Welcome back to the FINAL Buy & Sell of the year, and let me tell ya, it’s been a doozy. This final week, as I’m in the Pitcher List Legacy League championship, I know it’s okay to be impulsive because there’s really not enough time left for it to hurt you in redrafts.
Most of my best adds carrying me to the finish are waiver guys I picked up along the way, and maybe it’s not too late to grab one more. With my fingers crossed that I win my third Pitcher List championship, on to the list!
It looks like the book is no longer out on the Strand. When it came to finding his bat in the majors, he was overdue. He’s hitting .373 with 4 HR and 1 SB in 51 AB over the past 3 weeks and significantly improved his contact rate with 10 K in PA over that span.
That’s good for a healthy 19% clip, and given his plus power and an upcoming homestand, I’d count on him continuing to hit for average while adding in a few more dingers, making him a fine add for 10-team batting average leagues.
He’s now extending his stolen base count like Pinocchio in an interrogation room, and that’s shocking given that in the first half, his stolen base count was Gimeny crickets.
He’s been considered a disappointment by many due to the lack of the high batting average that he displayed in his breakout 2022 season, but after months of mediocrity, he started running like wild and has now racked up 29 bases on the year.
His power hitting has also improved in spurts even though he’s still hitting just .246, but he has been on the rise with one of the most improved xwOBAs over his past 50 PA in the MLB.
If you’re going for the championship, you may as well go Wall or nothing.
The Twins slugger is underrated due to a lack of high-end prospect pedigree, but his quality of contact metrics are up there with some of the league’s top bats, with a 115 mph maxEV, 17% Barrel%, and 48% HardHit%. While he’s streaky, he’s hitting .435 this week with a 3/5 BB/K in 26 PA (7 games) this week.
The real reason I think he’s 12-team viable though is his schedule, which features facing the Reds in Great American Smallpark, Oakland pitching at home, and Coors. Given the fact he has muscle and also a 48% Flyball%, I think he’s a sneaky stream if you want a discount Jorge Soler or at least discount Nelson Velázquez.
It was easy to not trust him despite early production, but with how steady he’s been, he’s O’earned his keep. He’s one of the most surprising hitters to hit above .300, and he’s smashing a stellar .311 with 14 homers and 4 stolen bases in 331 PA to boot, good for a 134 wRC+.
That makes me seriously wonder if he’s a body snatcher, since, I mean, I really thought we knew pretty well who O’Hearn was after over 1,000 pretty mediocre PAs in the big leagues.
Still, if you think about it, that’s only two seasons’ worth of production, and often hitters succeed in year 3, so this is sort of like that. Look, I’m trying to make sense of it like we all are. I mean, O’Hearn also stole four bases.
The big reason I think he’s finally 12-team viable is that one of his top competitors for regular playing time, Ryan Mountcastle, is out of the picture for now as he just hit the IL with a shoulder injury, which I wouldn’t be surprised if it keeps him out for the rest of the regular season, especially since the Orioles already have their playoff berth clinched.
O’Hearn is an asset for batting average but don’t forget that the power is legit too as he’s pacing for about 25 HR in a 600 PA season, which is more impressive given the tough ballpark (though it helps he’s a lefty). Add in all 12-team batting average leagues.
Smith has been chipping away steadily the past few weeks, though he’s not one to Dom-inate opposing pitchers. To be interested in him requires ignoring totally the lousy season line and keying in on the past 3 weeks in which he’s hit .250/.322/.558 with 4 homers in 52 AB. That’s surprisingly good power for him, I mean that’s 40% of all of his homers all season.
With solid plate discipline (a 6/7 BB/K over that span) and regular playing time, he’s a viable hot hand streamer for deeper leagues, though I’d argue he’s a bit more valuable in 15-team OBP formats for now.
I think his bat is finally waking up, even if his season totals are Yoan-inducing. He’s hit an impressive .322 with 4 homers in 59 AB the past 3 weeks, which might lead you to wonder why I’m not recommending him in shallower leagues. Then I’d gladly point you to the 3/24 BB/K in 62 PA over that span, which is pretty ugly, and this past week he’s had a 50% K% which is downright hideous.
That being said, the balls he does hit he’s hitting hard, with a .399 xwOBA over his past 100 PA which is a huge improvement from the .285 xwOBA from his previous 100 PA. Given that, the fact he plays every day, and the fact he’s managed high BABIPs despite poor K rates before, I’d be fine rolling with him in a 15-team AVG league for the final leg thanks in part to a friendly schedule.
Well, this was a name I wasn’t expecting to write about again this season, as I thought he was totally Walshed up. He’s hit two mammoth homers, which is a great sign, but I’m still not expecting much here, as he’s also hitting .154 with 7 K in over 13 AB, and even in a small sample, a strikeout rate over 50% is never a good sign.
Still, for now, he’s playing over Cron, so if you need pop in the worst way, you could do worse.
If it’s speed you’re after, you should always target the Young guys. The 24-year-old has very little power as he could hardly crank any out even in the minors, but he’s still got wheels, as he stole 39 bases in the minors across two levels, and he’s now up to 7 nabbed bags in just 82 PA. He draws walks at a decent clip, which should help give him more opportunities, but his batting average is more passable than good.
Still, he plays and has speed, and you need to zero in on your cats if that’s what you need. Meow.
The madman is maligning Manny Machado more? Yep. I predicted in my 10 Bold Predictions that he wouldn’t be a Top 7 third baseman, and even though I started to doubt that midseason, it does seem according to the player rater he’s definitely outside the Top 10.
He’s tried to play through some injuries this year and it’s had a deleterious effect on his performance, and the same goes for the elbow issues he’s currently dealing with. While he hasn’t been terrible, hitting .254/.299/.429 with 3 homers in 63 AB the past 3 weeks, that’s certainly still hurting you in 10-team formats, and this week he’s hit just .154 with no homers.
Let’s face it, with just 10 days or so to go, anything can happen, but in 10-teamers, especially OBP formats, I’d roll with a hot hot corner than a Cold Cold Manny (this pun is solely based on my hope that you’ll discover the glory of Saint Motel). You’re welcome.
Much like the inside of a bell, Bell is mostly hollow. He was hot upon arrival in Miami, but he’s now out of tune, hitting just .236 with 1 dinger over the past two weeks, to bring his total to a rather pedestrian .242 and 21 HR in 520 AB. This year, even walks couldn’t save him, as that rate also plummeted so his .318 OBP was nearly as bad.
He’s a good reminder that just because someone’s batted ball data suggests they’ll turn it around, doesn’t mean they will, and still far too many keep him for name despite the fact his overall production is among the worst among 1st basemen with more than 400 PA.
Cut in all 12-team formats, and stay open to it if there’s a worthwhile add on the wire in 15-teamers.
If you ran into this Westburg while you were cruising, you might find your championship sinking in the middle of the ocean. While he hasn’t been terrible, he certainly hasn’t been the power-centric player we expected after he crushed Triple-A with 18 dingers in just 301 PA.
In the majors he’s hitting just .266 with 3 HR and 4 SB in 206 PA, clocking in at exactly 100 wRC+ as an offensively league-average player. Although he might continue to rack up the lion’s share of at-bats, I still think you can do better in 15-teamers for this year, although he’s a great target in keeper formats.
The Yankees are clearly out of contention and have clearly committed to “Let the Kids Play” mode, which I think is great for them. I mean, how often does a team like the Yankees have that kind of opportunity? That being said, Bauers is definitely not one of the kids and not one of the cool grown-ups either.
Although up to this point, he’s been trotted out there fairly regularly and been an interesting experiment with his suddenly massive barrel rate, he’s likely to have a higher bench rate until the season ends. He’s no Jack Bauer, but his 24 hours have run out. Sorry, no cool explosion here.