Batter’s Box: A Little Bertie Told Me

Everything Chu thinks you need to know about Tuesday's best hitters is right here in the Batter's Box.

Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. I mentioned yesterday that Jon Berti (2B/3B/SS/OF, Miami Marlins) had a nice matchup with the Mets to steal bases, and then sure enough, he had a monster night (3-5, RBI, BB, 4 SB). While I certainly didn’t expect anything like this, it does reinforce the notion that the final week of the season is 100% about exploiting matchups and opportunities. He’s probably the only Marlin who is at all likely to steal a base with Magneuris Sierra out for the rest of the season, but he does still have two more games against these Mets and is worth a pickup everywhere if you need those steals.

If all you need is a stolen base or two to finish the season, here are five guys who may be available in your league with the best chances to swipe a bag:

  1. Billy Hamilton—He gets the Mets this weekend and has started semi-regularly in the outfield for the Braves.
  2. Garrett Hampson—More on him in a moment, but people need to add the kid while he’s hot, especially with his upcoming weekend in Coors.
  3. Kevin Newman—The Pirates leadoff man doesn’t have the best base-stealing efficiency, but neither of his remaining opponents (Reds and Cubs) are any good at holding baserunners, as each are in the top five in stolen bases allowed.
  4. Victor Reyes—He still has five games remaining, and four of them come against the White Sox, who are very average against would-be thieves.
  5. Oscar Mercado—He is absolutely on fire right now with three straight games with a home run, and the Indians’ final opponent, the Nationals, have allowed the seventh-most stolen bases this season.

Garrett Hampson (2B/SS/OF, Colorado Rockies)—3-6, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB. Over the past 15 days, Hampson has five home runs, five stolen bases, 16 runs scored, and a .432 batting average, making him fantasy’s best hitter over that stretch according to the ESPN Player Rater. By the way, he’s still available in more than 80% of leagues and finishes the season with a weekend series in Coors.

Ozzie Albies (2B, Atlanta Braves)—3-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. He’s taken a step forward in just about every phase of his offensive game this season and is slashing .364/.405/.662 in September. He faded down the stretch in 2018, but his second half in 2019 has been much stronger, particularly since July 24—the day he was locked into the No. 2 spot.

Trey Mancini (1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles)—5-5, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI. He’s on quite a hitting streak, with a hit in 11 straight outings and 24 hits, 17 RBI,  and 10 extra-base hits in that time. He’s improved his plate discipline significantly in terms of both walks and strikeouts, which is allowing him to maintain an impressive .293 average while also hitting 34 home runs—10 more than his previous high.

Elvis Andrus (SS, Texas Rangers)—3-3, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB. He’s been in the majors since 2009 but is surprisingly just barely 31 years old. He’s played in 141 or more games in 10 of his 11 seasons and has at least 21 stolen bases in each campaign. He’s already up to 27 on this season, and his .274 batting average is right in line with his .275 career average over 6,941 plate appearances. He’s a steady, solid source of contact and speed.

Michael Conforto (OF, New York Mets)—3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB. His .362 OBP and 33 home runs make him very relevant in most leagues, and the seven steals he tacked on this year add just a little bit of intrigue toward his 2020 value.

Jose Ramirez (2B/3B, Cleveland Indians)—2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 7 RBI. After missing a month with a fractured hamate bone that required surgery, Ramirez came back in style and just in time to enjoy one of the softest remaining schedules in the league. Despite a slow start and this recent injury, he has 22 home runs and 24 steals on the season. The 15.4% walk rate from 2018 might have been a fluke, but he should still be considered a top-tier second baseman in 2020.

Brad Miller (1B/2B/3B/OF, Philadelphia Phillies)—2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI. He had a nice night and has a 122 wRC+ against righties this season. That’s about all I can say about a guy who is on his fourth team since the start of 2018.

Rougned Odor (2B, Texas Rangers)—1-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB. His .954 OPS in September is a trap, folks. I have been broken down by his extreme inconsistency and am starting to believe that the 25-year-old will always be a maddening guy to own.

Paul Goldschmidt (1B, St. Louis Cardinals)—2-8, R, HR, RBI. It’s been a tale of two halves for Goldy in 2019 much as it was in 2018. September has been especially kind to him, as he has a .984 OPS with 14 extra-base hits this month. It’s a bummer that the stolen bases have dried up, but he’s still an excellent hitter.

Yasiel Puig (OF, Cleveland Indians)—3-3, 2 R, 2 2B, BB. The rest of the schedule is still really favorable for Puig, and a .392/.471/.500 in September should be all the convincing you need to leave him in your lineup. You’d certainly hope for more than 24 home runs from Puig considering he hit 23 in just 125 games last season, but he’s still been a very useful asset.

Evan Longoria (3B, San Francisco Giants)—1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB. Did not except a combo meal from him. NL-only players have to be thrilled with the surprisingly adequate numbers they got from Longoria, but he’s not really relevant in the majority of formats.

Miguel Sano (3B, Minnesota Twins)—0-4, 3 K. This is Sano. You have to know that this is what you’re signing up for. I’m not saying you shouldn’t, I’m just saying I probably wont.

(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

Scott Chu

Scott Chu is a Senior Fantasy Analyst here bat Pitcher List and has written about fantasy baseball since 2013. He's also the inventor and mascot for Fantasy Curling (as seen the Wall Street Journal) and a 3x FSWA Award Finalist. In addition to being a fantasy analyst, he's a dad, animal lover, Simpsons fanatic, cartoon connoisseur, amateur curler, a CODA, and an attorney.

2 responses to “Batter’s Box: A Little Bertie Told Me”

  1. Jim says:

    Not now, Sano. Not now!

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