Obviously a player making one appearance at a position generally isn’t enough to get our attention, but the Padres’ Ty France (currently owned in 1% of CBS Sports leagues) drawing a start at 2B on Saturday is noteworthy. He’s only played 8 games at second base throughout his minor league career (he’s primarily been a 1B/3B), but those two positions are blocked by Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer. Long-term you can argue that 2B is blocked by Luis Urias, but he continues to struggle in the Majors (.182 over his past seven games in the Majors, .155 with 3 HR over 110 AB overall this season).
It makes you wonder if the Padres are getting ready to make a change once again, giving the red hot France an opportunity?
France is hitting .523 with 5 HR and 17 RBI over his past 10 games and overall is hitting .402 with 26 HR and 80 RBI over 264 AB at Triple-A. His numbers didn’t translate to the Majors (.235 with 2 HR over 98 AB), but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve another shot (after all this is Urias’ second stint in ’19).
Obviously the average is unsustainable (.407 BABIP entering play on Saturday), but there is no questioning the power potential (even last season he had 30 doubles, 2 triples and 22 HR in 509 AB between Double and Triple-A) and he also has displayed a good approach:
- SwStr% – 9.6%
- Strikeout Rate – 14.5%
- Walk Rate – 8.3%
While he doesn’t offer much speed, with his power and approach he profiles as a .260-.270 type hitter who could routinely hit 20-25 HR. As a middle infielder there’s value in that, somewhat out of the Jedd Gyorko mold.
With his potential positional flexibility, that definitely adds some intrigue.
Other players worth grabbing in deep leagues:
- Anthony Bass (RP, SEA) – Owned in just 5% of CBS Sports leagues, would it really be surprising to see Bass get an opportunity as the closer? Both Roenis Elias & Hunter Strickland were sent to Washington prior to the deadline and Bass has shown success with groundballs (51.3%) and control (2.86 BB/9). There may be a little more upside in his strikeout stuff (9.9% SwStr%), which would really help him get established.
- Austin Nola (U, SEA) – Owned in 8% of CBS Sports leagues, Nola brings versatility (he’s already played at least 5 games at 1B and 2B) and a good approach (in the Majors he has a 9.0% SwStr% and 26.6% O-Swing%). His power has seemingly taken a step forward this season, with a 12.5% HR/FB at Triple-A and 14.3% in the Majors leading to 11 HR over 316 PA (to go along with 21 doubles and 2 triples). While we’d like to see that paired with some speed, in deep formats it still provides value.
Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com, MILB.com, CBS Sports