by Will Overton
Hopefully for your sake you have a reason to still be checking your fantasy baseball lineup every morning and the box scores every night. Even if you don’t have a reason anymore though, you can still learn things and look towards next season by following what is happening around the league.
Here are the big stories impacting fantasy baseball from last night:
- Where Should Doug Fister Rank Among Starting Pitchers Going Into Next Season?
The Washington Nationals have an absolutely stacked starting rotation of pitchers. The guy who has been the best among that fantastic rotation might just be Doug Fister. After a dominant complete game, three hit, shutout against the Marlins yesterday Fister is now 16 – 6 for the season with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In fantasy baseball his great season comes with a little bit of a catch though. Even after striking out nine batters last night he only has 98 n 164 IP this season. Fister has never been a dominant K guy, but he’s usually been better than this. The lack of K’s will probably keep him out of the top 15 of ranking lists next season, where the rest of his numbers suggest he should be at.
- Corey Kluber On The Other Hand Looks Like A Top 10 Guy Or Better…
If the Indian are a little bit better is Corey Kluber the Cy Young award winner in the American League? He’d certainly be right there in the thick of it. Kluber has had a fantastic year and seems to be getting better as the season wears on. Kluber pitched eight shutout innings last night, striking out 11 batters. He now has 39 K’s in 23 IP over his last three outings and a 1.12 ERA over his final five starts, all wins. Kluber is the total package as a pitcher and he’s got to be a top ten starting pitcher in fantasy next season, and as crazy as it sounds he might be in the mix for top five.
- Is Justin Bour The Marlins Starting First Basemen Next Season?
At 26 years old Justin Bour is moving beyond prospect status somewhat, but he is just now getting his first look at the big leagues. Bour looked fantastic yesterday in the game of the doubleheader he played in, going 3 – 4 with 1 BB, 4 R and 2 RBI. Bour has now racked up 68 AB’s in the bigs, a small sample size for sure, but he is hitting .294 so far. Bour is a big guy 6’4 250 and while he only has one HR in the bigs, he has shown power in the minors, including 18 HR’s at AAA before his callup. Bour should be in the mix to be the Marlins first basemen next season, as I really don’t think Garrett Jones has done anything to lock the job down long term. Bour could be one to watch in deep leagues next season.
- How Much Value Could Oswaldo Arcia Have?
We get glimpses of potential from Oswaldo Arcia that make us wonder if he can’t one day be an every game started in standard fantasy leagues. Then we see him go through these droughts and the inconsistencies and can’t help but wonder the opposite. Arcia had a nice game last night picking up a pair of hits including a homer and knocking in three runs. Arcia has 20 HR’s in 363 AB’s which is good for a HR every 18.2 AB’s, a really solid rate and would be good for 30 HR’s in 550 AB’s. Unfortunately though he is also striking out 34% of the time he comes up which is crippling his overall value. Until Arcia can improve his plate discipline he’ll have a hard time going from a good source of power off the waiver wire, to an everyday usable fantasy option.
- Another Solid Season Turned In By Mike Leake
Last night Mike Leake finished up his season with a stellar performance of 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB and 8 K, pitcing to a no decision. It seems like every year at some point there is talk about the Reds replacing Leake in the rotation, signing someone to take his place, etc. Yet he always seems to end the year with solid numbers and this year is no different. Leake finishes this season with a 3.70 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with 164 K’s in 214.1 IP. Leake won’t ever join the elite ranks in fantasy baseball, but I expect him to continue being overlooked and ending the season with a decent amount of fantasy value.
- Finishing Strong: Josh Reddick Trying To Mend Fences With Fantasy Owners
After a year and a half of being a huge disappointment Josh Reddick has been trying to make some amends by finishing strong this season. Reddick went 2 – 4 last night with 1 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI. Reddick is now 10 for his last 22 at the dish which has helped raised his average up to a more respectable .256. Since the all-star break Reddick has an OPS of .811 and eight HR’s, which is a lot better than the four he hit in the first half. I’m still going to have a hard time trusting Reddick in standard leagues next season, but this does help a little.
- Is There A Chance Dalton Pompey Starts 2015 In The Big Leagues?
The Blue Jays homegrown Canadian prospect Dalton Pompey has been on the fast track this season through the minor leagues and to the major leagues for a quick cup of coffee. The 21 year old outfielder started this season in High-A ball and has worked his way through AA and AAA stops and then a September call up to the show. Pompey picked up three hits last night, all three extra-base hits, with a pair of runs and a pair of RBI. Pompey is a guy with above average speed, a bit of power and a good knack for getting on base. I don’t think he’ll start next season in the majors, but he’ll wind up there at some point, Pompey has nice upside.
- The Upside Of Drew Hutchinson
As frustrating as his inconsistency has been at times this season it’s been a really nice rookie campaign turned in by Drew Hutchinson. We’ve seen a guy who is capable of being a really good pitcher and maybe an even better fantasy pitcher than real one given his strikeout upside. Hutchinson struck out eight in five innings last night and has an impressive 57 K’s in his last 40 IP. Hutchinson is a bit too hittable at times, but as he continues to progress he could wind up being a pretty special pitcher.
- Can Jean Segura Rebound Next Season?
In terms of fantasy disappointments all out busts, Jean Segura has to be at or near the top of most of those lists. Considering where he was drafted in most leagues and the hype he had and now the final numbers he ended up with, it’s been a disaster. Segura is finishing strong, 7 for his 15 and a HR and SB last night. At this point though it’s time to turn our eyes towards next season and ask whether he can rebound. Looking at the numbers it’s hard to identify a good reason for the regression. Segura’s GB/FB rate is almost identical as is his LD rate. He’s not striking out more or walking less. The one thing that jumps out is his BABIP which is .271, a pretty significantly low number for someone with Segura’s speed. I think Segura may have played over his ability his rookie season, but he’s also not as bad as he has been this year. Look for something in the middle next season in a moderate bounce back campaign.
- Can Chris Coghlan’s Success Carry Over?
In 2009 Chris Coghlan was a 24 year old rookie who showed up on fantasy radars with a solid season. Since then though he hasn’t really done anything over the course of four season, and now this year he is back on the radar. Coughlan went deep last night for the ninth time this season and has a .286 average and .352 OBP. If he were to have played a full season this year he would have double digit HR’s and SB’s along with 70+ runs scored. I expect the Cubs to make some moves this offseason, but if Coghlan carry over as a starter, he could carry over fantasy value too.