Check out last month’s tiers right here.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a piece on this very website entitled “Jose Altuve: Fantasy Baseball’s Most Valuable Hitter.” It is a celebratory collection of fun facts about the best position player in fantasy, and I invite you all to partake in its many enjoyable info nuggets. Altuve should claim the No. 1 overall spot soon, which is currently held by the injured Clayton Kershaw. (Kershaw is seriously still the top performer in 2016 in traditional 5×5 formats, despite the fact that he last pitched five weeks ago.)
The Murphy/Kinsler/Cano trio have held down this tier for months, and now Pedroia moves up to join them. The soon-to-be 33-year-old socked five homers in July, while hitting over .300 for the third time in the season’s four months. Pedroia also has more walks than strikeouts over the last two months. He’s now sitting on a .303/.373/.453 season slash, with 12 homers, 70 runs and 46 RBI. With his prime position in the two-hole of Boston’s powerful lineup, Pedroia’s four-category contributions should continue to pay big dividends for his owners.
I had Zobrist in Tier Two for months, but his value keeps falling. His season stats are largely propped up by his wonderful month of May, when he hit .406/.483/.653 (1.137 OPS). In June, that fell to .221/.339/.368 (.708 OPS), and his .209/.303/.384 (.687 OPS) July wasn’t any better. He certainly possesses the talent to turn it around, and the Cubs’ lineup provides him plenty of opportunities for counting stats, so I’m not going full doom-and-gloom.
Coming off a resurgent June — in which he hit a monstrous .369/.435/.728 — Dozier predictably came back down to earth, but not all the way down to the ugly numbers he put up in his previous five months. The 29-year-old slashed .242/.293/.505, as the power production held over, although little else did. Still, nobody drafted Dozier for batting-average help in the first place, so I’m sure his owners are more than happy with the 14 homers he gave them from June through July.
Both Baez and Turner have worked their way into five or six games a week lately. Turner picked up seven steals in his first 16 major-league games of the season, and if he can stick at the top of the Nats’ lineup, he could easily work his way up a tier next month. Baez offers a balanced power/speed combo, with nine homers and seven steals in the last two months. Despite his early struggles, his season slash is all the way up to .289/.330/.468. Baez has the talent to ascend this list, but it’s going to be tough if the Cubs keep batting him seventh or eighth most games.
There’s a considerable amount of disappointment in this tier. Forsythe had a hideous July, fighting a losing battle against the Mendoza Line. The most alarming aspect of his data is the fact that his plate discipline has somehow completely flown out the window:
- 2015 Season (615 PA) – 8.9% BB, 18.0% K
- April/May 2016 (123 PA) – 11.4% BB, 21.1% K
- June 2016 (92 PA) – 3.3% BB, 21.7% K
- July 2016 (113 PA) – 3.5% BB, 23.0% K
In other unpleasant news, Profar finally saw steady playing time last month, but he didn’t do much with it. As for Travis, the fantasy owners’ dream of him batting near the top of the Jays’ order seems like a distant memory.
There’s also some encouraging signs in this tier. Kendrick saved his season with an explosive .352/.430/.557 July, with more weighted runs created (20) than in the season’s first three months combined (18). Gyorko received far more playing time last month than he did in the season’s first half, and responded by drilling seven bombs, with a .300/.347/.614 slash.
Schimpf, the 28-year-old ‘Three True Outcomes’ rookie, continues to consistently hit bombs (nine in 131 PA), walk (14.5%) and strike out (28.2%). If you can take the batting-average damage, Schimpf can help considerably boost your middle-infield power numbers.
For more on Travis, Gyorko and Schimpf, check out my piece from last week.
Hernandez is running more lately, so that’s somewhat interesting. Mondesi just celebrated his 21st birthday last Wednesday, and his tools started translating into minor-league statistical production for the first time this year. He’s got a high ceiling as a prospect, but I won’t be counting on him too much for 2016 fantasy numbers, especially if he stays at the bottom of the Royals’ batting order.
Most of these players receive at least semi-regular playing time. So, there’s that. You got that goin’ for ya.
Scott Strandberg started writing for Rotographs in 2013. He works in small business consultation, and he also writes A&E columns for The Norman Transcript newspaper. Scott lives in Seattle, WA.