John Ryan Murphy has forced the Diamondbacks’ hand over the last week or so thanks to his hot bat. Murphy has a five-game hitting streak (8-for-22) with five runs, four HRs, and seven RBI. He’s started three of the last four games for Arizona, and he deserves to be the starting catching going forward. John Ryan should be a nice upgrade at C2 in shallow leagues.
Other than a second catcher for an AL-only league, I don’t expect Jose Briceno to have playable Fantasy value at this point in his early career. A Fantasy owner should still keep an eye on his direction and career path just in case an injury creates more playing time. Briceno has four hits in nine at-bats since being called up from the minors with two HRs and three RBI. He flashed power at AAA (six HRs and 20 RBI) over 88 at-bats in 2018. Jose is a .240 hitter over 2,015 minor league at-bats with 47 HRs and 244 RBI. Possible 15/50 skill set with 450+ at-bats while having batting average risk.
An injury to Wilmer Flores created more playing time for Adrian Gonzalez over the last week. Gonzalez started four of the last five games for the Mets leading to six hits in 18 at-bats with one HRs and six RBI. Adrian would be on pace for 20+ HRs and 90+ RBI if he had 550+ at-bats. His window for increased at-bats should last another week or so.
Hunter Dozier started to find his major league rhythm over the last week. He has ten hits over 28 at-bats with a home run and three RBI. Lucas Duda will return from the DL shortly, but Dozier should still find playing time at DH. Hunter had his best success in the minors in 2016 when he hit .296 over 486 at-bats with 23 HRs, 75 RBI, and seven SBs. Hunter has upside in power, but his batting average will be a liability over the long haul in the majors.
Joey Wendle started filling all Fantasy buckets over his recent eight-game hitting streak (10-for-32 with five runs, one HR, three RBI, and two SBs). Tampa had him in the starting lineup in seven of his last eight games, which is positive for his short-term value. Wendle hit .285 over 1,546 at-bats at AAA with 228 runs, 30 HRs, 172 RBI, and 13 SBs. Viable start in all formats as long he continues to deliver at least one HR and one steal over a two-week period.
Ben Zobrist played at a high-level in three of his last four games (8-for-15 with four runs, two HRs, and five RBI). Over his last ten games, Zobrist hit .359 with three HRs and eight RBI while starting nine of the Cubs last 12 games. Tough start in shallow leagues due to a semi-split role, but he may be worth a ride as an injury cover while Ben is swinging a hot bat.
Over his first 102 at-bats in the majors in 2018, Max Muncy has seven HRs and 19 RBI which projects to a high level of success over a full season. His playing time looks cloudy, but LA has had him in the starting lineup for seven straight games leading to six hits in 25 at-bats with two HRs and four RBI. Muncy is a career .276 hitter in the minors with 62 HRs, 295 RBI, and 19 SBs over 1,974 at-bats highlighted by his 2013 season between High A and AA (.273 with 25 HRs and 100 RBI over 523 at-bats). The Dodgers like him, so Fantasy owner should follow suit until he starts losing at-bats.
Johan Camargo has a hit or more in four of his last five games, which led to a .273 average with two HRs and three RBI. His approach at the plate (21 walks and 20 Ks over 99 at-bats) has shown growth, but his boring minor league resume (1,915) in power (15 HRs) and steals (22) points to minimal playable value over the long haul. Camargo gives the appearance of a developing player, which may lead to a spike in power if you need an injury cover.
Yairo Munoz emerged as the top cover at shortstop for Paul DeJong over the last ten days or so. Munoz has 14 hits in his last 34 bats with five runs, two HRs, nine RBI, and one SB. Munoz had a relatively quiet start to 2018 at AAA (.287 over 100 at-bats with three HRs, ten RBI, and one SB) while his 2017 resume at AA and AAA (.300 over 446 at-bats with 13 HRs, 68 RBI, and 22 SBs) suggest a developing upside middle infield option. Yairo played well enough where he may push his way over to second base when DeJong returns from the DL. I’m probably a week late in deep leagues, but I’d pick him up this week if given the opportunity.
Harrison Bader has ten hits in his last 23 at-bats with five runs, two HRs, three RBI, and two SBs while starting the last five games. Bader should have a better to gain at-bats with Tyler O’Neil shipped back to AAA. Bader flashed an intriguing skill set at AAA in 2017 (.283 with 20 HRs, 55 RBI, and 15 SBs over 431 at-bats). Player to own if his playing continues.
Jackie Bradley gets a nice reprieve in playing time with Hanley Ramirez dumped into the Fantasy abyss. Bradley responded with a six-game hitting streak (7-for-19 with three runs, three RBI, and three SBs). Jackie tends to be a streak hitter who is a fun ride with he’s in a groove. His power should start to shine through over the next week or so helping Fantasy teams.
Ben Gamel has a seven-game (11-for-24) hitting streak with his only highlight being a pair of steals. Over his last 14 games, Gamel hit .413 with five runs, one HR, three RBI, and three SBs. Ben has a potential 15/20 skill set, but he’ll hit at the bottom of the Mariners lineup on most nights while sitting against some lefties. Buy the steals if you need them and hope for a jump in power.
The top pitching pickup in leagues with waiver bids on Sunday will be Frankie Montas after allowing one run over 14 innings with nine Ks over his first two major league starts in 2018. His AAA resume (4.39 ERA and 1.34 WHIP) this season doesn’t paint elite success over the long haul. Montas flashed upside in 2015 at AA (2.97 ERA and 108 Ks over 112 innings), but he did walk 48 batters. Intriguing arm, but he’ll struggle when he’s not throwing strikes. Don’t overpay for last week’s stats. Frankie should remain in the A’s rotation as long as he’s pitching well.
The Dodgers may be forced to use Dennis Santana in the starting rotation with Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda landing on the DL. Santana pitched at a high level over his ten starts between AA and AAA in 2018 leading to a 2.54 ERA and 65 Ks over 49.2 innings. His growth in 2018 is due to improved command (2.9 walks per nine). Over five seasons in the minors, Santana had a 3.59 ERA with 408 Ks over 366.1 innings His fastball grades at league average. More of a flier than a must-own.
The Reds hopes to have Anthony DeSclafani back from the DL next week. Over four rehab starts in the minors, DeSclafani has a 4.66 ERA and 22 Ks over 19.1 innings. He pitched well in his last start at AAA (two runs over six innings with three Ks), but he did struggle with home runs (five over 11 innings) in his last two starts. Anthony flashed upside in the majors in 2016 over 20 starts (3.28 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 105 Ks over 123.1 innings). DeSclafani may need a couple of starts in the majors before offering playable value.