by Mickey Bell
Trevor Story, SS & CJ Cron, 1B, COL
The inverse to Jon Gray and German Marquez not getting the trade bump many hoped for is that impending free agents Story and Cron stay put and continue to play their home games at Coors Field. The lineup is still decent; Ryan McMahon, Brendan Rodgers, Raimel Tapia, and even old man Charlie Blackmon will score runs at home. If your fantasy team needs a power and RBI boost, Cron is rostered in just 32% of Yahoo leagues despite 16 HR, 50 RBI, and an 0.827 OPS (1.009 at home) on the year.
Eduardo Escobar, 2B/3B, MIL
Eduardo Escobar got an upgrade in terms of both home stadium (for HR) and lineup when he was traded to the Brewers. Escobar has 24 HR on the year and had a 35 HR season in 2019. According to BaseballMonster’s Park Factors, Arizona’s Chase Field boosts HRs by 2% over league average compared to 14% for Miller Park in Milwaukee. As an aside, Chase Field boosts triples by 51% and indeed Escobar led the league in triples in 2019.
Abraham Toro, 2B/3B, SEA
Rostered in just 35% of Yahoo leagues, Toro has come alive since his trade from the Astros to the Mariners. He has 9 HR and four steals in just 146 AB and four homers since being traded. His production has not come out of nowhere. He came into the year as the Astros’ third best prospect according to Fangraphs and put up a 171 wRC+ at AAA this year. Toro led off today and would get an extra boost from moving up in the lineup consistently.
Patrick Wisdom, 1B/3B, CHC
Rafael Ortega deserves a little attention here too although he is 30 years old without a real track record of success. While he has interesting power/speed upside for fantasy, I have doubts about Ortega’s ability to hit better than league average for an extended period of time. Wisdom, 29, is not a spring chicken either but has shown very impressive batted ball stats this year. Rostered in just 30% of Yahoo leagues, he has 16 HR, and his 57.5% Hard Hit rate is second in the MLB to Evan Longoria (Min: 100 BBE). The cleanup hitter’s 38% K rate is certainly a concern and will keep his BA down, but he can help your HR and RBI totals.
Cesar Hernandez, 2B, CWS
Hernandez, rostered in 34% of Yahoo leagues, bats second most days since the trade to Chicago. He had just 3 HR across 264 PA in 2020 but has 19 this year and has homered in two straight games. Hernandez used to steal 15-19 bags per year but has not stolen a base in the last two seasons. However, he should be an excellent provider of runs considering his spot in a good lineup on the South Side. Hernandez has sold out for a little more power, sure. But his current 0.237 BA should regress positively toward his career 0.273 mark.
Carter Kieboom, 3B/SS, Yadiel Hernandez, OF, and Luis Garcia, 2B, WAS
These players get a playing time boost after the trades of Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Josh and Harrison, and the suspension of Starlin Castro. Kieboom has shined the brightest in the bigs so far though his 112 wRC+ at AAA was somewhat underwhelming. The 33 year old Hernandez has a 0.314 BA and 0.818 OPS in 130 PA this year. His wRC+ was 139 at AAA. The 21 year old Luis Garcia mashed at AAA with a 153 wRC+ and 13 HR. He should pick up SS eligibility shortly. Kieboom, Hernandez, and Garcia are currently rostered in 10%, 7%, and 1% of Yahoo leagues, respectively.
- Finnegan, RP, WAS
- Patton, RP, TEX
- Clippard, RP, ARI
- Floro, RP, MIA
- Also: Keep an eye on the Pirates and Rays’ closer situation.