Justin Ruggiano – Miami Marlins
He has been a hot name for a while now, which makes sense considering he is hitting .359 with 8 HR, 22 RBI, 19 R and 8 SB over 131 AB (through Monday). If those numbers weren’t enough, Marlins outfielders are dropping like flies (Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison are on the DL and the Omar Infante trade has moved Emilio Bonifacio to second base). So, he’s been performing and he is going to get playing time. What exactly is there not to like?
He entered play on Tuesday as one of the hottest hitters in July, with a .338 average with 6 HR and 13 RBI in 80 AB. The home runs tied him for 12th for the month, a prediction no one would’ve made. Now, the question for fantasy owners is if he is fool’s gold or if he can maintain production even remotely close to these.
Considering over his minor league career he hit 108 HR over 2,910 AB the power immediately looks unsustainable. Throw in his 22.2% HR/FB and it’s easy to say that the 30-year old is not going to be able to maintain this pace.
As for the average, he hit .296 based on a .379 BABIP in the minor leagues. You would think the BABIP is unrealistic, though he is showing that he can consistently hit line drives with a 25.5% mark this season (helping to a .429 BABIP). While his Major League BABIP may not be sustainable, if he is going to hit consistent line drives he does have the potential to hit for a solid average (though a 22.1% strikeout rate does help to keep things in check).
The bottom line? If you are looking for an average hitter he has the potential to help in all formats, though strikeouts and a drop of power is going to limit his value moving forward. If you are looking for power in the outfield, he definitely wouldn’t be my first choice unless you play in a deeper format.
Mike Carp – Seattle Mariners
He has come off the DL hitting, going 8-21 with 1 HR, 6 RBI (one in five straight games) and 3 R. With Justin Smoak being banished to Triple-A for the time being, Carp is going to get his chance to play and finally live up to expectations.
Last season in 290 AB he was actually quite productive, hitting .276 with 12 HR and 46 RBI. Yes, he struck out a lot (25.9%) and benefited from a .343 BABIP, so the average may not be something we can expect to be continued. That said he’s not a .202 hitter as he’s shown thus far, with a .229 BABIP obviously being the problem. With a 21.3% line drive rate, similar to last year’s 24.8%, there is no reason to think that he isn’t going to improve dramatically. Will he hit .280? Probably not, though it’s not impossible. Regardless, he should hit at least .260, a mark that isn’t going to hurt you.
The power is actually still there this season, with 5 HR in 104 AB. He’s posted a 17.2% HR/FB mark, nearly matching last year’s 17.6% mark. Yes the ballpark doesn’t do him any favors, but it shouldn’t cripple him either. He has 20+ home run potential and could be a real under-the-radar source of power for the remainder of the season.
Throw in a potential spot in the middle of the Mariners lineup (though he has been hitting seventh right now) and there is an awful lot to like. He’s likely sitting on your waiver wire, so don’t hesitate to grab him in all deeper formats immediately.