by Will Overton
Time to check the temperature gauge in the free agency market once again and see who is heating up. We know that we don’t want to just blindly grab a guy because he’s hot if there is no real chance at sustainability, but you also don’t want to miss out on a season long breakout. We’re going to highlight a few guys who are heating up right now that I think are worth adding and have a chance of sustaining some success, at least in some form. Let’s take a look:
C.J. Cron – 1B,
It’s a bit of a mystery to me how a guy with 12 HR while hitting .270 is owned in less than 40% of leagues. Cron has been the strength of the Twins resurgent offense this season and he’s been especially hot the last couple weeks, with 5 HR in the last nine games along with 10 RBI.
He is also coming off his first season hitting 30 HR, and so to assume this isn’t sustainable would be a mistake. He’s not going to keep hitting .350 like he has the last two weeks, but he absolutely could hit .260 going forward and having a guy with power like this off the waiver wire isn’t going to come along often.
Gregory Polanco – OF,
The delay to the start of the season because of injury put Polanco off of fantasy players radars and folks are a little slow to get him back on it seems. It’s crazy to me that he went into yesterday’s game owned in just 34% of leagues on ESPN. Polanco has been hitting the ball since he came back from his injury, but he’s taken it up a notch the last 10 games, hitting 4 HR to go with 10 RBI and 10 R.
Last season he hit 23 HR and stole 12 bases while getting less than 500 AB due to injury. He also has another season with 22 HR and 17 SB. We’ve already seen the track record that shows us he’s someone with top 20 OF potential and he’s sitting on the waiver wire of two-thirds of leagues. That should change, but take advantage while you have the chance.
Leury Garcia – OF,
Chicago White Sox
I don’t understand the trends with Garcia, a guy who is 12 for his last 36 at the plate and currently in the Top 10 in the AL in runs scored and stolen bases, as he’s owned in 7% of leagues and for some reason has dropped 2.8%. He missed a couple games earlier this week because of his back, but he’s reached based in three of four games since returning and stolen two bases.
Garcia has shown some upside the last two seasons, but this is his first chance at a full time job and he’s been running with it. He is the White Sox leadoff hitter, which has led to some great opportunities, and also offers him the opportunity to sustain this. He isn’t going to finish the season with 40+ SB, but if he ends up with 80 R and 25 SB that’s a guy who should be owned in all leagues.
Aledmys Diaz –
2B/3B/SS, Houston Astros
The versatile Astros utility man has been getting some extra work lately because of an injury to Jose Altuve. He’s also been making the most of it with 3 HR in his last five games along with 10 RBI. Diaz has shown previously to have power upside with a rate of one homerun every 25 AB throughout his career, which is pretty respectable.
There are a couple concerns, namely what happens when Altuve comes back and the fact that Diaz has missed the last couple games with a hamstring injury. I’m not overly worried about the first point because Diaz is able to play any of the four infield positions and the outfield so there should always be work for him. The injury is another thing and it’s something you’ll have to watch. If he isn’t out for any extended period of time I do think he’s worth grabbing.