by Mickey Bell
I calculated z-scores using THE BAT X rest-of-season (ROS) projections (https://www.fangraphs.com/projections.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&type=rthebatx) then compared them to FantasyPro’s ECR (Expert Consensus Rankings; https://www.fantasypros.com/mlb/rankings/ros-hitters.php) to find batters potentially being undervalued by fantasy experts and players.
Please follow @DerekCarty, the creator of THE BAT, on Twitter and support his excellent work.
Teoscar Hernandez, OF, TOR
Let’s start with the highest ranked player on the table. Hernandez ranks 72nd overall so far this season, and FantasyPros ECR projects him to be the 65th best player going forward. However, z-scores based on THE BAT X project Hernandez to be the 21st best player and 12th best hitter the rest of the way.
Hernandez bats 5th every day for the Blue Jays, the MLB’s best offense according to wOBA (0.337). Along with great power and above average steals, he should provide excellent run and RBI totals. Over the past two seasons so far, Hernandez has hit 29 homers and stolen 13 bases to go along with a 0.294 BA in 518 PA. That extrapolates to 39 HR and 18 steals across 162 games.
Tommy Pham, OF, SDP
Pham projects to be the 60th overall player ROS based on THE BAT X, 70 spots higher than his 130 ECR on FantasyPros. He ranks above average in every StatCast dashboard category (see above). Pham had an 0.503 OPS in April but hit the ball hard, had a flukey 17% line drive rate, and a 0.226 BABIP (career: 0.332). Since then, he has 10 HR, 11 steals, and a 0.892 OPS. His 0.404 OBP resulted in 53 runs. While he has batted fifth or sixth lately as Grisham has mostly led off, he would see a bump in RBI totals further down the lineup.
Avisail Garcia, OF, MIL
Garcia has been a favorite in my >50% rostered waiver wire articles all year. Currently just 52% rostered, you still might be able to pick him up off the wire in your league. FantasyPros ECR has him as their 260th-ranked player ROS. However, he has been the 107th ranked player on the year with 17 HR and four steals. His 0.350 xwOBA (expected wOBA) is actually 17 points higher than his actual wOBA meaning he has not lucked into his results. If your league has not caught on to Garcia’s value, pick him up off waivers or target him in a trade as his cost should be reasonable.
Joey Votto, 1B, CIN
ECR ranks Votto 199th overall ROS, but THE BAT X projections rank him 117th. Votto’s Barrel% and Hard Hit % both rank in the 86th percentile. He missed most of May but has 7 HR and an 0.891 OPS since returning on June 8.
Constantly tweaking his game, Votto’s power has reappeared after just 27 HR across 287 games in 2018 and 2019. Since then, he has 23 HR in 121 games between 2020 and 2021. Even last year, Votto’s average exit velocity (EV) dropped to a StatCast-era personal low of 87.4 MPH (26th percentile). This year, it has jumped to 92.4 MPH, his best in the StatCast era. His Barrel %, HardHit%, and Max EV are all also personal bests.
Jonathan Schoop, 1B/2B, MIN
Schoop ranks 58th overall in 5×5 roto so far this year with a 0.287 BA, 17 HR, and 110 combined R+RBI. He is rostered in 83% of Yahoo leagues but could be a trade target if his perceived value still has not caught up. Z-scores based on THE BAT X projections rate Schoop 157th overall but his ECR rank (241) is 84 spots lower. Over the last three seasons, Schoop has a 0.272 BA and a 0.790 OPS in 259 games. His 48 HR in that time translates to a 30 HR per 162 game pace.