You’re a fantasy owner in need of hitting stats, and our analysts are here to help. Let’s begin with a review of players who can provide a power boost.
Q. Here’s a partial list of widely available players who’ve each hit five or more homers over the past two weeks: Matt Adams, Mike Zunino, Matt Davidson, Keon Broxton, Ian Happ and Yangervis Solarte. From that list, who are you most interested in adding for the remainder of the season?
Andy Behrens: I’m on the record as a big fan of Adams and Happ, but, for me, the answer here has to be KEON BROXTON. As of this writing, he’s one of only seven players in MLB who’s hit at least 10 homers and swiped 10 bags. Four of the seven were consensus first-round fantasy picks (Trout, Goldy, Betts, Altuve). Somehow, Broxton is only owned in 41 percent of Yahoo leagues. Let’s correct that problem, people.
Scott Pianowski: MATT ADAMS is hard to deny, given the binge he’s been on since joining Atlanta (12 homers in 31 games, .661 slugging, 156 OPS+). Eventually Adams will get shifted or traded; I don’t buy Freddie Freeman shifting to third. Solarte was turning into a fun story until he injured his oblique. I love his position flexibility and on-base skills.
Dalton Del Don: MATT ADAMS. There’s little doubt he’s been playing over his head, but Adams did hit 16 homers in fewer than 300 at bats last season. He’s batting .314/.365/.569 against right-handers this year, and he’s locked into the middle of Atlanta’s lineup now that Freddie Freeman is moving to third base once he returns from the disabled list.
Q. Give us a corner-infielder, available in shallow fantasy formats (10-12 teams), who deserves more attention?
Andy: OK, here’s where I give a nod to MATT DAVIDSON. He’s not going hit for average, in all likelihood, but he’s already up to 16 home runs, plus he does his hitting in a favorable home environment.
Scott: I’ll sign off on Davidson, too; I realize it’s a season where everyone reaches the seats, but 21 percent looks awfully light. And what’s it going to take to fix the TREY MANCINI ownership tag? He fits in well with Baltimore’s softball team of DH types; .337-15-5-15 over the last month, and he doesn’t run, either. If you’re looking for the center cut of Boom Boom ownership, check him out against righties (.342/.392/.624) and at home (.337/.378/.615).
Q: Please offer up a corner who’s available in deeper, larger leagues.
Dalton: LUCAS DUDA. The batting average isn’t great, but he’s knocked out 12 home runs over just 165 at bats. Rarely will you find someone with an .892 OPS owned in just 12 percent of leagues.
Scott: Obviously the four-homer game was a monumental fluke, but SCOOTER GENNETT is viable in a deeper format. He holds three positions of eligibility (2B, 3B, OF), his playing time is safe with Zack Cozart hurt, and he’s generally slotted No. 2, right in front of Joey Votto. A .284 average moves the needle in today’s game, and Gennett has 23 homers over his last 653 at-bats.
Q: Kyle Schwarber was sent to Triple-A, which made at least one Yahoo expert cry real tears. It’s been a rough year for fantasy catchers generally, so give us a widely available backstop who’s worth a long look.
Dalton: I gave poor Andy a hard enough time about Schwarber’s demotion during our recent podcast, so I won’t pile on here. Seriously, what a down year for catchers. As for a possible replacement, give me AUSTIN HEDGES (his recent injury isn’t supposedly serious). He’s on pace to finish with 24 homers with 76 RBI and is available in 22 percent of leagues.
Andy: I am shattered by the Schwarber demotion. Broken. Weeping. It gave me no pleasure to add TYLER FLOWERS as a replacement across my fantasy portfolio, but that’s what I’ve generally done. We knew Flowers had legit power entering the season. So far this year, there’s far less swing-and-miss in his game, and he’s delivered a career-best line-drive rate (25 percent).