The All-Star break is a nice time to take stock of your team.
Every FAAB dollar will count as we come down the stretch, especially for teams in the hunt.
Whether you’re in first or eighth, finding some hidden gems can’t hurt your efforts.
I’ve combed the metrics to find some players who may provide a big boost to your team and will come at little to no cost.
Let’s get to it.
Second Half Sleepers
Tommy Joseph, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies
|K%||ISO||FB%||HR/FB%||Pull%||Soft Contact %||Hard Contact %||WRC +|
As you can guess from the heading, this is a Tommy Joseph comp. He is Player A. Admittedly, he has been up and down since his call up in May. His torrid performance to start July has caught some people’s attention, including mine.
The above metrics are geared mostly toward power, and that is his best asset. His comparison, Player B, is second in home runs in the NL, sixth in RBIs, and ninth in Slugging%. While Player B has some advantages, most notably in ISO and Pull%, their metrics seem to compare similarly overall.
Player B is Adam Duvall, who has been a key source of power for Fantasy teams. While it is far from certain that Joseph can have the same impact in the second half that Duvall did in the first, at just 4.9% ownership in ESPN leagues, Joseph won’t have any acquisition cost and could be worth a flier.
Yangervis Solarte, 3B, San Diego Padres
Solarte was one of my favorite sleepers entering the season but his season was derailed early in the year by an injury. Since returning he has an impressive .888 OPS.
Admittedly, he doesn’t post eye-popping power numbers. However, he makes a lot of contact, has hit more fly balls, and posted an improved HR/FB rate over past seasons. Add in his eligibility at 1B, 2B, and 3B and you have a versatile player that will be useful as injuries hit your team.
Unlike Joseph, Solarte has gotten some attention for his hot stretch, as he is 38.4% owned and that rate has increased 25.6% in the last week. In other words, if you want to take a chance on Solarte, now is the time.
Randal Grichuk, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
A lot of you may feel burned by Grichuk. I was high on him entering the season, so count me in on that list. In one sense, his fall is puzzling as he has improved his strikeout rate.
The problem is, he hasn’t used the extra contact to his advantage. He has seen a spike in soft contact and has a minuscule 12.3% line drive rate. His season hit rock bottom when he was sent to Triple-A in mid-June. However, since his recall on July 5, he has nine hits in 22 at-bats. Three of those hits been extra-base hits.
No, it’s not a big sample, but it’s encouraging. It’s far from certain, but he has the chance to redeem himself with Fantasy owners. Owned in only 24.5% of ESPN leagues, all you’ll likely need to roster him is some FAAB.
Anthony DeSclafani, SP, Cincinnati Reds
In what has become a common trend with the players in this article, DeSclafani had his season put on hold by injury. Since his return, he has been very good, posting a 2.23 ERA and 1.29 WHIP over 36.1 innings pitched.
He isn’t a big strikeout pitcher, but he doesn’t hurt himself either. He has walked just 2.23 batters per nine innings. He has had a home run problem in the past, so it would be nice to see him increase his groundball rate and avoid relying on flyball outs.
He posted a surprisingly solid Fantasy season last year and he has picked off where he left off. Like the rest of this list, there is risk to DeSclafani. However, he is owned in just 47% of ESPN leagues.
Given the volatility and injury plagued position that is pitching, now may be the time to get some shares of him.