Ah, the final week of fantasy baseball. The time of year when guys you would normally never consider rostering become crucial lynchpins in your quest for championship glory. If you’re still reading fantasy content in the last week of September, chances are you’re in a highly competitive league, so I’m not going to waste your time talking about players that are likely owned. Instead, I’m focusing solely on players who are available in nearly every league. (If speed is your need, take a look at Mike Podhorzer’s column from this morning.)
Adam Rosales – San Diego Padres
Shocked doesn’t come close to describing my reaction to Rosales’ 2016 numbers. Entering this season, the 33-year-old journeyman infielder had a 0.9 Wins Above Replacement through 1,226 major-league plate appearances. This year, he’s sitting on a 2.3 WAR, with just 245 PA. In the past, Rosales always hit lefties better than righties, but it’s not like he mashed lefties either:
- vs LHP (pre-2016) – 529 PA – .242/.311/.375, .133 ISO, 15 HR
- vs RHP (pre-2016) – 697 PA – .215/.281/.317, .102 ISO, 12 HR
Now take a gander at his numbers from this season, his first in San Diego:
- vs LHP (2016) – 113 PA – .242/.354/.505, .263 ISO, 6 HR
- vs RHP (2016) – 132 PA – .224/.295/.500, .276 ISO, 7 HR
If he had enough at-bats to qualify — and of course I’ll attach the caveat that he would be a very unlikely bet to sustain these numbers over 600+ PA — Adam Rosales would be tied for seventh with Nelson Cruz on the Major-League leaderboard for ISO. What makes Rosales’ 2016 even more bonkers is the fact that he was frigidly cold for the season’s first two months:
- April/May – 96 PA – .165/.260/.282, .118 ISO, 2 HR
- June-September – 149 PA – .278/.362/.651, .373 ISO, 11 HR
Forget about whether any of this is sustainable, because 1) it isn’t and 2) it doesn’t matter. We’re looking for one week of production, that’s it. Rosales is playing nearly every day for the Padres, and batted out of the No. 5 spot for the last two games. He is also blazing hot right now, with four bombs in his last five games.
Finally, he’s got some juicy matchups coming his way this week. After a Tuesday tilt against rookie Jose De Leon and a tough game against Kenta Maeda on Wednesday, the Dodgers will likely trot out either the reanimated corpse of Brett Anderson (who has somehow allowed 15 ER in just 9 IP this year) or a struggling and injured Scott Kazmir (.353 wOBA since the break), depending on Kazmir’s intercostal issues. Then, a weekend series at Arizona presents a positive run environment against the likely trio of Braden Shipley, Archie Bradley and Zack Godley — who all possess ERAs north of 5.00. (Alex Dickerson is another solid option for that weekend series at Arizona.)
Trey Mancini – Baltimore Orioles
The 24-year-old is on the short side of a DH platoon with Pedro Alvarez, so he’s more of a one-day streamer. Baltimore draws a lefty on Wednesday in the form of Francisco Liriano. In the world’s tiniest sample, Mancini has three homers and a double in just seven plate appearances against LHP since his call-up, but regardless of sample size, he’s worth a stream on Wednesday if you’re looking for a guy who could run into one.
Derek Dietrich – Miami Marlins
Between May 29 and September 16, Dietrich hit just one home run, which is odd for a player whose best tool is power. Since then, he seems to be rediscovering his stroke, with three bombs and two doubles. The 27-year-old only plays against righties — and even then he’s not a sure thing to see the starting lineup — but it’s a good sign that he started Miami’s last two games, batting 1st and 3rd in those games. If he’s in the lineup, he’s worth a start in tonight’s matchup with Bartolo Colon, Wednesday’s tilt against Seth Lugo, and Friday’s game against A.J. Cole.
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.