97
#8
Ehire Adrianza
MIN
SS
-0.66528
0.98503
-0.38312
2.24737
2.20355
1.45705
5.84
#9
Brandon Crawford
SF
SS
1.94263
0.49994
-0.38312
0.77260
1.09185
0.98846
4.91
#10
Willy Adames
TB
SS
0.63868
1.47011
-0.38312
0.79466
0.53600
1.17684
4.23

With five steals over his last 10 games, Trea Turner is now up to 42 stolen bases on the season, which leads all of baseball and paces the NL by nine thefts. He needs two home runs in the final week for a 20-40 season. Another area where Turner leads the NL is plate appearances, which is huge given his past injury issues … Lourdes Gurriel struggled initially upon his return from the disabled list, but he’s picked it up over his last 10 games with a .857 OPS, four home runs and nine RBI. He also has a 33 percent strikeout rate over that span and his 59/9 K/BB ratio with the big club has left something to be desired … Manny Machado has homered in back-to-back games to match his career high with 37 taters on the season. He also surpassed the 100-RBI plateau over the weekend for the first time. Also encouraging from a fantasy perspective has been Machado’s 14 stolen bases in 16 attempts after he pilfered just nine bags combined over the previous two campaigns … It’s been a strange second half for Paul DeJong. He’s batting just .224/.287/.431 since the All-Star break, which is not good. However, he’s slugged 11 home runs since the break and only Christian Yelich (53) and Michael Conforto (50) have more than DeJong’s 45 second-half RBI (Bryce Harper also has 45). DeJong appears locked into the No. 3 spot in the Cardinals’ lineup, so the RBI opportunities should continue to be there in the final days of the season …

Outfield

Rank
Player
Tm
Pos
HR
RBI
SB
AVG
R
OBP
VAL
#1
Tommy Pham
TB
OF
3.24658
2.44029
1.32351
3.48808
3.31524
3.46299
17.28
#2
Christian Yelich
MLW
OF
1.94263
2.44029
3.03014
3.59408
2.75940
3.45524
17.22
#3
Ender Inciarte
ATL
OF
-0.66528
0.01485
4.73677
2.24737
4.42694
2.74948
13.51
#4
Stephen Piscotty
OAK
OF
1.94263
3.41047
-0.38312
1.84115
3.87109
2.27095
12.95
#5
Aaron Hicks
NYY
OF
1.94263
2.44029
1.32351
1.58504
2.75940
2.06450
12.12
#6
D.J. Stewart
BAL
OF
1.94263
1.95520
1.32351
2.20326
1.09185
1.94342
10.46
#7
Nicholas Castellanos
DET
OF
0.63868
1.47011
-0.38312
3.61614
1.64770
2.78428
9.77
#8
Mookie Betts
BOS
OF
1.94263
1.95520
-0.38312
2.35337
1.64770
1.95196
9.47
#9
Mike Trout
LAA
OF
4.55053
2.44029
1.32351
0.23833
1.09185
-0.42324
9.22
#10
Michael Conforto
NYM
OF
1.94263
4.38064
-0.38312
0.81671
0.53600
1.84572
9.14

Tommy Pham has been killing the ball over the last month, putting up a blistering .404/.483/.727 batting line with six home runs, 18 RBI, 24 runs scored and three stolen bases across his last 25 games. He has a hit in 24 of those 25 contests and has reached base in all 25 games. The impressive run has vaulted Pham into top-20 fantasy outfielder status. Pham’s hard-hit data has been there all season, as only former teammate Matt Carpenter (49.5 percent) has a higher rate than Pham’s 48.7 percent mark … It’s been a season of ups and downs for Ender Inciarte. After stealing 13 bases in April while operating as the Braves’ leadoff man, he has run a lot less since then and has often been relegated to the bottom-third of the batting order. However, Inciarte’s .854 OPS in September is his highest mark of any month, he’s swiped three bags in his last four games and he’s been hitting second of late … Speaking of nice September’s, Stephen Piscotty has posted a robust 1.112 OPS this month while slugging seven home runs and driving in 22 over his first 20 games. His 26 longballs represent a new career high and he’s tied a high-water mark with his 85 RBI. Piscotty’s 42.4 percent hard-hit rate in 2018 is easily a career best and nearly a 10-percent jump from 2017 … D.J. Stewart hasn’t developed as hoped since the Orioles took him in the first round of the 2015 Draft, but he started to find his footing at the major league level last week when he went 7-for-12 while homering in back-to-back games and adding a stolen base. Stewart will start against righties in the final week and can offer a little power and speed …

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