by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
At this point in the season getting at bats is half the battle, because with less than a week left projecting out opportunities for the remainder of ’16 simply doesn’t make sense. Either you are an option to take the field or you aren’t, and if you fall into the latter category you simply hold no value to fantasy owners attempting to grab fantasy titles. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players who should be available and are also getting regular at bats that could help you over the final few days (all stats are through Sunday):
T.J. Rivera – New York Mets
CBS Sports – 3%, Yahoo! – 4%
Rivera may be the most underwhelming name on this list, but depending on your league setup he could bring significant versatility to the table:
- Second Base – 20 games
- Shortstop – 0 games (in CBS he was listed as a SS prior to being recalled, so he has eligibility)
- Third Base – 9 games
He’s also proven that he can produce in the Major Leagues, despite not being a player to draw many walks (1.2%) as he’s hitting .350 with 3 HR and 13 RBI over 85 PA. He’s not a big-time power hitter (11 HR at Triple-A) nor is he a speed option, but he’s hitting the ball hard (21.9% line drive rate). Of course, while he’s not striking out a lot the rest of the numbers bring significant risk:
- SwStr% – 12.3%
- O-Swing% – 46.5%
- BABIP – .357 (he hit .353 at Triple-A, but courtesy of a .383 BABIP)
Could he produce over the final week of the season? Absolutely, but he’s a risky play and not necessarily someone to be depending on.
Roman Quinn – Philadelphia Phillies
CBS Sports – 7%, Yahoo! – 2%
He’s settled into the #2 spot of the Phillies’ order, and as we’ve said before he carries 10/30 type upside if he can stay healthy. While he hasn’t hit a home run as of yet, he does have 3 doubles and has shown off his speed (4 stolen bases in 5 attempts over his 64 PA).
His strikeout rate is high (26.6%), which is helping him hit a meager .213 thus far. The problem isn’t his eye (20.6% O-Swing%), he’s simply swinging and missing far too much (12.4% SwStr%). It’ll be interesting to see if he can make the necessary adjustments, but with a 21.1% strikeout rate at Double-A this season and a 16.3% mark at the level in ’15, there’s reason to believe.
That said, there are few available players who bring his type of potential and it’s clear that the Phillies want to see what they have. Consider him a good play for the final week.
Whit Merrified – Kansas City Royals
CBS Sports – 7%, Yahoo! – 3%
Remember him? A darling earlier in the season, the wheels completely fell off and he was sent back to the minors. Not only is he back for September, but he’s making us remember just how good he was when he first arrived in the Majors (.311, 8 RBI, 10 R, 2 SB over 80 PA). You can argue that he’s doing it due to significant luck, given his .404 BABIP, and it’s certainly a fair claim. Of course, who’s to say he can’t keep it going for a few more days?
He’s sort of like Rivera, with the difference being that we’ve already seen him both produce and fail. At this point we’d rather roll the dice with Merrifield if we were forced to utilize one of them.
Sources – Fangraphs, CBS Sports, Yahoo!